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RoninMUD Newsletter #5

Welcome to the latest edition of the Ronin Newsletter. Since we haven't sent out a newsletter in quite a while, this one is quite full of information both old and new. The old information was actually written over a month ago, so it may sound a little dated. Anyway, you have lots of reading ahead of you, so sit back and enjoy. By the way, don't forget to thank this edition contributors.

The New Ranks
By Blink

As you all know, the lastest, greatest addition to our MUD is the new rank levels. Adding on our 1st level ranks, we now have a 2nd and 3rd level for each character. These ranks will give you added benefits and bonuses for a little extra work. The list of ranks for each character class is as follows:

Class 1st 2nd 3rd
Warrior Squire Swashbuckler Knight
Cleric Acolyte Bishop Prophet
Mage Apprentice Warlock Sorcerer
Thief Highwayman Brigand Assassin
Ninja Tsume Shinobi Shogun
Paladin First Sword Justiciar Lord/Lady
Anti-Paladin Evil Minion Dark Warder Dark Lord/Lady
Commando Private Commodore Commander
Nomad Wanderer Forester Tamer
Bard Ministrel Poet Conductor
Cost 1st 5 Million Exp 1 Million Coins
  2nd 10 Million Exp 5 Million Coins
  3rd 15 Million Exp 10 Million Coins

Also keep in mind that ranks give a 10% regen bonus for the first rank, an additional 5% bonus for the second rank, and an additional 5% bonus for the third rank. So someone with the third rank will get a total regen bonus of 20%.

To see this on the MUD type "HELP RANKS". Also you can view each rank level by typing "HELP SQUIRE" for example. This will give you a better overview of what each class is getting from the new rank levels.

I'm sure this will keep you busy and entertained. But be sure not to confuse these with the upcoming subclasses. Hopefully these ranks will tie us all over until then!

Quest Ingrates

A problem that the MUD has encountered lately is with Quest Ingrates. It seems that when people play a quest and don't win they kick up and make a scene. Or even if they do win and the prize don't meet their "standards" or don't have any extra damage they also make a fuss. Keep in mind that quests are an added benefit for chars to have fun. The entire point of quests is to get off our normal track of exping, or doing gold runs. They are supposed to be for fun, and in the process sometimes we may win something beneficial to us. Just consider it lucky that some gods will give up some of their time to make the MUD more enjoyable. Please don't ruin it and complain because either you don't win, or the prize isn't good enough. People will begin to regard you as a whiner, and really its not a good idea, it tends to "peave" the gods that give their time up to run these quests. Also, if you do complain about not winning enough quests, etc. Then you should do something about it. Other than exping, take some time to explore the MUD more and learn about all the forgotten areas that no one hardly goes to. You may find some things in these areas that other have forgotten about, and also next time you quest you will have a good idea on where to go, and what to do on the MUD. The more you know the MUD the easier certain quests will be. Overall, with a bit of time you can make yourself a better quester, its just that knowing the MUD is a very important part of the game. Anyways, thats just a few tips to keep in mind, it might just give you the edge on winning the next quest.

New Additions to Ronin

Recently, other than the new rank system, there have been some other minor changes to the MUD.

  • The help file system has been changed and is now much more helpful and accurate. Now there is a new "HELP INDEX" file, and also when there is no help file on what you requested it will alphabetically give you the next best thing!
  • The Ronin Map has been fixed up by Infinity, and now it gives us a more accurate view of the land we call Ronin. Its easy to read, and its also good to use for those of you who want to "explore new areas of the MUD" *hint*.
  • The "buy" command has been changed. Now you can specify the amount of something you would liketo buy. Its great for those who use telnet, and also for those who use tintin you will probably find it easier as well. Just another small, yet helpful addition to Ronin.
  • Also expect some new areas coming in soon on Ronin! Check the newspaper and boards over the next couple of weeks to get more updates.

Tragic Incidents

In this edition of the newsletter we, unfortunatly, have quite a few "Tragic Incidents" to report. There has been a lot of recent death traps. The following people have feel victim to these deadly devices:

Zulu... Zulu fell victim to the swamp while playing a quest a while back. Fortunatly he seems to be recovering nicely since his unfortunate Death trap.

Hama... Hama also DTd in the Galaxy while questing. Hama seems to be having a bit of trouble re-equiping himself, so feel free to mail him some donations.

Dak... Dak also fell victim to the deadly swamp not too long ago. The paladin hasn't been seen much since. Perhaps it would be a good idea if people got together and helped him as well!

Hobbes... Hobbes managed to pull off a double DT the other day. When Hobbes fell into a Death Trap, his Cleric Yacko also fell victim to the same one. He also could use some help in recovering from the Death Trap.


This Month there is nothing in this section, however, If someone would like to post something in the newsletter, (IE they have an announcement to make, or they have something to trade, etc) they can post it here. Send a MUD Mail to Blink saying what they want posted. This section is for use by everyone, so fell free to post what you want.

Subclass Revealed by Ranger

Subclasses have long been promised in some form or another for quite a long time. Before I go into them in some detail, a not so brief history of Ronin's longest running project is in order.

Subclasses - the project formerly known as Ranks

I guess the subclass project really started as ranks when Ronin split from Imperial way back in late 1993. Imperial had what were known as "ranks" and the version of the mud Ronin inherited didn't have them. Of course players being players certainly wanted the same things they use to have and the first level of ranks was quickly implemented. These are the familar first level ranks of Acolyte, Dark Minion, etc we have today.

The intention of the time was to expand these first level ranks to 2nd, 3rd, 4th and even 5th levels. However, there were many other dark things happening with Ronin in 1994 which caused the rank project to be shelved.

It wasn't until at least late 1995 when the rank project was attempted again. At this time I was still learning the major things everyone must learn when they want to code for a mud and ranks were admittedly a little over my head. There was also the feeling among the higher admin that Ronin didn't want just another typical ranking system with small skill bonuses and permanenet affects. Ronin wanted something big enough to give characters whole new abilities, new skills, and new spells. Many ideas were presented, and many plans were made, but the whole thing was beyond our capabilities at the time and we incorrectly thought we'd need a full scale player wipe to implement our ideas. So, the project was shelved again.

In early 1997 our experience and capabilities grew to the point where we could expand a characters abilities without requiring a player wipe of any kind. We implemented what we refer to as player file versions which allowed the mud to distinguish between the old character structures and the new. Finally we could add the ranks the way we wanted without any major upset, and the big debate began.

The Death (and rebirth) of Ranks

The big debate in mid/late 1997 was exactly what each character should get, when they should get it and how they got it. To give you an idea of the scope, my emailer has one folder specifically dedicated to ranks and there are at least 300+ messages in it.

During the course of this debate we decided that a single rank path was boring, players needed a choice. Some of you many remember the article Quack wrote in our very first newsletter, it outlined ranks as either a choice at each and every step along the path to the top as a pyramid, or as a subclass system where you chose a path and your new skills and spells were predefined. Obviously we chose the latter. Its a little less flexible, but much easier to control and implement. From then on, to our mind ranks were dead and we were now working on subclasses.

As an aside, in mid 1998 during more discussion on subclasses and ranks we realized players were impatiently waiting for the new subclasses to arrive. We decided the minor ranks needed to be reborn and we took a little time to implement 2nd and 3rd level ranks. Players are enjoying the benifit of those today.

Subclass Status

Now to the point of this whole article. An update on subclasses and most importantly when do you get them! Well I'm sure I'm going to disappoint quite a few people when I say you won't have them tomorrow, or even next week perhaps not even next month. Wait did I say perhaps? Are Ronin admin finally hinting on a date for implementation? Impossible you say? Well read on.

First I have to let everyone know just what a huge project this is. Its been touched by dozens of people many of who retired long ago. Besides subclasses, many of us have been dealing with other things like areas, vaults, major code additions, attempted takeovers, changing sites, web pages, jobs, masters thesis, girl/boy friends, husbands/wives, sons/daughters, starting new families, moving to other countries, the list just goes on and on. I don't say these things as excuses but as rock solid reasons why something that would take at least 6 months without interruption can easily spread to 3 years. Anyway on with the details....

Each class (with the exception of Avatar) will have a choice between one of two subclass paths. Each subclass path has five levels with new skills or spells at each level. A subclass will be a permanent thing. Unlike ranks they cannot be lost at death. There will not be any titles with the subclasses, these are reserved for ranks. A character's subclass and the current level of it will be indicated in other ways.

Subclasses will be obtained with subclass points. These points will be obtained by a variety of methods. Immortal run quests, gear sacrifice, mob run quests, etc, are all being seriously considered. The mob run quest idea will in all likelihood be the initial means of gaining these points especially considering we already have the fine details of this one already worked out ;). Experience points or gold will not play any factor in subclasses - thats what ranks are for. In addition, subclass points will not be able to be traded or sold between players. Gold is Ronin's currency and it will remain so. As a result, anyone with a decent knowledge of the mud should be able to rise in the subclass levels fairly quickly and will not required hours and hours of enless experiencing to improve themselves.

The first subclass levels WILL be available before the end of November. I try to avoid making promises like this but unless something drastic happens to me, it will happen.

Subclass Details

Well, thats the how and the when, now for the what. The following is a list of the spells and skills each character will have a chance of getting when subclasses are fully implemented. Descriptions are general on purpose. While we know just how much mana a spell will cost and how long it will last, we are withholding those details just in case we need to tweek them a little. Also we reserve the right to change things a little if we feel the need.



1) longevity: reduce age spell
2) meditate: enhanced regen skill (Yes a cleric skill)
3) magic armament: enhanced damage spell
4) wall of thorns: powerful spell to make a room safe for resting
5) death blossom: big room damage spell


1) Holy/Unholy Might: enchance strength spell
2) super heal: improved heal spell
3) mediate: as above
4) sanctify: another powerful spell to make a room safe for resting
5) shield of magic: extremely powerful spell to protect from spell damage



1) weaken: spell to weaken the victim
2) detect impy: spell - no explanation needed
3) blade barrier: spell to reflect damage to character giving it
4) wrath of ancients: powerful damage spell
5) distorsion: reduce effectiveness of the victims spheres


1) frost bolt: damage spell with other affects
2) giant str: spell to get 19 strength
3) steal breath: spell to prevent victim from casting
4) orb of prot: spell to take away a portion of mana before hps
5) Disrupt Sanct: spell to disrupt the victims sanct



1) barrier: improved block
2) stamina: improved regen while fighting
3) grapple: prevent a mob from dualing
4) forge: improve weapons damage dice
5) batter: high level punch


1) chase: chase a fleeing mob and attack it
2) protect: will take damage dealt to character being protected
3) sharpen: improve weapons damage dice
4) switch: switch mobs in mid fight
5) headbutt: high level damage skill


1) scan: see mobs/characters in surrounding rooms
2) whirlwind: spin like skill
3) evade: slip out of combat - great for backstab
4) quick recovery: chance of less waitstate on all skills
5) critical hit: chance of killing the victim during a hit


1) retreat: planned flee, no loss of exp
2) trip: make vict miss next hit, give vict damage and stun him
3) throat strike: insta kill with no experience gained
4) fade: blend in with surroundings
5) sharpen: improve weapons damage dice or damage roll



1) backfist: damage skill
2) hurl: damage and stun skill
3) ability to throw any weapon
4) stun touch: pummel with damage
5) garrote: disembowel like skill - insta kill the victim


1) dual assault:chance to hit with both weapons during an assault,
2) blind fighting, no hit penalities when blinded.
3) stone tiger fist: damage skill
4) great heal: see cleric
5) critical hit: see theif



1) meditate: see cleric
2) holy might: see cleric
3) protect: see warrior
4) power of faith: improvement over lay hands spell
5) power of devotion: extra long sanct, improved saving throws


1) pray: improve alignment skill
2) righteousness: improve damage spell
3) switch: see warrior
4) phase: major ac and hitroll improvement spell
5) wrath of god: powerful damage spell



1) detect impy: see mage
2) rage: muliplier to damage
3) Dark Ritual: improved spirit levy
4) wither: reduce hitroll and ac of vict
5) howl: powerful room damage spell


1) detect impy: see above
2) evade: see thief
3) black mantle: reflection of damage to the one giving it
4) drain life: powerful spell to pull hps from a room and give to the Ap
5) shadow wraith: powerful spell to create shadows which fight alongside the caster



1) bandage: minor cure skill
2) scan: see mobs/characters in surrounding rooms
3) camp: setup resting room
4) scalp: a scalp provided improved hit and damage rolls
5) frenzy: damage multiplier, chance of dual


1) awareness: catch attacking mobs and hit em first
2) protect: see warrior
3) sweep: powerful damage skill
4) hunt: track down a particular mob/character
5) berserk: chance of dual with much higher success than frenzy


Blade Singer

1) rally song: improved group hitroll
2) song of sight: room cure blind
3) great heal: see cleric
4) song of protection: group prot from evil/good
5) song of thunder: powerful room damage song


1) song of luck: increase party regen
2) war chant: help friendly char saving throws
3) death chant: room damage song
4) song of aid: improved group damroll
5) song of sphere: group sphere


1) stone skin: improve ac spell
2) frost bolt: damage spell castable
3) rimefang: room damage spell with other affects
4) riposte: chance of getting partial damage and an extra hit
5) incendiary cloud: powerful room damage with damage/tick after


1) cloud of confusion: lowers non-group hitroll
2) iron skin: improve ac spell
3) feint: like parry/dodge
4) tremor: stuns all non-group in room
5) devastation: powerful damage spell

Well, thats basically it. Subclasses revealed - lets hope you the players will think they are worth the wait.

Did YOU Know????

*Ronin was originally known as Imperial Diku and started in 1992.

*Ronin has lived on computers in Canada, Texas, New Jersey, Virgina and Maryland.

*In August of 1995, Ronin's source code consisted of roughly 50,000 lines of C code. Today there are well over 80,000 lines of C code.

Mortal Kombat Four in Full Swing

In Case you haven't heard, MK4, the biggest and fairest pkilling quest tournament in RoninMUD history is well under way. 7 parts out of 20 have been completed, and some people are well on their way to some fine rewards. But does this mean that you, as a person who hasn't participated yet or has maybe only played in one or two, should give up hope? Quite to the contrary! There are still 13 episodes to play and a ton of points to get from them. 4 of those 13 will be arena mode, which means all points are doubled and points for killing players rises on a sliding scale. If you did decently in a couple of those you would be RIGHT in contention.

"But my best characters are wimpy and I don't have any pkill skills!"If thats what you are saying to this quest, then it is a perfect quest for you! All you need is a little luck for you and a little lack of it for your opponents. With the 'Handicap Rolls' that have been put into MK, anything can happen. If you roll permanent sanctuary and a character with twice as good of stats as yours rolls half hps, who do you think has the upper hand?

So come and check out MK4 before its too late, notes containing info, numbers from the earlier episodes, and times for the upcoming ones are posted on the Mortal Quest Board located to the east of the Temple Altar. Who knows what NICE prizes you could be passing up on if you dont give it a try?


Areas in Progress: by Liner

Well, it looks like it's been a while since any new areas have been put in.. so with the giving season coming up, the building staff are preparing a few little surprises for you all. Several new areas and a few revamps are currently in the polishing stages and will hopefully be out and playable within the next few months, so keep your eyes open, read your daily newspaper, and watch for anything out of the ordinary, cause you never know how these things can happen :P. Here's a tentative list of the areas closest to being reviewed:

  • A revamp of the Newts for the kiddies and those oldies who just can't seem to grow old.
  • An addition to the Morian Cave area, for mid ranger to high level chars.
  • A nasty vampire castle complete with surrounding village of helpless peasant feeding grounds.
  • A new connecting area to a tentative Northern continent, fun for the whole family.
  • Hell, don't think I need to expand on that, only to say it will be the most torturous place around.
  • A revamp of Loftwick, not for the faint of heart.

Here's a list of the other areas which have been proposed and are currently being worked on:

  • Mount Olympus, complete with all your mythical friends and adventures.
  • A revamp of the Swamp and surrounding areas.
  • A Viking and Norse area, brought to you by our friends from HIA.
  • A revamp of the Ivory Tower and our own Midgaard Zoo.
  • An addition to El Museo, that fabled wax museum.