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 Character Naming !READ ME!

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Sarah the DM



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Join date : 2008-09-04

PostSubject: Character Naming !READ ME!   Tue Nov 18 2008, 20:22

I recently finished a separate program (written in perl) that automatically deletes character files for people who use Celesti. As I mentioned numerous times online, this program will delete any characters that share the same file name under a particular user ID. Here are the details:

Characters are stored in files in the server vault. The character names are converted into file names. All letters are converted to lower case, all special characters and spaces are stripped, and the name is truncated to 16 characters max.

Zandalf!!! the Great Elf ---> zandalfthegreate.bic
!Zandalf! the Great Elven Warrior ---> zandalfthegreate.bic

Ah! But the file names are identical after the spaces and exclamation points are stripped and the file name is shortened. So, what happens?

NWN strips the 16th character off of the file name and makes it a number instead.

zandalfthegreat1.bic
zandalfthegreat2.bic

The same thing happens if you intentionally use the same name for several characters. They will be named (file name) in numerical sequence, but the number is only known internally to the Bioware coding. It is not accessible by me.

For example, let's say you name three characters Zandalf. They will have file names of zandalf1.bic, zandalf2.bic, and zandalf3.bic.

If you subsequently delete any of the Zandalf characters, my coding writes an entry in the game log to delete zandalf. I have no way of telling which Zandalf you wanted deleted!

When I created the automatic script to delete characters, it parses the text in the server log. Any time it sees "DELETE:" and a character name, it starts searching for any applicable file names in your user ID folder and deletes all that apply.

Sorry it has to be this way, but I don't know of any other way to do it.

Please use UNIQUE names for each character. If you like to use the same first name, make sure you vary everything else, so as to have unique file names. Sarah the DM and Sarah the Barbarian are examples of OK file names, as sarahthe only accounts for eight letters of the maximum 16.

Also, please do not use special characters to create fancy names. They won't show up in your file name, and you'll risk having several characters deleted.
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Clive Forumposter

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Join date : 2008-09-11
Age : 41
Location : UK

PostSubject: Re: Character Naming !READ ME!   Wed Nov 19 2008, 04:05

Thanks for the info Sarah, I know there has been a little confusion about the deletion process. (poor zandelf...)

Is there a way to have the program check the characters inventory, maybe for just one specific item, say the rod of detection? and if it finds it it does not delete. If the character has been through the celesti script first all items will have have been wiped. Probably a long shot, but just an idea..

What can we do though if we have a character that we want to delete but that get missed in the auto sweep? (I have a few that survived the cull, one of which I deleted months ago, had he been so resilient in the game I would never have deleted him...)
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Sarah the DM



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PostSubject: Re: Character Naming !READ ME!   Wed Nov 19 2008, 09:40

Human error is what caused many to be missed in the past. I had to search the log for DELETE commands and then manually go find the character folder. If there were several characters with the same file names (or names that had the numbers added), I had to guess which one was which.

No, I have no way to search a character file for details. Well, there probably is some way to actually decode a character file, but it wouldn't be easy. I would have to know exactly how the information is stored and then how to decode it. No, I just don't have the time to spend on something like that.

People just need to be careful about the character names they use. It's really not that difficult to avoid making duplicate file names.
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GammaGm



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Join date : 2008-12-29

PostSubject: Re: Character Naming !READ ME!   Fri Jan 02 2009, 20:02

perhaps you want to make this a sticky?
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Sarah the DM



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PostSubject: Re: Character Naming !READ ME!   Sat Jan 03 2009, 16:29

The character deletion program seems to be working very well now except for a few players who continue to use weird characters in their names. As long as you stick with just letters, numbers and spaces, it shouldn't be a problem. Just remember only the first 16 letters or numbers (not spaces) count.

If you still have numerous characters with the same name, the program flags me when you try to delete one of them. I then have to go in and manually try to figure out which one you meant. That's why it's a good idea to use unique names consisting only of letters, numbers, and spaces.
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GammaGm



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PostSubject: Re: Character Naming !READ ME!   Sat Feb 28 2009, 01:57

Bumping to the top with my reply.
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fossil101

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Age : 69
Location : MICHIGAN

PostSubject: Re: Character Naming !READ ME!   Fri Mar 13 2009, 14:29

the information here has been most helpful thanks for explaning it so well.
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SevenWitches

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PostSubject: Re: Character Naming !READ ME!   Fri Jul 16 2010, 08:47

Sarah the DM wrote:
I recently finished a separate program (written in perl)
... I have no way of telling which Zandalf you wanted deleted!
... Sorry it has to be this way, but I don't know of any other way to do it.
Sarah the DM wrote:
...No, I have no way to search a character file for details. Well, there probably is some way to actually decode a character file, but it wouldn't be easy. I would have to know exactly how the information is stored and then how to decode it. No, I just don't have the time to spend on something like that.

The .bic file have the name and surname of the toon as text but in different lines, not need to decode nothing just a unix bash script with two lines like "strings $FILE | grep $NAME" and "strings $FILE | grep $SURNAME" will give you the chance to check the real game name + surname of the toon file, if is the toon file you're searching the grep will output the two values, if not, you will get one value or empty value. Strings and Grep utilities are also ported to Windows environment if you work with Windows.

This is not a very clear mean to do the things and still I think you will have problems to get separated the name and the surname from the logs of celesty ... well, I saw you write in perl and I remember a tools for NwN that were wrote in perl the "NwN tools", I was searching and find it:

http://kivinen.iki.fi/nwn/

I don't work with perl and can't explain any personal experience with this tools but when you have time I recommend you to take a look to the script:

charedit.pl Mod_perl apache module to do editing of character bic files for nwn1.

I hope that will help you with code or ideas to your delete toon script.

Regards to all,

7witches
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