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My Thoughts on Ancient Anguish

Some evenings you'll find me on Ancient Anguish, a LP mud game, where I am Jerusulum, Arch of Education.

As Arch of Education, I work with apprentice wizards (those players who have attained a high enough level and comprehension of the land), teaching them how to program in LPC, a derivative of C, and helping them transition from being a player to being part of Ancient Anguish's administrative staff and developers.

It's a fine hobby and hones my programming and proofreading skills in the best learning environment I've ever stumbled into. I had never programmed in C or LPC before becoming a wizard on Ancient Anguish and at first it seemed quite daunting. However, working at my own pace and being able to ask questions and get them answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week was incredible. Ancient Anguish has a wizard guild line dedicated to questions and answers. The other wizards were patient with me and soon enough I found I could start answering some of the questions other wizards were asking.

In order for an area to get implemented into Ancient Anguish, it must first pass scrutiny by World, Balance, alpha QC, bravo QC, final QC, and sometimes Mudlib. At each stage, someone goes through your project and reports things that need to be fixed before it can move on. This process feels quite harsh and painful at times, but in the end your project is awesome and you have learned many things, including programming skills, patience, how not to take a simple critique of your code as a personal attack, and how to motivate (encourage) overworked unpaid volunteers to take a look at your area.

I joined alpha QC (quality control) and began proofreading other wizard's areas. I didn't really consider this to be work, as it was a bit like just playing around and I naturally proofread anyway. Eventually, I joined the Law staff where I discovered that I just don't have the desire to track who is doing what illegally under ten different names and that there are some really evil people out there on the net. Be gentle with Ancient Anguish's Law staff if you visit. They keep the mud a nice place to be. I left Law and dedicated myself the Education department. I love working with others and I am still a bit awed by how terrific Ancient Anguish is for learning programming.

Bytre recently moved me to bravo QC and that means I get to read the other wizard's code and evaluate it for efficiency, logic, bugs, and adherence to Ancient Anguish's requirements. I've learned much about programming from reading and checking others' code.

Now that I've been promoted to Arch of Education, I find myself learning all kinds of other things, like how to be in charge of a staff and what kinds of things administrators do to ensure the life of their mud. Being in charge of a staff doesn't mean bossing them around, it means that they get to pass the difficult stuff to you to deal with. There are days when I sorely miss being able to pass a decision to Aisha. And now I have to vote on topics that will greatly affect the mud. With each decision, I have to take into account what kind of precedence it creates. It's a bit of serious responsibility, but worth it for the knowledge I am gaining.

Some days I find it amusingly ironic that Ancient Anguish TEACHES ME job related skills and I have the title "Arch of Education".

You can visit the area I programmed, the puffin beach, by following the directions in 'help newbie2' on the mud ( port 2222). Please spend some time talking with Rae, my masterpiece npc, who is 1200+ lines of code and who will give you every useful hint about playing Ancient Anguish that I could think of.

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