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FoundationsOfStone

Client data tools for nerds

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This is a post for nerds with non-zero interest in exploring Lotro's client data files. May as well stop now if that isn't you!

My tolerance and sympathy for SSG's creative decline has finally reached zero. As a result, I am making available to interested persons my private repo containing several years of casual research into the client data files: client_anim.dat, client_gamelogic.dat and so on. These files contain many dozens of proprietary types representing the game's landscape, dungeons, 3D models, music, items, scripting, quests... in short: as you would expect, everything they can stick on the client, they do. Almost all these types are parsed by my tools, and viewable in an extensive GUI.

While people with a programming background are the most likely to be pricking their ears up, much of the data can be visualized and explored by anyone.

PM me if you're interested and I'll sort out repo access for you.

 

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Yes to the programming background years ago...

I've always been hit by how much rendering of stuff goes on before the final "viewable" scene is set. Artists just lumping stuff over the top so they can show the final thing to their boss and forget the mess underneath. They don't have to gallop their mount through it every hour.

SSG and Turbine all about the façade. 

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10 hours ago, ZaklanoSrce said:

Hmmm interesting ,but at same time i'm suspicious .

Of what?

10 hours ago, Macdui101 said:

I've always been hit by how much rendering of stuff goes on before the final "viewable" scene is set. Artists just lumping stuff over the top so they can show the final thing to their boss and forget the mess underneath. They don't have to gallop their mount through it every hour.

Although my research was entirely due to my many-years-long reverse engineering hobby, it did have a vaguely worthwhile side effect: a much greater appreciation for how they actually do things. We've probably all seen commentators in glff / World posing as experts with a privileged understanding of the game engine. A few manage not to stumble, but since beginning this project I've been able to spot any number of seemingly authoritative claims about how the game works that are in fact pure drivel. Surprise, surprise.

I find it impossible not to feel a certain kind of respect for the massive man-hours represented by the hundreds of thousands of resources present, many of which have been created by people - artists for example - who we can't hold responsible for the regrettable present state of the game. The structure of certain systems, like the quests system or the internal scripting language, inspires respect for the old guard who brought the game to us in the first place. On the other hand, there are smells: legacy or superseded values not purged, and so much data still in formats optimized for bygone hardware. We've all been paying for that for years. The gulf between current-generation components and components straight out of Asheron's Call 2 is pretty palpable.

 

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4 hours ago, FoundationsOfStone said:

Of what?

Of someone joining yesterday and claiming to spent years data-exploring this quite obscure game .

I'm not saying it's not true,just that i'm cautious .

Can you post some screenshots of this work ?

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Im highly interested in this as i work with PHP, MySQL and python everyday.. 
Some screenshot of the work would be appreciated tho

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