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 Post Post subject: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:00 pm 
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It’s been an idea in the back of my mind for a long time to find a way to bring back the Stock Market. It couldn’t be reinstalled here, because the hack doesn’t work with phpBB3, which is why we lost it in the first place, but I thought it might be neat to create a phpBB2 site that could still use it just for that purpose. Not a real part of the ToO, but a place the Market could be used by people who wanted to check out what it was like.

The recent discussion on the lost features of the old economy finally gave me the motivation to start on this project and see if it was even doable. After some effort it turned out it was, and as a result it is my great pleasure to reintroduce The ToO Stock Market!

This is separate from the actual ToO, so money made will not be transferred, but that’s probably for the best. The Stock Market and Job System, as neat as they were, posed several economic problems, as discussed in this thread. This way, the experience of playing the Market can be achieved with no affect on the actual ToO economy; it’s a win-win!

This is the same Stock Market mod that the old ToO used, and the stocks themselves are, for the most part, the same ones that were on the original Market. I did some digging through old threads and listed the ones people named. A few I added in myself to fill the list out.

The story of the project:
(I wanted to just type up a little information on the process that brought this about, but it turned out way longer than I planned because the story is somewhat complicated. You can read it if you’re interested.)
As seems to be a theme with a majority of my ToO projects (such as the Shadow Paws Story Arc for example) this endeavor was not only for you the public, but it was beneficial for me as well. The end result was providing a service for the community, but the process to achieve that result strengthened my coding knowledge and abilities.
In order to make this work, I had to plunge into a self-taught, hands-on, in-depth crash course in phpBB management. It was quite an experience, going into it completely ignorant, but I’m really proud of what I learned to do and I’m sure it will be valuable knowledge in the future.

Before looking into creating a forum, I first had to figure out if I could even get the stocks working. I didn’t know at the time which hack the old ToO used, but after some searching I found one that sounded good. I almost couldn’t download the files for it because the links were dead since phpBB2 is no longer supported, but fortunately the Wayback Machine had archives of the download pages, and the files. With those in hand I then set to finding a forum host.

I started out on this project trying to take the easy route. I knew I needed a forum, but I didn’t want to build it from scratch. For one thing I didn’t know anything about how to do that, and for another it seemed unnecessary. I knew there were numerous phpBB hosts out there that automated everything. The only catch was finding one that still allowed for a phpBB2 forum, most are only phpBB3 these days. I settled on Forumotion and the site was created easily. I began feeling my way through the administration functions and layout templates, customizing the look and features. I was very happy with the end result, until I went to install the Stock Market hack. I couldn’t do it. Hacks require access to the PHP and database files behind the forum so you can modify them. I had known this, but had never actually checked if that was possible before getting the site all set up. On Forumotion you are not allowed to access anything in the site file structure, except the style templates, making hack installation impossible. There was absolutely no workaround, the project was sunk. Dejected, I abandoned the site I had just perfected.

I was unwilling to give the project up though, having come so close to success. Now that I knew what functionality I needed, I was determined to find a way to make this work. The trouble was not many free hosting services give you that file structure and database access that was vital. I found a handful that said they did, but due to either registration issues or capability problems none worked. A sensible person would have probably given up at that point, since this wasn’t really an ‘important’ project it was just something I had wanted to do or fun, but I persevered and finally came across one last hope. I registered and reviewed the tools they provided me. It was exactly what I needed.

It started as an empty file structure that could be built through FTP. This meant I would be building a fresh phpBB site from the ground up. At this point that idea was no longer daunting, I had been reading up on how to do it and come to the realization that this was probably the best way to do it anyway. With a preset installation script you didn’t really know exactly what was or wasn’t included. Building it by hand allowed you to know exactly what was involved. Because of this, I took the opportunity to select and install the exact version of phpBB that the Stock Market hack I had was built for, to ensure it would function. It called for phpBB 2.0.10, which I was able to obtain through OldApps. I uploaded all the files into the directory and created a database, then installed the forum. Everything worked beautifully and I was quite proud of myself.

Next came reconfiguring the forum, which was a little harder this time around than it was on Forumotion, because the process was different. With the negative of the ‘host only’ services being they don’t allow PHP or SQL access, the plus was that they streamlined customization. They present the templates that control site layout in a straightforward and easy to modify way. On this new site, I was on my own in that regard. I now had access to the file structure and could modify any file I wanted in any way I wanted, so instead of going through a clean form on the host I had to dig right into the template files themselves in the directory and edit their actual contents by hand. But there were just enough similarities that my experience from Forumotion allowed me to figure out how to get it done.

With the site customized, and actually looking slightly better than the Forumotion one had because I had full access this time instead of mostly-full, I looked once again to installing the hack. I knew it would work this time because I had all the proper functionality, but before I went into it I decided it would be best to make my site exactly the same as the old ToO, just to be absolutely sure everything would work the same way. As I mentioned, my site was version 2.0.10, it turned out the ToO was 2.0.14. This meant I had to upgrade four phpBB versions. That usually wouldn’t be much of a task, you just upload and replace the changed files which were downloadable separately from the full files for doing a new install of the next version, but because phpBB2 is so out of date it was a little more difficult.

I couldn’t find any of the changed files only downloads, but OldApps had the full packages of all the versions I needed to go through. So I took the long way around, and followed the steps for upgrading manually. Put simply, that entailed downloading the full version’s files and uploading only completely new files, then locating the files that had changes made between versions and manually changing the code accordingly. Fortunately there were very good instructions on how to do this for each version. So I did that for 2.0.11 through 2.0.14 and in the end I’m actually glad I had to do it that way because it gave me a lot more experience and confidence in navigating and manipulating the site file structure and a much better understanding of how the directories work.

With my site now at phpBB 2.0.14 and virtually a clone of the old ToO, I finally installed the Stock Market hack, as well as two supplemental hacks that were provided with it, a Stock Report and a Stock Ticker, and they all went without a hitch. However upon installation, I discovered that they were not exactly what I wanted. They were for making static stock lists, the admin had to control everything. In other words, if you wanted the value to change you had to manually edit each one. So I went back to scouring the internet, and was eventually able to determine the actual hack the old ToO used. It was actually a part of the Vault mod, the Stock Market was a side feature. Unfortunately this download was also dead, and this time archived files were not as easy to come by. But after much searching and digging I finally found a working link. Before installing I had to have a functioning point system, which was separate, so I also located, downloaded, and installed the cash mod the ToO used. I then installed the Vault mod which got the Stock Market up, and it all went great. After getting oriented to the GUI I figured out how to add and modify stocks and set the fluctuation rate, and that was that.

Since I was now confident in working with the file structure and editing the code of individual files and I had a pretty solid understanding of how mods worked, I took a few extra steps to touch up the site, just because I could. I figured out how to modify the Stock Ticker and Stock Report hacks I installed previously to point to the database for the Vault mod so they would display the information for those stocks instead of the ones for the mod I wasn’t going to use. I impressed myself there and was quite proud. And I also installed a Chatbox mod. There was nothing really big about that in itself, it was just following instructions like installing any other mod, but then after it was installed I dug into the code and was able to isolate the message display section and embed it into the index page, something that wasn’t part of the original functionality, so I took pride in that as well.
So that’s how it came to be, if you read any of that, and now here it is!
Again, this is separate from the ToO and should only be used as a side-feature. There is a forum for discussions particularly pertaining to the Market on there, but anything else should be kept for the ToO. This isn’t a new message board, it’s just a new experience.

I hope you enjoy it! :D

And as an extra bonus, I also recreated the Regisville theme there so it can be used once again! \:D/

thetoostocks.byethost7.com

By the way, if anyone is wondering why the Vault there is called the Bank of Fenix that’s a reference to the days of the original Stock Market when Fenix became infamous for making incredible amounts of money off it.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:26 pm 
I'll catch up to Bren!
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It's not letting me use my username/email address. Why?

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:28 pm 
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It shows you on the member list.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Woodstock wrote:
It's not letting me use my username/email address. Why?

lol it won't let me do the same thing

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Who am I? I'd rather not answer that question, the real question is, "Who are you?". Right now I am trying to think of something witty to put here.. I might not find anything, but that's fine. This block of text should be fine for a signature. Wait, are you still reading this? Why are you reading this? Stop. Seriously.
STOP.
This sentence is true.
The sentence above is false.

I dare you not to read this.
Hey! I said not to read this.
Maybe if I talk like this.
Wait, you still see me? *sighs* I give up.


http://blackgaardscastle.forumotion.com/


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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:31 pm 
ToO Historian
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You’re on the list too. In fact, it appears you created two accounts. :shame:

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:32 pm 
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oh oops hey can you activate one and delete the other?

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^AIOluver^

Who am I? I'd rather not answer that question, the real question is, "Who are you?". Right now I am trying to think of something witty to put here.. I might not find anything, but that's fine. This block of text should be fine for a signature. Wait, are you still reading this? Why are you reading this? Stop. Seriously.
STOP.
This sentence is true.
The sentence above is false.

I dare you not to read this.
Hey! I said not to read this.
Maybe if I talk like this.
Wait, you still see me? *sighs* I give up.


http://blackgaardscastle.forumotion.com/


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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:33 pm 
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Sure, I’ll delete the second one.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:35 pm 
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Thanks bookworm :)

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^AIOluver^

Who am I? I'd rather not answer that question, the real question is, "Who are you?". Right now I am trying to think of something witty to put here.. I might not find anything, but that's fine. This block of text should be fine for a signature. Wait, are you still reading this? Why are you reading this? Stop. Seriously.
STOP.
This sentence is true.
The sentence above is false.

I dare you not to read this.
Hey! I said not to read this.
Maybe if I talk like this.
Wait, you still see me? *sighs* I give up.


http://blackgaardscastle.forumotion.com/


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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:36 pm 
I'll catch up to Bren!
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The man that stops the monsters

Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:39 pm

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Well, I bought two shares in the Universal Press Foundation! \:D/

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:38 pm 
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Now I got a message that its gone :(

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^AIOluver^

Who am I? I'd rather not answer that question, the real question is, "Who are you?". Right now I am trying to think of something witty to put here.. I might not find anything, but that's fine. This block of text should be fine for a signature. Wait, are you still reading this? Why are you reading this? Stop. Seriously.
STOP.
This sentence is true.
The sentence above is false.

I dare you not to read this.
Hey! I said not to read this.
Maybe if I talk like this.
Wait, you still see me? *sighs* I give up.


http://blackgaardscastle.forumotion.com/


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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:38 pm 
ToO Historian
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So, one thing about this (it may be what was giving you two trouble), after you log in it will redirect you to an advertisement page (which may error because I partially restricted that) so it might look like it’s not working. But just click the back button, or go to the url again, and it will work then.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:38 pm 
Autumn is a Glorious Season
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I am :mrgreen:

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After browsing for about 10 minutes, the following message was displayed:

"Account Resource Limits Reached

The website is temporarily unable to server your request as it exceeded its allocated resource limit.
Please try again later, once the site is using less resources access will be automatically re-allowed


If you are seeing this message regularly this means your site is exceeding limits allowed for a free hosting site, you should consider upgrading at Securesignup.net."


I'm not entirely sure what that means...

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:39 pm 
I'll catch up to Bren!
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And I keep getting this popping up:
Quote:
Account Resource Limits Reached
The website is temporarily unable to server your request as it exceeded its allocated resource limit.
Please try again later, once the site is using less resources access will be automatically re-allowed

If you are seeing this message regularly this means your site is exceeding limits allowed for a free hosting site, you should consider upgrading at Securesignup.net.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:39 pm 
I fish in the darkness
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On attempting to get an account I got what JCGJ did.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:40 pm 
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It means what it says: This is a free host so it limits resources. Just try again later, it will be back.

Edit:

The site is back, and KF you are on the list.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:40 pm 
Autumn is a Glorious Season
Autumn is a Glorious Season
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I am :mrgreen:

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I think it means too many people are attempting to join/log in/browse at once...

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:42 pm 
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Pretty much. Just give it some time if it happens again.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:45 pm 
Autumn is a Glorious Season
Autumn is a Glorious Season
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I am :mrgreen:

Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:37 pm

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Age: 22
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I made the first purchase, I believe! :mrgreen:

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A helpful graphic, for those who may be confused.
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Last edited by ~JCGJ~ on Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:46 pm 
ToO Historian
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I think Woody did actually, he posted first anyway, but good for you either way! \:D/

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Stock Market Reopened!
Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:51 pm 
I'll catch up to Bren!
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The man that stops the monsters

Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:39 pm

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Hey, could you get the jobs on here too? \:D/

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