MajorMUD

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MajorMUD
A Druid casting spells in MajorMUD.
Developer(s) West Coast Creations
Initial release November 4, 1994
Stable release 1.11p (January 13, 2006)
Platform PC (MS-DOS, Windows), Major BBS or Worldgroup
Type Role-playing

MajorMUD was MUD software for the Major BBS and Worldgroup BBS platforms. It could be played over a dial-up modem connected to a BBS, or more recently over telnet.

History[edit]

MajorMUD was created by Lance & Cathy "Dog" Neumann, Michael "Cat" Skupa, Craig "Morukai" Young, and Geoffrey "Orfeo" Rosen in the early 1990s. Collectively they were known as West Coast Creations, or WCC. Based in Canada, WCC ran a BBS called Dreamscape Online Entertainment Services (DSOE) that players and potential customers could use to try out their software. It was also one of the few places that players could go to ask questions directly of the designers. Prior to being called DreamScape it was called Nightline BBS, and from playing TeleArena and Lance not able to get reliable updates, Lance, Dog, Cat, and Orfeo decided to make their own game, along with all the users on Nightline for beta testers.

MajorMUD itself was initially offered as a separate game module for the MajorBBS. Despite its significant price tag (nearly $1000 USD for a 256 user version),[1] MajorMUD was noted by Logicom to be one of the most wildly popular packages to MajorBBS sysops. A total of 9 expansion modules, or "mods", were released over a period of several years, each in kind for an additional fee to the system owner.

MajorMUD went into Alpha testing on Nightline BBS on April 16, 1994. Then on June 4 MajorMUD was released to twenty other MajorBBS Systems for Beta testing. MajorMUD was officially released on November 4, 1994.

The game itself was written in C and compiled with Borland C++ as with all modules for Major BBS and Worldgroup.

Sale to Metropolis[edit]

On May 25, 1999, WCC sold MajorMUD to Metropolis Gameport, a company based in Kansas. Metropolis promised to continue the work done by WCC in an e-mail that was sent to owners and others on the mailing list maintained by WCC.[2]

On April 10, 2008 Metropolis Gameport shut down and sold all 7 of their Worldgroup BBS Game Servers.[3] As of March, 2011, the future of MajorMUD is still uncertain.[4] Metropolis continues to charge full price for MajorMUD despite the demise of the BBS; many speculate that they continue to keep the price high because they are hoping to sell the MajorMUD intellectual property to a MMO company.

Expansion modules[edit]

On November 11, 1996, WCC released their first mod for MajorMUD — Dragon's Teeth Hills. Over the years, a total of 9 content modules were released (WCC released the first 6, while Metropolis released the last 3). These expansion modules added many new monsters, weapons, items, and places to explore to the base MajorMUD install. Module 1 also introduced the Reputation based "Quest Lines" — with quests for "Good", "Neutral", and "Evil" players.

Module List:

  • Module 1: Dragon's Teeth
  • Module 2: The Cursed Ruins — Released June 21, 1997
  • Module 3: Strangers in the Night — Released October 4, 1997
  • Module 4: Terror from Below — Released January 2, 1998
  • Module 5: The Rising Dawn — Released May 6, 1998
  • Module 6: The Sands of Time — Released September 13, 1998
  • Module 7: Savage Lands; Released December 28, 1999
  • Module 8: A Call to Arms!; Released May 12, 2000
  • Module 9: Prophecy of Plague; Released September 13, 2001[1]
  • MajorMUD Plus — Entertainment Edition

For some time, the MajorMUD website still listed Module 10 as a future update, but as of 2011 this is no longer the case. On March 19, 2007, Metropolis announced that their current programmer had resigned to move on to another company.

Races[edit]

The original release included eleven races, with two more added in later modules. Each race has six base stats: strength, agility, intelligence, wisdom, health, and charm. These stats are increased manually as levels are gained through skill points which are accrued as the character levels up. Each race has its own attributes and special racial abilities, such as nightvision, stealth, and increased resistances. Some races are better than others, which comes with an increase in the experience modifier.

Game Play[edit]

Leveling in MajorMUD can be considered a "Major" undertaking. The majority of players resorted to some sort of "scripting" to allow for faster leveling, often allowing the script to run unattended for 24/7. Even with this type of playing, it could take months, if not years, to max out your level. Early in the game, players would write their own scripts, using the scripting language in an application such as Telemate. After some time, an application called MegaMud was developed for this purpose. MegaMud offered a plethora of features including automatic combat scripting for most areas, running scripts to take you from area to area, and even PVP (player vs player) safeguards.

Some MajorMUD boards would not allow scripting, so players could only play by hand. This would equate to unimaginable leveling times.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "MUD Products". Metropolis Gameport. 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  2. ^ "Why MajorMUD". The Major BBS Restoration Project. October, 2006. 
  3. ^ "Metro Jumping Ship?". The Major BBS Restoration Project. March, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Found a bunch of source files...". The Major BBS Restoration Project. 2011-03-04. 

External links[edit]