Deep Dark Lake (CoffeeMUD)

Deep Dark Lake is a CoffeeMUD “area” created specifically for the purpose of providing a starting area for CPU mining characters of the Duergar and Drow races.

Its main featurea are a large underground lake with currents that run from west to east, with a river feeding into it from the west and draining it in the east, and a lower-class district of a Drow city. Around the lake are a number of small groups of rooms which can be rented as groups and are designed specifically to be convenient for scripted CPU mining. For example each such grouping has access to a shallow corner of the lake for convenient bathing and filling of waterskins and all have a simple structure so that it is trivial to script movement in such a way as to preclude the characters movement scripts getting out of synch with the actual location of the characters. Basically by adding a redundant move or two to movement scripts one can be sure that the character ends up where desired, since the extra moves would bump into walls or other impassible terrain if the character was not initially where expected so with a few bumpings into walls or you have to swim to go that way or you have to climb to go that way type of responses the characters will reliably end up at the desired destination each time they move if the moves are scripted correctly to match the particular group of rooms the character lives in.

The addition of this new area is already attracting a lot of new Duergar and Drow characters into the MUDgaard server, and will lead in turn to the addition of more areas as the questions of what is upstream from the lake and what is downstream from the lake begin to be explored. Ultimately this should lead to an interesting expansion of the presences of both the Duergar race and the Drow race on that server. These two races are popular primarily due to their natural darkvision, which allows them to operate without having to deal with the problem f providing light to see by. The fact that foraging in cases only ever seems to find one type of food - mushrooms - also helps, because it allows scripts to “know” what type of food the character will be using so scripting for keeping the characters fed is also simplified. Obviating the need to carry a source of light and the need to figure out what to eat makes these races much simpler to script, which is nice for script authors, and not wasting time creating, or money buying, light sources could add up to a lot of savings over time, leading races who do need light to have to find some advantage of their own if they want to compete against these dark-dwellers.


Intensively working such small groups of rooms really shows off how varied the resources are that one can find in cave rooms in the default configuration of CoffeeMUD. The deployment of this new area has increased the priority of finding out the details of resource configuration because it is very apparent that making all resources that one can find in caves all available in each of these small groups of cave rooms is probably not really an ideal configuration for the game as a whole, however desirable it might be to the players who are exploiting those rooms. There is thus a kind of early adopter advantage at play with respect to resource diversity, as those players getting in at this early stage are getting the benefit of a diversity that is expected to be lowered over time; right now they can find in their tiny little land claims a diversity of resources that at some future time is expected to require access to much much more land, and in particular resources such as mithril which have long been famous in lterature as being somewhat rare are even as coming from only certain specific mines are very likely to become much more restricted in their geographic distribution in the future.

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