Dolphins of Isles of Diversity

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Dolphins of Isles of Diversity was a roleplaying MUCK for dolphins.


Brief History[edit]

Isles of Diversity -- or IOD, as it came to be called -- was conceived by a group of MUCKers in early 2000, and opened later the same year. With organization of the group spearheaded by Delphince, the idea was to create a dolphin-oriented role-playing environment, structured more by positive social interaction rather than adherence to rules. As the MUCK solidified, secondary programs were created to enhance its appeal, including a plugin for ICQ, a dedicated client, and a website that detailed everything from the current members to the history of IOD's creation.

During its heyday, IOD boasted approximately 60 members, the vast majority of which being cetacean in character. This number fluctuated as member accounts were added or expired, and the average number of logged-in characters ranged between five and 20, depending on the time of day. Accounts that expired were given a moderate grace period to return, at which point the character would be reinstated to its previous standing. While an open-door policy was never perceived to have any negative effects, in some ways this led to the MUCK's eventual downfall.

IOD grew and evolved as all communities do, however on occasion members returning from hiatus would be reluctant to accept changes that had occurred during their absence. This led to conflict between the policy of open social interaction and the few conduct guidelines that were in place. Administrators began to exercise more authoritative roles, and at times found themselves mediating conflicting interpretations of the rules more often than socializing with other members. Around this time, the MUCK saw its first ban of a member, and later another. As frustrations grew, the admins began to argue amongst themselves, and even went as far as to settle disagreements by removing powers from each other.

In time, one of IOD's central figures, Delphince, became heavily involved in one of these conflicts, which drew out over many weeks. Disgusted, he announced that the MUCK had completely turned away from its founding ideals, and against the advice of his friends, deleted his character. Others attempted to lead IOD from there and many continued to log in to continue their social relationships, but in the months that followed the central meeting place, "Destiny Shores", grew empty. Not long after, IOD closed for good.



As with most MUCKs, IOD was divided into several areas, or "rooms", that could be travelled to using a goto command, as long as the destination room was adjacent to the current room. An exception to this was through use of a teleport command, however this was only available to higher ranks. The rooms were arranged as if to encircle an island, with many of the rooms "belonging" to founding members (Stealth's Cliff, Delphince's Cove, etc), whether their accounts were still active or not. The primary room, Destiny Shores, saw the most use and was where new members would first log in. Some rooms were off-limits to all but the admins, so that more serious topics could be discussed without concerning the regular members.

While the MUCK's address could be accessed from any number of client programs, a unique client program was written just for IOD itself. This never-named Client streamlined many commands through graphical and/or macroed interfacing, and added many sound effects and ambient noises that worked with events on the MUCK itself. One of the most significant additions was a graphical map, that eased navigation around the MUCK.


IOD's ranking system consisted of two tiers: User and Admin ranks. These were further divided into Watcher, Seafarer, Explorer, and Wanderer for the former and Leader, Admin, and Guardian for the latter. A special "Shaman" rank was created for the lead coder, and shared a similar social standing with the Admin rank. Each progressively higher rank came with a larger number of available commands for the member to use. This prevented some potentially disruptive situations, such as a new member shouting something for all to hear, or spamming the message boards. The User ranks were more for appearance and a sign of experience with the MUCK than actual command freedom, as new members weren't significantly restricted in their ability to communicate. "Watcher" carried with it a special standing, as it granted a few administrative commands and was only bestowed on normal members that had placed considerable time and input into the MUCK. The Admin ranks were different mainly in that they boasted control functions for the program itself, and allowed the administrators to mediate conflict as well as regulate the MUCK's status. These ranks were only bestowed on many of the original creators of IOD.

Overseeing the day-to-day workings of IOD were a triumvirate of three Leaders -- the originals being Locutus, Delfi, and Delphince. While both Delfi and Delphince retained their position for the life of the MUCK, the third Leader changed a handful of times after Locutus stepped down to the Shaman rank. Final decisions on matters fell to them, and it was decided during the planning stages to have three Leaders rather than one to prevent any single individual from having too much control.

Story and Role-Playing[edit]

While much of the socializing on IOD was centered around topics of real life, depicted interaction involved the characters themselves. To further this, IOD was given a setting, with each room its own description to influence how characters reacted. In time, random weather descriptions were added, and characters would often find their conversations interrupted by a gust of wind or a flash of lightning.

In addition, a "history" was written that presented a backstory for IOD itself. Split into chapters called Chronicles, each chapter was written from the RP point of view of one of the founding members. Unfortunately, only the first few were posted, and it is unknown whether or not Delphince ever finished them. A brief synopsis holds that an accident sent a ship crewed by dolphins back in time from the far future, and was survived by only two of its crew. Adjusting to their surroundings, they met a local dolphin, and it is presumed were soon joined by others that made up the early members of the MUCK.