A Fork in the Road - GreaterMUD's Past, Present, and Future

Started by Vitoc, Sep 22, 2023, 04:16 PM

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Hey all, as you have no-doubt heard by now, we are making some changes that will impact this project's future. I think a brief history of how we got here might help explain my position and my decision. Pardon me while I get all this out.

The Past:

I set out with the best intentions with GreaterMUD (originally KeyserMUD) around 2004 or so. The goal was to build a faithful remake of MajorMUD on modern technology, platforms, and languages. It was clear Metro had abandoned the community by that time, so I set out to see what I could do in this new programming language and framework I had started learning -- C# and Microsoft .NET.

At the time I was not a professional developer. I had cobbled together a Microsoft Access program they eventually adopted at the manufacturing company for which I was working. I had to learn VBA to do the complicated / processing stuff. A lot has changed since then. Over the years I became a full-stack developer, due in large part to all the work I had put into this project -- from conception to proof of concept to all of the growing pains, the late-night debugging sessions, and of course the drama. We picked up some talent along the way. We got lots of help from absolute legends far more knowledgeable of the inner workings of MajorMUD than me (Locke, DeathCow, Winterhawk, Merlin (for a few months anyway!), to name a few...). Software developers started reaching out to help out. Soul, Max, Node, Gardner (yes, VB is still around, heh), Rhalin, Paladine. Apologies if I left any names out there. I'll forever be thankful for all of their contributions.

I could relate to software developers being one myself, but content developers are a different bunch. They opt for content solutions to problems, and why wouldn't they? DeathCow tried his hand at content for a bit. I forget exactly how that died, but it did. One could probably dig back through these forums and find out where and why the decision was made to shut that down. Anyway, content changes, like completely game-changing content changes never felt "right" to me. It didn't matter for many years, since that clearly wasn't our focus at the time.

Many life-changing events have happened for me over the years. The death of my father followed just 3 months later by the birth of our first child. I remember how long ago it was by how old our son is, 9 and a half now -- he never got to meet grandpa and grandpa never got to experience being one. Anywho, I definitely got pulled away from this project. It became something that just ran on two machines (forums and game server) in my home office. At some point, Force (aka Greater) joined our team in a more official capacity. While we haven't always seen eye-to-eye, his content is pretty spectacular, at least in my opinion, and I think that opinion is one shared by a lot of people. I never knew how much work was being put into content creation. From my perspective, content changes only meant it was Gardner and later Winter IMing me sending me an NMR export file to run against the clunky NMR converter I had thrown together. I never played the game or experienced the content changes, ever. For 98%+ of Vitoc's in-game life in GreaterMUD he sat in the bank or some other location where players would pass by, but he had virtually zero experience that whole time.

The Present:

When my mother-in-law got deathly ill out of nowhere in late 2021, it put me (well our whole family) in a real bind. I couldn't spend any time on GreaterMUD -- like none. After a horrific 4 month-long downward spiral, my MiL mercifully passed Dec. 2nd 2021. IIRC, I think the forum machine went down around that time. As most of you probably know, I usually treat down-time very seriously, but I just did not have the bandwidth to resurrect it. Winterhawk reached out and graciously offered to host the forums sometime in early 2022, and I took him up on it. It made sense for me to pass over hosting of the realms to him as well, so they could do their content and engine updates without having to wait for me to find time to incorporate them into the production realms. By late 2022, things had started to slow down in my life (thankfully, I was headed down a dark hole, one I'm still climbing out of). We had a _very_ unexpected addition to our family, who was born May 19th 2023, but we had the financial resources and bandwidth to deal with a new child this time.

I decided to play GreaterMUD for the first time this last push, without op powers. I was rusty as all hell, still am as I flounder about trying to find the right scripting spots. With a lot of help, I eventually got into the lvl 75+ content, the newer stuff I hadn't seen. Even then, I don't think I knew the long-term strategy of the content team. That is until I saw the Mod 10 post on Facebook. I think they're approaching or have already passed doubling the size of a stock MajorMUD realm in terms of rooms. That's a metric f-ton of work -- kudos to the content and dev team that have put in all that time and made all that work.

Still, I don't see myself or GreaterMUD as a content shop.

The Future:

I know this will ruffle some feathers (far be it from me to ever do that! :P ), but I've decided this is where I jump off and we go our separate ways. I've devoted too much of my life to just give up on GreaterMUD completely and watch someone else turn it into their vision. I understand if you all don't agree with my decision, but for better or worse, it is my decision in the end. Maybe this project shrinks in players and we only have a handful of the old guys and girl (is that plural yet?) still playing that tired old content we've all played through so many times before. I'm okay with that.

The Paradigm MUD Project, or ParaMUD for short, is a fresh new face on all the work the content and software devs have done and continue to do. It is a clean slate. They can take that project wherever their hearts lead them, and they can do it without me dragging my feet and bitching about it. We are essentially "forking" the code-base. They can do with their forked version of the code-base whatever they want (within reason) while leaving the core GreaterMUD code-base alone. They obviously have unlimited creative license on the content front as well. It is an amicable split. Winterhawk has been more than fair in accommodating my requests and I have tried to return the favor. I wish them all the best on their new project. Hell, I'm playing in it, even as I watch my character fall off the top 10, 20, 50, 70... heh, but I digress...

This weekend I will be re-pointing DNS for greatermud.com and forums.greatermud.com to my router's public IP routed to my machines on my LAN. I'm starting the forums off right where they were when my forum machine went down (late 2021). If you are reading this, the switch has already been made for the forums. Winterhawk is working on getting their ParaMUD forums provisioned and my understanding is (he can correct me if I'm wrong) he will selectively copy the relevant stuff from the old forums to their new forums. I will provide links to their forums when they are up.

ParaMUD and GreaterMUD are two distinct projects as of now. They are free to mention the GreaterMUD name in reference to the engine and/or code-base if they want or not, that's at their discretion. I will happily give them praise for their project and send any players looking for new content their way. We haven't talked about it yet, but we may work on collaboration of new engine features from either project to get them into the other, but it's not a guarantee from either side. It's best to view them as separate projects with separate engines, separate content, and separate owners and staff.

GreaterMUD will be putting up a PVE realm first. The start date is TBD, but I will try to give at least two weeks notice. PVP will not be a thing anymore.


That felt strangely satisfying to type, but alas, it was in jest; I wouldn't do that to our unruly PVP bunch. :) PVP realm will launch a week after PVE. I'll provide a date for that as well shortly.

That said, GreaterMUD will be adopting a stricter set of rules and guidelines, both for our forums and in-game. The vulgar conversations and rhetoric on gossip and other public channels will not be tolerated. Take it to private (broadcast, telepath, gangpath, etc.) or go to another project that will allow it. We are going to try to be more family friendly, at least in PVE. We may have a laxer set of rules for PVP, since poop-talking (can you tell I'm a father now?) comes with the territory and PVP seems to bring out the worst in almost everybody anyway.

Anyway, sorry for the lengthy post. If you have any questions on stuff I haven't covered above, please feel free to ask. I hope to see you all in-game in our realms when they're running, but if not I understand and hope you at least did enjoy the time you were here. The lights will be on if you ever choose to come back.

Best Regards,


Kudos to you Vitoc!  The number of hours and years you've dumped into this project is staggering, and most folks will ever truly know it.  Thanks for all you've done.


Sorry for the lack of any updates. I've been investing all of my time and effort into WebMUD. As such, we still do not have any official GreaterMUD realms running, and probably won't for the foreseeable future.

WebMUD is in private testing right now. Updates will be announced on our website:

Thanks for your patience!