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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.