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Offline Vitoc

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Why GreaterMUD and MajorMUD should never be open sourced
« on: July 31, 2008, 01:46:27 am »
Recently a lot of people on different forums have been throwing around the words "open source" lately without understanding what that truly means to MajorMUD, and I wanted to reiterate why I believe it would be a horrible idea to open source MajorMUD or GreaterMUD.

Like many in our dwindling community, I played MajorMUD well before mod 1 was ever released (I think I started around 1.0t or so).  I played by hand back then; I started trying to learn all the paths, hidden exits, and quests the hard way, by reading room descriptions and asking NPCs about keywords.  Then I found Dan's MajorMUD page (which later turned into MUDCentral) and had a place where I could go to get detailed information about items, spells, quests, etc.  You name it, you could probably find it there.  Around that time, scripting started becaming the norm.  As mods were released that targeted levels beyond 30 or so, people realized the sheer number of hours it would take to reach those levels would just be impractical by hand.  MegaMUD became synonymous with MajorMUD, offering everyone a list of common paths, loops, and sophisticated logic to handle almost any scenario without user intervention.  Despite a lack of any development in MegaMUD, to this day almost anyone who still dabbles in MajorMUD uses MegaMUD.

Over the years MajorMUD has turned into a contest which goes pretty much like this:
1. A new realm opens or an existing one resets.
2. The player(s) who can gain levels the fastest, form alliances with the right people, and get to the guaranteed 100% drop limited items which are intitially on all bosses end up in control of the realm.
3. Then it just becomes a contest to see who can gain exp and level the fastest by tweaking your Mega settings and changing gear at set intervals.

Items 1 and 2 happen within less than a week usually, while item 3 goes on for several months or years while people build up towards level 75.

Over the years players realized that the players in their individual realms weren't offering enough competition.  You couldn't really compare two Paladins in one realm because one Paladin would certainly have much better gear than the other, and limited items very rarely change hands in MajorMUD because of the negative stigma of PvP.  Here is where TurboSentry came in.  Despite the constant struggle to keep "cheating" players and edited realms off the list, the list did provide many with a way to compare their character's progress to those in other realms.  People have a natural desire to compete with one another, and seeing your name rise through the list of similarly-classed players from multiple realms is strangely satisfying, especially when you know you're on the same playing field in terms of content and formulas.

For more in depth conversations with other MajorMUDders you could log into the forums and ask gurus like DeathCow, Locke, and a slew of other knowledgeable fanatics all kinds of questions and we were all on the same level playing field because, other than a few realm tweaks like DeathHP and PvP limits every realm was the same; they all had the same content, the same formulas, the same game logic.

Just imagine if MajorMUD had been open sourced prior to mod 1.  MajorMUD forums would have been pointless for anything other than sysop troubleshooting.  Turbo would have been pointless since everyone would be playing with their own sets of formulas, races, classes, items, and exp tables.  There would be absolutely no common ground between realms; players would only be concerned with what's going on in our own realm, and there would be no sense of community whatsoever.  There's a reason the popular RPGs of today still don't run different content on different servers.  WoW, Age of Conan, LotRO... they want people from different servers to be able to relate to one another.  I can't tell you how many WoW discussions I hear between coworkers at work who don't play on the same servers.  While I find their conversations funny, it's cool that they have something in common with each other.

Just because the glory days of text based telnet games are over isn't a valid reason to open source games like MajorMUD or GreaterMUD.  Take a look on metro's forums and look at the number of questions that have been answered over the past couple years.  Sure our community is a shell of what it once was, but we're still able to answer each other's questions and relate to one another.  This is the only reason we're even uttering the words "Major MUD" these days.  It's the only reason we're all still here.  Take that away and we've got nothing.

One thing to clarify, I don't see MajorMUD as a style of MUD like Diku, Mush, Moo, Muck, etc.  GreaterMUD and MajorMUD are specific implementations of game logic, formulas, and content which come together to form one unified game experience across multiple instances.  If you want an open source MUD, look into the forementioned MUD flavors and base your new MUD off of that, or go find one of the literally thousands of currently existing implementations of those flavors that suits you, but leave MajorMUD and GreaterMUD alone.


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Offline Raybdbomb

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Re: Why GreaterMUD and MajorMUD should never be open sourced
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2008, 04:45:03 am »
Once again, you import your negative connotation of open source to your Microsoft brainwashed mind, and spew out false conclusions based on (perhaps) prior experiences.

Just because a development tree is open source does not mean that everyone can contribute to it.  Depending on a project's size, there are usually very few contributors to an open source project.  Just because we can see what you did, does not mean we can change what you did.  It just gives more insight into the code.  This does not mean trolls like silver_erek are going to submit some obfuscated grossitude that will allow him to cheat in game.

DeathCow, Locke, Syntax and others figured out code formulas by reverse engineering mostly.  It's possible that they delved into the asm of a decompiled wccmmud.dll, but unlikely in most cases.  If we had access to the source, we could answer without a doubt questions about game mechanics.  Those elite who have grown to have a strong knowledge of game mechanics can further advance their understandings with concrete evidence.

Typically with open source projects, you have a few project owners who have r/w access, and everyone else has r/o access.  If an r/o user feels like they can contribute, they submit a patch, or make changes into a branch and submit it upstream for one of the project owners to review and merge.

To extend this point:
Quote
Just imagine if MajorMUD had been open sourced prior to mod 1.  MajorMUD forums would have been pointless for anything other than sysop troubleshooting.  Turbo would have been pointless since everyone would be playing with their own sets of formulas, races, classes, items, and exp tables.  There would be absolutely no common ground between realms; players would only be concerned with what's going on in our own realm, and there would be no sense of community whatsoever.  There's a reason the popular RPGs of today still don't run different content on different servers.  WoW, Age of Conan, LotRO... they want people from different servers to be able to relate to one another.  I can't tell you how many WoW discussions I hear between coworkers at work who don't play on the same servers.  While I find their conversations funny, it's cool that they have something in common with each other.

The reason NMR, LJN and all of ForumsHQ sprung up is because Metro was closed minded about community contributions.  They wanted to only have their version out there, stifling public creativity and product customizability.  If you provide customizability on top of your product (which I think I remember you saying you were going to), there will still eventually be a limitation that needs to be changed in code. 

Edit: And if you go MIA like the MMud developers did, we're stuck with a product that doesn't change for years.  You can't say for sure you won't, life gets in the way sometimes, and nothing can be done. 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 04:47:46 am by Raybdbomb »

Offline The Crazy Animal

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Re: Why GreaterMUD and MajorMUD should never be open sourced
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2008, 08:03:39 am »
Just because a development tree is open source does not mean that everyone can contribute to it.  Depending on a project's size, there are usually very few contributors to an open source project.  Just because we can see what you did, does not mean we can change what you did.  It just gives more insight into the code.  This does not mean trolls like silver_erek are going to submit some obfuscated grossitude that will allow him to cheat in game.

No it doesn't mean that everyone can contribute to it but it opens up the can of worms where you can end up with 50 or 60 different flavors of the same engine. Which in our case could cause major problems in how it handles the overly finicky antiquated data that makes up the playable content.  And further in the case of a game like mmud where overly passionate players for the most part all have very differing ideas on what constitutes good game mechanics and content issues. It creates a situation that could quickly disintegrate and leave you with a less cohesive environment to get any actual work done in. Seriously we're talking about a game with a limited player base with fewer players that really know their stuff beyond in game visible content. If you go look at the history of the other open-source muds you'd understand what I'm saying here. If there's a change to game mechanics or content in a open-source environment there will be people who do and don't like it. And in an open-source environment you don't have anything stopping those to like and dislike parties from dividing and ending up with 2 active open-source projects and a bunch of people taking sides. And with how passionate players are with this game all it would take is a few of those fractures to completely destroy the sense of commonality that a game and project like this needs to survive.

I'm all for an open-content model with a centralized distribution system that could help deliver content faster but I think the issue of game mechanics needs to be handled much more carefully then open-source structure can really provide. Otherwise we'd be risking the single most important part that sticks a game project like this together. So I just don't think we'd really gain anything at this point in comparison with what we could stand to lose if this or mmud were to go open-source at this point.

Quote
To extend this point:
The reason NMR, LJN and all of ForumsHQ sprung up is because Metro was closed minded about community contributions.  They wanted to only have their version out there, stifling public creativity and product customizability.  If you provide customizability on top of your product (which I think I remember you saying you were going to), there will still eventually be a limitation that needs to be changed in code.


You've got a kind of twisted view of this. People were editing the content long before metro took over. When I started playing pre-mod 1 there were already people hex editing everything from A-Z in terms of content and that was when WCC was still the owner and actively making content and code changes. Sites like forumshq and programs like LJN, and NMR, amongst other came around because people that were already doing those things wanted to easier ways of doing those edits and places to go to talk about doing it. It has little to do about the ability to make code contributions to the actual game engine since it revolved around making changes to content. And really the popularity of editing doesn't say much about your point since there are a ton of games out there these days that have mod/editing communities built up around them. When games get popular and people get passionate about them that's what happens.

Quote
Edit: And if you go MIA like the MMud developers did, we're stuck with a product that doesn't change for years.  You can't say for sure you won't, life gets in the way sometimes, and nothing can be done. 

They didn't go MIA they just put it on a shelf and forgot about it. And really there's no guaranty on anything in this world.

Offline Vitoc

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Re: Why GreaterMUD and MajorMUD should never be open sourced
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2008, 03:04:48 am »
Once again, you import your negative connotation of open source to your Microsoft brainwashed mind, and spew out false conclusions based on (perhaps) prior experiences.

Just because a development tree is open source does not mean that everyone can contribute to it.  Depending on a project's size, there are usually very few contributors to an open source project.  Just because we can see what you did, does not mean we can change what you did.  It just gives more insight into the code.  This does not mean trolls like silver_erek are going to submit some obfuscated grossitude that will allow him to cheat in game.

DeathCow, Locke, Syntax and others figured out code formulas by reverse engineering mostly.  It's possible that they delved into the asm of a decompiled wccmmud.dll, but unlikely in most cases.  If we had access to the source, we could answer without a doubt questions about game mechanics.  Those elite who have grown to have a strong knowledge of game mechanics can further advance their understandings with concrete evidence.

Typically with open source projects, you have a few project owners who have r/w access, and everyone else has r/o access.  If an r/o user feels like they can contribute, they submit a patch, or make changes into a branch and submit it upstream for one of the project owners to review and merge.

To extend this point:
The reason NMR, LJN and all of ForumsHQ sprung up is because Metro was closed minded about community contributions.  They wanted to only have their version out there, stifling public creativity and product customizability.  If you provide customizability on top of your product (which I think I remember you saying you were going to), there will still eventually be a limitation that needs to be changed in code. 

Edit: And if you go MIA like the MMud developers did, we're stuck with a product that doesn't change for years.  You can't say for sure you won't, life gets in the way sometimes, and nothing can be done. 
I'm not at all worried about people modifying the "official" GreaterMUD branch at all; I have my own copies backed up. 

I am worried about people taking the work I've done (which they would be able to do with read-only access) and building their own flavor of MUD based on it.  This would be counterproductive; it would fragment what's left of our community into even smaller groups of people who have absolutely nothing in common.  The content, the formulas, the game logic... these are the only things that have kept us together throughout Metro's ongoing mishandling of MajorMUD.  All it takes is for a few peeps to "borrow" the code I've written and make a few tweaks to each entice a few people away from the main line.  In a few years those modified lines will likely die and those people who started playing them will likely be so turned off they'll throw in the towel altogether.

Do you honestly think if someone comes up with an altered version of MajorMUD that it will draw people who weren't interested in MajorMUD to it?  Let's be honest, we're not talking about drawing in new people to MajorMUD.  We're focusing on the hardcore people who have stuck around for years.  Why risk losing them now?


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Offline Raybdbomb

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Re: Why GreaterMUD and MajorMUD should never be open sourced
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2008, 05:28:01 am »
Look, you're convinced your way is the best.  That's fine, I accept it.  Roll with it.

Offline RPenton

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Re: Why GreaterMUD and MajorMUD should never be open sourced
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2008, 12:45:35 am »
Over the years MajorMUD has turned into a contest which goes pretty much like this:
1. A new realm opens or an existing one resets.
2. The player(s) who can gain levels the fastest, form alliances with the right people, and get to the guaranteed 100% drop limited items which are intitially on all bosses end up in control of the realm.
3. Then it just becomes a contest to see who can gain exp and level the fastest by tweaking your Mega settings and changing gear at set intervals.

Items 1 and 2 happen within less than a week usually, while item 3 goes on for several months or years while people build up towards level 75.

Over the years players realized that the players in their individual realms weren't offering enough competition.  You couldn't really compare two Paladins in one realm because one Paladin would certainly have much better gear than the other, and limited items very rarely change hands in MajorMUD because of the negative stigma of PvP. 

I would argue that this is one of the huge flaws of MajorMUD.  I could never figure out if they did it on purpose or if they just failed to seed the RNG on the first drop of any limited item. Either way, it ensures that people who are a little bit late to the game will never be able to catch up to the big players.

I actually hated this about a decade ago. I remember when Mod 1 came out. Two people from my BBS stayed home from school all day (was still in high school!) and gathered up every single limited item that the new mod added. That was aggravating. No one could ever catch up to these people.

So basically the game enforces a system where people are encouraged to fan out onto many different BBS's if they ever want to be anywhere near the top of a board. I view this as a weakness in MajorMUD. I love the engine, but this is its biggest flaw.


Quote
Here is where TurboSentry came in.  Despite the constant struggle to keep "cheating" players and edited realms off the list, the list did provide many with a way to compare their character's progress to those in other realms.  People have a natural desire to compete with one another, and seeing your name rise through the list of similarly-classed players from multiple realms is strangely satisfying, especially when you know you're on the same playing field in terms of content and formulas.

You wouldn't really need Turbosentry if the game didn't unfairly favor early players. In fact the whole idea of turbosentry is rather riduclous when you factor in MegaMUD, because it's basically a "who can run megamud the longest" contest. It's kind of like Basketball. Basketball winners aren't determined by who makes the most baskets, but rather who misses the most. Back and forth, back and forth, score score score miss! score score score, etc. It's boring. MajorMUD has the same problem. Some guys internet goes down for a day, whoops, he drops 10 spots on turbosentry. Rather pointless. I fail to see the fun in that.


Quote
For more in depth conversations with other MajorMUDders you could log into the forums and ask gurus like DeathCow, Locke, and a slew of other knowledgeable fanatics all kinds of questions and we were all on the same level playing field because, other than a few realm tweaks like DeathHP and PvP limits every realm was the same; they all had the same content, the same formulas, the same game logic.

Just imagine if MajorMUD had been open sourced prior to mod 1.  MajorMUD forums would have been pointless for anything other than sysop troubleshooting.  Turbo would have been pointless since everyone would be playing with their own sets of formulas, races, classes, items, and exp tables.  There would be absolutely no common ground between realms; players would only be concerned with what's going on in our own realm, and there would be no sense of community whatsoever.  There's a reason the popular RPGs of today still don't run different content on different servers.  WoW, Age of Conan, LotRO... they want people from different servers to be able to relate to one another.  I can't tell you how many WoW discussions I hear between coworkers at work who don't play on the same servers.  While I find their conversations funny, it's cool that they have something in common with each other.

There's one thing you fail to consider. Games like WoW only split into several servers due to the sheer number of players there are. If it were physically possible for Blizzard to run one WoW server, they would. MajorMUD was written in a time when 1000 users of a BBS seemed ridiculous. Look at the WorldGroup licensing plans: 4, 16, and 256 users.  I've written servers that can handle 10's of thousands of users at once, 100's of thousands if farming is used.

With a rapidly dwindling userbase, it no longer makes sense to maintain a system that unfairly punishes latecomers to a realm. The community would be better served by trying to unify servers into a single realm. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm sick of finding out my friends are on a different realm, trying to join it so I can play with my friends, and then realise that the realm sucks because all the good stuff is already taken. One of the main reasons I stopped playing, actually.


Quote
Just because the glory days of text based telnet games are over isn't a valid reason to open source games like MajorMUD or GreaterMUD.  Take a look on metro's forums and look at the number of questions that have been answered over the past couple years.  Sure our community is a shell of what it once was, but we're still able to answer each other's questions and relate to one another.  This is the only reason we're even uttering the words "Major MUD" these days.  It's the only reason we're all still here.  Take that away and we've got nothing.

Well I don't think GMUD should be open sourced. You spent a lot of time on it and it's your right to choose what to do with the code. You have every right to profit off of your hard work.

But as far as MajorMUD goes, I don't see why not.


Quote
One thing to clarify, I don't see MajorMUD as a style of MUD like Diku, Mush, Moo, Muck, etc.  GreaterMUD and MajorMUD are specific implementations of game logic, formulas, and content which come together to form one unified game experience across multiple instances.  If you want an open source MUD, look into the forementioned MUD flavors and base your new MUD off of that, or go find one of the literally thousands of currently existing implementations of those flavors that suits you, but leave MajorMUD and GreaterMUD alone.

Right. Those MUDs branched hundreds of times. But how many of them actually got anywhere? Most of them were college CS projects. And when's the last time any of them were branched recently? I haven't seen any new branches of those MUDs in over a decade. Back in the day when there were no MMORPG's, MUDs ruled the day. But those days are over, and the community is no longer interested in endlessly branching. Plus, I highly doubt the average MMUDer has the technical proficiency to branch MUD anyway. Especially not one written in (lol) C and Worldgroup.

Offline Vitoc

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Re: Why GreaterMUD and MajorMUD should never be open sourced
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2008, 02:04:51 am »
I would argue that this is one of the huge flaws of MajorMUD.  I could never figure out if they did it on purpose or if they just failed to seed the RNG on the first drop of any limited item. Either way, it ensures that people who are a little bit late to the game will never be able to catch up to the big players.

I actually hated this about a decade ago. I remember when Mod 1 came out. Two people from my BBS stayed home from school all day (was still in high school!) and gathered up every single limited item that the new mod added. That was aggravating. No one could ever catch up to these people.

So basically the game enforces a system where people are encouraged to fan out onto many different BBS's if they ever want to be anywhere near the top of a board. I view this as a weakness in MajorMUD. I love the engine, but this is its biggest flaw.
I agree that it is a major shortcoming with MajorMUD which dramatically favors those who start first.  On the flip side of the coin though, from what I've heard of WoW, every player is a cookie cutter image of their class. 

So how do we fix this?  I like the idea of limited items, but maybe it should be based on the number of players in the realm, kind of a sliding scale.  For example, every lim 1 item would increase by 1 for every 10+ characters in the realm.  That's one possibility, but maybe some of you have better ideas?

You wouldn't really need Turbosentry if the game didn't unfairly favor early players. In fact the whole idea of turbosentry is rather riduclous when you factor in MegaMUD, because it's basically a "who can run megamud the longest" contest. It's kind of like Basketball. Basketball winners aren't determined by who makes the most baskets, but rather who misses the most. Back and forth, back and forth, score score score miss! score score score, etc. It's boring. MajorMUD has the same problem. Some guys internet goes down for a day, whoops, he drops 10 spots on turbosentry. Rather pointless. I fail to see the fun in that.

There's one thing you fail to consider. Games like WoW only split into several servers due to the sheer number of players there are. If it were physically possible for Blizzard to run one WoW server, they would. MajorMUD was written in a time when 1000 users of a BBS seemed ridiculous. Look at the WorldGroup licensing plans: 4, 16, and 256 users.  I've written servers that can handle 10's of thousands of users at once, 100's of thousands if farming is used.

With a rapidly dwindling userbase, it no longer makes sense to maintain a system that unfairly punishes latecomers to a realm. The community would be better served by trying to unify servers into a single realm. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm sick of finding out my friends are on a different realm, trying to join it so I can play with my friends, and then realise that the realm sucks because all the good stuff is already taken. One of the main reasons I stopped playing, actually.
Do we need more content to support one large 100+ user game or can we just make tweaks to the engine that will make it fun for everyone, regardless of when they start?

Well I don't think GMUD should be open sourced. You spent a lot of time on it and it's your right to choose what to do with the code. You have every right to profit off of your hard work.

But as far as MajorMUD goes, I don't see why not.
Other than the very occasional newcomer, the MajorMUD community's userbase is currently made up of a fixed number of die-hard MajorMUD fans.  If MajorMUD is open sourced, certainly branches will start forming with different formulas, game logic, and look and feel.  Some people will undoubtedly stray from the mainline to these branches.  These branches may seem fun at first, but often times people get carried away with their changes and eventually the branch dies and/or the players just lose interest.  Maybe those players will come back to the mainline, but maybe they'll be so turned off they'll quit forever.  Maybe I'm being overly cautious, but based on how jaded the community already is after Metro's mishandling of the game, I just don't want to risk this happening.

Right. Those MUDs branched hundreds of times. But how many of them actually got anywhere? Most of them were college CS projects. And when's the last time any of them were branched recently? I haven't seen any new branches of those MUDs in over a decade. Back in the day when there were no MMORPG's, MUDs ruled the day. But those days are over, and the community is no longer interested in endlessly branching. Plus, I highly doubt the average MMUDer has the technical proficiency to branch MUD anyway. Especially not one written in (lol) C and Worldgroup.
If few people have the technical proficiency to branch MUD, and fewer still are willing to put in the time and effort it would take to make fixes or updates, what's the benefit in open sourcing it anyway?  In my opinion (yeah, I know, I sound like a broken record) most of the pro-open-sourcing peeps don't have a lick of programming experience, and what they're really after is something for nothing.  I do respect the developers who contribute to open source projects, but I shake my head at the mentality it inspires among legions of non-developers who think all software should be free, and that software developers' time and talent aren't worth paying for.


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Offline RPenton

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Re: Why GreaterMUD and MajorMUD should never be open sourced
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2008, 02:41:44 am »
Once again, you import your negative connotation of open source to your Microsoft brainwashed mind, and spew out false conclusions based on (perhaps) prior experiences.

Now that's unfair. I am a diehard microsoft fan, and I am in favor of open sourcing MajorMUD.

I am, however, generally against zealous open source. The GPL, for example, is asinine. The creators of the GPL have stated that their intention is to eliminate all commercial software development. Is it any wonder why real professional developers have a bad opinion of open source? We make our livings off of writing software, and the GPL community (the most dominant community in OSS, by the way) thinks that they are entitled to all the code that I write. This makes sense when you consider most GPL zealots I know live with their parents and have yet to realise what it's like to make a real living in the real world. But it aggravates the crap out of me.


I've seen calls for Vitoc to open source GMUD, which I think are ludicrous. By his own account he's spent 3 years programming it, and he has every right to do what he wants with his code. I don't think anyone has the right to tell him he has to give it out for free.


On the flip side, I do feel that MajorMUD should be opened up for various reasons. First off, the code is 15+ years old, and is likely to be useless commercially. There's really no point in keeping that locked up and hidden. Secondly, it can benefit GMUD in that it will now be possible for Vitoc to examine the algorithms for correctness, rather than trying to black-box them.

I feel that it should be put under a BSD-type license, though, because the GPL is just completely ridiculous.

Offline Raybdbomb

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Re: Why GreaterMUD and MajorMUD should never be open sourced
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2008, 10:24:28 am »
The point is moot. 

Offline The Crazy Animal

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Re: Why GreaterMUD and MajorMUD should never be open sourced
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2008, 09:39:58 am »
I?m going to have to reply in a few parts here the topics just getting kind of large?.

In my opinion really the best case scenario would actually probably be for metro to hand out a keygen and make the full compiled version available for free download again like they use to. Which would remove the commercial viability from the situation:  instantly removing the money issues and future ownership issues from the situation. There are other companies that have done this with their legacy software such as Borland to name one.

And then if they were nice enough to release the formulas without the source code it would be of much greater use to the remaining community. As I highly doubt that anyone really wants to pick through all of the original code and try to fix it all for free at this point so there?s no really no reason to release it. I know there are a handful of people that say they do but lets face the facts people say a lot of things they never get around to doing.

This would really set the stage for letting some well meaning players to lock up copies of it for preservation use and let groups of editors try to see if they can create any good add-ons to the game. Which could be later become more organized into some type of a more official preservation attempt to host any of the actually successful add-ons. As a preservation attempt like this progresses this would also make it so that the only chance to make bad changes comes out of the content and that's easier to manage as a whole. Since poor content design over random engine derivatives would lead to much greater chance of instability and conflicts.

I know this looks like it would only leave us in a slightly better place then where we are at the moment but I don't expect any miracles at this point.

Offline The Crazy Animal

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Re: Why GreaterMUD and MajorMUD should never be open sourced
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2008, 09:47:03 am »
Right. Those MUDs branched hundreds of times. But how many of them actually got anywhere? Most of them were college CS projects. And when's the last time any of them were branched recently? I haven't seen any new branches of those MUDs in over a decade. Back in the day when there were no MMORPG's, MUDs ruled the day. But those days are over, and the community is no longer interested in endlessly branching. Plus, I highly doubt the average MMUDer has the technical proficiency to branch MUD anyway. Especially not one written in (lol) C and Worldgroup.

Well you have a handful that got fairly big:

Medievia - started in 1991 and started as a DIKU.
Little bit of history on them - http://www.medievia.com/start.html
BTW- "This is a good example of what goes wrong with large muds in terms of opensource, creater credit, and a really long history of game engine changes and recodes"

Iron Realms Entertainment - started in 1997
- http://www.ironrealms.com/index.php
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Realms_Entertainment

"I think we were getting close to 100 simultaneous players on Vortex. This sounds really small and, of course, it is. But in the text MMO world, few MUDs ever break 100 simultaneous players. Eventually we bought Vortex outright, and then wrote our current engine, Rapture in late 2001 or 2002. We needed an engine that would scale. Our CTO, Chris Kohnert, who had started as a player, wrote Rapture in return for a piece of the company.", "The game was self-sustaining by the middle half of 1999. I think the credit market started 2001? which was also when we launched our second game, Aetolia. It was also when we switched to our internally developed Rapture engine. The new engine actually didn't mean much to the players. The change was important so that we'd be able to grow. We had learned a lot ? the transition was much easier. Rapture was specifically written to be absolutely as backwards compatible with Vortex as possible. It used the same syntax, but was extended quite a bit. It just allowed us to do more things. Rapture added a MySQL interface, for instance. We still use flat files for frequently-used data and then MySQL for less frequently used, but much larger, data." 
- Snipit from an interview with Matt Mihaly, CEO, of Iron Realms Entertainment.
- http://www.playnoevil.com/serendipity/index.php?/archives/765-The-World-of-text-MMOs-MUDs-An-Interview-with-Matt-Mihaly,-CEO-of-Iron-Realms-Entertainment.html

 The Rapture engine is written in C and C++.
- approximately 427,000 lines of Rapture script.
- 3469 individual scripts controlling various quests. Each script varies between as few as 15 lines to hundreds of lines.
- Lines of text - Lots. Text is spread out among many databases - millions of words.

They're a little secretive about their engine but I can't blame them with so much invested in it...

I know that's only two that I've listed but the point is most of the big ones stopped running stock derivatives and started their own engine projects using the experience they got from the smaller more hobby oriented opensource platforms. On one side it shows the usefulness of opensource in terms of gaining experience in creating a game engine. However opensource mud's generally don't have loved content that they need to deal with either. 

And when it comes to opensourcing mmud; that's really where things get sticky. It?s in the need to support something that is for the most part antiquated. If you look at the spellimmune bug that was just fixed you can see what just one small logic change from greater than to greater than or equal to can make in terms of how that contents data instances is experienced in game from the player's perspective. And all it really takes is a few of those changes good or bad to end up with something that could be called a derivative.


Offline Thesifer

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Re: Why GreaterMUD and MajorMUD should never be open sourced
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2021, 01:49:08 pm »
This topic is actually fascinating to read today.  I know this is Graveyard diving to bring it up.  But I actually found it again doing a Google Search of all things.

Interestingly the "Tons of Boards out there without knowing what is what, and what does what..."  Doesn't really hold much water in this case, because there has only and probably will only, ever be 1 GreaterMud.  Now if the engine were released, and other boards could pop up, that would be one thing.

I think the real argument is "I spent a lot of work and don't want people to use that for free, and possibly even come up with a better version." Which I can understand somewhat.

With MMud Explorer out there, and the ability to load in different databases though, you could pretty easily open source without this issue.  Or even DON'T open source, but maybe license out the engine. "It doesn't come with the database, but you can .. probably.. find that somewhere! ;-)" ... Engine is $10 a month (just a random figure)...

Offline Greater

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Re: Why GreaterMUD and MajorMUD should never be open sourced
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2021, 01:41:24 pm »
This topic is actually fascinating to read today.  I know this is Graveyard diving to bring it up.  But I actually found it again doing a Google Search of all things.

Interestingly the "Tons of Boards out there without knowing what is what, and what does what..."  Doesn't really hold much water in this case, because there has only and probably will only, ever be 1 GreaterMud.  Now if the engine were released, and other boards could pop up, that would be one thing.

I think the real argument is "I spent a lot of work and don't want people to use that for free, and possibly even come up with a better version." Which I can understand somewhat.

With MMud Explorer out there, and the ability to load in different databases though, you could pretty easily open source without this issue.  Or even DON'T open source, but maybe license out the engine. "It doesn't come with the database, but you can .. probably.. find that somewhere! ;-)" ... Engine is $10 a month (just a random figure)...

New necro record?  ;D

Offline Thesifer

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Re: Why GreaterMUD and MajorMUD should never be open sourced
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2021, 04:37:33 pm »
New necro record?  ;D

Maybe! But I think it's worth bringing back up.