Author Topic: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...  (Read 109039 times)

JMeyer120

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #140 on: September 02, 2012, 05:39:15 PM »
I have setup the page that we are going to be putting the forum on.  It is called www.cohforever.org,  whoever wants to help with the creation/setting up/admin/moderators and all of that....just let me know.  You can reach me on here for now...  I have to be honest...I am in the middle of cooking lunch for my family.....but I just wanted to take the time out to let you know it had been acquired and we are working on it.

I also went ahead and registered www.cohforever.com.  So let me know which one you want to be the main and I will point the other to it.  I will start the process of installing a forum on there while I cook lunch..then we will get to work on the looks and setting up all the forums.  If you all want to message me with your email addresses who want to help in the creation of the forums...TonyV that means you all as well.  :)  I think I will just go with a phpBB forum if that is okay with everyone...unless you have something better you would like to use. 
« Last Edit: September 02, 2012, 06:00:42 PM by JMeyer120 »

dwturducken

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #141 on: September 02, 2012, 06:11:48 PM »
Well, I don't often admit this, but I am an attorney, licensed in Texas. I do mostly real estate acquisition and eminent domain work, so this would squarely fall outside of my area of expertise. However, if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. Your best bet is to reach me by email at matthew.a.murray@gmail.com.

Not sure it matters, but the last thing that I read was that the physical servers were in Dallas.

Do we need IP law or corporate law?
I wouldn't use the word "replace," but there's no word for "take over for you and make everything better almost immediately," so we just say "replace."

Rain Maker

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #142 on: September 02, 2012, 06:21:23 PM »
Not sure it matters, but the last thing that I read was that the physical servers were in Dallas.

Do we need IP law or corporate law?

I imagine that we will need both eventually. But our need for any attorney at all is entirely contingent on NC Soft's and/or Perfect World's willingness to play ball.

recrooks

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #143 on: September 02, 2012, 07:02:40 PM »
I've been with CoH since shortly after release...off and on...but mostly on.  I will gladly contribute whatever I can to support this.  I'm blessed with multiple talents and some finances, so please continue to let us all know what is transpiring and how we can assist!

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Riggs Wild

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #144 on: September 02, 2012, 07:15:25 PM »
Hey I to am willing to provide free work on the game if you get it I am very good at writing stories with in a world using preexisting characters and such. I am also willing to work on concepts like powers, content, Costume idea, hell I will run and get the damn coffee if you need me to. This game help me quit smoking, help my daughter get your reading level up and beyond her grade level, and so much more. I will also volunteer my time for fund raisers. I even can bring a Preforming Fire troop to anything you put together to help raise funds. My email is Riggs.Chaosstar@gmail.com and I am Riggs Wild on Facebook contact me with what ever I can do please.   

JMeyer120

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #145 on: September 02, 2012, 07:20:14 PM »
Ok.  The phpbb forum is up.  Just up...not pretty or anything.  You can start registering for it now and letting me know what you are willing to do to help with the customization and all of that.   I figure we may as well get this going.  :)   

www.cohforever.org

I will even setup emails for all of you if that is what you want.  Just let me know.   Let's get this going so we can get everyone in one place and ORGANIZE.  :)

Cinnder

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #146 on: September 02, 2012, 07:25:48 PM »
I've been playing since 2005 and I'm still a bit dazed at the news.  Have also been a big fan of Titan Network ever since the badge bug bit me.  I don't know much about birthin' no MMOs, but I do know about writing and proofreading, so I'd be glad to offer that kind of service for any text we have to recreate or any other writing, even outside the game proper.  (Oh MAN would it feel good to finally be able to fix all those glaring errors in the game!!)

I join the others who say they would be more than happy to pay a monthly sub to Titan to keep this game alive.

The huge response to this effort should give us all some hope.  It's not impossible!


Misrae

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #147 on: September 02, 2012, 07:38:56 PM »
As i said in the other board, I cant offer much but a littl emoeny and goodwill, i know how it feels to lose a community and although I wa snot playing this last year much due to illness My sub never slipped once in five years I even had two going at one time, so good luck to you all I hope we can save COH as more than a memory, you neve rknow if a company sees this support they may back us up too. I mean I know TR died fast but we had years to get a community going, I tihnk old and new players will unite for this one, sure it seems hard right now but its not impossible. In short, good luck guys, you have my support.

Manga

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #148 on: September 02, 2012, 07:46:17 PM »

Cross-posted from CoH forums because I wrote this long thing and may as well not waste it...  :)



Remember that "Cryptic Studios" icon that used to be everywhere in the game?  It was there because some of the characters, including Statesman, were still owned by them.  I suppose at some point NCSoft decided they didn't want to pay the license fees anymore, so they had to remove the last of the Cryptic characters from the game.

Which makes the sudden "sunsetting" even more strange, because NC was asking so much work to be put in the game to free it from its licensing agreements and make it independent.  They made an effort to spin off Paragon Studios and make it autonomous, and encouraged them to not slow down, but accelerate the issue release schedule.  They haven't tried this hard for *any* other game in their stable.  And after all that they just cut it off?  All I'll say is, I don't understand the logic behind the decision.

Ok, that's not exactly true, the only logic that makes sense is if NCSoft is days, weeks away from closing its doors from lack of finances, and their only choice is to immediately stop anything that costs money - whether its profitable in the long run or not, because there wouldn't be a long run.

Actually I'm counting on that possibility.  Because if that's true, it also explains why they haven't sold the game to another company, or even entertained offers before now (they didn't have the time).  And it *may* also make them more open to offers, so they get an infusion of cash, and they divest themselves of the expense.  Yes, I actually thought this through.

I also thought of the possibility that one offer draws *more*.  Because CoH is a profitable game with a somewhat healthy population, if there is one announcement of intent to purchase, there may be more.  There are several software companies out there who specialize in revitalizing and/or keeping alive older titles, like Lord of the Rings Online.  I know some of you may not like some of them (Perfect World could possibly be a bidder as well, maybe even Blizzard, though they generally prefer in-house titles) but at this point?  Anywhere but here is better.

Of course, as I've said before, this all depends on whether NCSoft wants to let go.  It's conceivable that they're killing CoH because they planned to replace it, only they don't have the money now, so they'll sit on the property until they do.  We could try to talk them out of that, or into some sort of licensing arrangement, though that's not a certainty either.  Until we know for sure, we know nothing but possibilities.  But possibility is also what we're hoping for.

JMeyer120

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #149 on: September 02, 2012, 07:49:12 PM »
Hi TonyV, just throwing my hat in the ring here.  I realize I'm probably the *least* active developer to ever be involved with Titan (long story short, real life smashed me in the face right about the same time we started to collaborate), but this isn't some niche-in-a-niche-in-a-niche app we're talking about here now, is it? This is the very livelihood of our alter-egos at stake, and you can bet I'll do any- and everything I can to help out.  My sister met her husband in Paragon City, for Pete's sake.

Feel free to Skype me - "epicduckmike" - if you need an extra hand on any PHP-related projects for this.

Hey ducklorange!  You wanna help us customize the phpbb forum we have set up at www.cohforever.org 

I just sent you a contact request on Skype. 

Gemfire

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #150 on: September 02, 2012, 08:48:33 PM »
If they have pulled the plug, then why run the game for 3 months, surely this will cost them money to run with nothing coming back the other way, Maybe ( Fingers crossed ) there is a reason for doing just this....

Manga

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #151 on: September 02, 2012, 08:58:40 PM »
If they have pulled the plug, then why run the game for 3 months, surely this will cost them money to run with nothing coming back the other way, Maybe ( Fingers crossed ) there is a reason for doing just this....

I would bet on that being thanks to the efforts of the Paragon team begging for some leniency.

agentq

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #152 on: September 02, 2012, 09:35:35 PM »
Some thoughts if we actually pull this off:

Server Hosting.
Figuring out server architecture will be very important. For instance does any on know if "freedom" for example is one physical server, or represents a series of server. Is each zone a server? How are these networked together?

If freedom is a cluster of servers, we might want to discuss only having one or two actual 'servers'.  As i'm sure Titan is aware, server costs can be pretty pricey.  For this type of project i think we should be looking for Cloud solutions, something that allows flexibility in server cost/resources.

I've found: https://www.dotcloud.com/ Has a great cloud setup. It's a fixed cost per server, doesn't fluctuate with bandwidth used. It's based on top of Amazon EC2, and also has some nice flexibility in regards to elasticity. In other words, spinning up more servers in a cluster and spinning them down automatically as demand requires. (this would require some server daemons to monitor resources etc.) Another benefit is, there is a 'dev' state, where there is no monthly cost while the server is in development mode only.

IF we're going with Cohforever.org we will need to setup subdomains for the individual servers. We'll also want a Wildcard SSL cert that covers *.cohforever.org.  So instance1.cohforever.org can be secured, as well as cohforever.org.

Other thoughts in regards to the actual backend management of 'our' accounts for CoH. Currently they're merged into NCsoft account management. Which means in addition to building a new website, we'll also need to build a new backend account manager, that also hooks into the game servers.  We'll need to figure out what languages these are sitting on currently. PHP, Java, .Net? A combination?

What about legal issues. In game game masters. Ticketing? bug reports? It seems like most of that part of the game is merged into NCsoft as well. So separating will prove a challenge. We'll most likely have to start from scratch, and pray there's an API we can take advantage of. Or we'll have to do some serious recoding of the game just to get it to work off of NCSoft servers.

I'm a PHP developer, and do system administration for web servers for the company i've been working at for the last 6 years. I would like to help, but between work and other projects, i'm not sure how much help i would be. However, happy to answer questions or brain storm solutions, you can reach me at dr.parham@gmail.com


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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #153 on: September 02, 2012, 10:06:18 PM »
That's why negotiating a buy-out would be the best - there'd be a transition period for the new studio to work with NCSoft to disengage the CoH account system from the main NCSoft one.
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Xenos

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #154 on: September 02, 2012, 10:14:24 PM »
If they have pulled the plug, then why run the game for 3 months, surely this will cost them money to run with nothing coming back the other way, Maybe ( Fingers crossed ) there is a reason for doing just this....

Most likely this is a combination of what TheManga said, and the need to consolidate our accounts. If they shut it down from one day to the next, they would owe ALL of the VIPs some money. This way, whatever time we have prepaid will run out in those 3 month and it'll give them time to reimburse folks who have pre-paid for longer (hopefully). It's probably simpler this way.

The financial loss for player who have paid for items that they wouldn't be able to use is probably also part of this decision. If there were to be a lawsuit, they will have a better case given that everyone could have gotten 3 month use out of whatever they had paid for.


dwturducken

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #155 on: September 02, 2012, 10:28:38 PM »
From what I know of office/business server admin, I believe there has to be at least two servers per "server" for load sharing and redundancy.  To be able to replicate 15 game servers plus a "beta" server in that scenario is going to be problematic.  At best, there will have to be some process by which we can, say, vote for one or two (given what I've seen in-game this summer and what little I can find on actual estimates of subscription numbers, two would be preferable) game servers to survive, and we have to pick which characters get to "live."  (I know I have a serious case of "alt-itis," but I also have about a dozen server transfers saved up.)

If the physical servers can be obtained, even temporarily, then that buys more time for a proper migration.  My feeling would be that a decent, relatively recent dual core server with sufficient RAM (with servers, that means at least 32GB ECC, not cheap), decent storage (probably only a couple of TB, but server drives run 3 to 4 times faster than your desktop) and running CentOS should handle the load on an average day, but that's a guess with no experience in game servers, just in raw hardware.  This kind of equipment can be had at 10% of it's new cost, if you know where to look, or for more on eBay.

Physically, the infrastructure is eminently doable, but I know enough to know that I only know about 50% of what would be necessary to get this up and running, just from an IT standpoint.  I actually fully expect someone to point out that I should reduce that percentage before the weekend is out, but I'd be more than willing to at least try to get to wherever to be an extra pair of hands when the time comes.

EDIT: Also a good NAS could potentially handle all the "world" data, with the server just pulling what it needs.  Again, just a guess, but a NAS is always a good idea.
I wouldn't use the word "replace," but there's no word for "take over for you and make everything better almost immediately," so we just say "replace."

Jetpack

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #156 on: September 02, 2012, 10:34:11 PM »
If this can be pulled off, I wouldn't count on any current account info. surviving.

I'd be thrilled if I can just start over on one server.  Yeah, that would stink to go down to one server, but it would far preferable to what we will have on 12/1, and it would help grouping for all of us to be that one server.  I can't imagine there being more than one on any new venture.  But, tons of things to consider before getting to that point.

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #157 on: September 02, 2012, 11:08:52 PM »
From what we know so far, each "server" consists of a dbserver and one or more mapservers. The dbserver stores character data and brokers connections to the mapservers that serve each zone. Mapservers are also allocated on the fly to serve instanced missions.

The devs called them shards, and that's probably what I'll adopt when talking about them, because they don't necessarily have any relationship to physical servers. Two shards could share the same hardware if they are both low population, for instance. Because of the map server design, it's quite posssible to have a pool of mapservers that gets allocated to each shard as needed.

There's also the auth server that handles logins, the global chat server, the auction server, etc. etc. The global services maintain an open connection to the dbservers and mapservers.

Because of this design, depending on load, you could probably run ALL of the dbservers on a single machine, and run as many mapserver instances as you can on one or more others.

Also don't forget that servers can always be virtual. Even if it looks like a separate server, it could just be a VM instance that gets migrated to one of a number of phyiscal machines, as needed to balance out the load.

Torroes.Prime

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #158 on: September 03, 2012, 12:04:45 AM »
Hi TonyV,

I was thinking along the exact same lines when I was directed to your post. Though I am not a developer of CoH, I have extensive programming experience and infinite love for this game. If you ever do manage to get the rights/code/servers, and if you need help with development and/or game design, please drop me a line, and I'd be happy to help in a big way.

I can be reached at the e-mail: stronae at speakeasy dot net. (If you contact me through this, I'll happily share my CV.)

Thanks!

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dwturducken

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Re: Meanwhile, in the Halls of Titan...
« Reply #159 on: September 03, 2012, 12:18:40 AM »
Not to drag this into a nuts and bolts discussion, but virtualization does open possibilities, budget-wise, that I admit I hadn't considered, but I think you'd still want redundancy. That potentially takes it down to two machines, at most four.  I had forgotten that the company I worked for had just virtualized their two network controllers shortly before I left.  They had two machines that were each carrying half of their clients' servers, and they had probably a dozen on each when I left.  That was servers running Windows Server 03 or 08 for an office, though. (In one case, OS X Server.  We won't go there.  <shudder>)

And, yes, Jetpack, I meant to say that the best that we could hope for is that something can be done before the lights go out.  I guess I didn't state that implicitly.  I'm going through a little at a time and grabbing screenshots of my favorite characters in some of my favorite places.  My Iron Man clone in the donut in Overbrook/Faultline, for instance...
I wouldn't use the word "replace," but there's no word for "take over for you and make everything better almost immediately," so we just say "replace."