CoffeeMUD annual Letter from Loki


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Greetings MUDders! I am Loki, chief designer at CoffeeMUD. CoffeeMUD is an active free-to-play MUD that uses the latest CoffeeMUD engine to power a diverse world. This is my second annual Letter from Loki, discussing the development that has gone on in the world in the past year, and plans for the future year. Come check us out at the:

http://coffeemud.net/
http://wiki.coffeemud.net/

It has been another wonderful year of development and growth at CoffeeMUD. We had a record year of membership with an average of 6.2 users online at a time and over 80 accounts active in the past month. CoffeeMUD reached a new record for peak traffic with 24 online characters at one time. Over 1300 new characters were created, and 13,273 levels were gained! There has been 1531 deaths, 90 births, 8 marriages and 5 divorces. CoffeeMUD is in the top 20 muds on The MUD Connector thanks to your continued voting. It has been a busy and exciting year.
New areas were added to explore while some areas have been enhanced for playability. Mahn-tor underwent a major face lift which included area balancing, the addition of a starting quest, and some unique item updates. The underwater area of Atlantis has been upgraded to city status with a bank and properties available for water-breathing characters. Also, a new underwater-style random instance is available near Atlantis. The long awaited second wing of Sengalion, Sengalion Students, has opened. Master storyteller Uurdin wrote a new mini-adventure in the hidden Swamp Ruins for coach riders. The City of Orthindar opened its gates to those that are worthy. The Vanishing Tower is available and includes opponents that will require a well-balanced team of level 91 characters. The Shadow Veil story expanded with part 4, including new items and achievements. Several level-limited random instance cities are available to trade with, most of which are located on islands. Many areas have received minor rebalancing, such as Kang Village, Pyramid, Prison, Elemental Canyon, Shaolin Temple, Kjeldoran Outpost, Coven, Northern Iceland, Shallow Graves, Lair of Jher, Darathorn’s Pit, Lich Tower, Quest for the Holy Grail, Moors of Doom, Graghtok’s Lair and Olympia.
This past year also brought a new class: the Scholar. The Scholar is a commoner who gains experience in non-traditional ways, such as writing books, training players and using lore and organizational skills. The Artisan class received a major rewrite. The path of an Artisan is no longer determined by level, but instead by skill choices. The Artisan still needs to level to gain the TRAINs necessary to learn new skills, but has access to skills based on prerequisite skills. Many crafting skills received significant attention including the expansion of recipe lists to level 90 for most crafting skills, rebalancing the distribution of recipes per level, and expanding item types available to be crafted by each skill. The Druid class received updates for shapeshifting races which affect gameplay. Now, each race you shapeshift into has some unique racial abilities, adding gameplay and utility to some of those weaker shapeshifting forms.
CoffeeMUD introduced gameplay customization through various new login ports. These ports provide access to the same world, same player base, and for most ports, the same character accounts. Some game mechanics will be different based on which port is logged into. Players may now choose to log in to port 2324 and avoid hunger and thirst affects in exchange for constant playerkill (PK) status. Or they can choose to play a high role-playing (RP) format, with limited channels and communication limitations, in exchange for experience including bonus Roleplaying Experience (RXP) delivered at most once per mudday by training with a guildmaster or other member of your class. A third option is for players to log in to the permadeath port (2325). Unlike the other ports, port 2325 requires a separate account so that your 10 year old character doesn’t permadeath accidentally. The permadeath port comes with great risk and a great reward of triple combat experience. All of the ports play in the same world, therefore a permadeath character may interact with a PK-port character, RP character or a player on the normal port. And characters on your main account can be logged in to the normal port, PK port or RP port at your leisure.
There are a lot of projects planned in the next year. One undertaking is to work on expanding the function and role of quests in the game. This may sound simple, but the work behind quest engine updates will be impactful to the feel of the game. CoffeeMUD will improve the quest logic of automated quests and add new functionality for random quests, including adding more non-combat quests such as crafting and acquisition quests. Later in the year, a spell research system will be developed that allows players to research and create dynamic spells unique to that game world. This system has been a long-held goal for CoffeeMUD, and has been in the work for years.
Also slated for development in the next year are two new classes: Reliquist and Wizard. The Reliquist is thief-subclass that is a divine version of the Arcanist. Divine power is borrowed and stored in items. Often, the Reliquist works with clergy to produce holy artifacts, but has been known to “find” holy items from long-lost temples and sealed holy sites. The Reliquist will play like a cross between Lara Croft, Mother Superior and Colonel Eve Baird. The Wizard is a Mage subclass that learns magic in an entirely different way. Instead of focusing on specific rituals or mastering specific spells, the Wizard focuses training on harnessing magical energy and releasing it with specific incantations. The Wizard works similarly to a 2nd Edition Dungeons and Dragons wizard, studying spells every mudday. This class started years ago as a proof of concept, and will be playable sometime late next year.
The world will continue to grow in diversity next year and several areas will receive much-needed updates. There will be additional ships on the six seas to encounter. The start area will split into 4 distinct starting areas that highlight specific races assigned to each area. More city options will be available to set your recall to and buy property in. And, of course, new and exciting stories will be available for you to experience.
Here’s to another wonderful year in the CoffeeMUD world!

–Loki