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What server is that?

by David Bennett

A very quick overview of the different server types.

There are several different mud servers out there, all of which have their own style and type of coding. This style is not a be all and end all, in fact in most servers the style is not enforced at all. Usualy the style of the muds which are produced by a certain type of driver are driven by the first type of library that is supplied with the driver. A good example of this maxim is the LPMud server and the MOO server. Most MOOs and LPMuds follow the background set down by the first released libraries, in the case of MOOs the LambdaCore mudlib and in the case of LPMud the 2.4.5 mudlib.

This restriction is not hard and fast, most servers could easily support any sort of game type (except hard coded things like Dikus and TinyMUDs). For instance, one of the lpmud servers (dgd) has a MOO interpreter written in lpc.

Comparing servers is like comparing different types of ice cream. Some people like chocolate and others like butter scotch, whilst some others don't care, so long as it is ice cream. People also tend to become obsessional about the type of ice cream, err server, they like and will say they like Strawberry ice cream despite all the evidence that other ice creams are just as nice.

Being very general about this I will say that Dikus and LPMuds tend to be of the hack and slash variety. They tend to be based on a combat system whereby you beat up innocent vermin and get experience in which to make yourself even better at beating up vermin in a never ending cycle of self advancement. The other style of mud, which is more prominent, is the one in servers such as MOOs, Mushes and TinyMUDs where role playing is considered more important. There you run around 'in character' saying silly in character things so everyone else knows you are in character. You then get a chance to complain about everyone who was not in character. The role playing muds also (usually) allow a limited building ability to everyone who logs on, so everyone can create their own little area or their own weird clothes. Combat muds do not allow this sort of on-line creation, they only allow certain people do to the creating on any given mud.

This is a whole grain, frog free run down on the different types of servers out there, may the frogs be with you forever.

David Bennett is Pinkfish on Discworld, which he has run since its inception in 1991.