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[Zero] Building for 1.8.4...


Xenithar
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Alright, my Zero configuration currently uses 1.12.1 and most things are good. However, I miss what I personally consider to be "true" WoW, which was everything prior to 1.9. In 1.9 all pets essentially ceased to be unique and were stripped of their unique damage abilities. In a later patch they also made the animals shrink when tamed. These kind of upset me and while 1.12 is great, I really want to get back to basics without doing something illegal like modifying DBC files.

With that said, can I get an idea as to what I will need to change in Zero to make it work with 1.8.4? I have the original release of WoW (Collector's Edition) and it is something like 1.2 or 1.1 upon installation, and I have the major patches for almost every version. Would this be as simple as modifying the code to allow version 1.8.4 and then extracting the DBC, maps, vmaps, etc from the 1.8.4 client, or is there more to it than that?

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1. DBC structures may have changed. If that's the case you'll have to figure out what is different and how it should be represented.

2. Packet structure may have changed. (see above sentence). This is harder because you may not even know until something breaks. Your sources for fixing it are trial and error, or finding 1.8 (or earlier) packet logs, and I have no idea who would have them.

3. Some post-1.8 content would probably have to be removed, because of missing data. Mangos would probably refuse to load it, so removing it would only be to get rid of error messages.

Whether map structure has changed is up in the air. I doubt it has, but if it has, you'd have to fix it or mangos won't be able to use the maps.

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That's why we have the MaNGOS Wiki. You'll find a kinds of useful information, like the structure of DBC files. You'll find the link to it at the right-hand corner of the banner across the top of this site/forums.

The UDB Wiki has fairly extensive documentation on the structure and table format for a MaNGOS-compatible database.

The WoWDev Wiki is also another source of what is publicly known about the inner workings of the client.

I'm not sure how useful capturing packets will be, since the client and server will likely be sending some packets that neither understands, giving errors instead of data. IF you could find an archive of actual retail packet data for 1.8, it would serve you much better...pardon the pun.

For getting correct database information, that would require finding archives of actual retail players' WDB files, where game content they played through is cached in the client. You can also glean some database info from parsing the DBC files with SQL queries. Patman and Schmoo opened my eyes to that one, though I have no idea how that is done.

Maybe, if we both asked very politely, Patman or some other wise Jedi would be willing to impart knowledge on how to build a database for an unsupported client or at least how to get the data with the proper SQL syntax to parse the files.

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I can log packets easily. My problem would be the DBC files. As of this point I know absolutely nothing about the DBC file format. That would cripple me. Is the known format documented somewhere?

We have full documentation of the 3.3.5 DBC files. 1.12.1 you can find most of the data for in mangos. If you check mangos when it supported 1.8 you might be able to find what the formats are.

You can log packets client->server certainly, but you can't do it the other way. There are no official 1.8 servers. If a SMSG packet is broken, you would just have to guess at it or hope it was implemented in 1.8 mangos.

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The MaNGOS Git repository's history only goes as far back as client version 2.4.3.

The original Subversion repository still exists, which has the source revisions for client versions 1.6 to 2.4.3. Just be aware the older revisions were still very much a work-in-progress.

Here's the svn: svn co https://mangos.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/mangos mangos

Backporting Zero will be a lot of work. You may have to edit the extractors to work with 1.8.4 for obtaining maps, buildings, and DBC files. There are many hard-coded values in the core and scripts for class abilities, spells, and items that may need deleted or edited, as well. As you mentioned, pets behave much differently and that code will likely require some large revisions.

Things like packet captures and users' WDB caches may be extremely difficult to obtain from public resources, since that data is six years old. Many devs and their projects were squashed out of existence by lawyers, back when. It's possible someone has that data archived and could provide it for you.

You might be able to edit the exisiting Zero database to client 1.8.x values by also researching data archives in places like Allakhazam, Thottbot, and WoWHead. WoWWiki has sections with current and historical information for all the major client versions. Old YouTube game play videos might prove useful, too. Basically, you'll need to wear two hats... one as a developer and the other as a virtual historian, hunting for clues to rebuild the past.

One site you may find interesting is LostWoW, where many zones and features the existed in past clients are discussed and shown, but no longer exist in subsequent client versions. It mostly deals with beta areas that weren't part of gameplay, like Old Ironforge and Ironforge Airport, both of which are now playable areas in Cataclysm, oddly enough. However, places like Programmer's Island and the old Player Jail are reachable with the correct GM teleport coordinates in older clients.

I have a lot of things archived on my storage drive and optical disk, though I didn't get into MaNGOS until just around the release of client patch 2.4.3. If I can dig up anything that might help, I'll fire off a PM to you. I'm going to be tied up for the next few days, but it will be interesting to see what you manage to find. :cool:

Let's hope you'll pull it off and there will be a new, unofficial 1.8 branch of MaNGOS Zero, if not a new project entirely. I'm rooting for you! :)

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Thanks, Vladimir. I am already squeezed for time, but I may take this up. I originally started WoW in the beta, and played through until Cataclysm, growing less enchanted with each expansion. I miss what WoW was and if I can get that back and share it with some friends on my LAN, it would be well worth it.

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