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Newbie Admins?
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Post is unread #1 May 28, 2003, 9:02 am
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Xorith
The Null Value
GroupAFKMud Team
Posts254
JoinedFeb 23, 2003

This isn't a flame, it's serious.

Newbie Admins are sprouting up all over, and I'd like to give some advice before they are coldly shut off as some are.

First off, please read everything. When you first extract the distribution, go through every directory and read every document. The very first one you should read is the license. Even if you don't understand what they mean yet, just read them and take note of where to find them. You'll find most of your answers in there.

My second tip is to NEVER 'try' to be more knowledgable than you are in any department here. It's best to honestly state where your knowledge is at in context with the topic at hand. What I mean is if you're having compile errors, let us know if you've never worked with a compiler before, or programed before in general. Also let us know your experience with the operating system you're using. User? Admin? Uber-Geek? For-Dummies-Flunkie? This isn't to insult, it's so those who can help know how to phrase their answers.

Another good idea is to use http://www.google.com and do some searching on general topics, such as Linux, GNU C, or the name of your chosen code base.

Not intending any snubbing here, but the MUD Community is *not* newbie-oriented when it comes to new administrators. This is where I learned though, and it took a few books on C, 3 years of trial and error, and finally unbreakable determination to get to where I am. It's not something you can just decide to go with and be shown everything step-by-step. If you keep this in mind, then you might find it easier to learn.

Now... with all that said, I strongly recommend you learn the code you're working with. I'm going from the angle that most modern day new MUDs are start-ups of a certain codebase. There's usually not enough people to just stick it out being some sort of 'Idea man'. If you want your MUD to go anywhere, you have to know how it works, inside and out. You have to know how to make changes, and you have to know how to correct the mistakes you *will* make. For this, I recommend a book or ten. I recommend learning as much about the coding language your code base is written in, even if it's just figuring out what the 'syntax' of it is. When I say syntax, think of it being that programming language's grammar rules. Just like your old undying and seemingly immortal English teacher would fail you for using slang or improper grammar in a report, the C Compiler would do the same. Also, much like world languages, there's usually many ways to express the same thing in C.

You should also know a few things about legalities with MUDs. You have a legal contract you've signed when you use that code base. This is why I said read the licenses... Make sure you agree with the terms, because if you don't then you need to find a different code base. You MUST respect the licenses, otherwise you'll be all but dead to the MUD community. You also have to check with your local ISP before you get the idea of trying to run it from your home. Most ISPs consider running *anything* that's publicly accessible a breach in contract, and you could get your service terminated. This isn't to say you can't run it for your own personal use, but I wouldn't recommend using it as a full-time host. Speaking of hosts, you also have obligations to the host you decide to go with. You shouldn't be foolish with who you give your shell password out to, since a shell account is a hacker's playground - they can do much damage to other systems from your account and what evidence would you have otherwise? None.

Lastly, protect yourself and your content. You should write something up and place it in-game and on your website documenting that the additions you make to the game are yours. In most cases, just place a Copyright statement in the game and on your website. To take things a step further, wen you write a new piece of code, or a new area, print it out or save it on a CD and mail it to yourself. See if you can get the post office to affix some sort of seal to the envelope, with some sort of date. This is what's known as the 'Poor man's Copyright'. While it's not concrete in court, it's better than nothing. To take this to the next level, you could research into applying for a copyright.

With all of this said, the main thing to keep in mind is trial and error. You will not get all the answers from the documents or from forums. You will get enough, though... and you have nothing to lose save a little time if you botch something up.

- X
       
Post is unread #2 May 28, 2003, 10:41 am
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Amalric

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Posts48
JoinedMay 15, 2003

As someone who is in the beginning stages of attempting to administrate my own mud I would like to add one or two other points of advice.
The first is: Before you try to become an admin of your own mud, become friends with the admin/staff of another mud that uses the same codebase that you are interested in running and try to learn as much as possible from them. Do this by both asking questions directly and by simply observing what they have implemented, how they react to players, and what problems they encounter/how they solve them. Many have forums and bulletin boards like this great place here! This will take a while but it would be well worth the effort (not to mention being worth the fun as you play while you learn).
The second is: (I'm restating Xorith here) Learn your chosen code base well. Know it inside, out, and sideways. I recently downloaded the AFK code base just to look and see if I could find the source of a bug I found (Samson, remember the level 3 and 35 Ranger spells that my level 35 ranger "Isn't ready to learn yet"?) It took me almost 30 minutes just to find where the practice routines were implemented. So study, learn, and play with the code until you are VERY comfortable with it.
I am at the very beginning of my learning. I have played on just about every type of mud out there to find the code base that I enjoy the most. Now I am learning what goes into building great areas by visiting/playing every area that I can get to and paying special attention to the details. The staff of Alsherok have done great things and while I can't take them with me I can certainly learn from their successes (and mistakes... not that there are any!)
I realize that my method will take a long while to reach the goal but IMHO nobody should go into mud administration half-cocked.
       
Post is unread #3 May 28, 2003, 12:06 pm
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Samson
Black Hand
GroupAdministrators
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JoinedJan 1, 2002


Lastly, protect yourself and your content. You should write something up and place it in-game and on your website documenting that the additions you make to the game are yours. In most cases, just place a Copyright statement in the game and on your website. To take things a step further, wen you write a new piece of code, or a new area, print it out or save it on a CD and mail it to yourself. See if you can get the post office to affix some sort of seal to the envelope, with some sort of date. This is what's known as the 'Poor man's Copyright'. While it's not concrete in court, it's better than nothing. To take this to the next level, you could research into applying for a copyright.


Just to clarify on the issue of copyright - a copyright exists from the moment a work is created and fixed into tangible form. Placing notices on things does serve to notify the public that your work is protected, but after 1989 is technically not necessary. For the added protection though, place your notices clearly and plainly where they can be easily found. If you forsee the eventuality that you may need to press a legal action later on, file the appropriate paperwork to have it registered with the Copyright Office. This is *NOT* necessary to be protected, but it *DOES* afford you some extra legal protections and will enable you to recover additional damages. The cost is minimal - $30 per work you wish to register. They will expect a 50 page sample of the work, so be prepared to factor in the additional costs involved in mailing 50 pages to them. While mailing yourself a CD or a printed copy of the work will help establish that it existed and that you own the copyright to it, this carries no weight as far as registration, so just save yourself the hassle and register it. More information is available from the Copyright Office website.
       
Post is unread #4 May 28, 2003, 7:33 pm
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Dwip
Dementius Rabbitus
GroupAdministrators
Posts55
JoinedJan 1, 2002

Good thread. Should get FAQized or something on the AFK site, Arthmoor, or something.

Anyway, a couple three of my own additions.

Firstly, before jumping into being a MUD admin, recognize that it is a whole hell of a lot of work, and it's even worse when you're just getting started. And that's if you have experience. It's easy enough to open up Yet Another StockMUD, with nothing but the areas and such that come with the codebase, and it's yet another thing to create your own customized world. Most of us aspire to the latter, and that takes some time. And by time I mean weeks and months of work every day - building areas, tinkering with classes and spells, changing code, and what have you. It is not a trivial investment in time.

And speaking of experience, if you haven't been an immortal somewhere before, you should probably give a second thought about starting up a MUD. Speaking as someone with over a year of immortal experience before helping to start Alsherok, and having done some admin work, even with that experience it was still a challenge trying to figure things out. If you've only been a player on a MUD, see about maybe becoming an immortal there before or instead of starting your own.

Secondly, and most importantly, always always always be polite, be courteous, and be respectful of others in the MUD community. This is especially important when asking for help - if you're nice and polite to someone, they'll be more likely to give you a hand on your code problem or that broken area, whereas if you assume that simply because you have your own MUD you are entitled to the help, you'll get told to go away. We don't mind new folks, but we don't much like childish behavior.
       
Post is unread #5 Dec 16, 2006, 7:32 am
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Lazerous

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JoinedAug 10, 2005

Wish I had of copyrighted my Draenor...stupid WOW took my name, I have used it for years
since 1996 in my muds and websites, this sucks to see them asociating my realms name to something so vile.

meh,

Lazerous
The Realm of Draenor
       
Post is unread #6 Nov 24, 2007, 9:07 pm
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Samson
Black Hand
GroupAdministrators
Posts3,643
JoinedJan 1, 2002

Thread Necromancy Alert

A name can't be copyrighted. It CAN be trademarked though if you've got that kind of money to invest.
       
Post is unread #7 Nov 25, 2007, 5:08 pm
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Kayle
Off the Edge of the Map
GroupAdministrators
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JoinedMar 21, 2006

Also, in response to Lazerous, Blizzard's owned the name Draenor since the release of Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. Which was in 1994, There was only passing mention of the world of Draenor where the Orcs had come from in the first game, but the second installment in the series, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness further shouted the name in 1995 when you complete the game on the Human side and push the Orcs back through the Dark Portal to Draenor. Then in December 1996, Blizzard released the expansion for Warcraft II, Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal Where you actually set foot on Draenor. So, I hate to break it to you, but the Warcraft Universe beat you to the name.
       
Post is unread #8 Nov 26, 2007, 8:40 am
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David Haley
Sorcerer
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Beating somebody to a name isn't the same as owning the name, cf. Samson's post.
       
Post is unread #9 Nov 26, 2007, 9:40 am
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Kayle
Off the Edge of the Map
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JoinedMar 21, 2006

I was merely stating that Blizzard had used the name prior to Lazerous, and since blizzard is, and was at the time, a rather large company with a lot of money, it stands to reason, that he is likely to lose any attempt at claiming the name. Since the first two, possibly 3 installments of the Warcraft Series, came out before he says he started using the name. Also the fact that he says
stupid WOW took my name,
and
this sucks to see them asociating my realms name to something so vile.
Is a little stupid. Since WoW only builds off of their pre-existing story and world. And WoW itself isn't vile, it's the reason Blizzard runs it that is vile, although, part of me envies them, I wish I could pull in over 100 million dollars a month for my MUD. :P
       
Post is unread #10 Nov 26, 2007, 9:49 am
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David Haley
Sorcerer
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JoinedJan 29, 2007

Oh, sure, he probably can't claim ownership of the name either, unless he went and trademarked it... which is quite unlikely. :) (Interestingly enough, my MUD's name is trademarked. I'm not sure if the owner has done anything with the trademark; apparently he talked to the people who did the game "Darkstone" but I'm not sure if anything came of it.)

As for the "vile" bit I think he was complaining that the name 'Draenor' was being associated with the land where the Horde comes from...
       
Post is unread #11 Nov 26, 2007, 5:16 pm   Last edited Nov 26, 2007, 5:17 pm by Conner
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Conner
Sorcerer
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JoinedMay 8, 2005

Kayle said:

And WoW itself isn't vile, it's the reason Blizzard runs it that is vile, although, part of me envies them, I wish I could pull in over 100 million dollars a month for my MUD. :P

Are you sure that's not a matter of opinion? :tongue:

DavidHaley said:

As for the "vile" bit I think he was complaining that the name 'Draenor' was being associated with the land where the Horde comes from...

I wouldn't put it past Lazerous to have meant it either way, or even both ways actually, though, to be honest he was more likely anti-WoW than anti-Orcs. *shrug*

Samson said:

Thread Necromancy Alert

This has been quite an impressive display of your powers of thread necromancy, nearly a year later and you've gotten a completely dead thread brought fully back to life by adding a comment to the one post that wasn't even on-topic. I bow to your superior magery. :biggrin: :tongue:
       
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