The History Of Lux
Version 1.0 of Lux was released on November 25, 2002 by Dustin Quasar Sacks in Montreal, Canada. It was first available from the Sillysoft website and VersionTracker.com. Since then, Lux has spread all over the world, spawned a series of expansion games, and become the Lux Delux of the now times. There does exist a wikipedia article about Lux, but this document has more flair!
The first version of Lux only supported the built-in random map generator, and only single-player. It grew organically from there. Lux 2 added support for multi-player networked games. Lux 3 released August 2003 added support for custom designed maps.
The title of supposed "King of Lux" has gone through different hands many times. From the collective Luxer memory, the title has seemed to go as follows:
"The Before Times" - Mac Only (September 2003 - May 2004)
"It was the best of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of... no freaky windows users!" The first version of Lux that supported networked games came out in September of 2003 and it was for Mac OS X only. There wasn't a developed ranking system at first so a game win (1st place) was the only important goal. The continuously active players formed a loose brother/sisterhood (healthy respect, not the scary hillbilly kind). Vonibot envisions the bots first doctrine. There weren't many young players, but we did have Kef to kick around. A list of the eldest online Luxers can be seen on the Old Guard page.
This period was also filled with the first custom maps. After Classic Risk, Battle of Europe and Spacestation Lux followed in late 2003. In January 2004 Preacherman created Risk Plus, UK, a USA map, and wrote the first version of the Map Tutorial (which at the time was for text editor XML junkies only). To The Power of Hex was released in February and quickly became map of choice for epic games.
Summer of Expansion (June 2004-Aug 2004)
Lux became cross platform with the Windows/Linux release in June 2004. There was a surge in new players and a noticeable increase in hostility during games. "Asshat" and "wtf?" became catch phrases. Rankings became important and the taste of sweet raw created a hunger in many.
Preacherman and the Semi-Holy Church of Lux (Aug 2004-Dec 2004)
After the dust settled from the initial avalanche of Windows players, the core group of "older & wiser" Mac players struggled for an identity. A mysterious long-haired figure from the east began preaching of figs, ducks and coffee... and we listened... we listened and it clicked. Preacherman gathered a flock which eventually became the Semi-Holy Church of Lux. Most of these remarkable original members are still among us. The sign is infinity (st00pid mb) ∞ Preacherman often topped the rankings during this time with a remarkable +50% win percent ∞ Players such as shopi, michelle, Natya, furball and gibraltar monkey often dominated games. Shopi was known to play a ridiculous amount of games, racking up a huge total that is still impressive today.
The first Luxtoberfest celebration was held in October 2004. At that time most sportsmanlike player awards were given to: preacherman, Pi, michelle, el toro, gibraltar monkey, mbauer, sasquatch, and shopi.
As the number of online games grew so did activity in the forums. November 2004 marked the introduction of moderators to the forums. The initial line-up had preacherman, michelle, sasquatch, and mbauer joining dustin as the forum overlords. An official set of forum rules appeared for the first time as well. This new oversite was soon tested by some Luxers, pusheding the limits to see what exactly would be acceptable in the future. The first forum ban of an active participant was enacted in December 2004 when Natya was removed from the forums.
Preacherman Ascends: The Alias Wars (Jan 2005-Feb 28, 2005)
The latter date coincides with Preacherman not finishing in the top 10 and possibly foreshadowing his absence from Lux for quite some time. During this period, Luxers witnessed the coming and subsequent vanquishing of the hydra-like creatures known as froghobbits. The user known as tenderhobbit and frogmind (among other things) managed to scrape together a few first place medals, despite his unethical use of aliases; for example, this player used 2 aliases in one game, usually on a small map such as Hawaii to artificially boost his RAW. Players were also accused of "sitting on raw" due to the lack of frequent resets.
During this time, the style of play was usually Classic Risk, with 5,5,5 and 4,5,6. Mainly because nothing else existed. The very first custom maps were (in retrospect) rather sad affairs, but drew huge crowds when released simply because it suddenly put Lux in a whole new light. Some of these maps still retain something akin to a cult status (at least amongst Old Skool Luxers), such as the Hex series. As knowledge of just how easy it was to make maps started to spread, more and more people got involved in making them, filling up the plugin manager and resulting in some of the most popular maps available today. A couple of great mapmakers shone in this period, particularly the incomparable mbauer whose Castle Lux and War maps remain to this day unmatched in terms of playability and beauty. This period also saw some major changes in the Lux application itself, as mapmakers pushed the Lux engine way beyond what it was capable of at the time.
War for the Crown (Feb 28, 2005-May 29, 2005)
This period was dominated by "Jedi Master" furball, magpie, T, and Set. Gameplay remained the same for the most part up until the end of this period, wherein faster card sets began to be used more frequently and maps were more varied.
This period also saw the first custom AI's introduced to an unsuspecting Lux community. This was when Nefarious, contrary to popular belief, actually kicked ass and won games. She's never been the same since. Again, the wishes of bot makers to push the envelope meant more huge changes in Lux. Now for the first time, bots could suddenly talk back, team up, and generally cause havoc for their adverseries. The whole 'Bots First' debate came to light repeatedly as bot makers tried desperately to change the way the community thought about their creations, alas, to no avail.
During the latter part of this period, a prevalence of 4-6-8-10-15 cash on games came about. This card setting was introduced as an attempt to encourage a faster gameplay than had previously existed. Due to the nature of the new raw system (the 6 player bonus), getting games in became more important than it had been previously. 4-6-8-10-15 cash off and 5-10-15 cash on was very popular in the middle part of this period, but both were soon abandoned due to the ease with which people could dominate 4-6-8-10-15 cash on games. The setting was so new to people that many were not able to adjust gameplay, and the players that figured out basic tactics could gather up raw very easily.
This period first saw the invention of continent bonuses. Encouraged by players such as preacherman and other old skool luxers, it was meant to prevent the marathon games of old. Many of these games would go on for 3 or 4 hours, usually ending badly when one player decided to all out attack another in an attempt to secure a higher position. Continent bonuses would turn out to not have as much of an effect on this style of play as hoped, as the card settings the bonus was meant to affect was falling out of fashion. In addition, the bonus was often either too high or too low, lacking a "happy medium" in some players eyes.
Advent of Paranoiarodeo (May 30, 2005-Mar 27, 2006)
This period was marked by a nearly complete domination of the rankings by paranoiarodeo, aka lobotomist. This player racked up a significant amount of RAW; in fact, being the first player to reach 2000 RAW, he has gone as far as to call himself the "Lux King of RAW" (a title that is now somewhat questionable due to other players reaching greater heights on the RAW scale). However, most players during this period would amass so much RAW during the first week of the month, that players would "sit on" their RAW; despite the -30 RAW penalty for not playing at least 3 games a week, players could still hang on to a top 10 spot for weeks without having to play a single game.
As a result of this practice, RAW whores appeared in stronger force during this period. Many had existed in the past, and many players were accused of using cheap tactics for gaining and keeping raw, but this was when it became a much more abused practice. Longstanding players began to announce their retirements (sometimes temporary, sometimes permanently) because of their view on the degredation of gameplay tactics and chat. Playing tactics such as "calling continents" and "burning countries" became widespread as a result of the card settings that were becoming much more prevalent. Many older players disliked this, as it seemed to point to a repetitive gameplay atmosphere.
During the latter part of this period, the RAW was set to a weekly reset instead of a monthly one. It was also during this time that the enhanced win bonus for winning the Map of the Week (MOTW) was introduced and, at some times, abused. While it encouraged variety of maps, it caused play style to change. At times, Lux was turned into a game of chance as 5,10,15, cards & 50% became the only way to play.
Also, during this time, the 2 churches in Luxdom, the Semi-Holy Church of Lux and the Anti-Holy Church of Lux battled for dominion in a sudden death showdown in a game of "To the Power of Hex" on August 10, 2005. The Semi-Holy Church won with all 3 of their members standing, and the Anti-Holy Church of Lux was disbanded. Its leader, mbauer, went in to hiding (recently, it was found that he was coding Dustin's next Lux project, American History Lux). As a result of this game, team play was crafted. Once reviled in the days of tenderhobbit, Team Play now gained a separate status from regular Lux competition, demanding coordination of players. Team play grew during this time, and teams were being created rapidly.
Luxtoberfest II was held in October 2005. A full record of the awards given out then is available. Rookie of the Year honors were given to: magpie,
paranoiarodeo, bennok, pale kate, AquaRegia, and sidhe. Hosting thanks were given to BarStar, Smedz, and Mouldy Dog. jOnNiE got a most sportsmanlike award, and Fane was given his golden balls. The Luxer Hall of Fame was created with the inductions of furball, preacherman, magpie (along with his rookie award), michelle, sasquatch and SET.
After the Luxtoberfest celebrations, paranoiarodeo continued to dominate the official rankings ladder. However, after a forums fall out he disappeared from the rankings.
Custom AI's were given a boost again with Reaper and the BotOfDoom, the better of the two being hard to distinguish.
Jerry T's Dominion (April 2006-May 2006)
This period, despite being marked by first place finishes from Grozoth in its infancy, was dominated by a player known as Jerry T (among other names). His time in the spotlight began during Luxtoberfest 2005, where he won 3rd place for most wins in October. However, his demeanor changed and this period was marked by verbal provocations and bullying.
Players also became more vicious in gameplay tactics. It had become common practice to "call continents" by this time (this began during the reign of paranoiarodeo), but now frequent suicides were handed down to those who did not "burn" in called continents. This bullying leaked onto the forums, and players were up in arms about the "king" of the period. As a result, a series of forum bans (albeit temporary, and not the first) were enacted. Later, the "king" of the period was permanently banned from the forums.
It was also at this time when Preacherman reappeared and the seed for an old school backlash was planted.
Team Play began getting serious, since the competition between teams truly began, most teams had disbanded, and only a 10 or so player teams remained. These teams fought for a while, but it is unclear whether one team has been declared the winner. The last recorded team game was played on May 6, 2006.
Renovation and Innovation - Lux becomes Lux Delux (June 2006-October 2006)
As the title suggests, in this period, the name of the game changed as a reflection of the addition of new features and plugins.
This period began with the second ever permanent ban for a player occured, ousting the old "king," JT, forever. Play style has become a bit calmer as players usually use a slower play style: 4,6,8,10,15,20... and 10%-20% continents, usually. MOTW has become more subdued as well, though you may see the occasional 5,10,15 & 50% continent MOTW game now and then. People still call continents and table talk is still prevalent, although it has become much more polite than it was during the last period.
Preacherman began hosting more games of "To the Power of Hex" or "Hex" as is more commonly called with the old 4,6,8 and 0% continents, but unranked. There has also been a rise is the amount of Classic Part Deux played online, to an equal level of Classic (although it was always a popular alternative to classic risk).
The extent of RAW whoring had increased over the last period to the a point never seen before; it has carried over to some extent into this period with the invention of the "Exclusive RAW Room" on Sunday Nights where the description claims that only players with 1100+ RAW may play and all others must "guest out." This kind of room soon became commonplace, but hosts became less strict about people with low RAW "guesting out."
During this time, the RAW calculation for bots was adjusted so bots would gain more RAW and be more competitive in the weekly rankings. However, right before Luxtoberfest, a user or group of users used a similar strategy as tenderhobbit/frogmind/etc. to gain RAW by playing many games with only 2 players and allowing the Reaper AI to win many of these games (while collecting RAW by placing second or third). As a result, bot RAW soared to the highest levels ever recorded. Soon after, the bot RAW calculation was readjusted to ensure such a scheme would not happen again.
A myriad of new players joined during this time, and many came to the forefront with such Luxers as Dominator, Yo Daddy, General K, and, at the end of this period, Killercatfish taking first place medals.
The Map of the Week (MOTW) competition became more enticing as more medals were given out simply for winning a game (with better medals awarded for winning games with more human players). As a result, new maps and random map generators were being used more frequently during this time.
Bots also gained more notoriety during this period. The BotOMatic allowed users to create their own AI with different play style. Despite incidents involving its misuse, the Reaper AI became more of a formidable foe (perhaps more so than BotOfDoom by this point) as Luxers began to respect and fear this AI for its anti-"Bots First" policies, ability to team with other bots and users, and developed style of play.
Luxtoberfest III was held in October 2006. A full record of the awards given out then is available.
The Drama Year (October 2006-October-2007)
During this time feuding broke out between the semi-holy church and the newly resurrected anti-holy church, chronicled in a battlefield created by My Wife Hates Me. In an effort for peace and tranquility Drifting Development Inc. designed and built Undergods Treehouse. The treehouse was built as a home for all peaceful people to enjoy "Luxtopia". Set in the city of Lux Vegas the treehouse was designed by 'KingPatrick' and engineered and built by paranoiarodeo Additional Moderators were added to the force to help control the breakout of complaints and porn posters.
Cults, cults, and more cults... (October 2007-Dec 2007)
As the Feud between the Anti-Holy Church and Semi-Holy Church continued, a new wanderer came forth, eating a kiwi and preaching of a new beginning to a group of followers. This group, created by "the frozen one" Eice and co-founder Lantern, has come to be known as the Omni-Holy Church of Lux. The Omni-Holy Church, although initially unrecognized as an official Church of Lux, eventually made its name among the Churches: Now the Omni-Holy, Anti-Holy, and Semi-Holy Churches of Lux coexist and vie for dominance.
Of the other groups that arose during this time, one stood out. A band of rejects with funny red noses and bad make-up got together for intentions still not fully known. After establishing themselves as The Clowns of Lux, Clown Leader Golfmannen, General K (a.k.a. General KLOWN), Clown Extraordinaire Nimrod7, and Bio-Dominator-Clown C-Rex negotiated with The Omni-Holy Church to create what became known as The Omni-KClown Union Merger.
A Year in Flux (January 2008-October 2008)
The year began with the arrival in early February of a new twist on an old map – the Biohazard random map generator (coded by RandomGuy? in May 2007), which removes certain territories on a given map from play, combined with the Classic Part Deux map – termed “Biodeux.” This particular combination quickly gained popularity, and hosts eagerly increased the card values and continent bonus % increases to near-maximum or maximum levels to speed up gameplay and avoid "marathon" games. As players began to acquire RAW and ascend the rankings, it became clear that “Biodeux” was challenging Classic as the preferred map for Sunday high-RAW, ranked games. Players who embraced Biodeux were initially termed “Bio Ghetto Bruvvas.” However, the term “Bio Ghetto,” referring to the cluster of hosts that run “Biodeux” maps on Sundays, has developed a more pejorative connotation. Players that usually played Classic criticized “Biodeux” hosts for providing an easy way to play many games to rapidly accumulate RAW. One Luxer, Rated Insane, went so far as to satire “Biodeux” by creating the "Raw Roulette" map (not available to the public). In mid-September, RAW increases were lessened first for high continent bonus % increases and then for games with less than 27 seconds maximum turn time. As of early Luxtober (October), Classic and “Biodeux” have become more equal in popularity for the last-minute effort games on Sunday for a chance at winning the weekly medal. More recently, however, a new map, Roman Empire II (created by SunTzu? in June 2007), has become a staple of a small group of Luxers.
Meanwhile, mapmakers came together to complete the project of creating at least 1 map for all 50 states of the United States of America. Luxtoberfest V plans to have a United States Map tournament that will likely include maps made from this project.
Elsewhere, on the forums, Luxtopia became mired in a mob war. The game of Mafia, introduced by *Manimal (although originally introduced to Luxtopia by SnyperEye in the game “CRY WOLF”), started as a simple game of townsfolk, with a Sheriff and Doctor, versus mafia. However in later games hosted by RandomGuy?, enjoymoreradio, and Preacherman, it grew to include a massive number of variant identities including the Yakuza, the Deputy, the Vigilante, the Godfather, the Journalist, and the Leper. Multiple Vigilantes, Doctors, and even rival mafia with their own Godfathers were implemented in the latest games, which have been hosted by Preacherman. While Luxtopia is safe for the moment, no one can tell for sure when the mafia will strike again…
In the summer, My Wife Hates Me began the Luxshoppe Summertime Showdown. Unlike other Luxshoppe showdowns, the event ended with Enokrad claiming victory after his opponent, Preacherman, was unable to respond with a jab in time. Many hope that the Second Annual Luxtoberfest Luxshoppe Showdown will bring out the high caliber jabs and rivalries that have been seen in previous Showdowns.
The year started with paranoiarodeo winning the majority of weekly highest rank medals, but after mid-March, kitty on catnip and *Manimal most often were highest ranked weekly. Newcomer C-Rex dominated the weekly rankings for most of the month of September. As Luxtoberfest unfolds, it is unclear who will emerge victorious and what factions will rise to superiority.
Rome Catches Fire (Novemeber 2008-November 2009)
As -NN-Grim starts hosting Roman Empire II it slowly and surely becomes a hugely popular map.
(Novemeber 2009-March 2010)
2011 Age of Biodeux
This period is defined by a major rise of popularity of the Biodeux map and other Biohazard maps, as recent updates have made it possible to play any map with Biohazard easily. And as Biodeux grows in strength, the other maps continue to wane in influence. Many players still find Biodeux disagreable because of its agressive style, and major focus on continents rather than on cards. And yet, players continue to convert to Biodeux as it is much easier to find a 6 human game to play in.
Clash of Maps:
This era is also defined by the decrease in the influence of the Churches. Rather, rivalries have developed between Biodeux (and its players) and the other maps Classic Risk and Rome II? and their players. Classic Part Deux is more like a memory now, than a map, but the spirit of its players continue to live on. Meanwhile, the MOTW continues to decline like the other Non-bio maps.
Paranoiarodeo continues to watch over the Lux World as the dominant host, and now a proud member of the Lux Mod Squad. Paranoiarodeo continues to add to the lux community with his many mindbombs and his additions to the game such as the gametimer (which will automatically restart the game after a particular amount of time to prevent marathons.)
2012 Decline of the Old Guard
The Lux World is very similar to the Lux World of the past. The concept of "Community" and "Competition" still inspire luxers everywhere to push for improvement and for progress. Although, the latter is weakening and the former is strengthing in influence. The bloated Biodeux rooms are filled not only with players who wish to play the in the game, but rather players who are content to watch and joke around with their neighbors. This phenomenon did of course exist before, but now it is a more integral part of Lux culture. These luxers, dubbed "lurkers", often watch, converse with their fellow guests and players, with absolutely no intention of entering the games. Well-known lurkers include paranoiarodeo, TSK, and Roguemonk, among others who lurk less frequently but just as well.
During this period, the winds are shifting. The names Preacherman, Mike, El Toro, Jerry T, jOnNiE, smedz, and Sasquatch, and other similar names are fading into the history books. Their names are remembered and their memories are respected, but it is as if, in the Lux World, dog years are used to tell a player's age. It appears, at this current time (January 2013) a generation is 5 years. These players listed are the grandfathers of the game, and while they and their fellow old-timers pop in from time to time, their appearance is brief and generally seasonal (Often corresponding with the autumn/winter season of Luxtober-Castles).
As time goes on, Lord Quasar's laissez-faire policies continue. Dustin was absent from the forums for some time from 2011-2012, and upon reappearing in the forums in late 2012 it was discovered that Lord Quasar had not reappeared in all his former Lux glory, but was rather annoucing an iOs game he had released known as Meowzers. Dustin's word is, naturally, still law, but that fearsome power has not been used for some time. If anything, when Dustin's hand moves, it moves to bestow power or forgiveness to specific luxers, i.e., reinstating players from permanent bans and promoting players to moderators. (The process of promoting players to moderators has been fairly vague in the past. The most we know of this process can be found here. With Dustin's current policies it can be assumed that Dustin is just agreeing with the decision of the current moderators and making the official post to confirm the promotion.)
With Dustin's attention focused elsewhere, paranoiarodeo and his fellow mods are the current police force of the community. At the moment, though, there have been few majors bans; suspensions are common but brief and permanent suspensions are only occuring because of absurd numbers of offenses to the community and absurd numbers of suspensions. These suspensions are not usually from prominent luxers, so debate over the decisions of the mods rarely occurs, and when it does occur it is generally just the banned player fighting alone against the rest of the community. These issues are resolved swiftly.
The end of the old guard can also be seen among the moderators. Currently (1/2013), no moderator has been a mod since before 2009 (Exception: Drifter). 4 mods have been promoted between 2012-(January)2013, which makes it the biggest influx of new mods since 2007 and the initial promotions of 2004. It is also notable that most recently promoted mods are the most active.
2013 The Schism
In 2013 a Pirateer mutiny shook Luxtopia. The forums were forked by the Semi-Holies. The Online Ranking System was given over to control by Paranoiarodeo, who promised to establish a new and better ranking system.
2014 Stormy Seas
Differences or indifferences between the owner Dustin and the pirateer captain Paranoiarodeo caused stormy seas. The online ranking system went offline for some time, and many players despaired. With some luck you can find a full-house game of hardcore luxers, who are still around to play some bio games. It seemed that Online-Lux was ebbing from its past glory days. What a mess about such a great game.
UPDATE ON NOVEMBER 15, 2014: "The Semiholy Forums have moved from Milwaukee to Phoenix." After traveling forward into time, then backwards in time to fix a few glitches, then forward a little farther to watch the ending to Lost reboot series… the current board administrator has realized that Lux is pivotal to universe equilibrium AND property investments in Arizona consistently exceed market inflationary compensation by 0.157% average increase across the board! Sure things like this rarely come your way more than once and relocation to the southern regions was instigated. The preferred serving suggestion has gone from neat to rocks in this amenable environment. In other board news, phpBB is a slightly newer version using prosilver theme.
2015 A New Hope
In December 2014, Lux DLX was released for Android devices, joining the existing iOS version. Dustin re-surfaced from his alien abduction and mobile development cycles. Further, it was announced that Lux had finally been approved on Steam Greenlight, and would be coming to the Steam gaming distribution platform. A new dawn was emerging for Luxtopia...
Thanks to Mach for starting this out, and those who have helped with it: dustin, preacherman, stanski, sasquatch, Sylocat and more.