When I think about all the people whose hands have crafted the Realms of Despair I inevitably think about Edmond’s contributions, most of which I’m blithely unaware of. Edmond has been involved with coding SMAUG for more than 10 years, probably close to 15 now, and has also been on many of the game’s councils over the years as well.
I remember that it was Edmond who took some notice of me on The Symposium many years ago. One of the proposals I had put forward was for more elemental shields, not all of which would be user castable or quaffable. It was voted down but it’s one of those ideas that someone picked up or thought of independently years later that made it’s way into the game. I’d still like to see more of that but I suppose there’s not a lot of appetite for that kind of variety … to me Lord Seth should have unholy-shield and iceshield. For a character to get unholy-shield they’d have to do some side quest ala shockstones or jade cameos or what have you. Sure it’s one more step but it makes him a little more unique, a little more “different, but I digress.
Edmond also gave me my shot at being an immortal, to see how the other half lives. I know now that I was ill-suited at the time; too much ego and insecurity, not enough real ability. Hey Eddy, if you read this, sorry I let ya down.
I also recall meeting Edmond at one of the Renfest reunions and telling him I had heard that the Visionary Consortium had been threatened with dissolution. I can remember him looking at me like I had 2 heads and laughing.
Edmond’s also the person who is commonly identified with the decision to close source SMAUG after version 1.8. While I’m certain there are many good reasons at least one of them seems to be that the Realms of Despair code team puts in countless hours of work to improve the game and then people set up half-ass SMAUG muds and try to siphon away players from the Realms. At the same time these people come onto Realms and try to get their ideas put into the code, using Realms coders, that they really want implemented on their mud. Finally, every so often some of these other SMUAG muds may develop a new feature that really may be interesting to include in the distribution yet they’re unwilling to share the fruits of their labours back. All of this is speculation based on second hand information. Lots of players say it’s just because “the imms” don’t want players to be able to “min/max” the formulas and ruin the game, but I really don’t buy it. Good players can do a remarkable amount of analysis JUST using something only mortally visible and still get to shooting distance of the real formulas. This is the sort of thing I’m going to be including in my new college course that I’m working on. I don’t think there is any way to hide that without becoming very restrictive in the feedback you give players, and I don’t think there’s any effort being made to be that restrictive. I think that it has a lot more to do with the first set of reasons; if you’re going to ask Realms to be open with it’s updates, what are you doing to contribute back?
Anyway, as I say, most of this is speculative. One day if Edmond wants to set the record straight I’d love to talk with him about it. For now I’m going to leave you with a worrying closing line “Edmond thinks every generation deserves a shattering”.