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Welcome to the first edition of the RoninMUD Newsletter

First off, I’d like to say that I’m very excited about this newsletter. I hope it will be of great benefit to all who read it. We will be show-casing articles from all who would like their works shown. The primary purpose for this newsletter is to keep YOU informed about what is going on at RoninMUD.

Articles in this edition were written by Wolfman, Quack, and Ranger. You will find these to be thought provoking as well as informative. I’d like to thank them for helping to make this newsletter a reality. Also, a special thanks to Tan for providing our mailserver and pushing me to get this done.

So without further ado:
Prytan, Editor and Chief

Renting On Ronin:

I think that we have one small problem with Ronin. We have to rent and renting can cost some major money. I am not complaining, but what if we have a really rare piece of equipment and can't rent it because we don't have enough money. What would we do. What do we do if we run out of money and can't get on to get more?

But, renting is one thing that makes Ronin, Ronin. I have played allot of muds and haven't ever found one that u had to rent. I think that renting makes Ronin a special mud.

So, I think that we should talk about maybe lowering the prices of rented stuff and maybe work it out. If you have an opinion on this subject, please call your local Immortal.


To Rank or not to Rank

I know everyone is probably bored to tears with the discussion about ranks and the elusive promise that they'll be here soon. The fact is that it required changes to the pfiles to accommodate properly and until recently that would have meant we'd have had to start all players from scratch. Now that we have a piece of code (all hail Ranger) to convert the old pfiles into a new format we can start in earnest on this project, once we put up a new server for the testsite.

There are currently two ways of acquiring ranks being discussed, one looks like a pyramid where you make choices at each level where your choices affects what abilities you can choose from the next time you rank. Let's see a small diagram on this, I'll take wizards as an example.

1st Rank Apprentice
/ \
2nd Rank Abjurer Conjurer
/ \ / \
3rd Rank Diviner Magician Warlock Sorcerer
/ \ / \ / \ / \

The advantage of this is that it allows for diversity and flexibility, in that people get a choice of what ranks they choose. The disadvantage is that since the number of ranks per level doubles each level it gets hard to come up with skills and rank names for each level (i.e. the number of ranks needed for just one class if we put in 5 ranks is 1+2+4+8+16=31, multiply that by the number of classes).

The other option being considered is to have ranks be a form of subclass for each class. That way you'll choose which subclass you want and gain the ranks for that subclass. I'll use Paladins as an example this time.

Rank level Samurai Knight Templar
1 1st ability 1st ability 1st ability
2 2nd ability 2nd ability 2nd ability
3 3rd ability 3rd ability 3rd ability
4 4th ability 4th ability 4th ability
5 5th ability 5th ability 5th ability

The advantage of this system is that it's clear and precise and puts forth almost an entirely new class system without altering the old ones. The skills can also be grouped logically to fit both the class or game balance. The disadvantages are that it only offers limited flexibility and some people won't like the idea of having to practically change class just to gain ranks. I like both personally.

The ways in which to gain a rank are also being considered. It's more than likely that ranks will be permanent, i.e. no more losing a rank at death. It's also likely that some other means than pure exp. or gold will be used, perhaps a minor personal quest for each character administered by a Dei+ or something else. Ideas on this are much appreciated.


The History of RoninMUD, by Ranger

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 officially 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 off-line 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 Telnet 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 its present 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 is expected to be an exciting year for Ronin. Already we have introduced the vault system, the mega area of The Daimyo and many other additions that 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, however a new online creation system will be ready by the end of June.

What does the future hold? The newest additions to Ronin are personalized gear and clan halls, both have been desired for a long time and are now available. Recently we have seen a surge in the player base which makes us feel pretty good. We are also in the middle of a huge class evaluation that will result in improvements to the lesser played classes. Already, Commando's have had their dual rates increase beyond a Warrior's. Other changes are expected soon. We also intend to introduce a newbie-helper system that will help the newer players benefit from the wisdom of the veterans, the long promised ranks are just over the horizon, and there are at least five new areas going in over the summer. Finally, after its long history Ronin is free of major political infighting and we have a future to look forward to.

Ranger, June 13, 1997

Many of the dates and information would not be possible without the invaluable assistance of Clear (Imperial v2), Orrin (Gizmo), Poobah (retired) and Lem (Ronin). Thanks to all of them for their input to the Imperial and Sister Mud timeline.

Well thats all for now folks. Hope you enjoyed it.

Stay tuned for future editions (one a month or so) where we will be adding permanent features such as “Ronin News-Center”, “Point/CounterPoint”, and “Idea of the Month.”

As a side note, I’d like all of you to feel free to write an article and send it to me for publication. Those who are published will receive a platinum potion on the char of their choice for contributing their time and efforts.

Prytan, Editor and Chief