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Summary of conversation with Thomas

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Anonymous
January 31, 2005 4:03:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Dear group,

as discussed recently, I have sent an e-mail to Thomas to discuss
various issues important to the ADOM community. Since e-mail is not the
most efficient mode of communication for this purpose, I suggested
discussing the matters over the phone, to which Thomas agreed. The
conversation circled around three main topics:

1. The Future of ADOM
2. The Bug Database
3. Reverse Engineering

I will now provide a topic by topic summary.


1. The Future of ADOM

The good news first: ADOM is not dead!

At the moment, Thomas has only very limited time, but a new release is
definitely planned. Rumours that no new features will be added to ADOM
are unfounded, although the next version will likely only have minor
additions and mostly focus on fixing bugs. Thomas is reluctant to
announce anything definite because in the past it has turned out to be
nearly impossible to predict such things, but a new release should
likely emerge around this summer.

To dispel some other rumours, this new release will *not* be a final
release of ADOM. Thomas told me that even now, after two years without
an update, there are about 10000-15000 downloads per month on
www.adom.de, and this is sufficient reason to continue working on the
game. However, in the future Thomas would like to devote more of his
development time to JADE -- JADE development is fun, while ADOM
development is hard work due to the way the source code has developed
into a writhing mass of programming chaos over time.

Therefore, it is likely that after the next release, there will be a
change in procedure. In order to allow Thomas to focus on JADE, he plans
to change the development model of ADOM. Instead of the current one-man
system, he would like to turn into an effort by a small, closed group (a
kind of DevTeam, if you will) of maybe 4-5 people under his supervision.
Thomas will make all decisions regarding which features will or will not
be added to ADOM, but actual implementation, bug fixes and the like will
be delegated. ADOM will *not* go Open Source -- more regarding this
under the third topic.

With ADOM moving to a group development model, changes are also planned
for www.adom.de. Ideas include adding a Wiki, overhauling the bug
tracking system and turning the "Ancient Scroll of Mystery" into a real
blog with comment features. An often requested feature which is *not*
planned is a forum -- Thomas prefers good old newsgroups [and if a
personal comment is allowed here, I agree :-)]. However, all this
requires work that would detract from actual development, so it is not
clear if, when and how all this can be turned into practice. Do not hold
your breath.


2. The Bug Database

Again, the good news first: You can help with the bug database!

I have brought the discussions we had about the bug database to Thomas'
attention. I also mentioned that some people are no longer willing to
add bugs to the database because they do not think it is any useful. In
other words, something should be done.

I have recommended closing the bug and RFE databases for new submissions
for the near future, and to gather resources for consolidating the bug
list. Thomas has basically agreed to this procedure. Some time soon, he
will send me a text version of the bug and RFE databases. He asked me to
select some trustworthy people to go through the database and bring the
wealth of information into some useful shape. At this time, the best
process for this has not been decided, although some ideas have been
discussed. In any case, this is something to worry about once we get
rolling.

So, if you consider yourself trustworthy, go ahead and volunteer right
now! Both newsgroup postings and e-mails are fine. Please understand
that it might be the case that not everybody will be able to contribute
because we must strike a balance between the bug-weeding effort for
everybody involved and the communication effort. Once most of the
weeding out has been done, there will certainly be a public phase when
everybody can contribute, but for the bulk of the work, it is better not
to get bogged down in lengthy group discussions.

While the database is being consolidated, the submission features at
www.adom.de will be disabled so that we are not aiming at a moving target.


3. Reverse Engineering

Regarding this topic, Thomas stated his opinion very clearly: He does
not want people to disassemble ADOM for any purpose. He had already
planned to revised the ADOM license so that his opinion on this issue
will become very clear to everybody. He also briefly discussed the legal
aspects of this, mentioning the effort involved in international
lawsuits. So much for the summary, now for some details.

Most significantly, Thomas expressed his contempt for patches that
change the rules of the game. Patches that fix bugs might be acceptable,
but the line must be drawn very clearly. Of the existing patches, only
the one that fixes the ingot crash bug can be considered a bug fix. He
is considering making it publicly available on the ADOM web site before
the problem can be properly fixed with the new ADOM relase and asks
Vladimir to send it to him.

In addition to patches, he does not like programs that can be used for
cheating, and he has already implemented new countermeasures into ADOM
to detect if the state of the game has been tampered with. He said that
even though all protection can be cracked, it will take the cracker more
time to circumvent the protective measures than it took him to implement
them, and he hopes that they will eventually tire of such efforts.

Finally, Thomas is also very much against disassembling the executable
to discover game mechanics and secrets. He referred to the section in
readme.1st where it is stated that the good effect of ADOM staying
closed source is "that ADOM will remain the most challenging and
mysterious of all roguelike games, simply because you just can't take a
look into the sources and find all the secrets right away once a new
version is released".


That's it. I could comment on some of the issues, but want to keep the
summary and personal opinion separate, so I'll contribute to the
discussion later.

Malte
Anonymous
January 31, 2005 6:16:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Malte Helmert wrote:


> 2. The Bug Database
>
> Again, the good news first: You can help with the bug database!
>
> I have brought the discussions we had about the bug database to Thomas'
> attention. I also mentioned that some people are no longer willing to
> add bugs to the database because they do not think it is any useful. In
> other words, something should be done.
>
> I have recommended closing the bug and RFE databases for new submissions
> for the near future, and to gather resources for consolidating the bug
> list. Thomas has basically agreed to this procedure. Some time soon, he
> will send me a text version of the bug and RFE databases. He asked me to
> select some trustworthy people to go through the database and bring the
> wealth of information into some useful shape. At this time, the best
> process for this has not been decided, although some ideas have been
> discussed. In any case, this is something to worry about once we get
> rolling.
>
> So, if you consider yourself trustworthy, go ahead and volunteer right
> now! Both newsgroup postings and e-mails are fine. Please understand
> that it might be the case that not everybody will be able to contribute
> because we must strike a balance between the bug-weeding effort for
> everybody involved and the communication effort. Once most of the
> weeding out has been done, there will certainly be a public phase when
> everybody can contribute, but for the bulk of the work, it is better not
> to get bogged down in lengthy group discussions.
>
> While the database is being consolidated, the submission features at
> www.adom.de will be disabled so that we are not aiming at a moving
> target.
>
>

Definitely more than I hoped for. I still voulunteer to help with the bug
list.
I think there should be a single person reading through all the summarized
bug reports before posting them in order to eliminate doubles and maintain
roughly the same style. And it's a good idea to have any lengthy
discussion after compiling the list.

--
Five is a sufficiently close approximation to infinity.
-- Robert Firth
Anonymous
January 31, 2005 6:34:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

On 2005-01-31, Malte Helmert <helmert@informatik.uni-freiburg.de> wrote:

> 3. Reverse Engineering
>
> Most significantly, Thomas expressed his contempt for patches that
> change the rules of the game. Patches that fix bugs might be acceptable,
> but the line must be drawn very clearly. Of the existing patches, only
> the one that fixes the ingot crash bug can be considered a bug fix.

So what about adom-sage's colouring messages? I won't drop it!

koctyxa

--
ga³êzie nagich drzew u¶miechaj± siê zalotnie
Related resources
Anonymous
January 31, 2005 6:35:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

On 2005-01-31, xhoch3 <xhoch3@safe-mail.net> wrote:

> I think there should be a single person reading through all the summarized
> bug reports before posting them in order to eliminate doubles and maintain
> roughly the same style. And it's a good idea to have any lengthy
> discussion after compiling the list.

What about using sth like mantis bug tracker?

koctyxa
Anonymous
January 31, 2005 7:51:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

koctyxa wrote:
> On 2005-01-31, Malte Helmert <helmert@informatik.uni-freiburg.de> wrote:
>
>
>>3. Reverse Engineering
>>
>>Most significantly, Thomas expressed his contempt for patches that
>>change the rules of the game. Patches that fix bugs might be acceptable,
>>but the line must be drawn very clearly. Of the existing patches, only
>>the one that fixes the ingot crash bug can be considered a bug fix.
>
> So what about adom-sage's colouring messages? I won't drop it!

As far as I remember, ADOM Sage is merely an input/output filter is
neither a patched version of ADOM nor based on disassembly. You might
want to check with Joshua to be sure.

Malte
Anonymous
January 31, 2005 7:53:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

koctyxa wrote:
> On 2005-01-31, xhoch3 <xhoch3@safe-mail.net> wrote:
>
>
>>I think there should be a single person reading through all the summarized
>>bug reports before posting them in order to eliminate doubles and maintain
>>roughly the same style. And it's a good idea to have any lengthy
>>discussion after compiling the list.
>
> What about using sth like mantis bug tracker?

That was one of the options Thomas and I were considering. However, most
bug-tracking software are tailored towards open-source group development
and less suited for mostly closed-source projects with a single
developer, or very few developers. Thus I am not convinced that they are
the ideal solution.

In any case, let us not put the cart before the horse. The first step
should be going through those bugs and filtering out duplicates and rubbish.

Malte
January 31, 2005 9:07:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Malte Helmert wrote:

First and foremost I would have liked to offer a more
thorough response. Alas time only permits me to give brief
comments. Hope it will suffice.

> 1. The Future of ADOM
>
> The good news first: ADOM is not dead!
>

Most excellent news. ADOM itself will never die as long as
there are dedicated players. With a dedicated creator such
as Thomas the prospects are even better.

[SNIP]

> Therefore, it is likely that after the next release,
> there will be a change in procedure. In order to allow
> Thomas to focus on JADE, he plans to change the
> development model of ADOM. Instead of the current
> one-man system, he would like to turn into an effort by
> a small, closed group (a kind of DevTeam, if you will)
> of maybe 4-5 people under his supervision. Thomas will
> make all decisions regarding which features will or will
> not be added to ADOM, but actual implementation, bug
> fixes and the like will be delegated. ADOM will *not* go
> Open Source -- more regarding this under the third
> topic.
>

The M stands for mystery and the game should continue to
be that. I support the idea of a closed dev team.

[SNIP]

> 2. The Bug Database
>
> Again, the good news first: You can help with the bug
> database!
>
> I have brought the discussions we had about the bug
> database to Thomas' attention. I also mentioned that
> some people are no longer willing to add bugs to the
> database because they do not think it is any useful. In
> other words, something should be done.
>
> I have recommended closing the bug and RFE databases for
> new submissions for the near future, and to gather
> resources for consolidating the bug list. Thomas has
> basically agreed to this procedure. Some time soon, he
> will send me a text version of the bug and RFE
> databases. He asked me to select some trustworthy people
> to go through the database and bring the wealth of
> information into some useful shape. At this time, the
> best process for this has not been decided, although
> some ideas have been discussed. In any case, this is
> something to worry about once we get rolling.
>
> So, if you consider yourself trustworthy, go ahead and
> volunteer right now! Both newsgroup postings and e-mails
> are fine. Please understand that it might be the case
> that not everybody will be able to contribute because we
> must strike a balance between the bug-weeding effort for
> everybody involved and the communication effort. Once
> most of the weeding out has been done, there will
> certainly be a public phase when everybody can
> contribute, but for the bulk of the work, it is better
> not to get bogged down in lengthy group discussions.
>
> While the database is being consolidated, the submission
> features at www.adom.de will be disabled so that we are
> not aiming at a moving target.
>

I will gladly volunteer as trustworthy. However I have
subjective opinions that will most likely colour my views
on priority. I have used my own subjective order of
imporantance prior in the original bug list thread. I
presume this is why it is imperative that there is a team
of bug sorters - to minimize personal impact on the matter
and asure every entry recieves equal attention.

Also I cannot promise much of my time. Sadly I can be
really busy at times.

> 3. Reverse Engineering
>
> Regarding this topic, Thomas stated his opinion very
> clearly: He does not want people to disassemble ADOM for
> any purpose. He had already planned to revised the ADOM
> license so that his opinion on this issue will become
> very clear to everybody. He also briefly discussed the
> legal aspects of this, mentioning the effort involved in
> international lawsuits. So much for the summary, now for
> some details.
>
> Most significantly, Thomas expressed his contempt for
> patches that change the rules of the game. Patches that
> fix bugs might be acceptable, but the line must be drawn
> very clearly. Of the existing patches, only the one that
> fixes the ingot crash bug can be considered a bug fix.
> He is considering making it publicly available on the
> ADOM web site before the problem can be properly fixed
> with the new ADOM relase and asks Vladimir to send it to
> him.
>
> In addition to patches, he does not like programs that
> can be used for cheating, and he has already implemented
> new countermeasures into ADOM to detect if the state of
> the game has been tampered with. He said that even
> though all protection can be cracked, it will take the
> cracker more time to circumvent the protective measures
> than it took him to implement them, and he hopes that
> they will eventually tire of such efforts.
>
> Finally, Thomas is also very much against disassembling
> the executable to discover game mechanics and secrets.
> He referred to the section in readme.1st where it is
> stated that the good effect of ADOM staying closed
> source is "that ADOM will remain the most challenging
> and mysterious of all roguelike games, simply because
> you just can't take a look into the sources and find all
> the secrets right away once a new version is released".
>

I will boil this down to a simple comment. Good. Not that
I hate the idea of disecting the game and discover new
secrets. Heavens, it's a personal sport of mine to do so.
However decreasing (or even better eliminating)
code-diving will make the job more interesting and fun. It
will also eliminate the Piper syndrome where you
eventually feel there are no significant breakthroughs
left and you loose interest in the game.
Anonymous
January 31, 2005 9:17:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 13:03:43 +0100, Malte Helmert wrote:

> Most significantly, Thomas expressed his contempt for patches that
> change the rules of the game. Patches that fix bugs might be acceptable,
> but the line must be drawn very clearly. Of the existing patches, only
> the one that fixes the ingot crash bug can be considered a bug fix. He
> is considering making it publicly available on the ADOM web site before
> the problem can be properly fixed with the new ADOM relase and asks
> Vladimir to send it to him.

Shortly after posting the patch to the newsgroup, Thomas e-mailed me
asking for more details on how he could fix the bug. I replied,
providing as much detail as possible, however never got a confirmation.

How can I send it to him and be sure he gets it?
Also, the patch was always accessible at ToGu's page at
http://www.stud.ntnu.no/~houeland/adom/ .

> In addition to patches, he does not like programs that can be used for
> cheating, and he has already implemented new countermeasures into ADOM
> to detect if the state of the game has been tampered with. He said that
> even though all protection can be cracked, it will take the cracker more
> time to circumvent the protective measures than it took him to implement
> them, and he hopes that they will eventually tire of such efforts.

If I remove all cheating features from AdomBot, as well as all
complements such as the MonsterDex both from the web-site and AdomBot
package, and leave out only sounds and demo recording, will that
correspond to his wishes?

Also, you mentioned he despises using reverse engineering to find out
internal game details. What about accessing the game memory? I was
planning for the next AdomBot version to make reading and writing to
ADOM's memory possible with scripts. Or should I remove the scripting
feature altogether from AdomBot?

> So, if you consider yourself trustworthy, go ahead and volunteer right
> now! Both newsgroup postings and e-mails are fine. Please understand
> that it might be the case that not everybody will be able to contribute
> because we must strike a balance between the bug-weeding effort for
> everybody involved and the communication effort. Once most of the
> weeding out has been done, there will certainly be a public phase when
> everybody can contribute, but for the bulk of the work, it is better not
> to get bogged down in lengthy group discussions.

If you consider me worthy enough, count me in.

--





This space intentionally left blank
Anonymous
January 31, 2005 9:17:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Vladimir Panteleev wrote:

> Shortly after posting the patch to the newsgroup, Thomas e-mailed me
> asking for more details on how he could fix the bug. I replied,
> providing as much detail as possible, however never got a confirmation.

It might have got lost in the noise, or even hit a spam barrier. Thomas
said that one of his e-mail providers used a fairly unreliable spam filter.

> How can I send it to him and be sure he gets it?

I guess we need to establish a sure communication channel for important
issues -- this would be one of them. I guess we will need to think about
this anyway when we have a look at the bugs.

>>In addition to patches, he does not like programs that can be used for
>>cheating, and he has already implemented new countermeasures into ADOM
>>to detect if the state of the game has been tampered with. He said that
>>even though all protection can be cracked, it will take the cracker more
>>time to circumvent the protective measures than it took him to implement
>>them, and he hopes that they will eventually tire of such efforts.
>
> If I remove all cheating features from AdomBot, as well as all
> complements such as the MonsterDex both from the web-site and AdomBot
> package, and leave out only sounds and demo recording, will that
> correspond to his wishes?

I guess that only Thomas can answer these questions. He said that he might
watch this thread in r.g.r.adom, so maybe this is a way of getting into
contact.

> Also, you mentioned he despises using reverse engineering to find out
> internal game details. What about accessing the game memory? I was
> planning for the next AdomBot version to make reading and writing to
> ADOM's memory possible with scripts. Or should I remove the scripting
> feature altogether from AdomBot?

Without looking at the code, you cannot really do much interesting stuff
for scripts with game memory, can you?

>>So, if you consider yourself trustworthy, go ahead and volunteer right
>>now!
>
> If you consider me worthy enough, count me in.

Great! Can you contact me by e-mail?

Malte
Anonymous
January 31, 2005 9:23:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 15:34:02 +0000 (UTC), koctyxa wrote:

> On 2005-01-31, Malte Helmert <helmert@informatik.uni-freiburg.de> wrote:
>
>> 3. Reverse Engineering
>>
>> Most significantly, Thomas expressed his contempt for patches that
>> change the rules of the game. Patches that fix bugs might be acceptable,
>> but the line must be drawn very clearly. Of the existing patches, only
>> the one that fixes the ingot crash bug can be considered a bug fix.
>
> So what about adom-sage's colouring messages? I won't drop it!

Adom-Sage is not a patch. It is simply a program that runs the Linux
version of ADOM, and intercepts its calls to system functions to change
their behavior. I don't think that reverse-engineering was used to write
it.

--





This space intentionally left blank
January 31, 2005 10:34:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Malte Helmert wrote:
> Dear group,
>
> To dispel some other rumours, this new release will *not* be a final
> release of ADOM. Thomas told me that even now, after two years without
> an update, there are about 10000-15000 downloads per month on
> www.adom.de, and this is sufficient reason to continue working on the
> game. However, in the future Thomas would like to devote more of his
> development time to JADE -- JADE development is fun, while ADOM
> development is hard work due to the way the source code has developed
> into a writhing mass of programming chaos over time.

Cool! Now tell him to fix his donation link :p  I was all set and ready to
send him some money around Xmas, and it took me to a german donation page.
I'm not donating in a language I can't read. I mailed him about it and
recieved no response...

> Therefore, it is likely that after the next release, there will be a
> change in procedure. In order to allow Thomas to focus on JADE, he
> plans to change the development model of ADOM. Instead of the current
> one-man system, he would like to turn into an effort by a small,
> closed group (a kind of DevTeam, if you will) of maybe 4-5 people
> under his supervision. Thomas will make all decisions regarding which
> features will or will not be added to ADOM, but actual
> implementation, bug fixes and the like will be delegated. ADOM will
> *not* go Open Source -- more regarding this
> under the third topic.

This is very good news.

> With ADOM moving to a group development model, changes are also
> planned for www.adom.de. Ideas include adding a Wiki, overhauling the
> bug tracking system and turning the "Ancient Scroll of Mystery" into
> a real blog with comment features. An often requested feature which
> is *not* planned is a forum -- Thomas prefers good old newsgroups
> [and if a personal comment is allowed here, I agree :-)]. However,
> all this requires work that would detract from actual development, so
> it is not clear if, when and how all this can be turned into
> practice. Do not hold your breath.

This strikes me as counter-intuitive with his third point below. If he
doesn't want any reverse engineering/cheating/etc, but he does want a wiki
that tracks bugs and wants a team of devs, how exactly are people supposed
to locate obscure stuff? Some things are simply not apparent, and some
recent bugs only turned up after code diving turned up anamolies. Adom lacks
Nethack's Explore/Wizard mode, and if he doesn't want people hacking away at
it, it needs some other method of experimentation. Indeed, a similar feature
was mentioned long, long ago in concert with Adom Deluxe.

>
> 2. The Bug Database
>
> Again, the good news first: You can help with the bug database!

[snip]
All good news

>
> 3. Reverse Engineering
[snip]
> Finally, Thomas is also very much against disassembling the executable
> to discover game mechanics and secrets. He referred to the section in
> readme.1st where it is stated that the good effect of ADOM staying
> closed source is "that ADOM will remain the most challenging and
> mysterious of all roguelike games, simply because you just can't take
> a look into the sources and find all the secrets right away once a new
> version is released".

This is his right and perogative, but that cat is already out of the bag.
People *will* get the information they want, one way or another. I'd rather
he simply included an in-game mechanism to achieve the same, if he doesn't
want people hacking away at the executable. In most (all?) cases, it isn't
malicious. It's simply curious fans. And without some method of testing
extreme/odd cases, some bugs will never become apparent.

> That's it. I could comment on some of the issues, but want to keep the
> summary and personal opinion separate, so I'll contribute to the
> discussion later.
>
> Malte

Thanks for talking with him, good to hear this stuff from the source.
Anonymous
January 31, 2005 11:18:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 17:51:56 +0100, Malte Helmert wrote:

> Vladimir Panteleev wrote:
>
>> Also, you mentioned he despises using reverse engineering to find out
>> internal game details. What about accessing the game memory? I was
>> planning for the next AdomBot version to make reading and writing to
>> ADOM's memory possible with scripts. Or should I remove the scripting
>> feature altogether from AdomBot?
>
> Without looking at the code, you cannot really do much interesting stuff
> for scripts with game memory, can you?

Actually, it is possible to locate the address of a certain variable in
memory by searching and sieving results. For example, if you wish to
find the address of the variable holding your PC's HP, you search for
all integer values containing the number of your hit points. Then you
modify the value in-game (get hurt or heal up), and search among the
results of the previous search. Repeat until the correct address is
found.

There are numerous programs that have a specialized interface for such
an "universal" cheating method, such as TSearch, GenTrain and ArtMoney.

However, with the new cheating protection you mentioned I believe this
method won't work (if Thomas meant the same system I have in mind).

Before starting to disassemble ADOM, I relied on such memory hacking to
find required information. AdomBot 1 and 2, which only featured the bot
and the demo recorder, was written before I had access to the game
internals.

--





This space intentionally left blank
Anonymous
January 31, 2005 11:18:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Vladimir Panteleev wrote:
> On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 17:51:56 +0100, Malte Helmert wrote:
>
>>Without looking at the code, you cannot really do much interesting stuff
>>for scripts with game memory, can you?
>
> Actually, it is possible to locate the address of a certain variable in
> memory by searching and sieving results. For example, if you wish to
> find the address of the variable holding your PC's HP, you search for
> all integer values containing the number of your hit points. Then you
> modify the value in-game (get hurt or heal up), and search among the
> results of the previous search. Repeat until the correct address is
> found.
>
> There are numerous programs that have a specialized interface for such
> an "universal" cheating method, such as TSearch, GenTrain and ArtMoney.

I know about that techique. I mentioned that in the original draft of my
posting, but removed it because it seems primarily useful for cheating,
not for scripting.

I don't see how it could be used for actual scripting; can it?

Malte
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 12:58:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 19:27:39 +0100, Malte Helmert wrote:

> Vladimir Panteleev wrote:
>> There are numerous programs that have a specialized interface for such
>> an "universal" cheating method, such as TSearch, GenTrain and ArtMoney.
>
> I know about that techique. I mentioned that in the original draft of my
> posting, but removed it because it seems primarily useful for cheating,
> not for scripting.
>
> I don't see how it could be used for actual scripting; can it?

Once you know the address, you can do with the value at that address
whatever you want. If you're smart enough, you can find the address of
the dungeon map (with the help of wands of digging, door/trap creation),
and then use those addresses in a script, which can be potentially used
for cheating (peek on the whole level map). And so on.

And generally, a game bot, like the one in 1, 2 and early 3.x versions,
is close to cheating. It can be used to exploit such things as the WDL
<spoily> bomb, or scum for items in the ID.

--





This space intentionally left blank
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 2:15:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Vladimir Panteleev wrote:

> Malte Helmert wrote:
>
>> Vladimir Panteleev wrote:
>>> There are numerous programs that have a specialized interface for such
>>> an "universal" cheating method, such as TSearch, GenTrain and ArtMoney.
>>
>> I know about that techique. I mentioned that in the original draft of my
>> posting, but removed it because it seems primarily useful for cheating,
>> not for scripting.
>>
>> I don't see how it could be used for actual scripting; can it?
>
> Once you know the address, you can do with the value at that address
> whatever you want. If you're smart enough, you can find the address of
> the dungeon map (with the help of wands of digging, door/trap creation),
> and then use those addresses in a script, which can be potentially used
> for cheating (peek on the whole level map). And so on.
>
> And generally, a game bot, like the one in 1, 2 and early 3.x versions,
> is close to cheating. It can be used to exploit such things as the WDL
> <spoily> bomb, or scum for items in the ID.
>

I do think we need some means of cheating. Without reverse engineering it
will already be quite hard to detect game mechanics (and thus bugs), but
without any cheating it's nearly impossible. Eg: You will never get the
needed quantities of an item to do a sufficent statistical research. And
even save-scumming is cheating, so it'd be quite hard to explore eg
late-game monsters/effects. We don't need to mess around with editing the
RAM (I guess Thomas wouldn't like it anyway), but to keep at least the
scripting bit would be nice.
But it is a fact that without reverse engineering we would not know about
certain bugs. We couldn't be sure whether falling at least once when
entering the rift is a bug. Now I don't want to support reverse
engineering, it's illegal after all, that's just something to think about.
Though I hope we will be able to ask these planned other adom developers
if we discover a possible bug.


--
"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a
vacuum."
-- Arthur C. Clarke
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 2:19:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

xhoch3 <xhoch3@safe-mail.net> wrote in
news:o pslhmsjrgyiru7u@linux.local:


>
> I do think we need some means of cheating.

Why? It is possible to beat the game without doing so, and I believe some
have even done so without resorting to spoilers. Cheating at ADOM is like
cheating at Solitaire.
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 5:52:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

From: koctyxa jaq@artemida.wywalamy.spam.amu.edu.pl
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 15:34:02 +0000 (UTC)

> So what about adom-sage's colouring messages? I won't drop it!

I seem to recall a previous statement that he didn't mind AdomSage, since it
just intercepts system calls to the display and keyboard. No internal workings
are revealed that aren't already common knowledge.

ADoMBot, on the other hand, is in a somewhat more questionable state of
affairs, even though it's primary purpose is as an automaton, not a cheat
device.
February 1, 2005 10:42:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Malte Helmert wrote:
> Marcus wrote:
>
>> Malte Helmert wrote:
>>
>>
>> Mysterious doesn't do much for me. Fun, well balanced and
> > bug free does ;) 
>
> From this and your other comments, I'd say that you should also try
> out some other roguelikes, which fit your philosophy well. Which ones
> have you tried?
>
> Malte

Angband (V, O, Pern/Tome, Z, various others to a lesser degree), Nethack
(just finished my first two ascensions this month), Slash'Em, Crawl, Doom,
and a bunch of other miscellaneous and/or lesser known ones. I like
different aspects about each (and naturally, am annoyed by different aspects
as well ;) 
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 11:01:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

> xhoch3 wrote:
*snip*
> But it is a fact that without reverse engineering we would not know
> about certain bugs. We couldn't be sure whether falling at least once
> when entering the rift is a bug. Now I don't want to support reverse
> engineering, it's illegal after all, that's just something to think
> about. Though I hope we will be able to ask these planned other adom
> developers if we discover a possible bug.

IIRC reverse engineering for educational purposes (not commercial of any
kind) is legal in EU. At least it was few years back, when I checked on
things like that. As long as no-one makes money with information gained
from reverse engineering (not meaning in-game money) it is legal.

-JM
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 2:54:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Juho-Mikko Pellinen wrote:

> > xhoch3 wrote:
> *snip*
>> But it is a fact that without reverse engineering we would not know
>> about certain bugs. We couldn't be sure whether falling at least once
>> when entering the rift is a bug. Now I don't want to support reverse
>> engineering, it's illegal after all, that's just something to think
>> about. Though I hope we will be able to ask these planned other adom
>> developers if we discover a possible bug.
>
> IIRC reverse engineering for educational purposes (not commercial of any
> kind) is legal in EU. At least it was few years back, when I checked on
> things like that. As long as no-one makes money with information gained
> from reverse engineering (not meaning in-game money) it is legal.
>

I don't think it is allowed in Germany. And it's certainly not allowed in
this case since Thomas explicitly said it is not. There could be a
'loophole' for fixing bugs, but that's not all too certain either. And I
don't agree that 'educational' is the same as 'not commercial'.



--
There can be no twisted thought without a twisted molecule.
-- R. W. Gerard
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 3:03:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

anxious triffid <anxioustriffid@INFEAROFSPAMfserve.co.uk> wrote:

> xhoch3 <xhoch3@safe-mail.net> wrote in
> news:o pslhmsjrgyiru7u@linux.local:
>
>
>>
>> I do think we need some means of cheating.
>
> Why? It is possible to beat the game without doing so, and I believe some
> have even done so without resorting to spoilers. Cheating at ADOM is like
> cheating at Solitaire.

You snipped the parts where I explained what use cheating has. For me
scripting is just another form of cheating and lot's of information in the
guidebook was obtained this way (eg information about amuletts of order).
If you believe that ADOM is closed source, because everybody should
explore the game by playing then even the guidebook itself is some kind of
cheat. If you don't want information about game mechanics that's fine, but
there are lot's of others who want to.

--
It's not reality or how you perceive things that's important -- it's what
you're taking for it...
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 3:54:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

bork bork bork Marcus bork 1:42:02 PM bork 2/1/2005 bork bork:

[Malte: What other games have you tried? It may be another roguelike has that
which ADOM is missing for you.]

> Angband (V, O, Pern/Tome, Z, various others to a lesser degree), Nethack
> (just finished my first two ascensions this month), Slash'Em, Crawl, Doom,
> and a bunch of other miscellaneous and/or lesser known ones. I like
> different aspects about each (and naturally, am annoyed by different aspects
> as well ;) 

<advocacy>Darshan's (so-called) Travel Patch, and especially recent
improvements to it, have made Crawl quite a different game than it was at the
time when 4.00b26 was released roughly two years ago. You might want to take
a new look at it. Travelling and inventory management have become much, much
less annoying.</advocacy>

Erik
February 1, 2005 3:54:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Erik Piper wrote:
> bork bork bork Marcus bork 1:42:02 PM bork 2/1/2005 bork bork:
>
> [Malte: What other games have you tried? It may be another roguelike
> has that which ADOM is missing for you.]
>
>> Angband (V, O, Pern/Tome, Z, various others to a lesser degree),
>> Nethack (just finished my first two ascensions this month),
>> Slash'Em, Crawl, Doom, and a bunch of other miscellaneous and/or
>> lesser known ones. I like different aspects about each (and
>> naturally, am annoyed by different aspects as well ;) 
>
> <advocacy>Darshan's (so-called) Travel Patch, and especially recent
> improvements to it, have made Crawl quite a different game than it
> was at the time when 4.00b26 was released roughly two years ago. You
> might want to take a new look at it. Travelling and inventory
> management have become much, much less annoying.</advocacy>
>
> Erik

Ah, that'd be the version I play ;)  In fact...

http://crawlj.sourceforge.jp/down_e.html

That one frequently, which is a modification of Darshan's patch with a
really nice set of tiles included. I generally always prefer ascii, but
Crawl works quite well with these tiles.
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 4:43:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

xhoch3 wrote:

> anxious triffid <anxioustriffid@INFEAROFSPAMfserve.co.uk> wrote:
>
>> Why? It is possible to beat the game without doing so, and I believe some
>> have even done so without resorting to spoilers. Cheating at ADOM is like
>> cheating at Solitaire.
>
> You snipped the parts where I explained what use cheating has. For me
> scripting is just another form of cheating and lot's of information in
> the guidebook was obtained this way (eg information about amuletts of
> order).

Yes, gathering that information required save scumming. However, in my
opinion, there is a significant difference between black box testing and
white box testing.

> If you believe that ADOM is closed source, because everybody
> should explore the game by playing then even the guidebook itself is
> some kind of cheat. If you don't want information about game mechanics
> that's fine, but there are lot's of others who want to.

I think that Thomas enjoys it if the community finds out something by
trying and playing and posts it for everyone; I think that's one of the
reasons he wanted to have an official ADOM wiki. The distinction is not
between "I should discover it personally" and "The group should discover
it". The distinction is between discovering it by playing or by looking
at the code.

Malte
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 4:50:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Malte Helmert <helmert@informatik.uni-freiburg.de> wrote:

> xhoch3 wrote:
>
>> anxious triffid <anxioustriffid@INFEAROFSPAMfserve.co.uk> wrote:
>>
>>> Why? It is possible to beat the game without doing so, and I believe
>>> some
>>> have even done so without resorting to spoilers. Cheating at ADOM is
>>> like
>>> cheating at Solitaire.
>> You snipped the parts where I explained what use cheating has. For me
>> scripting is just another form of cheating and lot's of information in
>> the guidebook was obtained this way (eg information about amuletts of
>> order).
>
> Yes, gathering that information required save scumming. However, in my
> opinion, there is a significant difference between black box testing and
> white box testing.
>

I never meant cheating by editing the RAM or disassembling adom. I just
wanted to keep adombot's ability to automize game actions which is some
kind of cheating in my opinion. And it is still black box testing. It's
just not possible to get the needed quantities of eg scrolls of balance
while playing yourself to ever validate how much effect the amulett of
order has.

>> If you believe that ADOM is closed source, because everybody
>> should explore the game by playing then even the guidebook itself is
>> some kind of cheat. If you don't want information about game mechanics
>> that's fine, but there are lot's of others who want to.
>
> I think that Thomas enjoys it if the community finds out something by
> trying and playing and posts it for everyone; I think that's one of the
> reasons he wanted to have an official ADOM wiki. The distinction is not
> between "I should discover it personally" and "The group should discover
> it". The distinction is between discovering it by playing or by looking
> at the code.
>

That's perfect with me. I just wanted to give an example how broad the
meaning of the word cheating can be, so if you say cheating is evil, you'd
have to say what sort of cheating you actually mean.


--
rgra bug list: http://adombugs.100free.com/
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 4:59:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Juho-Mikko Pellinen wrote:

> > xhoch3 wrote:
> *snip*
>
>> But it is a fact that without reverse engineering we would not know
>> about certain bugs. We couldn't be sure whether falling at least once
>> when entering the rift is a bug. Now I don't want to support reverse
>> engineering, it's illegal after all, that's just something to think
>> about. Though I hope we will be able to ask these planned other adom
>> developers if we discover a possible bug.
>
> IIRC reverse engineering for educational purposes (not commercial of any
> kind) is legal in EU. At least it was few years back, when I checked on
> things like that. As long as no-one makes money with information gained
> from reverse engineering (not meaning in-game money) it is legal.

No; whether or not it is allowed has nothing to do with money
whatsoever. There are some exceptions for educational use in
universities and the like, but even in those cases, you would never be
allowed to pass the information on to outsiders, like posting it on the
newsgroup or putting it on the web. Even passing it on to other
researchers is out of limits. Trust me on this; I work as a researcher
and know about this from personal experience.

Besides, I have read the law text. I don't want to start another
discussion with people who haven't. ;-)

Malte
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 6:14:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Erik Piper wrote:
> bork bork bork Marcus bork 1:42:02 PM bork 2/1/2005 bork bork:
>
> [Malte: What other games have you tried? It may be another roguelike has that
> which ADOM is missing for you.]

I'd advocate writing this as "Malte wrote:" or some such. I first
understood this as a question directed at me. :-)

>>Angband (V, O, Pern/Tome, Z, various others to a lesser degree), Nethack
>>(just finished my first two ascensions this month), Slash'Em, Crawl, Doom,
>>and a bunch of other miscellaneous and/or lesser known ones. I like
>>different aspects about each (and naturally, am annoyed by different aspects
>>as well ;) 
>
> <advocacy>Darshan's (so-called) Travel Patch, and especially recent
> improvements to it, have made Crawl quite a different game than it was at the
> time when 4.00b26 was released roughly two years ago. You might want to take
> a new look at it. Travelling and inventory management have become much, much
> less annoying.</advocacy>

When I first tried Crawl, I was repelled by the bad user interface and
general ugliness, but once you've got used to it, it's a truly great
game. I enjoy it a lot even without Darsham's patches.

Another roguelike game I'd recommend giving a good try is GearHead. I
don't know zilch about anime and mecha, but still I think this is a
thoroughly enjoyable game with many great ideas.

Malte
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 6:36:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

xhoch3 wrote:
> Malte Helmert <helmert@informatik.uni-freiburg.de> wrote:
>
> I never meant cheating by editing the RAM or disassembling adom. I just
> wanted to keep adombot's ability to automize game actions which is some
> kind of cheating in my opinion. And it is still black box testing. It's
> just not possible to get the needed quantities of eg scrolls of balance
> while playing yourself to ever validate how much effect the amulett of
> order has.

I'm not sure if that's a good example, since that was done without ADOMBot.

>> I think that Thomas enjoys it if the community finds out something by
>> trying and playing and posts it for everyone; I think that's one of
>> the reasons he wanted to have an official ADOM wiki. The distinction
>> is not between "I should discover it personally" and "The group
>> should discover it". The distinction is between discovering it by
>> playing or by looking at the code.
>>
> That's perfect with me. I just wanted to give an example how broad the
> meaning of the word cheating can be, so if you say cheating is evil,
> you'd have to say what sort of cheating you actually mean.

Do you mean the general "you" (like "one")? Because I never said that
"cheating is evil". You were replying to anxious triffid, not to me
(although I don't think he said that either).

Unless I am misrepresenting other people's opinion, *you* are the one
who persistently argues that these things are cheating. What statement
that anyone has made do you disagree with?

Malte
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 7:06:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

bork bork bork Malte Helmert bork 3:14:45 PM bork 2/1/2005 bork bork:

> Erik Piper wrote:
> > bork bork bork Marcus bork 1:42:02 PM bork 2/1/2005 bork bork:
> >
> > [Malte: What other games have you tried? It may be another roguelike has
> > that which ADOM is missing for you.]
>
> I'd advocate writing this as "Malte wrote:" or some such. I first
> understood this as a question directed at me. :-)

I use the "Person:" approach a lot, but it tends to work better when multiple
people are quoted or when I'm quoting the person I'm replying to. Sorry.

[...]

> When I first tried Crawl, I was repelled by the bad user interface and
> general ugliness, but once you've got used to it, it's a truly great game.
> I enjoy it a lot even without Darsham's patches.

Situations like these are, I guess, why the phrase "YMMV" was born. Great
though it is, and even though I could always handle the ugliness, my early
attempts to get into Crawl crashed into the interface troubles like into a
brick wall. Far worse for me than even the "there's a jackal pack by my
starting position" problem, which is something I got used to (partly by
finding solutions and partly by just counting these as a small and acceptable
waste of time).

YMMV. :-)

Erik
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 8:34:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Erik Piper wrote:
> bork bork bork Malte Helmert bork 3:14:45 PM bork 2/1/2005 bork bork:
>
>>Erik Piper wrote:
>>
>>>[Malte: What other games have you tried? It may be another roguelike has
>>>that which ADOM is missing for you.]
>>
>>I'd advocate writing this as "Malte wrote:" or some such. I first
>>understood this as a question directed at me. :-)
>
> I use the "Person:" approach a lot, but it tends to work better when multiple
> people are quoted or when I'm quoting the person I'm replying to. Sorry.

I think it's only problematic if the first thing after the colon is a
question. :-)

Malte
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 1:00:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

On Tue, 01 Feb 2005 13:50:35 +0100, xhoch3 wrote:

> Malte Helmert <helmert@informatik.uni-freiburg.de> wrote:
>
>> I think that Thomas enjoys it if the community finds out something by
>> trying and playing and posts it for everyone; I think that's one of the
>> reasons he wanted to have an official ADOM wiki. The distinction is not
>> between "I should discover it personally" and "The group should discover
>> it". The distinction is between discovering it by playing or by looking
>> at the code.
>>
>
> That's perfect with me. I just wanted to give an example how broad the
> meaning of the word cheating can be, so if you say cheating is evil, you'd
> have to say what sort of cheating you actually mean.

Here's a quote from "Cracking Adom CRC" by Jumping Spider.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

"Whenever a group of people gather on a given topic for any length of
time, a culture emerges. Usually the nature of a democratic forum
prevents the culture from adopting extreme positions, even though many
of the members of that community may have such strong feelings. By and
large, the Adom community is no different. One position that has been
championed to the extreme, however, is a disdain for cheating, hacking,
scumming or abusing the game in any way. People who engage in such
activity are publicly and forcefully scorned in the Adom community.

I could go on about how this has affected the Adom community for both
good and ill, but I won't. Personally, I like the Adom community just
fine the way it is.

But let's get one thing straight: I am an outsider to that community. I
cheat. I cheat a lot. I don't play games for the challenge of playing
them; I play to relax. Personally, games that are difficult or
challenging are not the way I like to spend my time. I am by profession
a programmer who happens to have an enjoyable, rewarding, high-stress
job where I am frustrated and challenged every day with the pressures of
the software community. When I get home, I like to do something
different.

For me, the perfect way to blow off some stress is to load up Quake,
stick in a Gravity Kills CD, crank it to max, switch to God Mode, and
slaughter everything in the game with nothing but the hatchet. For me,
*that's* entertainment."

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Now, a few words from me.

I believe the moral aspect of cheating is something very personal.
Cheating is very normal for some people. Sometimes, when playing the
game becomes hard and losing becomes extremely annoying, the player
usually either drops the game, or looks for methods to cheat. And if he
likes the game, at some point playing with cheats becomes boring, and,
now more experienced, the player can return to playing the game honestly
again.

Remember those who save-scummed. We all do it just for a while, until we
feel we are ready to play the game For Real. If save-scumming were
somehow made impossible, I doubt that would add to ADOM's popularity.
And save-scumming is just a variation of cheating.

Although I understand Thomas wants people to play his game fair and
square, I think he should concentrate on concealing those secrets we
"code-divers" so easily find, as well as the numerous bugs and other
stuff.

Note: I feel loosely connected to my language skills today. What I wrote
above might not represent my actual opinion.

--





This space intentionally left blank
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 1:00:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Vladimir Panteleev wrote:

> Now, a few words from me.
>
> I believe the moral aspect of cheating is something very personal.

Agreed, at least as long as public highscores etc. are not involved, and
as long as it *stays* personal. For example, everybody is entitled to
their own personal political opinions, but I would prefer them not to
discuss them in this newsgroup.

> Cheating is very normal for some people. Sometimes, when playing the
> game becomes hard and losing becomes extremely annoying, the player
> usually either drops the game, or looks for methods to cheat. And if he
> likes the game, at some point playing with cheats becomes boring, and,
> now more experienced, the player can return to playing the game honestly
> again.

Again, agreed, although some people have stated here in the past that
the mere *opportunity* for cheating has changed the game for them so
much that they don't enjoy it any more. Kind of a variation of the Piper
syndrome. ;-)

> Remember those who save-scummed. We all do it just for a while, until we
> feel we are ready to play the game For Real. If save-scumming were
> somehow made impossible, I doubt that would add to ADOM's popularity.
> And save-scumming is just a variation of cheating.

Agreed.

> Although I understand Thomas wants people to play his game fair and
> square, I think he should concentrate on concealing those secrets we
> "code-divers" so easily find, as well as the numerous bugs and other
> stuff.

I partially disagree here. I don't think he should concentrate on
concealing stuff; I think that's mostly wasted time. It would be much
preferable if there were some code that would make concealing stuff
unnecessary. Maybe I am too idealistic, but I prefer a world where locks
aren't needed to one where locks are so strong that nobody can break
them. Especially if fashioning those locks keeps somebody from
contributing to the society more usefully.

> Note: I feel loosely connected to my language skills today. What I wrote
> above might not represent my actual opinion.

My take on this is: Everybody should mind their own business as far as
private things like cheating are concerned, but it should not play a
large part in the "official" ADOM communities. I am not sure I correctly
understood everything you said, but it seems to me you are saying
something similar. Am I understanding you correctly?

Malte
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 2:05:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

xhoch3 <xhoch3@safe-mail.net> wrote:

> It's
> just not possible to get the needed quantities of eg scrolls of balance

Unless you become an archmage :)  Play more, dissassemble less.

brojek.
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 4:07:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Twinge wrote:
> > bork bork bork Vladimir Panteleev
> >> Perhaps we should make a poll: "If you were absolutely new to
ADOM,
> >> would you like the game to have anti-cheat protection?"
>
> No. If I didn't have the ability to save-scum when I first started
> played, I believe I would've gotten frustrated enough to give up on
the
> game completely before actually making it anywhere. ADOM just has
such a
> massive learning curve; I actually recommend new players save-scum at
> first just to ease the frustration a bit.

For contrast: I didn't ever save-scum. For me, it would have taken away
all the fun of those early victories: saving the carpenter, rescuing
the puppy, finding the dwarves for the first time. Somewhat perversely,
I might not have stayed with the game very long if it had save/load
functionality built in; the very frustration of losing after making
another character level / dungeon level / etc. over my last run was
what drove me to continue.

That said, it's no skin off of my nose if others feel the need to
cheat. As long as it doesn't intrude on my enjoyment of the game, it
doesn't bother me. So no, I don't think the game should have iron-clad
anti-cheat protection. For those like me, we're self-policing; for
those like Twinge, they have the flexibility they want.

I have to admit I fall in Thomas' camp with regards to
reverse-engineering and source-diving, though.

(This post was made with Google Groups, for which I apologize. I don't
currently post often enough to have bothered configuring a proper news
client. I'm hoping it attributes the quoted material properly and wraps
the lines correctly; if it doesn't, let me know and I will install a
client regardless.)
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 7:04:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

On Tue, 01 Feb 2005 21:36:07 +0100, Malte Helmert wrote:

>> Although I understand Thomas wants people to play his game fair and
>> square, I think he should concentrate on concealing those secrets we
>> "code-divers" so easily find, as well as the numerous bugs and other
>> stuff.
>
> I partially disagree here. I don't think he should concentrate on
> concealing stuff; I think that's mostly wasted time. It would be much
> preferable if there were some code that would make concealing stuff
> unnecessary. Maybe I am too idealistic, but I prefer a world where locks
> aren't needed to one where locks are so strong that nobody can break
> them. Especially if fashioning those locks keeps somebody from
> contributing to the society more usefully.

Alas, there will always be curious people who will take my place at
hacking the binaries. Cheating and reverse-engineering are two
different, but somewhat similar problems. However, it's much easier to
protect your data from being modified than from being read.

Actually, I didn't mean to emphasize the problem of reverse-engineering
in what I said above.

>> Note: I feel loosely connected to my language skills today. What I wrote
>> above might not represent my actual opinion.
>
> My take on this is: Everybody should mind their own business as far as
> private things like cheating are concerned, but it should not play a
> large part in the "official" ADOM communities. I am not sure I correctly
> understood everything you said, but it seems to me you are saying
> something similar. Am I understanding you correctly?

Yes, that too, but my point would be that I don't think he should be
categorically against cheating. At the age I started to play ADOM, the
only way for me to learn the rules of the game was to cheat. Some time
after, that got boring, and I had a few save-scummed wins. I quit
save-scumming only last year.

My point is, I doubt that anti-cheat protection will add to the game's
overall popularity.

> Again, agreed, although some people have stated here in the past that
> the mere *opportunity* for cheating has changed the game for them so
> much that they don't enjoy it any more.

That's because they always cheat. Some people cheat in games just
because they can, not because they can't play the game without cheating.
Some people won't play a game if they can't cheat in it, but if they
can, they just fly through the game with all cheats enabled. I think
it's obvious that this will spoil their game experience.

Perhaps we should make a poll: "If you were absolutely new to ADOM,
would you like the game to have anti-cheat protection?"

--





This space intentionally left blank
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 7:04:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

bork bork bork Vladimir Panteleev bork 3:04:47 PM bork 2/2/2005 bork bork:


> Perhaps we should make a poll: "If you were absolutely new to ADOM,
> would you like the game to have anti-cheat protection?"

I'll bite.

No.

Yesterday I wanted to find out if a strategy I had in my mind for taking on a
certain task in another roguelike was a waste of time or worth executing.
Because I could source-dive, I could find that out, and today I can go on to
enjoy the experience of actually implementing the strategy. I consider that
as adding to the fun of the game, not subtracting from it.

(Of course, when I was absolutely new to ADOM, the concept of source-diving
scared me and it took me about 3 years from my first recent stab at
roguelikes to my first source-diving, so maybe the correct answer above is
"yes," who knows?)

Erik
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 7:04:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Erik Piper wrote:
> bork bork bork Vladimir Panteleev bork 3:04:47 PM bork 2/2/2005 bork bork:
>
>
>
>> Perhaps we should make a poll: "If you were absolutely new to ADOM,
>> would you like the game to have anti-cheat protection?"

No. If I didn't have the ability to save-scum when I first started
played, I believe I would've gotten frustrated enough to give up on the
game completely before actually making it anywhere. ADOM just has such a
massive learning curve; I actually recommend new players save-scum at
first just to ease the frustration a bit.
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 9:58:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Malte Helmert wrote:
> 1. The Future of ADOM
>
> The good news first: ADOM is not dead!
>
> Therefore, it is likely that after the next release, there will be a
> change in procedure. In order to allow Thomas to focus on JADE, he plans
> to change the development model of ADOM. Instead of the current one-man
> system, he would like to turn into an effort by a small, closed group (a
> kind of DevTeam, if you will) of maybe 4-5 people under his supervision.
> Thomas will make all decisions regarding which features will or will not
> be added to ADOM, but actual implementation, bug fixes and the like will
> be delegated. ADOM will *not* go Open Source -- more regarding this
> under the third topic.

This sounds great! :) 
I personally think this is exactly what ADOM needs now that Thomas doesn't
"like" the code much anymore (and still doesn't want to let everyone see it).

> 3. Reverse Engineering
>
> Regarding this topic, Thomas stated his opinion very clearly: He does
> not want people to disassemble ADOM for any purpose. He had already
> planned to revised the ADOM license so that his opinion on this issue
> will become very clear to everybody. He also briefly discussed the legal
> aspects of this, mentioning the effort involved in international
> lawsuits.
>
> Most significantly, Thomas expressed his contempt for patches that
> change the rules of the game.

If he's so strongly opposed to it (even considering lawsuits), I'm rather
surprised that he's never answered any of my emails, or tried to contact me. I'd
think he'd want to, seeing how (I believe) I was the first to try mapping out
how the game works through a full disassembly. Same about patches, stopping mine
would only require answering my email.

> Finally, Thomas is also very much against disassembling the executable
> to discover game mechanics and secrets. He referred to the section in
> readme.1st where it is stated that the good effect of ADOM staying
> closed source is "that ADOM will remain the most challenging and
> mysterious of all roguelike games, simply because you just can't take a
> look into the sources and find all the secrets right away once a new
> version is released".

I don't recall any important "mysteries" being solved from disassembling.

Some questions have been answered definitely etc, but I simply can't think of
any major "discovery" that had not already been postulated. Now I may very well
be wrong, and what's "major" or not is subjective, but I still believe all of
the "mysteries" were solved a long time ago.

The part about "once a new version is released" is in any case moot - there
hasn't been any new content for a very very long time.

- Tor Gunnar Houeland
February 2, 2005 10:14:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Vladimir Panteleev, completely geschtonkenflapped, wrote:
> Some people cheat in games just because they can, not because they
> can't play the game without cheating. Some people won't play a game
> if they can't cheat in it, but if they can, they just fly through the
> game with all cheats enabled. I think it's obvious that this will
> spoil their game experience.

don't forget that a number of games also cheat. for example,
i played NFS:U a few months ago and simply got stuck on
a particular point in the game. i just couldn't win some
races, even though i drove very good and tried 30-40 times
over the course of a week. then i found out that the game
engine was _designed_ to cheat! rot13 spoiler:

gur snfgre lbh tb, gur snfgre gur pbzchgre-pbagebyyrq pnef tb,
ohg gurve fcrrq vapernfr vf abg yvarne naq gurl raq hc n ybg
snfgre guna lbhefrys - vg jbhyq gnxr *cresrpg* qevivat gb jva,
naq gung'f obeqreyvar vzcbffvoyr. fb, v whfg ercynprq zl
yriry guerr nppryrengvba/gbc fcrrq tvmzbf jvgu yriry bar fghss
jurarire v tbg fghpx, naq v fgnegrq jvaavat ntnva. cyhf,
vg jnf npghnyyl zber rawblnoyr naq yrff fgerffshy qevivat ng
n fybjre fcrrq.


--
there is a cheer. the gnomes have learned a new way to say hooray. [-shpongle]

address is scrambled - remove the superfluous "x" marks to reply
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 10:16:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

ToGu wrote:
> Malte Helmert wrote:
>
>> 3. Reverse Engineering
>>
>> Most significantly, Thomas expressed his contempt for patches that
>> change the rules of the game.
>
> If he's so strongly opposed to it (even considering lawsuits), I'm
> rather surprised that he's never answered any of my emails, or tried to
> contact me. I'd think he'd want to, seeing how (I believe) I was the
> first to try mapping out how the game works through a full disassembly.
> Same about patches, stopping mine would only require answering my email.

I guess that keeping on top of ADOM e-mail can be challenging. I
remember reading or hearing that he sometimes receives several hundred
ADOM-related emails per week. Probably when you see that you can't catch
up there is a point where you delete everything to get a clean slate.
Only one possible reason; after all the ways of the Creator are
ineffable and all that. ;-)

>> Finally, Thomas is also very much against disassembling the executable
>> to discover game mechanics and secrets. He referred to the section in
>> readme.1st where it is stated that the good effect of ADOM staying
>> closed source is "that ADOM will remain the most challenging and
>> mysterious of all roguelike games, simply because you just can't take a
>> look into the sources and find all the secrets right away once a new
>> version is released".

> I don't recall any important "mysteries" being solved from disassembling.

Good; if nothing important is discovered by it, surely there isn't much
point in disassembling and we need not argue about Thomas' view on this. ;-)

> Some questions have been answered definitely etc, but I simply can't
> think of any major "discovery" that had not already been postulated. Now
> I may very well be wrong, and what's "major" or not is subjective, but I
> still believe all of the "mysteries" were solved a long time ago.
>
> The part about "once a new version is released" is in any case moot -
> there hasn't been any new content for a very very long time.

You are applying the quote to pure story content exclusively, but I'm
not sure that's how it was meant.

Talents are a recent [1] additions, and the way some talents work
exactly (consider Treasure Hunter) was a hotly debated topic before
information from the executable were provided. Many room effects have
also been mostly mysterious until recently. Same for some birth messages.

Regarding story content, consider the (once) open questions surrounding
the scroll of omnipotence or the weird tome.

Malte

[1] In the sense of: introduced in recent versions. Of course recent
versions are already quite old, but that's another issue.
Anonymous
February 3, 2005 2:37:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Malte Helmert wrote:
> As far as I remember, ADOM Sage is merely an input/output filter is
> neither a patched version of ADOM nor based on disassembly. You might
> want to check with Joshua to be sure.

ADOM Sage technically does more than just input/output filtering, but
that's only because it's much easier to read and alter the messages that
ADOM generates while they're being formatted internally rather than when
they're output to screen. For all practical purposes, ADOM Sage just
alters input and output.

I think that I did a little bit of disassembly to help debug ADOM Sage,
and I used disassembly to find out how to work around a bug in ADOM
1.1.0, but otherwise I used no patches or disassembly. Thomas mentioned
ADOM Sage in a newsgroup posting around the time ADOM 1.1.0 was released
and didn't object to it, so I'm pretty sure he's okay with it.

*sigh* I've been saying for over a year now that I need to finish up
the next version of ADOM Sage and release it. Hopefully sometime soon...

--
Josh Kelley
ADOM Sage - frontend for ADOM - http://www.jbc.edu/~josh/adom-sage
Anonymous
February 3, 2005 5:35:33 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Twinge wrote:

> Erik Piper wrote:
>
>> bork bork bork Vladimir Panteleev bork 3:04:47 PM bork 2/2/2005 bork
>> bork:
>>
>>> Perhaps we should make a poll: "If you were absolutely new to ADOM,
>>> would you like the game to have anti-cheat protection?"
>
> No. If I didn't have the ability to save-scum when I first started
> played, I believe I would've gotten frustrated enough to give up on the
> game completely before actually making it anywhere. ADOM just has such a
> massive learning curve; I actually recommend new players save-scum at
> first just to ease the frustration a bit.

I think somebody introduced a strawman here. Nobody was talking about
features that prevent save-scumming anywhere; even though Thomas doesn't
like it, he doesn't try to actively prevent it either. The "anti-cheat"
measures he was talking about are about hex-editing save files and
memory locations and things like that. So if nobody argues for it, why
argue against it?

That being said, I did save-scum initially for the first few roguelikes
I played, but never for the ones I started later, and I got success much
faster with the ones where I never save-scummed. For example, I got a
Crawl winner rather quickly, but never really got anywhere in Nethack.
Of course there can be other reasons for that.

I'm not saying save-scumming should be made difficult -- that's a
personal decision -- I'm just saying that it is not necessarily a good
way to get proficient in a game.

Malte
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 12:00:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Marcus wrote:

>
> Ah, that'd be the version I play ;)  In fact...
>
> http://crawlj.sourceforge.jp/down_e.html
>
> That one frequently, which is a modification of Darshan's patch with a
> really nice set of tiles included. I generally always prefer ascii, but
> Crawl works quite well with these tiles.
>
>

Thanks for dropping another interesting roguelike my way :-)
I didn't try Crawl yet, but this version seems a lot of fun (although I
die approx. every 1000 turns :-)))

Christian "BlackFurredBeast" Pohl
February 4, 2005 12:00:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Christian Pohl wrote:
> Marcus wrote:
>
[crawl discussion]
>>
>> http://crawlj.sourceforge.jp/down_e.html
>>
> Thanks for dropping another interesting roguelike my way :-)
> I didn't try Crawl yet, but this version seems a lot of fun (although
> I die approx. every 1000 turns :-)))
>
> Christian "BlackFurredBeast" Pohl

Haha, it's a brutally difficult game, but pretty entertaining. The
distinction between ac/ev, the spellcasting variety, the insane number of
classes and races, and the interesting skill system all make it pretty fun.
Not sure if it was apparent, but it has travel built in - hit x (or X? -
can't remember, my keys are remapped) and then > < (or another symbol) and
then a . and you can zip instantly to a staircase. Handy in Crawl's big
strangely shaped dungeons.
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 12:08:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Vladimir Panteleev wrote:

<snip>

> Perhaps we should make a poll: "If you were absolutely new to ADOM,
> would you like the game to have anti-cheat protection?"
>

As long as it doesn't involve a save-scum blocker, I couldn't care less.
I'm not regularly save-scumming anymore, but my first deeper stabs into
the game wouldn't been possible without savescumming. But if Thomas
wants to discourage from item-hexing or stat-boosting, I say let him go
for it. IMHO roguelikes' biggest selling point is the random element,
and with "deep cheating" like item, stat or character editing (however
helpful it may be in bug searching), the game loses a lot.
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 12:11:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

matija wrote:

>
> don't forget that a number of games also cheat. for example,
> i played NFS:U a few months ago and simply got stuck on
> a particular point in the game. i just couldn't win some
> races, even though i drove very good and tried 30-40 times
> over the course of a week. then i found out that the game
> engine was _designed_ to cheat! rot13 spoiler:

<rant>NFS:U (and many other EA games) are a design lesseon in BAD AI. I
had the absolutely same problem, same game. What good is a difficulty
switch when even on the easiest level the AI cars seem to have triple
your speed and insane sk1llz0rz??? Oh well.</rant>

Sorry 'bout that
Christian "BlackFurredBeast" Pohl
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 3:38:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

On Thu, 03 Feb 2005 02:35:33 +0100, Malte Helmert wrote:

> Twinge wrote:
>
>> Erik Piper wrote:
>>
>>> bork bork bork Vladimir Panteleev bork 3:04:47 PM bork 2/2/2005 bork
>>> bork:
>>>
>>>> Perhaps we should make a poll: "If you were absolutely new to ADOM,
>>>> would you like the game to have anti-cheat protection?"
>>
>> No. If I didn't have the ability to save-scum when I first started
>> played, I believe I would've gotten frustrated enough to give up on the
>> game completely before actually making it anywhere. ADOM just has such a
>> massive learning curve; I actually recommend new players save-scum at
>> first just to ease the frustration a bit.
>
> I think somebody introduced a strawman here. Nobody was talking about
> features that prevent save-scumming anywhere; even though Thomas doesn't
> like it, he doesn't try to actively prevent it either. The "anti-cheat"
> measures he was talking about are about hex-editing save files and
> memory locations and things like that.

I should have explicitly noted that save-scumming is out of the
question. Probably the one reason Thomas won't fight save-scumming is
because it's impossible to prevent it, unless either the game will store
information in a global system location (which would be OS-dependent,
and still easy to detect) or if the game would have to connect to the
Internet. I doubt either will be implemented, giving that ADOM is a
cross-platform game.

> So if nobody argues for it, why argue against it?

Yes, guess this was a pretty much empty discussion after all. My bad for
wasting everybody's time :( 

--





This space intentionally left blank
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 3:38:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Vladimir Panteleev wrote:
> On Thu, 03 Feb 2005 02:35:33 +0100, Malte Helmert wrote:
>
>>I think somebody introduced a strawman here. Nobody was talking about
>>features that prevent save-scumming anywhere; even though Thomas doesn't
>>like it, he doesn't try to actively prevent it either. The "anti-cheat"
>>measures he was talking about are about hex-editing save files and
>>memory locations and things like that.
>
> I should have explicitly noted that save-scumming is out of the
> question. Probably the one reason Thomas won't fight save-scumming is
> because it's impossible to prevent it, unless either the game will store
> information in a global system location (which would be OS-dependent,
> and still easy to detect) or if the game would have to connect to the
> Internet. I doubt either will be implemented, giving that ADOM is a
> cross-platform game.

There are some simple measures against save-scumming though, like not
allowing a reload if the same character (as evidenced by the adom.cnt
file contents upon creation of the character, for instance) is already
in the high score. Some roguelike I played actually implemented this,
although I don't recall which one it was. Of course this and all other
simple measures against save-scumming can be circumvented by copying the
entire ADOM installation rather than just the .svg file. I guess it is
still somewhat effective way to get honest scores on a multi-user system
with a shared highscore list.

Personally, from the little discussion we had on this topic, I don't
think that the technical difficulty is Thomas's only reason not to try
to do anything against save-scumming. Unlike hex-editing and the like,
save-scumming is a mass phenomenon. It's not limited to ADOM either, and
many people enjoy playing the game this way. I think that Thomas's
attitude on this is something like "live and let live". As you said,
probably everybody save-scummed in some game some time.

Malte
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 3:38:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

On Thu, 03 Feb 2005 23:55:04 +0100, Malte Helmert wrote:

> Personally, from the little discussion we had on this topic, I don't
> think that the technical difficulty is Thomas's only reason not to try
> to do anything against save-scumming. Unlike hex-editing and the like,
> save-scumming is a mass phenomenon. It's not limited to ADOM either, and
> many people enjoy playing the game this way. I think that Thomas's
> attitude on this is something like "live and let live". As you said,
> probably everybody save-scummed in some game some time.

Someone (Vladimir?) said, earlier in this thread, that its easier for
Thomas to build in safeguards against savefile editting than it is for
players to break those safeguards.
As you've alluded, savescumming is exactly the opposite if you have
control over the machine on which you're running. Its far easier (trivial
in fact, on Linux) to circumvent anything Thomas could do in that regard
than it is for him to implement...
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 6:28:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.adom (More info?)

Marcus wrote:

<on Crawl>

> Haha, it's a brutally difficult game, but pretty entertaining. The
> distinction between ac/ev, the spellcasting variety, the insane number of
> classes and races, and the interesting skill system all make it pretty fun.
> Not sure if it was apparent, but it has travel built in - hit x (or X? -
> can't remember, my keys are remapped) and then > < (or another symbol) and
> then a . and you can zip instantly to a staircase. Handy in Crawl's big
> strangely shaped dungeons.
>

Is there any "first steps" hint collection around? I'm not after
outright spoilers, more like gentle hints which get me off the ground a
little? So far, my most successful characters are Dwarven Fighters
axe-cleaving everything to bits, but I'd like to play something
spell-casty too. Too bad that my caster charas die almost instantly :-))

Help would be much appreciated
Christian "BlackFurredBeast" Pohl
!