L2jMobius (the story)

Mobius · 1 · 2583

Online Mobius

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The L2jMobius story (2005 to 2019)

For myself, L2jMobius is the continuation of L2jServer as it should have evolved.
Most of the original code has been cleaned, simplified and improved after creating custom benchmarks, java coding tools and parsers.
We do not use leaked retail files as a source, but videos and ingame information to create accurate representations.
Using retail files is against our policy for what being an open source emulator is.

I wanted to write this down, to mostly educate the younger generations, on what is my perspective on server emulation.
It is known that history is writen by the victors, and after all these years, I do not feel like a victor at all.
There are a lot of posts on the internet, with false information, on how and what I did, with this project.

You can verify what I write in this post by simple searching on the internet.
I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my projects come by accident. It came by work.
Because this will probably hurt the pride of some people and posts will get lost, I will keep screenshots.

Expect much bitterness reading this. I will not hold back my personal feelings.
I could add much more details, but this will get quite big, because of the fifteen years it expanded upon.
Personal, real life matters, that lead to some situations are not mentioned as well.
This is not the story of my life and how cruel the world is, but the story of L2jMobius.
Tho it started with me...

As a teenager I wanted to make my own game.
The programming languages I involved with where Basic/VB, Pascal/Deplhi and C/C++. Kinda over the top, for someone of my generation.
I have tried tools like The Games Factory and Dark Basic with very poor results.
Unlucky for me, proper game engines cost insane amounts of money.

The early 2000s was the era you could find many elegal files for making a game, freely shared on the internet.
In fact you can still find a lot by just googling. But worrying for legitimacy issues, I was struggling to find something legal.
L2jserver claimed to be and still does, free, open source and legal, if you made no client modifications.

July 26th 2005
The idea of legaly working on a proffesional game, by using an emulated server, seemed great at that time.
So I joined L2jServer as Pandragon.

July 26th 2005
Since the first day, started contributing to the community.
My first share was 1-2-3 GM Shop.

At this point, it was prety much clear, that L2jServer was not as legal as they promoted it to be.
A major controversy was the separation of the project, as server and databack, in an attempt to bounce potential legal issues.
Even so, walking on a very thin line, L2jServer still claimed to be legal and there was no other emulator claiming that.
Having no alternatives I took their word for it.

September 5th 2005
While trying to figure how to remove the L2j login welcome message,
and absolutely sure that L2j team members already did that, I made a post about it on ragezone forums.
That lead to the ban of my account and deletion of my posts on L2jServer forum.

October 14th 2005
With no alternative projects, L2jServer inner team members, used their forum authority as abusive as they could.
They made insane rules that fit their taste, contradicting what was expected from an open source project.
Posts where censored without reasoning.

September 12th 2006
During the next year, the existing, strict, non acceptance contributions rule
for free shares that where shared out of the forum, reached a whole new level of insane.
Even if the share was freely shared and despite the fact L2jServer used GPL, that totaly accepts fork work to be commited.
Here you can see the aftermath, after refusing to commit an essential, but simple, NPC SQL fix.

Jule 19th 2007
Gameguard was causing inability to connect to the client since C3.
L2jServer inner members even made a wiki page on how to buypass it, with a legal, but surely controversial method.

April 27th 2009
As the client updates came one after another, there was more and more missing game content.
Non inner circle members tried to help a lot at that time. But most contributions where rejected.
Contributed content should be completely finished, retail and properly scripted to be committed.
Here is Pailaka injured dragon shared ten years ago and still not commited.

September 29th 2009
Any question regarding geodata, essential for proper movement, that existed quite some time with the project, was rejected.
I guess selling geodata on external sites for 600 euros was better for some of them.
Ten years later, these tools are still private, even if developed by L2j inner team members.

December 4th 2009
Five years after its creation, L2jServer still tried to bounce anything legal related.
When gameguard prevented login to the client, L2jServer members avoided people asking for information.

On 2010 my account was somehow unbanned, probably because there was a new L2jServer forum.
I made posts on the forum tring to contribute, even under their insane rules, since 2010.
For the next three years I made over 300 posts.

November 30th 2011
Goddess of Destruction launched.

April 30th 2012
L2jServer inner team still worked on incomplete HighFive and refused to develop GoD.

January 11th 2013
With L2jServer still refussing to go further than Highfive...
L2jMobius was published based on russian files, with as much as possible L2jServer coding logic.

June 24th 2013
I kept trying to show that an L2jServer based GoD was possible.
Made the LHSFW GoD - L2jServer based GoD project.

March 14th 2013
After promoting andreagighi to forum administrator, all the forum gets deleted.
Right after that, founding members, andreagighi and vegax made a new fork. L2jEuropa.

April 1st 2013
Made a new site at www.mobius.netau.net but was too late, most members moved to L2jEuropa.
Also L2jEuropa claimed, that I, stole their work. Glory Days development stopped.
Not an April's fool joke.

In the year to come, after people saw L2jEuropa got clean with stealing, it created a mess.
Copied and even stolen projects where sold on maxcheaters forum with all copyrights removed.

November 28th 2013
After three years keeping up and trying to help L2jServer, working with other developers,
some of them recommended me to be promoted to an advanced L2jServer forum member.
Current leader, Zoey76, seemed friendly, compared to previous team leaders, so I accepted.

May 3rd 2014
The next half year proved that advanced members where treated as mere peasant subteam,
we even had a separate Skype conversion from inner team members, with us offcource having no access to theirs.
Not to mention UnAfraid taunting us for working on L2jUnited, an unknown to most L2jServer fork, with everything working retail.
Our contributions, as normal members, where still denied, accepted after strict changes that most of the time should figure by ourselves.
Proposals made by us where denied under the pretence that some inner team member was already working it,
with the casual inner team member reminder that we where too inadequate to make it work properly, even we made sure it was retail.
They took pride for using retail servers as a reference, even later proved to be flaunt and badly implemented.
Here you can see the essential, High Five Nevit system, properly made, but still not committed after fifteen years.

May 3rd 2014
Up to this point, L2jServer inner team still did not want to proceed with GoD development.
After almost of one year and L2jEuropa dead, I shared my Lindvior project on maxcheaters forum
and started to look for people that wanted to help with the development.

After mentioning on the Advanced L2jServer members Skype conversation that Pandragon and Mobius, is the same person,
it was obvious that the inner members interest rise, people asked questions and finally...
L2jServer GoD development started privately by UnAfraid and Sdw (that already worked privately on Lindvior and Valiance clients).

May 31th 2014
Site was reported for elegal activities and got shut down by host.
Made a new forum using forumotion, that L2jLisvus used for years, with the hope it will not shutdown again.

August 17th 2014
L2jTW was working on an Ertheia project based on their L2jServer branch.
Despite the projects low quality, people where quite interested in using Ertheia files.

November 5th 2014
L2jMobius Ertheia started as a beta branch with updated packet structures from L2jTW.

November 19th 2014
It seems a couple of weeks after I released my Ertheia branch L2jServer finaly publicated their own.
Here you can see Sdw commiting the protocol config change from HighFive to Ertheia.

At that time russian files had significaly more content, and with some members adapting parts of the L2jServer files to our files,
the state of completion for the L2jMobius files was uncomparable to the newly L2jServer Ertheia with High Five content.
Non the less, L2j inner team members, discriminated on Skype conversation how bad all russian based projects where
and how bad and uninformed maxcheaters members where.

December 16th 2014
UnAfraid, probably after seeing how many members L2jMobius gained by using maxcheaters to recruit people,
made something that no other snob, know all, L2jServer inner team members' pride never permited them to do.
He made a post for the L2jServer project, on the very forum they mocked, maxcheaters.

January 1st 2015
With the first slip...
When someone adapted the clan entry system and did not add author name, UnAfraid made a friendly post on our forum.
Tho because we still talked on the L2jServer Skype conversation, as we both where L2jServer members, I never saw it as friendly.
The fact that an L2j inner team member was rushing on another forums, showed how jeleous and threatened the inner members felt.

January 1st 2015
Since my intention was always to make an L2jServer based GoD, adapting all feature systems made by L2jServer was not realistic,
and L2j inner team guys where clearly annoyed of me using parts of their code, I decided to make a new fork, as many have done before me.
L2jMobius based on L2jServer Ertheia developemnt has started. Unike other existing forks, it was still free and not private.

About this time we moved to a new forum at l2jmobius.com that was donated by Jalemao.

January 18th 2015
A couple of weeks later, L2jServer members keep us in mind that they are watching.
Not only unheard of, but started to become anoying for me. As said, I was not the first guy to make an L2jServer fork.
At this point I had people that previously helped, sharing everything on L2jServer forum.

Even if many members shared contributions based on retail information on L2jServer forum, many of them where never committed.
On the other hand, I checked and committed almost everything. Things that lead L2jMobius having more content once more.
More content lead to more members and apparently more hate from the L2jServer team.

February 2nd 2015
A couple of weeks later L2jServer inner team members, except Zoey76 and Zealar, created a private L2jServer fork.
L2jUnity was created. (Creation date information was obtained over a year later, after L2jUnity project ended.)

February 10th 2015
A week later they made their announcement.
Most of all the active L2j inner team members left the L2jServer team and are now known as L2jUnity.
L2jServer becomes prety much the same with what it is now, dead.

Non the less L2jMobius flurished, for over a year many quests and spawns where added based on retail observations.
We added new items, NPCs and even updated to the latest client, Infinite Odyssey - Underground.
The only tiring thing that was at 85% completition was skills, we had people help, but always abandoned working on it.
L2jUnity members still kept watching and mocking L2jMobius on the first chance, on any forum.
There was only one reminder, that even we could not see what they where doing, their project was better.

April 8th 2016
After a DMCA claim L2jServer github page was shut down.

June 4th 2016
L2jUnity project ended and shared their private sources.

June 10th 2016
After all the brainwashing on how better L2jUnity was,
no person helping on the missing 15% of the skills, only left with a few people working on the project,
and a lot people, that later tragicaly blamed me earning money from it, proposed to make the project private with a fee,
I decided to merge all the L2jUnity shared work with my current 1400+ changes to make a better project, this time, in private.
The initial subscription fee was 10 euros per year. Also all my previous work was shared for free.

June 11th 2016
Apparently L2jUnity has not ended.
Now it is a subscription based project charging 20-30 euros per month, with a free release every three months or so.
Proven to be at least controversial, with a total of 3 releases, in their 1.5 year span of having subscribers.
(Later they edited their post, to assume the releases could be delayed for months.)

L2jUnity members spammed on all forums how better they where, how much more retail and complete their project was,
and most people beeing opportunists, even people that worked close with me, silently left L2jMobius and joined L2jUnity.

June 12th 2016
L2jServer, moved to bitbucket to avoid the legal issues they experienced with github.

At this point, I understoud, kinda late, that using L2jUnity sources was a huge mistake. Yes, now skills where working.
But some essential parts, like skill enchanting, where totaly not working. Prime shop was hackable with cheat engine and more.
They still took pride for using retail servers as a reference, but proven to be interpreted faulty once more.
Never the less, I fixed hundreds of bug reports and made the project stable again.

December 8th 2016
Seven months after their first release L2jUnity released a new free version.
This release felt like it was intentionally delayed, waiting for my project to die off without their fixes.
Fortunately for me, I had aleady made all needed fixes on my own.
For this and their last release, I took only parts of their code and despite what they said,
always left the original author name, unless changes where more than 3/4 of the original file.

Their poison speading for me stealing, their essensially freely shared work and egotistic posts made more eyes turn off my project.
People did not bother joining the same people that abandoned L2jServer to work privately, nor that they now asked fair money for it.
They gathered all the developers they could. From former L2jServer and Tenkai developers to NetPro tool author.
People where ass kissing L2jUnity members, hoarding for files. L2jUnity members enjoyed it, they said jump and people asked how high.
Here was the peak of their hateful propaganda of me being a thief (that worked on freely shared files)
and a not a person helping others for over ten years and still, essentially, sharing his work for free.

December 19th 2016
It is a fact that when someone helped with L2jMobius development had subscription for free.
Needless to say, at least three L2jUnity members had already 10 euro subscriptions, almost since day one.
After a few months, with the low cost yearly subscription, there where more people having a leaked version than actual subscribers.
This lead to the subscription most members went by, 60 euros per year and everyone getting the compiled project for free.

During the next year my Classic project became prety much the best thing you could get for only 60 euros.
With Support for a year, not to mention getting all the other L2jMobius projects as a bonus under the same fee.

October 14th 2017
L2jUnity stopped accepting subscribers. Went full private again.
Never the less, they still spread their poison for L2jMobius, clearly intentional, even in the years to come.
People that once where actively contributing to my project, but L2jUnity kept them as private members, totaly did the same.
Take this reference to think about people. Making this the last time I mention them.

During the next year I fixed several problems that sourced back to L2jServer. For a while the server became quite unstable.
Some members got furstrated with it, but the end result made the project stand out.
For me, it was the first time that felt the game was emulated as it should.

July 7th 2018
When reaching a point that there are no other projects arround, it makes you wonder.
All these years people bouncing with legal issues. People claiming they used retail sources for development.
This started to become unsoothing for me. On top of that, I bumped on github's new license proposal page.
That made me have some serious legal concerns about the license of the project and how free and open source it really was.
So I made a post about it on L2jServer forum, proposing to change the license from the restrictive GPLv3 to a permisive truly open source license.
Unfortunately Zoey76 made clear that he did not intend to take such an action.

August 3rd 2018
At this point, I had the negative responce from Zoey76 about the license, the remaining two free members not involing any more with the project
and the current subscribers feel more like customers than contributing members. This was never about getting money, but serious people to work with.
So the only option that felt correct was to make the project free again. On the other hand people had payed money for it.
In order to become, once more, a free project by the next year and stand correct with what the project had become to current subscribers,
I made the announcement that by the end of 2018, we will stop accepting new subscribers and that I would give access only to people that help.

January 1st 2019
I announced that there will no longer be people gaining access via a subscription.
And I did as such. Even denied some hefty donation proposals in order to share my files.

The following two months I continued working privately, improving the project.
I kept all people that had payed the yearly subscription, that was the right thing to do, but also a mistake.
L2jMobius was not public, but people would leak the files on various forums.

March 2nd 2019
Even with the project being closed, the leaks kept going. We where back to square one.
To prevent this, after contacting Tryskell on aCis, I adopted his freemium system.
Since L2jServer refused to change the license, I had no choice other than keeping the GPLv3.

For anyone with doupts that private work is not permited with GPLv3...

March 15th 2019
It has been a few years that the site and code repository hosting where provided by Jalemao and Stayway.
After a few hosting bumps and the resolve that the project could self provide the hosting from subscriptions,
it was decided to move the site at l2jmobius.org, to better reflect, that we were an open-source project.
The code repository moved to new svn location, with a git backup and bitbucket used for the free releases.

June 24th-29th 2019
Even with freemium system, there where still people that leaked the private project.
The system remained, but the initial fee increased to prohibit this from happening.
This caused many people to join the project as inner team members by making contributions.
As a result 2019 was one of the most beneficial years for the project, with over than 2000 commits!

What I try to do and how I do things, needs a lot of dedication.
I will not make public any information post 2019, other than, financially one man should not maintain a project like this.
Health wise, only the stress buildup from talking to some people, is big enough to make you think to abandon ship.

Before downloading L2jMobius, take some time to ask yourself.
This is not 2005 any more. Did all this worth it?