For Z-Net I Followers

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I figure I should probably state this more clearly for all the people coming to this blog for Z-Net I related info. This is no longer the projects home. That was officially made to be when I released that website. Any new info on the project will be released there. This blog will go back to as it was before I begone being active on getting ZNI ready for a release, in that this blog is my personal blog. Meaning its about my rants and feelings about whatever, and about all my projects, Z-Net related or not.

If you're just coming here for Z-Net related info, then I suggest you may want to change your book mark to, the news page, or the forums. With that said, you don't have to. If you find other things interesting here, by all means check on this blog too. I just felt I should make that clear to people.

News: Z-Net I's Future

Thursday, May 24, 2012

After a few more days to think about it I've come to a decision. ZNI's user base is failing to live up to both what I hoped it could at this point and what the poll results made it seem it would be. I'm really believing now that the poll was defiantly cheated, and I have wasted my time on another project only a handful of people care about. What the past week and a half has shown me is, even that handful of people don't really care. Forum activity is pathetic. I caved in and added 3 more mods, suddenly none of which seem to be very active anymore. One already stated he won't be able to do much and has been removed. I can't take a single day off without people running wild without moderation. I've had to invest FAR more time into this project then I ever wanted to when I started it, and I'm continuing to have to invest FAR more time into it to maintain it then I ever wanted. I don't see the immediate future getting any better for me. There's just a serious imbalance with the project in that any good coming out of the project is far outweighed by the bad for me.

I'll officially declare now that Z-Net I will not see any new additions as its failing to live up anywhere close to that minimum user base I wanted for it to receive any. Honestly, while I know of 1-2 bugs, I won't be even working on them at all now. I don't even think I'll be moderating anymore, as if the users don't care then why should I?

I'll check in on the project for time to time. Things may change, and I just need to give it time. Time is all I can give anymore. Hopefully soon I'll also be able to play some on it, and finally get fun in some form out of it.

In the meantime without the project, hopefully I'll put some more time into D3 as I've fallen far behind everyone I know. A friends store has reopened, so maybe I'll pickup Magic the Gathering again 1-2 days a week there. Maybe I'll fiddle with some project I don't plan to release again. Like Z-Band. Maybe I'll finally get around to leveling my DK on WoW to 85. Maybe I'll try out my plan for some new websites/blogs. I have options, and none of which I've been seriously able to try while having to be so involved with ZNI.

For now, I encourage users who want to see the project do well, to try. If this thing hits 30 users at some point, then I'll resume work on it. Even that number is a bit low, but is a minimum to start with. By try, I mean tell others about the project. Forums, friends, websites, whatever. Participate in the forum community. Log in and play as often as you can. If you do the last two things, put your name in the hat to be added as a Jr Mod. This project shouldn't be maintained by a 1 man army, it should be maintained by a community. That's you.

News: Z-Net I's First Weekend Being Public, My Impressions

Monday, May 21, 2012

I chose to release ZNI as a true public beta earlier Friday to give it an ample opportunity to take advantage of the weekend, which has seemed to be zbattles prime time in the past. I've hoped that by the end of the weekend, ZNI's peak user count would have doubled, and previously dead times of day would  have started to see life. While hoping for that, I expected a ton of new users, and planned to see the 2-3 mods the project has stretch their legs and take some of the load off my shoulders. And I hoped to see the community pick up even more then it already had on the forums and IRC chat channel.

I'm sad to say that as this weekend reaches it's completion, I'm extremely disappointed. Rather then all of the aspects I've mentioned growing, they shrunk, or at best stayed exactly the same.

While new users might have seemed to pick up, past users seem to have maybe decreased, netting what I'm certain is at the most maintaining the max population, which is disappointing itself.

Everything else I've mentioned went down

One of my established mods has been MIA for various reasons, the other being on a little, and the new one I finally decided to add based on his frequent activity and helpfulness is no where to be seen as well. So I've been left most of the weekend as the sole mod trying to keep users informed of and following the rules. In the end I had more to shoulder rather than less. Except for Sunday. Things were so dead most of the day, I didn't have to do much.

And both the forum activity and IRC channel activity have just utterly died completely, with mainly just me posting anything or hanging out in the channel.

This is basically why I didn't want to get to invested in this project. I poor tons of my time over the last month into debugging and fixing the program, creating and fine tuning a new website, being as active as possible when moderating the users, finally coming around to the idea that this thing might just do well, start letting myself get my hopes up, and everything dies.

I think I need to take time off from this project soon. It's only the first weekend being truly public, and things could very well still pick up. I'm certainly not ending the project or anything. Outside of proper moderation, this project can sustain itself. But I just can't see myself being active while I wait for things to pick up. It will sap whatever enthusiasm I have left for the project to do so. So I'll be wrestling with that idea for now, and we will see what comes of it.

For now, the program is stable, the website is functional and mostly done, the forums should be sufficient for user needs. I can't shelve moderator duties, so I'll just do my best to handle those while still stepping back some if I indeed need to do so.

News: Z-Net I Open Beta & New Website

Friday, May 18, 2012

Z-Net I has been out for almost 2 weeks now as a forum member only beta. There doesn't seem to be many bugs left so I feel it's time now to try and get this project really going without restrictions. I'm now releasing Z-Net I as a open beta, meaning you can download it here or anywhere. It's no longer restricted to just members of the Z-Net forum. Also I'll completely support all normal sharing of this projects existence in regards to news submissions to websites that would genuinely be interested in the project. Before I just supported it being posted about to a few community forums in an attempt to draw interest from former zbattle users, and to have just a large enough pool of users to get this thing more properly tested. But now I'm hoping completely new users find the program as well.

This stage of the beta is little more then a real release, just with a "Beta" label so people know to expect bugs. But I feel this build "should" be stable and able to last awhile on its own before another update is needed.

Additionally, today I'm opening up the new dedicated Z-Net site. The project will still have a page here, but this new site will be the projects main home. The site is mostly done except for the about, faq and rules pages, of which I will get to when I can. For now this rules post should do, the introduction on the main page should be enough, and the faq will just be added to as needed.

Lets try to get this thing packed with players now!

Z-Net Homepage

News: Domain Name Changes

Saturday, May 12, 2012

As you will hopefully notice, there are some domain name changes going on. I've registered as something short and simple to use for both my blog and the forums. And something I can just point elsewhere if I ever need to move either. As you can tell my blog is now a sub-domain of the z-net url. The root url will hopefully someday be used for the Z-Net projects themselves. But not at this time outside of just the forums.

Since I'm posting some news, and it's been a few days since I've posted about the status of Z-Net I, I'll piggy back whatever info I can on this post.

There's not really much to talk about. The bans I did were lifted. I've released 2 updates on the forum for Z-Net I since it launched. It seems pretty stable for now. At least as far as I can tell. We still have far to few English speaking users to really get some clear feedback. The population isn't much right now, but in contrast to my past 2 Z-Net's, people are actually willing to stick around and wait if they can't find someone to play with right away. So in that sense the population is doing good I guess. But hopefully only due to the forum only release, there hasn't been a particularly high peak of users yet. But its only been 5 days, so I'm not expecting much for that reason either. My release schedule and plans are still not set in stone. I'm still just winging it. But my current plan is to roll in a code addition that's bigger then I'd really want to do at this point, but need to. I'd like to get that finished and get it privately tested for a couple days, then rolled out to the forum members within this week. And hopefully go on with a real public beta next week sometime (8-15 days from this posts date). That beta will be freely available on my blog, and worthy of submitting news to any site that would care about it. And one I'd openly condone distributing outside of my blog/forum. A version a community could hopefully start being built on.


Bad timing since I'm still waiting for all the DNS stuff to clear, but the forum server is experiencing some issues right now. Please be patient.

News: A Legend is Born (World of Warcraft)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Last night after a week of drama, a couple long grueling weeks of trying to find a raid group, and several month's of work, my guild "KOTH" and I finally got our first Legendary item done. The Legendary daggers "Golad, Twilight of Aspects" and "Tiriosh, Nightmare of Ages" for my Rogue. It's amazing for me as seeing all I had to go through, and the extraordinary amount of luck that had to come my way in order to get this all done.

I started my quest for these daggers in the fall of last year, when they were announced. I wasn't even playing WoW then, and didn't even really plan to. Part of me wished I was purely for those daggers and the fact that probably the thing I miss the most from EverQuest was long significant quests for great weapons called Epic's (or other items for that matter). WoW didn't have that most of the time, and even when it did, my main class was always excluded. I could poke holes in the difference of EQ Epics and WoW Legendarys, mostly stating how I liked the Epic Quests more. But this Legendary is close enough!

I tried a emu server for a month just to see if I was interested in played WoW again at all. It killed some time, but it was boring and the horrible maintenance of the server got so bad that after a ridiculous 2 week rollback and login queue getting added, making things so much worse on top of the server stability it failed to fix, a friend was able to talk me back into played the real WoW again. A month later I rejoined my old guild and hoped to start raiding with them again, and start working on my Legendary. I quickly got the 1st stage daggers. After waiting over 1 month after the Dragon Soul raid instance was released, our raid finally went back, only to lead me to find at the last minute that instead of me being able to work on my Legendary 100% with them, they let one of the members log his alt Rogue reducing my chances to 50%. Then only after the first cluster dropped, did they let me know my chances were 0% as they just gave it to that all without discussing it with me one bit. Obviously I was pissed at my main being passed over for an alt, and about how the whole thing was handled on their part. They wasted over 1 month of my time by not informing me of their plan, and my raid lockout for that week. I quickly disbanded from the guild minutes after that. They did a poor job of handling discussing things with me from there. A couple days later, only due to my desire to remain guilded with people I liked that weren't part of that raid team, I rejoined and begone my personal quest to find myself a new raid team from outside that guild. As a Rogue period, especially one seeking his Legendary, this was a horrible time to be looking for a raid, and odds were dismal. Yet, I had no choice and hoped to rely on my skill and gear to get a raid to take a chance on me. After a long grueling week of countless hours spent looking for a raid, posting on forums, talking in whispers with people, etc. I finally found a raid. With KOTH. I raided with them once, and they were perfect for me. They were all around better then my old raid groups, weren't a bunch of annoying tools in vent like I was afraid of finding, wanted to progress but weren't hardcore, etc. They even seemed to appreciate me as if I were a lucky find due to my raiding experience and ability to contribute quality DPS. Sadly, after just one week, my permanent spot in the raid group was no more and I was left back to finding another raid again. 1 more long grueling week later, KOTH wanted me back. And since then I have truly been a permanent part of the raid team. Shortly before achieving the 2nd stage set of my daggers, I joined the guild on my Rogue as well.

From there the drama and ordeals were mostly gone, and it was just a grind for many weeks for us to finally get the dagger set completed last night. At this point, I'm now the 20th ranked character on the server, 4th among Rogues on my faction, #1 in my guild. Our guild is tied for 10th on the server with 3 Heroic bosses down. Soon we hope to get 1-2 more. These Legendary daggers should more firmly cement me at the top of the DPS meters on more fights, and help greatly when progressing through more content.

Oh, and OMG! I have WINGS!!!

News: Bans Issued Already

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

While I was redundantly clear on one thing, I should have been more clear on another. This beta is ONLY for members of the official Z-Net forum, which was made clear. And it is only for such members that can clearly communicate issues that they find. Meaning at the least, people who speak clear English. I completely expected a few non-English speakers to find the program, and had no intention of denying them the ability to use it. But by far the combination of one such community releasing my programs file outside of my forum, and posting about the project to the result of drawing in a large amount of such users, is to much to the point of were I've had to take drastic action.

I've banned a large range of users from using Z-Net I as a result. I'm sorry to those effected by this, as I completely expected and was willing to accommodate some portion of the user base who just wanted to play. But 1 guy has ruined things for the rest of you. And has also proven right claims from many users about such community's, which is sad. For the future, I don't know what my plans will be for such players. Maybe I need to talk to a community representative first before deciding.

At the very least, I would need to be more properly equipped to manage such users, beta or not, before I'd consider removing the bans.

News: Z-Net I Public Beta

Monday, May 07, 2012

The day is finally here! The birthday for Z-Net I (and myself).

This isn't a full release as I still expect there to be issues, and maybe even some I know about already. I promised to release this thing within a couple weeks of the poll hitting 50, and luckily for me its reached a point were it seems I can keep my word! The issues are mostly all cosmetic stuff at this point. The beta testers have been scraping the bottom of the barrel lately finding obscure and odd bugs, which is a decent sign that a more public release is warranted. We are going to just need more hands on this thing to refine it more from here. Though still, I don't really want to go full force at a full population for this thing just yet. So in a effort to buffer some of the users, I'm opting for a forum member only download of the program. The idea is that if your signed up for the forum, you have no reason not to post about issues outside of pure laziness.

I'm uncertain what my personal plans are on the project from here. I've been grinding away at it the past couple weeks to get it ready, and it's taking a toll on me. So I may not be working on it as much as I have been. But for now, I do still plan to work on it at least.

I do have to clearly state though, that I do NOT plan to add new features at this time. I am only concerned with getting it working correctly as is. Please keep this in mind when posting about issues.

Once completely refined and released fully, I still won't declare any intention to start adding new features. As I've stated in the past, my continued advancement of the project is directly related to its popularity and my general interest. While I certainly wouldn't let a project go for 10 years with a population like zbattle had, without a single advancement, I too would have periods of time were I'm busy or not interested in working on it. And if their were only a handful of users using it, effort spent on advancing the project would just be a waste. That said, my personal hope IS for the project to get to the point were I can start advancing it. And if I'm bored, and personally feel an advancement could directly increase it's population, I may do it anyway.

That all said, on to the reason you're here! Follow this forum link, sign up, download and have fun!

Z-Net I Public Beta Release Thread

News: Just Another Progress Update

Thursday, May 03, 2012

While I'm still not ready to declare a release date yet, finding bugs in Z-Net I is starting to wined down. Some of the testing feedback seems to indicate that it's working pretty stable, and mostly just the file transfer feature is likely were most of any remain bugs will be found. I'm not certain how I'm going to want to handle the release yet. I'm considering a silent public beta, where I would just release the program link in the #Z-Net channel or forums for a couple days to help iron out any new bugs that are found with a smaller user base before a true public release. But judging by the lack of beta applications, there still may not be enough interest in this project for that plan to do any good.

But since a release is starting to look like it's in sight now, I should start some planning ahead. I don't know for certain how zbattle did it, but as far as I know just veeborg moderated it. For ZNI however, I want some moderators other then myself as I can't be around all day long. I'm still drawing up a moderator FAQ, and generally thinking of what all is going to be involved. But I know enough now to know I should start a search for moderators as soon as I can. What would be required of a moderator is first, a GOOD IRC client, preferably mIRC as it's scripting language offers access to tools that could make things much easier. I have little experience with IRC clients other then mIRC so I don't know of any offhand, but if another supports being able to use the minimum results I need from a mods client, then that could be fine as well.

If you would care to be a mod, you can post as such on the forum. I have no post setup for it yet, so just post a new one for now.

News: The End of the Poll

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The poll has reached the end date I chose for it. It reached it's minimum goal, but didn't go much past it. At the end of the month the final tally is 65. I swear it was at 70 the other day. I can only guess that it really did get cheated some.

Anyway, the final result changes nothing really. I still plan to release the program. And still plan to just wait and see before I decide on if I want to progress the project forward with improvements to the UI and features. I've extended the poll date now, just to keep it around to collect information. I will remove it from the main page soon though.

Progress is still going forward with testing. I'm fixing several issues a day with it. Honestly, far more then I would have expected would be present in it. Most of the testing seems to be focused on the file transfer feature right now. I think it mostly works, just there are some crashes and some issues that can be produced with it.

Maybe since today's a milestone for the projects development, I should at least give anyone following the progress something for news. So I guess I'll officially declare the projects new name.

Z-Net I

To me that represents it the best. The "I" can take many meanings, but gives the feel that it's somehow both a successor and a completely new project then the 2 mIRC scripts.

The "I" can be viewed as meaning "Independent", "Improved", "Imitation", or anything else that could reflect the project. And of course it also serves as the roman numeral of one, to signify that it is a new breed and won't have everything that the 2.0 mIRC script had, and if anything it more closely resembles the 1.0 mIRC script.

I'll also declare that this project will use a new channel. The old one will still be used primarily as a chatting channel in addition to being the default channel for the old mIRC scripts. Since there should be little reason people would want to use those, it will likely mostly just be a chat channel. Keep in mind though, that while its getting its own new channel, that will change little for the users. There will be no ability to see chat or talk in the channel itself. While I designed the new programs to be able to cleanly be used by users not on the new client, this is still cleaner. And the user count will actually reflect about how many users are using the program and not just idling around in mIRC or something.