|05-09-2005, 12:58 AM||#1|
Join Date: May 2005
I began playing MUDs about 4 years ago. That was my first venture into the internet. I put roleplay fantasy games into the search engine and played some email games, interactive fiction and other pretty insipid stuff. Then I stumbled into MUDs. I can't really recall how. I didn't go through a MUD site like TMC. My first MUD, from memory, was phantasia 6: a simple java screen MUD in which you start in the centre of a circle. Your aim is to progress outwards, meeting harder monsters, until after reaching the circle edge, you can fight the biggest, baddest dude in the MUD: the darklord.
But it was a bit too simple a MUD for me. So I tried a heap of MUDs for a short period of time: NannyMUD, Lands of Karchan, Avalon, Achaea and a few others. Somehow I had got a MUDclient from somewhere: GMUD I think. None of these MUDs grabbed me. NannyMUD had bad room descriptions and after wandering around not knowing what was going on, I gave up. But I did achieve one thing on it! I found this laboratory where it said on the door "do not enter:secret experiments going on". well, that was like saying do not touch red paint! I entered instantly. Suddenly I get the message:
You are being pulled apart by the laboratory's magical machine. You are screaming in agony in the void. You are trapped forever inanother dimension.
This went on for 5 minutes before I typed pray to be saved by the Gods! That was surely a supreme act of stupidity !! And i lived to tell the tale!
I found NannyMUD hard to nunderstand. I had no gold for buying drinks etc and could find none. I hopped onto this boat and it was travelling to all these islands. But the boat kept going around in circles and I couldn't get off it. That was it. I left nannyMUD.
Then I tried Avalon. That was a fascinating MUD and the gane features such as being able to make your own MOB armies for wars are awesome. But the 3:1 exchange rate between Australia and the UK killed off the MUD for me.
Eventually I stumbled across Medievia. It grabbed me from the start. I ran into a group of heroes when I was a puny level 5. They said to me "you want to go on a trade run?" I had no idea what that involved but I said yes. So suddenly I was given all this gold [one million gold...wow!], told to but a horse, plonked onto a wagon, and then one of the heroes said "hang on we are going to go #### for leather!" And he meant it! Suddenly the wilderness map was flashing by at an unbelievable rate!
Anyway, I continued in Medievia for about a year. Then I saw an announcement for builder positions. I decided to apply despite feeling that my chance of becoming a builder was absolutely zero! A few months passed and I forgot about having applied. then suddenly I got an email from the GOD who hired builders, Ikuska, saying that she liked my idea of a volcano ruled by a pirate wizard! My application was accepted!
The next time I logged in Ikuska took me to a special zone for creating immortal characters. I was so nervous. I couldn't believe that any of this was happening! She asked the usual questions about why I wanted to build for Medievia etc. I replied in all truthfulness the same way I had answer it in my application: I was not in it for Kudos or status; I just wanted to make Medievia a better place by building a zone! She said that was good. Then in my nervousness I asked whether being a GOD was the same as playing. That was a DUMB question and Ikuska said in a tut tut tone that being a GOD was for for one purpose only: working!! I felt like a goose.
Anyway, she asked me to log out and log back in to make my immortal. I did so, naming him pyraquin. Then I started building. I was given a building mentor called Taeloch. At first I was bamboozled by all these building commands! Ikuska had told me that I would feel that way and she was correct! Taeloch was quite helpful and got me started. My first task was to build my first 20 rooms and get them checked. I began to build like a man possessed. They had all these great features like roomstates, where you could set a room description for any hour of the day, and all sorts of door flags. I used every feature I could find. I had a river in my volcano. So I set the description of the water being being bright to day, and the darkness of the river to night.
After about 2 weeks I had done the 20 rooms and got them checked. Considering that this was first time building ANYTHING they were almost faultless. My mentor told me that out of the three builders he was mentoring, I was in his opinion the most promising one.
Then I received further training from another God called Ardothica. He taught me how to use Medievia's offline editor for creating mobs, containers and objects. Eventually I completed the 200 [!] rooms in my zone, including descriptions, flags, exit messages, roomstates, hidden entrances...
I spared no effort at any point. If a room needed to be rewritten numerous times to get it perfect, I was painstaking in doing so. I used all the building tools in every imaginative way I could. I even used a lookat [extra desc] of a wall that gave a spoken meaasge about secret entrances . I roomstated the clue and description so that the clue only appeared from 11 pm to midnight. I gave a mob the gossipflag [talking] that "the walls speak in the witching hour!. " That was a fair bit of work! combining three building tools together to make one clue!! I didn't stop there. I roomstated the talking wall in another room for the other 23 hours! So it made temporal sense!!
Anyway, eventually my room descriptions were reviewed by Kostia, one of the higher Gods. She marked my rooms complete! hooray! after all that hard work. I was working hard on my mobs etc on the offline editor. I was about 90 percent of the way to completing the zone. I really felt that I had got somewhere with the building! For all the nervousness and intimidated feelings I had begun with, I had gained a mastery over a lot of the building process and, without false modesty, become very, very good at it.
But then things took a subtle turn for the worse. Numerous new building tools had appeared in the 5 months approx I had been building. I began to use these tools. One was a compshop where component equipment could be used to make stuff. So I put that in the zone. It fitted into my zone theme. It made the zone better. It seemed OK to me. I told my mentor that I had done this and he said that it might be wise to ask a higher God if it were allowed. I did so and got a legalistic response that my compshop was not allowed because my not allowed my zone application was for an experience zone, not an equipment zone. This seemed strange to me. I was just trying to make the zone better. My application was months ago. Shouldn't I be allowed some creative flexibilty over that period of time as new tools became available? I had sent him a 3000 word detailed explanation of waht the compshop would do, with all the equipment etc with specific stats. But I did as he asked and trashed all the comp equipment. I was left with a feeling of unease; perhaps my creativity was not good enough. Athrian pointed out faults in my zone as well after he walked through it. I fixed them all in a few hours. I meant it when I said that I got good at building.
Anyway, a few weeks later I logged on and got a note from Kostia saying that my zone status had been changed to rooms incomplete. The note was vague and gave me no help at all about how to fix it up. It said something about "mapping" and gave some Gods' names. I didn't know how to respond to my zone going backwards without any clear way given for me to fix it up. I needed answers. And I needed them NOW. I wanted to keep building and this was an impediment to me doing so. I wrote a long letter to athrian saying that I was unhappy with my zone status being reversed. I was forthright about my disappointment but I used no swearwords or abuse. I finished the letter by pleading for more expalnation about what was wrong with my zone so I could fix it; I stressed that I would do ANY amount of work in doing so.
I got back 2 responses. Athrian's was quite OK and taked about our earlier craetive disagreement about the compshop as well. but Kostia's response was a different kettle of fish. It began " I resent being deliberately misquoted.." and ended with "your letter is an affront to Athrian and Myself". Neither Athrian nor Kostai's responses gave me any clue about how to fix my mapping for the zone. I was pretty livid at Kostia's response. My letter had not been an affront; it was a sincere attempt to sort out what was going on in my zone. It appears that I had misquoted her letter in the heat of the moment but this was not de;liberate. I do not deliberately misquote people and to insinuate that I could ever be so scheming is an insult to my integrity; I expect that anyone would feel that way.
I sent a letter back to Kostai saying that I did not like that comment or its tone. I think that I knew as I was writing it that it would end the building caper. But I sent it anyway. I used no swearwords. I consider that I was entitled to stick up for myself and not be a doormat.
the next week Ikuska sent me an email that was cc to Vryce, Nykaul and Ozymandias, the three most senior people inb Medievia. i am not stoopid. I knew what it said before i read it; you were a promising builder but what you said was so rude that we acnnot use you anymore.
I sent a grovelling reply to Ikuska to see what would follow rather than any real desire to build there again. Ikuska replied that she stood by her decision, said agin that I was rude and that i had made a spectacle and should have asked her about my zone instead of sending the letters. This was rude to me. I mean, Kostai created enough of a spectacle by  not checking adequately my zone in the first place and  her bellicose reply to me.
As for speaking to Ikuska about it, I don't know. i thought that it was enough of a mess without bringing in new immortals to cmplicate it further.
I was bitter about it for a few weeks. I have never logged onto Medievia in any mortal capacitysince. I beagn to try other MUDs. I even tried to build again for them, as burnt as I still was by my Medievia disappointment. I built for a MUD that was not ready for players. After a few months I told the owner politely that i did not want to build there anymore because he had been gone for about a month. He agreed that he was not up to making a MUD. He had had problems with his girlfriend. we resolved our differences in a polite, amicable fashion [what a change] and i moved on. He said that was an excellent builder.
Then I built for Shattered Dreams before they vanished. Then I beagn building for Tempus and i am still building for them now.
Perhaps Medievia was a repressive culture that I just couldn't get into. Maybe my Australian staright-taking approach clashed with their rectally retentive Philadelphian religious culture. I don't know.
I still love building. I don't play much these days. I play a bit of Tempus and legends of karinth [ a brilliant MUD with the best skill/magic sytem i have ever seen. all it needs is a larger playerbase when it advances from beta].
Medievia will always be the zone that got away. Without exagerration that would have been one of the best zones in any MUD.
I love building simply to create stuff and make MUDs better. I don't care about status or builderrank etc. I couldn't give a #### about that stuff. I am just a creative guy who satisfies my creative urge by building znes in MUDs. I can't draw, paint, play music, design RL [!] houses etc. so this is what I do: build for MUDs. It just makes the bright light of Australian skies seem even brighter.