Thursday, November 11, 2010

A zMUD system for Lusternia, maybe

It seems that development on the mapping in MUSHclient has effectively ended, which pretty much kiboshes any chance I will end up moving over to it. It's a shame. Nick got us 90% of the way there, then he made 5% more possible for us to do ourselves, but as long as he won't do the other 5%, any investment in that map is too limited by the fact that every new map update is going to break every one of the things you had to do to make the map work.

What about Mudlet? They're not at 90% yet, and I can't even tell if that's where they're heading, or if the other 5% they need to do is something that they're considering. So it's still a possibility, but I don't know how hopeful to be. In any case, it's not going to happen very soon.

My main Lusternia character has a mediocre curing system that I've built up over the years, but it is not designed to be possible to pull it out and drop it in another character; too much of it has things hardcoded to that particular character. So no chance to use it for my alt, who has been delaying her advancement for too long in hopes of becoming passable at combat while I waited for a system to become available that I could live with.

So it looks like I'm going to have to bite the bullet and build a zMUD or CMUD system as a stopgap. I don't intend it to be the permanent solution, so I won't put a lot of effort into making it perfect, or implementing the challenging things like illusion protection or weighted damage curing. Maybe I'll try to put a stancing and parrying system in and maybe I won't. But if I take the stuff I already have and cherry-pick from it, while building a new system from scratch, I can probably make a modestly effective system that's free from most of the slowdown and scaling problems I've had to struggle with in zMUD, without investing a huge amount of effort. I'd also be trading on my familiarity with zMUD.

First, I need to evaluate whether CMUD is a better platform to build on, and if so, the current version (which I'd need to buy at an upgrade discount) or the last version to which I have a license. CMUD should preserve much of my familiarity and the entire functionality of the mapper, but might be more stable. In fact, if recent versions really have addressed the stability issues, it's possible this could eventually become a long-term solution.

It sure seemed like a nice thing to be able to just buy a system and not have to do my own coding on it, but I guess that's not going to happen after all. I wish I could force one of the other system developers to use my map for a week. Then they'd get religion and start pushing MUSHclient or Mudlet to implement the necessary functions because they'd realize how important they really are.

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