Readme: Beginner's Guide / Expectations

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The Community

Hi there! Welcome to our little Conquer Online community! Here's the run down: most private server communities require heavy moderation and vigilance against bad actors, and Conquer Online is no exception. There are a few things you need to know / look out for to protect yourself from scams and theft.
  • Do not purchase server source code. All listings these days are for freely available, leaked, unmaintainable servers. Some even contain backdoors, privacy invasive anti-cheats / data collection, and major security issues / exploits.
  • Do not accept private offers for hired programming. Create a thread and let the community help, then encourage them to post their offer publicly.
  • Do not pay for information. All information should be open-source.
Expectations

The community and game has aged quite a lot, and both aren't incredibly active anymore. We still have fantastic developers in the community working on new servers and projects, but open-source projects have slowed down quite considerably.

That said, most projects are semi-complete! Starting up a Conquer Online server isn't as easy as starting a Minecraft server, so expect to Google a few new terms and programs. You may need to learn a bit of programming to fix bugs and program NPCs. Luckily, you can learn programming on the fly using a plethora of online tutorials, and you really only need to know introductory programming to get started. When looking for open-source server projects, you'll often see "mostly complete" or "base"/"skeleton". A base / skeleton project is made to login to the client but provide little else, instead promoting a framework for making a server from scratch.

Getting Started

The number one question I get in the community is: how can I get started? The first thing I recommend is that you read through all pinned threads in the section. You'll learn a lot regarding how to setup the client, available open-source server projects and their features, and tooling around Conquer Online development (like the Wiki). A lot of projects will require some knowledge around networking and programming, so here's a list of topics you can read up on:
Before learning a programming language, find an open-source project you want to work on and see which programming language it uses. Most in the community are written in C#, but some are written in C++ using open-source Qt. Git is also very helpful to know so you can clone and fork open-source projects. Forking a project will allow you to develop on it and, optionally, contribute back up to the upstream project. Git is also super helpful in tracking changes made to your server!

How can I get help?

If you ever have a question for the community, simply ask! We're all here to help, but please avoid directly messaging a member (that prevents others from contributing to answers or looking up a question they might also need the answer for). It's good to read up on the section rules to understand how to best ask a question and what topics are banned from the section:

conquer-online/readme-section-rules-t10.html

Don't be afraid to ask a question though. Even if you get a warning, you'll always get a helpful message explaining why and what you should do differently. What's important is that you remember that Conquer Online private servers are a hobby more than a career, and that we're all here to help one another and get stronger together. We're here to have fun!

How do I host a private server?

Hosting a private server with low latency can be expensive. It's great to start at home on your own computer or a spare laptop! A cheap hosting option may also be to buy an old Dell Optiplex for super cheap on eBay or other sites. Some decade+ old systems sell for $20 but run servers just fine.

A more expensive option is to rent space in the cloud with a VPS (virtual private server). They're machines hosted for you, but finding a VPS running Windows is tricky and more expensive. They usually come in two flavors: shared (where resources like your CPU, RAM, and I/O are shared with other people) and dedicated (where you have dedicated resources). Sharing can be a problem if you have noisy neighbors who hog resources, but they also are much cheaper options. If you're looking for a recommendation, OVH is a good value to performance option.
Interested in my work?

If you wanna learn more about me and my projects: visit my portfolio website. There, you can find my free, open-source work and articles about game development. Due to contractual restrictions: I am not available for job requests or volunteer work.

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