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Author Topic: Trying to add a new area to circlemud 3.1  (Read 11307 times)

gardensnake

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Trying to add a new area to circlemud 3.1
« on: December 07, 2016, 6:14 AM »
Hello everyone,

I played a mostly stock circlemud years ago and I was interested in revisiting the world, so I downloaded circlemud 3.1 and compiled it onto my windows 10 home pc using cygwin. I managed to get it to run and have been playing through it single player. However, I wanted to add an extra zone - The Elven village that I downloaded of the circlemud ftp website under contrib. I added the files to the appropriate place and added them to the index, however when I try to run the mud using cygwin now it gives me the error:

SYSERR: Format error in numeric constant line of world/zon/190.zon

I have zero programming or building experience and was only able to get the mud up and running through reading the thorough instructions of other people. Is anyone able to help me in trying to tackle this error?

Edit: Is it a problem that I tried to add this zone after I'd already compiled the mud?

By-question: If I'm just running the mud on my own computer for myself, there isn't a possibility that someone else can connect to it or that my pc security is compromised?

Thankyou
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 6:16 AM by gardensnake »

Hades_Kane

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Re: Trying to add a new area to circlemud 3.1
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2016, 10:14 AM »
If the version of Circle MUD you downloaded and the version of Circle MUD that the area in question was created with don't have an exact area format, then you'll have to either make changes to the code, or go through the area and change the format to match the code.  Otherwise, the area won't be "plug and play" as it were.

Either way, some understanding of the code or area formats will be necessary for you to fix this if the area formats aren't the same.

If that isn't the issue, then I'm not sure exactly what it is, but based on the error you pasted, it sounds like its something with the area itself (and still does read to me like an area format incompatibility).  I run a ROM game, which is like a cousin codebase, so the particulars of your errors aren't super familiar to me, but things work more or less the same in a general sense between the two I believe.

Compiling the game only messes with the code... whenever the MUD is brought up, the code reads the area list and the individual area files and loads them accordingly, so that shouldn't have anything to do with your current issue.

By-question: Don't quote me on this, but I believe you are fine.  Others around here ought to be more qualified to answer that specifically, but I believe you have to actually set things up purposefully to open it up to others to connect to.
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Pymeus

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Re: Trying to add a new area to circlemud 3.1
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2016, 2:40 PM »
On the by-question, CircleMUD 3.1 is well over a decade old, and likely wasn't written by people trained in writing secure code.  If security is even slightly a concern to you, you'll want to make sure the mud's port is not accessible by the outside world.  Probably the easiest way to do that is to block the port using your OS firewall, and make sure that any time you have the firewall off you also have CircleMUD off.

Depending on your level of concern about security, consider instead running the mud inside a virtual machine which has no access to the outside network to begin with.
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Drizzt1216

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Re: Trying to add a new area to circlemud 3.1
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2016, 12:26 AM »
Someone else could connect to it if they knew your IP and the port you were using, but the odds of someone randomly doing so IMO are less than 1 in a million. Security shouldn't be a concern. If you want to play around with CircleMUD though I'd recommend using tbaMUD instead. It's by and large the same codebase, except more up to date, and still has a fairly active community.

Pymeus

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Re: Trying to add a new area to circlemud 3.1
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2016, 7:44 PM »
On a decent connection, a single port can be scanned across the entire public IPv4 address space in well under an hour, and there are many millions of bots out there with nothing better to do than scan for vulnerable services.  So it's not a good bet that any public port would go untouched for long, even a non-standard port above 1024.
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Gicker

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Re: Trying to add a new area to circlemud 3.1
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2016, 9:32 PM »
So why isn't this an issue for all MUDs?  I'm not saying you're wrong, I just don't know.
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Epilogy

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Re: Trying to add a new area to circlemud 3.1
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2016, 1:04 AM »
So why isn't this an issue for all MUDs?  I'm not saying you're wrong, I just don't know.

I could be wrong, but I think that may be a reason why we were getting all kinds of weird stuff going on with port 25 open.

Pymeus

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Re: Trying to add a new area to circlemud 3.1
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2016, 5:09 AM »
In a broader sense than just muds, it's my experience that open ports get unwanted connections.  Why don't all muds get scanning attempts?  Well, they probably do.

A lot of muds probably end up ignoring them.  For example, stock ROM doesn't appear to report on every new connection it gets.  It's only when a connection does something interesting -- like logging in or creating a new character -- that things get sent up to "wiznet" and/or the log file.  You could hammer such a game with hundreds of thousands of connections in a day's time, and as long as you never send an allowed character name followed by an EOL, and don't have so many simultaneous connections that other connections get blocked, the people running the game probably won't know you've done anything.

Let's consider a different angle.  A newbie connects, creates a character, hits the first room, and quits moments later without ever talking to anyone.  We've all seen it happen.  Perfectly normal (if frustrating) behavior for someone browsing a list.  But a scanner checking for vulnerable commands in a mud might look exactly like that too.  Short of logging every command by every new player, a typical mud admin has no way of making that distinction.
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Hades_Kane

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Re: Trying to add a new area to circlemud 3.1
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2016, 11:37 AM »
We, for a time, logged every new connection no matter what it did.

And yeah, like Epilogy said, when we had port 23 forwarded to connect to the MUD, we were getting dozens of new connections a minute.  I shut down the port forwarding for 23, and barely get pinged by things now.
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brandon3

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Re: Trying to add a new area to circlemud 3.1
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 4:24 AM »
CircleMUD 3.1 is well over a decade. You might consider instead running the mud inside a virtual machine (no access to the outside network to begin with)
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Arond

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Re: Trying to add a new area to circlemud 3.1
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2017, 6:17 PM »
Honestly, if there were huge vulnerabilities in CircleMUD, I'd think that people would not be hosting them as it would put their service at risk.

Our MUD(even the developer ports) gets hit by people scanning ports constantly.  Usually, it's almost an instant disconnect.  They are likely using a script or scripts to look for known vulnerabilities to get onto the system...  Which, is unlikely they're looking to try and bypass a MUD to get onto the system.(Hell, on one of my servers the logs for nginx is ridiculous from people looking for exploits on port 80 and 443.)

Also, about CircleMUD being written by someone with no training.  The creator Jeremy Elson has a Ph.D in computer science if I'm not mistaken.  Just saying.  :D
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 1:22 AM by Arond »

ryanwstuck

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Re: Trying to add a new area to circlemud 3.1
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2017, 8:58 PM »
why not go for TbamMUD which is the continued development of circlemud. it is better, has online creation and dg scripts built right in and is in a much better state than old circlemud 3.1

Hades_Kane

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Re: Trying to add a new area to circlemud 3.1
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2017, 10:37 AM »
The thread being over a year old and the OP never posted again in that time?  Probably no point in continuing to offer suggestions...
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