Another year has gone by, and we're still around. We managed to weather the storm, so to speak; MUD2.COM survived an extended period of free competition. At one point, usage was so low, I seriously contemplated "closing shop", after ensuring of course an orderly transition by arranging with Foddy, owner of mudii.co.uk, to accept our players on his system.
Fortunately, it wasn't necessary. As if by magic, shortly after we first began to discuss the idea of a merger with Tethys, usage started to pick up. We could do a lot better to be sure, but at least the game is no longer empty for hours, even days at a time. Some oldtimers returned, some new players started playing and, I am glad to report, it has become more difficult for me to find a time, early in the morning perhaps, when the game is empty and can be brought down briefly for maintenance. This is of course how things should be, so I am not complaining! Or rather, the only thing I do complain about is that we don't have ten times as many players as we do... but at least I am hopeful again. MUD2.COM's future seems a lot less uncertain than it was a year ago.
One good thing that came out of this is a renewed, cordial relationship with our "competition", Foddy and his mudii.co.uk system. When the idea of a merger was proposed, many players expressed an opinion that both systems have a legitimate reason to exist. While some players visit both systems regularly, others prefer one over the other; our cultures are not identical. And that is a good thing.
But we are not that far apart either! Both Foddy and I have one main goal in mind: to make sure that those who remained loyal to MUD2 in its various incarnations over the years will continue to find a stable "home" for their beloved game. (And you thought we're in it for the money, right?) In fact, this present issue of Admiral Bombow's Chronicles (which, despite the fact that it didn't appear on the promised, April 1 publication date, is not an April Fool's joke after all!) is testament to this: we are both here to stay, and although we run separate systems, we're more eager to support each other than to "compete". The result is this joint issue of the ABC and the Muddled Times, which you now hold in your virtual hands. And what an issue it is! Since I am neither its editor nor one of its authors, I think I am allowed to praise it. Although I think we have reason to feel somewhat embarrassed: judging by the Table of Contents, our friends at the Muddled Times have a lot more creative talent than we do! But that is all the more reason for me to thank them for agreeing to this joint issue.
What else did this new year bring? A more troubled real (wish it weren't!) world, to be sure. Passenger jets as kamikaze bombs on the one hand, incompetent authorities empowered to confiscate nail files and Congressional Medals of Honor on the other (boy, I feel so much safer now.) A bit closer to home, software products you legally own that refuse to run unless the manufacturer kindly gives its permission on the one hand, vs. Draconian legislation proposed in the Land of the Free on the other; legislation that, if enacted, might even outlaw the very system MUD2.COM runs on, Linux. Fortunately, MUD2.COM is located physically in Canada, so we're safe. For now.
So perhaps in this Brave New (real) World, we need more than ever the kind of fantasy world that is the Land of MUD2. I sure prefer a fire-breathing dragon over a suicidal fanatic; a longsword-wielding mage killer over an incompetent official in uniform; or the sight of a basilisk over fearless protectors of corporate copyright.
Viktor the arch-wizard
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