[MUD-Dev] Where are we now?

S. Patrick Gallaty choke at sirius.com
Thu May 3 20:37:54 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

From: "Michael Tresca" <talien at toast.net>
> Kwon Ekstrom posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2001 3:21 PM
[ ... ]

> I'm amazed by MUDs that think they can cover this with one person
> alone.  I'm also amazed by the general belief that "best coder" =
> "best administrator".  Administrating a multi-user game requires a
> multitude of skills in a tremendously dynamic and volatile
> environment, be it a for-profit or non-profit.  Without the "people"
> element, a game can be screwed up just as much as a bad coder.

> Thing is, a MUD with an inept coding staff is a lot easier to spot
> (and avoid) than a MUD with inept people skills.  Which is probably
> why we have so many bad MUDs.

At the peak of popularity (1994-ish?), EOTL a wild and free LPmud
based out of stanford had at any given time 350+ players online at a
time with an active playerbase of around 10 thousand distinct logins
and 300 active wizards.  I was the head archiwizard in charge of
wizards, that is promoting, demoting and seeing that the behaved and
were kept busy.  We differentiated between coders and administrators.
The mud was big enough that we had 30+ wizards online at any given
time - that usually being the core 20 or so arches, mudlib coders and
their ajuncts and some guest/app wizards.  Some of them were there
just to handle player interaction - and we had senior wizards and even
an arch or two devoted strictly to settling disputes.

This was simply born out of necessity and of course the desire on
behalf of the wizards willing to do it to help people.  Secondarily
this was aided by the mud's primary administrator's lack of belief in
authority, which prevented ossification of the ranking wizards (for
any significant length of time).

The mud culture on EOTL helped us steer the coder-wizards away from
the social-wizards and allowed the two to do their own thing well
undisturbed by power struggles between the two.

- nox

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