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Ronin is a part of the Imperial DIKU code family, descended down the family tree from Imperial v1 code, and is now extremely different from the other existing members of the Imperial family.

Family members:

The History of RoninMUD

Ever wonder where Ronin first started and how it got to its present state? Well I did too, so I did a little digging to trace the early origins of Ronin and its past history. However, I must warn you, the dates are vague and may not be entirely accurate. While I also believe this information is accurate, I'm sure there are a few mistakes made along the way. Also, the history gets more detailed once I reach the years where I returned.

To really trace the origins of Ronin we must go back to May of 92. This is when creation really began under the guidance of four people. I'm sure you recognize the names of NoName, Caster, Deathadder and Azoun. Their resting rooms remain with us today.

At that time Ronin was called Imperial and existed on a site in the United States. It moved to Penn State in June of 92 and remained there for about 4 months. It moved to Finland in October 92 and fell under the guidance of Clear and Ervin. For the next year, many improvements were made to the mud until Clear and Ervin decided to basically start a new mud from scratch, to be called Imperial v2. This is by many considered to be the real birth of Ronin. The new Imperial v2 was not going to allow multi-playing, was going to introduce a race system and would force all existing players to start over. This obviously upset many and Borzoi (a player at the time) took up the cause to have the old version of Imperial continue at another place.

This brings us to November of 93. Ervin had given NoName an older version of the Imperial code and NoName had one of his friends at the University of Toronto in Canada set the mud up and make sure it ran. This was a difficult time for the mud which was then known as the Mud with No Name. The code was very inferior to the level of Imperial v1 just before the split, and the gods had very restricted machine access. It was obvious a new site had to be found. This was about the time Borzoi, Orrin, Poobah and Darth began their partnership. Darth found a sysadmin at the University of Houston, Texas that was willing to host the mud and in January of 94, RoninMUD was officially launched.

The next several months involved making the mud more stable, reimbursing old players and basically getting to the point where Imperial v1 was before the split. During that time Borzoi became inactive and Orrin semi-active, leaving Poobah and Darth to run the mud. By April 94, the mud was stable again and it was time to begin a new direction. Darth had also faded away, coming back to visit from time to time. Under the main leadership of Poobah, improvement to character balance began, an online creation system was introduced, and many new areas were added.

Things went well for a time until Borzoi returned around July of 94. Borzoi wasn't pleased with the changes made by Poobah and began to try and force a reversal of them. This was an ugly time in Ronin's history. Borzoi made threats of legal action toward Poobah, many of the players chose sides and a sort of civil war began. Other players disgusted by the politics left Ronin to do other things. By August of 94, plans were made for yet another split. The sysadmin at the University of Houston was willing to maintain another mud, as long as a machine was provided. Borzoi provided a PC running linux and Poobah began to convert the code so it would run properly. The new world was known as Gizmo and the two machines that Gizmo and Ronin ran on, existed side by side. Gizmo offically opened around December of 94 with Borzoi and Orrin as IMPs and it was felt this would end the past problems.

The new year began with Ronin going offline for three months. Another sad and suspicious time as Gizmo remained online for the entire duration even though both machines practically shared the same desk. All telnets to Ronin resulted in the message 'host unreachable' and to make matters worse the sysadmin at the university was mysteriously unreachable. Explanations for this occurrence were given as hardware failure in the router which connected Ronin to the rest of the world. This downtime resulted in a huge migration of players from Ronin to Gizmo.

Finally in April of 95, Ronin came back online, but was still plagued with short downtimes. By this time everyone realized that splitting the mud caused just as many problems as it solved. Quickly a rivalry started between the two muds. Some players that had moved to Gizmo returned and the player base of Ronin began to grow again. Also during this time Gizmo adopted a policy of character transfer. It basically amounted to a player on Ronin getting the same character and gear recreated on Gizmo - assuming that character was willing to junk all of his Ronin gear. Obviously this policy created even more rivalry and by July 95 demands were made by area authors to remove areas from the opposing mud. Kafka demanded his areas be removed from Gizmo and Borzoi (speaking for NoName) demanded that NoName's areas be removed from Ronin.

The area removals occurred August of 95 and left gaping holes in Ronin's world. Many of those areas considered to be NoName's consisted of connections to many of the main areas like the Abyss. Ronin was basically torn apart and to add to the whole mess, it went down again for a month in September and October.

By this time, Poobah was feeling the urge to retire and he slowly faded away, Kafka also retired during the same time, leaving Lem as the remaining active IMP. Around this time as well, a god named Hellraiser returned and helped Ronin find a new site. Between December of 95 and January of 96, Poobah returned to help make the code run on a linux machine at, an ISP in New Jersey. By February 96 Ronin had moved to the hudsonet site, the online creation site remained at the University of Houston, and the rivalry between Gizmo and Ronin finally began to abate.

During the months between April and May 96, Ronin began to slowly regrow and provide new things for its players. Areas like La Soudre and Druids helped reconnect the main areas, Stone Monkey Island was added, mounts were provided and the longest running quest in Ronin history, the Zyca Wars was started. Of particular note as well is the effort by Gizmo administration to punish Gizmo players that would log onto Ronin and harass Ronin players. Truly the time of mutual cooperation between the two muds had finally arrived.

The summer 96, brought even more changes and area additions. Areas included the Lost World, The Golden Pagoda, The Tarion Desert, and The Welmar Sewers. A quest channel was created, many improvements were made to the online creation system, and many code bugs were weeded out and destroyed.

September of 96 saw the introduction of new mob attacks (kick, punch, pummel, etc.) making combat more challenging and exciting. A new cafe was built providing useful beverages, and by October, a new ferry was seen navigating the Middern river and La Soudre. The Zyca wars ended around this time, but rumors of the Zyca Kings demise have been greatly exaggerated.

The rest of 96 brought about the addition of disembowel for Nomads, the areas of Jal Pur, DaSharr Prison, Jungle of Despair, Theldon's Crypt and the ever popular Chaos Zone. By this time the hard work of Ronin's gods was beginning to get notice and the player base increased further. This was also around the same time gods were granted new powers and the ability to return - within seconds - all of a players gear lost at death and reboot.

1997 was been an interesting year for Ronin. A new vault system was introduced, the mega area of The Daimyo was added (along with many others) and many additions were added to make play both more challenging, and more enjoyable. Sadly, in April we had to say goodbye to our online creation site at the University of Houston, it served us well since 94 and will forever be etched in Ronin's history. Currently the online creation site runs on the same machine as the main mud. 1997 marked the end of Ronin's time at hudsonet. In early August, the god Hellraiser (who you might recall helped Ronin find the site at hudsonet) attempted to take over the mud. He was a long time friend of the sysop at hudsonet and using this friendship he was able to seize power for about 40 hours. After regaining control, we obviously couldn't stay at hudsonet any longer and decided we had to move yet again. It took slightly over a month to find a site, put together a machine and get it to the right place. Finally Ronin reopened on September 9, 1997 at a new site - 5000.

Ronin stayed at telmaron for about 9 months. While telmaron was a great site for some, many players were plagued with high packet loss, lag and found it unplayable at times. During our time there, we continued to improve the world. Personalized gear was added, clan halls were built, areas were added, classes were re-evaluated and improvements were made to the lesser played classes. and we introduced a newbie-helper system that will help the newer players benefit from the wisdom of the veterans. However, in the end the connectivity at telmaron overshadowed any improvements we made and we decided we had to move yet again. Ronin closed down at telmaron May 31, 1998.

Ronin reopened at 5000 on June 19, 1998. Nearly 3 weeks of downtime proved to be worth the move as players old and new began returning. During the next month, some major changes were implemented to improve growth. Character age was reduced by roughly 1/2, age reduction was made cheaper for the very old, and age increase was made cheaper for the very young. This has effectively increased a characters useful life and will keep players around longer. Another addition were the minor ranks where players can get skill and regeneration bonuses by gaining a title.

We've been at for just over a month and a half. Already there are several new areas being written and several older areas refurbished. We expect another huge area to be added before October and the huge subclass project is on its way to completion. This subclass project has been in development for over 3 years and we can finally see the end.

Originally Written: June 13, 1997 in Ronin's 1st Newsletter

Updated: August 4, 1998