I first started playing Discworld years ago, back when I thought MUDs cost money and I got to it by searching Yahoo for 'free MUDs' and got 'Discworld MUD - Where wombles roam free' as the first result. I suppose people have a bit of a bias towards their first MUDs, but I can honestly say I've never seen anything that comes close to Discworld.
Generally if there's less than a hundred people logged on, it's either right after a reboot (or crash), or something is wrong. Years ago, there was a player cap at 120 or so and people would literally queue up to get in. Most of the players are friendly, and there's always the ignore command for those extremely rare annoying ones. There is a MUD-wide channel available to newbies to help them with their questions, and every new player gets a voucher for a free talker that allows them to ask more specific questions on more specific channels.
If you're tired of playing the same old Fighter with a Sword on all the other MUDs, you'll be happy to know that not only does Discworld offer a wide range of guilds and guild specialties, you can also custom-order swords, armour, scabbards, and just about any item of clothing you can imagine from a wide array of NPCs and specialty shops. You can get your hair spiked at a hair salon, wear an eyepatch and a peg leg and walk around thumping and clicking and going 'Arrr!' like a pirate, learn how to play a musical instrument, go questing, set off fireworks to the annoyment of everyone, start a club, start a family, venture off on one of the wide array of quests, or have any number of other fabulous adventures without ever having to fight anything. Using commands you learn gives you experience points, and just standing around gives you a little bit of idle xp.
Of course, the fighting system is great as well, with a ton of great NPCs to hack to bits, a wonderful skills system, detailed (sometimes too detailed) combat messages, lots and lots and lots of combat commands, spells, rituals, and whatnots, and a ton of strategy combinations.
It's hard to imagine it's been seven years since I first logged on. Through the years, I've seen a continuous series of improvements, from a sophisticated club system, to the rise of player-run guilds, player-run cities, player housing, player shops, nationalities, and an enormous world that spans from one city gate and over a literal ocean to another. There's really no way to list all the features Discworld has to offer, and there's always a new improvement waiting just around the corner.
Over the years, I've tried to kick the habit countless times, but I always seem to get dragged back into it like it's a bad drug addiction. Except that Discworld doesn't cost as much as drugs. In fact, Discworld is free! So if you've never connected to the Disc before, you're in for a treat. If you've browsed it before and it just didn't stick, you might want to give it another look. And if you find yourself lost in strange lands, there's always the 'godmother' command to get you back to a familiar spot.
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