Welcome!

This web site contains programs and other odds and ends regarding the program Anarchy Online, created by the company FunCom.

All of my programs are "third-party" programs; I am not a FunCom employee, simply a player that has written a few utilities to help fellow players out.

About This Site

This website was created as a storage and distribution site for my third-party programs for Anarchy Online. Don't know what that is? Well then, you're in for a treat - go to www.anarchy-online.com and have a look around. To sum it up though, Anarchy Online (AO for short) is a MMORPG set far in the future, about life on the distant planet Rubi-Ka. Life on Rubi-Ka is far from easy; the giant "hyper-corporation" Omni-Tek is engaged in a bitter planetwide civil war with a group of dissidents known collectively as the Clans. Players can choose to either side with the corporation that owns the planet, with the rebels that choose not to live under the yoke of their former oppressors, or walk a delicate path of neutrality between the two.

Myself personally, the path I chose was that of a Meta-Physicist for the giant corporation Omni-Tek. Chosing a Meta-Physicist (MP for short) gives you the ability to control up to three "pets", summoned manifestations to do your bidding. MPs and other "pet controlling" professions in AO command their pets by using user-created scripts, which is an incredibly flexible and often frustrating portion of the game - getting the pets to do what you want, when you want, is a huge part of these professions.

To that end, I wrote the program PetNamer to address some of these problems. AO did not provide any "pre-made" pet controlling scripts, requiring the player to create their own scripts from scratch, and a number of players were turned off by this daunting task. PetNamer made the creation of naming and control scripts simple to make and flexible to modify, and (I sincerely hope) made the AO pet professions much more appealling to play.

The Shadowlands expansion pack introduced the "pocket boss", a process by which a player or group of players could summon up a "boss" type monster that would often yield nice items if defeated. These "pocket bosses" are summoned by an item created by tradeskills, part of which was by assembling four particular pattern pieces for that boss. Since almost everything in Shadowlands drops a pattern piece of some sort, and there are over a hundred and sixty pocket bosses... that was a lot of items to try and keep track of. Naturally, since my MP was good at the tradeskill Nano-Programming (and this skill is required to assemble pattern pieces), I ended up with pattern pieces from folks. A LOT of pieces. Enough that I was filling backpack after backpack of pieces, and losing my mind trying to keep track of them and find matches amongst them.

So one day, I sat down and started tinkering around with the "datastream" in AO, the part specifically that relates to when a backpack is opened. Sure enough, this information could be read into a text file, so I wrote the Pattern Matcher, a program that would sort though all this raw data, find matches for these patterns, and let me know what was left over. This program immediately became quite popular; apparently I wasn't the only one being asked "Hey, I have this piece here - got anything that'll go with it" ... heh.

With Pattern Matcher released, I was asked over and over a very good question - if that could be done with pattern pieces, how about other items? Can a multiple-backpack item sorter be made? I really liked that idea, so after tinkering with the datastream reader to make it more robust I set to work on that. The Anarchy Online Inventory System (AOIS) program was originally terribly slow, taking a half-hour to sort an entire bank, but it was so well received that I kept re-working it again and again until it was able to sort an entire character's inventory in under two minutes. And what fun it was learning how to do that! Maintaining AOIS has been the majority of my work with my programs and easily the most popular, with several thousand downloads... though Leetie gets more views, believe it or not!

The Chat Alert program was created when the question was asked if there was ever a replacement for the AOChatSounds program of long ago. AOChatSounds was a program that would play a sound file when a certain phrase was found in chat, but the chat-system overhaul introduced in AO in the spring of 2004 caused that program to no longer work. Looking over how the new style of chat could be interpreted, I was quite impressed with the log file parsing that the AOParser program used to read in data, and felt that it would be a better method for reading in information compared to the datastream parsing I was used to. So another challenge, but again a fun one to figure out (all of my programs are learning exercises in one way or another!)

A funny bit of trivia - the Chat Alert program was done for two weeks before it was actually released, not because of a bug but because of shyness. I searched high and low for voices I could use for verbal cues in the program (the whole story is in Chat Alert's FAQ file), and eventually used my own voice for the sound files. Call me shy, but it took some of the testers to convince me. Heh.

The Log Reviewer program was actually a pretty simple, one-afternoon project, based on an off-hand comment someone made in the AO official forums about how difficult it was to parse out just a single channel of a chat log file. Since I already had a "chat log parsing engine" in Chat Alert, it was a pretty easy task to tinker with it into a simple log file parser.

Character Profiler is unique in that it's a far from finished program. The original release (1.0.0) was more of a "proof of concept" program, to simply see if it was possible to parse in your own character's information. To answer the #1 asked question about the program - I know it'd be nice to have it include player attributes and skills, and yes, I'm working on that.

Incidently, Character Profiler used to be a seperate project, but since it shared so much code in common with AOIS, I figured it'd be simpler to just incorporate it into AOIS itself. So if you're looking for it, look to the AOIS page.

Anyhow, that's a bit of history behind the programs. This website was once hosted by Tripod, but their notion of restricting bandwidth and advertisement placement became a big issue with the release of Pattern Matcher. Moving servers not only did away with those issues, it made it much simpler to maintain.

Oh, and no, I'm not accepting any donations for the site or for the programs. They're provided free because that's how it should be. If you'd truly like to provide something, I'd ask you to find a new player of a profession that you're familiar with and offer to spend some time with them; AO is a social game and should be played to be enjoyed.

See you all in-game!

Halorn aka Voralitex (Meta-Physicist, Atlantean)