View Full Version : howto tutorial request
02-21-2005, 05:03 AM
Could a developer please take a small amout of time and post a howto tutorial for my request below? When the packet collecter is up and running, those of us who use it also have our own eqemu servers up and running. When we use the packet collector and it generates a .pf file, the only option given to us it uploading it to the people who created the collector for editing. However, some zones in databases are still not 100% npc complete. PEQ for example, is infact a great database, the closest db to live yet. Their site says classic thru velious, however there are several zones even in classic that are missing alot of npcs that effect quest scripting. Now, for some non-questers it may seem un-needed to go back and get the missing npcs from live, but to the rest of us its needed; if only for our private servers. Please understand, Im not trying to bash anyone here.. I was just using PEQ as an example of missing npcs. Getting back to the request at hand, Im not looking for the source code of the collector, Im just asking for a howto tutorial on how to use the .pf files Ive collected from live to my own server, instead of being forced to upload them. Furthermore, I feel the biggest disadvantage over devs who have been around and people who are creating their own private servers, is documentation. Yes, theres a howto forum, but really documentation like the request Ive made above would really make a difference.. since this project is suppose to be for everyone who wants to host their own servers.
having to upload without being able to implement by myself makes me feel like Im in the 40's saying yes sir, no sir like a slave working in a cotton field answering to the man. does it really have to be like this?
02-21-2005, 05:12 AM
btw, Im also drozz. I posted under teppen to note Im not a newbie and have been around for awhile.
02-21-2005, 05:48 AM
The PF files contain raw packet data. You're free to parse them and use them for your own implementations as you like, but to do that you're gonna have to write some code. Some very ugly complicated code and you're gonna have to understand EQ packets inside and out to make sense of what's in the PF file.
That is way beyond the technical abilities of 95% of the userbase here. When something is that complex, it can't be solved in by a dev taking "a small amount of time to write a small howto." To do this would be akin to me asking a surgeon to "take a small amount of his time to write up a howto cuz my wife needs an operation but I wanna do it myself."
You are free to use the packet files for your own implementations. They are not encrypted, nor was anything about the collector designed as some conspiracy hide data from the unwashed masses. Just write your own code to parse the PF files and do what you like with them. If you can't code or don't understand the first thing about network packet structures, though, then you'll have to accept that it simply ain't gonna happen.
02-21-2005, 06:30 AM
you're gonna have to understand EQ packets inside and out to make sense of what's in the PF file.
Then submit a guide on Understanding EQ Packets then.
A guide on Everquest Protocol Layer would be helpful too.
I hold a degree in CS. I understand Assembler, and C quite well. However, like Ive said in drozz post. Documentation that the Dev's hold out of the tutorial sections leads to the disadvantages of people who are intelligent enough to code, from further understanding the code. Ive been around long enough to know that the devs must have a typed up guide on the Everquest Protocol Layer, and more so, a guide on Understanding EQ Packets. Otherwise your telling me that all devs new and old to the projects have telepathic minds so when one knows they all know without any form of documents or verbal or typing communications between one another. If thats the case then.. well thats not the case.
To stop people from questioning the guide just put **no support for this guide** then lock the thread per guide. That way, those of us that can understand it have the resources.
Information is gained by sharing. Code is not the only thing that should be opensource, and infact alot of subprojects here are closed source but thats a totally different rant which I wont start because Ive been around since 2002 and I have lived thru the "this is closed source" excuses posts.
Oh.. I thought this looked familar. Reminds me of highschool if your not in the "click" then the door doesnt swing both ways.
02-21-2005, 08:21 AM
Why don't I lead you to a couple of files from the source that might be of use to you:
? zone/eq_opcodes.h ? <--- not sure if this is the right name but something like that
I get the feeling that this is the extent of the "typed up documentation" you suspect exists. That, and a few discussion boards on the net like Hackerquest. The source code exists at SourceForge as the project name "eqemulator". In the case of network packets, with that stuff changing every other patch so it's futile to try and keep up separate documentation about it. In cases like these, the code simply has to be the authoritative source.
I've found the current crop of devs to be pretty open when it comes to asking questions about the inner workings of the system. They don't always have time to be bothered, but if you're motivated to help them they'll be motivated to help you.
02-21-2005, 10:03 AM
Im not really sure what documents posted on hackerquest forums that your are referring to, but Im certain its not what Im referring to. EQEmu has had several Dev's in the past leave do to conflict between other Dev's. Out of fustration towards other Dev members for doing them wrong or what not, they leak out info on irc, im, other mb's, and even on stray sites that any simple google search can bring up easily. Note, Im not going to post any of that here due to the fact that its probably considered bannable without consent of the Dev who typed it up, but still a good read from the site itself. I would like to see the updated version tho, think the last entry I read from that stray site was dated september 2004.
I get the feeling that this is the extent of the "typed up documentation" you suspect exists.
It seems this thread is going to be an infinite ping pong match between me and you on this matter. If your saying that documentation doest exist then thats fine. Either, its not suppose to be released, or you really dont know what im talking about. What Im referring to is around 20 pages if printed out with ascii tables, code, and some theory based charts of the protocol layer... but I guess that doesnt exist. Anyways, feel free to lock this thread.. nothing good is coming out of it. I'll go check myself into a crazy ward now.
end of rant.
02-21-2005, 10:47 AM
I'm sure there's been that kind of documentation in the past, and that it was closed for reasons you and I may or may not agree with. I hope it's some consolation to you though, that even if tomorrow they decided to stick it on the home page, I probably wouldn't bother reading much of it... why? because I can tell you it's already out of date.
Mid December, SOE switched over to a brand spanking new network engine (actually EQ2's network engine, so now they probably only have one set of network code to deal with for both games). So all the 20-page writeups that have been done on the net protocol in the past have been made moot with one single patch.
I can tell you with 99% certainty that noone here at eqemu has made it a point to go spend 12 hours on another 20-page write up of the new code... because we only have 2 really active devs atm, and they may be focused on other things besides Live netcode, especially while the live client is riding out the aftershocks from a new expansion. When there's 2 active devs, then the source code and casual conversation thru PM's will pretty much comprise the documentation for this new net code -- at least for the forseeable future.
I've seen various writeups on old net protocol that I was able to get to with simple Google searches. Once again, they're all outdated now, but I did come across a thread in HQ forums just the other day that I believe talks a little about how the new net protocol works.
And no, it's not against the rules to talk about various inner workings of the server as it would be hypocritical to have an opensource server and then forbid discussion about it. It's also (mostly) not against the forum rules to talk about the client's behavior as you observe it. There are certain things which we don't talk about mainly out of legal concerns -- such as the no warez rule. If you somehow managed to get the EQ client sourcecode and posted it here, it'd prolly be gone in a flash as that's copyrighted stuff too.
If you've observed ex-devs going on a rampage and posting confidential material, he's usually posting the source to one of those closed source projects. Whether you or I agree with an author's decision to make a subproject closed source, the fact of the matter is if it isn't GPL'd or licensed by some similar terms, then the author retains all copyright and can choose how (s)he wants it distributed. If the author doesn't want it distributed, then posting it here is just as much warez as posting eq client files.
While I, like you, disagree with some of the community's past decisions to keep something private, the only people the devs are hurting by unnecessarily doing so are themselves. If any dev has forgotten that, perhaps this message can serve as a reminder that clamming up and becoming unreachable will be a turn-off to potential help. As long as they are aware of that, I don't think they'll bother keeping more info private than they have to.
02-21-2005, 03:09 PM
Im surprised the HackerQuest forums are still up. I first started with HQ when it was the only everquest emulator. And I remember waiting for slow updates and releases because it was closed source. I joined Eqemu back in 2002. Opensource was the way to go. Even when Zordon finally release the source to his emu, it was so far behind. So, its been afew years since ive checked out his forums. Might do a quick browse. I agree with most of your posts. Even if it does get posted, I would still read it. Why? Because it would give you a better understanding of how it worked and etc. Ive always liked this quote:
One man's garbage, is another man's treasure
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