The story of L2J

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LasTshaMAN
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The story of L2J

Post by LasTshaMAN » Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:33 am

Hello guys!
Starting with C4 chronicles I have been playing in Lineage 2 for approximately 5 years. Four years have passed since my last adventures with l2 on Gracia Final chronicles. But even now from time to time nostalgia pushes me to watch a couple of movies about the days of the past in l2.

Being a software engineer, recently, I got interested in looking at Lineage 2 codebase, but the original code is, of course, unavailable for an outsider like myself. I searched Github for Lineage 2 code and found this project - L2J. I went through a bunch of topics on this forum, got some basic understanding about the project, but I still want to ask several questions about this project:

1) How did this project came to life ? What was the goal of the initial founder-team with this project ? How does this project relate to the original Lineage 2 project by NCZ0ft ? There is a rumor about stolen l2 codebase sometime around the year 2005. If this rumor is true, was the initial development effort based in some way on this stolen l2 codebase ? (Don't get me wrong, I'm just asking out of my passion for the game and pure interest)

2) What is the development effort based on ? As I understand, the project is aimed at recreating some of the Lineage 2 chronicles. So, does the project team create the game content(skills, mobs, NPCs, etc.) from scratch guessing at what a particular skill should be implemented like ? It's not like NCZ0ft has some kind of specification for l2 game content. Where is the information about all the aspects of the game is coming from ? How much does L2J differ from l2 by NCZ0ft ? What is the goal of the project in the near future, let's say a couple of years ?

3) If it's not too much to ask, I'd also like to know the motivation of the project's team members. Who do you make it for ? Why do you work on it ? It's not like you are materially rewarded or am I wrong ?

That's a lot of questions I got there )
But I hope, the answers to these questions will be of interest not only to me, but to anyone, who found the project for the first time, especially, to the developers like myself.

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Gladicek
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Re: The story of L2J

Post by Gladicek » Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:42 am

1) Lineage 2 was pay to play few years ago. So making an emulator to be able to play this game was main purpose obviously :D There were several leaks of L2OFF (retail files) but speaking about it here is prohibited (Nazisoft is everywhere).
2) Informations are coming from playing on official server + secret files. There is still so many things to make so it would be more retail like.
3) Hobby... :P
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SaveGame
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Re: The story of L2J

Post by SaveGame » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:07 am

Being not a member of l2jserver team, but following them since C1, which is when I originally started on Lineage II, I can shed some light on this.

1. The original goal was to emulate Lineage II. There are several reasons why this is not the goal for a long time now.

Regarding stolen source code: rumours are rumours. Back in the day, companies for each region where Lineage II was licensed, had a full-time legal crew able to pursue any legal matter related to Lineage II. If the source would have been leaked, and it could have only leaked from NC HQ, there would simply be an internal audit and any staff involved would have been sued for large-scale IP theft, while at the same time regional licensees would be able to pursue either international or in-country legal activity to bring anyone who got their hands on this codebase to justice (grand scale IP theft).

Did you ever hear anything about that? No. Because it did not happen. There have been various incidents, such as Chinese versions of precompiled servers leaking (Prelude Beta, C1, C4), or even other region precompiled servers leaking (C1, GF), or even NC employees accidentally giving access to entity definition files for Freya precompiled servers, but that's all. Codebase remains NC HQ-internal only.

L2J was split to two independent projects, because DataPack uses almost 1:1 content that is created by NC. L2JServer itself is an alternative service provider, so to say. Still, use of any leaked data, or data contained in the client is highly discouraged because there are no legal means to obtain it. That's why l2j DP, for the most part, has custom data files. Of course, when coupled with l2jserver, the expected behavior is reproduced.
However, it seems that currently, there is less superfluous custom content and more direct translations from leaked definition files.

2. Except for the very beginning and due to extremely high popular pressure, l2jserver and any of its forks operate under a clear scheme that you could name "Features over Fundamentals". If we take forks in particular, you could say they operate in a "Assets over Features" scheme, since they take fundamentals provided by l2jserver as granted and have 0 understanding of how Lineage II works (probably because they don't play it? idk).

Some information can be found from entity definition files made for NC precompiled servers, but they rarely leak to public; some can be found in the client, although due to frequent typos it cannot be trusted. E.g. -10% M.Atk. might have actually meant +10% M.Atk. or vice versa. A resurrection skill that say "Restores 70% XP" actually restores 88% XP in official servers, etc.

Features are usually created from general gameplay knowledge and some testing; if extensive testing shows that the skill may have differences that do not pertain to the skill itself, but would require a fundamental overhaul to the whole skill handling, then usually such testing results are disregarded and the skill is added the way it can be added (this especially applies to forks). However, if there is a whole class of skills that require change of skill handling, usually an overhaul (to accommodate the new class only) is successfully executed.



Other questions seem to be aimed directly at team members, so I will leave them to the team.
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Sdw
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Re: The story of L2J

Post by Sdw » Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:11 am

SaveGame wrote: If we take forks in particular, you could say they operate in a "Assets over Features" scheme, since they take fundamentals provided by l2jserver as granted and have 0 understanding of how Lineage II works (probably because they don't play it? idk).
I liked that part very much :kappa:

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SaveGame
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Re: The story of L2J

Post by SaveGame » Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:30 am

Sdw wrote:
SaveGame wrote: If we take forks in particular, you could say they operate in a "Assets over Features" scheme, since they take fundamentals provided by l2jserver as granted and have 0 understanding of how Lineage II works (probably because they don't play it? idk).
I liked that part very much :kappa:
Well, why on earth would someone start by adding new premium shop products, or new item/npc/skill definitions/handlers, or new NPC/multisell shops, even when they don't even know where these assets are going to be used? Also, adding a skill to a class learn tree without knowing which skills it has to delete or what items to consume also shows how bad they want the assets to be available asap.

As far as fundamentals are concerned, because the codebase is unavailable, they will always cause problems for l2j or any emulator. Everything ranging from very simple things, like breath gauge time or asphyxiation damage (which are simply made up without any testing unknown amount of years ago) to always changing, much more complex (that can get more complex when new traits or even new semantics are added) things like debuff land rates in a concrete situation.

I don't really see anyone giving a shit about these things in forks. If you gave them a WoW server changed to work with a Lineage II client, they would literally see no difference how basic attacks or skills or interactions between PC/NPC or PC/PC are executed, regardless if you compare to l2j or leaked NC precompiled servers.

Even some players, who aren't even l2 devs on the side, have better knowledge about these things.
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Zoey76
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Re: The story of L2J

Post by Zoey76 » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:37 am

Being able to put somone elses codes together and run a server doesn't make you a developer nor a server administrator, having a repository on github or bitbucket doesn't make you a fork owner.

Real forks, public and private do care about all that stuff and have knowledge about the features and some of them even have good developers.
Using Eclipse 4.16 - OpenJDK14 - MariaDB 10.4 - L2J Server 2.6.2.0

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SaveGame
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Re: The story of L2J

Post by SaveGame » Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:44 am

SaveGame wrote:If you gave them a WoW server changed to work with a Lineage II client, they would literally see no difference how basic attacks or skills or interactions between PC/NPC or PC/PC are executed, regardless if you compare to l2j or leaked NC precompiled servers.
This still applies to most of those who work with l2j or l2 emulation in general. It's cancer, except that it spreads like plague.

Let me emphasize: they don't even see how l2j at it's core (and core of L2 is attacking [killing, if you prefer to put it that way] something) is an entirely different game than Lineage II.

BUT I think we went off-topic. I'll stop now.
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Zealar
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Re: The story of L2J

Post by Zealar » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:35 pm

What bother you? :think:

LasTshaMAN
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Re: The story of L2J

Post by LasTshaMAN » Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:42 pm

SaveGame, Gladicek, thank you for your replies!

There are still some questions among those 3 I asked, that were left unanswered. I'll restate them here in the hope of getting more replies.

a) As I understand, the closest goal the team has is fixing all the known issues with High Five chronicles. But what is the next step gonna be ? What are the possible options for the further development of the project ?

b) Who do you make it for ? I mean, there are free to play l2 servers based, most likely, on L2J server software out there, but isn't the amount of people playing l2 old chronicles gradually diminishes (Such a shame, but nevertheless) ? Will there be any demand on L2J after High Five is polished to perfection ?

c) I also would like to know about collaboration between team members. Do you work rather separately or, on the contrary, you review each others work, share thoughts with each other, design features together and stuff like that ? May be after you are done working on High Five you are planning to work on another MMORPG or something as an experienced, cohesive team ?

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Zoey76
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Re: The story of L2J

Post by Zoey76 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:41 am

LasTshaMAN wrote:SaveGame, Gladicek, thank you for your replies!

There are still some questions among those 3 I asked, that were left unanswered. I'll restate them here in the hope of getting more replies.

a) As I understand, the closest goal the team has is fixing all the known issues with High Five chronicles. But what is the next step gonna be ? What are the possible options for the further development of the project ?

b) Who do you make it for ? I mean, there are free to play l2 servers based, most likely, on L2J server software out there, but isn't the amount of people playing l2 old chronicles gradually diminishes (Such a shame, but nevertheless) ? Will there be any demand on L2J after High Five is polished to perfection ?

c) I also would like to know about collaboration between team members. Do you work rather separately or, on the contrary, you review each others work, share thoughts with each other, design features together and stuff like that ? May be after you are done working on High Five you are planning to work on another MMORPG or something as an experienced, cohesive team ?
a) Yes, that's the goal, fix most (all?) issues, complete most features, get it stable and performant, then we will see, probably try to implement previous server version (Interlude?) using the latest High Five server version.

b) We make it for fun, eventually none will play L2 and then the project won't have much meaning, probably then we will implement support with newer clients.

c) We review each other's work and support, design comes from discussion, but with time zones and personal life we use to work separately.

c2) I'm secretly working on another MMO :problem:
Using Eclipse 4.16 - OpenJDK14 - MariaDB 10.4 - L2J Server 2.6.2.0

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Sdw
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Re: The story of L2J

Post by Sdw » Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:00 pm

Don't tell me you got the blade and soul fever as well

LasTshaMAN
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Re: The story of L2J

Post by LasTshaMAN » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:56 pm

c2) I'm secretly working on another MMO
Which one is that ?

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Gladicek
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Re: The story of L2J

Post by Gladicek » Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:24 pm

LasTshaMAN wrote:
c2) I'm secretly working on another MMO
Which one is that ?
Minecraft :kappa:
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SaveGame
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Re: The story of L2J

Post by SaveGame » Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:28 am

LasTshaMAN wrote:
c2) I'm secretly working on another MMO
Which one is that ?
I'd bet on BDO.
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ShinichiYao
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Re: The story of L2J

Post by ShinichiYao » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:07 am

I personally very like this game before Goddess of Destruction Version(After GoD is totally a different game). If NC or its Agents continually run a high five offical server I would glad to pay for playing. But gone is gone. Even Classic Server still not meet my memories, so L2J is the only place I can enjoy this game with my friends.

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