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Old December 1st, 2006, 05:33 PM   #1
nephy13's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 136
Off-line Ring editor?

**EDIT** As I suspected, even breathing on the ring file will get you killed/banned/excommunicated. Badly! Ah well, it was an interesting thought experiment...Perhaps Ryzom will consider making a tool based on these ideas? Maybe not.

Several people have suggested the idea of an off-line editor for Ring scenarios. I have two questions regarding this:
  1. Is one even being considered, even as a remote possibility, by the Ring devs?
  2. If it weren't being considered, and should someone develop their own off-line editor, for personal or public use, then would it be considered "hacking the game", thus presumably leading to an account ban?

OK, assume for a minute that I, or someone like me, were even allowed, if not actaully supported, to create a simple offline editor. What then would be the advantage of this over use of the integrated editor?
  • You wouldn't be tying up a SoR account just to edit things.
  • You could edit on any machine, even one on which does not, or could not, run Saga of Ryzom, e.g. A laptop which was not connected to the Internet.
  • You could incorporate a more advanced text-editor with integrated spell-checker (Please! A spell-checker!).
  • You could change an npc/creatures's level after its creation, possibly even changing its type too.
  • You could change manual/automatic seasons mode.
  • You could change the order of acts.
  • You could see all events at once.
  • Make copies of events and non-NPC entities.
  • You could have more than one window open at a time.
  • Allow simple scripts to be written, which would then be parsed and converted into the "accessible" components (Personally, as a coder, I find text editing a lot faster than the "accessible" drag-and-drop/menu-driven approach).
  • You could produce a more easily navigable/linked tree structure for a scenario, e.g.
    • +Entities
      • +Creatures
        • +Fred
          • -Properties
          • -Sequences
          • +Events
            • WHEN Fred.is_targetted
              AND Dialog: Fred.is_not_running
              THEN Dialog: Fred.start()
            • WHEN Fred.is_killed
              THEN Fred's Killer Guard Yubo.spawn()
        • +Fred's Killer Guard Yubo
          • +Properties
            • Autospawned: No
          • -Sequences
          • +Events
            • WHEN Fred.is_killed
              THEN Fred's Killer Guard Yubo.spawn()
      • +Dialogs
        • -Dialog: Fred
    • -Objects
    • -Events
Some of the reasons for making such an editor are already on the wish-list, but with no idea of the road-map for the Ring, we have no idea if they are planned for the future or even about to be added.

The disadvantages?
  • You'd still need to make most of the scenario in the on-line editor. This would be for completing/changing/updating scenarios only.
  • Testing would be impossible. Even an official off-line editor would need to incorporate a lot of the server code to achieve this, which is unlikely to happen (though I expect that an official off-line editor could show you your scenario, even if it couldn't run it for testing).
  • No map, so new objects/entities probably couldn't be added (but could be changed). Well, this isn't strictly true, since the XY coordinates of all items would be known - one just wouldn't know the maximum extent of the map or its features. One could, for example, allow new Dialog entities to be placed "near" to an NPC without a lot of trouble.
  • High probability for mistakes entering the file, especially if file-format is backwards engineered...but, if the Ring has been developed properly, it should find these errors and refuse to run the file, rather than producing a crash (on loading or during play). Limitation on what editing features were provided would seriously reduce this risk.
  • Anyone could edit a file, even if they lack the requisite Knowledge of Atys. They couldn't create a new one though.

Oh, and I do know that I couldn't edit the file without recalculating the MD5 values, but they are there to prevent transmission errors (or casual, notepad editing). They aren't there, or rather shouldn't be there, to prove to the Ring server that the file format is correct.

Ultimately though, I'm really not sure the effort to create an editor would be worthwhile; it is just an idea that I am ruminating on. I am aware that I've just scratched the surface with my pros and cons list above. Certainly, it does seem to be a lot of work to re-invent the wheel, especially if the Ring devs have any any remote posibility of creating such a tool (or indeed, of improving the current tool, which is more likely).

(My resume, in case you think this is entirely pie-in-the-sky (Though from this, you may still have your doubts): 12 months commercial C++/C# experience (though currently unemployed); Developed a Javascript interpreter as a major academic project at University).

**EDIT** Oh, and I don't consider this a task worth starting until the current insecurity is resolved, before anyone reminds me of that ;P

Last edited by nephy13 : December 2nd, 2006 at 04:15 PM.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 04:34 AM   #2
seawe's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 317
Re: Off-line Ring editor?

I like this idea upload times can make tweeking an act a long proccess...
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Old January 12th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lembeek, Belgium E-mail: [email protected] NeL Developer
Posts: 1,557
Re: Off-line Ring editor?

Originally Posted by nephy13
Oh, and I do know that I couldn't edit the file without recalculating the MD5 values, but they are there to prevent transmission errors (or casual, notepad editing). They aren't there, or rather shouldn't be there, to prove to the Ring server that the file format is correct.
I had an editing tool kind of like you are describing in your post back in the old days, but since they added the signature stuff in the header thing it can't be used anymore. Basically, the MD5 values (2 if i remember correctly) are indeed to check the file, but there's also the "Signature", which they put in there to check if the file was not externally modified, because else you could just edit scenarios which people made read-only, or put your name as original creator, and all that.

- Kaetemi [Kami] [Fyros] [Elder of Atys] [NeL Developer]
Rebuild the Kami faction and save Atys from the Karavan! Join the Kami Alliance!
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