About the project and staff
1 - What is Return of Reckoning?
Return of Reckoning is a Warhammer Online private server.
After the 5th anniversary of Warhammer Online in September 2013, EA/Mythic/Bioware announced they would be closing the servers and ending the live service on December 18th 2013.
Dyox first created an emulator for Warhammer Online called AllPrivateServer in 2011 based on the 1.3.5 version of the live game. It was functional and would eventually form the basis of War-Emu. It was incomplete however, and the shutdown announcement initiated much more work to be done.
War-Emu was created to finish the job
5 days after the shutdown announcement, a small group of dedicated players started to form around a post by Necrosummon on the ragezone.com forums. The clock was ticking after the shutdown announcement, any chance to gather every possible piece of information was slipping away as each day passed.
The earliest team for War-Emu was really anyone that showed up to that thread to work on preserving the game. zozooo developed a packet sniffer for pulling data from the live service, while others worked on the emulation codebase derived from AllPrivateServer. Several of the contributors would be critical to forming Return of Reckoning. MaxHayman, Dascoub, and Yaliskah were involved from the very beginning.
Dyox was also involved for a short time, but with the renewed interest in the emulation base, he left War-Emu to launch a private server on the same date as the live server shutdown, December 18th 2013, hoping to keep as much of the active playerbase from the live game. After a few months, Dyox realized that he did not have enough time and motivation to continue, closed his server on April 19th 2014, and released his sources. Then, the War-Emu team added Dyox's continued work back to the emulator they were still working on. In the beginning, very little worked. Each zone was being rebuilt, every chapter and every PQ, each class had to have every ability and tactic re-created by scratch, and nearly all of the client data was obfuscated. Trial and error over the years led to more understanding what each data structure represented, and our accuracy continued to grow.
The War-Emu project still exists today and has the basis for what would eventually become Return of Reckoning.
Once the core of the War-Emu was able to run the client without much trouble, the Return of Reckoning server was forked from it.
Return of Reckoning officially opened its website and account creation to the public on Jun 11th, 2014.
Since then, we have spent more time developing this game than the original game was in service. Re-implementing content to bring it back to the live state, making balance changes to classes, re-creating old live events, and even making our own new custom content from the bits and pieces we've found while deconstructing the client files, as well as creating our own content from scratch. The future possibilities are only limited by our respect for the source material, the technical skill of our team members, and the imagination of the community at large.
2 - Why?
Simple! Passion for the game, and a desire to keep Warhammer Online alive as long as possible.
Warhammer Online was far from a dead game when the closure was announced, and many thousands of people across the world were shocked that the license from GamesWorkshop would be allowed to expire. What truly happened in those meetings, we may never know, but the end of the live service was coming, and we had to take action! We knew that the collective talent and dedication in the community would be able to keep this server alive for the long haul, and so we spent many thousands of hours deciphering packets, writing and re-writing code, and bringing the server to a highly playable state.
This is the real goal, to show that Warhammer Online will never end.
To provide our community of players with a place to call home, even if they wander.
To give anyone seeking a truly massive RvR experience a place to battle long into the future.
Other games have tried to emulate the massive battles that Warhammer Online is capable of. However, they're still thousands of concurrent players away from reaching our peak single area population density of ~3500 players.
Also, none of them are based on the Warhammer Fantasy Old World.
3 - Who are we?
Every member of the team (past and present) was/is an un-paid volunteer with varying degress of techincal specialty in their role. A great number of people have come and gone from the server after dedicating hundreds or thousands of hours to building Return of Reckoning for everyone who is left playing it today. We thank them for their service and dedication.
Core Developers work on the code engine that the server runs on, they have access to most other aspects of the game as is required to make deep meaningful changes and implementations.
A sub-team of various staff members also work focused on large projects. Design, layout, writing, and technical implementation are involved here rather than coding.
Database Developers work on established content that, as you may guess, are largely modified through the database. This can be quests, vendors, items, loot tables, respawns, teleports, and a great many other things.
Game Masters are your server police. They enforce the rules, ban the troublemakers, and occasionally assist with live server operations.
Artists, listed and otherwise, have been creating much of the custom content that can be found alongside our projects as they're released.
The Bugtracker and Communications Team are your helpful, friendly, community focused team members that bring the players needs and desires to the table for development to focus on.
We all played on the official server for many years, and loved it more than most people would deem sane. That's why now, we are dedicated to preserving this amazing game as long as we possibly can.