Aalynor's Nexus

Nexus: An Eye Towards the Future

Hello there,

I realize this site isn’t read very much any more, but it’s easier to write things out long form here then on the discord so I figured I’d give it a shot here and then if there was no feedback or anything maybe put a shorter version up in the respective discord category later.

I’m curious what ideas are floating around moving forward with the project. What would people like to see, and what would keep them engaged with the game world moving forward?

This is a project to restore Nexus, obviously, but I’ll point to the uncomfortable fact that Nexus failed once before, already built and functioning well enough with a massive game world, in a world that didn’t have near the amount of distractions and sophisticated game design as the one we live in today.

I’ll also point out, though, that despite those distractions, a lot of old names have managed to trundle their way back here to invest time in a veritable oxygenarian of a game that’s had a decade-long absence from playability.

So, to expand upon the question: “What’s made you return?”, “What would make you play tomorrow?” and, “What would make you play into the future?”

Nexus, in the last few years, went through a couple mini-renaissances, or resurgences, where old names would pop back up, hunt a couple times, say hello to other old names, and then sit in the OOC lounge for a bit each day until they stopped logging back in regularly and eventually disappeared altogether entirely. You went from one or two names on, to eight or thirteen, and then back to one or two, with virtually the same amount of engagement with the world occurring throughout.

I’m not casting stones, if it needs to be clarified. I was one of those players who would log on, do their own thing, and not interact with anybody for many intermittent months at a time.

So to get the ball rolling, answer my own questions, and bail on this rambling preamble; I came back because of an intense nostalgia I feel for the game. I googled Aalynor’s Nexus, as I had several times previously over the intervening years, and found this forum for the first time. I would play tomorrow because I’m currently scratching an itch I haven’t been able to for about a decade, but what would keep me playing?

What would keep you playing?

What would seriously make all this effort worth it, and keep people motivated and tuned in to keep moving forward?

I think the answer is pinpointing what makes a MUD special - and I believe that is its ability to engage a player in a way that multi-million triple-A games can’t - on top of the nostalgia and simplicity. Paraphrasing someone else here; ‘we’re not playing Nexus for the graphics.’

One idea would be a monthly raid-style classic World of Warcraft-type quest. Full disclaimer - I hated WoW and I never got into raiding, but I watched people who did do classic raiding.

As an example:

On the first weekend of every month we’d have a vintage Bruce Lee murder-death tower where a party would assemble themselves and fight their way to the top through a bunch of cyborg-eyed Kareem Abdul Jabbars’. Each room would have different modifiers, and the mobs would be a mix of undead and live, and would scale themselves based on the level of the party that enters the bottom of the tower - a couple levels under at the base to build up their confidence and levels over at the top to show them who’s boss. Once you enter no changes to the party can be made. If someone DC’s, you’ve got an uphill battle. You could have multiple instances of the tower pop up at once for large amounts of players and require them to leap frog one another, activating buttons or whatever, so one group would assemble and enter one tower, and then another could assemble and enter the other based on who was left over. That way if one group comprised of buddies/regulars who were min/maxed and completely farmed, and the other was a bunch of level 10’s who didn’t know their asses from their elbows, the enterprise would be doomed unless parties were rebalanced and everyone cooperated.

I don’t know how hard that would be to throw together, but once it’s done it’s done, and it could be treated like an old school MMO raid, where you take a shot at one boss over and over again until you beat him, and then you move on to the next boss. Special rewards like rename tokens, cool rings/armor, or expensive weightless bags could be tossed out as a reward for downing a boss.

So, you’re standing in the town square. You see, ‘A tendril of energy coalesces in front of you and begins drawing you towards the center of the square. Beckoning, beckoning… until it combines with other tendrils you hadn’t noticed before and forms into a deep, dark, opaque portal.’

You see a deep, dark, opaque portal.
go portal
This is a group activity. You are encouraged to assemble a competent adventuring party or you will surely die. Do you want to proceed? y/n
Good Luck.

You could have that on top of whatever flavor quests other gm’s want to run throughout the month. Commoners protesting adventurers or a massive goblin army dumping on everybody. (I’ve read elsewhere goblins are written out. I’m just being facetious.)

The main quest could potentially be adventurers running through a tower and accidently freeing Kyorl upon butchering the final boss, who then laughs at them and hides at the top of a pyramid. Adventurers go through the pyramid and butcher faux-Kyorl, who laughs at them and tells them he’s on top of a mountain. Adventurers scale and slaughter the real Kyorl, who laughs at them and tells them they just set him free.

Now Kyorl is alive and what’s he gonna do. Next quest-point.

That’s obviously not a legitimate quest-line, but the format could be followed to great effect I think, giving players the legitimate impression that they’re interacting with and creating the storyline. If no group can get through the first tower then the storyline doesn’t advance.

The hunting grind revolves around preparing for and completing, with a party, the main story quest. Grind three weeks to prepare, attempt the tower, grind three more weeks, attempt the tower again, grind three more weeks, complete the tower - something like that.

Anyways, what do other people honestly think they’d like that would seriously keep them engaged with the game beyond just logging in to see who’s online before afking for a month straight until they quit for good?

I want new Nexus to succeed the same way you do, and I’m curious how you, whomever may be reading this, sees that happening.

Not sure if you made your way to the Discord yet, lots of discussion there about similar topics. This forum is where things began, but is probably the least used currently. Just about everyone is over on the Discord. There is also the website here: https://aalynorsnexus.org/ if you sign up for an account to put ideas and such if Discord isn’t you thing.

Ideas of self-run quests that reset has been floating around. Instanced areas where you can only get so much loot before you have to wait a day/week for more loot from that spot. Lot of great ideas in discord, too many for me to want to list out. The other website I linked is being built out and ideas from discord slowly being put there for more visibility as time permits.

I think it’s also important to understand why the MUD died back then. I don’t think it was because most of the players necessarily lost interest in the game… My recollection is that it was brought down for an extended period to be updated. Then eventually came back online after those efforts didn’t pan out the way everyone had hoped? By that time a lot of players had moved on, and ultimately it went under at some point after I left it myself. Players were forced to find other entertainment, some got busy, and a lot didn’t come back (including GMs), which kinda led to the downfall IMO.

Why did I come back now? Throughout the years I have always thought of this game at random times and reminisced how much fun I had playing it with my brothers and friends. We all have fond memories of the good times had hunting and RPing when we were younger. Like you, my Google searches never returned anything but old bits from the original game. Except this time these revival forms came up as the first result. So I poked around a bit, contacted Arcadia and now I am here. I am confident the game will get released in the near future and my brothers and friends are waiting for that day to return!

Why have I stuck around to help rebuild? For fun mainly and because I am impressed with the project’s progress and the people who are helping to restore it. It’s probably the closest thing any of us will ever get to being able to play on the old Nexus map again (albeit with some changes as lore wise its 1000 years in the future). That map was completely rebuild from scratch as I understand it from logs and excel maps people had saved over the years. There is still plenty of work to be done, but we have ~6 active builders who have stepped up recently to help restore the world to its former glory and beyond. I also always wanted to make a video game, but I cant code so this is as close an outlet as I am going to get.

I think nostalgia is a massive part of what will cause players come back and at least try the new Nexus. To that end, we have been largely doing our best to restore the original map to its former glory. Rymek is the new Falcion starting zone now (Rymek is enlarged, Falcion is gone). But almost all the areas you would of found on Falcion are now in Rymek, or on a new island off the coast of Rymek where the coral reef stuff would be. Trying to tickle as many of those nostalgia bones as we can find, while also staying true to the time advancement and current lore. New places are always welcome, but the focus has been more on restore or recreate so far.

What will keep people playing? That is going to be a widely different answer depending on who you ask. Some people would play this game Solo for the rest of their lives if it stayed up and saved their progress (looking at you Solmur!). I myself might fall into that camp! Others will want that player interaction in some form. I think what you mentioned, offering something unique that the big MMO’s aren’t really able to provide right yet. The ability to have a meaningful impact, big or small depending on the players choices, on the game world and others in it. The occasional GM led quest that can have a dramatic effect on the overarching story based on player involvement.

I will also throw in, actual writing from people who do this as something they are passionate about and love, instead of just a job they do to earn money. Plus NOT monetizing the every living hell out of Nexus with a cash shop selling single items for nearly the same price as a full game expansions. Game is free to play and enjoy, no subscription and no approval process anymore either from what I understand.

Anyhow, that was my lunch break. Time to get back to work! Hope to see you around the game sometime. Tell your friends! :wink: