I have a few questions that are more to quell my own curiosity than anything else. Don't let me serve as a distraction though. Hopefully you don't feel like I'm prying or prodding. ;-) I know you guys are doing some serious ground up work here and so I don't expect you to have answers for everything. I am, however, fascinated by the mechanics of these things.
1. How long will it take to parse the data that was mined during the last few weeks of the live servers?
2. What do you foresee as the longest(or most difficult) part of development?
3. What is a reasonable expectation for being able to reverse-engineer functions provided server side? Is it possible to accurately recreate most if not all functions?
4. I don't know a lot about databases and how the game references them for NPC's, Spawns, Portals ect. Could you offer a brief insight into this?
5. How difficult will it be to recreate the random loot system? Would you have to rebuild this, including all of the tiers and lists of possible items and spells, cantrips, max ALs and bonuses from scratch? Is it hard or easy to implement a randomizer for these things? I assume quest specific items are part of the database? What about NPC interactions? I imagine these function similar to the player run bots as they are programmed to interact with players and items in specific ways? How difficult will this be to implement? If any NPC's were missed during the mining process, how difficult will it be to recreate that NPC's interactions and quest dialogues? - I assume this is where the wikis come into play, though again, I'm not certain.
6. The spawn generator: Do spawns have a "range" in terms of distance and location? Will it be difficult to recreate this in such a way that it isn't broken, IE: monsters spawning in towns or in impossible locations and appropriate, level wise, to the area? Can static spawns(some for quest purposes) be recreated using both mined data and the wikis for reference?
7. Static item spawns(town stamps, acid axe/Suntik corpse, apples, pears, Frore etc.) Do these work the same as static monster spawns? Is the timer on both monsters and static item spawns adjustable/a database function?
8. How many people do you have working on this and would it be useful to try and recruit more?
9. Are we trying to keep this project as hushed as possible for fear of legal action?
As I have said elsewhere, when it comes to console emulation, C&D's seldom(never) work. As long as there isn't any money is changing hands, I really don't think they can stop you. They'll stomp and threaten and lawyer up, but I have never seen any emulator project genuinely taken to court.(especially if they are just going to sit on the IP) - I could be wrong and I certainly don't expect anyone to put their well-being and freedom on the line for my selfish love of the game.