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  1. #41
    Community Member grausherra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    If you have a server that is actually doing something as it relates to a game and maintain player data, that’s not an emulator. That’s a copied server.
    You are defining 'emulator' in a manner designed to exclude the common usage of the term. If you want exclude common usage of the words 'emulator' and 'emulation' and only use a narrow technical definition then you are 100% correct.

    Server emulators(what you define as a copied server) are often developed along the lines of the first IBM clones were, here is a good summary of how they came about: Clean room design

    Basically, a way you can create code that copies the FUNCTIONALITY of a known system without copying the form in any manner. There can't be any accusation of copying the original work, since no one has access to the copeid servers code base :P Proven to be safe from copyright issues several times in court, even with Sony leading the charge against it.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    No, but it makes you a thief. ?*And you can go to jail for being a thief. ?*Eating babies is just icing on the cake.

    You are not scoring any points here. ?*The only thing you are doing is looking more and more like a reprehensible person. ?*You can stop digging that hole now…
    I'm not representing my own viewpoints on this matter, I'm representing an opposing viewpoint to your own. Understand the difference, and keep the personal attacks out of the thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Thin-client and thick-client have relative meanings.

    DDO is “thick-client.” Business logic (as someone pointed out) and a large chunk of code exists on the client machine.

    Some of these other browser-based games would be considered “thin-client.” This is similar to the old mainframes of old that used terminal emulators. The only thing you saw were the screens on a computer terminal which only handled video display and keyboard input – no business logic involved.

    From what I’ve seen, the discussion of things like WoW, DDO, and a few others worked with thick-clients, and servers. Ragnarok, since it is browser-based, is considered “thin-client.” If all you are doing is providing a server for Ragnarok, or even the other thick-client apps I described above, then yes you are brushing up against the proper concept of an emulator.

    If you have to modify BOTH sides of the pipe, you are no longer emulating anything.

    Of course, something labeled as production and maintains business data would no longer be considered an “emulator” as it copies nothing…it is its own running entity.
    DDO(and other MMO clients) cannot function independent of the main server, at all. That makes it a thin client. The fact that it does some logic on its own is what makes it a thin client, as opposed to a dumb client/terminal. Ragnarok is also not browser based, in works in a similar manner to the EQ/WoW/DDO/etc.

    Something like Diablo 2, or the new Simcity, which can play independently of the main server and only requires periodic connectivity to sync, are good examples of thick clients.

    Also, while the loot tables exist in the client, they are there as a part of a resource that is published to both the client and the server; the client does not control loot generation, it merely has access to libraries which are published to both server and client(because its silly to build multiple libraries when you can push the same one to both server and client and just not utilize the extra stuff on the client). If you are bored, you can always verify this with something like Ollydbg and Wireshark.

    Thick client - can work independent of main server for extended periods of time
    Thin client - some logic work on the client, but requires constant connectivity to function
    Dumb client - no logic local to client at all, all work done on server, often only handles screen draws or terminal access

  2. #42
    Community Member Charononus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grausherra View Post

    Also, all MMO clients(without single player support) are by definition thin clients, if you believe otherwise you are entirely crazy. The client is never trusted with anything important nowadays, and it has been this way since 1997 when some of the first mainstream MMOs hit the market.
    To be fair on this point Neverwinter does unfortunately trust the client which has given rise to all kinds of exploits that anyone with cheat engine can create.

  3. #43
    Community Member grausherra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charononus View Post
    To be fair on this point Neverwinter does unfortunately trust the client which has given rise to all kinds of exploits that anyone with cheat engine can create.
    Very true, to be fair I should say 'The accepted design goal in MMO production is not to trust the client'. Execution often falls far short of design sadly; sub-sampling and sanity checking(and tons of other techniques) is implemented to curb these issues, but sadly things slip through. The mantra in MMO design is always 'Never put anything on the client. The client is in the hands of the enemy. Never ever ever forget this.'. Here is a pretty cool article about it from an MMO pioneer:

    Ralph Koster on MMOs and hacking

    Ralph has a great amount of insight, being in charge of multiple successful mainstream commercial MMOs.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by myliftkk_v2 View Post
    It might be worth pointing out that the software industry in general is replete with IP theft, replete with patent trolls, invalid & duplicative patents that only an idiot would grant, IP shakedowns that stifle innovation, shady business dealings, etc et al ad infinitum. Companies break IP laws with regularity that never get called on, and for most, it's not worth it to pay attorneys to fight every tiny infraction in a digital world.
    "Everybody does it" is never a good defense or reason. What did your mother tell you: "if Johnnie jumped off a bridge would you do it too?"

    So I read the article and I didn't see anything about what these supposed "3 felonies" are or even a list of what they might be. I'm thinking that there's a fish...and it's red...

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flavilandile View Post
    You have no idea how much game logic is client side.... Just to give a hint : Loot generation is handled client side, that's where the loot tables reside.
    If loot tables were client side, it'd be very simple to hack your loot table.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL View Post
    "Everybody does it" is never a good defense or reason. What did your mother tell you: "if Johnnie jumped off a bridge would you do it too?"



    So I read the article and I didn't see anything about what these supposed "3 felonies" are or even a list of what they might be. I'm thinking that there's a fish...and it's red...
    The point was that nearly everybody does it, or relies on previous software that did it, so that claiming the moral high ground in software is like planting your flag on a sand dune, in the middle of the Sahara. The software industry was/is hardly one built on moral clarity (and that's without even discussing morality as nothing more than a mutable social construct). You are welcome to dislike that fact, but to disagree with it is just willful ignorance.

    The point of the unintentional felony reference is that there are a multitude of vague laws, open to interpretation (and more all the time, since laws tend to multiply, not reduce), that an individual can in fact be found guilty of breaking numerous laws in any reasonable period time. Hence the amount of juriprudence around things like knock-n-peek, trumped up charges, political prosecutions, etc.

    Besides, your example is flawed at its root. It'd be more accurate if Johnnie had infringed on someone's IP, built a billion dollar business, lived in a mansion, hung out with celebrities, and then your mom tells you not to follow in his footsteps... see how that gets thru to the kid.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by myliftkk_v2 View Post
    The point was that nearly everybody does it, or relies on previous software that did it
    Yes, we got that. Back when Napster was popular even though all my friends were using it, I refused to because it was wrong. Just because "everybody's doing it" doesn't mean you have to be a lemming.

    The point of the unintentional felony reference is that there are a multitude of vague laws
    While this may be a fact, it is an argumentative fallacy to make a blanket statement that everyone is guilty of committing 3 felonies every day. Yes, I know you didn't make the statement, but you were promoting it.

    On top of that, even if that fallacy were true the people the article is talking about are unknowingly committing those crimes. What is being discussed here is not the case.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL View Post
    Yes, we got that. Back when Napster was popular even though all my friends were using it, I refused to because it was wrong. Just because "everybody's doing it" doesn't mean you have to be a lemming.



    While this may be a fact, it is an argumentative fallacy to make a blanket statement that everyone is guilty of committing 3 felonies every day. Yes, I know you didn't make the statement, but you were promoting it.

    On top of that, even if that fallacy were true the people the article is talking about are unknowingly committing those crimes. What is being discussed here is not the case.
    If you got the point, why trot out an example of yourself buttressing a claim to the moral high ground? To prove somehow we can draw bright lines in the software world where baby-killers are on one side of the divide, and pure of heart users and developers are on the other? That's rubbish, and anyone in the business of software should know it's rubbish (not to mention the fact that nearly all IP infractions are legally resolved as civil infractions). Software is full of gray, and just because you narrow your blinkered focus to call out one black speck, or white speck, doesn't change the reality of the industry.

    What was being discussed was the feasibility of doing what the OP posted on. Half the responses had very little to do with question asked, and more to do with thought-policing anyone who even discussed it right before labeling them and anyone who used software beyond the trial period date w/o paying, as homicidal maniacs.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by myliftkk_v2 View Post
    What was being discussed was the feasibility of doing what the OP posted on. Half the responses had very little to do with question asked, and more to do with thought-policing anyone who even discussed it right before labeling them and anyone who used software beyond the trial period date w/o paying, as homicidal maniacs.
    Extremism does nothing to support your point. If something is theft then only idiots would discuss doing it in a public forum.

    Stealing is black and white - if someone purposefully uses something when they know they should pay for it they are thieves. No one brought up homocidal maniacs except you. You are the extremist here.

  10. #50
    Scholar Of Adventure & Hero Missing_Minds's Avatar
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    And.... we've gone off left field.

    Feasibility comprises of 2 aspects (at least to me). They being the technical and legal.

    Is it feasable technically? I'd say yes. You'd have to have someone with the data through put to host a server and provide the client for that version.
    You have to data store each and every dungeon.
    You have to create the rules base for everything.
    You have to create your own hit detection and los characteristics.
    I mean lets face it. You have to reverse engineer a whole ton of stuff, but it can be done.

    Is it feasble legally? Oh heck no, or at least not in the U.S.
    1. Turbine would put a stop to it. They have the IP rights to several creatures as well as they'd probably have rights to the "likeness". They also own the rights to all graphic work they created. (this last one I'd suspect any way. I don't know for fact.)
    2. Hasbro would put a stop to it as you haven't entered any agreements to use the "name".
    3. Several digital act laws of the US does a **** ton to stop reverse engineering any more.
    4. Mob AI is licencsed. You'd have to buy it or get new AI created.
    4. Havoc is not free. You'd have to buy it or do your own work to make what it does work.

  11. #51
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    Feasibility is a little lower I think, even. The EQEmulator project ran using mostly packet collectors and then careful editing from there --- thousands of hours of work from a lot of people. DDO would need someone to design such a tool, get people to use it (which would result in account bans --- people would need to set up FTP accounts, grind to a needed adventure pack, and then run it repeatedly with the packet collector to try to get sufficient data.) Given the amount of resources required, it seems unlikely that the project would occur -- especially if you were trying to set up a modified ruleset server, which due to fragmentation (different people wanting different mods) is going to be less popular than a live-like server.


    As for the discussion of "theft" and "criminals" in this thread, I think it's lacking a bit of nuance and an actual link to right and wrong. I played EverQuest from early 2000 to late 2004, giving Sony a good chunk of money along the way. In 2010 I stumbled into the EQEmulator project and played for a couple months in a fit of amused nostalgia, then swiftly got bored. At no point was I going to A) Resubscribe to EQ or B) Spend money on the expansions and C) Play a game that only loosely resembled the one I enjoyed so much. Equally, the players I met on the server, had that server not existed, would have merely not been playing, not paying for a subscription.

    Was my playing for a couple months a morally incorrect act? [Consequentialism, no. Kantianism; probably not unless you're using a strict "mere means" account, in which case, capitalism as a whole is morally wrong. Rawlsian contractarianism, no. Virtue ethics...probably playing videogames at all is iffy. This specific act more so? Hmmmm....I think I'd need to reread the Nichomachean ethics to be sure...]

    Was people developing the server for nostalgia's sake/entertainment morally incorrect? Again, if you apply modern ethical frameworks, probably not. It is extremely unlikely that any person playing on that server failed to give SOE any money that they otherwise would have given them.

    Was it illegal? People are arguing yes here, so I'm inclined to answer "Sure."

    Does intellectual property need to be protected? In all cases where breaking intellectual property costs a company money, then yes. If someone developed a private server project for DDO and started gaining players that would otherwise be paying Turbine money, it would be very reasonable for them to prosecute. If 5 years down the line, after update 40 Turbine announces that they're shutting down the single remaining DDO server, and people start to work on a DDO private server project (since apparently emulator is the wrong term?), and they get up to say, update 12 as the update 40 server shuts down, do I think it's then reasonable to proseute? Probably not.

    Intellectual property law, as far as I know, doesn't require a demonstration of lost profits. But it seem with current private server projects, companies bother to go after them based on a perception of lost profits.


    End point: Illegal, yes. Wrong? Probably not. [Except in a general; undermining generally useful legal systems is probably bad sense]. Oddds of prosecution? Low.
    Thelanis: Ikeren --- Paladin, Life 2 (Past Life: Cleric). Dylas --- Cleric late teens, Life 1.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL View Post
    Extremism does nothing to support your point. If something is theft then only idiots would discuss doing it in a public forum.

    Stealing is black and white - if someone purposefully uses something when they know they should pay for it they are thieves. No one brought up homocidal maniacs except you. You are the extremist here.
    Did you read the first page of posts one, and do you at all understand the difference in how the law treats IP versus real property? You do realize there's virtually no government prosecution for IP infringement, it is almost always civil, or are you completely blind to the difference?

    As an earlier poster pointed out, you can copy the functionality of something and not run afoul at all of IP laws as it pertains to software. You can also run afoul of IP laws when creating software whether or not you ever saw the internal code "supposedly" patented. A sizable part of claimed "damages" in software IP cases are rent-seeking patent trolls or companies attempting to stifle innovation, and there's no shortage of them to go around. IP law is hardly monolithic, despite your internal rock-solid idea how it works, and was designed from the start to achieve two ends, to allow the creator a set period of time from which to benefit from their creation, but also to allow seed innovation beyond that by others in the future. Patents expire, or don't you know that? You are completely wrong in thinking somehow IP law was designed so that a creator could alone milk their creation for profits under the protection of the law forward for infinite time and space, that was absolutely not the case.

    DDOs technology patents will start to expire 20 years from the filing date under current law, though there are active political groups pushing for this to be shortened to 5 years for software. It is likely given the amount of resources being sucked up by lawyers in the software industry that there will be changes in how the patent system works in the US especially since the really big players are spending millions of dollars in patent holding wars against each other in little more than a patent arms race. At that time we can re-evaluate the legal risk to what the OP was asking about.

    Acting like there's a civil case filed everytime IP gets infringed is hilariously inaccurate. Acting like judges hand down anything more than civil fines or product pull orders for cases that do go to trial is hilariously inaccurate. You can call it whatever you want in your moral universe, the law that the rest of us are subject to calls it a civil infraction.

    If you actually paid attention to IP law and real world behavior before this thread, you'd know that companies often don't aggresively pursue every potential case of IP infringement, for a number of reasons:

    1. It costs a lot of money to pay IP lawyers to fight your case for you, the government ain't going to do it.
    2. It's impact on your business may be far less than the money you spend trying to stop it.
    3. You always risk a customer or public backlash.
    4. You might just lose, or have your IP rights proven invalid. A very real possibility. Once that happens, you don't even have the luxury of threatening people with them anymore or even worse, someone else can now sue you.
    5. All publicity is good publicity. Nobody hacks a piece of junk software to replicate it.

    If you doubt these decisions aren't real decisions companies make, look at Adobe's non and broken response to day one hacks of it's CS3-4 products. It let those slide forever, arguably under the business decision that the people using hacked versions of the software weren't planning on buying the CS suite, a very expensive purchase, anyhow, and that Adobe would make its real income from professional business users.

    These kinds of things happen everyday in the software world, it's realpolitik.
    Last edited by myliftkk_v2; 07-10-2013 at 03:31 PM.

  13. #53
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    1. Regarding IP: there are people who have the opinion that they have the right to use someone else's IP as long as they don't "profit" from it. One of the definitions of "profit" is "to gain an advantage or benefit". I see entertainment as a benefit. Any other reason you might want to use it could be described as an advantage or benefit.

    Anyone who would like to give away their IP should of course do so. But don't forcibly take other people's IP just because you think its ok.

    2. You might say that by stealing a product you are not depriving someone of money because you would not have purchased it if that was the only way you could use it. But you don't know that to be true because you didn't "deprive" yourself of it, you stole it. There have been many times that I have decided not to purchase something and then changed my mind later.

    3. If it is not illegal to use/take something without permission then you are not a thief for using/taking it. I am only calling someone a thief for using/taking something that it is illegal to use/take without permission.

  14. #54
    Community Member clkpacker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    I am a software developer. Whatever I write, the company who employs sells. As compensation for my work, they pay me a salary from the revenue they generate from sales of the code I produced. Depending on what I negotiate for my salary, I may get a bonus off of sales and/or revenue. This is actually not an uncommon practice nowadays.

    So don’t tell me that there are levels of criminality when it comes to this kind of stuff, and that this is pretty low on the scale. I’m fairly sure you would be none too pleased if I came into YOUR home, took what I felt I was entitled to take, and then lectured you about how it was no big deal, and that how I’m actually a swell guy despite what I was doing. It is a big deal. It’s stealing. Period.
    This is an incredibly oversimplified argument.

    When I was a teen, I pirated Photoshop. I was not stealing from Adobe. Why?
    --(a) There is no direct loss to Adobe--they have infinite copies of Photoshop. My taking a copy in no way prevents them from selling a copy to someone else
    --(b) I had no intention nor ability to actually purchase Photoshop. If I didn't pirate Photoshop, I just wouldn't have Photoshop. And, going back to (a), my having Photoshop in no way hurts Adobe (on the contrary, it may have led to gains for Adobe later on--Photoshop, and many expensive professional tools now give hugely discounted or free student/learner downloads, so that newcomers to the profession learn on that company's tools and thus purchase those tools later).

    There's no guarantee that people populating this fictitious urDDO would be lost revenue for Turbine. The fact that they've gravitated to an old version implies that they've already left the game or are going to soon leave the game because they're unhappy with the changes, regardless of whether urDDO exists or not. There is also no guarantee that these people have spent or will spend more money on DDO should urDDO not exist.

    IP theft is in no way as simple as regular ol' actual-solid-thing theft.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL View Post
    1. Regarding IP: there are people who have the opinion that they have the right to use someone else's IP as long as they don't "profit" from it. One of the definitions of "profit" is "to gain an advantage or benefit". I see entertainment as a benefit. Any other reason you might want to use it could be described as an advantage or benefit.

    Anyone who would like to give away their IP should of course do so. But don't forcibly take other people's IP just because you think its ok.

    2. You might say that by stealing a product you are not depriving someone of money because you would not have purchased it if that was the only way you could use it. But you don't know that to be true because you didn't "deprive" yourself of it, you stole it. There have been many times that I have decided not to purchase something and then changed my mind later.

    3. If it is not illegal to use/take something without permission then you are not a thief for using/taking it. I am only calling someone a thief for using/taking something that it is illegal to use/take without permission.
    And there are people who apparently in this thread think IP rights do not expire legally, they would be incorrect in most cases assuming that. IP is not treated the same as real property such as the automobile in your driveway, by design, even given the gross legal perversions to copyright law in service of a few large corporations).

    Neither can you prove that all those who used a dubious product would have actually paid to use a legimate one. The best you can prove, is the truth falls somewhere in the middle, but both sides are incentivised to claim maximal damages when they are engaged in court.

    If people in business spent time calling each other thieves everytime IP got infringed upon, no business would ever get done because they'd be too busy calling each other names.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clkpacker View Post
    This is an incredibly oversimplified argument.

    When I was a teen, I pirated Photoshop. I was not stealing from Adobe. Why?
    --(a) There is no direct loss to Adobe--they have infinite copies of Photoshop. My taking a copy in no way prevents them from selling a copy to someone else
    --(b) I had no intention nor ability to actually purchase Photoshop. If I didn't pirate Photoshop, I just wouldn't have Photoshop. And, going back to (a), my having Photoshop in no way hurts Adobe (on the contrary, it may have led to gains for Adobe later on--Photoshop, and many expensive professional tools now give hugely discounted or free student/learner downloads, so that newcomers to the profession learn on that company's tools and thus purchase those tools later).
    LOL, I'm glad you developed a justification for your stealing that makes you feel better - but it's still stealing.

  17. #57
    Community Member grausherra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clkpacker View Post
    I was not stealing from Adobe.
    You are right in this statement, but not for any reason that you listed. You didn't commit theft, you pirated software. you violated civil law, whereas theft is a criminal offense.

    That doesn't make it right in any way, you just didn't commit the act of theft, you committed a separate offense. If you had made a profit from the act it would have been a criminal offense.

    All that being said, the distinction between civil and criminal matters is not as important as it seems it might be; you can end up with fines or jail time either way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grausherra View Post
    You are right in this statement, but not for any reason that you listed. You didn't commit theft, you pirated software. you violated civil law, whereas theft is a criminal offense.
    While it might not be theft / stealing in a criminal sense, it is certainly theft / stealing in a moral sense. I guess this is a huge relief for those without morals.

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    Please lets avoid personal attacks, I'm just looking for the best info possible.

    So far it sounds like my best bet is Nwn2 mods so I can tweak things to my liking. I'm not fond of that idea but oh well.

    Some have suggested static groups that run certain play styles like permadeath, but even in the best case I would still have to rely on the in game rules that are so twisted and ruin much of the fun. Simple example - the current attack/ac system is so screwy and feels so wrong.. grazing hits? How do I turn that off? I can't, I just see the little numbers pop up and it bugs me since I should be missing instead. No way for me to avoid that no matter how many rules my static group follows. I probably wouldn't hate it as much if monsters followed the same rules but no we always have an easier time hitting & landing things because people whine that it's too hard. I hate the entire trend of making things easier and there's no way to avoid it really.


    As a side note to those taking a hardline stance against any & all software emulation/whatever you want to call it - the SWG emulator is a great example of something that you could not possibly buy anymore, its dead and gone. You could not pay the programmers of that product in any legit way other than maybe tracking them each down individually and sending them personal checks. If I did send those checks would that be sufficient in your mind?

  20. #60
    Community Member grausherra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL View Post
    While it might not be theft / stealing in a criminal sense, it is certainly theft / stealing in a moral sense. I guess this is a huge relief for those without morals.
    No, it's just a technicality, but technicalities are the soul of law.

    People have odd ideas concerning the relative moral impacts of acts. I'd rather someone be a thief than to ever drive drunk, for example, but I'm sure there are people here who consider driving drunk to be a much more accepted occurrence than robbery. Personally I'd rather be robbed of worldly goods than murdered by an intoxicated driver.

    DDO is full of people with different backgrounds/morals/ideals, due to it's diverse customer base; people of different ages/ethnicity/backgrounds have differing opinions on the relative nature of offenses.

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