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BosslandGmbH:Buddy bots on Private Servers

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Private Servers

Before we begin, know that...

Discussing Private or Emulated Servers in the The Buddy Forum is a 'forbidden forum topic'. Such discussions can result in your forum account being banned.

What is a Private Server?

The servers hosted by the game-creating company are referred to as 'live' servers. Such servers are an authoritative source of the game's lore and mechanics. These servers are always up-to-date, by definition.
On the other hand, a Private Server is a re-implementation of a game server by a private group or individual. These servers may or may not faithfully re-implement the game's lore or mechanics. Frequently, these servers are several versions behind the 'live' servers.
Private Servers are also referred to as Server Emulators.


Do Buddy bots support Private Servers?

No. There are many reasons for this, but the primary reason is that they're illegal in most countries.
Private servers also have a number of issues, making it nearly impossible for any bot to adequately support them:
  • The server version is not up-to-date.
Older servers require the use of older game clients. Buddy bots must be aligned with each client version to assure that things operate as expected, and anti-spyware mechanisms are intact. Using an 'older version of the Buddy bot' that you may have archived will still get you in trouble, as the Bossland GmbH servers no longer contain and serve the information needed to make the older Buddy bot work correctly.
Older server versions also have a secondary impact on the game world. Meshes for zones change over time, and with each expansion. For instance, there are large craters and chasms in the ground when a world dragon was set free in one of the WoW expansions. Older game clients will be unaware of these (future) terrain alterations, and the current meshes served by the Buddy navigation servers will not be valid for such areas running on older-version servers.
  • The game world is incomplete, or substantially altered.
Private Servers frequently remove, or alter quests that are available on the 'live' server. Some private servers are ambitious enough to rewrite the entire lore for one or more zones. If a Buddy bot quest profile expects to do particular quests, problems arise. Sometimes an entire zone may be missing, or has been completely reworked with a different storyline.
In newer game clients, complex concepts such as 'phasing' may be introduced. Such advanced concepts may not be scripted correctly (or at all) in a private server.
  • Some Private Server 'accelerate' game play.
This can be done in a number of ways:
  • Accelerate the experience given by quests.
This means that fewer quests need to be done to out-level the zone. (Perhaps, because the server hasn't implemented them all.) This will cause a Buddy bot to stay in a zone long after the quests no longer provide experience. Also, missing quests will cause problems with questing profiles.
  • Alter the class mechanics.
Perhaps spells now 'proc' much more. Perhaps, fewer resources are required to cast an upgraded spell. Either is likely to cause significant problems for combat routines.
  • Private Servers are full of bugs.
A classic case is if you use a flightmaster while mounted, you will fail to take the flight[1]. This is the result of improper trigger generation and handling in the emulated server. Honorbuddy doesn't work well in the presence of such bugs—combat routines have a most difficult time.


Frequently Asked Questions

"Are Private Servers legal?"

In the vast majority of countries, the answer is... absolutely not.
Unlike a bot, Private Servers infringe on the Intellectual Property[2] of the game developer. Specifically, Private Servers infringe:
  • Names (character names, town names, ability names, etc.) [Copyright law/Trademark law]
  • Storyline / Lore [Copyright law]
  • Artwork and other assets [Copyright law]
By far, the vast majority of gaming assets are provided client-side, and don't involve the server. However, some games are designed to provide critical assets from the server at key decision points. Any gaming resources provided by the emulated server to the client will violate the game-developer's copyright.
  • Certain game mechanics (potentially) [Patent law]
Other complications arise if the server emulator itself is not 'clean' code. In other words, the game owner's original code may have 'leaked' into the public, and used as or as part of the server emulator.

"Are Private Servers safe?"

Most are, but there is risk. For example, a private server can pass a virus or trojan through the game client, or inject keystroke logging scripts.
Private servers are notorious for bugs in general. The teams maintaining them are usually small, and slow to respond to issues.

"My Private Server supports XXX expansion. Why won't this work?"

Expansions do not correlate to server versions and server implementations. For instance, both the 'live' server and Private Server may implement expansion XXX, but each server requires a different version of the game client to run.

References

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  1. [FlightMasterBug] Not only will you fail to take the designated flight, but you are dismounted and will run around the game world 'on foot' at 'flight speed'.
  2. [IntellectualPropertyBogusConcept] "Intellectual Property" is not a legal concept. It is a colloquial term, used by laymen, to describe the application of Copyright law, Patent law, and Trademark law.