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Launching Shard Questions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Archaaz, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Archaaz
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    Archaaz Member

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    As a long time Ultima fan, it has been a dream of mine to create, release and host a UO shard or some time, and over the last five years I have been working toward that goal. I started with no programming experience and knowledge, and, with time, work, much hair-pulling and the generous help of the RunUo and ServUO community, and the amazing scripts created by the community, I have managed to put together the vast majority of my intended features, for which I am forever grateful. I am still not a coder, by any stretch, which is due to my inherent nontechnical-minded nature.

    It is not a terribly ambitious project, a bit of a niche really, and there are still some things I hope to add, and almost certainly some errors here and there. I have a lot of ideas, just not a lot of skill. Nevertheless, I think I am at last ready to find a host and put it out there and see what happens. Not today, but soon. Over the course of the last couple of months I have been, and still am, making a final push to finish certain aspects. Much of this is the hard stuff I do not know how to do and have been putting off, so I will be probably be asking quite a few questions on the forum. Fortunately, the more I learn, the more the hard stuff becomes the not as hard stuff. I do not have a team, only me, though perhaps releasing it might attract some like-minded individuals to join and expand and hone the shard.

    Unfortunately, I am not quite sure how the process works, though I have a rough idea. I have a few questions, Iif the community would not mind indulging me.

    Hosting:

    I travel and live out of a backpack, so hosting it from my own computer is not possible. Therefore I will require a host.

    I have read a few posts, including the post from Chris from UO Renaissance regarding the requirements and costs of running a shard. The costs he mentions are a bit are outside the realm of what is possible for me, but if I understand correctly, it is possible to find a satisfactory host for around 40-50 USD a month. This project is certainly not of the same scope as Renaissance (which, though I have not tried it, looks amazing).

    I have some question regarding the process once I have found a host. I assume that I upload the RunUO files to the site, and use the client on my computer to connect. Is it an easy matter to modify files and restart the server? Will the virtual server have its own IP, and do I include it when giving instructions about how to connect? Are crashes and loss of data a big issue. I worry a bit about character wipes and such. Is there a tutorial for this?​

    Accounts:

    Can I, and should I, require players to register accounts? Are there benefits/drawbacks to not requiring accounts, and is it difficult to set them up? There is a definite role-playing focus, but more of a casual nature. This is subject to change to something leaning a little more toward the RP-enforced side of things, depending on how things progress. I had prefer to not have a strict vetting process, or a strictly enforced anything, though I also want to preserve the atmosphere and focus of the shard, which I have put a lot of time into trying to develop. ​

    Downloads:

    I haven't changed anything client side, other than certain of the maps.

    UO Client: I have been using the 2d classic client MCE (Restricting Client version 7.0.10.3), Era set to LBR (it would be earlier, but the MP3s do not work on earlier eras). I assume I can simply include a link to an outside download source or the client. What is a reliable source that would not mind a link? Or should I include it myself? How do I know if a particular version is compatible/incompatible with what I am using?

    Map: I am using only the Felucca map (Map0), which I have customized with CentrEd. I would need to include a zipped download of the map files of map0.mul, radarcol.mul, staidx0.mul, static0.mul, and tiledata.mul and instructions for replacing these files (and backing up the originals). Is this sufficient, or should I try to make (or hire someone to make) an executable file to install them?

    Music: Original UO soundtrack midis remastered as MP3 (I did not create them). I hope to include a zipped version of this. It does not affect the actual gameplay, of course, but I have designed the various areas around this soundtrack (if anyone other than me still uses and enjoys it).​

    Website:

    I have put together (and am still working on) a fairly extensive, and I like to think straightforward and aesthetically pleasing, Wiki, and will also include a forum. More than likely I will try to put together an actual website, though, along with programming, this is not my strong suit, and it will probably be quite a simple affair.​

    I apologize for my extreme lack of knowledge and uninformed questions. Any help and advice is much appreciated, regarding these questions or just general hosting information and experiences.
     
  2. zerodowned
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    Moderator ServUO Developer

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    I'm not very knowledgeable about this subject; but you would need to upload runuo/servuo files plus the uo client to the server - you won't be able to start the shard if it can't locate the client files.

    As for the other questions, it really depends on what kind of a server you get and how reliable of a host company you go with.

    pros:
    - you have a little more control of who gets into the shard
    - if you have strict RP rules, then this tends to deter trolls that don't want to RP

    cons:
    - low player count [ not necessarily a bad thing ]
    - you'll have to setup a site for players to request access, maybe go with a free forum host but then players have to first sign up for the forum and then submit their request
    - you'll have to use up your own time actually reading through these requests
    - if requests are slow to be processed, people may loose interest in the wait
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  3. Archaaz
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    Archaaz Member

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    I think that, for now at least, the cons outweigh the pros. The notion of reading through applications/requests is not something I am terribly interested in, and I do not want to deter people from trying it. At the same time I do want to promote at least a general RP friendly atmosphere. I enjoy RP, but more on a small scale, I suppose, at least as far as MMOs. Less overreaching, "forced" story arches, and a more organic, immersionist, stay-in-character as a bare minimum approach. I suppose I can see how it develops and go from there.

    Thanks again!
     
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