Some feature that could be implemented on the website - Better My Items and My Skills

BlackHawk

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I was browsing the website and I noticed that there are some things that could be improved and they do not involve a huge amount of effort. It is mostly frontend work, but it will go a long way in quality of life for players.

In MyItems section we have a huge grid with all items. At the bottom, we have the TT value of our account. It would be nice to have that value at the top, and also have the amount on ped card. Also, a simple grid with pagination should not be that hard to implement. That would allow some filtering on the frontend and a few nice to have features, that would just make it be better. The usual stuff... You get the data anyway from the server, but some client side features are nice to have.

Our skills are also an important asset. We should have a section for MySkills, and again, those would be nice to have them displayed in a grid that is easy to filter/sort.
Also MyProfessions would be nice to have, but if we get MySkills section it would be amazing.

I can't post the thread in DevCorner and I do not know where I should post this... so here it goes...
 

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I was browsing the website and I noticed that there are some things that could be improved and they do not involve a huge amount of effort. It is mostly frontend work, but it will go a long way in quality of life for players.

In MyItems section we have a huge grid with all items. At the bottom, we have the TT value of our account. It would be nice to have that value at the top, and also have the amount on ped card. Also, a simple grid with pagination should not be that hard to implement. That would allow some filtering on the frontend and a few nice to have features, that would just make it be better. The usual stuff... You get the data anyway from the server, but some client side features are nice to have.

Our skills are also an important asset. We should have a section for MySkills, and again, those would be nice to have them displayed in a grid that is easy to filter/sort.
Also MyProfessions would be nice to have, but if we get MySkills section it would be amazing.

I can't post the thread in DevCorner and I do not know where I should post this... so here it goes...
All values should also be displayed in full value and not rounded.
I think it could be nice to see e.g the full value of my Agility, since it hasn't moved a pixel for so
many years, it has same value as it had when they introduced number values to skills and attributes.
I started to fill up the progressbar 2005, and they say it isn't caped... yeah right. :confused:
 

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I would prefer they fix stuff that doesn't work properly and implement that which has been promised and not yet been delivered.

Asking them to do what you ask, could break it, and one of my golden rules is:

'If it isn't broken, dont fix it.'
 

BlackHawk

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Joda asked me in my rep that if I think it is a good idea why I disagree in my post. I do think it is a great idea. The reason I disagree is not because I think the idea is not good, but because I am aware of the fact that implementing it will run into several technical problems. You start with the happy scenario where you think of how the idea should be implemented and how things would be after it gets implemented. In reality, the happy scenario never really happens. There are too many ways this could go wrong. I also believe that something can go wrong, it will. Implementation may start with good intentions and everyone will want to make the game better. However, unintended side effects can and will ruin more than we can expect.
There is an important saying in software. If something works, don't touch it.
What you ask for is a huge change to a working system. You have no way of knowing that after the change the system will be as good as it is now. No one could tell.
I do not trust huge changes in large scale systems.

Edit>>>> This post was supposed to be in another thread.

But I do think your idea is good and it has a lot of merit.
 
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Taldur

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There are enough games that are dumbing things down for everyone. If you want to track skills, you can already do that with entering a few numbers in a spreadsheet and using third party apps. This is a RCE, the gameplay is already so dumb that there is no mechanical difference in the way you can play - at least leave some room for individual effort in tracking/statistics.
 

BlackHawk

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Time spent using third party tools is time not spent playing the game...
A game that is this old could have a better frontend.
Lots of people in community would do it for free, if the problem for them is the cost.
 

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Couple of ways to solve the problem one no MA help, two little MA help.

Select all the items in myItems and copy everything, then open a spreed sheet and paste ( I have a old version of excel) and adjust the width of each column ( I sure each is column has it's own set width) so the everything fits and you are done. See a example:



The other way is for MA to give an option to save as a comma delimited file (like EP lets you do) and let the SS convert it in.

Very simple and you can do it yourself just after you read this.

BTW I am fairly sure there are several free SS online if you don't have excel.

You can operate on the data anyway you want using all the "stuff" in a SS.

Hope this helps as it sure did me.
 

BlackHawk

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I know how to do that and I can do that. Anyone can. This is not the point.
We are in 2020 and web went a long way since EU (PE) started. A decent grid is a minimum you can ask for on ui.
Also, the skill value is not displayed anywhere on the web. I know you can access them in various ways. I feel that it is a shame that I need third party tools for some basic things that are that easy to implement.

Also, those feature that are so easy to implement I do not see how they can break any of the existing systems. They pose no risk.
They get the data from database anyway. They just need to make an endpoint to expose it in json.
You can go wild and make an amazing display with tree view and all, or simply have a grid with simple features developed on the frontend.
 

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I know how to do that and I can do that. Anyone can. This is not the point.
We are in 2020 and web went a long way since EU (PE) started. A decent grid is a minimum you can ask for on ui.
Also, the skill value is not displayed anywhere on the web. I know you can access them in various ways. I feel that it is a shame that I need third party tools for some basic things that are that easy to implement.

Also, those feature that are so easy to implement I do not see how they can break any of the existing systems. They pose no risk.
They get the data from database anyway. They just need to make an endpoint to expose it in json.
You can go wild and make an amazing display with tree view and all, or simply have a grid with simple features developed on the frontend.
Black you have been a long time and I actually I am a bit surprised. Do you not watch the releases ? I can't remember what it was on the last patch but it was to fix something (to lazy to look) But I noticed something that had changed something that had nothing to do with the patch. My point is when ever MA does anything about any little thing someone else is doing something also and can screw something else up. Case in point: the old cave mission, MA did patch or release and it was almost a year before it was playable again and the patch had nothing to do with the cave mission.

Not saying your idea is bad just saying I am always scared when MA does anything to anything.

I did post this to offend just voicing a concern.
 

BlackHawk

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The changes in the game are different from the changes on the website.
The concerns are different. Whenever you make a change in the game itself, unrelated features from the point of view of the player could break, because I suppose they are coupled in code in a way they should not be. Have in mind the fact that the game is old and some parts of the code are poorly designed. Probably have dependencies they should not have and no one wants to change any of that. If it works, leave it like that.

From what I see, the team made significant progress. It pushed lots of changes and lots of features that worked rather well. That tells me that they have more experience. The code is decoupled. They probably have isolated logic in the newer parts of the code. Dealing with old code is always hard.

In order to do what I ask for, you need to change very little. Is nothing you can break, unless you do something stupid and query the database 100 times/request to display items and skills. Considering that the data on website is not critical, they could just display the state it was few minutes ago and serve a cached version. Touch the database only if you have to and only if you do not have fresh data in cache. Database is the only thing that could impact the game. If something else will, then the company has serious problems. I expect it to have a reasonable design.

The website looks like it is put together by a backend dev. Is just not a frontend oriented company. That is fine. However, to display a grid that no one cares how it looks, just that it works, it is not such an absurd task. There are frameworks on the client created for people who do not want to hear about frontend. I hate those, but they do exist and are great. Try ExtJS
 

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Some time ago I implemented some of these suggestions in the form of firefox plugin. You can take a look at another thread: https://www.planetcalypsoforum.com/...04761-Browser-inventory-items-tracking-plugin
Version described is bit old (total value at the bottom for example, now it's at the top) but you'll have the idea.
I will have to test this thing. It looks great. However, the skills can't be implemented by you without a connection to the actual client. I know jdegre did a great job. But it is not something the community should do. Skills are an asset. We should be able to check our assets.

It is like you have a bank account. You go in the app and check your status, but the bank never shows the interest. It is yours! Show it!
 

CozMoDan

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The changes in the game are different from the changes on the website.
The concerns are different. Whenever you make a change in the game itself, unrelated features from the point of view of the player could break, because I suppose they are coupled in code in a way they should not be. Have in mind the fact that the game is old and some parts of the code are poorly designed. Probably have dependencies they should not have and no one wants to change any of that. If it works, leave it like that.

From what I see, the team made significant progress. It pushed lots of changes and lots of features that worked rather well. That tells me that they have more experience. The code is decoupled. They probably have isolated logic in the newer parts of the code. Dealing with old code is always hard.

In order to do what I ask for, you need to change very little. Is nothing you can break, unless you do something stupid and query the database 100 times/request to display items and skills. Considering that the data on website is not critical, they could just display the state it was few minutes ago and serve a cached version. Touch the database only if you have to and only if you do not have fresh data in cache. Database is the only thing that could impact the game. If something else will, then the company has serious problems. I expect it to have a reasonable design.

The website looks like it is put together by a backend dev. Is just not a frontend oriented company. That is fine. However, to display a grid that no one cares how it looks, just that it works, it is not such an absurd task. There are frameworks on the client created for people who do not want to hear about frontend. I hate those, but they do exist and are great. Try ExtJS
The red ones above are key words :) Sorry just had to that:)

I am wondering though why would you want all that info ? Is there something that one could gain from know these things ? As long as you have played I would certainly think your levels are in the 100's. There are things set in the game (like you are going to miss around 10% of the time) that you can not get around no matter what no matter how hard you study the stats IMO.
I am not saying these things to get at you,I really do want to know your thoughts.
Thanks.

I just thought of something, you mentioned they do not touch the DB but how do they(MA) get the info for the skills list (K hot key) in game ? I have two computers and play on both and if all your info is not server side then you could not retrieve that info if you changed computers.

Anyway no big deal, just a good discussion.
 
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BlackHawk

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I was talking about caching server side.
There is the DB with the game info, where probably all skills are. In order to get skill info, you do have to call that DB. If a user calls the grid multiple times really fast, you do not need to call the db for each request. You can just call it the first time, and for all the other requests you serve the same data that you already got the first time.
I am not talking about how things are implemented inside the game. Just for those grids.

More advanced things could also be implemented, such as saving all changes from the ingame skills/items in another database on updates using queues and/or microservices so the data will be almost true on cache all the time. On website you do not need things to be as exact as they are in game.

The red text in there is not a real concern. Even if it would break things, it is easy to fix. If you start by thinking that people are incompetent, you may as well quit the game. In reality they have a complex system that behaves reasonably well, so they do a good job.

In any system ever made there are bugs. This is a fact of life. Some of the bugs are just not obvious and they do not present themselves unless there are some special circumstances. But they are there... To expect them to make a system with no bugs is not a reasonable request. You can ask for a quality management that has a way to deal with the problems as they are discovered.
 

CozMoDan

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I was talking about caching server side.
There is the DB with the game info, where probably all skills are. In order to get skill info, you do have to call that DB. If a user calls the grid multiple times really fast, you do not need to call the db for each request. You can just call it the first time, and for all the other requests you serve the same data that you already got the first time.
I am not talking about how things are implemented inside the game. Just for those grids.

More advanced things could also be implemented, such as saving all changes from the ingame skills/items in another database on updates using queues and/or microservices so the data will be almost true on cache all the time. On website you do not need things to be as exact as they are in game.

The red text in there is not a real concern. Even if it would break things, it is easy to fix. If you start by thinking that people are incompetent, you may as well quit the game. In reality they have a complex system that behaves reasonably well, so they do a good job.

In any system ever made there are bugs. This is a fact of life. Some of the bugs are just not obvious and they do not present themselves unless there are some special circumstances. But they are there... To expect them to make a system with no bugs is not a reasonable request. You can ask for a quality management that has a way to deal with the problems as they are discovered.
I don't really understand all that you saying about the DB but I do agree and disagree with some of the other things you have said.

My comment from my post above "Case in point: the old cave mission, MA did patch or release and it was almost a year before it was playable again and the patch had nothing to do with the cave mission." That was a while ago and I do agree with your statement about them being much better now and this Ver. is proof of that. Having said that, I am not sure things that are broken in a patch or VU are not always easy to fix IMO.

I totally disagree about the no bug statement. I was a senior programmer for many years and our QA dept was very, very good. After my retirement I kept in contact with several of my friends still working and how it was going. One of my close friend said he was about to move on because there was nothing to do and the only thing he did was sit around or wait for an order for an enhancement. The software was medical HMO management and very exacting and had over 200 SQL DBs and some 1M lines of code written by around 25-30 programmer over a 8 year period.

Anyway don't mean to argue with you sorry. But you never did say why you wanted all this info. Did you not say so because it gives you an advantage over other players ? That's fine with me if you do the work you should reap the rewards.
 

Detritus

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I don't really understand all that you saying about the DB but I do agree and disagree with some of the other things you have said.

I totally disagree about the no bug statement. I was a senior programmer for many years and our QA dept was very, very good. After my retirement I kept in contact with several of my friends still working and how it was going. One of my close friend said he was about to move on because there was nothing to do and the only thing he did was sit around or wait for an order for an enhancement. The software was medical HMO management and very exacting and had over 200 SQL DBs and some 1M lines of code written by around 25-30 programmer over a 8 year period.
I'm sorry, I just can't let this go, and this may seem mean-spirited but I think you are either trolling or just bullshitting.

Your posts are constantly demonstrating a total lack of any technical knowledge, much less programming knowledge, it's just hard for me to believe they come from a former senior engineer. Even in this very post you don't understand how data lakes work, even though you allegedly worked in an industry segment that very heavily relies on them (I happen to work in healthcare myself). And I don't think your software had over 200 dbs, that doesn't make any sense, unless you are just giving the counts on your customers' individual warehouses which is stupid. Sorry, none of what you say adds up, imo.
 

CozMoDan

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I'm sorry, I just can't let this go, and this may seem mean-spirited but I think you are either trolling or just bullshitting.

Your posts are constantly demonstrating a total lack of any technical knowledge, much less programming knowledge, it's just hard for me to believe they come from a former senior engineer. Even in this very post you don't understand how data lakes work, even though you allegedly worked in an industry segment that very heavily relies on them (I happen to work in healthcare myself). And I don't think your software had over 200 dbs, that doesn't make any sense, unless you are just giving the counts on your customers' individual warehouses which is stupid. Sorry, none of what you say adds up, imo.
I don't think you are being mean. Ok, I programmed in VB6 and was a little versed in SQL server to do simple query's etc. and I retired in 2004. Much has changed in programming so I appear dumb and am dumb with all the web apps etc. that is common place now. The company I worked for was started in 1994 and I was its first employee, a few years latter we had over 200 employees. It was sold in 2006. Here is a link to that sale.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/h...gns-Definitive-Agreement-Acquire-Quality-Care

Not bad for a company that stared with 1 employee who worked for free for 3 months because there was not enough money in the bank :).

Being out of touch in computer software for many years makes one appear a fool but in the day I assure you I was not. Yes we did have over Tables in one DB, sorry meant to say tables in the first place. It was the best job I ever had. No matter what people say when you hit 73 in age things are a lot easier to forget :)
 

Detritus

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I retired in 2004.

Yes we did have over Tables in one DB, sorry meant to say tables in the first place. It was the best job I ever had. No matter what people say when you hit 73 in age things are a lot easier to forget :)

Fair enough, the industry definitely has changed a lot in 15 years. 200 tables makes a lot more sense. :D

Don't worry, if I even make it to 73 I will probably need to be spoon fed.
 

CozMoDan

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Fair enough, the industry definitely has changed a lot in 15 years. 200 tables makes a lot more sense. :D

Don't worry, if I even make it to 73 I will probably need to be spoon fed.
I never did game play programming. They were just starting to have game creating programs (guess they are called engines now) where one could click on an object and add to the screen. I was not creative enough for that.

BTW it makes a big difference who is holding the spoon :)
 

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The reason why I want that info is simple. I want to be able to check my assets when I am not in game. I would like to know the TT value of what I have, where a specific item is, because I would like to be able to make decisions about what I have in game when I am not in game.

Also, having access to my skills, allows me to plan future actions. I would like to know how far I am from maxing a specific item. I would like to compute how much skill I would need to chip if I plan to get at some level faster. I would like to be able to estimate my cost for whatever action I plan to get myself involved in.

When I am in game, I do mostly mindless killing. I do not want to spend time doing anything else, because I do not have that much time to play these days.

I was out of the game for many years. I am playing for a bit now, based on what my budget allows me. I do not have that much left. I do not plan any big things anymore. Sometimes friends allow me to use some high level items for a little bit more fun. I sold a lot of skills so I had to start over in some professions. I am using mostly L items these days.
Stats about my progress are important for me. Sometimes I do stupid things just for fun and I am not surprised if I have some loses when I do so. But when I lose more than I find reasonable, doing what I think is normal gameplay, I will probably stop playing for few more years again.

Having access to all that information would make my life easier. Is not like I can't access those stats now. It is just harder, when it should not be. I can still do what I want to do.
 

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I would prefer they fix stuff that doesn't work properly and implement that which has been promised and not yet been delivered.

Asking them to do what you ask, could break it, and one of my golden rules is:

'If it isn't broken, dont fix it.'

 

CozMoDan

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The reason why I want that info is simple. I want to be able to check my assets when I am not in game. I would like to know the TT value of what I have, where a specific item is, because I would like to be able to make decisions about what I have in game when I am not in game.

Also, having access to my skills, allows me to plan future actions. I would like to know how far I am from maxing a specific item. I would like to compute how much skill I would need to chip if I plan to get at some level faster. I would like to be able to estimate my cost for whatever action I plan to get myself involved in.

When I am in game, I do mostly mindless killing. I do not want to spend time doing anything else, because I do not have that much time to play these days.

I was out of the game for many years. I am playing for a bit now, based on what my budget allows me. I do not have that much left. I do not plan any big things anymore. Sometimes friends allow me to use some high level items for a little bit more fun. I sold a lot of skills so I had to start over in some professions. I am using mostly L items these days.
Stats about my progress are important for me. Sometimes I do stupid things just for fun and I am not surprised if I have some loses when I do so. But when I lose more than I find reasonable, doing what I think is normal gameplay, I will probably stop playing for few more years again.

Having access to all that information would make my life easier. Is not like I can't access those stats now. It is just harder, when it should not be. I can still do what I want to do.
A real student of the game like I was and now I am just a player and killer of small mobs. But for me its still the best game ever and gives one the the chance be like either of us and have great fun.
 

Detritus

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The reason why I want that info is simple. (...)

The reason shouldn't matter, the main takeaway is that this is example #7389482 of why the game needs an API.
 

Detritus

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What is example #7389482 ?
Meaning there have been a lot of examples of why we need a plug-in system.

I know it's been mentioned on multiple occasions how useful a good API would be. In fact I'll go as far as to say it's one of MindArk's biggest mistakes. Plug-ins can make or break any game. The vast majority of the player requests that I've seen could easily be solved by the players themselves if MA gave us the ability to do so. Not only would a decent plug-in system alleviate a lot of player frustration, I think it would go a long way towards better retention. The best part is it would free up MindArk to work on bugfixes and content, and not have a huge backlog of various minor UX requests that they may never get to. Plus it allows the players to tailor their experience to their needs rather than MA's one-size-fits-all modus operandi.


I played ESO pretty heavily for a while. In spite of being an extremely well funded AAA title with a large development team, there were plenty of QoL issues that were only made bearable by player-made plug-ins. It's unlikely I would have played it for as long as I did if it weren't for all of the add-ons that made the game great and allowed me to enjoy it. I think for a team as small as MindArk with limited development bandwidth, it's even more critical for them to allow players to help make the game great.
 

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Yes, it would be nice to have an API. Yes, it would be great to see more info about the in-game status of our avatars outside of EU. Will it ever happen? I guess not.

First, be reminded that we were able to see the PED-amount I think until they changed the game engine (or at least in that time range). This means that somebody in management decided to not show it any more. I can't come up with a reason why that makes sense and yes, I'd like to see that, too, along with my current bids in the auction house and PEDs I invested in shares and so on. The idea of that would be to have a grand total of what the TT-value of my avatar is. (Yep, not including skills to be sold as that's dynamic and based on markup). The "My Items"-page is protected by the security code, so it all should be fine.

And then do something similar with skills, grouped in something more meaningful than we have in the skill dialogue in-game.

As all (or at least the vast majority of) software developers playing EU know there are many ways to design and build an API and how to secure that along with traffic shaping and whatnot. However, all of that has no obvious benefit to MindArk. Don't get me wrong, I mean the return of that investment directly resulting from the impact on the player base playing the game. That's what MindArk thinks and MindArk does. I fully agree with those who pointed out the indirect positive impact of that as we could do things more rational, with some planning ahead, ... already. I also would want some more support to present the progress of my avatar in numbers.

I can't remember who said it and the wording of it, but it was mentioned that MindArk wants players to be in-game and not outside doing stuff (small print: "as they can't measure that"). They want players to be online. That's want counts, how many players are playing at the same time. That's a number management wants to see and what they understand. They (probably) don't understand why we play the game or what we plan to do in-game and why (and they don't care). That's also what I consider as a reason why they dropped that (idea of?) the app for the auction house.

And one more thing: All of this we are talking about here isn't something everybody wants. Obviously some number-crunchers including us/me see the benefit, but I believe that the vast majority of players just play and they don't care or understand how the loot system works. Just watch streams of players who rarely stream and listen to their complaints that they didn't have a HOF today while they need it oh-so-much, apparently that's all that matters to them. In MindArk's eye they are supposed to deposit and pay MindArk's bills. MindArk doesn't care who deposits and how much. They just want to see the dough come in. They don't want us to understand how the game works under the hood. Obviously some genuises took a deep dive so we now have, e.g. the skill contribution to professions, comparison charts of tools, guns, ...

So I also code my share of stuff to make the "My Items"-page more useful to me, extract various info from the chat logs, parse traders' markups from their websites, ... I doubt that I can get rid of it any time soon.
 

Detritus

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Detritus the Troll
Yes, it would be nice to have an API. Yes, it would be great to see more info about the in-game status of our avatars outside of EU. Will it ever happen? I guess not.

As all (or at least the vast majority of) software developers playing EU know there are many ways to design and build an API and how to secure that along with traffic shaping and whatnot. However, all of that has no obvious benefit to MindArk

I can't remember who said it and the wording of it, but it was mentioned that MindArk wants players to be in-game and not outside doing stuff (small print: "as they can't measure that"). They want players to be online.
I was talking about a plug-in API, like most games have, to allow us to create add-ons for the game. Things like being able to re-program the UI - for example, changing the inventory to a sortable/filterable tabbed layout instead of the 1980s thing we have, or adding some useful filters to the AH, or literally almost anything in the dev request section. Things like being able to integrate LBML, or your favorite trading tool, or your favorite logging tool directly into the game (with the added benefit of not having to use OCR), and published through an official repository.

I don't think the benefit could be overstated. As I said in the previous comment, player add-ons can easily make or break a game. Why spend the resources on things that you could let the players handle? It sure seems to work for Bethesda.

I think you are thinking more of a simple RESTful-style API to simply allow us to retrieve data relating to our avatar. I think that would also be very helpful, and there's no reason it couldn't be part of the same system. Certain data calls (e.g. inventory list) could be built as a RESTful service; then have an internal API gateway that the plugin toolkit calls for in-game add-ons, but also setup an external API gateway to expose a subset of those endpoints for external consumption.
 

BlackHawk

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You are right, an API would be amazing, but I am aware that that would be a lot of work for them to implement. Maybe not the work itself, but business decisions related to what data should be exposed for each call.
If they would do that, they would make a huge difference.
An API is a nice dream. I do not see it being implemented. There is always the risk that they expose something they do not intend to expose. This is still an RCE. It is a huge security risk.
 

endermigne

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I was talking about a plug-in API, like most games have, to allow us to create add-ons for the game. Things like being able to re-program the UI - for example, changing the inventory to a sortable/filterable tabbed layout instead of the 1980s thing we have, or adding some useful filters to the AH, or literally almost anything in the dev request section. Things like being able to integrate LBML, or your favorite trading tool, or your favorite logging tool directly into the game (with the added benefit of not having to use OCR), and published through an official repository.
Oh, whow. Yeah, that would also be great. Then I didn't quite get your initial thoughts ;) However, wouldn't that mean that the game engine would have to provide such kind of skinning or scripting? While skinning doesn't seem "bad" at first, allowing us to script something doesn't sound like something that's going to happen. I mean if I were MindArk I doubt I would allow that (I mean I know me :cool:)... Wait, wasn't there talk about Lua? :scratch2:
 
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