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Unread 05-15-2010, 09:09 AM
anubisrwml anubisrwml is offline
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Default EQ Journal, an external EQ2 Interface

I hope the name grabbed your attention, so I'll be quick about explaining a new idea I've come up with and already put into practice.

I've begun development of a new EQ2 Interface which is designed to overlay on top of EQ2's screen in windowed mode. True, it's not a true interface but what it lacks in being directly integrated with EQ2, it makes up for function.

The overlay will be designed to support tracking of quests, collections, named killed, achievements, and much more. In the future it will also allow users to share their information and progress with guild members, so for example, if you found a shiny you don't need, you could do a search and find a guildee who does need it and mail it to them. Compare stats and other neat features will also be included.

You can find more details regarding this program at http://www.chaoscraft.net/eqj/

There are already several testers and development of the project is underway. Feedback and advice is always appreciated and if you wish to join the bug team just ask!

Thanks to everyone who has already helped me with this project - I'm not sure if this belongs here which was why I threw it in this forum. However, if EQ2Interface approves of the design as being an "external" overlay interface, then perhaps it can be added onto exsiting interfaces. (UI Mode is still under production but it should be released soon for testing).

Thanks again for your time and good hunting!
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Unread 05-15-2010, 10:12 AM
lordebon lordebon is offline
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Too much info to dig through to get an idea of what your system currently does and how it currently works. It sounds like a very ambitious project (after all, the fluffy.dk website does quests/collections alone and that seems like a pretty big undertaking). You might be able to pull it off, and become a major EQ2 fansite, but keep in mind it's not going to be quick or easy, make sure you're in for the long haul.

My suggestion is gin up a few screenshots, show people what it actually looks like in-game and how it works. The fact that it's done through an external executable instantly makes me more wary of it. So long as all it does is help you to track what quests, etc. you've done it doesn't really sound game-affecting, but because it is a third-party program running in EQ2 you should probably ask SOE for their blessing on it (ie saying they do not consider it to violate the EULA).

But I think the main thing that gives me zero desire to try it is the lack of screenshots. I'm a "try before you buy" person, and downloading something with zero idea of how it looks (or how the website part looks/works).
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Unread 05-15-2010, 12:01 PM
anubisrwml anubisrwml is offline
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That makes sense. Right now I was merely announcing to everyone that this project is starting up. Yes, there are others, am I'm not sure how successful this will be, but for those who wish to have their input in on the design and operation of the program, they can track and put in feedback and comments or suggestions on the dev forums.

I am definitly in it for the long haul - it will be quite interesting to see just how much information I can shove into a small little window
  #4  
Unread 05-15-2010, 12:04 PM
gm9 gm9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anubisrwml View Post
However, if EQ2Interface approves of the design as being an "external" overlay interface, then perhaps it can be added onto exsiting interfaces. (UI Mode is still under production but it should be released soon for testing).
As lordebon said, you did not present any design yet. I'm not even sure from reading your post whether you propose to somehow interact with the game client (which would be against the EULA) or are just running a database like fluffy.dk with a client/server model instead of a web frontend. If it's the second option it might also be against the EULA since you could say that it manipulates the video output of the game, so I agree with lordebon that you should talk to SOE about it.

Finally, if it's not open source, personally I wouldn't touch something like that with a stick, but that's just me. Sure sounds like an interesting project though, unless you're scraping the data from other sites your fingers will probably be bleeding before you finish populating that database!
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Unread 05-15-2010, 12:28 PM
lordebon lordebon is offline
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Originally Posted by gm9 View Post
Finally, if it's not open source, personally I wouldn't touch something like that with a stick, but that's just me.
Yeah that's another thing... making the executable open source would go a long way to reassuring folks that the program is benign. One of the nice things about EQ2's xml UI s that it pretty well prevents any malicious behavior, while an external executable can do just about anything.
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Unread 05-15-2010, 04:17 PM
anubisrwml anubisrwml is offline
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I thank both of you for the feedback - I see I have a few things I need to look at before I continue with the development. But on the other side of the coin I do understand.

As the program isn't designed to make any direct changes or interact with the client in any way, and as it's only acting as a rather large and complex database, if I were to cover the product under my LLC, that should give people a better warm and fuzzy right? If there were any malicious code then, legal action could be taken against the company. Also, there are other external programs which people use on a regular basis - such as ACT.

I may not be known to the public yet, but I can assure everyone that I have no intention of hiding anything malicious within the code. I am putting far too much work into this project and do not wish to simply throw it away.

I will think on these things and see what I can come up with!

Thanks alot for both of your time and feedback once more!
  #7  
Unread 05-15-2010, 04:42 PM
gm9 gm9 is offline
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Originally Posted by anubisrwml View Post
Also, there are other external programs which people use on a regular basis - such as ACT.
ACT is not a client/server app like yours, it only runs locally. The paranoia is bigger when running closed source code which must establish a connection to a third party server on the Internet.

Please do not get me wrong, I am not accusing you of any malicious intent, and I wish you luck with your project!
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Unread 05-15-2010, 05:01 PM
lordebon lordebon is offline
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Originally Posted by gm9 View Post
ACT is not a client/server app like yours, it only runs locally. The paranoia is bigger when running closed source code which must establish a connection to a third party server on the Internet.

Please do not get me wrong, I am not accusing you of any malicious intent, and I wish you luck with your project!
That's technically not 100% true: ACT does interact with the internet to check for and (with your approval) download updates. But in any case, there's always a bit of uncertainty when it comes to executables. Heck, we still get folks coming here on occasion saying the EQ2MAP updater if a virus . The best thing is either open source (like we've mentioned) or just the slow growth of trust as folks use the program.

I'd actually like to make a suggestion as well: collections is a decent start, but from there I'd go to something like achievements rather than quests, that way your website offers a service that is not (to my knowledge) currently available elsewhere. That might help to drive traffic in your direction once you get things up and running =)
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Unread 05-15-2010, 05:42 PM
gm9 gm9 is offline
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Originally Posted by lordebon View Post
That's technically not 100% true: ACT does interact with the internet to check for and (with your approval) download updates.
Now you're splitting hairs, the auto-version check is an optional feature. But anyway we're heavily off topic, looking forward to seeing screenshots of the actual EQ Journal app.
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Unread 05-15-2010, 06:08 PM
lordebon lordebon is offline
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Now you're splitting hairs, the auto-version check is an optional feature. But anyway we're heavily off topic, looking forward to seeing screenshots of the actual EQ Journal app.
I know, it's just fun to mess with you sometimes gm9
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Unread 05-25-2010, 04:26 PM
anubisrwml anubisrwml is offline
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Ive officially submitted the project for approval to EQ2Interface - the project now has come along far enough that I feel confident releasing it to the general public.

Right now, the program fully supports all collections, and also has a section for tracking named. Included is a feature for an on screen DPS display as well, though it's not been tested in a raid environment for accuracy.

Right now the program is completely locally ran, except for the patcher which downloads the latest database fixes and (often) is required due to the changes I make to them everyday in order for the program to function properly.

Wether people trust the program or not is up to them. I have no intention of ever putting anything evil into the program and, with well over 80 hours of time spent just building the code, if I had wanted to be malicious I would have stopped with just collections or something. The fact is, the program is far more powerful being external to EQ2 than if it were within EQ2 due to the limitations of the UI.

I encourage anyone who has doubts to check out the forums. I work on this project every day, and updates are often twice to three times a day. The more community involvement I get, the better the program will be!
  #12  
Unread 05-25-2010, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anubisrwml View Post
Ive officially submitted the project for approval to EQ2Interface - the project now has come along far enough that I feel confident releasing it to the general public.

Right now, the program fully supports all collections, and also has a section for tracking named. Included is a feature for an on screen DPS display as well, though it's not been tested in a raid environment for accuracy.

Right now the program is completely locally ran, except for the patcher which downloads the latest database fixes and (often) is required due to the changes I make to them everyday in order for the program to function properly.

Wether people trust the program or not is up to them. I have no intention of ever putting anything evil into the program and, with well over 80 hours of time spent just building the code, if I had wanted to be malicious I would have stopped with just collections or something. The fact is, the program is far more powerful being external to EQ2 than if it were within EQ2 due to the limitations of the UI.

I encourage anyone who has doubts to check out the forums. I work on this project every day, and updates are often twice to three times a day. The more community involvement I get, the better the program will be!
Although I do believe you intentions are good I do feel not having the code to look at to verify that this doesn't send data I don't want sent I am skeptic of using it. I don't know how others feel but its far from a utility like we have seen before and its a dog eat dog world out there where I have seen mods for various games give people info that allowed things to be cracked or crashed. I'll look at this but surely not on my gaming system with anything but a trial account until the community can say its a good program.
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Unread 05-25-2010, 04:40 PM
anubisrwml anubisrwml is offline
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I can completely understand and I accept that people will be careful, and I encourage people to do so. In time I do hope to build up trust for my application, but I stand behind it 100%.

If anyone feels nervous they can speak to my testers on my forum, as they have been working with the program for some time and can vouch for it.

As for sharing the source - I plan on building some really cool features into it, and as this is a full fledged program with many many hours spent on developing it, I do not want to put it open source so someone can copy and send it out or do what they will with the many hours of work I've put in. I protect my investments and the effort put into them. Ive been burned bad in the past open sourcing a project - I've had someone turn around, steal a program of mine and actually sell it, claiming it as theirs. I wish to avoid such issues.
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Unread 05-25-2010, 05:41 PM
Shiara Shiara is offline
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Guys!

I have tested his program and it is SAFE. I like the way it keeps track of your collecitons and auto updates your database. The database is stored on your computer, no one else gets to see it etc. Heck you can scan it for virus etc if you like, I have. So far it is good program and look forward to the other things he wants to implement.

Shiara
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Unread 05-27-2010, 05:35 PM
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I have allso started to use this was rather interestied in the collection and name tracking side of things,theses of which after some manual input of the collections which I just copied from the journal and now am starting to log in the names ive killed tho that will be a long task once done will make name hunting more faster as i know what ones are still out standing.
The dps meter tho still a little buggy is being worked on and getting better.
Theres even a harvest monitor which shows what you have harvested and what rares u have gathered for quick referance.
Not to sure on the quest section yet as ive not played around with it and the OP. is still working on the install/instruction's.
But so far ive had no secruity issues or any flags saying that someone has tried to gain access to my system the error reporting system that this has just flags the error and stops so all you do is copy & paste the error and sling on his forum and within a few hours that is fixed and you just update the program again.
Have a go and see for yurself
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Unread 05-27-2010, 06:33 PM
gm9 gm9 is offline
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Closing this since the author put up a separate thread for the released version.

Also a personal PS: posts confirming no security risks for a closed source application are cute but unless you've seen the source (or disassembled the binary) quite pointless. Noone says his app is malicious anyway (eq2interface would not host it otherwise).

Last edited by gm9 : 05-27-2010 at 06:38 PM.
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