Author Topic: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!  (Read 4357 times)

TonyV

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Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« on: April 19, 2019, 02:41:06 AM »
I'll cut right to the chase, but please bear in mind that the situation is very fluid. Things are changing from moment to moment, but they're progressing in only positive directions. Some of the information below may be outdated by the time you read this.

Today (April 18), the City of Heroes server-side code was released into the wild. No, you can't install it and play yet, but that's coming soon. And I literally mean soon, not Soon™. Like, probably within days, if that long.

Wait... What!!?

You read that right, and this isn't a late April Fool's joke. The back-end code that ran our game is now downloadable. It was procured by means that the sources aren't at liberty to discuss (for hopefully obvious reasons...), but it's out there. You all know that over the years, I have always encouraged cautious optimism. Well, today, I'm going to green-light unbridled anticipation. This is a huge turn of events.

So Why Can't I Play?

Because it's complicated. Like, really complicated. Lots of moving parts, lots of arcane dependencies, lots of configuration. There's one server up and running already, but it doesn't have the resources to support everyone in the community. So a team of really smart developers are working on staging more servers. At some point in the very near future, though, I'm certain there will likely be lots and lots of servers out there. You may eventually even run one yourself.

What Can I Do Right Now?

Well, right this second, it probably wouldn't hurt to snag the client files if you don't have them already. For that, you'll probably want to snag a copy of Tequila, as this is probably the same program that you'll eventually use as the game launcher as well. Right now, it's configured to connect to Paragon Chat, which is not the full game, but an XMPP chat client, but the client files that run Paragon Chat are the files you'll need to eventually play the actual game.

I HAVE to Talk About This! Where Can I Go?

Someone has set up City of Heroes Discord server that you can connect to. There's a voice chat channel and a bunch of text chat channels. Right this second, this is arguably where most people have been congregating to talk about these developments. Please note: The Titan Network does not run this server. If you have issues, you'll have to contact the admins/moderators there.

What Is the Titan Network's Role in All of This?

We aren't involved in the release of the server code or the development of any private servers. We have mostly just been the place where the community congregates, and we're the home of Paragon Chat. As for our role going forward, to be honest, we haven't put much thought into that yet. I'm sure we'll still have our part to play. At the very least, we'll probably be dusting off some of our old tools and utilities. Right now, we're pretty much just like you: steadily finding out more stuff, watching with heated interest at new developments.

Will I Have Access to My Old Characters?

Maybe. Probably. Part of the news the past few days is that a backup of the character database exists out there, too. Note that this does not include your account personal information such as your address, phone number, or credit card number you used to play the game previously. We're talking about the character database--your characters, their costumes, levels, equipment, etc. The people who have that data are still in the process of deciding how to handle this in the best way possible to maintain people's privacy.

I Heard Something About We're Supposed to Be Hating Some Guy Named Leandro?
Why Did It Take So Long to Get to This Point?
Lying, Deception, Yadda Yadda Yadda?

Due to the nature of how some of this information was revealed, a bunch of folks were upset and hurt. I'm not going to dig into the whys and wherefores right now because considering what's going on—the server code is out there!—everything else is really unimportant in comparison. But no, we don't hate Leandro. He's actually right this second helping to get an alternate server configured, and apparently he and his team have made a crapton of QoL improvements that you'll undoubtedly be hearing about in the imminent future. I can't elaborate because I don't know all the details myself.

I would like to say this, though: As late as yesterday, people were openly speculating that the City of Heroes community was dead. People were dog-cussing me in various outlets for being an apologist for someone they perceived as a traitor. Things were looking pretty grim.

But I always believed, and I still believe, that when all is said and done, you just can't kill this community. You can shake it sometimes by putting people on emotional roller-coasters, and sometimes we lose sight of the only real villain we face: apathy. Well, one thing I can tell you all for damn sure about the last few days is that apathy was not a word in anyone's vocabulary to describe us. Passions were high, occasionally tempers flared, but I knew—I knew—that while there was a lot of disagreement about motivations and intentions in the past, what is always truly important is our future. And that future is seeing each other again in Paragon City.

So if you have been on the roller coaster the past few days, take a few deep breaths. Enjoy the moment right now. People who were swearing vehemently at each other just 24 hours ago are now laughing and reminiscing while waiting for the inevitable good times that are coming. Seriously. Go join us, we're waiting for you.

In the coming days, I'm going to talk to our admins about the future of the Titan Network, which will probably be more than just a static wiki site and some forums. We're also going to discuss moderator actions we've taken against folks who have been posting messages about private servers, which until the past few days, we've had an administrative policy against. I do ask for you to bear with us as we work some of this stuff out, because this is sudden enough that we were caught off-guard too, and most of us have day jobs and responsibilities in addition to our work here.

But again, be excited, and everyone—especially you, yes, you, the person who's reading this post right now, I'm talking directly to you—feel good about yourself. There's no way this community would have survived to the point where almost seven years after shutting down people still care so deeply about the City of Heroes experience if it weren't for you, and for that, I can't tell you how grateful I am. You rock, and don't you forget it.

But Wait, Is This Legal? What About Other Proejcts? (City of Titans, Valiance, SEGS, etc.)

I'm going to be blunt about this: No. Running private servers is not legal. I'm going to leave it completely up to you to decide where on the spectrum of "going 51 MPH in a 50 MPH zone" to "I'm going to steal that car" this falls. In theory, if you get caught running a private server, you could face some stiff financial penalties. In practice, all smaller server operators and just about every larger server operator I've heard of has faced getting a "cease-and-desist" (C&D) order at worst telling them to knock it off. I've never heard of any players being punished, aside from losing their server when it gets a C&D, of course.

As for other projects, they're still chugging along. The successor projects aren't impacted by this at all, and as far as I know, all of them still intend to carry their games through to launch. Keep in mind that these new games will likely have much better graphics and other whiz-bang features that City of Heroes, now a 15-year-old game, doesn't have. So if you want a modern game-playing experience, or you have qualms with running on private servers due to legal issues, you'll probably want to hold out for one of these. I know that even with City of Heroes private servers out there, I'll still be following these projects and playing when they launch.

Felderburg

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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2019, 05:01:48 PM »
Thank you.
I used CIT before they even joined the Titan network! But then I left for a long ol' time, and came back. Now I edit the wiki.

I'm working on sorting the Lore AMAs so that questions are easily found and linked: http://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Lore_AMA/Sorted Tell me what you think!

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Bliz

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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2019, 05:33:23 PM »
Felderburg:

Thank you for working on the AMA Lore wiki; with the Anniversary around the corner I'm sure there will be much renewed interest given recent events.
Liz

My City of Heroes shirts and stuff on RedBubble:
https://www.redbubble.com/people/bliz/collections/261901-city-of-heroes

Tahquitz

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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2019, 08:31:37 PM »
Echoing from "The Shot Heard Around Paragon City"...

Quote
Hello!

There have been developments about the first few pieces of the server project coming together.  The promise that something will happen by this weekend is getting closer to reality.

While we are working on several things concerning recent news, I do want to make one thing clear: Titan Network is NOT affiliated with the teams making something out of the SCORE Public Release.  As such, any posts of registering for bootleg/private servers, or bootleg/private server websites, and other places is NOT ALLOWED.

If you want to keep on top of progress of these teams, you can join the unofficial City of Heroes Discord to discuss specifically just that.  Posts with links to these servers or homepages to them will be deleted on sight.  That part has not changed.  This also applies to any software concerning such things, such as server-side code or assets.  We've never allowed those things to be posted here, regardless of current news or affairs.

Thanks for your time.
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Janrith

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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2019, 05:00:08 AM »
So I'm guessing allowing Sentinel to log back into cit.cohtitan.com and recognize the "new" binaries is a non-topic.

Felderburg

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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2019, 05:03:12 AM »
I recall reading a post recently, from years ago when private servers were hypothetical, that said Sentinel had to be updated every time the servers were updated (or something like that), which meant that the proliferation of servers would basically make it a non-starter, or that every server would have to do it themselves. I'll try to find the post.

Never mind, it's from this week: https://www.cohtitan.com/forum/index.php?topic=13290.msg231683#msg231683
I used CIT before they even joined the Titan network! But then I left for a long ol' time, and came back. Now I edit the wiki.

I'm working on sorting the Lore AMAs so that questions are easily found and linked: http://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Lore_AMA/Sorted Tell me what you think!

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Tahquitz

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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2019, 04:18:16 PM »
We're discussing the fate of CIT right now behind the scenes.  When a decision has been made, we'll announce it. (I'll link to it in this discussion if it isn't here.)
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saipaman

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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2019, 04:41:52 PM »
Thanks for taking an interest in this issue.

Tahquitz

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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2019, 05:23:27 AM »
I'd count this as a new development:

Quote
From https://www.facebook.com/TheTitanNetwork/posts/2739755559386294

Hey folks,

We know things have been really quiet from us lately, and we wanted to provide an update on what we've been up to.

Homecoming and The Titan Network are working together and are in active negotiations with NCSoft in order to turn Homecoming into a legitimate operation, and we've been making significant strides in recent weeks. It's our intention to involve the entire community in this process when the time comes - which is not quite yet, but we'll certainly be shouting from the rooftops when it is - hopefully Soon™.

Please hang tight for the time being, and keep killing those Skuls.

--Tony V


Since a private server is attached to the news, here you go. :)  Discuss.
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therain93

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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2019, 01:57:34 PM »
I'd count this as a new development:

Since a private server is attached to the news, here you go. :)  Discuss.


I think it would be wonderful to see a legitimate version of the game again (with proper rule enforcement and etiquette).   Would be very curious what happens to every other server though (live and let live,  or c&d nightmares).
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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2019, 07:56:25 PM »

I think it would be wonderful to see a legitimate version of the game again (with proper rule enforcement and etiquette).   Would be very curious what happens to every other server though (live and let live,  or c&d nightmares).

Yay!

Yes, me too:   I'm also concerned about "the others," even though I play on Homecoming servers. 

It would be the coolest if NCsoft/Homecoming developed a Universal CoX Launcher for every group that wanted it-- as long as their teams could abide by basic behavioral rules and moderate their own players as needed.  This Universal Launcher would list every CoX rogue server, its rule sets and teams, and incorporate it all into a F2P CoX IP Banner.


therain93

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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2019, 03:55:16 PM »
Yay!

Yes, me too:   I'm also concerned about "the others," even though I play on Homecoming servers. 

It would be the coolest if NCsoft/Homecoming developed a Universal CoX Launcher for every group that wanted it-- as long as their teams could abide by basic behavioral rules and moderate their own players as needed.  This Universal Launcher would list every CoX rogue server, its rule sets and teams, and incorporate it all into a F2P CoX IP Banner.


That would be cool, biggest challenge to 'hosting' within a launcher is the association with potentially illegal operations (e.g. servers allowing trademark violations like copying marvel heroes) or less... wholesome activities (e.g. 4chan server where anything goes).  Something goes wrong,  the plaintiff will usually go after the biggest/richest target.   It wouldn't surprise me if what is taking the most time is figuring out those quality assurance and indemnification challenges because ncsoft would still be the biggest target if they do bless a licensing agreement, (which I hope they do!)
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FourSpeed

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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2019, 12:07:12 AM »
Wow!

I stop paying attention for a few months, and BAM the whole place goes crazy...

While you all have found out about this in April, I just came across it all today...  Holy Cow!

I'm still reading the various Massively articles on it, and whatnot -- it's gonna take a bit to process, and I confess to feeling all the emotional roller-coaster stuff that everyone else felt.
In some ways, I can sympathize with Eliot's viewpoint in his article -- heck I have chatted with Leandro (in CoH, and in TR) in the past, and I even posted in that "On private servers" thread,
4 years ago, so to read all this now, is a complete shock to me... As I try wrapping my head around the "what, and for how long" this was all buried, while so much other stuff was going
on concurrently, in parallel, comes with a distinct sense of the surreal for me.

Now don't get me wrong -- I'm NOT sharpening any pitchforks or anything like that. As a former software developer myself, I completely understand much of rationale that kept this whole thing
underground, but I can certainly see how the reveal had the effect it did. I'm feeling a bunch of it now, myself.

Otoh, that's all Old News to you guys, so back to the practical   ;)   I guess I need to figure out how to get back on board these days.    ;D

Thanks Tony, for this update post -- it's a great point of clarity, and much appreciated.  Hopefully, I'll get to see some of you folks online once again  soonish!


Regards,
4

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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2019, 11:32:02 PM »
Wow!

I stop paying attention for a few months, and BAM the whole place goes crazy...

While you all have found out about this in April, I just came across it all today...  Holy Cow!

I'm still reading the various Massively articles on it, and whatnot -- it's gonna take a bit to process, and I confess to feeling all the emotional roller-coaster stuff that everyone else felt.
In some ways, I can sympathize with Eliot's viewpoint in his article -- heck I have chatted with Leandro (in CoH, and in TR) in the past, and I even posted in that "On private servers" thread,
4 years ago, so to read all this now, is a complete shock to me... As I try wrapping my head around the "what, and for how long" this was all buried, while so much other stuff was going
on concurrently, in parallel, comes with a distinct sense of the surreal for me.

Now don't get me wrong -- I'm NOT sharpening any pitchforks or anything like that. As a former software developer myself, I completely understand much of rationale that kept this whole thing
underground, but I can certainly see how the reveal had the effect it did. I'm feeling a bunch of it now, myself.

Otoh, that's all Old News to you guys, so back to the practical   ;)   I guess I need to figure out how to get back on board these days.    ;D

Thanks Tony, for this update post -- it's a great point of clarity, and much appreciated.  Hopefully, I'll get to see some of you folks online once again  soonish!


Regards,
4
If you need pointing in the right direction, give a holler.  Most of the action is on the Homecoming forums nowadays.
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Ohioknight

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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2019, 08:15:19 PM »
Wow!

I stop paying attention for a few months, and BAM the whole place goes crazy...

While you all have found out about this in April, I just came across it all today...  Holy Cow!

I'm still reading the various Massively articles on it, and whatnot -- it's gonna take a bit to process, and I confess to feeling all the emotional roller-coaster stuff that everyone else felt.

Yeah people are still wandering in every few weeks and going through what you're experiencing.  There are a bunch of servers now but Homecoming is the largest operation with 100,000 accounts mostly active (most evenings there are multiple instances of several of the maps on all the servers).  And a number of people have taken the I25 object of Leandro's that was released and set up servers on their own boxes for offline play (apparently most modern game rigs have more than enough oomph to run the whole thing for a few players since that object was cleaned and optimized).
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Ohioknight

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Re: Everyone keep calm and carr— ZOMG PRIVATE SERVERS!!!
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2019, 10:07:39 PM »
...
I'm still reading the various Massively articles on it, and whatnot -- it's gonna take a bit to process, and I confess to feeling all the emotional roller-coaster stuff that everyone else felt.
In some ways, I can sympathize with Eliot's viewpoint in his article -- heck I have chatted with Leandro (in CoH, and in TR) in the past, and I even posted in that "On private servers" thread,
4 years ago, so to read all this now, is a complete shock to me... As I try wrapping my head around the "what, and for how long" this was all buried, while so much other stuff was going
on concurrently, in parallel, comes with a distinct sense of the surreal for me.


BTW It's not really obvious, but what happened with the release... Leandro pointed out that he couldn't release the source because the version of the code he was using would point to the person who "leaked" it and a condition of  that leak was that he not release (I'd also note his previous point that IF they ever DID get a "reverse engineer" version running, then if it was known that they had access to the source it would "taint" the RE version legally).

What changed was that he was on the discord chat with the SEGS developers publicly talking about the craziness in the middle of the night, when a caller called in who demonstrated that they ALSO had a copy of the source from an entirely different "leak".  It was the collaboration of Leandro and "Mr. X" that  allowed the source to be released the next day (somehow) without any danger to Leandro's "leaker" (or Mr. X's leaker) and led directly to all the "rogue" servers that now exist.


"Wow, a fat, sarcastic, Star Trek fan, you must be a devil with the ladies"