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Old 12-25-2007, 05:59 PM   #1
Nutsoup
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British Legends - The Original & Still the Best!

British Legends, is the one and only original Multi-User Dungeon. The present incarnation is a high-fidelity port of the original MUD code base to a modern server platform. This accurate reimplementation faithfully reproduces almost all the original's features, even some of the bugs that have become part of the game's lore.

If you want to see what multiplayer gaming was like in the Land where it all began, and visit a game that still offers superior game play and balance, a visit to MUD at Welcome to the Home of MUD1 - British Legends! will be worth your time! It's still one of the best ones out there.

You haven't lived until you've died in MUD!
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Old 12-26-2007, 02:04 PM   #2
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Re: British Legends - The Original & Still the Best!

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British Legends, is the one and only original Multi-User Dungeon.
Kind of a pretentious claim. lol Do we know that this is in fact historically true, or are you only counting the ones on the internet? I am wondering, because the roots of these types of systems go a long way back, to *prior* to the existence of places like Compuserve and I know of at least one still floating around called Tele-Arena Telearena Gold Which I found and played briefly before I ever got access to things like AOL, Compuserve, etc.

Unfortunately, a lot of games from the BBS era are damn hard to play on most modern clients, since they often took advantage of some things like text positioning, which may or may not exist in some clients at all, are not complete in most of them, and when they are complete, exist in clients that are imho barely better than MS Telnet (while even back when playing Tele-Arena, clients like Telemate, which had a script system, existed). It would, for example, be nearly impossible to create a new TWHelper "script" that emulated the original behaviors of that program in any client that also supported the full set of ANSI functions needed to play the game. Its either/or, but never both.

Mind you, I don't know it Tele-Arena ever expanded into any of those ANSI graphics tricks, or used those commands, so its unclear if that would be a problem for a modern client. And, unlike TW2002, you don't need a helper. lol

Anyway, point is, it would be kind of interesting to see where the "real" start of MUDs was. Some, like the people on Discovery Channel, in their "Rise of the video game", series gloss over the facts, so much that they imply that it went from Adventure to muds, then straight into MMORPGs... So much for them doing any research on the subject. Worse, they imply the same as you do, that it started on Compuserve, thus glossing over everything that existed in peer to peer BBS systems, including the ones that somehow provided ways to redirect calls, and/or multiple phone numbers, before that. You would think they would at least try to get it right, or show something more interesting than the old pure B/W Adventure screens, which bear no resemblance to a mud at all. lol
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Old 12-26-2007, 04:20 PM   #3
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Re: British Legends - The Original & Still the Best!

MUD(also known as MUD1 and British Legends) was the first game, written by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle.

Roy started it in the fall of 1978 while at Essex University, and due to having to leave the college(graduation) passed it on to Richard in 1980. It stayed at Essex until around 1985, when MUD went live on CompuServe in the US and CompuNet in the UK.

For a full history, read Chapter 1 of Richard Bartle's book, Designing Virtual Worlds.
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:42 PM   #4
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Re: British Legends - The Original & Still the Best!

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MUD(also known as MUD1 and British Legends) was the first game, written by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle.
MUD certainly wasn't the first game, or even the first multiplayer game, but it was one of the two first games of its kind (the other being Sceptre of Goth which was written independently the same year), and is the game from which our genre gets its name.

The game wasn't actually launched under the name "British Legends" until 1987, the same year as Gemstone (and the same year that AberMUD was released). The original British Legends was shut down in 1999, and the current game of the same name is a ported version running since 2000, which is designed to be "an accurate reconstruction of the world's first Multi-User Dungeon".

Of course 7 years is still pretty old, and the game is also of historical interest.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:26 PM   #5
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Re: British Legends - The Original & Still the Best!

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MUD certainly wasn't the first game, or even the first multiplayer game, but it was one of the two first games of its kind (the other being Sceptre of Goth which was written independently the same year), and is the game from which our genre gets its name.
Poor choice of wording on my part, didn't intend to claim it was the first "game", only the first MUD.

Thanks for the exact date of when it went live on CompuServe/CompuNet, his book only mentions in in "The Second Age: 1985-1989" without an exact date, and I didn't feel like doing a google for it
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:04 AM   #6
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Re: British Legends - The Original & Still the Best!

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Poor choice of wording on my part, didn't intend to claim it was the first "game", only the first MUD.

Thanks for the exact date of when it went live on CompuServe/CompuNet, his book only mentions in in "The Second Age: 1985-1989" without an exact date, and I didn't feel like doing a google for it
Well, strictly speaking, it was probably the first "MUD", but not necessarily the first "Multi User Dungeon". It kind of depends on if you are talking about the "type" of game, or the "specific engine". That is where the confusion arises.
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:45 AM   #7
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Re: British Legends - The Original & Still the Best!

Which was first is easily debatable, in his book(and said many other times) Richard puts SoG as "around the same time" as MUD. Lauren Burka on the other hand puts SoG in 1979, which is just after MUD.

Both were made independantly, regardless of one of them coming first or not. The only thing that is for sure is that MUD spawned the genre we now know. Apparently Sceptre of Goth fell to an unlucky business decision.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:47 AM   #8
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Re: British Legends - The Original & Still the Best!

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The only thing that is for sure is that MUD spawned the genre we now know. Apparently Sceptre of Goth fell to an unlucky business decision.
However Sceptre of Goth also inspired various other muds, such as "Swords of Chaos" (which went commercial in 1985, and I believe is still running today) and "Quest for Mordor" (developed in 1988, the author later joined Arenanet, which developed Guild Wars). The Mordor codebase is directly derived from Quest for Mordor, and TMS lists 10 such muds (although at least 1 of those appears to actually be Diku based).

A tiny branch it may be, but SoG wasn't entirely an evolutionary dead end.
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:55 AM   #9
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MUD History 101

This historical is easily found in numerous places on the net. I make no claims to the full accuracy of this post, but researching this years ago came up with the following:

Historically, MUDs (and their more recent progeny with names of MU- form) derive from a hack by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw on the University of Essex's DEC-10 in the early 1980s; descendants of that game still exist today and are sometimes generically called BartleMUDs. There is a widespread myth (repeated, unfortunately, by earlier versions of this lexicon) that the name MUD was trademarked to the commercial MUD run by Bartle on British Telecom (the motto: "You haven't *lived* 'til you've *died* on MUD!"); however, this is false -- Richard Bartle explicitly placed `MUD' in PD in 1985. BT was upset at this, as they had already printed trademark claims on some maps and posters, which were released and created the myth.

Students on the European academic networks quickly improved on the MUD concept, spawning several new MUDs (VAXMUD, AberMUD, LPMUD). Many of these had associated bulletin-board systems for social interaction. Because these had an image as `research' they often survived administrative hostility to BBSs in general. This, together with the fact that USENET feeds have been spotty and difficult to get in the U.K., made the MUDs major foci of hackish social interaction there.

AberMUD and other variants crossed the Atlantic around 1988 and quickly gained popularity in the U.S.; they became nuclei for large hacker communities with only loose ties to traditional hackerdom (some observers see parallels with the growth of USENET in the early 1980s). The second wave of MUDs (TinyMUD and variants) tended to emphasize social interaction, puzzles, and cooperative world-building as opposed to combat and competition. In 1991, over 50% of MUD sites are of a third major variety, LPMUD, which synthesizes the combat/puzzle aspects of AberMUD and older systems with the extensibility of TinyMud. The trend toward greater programmability and flexibility will doubtless continue.
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:24 PM   #10
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Re: MUD History 101

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In 1991, over 50% of MUD sites are of a third major variety, LPMUD, which synthesizes the combat/puzzle aspects of AberMUD and older systems with the extensibility of TinyMud. The trend toward greater programmability and flexibility will doubtless continue.
Except...it didn't. The simplicity of out-of-the-box Diku proved far more popular than the extensibility of LPmud or TinyMUD.
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:28 PM   #11
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Re: MUD History 101

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Except...it didn't. The simplicity of out-of-the-box Diku proved far more popular than the extensibility of LPmud or TinyMUD.
Though didn't SMAUG replace DIKU as the simplistic MUD of choice sometime around 1997 or so? I remember numerous mudders (at least ten) asking me to come play their "mud". I went to all of them and each one was a smaug mud.
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:32 AM   #12
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Re: MUD History 101

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Though didn't SMAUG replace DIKU as the simplistic MUD of choice sometime around 1997 or so? I remember numerous mudders (at least ten) asking me to come play their "mud". I went to all of them and each one was a smaug mud.
Yeah. The problems with LP where:

1. Language wasn't very straight forward.
2. Setup could be a serious pain.
3. It didn't port to DOS worth beans, without rewriting a mess of stuff that used names that where invalid in DOS.
3a. This is still partly true even now, when there are a few like Dead Souls, which run under XP (but fail on 9x).
4. Security was a joke, even if you added more, since there was no *clear* separation from the core library and the rest of the code.
5. It did almost nothing, and provided barely any sort of "world" to start with, expecting the user to code damn near everything from scratch, including any improvement in the game mechanics.

Put simply, it LP based muds where like being handed a AMD 64 system, an AppleDOS manual, with an MS-DOS 1.0 disk, and a 500 page book on bios calls and opcodes. Oh, and a copy of Logo Turtle, just to show what you can do, if you wrote anything with it. Ok, ok, its not **that** bad, but almost. lol Smaug and others did the one thing that LPMUD failed at, which was to provide a clear, reasonably complete, and stable, starting point. Unfortunately, they did so by, in many ways, locking you into premade game mechanics, pre-written protocols, etc., which took recoding the engine to change or add significant improvements too, rather than just coding them "in" the library. I am not sure the trade off what really *worth* the gains, since now *everyone* that makes a new one goes that route, and none of them provide easy modification or extensibility of the core features (unless you are one of those nuts that thinks doing "'shutdown now' + 'edit somefile.c' + 'make blah' + 'run blah mymud.cfg'" every time you want to add something is a) normal or b) not going to be somehow noticed by the players. lol
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Old 12-28-2007, 07:42 PM   #13
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Re: MUD History 101

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Though didn't SMAUG replace DIKU as the simplistic MUD of choice sometime around 1997 or so?
I think ROM muds still outnumber SMAUG - but they're both derived from Merc, which in turn is derived from Diku, and I was really talking in more general terms, comparing the three big families; DikuMUD, LPmud and TinyMUD. The Diku family really introduced the concept of out-of-the-box muds, and I believe it was primarily that simplicity that made them so popular.
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