Friday, December 12, 2014

Working on Valerion and Playing EVE

Eve Online
Eve Online (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The MUD Connector listing for Valerion was approved today.  I expect this to bring an initial surge of  traffic, while Valerion sits atop the newly listed MUDs list. I am going to have to make sure I do a good job of keeping an eye on the MUD, and addressing any issues that come up in these first weeks of testing.

I only have a few more minor things to finish in order to complete this next update cycle, well ahead of schedule!  It looks like I will be able to deliver on all the things I had hoped to accomplish for this update. I will now have to decide on how high to make my next level cap increase. Our level cap is currently 10.

Outside of Valerion, I have also been back on EVE Online quite a bit. I started a new account, and created two new characters. The first character I created will be my money maker.  He will sit in Jita all day, doing station trading. I am hoping to use this character to earn enough ISK to PLEX my account before my 21 day trial ends. I have about 18 days left, and a long way to go. My second character, Jett Vertigo, is currently in the process of joining EVE University. I am going through all the career agent missions with him right now, and will then proceed to the SOE epic arc. This character will probably end up focusing on fleet PvP.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Been a While

English: Screen of Mumble Français : Capture d...
English: Screen of Mumble Français : Capture d'écran de Mumble (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It's been a long time since my last post here.  I kind of lost my motivation to keep this up after just a few posts.  I just didn't find writing playthroughs and reviews of other peoples MUDs interesting enough to keep me going.  I would much rather be working on my own MUD. So, to that end, I have started Valerion.  I set up and Amazon EC2 instance, and installed one of my favourite MUD codebases, coffeemud. I am just getting started and there is not much to it yet, but I am having fun so far. I only have about 400 rooms at the moment, but I am adding more just about every day.

I have also set up a Mumble server for Valerion. Something I learned from my time spent with my all time favorite game, EVE Online, was how much I enjoy chatting with my fellow players on voice comms, and I wanted to bring that type of experience to Valerion. This also gives me a chance to try some things like running live roleplaying events over Mumble; running them much like a tabletop rpg session.  I might try to find a game to join on, so I can get some experience on how people run tabletop RPGs online.  I can also watch some twitch streams of D&D games as well.

I am still waiting Valerion's listing to be approved on The MUD Connector, but I am in no huge rush at this point.  While I am waiting, I can take this opportunity to continue to improve and expand upon the MUD. I will also continue to read and do exercises out of programming books to work on my coding skills. I am not sure what the future of this blog is going to be.  I will probably continue to post here occasionally, as the mood strikes me. Both this blog, and Valerion are casual projects at this point, and if I find myself getting burnt out on either one, I will just take a break, and go play EVE for a while, until inspiration strikes me again.

I really would like to have a partner in running this MUD, to bounce ideas off of, and help keep me motivated, but I don't expect any help to magically materialize.  Help is hard to come by, when anyone could just as easily go start their own MUD, especially with the availability of cheap VPS, and the ease of getting started with a codebase like coffeemud. So off I go on my own.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Legends of Krynn - Day 3

After a brief hiatus, I am continuing my adventures on The Legends of Krynn today.  After a couple days of playing, I am now beginning to find myself growing quite bored with this MUD.  Except for a few peek hours, the population of this MUD is so low that there is little opportunity for meaningful interaction wit other players.  I am also not fond of certain rule systems that break my suspension of disbelief.  One notable example of this is how items disappear from my inventory upon exiting the game if I am not high enough level to use them.  This serves only to inconvenience me, and as far as I can see, doesn't serve any real roleplaying purpose.

I also had a peek around the Legends of Krynn forums today, and was disappointed to find very little in the way of recent forum activity.  There have only been about two posts in the last month.  This does not bode well in my search for an active and growing community.

So where does this leave me?  Well, I am not here to simply bash on this game.  It does have it's good points. There has obviously been a great deal of time and care spent crafting a world reminiscent of the Krynn we all know and love from the Dragonlance novels.  There are always at least a few other players and imms on whenever I have logged in.  I just haven't had the opportunities I have been looking for in the way of real meaningful interactions with other players.  Also, when I am out hunting by myself, I always feel a bit lost.  I am never sure how to find my way back to a settlement. Once I am in a city, I can use maps to find my way around some places, but there are limits on the use of recall in this game that make it difficult for me to find my way home, which is just a little bit too frustrating for me as a new player. 

I will probably continue to play on Legends of Krynn from time to time, as it has enough good points to keep me interested, and see if my experience improves as I become more familiar with the game,  but for now I am going to look for more random MUD picks to try.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Legends of Krynn - Day 2

Role Playing | Technology
Role Playing | Technology (Photo credit: Daniele Muscetta)
Last night I logged back in to the Legends of Krynn to continue my adventures with Aegaar Valkair, human knight.  On my first visit, I had completed the MUD School tutorial zone, and achieved level 5.  After logging back in, I proceeded to write a character description for myself that can be seen in game when other players look at me. This should serve to help flesh out my character a bit, and aid in roleplaying.  I kept my description to just a brief physical description consisting of just a few sentences.  I can always go back and improve upon this later, as I begin to get a feel for the game world a bit more, and get a better sense of how my character will develop.

After leaving the tutorial area, I met two other players of a much higher level than myself, who gave me some advice on how to best train up my stats, and also gave me money and gear.  They then took me around the city we were in and had me fight opponents we found there for training purposes.  They cast spells to help me, and hinder my foes, and did their best to keep me alive.

We didn't do any actual roleplaying, but I heard them talking amongst themselves about doing some roleplaying at a later date.  I got up to about level 10, and then decided to log off for the night.  The level grinding wasn't very entertaining, but it was at least better with companions than it would have been by myself, and I am very grateful for their assistance.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Legends of Krynn - First Impressions

The second Dragonlance logo, used on most of t...
The second Dragonlance logo, used on most of the books and Dungeons & Dragons supplements set in the world. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last night, when looking for a random MUD pick on The MUD Connector, afrer briefly previewing several empty MUDs, and one that was in Russian, a language I am not very profficient with, I came accross The Legends of Krynn.  The Legends of Krynn is a roleplaying enforced MUD, built on the RoM codebase.  The MUD is set in the Dragonlance universe, about 30 years after the events of the Dragonlance Chronicles.

I started by reading some of the reviews of this MUD that had been posted on The MUD Connector.  The reviews were almost all positive, with only one negitive review.  After reading the reviews, I was already a bit biassed in favour of this MUD, for several reasons.  Over the years of playing MUDs I have descovered that the RoM codebase, and it's derivitaves, are one of my favourite codebases to play on.  The commands and leveling system just make sense to me, and they have a familiar look and feel that I have grown quite comfortable with.  I can log onto almost any RoM based MUD, and quickly feel at home.

The setting also carried some appeal for me.  I am first and formost a Dungeons & Dragons fan, and one of the top reasons I play MUDs is to get that D&D like experience.  It has proven too difficult to get a group together around the tabletop to play D&D with, so to me, MUDs offer the next best thing.  The Legends of Krynn is set in a classic D&D setting that most long time D&D players will be familiar with.  Although I have personally read far more Forgotten Realms books than Dragonlance, I have been exposed to enough Dragonlance materials not to feel lost in the setting.

First Impressions

After logging in, I selected a character name for a new character called Aegaard.  I was also asked to choose a last name, which is a bit unusual on MUDs, and a feature that I like.  So Aegaard Valkair, human knight was created. I was asked to select a home town, and I chose Solace, because it was the only location listed that I remembered well from the Dragonlance novels.

After creating my character, I was deposited in a MUD School area. This area had a familiar layout, common to many RoM MUDs, but all the stock room descriptions and sign texts had been replaced.  While I was in MUD School, I checked the who list to see if anyone else was online.  A few other players and immortals were on the list, so, not finding myself on yet another empty MUD, I decided to continue.  It only took me a few minutes to pass through the school area, already being deeply familiar with all of the concepts that the various signs explained here.  I was pleased with being able to pass through quickly.  At the end of the School, I found myself in a very familiar arena.  It seems this is the only part of the school that is not changed in any significant way.  The arena featured the snails, lizards, foxes, and boars I have come to expect, and had that grate in the middle, leading down to wolves and bears below.  After what seemed like just a short time in the arena, I achieved level five, and was greeted by another player for the first time.

An immortal player came to the MUD school, and greeted me, first in character, then out of character, offering giving me some money, offering me assistance in leveling, and offering to answer any questions I might have.  I was actually most impressed with the in character greeting I received. In just a few short lines of text and socials, I was able to tell that this was a player who really knows how to get into character, and I was able to paint a picture in my mind of this person who was speaking to me. 

It was actually a bit intimidating at first, and I found myself stumbling for words, not knowing what to say, because I have not played a lot of roleplaying enforced MUDs, and don't have much practice in this sort of thing.  This is not a knock on this MUD though, because I actually want to become a better roleplayer, and I find this sort of roleplaying more interesting than mindless level grinding I do on many MUDs.  I am a bit intimidated by what I perceive as an elitist attitude on many roleplaying MUDs though.  I did not at all feel that way here.  I don't feel like I should have to write a novel in text and emotes to be considered a roleplayer.  Often, less is more.  You can convey a lot of feeling and emotion in just a few short lines, and the player I met on Legends of Krynn last night succeeded in doing just that.

Unfortunately, by this point it was growing quite late, so, after speaking with the player I had just met for a short time, I informed him that I had to log off for the night, promising to return another day.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


The Mud Connector's logo
The Mud Connector's logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Welcome to my new Blog about MUD Gaming.  Here I will be reviewing MUDs that I play, and discussing various topics related to MUD Gaming, retro Gaming, programming, game design, and whatever else comes to mind.  Since This is not a professional blog, I plan to keep things pretty informal here.

I have been playing MUDs since the mid 90s.  I started playing MUDs at a time when all I had access to was a dial-up internet connection through a 14.4 kbit/s modem, and there were few options for online roleplaying.  Since then, I have played, and continue to play many graphical online RPGs, but no experience has quite captured the feeling I got from playing those first MUDs all those years ago.

I have gone on to develop an interest in working on MUDs, and have begun to teach myself the necessary skills to one day run my own game.  Until then, I will continue to play MUDs, and write about them here.  I am going to start by looking for random MUD picks on The MUD Connector, trying them out, and sharing my impressions.