WoC Server Goes Open Source — Official Servers to Shut Down
Over the past few years War of Conquest has stagnated. A handful of players continue to enjoying playing regularly, but most have dropped off and the game has failed to attract many new players. There are many reasons for this, but first and foremost I would say it is a game balance issue. I haven’t found a way to allow a competitive open world while preventing the few teams with the most players, time, or devices from dominating the game and preventing it from being much fun for everyone else.
The game costs more to run (roughly $75/month for the two servers) than it brings in (less than $15/month in ad revenue), it frequently has technical or support issues crop up that I no longer have the time to address, and my interests have moved on to other things. So, I will be shutting down the War of Conquest servers on September 30th, 2023.
However, because there are still players enjoying the game, and several have expressed an interest in paying for server costs, purchasing rights to the game, or continuing development themselves, I’ve decided to make the War of Conquest server code open source. This means that anyone can rent a cloud server and run a War of Conquest server themselves. You are free to modify the server code as much as you’d like, so long as it maintains compatibility with the War of Conquest client. You could even develop your own client, which would allow you to modify the server code with no constraints whatsoever.
The War of Conquest server code repository is located on here:
Below you’ll find a F.A.Q with more information.
I hope this will give some creative War of Conquest players the chance to develop the game in exciting new directions, to try out new ideas that might solve some of the game’s longstanding problems, and allow all players the opportunity to continue making new friends and battling old enemies well into the future!
Q. What part of War of Conquest has been made open source?
A. The server code for the “new” War of Conquest (2016) has been made open source under the GPLv3 license. This means you can redistribute it, modify it, and use it for commercial or non-commercial purposes, subject to the terms of the GPLv3 license.
Q. What about the War of Conquest client?
A. The War of Conquest client has not been made open source. It contains and depends on a lot of code, graphics, 3D models, and other assets that are not open source, and so I do not have the right to distribute them. The War of Conquest client will not be developed any further, so if you would like to run a server you will need to ensure that it remains compatible with the existing War of Conquest client. Alternatively, you can develop your own new client. This would allow you the freedom to modify the server code without being limited to maintaining compatibility with the existing client. If you are interested in doing this, let me know and I can share with you the parts of the client source code that I have the right to distribute and that are useful for interfacing with the server.
Q. What about the original, or “classic” War of Conquest?
A. The rights to further develop the original War of Conquest were licensed to Kete Games in 2011. From what I understand they have recently resumed work on an updated version of classic War of Conquest. Neither the original War of Conquest client nor server are being made open source, and neither of them are available for licensing or purchase.
Q. Can I buy the rights to War of Conquest?
A. The rights to develop the original War of Conquest client and server are currently licensed to Kete Games. The new War of Conquest server has been made open source under the GPLv3 license. The new War of Conquest client is not being sold or open sourced, though I will make some of its source code available to anyone interested in developing a new client.
Q. Can I run a War of Conquest server that continues with the world state of one of the “official” servers?
A. No, the databases for the “official” War of Conquest servers contain lots of personal information, such as e-mail addresses and security questions, that it would not be in good faith for me to resell or distribute. If you would like to run a War of Conquest server, it will need to be a new game world starting from scratch, with no previously existing player accounts.
Q. Will you help me set up a War of Conquest server?
A. I’d be glad to answer the occasional question should you run into a problem. That said, you will need some computer expertise to set up and run a War of Conquest server, and especially if you are looking to modify its source code. I will not hold hands during this process or provide support once a server is running. Between Google, Slashdot, and new tools like ChatGPT, there are plenty of resources for someone knowledgeable about computers to solve whatever problems might come up.
Q. Can I use the “War of Conquest” name for my own server?
A. You can use the War of Conquest trademark if your server is compatible with the War of Conquest client. If you’ve created your own custom client to work with your customized server, you’ll need to come up with a different name.
Q. Why are you shutting down the official servers and open sourcing the code?
A. War of Conquest has some deep game balance issues that I haven’t managed to resolve. It’s an open world game where skill and effort, as well as a bit of luck, lead to success, and where success for some players means failure for others. The result is that the largest teams – especially when they have the most time to play and the most devices to play on, and sometimes when they discover the newest tricks and loopholes – are able to completely dominate the game, making it very little fun for other players. This dynamic has driven away most players, and makes the game largely unappealing to new players. I haven’t succeeded in solving this problem, though I tried hard for several years. What’s more, negativity seems to thrive among the player base of WoC, with harassment, bullying, and threats being commonplace. I don’t want anything to do with that. Finally, my interests have just moved on to other things. However, War of Conquest still seems to be enjoyable, and even meaningful, to a handful of players, so rather than shut it down completely I’m open sourcing the server so that others can run their own game worlds, and maybe find solutions to these game balance and community problems.