So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Discussion on a variety of topics. Ask general Vtank questions here.
Posts: 37

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#21 » December 9th, 2016, 12:54 pm

Some more good questions have come my way that I'll work on expanding upon this weekend.

First was "how do I get a route into a meta?"

Funny this is not too hard, if you are THAT close to seeing the want, you are really close to the technique. Let me highlight, and if needed can express more specific mouse-click level.

The overall idea is this, esp if you want to hone a route that will be used in a meta:

1) Make the route ahead of time, select it but don't start it. be certain you have linear/circular set properly (linear is PROBABLY more common when doing this in a meta)
2) make a meta rule
3) Create your "if" condition
4) for the "then" embed the current route as an Embedded route


1) We aren't going to deal with how to make a route here, but the first step to automating a route is to get it working right before you try to "meta" it. Plan out the route and simply save it as a .NAV file
2) I won't get into how to make a route, there are solid tips here, ask if you want to get some thoughts from us on how to make great routes. Keep it simple at first and try to use more than just the "add" button in the route creation screen. Note you can talk to an NPC as part of a route. You can use a portal, and so on. Let's assume for this discussion you have a route and it's in pretty good, repeatable shape. I'm going to assume for this case, it's a route that runs your character, perhaps to the candeth LS, into the portal, up the tree, and talks to the mage for components, and to the jewelry guy for healing kits. and - this is important -- it works and you have it saved.
3) now turn navigation "off" (or vtank). Load the good route in your settings.
4) get into your meta editor, add a line/rule.
5) Verifyfor the "IF" side, create a command, for example, liten for the chat message "!restock" (note there's an entire format for this, for another topic)
6) on the "THEN" side of the rule, make a "Embedded Nav"
7) Select "import from current."

Here's the cool, and non-obvious part: The ROUTE YOU HAVE CURRENTLY LOADED gets copied, in its current state, into the meta

Easy. And not obvious till you've seen how the import works.

Now then do you have to SAVE the file and load it and import? not precisely, this can be made more complex. Stick with this for starters. And when you "get" it, stare at the export. think 'bout it, and perhaps you can even get to where you are editing an embedded route in a meta that someone else made. There will be an "ah HAH" moment.

Save a route. make a meta line. Embed (import) that route into the "then" side of the rule. Test it.

Some more advanced thoughts will come to bear here. Let's think back to that example I mentioned earlier. What REALLY happens if you try to use a route to restock?

This is important. You WAIT for Virinidi Item Tool ... or use some other tool... or you click a bunch of stuff.

But you wait.

As you code this "restock" command up, watch your character(s). Add a few seconds PAUSE after you talk to the first vendor. This about how many pack slots you REALLY need to sell an MMD and buy, say, a stack of tapers. Is that the same as what you need to buy say, ten plats? (maybe add a TEST rule to your meta, don't proceed if you have less than say 12 pack slots open).

There is a WONDERFUL bit of existing art in this department. There are dozens of incredibly complex routes here on ImmortalBob's and other sites. Are you see and use these, you'll appreciate how complex these can get.
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Posts: 37

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#22 » December 9th, 2016, 1:34 pm

Routes, part two, and a few thoughts on "style".

There is a point when you will want to NOT do a lengthy task with one route, you'll want to do so with multiple routes. This message follows the overall theme to "keep it simple."

In other words, some times you have to break up a problem.

Think of when you, as a person (not a meta or a route), are performing an action, you would want to make a decision.

This becomes a good "break" point -- and the KEY point of this post. Keep the tasks small. (yes I know there are entire metas that run dozens of tasks and routes). If you aren't a programmer, note and RESIST the urge to grow your rules and grow your routes. Keep them to a well defined task, learn to string easier tasks/thoughts together. Again, this is a bit of advice on a matter of choice and style. You CAN make enormous routes and very complex multi-task "then" rules. But don't do that while you are learning. Rather, put a portion of the task into a route. Then code in the decision, then make the choices separate routes or even STATES in your meta.

These are good tools for breaking up your thoughts and keeping your meta "actions" simple:

A good "if" should be associated with a few "then" tasks... or less
You CAN put more than one "then" line, but be certain they really belong together/are associated with the "if"
Some "if" thoughts need to be in a common place, e.g. your "default" state for your meta.
But at other times, you need to send your meta off to a different state, particularly when, from the first "if" multiple, other "if" decisions need to be made, (or actions over some amount of real time)
Or, think at the task level. IF you have run off to EO for olthoi lunch, THEN you don't need to be listening for restock or crafting commands.
Similarly, IF you are restocking, you don't need to deal with some boss fight.
Within a larger meta, many, many states are possible. But keep them related to an overall task/recurring event.
And if you have an umbrella meta, say something you use to control your group between tasks, think twice about inserting small, detailed tasks in a large umbrella task.
And finally, if you are using other folks great work, for example, the AutoColo meta found here on IB's (love it!), if you call into that meta, don't change it too much. It can and will mature, and you'll have to make changes again when another version comes out. "CALL" actions from one meta, into another; learn how to "RETURN." Keep your own tasks In own metas, and you may find yourself making fewer changes when a public meta is revised and republished.

The other related idea is testing, if you can keep your metas and specifically the states and rules within them to smaller actions, testing is MUCH easier.
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Posts: 37

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#23 » December 9th, 2016, 1:57 pm

Navigating more than one character.

Okay, this look some time for me to realize I had a problem.

Let's say you have a snazzy char. And you realize that, despite his or her snazziness, you just can't beat Curator down with all that goodness.

So you roll another char.

And just put it in follow and turn on vTANK.

Guess what, this will work most of the time. and when you need to recall to Aphus, run into TN, an hop over to, say, Arwic. it's not too much extra clicking, I mean while one is in portal space, you can drive the other, right?

Yeah well multiple that. (and count all those non-productive, repetitive steps you took, where you could have been stacking and combining loot and salvage).

At some point, simple "follow" doesn't get it.

you must move your learning ahead, and glean when navigation needs to be turned on. not sure what I mean? put character B on follow on your leader. send "B" through a portal first and don't go in. Watch B go nuts and run away.

do this with five characters, spefically, as a more real example, make a route that has your characters follow your leader. manually click on the Matron. or The Master. or Diemos. do you send in your leader first? nope. why? 'cuase all those on follow go nuts.

Okay so send in the leader last. got it. everyone click on the boss. enter room. woops, wait, the leader is still outside (for whatever reason). The characters run into the corner. Now they aren't fighting boss, they are trying to run to their last known point where they... had you on follow.

This is where the teachable moments exist around / and use these are learning guides (read: get good at...):

when to gracefully go "off nav"
When to CLEAR your character's nav route.
using approach and follow distances
What the heck corner navigation is, and when to use it
and related, as they all come together, corpse, mob approach ranges, attack ranges, and of course, navigation follow distances.

These are related, you'll struggle with them. Free and vague advise, recognize these are small skill areas to pick up, learn, and once mastered, will make your groups run smoothly. I ran a paradox olthoi queen group with ten other people last night. my sixteen doogs, and ten others.

did I get sixteen olthoi glands with everyone else? no way, we call that rude. I did it earlier in the week.

Did I let others get rewards first? yep, being greedy is not cool.

And did I have corners on, follow ranges tight, switch combat on and off intelligently, and keep up with the group? As well as some, better than some, and generally was the middle of the pack.

IF you want to run a team, AND you want to do it with others, be conscientious about its impact on those around you. Plainly said, not everyone LIKES multiboxers. And not everyone who DOES, wants to be patient while they run one character and you run a group. Ask, be considerate, and recognize that not all situations are multi-box friendly. As you do learn these subtleties, master cool, small, support skills like how to navigate the portals on your way to Rynthid recall and not bump into an exit portal.

And if you do screw up, be quick to leave a multi-boxed character behind, when you are running with individuals. They will appreciate that you honor their time and energy with your "multi" as equivalent to the energy of their "one." Don't put your big group ahead of friends, or ask when you want help running your team through a complex task. Those around you will appreciate the courtesy.
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Posts: 37

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#24 » April 19th, 2017, 2:20 pm

And so there was an announcement. It was one I knew was coming, but none of us wanted it to happen. As I've posted in other forums, it was "as clear as day" that it was coming.

AC may be a hobby, passion and love for thousands of players.

AND it was started with all that and an interest in making it a business. It's an ideal pursuit really, getting to "do" something you love. It is, as they say the pursuit of happiness. I saw it on the faces of the Devs at the ACPLs - and in their homes even, in the after-parties. They LOVED gaming, and the loved having adoring fans around, and we love them, and the game's experience.

But the intellectual property changed hands. A few times. And the last ones to hold it aren't evil, they aren't hateful. They probably have your average number of nice, mean, kind, polite, rude, cheerful givers and cutthroat decision makers. But to me, it was clear that with simply a few hundred, perhaps a thousand playing, that only a few hundred bucks a month were trickling in, at most. And more importantly, from a strategic point of view, the game/hobby/passion, for them at least, met the end of the road.

Besides, to run a server farm that is using a constant internet connection is NOT free. Someone had to pay. Sure, the other games probably held up a few popsickle sticks and kept the proverbial glue in place for us.

And my guess is this. The initial conversion to "free to play" filled a bucket. Some new accounts added drops to that bucket, and eventually, it ran dry. And the ordinary people who ran the business let it go, despite a lack of funds. And eventually a decision had to be made, one I understand as an "IT Guy." And so the announcement happened.

My personal reaction surprised me. On or about Dec 20, 2016, I sat in disbelief, and more or less processed what you see above in a matter of a day. On the 21st, rather than start my Christmas Break for family, holiday and LOTS of video games, I began to mourn. The loss of a game.

Now I've left guilds before. Peacefully, harshly, even with my foot in my mouth. And I've walked away from the keyboard mad, bored, even looking for other things to do. But I've never been forced to stop, not like this, not with this investment of time on the line.

It took me ten days to want to play another game, and to find "what's next." And so I picked back up with another game/hobby/pasttime I've also loved, but taken way too seriously.

And on April 18th, about 100 days later, I took at peek at the emulator work. I even ran into a few names I knew, chatted with another passionate player for a good while.

Give it time folks, wounds heal, the stages of grief are real, you can get mad, you can toss stones at the people behind it, but eventually, you'll lean more and more on the good memories.

Rest in Peace, band of sixteen. You were quite the experiment. We the doogs learned a lot.

Ahem. April 18, 2017:

Browse to
Download the Thwarg launcher.

(If you kept your old stuff, you can also run updater from the existing program's main folder.)

Edit CLIENT at the bottom to point to ACCLIENT.EXE - not AClauncher.exe. Launch the client using Thwarg's launch button. Two windows appear; See the "basic..." button at bottom of the HELP screen to get to a simplified launcher. (yes you can setup profiles and multibox the emulators as well.)

Launch Decal.
Pick a green server.
Launch Using Thwarg's launcher (and yep there is another good launcher out there). Get ready for a warm flood of memories. You can run around, fight, and yep, help find bugs while some really bright people sort out how to get Dereth back online.
Use a password for your char that you can keep track of, but assume this password can be lost/don't reuse it elsewhere.

Create a char, give it war and life magic and max out quickness and Endurance. Skills are incomplete, and skill checks aren't a thing yet. Aggro from mobs is purely "distance." Stand back and shoot stuff. :)
Once in game, !help gives you emulator commands.

@Spawnwand - get a casting item (use R to pick it up off the ground)
@Spawnitem2 "Mana Scarab" // get a mana scarab
@help and !help are different commands!
Hit F5. drag some spells to your hot bar.

Ready for a "NO WAY" moment? Hit F10 for the mini map. click a town. insta-teleport! Click on *not a town.* :)

/spawnitem2 "helmet"
/spawnarmor "helmet"

/spawnitem2 "sollerets"
/spawnitem2 "Swarthy Mattekar Robe"
Don't wanna run around looking Nekkid? Set a MODEL for your character. Yep any model can be applied, but only HUMANS can pick up/buy, reach stuff on the ground. So pick a person you know, say your character you logged into in the last week or so of January.

!m_setmodel "<CHARNAME>" then exit to char selection screen, then log on.

And just wait, in the coming weeks, portals are coming online, and dungeons may have mobs spawning.
/dungeon list
/dungeon tele "name"

And for now, if you really wanna hang out with the emulator crowd, do:
for some decent stats.

And as a friend of mine said, Let's be kind to each other. And if you can't be kind, at least be polite. And welp if you can't be polite, just be quiet.
And have fun!
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Posts: 618

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#25 » April 19th, 2017, 7:30 pm

Man i'm gonna miss reading these posts doog...
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Immortalbob of MT

Posts: 37

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#26 » January 17th, 2018, 11:52 pm

*wave* Bob. Guess who's baaack. :)

Emulators have progressed.

Virindi's understandably shut down the vChat system. It seems that on emulator, we are also not getting the filters to "filter" chat. I'm drawing that conclusion roughly; in the specific, when one doog is on a fellow on an educational emu, talks to another doog in same fellow, the metas are NOT seeing fellowship chat.

However the issue isn't that vTank is not processing metas or responding to conditions; rather, it's that the conditions aren't met because VT isn't seeing the chat.

However, Vtank *does* seem to read a directed tell.

And we don't have Vchat as an alternative to "talk" on a common (larger than 9 person) chat channel.

But we might be able to get command and control working with a "Say once, tell eight..." strategy.

May have to pull some simple commands back out... and "tell" eight named characters. All would run the same meta adapting to "hear" a /tell instead of a /f.

And of course that will be faster if one tells two, two tell two, and those four tell a third. It may be:

leader clicks some button and sets a command, say variable "GO" to "!PR"
leader tells B the go command, e.g. "!pr1"
B moves to PR state; this sets "go" command to !PR and the char enters PR with a "wait 2 (or 3) seconds" flavor set becuase it's in the role "B"
leader pauses half a second
leader and B tells C and D "!pr2"
C and D move to state PR with "wait 1 second" state or similar
leader pauses half a second
leader, B, C, D tells E, F, G, H "!pr3"
E, F, G, H move to PR state and begin to execute the current "go" command.
leader tells I "!pr"
Then lead moves to PR state
And so command initial may become "grouptell !pr"

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Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#27 » January 18th, 2018, 12:15 am

from what i found out the other day, /f isnt working for some reason.../a does apparently

edit: hi doog!
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Immortalbob of MT

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