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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:07 am 
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Apologies if this was already addressed somewhere else, but I was wondering with all the buzz about open source if there are any servers with fan ages up and running yet. RL has kept me away from the forums and MOUL for quite a bit and I am out of the loop. Any pointers, directions to other websites, etc., would be helpful.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:35 am 
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This is an obvious question. Especially for someone just coming into the community or returning after a considerable time away. Unfortunately there is no simple answer that is not misleading. So, here is a complex answer based on what I know.

There are private shards running on various types of servers. These are in a grey area of legality. The MOSS servers, officially legal, are just getting sorted out. While there are some running, the client/viewer needed to visit them is still being completed. Plus ages have been mostly made for the Path of The Shell (PoTS) client/viewer. Those ares are going to need conversion to the new Cyan Worlds Engine client/viewer.

So, while one can explore fan made content today the software needed to do so is mostly stand alone (single player) and in some grey area of legality. If you want to explore fan content check out the Guild of Writers' forum and wiki for the specific How To's.

The grapevine says some new content is coming to the MOULa server. But, 'when' is fluid.

Everything is new and changing. People are learning how things work, what needs to change, what is a problem, and what works. So AFAIK, fan content has not really debuted for general audiences on a type MOULa setup.

We also have the problem that Cyan has not licensed the main Uru content. So... whether the first up MOSS shards will include it is a question mark.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:26 am 
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Nalates is mostly right, except one thing (maybe not important to some people but very important to me as a developer): Server legality has nothing to do with the software. MOSS is just as legal as DirtSand which is just as legal as ALCUGS. Creating interoperable software is legal throughout the developed world. Cyan chose to somewhat sanction MOSS development (and I won't comment on that), but their blessing has never been legally required to write a server. The issue of server legality is the content, and here she's 100% correct - Cyan has not given a license to redistribute the data files. Currently the best solution is to instruct users to simply copy their existing Uru Live data files to a new folder for the new server. Kinda silly, but it works.

I've been working with a few artists already to help them get their work running in MOULagain/CWE. Give us another week or two and we might have some news. It's not a terribly complex process - most of the game code is very similar between POTS and CWE - but it does take a bit of testing, and occasionally things need to be reworked for multiplayer.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:46 pm 
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I know as soon as I understand how I need to change my Ages, all my Ages will be getting spiffy'd up for MOULa, probably with other updates I'm planning.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:02 pm 
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Thanks for the info. I have explored some of the fan ages a while ago via GoMa such as Ahra Pahts (sp?) and Zephyr Cove and I was very impressed. I hope to see some of these ages brought to a community server. In the meantime, I will keep an eye on the forums and pop my head in the cavern as much as I can to stay updated.

Thanks again!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:32 pm 
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PaladinOfKaos did a better job than I did of being clear about server legality.

I will point out that most of the legality issues are tangles in the area of file distribution. Specifically the Cyan content files, the PRP and other game content files. When one signs up and plays on the MOULa server that Cyan is running, the required files are downloaded from Cyan’s server.

It gets into a grey area whether a fan made client/viewer can pull files from the Cyan server and use them. Some of us see that as legal and a common practice for several proprietary software packages. Some fans probably don’t. There is also the issue of whether use of Cyan’s bandwidth in that way is fair to Cyan. We’ll likely never settle those issues until Cyan issues a statement and/or license for their content use. From what Cyan has said so far, I expect the download from Cyan to be their preferred way for fans to get the files.

There is nothing to keep a new version of CWE from searching the local computer for needed files and copying them. That would speed up the process and save Cyan some bandwidth. There are some technical issues with using ALL the files in place. But, many of the files could be used in place. The problem files could be copied to a new location and used there. I suppose that could get really complicated with updates and bug fixes if the various developments are not sync’d, which is unlikely.

If the needed files are not on the local machine then the CWE could go to the Cyan server and download them. There is no technical need to request that a ‘player’ sign into MOULa to get them.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:03 pm 
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I can't give a citation link as it was part of a "live" exchange during the run-up to releasing the CWE code, but the two pertinent things Chogon said in respect of content were a) when asked about the content data server (as was proposed for MORE), "That will be MOULa for now" and b) regarding a content license, "There is not a license yet." So, without a license, you can't distribute or modify the content files, hence the pfaff of copying to another location on the client. It's also worth remembering that essentially a shard is a server plus content - if you take "legal" server software (MOSS, Dirtsand) and put unlicensed content on it for download (e.g. Myst V) then you create an "illegal" shard. I don't know if Nalates was using the term "server" and loosely inferring "shard" at the same time or not, but I see the two as different.

But all of this is getting away from the OP's question, which was about shards where fan ages are playable. I kind of expected that several new legitimate open source shards would have sprung up by now, but they seem to be pretty thin on the ground as yet. I know of several people who've gone through the process of setting MOSS servers up but most people seem to be holding on to them for private use/testing. That's understandable to an extent because they may using quite modest hardware, but I thought a few of the old UU shard runners would have pitched in by now.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:07 pm 
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I suspect that the lack of fan servers is due to a lack of fan content. I'm happy to say that Friday will see my age, Llantern, released for OSMO, with work done to convert over some of the lower-hanging logic to multiplayer compatibility. But others will need to make servers which people can connect to to check out the content.

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