Now that the homework’s done, down to business!

For the last week or so I’ve been absolutely obsessed with my final homework assignment, so other than a little socializing and running reroll or semi-afk golding scripts I haven’t been doing very much on the Realms.

When last we checked in I had started working on modernizing an item database that I used extensively when I played before.  This program was originally written by a player named Daltorak (a close friend, I’ll respect his privacy here) and was shared with me when I started playing.  It didn’t take long before we added a ton of useful features to it.  One of the most useful modes of this program was the ability to play “Mr. Dressup”.  Put in your character’s stats and start choosing equipment to dress them in.  This mode was invaluable for setting goals or planning different builds.  This program was collaborative, both Warren and I would share databases via ICQ and merge them.  This was years before Alexian started sharing his database with anyone.

The fact that I can use this program today and still get tremendous utility out of it is a testament to Daltorak’s original design.

What else was this great for?  Oh, any “find the item” type quest.  With nearly 2,500 entries spanning from old clan to (at the time) current, it was very hard to stump us for an item… foods, drinks, keys, scraps, whatever, we probably had it.  When we started importing the output of c ‘locate object’ and auction channel the database ballooned (these were the days before donation rooms were no-locate).

So where am I at?  I have set up a SQL database with the structure of what I think will model Realms items nicely.  Today I installed Turbo Pascal 5.5 into a VirtualBox session so that I could convert the existing database out to a comma separated spreadsheet.  You don’t appreciate how far OSes have come until you go back and do some serious text manipulation in a DOS editor… I’m telling you!!  This is almost complete and then I have to try to write an import script to the new database.  This won’t be too hard, but might be labour intensive and might reveal some flaws in my otherwise perfect plan 🙂  The item formats are in the pre-Shattering format, that is items might be “anti-good” instead of “allowed: good neutral” so a tremendous amount of verification will be needed to bring it up to a level I’ll be satisfied with it, but for now, not so bad.

Oh, yes, it is my plan that most of the database features will be available publicly … why wouldn’t I want to share and collaborate?  Exactly what form that’s going to be in is still to be determined, but feel free to comment and let me know what YOU’d like to see.


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