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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    So, it's a question of which do you want? I mentioned before that there was going to be a question of, "what are you willing to give up?" Simply put these options are tempermental, are built onto the enginre not part of the initial design, and require significant resources in and out of game to maintain and carry forward. In shot you can pick one of your two 'wants', but only one. We went with what most seemed to want. Improved forum/community experience.
    Here's the thing, I don't think that most of the people wanting better forum performance thought for a moment that we would be required to give up so much to get it. I mean, come ON, Turbine. Forums are basic stuff. Everyone has a forum and I don't think it's too much to expect a successful game company to be able to maintain a forum that works well and also provide out of game information and features for the use of your players. I think that most people wanted you to put MORE resources into the website and forums instead of just getting rid of everything else to make the forums work. That's ridiculous, to be honest. It's not the sort of thing a game player expects from the game company they are supporting. I'm really astounded.
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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thranthir View Post
    As I find it sad we're losing so much information I'm just wondering how can it be that there are quite a few other games out there that are able to maintain a working community site with access to game data like character details, item details, leaderboards etc.
    It's been said by others before me but Lotro was already behind on this and I really was hoping for an improvement rather than a complete shut down of these services..
    Though if these services are 100% certain the reason of the troubles this community site is having I understand they are disappearing.. However isn't it worth the effort of investigating if data.lotro.com could be separated from the community website but still access the database(s) where all the data is stored..

    It's not just leaderboards that are being displayed by 3rd party websites using these data sources.. there's a lot of kinship sites that are based on Guildlaunch for example which uses the data API as well to display character data and people use these for various social purposes.. a simple example would be to check if that fellow kinmember that has his/her birthday soon needs a certain crafted item as a surprise gift..

    I really won't say I will quit Lotro or stop using the forums if these data sources would become unavailable.. I just hope to touch your social feelings a bit here Sapience, and perhaps you could poke the tech team one more time to see if there really isn't any way of preserving access to this.. and maybe even improve them.. *pushing my luck here *
    If it's stroopwafels they need.. I guess those can be delivered!
    I think the main problem is that the games database wasn't originally designed with the intention to have this much data exported form it, that and the fact that they are working off of two different sets of data (US and ex-EU accounts data is stored differently due to the server move) makes it a coders nightmare to implement properly, whereas many games nowadays (and even many older ones) have their databases designed with this in mind from the beginning making it much easier to extract and display.

  3. #53
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    Losing great deal of extra features for improved basic forum. To be honest I am not IT guy, but maintaining functioning bone naked forum seems like stuff students at random IT uni can handle.


    There was so much potential in lorebook, character and data api, that when it was first released years ago I was pumped what will future bring.


    Where other games are expanding, lotro is cutting.

    One step forward, 2 steps back. What a shame.

  4. #54
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    A lot of people have invested a lot of work into lorebook articles.

    Simply deleting them is not OK, IMHO.

    That doesn't mean the lorebook software needs to be maintained, simply keeping them available in some form of readonly mode would help a lot. At least the original author can go back and move them over to lotro-wiki or some other place.

  5. #55
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    The lorebook, leaderboards, and other functions used to be separate from the forums. But when they came out with the new forums they mushed them all together and broke more than a few things in the process. Which is to bad.

    Sadly, the lorebook has often been a hit or miss as far as updates. Sometimes it's been updated well, other times it's been months behind. The same it true for a number of other functions. Which is to bad. I could make guesses as to why, but I'd more than likely be wrong so I won't.

    Hopefully they'll be able to figure out someway to get some of those things back in some form, more than likely separate from the forums. As many people as have mentioned it, it seems like it would be prudent to work on a way to get some leaderboards up, and the lorebook in some form. That's one area that lotro has shown it's lack, both from a company perspective and a fan site one.
    Firefoot: Elendale (hunter) Galorlas (champ) Grimlaff (warden) Corny (warg)

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirwillow View Post
    The lorebook, leaderboards, and other functions used to be separate from the forums. But when they came out with the new forums they mushed them all together and broke more than a few things in the process. Which is to bad.
    This was the root cause of the horrors we have now .. when it takes 30 seconds from clicking 'Reply' to being able to begin typing this and over 60 seconds from clicking Submit to the updated page with my new post included.

    The original forums may not have been as 'sexy' as those that replaced them, but they achieved their prime purpose: to allow communication between players and Turbine. There was no need to 'integrate' stuff like the Lorebook etc. which had little to do with the main purpose of the forum, but someone in Turbine's web development group decided to do it anyway: and what we have today is a direct result.

    It's so ironic that Sapience is now saying they're going back to the 'un-integrated' idea because, IT WORKS, even though it isn't 'kewl' as far as some web designer's 'vision' is concerned.
    Last edited by Kerin_Eldar; Apr 25 2013 at 09:16 AM.

  7. #57
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    ^ Yep, exactly what Kerin said. It's why so many of us have been clamoring for a return to the old forums and systems. Because they worked. Would integration and features be nice? Sure, but they've tried that and it left the main purpose so broken, along with the others, that's it's just not worth it.

    Hopefully they can get the others brought back again later on as separate elements not tied into the forums. But I'm looking forward to the days when I don't have to constantly relog into the forums because it logged me out, and especially when I'm typing in replies to posts (3 times so far this morning!)

    I am sooooo looking forward to the new forums, even with the features we are losing. The trade off is more than worth it.

    (make that 4 this morning. did it again as I was replying. So finished with that kind of stupid stuff. walking away from the forums this morning cause I'm sick of it. Leaderboards are NOT worth this frustration)
    Firefoot: Elendale (hunter) Galorlas (champ) Grimlaff (warden) Corny (warg)

  8. #58
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    Character and guild data will be discontinued. Please note that this will also impact any systems that rely on character data including PVMP leaderboard


    I finally start to play in Ettenmoors and Turbine decides to kill it.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    These are sort of related. The data will still be there for some time, but it will not be supported or updated and will eventually be disabled. So anything, in terms of third party apps, that work now will continue to work as they do now until such time as it's finally disabled completely.
    Are you saying that data.lotro.com will be eliminated? (i.e. disabled completely).
    Bill Magill - Mac Player - Old Timers Guild- Gladden:

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  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edrogar View Post
    I think the main problem is that the games database wasn't originally designed with the intention to have this much data exported form it, that and the fact that they are working off of two different sets of data (US and ex-EU accounts data is stored differently due to the server move) makes it a coders nightmare to implement properly, whereas many games nowadays (and even many older ones) have their databases designed with this in mind from the beginning making it much easier to extract and display.
    Deep down in my mind I know this is the problem.. however I've always wished they would somehow be able to overcome the differences between NA and EU data storage.. Although I can understand it would cost a lot to put a part of the tech team's focus on equalize both versions of storage.. it would surely make things easier in the future..
    But I've got no clue about what the differences are and why it is so hard to merge them together.. I do work with websites/network systems and databases all connected but with max 150k users it's on a much smaller scale I'd reckon.. and we've indeed designed our systems with keeping in mind what we want to create..
    So even if I understand the reasoning from Turbines part I'd hoped they would not discard the data API completely but more of a it won't be working anymore for a x amount of months but we're improving things and will launch something really uber in 2014!

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    [*]Character and guild data will be discontinued. Please note that this will also impact any systems that rely on character data including PVMP leaderboards, Character Signatures, and API functionality (data.lotro.com).
    What is the impact here concerning the Lua API?

    I realize that the Lua API is NOT something that Turbine acknowledges as supported, but rather is simply a "spare-time project, when the Dev has time." (I forget the term you used to describe it.)
    Bill Magill - Mac Player - Old Timers Guild- Gladden:

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  12. #62
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darmokk View Post
    A lot of people have invested a lot of work into lorebook articles.

    Simply deleting them is not OK, IMHO.

    That doesn't mean the lorebook software needs to be maintained, simply keeping them available in some form of readonly mode would help a lot. At least the original author can go back and move them over to lotro-wiki or some other place.
    Which is why we posted over a month ago asking people to list those that should be saved, and why we've made it clear those who created them (or those who wish to save them) should take the time to copy them out (maybe update them) and hang on to them so they can be posted when we open the player guides forum.

    One can complain, or one can take action and preserve them using the announced option we're giving you. That's why we're giving notice and creating the forum. So those that wish to do so can save what they deem worth saving.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valamar View Post
    Are you saying that data.lotro.com will be eliminated? (i.e. disabled completely).
    Eventually. it will no longer be improved upon and nothing new will be added. It will exist for some period of time in its current state, but will eventually (sooner rather than later) be phased out entirely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thranthir View Post
    Deep down in my mind I know this is the problem.. however I've always wished they would somehow be able to overcome the differences between NA and EU data storage.. Although I can understand it would cost a lot to put a part of the tech team's focus on equalize both versions of storage.. it would surely make things easier in the future..
    At the origin of the game we laid out a data structure, ID system, etc. for servers, data, items, and so forth. When we took the service back and tried to merge them we found a number cases where that plan wasn't followed or changes were made or errors in configuration were made that prevented us from rolling everything back into the main service as we had hoped. Believe me, there was a very great deal of time spent trying to unravel the problem and find a solution to it. In the end and cost and risk (it would have involved major changes to character data and server IDs in some cases) was simply too great.

    This is also why the former NA and EU servers don't allow character transfers between them and why Bullroarer has to be alternated between them. Though we are considering allowing a "first come, first served" approach with Bullroarer in the future.

  13. #63
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    quick queation sapience

    Great post really helpful sapience. I had a quick question though, it would seem that a lot of out of game functionality will be lost eg. Checking char data eg. Current gear, skirm stats etc that use my lotro data. Is this indeed going to disappear? And 2 any plans to provide this another way?

    I quite like it thats all, and im assuming that that functionality will disappear from what you've said.

    Thanks in advance

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Fredelas View Post
    This is already possible. The structure and content of the .dat files, while complex, are actually pretty intelligible. While it might be permissible to reverse engineer for personal use, it would probably be a violation of the EULA (not to mention copyright law) to publish the resulting data.
    Online gaming companies stopped storing game play data such as item stats and character data on our PCs 10-15 years ago. There is no game play information in the .DAT to extract. You could open the .DAT files search for a visual data of an armor:

    1) Icon
    2) regular texture
    3) High resolution texture
    4) Dye overlay

    These are all visual components art work. There is no way to associate these four elements. They are numeric elements in the various .DAT files. The directory header has very limited information like starting location in bytes from the beginning of the file and length of the element. .DAT files look a like the compressed file structure several companies I have worked for use. This compressed tech is used heavily in hand held devices like home routers, cell phones ...

    We compute all this information when we build a load. We want to find an icon in source code we say Icon_yula_bunny. The build tools assign number 10 to the icon. We index to the tenth entry in the file header. Pull the starting location and length out the header. It is simple math. multiply 10 to the length of header entry. the animation_yula_bunny might have been assigned number 234 in the compressed animation file.

    You are trying to reverse engineer from the compressed files it is a pain in the tail. In our case we do not have the code because it only exists inside the Turbine operated Lotro servers.

    Yes it is possible to extract all the icons. Load on a web site. Ask people to manually assign names to each Icon by comparing the web Icon to what they see while playing the game.

    What we see in the Lorebook is the output of a fairly sophistated tool that builds a human readable form of the data from the components that make up the Lotro software. If you are going to provide a web database, it has to be a system level requirement early in the product design.

    Trying to do it after launch, like a couple products I have worked on - it is real hassle. I had to put the hooks into the application software to export run time data. Get it to work first time - every time without degrading performance of the real life application. It was painful especially with the requirement to store and forward plus audit and fix the web databases. There always times when the web system is down. Communicaiton line is down. System is overload - exports are delayed to free resources for the users.
    Unless stated otherwise, all content in this post is My Personal Opinion.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    So, it's a question of which do you want? I mentioned before that there was going to be a question of, "what are you willing to give up?" Simply put these options are tempermental, are built onto the enginre not part of the initial design, and require significant resources in and out of game to maintain and carry forward. In shot you can pick one of your two 'wants', but only one. We went with what most seemed to want. Improved forum/community experience.
    Improved forum/community experience... and Turbine also want all you stop use altfinder or dailystats for recognize easy BradPiters.
    Turbine is also investigating ways that you can not take screenshots or videotape of BradPiters and expose their best customers to you tube.
    Turbine also send a fruit basket to first get your r13 BradPiter 1age LI. Is a luck old player knows and recognize servers BradPiters. Will be a bit harder recognize the news ones that will join unfair play mode.

  16. #66
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    Sapience, am i right in saying the Lorebook works off of a MediaWiki base? If so i'm pretty sure (been a couple of years since i last used MW) there's an export function (it exports all the articles in a file iirc), if so any chance before it goes down for good someone could zip up a copy and host it for download somewhere? That way if anyone wants to they could re-host it.

  17. #67
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    Ah found it, you can export and import pages or whole categories here ...

    http://lorebook.lotro.com/wiki/Special:Export

  18. #68
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    I am just astonished that in order to have a working forum we have to lose a lot of the stuff that made this a community and kept me coming to the forums. No I am not terribly happy about this at all.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    One can complain, or one can take action and preserve them using the announced option we're giving you. That's why we're giving notice and creating the forum. So those that wish to do so can save what they deem worth saving.
    Also, nothing of value in the lorebook (these days) isn't also found elsewhere, like on the lotrowiki.

    What it all comes down to is, if it improves functionality of the forum (and maybe the game) then get rid of it.

  20. #70
    Well I'm glad to see some changes coming to the forums, especially the removal of the rep system. Also the removal of the Lorebook means more people will be contributing to lotrowiki as they should be.

  21. #71
    Apparently I'm out of the loop, WTH is a BradPiter?
    Last edited by Gedachtnis; Apr 25 2013 at 01:21 PM.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaggahl View Post
    Improved forum/community experience... and Turbine also want all you stop use altfinder or dailystats for recognize easy BradPiters.
    Turbine is also investigating ways that you can not take screenshots or videotape of BradPiters and expose their best customers to you tube.
    Turbine also send a fruit basket to first get your r13 BradPiter 1age LI. Is a luck old player knows and recognize servers BradPiters. Will be a bit harder recognize the news ones that will join unfair play mode.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gedachtnis View Post
    Apparently I'm out of the loop, WTH is a BradPiter?
    You're not the only one. I was wondering what Jaggahl was talking about myself. I think something must have been lost in translation somewhere.
    Firefoot: Elendale (hunter) Galorlas (champ) Grimlaff (warden) Corny (warg)

  23. #73
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    Dear Devs,

    For the sake of the future of lotro please get this one right. In spite of many beloved features going by the wayside I believe that all will be forgiven if a truly solid functional forum and community platform emerges from the ashes. However if after the lotro community loses the assets of blogs, leader boards, character sigs, character/guild APIs with all the tools and toys that have resulted from that and you do not NAIL the new forum format, I believe you will permanently decimate any belief in your competence as designers and developers within your most vocal and active player base.

    This is NOT the sparkly mannequin issue. You have your fingers in the very mechanics of what gets lotro those third party "most devoted MMO community" accolades.

    Seriously, PLEASE.

  24. #74
    Kill forum instead of leaderboards.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirwillow View Post
    You're not the only one. I was wondering what Jaggahl was talking about myself. I think something must have been lost in translation somewhere.
    BradPiter=Player that kill himself (f2preaver or second account). Also player that farm kin mates for renom. Also fellow of players that farm between kill and kill, around the map, one of his f2preavers of the fellow.
    I think we will see this in next CoC http://good-wallpapers.com/wall.php?...920&ratio=1.78

 

 
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