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Talahaski
Enchanter


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 656
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 3:44 pm   

Mud Client discussion
 
In case anybody is interested, there is a discussion on mud clients on slashdot.

Perhaps we can show some support for Zugg.

http://ask.slashdot.org/askslashdot/03/09/29/0219243.shtml?tid=127&tid=186
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 6:30 pm   
 
Gee, that was depressing. Of course, they are discussing "free" clients, which always brings out the worst in people. But reading the discussion you'd think zMUD was a piece of crap and that I was some money-grubbing idiot who didn't know how to program.

I'd certainly appreciate anything that people can do to "fix" the bad information that is getting around. It doesn't sound like people are running the latest version. They call zMUD "slow", which it isn't, at least in the newest version. I think people are trying to use the free 4.62 or 5.55 versions and the problems in those versions are causing people to think that zMUD is crap. I'm just using a 233Mhz computer here and I certainly find 6.62 a lot faster than any older versions when it comes to text scrolling and scripting.

Another example is the posts that mention MUSHclient and how cool it is to program in VBScript. Again, apparently they've never seen any recent version of zMUD that lets you do that same thing. I think the real reason they like MUSHclient is that you don't really have to pay for it. I know that the author isn't selling anywhere near as many copies as I sell for zMUD. So again, maybe it's just a problem with those people that think everything should be free and resent any client that charges and can't be easily hacked.

But, perhaps the reason zMUD sales are declining is that the free versions floating around are giving zMUD a bad reputation. I know that everyone here promotes zMUD to their friends whenever they can, but it looks like there is a lot of misinformation out there to deal with.

Honestly, reading a thread like the one at slashdot just makes me want to stop working on zMUD altogether, which is sad.
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Jouster
GURU


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 609
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 8:29 pm   
 
I wrote several responses on http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=80352&cid=7082328, which was started by the same fellow who asked the question.

I think it's worth considering putting the 3.X and 5.X versions behind a separate page on downloads; have the link be, like, "click here for old, unsupported, BUGGY versions of zMUD". That'd give 'em something to think about!

;),
Jouster
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Talahaski
Enchanter


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 656
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 8:32 pm   
 
Now I feel bad for posting that link. Just remember that many of the people there are hackers and not true mudders. Also I agree that it is obvious that these people are using old versions of zmud.

Perhaps if we can get enough people to post there, we may be able to turn the tides on thier opinions.

Don't give up though Zugg, all of us here know zmud is the best client.
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StackAdder
Wanderer


Joined: 30 Sep 2003
Posts: 77
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:15 pm   
 
I have had a singularly unsuccesful day trying to do some scripting in ZMud. However, having recently tried a few of its competitors, it is worth mentioning that I find it relatively difficult just playing a mud with most of them, whereas with ZMud I am trying to script multistate triggers to extract information into databases, so there isn't really a comparison in my view.

Zugg - give up if you dare! (please please don't!)
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 6:37 pm   
 
Yeah, maybe I'll post a more complete response note at some point if I get into the mood. Reading more of the thread, it looks like its just filled with people who are more of the "real MUDders don't need a client" or hard core people who still think it's better to use a command-line based client like TinyFugue where you don't have the GUI slowdown. I'd just love to get guys like that in a quest where I'm using zMUD...nobody mentions the automapper which has the unique ability of letting you get *anywhere* on the MUD *from anywhere* as fast as the MUD will accept commands. I don't care how good you are with speedwalks, a MUD player armed with the mapper will almost always get to the destination quicker and easier. But they don't mention that because obviously "real MUDders don't use mappers", right? Wink

And yeah, they complain about the database module being a kludge and not using a real database, but seem to forget that it was programmed before stuff like ADO even existed. Not only do they not seem to have a clue about the real features of zMUD, but they don't even know it's history. Any other client that has a split-window interface to let you view your scrollback and live text at the same time without the scrollback scrolling with new text, or any client with a mapper, got those ideas from zMUD itself. zMUD and GMUD got started at around the same time as early "serious" MUD clients, back when the only other choices were ports of Unix clients like TinTin.

Also, there seems to be a feeling that zMUD is full of stuff they don't want to use, and therefore it is bloated. They don't seem to realize the effort I have taken to ensure that stuff like the automapper, database module, etc do not take up resources or memory when you are not using them. The number of command and functions has no impact at all on the speed. The parser uses a hash table for looking up commands and functions and zMUD is going to scroll text and parse scripts just as fast with 1 command as it will with 1000 commands. Funny how some people think that lots of features is somehow bad just because they themselves have not taken the time to learn what they do. They like to think of themselves as "power" MUDders, but don't even take advantage of the tools available.

Another interesting comment related to speed was the apples/oranges comparison. Of course zMUD is going to scroll slower than a text/commandline client. No way around that. As soon as you add triggers, however, things become more equal. You can pattern match triggers only so fast, and I have yet to find a parser that has the power of zMUD and is faster. I've tried 3rd party regular expression parsers (the one added to zMUD for those who really want regex) and it is about twice as slow as the zMUD trigger parser. I tried to write a parser using the commercial yacc tools used to write real compilers (that parser is used in the syntax checker) and it is about 5 times slower than the zMUD parser itself. So if they find another client that is faster, the other client is obviously not allowing the kind of power and flexibility for triggers that zMUD does. Although even simple string tests can't get much faster than the algorithm that zMUD uses...zMUD isn't using the standard "Pos" function or anything as slow as that.

Then there was the really misinformed quote that implied that I'm just reading the Delphi journals and adding every new thing that I see to zMUD. That person obviously has no clue at all about anything related to Delphi or even zMUD. I'm still using Delphi 5 for my projects. The newer versions of Delphi are all about Microsoft .NET, which I despise. I haven't read a Delphi journal in about 2 years now. And I've never gotten much out of them. If they think my COM support is from Delphi journal, then they don't understand the complexity of parsing COM within an interpretive scripting language. zMUD does stuff with COM and ADO that they would love me to share because it is beyond what even the "experts" can do. I think they just want me to go open source and share my secrets because they haven't been able to figure out how I do some of the stuff in zMUD.

And finally, they seem to miss the entire point about the free upgrades. These guys whine about not having a free MUD client, and yet most of them probably don't think twice about going down to the game store and buying a new console game. Few of them have thought about the value of paying once and getting free upgrades forever because most software isn't updated like zMUD. Many MUD client projects have disappeared and are never updated again. zMUD is the only client that was around in 1995 that is still being actively supported and updated today. They don't have any concept of how much work it is just to keep up with my daily email load of support questions (about 100 per day). None of the other client authors have ever had to deal with that because they haven't been around long enough.

Well, that's probably enough ranting. I need to stay away from those L33T sites myself anyway. If they want to decide that "real MUDders don't use zMUD" then that's fine. I just hope the loyal users of zMUD out there will still try to educate new MUD players so that they don't get scared away by these kind of players. In fact, many of the articles I have read about MUDs no longer bash them for being text-based or anything like that...MUDs are getting bashed for the rude and obnoxious players that free games tend to attract. These are the same people who flooded games like Ragnarok when they had their free beta. And it's the kind of MUD player that I definitely am not going to cater to with zMUD.

If you have gotten this far, what I'd really like to do is steer this discussion into a different direction: as an actual zMUD user (paying or not), what issues on this thread are really actual issues with you? If there are actual zMUD users who are using the 6.62 version and still think it's bloated, or are confused by the eLicense stuff, or have had some bad experience preventing them from using 6.62, I'd like to hear about it. I still hear about people who paid for zMUD and yet are still using v4.62 or v5.55 and I really don't understand it...they just don't know what they are missing with the newer versions. If they paid for zMUD to have the best MUD client and then just use the old versions, then they might have well just stuck with telnet or something. So, that's what I'd like to hear about so that I can judge how my actual *customers* really feel rather than listening to those kids on the other forums.

(and don't worry...not really giving up)
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 7:13 pm   
 
Hmm, here is something interesting: registrations were up about 50% yesterday. An unusual jump for a day. Maybe the slashdot discussion was good for something after all?

Oh, one more comment I noticed: people are claiming zMUD is good for MUDs, but not for MOOS/MUSHes/etc. Can anyone explain that? Sure, you aren't going to use the mapper on a talker, but what is zMUD missing that is needed for those systems? I just added the mcp emulation for allowing you to use the builtin editor when doing mcp edits of objects on a MUSH, which seemed pretty cool. What else about zMUD makes it hard to use with MUSHes and other M*s?
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Megane
Wanderer


Joined: 09 Nov 2000
Posts: 66
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 7:16 pm   
 
I don't know why anyone would use 4.62 instead of 5.55, or 5.55 instead of 6.16.
I know why people would use 6.16 instead of 6.62 though, and that is the mapper. I think the mapper is a huge part of zmud. You may not really care about it at first, but once you try it you won't want to go back to not having it. Most of my friends with zmud are stuck on 6.16 instead of 6.62 because of it - After 6.63 comes out, I expect a lot of them to upgrade. I'll be telling them to - everything else is better, so if the mapper is a bit worse even then it'll still be worth it to upgrade.

As for people not knowing what they are missing: I think this does shape a lot of people's views on clients. For the people using Portal- It does 'everything they need' but it's not until you use a more capable client that you realize you could use quite a bit more. It's just like that with all the people talking about telnet.
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 8:11 pm   
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zugg

Hmm, here is something interesting: registrations were up about 50% yesterday. An unusual jump for a day. Maybe the slashdot discussion was good for something after all?


I guess most publicity is good. There is a reason for the term 'slashdot effect' Very Happy.

Some reasons for users not to upgrade or not mudding:
1. zMUD is not freeware.
This is probably the largest reason of them all in my opinion. I have talked with people that I'm quite sure used a 'less legal' version of zmud who did not want to upgrade because of that too though. (that is elicense was too good).

2. Burnout.
This one I don't like to touch but I think I should. Atleast _I_ have experienced that Zugg seems to have been a bit annoyed for some time. It was a bit worse this summer if my memory serves correctly (or was it last summer Very Happy). It seems to be much better now though. I guess working on so many products at once can be quite overwhelming.

I might be wrong and I don't want to upset you, Zugg, so I hope you don't see me as accusing you. Might have been me having a bad mood and projected it onto the posts. Who knows Very Happy.

3. Muds are declining.
A lot of cool rpgs are released that are graphical. Like Neverwinter Nights where you can start your own little rpg world. This one probably makes a lot of users leave muds. As you said with 'bad players'. Better play a professional game then.

So the problem might not be related that much to zMUD but to the muds themselves.

4. GPL and free software
Many more users use GPL programs. Free software is everywhere and it would strange if it did not decline sales for commercial software. It is a change of interpretation, everyone seems to want "free mp3's and free software". (the amount of P2P programs could be a small hint on this)

5. Too many muds and too few players.
This will always make muds 'seem' unused. Many muds have 3-4 players, if they are lucky Very Happy while some muds have almost too many players. This summer there seemed to be a decline of players on many muds. of course summer-time might be a good explanation.

6. Muds are not popular.
Trying to get friends to play muds are like impossible. They wont understand it! Or if they understand it they'll find it boring pretty soon [8D]. Lazy players not wanting to learn the command lists.... Very Happy. Or the small amount of >800 rooms and how to navigate through them.

7. A very wrong view on the forums.
This is something really important that has to be mentioned. A view that causes chaos and a very silent forum. "Search first! We won't help you if you don't search! Read the manual!" - obviously this won't make the forum more active. It is like this on many forums generally and might not be like that here. Many questions will be asked over, and over, and over again. The answers to them will sometimes vary however. The thing is that you get a activeness effect. Everyone feels that the community is active. Like take a look at the developers forum. The activity there is surprisingly very low. Even the mapper forums, and zExplorer forums seem quite inactive.

8. The lockout effect.
Say you try a beta software and it doesn't work well at all for you. It has bugs of course as all betas have those. What makes it worse is that e-license might lock you out to test stable versions once released. You look at the program and leave it because you are so affected by your first impression. This was what happened to me with zMapper Very Happy. I mean it was so buggy, how can it be better now? *joke*

9. Moderators 'breaking' rules.
This is a bit silly but worth mentioning. There was some time ago someone said they had bypassed elicense on this forum and was still a registered user(they disliked the reactivate every 90 days method). This caused more or less a flame war that even some moderators seemed to have fed. I don't say they did anything wrong as I know how affecting a flame war can become. I recommend that the moderators avoid being rude on the forum though in a case like that one. Then the email from elicense on top of that *shakes*. Well that was one lost customer and probably a lot of more scared away users that could have been considering buing zMUD.

I can say that my views on Zuggsoft decreased a lot then towards the negative. It isn't if he did a bad thing or not. It is the fact that the thread should just have been locked at once. This is a common thing happening on many game forums "I don't like the cd-check so I used a little tool to remove it". Mostly those threads don't get into hysteria. They are locked.



Now I hope I haven't caused this to become a flame thread :-). That is not my intention. Some of these things might affect or not affect how people look at zmud. They are mere speculations. Isn't it strange though how activity on these forums seems to increase at the same time as the mud activity increases? Is it zmud that affects the muds or the opposite? Smile
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 8:53 pm   
 
Some of those are valid points, but I wanted to correct a couple of them:

4. Free software. My personal opinion on this is that it is being driven by "kids" who have not had to support themselves yet. Sure, I'd like something to be free as much as the next person. But as an adult who has had to work for a living to pay bills and support a family, I can easily understand that programmers need to be paid for their work. The general community seems to despise big corporations, such as Microsoft, and yet it is only those big corporations who can release a free product and still pay their programmers. If you want to support small, independant programmers, then software cannot be free. Once kids grow up and try supporting themselves by programming, they'll understand why this is necessary. Same thing for artists getting paid for their music, authors getting paid for their books, etc. If you want everything to be free, then you need to find some way to allow independants to pay their bills, or all you'll have left is software from big corporations.

2. Burnout. No, I actually haven't been burned out that much. What you see is the result of trying to support multiple products and trying to cater to different sets of customers. Back when I first worked on AC Explorer, there several months that I didn't work on zMUD. Now that both zExplorer and zMapper are very active projects, it's natural to see a decline in work on zMUD. On top of that, I can honestly say that the number of suggestions for new features in zMUD has severely declined, and the bug list is growing very short. This is the first time that has happened. It's very possible that zMUD has hit a threshold for what people need from a MUD client. Work on zMapper should help with that since I'll always have to recompile zMUD now and then so that new features work between zMapper and zMUD. The only "large" project left for zMUD is converting the database module to ADO, and I'm not yet convinced the amount of work is worth the result. Over this summer I was also involved in some other non-computer projects that took away some of my time, and that might be partly responsible as well. But if anything, these projects increased my enthusiasm for stuff like zMapper and it's future. It's like when I get sick...many zMUD users can tell you that my time off usually results in major additions to my projects.

3. MUDs are declining. I'm not sure I agree. And I think that was part of the interest behind the slashdot post. I've been a *huge* player of MMORPGs. I played EQ for years, AC1 for many more years, and have currently active accounts on most popular MMORPGS (lets see: AC1, AC2, Earth&Beyond, Neocron, Ragnarok, Dark Age of Camelot, Shadowbane, Star Wars Galaxies...thats a lot). I actually consider myself as somewhat of an expert on this entire field. And my current opinion is that the market is saturated with mediocre titles (was *really* disappointed with SWG) and that the more I play these graphical games, the more I miss the actual role playing of MUDs. True, there are too many MUDs and only a few really good MUDs. But I've had more fun on a MUD like Realms of Despair then I ever have had on a graphical game. I personally think that MUDs are seeing a resurgence of interest and that it's mainly a lack of marketing that is keeping people from even knowing that MUDs exist. I know its hard for the big MUDs that do not charge money to pay for advertising, but the Simutronics games such as Gemstone and Dragonrealms are big in large part due to the marketing that they can afford with their monthly fees, and they are also a lot more fun that most of the graphical games out there (but I'm still looking forward to trying Horizons).

8. Lockout effect. Yes, this is true. I've worried about this somewhat for a long time now. Since the 30-day trial never resets, there is no way for someone who didn't like an old version to try a new version. Unfortunately, I can't find a way around that without giving the hackers a way to have an infinite trial period. Another example of how the hackers have ruined stuff for normal honest users. All I can do is offer the 30-day refund, which I still stand behind 100%.

7 & 9 Forums. It is *very* important to remember that Moderators and Gurus are complete volunteers. How would you feel yourself answering the same question day after day? I already do that with my email. I've got a whole list of "canned" answers to simple questions that I get over and over again. But since this is my job and I get paid for the software, I respond to those questions via email without complaining (or at least not complaining where anyone else can hear me Wink). But the people on the forum on volunteers. If you annoy them, they will go away. By answering forum questions so that I can focus on email and programming, they have freed up a tremendous amount of more programming time for me. If I had to support the forums myself, you'd see even longer between updates and bug fixes. Remember that customer support increases directly with the number of customers. I only make any money from *new* users. So, while the number of new users is somewhat constant, support increases over time. As more time goes by, I'll be spending more and more of my time doing email support. At some point I run out of any time to program. By helping with the forums, the gurus are helping to ensure that I have time to program and work on new versions. For that, the Gurus should be thanked tremendously. They are people, just like you and me, and they get just as frustrated. In many cases, they handle annoying user posts much better than I myself would even handle them. Yes, it would be easy to just delete or lock threads, but I have seen that backfire on many sites. We pride ourselves on allowing users to post their true thoughts on these forums regarding zMUD. And only when it gets really out of hand do we lock threads. That is done at my own request. I don't want to get a reputation like they have on the SWG boards where every negative feedback is deleted or locked. Yes, sometimes these threads might scare away new users, but actually only a small percentage of customers actually use these forums (as evidenced by the email I get).

Anyway, that's my opinions on these topics.
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Rainchild
Wizard


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:08 am   
 
3. Plus you can't play MMORPG's from work or university, which is where a great number of people MUD from... imho the problem with these MMORPG's is they don't capture the spirit of mudding or community... which is good for us MUD coders because it still leaves us with players heh. One day someone'll (hopefully me heh) create something graphical with the fun-ness of a hack-n-slash mud and the close-ness of guilds and the intrigue-ness of roleplaying.

Regarding the use of Zmud for MUSHes/etc... it's pretty good. There's a lotta special characters on mushes though, for example : is emote, and . is used in most of the editors to prefix a command. Also, some of the other common things that are stripped by zmud eg { and } are used fairly commonly... and maybe it's that 'turn off parsing' thing which people don't find before they've given up and gone back to their old client perhaps.

I think also, that most mushes don't use ansi colour, and the mush clients use the equivalent of #CO line-triggers to colour output for you. So for example the mush client will take a 'Rainchild pages to you: "some text here"' and highlight it in bold cyan... I guess maybe the way you have special templates for gemstone and dragonrealms, you could have a base trigger set for mushes.

Its been that long since I've played one though, I can't remember much more. I do recall word wrap annoying me a little bit too - but that's probably my fault for running 1600x1200 so what would be a 3-line message at 80 columns ended up all fitting onto 1 line.

Anyways, hope that helps.
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Rainchild
Wizard


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:21 am   
 
Oh and "real mudders dont eat quiche" either. But I eat quiche, and I use zmud, and I use the automapper, and I can out-perform, out-trigger, out-bot, and out-class any of those "real mudders" ;)

I totally pwn3d (that's the step up from 0wn3d .. o -> 0 -> p .. anyway) someone 15 levels higher than me in a pkill zone just because zmud lets you do that :P

And I've gained a lot of 1% pop rate items over the years with the scripts that I've written in zmud, and still never been accused of being afk because zmud can play a soundfile alerting me as soon as I've been shot a tell :P

And stuff :P
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mr_kent
Enchanter


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 698

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 1:36 pm   
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zugg

If you have gotten this far, what I'd really like to do is steer this discussion into a different direction: as an actual zMUD user (paying or not), what issues on this thread are really actual issues with you? If there are actual zMUD users who are using the 6.62 version and still think it's bloated, or are confused by the eLicense stuff, or have had some bad experience preventing them from using 6.62, I'd like to hear about it. I still hear about people who paid for zMUD and yet are still using v4.62 or v5.55 and I really don't understand it...they just don't know what they are missing with the newer versions. If they paid for zMUD to have the best MUD client and then just use the old versions, then they might have well just stuck with telnet or something. So, that's what I'd like to hear about so that I can judge how my actual *customers* really feel rather than listening to those kids on the other forums.

(and don't worry...not really giving up)



First, I don't know how I missed this topic when I checked the forums yesterday. Second, I haven't read the slashdot stuff yet. Third, I have heard bucket-loads of zmud bashing ever since I first started using it way back in 1995. I have many of the the vintage zmud versions archived and I laugh when people post about getting older versions. I have them and no you can't have a copy. Back when I first started mudding, I purchased CRT and used if for quite awhile. I tried gmud and liked the addition of triggers. I used zmud and it was only because of some dumb luck I didn't get my name written in the credits, back when zmud was shareware. (I stopped mudding for awhile, and missed the chance.)

Anyway, most of the players on the mud I first played were students and used university lab computers. They bashed zmud because any client was 'unfair', or they used tintin and anything dos/windows sucked. Now-a-days, the bashing reminds me an awful lot of the kind typically aimed at Microsoft. I think the number of complaints and slanders are just indicative of zmud's success. It's sort of like online smear-the-queer (this is a game school children play - it has nothing to do with lifestyle choices), I see this mentality all across the internet... gang up and then beat on, the best.
Congratulations Zugg, you've made it.Wink

No complaints here.
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Anabasis
Wanderer


Joined: 26 Jan 2001
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 3:45 pm   
 
quote:
On top of that, I can honestly say that the number of suggestions for new features in zMUD has severely declined, and the bug list is growing very short. This is the first time that has happened. It's very possible that zMUD has hit a threshold for what people need from a MUD client.


Well, I'm sure you don't mind the bug list being so short. I wonder about the decline of requests for new features though.

I've used zMUD on and off for a few years, and while I consider myself competent for day to day stuff, I regularly see snippets of code posted that I know are flat out beyond what I could do. zMUD has an incredibly deep and rich set of features and capabilities that most users will never fully realize. Mudders who haven't actually tried zMUD, especially the more current versions, really don't know what they are talking about.

Those that have been around for years and years have what they want now, those that are new to zMUD are exploring what they already have. I'm betting that you'll see a whole new round of feature requests as those new users delve down into the depths of the program and try new things. The muds themselves might drive part of that if they take the initiative of embracing newer technologies, but I suppose that's a seperate issue.

All the issues that they brought up in the Slashdot thread were pretty hollow to me. I think that it was mostly made up of people who wanted something for nothing. I really believe in "You get what you pay for." I'm supremely grateful for the small developers of the world. It's at this level that we see real innovation in development driven by the customer's needs and desires, and I think you, Zugg, are one of the best examples of that ideal.

Ana
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fyrie
Beginner


Joined: 10 Apr 2001
Posts: 16
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:10 pm   
 
I know I am repeating much of what has been said here, but I feel like posting it anyway ;), so here is my take on why we are seeing the negative responses on /. Let me preface this post by saying that I read /. multiple times a day, and I maintain a dual boot configuration of RedHat/XP.

The majority of vocal Slashdotters are Linux and Open Source/GPL zealots. They are truly dogmatic when it comes to Linux over MS and free software over capitalism. I love reading the pathological ramblings of some of these guys. Compare any talkback about a MS security flaw to one about a vulnerability in a piece of open source software and you will see what I mean. In the past few weeks, the number of OSS security alerts has been on par with the number of MS alerts yet they still tow the line of Linux is secure and MS is horribly unsecure. Posts that I and others have made showing that the number of security patches that RedHat has issued in the past year is far greater than XP patches are just modded down or ignored. I have the pleasure of having a few friends who fall into this group and they continually amaze me with the ability to rationalize their dogma.

Also, as stated in other posts, many Slashdot folks, and I spose MUD users in general, are neo-luddites when it comes to software. Why use Visual Studio or Eclipse when you can use Emacs or VIM ? Why use zMud when you can telnet etc...? They often see their love of the command line as being some sort of badge of true geekdom.

And finally, lets face it - nerds, geeks and the rest of our ilk love to complain more than praise.

So since zMud is NOT free/OSS, does not run on Linux, and is not CLI driven, it does not have a prayer on /.
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zwanth
Beginner


Joined: 13 Jul 2002
Posts: 16
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 11:19 pm   
 
Well, on the MUD that I play, I know that at least 90% of regulars who play there are using a client (usually zMUD) that at least allows aliases and triggers. Playerkilling and mob killing has evolved to the point where you HAVE to use a client, because there's just no way you could participate at the same level without one. Same goes with playing multiple chars - using a command-line or telnet program just doesn't cut it after you've seen zMUD's functionality for it.

So I agree that those people on Slashdot probably don't have any idea of what the MUD scene is like. If you're still pointlessly using telnet or command-line clients out of tradition or habit, then that's your decision; but in any sort of competitive play you're never going to be able to compete with the people who use real mud clients.
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seamer
Magician


Joined: 26 Feb 2001
Posts: 358
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 1:16 am   
 
I'm willing to bet that most true zealots for a commandline interface have been using telnet and ssh for years, since the days of windows 3.1 and win95, when the GUI was both cool and sucky. A CL also gave you the power to mud efficiently over a 28.8k modem via a shell while all your files were centrally stored no matter where you were, didnt need to carry zmud around on a floppy since every pc has telnet. Even to this day, try and do a remote desktop of XP on anything less than full intranet speeds...it isnt pretty. So in bandwidth terms via a shell, using Putty is more ingrained than using zmud to mud over.

The main reason I got hooked on zmud was being able to use the same tt++ scripts I'd been using for a year or so, after spending a year on plain old telnet first. It was more stable than wintin, and gmud was not intuitive at all. They may have been "free" but I reckon neither utilised windows as much as they could have. All that GUI power being pissed away in poor performance. Of course, zmud wasnt free, but there were ways to do that. The more I used zmud, the more natural and intuitive it felt, so while I was using a bad copy of 4.62 and 5.55, I was also selling its virtues to everyone I knew at the time.

After what...4...5...6? years of zmud...I cant imagine mudding without it, or my scripts (even as cludgy as they are). I've come to decide that zmud is one of those programs you either like or hate without really knowing why, and it's impossible to convert a hater into a liker. Gotta hook people before someone with mudmaster2k opens their mouth :)
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Backu
Novice


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 36
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 4:05 am   
 
Umm.. Zugg... it's not that you don't know how to program, cause you deffinetly do, but I know that there are alot of cracks for zMUD floating about, and I even admit that I used to use them, and not because I'm a cheapskate, but more for the fact that I didn't, and still don't, have a credit card, which is the easiest, and about the only way to buy zMUD... then I got a debit card, tried to use it (repeatedly) to purchase a license, and it kept failing, so I kept resorting to use a crack just so I could freakin use the program. Then there's the Security issue, and the hackers that keep stealing CC numbers. People are afraid. No offense bud, I love the progam, hence why I bought 2 licenses (plus I kept reformatting without unlicensing), but you really need to find an easier way of allowing people to buy the licenses. Hell, I'm sure I know one person on this webforum that is using a crack right now.
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Chiara
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Sep 2000
Posts: 378
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 3:32 pm   
 
Backu- It is possible and fairly simple to purchase zMUD using the postal mail and a check or money order. The information is right there on the BUY page, most people just don't scroll down far enough.

Chiara
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Backu
Novice


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 36
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 6:04 pm   
 
Mmmm... this was back in the days of 4.62, and I don't remember very well if you had the mail-in option, but I'll say right now, I'm rather impatient, and snail-mail woulda drove me nutz.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 6:07 pm   
 
If you have a hack for the current version of zMUD, I'd certainly like to hear more about it via email. I haven't seen any working hacks since 6.40. Also, eLicense has improved a lot in the past year, so if you had trouble before with the license, that doesn't mean it's still a problem. Also, with hacks you need to keep in mind that I'm not stupid: zMUD isn't going to tell you right away whether your hack is working or not. See if it's still working in a couple of months though Wink. Since there isn't a hack for the latest version, anyone using a hack is by definition using an older version, and is therefore subject to the speed issues, bugs, etc that are present in older versions.

As Chiara mentioned, there are lots of ways to buy zMUD, so I don't believe your response for a second. Just go to the http://www.zuggsoft.com/zmud/order_zmud.htm page to see all of the ways you can buy it. With Kagi, postal mail, telephone, PayPal, I don't see anything that makes it very hard to buy. True, I don't accept Debit cards because Verisign hasn't made that easy to do yet (which is who I use for electronic commerce). But with all of the other methods, there really is no excuse.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 6:10 pm   
 
Yes, we've *always* had the Kagi option. Kagi was the first company that I did business with for ecommerce back in 1995. Yes, postal mail can be slow, but that just means you should send in an order before your 30-day trial runs out, right? And these days, with PayPal, you can get zMUD pretty quick without a credit card.
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Backu
Novice


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 36
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 6:52 pm   
 
Zugg, I bought 6.16 quite awhile ago, so I don't even know of any cracks for anything newer than that, but if you wish for me to see if there is one, I can take a look around, and ask around.

Also, my debit card is a Visa, so it's recognized as a credit card by VeriSign.
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Backu
Novice


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 36
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 6:54 pm   
 
Oh yeah, the crack for 6.15/16 was actually a proxy for eLicense control and used the eLicense protocols.
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Kjata
GURU


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 4379
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 3:58 pm   
 
quote:
Oh yeah, the crack for 6.15/16 was actually a proxy for eLicense control and used the eLicense protocols.


Yeah, that's a known crack and it no longer works.
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