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Old 04-08-2008, 07:07 PM   #21
Jazuela
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Re: What do you think happened to LPmuds?

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
I am going to assume this is a real question and not just a flippant, sarcastic remark. I hope I am right.

First, the thread title is "What do you think happened to LPmuds?" If there are tons of LPmuds out there flourishing, and new ones being created frequently, then a valid answer is "They are doing fine <insert examples>." Since nobody seems to be saying that, then my belief that LPmuds (and the use of LPC) are fading seems to be somewhat accurate.
First, yes it was a sincere question. I really wanted to know, how anyone -would- know, if an LPMud was an LPMud, if the code is so different from one to the next that they don't resemble each other -and- that they can call themselves custom, without specifying that they are LPMud.

Second, I don't know why you feel you can come to a conclusion of fact, based on a belief. The only thing you can know for sure (as of this post), is that no one has given you a difinitive answer yet. WHY they haven't - you have no way of knowing. It could be a number of reasons. It could be that your guess is corrrect - that there really aren't that many LPMuds.

It could be, that the people who DO know the answer, haven't read this thread and didn't know you were asking. It could be, that they have read the thread, and just didn't feel like answering. It could be that they read the title of it in the "recent threads" thing on the main topmudsites page, and never bothered reading the actual thread, and therefore haven't answered. It could be that everyone who -might- have answered, refuses to be cause they don't like you. Or maybe they don't like me, and are offended enough by my presence in this thread that they will boycott it.

It could be a lot of things, the the Occam's Razor application of the question, would come up with the most likely answer: no one who knows, has had the opportunity and/or desire to answer you.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:26 AM   #22
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Re: What do you think happened to LPmuds?

Well, yes, it could be any of those things, or it could simply be that, like any semi-intelligent being, we can observe changes in trends that have occurred over years. How would anyone even know except to ask and wonder? Since Threshold isn't the only person to notice a decline in LPMuds, and since some of us actually know the problems with coding in LPC when other things are available now, the hypothesis could actually be a correct one.

Scientific method:

1) Use your experience
2) Create a conjecture
3) Deduce an explanation
4) Attempt to disprove
5) Revise your hypothesis
6) Rinse and repeat

This is pretty tried and true considering the entire scientific community uses it. There's really no way to even test your conjectures. Once this thread exists, people can point to further evidence and help review the hypothesis/conjecture. So far, from reading posts of the people who have worked with LPC as well as going off my own knowledge of working in LPC, I would say that it's a decent hypothesis. For example, we chose to punt LPC for our newest game even though Threshold has done well and lots of people enjoy it. A lot of it for reasons stated here, and some of it is for our own personal reasons.

Ultimately, it really doesn't make a difference why people want to wax nostalgic about the days where LPC muds were popping up everywhere. That's definitely not the case anymore.

Last edited by Milawe : 04-09-2008 at 12:47 AM. Reason: fixed a sentence that made no sense
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:38 AM   #23
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Re: What do you think happened to LPmuds?

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Originally Posted by kugrian View Post
The Intermud listing for the yaymim router shows quite a few LPMUDs connected. I also know of at least 4 others which have been running for at least 5 years (at least 2 of them are over a decade old).
Yeah, those numbers sound about as low as I feared (though I got a kick out of the "mycrappymud" and "Pussy Planet" mud entries on that list). I remember 10+ years ago I hooked up to one of the intermuds and there were many hundreds of LPmuds on it. And usually, half the admins were slagging Descartes for something.

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
The only thing you can know for sure (as of this post), is that no one has given you a difinitive answer yet. WHY they haven't - you have no way of knowing.
Errr...... Isn't the whole point of a discussion forum to DISCUSS things? If I already knew the answer with absolute certainty then I wouldn't have bothered with the thread. Seriously, I have to wonder why you are even bothering to post in this thread if you are just being contrary for the sake of being contrary, and don't even seem to have the slightest interest in the actual topic.

Every single person that ever lived in the universe could come to this thread, read it, post their honest opinion, and we STILL wouldn't know "for sure" why LPmuds tapered off in popularity. But that doesn't mean a discussion of "why" is not interesting and valuable. If it didn't interest people, they wouldn't be posting.

Last edited by Threshold : 04-09-2008 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:42 AM   #24
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Re: What do you think happened to LPmuds?

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
Then, what makes Threshold think there's such a dearth of LPMuds? How would he know? Every single game that calls itself "custom" could be one, and there are a decent number of games that call themselves custom. Maybe it's not as lonely in LPworld as he thinks. Maybe it's an incredibly popular system. If the code bases can be that different, then there really isn't any way he, or you, or anyone else, would know. Then why would Threshold create this thread in the first place?
Just because they don't call themselves an LPMud doesn't mean that there aren't some characteristics that remain the same. Plus, there's definitely a distinct difference in "now" and "then". When I first started playing Threshold, LPC seemed to be the big trend. There were several rather large LP muds such as Darkwind and Realms Mud. I've lost touch with Darkwind and haven't heard anything about them for a long time. (Sad, because I totally loved the Garou race. I quit playing when they weren't open to players during an overhaul.) Realms Mud has a few players still, but it's nowhere near the busy mud that it used to be. It seemed like back in the late 90s, tons of LP muds were opening their doors and looking for players. You can go look at the posts now and see that there aren't very many.

I would assume that Threshold started the thread because this is a topic of interest for him and hardly likely to cause a flame war. It's a trend that some of us have noticed and discussed amongst ourselves. Maybe he just thought it'd make for interesting conversation. And ultimately, he got his start in LPMuds. Why wouldn't he think fondly of them and lament the fact that some the old big ones are gone?

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I don't know anything about LPMud. I just know some game operators tell people their game is an LPMUd. If there's no way to tell, and if it doesn't violate copyright by -not- saying so, why do some people specify and others don't? I thought it was a codebase, like Diku, GSL, and MOO are codebases. I never had any reason to know it was something else.
Most places don't give you an option to be very specific about your codebase or the language you programmed your mud in. Most players don't actually care unless they hope to be programming or building for the game they actually play. Now, for some codebases, naming the code base also denotes a "look" and "feel" to the game as well as the mechanics. In that case, it helps for people to know. You can list LPMud, but it won't tell a player jack about how the mud is going to look, whether or not it has auto-prompts, or how the combat is going to operate. I'd probably guess that a lot of muds would list themselves as "custom lib, coded in LPC" if they could, but even then, that's really not going to be useful for the players.

Last edited by Milawe : 04-09-2008 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:45 AM   #25
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Re: What do you think happened to LPmuds?

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Originally Posted by kugrian View Post
The Intermud listing for the yaymim router shows quite a few LPMUDs connected. I also know of at least 4 others which have been running for at least 5 years (at least 2 of them are over a decade old).
Ah, cool! I used to log on to Discworld for kicks and stuck around because I was okay with their gameplay style. I'm frankly not a fan of most DIKU and DIKU derivatives unless they've been heavily modified. I didn't actually know Discworld as an LPMud, though.

It's good to see some of the old ones still up and running. There's a few there I've never heard of, too, so it might be time to go exploring again. I think I'll start with this one:

mycrappymud Coffee CoffeeMud v5.3. CoffeeMud v5.3.0 67.58.170.55 5555

ROFL. That just cracks me up.
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:20 PM   #26
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Re: What do you think happened to LPmuds?

On the note of muds that are LP. Not sure if its listed as such, but one called Ages of Despair is a TMI-2 (massively modified) on MudOS, so that is one at least. And, imho, its showing its age. Despite revamping of combat, and a lot of other things, there are compromises made to get them to work that make no real sense to me, but didn't work when done the opposite way around, and some things, like the outdoor grid system, are limited to an *allowed* size, so adding in a larger outdoor world would require new grids, or other annoyances. From what I understand this may be a practical limitation of the library, or maybe the server, or both. There are definite problems with it that only a new driver with better modern support and/or even more extreme changes to the library would require. Hmm. Another example. They upped max levels to 150, and then added in some special "powers" you could work towards at that level. They then had to completely change how total exp was stored, because the allowed integer size in MudOS was too small to "fit" the value into it (and I am not sure what they did to fix it, since reals would have the same problem, but add precision errors, which would make "gaining" exp impossible if the value was small enough to fall below certain thresholds, or recompute it for death, etc.).
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:33 PM   #27
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Re: What do you think happened to LPmuds?

That's interesting. Do you think that it's "showing its age" because of the limitations of the MudOS and TMI-2 codebase, or do you think it's a matter of game design and code?

One of the biggest things, in my opinion, that limits "updating" an LPMud game is the sheer amount of actual coding that has to be done by anyone who is involved. You can't really hand off making anything to people who have no idea to code, and it seems that it's harder and harder to find people who can code. (Though, I think that this is because MU*ing actually has become more mainstream. It's not composed mostly of hardcore computer geeks anymore.)

I have to say that I'm pretty shocked that anything really got too big for the interger size in MudOS, which is 2 to the 31st power. It seems like anything you really want to do could be done at 2^31-1.

Last edited by Milawe : 04-09-2008 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:13 PM   #28
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Re: What do you think happened to LPmuds?

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One of the biggest things, in my opinion, that limits "updating" an LPMud game is the sheer amount of actual coding that has to be done by anyone who is involved. You can't really hand off making anything to people who have no idea to code, and it seems that it's harder and harder to find people who can code. (Though, I think that this is because MU*ing actually has become more mainstream. It's not composed mostly of hardcore computer geeks anymore.)
This also makes the training burden enormous. If you had a really creative player that you were interested in bringing on board as a builder, the amount of training involved just so they could BEGIN to express their creativity is quite significant. A lot of people just give up before that.

That raises another possible reason for the LPmud fade. 10+ years ago, a much higher percentage of people that were online and playing MUDs were already technically oriented. They were either involved in computer science in academia, or doing something with computers or engineering. If none of those were the case, they were at least people who were so into technology they knew about "this new fangled thing called the internet."

Now the internet is pretty darn close to a cross-section of society in general. So the average person is not already interested in programming like was once the case.
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:44 PM   #29
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Re: What do you think happened to LPmuds?

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That's interesting. Do you think that it's "showing its age" because of the limitations of the MudOS and TMI-2 codebase, or do you think it's a matter of game design and code?
Umm. Yes? lol Seriously, even modified TMI-2 has issues. Unmodified.. I don't even want to think about the nightmare it was to look at when I tried to work out what it did. MudOS isn't exactly a spring chicken either. Its almost the oldest one around (almost), and there are a lot of things about it that could be improved, not to mention other that only sort of got added later, including DB support, which *most* muds never bothered to use, since it wasn't something they, at the time, needed or knew how to take advantage of.

Quote:
One of the biggest things, in my opinion, that limits "updating" an LPMud game is the sheer amount of actual coding that has to be done by anyone who is involved. You can't really hand off making anything to people who have no idea to code, and it seems that it's harder and harder to find people who can code. (Though, I think that this is because MU*ing actually has become more mainstream. It's not composed mostly of hardcore computer geeks anymore.)
Yep. And that is a "huge" issue. Interestingly I think one of the issues is *actually* the fact that is uses a form of C. It wasn't ever really a user-friendly language to start with, but its got stuffed into the role of being used to code stuff for what "requires" usability code wise. Then again, I would likely have similar issue with someone using Java, which I also think is a bit annoying in the same ways. But, that goes back to the library. You need something where creative design of the "idea" can be done with little or no coding. Much of the rewrite of TMI-2 that got done on AoD, I think, may have been simplification of some of the room design requirements, and other similar stuff. Imho, unless you have script that needs to make an NPC or a room do something odd, it never really made sense to have to "code" them. Put it in a DB, or generate a DB entry from code, maybe, but, in practical terms, once you know what your rooms need to look like, what npcs look like, how your combat works, etc., there just isn't any damn reason to not just make everything, except the extra script needed to "change" that behavior in specific cases, be written in C. It makes it hard to learn, hard to change, etc. And, it tends to make it harder for people to learn how to do the basics, so they can go on to the advanced stuff they "wanted" to do in the first place.

Quote:
I have to say that I'm pretty shocked that anything really got too big for the interger size in MudOS, which is 2 to the 31st power. It seems like anything you really want to do could be done at 2^31-1.
As I said, I am not quite certain what the problem actually was, or how it was fixed. Maybe they where using floats to store it, or signed integers. One would automatically end up with precision issues, while the later would cut your available values in half. But, people where getting into like 2.5 billion exp and more when things started to go fubar on them.
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:21 PM   #30
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Re: What do you think happened to LPmuds?

I'm going to repost this here since the cesspool atmosphere at TMC has made participation there entirely useless:

Threshold,

I think you may well have hit the nail on the head more or less exactly. DIKU based muds tend to be pretty quick an easy to set up, you can get people building areas using OLC within an hour, and there are tons of snippets to be used as add-ons. The ease with which most DIKU bases can be run in Windows also seems to have a big impact.

Many DIKU codebases are still actively maintained with a very public presence from their current stewards. Even if they happen to have taken over a project after the original authors left it behind. From my experience it seems that once an LP project is set aside by the original maintainers, it's a huge undertaking to revive it.

I've also seen a bit of a perception of seclusion among LP maintainers, in that they tend to stick within their own niche and rarely seem to venture out to more general places. This is also true to some extent with some DIKU communities, but not nearly as much.

Cratylus has done a rather amazing job of reviving several old projects that had been laying dormant for awhile. Getting them to work in environments they weren't intended for, offering help where needed, that sort of thing. He's just one man though.

It could also just be that the LPs are the first sign of something more general, such as a shift away from text based games in general. You'd be surprised how many school and college age kids these days have no idea what a MUD even is. Let alone the differences in all the codebases out there.
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:42 PM   #31
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Re: What do you think happened to LPmuds?

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You'd be surprised how many school and college age kids these days have no idea what a MUD even is. Let alone the differences in all the codebases out there.
Agreed, which is why I think there's still hope for muds and potentially even growth. If they'd all heard of MUDs, all tried MUDs and written them off as boring that would be a different situation.

MUDs still have a lot to offer and while they will by no means appeal to the majority, it only takes 1% or .01% of MMO players to play a MUD and we'd all see a huge jump in population.

Which, of course, brings us right back to how to get the message out there...
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:33 PM   #32
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Re: What do you think happened to LPmuds?

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Many DIKU codebases are still actively maintained with a very public presence from their current stewards. Even if they happen to have taken over a project after the original authors left it behind. From my experience it seems that once an LP project is set aside by the original maintainers, it's a huge undertaking to revive it.
I have always wondered why so few LP projects get successfully passed on by the original author. It is a shame, because a lot of good mudlibs, drivers, and other projects died on the vine as a result.

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MUDs still have a lot to offer and while they will by no means appeal to the majority, it only takes 1% or .01% of MMO players to play a MUD and we'd all see a huge jump in population.
Good point.

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Which, of course, brings us right back to how to get the message out there...
Here's a very minor suggestion to everyone:

On the graphical MMOs you play, post on their forums. Have a link in your .sig file either to your favorite MUD, Top Mud Sites, or both. On most graphical MMO forums, tens or hundreds of thousands of people will see your posts. Surely some of them will be interested enough in the idea of text games to check out your link and learn about our community a bit.
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:29 AM   #33
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Re: What do you think happened to LPmuds?

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Agreed, which is why I think there's still hope for muds and potentially even growth. If they'd all heard of MUDs, all tried MUDs and written them off as boring that would be a different situation.

MUDs still have a lot to offer and while they will by no means appeal to the majority, it only takes 1% or .01% of MMO players to play a MUD and we'd all see a huge jump in population.

Which, of course, brings us right back to how to get the message out there...

I think you're being a bit optimisic.

I'm not trying to flame you, but your response, light of the LPMUd extinction discussion, brings to mind the potential extinction of MUDs in general... which is probably better posted onto the end of another well-tread thread. (But I'll post here anyway.)

To use an analogy, it's like saying, "Even though most people haven't heard of clog dancing (Clogging - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) , it only takes 1% to 0.01% of all night/dance-club dancers to jump in and there'd be a huge clog-dancer population"... which implies that the reason there aren't more clog dancers is largely because people haven't heard of it.

Yes, advertising will bring in some people.

But the fact is, clog dancing is no longer in vogue, not since the 18/19th century according to Wikipedia.

You can (a) admit that and live with a dwindling and aging population of clog-dancers (staving off the decline with clog-athons and other occasional advertising), or (b) change clog dancing so it fits with the times more.

(I'll post more about LPMuds and clog dancing when I get my world-toolkit functioning better.)
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:06 AM   #34
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Re: What do you think happened to LPmuds?

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( clog dancing comparison )
I was going to reply here, but that really warrants its own thread.
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