Author Topic: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!  (Read 56303 times)

TonyV

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Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« on: September 06, 2012, 07:03:04 PM »
Okay, no time for a lot of fanfare and hype, so I'll make this short:  Remember me telling you not to delete your characters?  Well, here's why.  Announcing...  Drum roll please...

The Titan Network Sentinel+ Extractor, courtesy of one of the best damn third-party tool developers in any community, Guy Perfect!  Keep in mind that this was developed in a very tight time frame, so there might still be some bugs to iron out.  But Guy is a very tight coder, it's passed all of our internal testing, so I really kinda doubt it.  :)

Enjoy, and let us know if you have any questions or problems!  (Also note that if you lose the link for any reason, there's a link on our main home page at cohtitan.com to the right of our "Save Our City of Heroes" banner.)

Keep up your spirits everyone, and know that we are really pulling out all the stops on ensuring that this game lives on.  Don't forget to click the link below if you haven't already.  And I can never say it enough times: thanks a TON for all of your support!  Okay, less speech and more work.  Gotta run!

Quick note: We've had a few people asking where the utility saves the files.  It saves them in the same directory that SentinelPlus.exe is run from.


2012-09-08 UPDATE:
Guy saw your bug reports and has released a new version of the tool, version 1.1.  It's got the same filename and is accessible at the same link posted above.  Here's the changelog:
  • Fixed a bug that attempted to save files using special characters reserved on Windows file systems. The filename (which includes the global handle and character name) will now convert all of the following characters into underscores: \ / : * ? ' " < > |
  • Temporary and Inherent Powers are now exported.
  • Builds with zero powers (i.e., have never been selected) are no longer exported.
  • Newlines in the output files are now CR/LF rather than only LF. (Primarily benefits people viewing exports in Notepad.)
  • The code was reorganized and simlified, and is now slightly smaller.


EDIT:
I've seen some posts and gotten some questions about what the purpose of this utility is, exactly.  It is to create a data file that contains enough information about your character's stats and information to recreate it if necessary.

What it does record is your vital stats; inventories (enhancements, inspirations, salvage, vault, recipes); all costumes, including parts, colors, scales, and various options; all build information, including second and third build if they exist, and primary, secondary, pool, epic/patron, and ancillary powersets, slot counts and slotted enhancements, and Incarnate powers and slotting; and if you open your info window before running the utility, all badges including individual and supergroup badges.

What it does not record is any rendered graphical information, such as screenshots.  It contains the data that describes your character, but not any kind of actual picture of your character.  It also does not record supergroup information, including membership, base layouts, or storage bin inventories.  Your temporary powers are not recorded.  Also, nothing in your auction house inventory is recorded, so if you want this data captured, be sure to pull your items out of the auction house before performing the snapshot.  Your Paragon Store purchase history and slotting of Paragon Tokens in the reward tree is not recorded, though some things are detectable via other recorded data.

Why would you want this?  There are three possible reasons I can think of:

Your own personal record.  This would be useful even outside the context of the game possibly shutting down.  It's a heck of a lot easier to run this utility and make a snapshot of your character than to write or type or screenshot everything you might want to capture about them.  Yes, it's in XML format which when opened, looks a little wonky, but at least it's human-readable.

Third party utilities.  This utility has actually been in the works for a long time.  We've had access to this data for, sheez, over a year now I think?  We were holding off on final implementation because the intention was to build a bigger, better, kick a** upgraded Sentinel utility that would report all of this information to a bigger, better, kick a** City Info Tracker web site (part of what we've dubbed "Titan 2.0" internally).  Obviously, we've nixed those plans for now and Guy grabbed the reins of churning out a useful version in less than five days.  If all goes well, we'll still go forward with the plans of turning it into an uber-Sentinel/CIT upgrade.  If not, then we'll probably work on releasing a utility that will allow you to see and use the data in a more user-friendly manner.  Those of you with development experience who want to, feel free to write utilities to do whatever with the data as well.  :)

Reimporting your characters.  We don't know what the ultimate outcome of this will be.  Specifically, there is a chance that City of Heroes might be acquired by another publisher, studio, or organization, but that in the process the account database can't be transferred.  If that happens, we will offer whoever acquires the game the algorithm used to generate the checksum that detects whether the file has been modified, which would give them the capability of accepting these files and re-importing the characters onto alternate servers with a moderately high assurance that people haven't, for example, futzed around and made their level 23 blaster a level 50+3 Incarnate.  You might not be able to import everything due to the possibility of exploit by shuffling inventory around, but at least you won't have to start over from scratch.

I hope this helps!
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 05:29:07 AM by TonyV »

frostcoh

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 07:07:19 PM »
WOW, ya'll are fast!


Mister Bison

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 07:08:24 PM »
Okay, no time for a lot of fanfare and hype, so I'll make this short:  Remember me telling you not to delete your characters?  Well, here's why.  Announcing...  Drum roll please...

The Titan Network Sentinel+ Extractor, courtesy of one of the best damn third-party tool developers in any community, Guy Perfect!  Keep in mind that this was developed in a very tight time frame, so there might still be some bugs to iron out.  But Guy is a very tight coder, it's passed all of our internal testing, so I really kinda doubt it.  :)

Enjoy, and let us know if you have any questions or problems!  (Also note that if you lose the link for any reason, there's a link on our main home page at cohtitan.com to the right of our "Save Our City of Heroes" banner.)

Keep up your spirits everyone, and know that we are really pulling out all the stops on ensuring that this game lives on.  Don't forget to click the link below if you haven't already.  And I can never say it enough times: thanks a TON for all of your support!  Okay, less speech and more work.  Gotta run!

what link below ???

Could you inscrease the number of threads per page on this forum ? in a week it's goint to get annoucements only !
Yeeessss....

Codewalker

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 07:09:42 PM »
Tony has the save COH link in his signature on the official forums, probably forgot to set it here.  :D

Mister Bison

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 07:11:50 PM »
Tony has the save COH link in his signature on the official forums, probably forgot to set it here.  :D
Thanks for the 'splanation good sir.

Forgot to say : Right on !

And errr how foreign-friendly is it ? My french but English-shy comrades could use that, can I provide a translation of the basics (like the commands, I know the power translations are lost anyway) ?

Edit: nevermind, it's a launch & forget utility >_> NICE WORK !
Yeeessss....

Mr. Wentworth

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 07:13:23 PM »
*applause applause*

Torben87

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 07:20:23 PM »
Wow, that's amazing. Thanks alot for this awesome tool. :)

I've just viewed at the "example character export". For me it's plain html text. Is there any way to get a more "meaningful" view on my character?



blue storm

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 07:25:52 PM »
Much Kudos and Thanks to you all !!
--


Mister Bison

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 07:26:03 PM »
Wow, that's amazing. Thanks alot for this awesome tool. :)

I've just viewed at the "example character export". For me it's plain html text. Is there any way to get a more "meaningful" view on my character?
You want a screenshot ? Truly this is one feature that is cruelly missing  :roll:
Yeeessss....

Codewalker

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2012, 07:26:47 PM »
Currently the XML is pretty raw. But the point is that all the information is there, so if we want to go back later and create more tools to "pretty it up", we can take our time doing that rather than rushing.

For example, it wouldn't be too difficult to make a script that reads that file and generates a .cohdemo that you can then play back using the client -- whether the servers are still around or not -- and view your costumes.

Kheprera

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2012, 07:29:51 PM »
I'm just glad to have it, and so quickly. Great job, Guy!

Torben87

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2012, 07:34:58 PM »
Currently the XML is pretty raw. But the point is that all the information is there, so if we want to go back later and create more tools to "pretty it up", we can take our time doing that rather than rushing.

For example, it wouldn't be too difficult to make a script that reads that file and generates a .cohdemo that you can then play back using the client -- whether the servers are still around or not -- and view your costumes.

Yeah, that sounds like what I had in mind.

But I can see the point of this tool now: Saving plain information of the characters that might could be used for more later. That's smart. ^^



Streakbreaker

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2012, 07:38:37 PM »
This is fantastic; thank you!

emu265

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2012, 07:39:54 PM »
Currently the XML is pretty raw. But the point is that all the information is there, so if we want to go back later and create more tools to "pretty it up", we can take our time doing that rather than rushing.

For example, it wouldn't be too difficult to make a script that reads that file and generates a .cohdemo that you can then play back using the client -- whether the servers are still around or not -- and view your costumes.

Thanks for all the work guys.

I didn't quite understand why this was useful until you said so.  So thanks for the that too.  Even if the info is never used, at least I know I can save my characters in some form if it comes to that :)

JustJane

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2012, 08:23:59 PM »
Wow, that is some diligence! Thanks so much for banging that out with time to spare.

Omega Mark V

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2012, 08:38:09 PM »
Had to run it in Compatibility mode for Windows XP SP3 on Windows 7, if anyone has issues getting it to work.

But, I got my file... Literally!

Omega Mark V, session complete.

Thank you, Guy Perfect and TonyV.

Don't stop!.. Believing!..

//Execute Music... Complete.
- Omega Mk. V

eabrace

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2012, 08:43:03 PM »
We just had ourselves a little Journey moment there.

Saw 'em in '83 in Fresno. Place was crawling with chicks.
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Cyclone Jack

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2012, 08:44:04 PM »
Thank you Guy, TonyV and everyone else involved for not only the work involved, but how quickly you were able to respond to get this out!  You all are awesome!

Myriade

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2012, 08:57:46 PM »
Awesome. Does it save incarnate powers?

*edit* yes it does. Sorry lol. It exports EVERYTHING. Even inspirations and costume parts!

eabrace

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Re: Announcement: Sentinel+ character extractor available!
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2012, 09:00:38 PM »
Awesome. Does it save incarnate powers?

*edit* yes it does. Sorry lol. It exports EVERYTHING. Even inspirations and costume parts!
Even your Vault inventory.
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