AnotherMUD, sometimes jokingly "AnotherMUD(tm)", is a Diku-based hack and slash MUD. It is loosely based on medieval fantasy and offers an extended character class system, multiplaying, and a wilderness system among other things. While hardly one of the best designed or the most polished games, its features and the relatively relaxed gaming atmosphere have over time brought it friends from Scandinavia, the United States, and elsewhere. Originally opened in 1993 and having experienced its best days in the middle of the 1990s, the game is, however, very quiet in 2009.
Features[edit | edit source]
Like a majority of DikuMUDs, AnotherMUD is a class and level based MUD. It features 50 mortal levels (in addition to 11 immortal levels) and four base character classes. The base classes are cleric, mage, thief, and warrior. All the four are well-known from the standard DikuMUD, and in AnotherMUD the classes also have many of those traditional skills and spells found in the standard Diku and/or Dungeons and Dragons, such as "cure serious", "magic missile", and "backstab".
First one plays 50 levels in one of the base classes. Then there is a chance to specialize into another class and play another 50 levels in that. The special classes for the base class thief, for example, are assassin, bard, burglar, and thug.
One of the most popular features of AnotherMUD is multiplaying or "multicharing", playing more than one character simultaneously. In most muds, playing more than one character at once is not allowed. In Another one has usually been able to multiplay up to three characters (most common combination being a well-armored fighter, a healer, and either some sort of mage or thief). Most players multiplay, although some have also been able to play solo relatively successfully.
AnotherMUD's game world contains roughly 5 000 rooms in over 50 areas. The areas include both well-known stock areas found in many DikuMUDs (areas such as Dwarven Kingdom and Keep of Mahn-Tor) and original areas made more or less exclusively for AnotherMUD. The quality of all these areas varies drastically.
Typical to AnotherMUD is an extensive use (or what would have been considered extensive in around 1995) of Diku-style special procedures ("specs"). Originally hard-coded in DikuMUDs, they are routines usually assigned to mobiles and to somewhat lesser extent to objects and rooms, in order to make them more interesting. In AnotherMUD special procedures were used, for example, on many of the more powerful mobiles to make them more complex to kill.
AnotherMUD also features the so called wilderness system, an ascii-based "map" intended to replace the connection areas and roads traditionally used for traveling between the proper areas/zones of the game world. The wilderness of the MUD is 1024*1024 locations in size and also offers caravans and ships for more realistic travel.
Other features of the game include a law system where a player can be jailed by cityguards for certain crimes; an automated auction system for equipment and other items; a meta system with which one can improve the basic statistics (constitution, dexterity, etc.) of his/her character by, somewhat humorously, replacing his/her "bodyparts" (such as legs) with better ones; and various skills and spells unique to AnotherMUD (these are mostly available on the specialized character classes). The game has also featured optional player killing in the past.
History[edit | edit source]
AnotherMUD is based on the Gamma0.0 ("gamma0.0b") release of Diku. The game was opened in May 1993  by two Danes, Lars Pedersen ("Flagg") and Michael Toft ("Luft"), who were both studying in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Aarhus. (The two were later joined by a third Danish implementor from the same university; Claus Leth Gregersen, "Gud".) They had previously played at least KallistiMUD, a U.S. based DikuMUD, where Luft had also worked as a coding implementor. The first USENET announcement about AnotherMUD opening is dated May 22nd. It states that theme of the game is medieval and also that the implementors are trying to base the MUD on "the PC game Moria/Angband".
At first AnotherMUD was running on osiris.nmt.edu and then soon on errtu.nmt.edu, both apparently machines associated with the New Mexico Tech university. At that time the game featured the law system, a mail system, "mobile classes", as well as many other modifications to the basic Gamma0.0 code, according to a USENET post by Pedersen. In addition, multiplaying was probably allowed from the very start.
Later in 1993, the game moved to site bubba.clark.net. That site didn't eventually have the capacity to run the MUD to the full extent, and it forced a maximum limit of 30 connections upon the game. With this restriction, only 10 people would have been able to play the MUD if all had multiplayed the standard three characters, and therefore the implementors decided to disallow multiplaying temporarily. At that time AnotherMUD reportedly had over 3000 rooms, the special class system partially implemented (with only one special class per each base class), a bank system with accounts, and also languages for players and mobiles. Furthermore, some sort of simple interpreted programming language was being developed for implementing special procedures online.
AnotherMUD was taken down in December 1993. The implementors were too busy with their university exams and were also "tired of running a mud with a 30 player limit". The game returned in January on next2.cas.muohio.edu, a site apparently associated with Miami University in Ohio. This was a NeXT system nicknamed "Greed". A few months later the hard drive of the machine crashed, resulting in the loss of all the binary files of the game, including the player file (early DikuMUDs usually saved player characters in one large binary file and their items in another). These files had apparently been backed up, but the backups were on the same, broken disk. All the other files – such as the source code, areas – were however spared, as the Danish implementors were developing the game on another site, not the NeXT system.
In July 1994, the MUD reportedly had about 5000 rooms built. Having probably been down most of the time since the hard drive accident of the NeXT system, the game was eventually given a site on one of the machines of Princeton University, nirvana.princeton.edu, in September 1994. At that time the special class system had apparently been completed, and players were able to choose between four special classes per each base class upon reaching level 50. In October, the MUD went down again, due to problems with the site at Princeton. The implementors started searching a new site. Matthew Frisch ("Cil", "Matuse", and other characters), a co-implementor and player in Another, soon jokingly wrote in the USENET that it would be the "site number 10 in the last 2 years".
The MUD was reopened on the Compart BBS in Helsinki, Finland in December 1994. The address was spider.compart.fi, later changing to mud.compart.fi. The wilderness system had been at least tentatively implemented now. The USENET announcement about the MUD returning also mentions the meta system, which might indicate that it had been recently implemented as well.
AnotherMUD apparently ran on mud.compart.fi without any long breaks for the whole 1995. In February 1996, it went down for a couple of months due to technical problems, which resulted in a typical flow of queries in rec.games.mud.diku asking as to when the game will be back up. The MUD returned in late April. The rest of the year 1996 was then spent, among others, with some talks about a new version of the game to be developed, "AnotherMUD++", as well as with some cases of cheating and bug abuse, which were dealt with quite harshly by some of the immortals, pretty much against the wishes of the liberal Danish implementors.
At the turn of the year 1996/1997, AnotherMUD was taken down, probably due to some reorganization being done at Compart. It soon looked the game would remain down until the AnotherMUD++ project was finished and the implementors were less busy in real life. In March 1997, Pedersen wrote on rec.games.mud.misc that they had no time for the MUD at that moment and no site for hosting it either. Later in 1997, there were, however, hopes about the MUD returning, as Compart had now arranged a new machine for running games. A buggy development version of Another was indeed set up on the machine. It mostly ran as a "chat server" for former AnotherMUD players to meet up and socialize, on mud.compart.fi, port 4000, probably from late 1997 to at least July 1998.
The original AnotherMUD (that had been running until the turn of 1996/1997) eventually returned, on another.compart.fi, port 4000, in September 1998. Some of the former players returned as well, and a few new players probably also started playing the game. The immortal staff was also at least somewhat active. The game was, however, stagnant in that there was little or no visible development being done (on the other hand, the latest source code of the original game had obviously been accidentally lost in late 1997) and no new areas added. In many ways the game was a shadow of what it had been two, three years earlier.
In early 1999, AnotherMUD once again switched site, this time to a machine in the University of Lund in Sweden. The game continued to be quiet, maintaining a player base of some sort anyway, although very small. In around 2000 or early 2001, some mailing lists were set up, containing development related discussion among others. Some practical development work was also being done. Eventually it all more or less died, however. Pedersen apparently continued the development work alone until 2002, and perhaps occasionally afterwards as well.
The MUD continued to run on the machine in Lund. After a year or two, pretty much the only "players" online were usually "exp bots", automated characters running experience points and gold for their owners. Then the MUD went down again in 2003 or 2004, due to the techical problems with the old, SPARC-based machine it was running on.
In 2005, AnotherMUD was briefly up on the old machine in Lund, going down again after a couple of months. In around June 2007, an old player or players asked Pedersen if AnotherMUD could be put up (just for the sake of fun or "nostalgia" probably). An old version was indeed set up on a Danish site. As of 2009 it's still running, but there are almost never any players online.
[edit | edit source]
- The web site, maintained by Flagg, one of the original implementors
- Another site about the MUD, including some old material
- AnotherMUD on Facebook
References[edit | edit source]
- "The Player's Handbook Part 4: Multi-Charing"
- http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.mud.diku/msg/7248f872aca9f97d?dmode=source [*.lu.se]