On Links and MUDs

Ancient “Warrior” Found in Permafrost, found via Warren Ellis. That man is a treasure trove of neat esoterica (which as I’ve discussed before, I’m rather fond of myself). Also found via his site, I’ve added myself to MyBlogLog, which is a method to track users and links and in general help form the idea of a community a bit. I’d love to find a non-feedburner solution to tracking unique rss users as well…

Sorry for the hiatus from posting. I’ve kept to my goal of writing something every day, it just happened to not include posting on here… I’ve been working on a few projects for AvatarMUD the past few nights, involving some tweaks we’ve discussed doing, as well as a new area (and thinking about what I’d like to do to an old one). None of them are done, but I’m taking a breather for a bit, especially since those “tweaks” involve a lot of number crunching, and I’ve been going a bit cross-eyed with it. Avatar and I have somthing of an odd sort of interaction. I’ve been a player there for nearly a decade now, and an administrator for nearly as long. It’s seen me through several relationships, a marriage, a divorce, and several substantial moves. I’ve graduated both high school and college while there, and it’s even been integrated into some of my work (like my Online Communities paper). I’ve made friends through it, I have friends who even got married after meeting through it. It’s an important part of my life.

Don’t get me wrong, though, it does have its problems. I’m not going to get into details at the moment (though I’ve been thinking long and hard on doing a postmortem-like writeup at some point), but there’s definitely room for continued improvement, and some of those frustrations have encouraged some time distancing myself from the MUD. I never fully left, but it would be hard to argue that I didn’t take at least something of a sabbatical. I’m in something of an upswing in activity on the MUD right now, mentoring one of the new imms, writing, and working on a few projects. One of the biggest things I’m doing though (and reasons I’m back in this surge) is that I’ve taken on something of a Don Quixote role. My particular windmills fall into staff-to-staff and staff-to-player transparency, in terms of taking the time to actually communicate first with the general staff, and then also being more open with our players. I’ve also been pushing for more attention being given to casual players, as there has been a slow but steady trend towards “hardcore” (on all the time, min/maxing your stats and equipment, etc) players. I strongly feel that a healthy game is served best by maintaining a balance of both.

I’m not trying to toot my own horn by saying I’m pushing for these things. There’s been a lot of quiet support among staff and players, and I’m definitely not the only one speaking up and pushing for these things. It’s been energizing, nonetheless.