A couple weeks after releasing this newsletter six months after the last one kinda got me in too big of a rush to finish it that I missed some significant news items from three muds that should get some more frequent running action than it is. That news leads off the news roundup from the MUDs.
Whew, it's been six months since the last issue and some major changes have occurred during that time. Finally the United States has a president we can be proud of, and the most slick and corrupt president this nation has ever had is finally out of power though we are still stuck with his wife...for now. So many people unfortunately were willing to go to any lengths to get Al Gore in as president, using various means of voter fraud including multiple voting, ballot tampering, blowing up individual claims of persons having trouble voting into massive voter disenfranchisement, making military servicemen away from the polls, calling elections early before polls close, reopening polls that were already closed, buying votes in exchange for pardons, miscounting ballots, and any other dirty trick you can imagine. One thing's for sure, there are so many people who had problems voting because they either cannot read or are poorly educated. And for those who say George W. Bush stole the election via a "Republican-packed" U.S. Supreme Court, Al Gore was trying to steal the election via the "Democrat-packed" Florida Supreme Court--but of course a Democrat-packed court is completely unbiased and Republican-packed courts are always biased. Too bad, get over it. And then there are those who are complaining about Gore winning the popular vote and losing the Electoral College, so that needs to be ditched. I say no, Al Gore got his support from roughly 600 counties in the United States, while Bush won over 2400 of them. "Land mass doesn't vote!!!" Well gee, we in downstate Illinois don't like Chicago dictating to us how to run things, Northern California has been threatening to break away from the rest of the state cause Los Angeles and San Francisco try to tell them what to do, New York City of course tells the rest of the state how things are supposed to be. Therefore, if the Electoral College went away, large urban areas with highly dense population center would dictate what the rural America can and can't do, and that's tyranny by the majority which is bad. Every candidate would only campaign in New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, Cleveland, and any other city with over 2 million people and the rest of the country will be forgotten about. The electoral college is the only thing that gives every state in America a say in the presidential election.
The energy and gasoline problems have gotten worse, California due to the fact that the state has many environmental extremists running the place have masterful set it up where no new power plants can be built and froze how much can be charged to consumers while deregulating how much outside suppliers can charge the state companies resulting in a money drain and massive debt and possible bankruptcy. Because of this stupidity, there are now power shortages and rolling blackouts. This is what you get when you elect environmentalist wackos into power. Gasoline is hardly cheaper, they now are experiencing what Illinois did last summer, paying over $2.35 a gallon with the very real possibility that prices per gallon may top $3.00. And so many people are against drilling for oil in Alaska--how foolish. They really think its better we get more of our oil from OPEC which is gonna cut production again and keep the price per barrel close to $30 to $35 or more? You plan on walking to work? For those living overseas, I know you are paying between $4-5 U.S. dollars per gallon, alas the truth of the high prices are covered up in the fact that you are paying per liter which it takes roughly four and a half liters to make a gallon. Thus, we have stations hiding the true cost of gasoline by using a much smaller unit of measure. See, the metric system of measurement isn't all that beneficial.
Recession is nearly in full force, Montgomery Ward, a 124-year-old retailer has goes out of business, several stores chains are closing off under performing outlets, manufacturers of major products like Dell and Cisco are scaling back their workforces, and many other large companies are laying off thousands. Who saddled us with this? Bill Clinton. That will be his lasting legacy, among the vandalism his staff left in the White House for the new administration to repair, and the dangerous criminals he has pardoned. Bleh...GOOD RIDDENCE.
For those of you who MUD and are in an area with a power crunch, I'd suggest the following...use a battery back-up device in case the power goes out then you can safely shut down your game without cutting link. And for the lights, switch to a less power consuming bulb.
News Roundup From the Abermud World
Yours truly has had two articles published in Imaginary Realities E-Zine, "Cruel Doubt on the Net" and "MUD Administration Are You Ready?" The first was published as a three-parter here and a second edition in the now defunct MUD Journal. I have composed a third edition of this riveting piece for this well circulated site (new developments have happened since, which will be covered a little later here.) The second was reprinted from the AA#12 by request, to cover an aspect of MUD Administration that was missed among a set of articles covering just about everything else. These appear the in the October and January issues respectively.
A new programming project has begun to create a new version of Abermud V, which will be designed for use on newer versions of Linux. Graeme Gregory began this over on Sourceforge in the section EnchanceAber, is a CVS tree with the final release of Aber 5 that Anarchy (Alan Cox) made. Also available in a branch that he has made in CVS are modified files that have been through some cleaning for compiling with modern ANSI compilers. The mud should compile with the blizzard.uni world file but it is not present on the Sourceforge site. If anyone is interested in maintaining the world files there is no reason why they cannot have developer access to the project or start a second sister project. Coming soon is a patch to replace the old network code with a simpler text and sockets version, and major cleanup of hardcoded stuff of blizzard.uni. Anyone interested in joining the mailing list or play with the source are encouraged to join the mailing list and talk.
I am in need of fix for Dyrt 1.2 to be compilable in a Red Hat Linux environment. Currently it does not compile in that OS because of a problem in the Makefile. There exists converts to make iDirt, C-Dirt and pDirt to work with Red Hat, but not Dyrt. If anyone is willing to take up this task let us know.
Cruel Doubt on the Net Update
The latest development in this continuing saga is that a lawsuit has been filed against Midway Games because someone "imitated the gameplay" of Mortal Kombat against another person after playing the video game. It goes like this, three friends from Norwalk, CT went to a certain store and played the game Mortal Kombat. After they were finished, they supposedly were very excited from playing the game. While they were walking along headed for a movie theater, one found a knife-like object on the sidewalk, picked it up and started acting like he was one of the characters of the game. Unfortunately, during the horseplay, he fatally stabbed one of the other two. Somehow, the mother of the slain child thinks if they didn't see or play this violent video game the picking up of the knife and the stabbing of the victim would never had happened. I say, yeah right. Where's the suit against the owner of the property or the maker of the knife? They're blaming the maker of the video game and the store that housed it. Incredible. Once again the wrong target gets the blame for this again. Thankfully, SOME government agency recognizes this; the office of the Surgeon General says video games do not make children become violent thugs, aside from the occasional idiot. The article itself can be read by jumping to this link.
A rather stupid law was created in Indianapolis, IN where all violent video games must be seperated from all the non-violent ones by a distance of 10 feet, have warning labels on them, be hidden behind a wall or curtain, and those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Arcade not complying with this law will be fined $200 a day per violation and could lose their amusement license if three violations are recorded for the same year. How many of you teenagers will actually obey this law? I wouldn't had, and I could download the games on my PC anyway.
But now, Microsoft (you can't spell c-r-a-s-h without Bill Gates) has gone where no other video game manufacturer has dared going, putting a V-chip in its new X-Box video game console. That's right, if you want to play certain video games that are rated TV-MA...you can't anymore! If you happen to be one of those people who are barred from watching anything violent on television, well you won't get to play video games that you manage to sneak into your house when the parents are away...that is if you buy this system. The Sony Playstations, Nintendo Gamecubes, and Sega Dreamcasts won't have this feature. For all you mudders out there who have to deal with Internet filtering software blocking muds you'd like to play...better make sure your folks don't get wind of this or you're gonna be saddled with more roadblocks.
Sadly, more school shootings have occurred the past few months, and finally the focus to the root causes have shifted away from guns and onto where they should be on school bullies. Yours truly has had to put up with such harassment from these people, if only I had learned how to do a Stone Cold Stunner fifteen years ago...arrgh. Anyway the thugs of the school always seem to get away with everything, though some of them spend time in detention, in general they get to pester whomever they want without much fear of repercussions--like expelling them. And now we are seeing people bring weapons to school and shooting people in retaliation. The victims of the bullying are dreading going to school cause they do not want to put up with this crap anymore. As for me, 10 years removed from the public school system I STILL hate school, and took a number of years to recover from the damage done from the experience. School is dumb, it always has been dumb, it always will be dumb, it was dumb today, it was dumb yesterday, it will be dumb tomorrow, next week, next year, forever! Put an end to the public school system as soon as possible!
News From Around the MUDs
7 Degrees of Freedom opens up several new zones along with many stock zones getting a touch up and customize. By Jaakan, LackHand has you travel through the parched lands and find an abandoned Arab town to find an old book which will enlighten you on how to journey back in time. By Lumina and Graystreak, the Xanicar quest has you facing an evil, mischievious wizard who's kidnapped the castle's priest and plans on stealing his soul through black magic. By Vampyra and Marduke, the Kleth's finest are stranded due to their airship needing repair so they can return home to defeat its enemies. And finally, Vampyra and Nalal's Watercastle is held captive by an evil Balrog who's going to put the whole place underwater along with some anicent magical scrolls! Besides the quests, the class system is rather unusual. Every time you raise a level, you can change your class and the type of being you are. There are some hidden classes as well, and there is also a large number of new spells and skills available, though most have to be sought out and discovered since they are hidden too.
Astral Plains introduces several new quests and zones. Denial presents IsleOfTheDead hidden somewhere out past the ocean and the Asylum quest. Dragonfly pens several new zones including the underwater realm of the Tritons, the Dojo where you can learn the fighting techinques of a karate master, the Adrilankha lands just north of the Dwarven Citidel housing the skills Fling and Loot, the Besieged quest, and the Bountyhunter quest. A ZGEN convert zone by me originally authored by Drip and coded by Dale called Ghenna where an entire town was taken underground and population decimated by numerous undead creatures and nasty monsters. Your mission of course is to rescue the remaining survivors and try destroying the seven huge beings that led the assault. Other new skills include Dragonflight, Scan and Stun.
Atrocity introduces something called Borgs, which are AI players roaming the lands alongside you. Right now their main purpose is for supplying player-kill targets, but they can gather equipment and donate the leftovers as well as participate as opponents in tournaments.
Promised Land opens up a few new zones, the first is the Grasslands by Kaan which is another ZGEN convert that opens up the land south of Sundhaven, the Apprentice quest by Reverof where the mission is to stop a rogue archmage from becoming too powerful, and the SwanLake quest by Spokes which is loosely based on the play. And though it had always existed but was never utilized, there is levelless mode. A player can turn himself into a guest level character then run as they normally would, but they don't gain the benefits of money from leveling, more health when they level, and their carrying capacity is less. The level of difficulty for this type of play mode is a little less than that of a famed character.
On Asylum, for those who run around in bands, there's a new class called the Outlaws. Busting the bad guys ain't easy, and now with more criminals running around the mud, it just got a lot harder. For those running as one, what's in it for you? An extra 30% bonus for each bounty collected. But anyone can attempt a playerkill on you, and if successful, you lose 20% or 100K of your score (whichever is less). If unsuccessful, they pay a 6% or 20K loss in score (whichever is less). And alas, you cannot escape fights with other players, anyone can harass you while you're running, but you can't do the same to others. Outlaws can accumluate a reputation stat, which determines the price on your head. For those out to attack an outlaw, or just needing to chat with other members of your band, you can use the new bandcom channel. Another major feature that has been implemented recently is lodging. Players have the option of remaining in the game well after they log off with whichever cloned items they still carry in their inventory continually held with some restrictions. As for zones, rewrites have been done to the Doom, Talon, Pensalon, Raiders, and SiegeTwo quests/zones. They are again running an awards show for the best quests, players, powers, mobiles of which the voting process is going on for the remainder of March. For donation collection to keep the mud running and pay off bandwidth costs, they have joined the organization of PayPal that has provided a much lower banking transaction cost for those donating from outside the U.K.(Geez, no wonder much of Europe is in recession...the banks and energy companies are eating all the disposable income!) Donations to Asylum can be made by creating an account on www.paypal.com with the email directed to the address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phoenix has put forth in character names a "last name". Besides your character name, you can have a full name like you do in real life, and have siblings. But it does cost money for initial costs and retension. A new zone called Scribe was introduced by Gillybean that has a very large number of specials and triggers. Gimlet and Littlefly has introduced the Triton zone that is a high difficulty underwater area and it is another rescue mission of a princess. Also by Gimlet, another high-level quest called Gloom tests your wits, logic, and powers of observation to eliminate the gloom hanging over a lone peel tower somewhere on the island of the Round Table. Khal has created another difficult quest called the Eye Of The World, where the influence of the dark one known as Baalzamon is extending across the world with the help of his Forsaken minions. There is a new subrace known as the Seraphs, who should be greatly feared by the vampires. This subrace is only available to existing wizards who must become questors and find the hidden entrance in heaven, where once given they begin their run all over again at level one. They glow naturally, breathe underwater, fly over water, and scout places without being there. But armor offers no protection, poison and illnesses are more lethal, and are more subceptible to weather conditions. New players obviously cannot pick this class on creation. New sought after trinkets include the Flame Demon for mages and jacks, and the bloodstone for vampires.
TerraFirmA was the featured MUD in the January 2001 issue of PC Ace magazine (geared for the 10-14 aged crowd)on how to connect to and play MUDs. You can check out the two part piece in part one and part two. As for the gameplay, there are a number of new quests. The Hell quest demands you invade the underworld to rescue a lost soul while keeping yours intact. Grimoire is a magical book of untold power deep inside a ruined tower and is being sought by the evil shaman Dacrile for wiping out those opposing him...obviously you have to find it first and destroy it. In the Vortex quest, a powerful being has taken a threatening place in the hearts of the people of Visionar, the homeplace of The Dreamer, who now stands day and night staring sadly across the ocean waiting for someone to give him sympathy and go where he is cursed not to return. The Dreamer's son isn't fairing any better though, in a seperate quest called Nightmare, he is having one terrible Nightmare after another, and needs someone to get rid of them for him. The new Majickal Tournaments allow players full access to the game spellbook, so now those level five spells can be used during those battle royals.
How to Write Good Zones
Og, Archwizard of Northern Lights gives you advice on what you can do to improve the quality of a zone, if you decide to write one.
Some sad news coming from Rainbow MUD was the passing of one of their god-level powers. Mariana was one of the long time powers of Rainbow up until last year when she had to take a years leave of absence due to health problems, ultimately losing her battle to colon cancer on March 14th, 2001. We give our condolences to Zevon and the rest of Rainbow's powers where Mariana's presense will be greatly missed.
That's it for this issue of Abermud Announcements. Remember, summer is just around the corner for all those who are stuck in the classroom, but for all those in normally hot areas of the country with power shortages shut off anything that puts out heat including your computer. The next edition of this newsletter will probably appear the next time there is a work slowdown...in other words could be another half year from now.
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