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Author Topic: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?  (Read 8049 times)

Fenryr

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New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« on: March 03, 2018, 9:46 PM »
I'm completely new to MUDs as I say, never played one before but am wanting to get started and find a good one to play that's fairly accessible to newbies as well as friendly and fun of course. I also wanted to ask people if they have any general advice when starting out? I've played MMORPGs before, I realise MUDs offer a very different experience, I'm not put off by the largely text based nature (I play text adventures and roguelikes anyway) or potentially complex games, and I've looked around this site and other sites and seen some potentially promising ones, but just wondered what people would recommend?

I'll say a few things I'd like anyway, based on what I've seen. Ideally something with depth but accessible first off. I'm not looking for one that's roleplay intensive at the moment, I'd like to get to grips with the concept first without worrying too much about being in character as well.

I think I'd also prefer one with a small to medium sized community than something that's massive at the moment, I know interaction is at the core of these games but at the same time I don't want to be overphased with too much interaction too early, I'd not rule out the bigger games but a small but friendly community would be fine.

Setting-wise I'm open to anything tbh, I'm already interested in CthulhuMUD as I'm a big fan of Lovecraft, but again not sure how good this is for a first timer. 3Kingdoms also has me interested, and more traditional settings are cool as well.

Not too demanding I hope :) and all suggestions welcome, I'll probably try a few early on and see which ones I prefer. I'd also like to ask for just general beginner advice, essential things I should know, rookie mistakes to avoid and also general MUD etiquette as well. Basically just want a good experience first off that makes me want to keep playing.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give anyway :)

Molly

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Re: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2018, 9:15 AM »
I'm completely new to MUDs as I say, never played one before but am wanting to get started and find a good one to play that's fairly accessible to newbies as well as friendly and fun of course. I also wanted to ask people if they have any general advice when starting out?

At present I can only find three Muds on the TMC list with  Lovecraft as a theme. Apart from the obvious  CthulhuMUD, there is also NannyMud and TwIsTeD!? MUD, but it looks like TwIsTeD!? MUD is listed as "under development" and has just one single zone. And since the details are from 2014, and haven't been updated since then, I think that the project has been abandoned on the way, even though it is still listed as open.

Of the other two, which both seem to be active, one is based on Diku code, and the other on LP, which means that they will play out a bit different, when it comes to the actual commands. Still, most Text muds have rather similar command sets, and once you get a bit used to them, they quickly become easy to use. So naturally you should test both of them.

However, since all the other vampires on TMC seem to be asleep at present, I'll take the chance to advertise my own game, 4 Dimensions, which is based on Circle, (which in turn is based on Diku). Meaning that the commands will be similar to CthulhuMUD.

We cannot offer you any Lovecraft content, regrettably, but we can offer you almost anything else possible, (including vampires), since we have not one but 4 major themes. 4D is based on Time travel, and has 4 large worlds, PreHistoric, Medieval, Old West and Future.

Also, we have some of the things you specifically asked for.
4D is a casual and friendly Mud, where you can come and go at your own pace, just as you please. We do have PlayerKilling, but only as an optional choice, so it is nothing that you need to worry about unless you make that choice.

And most of all we don't have any cheesy hidden commercial features, meaning that you will neither have to pay any RealLife money to advance in the game, nor see other players pass you in progress pace because they do. And to me and many others, that is the most important thing that most existing Text muds offer, in comparison to most other Internet games. 
(A tip in that context; Look out for muds that label themselves "Free-to-play". They are generally based on some kind of "Pay-for-perks" system).

You asked for debth, and we have that in scores, but you can actually play 4D in many different ways.
Our main features are exploring and quests. There are plenty of easy zones, and plenty of hard ones. There are also plenty of easy quests, and plenty of really hard ones, but you don't have to solve the hard ones to get along, since there are scores of other things that you can devote your time to, and still earn similar rewards from. In conclusion. 4D is all about free choice: the game will be just as hard as you choose it to be.

Our playerbase is currently quite a bit smaller than we'd like to see, but you stated that is not a problem. And since 4D actually can be played as a single-player game, it really shouldn't be.

But above all: We offer a very thorough basic introduction to Muds in general and 4D in particular. Our customized 4 grade Mud school starts out with the basic commands, and ends with a unique Quest Academy on top, where you can learn some of the tricks that only very advanced Mudders know about. So even if you decide later that 4D isn't to your taste, I believe we can give you one of the best introductions to the world of Text Muds available.

You would definitely not be wasting your time by trying out 4D, instead you would get precisely the general introduction to Text Muds that you asked for.


 

« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 1:44 PM by Molly »
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Epilogy

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Re: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2018, 12:40 PM »
My suggestion is to start perusing the MUD listings, and pop into games that sound interesting to get a feel.

Pay attention to which codebases you're finding most appealing. This will reduce the system shock of new syntax later on, when you log into a, let's say, a ROM mud, and know you can get the info you're after with a stock command, like SCORE.

Don't worry too much about players. Worry if the game has been under development within the last year, and if there's a hiatus, a note regarding why. Worry if the game is functional, and there are no critical bugs left behind. One player can attract two, and so on. If you find a game you really like, but there's no one home... as a last ditch effort for an abandoned MUD, see how long the game was in development. Many games remain running long after they're functionally complete, and the original playerbase has moved on. A mud is only dead when it's gone offline, so you could consider that your invitation to go enjoy yourself.

Hades_Kane

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Re: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2018, 1:28 PM »
Most games will have a 'help rules' file, pretty important to look at those at this will generally give you not only the whole MUD etiquette thing, but will also give you a good indication of the management style of the Admins for the game and the behavior of the playerbase.  Take for instance if there are 4 pages of rules?  I'd suggest finding a new game.  If there are rules micromanaging seemingly small details of player behavior?  These rules came about for a reason which suggests that type of behavior is prone to happening on that game which is also a red flag.

The sillier the feel, theme, etc. of the game, probably the better for a first timer.  You don't want to find yourself in a place that takes itself too seriously as you will find yourself making mistakes, asking questions that are obvious to everyone else, and a lot more serious oriented games may not respond well and make your early play experience not as pleasant as it could be.

If we had a few more experienced players on at most times or even a couple of active newbie helpers, I'd recommend my game, but our playerbase right now is mostly other new players as well and so I'm not sure how knowledgeable they'd be with the game on being able to offer help when needed, although so far everyone seems friendly.
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Molly

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Re: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2018, 2:02 PM »
Some more things;
Even if it is possible to play a text mud on solely telnet, (which is what you get by logging in via TMC), using a Mud client makes the playing experience so much better.

Both MUSHclient and Mudlet can be downloaded for free.
Some muds have totally customised Mudclients, others offer applications to these existing clients, that are customised  to their particular game. In both cases you'll find information about this on their websites.

It's generally a good idea to browse the website a bit, before diving into the game, although it is by no means necessary.
Also reasonably developed muds should have helpfiles on most concievable details. Starting out by just typing 'help' and 'commands' will usually get you started, then using 'help <keyword>' will lead you on.

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Fenryr

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Re: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2018, 4:57 PM »
Thanks for the advice everyone, and yeah I have MUSHclient and have played a bit of CthulhuMUD as well as 4 Dimensions, played CthulhuMUD last night and enjoyed what I saw of it, there were a handful of people on as well who seemed friendly and helpful and were very active in the gossip channels. I need to be careful not to get too distracted by chat to the point my character ends up starving or nearly dying of thirst by the time I'm finished though, first lesson learned ;)

Tried 4 Dimensions this afternoon too, made it through the first part of Newbie School and really enjoyed the game from what I've seen so far, the introduction does a great job and explains everything really well. I know the learning curve with MUDs can be steep but this one so far is easy to settle into and is exactly what I'm looking for at the moment. I'll continue with 4 Dimensions and see how I get on, and maybe try a couple of others too.

Also wanted to ask, do people often play more than one MUD, or do people generally stick to a single MUD once they've found one they enjoy? Thinking mainly in terms of how much time people spend on a single MUD and if it's practical to play more than one if you find several you like.

Also, do MUDs penalise or even delete you for inactivity, so if you take a break for a few weeks and come back are things going to be as you left them or do you risk your character being deleted? I'm guessing dormant characters aren't left there forever, but wondering after what length of time does that becomes a risk?

Thanks again for all your help anyway :)

Epilogy

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Re: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2018, 12:21 AM »
How long a character remains depends on the individual game. Some delete them occasionally, some will store offline backups when they do so. A few muds have scheduled character wipes, while others coming out of testing may do so as a practicality.

Older muds, due to hardware limits of their time, would charge for rent. You'd have to pay gold for each item you logged out with, and you could only do so within a specific room.

Tavilyn

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Re: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2018, 1:40 AM »
Many people play multiple MUDs.

I recommend giving Alter Aeon a try. The community is big, but you don't have to interact with it. Roleplay is not enforced or even really encouraged. Class system is pretty tight, the newbie experience is extremely detailed and the game's level progression is quite clean and fair for the most part. It's a very solidly built mud with a pretty gentle curve, and by the time things start getting a bit harder, you'll probably know enough about the game to be prepared.
You don't have to do quests there, but there are one heck of a lot of them, and most are fairly straightforward. The staff and players are helpful, and while there are occasionally jerks who show up on some of the public channels, they rarely last long and aren't allowed to become a toxic mainstay of that community.
4d isn't bad - I've been there, and there's a lot to like - but as a new MUDer, Alter Aeon is better, at least in my opinion.

Molly

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Re: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2018, 4:36 AM »
Older muds, due to hardware limits of their time, would charge for rent. You'd have to pay gold for each item you logged out with, and you could only do so within a specific room.

I am old enough to remember rent.
And I also remember how all players passionately hated it. So much that it became a reason never to enter a mud that practiced it, however good it may have been otherwise.
Which makes me wonder if there still remains any muds at all that still have rent. Does anybody know?

In 4D we never delete anything. Not players, and not their belongings, neither on their character when they log out, nor in their crashproof houses. We've had players return after years and years of absense and find their houses fully intact, with all the junk they left there.

This is not totally positive, however. Not because of memory space, since that is not a problem in modern muds.
But because our players are terrible packrats, and they hoard so much junk in their houses that sometimes the max load is met on certain rare objects. This particularly happens in older zones , where the maxload has been set very low by the builder, (and not always intentionally). And when it does, some oldbie, who cannot find his/her favourite hoard item, will come complaining about it to the staff,  and it usually ends with me having to raise the maxload in OLC, because the original builder will have left at least ten years ago.

Our old coder used to say that things would be so much easier in a mud if it wasn't for the players... :)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 4:38 AM by Molly »
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Hades_Kane

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Re: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2018, 12:24 PM »
A lot of players play multiple MUDs.  I'm sure for many, with as low as player numbers are across the board, will maintain more than one connection or check in on some of their games off and on trying to catch activity or their friends on.

When I played, generally I had one MUD that was, by far, my main game, and then usually another I'd play just to break things up, or because a friend was playing that one heavy, or even as a backup (because I had a tendency to get banned from games after about 3-6 months for not kowtowing to power tripping admins, so having another game I was already into was helpful).

Like others have said, with regards to equipment / player file storage, that's up to the individual game.  We haven't wiped players in over 10 years, and the only reason we did the last time were several fundamental changes to player files, structures, and some game systems and that was just easier than updating player files (we were also pretty early in development on some core game systems and at this point had not given players any expectations on whether pfiles would be kept).  We use a player file versioning system for updates, now, and have no intention of ever wiping pfiles.  I'm sure such a thing is pretty common nowadays, and you'll likely have to worry more about a MUD disappearing than wiping your character.
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Krono_

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Re: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2018, 2:51 AM »
We haven't wiped players in over 10 years, and the only reason we did the last time were several fundamental changes to player files, structures, and some game systems and that was just easier than updating player files (we were also pretty early in development on some core game systems and at this point had not given players any expectations on whether pfiles would be kept).  We use a player file versioning system for updates, now, and have no intention of ever wiping pfiles.

Anecdotally, I decided to hop on EoT the other night, mostly because I was certain I had played it at least a bit in the past, and I've been getting more into MUDs... I had to update my pfile from version 7 all the way to version 13, so I suppose it had been a while.

I imagine most MUDs nowadays don't pwipe if they can avoid it. However, I wouldn't be surprised if there are some out there that operate on a seasonal leaderboard type of thing and wipe regularly due to that. I imagine if you were to create on one of those though, they would directly tell you during creation that you should expect frequent wipes. I know on DBE we haven't been forced to have a wipe in many, many years due to a lot of code improvements that keep things going well enough... DBX, the codebase that we started from, had so many issues it was pretty much common to require a pwipe every few months. I know stock SMAUG muds have specific code for idle deletion of characters, but I would imagine most of them have that disabled.

Worst comes to worst, just ask an imm how often pwipes happen. I feel the same as Hades: the bigger risk is a MUD disappearing entirely, really. Once you've messed around on a few you'll probably get a feel for how to tell if a MUD is completely stock code, and if it is, I would say there's a pretty high chance of it vanishing in a few months time.

IFamiINIe

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Re: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2018, 10:31 AM »
Quite a few MUD's have lost me as a player because they delete Pfiles after X amount of activity. This is even still going on for some of those MUD's today (i.e.: Dead of Night) with the whole renting. It's a really silly and has stopped me from even attempting to play completely.

I will say some other pieces of advice is checking out the staff and reviews. There are still active MUD's out there with adult-children with extremely fragile feelings who have a tendency to remove all negative feedback rather than embrace it and handle it correctly. Thus, take a good look at how the game is being ran, what people are saying about it on TMC reviews, and make a decision if it looks good for the long haul.
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Epilogy

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Re: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2018, 2:23 PM »
It's a really silly and has stopped me from even attempting to play completely.
So much that it became a reason never to enter a mud that practiced it, however good it may have been otherwise.

Which makes me wonder if there still remains any muds at all that still have rent. Does anybody know?

If there's anything more villainous than my persona in this community, I want it caught and shot now.

But seriously I avoid rent like the plague.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 2:26 PM by Epilogy »

Darkozx

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Re: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2018, 2:43 PM »
I vote someone creates a rent "dislike" topic!
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Re: New to MUDs - where to start and beginner tips?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2018, 11:48 PM »
4d isn't bad - I've been there, and there's a lot to like - but as a new MUDer, Alter Aeon is better, at least in my opinion.
Nothing is better than 4Dimensions! (in my opinion).

You will have fun in both and frankly all the games that have been suggested to you. As for playing more than once. Many do that. Sometimes for just a different flavor.
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