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Alter Aeon FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

FAQ Section 20 - [builder] Generic building information

Question 20.1 - What is a vnum? Every room, mob, object, and door on the game has what's called a 'vnum', or 'virtual number'. This number decides the basic stats of the thing in question, and will help you keep track of what is what. Each type of thing has its own vnum space - meaning that there can be a room 462, door 462, mob 462, and object 462. But there can only be one room 462 and one door 462. Mobs and objects are a little bit different, as any real mob or object (that you can kill or wield for example) is only a -copy- of the vnum - this is needed so that the separate mobs and objects can have different stats. As an example, imagine two guards of the same vnum: they might have different stats because one is wielding a sword and the other is not, or perhaps one is about to die due to a battle while the other is healthy. It is important to note that changing a mob or object (with mset or oset) usually -does not change the underlying vnum- that the mob or object came from. You must use oset or mset to update a mob, then use the 'mset mob save' or 'oset object save' commands to update the underlying vnum. After you have saved the new stats back to the vnum, any future copies of that vnum that you create will have the updated stats. You can make sure that the stats saved by either 1) waiting for your area to repop, or 2) use the oload/mload commands to create a new copy of the mob or object.
Question 20.2 - So what vnums do I own? As a builder, you have one or more 'racks', where a rack is a block of 100 vnums. You may use all of those vnums, with the exception of the room vnum ending in 00. In other words, if you own the vnums from 600 to 699, you may use all of them -except- for room vnum 600 in your area. You may use mob, object, and door 600, but not room 600. If you don't know what rack is yours or if you have forgotten, there are two ways to find what you own. The first is to use the 'rack' command, which will show who owns what vnums if given a name. Try 'rack show <your name here>' first. If that fails, you can use 'mstat' on yourself to get your owner number, then use 'rset find owner <your owner number>' to find vnums that belong to you. Note: it is usually a good idea to set your recall to the first room in your rack (this is commonly called the header room, and is the room ending in 00 in your rack.) That room may not be part of your area, but you are free to recall there or put a bulletin board there for builder use.
Question 20.3 - I know my vnums, what should I try to build first? The first thing you should try to do is make a few rooms and get used to the commands. The primary commands you will want to use are 'goto', 'rset exit', 'rlink', 'rcreate', 'rset short', and 'rset long'. These commands allow you to create, connect and name rooms as well as move between them. The easiest way to create a new room is to use 'rset exit' or 'rlink' to create a connection to it, then walk through the exit. The destination room will be created automatically when you walk through the exit. When you are done creating a few rooms, you should use the 'rset save' command to write the room file to disk and save them. NOTE THAT ANY ROOMS YOU CREATE WILL NOT SAVE UNLESS YOU SET EITHER A SHORT OR LONG DESCRIPTION FOR THAT ROOM! The help pages for the above commands are very thorough, please read them. When you are familiar with rooms, it may be time to work on mobs, objects, and doors. There is a lot to learn, so don't be surprised if the going is slow.
Question 20.4 - How do I know I'm not doing anything wrong? It's pretty hard to really screw things up, so don't worry too much about it. The mud is pretty strict about not letting you accidentally hang yourself or others, so feel free to experiment until you get the hang of building things. There is also an automated rack checker that you can use to help keep your area sane - type 'rack check' while in your area to see possible mistakes or errors.
Question 20.5 - I built a bunch of stuff while experimenting, how do I delete it? Most of the time, you don't need to actually delete anything. The recommend thing to do is build over the top of the vnums you don't need, replacing the old strings and data with new. If you really, truly need to delete things though, you need a reboot. Use the following commands so that the vnums won't save: Rooms - go to room, type 'rset delete' Doors - 'dset edit <door number>', then 'dset name NULL' Mobs - 'mload <mob number>', then 'mset <mob number> fight NULL' Objs - 'oload <obj number>', then 'oset <obj number> inv NULL' It is very important that 'NULL' be uppercase. When you are done setting things to NULL, use rset/mset/oset save, and the vnums will be gone on the next reboot. Note: do not delete your header room, the one ending in 00. Don't delete your header mobs or objects either.
Question 20.6 - Why should I not delete the header room vnum? Because if you do, you will no longer own that range of vnums, and you won't be able to build there anymore. The header room vnums, the ones ending in 00, are where the ownership and zone information is stored for your rack. If you delete the header room, you'll need a world builder to recreate it to give you back ownership of the rack.

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