The recent release of a third-party client, OSHD, has sparked a lot of discussion within the community. We'd like to address the situation with OSHD, and discuss our stance on the client.
Weíd like to thank you for your patience whilst conversations were taking place, both internal and external. Our priority is to ensure that we protect you, our players, as well as our own intellectual property. Such a large decision could not be made overnight.
We will not be approving OSHD. It is in our best interests to be as transparent with you as we possibly can, and so Iíll share some of the substantial reasons as to why this is the case.
One thing youíre already aware of is the fact that the client simply is not compatible with our bot detection systems, there were a few instances of macro bans over the weekend which are a testament to that. Iíve seen some claims that these bans were targeted and Iíd like to assure you that this is absolutely untrue.
The big question at hand is whether itís possible for the client to avoid triggering our bot detection. This could be done through two methods: either we make changes to our bot detection, or we tell them how to avoid triggering it. The developers of OSHD are yet to respond to our requests for their code, and we canít comment on how safe it is to use their product (in terms of account security in addition to the issues with bot detection). We have no relationship with the developers and so canít simply take the client on trust. We are not willing to divulge the information needed to make changes to avoid our bot detection, as revealing this information carries a great risk which could threaten the health of Old School. Making changes to our own bot detection to aid this client could potentially pave the way for genuine botting clients which might appear to behave in a similar way. We will not jeopardise the integrity of Old School to facilitate a third-party client. We have no official ties with any third-party client, though some clients are able to operate without interfering with our bot detection, but that is not representative of any formal agreement.
Perhaps most importantly is the effect that our ongoing engine work will have on third-party clients. We have some great updates being made to our game engine in the future, and these updates will break the OSHD client for a considerable amount of time. Weíre not going to sacrifice or postpone our own updates to aid OSHD. The development of our game engine will benefit you far more than any third-party offering.
Weíre committed to improving our own client, but unlike third-parties we are legally and morally obligated to put the security and stability of Old School, and the safety of our players, above all else. We canít simply reuse and throw together old assets in the hope that they stick. In the immediate short-term our engine team are working on a rasterizer which will increase FPS. This development will also add features such as support for higher resolution displays and scalable interfaces. We are also discussing, on an ongoing basis, the future roadmap for the game. Itís clear that thereís a demand for extended draw distance and improved lighting effect etc. We would also look to undertake this far differently than we did in 2008 - with a view to high framerate monitors and a more modern approach to 3D rendering code practices. In short it would have to be done differently to the way it happened in 2008 and so would need to be done from scratch.
Ultimately the decision that has been reached is that OSHD is not approved for use. Should the developers of OSHD fail to meet our reasonable requests, we will be left with no other alternative but to take legal action against them in order to ensure the protection of you, our players, as well as our own intellectual property. Unfortunately we canít discuss any imminent or ongoing legal action.
The depth of discussion since OSHD surfaced has made it clear that there is interest among the playerbase in playing Old School in HD. Itís something weíre happy to investigate, but in order to manage expectations Iíd like to clarify our approach. If you do want a completely reworked graphical update then we would first need to investigate the impact on both the game and the development team before we could commit to such an undertaking. This alone would likely take a number of months to investigate and we could not commit to a delivery date until this takes place.
Mods Archie, Ash, Ed, Ghost, Jed, John C, Kieren, Mat K, Maz, Ronan, Roq, Ry, Stone, Sween, TomH, Weath, West & Wolf
The Old School Team