[MUD-Dev] Where are we now?

Michael Tresca talien at toast.net
Thu May 3 22:42:27 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


Kwon Ekstrom posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2001 3:21 PM
<EdNote: Please ensure you leave the second level attributions in place>

>> I'd say that both commercial and free muds have advanced, in
>> general, free muds can be run by any moron who can pay $20-$30/mo
>> for a server or DSL line.  Because of that, alot of people who
>> shouldn't be fit for admining get their hands in the mix and give
>> us free muds a bad name.

>> cf. above comments.

> It looks like your "above comments" actually support this view of
> why free muds often have a bad name.  There are alot of people who
> aren't fit for admining that get their hands on released code.

> I know alot of people who were very good at their job, be it head
> builder, coder, etc, who don't know how to handle players.  The
> constant questioning of things you must have answered a hundred
> times, constantly handling problems between players, etc... Being
> able to maintain a codebase and maintain a playerbase are very
> different.

The term "maintain a playerbase" has a thousand other intricacies in
it that a lot of coders seem to be unfamiliar with.  As an
administrator, we've dealt with issues on the level of what CEOs of
major corporations deal with (and I speak from seeing both in action).
Administrators deal with "customers" who have direct access to them.
Their "employees" are usually volunteers who must be enticed by
something other than money.  Administrators often embody the Human
Resources, Financial, Risk, Business Development, and Administrative
divisions of their MUD.  That's a CIO, CEO, CFO, and more, all in one.
Oh, did I leave out Public Relations?

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.

Mike "Talien" Tresca
RetroMUD Administrator
http://www.retromud.org



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