RETIRED FROM MUDDING PERMANENTLY
REST IN PEACE AUGUST 1997 DIED AT DRAGON SWORDS MUD
Welcome!! You seem to have found a link to a page about what used to be, about friends past and memories all but forgotten. Oh well, as long as you're here ya might as well pull up a chair and look around. The following is said 'in character' meaning it comes from the mouth of "Tenarius", a fantasy character on a role playing game, and it is his opinion only. As with any 'in character' dissertation it relates only to the game, and should be examined 'in character' as well.
Mudding is an online activity where up to a couple hundred people log into a system, assume a fantasy identity and, in a textual playing environment, play a game which is a strange amalgam of fantasy, trueish friendship, and computer simulation. Players team up and fight computer generated monsters, talk, make alliances, friends, enemies, and all without any more than ascii lines on a silent screen. To outsiders, it seems incredible that it could hold interest for more than a few minutes, much less days, but once a person gets into it, it can become quite pervasive in their lives. Many people 'mud' for years on a single game.
Mudding is a very weird mix of reality and fantasy where the lines can blur, quite a lot. I know of people who have met on muds and married in real life. I know of more than a couple people searching for wives, boyfriends, or worse on muds. With that in mind I guess its not surprising that muds have their own politics and intrigue. Backstabbing, controlling assholes, and power is what its all about for far too many. Many of those who gain control of the mud as gods or immortals are abusive people who find pleasure in screwing with others. Others who attain these levels simply forget what its like to be on the other end of the nastiness applied form above. I suppose many of these people bring the lack of acceptance in their own lives to the mud and simply force it on people through being an 'god'. Sad.
I mudded from 1995 when I started my first and main character, Tseug, on Realms of Despair to August of 1997 when I retired as Tenarius, an immortal on a successful mud called Dragon Swords. Tseug was known for his vast riches and his romance with Adonia, while Tenarius was known for his direct and blunt honesty and his open views on any topic.
Tseug had really loved ROD, the people there, Grominar, Brittany as a mortal, Araine, and most special of all, Adoinia. However through the moronic management of Selic and Dominus Realms decided to wimp their players, taking away skills and spells, reducing weapon effectiveness, screwing up gold, and doing a number of other things that made any non-masochist foolish for continuing to play there. With a song in my heart and a tear on my cheek, I left Realms for a new home.
Tenarius called Dragon Swords Mud his new home. It was a really cool mud and I played there from about February of 1996. I literally looked at over 50 muds before I settled on DS. I wanted to find a stable mud, with imms that gave a shit about the players. I also felt that a mud needed to have more than the stock classes, and needed to be loved by its players, not grudgingly accepted. Lastly I needed a mud where more than 50 people were logged on most times, below that you just don't have a social structure that I find interesting. Dragon Swords fit that bill when I began playing. It was a new mud and the highest of imms regularly talked to players.
Well things worked out well for me there. In the Summer of 1996, I had managed to struggle my way through all 170 levels and completed the damned Champion Quests. I was granted the position of Hero on Dragon Swords. I was also granted the honor (by member elections), of leading CLAW for a little over five months. I had great fun as leader and found out that being the leader of a clan on DS is a job. A fun job, but a job none the less.
A couple of months after that I was approached by one of the immortals and offered the honor of leading the Dragon Swords Web Page Team and producing the DS website. After having produced much of the CLAW homepages, I took the challenge and hired a great staff to assist me with this herculean task. At its pinnacle the Dragon Swords Website had about 500 pages of information and was one of the best damn mud websites on the net !!
On January Third, 1997 the immortal staff saw fit to ask me to join their ranks as an immortal on Dragon Swords. The price for this was very high, pages of new rules to follow, things that can not be discussed, and the loss of the leadership of "my" clan. The decision was difficult, but in the end, the idea of helping others, doing trivias and other things, and in the interests of making the mud and the "mortals" happy. I felt that immship was where I belonged. With great pride, I accepted the position. I had the idea that my direct approach to imming would be accepted, as I had just posted a very condemning note about player wimping. I thought that my opposing opinion might be a worthwhile addition to the imm staff.
As an immortal, I found myself doing an awful lot of work. Few people realize just how big a job being a good immortal on a decent size mud is. Going visible is an invitation to dozens of questions, tells, demands, and problems... at least for the first 30 minutes. But ya know what? I truly loved that part of it. I continued in my role on the website, leading the website team and forever tuning and refining Dragon Swords' 'first window to the world'. I am proud to say that the Dragon Swords Website regularly placed in the top ten on the Mud Connector, and that we got between 450 and 1400 hits a day on our website.
I was usually on after midnight Pacific Time, running Skexies or trivia collecting out of context otherwise innocent quotes for my Hall of Fame, or hosting battles. I listened to players for ideas on improving the mud, especially silly or fun things that they wanted me to consider doing as an immortal! If someone was having a birthday or reached level 100, 165, CHAMPION, or HERO I always tried to do something fun for them. I also made up new games, quests, and other things to add spice and interest to the mud... When I was with the players I usually had a great time.
Things slowly began to change though. Dragon Swords stopped being a young mud, and as usual the immortal staff began to become oppressive making up new rules, wimping players, wimping equipment, all the while blaming it on either players or imps departed. It was sad to watch and sadder to be a part of. I had my largest fights with the imms at this time because of their demands that I walk lockstep and agree with what they were doing, or at least not express to the mortals my views. I fought for and won the right to say whatever I chose to, supposedly securing this right in perpetuity for both immortals and players alike. Later events would prove this was not the case.
I also watched them several times abuse their power, trying to get players to cheat by entrapping them in order that the player could be punished. They rationalized this all the while saying that they just knew these people cheated, but having never caught them honestly, they decided to switch into aggressive mobs, or heal them in an attempt to get a powerleveling bust. I railed against this too, and was chided for my 'interference'.
In August of 1997 I had enough of this disgusting crap and I left Dragon Swords Mud and mudding. The preceding four weeks had presented me with more political bullshit, power tripping, misunderstandings, deliberate disingenuous word twisting, arguments, and real life nut cases, hypocrites, and immature anti-social assholes than I chose to deal with any longer. Another song or two and it was over as fast as it had begun. As my good friend Danilo's parents once said... Don't we play this game for fun? Because of the real life stress others piled upon me, it ceased to be fun. Leaving for me was a mix of emotions. I left some people behind that I had grown very fond of. people Like Lucifist, Laurelin, Breetai, Solitha Derek, and many others.
I had hoped to leave quietly, as a matter of fact I had already deleted my immortal character and was in the process of giving away my equip and gold when I was alerted to what was, in my opinion, an inaccurate note, posted by one of the immortals which brought my name up. I posted a quick rebuttal which was censored almost immediately and removed by the immortal staff. One of the things I fought most for on Dragon Swords was the right of people to express themselves freely, imm and mortal alike. The quashing of my freedom of expression was reprehensible. You simply do not win a debate by silencing opposing voices. Totalitarianism lives I suppose. At this point I decided I would no longer support their website nor can give a positive recommendation to their game.
I also think basically I just grew out of mudding. I never liked the political games, and found myself alienated from the staff for taking the unpopular positions I did on player wimping and freedom of expression. Dragon Swords even tried to eliminate the sharing of speedwalks.
My views on player wimping were well known, but if you want a well thought out and in depth look at why I feel this is such an insidious and dangerous thing, please visit my player wimping link.
Anyhow, my days of mudding closed. I am still friends with a select few to whom I gave my new address but for the most part I rarely see anyone from the mud.
To those I knew as friends, I miss you... fare thee well.
You May NOT Copy this page without written permission from the author.
About The Author:
This missive was written in 1997. It was tuned very slightly in 1999. The message and thesis remain the same as do the main supporting points.
Tenarius mudded for many years and moved up through the highest ranks on a couple of muds. The two muds that he most often played were The Realms Of Despair Mud and The Dragon Swords Mud. Tenarius spent a long time as a well loved and respected Immortal on Dragon Swords Mud where he most enjoyed his player interaction where his style put people first. He made a conscious effort of never forgetting from where he started but was tenacious about administering things by the book. Tenarius also ran a website comprised of many hundreds of pages for The Dragon Swords Mud at a time when the world wide web was first starting to become widely known - having taught himself html in part to accomplish that supportive task. Because of wimping and what he saw as player abuse and refusal to allow free expression on the mud Tenarius resigned from Dragon Swords in protest and removed the Dragon Swords Mud website from his server. Tenarius remains very active in the gaming community and has been the Director of Operations of The Maximum Gaming Network, a network devoted solely to computer and online games and for GameStats, a formerly fantastic gaming network.. . Tenarius no longer plays muds and has thus far avoided other online RPGs.
opinions on this page are the personal opinion of the author.
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Revised slightly in September 1999
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