february downtime

February 3rd, 2011

Sorry about the downtime we experienced yesterday and today. The data center was knocked offline by the storms and we had some issues getting the server back online. Finally, we were able to convince someone to walk down to the box and flip the power switch into the appropriate configuration around lunch time today ;)

Everything looks good and no game data appears to have been lost. As you were.

allaryin news

SIMud release. Snowstorms reported in Hell.

January 31st, 2011

It has finally happened.

After a long period of wrangling with bugs, dealing with server drama, and some finalizing purges of walraven specific theme stuff, SIMud is finally open to the world.

Downloaders, go nuts.

Take heed:

This is still alpha mode code, and there’s going to be pieces missing since I had to gut some stuff that was taken out.

The license is Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution + Share-alike. If you would like different licensing terms, please go to to talk to the admins about it. They may elect to make concessions upon request.

http://shentino.necronomicorp.com/public/simud.tar.bz2

Requirements:
LDMud 3.4.2
a generously beefy config file

Note that there’s a lot of functionality that was walraven specific that had to be censored, and things are almost certainly going to be broken.

For the time being, to make yourself an admin, you’ll need to patch the /bin/wiz/addwizard.c command to skip the ADM_CHECK, add yoruself as a level 1000 wizard, and then add the admin check back.

With a little bit of TLC, installation will be less of a hassle soon enough, but with limited resources, a raw unsanded release was better than nothing.

Duke Nukem Forever has taught me not to get bogged down in perfection.

gpfault news

Upping the ante

December 29th, 2010

I now have root access to walraven.

It was granted after a recent mud restore failure I couldn’t fix at the time, plus what proved to be the last straw regarding very annoying file ownership problems caused by the security system littering uids of whoever last touched the file.

Bugs, beware.

For inspiration, I refer to one of my favorite scenes from Tombstone…

Wyatt Earp: All right, Clanton… you called down the thunder, well now you’ve got it! You see that?
[pulls open his coat, revealing a badge]
Wyatt Earp: It says United States Marshal!
Ike Clanton: [terrified, pleading] Wyatt, please, I…
Wyatt Earp: [referring to Stilwell, laying dead] Take a good look at him, Ike… ’cause that’s how you’re gonna end up!
[shoves Ike down roughly with his boot]
Wyatt Earp: The Cowboys are finished, you understand? I see a red sash, I kill the man wearin’ it!
[lets Ike up to run for his life]
Wyatt Earp: So run, you cur… RUN! Tell all the other curs the law’s comin’!
[shouts]
Wyatt Earp: You tell ‘em I’M coming… and hell’s coming with me, you hear?…
[louder]
Wyatt Earp: Hell’s coming with me!

gpfault news

My kingdom for a leader! …uh…what kingdom?

November 11th, 2010

Not much of the player base seems to have survived the server drama that we experienced, which has unfortunately left a major power vacuum in the game as key characters have had their players go away.

Currently mulling over how to handle this.

By default, our “playerwipe” daemon that mops up abandoned accounts based on how long a player goes without logging in can cull out the dead weight. But it takes horrendously long, and has most likely already been mercilessly tuned so I really don’t want to fiddle with anything.

Currently, AFAIK, Allaryin is the only member of the city council at the moment. My own character, Shentino, fulfills the role of Candle Hill’s treasurer, having previously held the role of the merchant guildmaster.

Probably will resolve this vaccuum in character. Some chitty chat with “The ‘A’ team” will probably be in order.

That said, the player base itself is rather limp, and really took a beating. Fresh blood will probably be needed, which brings me to the horrendous newbie “bootcamp” that allaryin previously complained about.

Witac is hopeless, and a new system needs to be written that

* Teaches players the basics of how to survive in the world
* Gives them some starting equipment
* Teaches them the actual rules of the game
* Gets their initial descriptions set properly (eyes, hair, skin, etc…plus clothing)

Additionally, the magic tree, most likely a newbie’s ONLY source of food in the place, has a strict quota. While reasonable to prevent exploiters from picking a million fruits and using the tree as an infinite orchard, it also enforces an implied time limit, and if a newbie is stuck and can’t get his quests figured out before his hunger eats up his magic tree quota, he will be stuck in an infinite starvation loop.

Newbie boot camp, whatever it turns out to be, needs to be newbie friendly, while at the same time protected from being abused by exploiters. It’s possible that enforcing an anti-non-newbie quarantine may work. I also need to be wary of collusion with old timers who may in theory pass newbieland contraband into the ‘real world”

Bugs bypassed:

* Until a way for the mud to connect to itself is found, hunger daemon has been changed from heartbeat to 3-second callout. Heartbeats are disabled when no players are online.

Tweaks:

* Finally fed up with my mortal getting blown offline, I increased the base idleness allowed from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Players still get a one minute bonus per level.

gpfault news

Bug fixes and botany bloopers.

October 2nd, 2010

Since becoming archwizard I’ve been fixing things like crazy:

  • Shopkeepers can now buy as well as sell
  • Hunger ticks moved into a separate daemon that uses a heartbeat to process a workload. Old system was unreliable and allowed certain mobs to cheat.
  • Map areas now generate all internal exits explicitly, and a typo fix was made.
  • Buildings owned by players that don’t exist anymore are now escheated as abandoned. All locks are removed and the building reverts to unowned status.
  • Rudimentary support for multiple currencies. Shopkeepers can be told to accept different kinds of money.
  • The infamous penny fumbling bug in the bank ledger was nixed after converting from floating candles to integer pence.
  • Doors that are locked as well as closed print as ‘x’ instead of ‘+’, allowing players to receive a much faster visual feedback.
  • A minor exploit in mining that allowed players to teleport into a level after it has already flooded has been fixed. Now, flooding is a seperate operation carried out by a different object, that also remains behind in the flooded levels to instantly kill anyone who returns.
  • Death is now only checked during heartbeat, to prevent cases where multiple simultaneous damagings would result in multiple deaths for players. A few players who have been affected by this have had their stats refunded.
  • The anthill that people were stumbling across in ihaya had its return exit misrouted to some old terrain that was superceded by newer geography, causing players to be stuck in limbo. The old terrain was removed and the anthill was properly reattached.
  • Carnivores will now attempt to consume their meaty inventories, as well as scavenge dead bodies, in addition to killing and devouring live prey.

That’s the good news, now onto the bad news.

Following the tradition of a probationary apprentice of the great creator Rodenon, I managed to, as has been done by the other admins in their heyday, nuke all the trees in the world.

A reboot didn’t save them, so I spent about a day reseeding them. The good news is it gave me an excuse to redistribute the tree composition of the various lands to more closely match their intended climates and biomes. Writing smart trees that could later be converted into the appropriate tree randomly was a big help, as was the regrowing daemon I wrote that insta-growed the smart trees and made them spread.

gpfault news

current newbie experience

September 29th, 2010

Sigh. Started this article on April 14, ‘09; then RL kicked me in the teeth for a year and a half. None of the admins are able to contribute any meaningful dev time to the project these days but thankfully GPFault is joining the mud as an archwizard tasked with revivification, and in honor of that, I am revivificating this old draft blog post ;)

Just for completeness sake, I am going to kick off my discussion of ideas for a new newbie experience by documenting the current system.

When a new player logs in to the mud for the first time, they are asked a handful of questions before being dropped onto the peak of Witac Island. Before a player can leave Witac, they must complete every quest on the island. If a player manages to escape the island w/o completing every quest, they will be returned to the peak when they log back in. Completion of Witac gives the player a few tools and fleshes out their physical description.
Read more…

allaryin news , , ,

next round of awesome

April 13th, 2009

With the IRC gateway largely wrangled into submission and a way to read all of the old-style forum posts… I’m ready to move on to more interesting things.

I think my next two priorities for the project are:

  1. getting the mudlib under source control
  2. streamlining the newbie experience

source control

I’ve said this before, but just for completeness sake, we will be going with Mercurial - for reasons I don’t really care to discuss. A lot of research and experimentation has gone into this decision. Suffice it that there are way more pro’s than con’s and that while Git was considered, it fell flat when it came to offering what I actually needed.

We’ve attempted this at least twice in the past with miserable results. There are still remnants of CVS and SVN lying around, cluttering the place up. I will be scouring them.

As soon as everything is in hg, I will be attempting yet again to produce a vaguely distributable package of source. Since it has been so long, the administration will have to decide on licensing again, etc… Initially, the bundle will only be made available in response to individual requests from developers, but as we get this thing figured out, I hope to throw the doors open to the public after only 13+ years :P

My plans are that there will be something available by next Saturday (April 18th, 2009).

new newbie experience

Witac is awesome. However, it is also very brittle and frequently confusing. Acius has patched a few bugs out there recently, and I had to manually repair three broken NPC’s last week.

I plan on writing a much simpler (and more linear) newbie experience in the nearish future (once we’re under hg). Witac island will still stick around in some fashion or another - the specifics of which are yet to even be discussed. We may repair the quests and port them to the new (as-of-yet launched) quest journal system or we may scrap them entirely. We may leave the zone as a museum or turn it into a newbie city or something else entirely. I have no idea yet ;)

But the new newbie world will be geographically smaller than Witac and will hopefully touch on the following topics:

  1. The rules.
  2. Moving around inside of rooms.
  3. Basic gathering and crafting.
  4. Basic combat.
  5. Basic magic.

When newbies step out of the new experience (onto the docks of Candle Hill), they should have a few basic tools at their disposal, a few coins in their pockets, and a bit of advice as to what they might want to do next.

With the removal of Witac, some NPC’s will need to move to the mainland in order to handle hairdressing and such.

I have no ETA on this one, but I will be publishing details for discussion as the planning progresses. My goal is to have this done before the end of May, but I hope to have it ready much much sooner.

allaryin idea, news , ,

irc gateway update

March 27th, 2009

Just a minor update here. The IRC daemon is as done as I am planning on making it for a long while. Some of the messaging has been cleaned up and it now keeps track of listening users.

You can see who’s on IRC with the normal ‘who’ command:

% who
                         -----== PLAYERS ==-----
   [Admin]     Allaryin needs to write quest journals (right adjusted)
   [Admin]     Malap has several legs (chaotic banana)
  [Ancient]    Polar bears enjoy eating Sora (lawful good) [idle]
                        -----== CHAT USERS ==-----
    [irc]      @Acius
    [irc]      @allaryin
    [irc]      @Harkins

                 --== Players: 1, Wizards: 2, IRC: 3 ==--

When I add jabber support, it will be integrated together with this. Linking of IRC/MUD accounts is future tech that I don’t want to think about quite yet… but when the futuretime comes, I’ll try to set it up so all three services play happy together somehow.

allaryin news ,

rest

March 26th, 2009

In response to a suggestion from Sora, I’ve finally implemented a universal ‘rest’ command.

It may not be used during combat and requires you to be seated.

When you rest, you will regenerate some endurance at the cost of a large amount of readiness plus 1 heartbeat of ‘busy’ status per point of endurance healed in this way. At present, the cost is 250 readiness + 75 per end. This means you will be able to recharge 13-15 points of endurance per activation but will be disabled for 40-50 seconds.

In the future, I will be changing the cost to include a (minor) stat debuff for a short period after resting in exchange for a slight reduction in the ‘busy’ cost. This change should reduce the complete disabling duration down to 20-30 seconds but will weaken you for 30-60 additional seconds.

In addition to this command and the longstanding invigorate spell, there should eventually be some guild-specific ways of recharging endurance as well as some crafted consumables.

allaryin news

rebuilding progress

March 25th, 2009

There has been a healthy level of activity recently. GPF/Shentino has made a few fixes to Witac and I know Acius has done… something.

Apart from my posts here and lots of discussions with community members, I’ve just launched a pair of new (big) features.
Read more…

allaryin news , ,