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Category: LotRO Tools & Utilities for UsersIstelien L - Advanced Quiz Engine and Quiz Packages
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Name: Istelien L - Advanced Quiz Engine and Quiz Packages   Popular!
Date: 04-19-2024 05:26 AM
Size: 2.80 MB
Version: 0.931
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Quiz Selection
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Game Controls
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Chat Example
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Main Window

Istelien L for LOTRO is a quiz engine with an advanced automation for answer validation and game flow, allowing the host to play with others in equal conditions or to be only a game master. It also includes several quiz packages, including more than 4,000 questions from J.R.R. Tolkien’s main books.
Quiz games using Istelien L will happen exclusively through the LOTRO's integrated chat, in the selected chat channel. Players don't need any special implement; ony the game host needs the plugin.


At the beginning of the 21st century I wrote a series of quizzes for playing them at IRC Hispano. At the time there was a small Tolkien quiz of 285 questions that used to be played in a popular quiz addon for mIRC. It was a fun thing, but it was small and had evident flaws. Those three characteristics inspired me to write my own, with the aim of having a complete collection of questions covering everything present in the main books as they were published at the time and trying not to repeat anything if certain information was in several books. As I did that, a friend of mine wrote another quiz addon that also had more and better features than the original one. He called it Istelien (Game of Knowledge).
Now the inspiration came in the opposite direction: the quiz plugin for LOTRO that already existed pushed me to bring Istelien (L for Lua/LOTRO) and its many features back to life, although no code could be reused (which, in exchange, allowed me to design it from scratch improving the existing features and adding new ones). And then the logical thing was that my quizzes follow the plugin so you can enjoy bountiful content right away, thus closing the circle.

  • Automated or manual game flow.
  • Play games by time, number of questions or target points.
  • Select one or several different quiz packages for the same game, or...
  • Select Free game mode to play to whatever, however you like, while still tracking times and scores.
  • Team play.
  • Hints.
  • Different scoring modes, including customization and option for secondary winners.
  • Advanced Answer Matching System with customizable options capable of filtering special diacritics and accepting approximate entries.
  • Custom commands allowing players to interact with the engine.
  • Save, resume and log games.
  • Companion tools for importing question packages easily.
  • Multilanguage support, dependent on LOTRO client localization.

Included Quiz Packages

To be included with Istelien L, I've reworked the quizzes I mentioned in the Background section. The full sets of questions have been translated to English automatically and then I've reviewed them for grammar, context, and vocabulary having the English books as reference. It's a delicate work and I could have made mistakes. If you detect some, feel free to contact so that I can correct them, if I haven't done it already.
The questions cover The Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings and its Appendices, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth. They are presented in different package flavors to combine them at will:
This way you could host a game about The Hobbit, for example, or only about Geography of Middle-earth. And you can choose sets of questions of Medium difficulty (note that this is an average, they can contain harder questions the same as they contain really easy ones) or add the extensions with the hardest questions.

Be aware that unlike Istelien L (which I give as free software and can redistributed and/or modified under the terms of the GNU GPL v3 or later), these quizzes of my authorship are licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0, wich enables you to copy and distribute them in unadapted form only, for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.

I have also translated and included the original quiz I mentioned in the Background section, which I called “Traditional Tolkien Quiz”, as well as two humoristic quizzes that were created by some people I knew back then.

  • Unzip the plugin to your 'Documents/The Lord of the Rings Online/Plugins' folder
  • Use the program LOTRO Plugin Compendium to easily manage installation and plugin updates.
  • You might want to read this post if it’s your first time with plugins.

How to use
A full manual and guide is included in the plugin folders, under Resources\Documentation. It describes, in detail, every option and feature, the usage as host or player and the companion tools included that lets you manage quiz packages or optimize games. Nevertheless, here are the basics:
  1. If you haven’t set up the plugin for autoload for your character, load it by typing /plugins load Istelien in the game chat.
  2. Right click on the plugin icon or type /Istelien show in the game chat to open the main window. You can drag the icon around with the left mouse button.
  3. The Main Window has access to all the options: General Settings for the game, Teams, Difficulty, Scoring, and the Game Controls themselves. Refer to the included Manual for description and further instructions.
  4. Use the Game Controls to launch and control a game.
  5. A) If the Quiz Library is selected as Quiz source, the questions and any other game information will be fed to the game chat, in the seleted chat channel. Any player (host included) can type one or many answers in that channel. Istelien will show the correct answer only when the question time expires or when one or more players answer correctly. The Difficulty Settings can customize how precise must answers be to be considered correct, from requiring an exact match to admitting mistyping variations or ignoring specific items like case or punctuation. The game host can rely on the plugin to select the winners and scores autonomously or deal with it personally by choosing the prefered Game flow mode.
    B) If Free game is selected instead, the game host may merely be a time and score keeper and teams manager. The plugin will only monitor the chat to keep track of participants. Players can decide how to play: improvise questions, give custom hints, take turns to ask, or invent your own game with nothing to do with quizzes. The limit is in your imagination.
  6. End the game automatically when the target is reached, or manually at any moment.
  7. Publish the final results in the game chat.
  8. Repeat steps 3 to 7 as many times as you want for successive games.
  9. Click the X button or type /Istelien hide in the game chat to close the main window.

To-Do List
  • Translations for the other localizations supported by LOTRO. Anybody is welcome to check Strings.lua for the original strings and help with translations.
  • Integrated log viewer or additional companion tool that lets you review a logged game as it happened, in a clean and comfortable view.
  • Be able to retain more than one game log.
  • Add more player commands, if found convenient.

Known Issues
  • Non-standard characters (like accents) are not showing properly in the selected element of drop-down lists when loading the plugin, even when they're properly shown when expanding the list of selecting the element again. This has something to do with some limitations of the Dropdown class I haven't been able to crack yet.
  • When removing Quiz Packages or changing their order in the Quiz Library, the quiz selection in the Game Settings or saved games may be rendered incorrect until they’re manually selected again.

Version history
  • 0.931 - 2024-04-19

    - The "Prevent question repetition" setting wasn't working as expected.
    - A debug line I left behind could cause a certain shell message to appear.
  • 0.93 - 2024-04-16
    - Added an option to prevent questions to be repeated during a game. Only after all the questions of the selected quiz have been asked they can appear again.
    - The Manual has been updated with the new function.
    - There was an issue with the Reward simultaneous answers option if the answer was a number.
    - There was an issue with timers if at any point a countdown was set but the timer was not initialized.
  • 0.92 - 2024-04-07
    - Added Free game mode. Now you have the option of not depending on pre-written questions and just play freely in chat on any terms you agree with your partners: improvise your own questions, take turns to ask, or just play a different kind of chat game. The host is therefore only a time and score keeper and teams manager.
    - There's a new setting called "Quiz source" that let's you choose between classical mode ("Quiz library") and "Free game". Quiz selection and Difficulty Settings are disabled while "Free game" is selected.
    - The setting "Answer validation" and its value "Semiautomatic" have been renamed with the more appropriate terms of "Game flow" and "Pseudoautomatic".
    - The Manual has been updated with the new function.
    - When no saved settings are found, instead of pointing the settings table to the default settings, those default settings are properly copied into settings table.
    - A couple of example data files had one setting showing a wrong value between the possible ones.
  • 0.914 - 2024-04-02
    - The PAUSE / RESUME messages were sent to the previous selected channel if the setting had changed since he plugin was loaded.
    - When more than one player typed the correct answer, the chat informed of the last one as main winner instead of the first one.
    - Now the first player to type the correct answer is highlighted in the Master Scorer window.
    - If nobody put the correct answer of a question but points were granted manually, the wrapping question message will still say that "Nobody knew" but the highest scorer name will also be mentioned as custom winner.
  • 0.91 - 2024-03-29
    - Implemented Vindar&Garan save/load patch to fix issue with non-English clients.
    - Channels that had different names and command depending on client localization were working only in English.
    - Added French translation.
    - Added OOC to the playable channel list.
  • 0.9 – First published version.

Alejandro Meirinhos “Anglachel”.
[email protected]
Archive List (Old Versions)
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