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=CoffeeMUD Builder Information=
Basics Praetor     Player Support     Commands     Zapper Masks Advanced Races     Classes     Abilities     Socials     Scripting    
Building Behaviors     Properties     Areas     Rooms     Exits     Items     Mobs Systems Achievements     Crafting     Ships     Planes of Existence     Quests    

AREAS are a collection of ROOMS, ITEMS, MOBS and SCRIPTS with a common theme in which to adventure in. AREAS can be as small as a single room, or a large as hundreds of rooms.



Areas have a variety of fields that can be defined at the area level. Not all areas will have all of the fields listed below.

  • CLASS: This is the Area Type (from the list above). It can be changed only via the MUDGrinder, not via command line.
  • NAME: This is the name of the area. It may include spaces and special characters.
  • DISPLAY: This field is available for StdBoardableShip. <r>Not certain when it is used.</r>
  • DESCRIPTION: This field provides the basic data for the HELP (AREANAME) parameter. It should be descriptive of the area in general, without giving away any secrets within the area. This field should be written from an RP-perspective: What characters would know of the area from rumors or history.
  • AUTHOR: This is the name of the creator of the area. It is highly advised to keep this to a single name, so players can sort areas by author, if desired.
  • THEME SETTING: This setting is often Inherited from a parent area. It defines what parameters work in the area (Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Powers, etc).
  • CLIMATE: This field influences the weather patterns of the area, and may be inherited from the parent area.
  • ATMOSPHERE: This field determines the area's primary breathing environment, and is often inherited from the parent area.
  • CALENDAR: StdPlanets may set this field. Child areas inherit from the planet settings and cannot be changed.
  • PLAYER LEVEL: This field determines how the area appears in the WHERE command, and should be the average player level recommended for the area. Setting this value to 0 will use the Median Mob's level instead.
  • PARENT AREAS: Allows structural organization of areas. This area will inherit any value specified as INHERIT from the parent area, as well as any Behaviors and Effects, unless those behaviors/effects also show up in this area with different parameters.
    • If a parent area does not exist, this area will be blocked off from player access, as will any children/grandchildren of this area.
  • CHILDREN AREAS: Any area defined as a child of this area will INHERIT all of the inherited fields, behaviors, and effects from this area.
  • AREA STAFF NAMES: This is a list of SUBOPS or builders who have been granted area-based security settings who can perform those operations while within this area.
  • AREA BLURB FLAGS: This list of definable flags and their definitions. The definition of the flag will appear at the bottom of the HELP (areaname) result. You may define any number of AREA BLURB FLAGS, and each area may use a different set of these flags. These flags are part of the wiki template output when using the LIST AREA WIKIHELP command.
    RECOMMENDED: This area is recommended for players level 10-16.
    LANGUAGES: Dwarven is spoken here.
  • RADIUS: This is the size of the planet's radius. It is used in determining collisions with the planet (both controlled collisions such as landing, and uncontrolled, such as crashing, bombing, shooting).
  • COORDS IN SPACE: This is the three-dimensional coordinates of the planet
  • MOVING: This is a combination of the planet's speed and direction. Set to 0 for a static frame of reference.
  • AUTOGEN VARIABLES: This field allows you to set variables defined in the XML in the format VAR=VAL.
  • BEHAVIORS: This is a listing of behaviors and parameters that affect the area.
  • EFFECTS: This is a listing of properties and parameters that affect the area.
  • CURRENCY: This field allows you to specify or create a currency system for use in the area.
  • PREJUDICE: This field allows an area to affect the price of items bought and/or sold by a mob meeting a zapper mask criteria.
  • ITEM PRICING FACTORS: This field allows an area to affect the price of items that meat a specific zapper mask criteria.
  • BUDGET: This field can be set to limit the available money every GenShopkeeper in the area has to purchase items (unless specified otherwise by the GenShopkeeper)
  • DEVALUATION RATES: This setting determines the price of subsequent items purchased by the same shopkeeper, preventing a shop from overloading on a bunch of one item that a player has farmed up. This will cause players to have to find other buyers for their goods if they have a large stock of a particular item.
  • INVENTORY RESET RATE: This field is the number of ticks that must pass for an unattended shopkeeper to reset their inventory back to the base inventory. This will clear out all purchases made by the shopkeeper, and restore the basic inventory.
  • IGNORE MASK: This setting determines, via a zapper mask, what type of mobs a shopkeeper in the area will not interact with.

Guidelines for Areas

Listed below are general guidelines for creating areas. These are guidelines, only, not requirements. However, these guidelines were developed over many years of area design. They are specific to the CoffeeMUD engine, especially the Official CoffeeMUD server.

  • Areas should have a common theme. The Author of an area is not a common theme (an area Author could write hundreds of areas, so there is no need for this field to be limiting the area).
  • Areas should have a tight level range. The lower the level of the area, the tighter the range. For an area below level 20, consider a 5 level spread.
  • Players hate non-Cartesian rooms because it makes hand-drawn maps difficult. However, there are times when it is useful to mess with non-Cartesian layouts. Cartesian layouts do display better in the MUDGrinder, though.

Starting Zones

Special care should be applied to the areas where new players will begin. This area is your sales pitch for your MUD, so you want it to really shine, but not overwhelm. Starting areas should provide players with an opportunity to learn your MUD's features, but also enable veteran players to jump into the game. There are certain features that start areas should have to accommodate the variety of classes that CoffeeMUD has, as well as offset or introduce game features:

  • Start areas should have a water source and food source so players wont die of starvation.
  • Start areas should provide a variety of weapons so players can experiment with variants of their class instead of just the default weapon. This is especially important in the event that a player gets an allergy to whatever material the default class weapon is made out of.
  • Start areas should introduce the combat system, including WIMPY and FLEE.
  • If your MUD requires a specific type of room to logout from, be sure there is a room of that type in the start area.
  • Your area should have a way for scholars to gain paper to write on.
  • Your area should have resources for artisans to gather.
  • Consider both indoor and outdoor rooms for your start area so that you can accommodate classes such as trapper, gaian and delver.
  • Your mobs should either be all neutral, or have both good and evil mobs, so that classes with alignment restrictions can maintain their alignment.

City Features

  • Cities should have laws.
  • Special citizens:
    • Library (GenLibrarian)
    • Armor Mender
    • Armor Resizer
    • Armor Vendor (May have multiple for different armor types)
    • Weapon Vendor
    • Magic Shop
    • Potion Shop
    • Pet Shop
    • Pub (Food and Drinks)
    • Inn (Place to sleep, may serve food and drinks)
    • Class Guildmasters (Trainers)
      • If you create a restricted access to a class guildmaster, use the appropriate zappermask based on the guildmaster's MOBTeacher behavior. If you create a MOBTeacher that can train all mages, make sure your zappermasks to enter his building reflects all mages (-baseclass +mage). If you create a MOBTeacher that can ONLY teach alterers, the zapper mask should also reflect that (-class +alterer)
    • Resource Vendors (GenResources)

Area Blurbs

For the Official CoffeeMUD server, consider adding the following BLURBS to your areas where applicable:

  • AQUATIC - start off the description with the color cyan (^c). Add this blurb for areas that require lots of swimming, boating or underwater action.
  • ECONOMY - Add any sort of economic biases for the area (IE, Shopkeepers preferring to deal with elves). (NOTE: Currency will be listed within the help file for the area automatically).
  • LANGUAGES - Add this flag for areas where conversation may be important (IE, cities that sell things, RP areas).
  • RECOMMENDED - Add this flag to all finished areas. Provide a recommendation for what levels, player skill sets (IE, hack-n-slash, observant, powerful, questers, RPers), and types of characters may enjoy adventuring in this area.
  • RENTAL - For property areas that rent out their property. This Blurb should describe the rental costs and process. See Apartments of New Thalos for an example of the RENTAL blurb.
  • TRAVEL - For zones whose primary purpose is to connect to other zones, this blurb can be used to list the commonly known linkages to the area.
  • UNDEAD - start off the description with the color blue (^b). Add a short statement of the known undead presence in the area (heavy, light, ghosts, etc). Do not add this blurb if there are no undead, or if the undead are not generally known to the rest of the area's inhabitants.
  • URBAN - start off the description with the color dark yellow (^Y). Add this blurb if the area is primarily a city or a district within a city.
  • WILDS - start off the description with the color green(^g). Add this blurb if the area is primarily feral, or uninhabited by intelligent creatures, and of outdoor or cave type rooms. Do not use WILDS for water areas.

Area Tools

How to update the Area HELP file

After modifying the area's mobs' levels, you may notice that your area help file still shows the previous range of MOBS. This is because that data is generated on the area load at startup. You can reset the help file with the following commands:

  • Example 
    LIST RESOURCE STATS_(AREANAME) - Just to make sure you have the right file
    UNLOAD RESOURCE STATS_(AREANAME) - This will remove the help file entry...but fear not!
    HELP (AREANAME) - This will find that there is no help for that area, so it will generate a new help file for it (with the most current data).