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Author Topic: Updates to Mud Listing/Searching Feature of TMC (not forums)  (Read 1964 times)

Thraxian

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The Mud Submission and Searching feature is an important part of this site, but it seems like it could use a little update/polish.  Below are some suggestions/considerations to review.  My hope is that the community will collaborate to suggest other additions/modifications to the listings, and these changes could be implemented together as a one-time medium-scale update to this feature.

1. Update "Year mud was created" during submission to include 2017 and 2018 - options which currently aren't available.  Update the "Age of Mud" during search to include years after 2013 (if applicable).
2. Consider adding new options for "Operational Status" like "temporarily closed" and "permanently closed" to assist in categorizing defunct listings while still retaining the historical significance of pre-existing muds.
3. Consider changing "Multiplaying" to a simple Yes/No option, or provide more details about the difference between yes and limited.
4. Consider modifying options for "Playerkilling" to none, optional, allowed, and pure.  The current options during submission do not seem to line up with the options available in search.  For instance, as a player not interested in PK, which option would I currently use for searching if I'm looking for a place where I won't get killed (no, restricted)?  With the proposed new options, I could simply include none and optional, and feel relatively secure.
5. Consider simplifying the class-based feature to be none, simple (War/Cle/Mag/Thi), extended, and keep the yes/no for multi-classing as a separate option.  The current implementation has an option for classless, one for extended, and one for multiclassing (three options, when two will suffice).
6. Consider changing the level-based feature to be none, single tier, and multiple tiers.  The current implementation only allow for a level-less yes/no option. (Many of the muds I play offer a "remort" feature, but if this is only found in a limited set of codebases and makes no sense to be part of the mud listing feature, then disregard this item).
7. Consider clarifying "detailed character customization".  Does this refer to the appearance/backstory of the character, customizable skills during creation, both, or something else?  Perhaps split these customizations into separate categories?
8. Consider adding a search parameter that corresponds to the mapping feature set during submission.
9. When searching for MUDs, selecting multiple options for Roleplaying produces no results.  If only one selection is allowed, only one selection should be allowed in the search form.  If multiple selections are allowed (preferred), the search should return listings that match any of the specified options (if any are selected).

Again, seeking feedback and collaboration on these, and any other suggestions for updating the listings/search functionality.  As a software developer and database architect, I'll be happy to lend whatever aid I can to assist in realizing these items.

Hades_Kane

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Re: Updates to Mud Listing/Searching Feature of TMC (not forums)
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2018, 12:48 PM »
Addendum to #2...  I think options for "actively supported" and "functional, not supported" (or similar) would be good.  Many MUDs are open and playable, but aren't actively supported, supervised, updated, advertised, etc.  Being able to determine whether a playable MUD has any actual Admin support would be a good thing to be able to sort listings by.
-Diablos
End of Time, a 100% free Final Fantasy & Chrono Trigger based MUD with a large original world, unique combat & magic systems, and more!
eotmud.com : 4000 • http://www.eotmud.comhttp://www.facebook.com/eotmud
http://www.mudconnect.com/mud-bin/adv_search.cgi?Mode=MUD&mud=End+of+Time

Thraxian

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Re: Updates to Mud Listing/Searching Feature of TMC (not forums)
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2018, 3:03 PM »
HK - good idea.  The question then arises: who is responsible for updating the operational status of a mud?  When a mud closes, the administrator MIGHT update the listing to indicate the mud has been taken down, or is closing permanently, but I think that is more the exception than the rule.

Using the "check connection" feature of the site, if a mud has been unresponsive for a configured number of days (30?), then it could be flagged as offline, but making the distinction between temporary and permanent closure is programmatically impossible. 

By the same token, listings that have not been touched in a configured number of days (30-90?) could result in the LISTING being flagged as archived/abandoned (even if the mud isn't).  Both of these characteristics could be useful in identifying which listings are active and which ones are less so, at the cost of the MUD owner periodically stopping by TMC to click a button and update their listing.

If we wanted to allow users to provide input, like flagging a listing as being offline/abandoned/etc, then you would likely need a listing moderator to follow-up with these reports and make the appropriate changes to the listing's operational status.  This would be a more manual process, and highly susceptible to abuse (players with a grudge could incorrectly flag MUDs in hopes that they would no longer appear on search results, thus affecting the MUDs ability to gain new players), which would artificially inflate the workload for a listing moderator. 

Extending from a related conversation on another thread:
10. Consider replacing the "pay to play" option with the options "free", "subscription", "one-time fee", and "microtransactions" instead.

Hades_Kane

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Re: Updates to Mud Listing/Searching Feature of TMC (not forums)
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2018, 3:46 PM »
There's really no fair way to automate a "open, not supported" listing, and there used to be a feature of the MUD crawler that would delist games that haven't been reachable in X amount of days... that needs to return.

I suppose my suggestion on the "open, not supported" is that if such an addition were added, every MUD has 30 days to modify their listing in some way for this, or they are flagged as "open, not supported" if the game is still reachable.

The fairest way I could see to "automate" it without requiring a listing update every 30-90 days or whatever is in a way that users can "report to moderator" a post, a similar thing be added for listings that allows users to flag a listing for review that notifies the listing manager that a user has flagged it... the user can then, through email, either respond that YES the game is supported (no change made to the listing, subsequent attempts at flagging a listing is then disabled for 6 months) or NO it is not and in that case the listing category is changed.  If no response is given to a flagged listing 30 days, it is automatically changed to not supported.
-Diablos
End of Time, a 100% free Final Fantasy & Chrono Trigger based MUD with a large original world, unique combat & magic systems, and more!
eotmud.com : 4000 • http://www.eotmud.comhttp://www.facebook.com/eotmud
http://www.mudconnect.com/mud-bin/adv_search.cgi?Mode=MUD&mud=End+of+Time

Epilogy

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Re: Updates to Mud Listing/Searching Feature of TMC (not forums)
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2018, 3:48 PM »
Using the "check connection" feature of the site, if a mud has been unresponsive for a configured number of days (30?),

Maybe just keep a counter of how many days since it was last responsive?

10. Consider replacing the "pay to play" option with the options "free", "subscription", "one-time fee", and "microtransactions" instead.

A field for games that accept payment that indicates the access provided for a free player. Some games you can't log in unless your sub is paid up. That should be distinguished maybe from the microtransaction side of things.... being able to play a game for free with transactions implied is different than an up-front cost to even play the game, or access certain parts from one-off payments (like expansions).