Author Topic: State of the MUD - June 2015  (Read 575 times)

Chalgyr

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State of the MUD - June 2015
« on: 06/18/15, 09:09 »
Hello everyone. First of all - boy am I glad it is summer. I probably am not getting much sympathy from our Canadian players here, but it was still ridiculously cold up in Michigan this last year.

So I had quite the response to my last State of the MUD article - and it was mostly positive. People wondering if I was planning to close up, and what it would take to keep things going - that sort of thing. I appreciated it, because it reminded me that even when people are not on real regularly, they do appreciate having a place to unwind, have fun with friends and try to show off their creative side. It is very tough for MUDs these days. Unless you have been well-established over the last decade or so, with dozens or hundreds of regular players, most MUDs have found themselves unable to stay up and running.

It is tough for a MUD to compete against the numerous online games out there now. Whether you want graphics, or action, or just a sense of community - games like World of Warcraft, Guildwars, League of Legends and plenty of others provide online experiences for those who like to explore, level up, battle other players and more. And many of those offerings are now free, they have development teams that number in the hundreds and they can certainly provide a greater lever of polish, support and iteration than most MUDs, which frankly are just works of passion generally held together by a handful of people who wanted to provide an online playground to others.

Frankly a lot of these online games owe a great deal to the MUDing community. It is not hard to see how a lot of the ideas that showed up in MUDs two decades and more ago have made their way into these graphic titles. I do however, think MUDs still provide a handful of options not generally found in these larger, commercial games. For one, the options for telling your own story, roleplaying with others and simply expressing your own ideas is far greater. The systems are more flexible because text is what we make of it - we're not bound to someone else's visuals to define the world around us nor the characters we create. MUDs are also a smaller, more personal experience with more opportunity to give feedback to the system. One person reporting a bug can mean a fix for everyone else, one idea can make for a significant change in how the game itself is later played.

The downside is, we have a limited number of people who can implement things, all of it takes time and since we do not get paid for this (in fact, I actually pay FOR it, lol) - it can take time to implement these ideas or changes, and sometimes we need a bit of convincing to see the merit in dozens of hours being dropped into a potential change, because it is all voluntary. I will be the first to admit that I haven't had an interest in building out a complete zone in ages. I believe my last one was the Bloodshire. For those keeping score at home, that dropped in Dec 31st, 2013.

However, what Kingdoms of the Lost became over the years is due to players - both in terms of setting up the community, playing the game and even contributing zones. I just did a count and my name shows up on 70 of the 174 zones. That's a lot of areas, so I suppose it makes sense that I have some fatigue in that regard, but it also shows that over 100 areas were made by others, most of whom were players just like you. Thalia has coded so much for us over the years (much of that time spent fixing the stuff I put in like a rookie, mind you) - and while she did the work, a lot of those ideas came from players like you. So please keep ideas coming, we might not always implement them, we might not do it right away, but they do get heard and they are important.

It was great seeing you all around (even if I could have done without some of the recent bickering that came up), and it is motivating to me and everyone else when they see more players around. People play MUDs to interact with one another.

One other note that I stunned even Thalia with recently - she had commented that it felt like KotL had just had its 10 year anniversary. Well come August, it's actually our 15 year anniversary. Believe it or not, you can check Mudconnect and see that we listed on Aug of 2000. Wow - that is a long time. I never really had an 'exit strategy' for the MUD, never really had any huge expectations one way or the other, but I don't think I would have guessed back when I was 24 years old that I would be running this thing when I was nearly forty. My youngest kid is 13 for comparison's sake.

Thank you for playing, I hope you continue to contribute more and hopefully we can have a good time in a couple of months when we celebrate Kingdoms of the Lost turning fifteen years old. I'm actually quite proud of that, and I hope all of you are as well as every player in their own way (even a few of the now-banned troublemakers from years past - just try typing 'Vrulle' on ooc) contributed to what KotL is now today.
« Last Edit: 06/18/15, 19:57 by Chalgyr »
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