Author Topic: State of the MUD - Aug 2015 - 15 years of KotL!  (Read 2425 times)


  • Grand Poobah of Kingdoms of the Lost
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  • Grand Poobah
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  • Other character names: Glith, Devinoste, Deakkyn, Wolfryc, Rylee, Deus... it goes on for a while
Fifteen years.

That is not an insignificant amount of time. A lot of hours have gone into building, coding, paying the bills, reading the notes, developing characters and watching stories play out - from imm to player and back again. We still have a handful of players such as Daklore or Sephrenia who were on our prior MUD, Realm of the Crystal Dragon (RCD). It was a fun game that was made better by the players who occupied it. When things started to fall apart around the owners of the game, Tear and Volo, my wife and I realized that we had simply outgrown RCD. We had our own ideas we wanted to implement. We wanted to treat players in a different way. Some of those things we got right almost immediately, many of them we didn't, but we were willing to learn and adapt as needed.

Of course things were never perfect - and really no game is. Everyone wants different things from their gaming experience, and I learned a long time ago that there was never making everyone happy, but all in all I have been quite happy with what we produced over the years. Over a hundred areas, tons of original code and some pretty memorable characters and stories over the years - some I participated in, many I just sat back, grabbed some popcorn so to speak, and watched them evolve.

Lots of things have changed since we first started. The people on the staff. The players playing the game. Races, religions, Armengar - it was always an interesting balance of wanting to create more and new content while going back on to improve the existing stuff. If we were working from the ground up once again, I imagine we would do things quite a bit differently (the number of Scattered Ashes conversations Thalia and I have had over the years are numerous). Heck, we nearly went in a completely different direction back when Farnite was looking at making a PvP heavy MUD based on Godwars code set in the time of the Dragon-Kalchi War.

Fifteen years. For some perspective - my oldest kid is 19. My son is 16. My youngest? Yup, she's 13. The MUD is older than one of my teenage kids.

My hope this upcoming weekend is to get some advertisement out there in a few players to announce the 15 years, maybe rope in some new players and maybe as a result we will see some things pick up. Of course there are multiple reasons why new players stick it out or leave. Some if it is the writing in the newbie zone - or even color combinations (one player many years ago logged out after about five rooms and cussed me out on open channels for giving them a headache because it looked like someone threw up Skittles all over our MUD). Everyone's different - you can't make 'em all happy - but I much prefer when people are in fact happy and enjoying their time here. The biggest reason why a player is likely to stay or go is their interactions with other players.

MUDs are a social experience - so treat each other well. We don't all always get along, and that's fine - but how it gets handled is important as well. I think the game tends to make a good impression on new players more often than not, but existing players and staff (myself absolutely included) play a part in keeping them coming back. I don't imagine we'll ever see those 50+ a night player lists (unless I cheat again like I did a couple of years ago and log in every one of mine and Gillian's 100ish characters), but we can enjoy the people we do have when they have the time to play.

I can honestly say that fifteen years of running Kingdoms of the Lost has been a great overall experience for me. I don't personally have the time to sink four, six, nine hours a day into building, coding and socializing on the site, but it has been a near-daily part of my life for a decade and a half now. I have met a lot of really nice, interesting people. I have learned how to code (badly I might add - thank you for fixing it all, Thalia!). I had a chance to spend a lot of time writing my own stories and reading those of others. I am definitely not the same guy I was at 24 years old when Gilly and I decided it was time to try and make our own MUD, but I am undoubtedly better for the experience.

Thank you to all of you. Kingdoms of the Lost is the sum of its parts - the people who play it, those who help to build it, individuals who code it. I look forward to seeing you around!

- Nick
I must be here, 'cause I'm not all there.