The History of Elite
The world of Elitemud began in April 1994, and I first found it in October of that year. Since it has began many changes have occurred in the world first formed by IO and Rigel.
In the beginning the world was new and filled with mostly standard stock zones. Elite was however, one of the most popular muds in the entire world because the way it was coded. The combat system was set up to be faster than most circle bases had been before. The code incorporated features of combat such as circling, which were not in use at that time by most systems. In addition to these features Elite had a 109 level campaign setting in a time where many other muds were daring 50 levels. The result was this small circle in Sweden, grew to be very popular, easily holding 85 players a game, in a time that was very hard for the administration and players alike.
Elite had quite a few problems in its growth. Despite its giant player-base in a time in which most muds had 20-30 players, it could only be up at night in Sweden, where it was based at IO’s college. This worked out well for American players, as it was daylight for them, but worked out badly for the Swedish players, for whom its design had been originally intended. The amount of disk space was so little that typically problems with memory, running out of space, and creation of new zones and equipment was at a low. Yet despite this, the superior coding of Elite only caused its player-base to become more loyal, and wait up many hours of the night to be the first ones online when the mud came up in the morning or evening after Sweden’s working day was over.
In 1995 Elite went through a major change in character development. With the consistant leading of the packs of muds out there, Elite developed a remort system. Again, this doesn’t sound like a great deal in todays mud-world, but at that time, remort systems were mostly not in use. For a mud with such a giant player-base (average of 85 players at any one time connected) this was a giant task. Elite’s remort system was from my own opinions one of the best I have ever seen developed. It worked very well, was very hard to work in, but made extreme sense for the world, and type of player at its time.
Elite also added a clan system in 1995. The idea of clans had been around before and indeed groups of characters calling themselves clans were already in the game. Elite hard-coded a clan system that still works now. In fact, I have yet to see a clan system that is better, in over six years of mudding. The code is unique and different, all of which has been the style of Elite since its beginning. The clans that were formerly just groups of people calling themselves bonded went into the game… and the great starting clans of ELITE, TRI, and Shadowblade were formed. Although some would later fall apart, as the ties that brought players together died, all are still remembered for their efforts to bring about the clan system in place today.
In 1996 Elite saw more growth, as a hotspot for players. It was featured in two prestigious mud journals, including Secrets of the Mud Wizards. It’s online registry of players numbered nearly ten thousand, of which anywhere from 85-110 could be found online at a time. The remort system was in full swing and the code was current and running strong. The only problems the system had were its downtime during the Swedish day, and the relatively painful hoarding of files on a machine where we were in constant jeopardy of running out of disk space.
The mud went through a few changes then that were not taken as well. To begin with, Rigel had been out of the picture for a long time, and IO began to fade from the picture as well. So less “new” innovation was entering the picture. Not to say that Elite did not receive new code, but it wasn’t leading the packs of muds anymore as a prototype for code. Then came the infamous crash of 1996. This all but destroyed the mud. The hard drive that Elite had been on crashed. While it was being recovered, a copy of the code was found and a two-month old player-file put in for players to play around on while waiting… and wait they did. Eventually the mud returned but it was almost 4 months later. Many players had found other places to play on during the interim and other changes were about to happen.
The mud went through a period of site changes, the good thing about them being that more space was available and there were no time constraints on the mud. It became open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The bad thing about them was, many players were lost because the simply couldn’t find where the site had moved. Elite had always promoted itself on web-servers and mud-lists, but the addresses given were no longer accurate and without the mud administration being able to take a hand in updating this information, the mud player-base dwindled.
Another change that happened was with the remort system. The current system of remorting was deemed too powerful and a giant c hange took place. In the former system, for every time a player finished the game he was given an amout of points to spend. As he remorted more and more he no longer received points, but had to make experience points only based on battle. As many players reached t he point of their final remort and would no longer be given points, they had to earn them by fighting mobs. A mob would no longer give them experience for killing it but only experience for striking a blow. As more and more players began to reach these stages, the stronger remorts began to edge out the weaker remorts and players. So the system was changed, instead of buying skills and spells, players would multi-class . They would add a class each time the remorted as a base class, and then as an upgrade. To be blunt, a lot of players did not like this new system. They were forced to convert to it, and many left and did not come back. Many saw it as pointless too because the player-base of elite had fallen from an 85 player average to a 50 player average, meaning that there were less strong remorts to run out the weaker ones. Also new zones were finally being created, so there would be more experience for everyone. The thought was that players would be weaker because they could not spend points forever as they could in the old system. They would only get the skills and spells of their classes under the multi-classing rules. This didn’t seem to make players weaker, but stronger as they could now use a wider range of equipment, skills, and spells… but it did fix the problem overall of remorts running mudders out of zones in their insane lust for battle experience points. Both systems have their weaknesses and their strengths. The system changes made many players very angry and upset, although all things must come to an end at some point and maybe the changes would all have been necessary in more time. Numerically, with the changes in player-base size, the old system seemed better in my opinion. I liked the wider range of players and a bigger atmosphere, although I do admit there were problems.