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Lotro Private Servers


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Like many people, I am part of a small group of friends who are based all around the world who play a variety of different games together. 

 

We all found each other a few years back playing Eve Online and whilst that is still our main game, we play many many others.

 

Recently for what ever reason a few of them decided to mess about and play WoW on a private server.

 

Now fair enough it being a private server it is quite a few releases behind but it was still a lot of fun and bug free. The server is also heavily modded in regards to anybody found running bots / swearing in local etc are insta banned.

 

The only reason we played was to do the raids so we found a server that had a big xp multiplier so it only took a about a week to hit max level. 

 

There are many other private servers which have a healthy number of people playing where there is no xp enhancement. 

 

Now of course these private servers are illegal in the sense that they do break EULA / Copyright etc, but it appears that so long as they are not making money from them they are left alone. 

 

There are many private servers which have been running for years now, have thousand of people playing on them, videos's all over youtube and blizzard haven't so much battered an eye in their direction. 

 

What I was wondering was if such a private Lotro server appeared and it was Lotro SoA+ MoM so only up to but not including loth, would you be tempted to play?

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Definitely "be tempted to play".

 

AFAIK there haven't been any Lotro PS that I have heard of.

 

Even though I would never expect Turbine to do anything generous like this, if they ever close it down, they should hand over the code to some group so people could try to set up the world on their own server. I won't be too happy when that world disappears.

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There are many private servers which have been running for years now, have thousand of people playing on them, videos's all over youtube and blizzard haven't so much battered an eye in their direction.

 

Pretty sure Blizzard has shut down several servers and made sure there are not any (or many) in the US. All the main WoW private servers are overseas. But yeah it is amazing they do exist and companies run a few and make a ton of money.

 

For the player, it is a pretty amazing service. Players use the actual WoW client from earlier releases, but the server owners need to script the world, quests, etc themselves. You can even quite easily set up WoW to be a single player game on your own PC and play that way. The files to do this are all available out there.

 

I am not sure how legal this all is, and I am not condoning any of it. For myself, I am interested in the private servers as a phenomena of MMO and gamer culture. I think some uses of private servers to emulate WoW are legal - and the server software is not blizzards but reverse engineered. Anyone curious can look at this site and community: http://www.ownedcore.com/forums/world-of-warcraft/world-of-warcraft-emulator-servers/

 

Anyway, here are the big private wow servers. Molten WoW is the huge one - thousands of players, queues to get in, and tons of cash going to the owners via a cash shop. http://www.xtremetop100.com/world-of-warcraft

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LOTRO is a little different from most MMO's due to the IP, even if Turdbine actually turned a blind eye to a player run server themselves you would still have to contend with WB who hold the license for it and if even they turned a blind eye you would have to deal with MEE who rent the license to WB and even then you would also have to contend with the Tolien estate who are notorious for dropping law suits on people at the drop of a hat. I think if a player run LOTRO appeared it would be very soon drowned in law suits.

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I'd only play if the Shop were available on the private server too. Sooo many useful, convenient, and pretty things to buy; can't think of playing LOTRO without them. And neither can the producers, so we won't.

 

</sarcasm>

 

My guess why private servers haven't surfaced yet is twofold (and androclese is dead right about entailing the whole stream of law-suits):

  1. there is zero demand, since the game itself is free to play (assuming that most private servers exist to circumvent a subscription)
  2. as nosam9 said, usually some version of the game client is used to reverse engineer/emulate the server side. Turbine's network code was ever such a kludge that no-one has succeeded yet to emulate all the bugs correctly.

That being said, I'd only play on a SoA-only server with bi-weekly Rift runs... ;)

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While this discussion is only theoretical, I must note that should someone stumble onto a private server for LOTRO, or wishes to pursue making one, I'd rather not have that discussion here. For the moment, you're fine though :)

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My guess why private servers haven't surfaced yet is twofold (and androclese is dead right about entailing the whole stream of law-suits):

  1. there is zero demand, since the game itself is free to play (assuming that most private servers exist to circumvent a subscription)
  2. as nosam9 said, usually some version of the game client is used to reverse engineer/emulate the server side. Turbine's network code was ever such a kludge that no-one has succeeded yet to emulate all the bugs correctly.

That being said, I'd only play on a SoA-only server with bi-weekly Rift runs... ;)

 

1. Nah. Plenty of private servers for F2P games.  Some (small miniority but still) are created in order to have cash-shop free experience.

2. Creating your own server-software and scripting whole game world is huge task. Even if you can reverse engineer many things from client-official server packets and digging in client data itself.  

Noone did that for Lotro propably because there were no sizeable group of people wanting to dedicate years to make it.

 

Most people really interested in Lotro was content with paying subscription when Lotro was P2P, and I guess there is no group of people with dedicaton and skills to create private server software for 7 year old game now.

 

 

@nosam9

 

I am not surprised that developers don't release code for their MMORPGs even after they're plugged-off.   Plenty of reason to not release it, and practically no reason to release it.

 

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I found this whilst looking at other private servers.

 

It is a Star Wars Galaxy private server.

 

http://www.galaxiesreborn.com/

 

They have some very interesting points of view about why what they are doing in their eyes is legal and we know how sony like to sue 

 

I wonder if Lotro did close down they could be applied to a Lotro private server.

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I've often wondered how Blizzard has allowed so many copies of their server code to leak out/be stolen.

I could see it happening once or twice, either through a security hole or perhaps a former employee. But there appear to be many different versions out there in the wild, which means there must have been many similar incidents over the years.

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I've often wondered how Blizzard has allowed so many copies of their server code to leak out/be stolen.

I could see it happening once or twice, either through a security hole or perhaps a former employee. But there appear to be many different versions out there in the wild, which means there must have been many similar incidents over the years.

I don't think it's much of a problem for them. The majority would likely prefer official servers over private ones, though I'd love a private server myself.

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I've often wondered how Blizzard has allowed so many copies of their server code to leak out/be stolen.

I could see it happening once or twice, either through a security hole or perhaps a former employee. But there appear to be many different versions out there in the wild, which means there must have been many similar incidents over the years.

Crushing majority of private server software is a combination of private server developers writing software themself + reverese engineering game client and game client <-> official server communication.

 

Why do you think someone actually have stolen official Blizzard WoW server code?

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Crushing majority of private server software is a combination of private server developers writing software themself + reverese engineering game client and game client <-> official server communication.

 

Why do you think someone actually have stolen official Blizzard WoW server code?

I have seen people say as much, and I find it difficult to imagine that all the server-side data required could be reproduced easily. It also seems like a very large project for a handful of people to pull off with having the source code available.

I realize the client does an awful lot, but the server and its associated databases cannot be a simple piece of code to reverse engineer from scratch.

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From reading some of the bot forums, it looks like there are bots that can read and map a whole world in a few days.

 

I assume they could also note every texture on every polygon (since the textures are "called" not sent).

 

Underlying mechanics that are invisible might be "fudgeable" in the end.

 

And if the server is policed well, you wouldn't necessarily have to guard from people insert IP stack hacks for advantage, so the client could actually do much of the server work (if you ever tried the betas for Just Cause 2 MP you can see just how efficient that is; hundreds of people and no lag).

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I have seen people say as much, and I find it difficult to imagine that all the server-side data required could be reproduced easily. It also seems like a very large project for a handful of people to pull off with having the source code available.

I realize the client does an awful lot, but the server and its associated databases cannot be a simple piece of code to reverse engineer from scratch.

That is why private server projects sometimes take years to attain features and 'completion' of retail versions.

 

Skills not working, AIs missing, scripts missing, quests not working or badly working, agroo borked, things falling through the ground or players / npc's being able to walk through walls, etc

 

Really - development of private servers is (or at least was years ago - when I observed few of them - not sure how it flies now)  frequently preety open.  You back backtrack their versions and sometimes even get their source code repositories.

 

 

Official server software is usually well guarded.   Most private servers are not made from stolen code.

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@nosam9

 

I am not surprised that developers don't release code for their MMORPGs even after they're plugged-off.   Plenty of reason to not release it, and practically no reason to release it.
 

 

While it is certainly not a MMORPG exactly, the one I can think of that has done this very well I think is Cyan.  I still play Uru now and again and find the talk among the people still involved with this to be pretty fascinating... if only I knew how to do some of these things myself I'd give it a go.

 

That being said, I agree that such an attempt as private servers for Lotro would be just a litigious exercise at the end of the day given all the licensing issues and the unlikelihood of the code ever being released.

 

But if by some miracle that happend AND I could get my OLD CLASSES back - then yes I would play it. *said the dreamer...*

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Where is the Bradley Manning of Turbine when you need him? We all chip in to a fund, and then pay some employee to give us the CD with the server code on it. 

 

(it's a joke, hypothetical - not going to happen, ok?)

 

where indeed.... uhm... turning into Chelsea...?  sorry - bad joke ;)

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Agree. not enough people ever cared to make a Lotro private server. It is a lot of work. For the first WoW private servers you must have had so many man hours working on it. Seems like you need to code the skills, the quests, script the bosses for dungeons, a lot of coding. Never would happen for Lotro - mainly because you had 20x as many people playing WoW.

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As much as I would like the idea of a clean reboot away from the store, this is not going to happen. There aren't enough interested players to reach such a hard goal. I am not even sure there are enough players left to keep the official servers running for long.

 

You see I am not so sure, lets say hypothetical there was such a server and it was running SOA and MOM. who ever was running that server made a few adjustments to NPC's spawns, quests, loot databases I think it would be quite popular. 

 

Lets be honest, it would only need a few thousand people playing on it to make fun and I think there are more then enough people out in the wild who would be interested. 

 

Whether there would be enough people to donate enough money to keep the servers up and running would be a different matter. 

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You see I am not so sure, lets say hypothetical there was such a server and it was running SOA and MOM. who ever was running that server made a few adjustments to NPC's spawns, quests, loot databases I think it would be quite popular. 

 

Lets be honest, it would only need a few thousand people playing on it to make fun and I think there are more then enough people out in the wild who would be interested. 

 

Whether there would be enough people to donate enough money to keep the servers up and running would be a different matter. 

It is less about finding people to play it - it is about finding people to create server software, host it, maintain it and fend off any potential law suits.

 

Private servers are usually:

1) For very popular games (i.e. WoW)

2) For very specific games, usually old games that had very specific community that was able to spawn team(s) working years to create private server software (Ultima Online, DAoC, etc)

3) Foreign usually asian games - that either take too long to get to west or had their private server software created in Asia  - i.e. Lineage 2, Blade&Soul, etc

 

 

Unless you happen to know, at least 10+ skilled people willing to put thousands of hours of their time durng next few years creating this server.

 

 

btw.  Do you know that there was private server for Elder Scrolls Online?  I personally have not played it, but I've saw link to it in discussion on other fourm. It got shot down by Zenimax though.

http://teso.ophelia-core.com/

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Agree. not enough people ever cared to make a Lotro private server. It is a lot of work. For the first WoW private servers you must have had so many man hours working on it. Seems like you need to code the skills, the quests, script the bosses for dungeons, a lot of coding. Never would happen for Lotro - mainly because you had 20x as many people playing WoW.

 

I am not sure about skills and quest, there should be a lot about that in the client (and also on the world itself). But you do have to code mobs pathing and AI, Boss scripts, etc.

I will just make a short and rough list of what's needed to avoid Muer's wrath:

  • Completely understand the client server communications
  • Reverse Engineer the client to limit the crashes due to unimplemented things on the server side (removing some calls from the client)
  • Write a server code able to withstand the load of thousands of simultaneous connections
  • recreate all the game stuff which are purely server side (some are easy : random mobs and their distribution on the map, some are hard like Draigoch)

 

You see I am not so sure, lets say hypothetical there was such a server and it was running SOA and MOM. who ever was running that server made a few adjustments to NPC's spawns, quests, loot databases I think it would be quite popular. 

 

Lets be honest, it would only need a few thousand people playing on it to make fun and I think there are more then enough people out in the wild who would be interested. 

 

Whether there would be enough people to donate enough money to keep the servers up and running would be a different matter. 

 

It's not keeping things running which is hard, it is starting them up. Can't see that happening, unless the server code is leaked. Even though, the initial investment of buying dedicated hardware would probably be enough to stop that from happening.

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Artist's conception of the lawyers for Warner Brothers, Saul Zaentz and the Tolkien Estate, preparing to file their lawsuits the day after any LotRO private server launches:

OrcArmyGorgoroth.jpg

 

Lol that is fantastic.

 

There is one way that I can think off that would make it impossible for Warner Brothers, Saul Zaentz and the Tolkien Estate to do anything although it is very complicated. 

 

After doing more digging the it seems the main reason why Sone Online can not do anything about SWG private servers is because the game is now classed as abandonware and Sony Online or any anybody is making any money from the game. 

 

Essentially Sony Online can not argue that the private SWG servers are taking money from them as the game is no longer running, all the servers that are being used also do not belong to Sony. They are profiting, copying or distributing anything that belongs to Sony. 

 

So if you are clever enough, want it badly enough and have the funds, when Lotro shuts down you could in theory open a private server and there is nothing the above could do to you..

 

Yes I am wishful thinking :) 

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