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In response and addition to Ruf

1997 Topic Index

Posted by Greenspawn on 02/13

This is gonna be long so I started a new thread. Oh well I'm windy g

Hello, most of you won't know me, a few may recognize my name from my LT articles and a couple may even be able to guess the player behind the name, but the vast majority wouldn't have a clue who that was even if they knew my other names (I've never been extremely visible around here). At any rate let me say that almost exactly three years ago I saw an add in rec.games.mud.diku for a new mud that sounded intriguing so I thought I'd give it a try. If I wasn't the first person to create a character the day it opened to the public I was so close as to make no difference. It was a pretty mud, just about unique in those days, interesting idea, great descriptions, and neat mobs but almost impossible to play and definitely not much fun. But that very first day I met a guy named Ptah and with passion and eloquence (not the skill, that wasn't in yet) he told me of his vision for what Legend could become and I became a convert to his vision. Over the next few months a small group of us became enamored of the vision of Legend as a unique and wonderful place the like of which had not been seen before. We spent countless hours discussing our ideas for the future of Legend (we talked a lot in those days, it was preferable to dying to the squirrels again) as well as the philosophical implications of the place we were creating.

Three years later, after many obstacles and hurdles, stops and starts, arguments and discussions, I'm still here and the vision is still as alive and fresh as ever to me. I've seen Legend from every viewpoint as a player, as an immort, and then as a player again, clanned and unclanned, newbie and old hand I've hated it, loved it, and cursed it in turns and you'll have to forgive me if I refer to both the players and immorts with that royal "WE" because I disagree vehemently with Rufus about one thing ...this is MY mud. Of course it's also Rufus's mud, and Ptah's, and Gail's and Somar's and McDougan's. It's also Daavya's and Kahn's and yes even Madcat's for we have all down to the least and the worst left an indelible mark on the thing that is LegendMUD, it would not be the same had we not been here and will not be the same if we leave because saddest of all it is also Fionn's mud and Parri's and Gig's and Llew's and their contributions and their loss is immeasurable. Rufus says we should take a long look at how we feel and if we are truly not happy here we should leave. A reasonable and logical sentiment but people are neither. They are emotional and Legend is their Home and despite the fact that some of them feel that their home is infested with rats and roaches, that the roof leaks and the plumbing is broken, that it's a fire hazard and the foundation is rotten they are still reluctant to leave, it IS still their HOME.

I myself don't believe things are nearly so bad, some spackling, a new coat of paint, and some fancy new appliances and I think we can live here for a long time to come but i must listen to their worries they could be right and I wrong and besides they're family. Yes, they are family. For a long time I thought that Legend was a new kind of nation with the need for laws and government and such (an idea much favored by Ptah), more recently I likened Legend to a business, an amusement park run for the players by the immorts, but neither analogy could hold up to the reality of Legend's existence. No country or government ever had such intense caring for it's individual members and no business ever had customers who lived there and contributed to it's future. No, we are a family (it's easy to tell after all strangers never fight like this) and the loss of any one of us is painful and diminishes us as a whole. Sometimes it is unavoidable but it still makes us feel a failure for we did not succeed in making them feel wanted or meeting their needs.

How did our home get in this shape? For I don't disagree with the essentials of Ruf's post. There is an undercurrent of anger and frustration and mistrust running through the whole mud. The atmosphere is so tense you could cut it with a knife and it feels like at any moment it might explode. This is far more apparent to the morts than immorts as I'm sure Ruf picked up on as well. It doesn't just show up in chat or on the boards but in the conversations in the inns and gathering places. And it's been building for about a year slowly and in fits and starts but never abating or improving. There is no simple reason for the unrest, it is a complex combination of a thousand little factors but to me one thing stands out above all others. We have STAGNATED.

Since sniper and guns were completed over a year ago no major changes have occurred on Legend. Everything has been put on hold for skill trees and skill trees have become the watchword for change and sometimes it feels as if change will never arrive. Many problems of various magnitude depending on who you ask confront the players and immorts of Legend but other than bugs that need immediate attention and some superficial additions the standard answer to complaint and concern is "after skill trees goes in". Now the immorts (and in most ways I guess I still count myself as one) understand this and daily see the implications and advancements that trees will bring. In some ways they have a more long term view than the morts (it really does feel a lot different) and truly know the progress that is being made thus they don't always feel the frustration that is so prevalent in the mortal ranks, they don't feel the pressure of dealing with the problems every day and seeing no help in sight only more excuses, they are more patient and know that slow as they are skill trees ARE coming. They are often baffled by the frustration and anger among the morts failing miserably to see their point of view and most of the time responding to situations with more negative vibes as they try to make do with stop gap measures until the great change. Yes despite the good intentions of the wizbit system, the player and immort codes of conduct, and the policy on harassment these are all NEGATIVE not positive reactions, they tell people what they can't do and how they will be punished if they do. They are not positive changes (if half your population is starving making stricter laws to cover shoplifting is not going to solve the problem eventually you must address the real issue or face revolution). In the meantime while the mud has stagnated there have been immense social changes within the immort community with extreme ramifications to the mort community as well. Most of the old guard has gone, either immorting or leaving and there has been a drawing together of those that are left so that it is much more difficult for a newbie to come into the family so to speak. We have become wary and standoffish as we see our core group diminish day after day. But most significantly we are lost and leaderless. Our spiritual head is absent we feel abandoned and at sea. It had to happen of course. No one can continue to devote the time and energy and passion that Ptah devoted to Legend forever, it is truly amazing the amount he continues to spend here almost every day. But inevitably RL had to interfere and the constraints of both the size of the general mud population and the immort staff begin to restrict the time he has to personally proselytize the dream, to keep it in the forefront of our imagination and provide us with direction. What we really have here is a period of adjustment as we learn to deal on our own without constant attention from our guide. It's been a rocky road so far and it may get worse but deal we must.

More on what everyone immort and mort can do to follow soon.

Demon Greenspawn

From: Daavya Wednesday, February 12, 04:59AM


Well, first off, an extremely impressed congratulations to Greenspawn for such a well written examination of LegendMUD. I agree with most, and damn near all, of it.

Which leads me to comment that I have been around here for a very long time as well, and have lived through lots of changes, and grew to consider LegendMUD a dysfunctional family. I had those relatives who were favourites and those whom I dreaded.

Anyway, I always felt that, even if Ptah (the most visible and argumentative (read: willing to discuss) immort) disagreed with my opinions, he would at least listen with an open ear. I even felt this when Ptah went off on one of his efforts to convince me that Man has a higher inherent morality than I was willing to accept. This typically came in the context of expecting morts to ignore human nature, which i still disagree with :)

Anyway, I have also felt the undercurrents which Greenspawn expressed so well, all the more so since i have never immorted. This brings me to raise a particular issue which I am sure Ptah feels has been argued to death: The archiving of Vial's characters and Parrilyn.

My take on the whole thing is that you simply don't do that to family. Vial's entire character list should never have been archived, nor should parri have been. But they were. Now if this were not bad enough, excuses and different stories and finally justifications were given when the plain simple "right" thing to do would have been to retract the action. If there was an undercurrent of mistrust before, I felt it become a riptide after these actions. I offer no reasons or arguments. I simply think those actions contributed immensely to a growing rift.

I have always screamed loud and often, especially at the least sign of immort repression and especially at anything designed to keep things off public channels... As such, I submit that the immorts worsened the prior acts by printing hte LT which made it harassment to breathe funny, and prohibited discussing things like Vial's characters on the public boards.

I, too, miss the Legend of old. I feel that the core of Legend I grew up with has withered away, or been pushed in the case of Vial et al and Parri, both of whom will likely not be seen absent rare appearances. I assume it will not be long before I follow.

Long story short, I guess I am struggling to hold on to the faint hope that the immorts will "do the right thing" and restore at least Vial's other characters before the split of so many of the core becomes irrevocable. If it is not already.

You don't treat family that way, which is why those actions hurt those of us affected as deeply as it did.

Daavya\Kiera et al.

From: Ptah Wednesday, February 12, 01:05PM

This begs the question of what to do when members of the "family" misbehave as egregiously as some have. Of COURSE it is painful to have to take action--especially against long-term players. But the alternative is not acceptable: to put up with any sort of behavior because the players are "family." THAT is favoritism of the sort that we get accused of so often...

Honestly, I don't know what else to do about said action. I know that many were unhappy over the decision with Vial. I think that anyone who is feeling censored by the policy decision about public hissy fits needs to reread it more calmly and realize that what it bars is merely rioting, not discussion. It fact, it makes a COMMITMENT to discuss things any time there is a concern. We discussed the Vial and Parrilyn issues in a public forum as well.

I wish that we the immortals had the luxury of regarding some players as family. But we don't, or we would be neglecting our commitment to the mud as a whole.

A sfar as man having a higher inherent morality--that isn't the context I'd frame it in. Rather I'd say that Man has a higher required standard of morality in order to survive in any sort of large group--which Legend is--and that therefore it is incumbent upon every member of said group to behave to the highest moral standard in order to preserve the group as a whole. And if people fail to do so--even "family"--then either they or the gorup must go.

Our job is to choose the group.


From: Greenspawn Wednesday, February 12, 02:29PM

Well, obviously Daavya understood the words but failed to get the point of my post . It is sad but sometimes you do have to do that to family. Discipline is not fun, it's not something you enjoy, it's something you do for the welfare of the all (including the one being disciplined) because you have to and because hopefully they will learn from it. It hurts me as I know it does every person in this family to be forced to take such extreme measures but everything else had been tried and proved ineffective. Vial and Parri both are (I refuse to use the past tense in reference to them) valuable members of our family. Vial has had many colorful characters and figured prominently in much of our history and Parri's contributions to Legend are impossible to catalog much less fully appreciate yet if they cannot work with the family and not cause undue pain and harm to its other members then we MUST take action. This we did with much brow beating, self condemnation, and deep regret. No one least of all Ptah liked doing it, most of us feel terribly guilty, if we had only done something different sometime maybe it would never have come to this, but it DID and so we did what was necessary.

I too find prohibition of open discussion deplorable but I have faith that this is not the point of the policy put into place. I am absolutely certain that the policy is designed to limit back-biting and name-calling not prevent disagreement nor limit reasonable and constructive debate over any current issue. I am a firm believer in "no rules is good rules" and think that everyone should just behave reasonably, however I also believe that enforcement should be handled the same way and don't really think that the administration needs any written code to support their actions... if a player is behaving poorly and ruining other peoples fun you take the appropriate steps, no appeal.

Like I said this is a family not a government, I don't write down laws and codes for my children, I discipline them when and if they need it and that's it, pure common sense. In my opinion its how the mud should work too, just plain common sense. I've always felt and stated plainly that in my opinion LAWS make CRIMINALS. But I also understand Ptah's need for written strictures, after all he's not really our father and doesn't feel comfortable wielding that kind of authority, he is laudably afraid of absolute power and wants desperately to be fair and therefore needs a code of law to fall back on. I have seldom if ever disagreed with what Ptah or any other member of the immort staff has done and truthfully our only differences have been ones of appearance not effect.

Miss the Legend of old..... I wax nostalgic on occasion, and I certainly miss many an old friend but miss the old Legend...hardly. Why in hell would I miss killer squirrels, no magic, no guns, a damn near impossible task of leveling if you died, actually going to NEGATIVE experience, and being slayed by Charity (I'm not sure who holds the record, me or Gan for being slayed most often but it's close ..and BTW I hold no grudges with Charity, I laugh about it now and often times I really miss her, boy ain't that a hoot). Miss the Legend of old , what a joke. Daavya ya kill me son (or did I kill you... oops, no, sorry, different characters ).

P.S. It has come to my attention that my reference to the Wizbit system as negative was misconstrued. It was not my intention to imply that it is negative in any way. It is in my opinion one of the most important and positive advancements in the organization and administration of the mud ever made. I am heartily in favor of it. I only referenced it in association with its aspect of "you have these commands and not these", ie. here's what you can and can't do, not in its very beneficial effect of organizing the immort staff. I'm very sorry this was misunderstood.

Sincerely and with a big grin,
Demon Greenspawn

From: Daavya Wednesday, February 12, 03:48PM


Let me correct what I admit was a rather poorly written post on my part. I never meant to say that you simply can't punish family. But, I do feel that the punishments in those two instances (Vial & Parri) far exceeded what was called for. Vial could have simply been deleted. Parri could have been stripped of her wizbits (I don't really know about these, so bear with me) and allowed to keep her character, if nothing else for when she wanted to run trivia, or help out newbies. Even if she decided to relinquish building and the priveleges that come with it.

Additionally, I was attacking the _way_ it was handled. Archiving Parri because her mort character _allegedly_ tacetly supported the riot on the part of Kahn and I. And _then_ pointing to the inactivity. It reeks of rationalization. And plain and simple, nothing Vial did, even if all of what Ptah said was the correct interpretation, reasonable view, etc, warranted doing anything other than deleting Vial. Period.

Finally, I _do_ miss the Legend that had fewer people, because it _felt_ more like a family... I remember my first character committing suicide over Dusty because he couldn't fight Greyscot for her (Sanquela wasn't high enough to be clanned [and she not nearly as obnoxious]), and Everyone cared. I realise you lose these things to some extent as the community grows, and no, I don't miss not having spells, etc, but just knowing that everyone was in it for the community. Just like Parri was. Just like Vial's less obnoxious characters were.


From: Ptah Wednesday, February 12, 05:06PM

I really don't want to reopen the whole debate over Parri and Vial, but let me point out that Parri had already been set to inactive before the incident when she was archived. The inactivity actions were taken before, not used to rationalize afterwards; I am sure she will confirm that she got a lettr about inactivity well before the incident.

As far as Vial--he HAD been deleted once already for his actions. :( There comes a point where you have to upgrade the punishment.

I DO miss the old days when there seemed to be fewer people, and so on. It's sort of scary to say, but I don't actually think we have more people now. We have many more characters played by essentially a still-small core group. The main reason why I miss those days is that I don't feel I KNOW the players as well as I used to--I don't interact with them all on a daily basis. I know that I feel an acute shortage of new blood.

Anyone who is following this thread, btw, particularly those interested in Greenspawn's comments about leadership and so on, should REALLY read the log of a discussion on the Future of the MUD held back in '95 or so. In it I even make the flat statement that I won't be here forever, and that it means that the mud has to serve as its own superego (there was a lot of psychobabble flying around)... it is all very apropos of what Greenspawn was saying. It is under the Lectures section of the web site:

"Future of the Mud"


From: Morwynn Wednesday, February 12, 11:06PM

Okay Look everyone, I know I said I would say my peice and leave this be... if everyone wants the OLD legend back with fewer people there are ways to do that, granted this mud gets a LOT of positive comments posted on other muds because of the uniqueness so we get some new people wanting to see the differences.

Whether or not we have the same people making new characters(as I have done recently), or we truly get new people I know how things were over a year and a half ago, I can remember people fighting over the vorpal squirrels, and me asking wh

But now, a lot has changed that is better in some ways, and worse in others...and guess what I'm gonna illuminate a few points

Pkill: Its gotten worse, yes Pkill is always Pkill, but there used to be more RP to it instead of just "Oh look X is in my range I wanna kill them."

Areas: Has gooten MUCH better, with more mob actions, more plot stuff etc.

People: Not sure, still have a lot of good people with well devloped characters...but there are more than want to get in here just to fight other people

Clans: What happened to most of them?? Only ones left active are Merc and Grendels really

Skills: I like having all the new skills and spellwords, although I do miss making random suggestions about what spells could be made using anna and rudh

Equipment: Yeah its gotten harder to get good stuff, but that same good stuff is also a little more durable

So I am basically being a neutral as possible regarding how things have changed here except the people and attitudes, I don't know why any of this happened, maybe because its stagnant, maybe its cause we are bored, who knows...

All I do know is that I hope that eventually things get all figured out, I like being here and I would be sad to leave after all the random amounts of time I have spammed people here with my talk shows and the like

done taking up board space


1997 Topic Index