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.
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
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 hudsonet.com, 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
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 - ronin.telmaron.com 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 ronin.mux.net 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 mux.net 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