Our community of MUD2 players may be small but it is truly international. In addition to players from Canada, the UK, Ireland, and the mainland US, we have players from such far away places as Finland, Australia, or Japan. The Land's newest wiz (as of this writing) is also one of MUD2's oldest players: Hilobay the wizard plays from the island of Hawaii, which gives him a unique perspective as a MUD2 player.
The ordinary way to say thank you in Hawaiian is "mahalo" or "mahalo nui loa" for thank you very much. "Me ke aloha pumehana" is saying thank you and more, used rarely and only to people for whom you have deep affection. And so I say "me ke aloha pumehana" to Richard, especially, and to Viktor and the community in this new incarnation of The Land for making it possible to be in one of my favourite places again, and to have so much fun being here.
This was my third climb up the ladder to wizdom, almost exactly ten years after doing it the first time as Panther on the first MUD2, usually referred to as the VAX MUD. You'd think it would get easier with so much practice, but it's just as easy to die to dw18 <blush> as it always has been when being careless or having a little bad luck (or a few too many beers).
Although I have been encouraging other people here to join in the fun, I seem to be the only player right now from Hawaii. I came here for the first time for a two-week holiday enroute from London to San Diego via Asia. That was nine years ago, and the rest of that ticket is still around here somewhere. During the interim between IPlay's demise and the birth of this Land, I actually sat on the beach occasionally (it's almost across the street from me). I love Hawaii and have much enjoyed chatting with people in The Land who have either been here or are interested in these beautiful islands.
Playing from Hawaii is strange, because of the time differences. Just as I am thinking of going to bed, folks in London are logging in, and I usually only get to see the mainland North American players who are nightowls, except on weekends. In the old days, I would have been accused of playing during the odd "empty" hours. Did quite a bit of that here, but it was my prime evening time. For me, it's wonderful to see The Land become a truly international community, despite the nuisance of net lag and drops.
As a mortal, and already as an immortal, I see that, as usual, I have a somewhat different outlook or philosophy about MUD2. To me, it has never been just a "game" even if it can be played only as one. Some of the best friends of my life were made in The Land, friendships which carried over into what we call "real life" and have lasted through the years.
Some of the players here have what I would call a Quake Outlook. They're here only to run around bashing other players. Even the mobiles are just a minor nuisance on their way to bash the real folks and they have little interest in the wonderful puzzles which fill The Land or in stopping to have fun chatting with the delightful parrot. That's fine, The Land can accommodate such players and the rest of us can put up with them. Sometimes those players even help to forge bonds of friendship when players join forces to eliminate the pests.
Other players seem to be totally concentrated on making it to the top. Those are the ones for whom death at a high level is a major tragedy. I never set out to make wiz here or in any of the other incarnations of The Land, and no one was more surprised than I when Panther made it the first time. My primary goal was always to have fun, enjoy the company of good people, and come to know all the mysteries of this place. Despite having been wiz three times, there is still much I do not know and even more I once knew but have forgotten. I suffered more high level deaths this time than I ever have before, mostly to dwarfs or goblins. That, or the mortal fod of my warlock, didn't bother me that much, just made me play a little harder to make up for what was, in most cases, my own careless playing. Even a few days away from wiz, I was dumb enough to get out of dwarfs on *one* stam, when those dudes with the shortsword got in three lucky hits in one round. <whew>
I've always been known as a kindly wiz, sometimes even frowned at by fellow immortals for going too far with it. My feeling is that The Land itself presents sufficient challenge and it isn't my job to make life any more difficult for the mortals. No, I'm not going to be handing out generous gifts for nothing, but you will find a sympathetic ear if you have a genuine problem or complaint and you can be sure that when that confounded sk1 attacks you, I had nothing to do with it. (He does seem to have developed a rather nasty disposition lately).
As a once notorious player named Leopard used to say "i be ur friend". Of course, he only said it so he could swipe all the icons. I say it because I mean it, and once again say "me ke aloha pumehana" to you all. I hope we have a long time ahead of us having fun here together.
Hilobay the wizard
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Starquest & Viktor