Daily Archives: November 3, 2008

TorilMUD – How Information Access Has Changed

More memories of the “old days.”  Part of my TorilMUD 15 year anniversary celebration.

Once upon a time, years back, there was a player who was very involved with SojournMUD/TorilMUD.

Cherzra, or something like that, was the name of his main character.  Somebody will come along and correct me, but that is the spelling that sticks in my mind.

He played a lot, made some zones, and generally worked with those who ran the game to help advance it.

Eventually though, there was a falling out with drama, bad feelings, and the like.

I was not a party to any of this.  Most of this is second or third hand information, and simplified at that.  I did not meddle in these sorts of affairs.  I hid from the gods and sought to draw as little attention to myself as possible.  But that is another tale.

So this player, angry at how things played out, decided to hit back at the game.

He took information he had acquired about the game, some of it obtained through his privileged position, and he…

PUBLISHED IT ON THE WEB!

Children cried!  Women fainted!  Men wailed and tore their hair out!

This was heresy!  This was not done!

There were MAPS!  Lists of ITEMS with STATS!  Details of QUESTS including where to find QUEST ITEMS and related mobs!

This was beyond the pale.  His accounts were deleted, his IP address blocked, and any access he had revoked.

Mentioning the mere existence of this web site or, heaven forbid, actually passing the URL to somebody in game, was a good way to get yourself in trouble.

Of course, we all went and peeked in at the site to see this illicit stash of information.  I think I still have some of the files stashed away in .zip archives on my drive.  Much of it is completely out of date now.

Eventually those with whom this player had clashed left the game and, his ire cooled, he took down the site.  He knew the enormity of his transgression and did not leave the data up out of respect to those still working on the game.  It was the decent thing to do.

This is how things were back then.  Publishing such information about a MUD was simply not done.  It got you warned, banned, and/or deleted.  Secrecy was the word of the day.  Players were to discover the world by themselves and keep that information to themselves.  No street signs allowed!

You might have a guild web site with limited access as a store house of information, as long as you kept it low key.  We had one for Shades of Twilight.  And even then we had people in guilds who would not share information about quests and the like.  That was cheating.

Today, however, what Cherzra listed would hardly make the starting point for an Allakhazam affiliate.  It might make for a second tier wiki at best.

The access to information that sites like Allakhazam gave us, access that felt so illicit back in the early days of EverQuest yet proved so necessary to many of us, began to feed back towards the MUD world.

TorilMUD got an official forum, so there was discussion about the game.  The team that ran the game began to share information with anybody who cared to read it.

Somebody put up a site with general maps of the realms and was not struck down by a thunderbolt.

Eventually a player name Alilsil set up a ZMud bot that had a database of all of the items he had identified.  You could send him a tell with a key word and the item name and he would send back the stats if they were in the database.  That was tolerated then accepted by the gods.  Today a player named Kegor has an advanced version of that running in the game.

Recently, I was told there is now a web site called TorilEQ that has a listing of equipment identified on TorilMUD with advanced search functions.  It turns out that this the web interface to the database Kegor uses.

I have yet to find a site with quest walk through guides for TorilMUD.  I am not saying there isn’t one out there, but I have not found it.

And standing here today, I am not sure which makes me boggle more, how much things have changed or the state of affairs that were the norm 10-15 years back.

Shut Up We’re Talking #36

Shut Up We’re Talking” one of the podcasts in the VirginWorlds Podcast Collective now has episode Thirty-Six available.

Regular hosts, Darren from The Common Sense Gamer and Karen from Journeys with Jaye, were joined by the well modulated Phillip (aka Crovan) of the Drone Bay and Warpath podcasts and myself.

Topics:

  • Introductions
  • Listener Mail – From Gnova and SwollenBeef
  • What we’re playing (EQ2, EVE, WAR, WOW)
  • ZOMG! Zombies!! – We talk about Blizzard’s recent zombie event that was part of their build up to the Wrath of the Lich King launch and how a good idea went bad in some cases when players acted like… well… players.  That whole X Factor thing.  Primarily driven by Lume the Mad’s post on the subject.
  • MMO Design – Prompted by a Curt Schilling post on Fires of Heaven forums and then on his own site, we discuss MMO features that we want to see implemented and rock solid on day one, things that have not been done well in the past, and Curt’s own answer about wanting to “feel heroic on day 1, minute 1, until I am done playing the game.”
  • Blog of the WeekMiner with Fangs (also a member of the EVE Blog Pack)
  • The Mandatory pimping of show sponsors – plus some talk about VirginWorlds fund raising goals.
  • Out Takes – Includes me talking about Warhammer Online and my current issues with EverQuest II.

The show runs one hour and eleven minutes and you can get it here as well as via iTunes

Another fine Darren production!