inform news
A final note that got left out of the devblog update:

Note that weapon type damage balance changes will affect mobs as well as
players. If you notice some particular thunderstick or crossbow wielding
foe, for example, suddenly becoming impossibly difficult, please report it
immediately. We do not anticipate any specific problems of this type, but
they remain within the realm of possibility.

-Kereth Midknight
"Help agility" has been updated to no longer use a self-referential
definition. The phrase "determines agility and lower body speed" has been
replaced with "determines gross motor control and lower body speed." The
issue came up during wiz discussion on ranged weapon balance, and it became
clear that players really shouldn't be forced to consult outside reference
material to comprehend the in-game glossary. 

The new definition is hoped to better clarify the stat as it has been
employed in our last twenty-plus years of design and should not be mistaken
as a change in policy regarding the stat's effect.

-Kereth Midknight
Thrown ammo should no longer get extra newlines added to its description
every time it's fired, unloaded from a weapon, or stored over boot. This
was causing thrown ammo to stop stacking with other, identical thrown ammo.

-Kereth Midknight
Thanks to a player who asked to remain nameless; we now have some
updates to the devblog for readability.

Patches are always welcome for our websites as it's not on the
front of my plate though they definitely need some work.

If you have an idea or a patch; send them on in and I will
gladly review for inclusion to the site.

--Kellin
We are getting ready to drop a whole bunch of advertising.

Here's what I need - where do you think we should be advertising
to get the most exposure to the community of people who are
interested in our type of game?

Drop a mudmail to me at any point in the next 2-3 weeks.

--Kellin
The level limits described in "help level limits" to weapon specials should
now actually work.

-Kereth Midknight
Freincs are available for persons in guilds whose stat yields have changed.
Contact your local arch/admin for conversion.

-Kereth Midknight
It's always fun to hit that time of year when a reminder
needs to be made about civility and intent.

Here's the story folks:

Must-Knows
~~~~~~~~~~ 
* Harassment will not be tolerated. Disagreement is OK
  but the staff does not accept attacking an individual
  simply for the reason of having a different opinion.
* Not everyone will agree with everything and that's OK.
* Treat a person as having good intent unless you can
  unequivocally prove otherwise with facts.
* Arguments are okay as long as they are accompanied by
  a core logic and facts.
* Sometimes "reality" gets checked by being a fantasy game
  and needing to service mechanics, interesting play or
  simply maintainability.

Corollaries
~~~~~~~~~~~
* We have fairly detailed and in-depth discussions about
  changes on the staff mailing list but we always
  welcome a well reasoned argument.
* Staff are people too; if we ask for input and get lots
  of flak and static then it gets harder to ask.
* If you suggest something then be ready for the lovely
  merry-go-round that is design discussion. It usually
  takes a large amount of discussion before any major
  changes get implemented.

Here's a hard-fast example:

The first e-mail for ranged combat was sent out to staff on
September 7th, 2015. It was my query asking for a complete
workup of the entire combat system including weapon types,
base abilities on the weapons, and damage balance. The goal
was a long-term rewrite of the core code where we can easily
tweak and tune the numbers and erase some of the seemingly
arbitrary "this is the only weapon you should use" that has
plagued melee and range weapon characters for a while now.

The initial conversation covers 36 e-mails between that
first message and actual implementation. There are 13 more
in the follow-up with regard to watching the hard numbers.

Note: this doesn't even cover the melee weapon work which
is in-process as we gather information and discuss melee
weapon guilds (fighter, sentinel, paladin) with their
respective leaders in conversation over time.

--Kellin & the staff
Visit the bard guild any time between now and November 30th
to claim your very own single time use FREINC!

Happy Early Holidays from the staff!

--Kellin

PS: No promises, but there might be another gift under
    the retro tree if we tune into the right 'channel'
    while this is available.  ;)
From an RP standpoint we removed the align restrictions
on Necromancer, however, one unintended consequence was it
removed the hard join restriction for Necro/[Sikkarin Guild].

I have inquired with the rest of staff to come to a consensus
as to whether or not we want to allow it.

Make your plans accordingly - a firm announcement on the status
once everyone weighs in on the matter.

FYI: No, this is not because someone asked me to nerf it, it's
     because I noticed it and wondered how someone managed to
     do what was supposed to be locked out.

--Kellin
No more infinipets.

Should be 100% effective at boot.

If you see oddness with pets (pet items, etc) send me a mudmail.

--Kellin
All projectile ammunition can now be targetted as "ammo" or "ammunition" in
addition to other targets.

-Kereth Midknight
Oh, and that will now also be true of thrown ammo.

-Kereth Midknight
Ammo of all types can now also be targetted by element in conjunction with
the new targets. I.e. "get all physical ammo"

-Kereth Midknight
"Help freinc" has been updated. It should be more informative and less
specific to the freinc that was offered three years ago.

-Kereth Midknight
Kereth wrote:
>Mobs with player races should now display the appropriate physiologies for
>checks that care about such, including their ability to be targetted by
>various skills, what diet category their corpses fall into, etc.
>
>-Kereth Midknight
>
This change is once again in effect.

-Kereth Midknight
Those with the +skill max wish will now appear to have deft fingers, not
long ones. Any ideas for a less anthropocentric description are welcome.

-Kereth Midknight
Npc physiology fixes should no longer result in fallen and templars getting
reduced dues from, for example, humanoid animal player races.

(For those who will inevitably ask: Paladins were unaffected. As usual,
paladin checks were more stringent and thus were not affected by the
physiology change)

-Kereth "Poor Paladins" Midknight
opportunistically

why...because I can.

--Kellin
Necromancer is now restricted from Paladin and Templar
the same as it is restricted from Biomancer.

This does not preclude you from being a good-aligned
necromancer, however, Sikkar really REALLY doesn't
like it when you play with the natural order.

--Kellin
Additionally - if you are in that combo, expect an on-login freinc
to happen if you have both of those in your guild combination list.

--Kellin
There has been a longstanding bug where humanoids with nonstandard
physiologies would act as nonhumanoids for purposes of giving ranks
(rangers would get hunter ranks but assassins wouldn't get assassination
ranks for them). Adding physiologies to standard-race mobs exacerbated this
problem, causing it to be applied to player races as well.

Both problems have been fixed. Checks for hunter/assassination rewards on
death will now match other checks (such as who could dues the corpse, with
some corpses previously duesable by assassins but only giving ranks to
rangers).

Note that damage bonuses and so on were never affected, only rewarding of
ranks on death.

-Kereth Midknight
Death dragons should no longer be sent to walk in the nude. Those who send
them forth have, instead, taken measures to ensure their protectors are a
little harder to kill.

-Kereth Midknight
Shields were not adjusting their weight based on their size. This has now
been fixed.

I strongly suspect some shields out there have had their weight set in a
way to try to compensate for this bug. If you notice some shields that drop
at large sizes being excessively heavy or other weird effects, please rep
the item accordingly.

-Kereth Midknight
At player request, an abridged form of the earlier general news post has
been appended to "help tlog."

-Kereth Midknight
Eros's eq has been updated, to better reflect his power as well as some
updated standards for mob drops.

Please note that Eros's diseases stopped being permanent as of the earlier
fix to disease healing over time.

-Kereth Midknight
"Help bulk" should no longer reference a "heavy combat" skill category.

-Kereth Midknight
Items with align restrictions were getting a higher gold cost in shops as a
result, rather than a lower one, treating alignment as a feature rather
than hindrance on gold value calculations. This has been corrected.

-Kereth Midknight
The prior change has been partially redacted. Alignment has been set to not
figure into gold costs for the time being at all, rather than increasing or
decreasing them. This due to the prior change crashing some shops that sold
really low quality aligned gear, while patching that problem normally would
just result in those shops being full of free stuff. The situation will be
reviewed and more modifications may occur in the future.

-Kereth Midknight
Damage messages on weapons should now keep the text yellow after a colored
weapon name, rather than leaving the rest of the message ^normal^

-Kereth Midknight
Thrown ammo is more durable than projectile ammo (less likely to have a
shot dest when fired) and higher quality ammo is more durable than low
quality ammo. The maximum possible durability of high quality thrown ammo
has now been notably increased.

-Kereth Midknight
Shop keepers should only ask customers if they need help about 40% as often
as before.

-Kereth Midknight
Several other magic shops have expanded their inventories slightly at
customer request.

-Kereth Midknight
if you are trying to get a password reset:

'mail admin' and let us know from another character and
we send the reset to your registered e-mail address.

--Kellin
'Help world channels' has been slightly expanded, in order to give some
context for what the channels are in an IC sense and how they can be used.

-Kereth Midknight
A bug caused some boxes throughout the retroverse to, if one tried to break
them, claim to already be broken, rendering them unbreakable. This has been
corrected. Boxes should only be unbreakable if specifically designed to be,
and they should give the appropriate fail message if someone tries.

-Kereth Midknight
Having high resisting stats should no longer increase the duration of
diseases.

-Kereth Midknight
The helpfile for "guild channels" has been updated to be better formatted,
include cues about syntax and other relevant helps, as well as to refer to
"assassin" instead of "hand."

-Kereth Midknight
Store bought throwing axes can no longer be targeted as "javelins."

-Kereth Midknight
The unload command should now handle color codes correctly.

-Kereth Midknight
Freincing should now properly update your last reincarnated date in your
finger info.

-Kereth Midknight
New helpfile: help color codes
The unthread scroll can now be stored in a chest.

-Rita
We had a brief wizlock (only a couple minutes) today when saving went
offline due to full system memory. The issue was quickly addressed by
parties unnamed, and the MUD has been restored to full operation. We thank
you for your patience. If anybody logged out during that period, you may be
missing eq. If so, mudmail 'archs' and stay online or go LD in order to
receive a reimbursement, as per standard reimbursement procedure.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
-The Wizstaff
Using short score (help sc) with the percentage setting when you have 0 max
hp, sp or ep should no longer result in a sensitive mind error. Rather, the
percentage form will not be available in those conditions.

-Kereth Midknight
'Help level locked' has gained an additional line, clarifying how to check
what the level lock is.

-Kereth Midknight
The "levellock" command should now accurately reflect changes to the
minimum and maximum level locks of areas, rather than claiming some
unlocked areas lock past 45 or that some areas lock at levels below 15.

-Kereth Midknight
"Help level locked" should no longer reference level locks below the level
that actually exist (i.e. references to level 10 level locks have been
removed).

-Kereth Midknight
At player request, balls of string are now threadable.

-Kereth Midknight
The "levellock" command should no longer report level locks of 15 in places
where there is no level lock. My bad.

-Kereth Midknight
"Help levellock" should now reference "help level locked."

-Kereth Midknight
"Help bot" and "help multi-playing" have had extra clarifications added.
The short version is:

1. Being "at the keyboard" does not excuse full fledged script-only farming
(this was already suggested in example one)
2. Being "at the keyboard" requires you to be able to respond to events in
the MUD (this is the only way the distinction can be viewed from this side)
3. Controlling another character through trigs is effectively multiplaying
by the person doing it, botting by the person controlled.

-Kereth Midknight
I've made some changes to basic bank code, which should cause banks to have
updated lists of commands on their posters ("l poster"). However, many if
not most banks override this manually, which will result in them having
outdated info. If you find a bank that either does not have current info
(usually lacking the "party split" command) on their poster or does not
mention the poster in the room description, please report it with the 'bug'
command.

-Kereth Midknight
At player request, the following items are now threadable:

Grapple hooks
Canteens
Flasks of oil

-Kereth Midknight
At player request, the following items are now threadable:

Buckets
Blankets
Translator books

-Kereth Midknight
If a player's clone rose while the player was in a temp form, the clone
would be assigned a race to match the temp form. This change was in name
only, save for a few exceptions, since even the clone's visible description
would match the original player, including lying about the race setting.
Some cases where this became noticeable, however, would include:

1. Vampires tempformed as humans would lose their vulns.
2. If the character was a ghost, the clone would gain the "You think this
poor being has suffered enough" block to being attacked by any players it
didn't automatically aggro (like newbies).
3. Ranks given for killing the clone would match the temp form race name,
not the player's race name.

This has now been corrected.

-Kereth Midknight
A few other minor clone issues you probably didn't know about and aren't as
interesting have also been fixed.

-Kereth Midknight
Howdy,

In brief: 

We've unofficially drifted lately toward a position where we keep
disciplinary action quiet to preserve the privacy of those involved. This
was never a matter of policy, and after some discussion, observations of
recent events, and getting lots of unnecessary rules clarification
requests, it's been decided by concensus to officially make it not policy.

To some up a recent case (not naming names, but you all probably know by
now), so that everyone can stop stressing over botting concerns:

The player in question was unresponsive for several hours while actively
farming in a party. This included receiving tells for over an hour from a
wizard. All tells were sent on regens while skills were being used, so
there was no chance of them being missed either through excessive spam or
through being afk for potty breaks or similar. After this, the player was
summoned away to a wizard's workroom, where they continued trying to bot
skills, unaware of the change in environment, and they did not respond to
face-to-face conversation from the wizard until a friend got their
attention out of game. 

This was following reports from five different players (not counting alts)
within a single week, claiming that the person appeared to be botting. A
few of these had a bit of the "aha, gotcha," attitude, yes, but most were
of the "I hate to be a blab, but this is getting ridiculous" variety.

The simplest guide I can give to anyone on botting questions is to direct
you to the second paragraph of "help bot." If your character is earning
stuff, and you're afk, you're probably botting.

As for recent multiplay questions: Trigs that manipulate another character
are not a problem until it gets to the point that you're playing that
character instead of its owner. If they're present and playing, your "party
stand" "party rest" "summon please" "accept ress" and whatever similar
trigs are just fine. It's not until they're afk, and you're abusing their
trigs to earn one or both of you gold/exp/loot/dues/etc that you are
playing their character (thus multi-playing).

-Kereth Midknight
For the curious, I'm working on a change to ranged ammo that will utilize
the new "ammo" slot.  That said, there's another aspect of what I'm working
on that I'm giving priority to, so you'll just have to be patient while I
get things coded.  (Don't worry, it will be worth the wait.)

-Rita
Shop buying/selling caps have been standardized across worlds for weapon
and armor shops. Weapon and armor shops now come in two specific varieties:

"Cheap" shops: Will buy anything but won't pay as much for the best stuff.
"Luxury" shops: Will pay more for better stuff but will turn up their noses
at the cheap stuff.

Every world should have some of each, save for Perdow at the moment, which
only has one weapon/armor shop on the whole planet. General stores have
remained unchanged for the time being.

-Kereth Midknight

P.S. If you spot some shop that is acting like a "luxury" shop when it
seems like it should be a "cheap" shop or vice versa, please let me know.
Hi All,

Just wanted to give an update on our advertising.  With RetroMUD stable
we've resumed our advertising on ZMUD.  We locked the rate in for life, so
we'll be advertising on ZMUD for as long as RetroMUD and ZMUD both exist.

We'll be renewing other advertising for RetroMUD as well.  Stay tuned!

Tal
The golden crown is now targettable as such.

-Kereth Midknight
Rumors referring to a "Hand" guild have been manually cleared from the
list, since they were taking too long to vanish on their own.

-Kereth Midknight
Another crown, available in various locations, should no longer be a bulk 1
brow slot item.

-Kereth Midknight
Ranged combat mobs should be less inclined to bludgeon people with their
ranged weapons in the future. If they can fire over your shoulder while you
hit them with melee weapons, they can fire at you.

-Kereth Midknight
Soul cookies are now targettable as "food", "soul food", "snack", "treat",
"baked good", "good", "tasty treat", "tasty food", "circle", "non-edible
food thing", "food thing", "thing", "dessert", "dessert item", and "item",
in case people have further trouble interracting with theirs.

-Kereth Midknight
Aaaand soul cookies should also not show up as "unknown name" during
certain interractions.

-Kereth Midknight
The "Hi everybody! I'm new to the guild!" guild channel message should no
longer get sent by players until they are actually able to see the channel
and respond to greetings. Likewise, it should only be sent once.

-Kereth Midknight
The 'eq' command should now display items in nonstandard slots, such as
guild items, if the user has such equipped. Bards should now be aware of
their pins, fallen can check their number of lines, druids can see how many
charges their staff has, etc, without looking at themselves.

-Kereth Midknight
Items made at the advanced RP tailor shop should no longer bug out the
"wear all" command (note that "wear all <arg>" was fine).

-Kereth Midknight
"Help mage guild" has been updated, courtesy of Azamir.

-Kereth Midknight
Increasing the capacity of a ranged weapon, such as with the mystic weapon
spell, then loading it to full and relogging, would cause the weight of the
weapon to increase permanently and part of the ammo to vanish. This should
no longer be the case. Overloaded ranged weapons should now eject their
ammo instead of deleting it, and unloading a ranged weapon should return it
to its designated empty weight, regardless of any past vanishing ammo.

-Kereth Midknight
The 'eq' command should now accept additional arguments. See 'help eq' for
more info.

-Kereth Midknight
"Help weapon size" has been adjusted slightly, in order to correct some
inaccurate information about shield sizing.

-Kereth Midknight
The eq command should no longer cause RP items to appear twice.

-Kereth Midknight
Effective at boot, threaded items will not be permitted to be added to
merchant shops.  This won't effect items already for sale in a merchant
shop though, so I'd like to ask merchants to remove any threaded items they
know about from their shops.

(If you want to remove all of the items and re-add the non-threaded items,
I will reimburse the gold to restock, provided you do it with me present.)

-Rita
When dropping things at login (from having too much threaded stuff),
players should preferentially drop normal eq, rather than guild items like
fellblades or rune pouches (which would just vanish instead of appearing on
the ground).

-Kereth Midknight
A recent change to weapon specials has introduced a bug which is causing
fellblades and possibly paladin shields to lose points spent on special
attack.

Please refrain from spending points to increase them at this time, as it
will complicate restoring them once the bug is resolved.

-Rita
So. . . I broke it.

The fix in October to level limits on weapon specials potentially caused
some fellblades/paladin shields to lose weapon special percentage. This has
been undone until I can do it again in a way that doesn't break the MUD.
Meanwhile, we're doing reimbursements for lost pp/hnp. If you meet the
following conditions and think your weapon's special may have gone down,
please mudmail 'archs' with all relevant info (see below):

1. You were less than level 33 or untrained in the weapon skill for your
fellblade/paladin shield since October AND
2. You increased the special hit chance on your shield/blade past the level
limit for your level/training during that time.

Relevant info, if you have it, includes amount of special chance you may
have lost, what level you were, when this took place, what training you had
in the relevant skill, how much you raised it by, etc. Whatever
approximations of that information you may have will help speed the process
considerably.

-Kereth Midknight
Oh, and it's safe to continue raising your special attacks at boot.

-Kereth Midknight
Wishes shoud no longer fail to be obtained if the person praying at the
altar targets "altar" (which would attempt to find a wish with a trailing
space on the name, thus wouldn't exist). I think this is a bug I introduced
while sorting out the earlier bugs with wish shrine syntax. My apologies.

-Kereth Midknight
Gremlins burn in the sunlight. Mycnoids burn in the sunlight. Despite being
penalized the same on race balance calculations, however, it turns out that
RetroMUD vampires do not, in fact, burn in the sunlight. Unless it's a
really bright day and the vampire is very low level, they just sparkle.

A bug causing vampires to take less damage from sunlight than other similar
races and to actually take less damage still the higher level they are has
been corrected. Vampires, you have been warned.

-Kereth Midknight
Unleading mounts will no longer cause them to think you're no longer their
owner.

-Rita "the horse master" Wildfire
Unilaterally

--Kellin
The gogira event should no longer claim that Gogira is sometimes on a
different world than the one where Gogira is actually located.

-Kereth Midknight
New (very short) helpfile, courtesy of Somnusmors: help race leader.

-Kereth Midknight
Just a reminder:

If you ever need a password reset then you must have a valid
e-mail address on file for us to reset the password.

If you no longer have access to the account you originally
used to register please update it.

--Kellin
Welcome Nerina to the wizard staff!

--Kellin
The following characters have been nuked for blatant- er, for reasons:

Nerina's alts

-Kereth Midknight
The various newbie ammo (arrows, bolts, bullets, hammers) have had their
newbie eq flag removed so that they no longer disintegrate the moment you
lose possession of them.  They also have weights more consistant with their
"normal" counterparts.  (In most cases, they were twice as heavy.  For
hammers, they were quite a lot more.)

-Rita
The ring of daybreak has had its targetting cleaned up to reflect that it
is in fact, a "ring" and not a "right".  Though one could argue that you do
have a right to wear a ring, and the shopkeepers would agree with you, for
the right price.

-Rita
help resists has been updated

-Rita
The bugfix for Anakim is being rolled back after further
internal discussion.

More discussions will be undertaken with the race leader
involved; but for now as it's not shown up due to the integer
math problem for the last few years we're going to treat it
as if it didn't exist.

The xprate has been reduced back to 88%.

--Kellin & the Staff
The hide upper armor found on various worlds should have a weight more
appropriate to its slots/bulk. It should also be targettable by more
options, including "armor" and "hide armor."

-Kereth Midknight
The huge oars sometimes found on various worlds should now have weights
more befitting their size and weapon types.

-Kereth Midknight
Okay, this is technically two fixes from me today, but the other was really
just a placeholder in case this one didn't get installed in time.

There was a problem with areas on the surface of bodies of water. In
particular, the tops of some lakes and oceans have been treated as
"underwater," rendering it impossible to swim, walk on water, or fly above
the surface of them. In other places, it was possible to fly over the top,
but large races would find they were able to "touch bottom" despite having
several rooms of empty ocean beneath them.

This has been corrected for most places. If you encounter an area where you
still find yourself "underwater" (note the room messages when moving) or
touching the bottom of the ocean while walking across the surface of it,
please rep them individually.

PLEASE NOTE: Some indoor flooded caverns may only allow smaller races to
fly above the surface, while larger races are forced to swim. Such
circumstances are not a bug (there's just very little room between the
surface of the water and the ceiling). It's only a bug if you get the same
thing happening outdoors.

-Kereth Midknight
An item emitting darkness (or "absorbing light" or however you want to
phrase it) should no longer be treated as a downside for determing their
gold value in shops. As a result, the gold value of darkening items has
increased significantly.

-Kereth Midknight
There was a relatively minor bug where mob's wouldn't wield weapons unless
the weapons were targettable by the full name of their weapon, verbatim
(including color codes). This rarely came up, but I decided to fix it so
those rare mobs where the problem hadn't been noticed would start using
their weapons.

Unfortunately, I messed up the fix with the result that last boot, lots of
mobs that had multiple weapons would only wield one of their weapons,
rather than both.

This has now also been fixed. Mobs should all be wielding all weapons
they're supposed to be wielding.

-Kereth Midknight
Public channnels are not a court of public opinion.

This type of behavior will be treated as harassment.

If you think someone is abusing the system contact a sent or staff.

--Kellin
If someone were to do something silly in war (such as drown and never
actually enter combat), then credit for the kill will no longer go to
whoever you happened to be fighting before entering the war (for example, a
wemic hunter).  Now you'll just die in vain.

-Rita
Several bugs associated with damage over time and dying have been
corrected.

Fixes include:
1. Dying from other causes won't sometimes give you an LKB of the last DoT
effect you suffered from, even if it that DoT effect was applied years
previously.
2. Dying while suffering from damage over time won't sometimes cause you to
lose HB.

Note that there exist various causes of death that do not apply an LKB
message (leaving the previous LKB unchanged). Since DoT code was
introduced, these universally fell under bug number 1. If you notice your
LKB not changing from a particular death, however, and you think it ought
to, feel free to rep it. These are usually fixable.

-Kereth Midknight
World maps (the items sometimes sold in general stores or found in other
places, not the output you get with the 'map' command) should now correctly
report in their descriptions that "0" represents the ground level, rather
than claiming that the map levels start at 0 and count up. Furthermore, the
maps should automatically display the range of their pages in their
descriptions.

-Kereth Midknight

(Note that some maps may claim to have a range from 0 to 0 at present. Such
maps will display their page ranges correctly at boot.)
Hi All,

We're redoing our advertisement on ZMUD! We'd like to create a new animated
gif ad.  Here's the requirements: Maximum height 150 pixels. Maximum width
800 pixels. GIF, JPG, PNG file formats.  Animated GIF allowed.  No Flash. 
No Video.

Task value is 50 PE.  Send it to talien@toast.net.  

I look forward to your submissions!

Tal
NPCs in RetroMUD should now be a little bit more attentive to what's going
on around them in the future. If, on occasion, you notice a mob doing
something that appears to be in response to something you did or said in
its presence, it might not be your imagination.

-Kereth Midknight
The sharp gleaming battle axe, sometimes found on any world, should now
have a weight more appropriate to its size and weapon type.

-Kereth Midknight
Apparently my last fix to DoT and LKBs involved triggering some code that
didn't do what I thought it did. As a result, getting any DoT would
immediately change your LKB, regardless of whether or not you died. That
was not the intent.

I've put part of the code back close to how it was. Problems with DoT
effects assigning LKB status should be similar to but less severe than how
they were before the original fix but not as absurd as they were was after
it.

-Kereth Midknight
I did some password resets in the last two weeks.

If you were one of them, and you still can't get in with the
character you requested, please mudmail me again.

I don't want to go willy-nilly re-resetting but a few replies
to the resets were confusing so I'm not sure who actually needs
a password reset.

--Kellin

PS: This is for in game character passwords, not RetroEQ. Those
    requests will be filled in the next few hours.
If you requested a RetroEQ login I went through and made them
tonight and notified you of your account information.

If you thought you had requested one and were not included,
please contact me again and let me know.

--Kellin
Chests had a bug that was causing them to also lose the next item whenever
an item failed to load.  (The "Sorry, the item no longer exists" message.) 
This also applied to bugged items.

Example:
Item 1 (bugged)
Item 2
Item 3
Item 4

In this example, only items 3 & 4 would load, even though 2 is fine.

This has been fixed, and items should no longer travel in pairs into the
ether.

-Rita
Someone has been going around neuralyzing all of the cut gems so that they
don't remember who they were threaded to.

That person has been neuralyzed, so they won't *flash* uh...

Someone has been going around neuralyzing all of the cut gems, and it'll
probably be fixed tomorrow.

-Rita
As of boot, plushies modeled after Daiyu won't identify her by some other
name.

-Kereth Midknight
There was a bug where when creating a character, it would only check if the
username you enter already exists WHEN YOU ENTER IT.  This means that
between the time of entering your new username and completing the last
prompt in the initial setup, someone else can come along and enter the same
username.  This would result in two players with the same name, and chaos
ensues.

This bug has been baked into a dumpling, and served with a side of curry.

-Rita
We have detected an issue affecting the physical host your Linode resides
on.

We're working to resolve this as quickly as possible and will update this
ticket as soon as we have more information for you.

Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.

----

We have resolved the issue affecting the physical host at this time.

There is no need to issue boot jobs for your Linode. If your Linode was
previously running, a boot job has been queued and your Linode will boot
shortly. You can monitor the progress of your Linode's boot from the
Dashboard tab within the Linode Manager.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.
I will be troubleshooting this more later; but for now I threw
a manual reboot so you all can play while I'm at work.

--Kellin
Dead remorts should no longer become ordinary ghosts (rather than remortal
ghosts) if they stay dead over boot.

-Kereth Midknight
We have two bug fixes to threaded item loading:

1) Items with duplicate save file data that exist in different sets of 50
items will no longer delete one of those items.

2) Items will load their data -before- being moved into inventory.  This
matters for items like armor/weapons, where the size affects the weight. 
This was causing some items to drop to the ground, even though they aren't
actually too heavy to carry.

Changes effective at your next login.

-Rita
We are aware of an issue where tokens are not resizing when
the remortal logs into the game.

Rita has identified the autoload fix from a few days ago as
the root cause and is currently working on the token to both
resolve this issue and prevent anyone else from having the
same visceral reaction to the code that she had when she opened
it this morning.

Never fear, no Ritas were harmed in the opening of this bugrep.

Stay tuned - fix inbound.

FYI: even though it says the token didn't load it actually
does appear in your inventory and as a workaround the normal
command to resize it does still work.

--Kellin
The remort token has been cleaned up a bit:

1) 'resize' and 'sacrifice' commands were removed, because they were
duplicates of 'token resize' and 'token sacrifice', and they were
potentially in the way of area commands and the like.

2) A misplaced check was causing a "You don't have your token with you!"
message when the token was loaded.  This came about because of the threaded
item change (which loads the item before moving it to inventory).

3) Cleaned up a few things in the backend that won't affect anything you
see

-Rita
Surpisingly, the following bug rep is not very helpful:

[BUG]: [Name omitted] at [Time omitted] in
    [Room file omitted]   sent to Welstar
    Your sensitive mind notices an error in the fabric of space. Please
    report
    what happened and what you were doing immediately using the 'bug'
    command.

All we get out of something like this is the room in which something
occured, but if there is nothing obviously wrong with that room, then
there's not much we can do with something like this.

Please always try to give us some details of what was happening at the
time.  "I did [some action]."  "I got a message, and then the sens mind
error"  Something to give us some idea of what we should be looking for. 
Without these details, we have no choice but to delete these bug reps.

Thank you,
-Rita
From the provider:

The event on July 16th was an issue with how the host was handling disks
for a subset of Linodes. The issue was cleared and a reboot of the host was
processed so that we could apply an upgrade to the host's virtualization
software.

Today's event was an unexpected condition in the host's kernel that
required a reboot to correct.

Note: this is all the underlaying host machine, not our node.

We will be able to mitigate this better in the future.

--Kellin
Various bugs related to being or not being in combat should now be
corrected. If you experience any new problems relating to this, please rep
them immediately.

-Kereth Midknight
Pets should now wait 30 minutes before returning to the wild "due to
inactivity", rather than running away the instant that you go linkdead.

Pets will also not immediately run away if their owner happens to be
another monster.

-Rita
There were some shadowy corners of the frames version of the
website that had the IP from two hosts ago.

These have been updated to current/modern links.

As always - send your website bugs to 'website' category if you
find something wrong on the sites.

--Kellin
Newbies should no longer load with cookies they can't eat.

-Kereth Midknight
Okay, so it turns out my earlier fix to being in combat/non in combat broke
party follow for cases where enough party members and pets would try to
enter a room with enough mobs. Oops! That should hopefully be fixed now.
Sorry about that.

-Kereth Midknight
If you lose your leader, you should hopefully be informed if it right away
now, not after the next time your leader moves.

-Kereth Midknight
We had a crash earlier today, and though we kinda gave the all clear on
channels, I got a request for a news post.  So this is me giving a news
post form of the all clear.

Kereth was trying to fix a bug that would occasionally claim that you're in
combat when trying to use a skill/spell, but you're really just sitting
outside and the rest of your party is off killing something.  His fix
happened to trip over some combat code, and an infinite loop was born. 
This fix has been rolled back, and a different fix for this bug is planned.

Anywho, you may resume your regularly scheduled slaughtering.

-Rita
Three hardware issues in 3 weeks.

I contacted the provider and had an emergency migration
scheduled to a new hardware node.

Our virtual node that runs the mud is now atop new hardware in
the updated data center that was just built.

Big props to our provider for making this happen in less than
20 minutes after my initial request.

--Kellin
Scrolls should now correctly show labels and other extra tags when lying on
the ground in a room.

-Kereth Midknight
'Help guild dues' should no longer refer to alchemists collecting potions
as dues.

-Kereth Midknight
The wear command should now work with considerably less irregularity when
dealing with vanity items (such as those produced by the advanced RP tailor
shop). Also, some checks in the wear command probaby didn't work the way
they were before, so you might notice some changes. For instance, your pets
probably can't wear enchanted (like with your spells) armor and probably
could before, even though the code was trying to stop them from doing it.

-Kereth Midknight
The spiked leather armor, found at various locations throughout the
retroverse, should now have a weight more befitting its slots/bulk.

-Kereth Midknight
Ranged mobs with no ammo in their weapons should now fall back on melee,
rather than uselessly trying to fire an empty weapon.

-Kereth Midknight
Shop keepers should no longer attempt to say the color codes of your items.
Not that they actually can speak in color, but they tend to trip up on them
if they have a speach impediment that involves letters in the color codes.

-Rita
Kereth wrote:
>Ranged mobs with no ammo in their weapons should now fall back on melee,
>rather than uselessly trying to fire an empty weapon.
>
>-Kereth Midknight
>
Note that this does not involve and was not intended to involve mobs
unwielding those ranged weapons. A mob with an unloaded thunderstick in his
hands will still try to hit you with the thunderstick. He just won't try to
shoot you with it.

-Kereth Midknight
Welcome Lightfoot to the wizard staff.

--Kellin & the Retro Staff
Eatting food in a pub will no longer result in an instant ep gain.  Because
stuffing your face with mountains of food shouldn't give you an instant
energy boost, as anyone who has had a Thanksgiving dinner can attest to.

Since a pub comes equipped with cutlery and a pleasant atmosphere, there
will instead be a slight boost to the calories you get out of the meal.

Also, there will be no more rounding of food values, so even very small
meals will eventually fill you up if you eat enough of them.

-Rita
Rumors about Daiyu should no longer refer to her by some other name.

-Kereth Midknight
Effective at boot, you will now be able to use k or m when specifying how
much to transfer to someone.  All of the following examples will be valid:

transfer 5k to rita
transfer 7.5k to rita
transfer 10m to rita
transfer 15.375m to rita

-Rita "now taking donations" Wildfire
You may see hiccups in RetroEQ and DevBlog in the next 48 hours.

The hosting I use for them is no longer viable and I need to move
them to our main provider.

Please note: I will be snapping the database and turning off the
old RetroEQ and importing the data on the new service. If you
input data in the next 24 hours and it magically vanishes, then
this is likely the cause if you hit that 'magic window'.

--Kellin
Not sure if you're resolving RetroEQ yet?

new machine should respond to pings with IP: 45.33.15.90

--Kellin
I completed the move process this morning for devblog.

You may notice RetroEQ is pointing at devblog right now; this
is because I somehow managed to think 'devblog' and type
'retroeq' instead and it got picked up before I could fix it.

The DNS should resolve by tomorrow at the latest - get both
back while pinging which means some DNS servers just haven't
gotten the memo yet.

--Kellin
If you have problems loading the websites:

-- clear cache
-- close/re-open browser

This PSA brought to you by 3 hours of wasted debugging.

--Kellin (and Azamir)
There's been some updates to race code. So far, these have just been some
framework updates, so they won't affect your gameplay, but you should
notice a change in some race helpfiles. Some of the most visible of these
include:

1. Physiology types are now listed under "miscellaneous" instead of under
"disadvantages."
2. Shadow's "affected by light" trait is now visible.
3. Some longstanding typos have been fixed.

-Kereth Midknight
Mobs with player races should once again have the relevant physiology type.

-Kereth Midknight
Being a plant was listed as both a disadvantage and a miscellaneous trait
prior to the last change to race helps. As a result, it became listed in
miscellaneous twice on plant races. This has now been corrected.

Being damaged by sunlight was listed as a miscellaneous trait when it was
clearly a disadvantage. This has also now been corrected, so that being
damaged by sunlight will show up as a disadvantage when it occurs.

However, it turns out that races with that trait already showed "damaged by
light" as a disadvantage and "damaged by sunlight" as a miscellaneous
trait, so we've now got a new version of the first bug, where they show
both traits as disadvantages as if they were separate effects. This has not
yet been corrected but hopefully will be soon.

-Kereth Midknight
I don't typically like talking about future features because it
can take a while to turn into code, however, after the heated
discussions tonight I feel it's appropriate to let everyone in
on the fact that the staff has already been discussing a
replacement for the critical break mechanic.

Long story short - items are moving to a durability mechanic
and things that go to durability zero will become null/useless
objects until repaired/restored via a new mechanic.

How that new mechanic will be implemented (within current
the current set of skills?  new skills in primes?) is what
we are debating at the current time as well as the costs.

I have asked the arch staff to review taking crit breaks
offline until such time as we have this fix ready to go into
place and if feasible, we will announce when that happens.

--Kellin
  Critical breaks in armor and weapons are disabled upon boot.
  -ray
  Yes, that includes shields.
It should no longer be possible to equip broken items (wield or wear).

-Kereth Midknight
Contrary to popular belief, levellocks ABOVE 45 were disabled, not
levellocks that are 45 exactly.  Due in part to the confusion this causes,
levellocks at 45 have also been disabled.

Effective at boot or quit/re-enter.

-Rita
"show next lq" will no longer bug out if you're level 98-100.

-Rita
Combat messages should no longer leak color codes while in battle high.

-Rita
There was some network maintenance going on host side, looks like
someone messed up and took down the whole network for a few.

The game did not crash - this was external network to the
outside from the data center that had the hiccup.

--Kellin
'Help constitution' has been updated to show the actual effect of negative
constitution, rather than claiming it does something else.

-Kereth Midknight
Due to a misunderstanding and oversight on my part, items broken through
non-critical breaks would still sometimes vanish, rather than remaining in
a "broken" state. This should no longer be the case at boot.

-Kereth Midknight
Broken items should now have a [BROKEN] tag on their short descriptions to
more readily indicate that they are broken.

-Kereth Midknight
You may now add your hunger to your prompt.

It grants a %percentage of your satiation similar to what you
see in the bar graph in 'condition long'.

--Kellin
Players who die then immediately reinc should no longer leave behind buggy
clones.

-Kereth Midknight
Some conflicts between actual alignment and racial alignment were causing
some align aggressive monsters to aggro to the wrong alignment of people.
This has been fixed. Be warned that there -may- be places out there where
monsters previously aggroed to good or evil which will now be aggro to the
opposite.

-Kereth Midknight
Players going LD should no longer leave the room they vanished from lit or
dimmed in a way that suggests they are still present in it.

-Kereth Midknight
After defeating Chameleon, players will no longer be forced to sprint to
the portal or risk being trapped inside the fight zone until boot/quit/etc.
You may now savor your victory as you take a nice leisurely stroll through
the portal.

-Rita "puncher of holes" Wildfire
The 'me' command should now use the same threshold as the actual checks for
skill/spell penalties when choosing whether to inform players about
suffering from agoraphobia.

-Kereth Midknight
Those typing "help home world" should now receive an indication of where
they should actually look for the information they seek.

-Kereth Midknight
Attempting to use "load" instead of "reload" when trying to put ammo in a
weapon should no longer result in a request that you contact a wizard.

-Kereth Midknight
Just a quick Public Service Announcement

We appreciate bug reports, typo reports and other communication.
However, if you have an issue with equipment, or an area,
Is is immensely helpful to target that equipment if possible
and if not, at least create the report in the area it is
from.

Tracking down equipment is usually 80% of the time spent
fixing minor issues.

Thanks,
Wxyz
Hi All,

Got two donations where the donator forgot to send in their permission
form, and one donation from someone who didn't register.  

Please read help donate carefully, remember to register, and be sure to
send both the donation as well as the permission form.  That form is both
necessary to figure out who the donation goes to as well as a document for
our records.

Thanks all and happy holidays!

Tal
Okay, so somebody (probably me), broke some stuff in combat code some time
ago. Several skills were effectively offline as a result (including but not
limited to two hard form path skills), while others were behaving oddly
(such as water combat or way of the reed) and being 0% effective until you
passed a certain training threshhold, at which point they became 100%
effective. Also, randomization of melee crit damage was almost entirely
eliminated.

This should all be fixed now. Broken skills are back online, and your crits
will be more varied in effect. Note that this has been this way for
probably aboug five years, so you might have gotten used to the broken
version in some ways. My apologies.

-Kereth Midknight
While the bugs that I (probably) made were being fixed, a couple much older
bugs have also been patched:

1. Unarmed hard form martial arts should no longer have (as?) unnaturally
low stun rates.
2. +Crit wishes should actually affect hard form martial arts, like the
helpfiles suggest.

-Kereth Midknight
Sorry, I meant to say:

1. Unarmed hard form martial arts should no longer have (as?) unnaturally
low CRIT rates.

Hard forms do not stun any better than before.

-Kereth Midknight
  Who will now add a * to the party name to mark the party leader.

  -ray
  Who legend now lists what the * means.
Vanity items (such as the advanced RP shop items), should no longer
experience small irregularities in function (compared to armor items) when
you remove them. This includes interaction with sensory checks, telekinesis
costs and probably some other minor things. Removing them should act 100%
like removing other equipment for command syntax, checks and (if any) side
effects.

-Kereth Midknight
Upon closer examination, and at player request, the skill checks in combat
affected in some way or another by the recent combat fix have been
determined and I -think- are limited to the following:

Water combat
Way of the reed
Gokan-ryu
Bodi soukaiya

Water combat was disproportionately affected in the sense that it's checked
all over the place and was always subjected to this issue.

-Kereth Midknight
Effective at boot NPCs that are not also controlled pets will
no longer be able to receive protection spells from players.

This is a proactive change to prevent trolling though we've had no
such instances of it being used to troll over the past 20 years.

The fix as noted by Kereth stands with regard to NPCs being able to
cast self-protection spells. If a fight seems untenable, then please
report the specific fight and we can evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

--Kellin & the Staff
Managing to inflict certain kinds of damage on already broken eq items
should no longer result in a sensitive mind error.

-Kereth Midknight
Mindsense should now correctly be able to detect the minds of non-mindless
undead.

-Kereth Midknight
A check in the look command was trying to prevent the "It is a ." lines
from showing up in descriptions and failing. It has been fixed. It is still
appropriate to rep monsters of this type, but they will now be missing a
race line, rather than having an "It is a ." description.

Monsters that are designed not to give ranks of any kind (assassin or
ranger) should now show up as being "grotesquely deformed" rather than as
"a none." so you can still tell them apart from mobs whose races have
simply not been set.

Thanks for all the feedback on this issue, and my apologies for taking so
long to address it.

-Kereth Midknight
Wished pathing should be less counter-intuitive in the future. It should no
longer by possible to waste wishes or mess up your reinc by accidentally
leveling guilds in the wrong order.

-Kereth Midknight
Help wished pathing has been updated to reflect this.

-Kereth Midknight
New command: count

'help count' for more information.

Effective at boot.

-Kereth Midknight
  At boot, labelled items will have 'It is labeled <whatever>.'
added to the long description you get when you look at them.
  -ray
Melee weapons have tentatively and experimentally been made to keep labels
over boot. If this goes well, it may be extended to other item types. Note
that this may take 1-2 boots before you notice the effect (i.e. labels you
apply next boot should start remaining over the following boot. Some melee
weapons you label this boot may already retain those labels next boot).

Please report if after this time any of your weapons are not keeping
labels. There are likely to be melee weapons this change will not affect
properly. If there are a small enough number of these, they can be fixed
individually. If there are significantly more than expected, this change
may be rolled back until such a time as we can devote more effort to a full
conversion.

Note that this affects helds as well but not shields, ranged weapons,
thrown weapon holders, etc.

-Kereth Midknight
Since everything seems to be going smoothly (or if there are weapons not
cooperating, they haven't been reported), the retention of labels has been
expanded. Everything wielded should now be covered and should retain labels
over boot. 

At least, they will. Effective on labels applied after boot.

-Kereth Midknight
Shields were not actually included in the last update about labels staying
over boot. They have been added to the list now. Again, labels added this
boot on ranged weapons and so on will start staying next boot. Labels added
next boot on shields will begin remaining the boot after that.

-Kereth Midknight
Paintbrushes have gained two new commands:

detail <lookable> : Adds the lookable item to the castle room.
blot <lookable> : Removes the lookable item from the castle room.

Using any of these commands will consume the paintbrush.

Effective now. Enjoy!

~Nerina
Worn items (aside from vanity items, guild items, newbie-eq, tokens, etc)
should now also keep labels over boot. This should apply to labels applied
to gear next boot (who will then keep it into the boot following).

-Kereth Midknight
For those receiving 'crash logs' this morning, it was not a
crash due to the mud.

It is due to emergency maintenance due to the Spectre and Meltdown
vulnerabilities done by the provider on the base hardware that
is underneath our services.

It was done with pretty short notice - but the vulnerability is
pretty much that bad.

There is more maintenance coming; I will communicate what I know
as soon as I know it.

--Kellin
After many delays, the reforge command has been added to merchant repair
shops.  The main sources of the delay: my OCD and the poster.

The basic mechanic is this: place an item on the ground in any merchant
repair shop, have someone with the appropriate repair skill "reforge <item>
for <player>" (make sure to "accept reforge from <player>" first), and you
will then be charged a large sum of gold to get your item repaired to 1%.

Don't forget to get the item repaired the rest of the way.  The reforge
only puts the magical dust back into your item, it doesn't clean up the
weld lines or sand off all of the splinters.

Getting some of the questions out of the way:
Q: What's the point of saying who the reforge is for?
A: So they get the bill instead of you.

Q: Can you see the gold cost before attempting a reforge?
A: Yes, "reforge estimate <item>"

Q: Do you have to accept reforge from yourself?
A: No

-Rita "it's not procrastination if I have an excuse" Wildfire
There was a small bug in the way shops calculated their overhead when
selling items to players between approximately 500 and 1000 (values rounded
because I'm supposed to hide exact mechanics or whatnot) gold in value.
That bug should be corrected at boot. If you notice something in that price
range changing its cost slightly from what you remember, you now know why.

-Kereth Midknight
Hi Gang,

So it only recently occurred to me that I should be leveraging my social
media channels as prime advertising space for RetroMUD.  The ads will now
appear on a weekly basis at:
* /worldofwelstar 
* /worldofwelstar
* /in/michaeltresca/detail/recent-activity/shares/

You can help!  If you haven't connected with me yet on those social
channels, please do!  Then, every time you see the ad, share it on your
channels.  This is by far the most powerful means of getting social content
out there, as the social platforms make shared content more other people
share it. 

And of course, you can spread the word right now on your own channels by
cutting/pasting this content on your own feeds: 

Join an epic #fantasy role-playing #game spanning six worlds. RetroMUD: The
Magic Starts Here! retromud.org. #RPG #DnD #MUD

Thanks for helping us spread the good word about Retro!

Sincerely,

Tal
It is now possible to use the "in room" specifications when removing
objects from a conainer. I.e. You may "get all from chest in room" or "get
all from corpse in room" to interact with objects on the floor instead of
those you may or may not be carrying.

-Kereth Midknight
Autoloot should now correctly seek to loot corpses on the floor instead of
prioritizing corpses in the player's inventory.

-Kereth Midknight
Attempting to reforge items that the MUD marks as overpowered should no
longer result in claiming that the reforge is impossible, and should
instead cite the appropriate cost.

-Kereth Midknight
The fixes to handling of certain items on GID/reforge have been temporarily
rolled back, in case of possible issues.

-Kereth Midknight
The fixes to handling of certain items on GID/reforge have been
reinstalled. We apologize for any inconvenience.

-Kereth Midknight
Thanks for the submissions, the following repair abilities
were also brought into alignment with the new specs.

These skills/spells were already updated:
  - metal mend
  - instant mend
  - hardening
  - softening

These skills/spells are now functioning correctly:
  - resizing
  - altering

-- Kellin & the RetroMud Staff
The descriptions of neutral alignments in score output should now be more
detailed, matching the same alignment range as descriptions from the good
and evil ranges.

'Help alignment descriptions' has been updated to reflect these changes.

-Kereth Midknight
Nscore should now display the expanded neutral alignment descriptions also,
as per score.

-Kereth Midknight
Player prompts should nor properly display color tags, if players choose to
use them.

-Kereth Midknight
Note that, as a result of the color change, players using prompts
containing individual lines wider than their screen width setting may
notice some changes in how the wrapping is handled, with lines breaking at
spaces where possible, instead of directly at character counts. My
apologies if this causes any inconvenience.

-Kereth Midknight
The prompt command was replacing underscores and $'s with spaces. The prior
was messing up some color tags and not actually necessary, as far as I can
tell, for prompt parsing. It has been removed. $'s will still become
spaces, however, so be warned.

-Kereth Midknight
Damaging items that are already broken (such as by dropping them) should no
longer result in the process that damaged them bugging out, dropping
messages or portions of the effect in progress.

-Kereth Midknight
There was a bug where, although it was impossible to get more gold than you
could carry, gold you just picked up wouldn't affect your carrying capacity
until a split second later, meaning that you could immediately pick up
something -after- picking up gold (or together with the gold, if your "get
all" got the gold before the other item), without it accounting for the
gold's weight when trying to get the other thing, thus causing you to still
go over capacity.

This has now been corrected. Special thanks to Daggerbeard for his patience
with my testing.

-Kereth Midknight
Okay, apparently the last fix introduced a new bug where moving things
around in the right order enough times could result in your max carrying
capacity being temporarily set to 0. My bad. This has now been fixed.

-Kereth Midknight
The Eros event has been updated to be less disruptive to gameplay. Eros
will no longer barge in uninvited and he will offer some new services if
you visit him in person.

There has been some insistent rumors that marrying some players off would
end the event. There's nothing in the code to support this and after some
just-in-case testing it seems that those rumors simply aren't true. If the
event has ended after a couple getting married before, it has likely been a
coincidence (or a trolling wizard).

~Nerina
  Twister from twister event should no longer get stuck in 
certain rooms on Raji.
It should now be possible to use winged flight while wearing a cloak.

-The Wizstaff
Gifted Ones - rejoice!

You shall no longer struggle to use that charged
component instead of the empty one right next
to it during the heat of battle.

Spells/Skills using components should no longer
require you to juggle your inventory just to
find the item that still has charges.

The fix requires the item itself to update;
all items will fixed as of boot.

If you see any problems with an individual
item before boot today please notify a
staff member and we can update them in
place for you.

--Kellin
Many of the syntax issues involved with getting a certain amount of coins
should now be cleared up, both for obtaining them from the floor or out of
a container. Known coin handling issues still exist with, for example, the
put command, and similar issues are expected elsewhere.

-Kereth Midknight
Some recent changes to areas to allow partial completion had an
unforseen downside.  Some of them allowed unlimited use of the
saved object to bypass the first parts of areas when before that
object would be used and not saved.

I have updated several to restore the intended functionality.
If things aren't working right, or if I missed one, please
let me know.

I apologize for the convenience.

Wxyz
Due to a bug, low level templar npcs (the kind who could cast secondary
level spells but not the prime level spells) were getting extra innate
unholy resistance. This has been corrected.

-Kereth Midknight
(The same bug applied to extra low level fallen mobs. It has also been
corrected)

-Kereth Midknight
We've made a few changes to ranged combat:

1) The crit damage tert skill is slightly more useful now (non-pathed crit
damage got nerfed slightly)

2) Killing skills (hunter & assassination) now actually apply their bonuses

3) Using a ranged weapon without training the relevant attack skill will no
longer be possible

4) NPCs will crit more often, but for less damage.  This results in
approximately the same DPR, but reduces the spikes.

These are not the last changes that will happen to ranged combat, but the
hope is that this will address some of the more pressing issues it's been
having.
-Rita
A strange portal has been seen in the abjurer guild.

It's only available until May 10th.

--Kellin & the Staff
As many of you may be becoming gradually aware, a long time player is no
longer with us. After giving prior notice, waiting beyond the designated
consideration period and then later confirming his seriousness, Cullyn and
his alts have been wiped at the player's request.

Although we cannot divulge personal information related to his departure,
we can confirm that he will be missed, and we wish him the best in all his
future endeavors. The IKEA party will struggle without their devoted tank,
but we rest firm in the knowledge that, so long as he is out there,
somewhere, they will never be truly disbanded.

Here's to you, Cullyn.

-The Wizstaff
Our upstream provider notified me today of a maintenance
window that will require rebooting the machine.

The window is scheduled as 2 hours of downtime:
  2018-05-03 4:00:00am UTC  (main game server)
  2018-05-10 5:00:00am UTC  (RetroEQ service)

--Kellin
I have reviewed and updated poison curing abilities. The following changes
were made:

Weaken poison type abilities have had their cost reduced.
Remove poison type abilities have had their level reduced.
Poison immunity type abilities have had their level standardized.

All of the above have had their costs balanced, including reductions for
special conditions they might have. Some of the abilities also had their
mechanics (and helpfiles) slightly modified.

Spells affected by the change:
Weaken poison
Chi relaxation
Slow poison
Distant weaken poison
Remove poison
Neutralize poison
Ablution
Poison immunity

Skills affected by the change:
Leeching
Cure poison
Cautery

~Nerina
The RetroMud staff has been discussing some changes to one
of the larger aspects of the metagame.

The sentinel guild has, traditionally, carried the extra
burden of owning the enforcement of our community rules.

We are going to change this by moving those metagame
responsibilities into a new community pillars program.

The other change that will come with this is a modernization
of our community guidelines and standards. We have a raft of
rules, however, the staff has come to an agreement that we
should also have a larger vision of how we believe a healthy
community looks and operates.

Here are the next steps:
    - Foil is now effectively the leader of the community
      pillars program. He has proven time and again his
      ability to deal fairly with the community.
    - We will define a process for application to the
      community pillars program.  The program leader and
      the staff will determine the status of applicants.
    - If you have ideas for the community guidelines, then
      please send those in via IDEA.

Stay tuned for more information.

-- Kellin & the RetroMud Staff
Yes, we are aware.

No, this is not solicited advertising. We have always announced
when we advertise.  (Specifically, Talien posts about it.)

You can always safely assume that if we haven't posted about
it that we didn't solicit it.

--Kellin
Speaking of things that we've been aware of for a while, Fumbles and all
associated alts have been nuked. Fraudulently impersonating RetroMUD staff
and deliberately misrepresenting our brand are actions with serious
consequences. I do not advise anyone to follow Fumbles's example in this.

We apologize for taking so long to follow up on these reports. We wanted to
be sure.

-Kereth Midknight
Avala has requested that the staff grant a temporary site ban
to help himself cool off in light of recent events. We have
granted him a temporary one month siteban per his request
and wish him the best.

-- The RetroMud Staff
A few pieces of random drop jewelry have had their weight standardized, to
remove the obvious outliers with no obvious reason for their excess weight.

-Kereth Midknight
Hi All,

You may have noticed that RetroMUD has been active recently in social
media.  We had someone use RetroMUD's trademark under false pretenses,
which made it clear the game didn't have the appropriate levels of social
media presence.  So we've corrected that and are "cleaning up our house" so
to speak to ensure that if anyone has any confusion as to what RetroMUD
represents or stands for, there are official sources outside the game to
review it. Here's the latest.

* RetroMUD has registered a new PO box and we are updating our trademark. 
When that's completed I'll post another update. 
* We now have a Facebook page: /retromud.  It will
provide automated reminders weekly about all the top rankings on here
(Paladins, Fallen, etc.)
* We filed a claim to take back the Twitter page, so we have regained
control of it: /retromud. It will also provide
automated reminders weekly about the top rankings.
* We now have an official LinkedIn page:
/company/retromud/
* Our Code of Conduct is currently under revision, but you'll see it on
Facebook (and we'll update it when it's finalized). 

One of the best ways to advertise RetroMUD is to use your own social media
and share any of those updates, particularly when you're in the top lists. 
Please feel free to share.

Thanks again for all your support!

Talien
The wave of syncophancy unleashed when using the name of Sikkar in front of
paladin or templar mobs should no longer grow exponentially in degree with
the number of aforementioned mobs present. Effective as of boot/respawn.

-Kereth Midknight
Although I have not yet identified the exact place which the discontinuity
occurs between the weight of ammo loaded into a thrown holder and the
weight that the code thinks is loaded into the thrown holder, as of boot,
that difference should no longer as often be cumulative over extended use,
making thrown holders with extreme high or even negative weight much less
common.

-Kereth Midknight
Hi All,

We've updated our code of conduct on our Facebook page, which is linked by
our LinkedIn page. We've taken full control of our Twitter account now
(kudos to the Twitter team for responding quickly).  The auto-tweets and
Facbook posts are up and running; one of the best ways you can help us
advertise is by sharing any of those posts.  As a reminder, here's our
sites:
* /retromud
* /retromud
* /company/retromud/

Our trademark updating continues to progress (slowly). Will post again when
that's completed. 

Thanks again for all your support!

Tal
"Help wish" has been updated to document the fact that alignment drift
wishes can be taken repeatedly.

-Kereth Midknight
"Help full wishes" has been updated to document the distinctions between
how the good/evil drift wishes work when compared to the neutral drift
wish.

-Kereth Midknight
The contents of "help wish" have been further updated to clarify that join
restricted wishes may be taken for multiple guilds and are not excluded
among the wishes which cannot be taken for cumulative effect.

-Kereth Midknight
Some of you may have noticed, but there's been an ongoing problem where
wandering mobs just all stop wandering for most of each boot. This has been
going on for a while now and the underlying problem is known but messy and
complicated (and relates to the Wedding area and why it gets its saved
state messed up). I have put a temporary bandaid in for now, so hopefully
we shouldn't have mostly wanderless boots (with a few mobs moving a lot)
anymore.

-Kereth Midknight
Cointoss should no recognize valueless coins as valid for flipping (such as
silver and copper, should they be found). Furthermore, the message for the
toss should now specify what kind of coin is being used.

-Kereth Midknight
New helpfile at player request:

help plushie rarity

-Kereth Midknight
Blazing fires have had some minor touchups. They should no longer claim to
do anything with "fists," for example, while completely ignoring them
should no longer be a guarantee of them not getting out of control.

-Kereth Midknight
There is a potential bug that can be triggered when selling, caused by
compelling the shopkeeper to enter a command longer than the MUD is
prepared to handle. While this is very, very difficult, it can be done,
such as if, for example, you have a lot of threaded gear, all labeled, got
your eq work done that boot, etc, failed to use your keep list and typed
"sell all armor".

To add realism, reduce spam and make it much more difficult to accidentally
reach this limit, shop keepers should no longer include the more verbose
forms of descriptions when listing things that they won't buy. For example,
instead of:

Galithis smiles seductively and says 'I am not permitted to buy a
gentleman's
      lock picks, a hot cauter, a utility belt labeled LABEL3, a gebo rune
      (188 charges), a wunjo rune (297 charges), a pile of 10 bolts labeled
      LABELTEST, a pony keg of mead (16 charges), a gold and ivory
jeweler's
      kit labeled WEAPONTEST, a hagalaz rune (198 charges), an uruz rune
(198
      charges), a furled banner of Sikkar, a two foot rod, a elhaz rune
(198
      charges), a pile of 10 disintegration slugs labeled LABELTEST, The
      Levetikon, a berkano rune (299 charges), a laguz rune (191 charges),
a
      sowilo rune (299 charges), a raidho rune (297 charges), an othala
rune
      (194 charges), a ihwaz rune (185 charges), a mannaz rune (198
charges),
      a tiwaz rune (191 charges) and a perthro rune (191 charges), Kereth.'

you might now see:

Galithis smiles seductively and says 'I am not permitted to buy a
gentleman's
      lock picks, a hot cauter, a tiwaz rune, an othala rune, a wunjo rune,
a
      berkano rune, a hagalaz rune, a slug, a bolt, a gebo rune, a furled
      banner of Sikkar, a two foot rod, a mannaz rune, a gold and ivory
      jeweler's kit, The Levetikon, a raidho rune, a sowilo rune, a utility
      belt, a perthro rune, a elhaz rune, a laguz rune, a pony keg of mead,
a
      ihwaz rune and an uruz rune, Kereth.'

-Kereth Midknight
While interesting in some cases, the ability of fires to wander to places
that other mobs could not had some serious negative gameplay ramifications,
especially when those locations included private castles and newbie world
transport rooms.

Starting next boot (and applying to future fires produced during this boot,
but not any that may exist at the time this is written), they should no
longer do this.

-Kereth Midknight
New helpfile: help reprot

Courtesy of Waiting
"Help reprot" has been slightly expanded.

-Kereth Midknight
As Melonpool's general post last week and rp post today have indicated,
Melonpool and his alts have been deleted at the player's request. Real life
had other calls, and he has gone on to answer them. We wish him the best in
his future endeavors. He will be missed.

-Kereth Midknight
Doors had a bug in them, specifically when trying to unlock (or lock) a
door with certain kinds of items on the other side, would cause a sensitive
mind error if you failed to unlock/lock the door.

The bug is now impaled upon a stake outside of my labratory.

-Rita
Another plushie has been added to the treasure hunt list, courtesy of
Lightfoot.
At least from monster random drops (and blind bags, thanks to an ealier fix
by Nerina), random wands should no longer spawn with spells so big that
they are rendered unzappable thereby.

-Kereth Midknight
Hi All,

Our trademark efforts continue to crawl along. It takes 6 to 12 months
before the USPTO reviews our application, so it will be some time before we
have more to report. 

Our ads continue on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.  Follow RetroMUD there
and, if you want to spread word about the game, share the posts on social
media. 

I'll be sure to share more as it happens. 

Tal
New option for the party command: party lead by contingency

Toggling this will give the contingency leader access to the party commands
normally reserved for the party leader. If they are in the same room as the
leader and set to follow, they may maneuver the party as though they were
the party leader.

-Kereth Midknight
Low level npcs should no longer get confused about what side they're
fighting for, if their alignment drifts too close to the edge of their
prescribed zone. In particular, low level flappy or evil npcs who are
designated to attack opposing aligned enemies should no longer sometimes
begin aggroing to all non-neutral passers-by.

-Kereth Midknight
"help level locks" and "help levellocks" added upon request

-Kereth Midknight
Alignment drift wishes (good/evil drift, NOT neutral drift) had a logic
error causing them to work impropertly when the holder of the wish was
drifting in the same direction as the wish. As a result, in these cases
they would actually drift about half the usual speed in that direction,
rather than drifting faster. This has now been corrected. Our apologies for
the inconvenience.

-Kereth Midknight
The random spell picker had not been told to refresh its data in many
years. As such, several newer spells were not available via things like
random drop scrolls/wands or the chaos spell. Likewise, a few spells that
had their level or place in the guild they appear altered during the last
decade or so were being treated as if they had their old data, resulting in
a few higher level (and thus unzappable) spells, like poison immunity,
still appearing on random wands.

This should now be corrected. The data is once again up to date*, and
spells should be once again selected correctly. 

-Kereth Midknight

* The exception to this is that newly added guilds are still not used by
the code in question to assess whether or not a spell is in game. As such,
don't expect to find random drop scrolls of mark of the rose or similar any
time soon. Expect a later patch to correct this.
Achieving perfect neutrality should no longer mess up the formatting on
nscore.

-Kereth Midknight
Most components should now save their labels over boot.

-Kereth Midknight
Many uncategorized threadable items should now save labels over boot.

-Kereth Midknight
The list of component that save their labels over boot will now include
gems.

-Kereth Midknight
New command: protection

Added at player request.

-Kereth Midknight

(Command effective at boot)
The death masks sometimes found throughout the Retroverse should now be
targettable as "death mask." Our apologies.

-Kereth Midknight
New command: prots

Added at player request.

-Kereth Midknight

(Command effective at boot)
"prots" will no longer give a sensitive mind error if you have no active
prots.

-Rita
The prots command should now recognize fearlessness and, even though this
is gonna' expose of bunch of weirdness we have carefully hidden away for
years, morale.

-Kereth Midknight
The prots command should now recognize reflect effects, stat modifying
effects, iron-cant-bite and so forth.

-Kereth Midknight
The output of the assess command showed "seconds" as the units in several
cases where the effect was actually measured in rounds. This should now be
corrected.

-Kereth Midknight
A few more items should now show up with the prots command, including
solidity, marksmanship and abilities that share their effects or stacking
position.

-Kereth Midknight
Hi All,

Our ongoing efforts to defend our trademark continue apace.  We are now
able to send cease-and-desist letters if need be.  

Thanks for your patience!

Talien
So apparently I can now tell when people have been trying to find
particular helpfiles that don't exist. This is a remarkably useful way of
finding out what files ought to exist, or at least be redirects to
something that exists. Neat, huh?  In celebration of this discovery, I
thought I'd put one of those in. "help race sharpshooter," however, didn't
seem like a very good candidate, so instead we'll start the fun with:

help warrant
help warrants

-Kereth Midknight
Kwa Rahl and the Lud have now been updated to the way I in visioned it when
I originally coded it back in 2000. No eq has been chanched and the Circle
of Elders is no where near done or has been changed in any way. Just the
basic city mobs.. You will have to wait for Ancient elders to change..

As we all know, us Old tortles hate change and it comes SLOW as a tortle
walking.

-lightfoot
A fair number of new redirect helps have been added to our help system, in
order to better help people find the files they're looking for.

-Kereth Midknight
At player request, "help profanity" and similar files redirecting thereto
have been added to our helpfile database. 

Note that this helpfile details our policy on profanity to the best of my
own understanding. In the event that my understanding proves inadequate, it
may be tweaked or revised upon future admin review.

-Kereth Midknight
Numerous additional redirect helps have been added to catch common failed
'help' command attempts, including such things as 'help lend,' 'help
element' and 'help levellocked'.

-Kereth Midknight
Gems should now accept a number of targets they previously could not. For
example, "a cracked quartz" may now additionally be referred to as:

uncut quartz
uncut gem

Meanwhile "a finely cut quartz" should now be able to be referred to as:

cut gem
cut quartz
finely cut gem
finely cut quartz

-Kereth Midknight
Note: The previous news post only applies to newly dropped and/or newly cut
gems. Cut gems sitting in inventories or stored in chests will not be
affected. Uncut gems in the same locations will not be affected until
cutting.

-Kereth Midknight
After some discussion among the staff to clarify relevant questions, an
extra paragraph has been added to "help voting." This is intended to
clarify appropriate voting practices for people who roleplay with multiple
alts.

-Kereth Midknight
. . . fiiiine. Damage wards will now show up with the prots command.

You spoiled kids.
-Kereth Midknight
I have been tampering with the base code for the vanity pets. If you notice
something off in those pets, it's likely my fault. Let me know if something
doesn't look right.

That said, the mummified hand, badger, tapeworm and all the pets from
Scarrowfell pet store are now updated to the standard code.

Additionally, all the pets will now keep an eye on their owners and return
to their items if they find themselves abandoned for extended period of
time.

If you know location of a vanity pet that's not available from the pet
stores in Scarrowfell, Spartans Bay or Bone court and isn't a rock or
someones shadow, let me know. I'm trying to update all our existing vanity
pets.

~Nerina
Baby dragon and venus plant have been updated.

Bonecourt pet store doesn't bug out anymore.

The pets bought from the Spartans Bay pet store now have random genders, so
if you ever wanted an female panda or male bunkie etc, now is your chance.

Pets so far updated: 
Pets in stores (Scarrowfell, Bonecourt, Spartans Bay)
Baby Dragon
Venus Plant
Pet Rock
Tapeworm
Badger
Shadow
Mummified hand

This might be all we currently have, but if you know of one not in the list
let me know.

~Nerina
Players whose names end in -s should no longer have their names treated as
if it were a plural noun by pet code.

I.e. you could now see:

Bosedrius's Fluffy Bunny

instead of:

Bosedrius' Fluffy Bunny

-Kereth "This is Totally Newsworthy" Midknight
Vanity pets: New feature

You are now able to name your vanity pets. Syntax available in the pet
items.

Q&A:

Q: How do I name my pet?
A: Look for the syntax in the pet item.

Q: Where do I get pet item?
A: They are available in many places, the pet stores in Scarrowfell,
Spartans Bay and Bonecourt among them.

Q: My pet is a girl and I gave her a girly name! Will she keep being girl
next boot? And will the name save over boot?
A: Yes and yes.

Q: I want a girl pet! Do I need to keep buying pets until one of them is a
girl?
A: No. You will be able to choose the gender one (1) time when naming the
pet, but only if you do it before the first time you summon the pet. Once
the pets gender is established, either by giving it a name or summoning it,
it won't change. Note that you get to choose the gender only if pet has
multiple gender options available.

Q: I set my pet's gender to female, but now I want it to be male. What can
I do?
A: Go buy another pet.

Q: I gave my pet a name but I don't like it anymore! Can I rename it?
A: Yes.

Enjoy!

~Nerina
Colors in item or monster or player or whatnot descriptions should no
longer mess up the line wrapping for those items.

Please let me know if something somewhere looks weird now as a result of
this fix.

-Kereth Midknight
When presenting an item, you should no longer get a response of:
'0 doesn't seem interested in your (item).'

Wxyz

If stuff breaks, you know who to blame.
Vanity pets (pets available in pet stores and in some areas) are now able
to wear accessories. These pets are only able to wear accessories and
clothing specially designed for them. At the moment, that means only items
created in the Advanced RP store in the Spartans Bay, but I intend to add a
pet clothing store in the future, for anyone who can't or doesn't want to
make their own. If you have a suggestion for an accessory you want your
pets to have, let me know, and I'll add it to my list for possible
consideration.

Changes effective at boot.

~Nerina
Ranged ammo that has been enchanted to do nonphysical damage was intended
to deal 80% nonphysical damage and 20% physical damage. For some purposes,
however, it would act as though it were 80% nonphysical damage and 0%
anything else. For some of those purposes, unenchanted ammo would actually
act as if it were 0% of any dtype.

This should no longer be the case. At least one place this bug would occur
is in chain strikes from ranged necromancer undead (the latter version,
meaning no nonphysical damage meant no damage), while many ranged combat
skills would use the prior version (full damage if not enchanted, only 80%
damage when enchanted).

-Kereth Midknight
Correction: Most ranged attack skills are actually unaffected by the bug,
due to a different way of handling the damage.
So, at some point, I made a modification to corpse data (I'm pretty sure
this was me? I also made a more recent update, but the recent update didn't
break anything that I've been made aware of yet), and. . . well, long story
short, although nobody's repped it, I've tested pretty thoroughly and I'm
pretty sure I accidentally cut the corpse value (for necromancer purposes
only) in half for all humanoid non-bosses and made nonhumanoid bosses be
level 0 (again, only for necromancer purposes).

Sorry about that.

The bug has now been fixed.

-Kereth Midknight
Okay, so apparently because of some inconsistencies in necro code, that
actually only affected collecting negative energy. So. . . humanoid
non-bosses were giving negative energy as though they were half their
level, and nonhumanoid bosses were not giving negative energy.

And that's fixed.

-Kereth "Something Was Broke and It's Not Anymore" Midknight
The scaling effect of the size stat on satiation has been reviewed and
adjusted. A hungry titan eating their own cooked corpse under the old
formula would still be left hungry. This was not the intent. The amount of
food required to fill one's stomach should now scale in the same way as
other similar calculations used by the MUD.

Thus, self-cannibalism after a ress (for those capable of it) should be
equally satisfying (at least physically though perhaps not psychologically)
for all individuals regardless of their physical size.

-Kereth Midknight
We have been quietly working on and testing a new program
aimed at players who want to do more and help staff identify
bugs and usability issues.

Today - we are publicly announcing our intent to make a
public test environment where, if you want to help track
down a weird bug, you can do so to your heart's content.

The people who have helped may not have even realized the
grand scale of the endeavor, and we are grateful to everyone
who took the time to help us out. The contributions ranged
all the way from lengthy discussions about how to make
reporting easier all the way to sacrificing play time to
try out potential tools that make reproducing and reporting
bugs possible without access to code or normal staff tools.

We would like to thank the following folks in no particular
order for their contributions over the last two years.

* Somnusmors
* Borfax
* Cliff
* Leonia
* Taos
* Azamir
* Torr
* Sarisa

We are now moving to the refinement phase where we take all
that feedback and turn it into something useful.

Just to be sure we're clear - this is not a place to test
all your combo ideas nor is it meant to test new NPCs. We
will take away your keys to the test bus if you try it.

More details forthcoming. (ETA: Late Winter 2018)

Please direct all of your questions to Kellin or Kereth.

--the RetroMud Staff
For public reference, current versions of the following docs are available:

help player tester
help dev server testing

These are working docs and their contents may be subject to revisions as
the project moves forward.

-Kereth Midknight
Information in "help reincarnation" has been updated with regards to what
actually happens to stuff in your inventory when you reinc.

-Kereth Midknight
The "last all" argument should now been generally available on public
channels, with a few exceptions where indicated in the helpfiles (such as
guild channels). Helps for all affected channels should be updated to
reflect the change.

-Kereth Midknight
"Help spellcasting" should no longer claim that spell helps contain a line
about "saving throws" or about such a mechanic (which does not exist) being
used by monsters to take only half damage from spells.

-Kereth Midknight
"Help spellcasting" has been more thoroughly updated, courtesy of
Somnusmors.

-Kereth Midknight
A bug was causing many boxes (note NOT castle chests, which are only
limited by number of items) to have an infinite weight capacity, restrained
only by the ability of a player to lift said box while stuff was in it.
This has been fixed.

While our box design allows for magic boxes that can hold unlimited
quantities of stuff, it seems this was not intended as a default behavior
for most boxes. Many boxes should now be capable of getting full when they
previously were not.

-Kereth Midknight
The *TRAPPED* flag was meant to appear on boxes to players who can see
magic and who have personally detected a trap on the box in question (help
skill detect traps). Due to a bug, it was not. This has now been fixed.

-Kereth Midknight
Some boxes that had no lids or were otherwise not supposed to be able to be
closed could be closed anyway and even locked. This has now been corrected.

-Kereth Midknight
Recent fixes to boxes uncovered another bug wherein attempting to put
something in a broken box would result in a message saying the box was
"closed," and that you couldn't put things in there. For the moment, I have
fixed this problem, allowing broken boxes to once again skip this check.

I am currently investigating, however, the possibility that being able to
put things into broken boxes, not just take stuff out of them, may have
been a bug all along.

-Kereth Midknight
Being able to put stuff in broken boxes was, it turns out, a bug. It has
since been declared a feature. Enjoy business as usual.

-Kereth Midknight
The prots command should now correctly acknowledge iron will effects from
all sources, instead of just the ones that wear off in a certain way.

-Kereth Midknight
Most standard weapon specials had a problem where the message displayed to
the victim of the special would become fixed the first time the weapon was
wielded. This included special messages that indicated the name of the
wielder. Thus, if one person used a weapon, then loaned it to someone else,
the second person would cause their victims to see a special which included
the first person's name. This included using a weapon the same boot it was
gotten from a mob who wielded it.

The messages would correctly reset only at boot.

This has now been fixed. Using a weapon that someone else has previously
wielded the same boot should no longer result in your victims seeing that
other person getting credit for the damage you do to them.

-Kereth Midknight
Something stirs among the pumpkins. The Tree of the Dead sways in an absent
breeze. There is a sound of hoof beats in the distance. . .

Clip. Clop. Clip. Clop. Clip. Clop. . .

~Nerina
Hi All,

Here is the current status of our United States Trademarks filed through
Trademarkia:
* IT'S NOT A GAME RETROMUD IT'S AN ATTITUDE! -- 9/29/2018 - NON-FINAL
OFFICE ACTION ISSUED - CLARIFICATION NEEDED
* RETROMUD -- 10/5/2018 - PUBLICATION/ISSUE REVIEW COMPLETE

I'm working with the lawyers to clarify the edits to the graphical logo
(which basically amount to, "do you have a larger graphic?" and "can you
tweak the description?"). That's in progress.

I'll post once we make it through the review stage and the trademarks are
are official.  Thanks for your patience!

Talien
Some standardized code for granting or penalizing dues to players when they
kill certain mobs has not been working. It has now been fixed, with all its
intended quirks and mechanics. Various mobs that were intended to give dues
rewards or penalties upon being killed will now do so.

Be aware that some mobs were trying to do this and failing and were given a
workaround. With this code fixed, some of those mobs may double their
reward/penalty until they can be addressed individually. Many others just
had a workaround without the non-functioning standard code, and those will
behave as always without the standard mechanics.

-Kereth Midknight
"New" command: retire

This is the "suicide" command by a new name. Command renaming in this case
is a low cost solution to avoid the very infrequent but typically rather
dramatic misunderstandings that have come up, and because it doesn't hurt
to keep things a little more tasteful. Phasing out of the suicide command
will continue next boot when the "new" command is fully live.

-Kereth Midknight
Help events list has been updated to reflect current state of random
events.

~Nerina
Transition to the retire command is now complete. The former command has,
itself, been retired, and all helps should now direct players appropriately
to the new command, rather than the old one.

-Kereth Midknight
It should no longer be possible to "l sky" to see the sky in natural
environment rooms where the sky is not actually visible.

-Kereth Midknight
Similarly "l moon" "l sun" and so on will no longer work in those
circumstances, effective at boot.

-Kereth Midknight
Working our way further up the rabbit hole, as it were (we'll get to the
good stuff, eventually):

When dues are lost (rather than gained) from killing a mob, the penalty
will now correctly recognize when the player is a member (or worse,
officer) of the guild in question, and apply harsher penalties as a result.

Note that this applies only to the recently fixed dues penalty system and
not to the workaround systems that have been active for years and are soon
to be filtered out. Note also that penalties of this type are restricted to
negative dues. No abdication of positions or other such penalties apply.

-Kereth Midknight
The prots command has been updated. The new update should cause a large
number of neglected effects to show up correctly now. However, there is a
chance that some missing things that are now made visible by this fix were
also previously made visible by an earlier workaround I did. In that case,
they may appear twice on the list. Please rep to me any of these you find.

Solidity has already found to be one of these and has been corrected. If
some version of solidity somewhere now stops showing up at all, please let
me know.

-Kereth Midknight
Because this info was saved more-or-less by accident, and because the
players I asked seemed to prefer being able to see it, rather than me
dumping it, a new command is available. For more information, see "help
marked"

-Kereth Midknight
Still working our way back up the rabbit hole. Here's the summary for what
the middle phase of this fix will look like:

1. Paladin dues will be made to convert to honor points upon the user
entering the game as a paladin.
2. Fallen dues will be made to convert to power points upon the user
entering the game as a fallen.
3. Cultist dues will be made to convert to patron points upon the user
entering the game as a cultist.
4. Bard dues will be made to convert to bard points upon the user entering
the game as a bard.
5. Rooms where paladins, bards, cultists and fallen recover points from a
previous reinc will be made to allow converting existing "dues" from those
guilds to appropriate points without waiting for relogging, if dues are
gained/lost from quests, kills, etc.
6. Reincing out of the said guilds will be made to convert existing points
to dues, rather than saving them as an invisible quantity not checkable
until the player's return to that guild.

Due to the sensitive nature of the data being worked with, the above steps
are being rolled out individually after their successful implementation in
a testing environment. Relevant changes to existing dues sources (and dues
penalty sources) continue apace in parallel to this.

Item 1, paladin dues converting upon entering the game as a paladin, is now
online.

-Kereth Midknight
Without going into too much detail, some aspects of the base random race
selection code were malfunctioning, causing some randomized mobs to choose
races that were inappropriate for them, particularly in assigning races
with no hermetic ability to hermetic-classed mobs or similarly for
spiritual (such as a lot more dragon monks than were intended). These
errors have been corrected. If you notice certain random race areas not
containing some of the races they used to, this is why.

-Kereth Midknight
A bug with an earlier fix to cause the Gogira event not to end early if
Gogira was almost dead was, unfortunately, causing the event to not end at
all. This has now been corrected. The next time Gogira appears, it will
actually, eventually go away on its own.

-Kereth Midknight
The main effect from the fearlessness skill, and the same effect when it
comes from other sources, should now show up with the "prots" command.

-Kereth Midknight
Leaving a party while being the contingency leader and being authorized to
lead should no longer result in the party being disbanded.

-Kereth Midknight
'Party leave' should be actually working again. My apologies.

-Kereth Midknight
Wielding a weapon which kills you as a result of wielding it should no
longer leave that weapon in an in-between state of being wielded and not
wielded at the same time. I'd make a quantum physics joke, but you can't
actually observe the weapon when it's in this state, and you have to move
it to make it properly not wielded again (or wield it the rest of the way),
so the joke doesn't really fit.

-Kereth Midknight
"Help protection" and "help armor protection" should now mutually reference
one another.

-Kereth Midknight
In a related fix to the one. . . several posts back now, there should also
be fewer unicorn paladins or suula fighters floating around among the
random npcs of the retroverse now.

-Kereth Midknight
As per the earlier posted plan, fallen and bard "dues" will now convert
upon login if the user is entering the game as a fallen or bard
respectively.

Remaining steps of this stage are as follows (Note that the last item was
accidentally left out of the earlier post):

4. Cultist dues will be made to convert to patron points upon the user
entering the game as a cultist.
5. Rooms where paladins, bards, cultists and fallen recover points from a
previous reinc will be made to allow converting existing "dues" from those
guilds to appropriate points without waiting for relogging, if dues are
gained/lost from quests, kills, etc.
6. Reincing out of the said guilds will be made to convert existing points
to dues, rather than saving them as an invisible quantity not checkable
until the player's return to that guild.
7. Explore will grant "bard dues" to non-bards (be warned that dues will be
taxed on reinc as per other dues prior to conversion if exploring in
another guild then reincing to bard)

-Kereth Midknight
After a combination of late votes, lapsed leadership positions and so
forth, the simple majority consensus of current guild leaders I asked for
has been reached, and the "last all" option is now available to all on
guild channels.

-Kereth Midknight
An older bug has been fixed which caused dying mobs to not completely die
under certain conditions (involving, for example, no players being in the
room capaable of receiving credit for the kill). This resulted in a corpse
appearing next to a bugged copy of the living mob.

From a completely unrelated bug, which had the same symptoms, some newer
GMs in guilds not-yet-updated by Nerina would due the same thing but not
requiring players to be out of the room at the time of death. This was
related to some compatibility issues in custom code on those mobs and the
new updates.

I have fixed the first bug, so mobs will die normally under the specified
conditions. Nerina has fixed the second, so that gms in un-updated guilds
will also die normally, even before their guild has gotten the update.

-Kereth Midknight
Mobs who warn you about your wielded weapons will now do so in hi_green.

-Kereth Midknight
Following numerous failed attempts to locate such a file, the following new
help has been created:

HELP AMMUNITION

The following redirects have also been created:

HELP AMMO
HELP LOGOUT
HELP LOGGING OUT
HELP LOG OUT

-Kereth Midknight
"Help pray" was specifying a threshhold for additional exp loss ("three
times the experience needed to advance your adventurer's level") that did
not seem to exist in practice. The helpfile has been updated to be more
accurate and to match the other helpfiles which discuss the same topic.

-Kereth Midknight
Trash cans will now allow users to retrieve objects they have tossed.
Objects will be available for retrieval for only five minutes after they
are first tossed, so if you toss something by mistake, and you want it
back, see to it that you retrieve it promptly.

-Kereth Midknight
It should no longer be possible to obtain separate counts of case-distinct
guild dues (for example, having a different total for "Jomsviking" dues and
"jomsviking" dues) as a result of triggering the newly-fixed dues penalty
code on certain mobs.

My apologies to those who have already obtained such.
-Kereth Midknight
The bladesinging skill should now give a bonus to weapon parry, as the
helpfile indicates, not bladeparry as it previously tried to do (even
though it was not possible to have bladesinging and bladeparry active
together).

-Kereth Midknight
Ranged combat was set up to be usable in either mid or back row, and it was
correctly receiving accuracy modifiers from back row. Due to a bug in the
party place checks, however, ranged combat was only actually happening if
the user was in midrow.

This has now been corrected. Ranged combat should now be possible in back
row, as intended.

-Kereth Midknight
Slow effects applied to monsters should no longer replace existing slow
effects if the existing slow effect has a longer duration than the new one
being applied.

-Kereth Midknight
Eros's arrows (not the ammo) will be much lighter in the future. My
apologies.

~Nerina
In those rare circumstances where players manage to aggro a mob that they
can't attack, they should no longer be stuck in combat with it, facing
round after round of "You can't attack <mob>!" messages and unable to
target it with skills and spells. Rather, combat will end after a single
such message.

-Kereth Midknight
As per the earlier posted plan, cultist dues will now convert to patron
points upon the user entering the game as a cultist.

-Kereth Midknight
Okay, so it turns out I actually have the access required to fix this one
after all. . .

Hasted rounds should no longer count toward one's total rounds for the
purpose of calculating DPR.

-Kereth Midknight
The spell help for zeal should now reference the helpfile "help panic," to
make it more clear what is actually being prevented.

"Help panic" has also been cleaned up, removing a very dated reference to
"a host of abilities that instill panic," improving wrapping and fixing a
typo or two.

-Kereth Midknight
Hello Everyone,

Just wanted to give you an update on RetroMUD 2018.

* Our two trademarks are currently in progress (we're in the "review"
stage). We had to tweak the web site slightly to accomodate the lawyers,
but so far so good. I'm hoping by mid-2019 it will be locked -- the patent
office does NOT move quickly.
* Twitter and Facebook are up and running. We reclaimed Twitter and
launched our Facebook page. They auto-post content as reminders daily to
see what's going on in the game. 
* We discovered that Medievia is using our keyword to advertise their own
game. This isn't illegal (trust me, I checked with our lawyers) but isn't
particularly ethical. The best defense is to advertise on Facebook and
ensure we're present as well, sooo...
* We are now advertising on Facebook as a test pilot. We'll increase
advertising spend in 2019 as donations allow.

Just a few notes on me (not that you were asking!):
* I'm now the Managing Editor for EN World's Columnist program. To the
extent I find an opportunity to talk about MUDs I try to work it in.
* I'm now the Chair for the Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing
Games (CAR-PGA). RetroMUD's leading the way on this front in accepting a
diverse audience from all walks of life, but it's clear that there's a lot
of work to do. Our web site isn't even working so we'll get on that, but
you can find CAR-PGA at /carpga. 
* I just published a Kindle comic and will be hiring an artist to create
four more issues: amzn.to/2V5lBZw

I wish you all a wonderful holiday and will check in again in the early New
Year!

Sincerely,

Talien
A footnote has been added to "help guild positions," explaining
some exceptions that exist in calculating vote weight in guild
leader elections. Note that this is not a change to the system,
only an update to the documentation to better reflect what is
actually happening.

-Kereth Midknight
Damage dealt via the riposte, opportunity, acrobatics, etc skills should
now actually influence the user's dpr, not just show them damage numbers.

-Kereth Midknight
I have increased the maximum values on LINES (to 300) and WIDTH (to 10k,
essentially uncapping it) [see HELP SET]. Be warned that these values are
set to prevent problems our drivers have with maximum string length,
however. If you choose to increase these values and find yourself getting
sensitive mind errors when viewing certain helpfiles or similar, please
inform me promptly.

-Kereth Midknight
An obscure oddity could occur with monster aggro handling code, where a
player who aggroed a monster without actually entering combat with it (most
often by partying with someone who did) could end up counting as being
aggro to that monster multiple times. This mostly manifested through
messages appearing several times or similar minor behaviors, but the
implications could also include getting dues penalties multiplied many
times over, rather than just applied once.

This has now been corrected.
-Kereth Midknight
The show command, when listing skills or spells, interacts with WIDTH in an
unusual way. It creates a chart the width of the user's screen, even if
that means making more columns than the user has skills and spells. As
such, using the "show skills" command or similar with a width of 10k
produces a chart with an absurd number of columns and far exceeds the
maximum string length allowable by our drivers, giving sensitive mind
errors to anyone who tries.

As I cannot as readily fix the show code, I've temporarily rolled the
maximum WIDTH setting back to 800 until an opportunity to fix the other
code presents itself.

-Kereth Midknight
A few more inaccuracies have been removed from "help guild positions,"
including references to elections being only once a week, references to
permanent abidcation from killing one's guild master and references to a
"GuildWiz" position, which is not a position reflected in the current staff
organizational structure.

The information about abidcation being only for the current election period
and not until reincarnation is correct, although I understand there may be
some room descriptions in some guilds that indicate otherwise.

-Kereth Midknight
New command: guildinfo

See the helpfile for more information.

-Kereth Midknight
Multipliers to lost dues from being a member and/or officer of the guild
who condemns a kill should no longer be passed along to other party members
lower down in the party lineup than oneself, potentially stacking with
multipliers that individual might already have.

Our apologies for the inconvenience,
-Kereth Midknight
There was a bug causing Brom Bones to "die-not-die". This has been fixed
and he should die normally in the future. He should also not spam wizards
with bug messages during the fight.

Gnawing the long bones shouldn't cause sensitive mind errors if done in a
room containing too many of them anymore.

The glowing eyes should be a little less glowy and not affect the light
levels anymore.

~Nerina
To clear up ongoing confusion regarding the difference between being
"humanoid" (not having other physiologies) versus being "humanoid" (not
being "nonhumanoid"), various helps and descriptions have been updated. The
term, "humanoid," should now be used exclusively to explain the
nonhumanoid/humanoid dichotomy, not to refer to a default state without
physiology modifiers.

Prior to this change, for example, dragons were considered both "humanoid"
(not having physiology modifiers) and "nonhumanoid" (not being "humanoid"
in physical shape and form), while races like catfolk were considered
"animal" (and thus not "humanoid") while also being "humanoid" (and thus
not "nonhumanoid"). Helpfiles referring to "humanoids" should thus be
easier to interpret.

The following new helpfiles have been added, much of the text courtesy of
Somnusmors, although some of it rearranged and/or significantly edited to
remove the "humanoid" ambiguity:

HELP PHYSIOLOGY
HELP HUMANOID
HELP NONHUMANOID

Furthermore, the following helpfile has gained some additional information,
courtesy of Somnusmors:

HELP METARACES

-Kereth Midknight
Haste effects should now register via the "prots" command.

-Kereth Midknight
Gogira should now follow through on its threats to knock people out of the
room with its tail, rather than just making a convincing enough show of up
that everyone runs away in terror.

-Kereth Midknight
  Fix by Kereth on moving monsters is now live. Note that any
mobs that were moving this boot may have stopped moving or not 
move until new boot.
  -ray
Since there seemed to be some confusion on what the previously mentioned
wandering mob fix consisted of, I'll put it simply: A piece of debugging
code added to the wandering mob code during an earlier test would, under
very, very rare circumstances, sometimes cause the code to crash and all
mobs in the MUD to stop wandering for the rest of boot. A check was added
to skip the debugging line under the offending circumstances, so that this
wouldn't happen.

While the installation of the update did interrupt some mob wandering, the
purpose of the fix is to prevent future interruptions of mob wandering. The
fix has no other effect than to prevent the rare cases of mudwide mob
lethargy.

-Kereth Midknight
If a corpse decays while inside of another corpse, or in the inventory of a
player who does not have enough unused carrying capacity, it should no
longer delete everything the corpse was carrying.

-Kereth Midknight
Hi All,

Happy New Year! Here's the latest on RetroMUD:
* The trademark process continues to crawl along. We're now in the 6 month+
review stage, so we basically just wait. We did get some questions from the
lawyers to make it smoother, including moving some banners around on our
web site just to make the review easier, so we know things are moving in
the right direction.
* Our Facebook page grew by about 10 likes and our Twitter feed now has 14
followers (yay!). We're still growing, but to the extend you can share
/retromud and /retromud, that helps the game out.
* Our advertising on Facebook is ongoing. We've spent $177.75 on ads since
November 2018, reached nearly 20K people, had 368 post engagements, and 352
clicks.  I've tweaked the advertising today. We were originally just
recruiting anyone between 18 to 80, but now it will be much more focused on
those who are interested in video games. We'll see if that makes a
difference.

Thank you as always for all your support, we're now going to increasingly
invest in Facebook advertising thanks to your donations. Here's to RetroMUD
becoming even more popular in 2019!

Tal
If you see a lag monster...

'help mtr'

I can escalate to our provider's support all I want, but they
will not investigate without an mtr report showing names
and IP addresses.

What they ask me for is your MTR and then I run an MTR from
our machine to your IP address and they compare the two.

So...if you want to help slay the lag monster...send the mtr!

--Kellin
Several kinds of mount feed were not possible to actually feed to anything.
This has been fixed.

-Kereth Midknight
"help multi-playing" has been updated to better document some details of
the rules that were generally understood and followed but not actually
clarified in written form anywhere. This includes how it is perfectly
acceptable to get eq work or accept a ress from your party member's alt, as
well as how this is different from, say, hiring their alt to sit in the
regen room and cast prots on the tank between runs (not acceptable).

-Kereth Midknight
(After confirming that they're not going to dissolve insode someones
chest,) Craftable items should now be chestable and/or threadable. Crafting
a threaded craftable item will produce an item threaded to the same person
the original item was threaded to.

-Kereth Midknight
"Help ranged combat" has been updated, gaining an extra paragraph about
ranged combat stats, so players no longer need to resort to digging up the
old devblog post for that information.

-Kereth Midknight
Because it occurred to me that I probably should have done this to begin
with:

The count command now contains a stat check (int), on a difficulty
equivalent to successfully using the "think" command. This has been added
to "help stat checks".

-Kereth Midknight
Due to a bug, issuing commands to pets that were among the list of blocked
commands (those pets were supposed to be unable to use) would still work if
the command had no arguments. The command might still fail for other
reasons, of course, such as ordering a pet to "report" when the pet was
unable to speak, but such failures would not include the normal fail
message.

This should now be corrected. Pets will not execute such commands, and the
will correctly report their inability to do so.

-Kereth Midknight
'Help melee combat' should no longer erroneously claim that the enhance
criticals skill increases the chance to critical hit. It increases the
power of critical hits only, as per 'help skill enhance criticals'.

-Kereth Midknight
Hi All,

We're off to a great first quarter! Here's the latest: 
* We are now in full control over the RetroMUD trademark. That only took 6+
months and over a thousand dollars.  What this means is that we can place a
(R) next to the RetroMUD name and we have legal options at our disposal if
someone chooses to use the trademark inappropriately. 
* I finished my third novel in the "Familiar" series, set on Welstar. The
first is Awfully Familiar (amzn.to/2EjXrTC). The second is a
rewrite of The Well of Stars (now out of print), and is renamed Slightly
Familiar. The third is Un-Familiar.  I am now shopping all three to
publishers and agents; once the trilogy finds a home, you can expect a lot
more tie-ins to Welstar on here and on social media. 
* If you haven't, please follow our RetroMUD Facebook page
(/retromud) and Twitter feed (/retromud). We just
cleared 50 likes on our page, woohoo!
* We continue to advertise on Facebook, which is why we've had more growth
on the page.  We reached 13,548 people, had 336 link clicks, and a cost of
$0.27 per link click. I tweaked the settings to target gamers of various
types and that has definitely made a difference. 

Thank you for your donations and support -- we wouldn't be able to do any
of this without you!

Talien
Reincarnation code has been updated. You should notice two major changes:

1. Reincing out of Fallen, paladin, bard or cultist should result in your
power points, honor points, bard points or patron points (respectively)
being converted into standard dues for that guild.

2. The formula for druid dues from reincarnation has been updated. Instead
of being inversely tied to the reincbie's level (more dues the lower level
the reincbie is), it should now be tied to experience saved.

Thus reincing someone who has more exp spent should be worth more dues now,
not less. Furthermore, improving your reincarnation ability (training
reincarnation higher and increasing your wisdom stat) should also improve
your dues yield (by helping the reincbie to get a lower % tax on average).

-Kereth Midknight
I have updated Open/Close for future refactoring/expansion.
Should not have a visible effect for current doors/boxes.
If you encounter anything weird besides me, let me know.

Wxyz
Hi All,

I doubled our investment in advertising RetroMUD on Facebook and the
results (driving traffic to our page) are starting to pay off. January 1 we
had 58 likes. We're now at 109, close to double where we started. Of
course, those likes don't mean much unless we constantly remind folks that
RetroMUD is always on, which is why I have auto-posts that push to the
RetroMUD page about the top lists Retro puts out.

I tweaked the ad reach so it specifically focuses gamers and gamer
keywords. The advertising campaign so far has reached 54,232 people
resulting in 1,643 link clicks.

We monitor the total number of players playing now; so far, no discernable
increase, but we'll keep at it and hopefuly see a bump soon.

Thank you for all your support!

Talien
Due to a bug, the "retire" command was not actually retiring the characters
who used it, the way the old "suicide" command did. Instead, it was
basically just freincing them and forcing them to break link, with other
side effects like getting all your threaded eq resized after going through
creation again.

While having new characters "retire" but not actually leave is probably
good practice for later levels, it wasn't the intended function of the code
and was more a side effect of some of our security measures against
accidental self-deletion. It should now be corrected.

Be warned that if you "retire" in the future, your character really will be
completely deleted, not just set back to level 0 as has recently been the
case.

-Kereth Midknight
New helpfile: help undead luck descriptions

-Kereth Midknight
"Help wished pathing" has been corrected in example number 5, which still
referred to the inability to use maxtert and maxsecondary wishes on the
same guild (no longer the case). It now rather clarifies that the example
cited is quite allowed, rather than claiming it is not.

-Kereth Midknight
The final point of the earlier posted plan is now active. Namely: Exploring
new rooms as a non-bard should award bard dues equivalent to the bard
points that would have been earned as a bard.

Again, no, there is no way to apply this retroactively to existing
characters. It will only affect future exploration. Those considering a
"explore as X then reinc into bard" plan are reminded to bear in mind the
effects of reinc taxes on dues (as well as on bard points, for those who
have some from an old bard reinc).

-Kereth Midknight
Due to an additional bug, the "retire" command still was not actually
retiring the characters who used it. This has now been corrected. Our
apologies.

-Kereth Midknight
An extra paragraph has been added to "help racial commands," documenting a
previously unrecorded effect that was throwing off some players. This
applies in some way to an impressively large number of race powers (don't
worry, it doesn't apply to stuff like dsleep which might affect your
character builds).

-Kereth Midknight
Characters with a blinking effect should now be able to confirm its status
via the 'prots' command.

-Kereth Midknight
"Help party place" has been updated to reference the bonus/penalty to
offensive spells based on position in the party, since I could not find a
place where this was properly documented elsewhere.

-Kereth Midknight
There was a targeting bug on the beheading special on Brom Bones. This has
been corrected.

~Nerina
Join us in welcoming Leonia to the RetroMud Staff!

--Kellin & the Staff
The following commands should now be compatible with sense-based
targetting:

Drop
Get (from containers. Normal getting already worked)
Unwield
Remove
Label
Look
Put
Point

Note: "sense-based" means using enhanced senses to target, such as special
targets derived from enhanced olfactory, enhanced hearing, mindsight and
infravision. Thus one can "label moderate weak cold source as shopplz" etc.
Some of the above commands may still not work when blind, merely allowing
you to use alternate forms of targetting.

-Kereth Midknight
I fixed a bug on the website where the Ascended races
were listed under the mortal page.

Eventually they will get their own panel.

--Kellin
Getting too many objects at one time from a container should no longer
result in a sensitive mind error.

-Kereth Midknight
Thrown weapon ammo weight should now scale when the ammo is resized. Yes, I
know atomies are still firing arrows that weigh as much as the ones the
titans fire, but at least their harpoons are different.

-Kereth Midknight
Our provider needs to do hardware maintenance and has
scheduled us for downtime.

June 27, 11:00pm US Eastern Time we will be down and should
be back online no more than two hours later.

Note, the actual window should be less, but I'm purposefully
enlarging it to provide time for any unanticipated issues.

--Kellin
RetroEQ will be offline for up to two hours for maintenance.

June 28, 2019 at 5:00 pm US Eastern.

--Kellin
The provider maintenance went off as announced previously.

The service came online within 45 minutes and our announced
window had been two hours, so, from that standpoint all is OK.

For those who may have noticed the machine was pingable but no
services was available, I have resolved that issue and will be
digging into the root cause over the weekend.

The fix I applied tonight will keep us OK going forward, the
research is more to figure out when a specific resource
convention changed that would only be used at reboot time.

For the Linux Savvy - the device mapper names changed meaning
the server couldn't find the disks containing the game and
website information.

--Kellin
Summoning butterflies (and other vanity pets) after dismissing them works
again. Unfortunately it's not possible to have one out at the same time as
any other pets. There was a report about a butterfly pet bugging out upon
login, but I was unable to replicate it. Let me know if something like that
happens again.

~Nerina
Players who entered a pub and attempted to order titanic booze were simply
being charged 10x the price of normal booze but not actually being given
any drink at all.

This should now be corrected, albeit maybe not in the way some Jomsvikings
would hope.

-Kereth Midknight
Hi All,

Our RetroMUD mailbox is down. Not sure what is up, but in the meantime if
you donate please send it to talien@toast.net. The other admins are aware
and I hope we'll get it back up soon.

I soft-launched my first book, Awfully Furmiliar, set on Welstar, but got
feedback that maps and a glossary are appreciated it so I'm planning to
revamp it. It will be live here, and I'll make an announcement when it's
ready -- should be live in August: amzn.to/2SFdvpO

Hold on to your receipts! Every person that buys Awfully Furmiliar will get
a promotional item on Retro from me (I'm still working on what that is...).

Finally, I launched my role-playing supplement store for D&D 5th Edition
and it's doing great! The first adventure set on Welstar, Cake Castle, is
live there along with many, many monsters (sooo many monsters):
drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/14058/Michael-Tresca

Also in the works is a Welstarian player's handbook and a Welstarian
monster manual. I'm currently working on a 5E Gammapedia, which will
include dozens of mutant critters for a 5E D&D campaign (and will be used
heavily in our upcoming podcast retelling the adventures of my kids, The
Exterior). 

More to come in August. Thank you for your support!

Tal
Sorry all for forgetting to post the announcement here - the mail
server is back online as of July 26th 3pm Eastern.

Issue was similar to our earlier production problem that impacted
the game except it didn't break when I rebooted, it broke when
our provider rebooted it.

I've done the root cause analysis, and am currently working on
a migration plan for our infrastructure to mitigate this kind
of issue in the future.

--Kellin
It should no longer be possible to use party lead by contingency to move
the party around, including the party leader, when the leader is asleep,
paralyzed or stunned.

-Kereth Midknight
   Now there's an equivalent shrine for evil characters.

  Neutral characters need to drift enough to one or the other...

  -ray
Just a heads up, the memory issues crept up on us again, and we didn't
catch it quite as early as usual this time. In particular, many character
files didn't save correctly. You won't have any damage to your characters
(our drivers just don't save rather than having corrupted saves), but if
you logged out during the affected period, progress you made since the
previous successful save won't have been recorded.

If you're seeing news repeated or otherwise having it appear like a
previous login never happened, that's why. The problem has already been
taken care of, and you are already safe to log in and out freely. Sorry for
the inconvenience.

-Kereth Midknight
Hi All,

I'm pleased to announce three contests around the launch of my first novel,
Awfully Furmiliar, effective immediately:
* WIN A FREE COPY (/ga/p/23b811e4c49452cc): The first
three visitors to this link get a free copy of Awfully Furmiliar -- first
come, first serve! This contest ends tomorrow, so grab them while you can!
* BUY THE BOOK, GET A PLUSHY (amzn.to/2A1rmOx): Anyone who
purchases the book gets a first edition plushie of Scrap, the rat
protagonist of Awfully Furmiliar. Send me your receipt at talien@toast.net.
* REVIEW THE BOOK, GET 5 PE (amzn.to/2A1rmOx): Write a review on
Amazon and notify me on here or at talien@toast.net and I will donate $2.50
to RetroMUD on your behalf and you get 5 PE!

I'm working on the next two books and plan to have similar contests for
each. If you want to keep track of what's happening on Welstar, please
follow /worldofwelstar and
/worldofwelstar.

I hope you enjoy the book!

Sincerely,

Tal
Yup, a code change had an unintended side effect.

We have a help "spirit of the rules" for a reason. If something
becomes possible that is obviously against the spirit of
gameplay, that should be reported and folks should be able to
police themselves with regard to their behavior.

Long term players should have known better. Thanks to the few who
did and notified the staff.

The gate guards will no longer just infinitely spawn for
easily consumed hours of exp.

--Kellin & the RetroMud Staff
We have made some changes to the DPR engine behind the scenes.

If you see any weirdness at or post boot; please let Kereth or
Kellin know immediately.

--Kellin & the RetroMud Staff
If you logged in earlier than 3.5 hours after boot today, please
log off and back on to pick up some changes related to DPR.

--Kellin
Our provider has informed me that hardware maintenance will
be performed on the following dates/times.  Please note them
on your calendar to avoid the inevitable: "Did the game crash?"

No, no it did not!

2019-10-24 2:00:00 AM UTC - Game Server
2019-10-25 4:00:00 AM UTC - Mail Server
2019-10-24 3:00:00 AM UTC - RetroEQ

The times are in UTC because that is how the provider sends
them to me. Add them to your calendar using UTC and it will
auto translate the time for you.  You can also look it up
using various websites.

Expect at most two hours downtime for each.

--Kellin
Foil purchased Awfully Furmiliar, thank you! He gets the first plushie of
Scrap ever in the game, which I'll give him when we're both on. 

Just a reminder, if you purchase Awfully Furmiliar
(amzn.to/2A1rmOx) you get a plushie and if you review it, you get 5
PE. See Tasks for more info. 

Tal
Having been asked a few times:

Paid services and item sales to/from an alt to a party member are
actions of last resort.  You should try, and by try I mean
visibly try in a way that anyone could be included, to obtain
said services/items from non-party members whenever possible.

The easing of the rules was intended to help out when X is
simply not available - and not as a method of being able
to avoid engagement with the community.

--Kellin & The RetroMud Staff
It should no longer be possible to take a join restricted wish for:

A guild you can already join
A guild you are already a member of

-Kereth Midknight
This is a reminder that provider reboots happen this week.

Game Server: October 24, 2019 2:00AM UTC (OCT 23 10:00 PM EST)
RetroEQ:     October 24, 2019 3:00AM UTC (OCT 23 11:00 PM EST)  

--Kellin
Reboot for the game is 2 hours from this post's timestamp.

I will not be doing the extra maintenance, I instead had to
file an upstream bug report because the last step that I had
in testing failed.

Look for another maintenance, but as it will be of my choosing
it will just be a slightly longer boot.

--Kellin
All,

We all work together to make the game enjoyable to players
new and old. This is why Retro has lasted for 20+ years.

The recent changes in level locks are a direct result of
that relationship and we would like to make it easier to
communicate sticking points in progression.

A few have pointed out that change seems to happen quicker
when a staff member is actively engaged on channels. It is
good that players feel like they can communicate with staff,
but we also want to be inclusive for those who may not be
present during staff hours.

Bug and idea reports are not quite right for this task; pain
points with progression are often more quickly actionable
than a pure idea report but need more discussion than a bug.

TL;DR - we need a way to identify these issues and classify
them for easier perusal and discussion.

To this end, I have created a new command:

    speedbump

Here are the types of items to report to speedbump:

- lack of gear for guild Z between piece A and B
- lacking content for levels P through Q
- lacking content for progression type R
- area X A is for level D, but easily slaughters D+40

We look forward to gaining more insight.

Warm Regards,

Kellin & the RetroMud Staff
Just a reminder:

To send in progression issues, the new command is:

"speedbump"

I didn't see anything come in overnight, but, I did see a few
on my bugrep queue.

Using the speedbump command will ensure it gets tagged properly.

Thanks for those who already sent in comments!

--Kellin & the RetroMud Staff
- idea
- typo
- praise
- bugrep
- speedbump

They all self reference now.

Speedbump help updated.

--Kellin
For whatever reason, wars stopped being scheduled for Saturdays in the
event scheduler thingy. I've put them back, hopefully at the same time they
were before. If you notice a drift in start time, let me know, and I'll see
if I can correct it.

-Kereth Midknight
Threading certain colored items with the "thread" command should no longer
resulted in the color codes being displayed improperly.

-Kereth "Super Important Newsposts" Midknight
"Help disease" has been updated, courtesy of Somnusmors (with some editing
after submission). "Help diseases" now also exists as a redirect helpfile.

-Kereth Midknight
Contingency leaders should no longer be able to compel unconscious party
leaders to lead the party out of the room to safety.

-Kereth Midknight
The recent crashes appear related to the Flying Masked Bard.

This will be reviewed before next year's appearance.

--Kellin & the RetroMud Staff
"help full wishes" has been updated to be more specific about what the
"more criiticals" wish affects. 

The short of it:
Contrary to earlier indications, yes, it does affect ranged combat.
No, it does not apply to things like assassin skills. It's only for weapon
attacks.

-Kereth Midknight
"Help wands" now references "help spell masonry" with reference to power
rooms.

-Kereth Midknight
Hi all,

I'm pleased to announce the second volume in my fantasy trilogy set on
Welstar Slightly Furmiliar, is now available in both Kindle and print
formats here: amzn.to/2Sl8ZNs

This second volume picks up ten years after the first novel. 

In Awfully Furmiliar, a rat dreamed of becoming a boy. In Slightly
Furmiliar, a King becomes an Emperor...When a talking pondscum dragon is
summoned to the Emperor's court, he has no choice but to tell his side of
the story. It's a tale that begins after the legend ends, when the world
turned to second-string heroes for another chance at redemption: a quirky
necromanceress, a one-eyed prince with memory loss, and an opera-singer
turned zombie all came together to throw the Crown of Rule into the Well of
Stars. But our narrators are not who they seem and it's up to the little
dragon to set the record straight...even if it might kill him.

If you buy a book, let me know on here or at talien@toast.net and I will
give you a limited edition plushie featuring the "furmiliar" from the novel
you purchased (three in total). I've also increased the PE award for
reviewing any of the books to 10 PE per review. You can purchase Awfully
Furmiliar at amzn.to/2A1rmOx.

In a few months we'll wrap things up with the last installment,
Unfurmiliar. Thanks for your support and attention!

Sincerely,

Tal
Hi All,

Just an update that we're still advertising RetroMUD on Facebook. We've
reached 30,000 people, with 440 engagements, and 409 link clicks in the
past 30 days. It costs us about $180/month to run these ads. Our unique
characters on in a day range from 52 to 80, which is not bad for a game
several decades old! I'd like to see a steady increase in players--it
certainly is starting to seem like we're making some progress--but
currently we're holding steady with an average of about 65 unique players a
day. 

Also a reminder that the first two books of the Furmiliar series set on
Welstar are on sale and if you buy a copy you get a collectible plushie.
For each review of the book you get 10 PE. 
* Awfully Furmiliar: amzn.to/399bx8L
* Slightly Furmiliar: amzn.to/2TarBkI
* Unfurmiliar: Should be out in the next few months, for updates see:
amzn.to/32CAiaO

Thank you for your support!

Tal
The "help race powers" and "help race commands" helpfiles should now give
information about the cobra tempform.

-Kereth Midknight
Quitting the game while having a pet out should no longer bypass the usual
code that runs when pets are dismissed, including code that makes them
clear their keep list before trying to drop everything and displays their
pet-type-specific departure messages.

The important takeaway of this is that quitting won't delete everything on
your pet's keep list.

-Kereth Midknight
It's been a while since Nerina did the guild dues penalty fixes and GM
cleanups a couple years back, and it's come to my attention that some of
the explanations given during that never made it into a helpfile (or if
they did, I can't find the file). To better preserve that info, I've added
an extra paragraph to "help dues."

-Kereth Midknight
Some unintentional irregularities in teleportation checks/messages via the
home, guildmentor and leader commands have been ironed out. The commands
should now more reliably be subject to standard teleportation checks and
will sometimes now give more helpful fail messages in the future.

-Kereth Midknight
"Help index" should offer a more comprehensive list of available help
topics.

"Help screen" now exists to point people to "help help screen".

And for the uninitiated, "help secretly huja" offers a convenient guide for
telling when something or someone is or is not secretly Huja.

-Kereth Midknight
For better accessibility and compatability with certain command parsing,
the "web services" helpfile category has been renamed "web-services". "Help
web-services" should now actually produce the list of helpfiles under that
topic, and "help topics" and "help index" should now show the new name.

-Kereth Midknight
Hi All,

I just wanted to check in with you all. Although I live in Connecticut and
we're not yet under shelter-in-place rules, just about everything has
closed in our town. Because I have family members that may be
immuno-compromised, we've switched to shelter-in-place rules for the past
week. I hope you're staying safe, observing social distancing (staying six
feet away from anyone who doesn't live in your household), and only going
out for necessities. 

As you might know my day job is recruitment marketing for a Fortune 20
company. We've been trying to deal with the consequences of this, which
hits global companies particularly hard. That said, I have over 12,000
connections on LinkedIn in the recruiting community. I know some of you may
be out of work. I unfortunately can't guarantee you a job, but I can do my
best to help you find one-maybe not right now, but perhaps in the future.
If you find yourself looking for work please don't hesitate to contact me
at /in/michaeltresca/.

In just about every other aspect of my professional life, I've been
encouraging people to not spend time on what I work on, be it at my day
job, or on my Patreon, or even tabletop role-playing. But RetroMUD is
uniquely positioned to be a safe haven for everyone. I wish EVERYONE could
be here. 

To that end, I've changed the text for our RetroMUD ad to read: Socialize
from the comfort of your own home with our low bandwidth fantasy
role-playing game. (And yes, I added "FREE TO PLAY" at the bottom)

RetroMUD works on phones, when everyone else is using the computer. It
works when everyone else is watching Netflix. And it works around the
clock, day or night, wherever you are. We've never been better positioned
to help people. Please spread the word about the game far and wide. 

I hope we see more players join us, but I worry about our existing player
base. Please take care of yourself and stay safe.

Sincerely,

Tal
Using a newbie world transports should no longer separate the newbie from
their pets. Note that guides transported between worlds will still not
perform services on the wrong world.

-Kereth Midknight
The modifiers to body weight for players (the weight as seen in score, NOT
carrying capacity, item weight, etc) from physical stats other than size
should now scale appropriately with the size of the player character. A
tiny character and a gigantic character who both gain 100 con, for example,
should no longer gain the exact same numerical gain to bodyweight.

A massively muscular atomy will still be heavier than a normal atomy, in
other words, but they should no longer be several hundred kilograms
heavier. The difference in weight between a large and muscly titan and a
slender titan mage should now also be more noticeable.

This change only extends to player characters. Fiddling with the weights of
npcs could have potential gameplay ramifications (mostly through corpse
weight and nutritional value) and needs further examination and
consideration of possible consequences.

-Kereth Midknight
Here at RetroMUD, we represent a diverse community, with players of all
different classes, ages, faiths, genders and geographical and national
origins. During this time of crisis, our thoughts go out to all those who,
in various parts of the world, struggle to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic
situation, and we re always looking for ways to do our part to contribute
to that struggle.

It is, of course, the nature of RetroMUD to contribute in causes such as
this. After all, if you re playing RetroMUD, you re probably doing it
indoors, away from large crowds and while minimizing chances for
unnecessary bodily contact.  We, however, feel we can always do more. As
such, we will be applying the following changes to our game, effective at
the next boot:

1. In order to encourage stay-at-home practices, events which would usually
discourage people from idling in their castles have been temporarily
disabled, including castle pests, clones, and castle damaging events like
army of darkness and gogira.

2. To encourage social distancing and good hygiene practices, the cost of
the sanitize spell has been greatly reduced, disease resistance bonuses
will be granted to back row party members, and the handshake emote will
be taken offline.

3. Following the example of countries and organizations throughout the
world, the maximum party size will be reduced to five. We will continue to
monitor the ongoing situation and may further reduce the maximum party size
as the situation warrants. Attempts to form parties larger than the current
limit will be punishable by warrants.

4. Guild training rooms have been shut down. Those who need to spend exp
are advised to do so via telepathic contact with their guild training npcs
where applicable. Guild mentors will be responsible for arranging
alternative training programs so that players can continue to level up
their skills and spells remotely, without the need for in-person teaching
in the guild halls.

5. Due to personnel shortages, many retired players who had characters in
the biomancer guild, as well as those active players who have since
reincarnated out of the guild, may be asked to return to their former
duties for the duration of this crisis.

6. The prevalence of booze related objects on the random drop tables has
been reduced significantly, owing to the need for the main ingredient
(ethanol) in other areas. Mobs will now have a much higher chance of
dropping hand sanitizer instead. Skills such as brew beer and brew mead
will also occasionally produce hand sanitizer. Caution is advised when
refilling kegs to avoid mixing products.

7. Due to shortages of other hygiene products, blank scrolls will be. . .
repurposed. I m sure you can figure out how to use them.

These preliminary efforts should, we believe, go a long way toward reducing
the spread through the RetroMUD system. Should they prove insufficient,
options such as closing down world transport systems and requiring all
combat to be performed via telemancy, remain on the table.

Happy hunting, Retrobies, and a happy first of April to you all,
-Kereth Midknight

P.S. Seriously though: be safe out there.
For those just logging in, yes, the MUD crashed. We've taken measures to
prevent another one. We have reason to believe that this, along with some
of the Christmas crashes and one from may of last year, may be due to a bad
interaction between the class reaction code and anything that loads too
many mobs in less than two seconds. As an interim measure, class reaction
code has been taken offline.

For those wondering what that means, it means if you say hi to a monk
loaded after the disabling of class reaction code, or mention the name of
Sikkar in the presence of a templar, talk about beer or mead in front of a
joms, etc, you will no longer provoke a response. Some specific responses
remain in some newer areas, but general reactions of that time will go away
for the time being.

Crash recovery seems to have done its work, for the most part, but if
anybody should happen to be needing reimbursement for lost items, please
contact your local arch ('mail archs').

-Kereth Midknight
"help advantages" and "help disadvantages" have been updated to include
explanations for the lucky, unlucky and steady luck racial traits.

-Kereth Midknight
Hi All,

Effective immediately, RetroMUD now has an ongoing promotion tied to our
advertising. Any new player who enters "bandwidth" upon registration will
receive 100K bonus experience points and 1K gold. This advantage is now
listed in our RetroMUD advertising on Facebook.

Please don't abuse it (one reason we're not giving more gold is to not make
it feasible to make multiple new characters constantly and exchange the
cash to other players or flood the market). We reserve the right to modify
or cancel the promotion as we see fit, and will track how things are going
in the coming weeks.

Obviously, if you are a new player this is available to you upon
registration. Please spread the word to anyone who is considering playing
RetroMUD. Although this is a terrible time for the world in general,
RetroMUD is uniquely suited to help people manage social distancing while
using a very low amount of Internet bandwidth (compared to video streaming
like Netflix or first-person shooters like Fortnite). 

A special thanks to Rayzam who made this possible because I most certainly
don't know how to code it. :)

In other news, RetroMUD's attendance for unique characters is up. Our high
was in the 90s, and for the first time in years we're seeing over 100
unique characters on the game. It's clear our advertising is working.

I recently finished a deep review of my third novel, Unfurmiliar. It's
still in the editing stages but when that's finished I'll launch another
event on here to purchase and review it. As a reminder, the other two books
are already live, type "tasks" to see the relevant links.

Thank you for your support and please stay safe!

Sincerely,

Tal
New command: unsneak

This command is available to all, but it is especially meant to accomodate
those who are made to sneak by various means and lack the ability to stop
on their own, not having one of the relevant skills or abilities.

-Kereth Midknight
It appears our advancement bonuses system has had some issues.

One minor issue was a newbie taking a prime guild that was
non spellcasting would default to spiritual spell bonuses.

Also each advancement was not independant of all those before.
Each time advancement was used, the list of possible skill/spell
bonuses was added to a master list of choices.  So a monk would
have a chance to get bonuses to mage spells if a mage advanced
that boot.

Additionally due to the fact that if an advancement gives you
a bonus to a skill/spell you don't have, it will be hidden
until you train that skill/spell and note you have natural
ability in it.

Advancement issues should been resolved, though a boot is probably
needed before everything is up to date.

A resolution to the existing bad bonuses will be forthcoming.

Wxyz
As you may or may not be aware, each guild has
a listing of advancement potentials.  Stat,
Point Max, Regen, Category. These are all
separate groups and are checked independently
for advancement.

Having been given skill/spell bonuses that you
most likely won't be able to make use of has
no impact on your receiving appropriate
stats or other bonuses from advancement.

Wxyz

( That is, aside from any potential lurking
  bugs in those things, which is always
  possible, but appears correct )
Attempting to "quaff" various non-potion objects while a potion is in your
inventory (the only time that "quaff" is a valid command) should no longer
result in misleading messages. If you had a non-drinkable potion in your
inventory, it would say that the object you tried to quaff was an offline
potion. If you had a drinkable potion in your inventory, it would claim you
didn't have any potion at all. The same would occur if you attempted to
quaff a bogus or typoed string.

Messages should now correctly distinguish between non-existent targets,
non-potion targets and non-drinkable potion targets.

-Kereth Midknight
Kereth has helped me track down and fix a few more
issues with advancement and joining as some fixes
highlighted other issues.

The changes to fix advancement a few days ago have
caused secondary joining to break.  You could join
correctly, but have a chance to not receieve any
advancement bonus for the first level.

Any hermetic category bonuses would also be added
to the spiritual category bonus list.  Not sure
too many people would have spiritual spells that
had the same categories as hermetic spell
category bonuses to benefit from this.

Both of the above issues been corrected.
Investigation of any additional issues is ongoing.

Wxyz
A partial agreement has been reached between certain leaders of certain
weapon schools* throughout the Retroverse. Each participating guild has
agreed to allow the exchange or transfer of students, each with two other
allied guilds, in order to allow their students to seek complimentary
training, to better leverage their chosen weapons to full effect.

Those taking affected weapon paths* may now also take terts from an
"allied"** weapon path(s) in addition to, or in lieu of, terts from their
current path, effectively "sidestepping" into another path along the course
of their training.

For example, rather than taking the traditional fencer terts 1-6, a player
may choose a path that looks something like this:

Fencer 1
Fencer 2
Shinobi 3
Shinobi 4
Fencer 5
Shinobi 6
Fencer 4

See "help weapon paths" for more info.

-Kereth Midknight

* Affected guilds are limited to single-handed, non-midrow melee weapon
guilds. Pugilist doesn't count.

** See "help weapon paths" for information on which guilds have immediate
access to which others. 'Paths' and 'choices' commands will also provide
relevant information at boot.

P.S. Yes, combining 3+ tert paths is possible, but I don't see why you'd
want to.
There have been a few issues with the displaying
of guild skill/spell/category bonuses.

They should be corrected as of boot.

If you have any more issues, let me know.

Wxyz
The free reinc room is now open. The room will remain open for 31 days. All
characters should have one use of the room during that time period. Those
wishing to clear up bugged bonuses, try new paths, or just take a freinc
for its own sake, are welcome to do so.

The room is accessible from the Abjurer joining room, as in the previous
freinc.

-Kereth Midknight
Doors across the retroverse should now ALL stop resetting to their original
state when you go through them.

-Kereth Midknight
It should now be possible to target nonphysical ammo by the format:

<DTYPE> <ANY OTHER VALID TARGET>

and not be restricted to

<DTYPE> <AMMO NAME>
or
<DTYPE> <SINGLE AMMO UNIT SHORT DESCRIPTION>

Thus targetting

a pile of 50 unholy ghostly arrows labeled BLAH

was previously possible by such things as "arrow" "arrows" "ghostly arrows"
"ghostly arrows" "BLAH" "unholy ghosly arrow" and "unholy ghostly arrows"
as well as "ammo" "ammunition" "unholy ammo" and "unholy ammunition"

It should now also be targettable by

"unholy arrow" "unholy arrows" and "unholy BLAH"

-Kereth "Something's different, okay? It's complicated." Midknight
Hi All,

Just a note that RetroMUD's seen donations from a wider variety of folks
and that donations have definitely incdreased in speed and amount. This
makes me think our advertising is definitely working. As a result, I've
increased the ad spend on Facebook on a monthly basis and, if this keeps
up, will continue to do so. 

Now that we're receiving more donations quickly I'll try to check in every
couple of weeks. Thanks for your patience!

Tal
Hi all,

It's done! Unfurmiliar is now complete and live on Amazon. You can pick it
up here: amzn.to/3dAg3OY. Of the three books, this last volume
wraps up loose ends and greatly expands on the cosmology of Welstar. 

The entire trilogy is now on sale here: amzn.to/2ZeTNoE

As before, if you review any book in the Furmiliar series you get 10 PE; if
you buy a book and send me the receipt, you get your own familiar plushie
(one for each book, Scrap, Uatzlcoatl, or Calico Cat. 

In light of the increased donations, I've also increased advertising on
Facebook. So far this month we've reach 35,000 people and 613 clicks. We've
also updated the front page of the web site to be a little more newbie
friendly.

Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

Tal
Weapon type updates:

1. Nets were set to be the best crit-rate weapons in the game and the worst
stun-rate weapons in the game. This was the opposite of what nets were for.
It has been reversed.

2. Each limb wielding a staff will now count as a separate weapon for
purposes of determining total attacks per round. Those wielding a staff in
their right and left hands, for example, who also have ambidexterity
trained, will now get both right and left handed attacks with that staff.

-Kereth Midknight
Using the defense command when wielding a staff but having no training in
staff parry should now attempt to put you into weapon parry mode, rather
than staff parry mode. Using a staff in weapon parry should no longer
require wielding another weapon, activating weapon parry, then switching to
the staff.

-Kereth Midknight
To be clear, that's typing "defense parry" or similar while wielding a
staff. Typing "defense dodge" or "defense maneuver" would, of course, not
be interfered with by the wielded staff, nor will it now put you into
weapon parry mode.

-Kereth Midknight
The Furmiliar series is a fantasy fiction trilogy set on Welstar and
written by me. Write a review of one of the books: Awfully Furmiliar
(amzn.to/2A1rmOx), Slightly Furmiliar (amzn.to/2Sl8ZNs) or
Unfurmiliar (amzn.to/2H0m4Xd) and let me know (on here or at
talien@toast.net). If you also purchased one of the books let me know that
too so you can get get a first edition plushie of Scrap, Uaztlcoatl, or
Calico Cat plushie!

Tasks for more details
Due to the number of donations coming in, I've doubled our advertising.
We'll see what happens. We're regularly over 100 unique characters per day
(with an average of between 60 to 70 unique IPs). 

Tal
New helpfile: help guild items

(courtesy of Feanor)

-Kereth Midknight
Due to the occasional need for very large players to purchase very large
and expensive helpings of food, sometimes exceeding the per-command gold
withdrawal limit in pubs, the maximum amount of gold that can be withdrawn
per command has been raised from 1k to 5k.

-Kereth Midknight
Gate guards have been charging taxes for pets, taken from the pocket of the
pets' owner, since apparently time immemorial. However, many players have
been unaware of this, since the gate guards only talk about doing it out
loud as the pet moves through the gate, which is, necessarily, after the
player has already left the room.

At present, having noble status, highbie cha, tax evasion skills, etc, will
only be checked on the individual moving through the gate, meaning even if
you avoid taxes, you still have to pay for your pet coming through. This is
probably undesirable, but it is a temporary reality.

In the future, players who are charged extra on account of bringing a
minion of some kind into the city will be notified of such. 

Note that fees for bringing pets into the city are usually comparatively
low, depending on the power of the pet.

-Kereth Midknight
Addendum:

1. Many pets, including guides and vanity pets, are below newbie level, so
they aren't charged taxes.
2. Necro pets use so much custom code that they're apparently incompatible
with paying gate taxes.
3. Other exceptions may exist.

Suffice to say, if you don't start getting messages, it's probably that
you're not paying the taxes, not that you aren't seeing them properly.

-Kereth Midknight
The helpfile, "help channels," should be more honest in the future about
what the command actually shows. It should also be more direct about
pointing people who want the complete list to "help channel descriptions."

-Kereth Midknight
Monsters would sometimes give messages about escaping death, then die
anyway. This was because the monster would receive lethal damage, fail its
escape death check, then receive additional damage, succeed the check, but
already be dead. This would usually be from a weapon that had multiple
dtypes or similar, but it may have occurred other times simply because of
mobs hanging around for the full final round of live, in order to not mess
with people's dpr totals.

This should, hopefully, no longer occur. Mobs who have already died should
no longer have a chance to get a non-functional escape death, resulting in
misleading messages about their surviving when they did not actually
survive.

-Kereth Midknight
Currently, mobs are not dying appropriately.
We are aware of the issue, but unfortunately there is no
timeline for fixing them right now.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Wxyz
The escape death fix broke mob death rewards, meaning no corpses or loot or
exp. My bad. It's been rolled back and everything is running normally
again. Sorry.

-Kereth Midknight
"Help guild items" has been updated to clarify details about which limb(s)
the fellblade, shield of honor and bard instrument can be wielded in, as
well as their non-effect on casting speed for somatic spells. It is
possible that some of these details might not be documented elsewhere.

-Kereth Midknight
To help reduce confusion (and curtail bugreps on this matter), two extra
criteria that may prevent a room from giving explore when entered have been
added to the list in "help explore," namely the room being a valid start
location and the room being memorizeable (via the memorize skill).

-Kereth Midknight
The newbie advantage listed at level 15 in "help newbie advantages" as:

2. Characters automatically avoid trap damage.

Should now actually happen.

-Kereth Midknight
Standing in a room with unlabeled chests and multiple items on the ground
with single letter (or numeral or symbol) labels and trying to get all of
those items by those labels should no longer result in you trying to get
all unlabeled chests instead.

-Kereth Midknight
Thrown ammo should behave more similarly to other ammo with respect to
targetting by enchanted damage type.

-Kereth Midknight
Having a potion and using its "quaff" command without an argument should no
longer result in a sensitive mind error.

-Kereth Midknight
Targetting syntax should now accept "threaded" as an alternative to
"thread," i.e. "get all threaded" etc.

-Kereth Midknight
Hi All,

Just wanted to let you know that Facebook ads seem to be working for us
(with the occassional "LOL wut is this?" comment) so I've doubled our
advertising. We can handle it, and I'm curious to see if it helps. Given
the possibility of a pandemic winter lockdown looming in  many countries,
this seems like our opportunity to really reinforce RetroMUD's value. If it
ends up costing us too much I'll ease it back (and may do so anyway next
year), but until then please look for newbies and help them as they join!

Thanks as always for your support!

Sincerely,

Tal
Some irregularities relating to selling items in shops have been resolved.

1. The workaround for the bug from selling too many items at once is no
longer necessary and has been removed, the underlying problem fixed. You
may now sell much larger quantities of items with one command.
2. A bug caused one item to be frequently left behind when using "all"
sales syntax. This should also be fixed, so that "all" will actually mean
"all."

Credits to Rita for apparently investigating and finding a solution to this
bug back in 2018, even though the fix is only finally being applied now.

-Kereth Midknight
Wands should now retain labels over boot.

-Kereth Midknight
Hi All,

As I mentioned prevoiusly we've doubled our advertising on Facebook. In the
past month we've resulted in 1,057 link clicks, 57,193 people reached, and
$731.89 spent. If you check out the ad, several people are surprised to
hear that MUDs exist still and others are fond of advertising their own
MUDs. In short, there's definitely a community out there.

But the short of it is that people are busy during the holidays. Online
traffic for the ad spiked on December 6 with 83 clicks. We're currently
trending downward a bit as we lead up to the holidays. 

That said, by all accounts the ad is working. It looks like our internal
tracking broke so once we get that up and running again I'll compare it to
the advertising to see if the traffic is translating to new players. 

On a personal note, thank you for support and donations. We all love this
game and we want to see it prosper, and I'm hopeful that in 2021 we can
make RetroMUD more relevant and present externally so people know we exist
(which is half the battle!). 

We'll talk more next year, but for now please stay safe and have a
wonderful holiday.

Sincerely,

Tal
  Character purge:
  Less than level 20
  Less than 200k exp worth
  Last on before Tue May 13 11:53:20 2014

  Total players purged: 8348
Hey, just to make sure people know, there is a stun change in effect now.
Kereth will do a full post about it when he's around, so don't be too
surprised if stunning isn't working exactly like you'd expect.
Right, so, details.

Passive melee stuns from players and pets have experienced a few changes:

First and foremost, a mob cheat was being applied to players, which let
high level players stun extra well, so long as they had any training at all
in the stun or pressure points skill, regardless of their own stats, weapon
type, training, etc. This has been removed from players and pets.

To compensate, the following have been increased:

1. The maximum stun chance for players/pets from normal factors.
2. The effect of weapon type on stun chance.
3. The (above cap) bonuses from the stun wish and stun-boosting tert
skills.

Also, while working on this, a bug was discovered, whereby the +stun wish
was not being correctly applied to soft form martial arts. This has been
corrected.

-Kereth Midknight
F.Y.I. There has been a very significant change to how Flying Masked Bard
presents are delivered from the MUD's perspective. You probably won't
notice a difference, but our history of mysterious crashes on one out of
four Christmases should go away. If, however, you do notice something odd,
feel free to rep accordingly.

-Kereth Midknight
If you tried to load into your castle today, and got sent
to an advguild - you should be able to set your home again.

TL;DR - one of the Flying Bard fixes stirred some trouble
in the castle cdoe and has been reverted and is being looked
at on the development codebase more closely to ensure
compatibility.

Apologies for the weirdness.

--Kellin & the staff
Seeing multiple bugs, fewer features and no particular redeeming factors in
the 'neweq' command, I have archived it. If you were using this command for
some reason, I recommend switching to the 'eq' command, which is in better
condition, has more options and won't sometimes leave out some of your
slots. If you have a compelling reason why 'neweq' should be fixed up
instead of removed, please let me know.

Until such a time as someone indicates that it should be otherwise, the
command is offline and will cease being recognized or appearing on your
command list shortly.

-Kereth Midknight
There were two separate versions of the haunt command that were selectively
conflicting with each other, making the exact mechanics of the command
slightly different depending on where you haunted from. If you were in the
right place for one, you could bypass ignore and a few similar things. This
should no be the case, and all haunts should run through the same checks.

-Kereth Midknight

(Note: The two versions of the command had different messages. If you
notice the message looking weird now, it's because we kept the one you
weren't used to seeing.)
Players trying to check their eq while unable to see normally, but also
having infravision, should now get a notification about why their results
are limited (i.e. why they can't see). As always, certain special eq, or eq
with heat/cold signatures, will continue to show up on this more limited
output.

-Kereth Midknight
At player request, a new helpfile has been added: help staff attacks

This is an only barely edited copy/paste of the general newspost earlier,
preserving the explanation for future generations.

"help weapons" has also been updated somewhat.

-Kereth Midknight
The default* shop accessibility level has been adjusted at player request
and after discussion on channel. Shops using the default level* will now
only prevent wandering mobs from entering, but will no longer block pets or
mounts, both because players prefer not to be separated from them and
because they may be carrying loot to be sold in the shop.

-Kereth Midknight

* Many shops set their accessibility levels manually. Not all blocked pets
and/or mounts before, and it is not a bug if some shop does not change
behavior with this adjustment. Feel free to discuss if you feel a
particular shop's behavior is inappropriate to its design, however.
The following new shrines have been added to an appropriate (hidden)
location in the game:

Exp Free Reinc
Gold Free Reinc
Exp/Gold Free Reinc

Naturally, these are not being added to the creation room shrine access, as
there would be no point.

PE reinc services are henceforth to be handled by the shrines, rather than
by the wizstaff.

Enjoy,
-Kereth Midknight
      From: Kereth
   Subject: Scrolls
      Date: Thu Apr 15 09:55:06 2021
Reply-Code: 472m
     Lines: 6

Scrolls should now be threadable. Players seeking to store scrolls long
term in their inventory are, however, advised to remember the perils of
looting carelessly while doing so.

-Kereth Midknight
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