You Were Different When You Were A Player!
by Selina Kelley
Moving from player to immortal in the mud world can be a very exciting,
traumatic experience. Not only is there an expectation for you to produce
code for new areas in the game, but there is also the assumption from
that you will help them out just as you used to when you were mortal.
you could kick down some of the priveleged information of the game, but
more likely find yourself a player again (or worse yet, nonexistent) if
took this path. So thus begins the split between player and immortal.
Now why do some people think notes should be green?
I've always felt that there was some "imaginary line" between the two
positions, not only because of the added commands given to immortals, but
because there always seem to be more restrictions on sharing of
when you become an immortal. It's difficult to know what you can tell a
player friend and what you can't, and so most of the times, you end up
them nothing. This can certainly peeve some people off.
If I had an Australian dollar for the amount of times I've heard "You
you're better than everyone else now that you're an immortal!" said to
or another immortal, then I'd probably have accumulated $AU600 by now
(approximately $US0.73). It's hard to know how to handle dealing with
players and yet not give out information that can ruin the game for
I'm a softie at heart, and I know sometimes I step over the line and just
"tell too much".
With immortality comes a loss of innocence. For me, I derived so much
enjoyment out of playing a mud before I found out how it worked that
I wish I'd never become an immortal. I've met many people who feel the
way, but besides having a brain-wipe (tempting as it may be), there's no
way to erase the knowledge that what you're playing is just a bunch of
and calls and 0's and 1's. It's almost impossible to not have your
of the mud change by knowing how it works. Ultimately, it can lead to
difficulties such as loss of friends. The power of a C-derivative program
greater than you think.
Players who have never been immortals can't really understand. It lies
beyond having the intelligence to program a file, and more into the lack
challenge in the game. When you know the inner workings, and know when
run into X monster in Y area that he'll have Z spells and Q hitpoints, the
adrenaline rush that comes with attacking an "unknown" just never kicks
I was different when I was a player. Sure, I was five or six years
as well, but I was different with how I saw the game, how I thought things
worked, and how I acted toward other players. I saw things differently; I
explained nuances of the game with such great detail that I know now was
incorrect. I added my own depth and breadth to the game just by using
assumption and imagination, and I had a great time doing it.
I'm different now as an immortal. I'm five or six years older, but I
the game differently. I see it as a bunch of numbers, a bunch of text,
run by a driver, compiler, scripts. I understand arrays and mappings, for
loops, while loops, regular expressions, when to use each. I understand
something can look complicated just by using messages, with the base code
being extraordinarily simple, and I understand what function is called
what stat means what and how to maximize my code to not lag the mud.
Do I have as much fun? Not in the way I used to, but coding a mud
much different sense of "fun" to me now, and watching other players enjoy
game and make those same assumptions I did gives me great pleasure.
player state "Wow! This rocks!" gives such a sense of satisfaction that
But I miss my lost innocence. I miss not being able to share with my
friends exactly how the cool things I created work, and I miss being able
enter an area and be surprised at the secrets and scared of the monsters.
miss not knowing how something worked and having to make up my own
and theories, and sharing those theories with others.
At the same time, I love creating, I love making something out of
I love how I can whip something up with relative ease that makes the
of others increase in my game. I love the knowledge I've gained, and I
being able to modify and expand a world that exists not only as a text
but also in the minds and imaginations of others.
I figure I can take the flak, for I've found something that gives me a
sense of accomplishment and pride.
October 1999 Imaginary Realities, the magazine of your mind.
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