Table of Contents

Rufus' Lecture on Building


'Hi, I'm Rufus, and for those of you who don't know, I'm the head builder of the immorts, and responsible for just about everything that annoys you about LegendMud,' Rufus says. '=P.'

'If I could just ask that during the course of this lecture that the socials and talking out of turn is kept to a minimum,' Rufus says. 'There is the "raise self" social if you wish to raise your hand.'

Rufus says, 'I'm going to cover a number of topics tonight, starting with what we as builders do, what the process of new areas going in is, and the proposal process for new builders.'

Rufus says, 'Over the course of this I hope to make clear some of the reasons why we do the things we do, and some of the choices that we've made.'

'I'll open Q&A up in the end, but if you have an urgent question or need me to clarify something I say, please feel free to raise your hand,' Rufus says.

Rufus smiles happily.

'Okay, for starters, let me give you a little bit of history...' Rufus says.

'I came on to the legend staff quite a while ago knowing absolutely nothing about programming or really how the mud worked internally,' Rufus says.

'I knew how to play and that was about it,' Rufus says. 'When I got into the swing of building, it was about a three month process before I had something I could really call 'an area' that I was testing on a rather rigorous basis.'

'That area, I'm sure you've all seen at one time or another is Ancient India,' Rufus says.

'My personal goal with India was to establish things for people to do, a well balanced area, one that fit well into the mud and one that had a set of acts that could compete with Beowulf for complexity,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'The latter I feel I've failed in a few ways... but that's life =P.'

Rufus says, 'I was brought into the new structure of the immortal staff because, well, I guess because, I seemed to like to get my hands dirty in everything.'

'Working closely with Ptah and Kaige, we established a direction that we wanted to take the gameplay of the mud in, and I was put in charge of making sure that the areas currently in legend and the areas to be added were in line with this.'

Rufus says, 'So I'll start with what my job is, and what the jobs of the rest of the builders are.'

Rufus says, 'My primary jobs are maintenance of current areas, installation of new areas, and overall balance of game issues from a building perspective.'

Rufus says, 'The majority of these tasks are an ongoing thing, and some result in radical and quick changes, other things are not readily available to the players' eyes.'

'When we started our new immort structure, our goal was to revise 1 area for each new area that went in,' Rufus says. 'This is because some areas have been in legend from the beginning, before many of our 'cool' code features were added.'

'When can we do that and how,' Ocea says.

Rufus raises his eyebrow at Ocea.

Rufus says to Ocea, 'Pardon?'

'I am sorry for inturupting but i was wondering if you were going to put a place in legend for just mages?' Ocea says.

'If we could find a historical basis for it, we might, but there are no current plans, no,' Rufus says.

'In the course of this, many areas have been changed,' Rufus says. 'Kheldar did a great job with Arabia, which will be coming in with the rest of the hometown updates.'

Rufus says, 'I've personally added a new chunk to ireland, and work progresses on all the other hometowns.'

Rufus says, 'Ireland was revised a while back, as was a mud-wide revision of rent structure of items which resulted in both lowering and increasing item's rent.'

Rufus says, 'Anway, I'll stick to the general rather than specifics for a bit.'

Rufus says, 'Maintaining areas is one of the builders' most difficult tasks.'

Ocea raises his hand.

Rufus says, 'It's fairly easy to run in and fix a typo, but when you are faced with the task of revising an entire person's work, that can get a little disheartening at times.'

Rufus says to Ocea, 'Yes?'

'Why were most of the wells taken out?' Ocea says.

Rufus says to Ocea, 'I'll get to that in a minute.'

Ocea nods solemnly.

Rufus says, 'What we try to do with updates is bring the interest level of an area up within mob acts, and also attempt to balance out the area with the other areas on the mud, and within the area itself.'

Rufus says, 'Installing new areas is another one of the builders' tasks, and one which I have come to grow a love and hate relationship with.'

'Its not a matter of gettting the whole area up, and then linking an entry room?' Jairo says.

Rufus says, 'Making this mud bigger and able to support more people is one of our #1 priorities.'

Rufus says to Jairo, 'Let me continue for a moment and I think I'll make that clear.'

Jairo nods his agreement with Rufus.

Rufus says, 'But I don't know how many of you run around with brief off, or type look in every room, or read every extra description on mobs or objects, or try out every neat little feature of an area... .'

Rufus says, 'But what most muds consider their best room descriptions, best coding for acts and what not, is what we consider bottom-line acceptable here.'

Rufus says, 'Take for example the Seoni jungle.'

Rufus says, 'Throughout the room descriptions there's two metaphors going on.'

'The first is that the jungle is somehow alive and its own entity, the second is the canopy's allusion to a sea, constantly flowing and changing but somehow remaining the same,' Rufus says.

'It's rare you find that on any other mud, and in fact, one that I play quite often for pure enjoyment, I'm forced to run around with brief on because the room descriptions are so bad,' Rufus says. '=P.'

'Amen..' Jairo says.

Densiva says to Rufus, 'Rengadeoutpost?'

'So no, it's not just a matter of getting an area up and running and connecting it to the mud, new areas quite go through a very rigorous Quality Assurance process before they go in,' Rufus says.

Rufus nods his agreement with Densiva.

Jairo ahhs in understanding

Ocea raises his hand.

Rufus says, 'But, as my job as final coordinator/evaluator of these areas, I find it often difficult to go to a builder who I know has put in many long hard hours and saying 'nope, this isn't right', 'change this, change that' blah.'

'Yes?' Rufus says to Ocea.

'Do the places have to be baised on actual events or can they be on somtething out of a book,' Ocea says.

Rufus says, 'We allow a little leway there...'

Jairo says, 'The further in the past, the more leeway...'

'What about something out of a dragon lance bood,' Ocea says.

Agrippa shudders.

TerrorSpawn shakes his head.

Rufus says, 'First time builders, we generally require their area to be more historical based, just to get grounded in what we are about.'

Myriad raises her hand.

Drax goes EEK! in distress.

'No, Legend is primarily historical, and historical fiction is acceptable,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Beowulf, the Seoni Jungle, Casablanca all have roots in the real world.'

'Yes?' Rufus says to Myriad.

Beam raises his hand.

Myriad says, 'Is there a list of proposals that have been accepted to be worked on that players who want to create a proposal could see to ensure no duplication.'

Jairo says, 'Or rejected, to avoid wasting time?'

Myriad nods solemnly.

Rufus says to Myriad, 'I'll get to that in a bit, when I start talking about the proposal process, but generally, I keep a list.'

'Welli was wondering about a place for mages to go that could benifit their skill and allow them to become better,' Ocea says.

'The best idea is to come to talk to me about your idea beforehand,' Rufus says.

'There are a lot of areas already like that,' Rufus says to Ocea.

Rufus says to Beam, 'Yes?'

'Would a civil war area be possible?' Beam says. 'A couple of new builders?'

'I've discussed at length the idea of doing an area like that myself in conjunction with Ptah,' Rufus says to Beam. 'That is something we both feel that even if it was not he nor I being a part of that it would have to be an experienced builder.'

'But then again, anything's possible, don't let me discourage the creative processes we have in potential future builders,' Rufus says. '=P.'

Beam says, 'Yah um.'

Jairo says, 'Have areas ever been removed?'

Beam says, 'Could a couple of new builders do it with you two overseeing it?'

Rufus says, 'As far as I know, no, no areas have ever been removed for any lengthy period of time.'

'About a place where mages could learn more to hon their skills,' Ocea says.

'That's possible,' Rufus says.

Rufus waves his hands madly and asks everyone to slow down.

'I would love to do something with the civil war,' Beam says.

'I'd be more than happy to discuss this with you sometime, but I really do need to get moving in this lecture,' Rufus says to Ocea.

Ocea models his equipment.

Ocea nods solemnly.

'Sorry,' Ocea says.

Rufus says, 'Okay, speaking of books, other areas that have been discussed have been doing an area based on Alice in Wonderland, but again, these are things that we generally only give to someone to do for their 2nd area.'

Rufus says, 'As it is more difficult to keep the flavor of legend in a different context.'

Rufus says, 'New areas going in are a process of learning for new immortals, and even learning for old immortals.'

'Every area is generally evaluated at a few different points in its evolution, but when an area goes 'beta' that is to say that it is 'done' and ready to be broken by playtesters, we generally have 4-5 immortals read through/,' Rufus says.

'Play through/critique each area,' Rufus says.

'Do they use mortal characters for that job?' Jairo says.

Rufus says, 'The reason we have immortals only play through these is not, by the way, to gain an upper hand on any of the new stuff going in, but rather because of the nature of the game we're building.'

'On a totally separate mud, yes,' Rufus says to Jairo.

Jairo thanks Rufus heartily.

'Let me take a step back and let you know what we're doing here,' Rufus says.

'We are building a mud (well DUH!), but primarily due to the limitations of our system, we are putting multiple players in a single player game,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Quests have a logical order to them, a set of steps, once one person figures it out, everyone's going to know it soon enough.'

'We have rules about immorts revealing things about quests, and this was made clear(er) and a hard and fast rule when we went through the immortal restructuring,' Rufus says.

'So we use the talents of these individuals to make sure what we deliver when we bring an area online is both a quality, balanced, and fun area to play in,' Rufus says.

Ocea raises his hand.

Beam raises his hand.

'On occassion, and I ran into this recently, we do employ mort testers because we have a need to,' Rufus says. 'I couldn't assemble a group of 10 level 50's all from the immorts at one time to test the shadowlands, so I had to use a few morts.'

Rufus says to Ocea, 'Yes?'

'Have you ever thought of putting in places for a mage and one for fighters?' Ocea says.

'Well, we try to make areas as versatile as possible, building more towards a larger appeal,' Rufus says to Ocea. 'I think many areas on the mud appeal to small groups of say a single mage and a single fighter.'

Rufus says to Beam, 'Yes?'

Beam says, 'I've noticed a few room acts seem to be set to go off quite often, could they be set to work as triggers or another way to be less spammy?'

Beam says, 'In the new areas i noticed this.'

'That's actually just a matter of changing a few numbers,' Rufus says. 'I think that's a backlash to many of the areas currently in the mud that don't have those features.'

Rufus says, 'I can see where that can be problematic, but frankly, areas like the carnival, I think the 'spamminess' really adds to the area, because it conveys the hectic sort of atmosphere of the carnival.'

Myriad nods her agreement with Rufus.

TerrorSpawn nods his agreement with Rufus.

Mice nods her agreement with Rufus.

'Tara can be spammy too, but it varies,' Beam says.

'So as far as new areas going in, the actual building, the demands of our quality of acceptance is very very time consuming, and hence we aren't putting areas in weekly,' Rufus says. 'Also the process of testing can take weeks days or months.'

Rufus says, 'Depending on how much needs to get done.'

Ocea raises his hand.

Rufus says to Ocea, 'Yes?'

Ocea says, 'Will there be a place that one particular group can go to learn better spells or figghting skills , and have to work really hard to get there, but once they are there they can return when ever?'

'Like increase mind without eq ,' Ocea says.

'Or strength too,' Ocea says.

'Actually, the area I've recently finished is a place where people will need to develop entirely new combat techniques in order to survive...' Rufus says to Ocea.

TerrorSpawn shudders.

Siachet gulps nervously.

Virago grins evilly.

'Which area is that?' Drax says.

Densiva says, 'Bummer.'

Ryssa grins evilly.

'But as far as increasing stats without equipment, I don't think we areat any time soon going to change from our current eq dependencies,' Rufus says to Ocea.

Rufus says to Drax, 'The shadowlands, an area based on the celtic legends of cuchullain.'

Agrippa raises his hand.

Drax nods solemnly.

TerrorSpawn shivers uncomfortably.

Rufus says to Agrippa, 'Yes?'

'Are stat quests not allowed for new areas?' Agrippa says to Rufus.

'I'm not going to say 'no' to that question, but new stat quests are going to be rare if any, and probably more difficult,' Rufus says.

Jairo says, 'Is being a builder the only way to become immort? I mean, it seems if you opened up immorthood to those fools who wanted to playtest an area, and not BUILD an area, you wouldn't be so short handed...'

Ryssa comforts Jairo.

'I tend to try not to turn my back on any new ideas,' Rufus says.

'Well, in the computer game industry, like I work in now, testers are generally the people who play a lot of games and are new to design,' Rufus says to Jairo. 'Ptah kaige and I all feel that it should be the more experienced builders who test areas.'

'There are other ways to immort, but not in building unless you intend to build an area,' Rufus says.

Jairo says, 'So each new immort builds one or two areas, then 'graduates' to playtesting? You're building your stable inr everse of my plan...'

'What areas can you immort in or should i ask later,' Ocea says.

Jairo says, 'Er, idea..'

'But one does playtest the area they are building?' Beam says.

Jairo says, 'Not after spending 36 hours without sleep coding it.'

'No, we encourage experienced builders to continue building,' Rufus says to Jairo. 'Although we generally require that they be involved in evaluation quite a bit.'

'Of course people playtest their own areas, usually long before actual playtesting starts, each of our immortals has free access to a testmud where they can load their areas at any time,' Rufus says. 'And personally, I have my own server so I.'

'Generally tend not to bother other imms with it unless I'm doing updates,' Rufus says.

'Durn strlen limits..' Jairo says.

Beam raises his hand.

'Okay, lemme go back to area maintainance (I can't spell, which is one reason I have someone else check areas for spelling) since you guys have seen a lot of that lately,' Rufus says.

'Okay last question for a bit,' Rufus says to Beam.

Beam says, 'Do feel the changes to wells and sanc rings have made the mud harder overall, and is this the goal?'

'Or are things gonna be adjusted more or...?' Beam says.

'Okay, let me use that to slide into the next part... maintainance of areas and overall design,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'First off, I'll say right now that I think what we did with sanctuary and the wells was beneficial to the game as a whole, although it threw many people from their normal frame of gameplay.'

'Those two factors gave the ability for characters to perform five to ten times what they honestly should have been,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Many of you who play other muds realize that very very little is given to the concept of 'this mob cons as tougher than hell' 'oh he's a piece of cake'.'

'We've always tried to make this a balanced mud (and it's still not there) where a level 25 character facing a level 25 mob solo will stand a 50/50 chance of making it through the fight alive,' Rufus says.

'Same goes for a level 1 character, same for a level 50,' Rufus says.

'Frankly, and well, I've been guilty of this, no SINGLE character should have EVER been able to solo the vampire, minos, the octopus, herne, the bane sidhe, oonagh, finarra...' Rufus says.

'The wells and sanctuary have quite allowed this,' Rufus says.

'As has sniper,' Rufus says.

Jairo says, 'Stayying alive throught the fight, or WINNING the fight?'

'Winning the fight,' Rufus says to Jairo. 'If you fight a mob of your level, you should die 50% of the time.'

Jairo says, 'Or flee, I hope?'

Siachet blinks.

'Oh how fun,' Myriad says.

BlahSnarto pulls out an umbrella to protect himself from Rufus's acking.

Rufus says, 'As much as it seems like I tend to want to push legend towards 'group play,' I'm not really trying to do that.'

Densiva says, 'That would suck.'

Rufus says to Myriad, 'Well, honestly, it will never get that way.'

BlahSnarto nods his agreement with Densiva.

'Its not so bad sometimes,' Ocea says.

Rufus says, 'The reason behind that is that you all have a brain behind the keyboard, the mobs have a bunch of 1's and 0's.'

'I dont think everyone can group with someone all the time ,' BlahSnarto says to Rufus.

Myriad thinks humans are basically composed of 1 and 0's too

Rufus says, 'If all mobs were like the dhurtah, we might have that 50/50 ratio, but we'd also have about 90% cpu usage.'

Rufus grins evilly.

'But very BIG 1's and 0's?' Jairo says.

Myriad grins evilly.

BlahSnarto giggles at Jairo.

TerrorSpawn smirks.

Ryssa grins evilly at Jairo.. wonder what she's thinking...

Beam says, 'Well things are harder now, we could afford some powerful new eq.'

'I have played on, oh...' Rufus says. 'At least 15 other muds, 5 I've max levelled on and actually managed to become a reasonable player. All of them nearly required groupin, bar none, and much larger groups that we find on legend.'

'I'll cover eq in a moment,' Rufus says to Beam.

Beam nods solemnly.

'When I solo on I'm lucky if I can kill something 10-15 levels less than myself,' Rufus says. 'If I'm in a group, I can rack up millions of exp in a night, hands down.'

'Do you know how hard it is for a shy guy like myself to find someone to group with?' Jairo says. 'Especially since I have basically no clue what I'm doing, most of the time?'

'I don't want to see legend fall into that trap, but I don't want to entirely remove that aspect of a mud either,' Rufus says.

Ocea says, 'Small groups arent that bad though.'

LadyAce raises her hand.

'Well, I'm not qualified to tell you how to make friends... but talking to people just about the game is one way... if you're in a group, manage to ge pulled into one, let them know that you need to be taken by the hand a little,' Rufus says to Jairo.

'Most people are fairly understanding,' Rufus says.

Rufus says to LadyAce, 'Yes?'

'I just wanted to add, here, since there are some good folks around: I put up with borderline sexual harrassment to get accepted into groups,' LadyAce says. 'I wish more folks were willing to group with newbies.'

Rufus smiles at LadyAce.

LadyAce blushes bright red.

Rufus says, 'I'm going to try and get back to the building aspect, but yes, grouping does have a lot to do with my thinking on new areas.'

'Newbie helping being totally off-topic, but i suggest you talk to the newbie helpers.. part of their role is to help you become involved with the social life of legend,' Sabella says.

TerrorSpawn nods his agreement with LadyAce.

'Sorry, pet peeve. I've played on many MUDs, never been able to group well...go on..I'm sorry..' Jairo says.

'I think the solo aspect of this mud has always been here, and always will be, I'm not going to let it disappear,' Rufus says to Jairo.

Jairo sighs in relief.

Densiva says, 'Hah!'

'But expect a 325K mob to take 3 accomplished level 50's to kill, or at least give 2 a really good run for their money,' Rufus says.

'Hummm, Wells, Sanc's ?' BlahSnarto says.

TerrorSpawn nods his agreement with Rufus.

Solomon says to BlahSnarto, 'Been there, done that.'

'The wells created an imbalance in a few ways,' Rufus says.

'Wells and sancs helped groups just as much as soloists :p,' Gail says.

Rufus says, 'First, wells totally eliminated a class of character on legend.'

'So make sancs group person casts it, the other receives it, and they need to stay grouped for it to work...' Jairo says.

'Which class?' Ryssa says.

BlahSnarto says, 'Dont you think thats the players choice not the immorts.'

'That's very diku'ish, and I frankly can't stand it,' Rufus says to Jairo.

Jairo says, 'Surgeons?'

'The healers,' Densiva says.

Agrippa claps for Rufus approvingly.

'Ah,' Jairo says. 'Okay, never mind.'

BlahSnarto might be repeating stuff already covered

Solomon says, 'If you have a healer, you don't need a sanc or a well.'

'Surgeons and poulticers,' Rufus says.

TerrorSpawn shakes his head.

Ryssa nods solemnly.

Jairo says, 'But if you have a well, you need never become a and demand.'

'They were still used, but frankly no one really needed them,' Rufus says.

Ryssa nods her agreement with Rufus.

TerrorSpawn says, 'It wasn't like you could just run to a well from Dis.'

Rufus says, 'I remember being in groups where the tank would literally take a 15 minute trip out of the depths of hell to go get a heal and come back.'

'It's not really that tough,' Rufus says to TerrorSpawn.

TerrorSpawn blinks.

'But time consuming,' TerrorSpawn says.

'Secondly, they provided a means by which many mobs which should not be killed so easily very easy to kill because of their proximity to a healing resource,' Rufus says.

'This may or may not be a shock, but with the wells gone, the shopkeepers in tara really aren't worth it for the damage they do,' Rufus says.

Jairo gasps in astonishment.

Rufus says, 'As for the sanctuary issue... let me paint a little picture.'

'So your trying to say the healing class ,' BlahSnarto says.

'Save even ,' BlahSnarto says.

Rufus says to BlahSnarto, 'In a way yes, more or less giving them a sliver of a fighting chance.'

'Trying to improve the group dynamics, by having formed groups need a healer..means you can GAIN XP w/o being a fighter! oooooh..' Jairo says.

Solomon nods his agreement with Jairo.

TerrorSpawn smirks.

'Donelan does it ,' BlahSnarto says.

Ryssa cheers for Rufus - huzzah!

Densiva nods his agreement with BlahSnarto.

'Also I have always thought that the number of wells and their respective abilities were too powerful, and I thought there would be some room for some interesting things done with the wells,' Rufus says.

'And quite well i might add,' BlahSnarto says.

Rufus nods his agreement with BlahSnarto.

'Donelan goes to dis and back without a weapon,' TerrorSpawn says.

'I *try* to do it too,' Ryssa says.

Rufus says, 'Anway, back to the sanctuary issue...'

Ryssa grins evilly.

Rufus calls for silence and reminds you that if you wish to ask a question, use the 'raise self' social to raise your hand.

BlahSnarto says, 'Everyone else takes the damage :).'

Ryssa nods her agreement with BlahSnarto.

Rufus says, 'The way sanc functions, or functioned, was to make everything except for spells do 1/2 damage to the person affected with sanc.'

Jairo raises an eyebrow inquiringly.

'That is to say that it literally doubled your hit points,' Rufus says.

TerrorSpawn nods his agreement with Rufus.

Jairo gives a long, low whistle. The things you learn.

Rufus says, 'The fact that our hit table is *somewhat* messed up, a level 50 was pretty much, for all intents and purposes, a level 100 character.'

Rufus says, 'This showed its ugly head most often in pkill where 1 level of difference between two players wasn't a challenge, but often a complete and utter slaughter.'

Rufus says, 'A level 42 character was a level 42, a level 43 who had just enough rent, was functionally a level 86 character as far as hps went.'

Jairo says, 'Did you make those numbers up, or was that the real breakpoint?'

'Needless to say, falling out of this, mobs are based on a standard hit point rolling scheme and sanc isn't a 'standard' for mobs like it is on most muds,' Rufus says. 'So mobs didn't really stand a chance.'

Myriad raises her hand.

'I could have very well gone through and given sanc to a ton of mobs, or doubled their hps, or whatever, but that starts on the path of this escalation in power that you see on so many other muds,' Rufus says.

Rufus says to Myriad, 'Yes?'

Myriad says, 'When you are building an area who gets to set the stats for the MOBs there.'

'The builder, based on guidelines in our documentation,' Rufus says.

Ocea nods his agreement with Rufus.

Beam says, 'Arent some of the mobs that didnt have sanc too powerful now?'

'Subject to the axe of balance..' Jairo says.

Beam raises his hand.

'Oops,' Beam says.

'The docs however, as many of my builders find out, are merely guidelines, and guidelines of a bare minimum,' Rufus says.

Jairo says, 'That's okay, I forgot too..'

Rufus says to Beam, 'Let me answer that... and the answer is no.'

Myriad raises her hand.

Rufus says, 'I'd say 90% of the mobs that did not have sanctuary before were as close to balanced as we could get, in line with our documentation for mob specifications.'

Rufus says, 'Some are made harder to compensate for items that they may be carrying or roles they perform on quests.'

'Yes?' Rufus says to Myriad.

'Do you get these guidelines once the proposal is finished or as you develop it?' Myriad says.

Rufus says, 'Docs are made available when the immortal comes on board, and begins building their area or working on a revision.'

'So after the proposal is accepted...' Myriad says.

Beam raises his hand.

'And in fact, I've been given full permission to release any information (verbally, I'm not going to make our docs public domain) pertaining to the documentation,' Rufus says.

Rufus says to Beam, 'Yes?'

Beam says, 'Accepting proposals now?'

'I'll get to that,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Back to the sanctuary issue... part of it was a pkill aspect, the part, my part in it was looking at the mud as a whole and seeing it go in a direction I didn't want it to go.'

'I could have made everything more difficult, but then those without sanc wouldn't stand a chance,' Rufus says. 'Sanc used to be the exception, not the rule, and it was teetering dangerously close to being the other way.'

BugsBunny raises his hand.

Rufus says, 'When I step back and look at the game as a whole, one of the main problems I encountered was 'how do I make this challenging' and to have to continually compensate for the issue of the ever present sanctuary was a big big headache.'

'Yes?' Rufus says to BugsBunny.

Solomon raises his hand.

BugsBunny says, 'I would like to go on to other steps, doc.'

'We're getting there, bugs, I have to cover everything...' Rufus says.

'Yes?' Rufus says to Solomon.

'Did you have to design around the sanc when building the shadowlands?' Solomon says. 'Did you have to rework it when you removed sanc?'

BugsBunny says, 'Ok, doc.'

Beam nods his agreement with Solomon.

Rufus says, 'It took me approx the last two days of solid work on the shadowlands to remove the importance of sanctuary.'

'About 35 hours worth of solid building,' Rufus says.

'Whew,' Solomon says.

'With an area that took 2 weeks to build,' Rufus says.

'And the other new areas?' Beam says.

Jairo sweats profusely. He was kidding about 36 hours w/o sleep...

Ryssa smiles at Daer.

'That wasn't that much of a problem,' Rufus says.

'I speak of this escallation as a bad thing, but that's entirely what the shadowlands is, overpowered mobs meant for overpowered PC's, the other areas fit well within the specifications of a universal and balanced area,' Rufus says.

'It was really minor fixing the sanc issues even in existing areas, I did it in an afternoon,' Rufus says.

Jairo says, 'Then it was necessary. It took the rat turds before the immos found a way to get rid of leveling items..'

'Why did you make the shadowlands ?' BlahSnarto says to Rufus.

'A few reasons,' Rufus says to BlahSnarto. '1) legend lacks an area of highly congested high level mobs, 2) I heard lots of complaints from 'bored level 50's', 3) I wanted a completely agressive and dangerous area, and 4) I wanted an area who played.'

Rufus says to BlahSnarto, 'Off the idea of the hack-n-slash aspect of this mud.'

Siachet raises her hand.

'It took a lot of looking to find an area that would fit in to what I wanted to do,' Rufus says.

BlahSnarto says to Rufus, 'I dont know of many that would venture there .. .'

'But I think I made the right choice,' Rufus says.

Densiva never will

BlahSnarto says, 'Whats the point .'

'I held 3 conferences on the fly about the area and revealed quite a bit about it,' Rufus says to BlahSnarto. 'A lot of players were very enthusiastic about seeing it in.'

Rufus says, 'Okay, let me give you some general numbers.'

Beam raises his hand.

Densiva says, 'It dosnt sound lik any fun :p.'

BlahSnarto says, 'Never mind .. im messing the conference up .. ill shut up .'

Rufus says, 'And I don't feel bad about saying this, because many people aren't going to see a lot of this.'

TerrorSpawn thinks he'll stick with his bored illusions until the skillwipe.

Rufus says, 'I built the area intended for a group of 8 to 10 level 50's, about 1/2 healers.'

Candide looks happy.

BlahSnarto gasps at Rufus.

Jairo faints.

Daer says, 'Yay! grouping :).'

TerrorSpawn nods solemnly.

Densiva comforts Daer.

BlahSnarto pukes.

Ryssa nods her agreement with Daer.

Myriad says, 'And the 5 dts serve what purpose??'

'In the course of the 50 rooms (it's literally 1/2 an area) it has approximately 15 million exp, a fair share of gold and quite a bit of rather nice eq,' Rufus says.

Siachet giggles.

TerrorSpawn blinks.

Siachet drools contentedly.

'To keep you using those LOOK commands..' Jairo says.

Daer says, 'I think if the stuff inside is worth it all people will go and find the time to get a group together.'

Rufus says, 'It also has a quest (all areas are required to have one) and a few other nice featurs.'

Densiva laughs at Siachet.

'Im not ,' BlahSnarto says to Daer.

'There are no true DT's in the area,' Rufus says to Myriad.

TerrorSpawn grins evilly.

Jairo says, 'I'll go, if only cuz I want to get every whois string on this MUD...someday...'

Densiva is completely boggled.

Myriad says, 'What does that mean?'

BlahSnarto says, 'Operative word TRUE.'

Rufus says, 'It means there are ways to bypass them.'

Daer giggles at Jairo.

'But don't expect it to be easy,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'There isn't anything easy about this area.'

Sabella says, 'Not every area is going to be for every player, you know.. for me, shadowlands was the most fun i've had in ages.'

TerrorSpawn shivers uncomfortably.

'But anyway, let me get back on track a bit,' Rufus says.

'Like typing ex in every zone, and so on and so forth...yeah yeah,' Densiva says.

'Oh, look at da perty room descriptions ,' BlahSnarto says.

BlahSnarto drools contentedly.

Siachet drools contentedly.

BlahSnarto giggles at Siachet.

Candide says, annoyed by something, 'Cut the spam, please.'

Beam raises his hand.

'Overall design is my primary concern on Legend,' Rufus says. 'The sanc issue had been debated for quite a long time, I listened to players on it, other immorts listened to players. I can safely say that over 75% of the comments I got on sanc.'

'And the wells were disfavorable,' Rufus says.

TerrorSpawn nods his agreement with Rufus.

Jairo cheers wildly!

'Personally, as a player, I liked them,' Rufus says. 'As a game designer, I think they're very difficult to balance and don't fit into what I consider legend is.'

Siachet raises her hand.

'Yes?' Rufus says to Beam.

'I played dragon swords which suffered from real short fights, removing sanc and damage caps will make the fights very short now wont it?' Beam says.

Densiva nods his agreement with Beam.

'Not if you're fighting Dis and have about 8 healers with you,' TerrorSpawn says.

'I'm not qualified to say, really, since I haven't seen the mud without the damage cap,' Rufus says. 'I'm assuming there's going to be quite a bit of rewriting on mobs parts because there are mobs that are so limited by the damcap now it's not funn.'

Rufus says, 'Funny.'

BlahSnarto shakes his head.

'Yes?' Rufus says to Siachet.

Daer shudders.

'Since spells were the only thing not affected by sanc...hasven't mages lost one of their advantages..especially 3rd circle mages against non-mages?' Siachet says to Rufus.

Rufus remind you to use the 'raise self' social if you want to speak.

'Not a building question, but I'll answer,' Gail says. 'The # of *hits* you get in a round is going down, so you're unlikely to max out the current damcap a lot, if ever.'

'But mobs will?' Beam says.

'I'll answer more later,' Gail says.

'From a pkill perspective, that was one of the hotly discussed issues,' Rufus says to Siachet. 'I can only speak from the building side tonight, really, and I made concessions in that by not *quite* doubling the hps for the mobs who.'

Rufus says, 'Previously had sanctuary.'

TerrorSpawn blinks.

'On to other game design issues that I'm sure you all are eager to hear,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Equipment.'

Rufus shudders.

Rufus says, 'I utterly loath this topic, but I'm going to tackle it.'

Rufus says, 'Let me start by saying that we are not going to radically change the way we do equipment anytime in the near future (skill trees is going to change the way it functions, but not our guidelines most likely).'

Rufus says, 'Let me also say that if I had to do it over, things would be a lot different.'

'Currently, an item that has a +5 overall stat bonus is considered 'the norm',' Rufus says.

'That should have never been,' Rufus says. 'Something that was +8 -3 minimum rent should have been the *rare* exception. The quest items, the items on really tough mobs.'

Rufus says, 'Unfortunately, I have to work around that now.'

'The problems it creates are, and I hear this quite often, 'But it's a quest, can't this item be just _one_ point out of spec?',' Rufus says.

BlahSnarto raises his hand.

'My answer is, and will always be, no,' Rufus says.

Rufus says to BlahSnarto, 'Yes?'

'DO you plan on being here for wahile, I mean to drastically change the mud to your ideas ?' BlahSnarto says to Rufus.

Solomon grins evilly.

Spite giggles.

Densiva rolls around on the ground with laughter.

BlahSnarto says to Rufus, 'What if you get Hit by a car ?'

'No, and I don't think I'm changing the mud based on my ideas or my ideals,' Rufus says. 'My pace comes quite a bit from what Ptah and Kaige had in mind.'

'Who will continue your legacy ?' BlahSnarto says.

Daer raises his hand.

Densiva snickers at BlahSnarto nastily.

Rufus says, '99.9% of my ideas get filtered through Kaige on a daily basis at lunch.'

'Bah, i'd say for the most part most of the imms agree with ruf on gp, and the imps surely do,' Sabella says.

BlahSnarto ponders Rufus's existence.

'What if the Machine the mud is run on suddenly Disappears ?' BlahSnarto says.

Rufus says, 'I'd say a good 30-40% of my ideas come directly from players, and I often query opinions of players on most of my other ideas.'

Myriad raises her hand.

BlahSnarto says to Rufus, 'Ahh ok .. IC .'

Rufus giggles.

BlahSnarto pets Rufus lovingly.

'I'm not up here dictating what goes where...' Rufus says. 'I don't run like that. I make a lot of suggestions. If you ask many of the builders, about 1/2 of my critiques to their areas which i do line by line are suggestions not orders.'

Rufus lags.

Myriad says, 'If you build an area and have an item in it can you put any combo of stats as long as they are spec on the item?'

'That is true, to a limit,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'As a general guideline, a slot that is repeated (that is to say, you can wear 2 in that slot such as neck, ear, held, etc) have a max of +8/-3.'

Rufus says, 'Single slots can go to +10/-5.'

'No single item can boost a stat over a total of +5,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Big surprise there.'

Daer raises his hand.

'We have on occasion made exceptions to these, but they are few,' Rufus says.

Myriad nods solemnly.

'Yes?' Rufus says to Daer.

Daer says to Rufus, 'What about timed items?'

Daer points at an indulgence for major sins.

Rufus says, 'I'm currently working on some major revisions where that is concerned, and the first docs expansion just went out with how timed affects hit/mana/move/ac boosting stat items.'

'Your going to find that either these items will have lowered rent, or will be allowed to exceed certain maximums set for permanent items,' Rufus says.

Daer nods solemnly.

'Okay, let me backtrack, nod your head if you would like to know how we establish rent on an item...' Rufus says.

Solomon nods solemnly.

Siachet nods solemnly.

Candide nods solemnly.

Virago nods solemnly.

Daer nods solemnly.

Ryssa nods solemnly.

Paribus nods solemnly.

Keyzer nods solemnly.

Myriad shows her assent

Agrippa refuses to nod and conform, you sheep.

'Okay, I used to know specific numbers of factors, but I'd probably be wrong if I blurted it out... so I'll just say 'there's many',' Rufus says.

'And I'm going to begin by saying that 'the only specifications we have for items is the minimum rent they must be',' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Therefore if a builder so desired, they could make any item rent for 3billion and it would still be 'in spec' there is no top limit to rent.'

'Rent is based first on the item type,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'What the item is.'

Rufus says, 'This leads us to a plethora of different tables and charts, most of which are unwritten, but will be soon.'

'Let me start with armor, since it's one of the more complex,' Rufus says.

'Armor has 5 factors in determining its rent,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'The first is how much AC does it provide.'

Rufus says, 'The second is what is it made out of.'

'The third is what slot does it go in (this determines the first, and how much AC can be applied),' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'The fourth is the flags the item has.'

Rufus says, 'And the fifth is the stat bonuses it gives.'

'Okay, for reference, for every point of cloth AC, it costs 1 gp,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'For every point of metal AC, it's 100.'

Rufus says, 'For every point of leather, 9.'

'And every point of precious material, it's 200 (which differs from our docs, which currently say 400),' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'This is for "normal" ac of an item, that is to say to the max normal ac that a slot can give.'

'Any ac that is provided beyond what the max slot is allowed, is considered to be a stat bonus,' Rufus says.

Rufus probably just lost a few people.

Candide raises his hand.

Rufus says, 'Suffice to say, figuring rent is not the easiest thing in the world to do =P.'

BlahSnarto waves his weapon in front of his own face, looking a little sleepy.

Rufus says, 'Hang on a sec.'

Rufus says, 'Okay.'

'Anyway the third thing we have a rather nasty chart that tells us how much ac we can provide in a slot,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'That defines the first two.'

Rufus says, 'The fourth are the flags, and some of these get calculated before and some at the total end of figuring rent.'

'If an item happens to be unable to take damage at all, that immediately increases the rent by 1000,' Rufus says.

Myriad raises her hand.

Rufus asks that you keep the spam down, use 'raise self' if you want to speak.

Rufus says, 'Other flags that toy with rent are align restrictions, whether an item is throwable...'

Candide raises his hand.

Rufus says to Myriad, 'Yes?'

Myriad says, 'Is rent figured once the proposal is accepted and building is "officially" begun?'

Rufus says, 'Rent is actually figured at many points, and honestly doesn't have to be done until the very end, I usually request that no rent is given in proposals at all.'

Myriad says, 'Whew.'

Rufus says, 'The final factor is stat bonuses, and this is when it *really* gets confusing.'

Rufus says, 'Let me start out with the 6 primary stats.'

'Each plus to str, dex, con, mind, spr, or perc is 225 rent,' Rufus says.

'Each minus is -72 rent,' Rufus says.

'Er 82 typo sorry,' Rufus says.

'Prestige is the most useless as far as stat boost on gear because 1) each +point of prestige is 10 rent, and 2) each - point is -5 rent,' Rufus says. 'You don't gain anything out of it, and actually lose when it's - prestige.'

Rufus says, 'But prestige has no limit to which it can be adjusted, which is why we have items in the game that are +25 prestige with no minuses.'

'Hitroll and damroll are figured independantly from stats, in most cases,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Each one being 1125 for 1 point +, and whatever 5x82 is for -.'

'410 for each point of -,' Rufus says.

Beam raises his hand.

Myriad raises her hand.

Rufus says, 'Damroll and hitroll are allowed to a max of +3 on an item currently, though no item in the game has these bonuses this high, yet.'

Rufus says to Beam, 'Yes?'

'Rent of spells on eq next?' Beam says.

Rufus says, 'Not even close to that yet.'

'Will get there tho,' Rufus says.

Beam giggles.

'Yes?' Rufus says to Myriad.

'Do you have a tutor session on this for new builders?' Myriad says. '*boggle*.'

'I try to make myself available for builders as much as possible,' Rufus says to Myriad.

Myriad nods solemnly.

Sandra says, 'We drive him crazy, he's being nice.'

TerrorSpawn smirks.

Rufus says to Ocea, 'Yes?'

Myriad now knows why rufus's title usually indicates cranky.

Ocea says, 'Will there be a staff that will help in casting spells?'

Densiva giggles.

Rufus says, 'I can't answer questions about items that will or will not be in the mud.'

Candide raises his hand.

'Okay, let me finish a bit here and then I'll take some more questions,' Rufus says.

'When you get into establishing other affects like detect invis, detect hidden, fly, etc on items, it can get really ugly, I maintain a personal database of all the affects and their rent based on timed/untimed/etc... builders have,' Rufus says.

'Never seen this and it changes so often I doubt they ever will,' Rufus says. 'Suffice to say that those items are the hardest to predict what the rent will be.'

'I try to make them fair, and when I came on to the staff as the head builder, I vastly reduced the rents of many many many affects,' Rufus says.

'Anything that affects hit points, mana move or ac is evaluated at 150 + per point and I believe 42 per - but I just sent that out so I could be wrong,' Rufus says.

Ocea raises his hand.

Rufus says, 'Okay, candide had a question first.'

Candide says to Rufus, 'Will material factors be removed from rent value when market value is implemented?'

Rufus says, 'No, in fact, what we will be doing is adding an additional field that bases the wealth value of an item separate from its rent.'

Rufus says to Ocea, 'Yes?'

Ocea says, 'I apologise for being a little off the subject, but is it possiblef for you to fgive us any indication on when the skill trees will be in?'

Candide cringes in terror.

Gail says to Ocea, 'NO!'

Daer ducks to the ground.

'As of right now, we do not have a release date,' Rufus says.

Densiva giggles.

Siachet attempts to take cover.

Mara growls at Ocea. Better leave before the fighting starts!

Virago snickers softly.

'Okay, weapons is another thing entirely...' Rufus says.

Ocea says, 'Do you have an aproximaiotn.'

Mara growls at Ocea. Better leave before the fighting starts!

Sandra comforts Ocea.

Virago sighs loudly.

'Weapons have in them the same flags/item stat bonuses/etc affects as everything else,' Rufus says.

Sandra says to Ocea, 'Read the motd please.'

'But they do have the added factors of quality and weapon damage,' Rufus says.

'I'm not going to go into it because I recently added something to the way weapons were done that made the figuring of their rent about 2 pages of complete text,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'But I will say that for each point of quality, you pay 500 rent off the top.'

'That means that any weapon that is q5 will have greater than 2500 rent,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'The max damage a weapon can do in one hit ranges from 18 for 3 max points to 4200 for 20maxdam weapons.'

Rufus says, 'What I added was specifications for weapons to have secondary attack damage types and rents in which case the rent of an item skyrockets.'

'As for beam's question, spells are, as a _guideline_ evaluated at 500 x spell chance x spell level,' Rufus says.

Beam says, 'Like skull staff?'

Rufus says, 'So a level 10 lightning bolt that goes off 25 percent of the time is an additional 1250 rent.'

Beam nods solemnly.

'As a guideline, if some builder came to me with something that did that I'd say up it by at least about 3-4K,' Rufus says.

Ocea raises his hand.

Rufus says, 'Since lightning bolt is a rather powerful spell.'

'Yes?' Rufus says to Ocea.

Ocea says, 'I am sorry do spells cost rent now?'

'Spells don't spells on items do,' Rufus says.

'Yes?' Rufus says to Beam.

Beam says, 'And how are number of charges factored?'

Ocea nods his agreement with Rufus.

Rufus says, 'Wands and staves are figured on a different bases.'

Candide says, 'Err Scrolls?'

'And scrolls as well,' Rufus says.

Rufus tries to remember the formula.

'It's very similar to the weapons formula, but it's 500xspell levelx# of initial charges I believe,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'As a guideline, we adjust it upwards and downwards based on the power of the spell.'

Rufus says, 'Okay, as far as rent on guns, it's figured quite a bit like weapons but a different chart.'

'All other items are often in 'limbo',' Rufus says.

'That means they don't have set rent value,' Rufus says.

'So we tend to make it up on the fly based on what is on the rest of the mud,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Any more questions on objects, or should I move on?'

'Move on,' Myriad says.

Beam raises his hand.

'Yes?' Rufus says to Beam.

'Could an item have +5 stat and charges of a spell?' Beam says.

Rufus says, 'Yes, as they are calculated independantly.'

Beam nods solemnly.

'They are not entirely exclusive, but they *can* be,' Rufus says.

'Some amount of common sense is expected :),' Gail says.

'So you could have an item that was +50hps -30mana, +8dex -3str, +2damroll +1 hitroll, that affected you with see_invis, and also had 5 charges of a level 20 blindness,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'The rent on that would be astronomical.'

Rufus says, 'Okay, let me move on to the proposal process for builders.'

Rufus says, 'Let me start this part by saying that proposing to build here can be a very fun but also a very frustrating process.'

LadyAce nods solemnly.

'You literally get rung through the ringer and sometimes end up getting spit out even after you've revised and revised and revised,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Let me tell you what I look for in an area.'

Rufus says, '1) I look for good writing. Do room descriptions, mob descriptions, item descripts make for an interesting read.'

'2) (and this should really be #1) CAN the area fit into legend, is it historically based enough or grounded in the 'how it was thought to be at the time' theme that legend tries to adhere to,' Rufus says.

'3) Does the area have a 'hook.' that means is there something in the area that sets it apart from all the rest, gives it its own feel, and its own drive,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, '4) is the area cohesive. Does the area seem like it is a piecemeal or a well thought out work?'

'5) Does the person proposing have a sense of game balance,' Rufus says.

'That is one I'm going to linger on for a moment because that is something that's very important to me,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Things I look for under that are realism, an understanding from a game design persective (that means a lot of cool features but things that aren't in there 'just because they would be cool') and what comes back to coherency.'

'I look at each object and mob and act that is proposed and ask myself 'does this fit in this situation',' Rufus says.

Rufus says, '6) I look at it from a 'is this possible' aspect.'

'If you don't mind, I think I'll just use the door,' Sandra mutters as she brushes the dust off. The fireplace vanishes mysteriously soon after she leaves...

'Very few don't pass that because we have a fairly complex acts system by which we can do things,' Rufus says. 'But there have been ideas so radical that no, we litereally coudn't do them.'

'And as much as I hate to say this, I look at the person proposing. I think this is pretty typical of any working environment, but face it, me and the other builders/immorts are going to have to work with this person in a team ,' Rufus says.

'Environment,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'So it has to be someone who knows the game, knows the rules, is someone we can trust and someone we think is mature enough to start and complete not only their dream areas but also other tasks that the builders do.'

'I'm not the only one that decides, all the immortals get to vote on every proposal,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'I'd say probably 90% of proposals that are turned down are turned down on the basis of the proposal, and many of those were more than acceptable, but we were limited on space and had better proposals.'

Myriad raises her hand.

'Yes?' Rufus says to Myriad.

Beam raises his hand.

'How many proposals are turned in/turned down/ accepted?' Myriad says.

Rufus says, 'The last two round we've accepted over 1/2 of the proposals turned in.'

Rufus says, 'Two rounds even.'

Rufus peers at himself myopically.

Rufus says to Beam, 'Yes?'

Beam says, 'Majority or unanimous?'

Beam says, 'And anyone get veto power?'

Rufus says, 'I'd say most of the turn downs are majority but some have been really close, and yes, ptah and kaige always have veto power, and I have the right to refuse to bring an immort I don't feel I can work with under me.'

Rufus says, 'But I haven't encountered that yet.'

Beam nods solemnly.

Siachet raises her hand.

Rufus says to Siachet, 'Yes?'

'What do you mean by 'how much space you have?' Siachet says to Rufus. 'What limits the number of areas being worked on?'

'Not limits in that sense, I have a LOT of people I need to manage, and new builders take quite a bit of time,' Rufus says. 'I establish a rough number of 'slots' open bassed on how many I think I can handle at the time, trainingwise.'

Siachet nods solemnly.

Myriad raises her hand.

'I say 'rough number' because I believe the last time I said I would take two and ended up taking four,' Rufus says.

Siachet nods solemnly.

'The previous I had said four and we only took two or soemthing like that,' Rufus says.

Rufus says to Myriad, 'Yes?'

Myriad says, 'Is this a full time job for you or is this just done on your free time *just curious*?'

Gail says, 'We like to pretend we do it in our free time.'

'Heh, well, this is what i do in my spare time but when work gets slow or boring, I do this stuff,' Rufus says. 'I probably spend at least 30 hours doing work work here a week.'

Myriad nods solemnly.

Candide rolls around on the ground with laughter.

Rufus says, 'Be that answering questions, running things like this, working on new areas, evaluation other areas, scheduling, planning reworks of areas.'

Rufus says, 'Rewriting docs.'

Rufus raises his eyebrow at Candide.

You nod agreement with him.

Rufus says, 'Lately I've been putting about 60 hours a week into work which is why if you see me sometimes I look like a puff-eyed fish.'

Siachet comforts Rufus.

Beam says, 'The place you work considers this good experience?'

Rufus says, 'Heh, um... let's not go there.'

Myriad giggles.

Daer giggles.

Beam smiles happily.

'My RL job, the one I get paid for, is also a computer game designer on a multiplayer game, but I try to keep my ideas for each very very very separate,' Rufus says.

Sabella says, 'I wouldn't count on it for jobs, most places don't take "volunteer" work as seriously as paid, and unless you're *specifically* going into on-line gaming stuff..'

Rufus says, 'And ask gail, I tend to stick my nose into all aspects of legend, like currently I'm working on a few coding projects and getting a few more as soon as she figgers out what needs to be done, I've been helping choc out in admin lately.'

Rufus looks up into the sky and ponders.

'I tend to keep busy,' Rufus says.

Rufus giggles.

Rufus says, 'But anyway, any more questions concerning proposals?'

Rufus will allow the shake social if you don't have any.

Pug raises his hand.

'Yes?' Rufus says to Pug.

Pug says, 'What's the "proper" way to submit one, following the instructions on the web site page?'

'Yes, pretty much,' Rufus says. 'Contact me also and get a doc from me (though you usually have to remind me to send it about 15 times).'

'And "when" do you accept them too...' Myriad says.

'Appologees if this was already covered earlier,' Pug says.

'We will announce when we are accepting proposals, but I encourage people to stop by and talk to me about ideas they have,' Rufus says.

Myriad nods solemnly.

Daer raises his hand.

'Worst case scenario is that you go out and do a proposal get it all polished and turn it in and it is so far from what we want that we turn it down nearly immediately,' Rufus says.

'Yes?' Rufus says to Daer.

Daer says, 'Do proposals usually get accepted and then things in them change or do they stay almost always the same.'

'90% of the time a fair number of things change, usually on the builders part when the realize exactly what they can do with our system,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'We accept every proposal under a blanket of 'this is your first area and you will receive guidance' but I've found that the immortals we've picked have needed very little to produce quality areas.'

Gail says, 'I at least got more ideas as I built, too.'

Rufus nudges Gail.

'And when is nepal gonna be done??!?!?' Rufus says to Gail.

Rufus giggles.

Gail says to Rufus, 'After skilltrees.'

Rufus won't have a playerfile after he logs off now...

Sabella is ending up simplifying.

Rufus says, 'I was tempted to put sabella's proposal as the sample proposal... it was 44 pages, approx 144K filesize.'

Myriad giggles.

Rufus says, 'That's bigger than some of our area files.'

Siachet faints.

Leila giggles.

LadyAce looks up into the sky and ponders.

Candide raises his hand.

'But we'd scare people off,' Rufus says.

Daer chortles with amusement.

'Basically what she did was guarantee that if we didn't immort her it was because we didn't like her... and well, you see, she's immort'd so... I guess we do,' Rufus says.

Rufus ruffles Sabella's hair playfully.

'Yes?' Rufus says to Candide.

Myriad giggles.

Candide says to Rufus, 'I've heard of limits on numbre of rooms -- is there a limit to memory usage?'

Rufus says, 'Yes and no.'

'When we put kheldar's area in here soon we're going to need to redefine some of the memory usage in the code to accept that, but no, the limit to number of rooms/mobs/objs is based more on ,' Rufus says.

'An accounting and game balance thing than anything else,' Rufus says.

Gail peers at Rufus, looking him up and down.

Candide says, 'Accounting?'

'Redefine memory usage in the code?' Gail says.

Myriad stands up.

'It's easy to keep track of room 100 at a time,' Rufus says.

Rufus says to Gail, 'We'll need to up the string space from 3.5 mil to 3.75 mil.'

'Oh,' Gail says. 'Ok.'

Rufus says, 'His area will exceed 3.5 mil.'

'Any more questions on proposing?' Rufus says.

Daer shakes his head.

'Any more questions about building in general?' Rufus says.

Beam cheers for Kheldar - huzzah!

'Any suggestions on quests?' Candide says.

'Quests...' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'For proposals?'

'If you want me to drool develop an idea for a quest that requires multiple people working together to finish,' Rufus says.

'Yes, guidelines, do's, don'ts,' Candide says.

'That's a BIG plus,' Rufus says.

Gail sniffs sadly.

Gail had one.

'Make the rewards fitting for how difficult it is,' Rufus says. 'Make quests difficult in context, not just 'to be the hardest quests on the mud' and make interesting quests, provide examples of multiple different ways they can be solved.'

Rufus says, 'I think (when i get it done) you'll all be surprised at the way quests are set up in chicago, it's vastly different than the way they are now.'

'In any area currently on the mud, that is,' Rufus says.

'Cool,' Myriad says.

'Needless to say, you'll never be able to post a 'this is how you do the chicago quest' on a web page,' Rufus says. 'Because there are littlerally 256 different quests contained within the same meta-quest... 256 roads to the same end.'

Candide is completely boggled.

LadyAce nods solemnly.

'Needless to say, it's taking quite a while to develop, but I think you'll see a lot of areas begin to employ it,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Any more questions?'

Pug raises his hand.

Myriad thanks Rufus heartily.

Rufus says to Pug, 'Yes?'

'Email or mudnote for contacting you?' Pug says.

'Mudnote or e-mail but if you e-mail tell me who you play =P or catch me online sometime,' Rufus says.

Pug says, 'Thank you.'

Rufus says, 'I'd like to thank all of you for allowing me to suck up 3 hours of your time.'

Rufus says, 'And if you have any further questions, I'm going to make an effort to have these on occassions.'