Automatic PoI Logging System (v1.1)

This web page provides a method of recording ingame locations, or "Points of Interest" (PoIs).

You can collect PoIs whilst you're out harvesting resources or slaying enemies, just by clicking on a hotkey. The locations are written to your log files, which can then be uploaded here and instantly converted to PoI data to provide markers for your ingame maps.

You will also be contributing to the PoI data held on this site, which is currently available to all players via the InfoMap UI mod and the web-based PoI Maps.

To get started, just follow the set up instructions. There's also a further details section.

Examples of PoI Logging

Mob Hotkey Mob Hotkey Resource Hotkey Resource Hotkey Ingame Chat Window Ingame Chat Window Final PoI File PoI File

PoI Database

Current Status & Further Details

See the PoI Database page.

Bulk PoI Donations

Donations of PoIs for inclusion in this database are always welcome. If you have already collected some PoIs of your own and you would like to share them with the community, simply email your data to me. And if you tell me your main character name and server I can add you to the list of contributors.

A CustomPoINames.txt file is preferred if possible, but I can probably work with data in other formats too. I can't promise I'll be able to include all your data, but I will do my best. You can help by making it clear to me whether your PoIs are locations, mobs, boss mobs, NPCs, etc.

For resource node PoIs, don't worry about sending duplicates of data already in this database - my comparison scripts will sort it out.

Chat Log to PoI Conversion

Log File Parser

Upload compatible chat log file/s here and download your PoI data as a CustomPoINames.txt file.

You may upload up to 5 log files at once. Large log files (or multiple medium-sized ones) may take a few seconds to upload, so please wait for the results window to appear.

Would you like to be recognised as a Vanguard PoI Logger? Then give your main character's name and server here!
If you'd rather remain anonymous that's ok too, just leave the name field blank. :)

Name:     Server: 

   


This conversion process has now been thoroughly tested. However if you should find any anomalies in your PoI data, please email the relevant log file to me. Thank you.

Adding the PoI File to Vanguard

Copy the CustomPoINames.txt file to your Vanguard "bin" directory:

..\Vanguard\bin\CustomPoINames.txt

The map markers will be available the next time you log into the game.

Ingame Limitations

Please note that the Vanguard client is currently limited to about 390 PoIs per continental map. This includes both the PoIs in your CustomPoINames.txt file and those the game adds when accepting quests or asking guards for directions.

If the PoI limit is exceeded the behaviour of the map and mini map are affected. Classic symptoms of "PoI Overload" include loss of the pointer/cursor to indicate your current position, and loss of the chunk name text and/or zoom buttons from the mini-map.

If you have a large number of ingame PoIs you may still exceed the limit, even if your CustomPoINames.txt file is small. It is therefore advisable to remove Quest and NPC PoIs from the Locations tab of the ingame Quest Window if you no longer need them.

Updates

See the Changelog page for details of the database development.

Credits

The people responsible. :)

Automatic PoI Logging - Getting Started

Follow these instructions to set up your automatic logging of locations, compatible with the Chat Log to PoI Conversion available on this web site. NB: The code that reads the log files is not guaranteed to work if you deviate from these rules!

Set Up Instructions

If you have multiple characters you will only need to perform steps 1, 2 and 5 once, since these settings apply to all characters. However when you log in a different character for the first time, you will need to repeat steps 3 and 4 to set up the hotkeys for that character.

  1. Log into the game. Choose a new channel name that will be unique to yourself, I suggest using the name of your main character and a few random digits, something like "YOURNAME1493". Create and join the channel using the command:

    /join YourChannelName

    Now find out what channels you join automatically when you log in, by typing the command:

    /autojoin

    Add the new channel to the list using the command:

    /autojoin set Channel1,Channel2,Channel3,...

    Do not forget to include both your current channels and the new one, and do not put spaces next to the commas. For most people the command will look something like:

    /autojoin set auction,regionsay,YourChannelName
  2. Create a new chat tab, I suggest calling it "Loc". Under the chat tab options, first go down the list and remove all the communication types for the tab. Then go back and select only these three options:

    1. Command Results
    2. Consider
    3. Your new channel (this will be at the bottom of the list)

  3. Create a new hotkey for logging mobs. Use the following commands (in this order!):

    1. /loc
    2. /con
    3. #YourChannelName %to

  4. Create a new hotkey for logging resources and other targetable objects. Use the following commands:

    1. /loc
    2. #YourChannelName %to

  5. (Optional step.) To automatically create log files on all occasions use the /autolog command. E.g. if your new chat tab is called "Loc" then the command is:

    /autolog Loc

Creating and Converting Log Files

  1. Log into the game. If you are using autologging (optional step 5 above), then the game will automatically create log files whenever you play.

    If you're not using autologging, you must switch the logging on using the /log command. E.g. if your new chat tab is called "Loc" then the command is:

    /log Loc

    NB: This command toggles the logging status, so it can also be used to switch it off.

  2. Find a mob, a resource node or another object with a location you wish to record. Select the object.

    Make sure you are standing as close to the object as you can, directly on top is best if that's possible. Remember that the /loc command reports YOUR position, not the object you have selected!

    Using the mob hotkey will record the level and dot rating of the mob, but only if it's still alive. (Corpses won't report this information.)

    Use the resource/other hotkey for all other targetable objects. For resource nodes, the quickest way is to start harvesting the node and then use the hotkey whilst waiting to collect the resource.

  3. The log files will be saved in the Vanguard "logs" directory. The filenames will start with the name of the chat tab you created:

    ..\Vanguard\logs\Loc_log_2007_0511_2056.txt

    The game will start a new log file whenever you have logging switched on, whether or not you actually record any locations. Over time a lot of log files will collect in this directory, so I recommend moving the ones you want to keep to a separate directory of your own.

  4. To get the PoI lines for your locations, simply upload your log file/s to this web page. You will see a results window, telling you how many PoIs were found.

    You can download the results immediately as a CustomPoINames.txt file if you wish, or simply wait a few days for the PoIs to be available in the database.

Automatic PoI Logging - Further Details

Semi-Automatic Logging of Non-Targetable Locations

It is possible to record non-targetable locations, such as names for areas, villages, dungeons, etc. NPCs can also be recorded by function (such as "General Goods Vendor") instead of by their names. However this is only a semi-automatic process.

It is done by providing a pair of lines in the required format:

  1. /loc
  2. #YourChannelName text description of your choice here

The second line must be typed into the chat channel manually, within 1 minute of using the /loc command. This is plenty of time to type a few words, and the limit helps to ensure the two lines are intended to be read together.

Be careful! If only one of the two lines is given this may upset the conversion process. Since the parser is designed to recognise pairs of lines, there is a good chance the rest of the log file will not be read correctly. You could receive PoI data where the locations and texts do not match up correctly.

If you make a mistake and only enter one of the two lines, the best course of action is to create a clear break before attempting to log any further PoIs. Either use the /log command twice to start a new log file or add some "spam" command result lines (such as switching your torch on and off).

NB: This situation cannot arise with the automatic logging assuming the hotkeys are set up correctly.

Delayed Updating of the Log Files

The lines of data seen in the chat tab are not saved instantly to the log file, there is a noticeable delay in this process. In the worst case scenario (you record lots of PoI data only to crash out of the game a minute later), the data you thought you'd recorded may all be lost if the log file had not been updated in time.

You can force the game to save the data from the chat tab by using the /log command. This will stop the recording of the chat tab data and close the log file. You can immediately open a new log file simply by repeating the /log command.

If for example you record a lot of locations whilst out harvesting, closing the log file would be a sensible precaution to take before recalling back to a city.

Data and Privacy

The uploaded log files are saved as temporary files, and no copies are kept directly on this site. The code I've written does not provide me with any way of viewing these files.

The resulting PoI files are kept and the PoI data may be added to the database on this site, which is available to all players.
This service is provided to help members of the Vanguard community share their knowledge - if you don't want to share, don't use this web site!

The Next Steps

The To Do list can be found here.

A discussion thread can be found on the VGinterface forums.

Suggestions, feedback, bug reports and offers of help are all welcome, my contact details are at the top of the page. :)