The Vanguard:Saga of Heroes Emulator story starts many years ago - during VG:SOH Beta in fact. Ramsey (of SWGEmu) took an interest in breaking down some packets at a very early stage of the game. His discoveries were compiled into a zip file or two, and posted to a website that he promises will one day become a Vanguard Emulator site (http://vgoemu.com). And pretty much, there his code sat - since Oct 2006 or so... Many people took his code, stared at it for weeks, then went home crying because they simply could not figure out what he had done, or how to continue his work. The idea of a VG:SOH emulator was a pipe-dream, or so it seems.
In 2008, John Adams [me] of EQ2Emulator (and EQEmu, EnBEmu and Eve Emulator projects) met up with a young lad named Scatman, when Scat came to the EQ2Emulator site looking to join the team. Scatman was a brilliant little scripter, and built nearly all the initial zones for EQ2Emu single-handedly. In 2009, with the looming threat of us losing LethalEncounter (the principle developer on EQ2Emu) Scatman stepped up and became the main C++ developer for EQ2Emu. After adding dozens of new features, I hoped he might be up for another challenge;
I was one of those crying fools that downloaded Ramsey's code samples and threw a release client at it for months, and never figured anything out. I asked my new buddy Scatman if he was interested in helping me with the VG:SOH effort, and intially he declined. His time was limited, and he REALLY liked EQ2Emulator... so again, the VG project got back-burnered for a while.
In 2010, another packet wizard named Xinux joined EQ2Emu, but his interests were in everything gaming/emu's, so when I prodded him about VG:SOH, he jumped at the chance. Xinux took apart many of the packets of 2010-2011 VG and got a good understanding of how they worked, but alas neither of us could do much with Ramsey's code - the fact is, the game evolved so much the original dummy code was obsolete. The thought of starting a brand new C++ project from scratch was something neither Xinux nor I had knowledge or time to learn, so once again we tabled VG:SOH.
A project is born
August of 2013, I approached Scatman again (we remained good friends outside EQ2Emu) after he had dropped from the EQ2Emulator team almost entirely - poor busy little furball! Just on a whim, after Xinux taunted me with more packet info, I asked Scatman once again, "Can I interest you in building an emulator from the ground up?" This time, Scat jumped at the chance. He and I hashed out some of the initial design for "foundation services" that can be used as base code for any emulator henceforth - with net code, i/o, configs, log system, database and packet structures - and while Scatman started his initial coding, I registered a domain, set up a website and got an SVN configured.
So in this 7th Anniversary of Ramsey's initial VG Beta work, we welcome you to the Official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Emulator Project!
The Death of Vanguard:SOH
In a shocking twist of events, Sony Online Entertainment announced on Jan 24th 2014 that it would be shutting down Vanguard: Saga of Heroes completely on July 31st, 2014. In the ensuing panic and outcry from the player community, scores of new members signed up to VGOEmulator.net to try and show their support for this effort. Our mission, once optional, was now mandatory -- we cannot let this game vanish forever.
Another Hero of Vanguard joined the team in Feb 2014; Xen came to us in the nick of time as we were starting to unravel the mysteries of the Unreal Engine bitstream. After extensive analysis, he built "VGTesty" - a command-line tool for exploding the bits into readable data. This paved the way for the implementation of our own BitStreamReader and BitStreamWriter - the necessary code to allow player access to VGOEmulator's WorldServer, and the future of in-game Spawns and Objects. Without Xen, we would not be where we are today.
Founding Team Members:
John Adams - Design, Data, Login, Authentication, Web Services
Scatman - Design, Principle Developer
Xinux - Design, Data/Packets, Client Authentication
Xen - Developer, BitHacker
theFoof - Developer, Data/Structs