[MUD-Dev] Life

Martin Keegan martin at cam.sri.com
Thu Jun 19 11:16:16 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Wed, 18 Jun 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

> On 07/06/97 at 04:41 AM, Martin Keegan <martin at cam.sri.com> said: >On
> >It most certainly is - mud players are very change-averse and
> >risk-averse. It takes extra effort to learn an unfamiliar new mud
> >type, so why not stick to the codebase you know - that's how most
> >people will think.
> Taking that argument down the garden path of course leads us all to
> playing a multi-user version of Adventure! or MIST for the next few
> millenia. 

MIST or MYST, was that? :)
> >The Eclipse discussions ...
> Eclipse?

Eclipse is a C++ MUD project headed by Matt Kern, with a lot of
interesting ideas. At the moment the code is low-level sockets and data
structure stuff I don't understand :)

Main points are that the virtual world created by the game is paramount,
and that a high degree of internal consistency should be maintained.
The world is administered by a GamesMaster, a neural net (IIRC)
responsible for balance. Another feature is Harlequin, a (hopey)
sophisticated AI responsible for guiding players through the early stages
of the game (shades of Avalon here) (no pun intended).

> >The Eclipse discussions basically concluded that since character
> >death in Eclipse is so likely as to be inevitable and would
> >discourage players from investing effort in characters, 
> >characters could form "Houses". 
> This is the same argument that lead me to seperating characters from
> their bodies.  That and I wanted to play with the effects  of a player
> being able to guarantee his own immortality (it _can_ be done with
> enough dedication and skill).

In Eclipse, even the people running the game are mere mortals like anyone
else - their only special ability being that the GamesMaster is configured
to not to disobey them without a damn good reason.
> >A house was basically a family, sharing a common name, to which
> >characters could belong. It was expected that players with 
> >multiple concurrent characters would make them all members of the 
> >same house, and might conceivably invite other players' 
> >characters to be members of their house. Whereas a player would 
> >outlive his/her characters, a house would be more or less 
> >permanent and might conceivably outlive players. The notion of 
> >houses then became central to advancement on Eclipse, and also >overlapped with grouping and multicharring. 
> What advantage was there for a player to belong to a house?  Did

Security, access to resources (mainly money and protection). Also certain
legal and political rights are only accrued to members of houses.

> advancement of the house in any way reflect upon the player
> characters, or did it merely act as a central clearing house for
> player-character acquisitions:
>   Bubba of house X got special object Y.
>   Therefore it is reasonable for Boffo of house X to later have 
>     Y despite being a newbie.
> How about abilities gamed by players?  Did they cross reflect to other
> members of the house?  I can also see this forming the basis of more
> interesting clan and political battles.  

YES! The clan stuff gets interesting. Running more than one house will be
disallowed, but if a house takes a newbie under its wing, and the newbie
starts to grow strong, he may eventually take over the house when its
original player leaves.
>   "I may die now, but I do so for for my House, and they shall
> benefit!"
>   "All for the glory of house Agueface!"
>   "Kill the Keegans!"
>   "House Burp and House Grunt have joined forces against House Gas."

You've got the picture. BTW, Kill the Keegans was actually the name of a
VB game written in 1994 by someone who didn't like me much. A red headed
golliwog (I had more hair back then) would spring out from behind a tree,
and you had to click on the tree to kill it. Quite an impressive use of VB
controls (the tree+golliwog were some sort of animated button). The only
copy I had was lost when my ISP was stolen last year.
>   "With the defection of House Bolo and House Sewer from the 
>     Archivist faction, the Blue Snot Alliance may have a good chance 
>     of wresting Silko Castle from them and thus be in a good position 
>     for the Kindgom come Bluto's inevitable death."

Eclipse is also going to have some sort of automatic archiving. Island did
this, with rolling bulletins of quests completed, deaths, levels,
promotions etc. Hopey Eclipse can use EricGeneric to spruce these up a
> *MUCH* more intersting than clans....  I like it.

> >Yes - this is exasperating. I banned a whole country from Island >when someone accused me of lying about what "mudlib" Island was.
> I won't ask which.

I think it was the United Arab Emirates. (On Island you had to ban by
strings matching IP addresses, and I spent a LONG time with nslookup
getting them all - it was a small country)

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