MUDgaard MUD is a Multi User Dungeon aka Multi User Dimension implemented by means of the CoffeeMUD free open source java-based software.

Initially reachable as MUDgaard.i2p over the i2p network, later also reachable via telnet or MUD client at with web interface at it serves as an initial testbed for cryptocoin-related and Galactic Milieu related text mode game testing, prototyping and development.

MUDgaard turned out to be wildly popular, revealing a huge market for CoffeeMUD based MUDs which is now being explored; MUDgaard itself first closed its doors to new users then moved entirely from the locations shown above; it is now known that the sheer amount of traffic such MUDs can attract makes it currently impractical to open it up to new users again at this time. In fact the logistics of providing hardware to host such MUDs is such that most likely there will be waiting-lists, with new servers being created each time a waiting list fills up with enough users to justify the purchase of more physical server machines.

CoffeeMUD's player-account system is used, with each player-account being able to have ten characters, only five of which can be online simultaneously. This allows each player-account to have five worker characters for 24/7 “CPU mining” and five adventuring types the player can use for manually-overseen adventuring while at the keyboard. UPDATE: It has been proposed that auctions might be the way to go, so that the market can find the right price for player-accounts. It has also been proposed that new accounts should be sodl in batches to resellers who will buy them in bulk for resale.

From here on down, this page's content is older content:

So far is has revealed the weakness of CoffeeMUD's default built-in “fakedb” database system and shown that even having it use MySQL for its database can have problems with the default example MySQL-using configuration shown in CoffeeMUD's distributed example coffeemud.ini file.

MUDgaard was in fact, as a test, restarted with DBREUSE set to false, to test whether the hanging caused by expired database connections was due to trying to re-use connections that had in fact expired. However a newer version of the software added a database ping option to keep database connections open, so now that is in use and DBREUSE is turned on again.

The initial influx of users to MUDgaard was a total of about thirty users, and peak number of users online at one time was all users all online at once. Hard core platesting with that initial population revealed the importance of bundling of resources and packaging of other items, as before packaging was noticed piling hundreds of thousands of items into a room was causing nasty problems of lag for anyone entering the room. A concerted effort was needed to get stuff packaged before it became practical to open up the MUD to more population.

If since using packaging to make the hang problem to go away an open port on the normal internet was be provided to permit people to play without having to go through the i2p network to do so, and floods of new characters rapidly began arriving.

CoffeeMUD has proven to have an interesting economy so far, for example a whole lot of booze has been created, raising many artisans up to high levels of experience, yet booze is so far seemingly pretty much useless in that is does not heal people and although it can quench thirst is can cause intoxication that has no “good” side-effects. (In some games booze can heal you, or make you less susceptible to damage, or restore “talk points” or some other “beneficial” effect; in coffeemud it seems to have no effects water would not serve as well or better.)

So far players have tended to rely upon oil-fuelled lanterns for light at night and in dark mines and such. This has resulted in the accumulation of large stockpiles of empty oilflasks that appear not to be refillable, and also in questions as to where oil actually “comes from” given that various means of detecting or locating sources of resources do not seem to offer any way of detecting or locating sources of oil. Some players have begun the carving and stockpiling of torches in case oil supplies turn out to be problematic.

The fact that people are able to create large amounts of various kinds of booze but have no “real use” for it in the game seems promising from an inter-game trade point of view because it could possibly emerge as a useful trade-good if some game can be found or created in which booze does have use and to which booze can be “shipped” as a trade-good. People who are producing booze as a means of “levelling” artisan characters are thus also hoarding the booze their artisans create, in hopes that some day some actual use for the stuff will emerge.

(One speculation is that as we incorporate non-fantasy elements such as internal combustion engines, alcohol could emerge as a useful fuel.)

The initial immigrants were primarily the Faery, set up using the built in clan system as a Fellowship. However the Brits and Canucks did not take long to follow, albeit unlike the Faery they did not immediately take on the financial burden of a fully fledged, full area Clanhouse; instead they rented land in the Endless Plains area, an area set up specifically for the purpose of providing plenty of rentable plots of land for immigrants to settle on. A number of goblins and an ogre also arrived, initially camping with the Canucks and Brits on Canuck land until the Brits obtained a plot of their own; life was somewhat communal in those early days.

It did not take long for the disavantages of oil-fired lanterns to become apparent once people started working on their client side macros; a few players switched to using torches and despite their vulnerability to rain it soon became apparent that torches were a better option. Soon everyone had abandoned lanterns in favour of torches, and at all times of day and night artisans could be found turning balsa wood into torches all their waking hours. By that time the players had gone from an economy of scarcity to an economy of plenty. Thanks to the client side macro capability of their MUD clients, everyone was running 24/7 foraging, farming, chopping wood, mining, making torches, making barrels (for apple juice, wine, vodka, gin, and so on), and more “stuff” was piling up than there were players present to make use of.

Currently the Spaceship areas that CoffeeMUD has started work on are supposedly not really ready for use, but it is hoped that when they are the stockpiles of “stuff” these planet-bound players are able to churn out on the initial seemingly very fertile and plentiful land they are currently working will prove of great use to players living in spacecraft.

An interesting aspect of this initial playtesting world is the relative scarcity of actual cash money. In the past MUDs have tended to be overflowing with cash, hence the coining of the term MUDflation. Exploration of MUDgaard so far however has discovered a world in which cash is not a major portion of the goods one tends to find on or around monsters and non player characters. The shops run by non player characters also turned out to be quite sparing in their buying of items from players; CoffeeMUD's shops system features rapid lowering of the offered price for such items as shopkeepers are willing to buy and not a great eagerness to buy a great variety of items. This has caused the bank, located in the main city, to become an important aspect of the game.

The bank charges interest on money held on deposit, and also offers safekeeping of items, again at a cost of a percentage of the value of the stored goods. However it also offers loans, secured by the value of items stored. Since the bank liquidates such items to pay off delinquent loans, it did not take players long to realise that the bank thereby acts as a kind of universal shop in the sense that it acts, in effect, as your agent in selling off your stored property to pay off your loans. It thus became standard practice to set up a character deliberately intended to default on loans, who deposits piles and piles of stuff you want to sell but cannot find a buyer for, borrows cash against those items then deliberately defaults on the loan. This is so far the main method by which money comes into existence in MUDgaard.

Character creation

MUDgaard uses a system of accounts, in which characters are owned by accounts, so in order to create a character you first create an account. Basically the account represents the player, providing a logical separation between players and the characters controlled by players. Currently an account can have up to ten characters, up to five of which can be online at the same time.

So far the character types available are the default types that come with the mainline CoffeeMUD distribution, and the character creation configuration options have been set to have everyone select a base class when creating the character then during play be able to switch to any of that class's subclasses during play.

Currently all new characters start at a newbie training school; to the north is the school, to the east a zoology museum, to the west a corridor somewhere beyond which lies the outside world. New characters should proceed north into the school proper, and use its facilities to advance themselves to level six, the level at which it becomes possible to join a clan. Upon proceeding north into the school proper you will see teaching rooms to the west and east, in which you should choose a profession (artisan is recommended for your first character), improve some attributes and learn some skills. You should pick at least one combat skill of some kind, and if you are an artisan it is useful to learn butchering skill so that you can butcher the creatures that you will be killing. You might find their body-parts and blood useful to eat and drink.

Once you reach level six you can apply to join a clan; of course you can try to walk out through the corridors before you reach level six but really you are probably best off killing monsters (and possibly butchering their corpses) in the school until you do reach level six, at which point you should be able to survive most of the corridors and thus find your way out to the outside world.

A major reason for choosing artisan for your first character is that artisans gain experience for doing mundane things like butchering, woodchopping, mining, cooking and so on and so forth; they are thus much much easier to advance in levels than other character classes. The other classes basically have to kill things, or in the case of thieves, risk getting into combat by stealing things (a failed attempt to pick a pocket, for example, often leads to combat). If you are intending do do “CPU mining” being an artisan is particularly appropriate, but even if not it is useful to create an artisan as your first character and go out into the world and look around some before trying some other base character-class. Bear in mind that your player-account allows you to create ten characters and you can have five of them online at the same time thus will be able to form parties of up to five characters of your own or do five times as much foraging, mining, woodchopping or whatever as a single character could do alone. You could create five artisans and still be able to create five other classes of character so go ahead and create an artisan first, for the sake of all your characters, as your artisan or artisans will be very useful, able to create clothing and tools and even construct buildings.


Characters can construct buildings on land that they own or rent by using the construction and masonry skills, however there are also a growing number of “prefabricated” clanhouse designs that are implemented as CoffeeMUD “areas”, and of course creators of areas have more powers at their disposal than do mere characters so these prefabricated designs are able to incorporate features that characters themselves within the game cannot accomplish. For example it is possible even to restrict entry to the area or to any room or rooms within the area to creatures belonging to a certain clan or of a certain race or level. Also it seems from study of various area maps avilable for CoffeeMUD that historically in such MUDs it has been common for clanhouses not to be reachable by normal travel in the MUD, the only way of getting there being to use the “clan recall” spell with which clans of a certain level or greater provide automatically to all of their members.

The gameplay implications of allowing clanhouses having such features are being looked into, since having a “safe harbour” where your enemies cannot by means of normal gameplay reach you could be a significant factor in “game balance”. Of course you cannot be reached while your client is not connected either, but apparently CoffeeMUD is intended to support leaving characters on the map when their players disconnect so potentially even disconnecting could eventually not be such a “safe harmour” whereupon unreachable clanhouses and/or clanhouses whose entrances only allow members of the clan to enter could become the only ultimate “safe harbour” in the game.

Looking into these concerns involves some testing, so currently the Faery Fellowship clan has leased an “area” type clanhouse which is connected to the map but has a restriction on the entire “area” restricting it to members of the clan. It turns out that this results in nonmembers of the clan who are “followers” of members of the clan being able to follow their group-leader into the area and within the area. As the restriction is area-wide it apparently applies to each room of the area, resulthing in these followers being prevented from moving away from the group into adjacent rooms within the area. It obviously became apparent immediately that all members of clans that have such facilities should turn on their “nofollow” flag, that is, not accept new followers by default, so that enemies cannot surreptitiously join their group and thereby follow them into their clanhouse. Using the area-wide restriction instead of just a restriction on the entrance does limit such attackers though since it it not just the entrance they will need to follow a clanmember to penetrate; the area wide restriction keeps them from striking out on their own to explore more of the clanhouse even once they do get inside.

The particular clanhouse design chosen by Fellowship Faery has an outdoor jacuzzi niche in the back yard, which has brought up a concern regarding roleplaying enjoyment features versus practicality. While it is nice from a roleplaying perspective to have a hot tub out under the stars, using such a facility for scripted activities introduces the hazard of the vagaries of the weather. The fellowship is now considering whether, or maybe more like when, to change all their scripts to make use of indoor bathing facilities instead of having all their workers use the outdoor jacuzzi. The design also does not include a reservoir (pool) room, so ever since the discovery that foutains eventually run out of water the fellowship has had to do regular maintenance of their fountains thus is now trying to decide where exactly to place a pool. These considerations are fed back to the designers of prefabricated clanhouses so that hopefully future generations of clanhouses will provide a smoother experience for their leasers.

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