Freitag, 24. April 2015

[WoW Emulation] You should really read that!

Somewhere between the last few days I have read a great post of Stoneharry who is a known member on Ownedcore. I think everyone who plays on a private server should definetly read this:

Going down to where a emulator begins:
Everything sent and received between the client and a server is a packets. A packet is a message sent over the Internet that contains a header saying it's ID, and then some contents (usually some numbers, maybe a string, etc). Based on the packet ID and the contents the server or client will perform some verification to make sure it is valid and allowed, then carry out this command.
The emulator needs to read all the packets sent from the client. This part can be hard as you need to reverse engineer each packets structure, what data is in it, what does it actually mean, and so on. Then you need to reply with the EXACT data the client expects: if you don't, then the client will either crash or not listen to that data. You can begin to see the troubles we have.
However, assuming you know all the packet structures, then you are just coding what to read and what to write back and when. We now do know all the packet structures due to several leaks from Blizzard, one for almost every expansion including WoD. But knowing the structure is not enough, you also need to know the Id's and offsets. More reverse engineering, and as of Cataclysm this changes every single patch rather than on just major patches.
So you have to code the entire emulator with this data once you have figured it out, encode some sort of database system to store and load everything, work out what all the flags and enums mean (there are thousands), and code it all up. To put it in perspective, the current 3.3.5a TrinityCore emulator counts at about 300,000 lines of code if you run a line counter on all C++ files. And this isn't just simple programming: you are concurrently writing to handle thousands of connections at the same time all actively requesting and consuming content.
Okay, so this achievement has been done over many years of development. Why aren't we completely bug free yet? Why aren't the last things easy to clean up? Because the emulators are shit. Literally. You have to appreciate that these have been put together with little organisation over many years as an open source project where hundreds of amateur developers have contributed. Many classes are over 10,000 lines each! Coding practices are not used. It is hard to debug. Memory leaks.
This has been improved drastically as people go back and rewrite entire implementations and start to use proper computer science standards, but it is a mammoth task.
Then on top of all this emulator stuff, you have to do the server side content. Get all the creatures, items, etc, get all there spawns, waypoints, and spawn it all out and produce that content. A lot of this task can be automated by writing programs that listen to what is happening on retail and writing it out into your database, but it is hard to get it accurate and you will have to touch it all up.
After this huge task is done you then need to code it: tedious, boring, and LONG. Very very long. It takes so long to code the Blizzlike content, all the quests, dungeons, and so on. And think how much bug fixing Blizzard does on the PTR's? You have to somehow do that as a developer, without the player base testing it usually because you often work solo in the emulation scene. Yeah, it's not easy, and nobody wants to take on that task usually.
All of these issues and more are why we don't have perfect emulators. Especially as these are often not paid professional developers but rather amateurs learning and having fun.
TrinityCore 3.3.5a is a masterpiece considering all the effort and time that has been put into it and how well it runs now. Anyone can pick it up and run a 3.3.5a server mostly bug free and stable. This code base is being used to work on other emulators, but you begin with all the same issues described earlier in this post.
TrinityCore was created from the Mangos code base. Mangos is one of the oldest code bases. One emulator I forget the name of branched into Mangos and Antrix. Antrix became Ascent, then OpenAscent, Hearthstone, and ArcEmu. The Antrix side progressed much more quickly but employed much worse programming standards and thus while it was the most popular emulator in 2.4.3 and before, it was always buggy, unstable, and now is dead.
Mangos has continuously been worked on and was becoming the best emulator even in late TBC. TrinityCore branched from and has become even better.
Nobody appreciates the developers behind these emulators. We have put in tens of thousands of hours into this. And what do we get out of it? Thousands of people bitching about stuff not working. Servers using our base and then making millions of dollars profit from it. And often not even giving credit to us.
People have worked on it as a hobby. Others have taken that and turned it into a business. This has always been the case and always will be. But I digress from the original topic. All the big servers use TrinityCore, whatever they call it, "EpicMythicalCore", is just a rename of Trinity with a few changes for their specific needs, often with bug fixes they have found and managed themselves and they do not contribute it back.
I always focussed on custom content, as can be seen from my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/stoneharryNotBan/videos
I have been in emulation since 2006 and participated actively. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
~Stoneharry

Thanks to people like Stoneharry newcomers have the chance to get into emulation and programming very fast. Since the date I registered to mmowned which was around 2009 I am amazed about this guys dedication.

Link to the original topic: http://www.reddit.com/r/wowservers/comments/31k5yi/why_are_there_so_much_bugs_on_private_servers/cq2f2cb

Mittwoch, 15. April 2015

[C# / 1.12.1 WoW] Render Disabler

Today I found an old tool I programmed for a friend some time ago. It can disable the rendering of the environment for multiple 1.12.1 WoW processes completely:



Source + binary version will be posted in the evening today.

Update: http://www.xup.in/dl,11273919/C#_1.12.1_RenderDisabler.rar/

Mittwoch, 8. April 2015

Whats going on?

Stil having a blast about how many people actually downloaded my bots source code I started to implement detour. Expect another release soon which will work without the currently used breadcrumb waypoint system.
Also a note to all the people pm spaming me about how the dupe works: It is fixed since ages. The bot got published for learning purposes. Its not my purpose to assist script kiddys. Speaking of that I am always happy to see new projects arise - so if you work on some kind of 1.12.1 tool drop me a message if you like.

Anything else? Two friends and me had a nice day at the Move Artistics Dome in Cologne:


The friend who produced the video is about to apply to a parkour brand which requires you to have atleast 200 subscriptions. If a few of those who downloaded the bot source could help out and subscribe to his channel I would be very glad. Thanks in advance.

Back to gaming:
Kronos just released and I am pretty busy leveling. It fulfilled all my expectations and atleast I found my community. Being in IRC constantly you notice how much Chero and the staff works on everything. If you like playing WoW you should give it a try.

Speaking of vanilla WoW I updated a neat tool. With the intention to have an actionbar profile for tanking and one for PvP I previously tried ActionBarProfiles by Ermean which does a great job however struggles with warrior stances aswell macros.
So I digged through old sources and updated a tool of mine which I released to the Feenix community previously. Since it was build on a botbase which unlocked Lua and enabled a loot patch it was picked up as a hack very fast: http://www.wow-one.com/forum/topic/83792-important-information-about-the-bar-saver-third-party-program/
I removed all kind of static memory manipulation. All left is a completely legit tool which just modifys EndScene (the exact same thing Fraps is doing to record movies). To understand what this tool does exactly you should watch the video:


Usual questions:
Can I get banned? No. Well maybe yes if your server also bans people for using Screencapturing programs like Fraps.
Working for? Only tested under Windows 7
Features? Only loading profiles which are made for the current toon. Profiles can be created, deleted and loaded with a click of a button.
Download? http://www.xup.in/dl,18932701/BarSaver.zip/

Check back for more posts soon :)