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Getting Started A Short FAQ
This file is intended to help address the several questions that I am often asked;
To assign new vnums to a player, or yourself, you must first determine whether the range of vnumbers belongs to another area. There are a couple of ways to do this using the "zones" or "newzones" commands, but in a large MUD, it is often hard to search through all the vnums being used to find free ones. The best way to avoid conflicts is to find a range that you think is free and use the CHECKVNUM command.
Note: If you wish to assign a player 100 vnums, remember that the first room is also included in the count. (In other words, if you assign room 1000 to 1100, you have assigned 101 rooms, not 100. You should have assigned rooms 1000 to 1099 to get 100 rooms.)
Once you have determined that you have no vnum conflicts, you can go ahead and assign the vnums using the RASSIGN, OASSIGN, and MASSIGN.
There is no reason to assign a player rooms, mobiles and objects all at the same time, in fact, many MUDs only assign a new builder rooms to begin with until a certain level trust is built up. As a builder increases in levels, their commands become more powerful and they should be aware of the fact that their actions could adversely affect the MUD. Also, there is no reason to assign a builder 100 objects or 100 mobiles if they have 100 rooms, but it has always been considered "good vnumber accounting" to do so.
I should also mention that programs like AreaEditor are very useful for renumbering or compacting area files should you find that you need to move an area or shrink an area once it has been installed. Just remember that if you renumber an area, any reference to old vnumbers in programs will be wrong, as well, any objects already on players with the old vnumbers could be altered or destroyed if you change their vnums. So only renumber new areas.
Generally, I wouldn't suggest making an area file completely in a text editor, although it is possible to do so The old MERC areas were made entirely in a text editor before OLC. Your best idea is to use an area-making program like ORB or Area Editor and then "tweaking" them on a MUD, or better yet, building the area on a MUD to begin with.
See the section on assigning vnums (above) for more information on how to start a new area from within a MUD. If you don't have access to your own copy of WinSMAUG, you can download it from the SMAUG homepage.
Changing an existing or installed area is fairly easy, but can also be dangerous.
When you make changes to an existing area, you are only changing the copy of that area file that is currently loaded into the MUD when the MUD is rebooted, all your changes will be lost. To make your changes permanent, you must become familiar with two commands; aassign, and foldarea.
Depending on your level, you may also need to have the area you wish to edit "bestowed" or assigned to you by a higher level Immortal. This is done by using the "bestowarea" command.
Once you have an area bestowed, you are free to use aassign to assign the area to yourself for editting. Example: aassign filename.are
Now that you have the area assigned, you can go off and make changes to the rooms as required. After making your changes, you'll want to be able to save them so that the next time the MUD reboots, those changes will be loaded. To do this you first need to remove the area from your assigned slot (aassign none) and then use foldarea (foldarea filename.are) to save the changes. It is usually a good idea to use foldarea twice, once to save the file and a second time to overwrite the backup file.
Making changes to mobs and objects is a little more difficult.
If you make changes to a mob that is loaded, you are only making changes to that single mob even if you have the area assigned to you. If you want your changes to be effective, you need to first flag the mobile as a prototype (mset <mob> flags prototype). When you flag the mob "prototype," it tells the MUD that you are making changes to this mob and it will suppress the mob's usual reactions and movements. Depending on your level, you may need to have the command "protoflag" bestowed to you by a higher level Immortal. Protoflag gives you the ability to set the prototype flag on installed mobs and objects.
To recap, if you want to change a mob
in an existing area;
Making changes to an existing object is much the same as making changes to an existing mobile, with one exception Any change you make to an existing object will affect every copy of that object whether it is online or not. Which means that if you make do something like add 1 DR to a sword in your installed area, you are adding 1 DR to every copy of that object, and as soon as a player who is carrying a copy of that object logs on, his copy of that sword will have that 1 DR added.
If you change an existing object, you change every copy of that object. Be warned.
To make the change, follow the same steps as you would for a mob oset <object> flags prototype, then make the changes, remove the proto flag, and then save the changes. Some objects may require you to add "oset <object> wear take" so that you can pick up the object and edit it.
There is no reason for you to build an area online, or even within a local copy of WinSMAUG on your own computer. To make the actual area file, you need a MUD, but to go through the mechanics of building the area the actual writing of descripions and so on can be done without any computer at all. In fact, it's probably better if you're nowhere near your computer when you start.
To understand what I mean read my short essay entitled; The Mechanics of Building.
Shop making is covered in my OLC-Mob file under "shops."
This file covers the commands: makeshop, shopset, shopvalues, shopstat and shops.
A shop requires a mobile to define as the shopkeeper, so if you don't have mobile vnumbers yet you will need to get them in order to proceed.
Making a Pet Shop is a little different as it requires both a mobile and a roomflag to make it work.
In order to make the shop, you first require a mob as the "shopkeeper" and a number of other mobs defined as the "pets." You will also require two consecutive room vnumbers (ie: 1000 and 1001) to define as "shop" and "kennel."
To make the petshop work, you need to do the following;
Pets are cheap, prices are based on the level of the mobile and there doesn't seem to be a way to manually set the value of a pet. As a Builder, it would be in your best interests to make a pet fairly weak even though players can only purchase one pet per level. At level 50, a pet sells for about 25000 gold, so imagine what would happen if you made this mob as you would any regular mob You would have a 10000 HP, 100 DR robot roaming around that a player could use to attack other mobs and people, or they may try to kill the pet themselves in order to gain some cheap experience points this would be bad. So keep your pets basic and fairly weak so that they can be used as mounts, etc and you won't have trouble with players abusing them.
Repair shop making is covered in my OLC-Mob file under "repairshops."
This file covers the commands: makerepair, repairset, repairstat, and repairshops.
A repair shop or "blacksmith" requires a mobile to define as the shopkeeper, so if you don't have mobile vnumbers yet you will need to get them in order to proceed.
Making a maze is fairly simple, here is my method.
First I decide how many rooms I am going to use to make the maze (let's says 9). Then I map out the safe path through the maze. Finally I go back and make the random exits.
See Resets "Installing Areas" for more information.
You've downloaded SMAUG and you want to erase everything and start with your own areas.
This is fairly easy to accomplish, however SMAUG requires that you retain a number of important area files that contain the objects that are hardcoded into the normal running of the MUD.
First, go into your Areas folder and find the file called "area.lst" and open it with a text-editting program such as Notepad. You should find a file that contains a list of area names such as these, followed by a dollar sign ($) which tells the MUD that this is the end of file (EOF).
In order for the MUD to operate it requires only 5 of these area files. A sixth area file, newdark.are isn't required, but if it is not included you will need to reset the default recall point (vnum) from within the MUD code.
As I said before, I do not code. I have no idea how the SMAUG code works, I have no knowledge of C++, and I have no knowledge of how to set up SMAUG on your computer.
Do not send me questions on coding, they will not be answered.
All questions relating to SMAUG code should be addressed to the SMAUG mailing list, or the SMAUG How-To website. I have nothing to do with either of these sites, and I don't know anything code related.
Once you've downloaded your version of WinSMAUG and unstuffed it, it's fairly easy to get it up and running so you can log on.
First, using text editor
(like Notepad), load sysdata.dat and change "Waitforauth
1" to "Waitforauth 0". This will disable the name authorization
system, and new characters will
The next time you log into the MUD, you should be Level 65.
There was a bug in the downloadable Windows version of SMAUG that wouldn't allow player data to be saved. I'm not sure if this has been addressed yet, but you may want to try downloading a newer version of SMAUG 1.4a from the SMAUG homepage and see if this helps. If not, then I can only suggest a workaround as I know nothing about coding.
Nick Gammon's website has another copy of WinSMAUG that seems to save player data just fine, so you may want to download his copy of SMAUG and try again. The only thing that seems to be missing from Nick's version is the "Building" directory, so you'll need to add that folder to your SMAUG directory before you're able to save proto areas.
Nick also has a shareware program called AreaEditor that allows you to make SMAUG 1.4a areas without actually having a SMAUG MUD running on your machine. I'd assume that any areas made with this program would require "tweaking" before they could be installed, but you should be able to do 90% of your work with it.
First, use checkvnum to make sure the range of vnums you want to use don't conflict with any other areas and then assign yourself the vnums you'll need to work with. These vnums won't save with your pfile, but the MUD will still create the area file <yourname>.are in the Building directory having the area file is the important thing.
Now, go into the Player directory and find the folder that has the first letter of your player name (ie: if your player name was Bob, find the B folder), your original player file will be in that folder. Once you've found your player file, open it in any text editor, such as Wordpad or Notepad. (For this example, let's assume your area vnums are from 10000 to 10099.)
I'm not sure if the position of the text is crucial, but when I managed to test it on my copy of WinSMAUG, the MUD placed the values right after "WizInvis".
Once you have finished editting your pfile, save it was "text only" back into the same player folder that you got it from. Remember to remove the ".txt" extension after the file or the MUD won't read the file (ie: it should be "Bob," not "Bob.txt").
Now when you log your player onto your WinSMAUG,
you should see your assigned vnums in your score. If your area isn't
loaded, use loadarea to load it.