PacketFlow - For Ashita And Windower

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2022-05-11
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PacketFlow - For Ashita and Windower
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 Asura.Saevel
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By Asura.Saevel 2022-06-07 08:07:57
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Odin.Deridjian said: »
Matsui-P should get an intensive full-time English course to at least B2 to maybe C1 as part of a professional company training and speak to some persons of the Windower/Ashita community, then push to Yoshi-P and the CEO's to hire them freelance for a while. Can't even imagine what some people could accomplish if they just had the real back end on their hands. UX would be fixed in no time. You guys doing so much work around this game, it's astonishing. Great job actually posting this. Much love to all the devs and data miners out there!

Likely they wouldn't be able to accomplish much if anything. POL / FFXI is old and was designed and built using old technologies and techniques, they might not even be using x86 compatible hardware for the servers. The entire reason we can do stuff with FFXI now is that both Windower and Ashita teams have built a framework that enables them to go around the client. They aren't attempting to fix or modify ancient C code (I think that's what the windows client is written in), opting instead to figure out where it's various functions are kept in memory and just hook into them directly.

SE isn't full of "lazy terrible developers", those guys work their butts off to produce whatever they can. In all likely hood they don't even have anyone around who even knows whatever screwball language the server engine is written in, much less is familiar enough with the networking libraries to not cause catastrophic damage changing them. Pretty much everything they are doing nowadays is scripting / object editing or resource modification, things that can be done with specialized in-house tools and don't require editing engine code.
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 Asura.Sechs
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By Asura.Sechs 2022-06-07 08:21:49
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What Saevel said is true, and we often don't give those programmers enough credit.

At the same time though people like Atom0s first, but secondarily Byrth and Thorny too, have such unbelievable skills that I wouldn't be too surprised to see them reach considerable results after a few months analyzing the original code.
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 Lakshmi.Byrth
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By Lakshmi.Byrth 2022-06-07 08:55:38
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I don't think the ROI is there for SE to hire someone like atom0s to work on FFXI. We would enjoy it, but it's not clear how much more money we'd spend. So you're probably talking about substantially increasing their labor costs for an uncertain return.

Perhaps they have weird contractual reasons why they cannot open source the FFXI client, but that would be an interesting workaround for this problem. It would allow people to fork the repo and build whatever they want. They might not be staffed to review and accept big PRs, but all 3P client modification could be accomplished more directly by modifying and compiling the client. I'm not sure if it actually lets us do anything that we can't do right now, but it would certainly let us do things more directly.
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 Asura.Sechs
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By Asura.Sechs 2022-06-07 09:27:44
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It would certainly allow you guys to expand the packet size limitations and increase the information conveyed in those packets, like for instance adding party buffs info for all of the alliance, or more detailed debuff info for targets.

I'm pretty sure that would be reasonably doable and would be a real boon for us all.
 Odin.Deridjian
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By Odin.Deridjian 2022-06-07 10:45:56
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Sigh,...again,...instanly,...taken way too serious hahaha.

We are actually right now in these weeks at a fascinating point in time where - I'd think for the first time publicly like this - the developers and producers of current and former teams have published stories and opinions about this topic. Matsui just literally made it public that he's aware and would totally love to overhaul many things, including the dev kit [1]. There's no point though in arguing over any of this. Yoshi (who is originally responsible for cut backs to the development to keep the servers alive at all) is partly responsible for budgeting, Matsui is responsible for pushing content and convince Yoshida of that it's necessary and in what way, creators from Creative Business Unit III are then instructed to take that work [2]. My post and this one either, is not meant to describe any state of the game or disrespect the people who have been or are working on this game, but rather throw some positivity and appreciation towards the very energetic developers who dedicate incredible amounts of time to workarounds for the community not provided by the company. It's a fantastic game, even more so for its time, I don't think I was shitting on SE, get it straight (although to be fair I do see why some people might interpret it that way, based on the overall atmosphere in these forums).

It's about showing love for many people who know who they are (some of them working with ancient C code bases btw). I'd bet a few bucks on saying that FFXI would long be dead if we had to run it vanilla. Also not trying to attack you @Saevel, it's rather I feel interpreted wrongly and people should see again and again just how much time some others are investing into solutions that are accessible freely to us common folks. This thread shows the tip of the iceberg in that regards for those who have not yet touched this topic before.

Also by saying that "they wouldn't be able to accomplish much if anything" you just completely discredited years and years of non-stop dedication to the community and insane amounts of reverse engineering resulting in an improvement to the UX and even the UI of this game. Way to go. If you think that's unfair or not accurate to your point, please read this interview with the original producer of FFXI Hiromichi Tanaka where he openly says that he begins developing games he leads by thinking about the UI first.
Be positive people! Try it! It's great. FFXI is great. Windower is great! Matsui is awesome. Yay!
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 Asura.Arico
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By Asura.Arico 2022-06-07 18:02:12
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Asura.Saevel said: »
Likely they wouldn't be able to accomplish much if anything. POL / FFXI is old and was designed and built using old technologies and techniques, they might not even be using x86 compatible hardware for the servers. The entire reason we can do stuff with FFXI now is that both Windower and Ashita teams have built a framework that enables them to go around the client. They aren't attempting to fix or modify ancient C code (I think that's what the windows client is written in), opting instead to figure out where it's various functions are kept in memory and just hook into them directly.

There are literally thousands of people who specialize in doing this exact kind of thing. It's not that hard. Sure, maybe At0mos can't do it(for the record, I would be surprised if he couldn't) but there are definitely lots of people they could hire that could in probably months if not weeks go over the entire codebase and fully document it assuming it's not documented.
 Asura.Saevel
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By Asura.Saevel 2022-06-07 23:03:38
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Asura.Arico said: »
Asura.Saevel said: »
Likely they wouldn't be able to accomplish much if anything. POL / FFXI is old and was designed and built using old technologies and techniques, they might not even be using x86 compatible hardware for the servers. The entire reason we can do stuff with FFXI now is that both Windower and Ashita teams have built a framework that enables them to go around the client. They aren't attempting to fix or modify ancient C code (I think that's what the windows client is written in), opting instead to figure out where it's various functions are kept in memory and just hook into them directly.

There are literally thousands of people who specialize in doing this exact kind of thing. It's not that hard. Sure, maybe At0mos can't do it(for the record, I would be surprised if he couldn't) but there are definitely lots of people they could hire that could in probably months if not weeks go over the entire codebase and fully document it assuming it's not documented.

Yeah no.

We just got doing something like this with some very old java code written circa 2010 where all the original devs have long since left and a single guy remains who is kinda familiar with it. Brought some venders in and the estimate to modernize it was in the millions of USD with a projected time of over a year, more if issues arose (and they always do). They opted to just replace the entire thing with a SaS vendor who specializes in financial services, at a cost of over a million USD per year but they'll manage the whole thing. We still need to write a build a bunch of stuff, but it's all new stuff for integrations with minimal changes to existing code.

Now that was with old java, something that is still well known and used. FFXI servers were launched in Japan in 2002, meaning it's software comes from 1999~2001 era. It's likely some variation of C compiled to run on Sparc64, they were popular in Japan back then and Fujitsu still makes them.

The point is that their server code, which is what needs to be changed to really fix stuff, is ancient and not some .NET, C# or even Visual C project. There is absolutely no way one or two folks, regardless of how good they are, will just walk in and magically be capable of understanding the trashcan fire of spaghetti it will be. An entire team working six months might be able to reverse engineer the crap to safely make changes to core components.
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By Zubis 2022-06-07 23:18:55
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Some of the takes in this thread are going into "I Alone Can Fix It" territory. Hiring one person for a project is a bad idea. If they quit or get hit by a bus then your project is derailed.

Saevel knows what's up. I think it would take a year at least.

Though I don't think the game is quite at COBOL level just yet.
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 Asura.Skyekitty
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By Asura.Skyekitty 2022-06-08 09:29:04
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Is there a way to make a packet that somehow represents multiple packets so more information can be pushed through the same "hole"? Kinda like a zip file packet?

Just asking, I know nothing of this stuff.
 Asura.Arico
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By Asura.Arico 2022-06-08 17:58:05
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Asura.Saevel said: »
We just got doing something like this with some very old java code written circa 2010 where all the original devs have long since left and a single guy remains who is kinda familiar with it. Brought some venders in and the estimate to modernize it was in the millions of USD with a projected time of over a year, more if issues arose (and they always do).


Ok I think I misunderstood what you were saying. I thought your main point of that paragraph was they wouldn't even be able to understand any of it. I wasn't suggesting they could modernize it on their own(or that they should) or that they could do that in months/weeks, just document it. The very first step in that process.
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By RadialArcana 2022-06-08 18:15:28
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The thread should be about the addon and showing appreciation for the hundreds+ of hours work they put into it, not complaining about developers.
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 Asura.Eiryl
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By Asura.Eiryl 2022-06-08 18:43:25
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RadialArcana said: »
The thread should be about the addon and showing appreciation for the hundreds+ of hours work they put into it, not complaining about developers.

It should absolutely be both. Without the latter, the prior wouldn't exist.
 Asura.Meliorah
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By Asura.Meliorah 2022-06-08 22:32:28
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Asura.Eiryl said: »
RadialArcana said: »
The thread should be about the addon and showing appreciation for the hundreds+ of hours work they put into it, not complaining about developers.

It should absolutely be both. Without the latter, the prior wouldn't exist.

It's ffxiv's fault.
 Asura.Raelia
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By Asura.Raelia 2022-06-08 22:36:47
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Actually it kinda is. XIV 1.0's flop is what let to post-75 XI being a thing at all.
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By Draylo 2022-06-08 23:27:05
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XIV is always to blame
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By Seun 2022-06-08 23:57:51
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Asura.Raelia said: »
Actually it kinda is. XIV 1.0's flop is what let to post-75 XI being a thing at all.

Visions of Abyssea - June 2010

FFIXV 1.0 - September 2010



If only there were someone in this fine community who kept some sort of record of the history of this great game. Then maybe people could have a resource to reference when they wanted to comment on periods of the game that they didn't actually experience...
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 Asura.Raelia
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By Asura.Raelia 2022-06-09 00:48:08
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Silly me playing too much since PC release and forgetting the exact order of things that occurred in the same one year span over a decade ago.

XIV was already known to be a clusterfuck before release. I can't find any dates of the beta, but it was rough and that's when most of the Tanaka hate really started.

Edit: Closed beta was in March, a month after the Vanafest announcement that surprised with the 'Ding 76' video. These events are certainly closely related in my mind at least.
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By RadialArcana 2022-06-09 03:59:28
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So a question about this addon, can the developers just put systems in place on the server to ignore whatever this addon does and just block it?
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By Seun 2022-06-09 04:10:41
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The statement is incorrect. SE did not increase the level cap in response to anything related to XIV. Period.


Also, if you'd had alpha/beta access(thanks ZAM) then you'd realize that we(those of us blowing whistle) were greatly outnumbered by the "it's just a beta" crowd who were reserving judgement until the actual launch. You can still find this in archives for the forums that were active at the time.



I don't really care for XIV so I don't mind people lashing out, but at least have a valid reason.
 Asura.Raelia
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By Asura.Raelia 2022-06-09 05:09:55
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I said 'post-75 XI', which had little specificity to only the level cap raise but I gave you the benefit of the doubt toward just being a smartass. You're twisting that to mean one singular event now, even after I admitted those things were closer in time than I thought.

BG believed you about 1.0 being trash, if that's any consolation. The hateboner for Tanaka only got stronger over there. Any extra resources XI got later on, y'know like for an entire expansion, were still likely because of XIV cratering.
 Quetzalcoatl.Xilkk
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By Quetzalcoatl.Xilkk 2022-06-09 10:23:06
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next pie int he sky is to ask a rebuild of ffxi on ue5 :P
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By GwenStacy 2022-06-09 12:18:46
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so has anyone been banned for this yet
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By Andromida 2022-06-19 13:16:53
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It doesn't seem to be working in Dynamis Sandy using Windower Packetflow v0.0.0.3

Loving this thing so much, it sucks playing it normally again >.<
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 Lakshmi.Byrth
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By Lakshmi.Byrth 2022-06-19 13:31:34
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Dynamis Divergence, San d'Oria?

Edit: I see the problem; I was missing that zone ID (294). Will release a new version.

Edit2: Ok, v0.0.0.4 is out
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By Andromida 2022-06-19 14:13:39
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My Windower Launcher doesn't seem to see .4 yet but if you go to Windower/plugins/settings/packetflow.xml and open it in notepad or something and change the "true" to "false", save and reload the plugin. I would advise changing it back when you have finished your run.

Thanks for your fast response thoguh Byrth it is much appreciated :) having got it running again Dyna seems pleasent again :D
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 Asura.Chiaia
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By Asura.Chiaia 2022-06-19 15:29:55
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Andromida said: »
My Windower Launcher doesn't seem to see .4 yet but if you go to Windower/plugins/settings/packetflow.xml and open it in notepad or something and change the "true" to "false", save and reload the plugin. I would advise changing it back when you have finished your run.

Thanks for your fast response thoguh Byrth it is much appreciated :) having got it running again Dyna seems pleasent again :D
Fixed it for Byrth he forgot to update something. It should download now.
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 Lakshmi.Zaps
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By Lakshmi.Zaps 2022-06-19 16:48:35
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I'm using this full-time. Thanks Byrth!
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 Bahamut.Immortalknightx
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By Bahamut.Immortalknightx 2022-06-19 21:21:51
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GwenStacy said: »
so has anyone been banned for this yet

not me, full time last 2 weeks. but then again I dun do anything crazy with it. Just playing the game like normal. No botting, no multi boxing. Just 1 char and 3 mules.

Honestly so many people are stressing this I think for nothing. If you aren't causing crazy problems the devs are pretty much happy to collect your money and keep moving
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By ryukin182 2022-06-19 22:50:19
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GwenStacy said: »
so has anyone been banned for this yet
Been using it since it released. No bans on any character
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