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Dirty MUD

By kpaul in Internet
Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 06:46:49 AM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)

Before EverCrack and after Adventure, there was a time when weekend wizards and warriors could gather online to rid the world of evil (or good), battle monsters (and sometimes each other), collect treasure and artifacts and rise in fame, power and glory.

While some may naively think the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games phenomena is a new thing, the idea actually goes back quite some time. While there are many differences (pro and con) between the newer graphical games and the original text adventures, they share a common ancestry.


"...you are in a twisty maze of passageways, all alike"

In 1972, William Crowther, an avid spelunker and D&D player, programmed a game to emulate his caving experiences on a Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-10 computer. The very first 'Adventure' (also known as Colossal Cave) was written in FORTRAN. In 1976, the code was ported to C for UNIX by Jim Gillogly at the Rand Corporation. With the help of Walt Bilofsky, Gillogly again ported the game to run on desktop PCs, with the game being released as 'The Original Adventure' in 1981.

Rogue/Hack/Angband ..@..!..

...into the Dungeons of Doom...

In the early 1980s, a U.C. Berkeley student named Ken Arnold were writing libraries to allow "cursor addressing." Michael Toy, Glenn Wichman, and Glenn R. Wichman used the C libraries to write an early version of Rogue. The game was composed of ASCII characters, with each letter or symbol representing something. '@' was your character, while a '?' represented a scroll that you could pick up. In this early stage, though, it didn't have all the features it eventually would (like armor.)

After getting this far, Toy met up with Arnold at Berkeley. BSD UNIX 4.2 included Rogue in the distribution and the game took off. Unlike Adventure, Rogue wasn't a canned adventure. The game was different each and every time you played it, which made it highly addictive. After a Mac version was ported, they decided to team up with Epyx games to be able to market it better.

...The Dungeons of Moria ...

Moria was written by Robert Alan Koeneke in 1983 in VMS PASCAL. Angband was a code fork that happened around 1991.

...Amulet of Yendor...

In 1985, Jay Fenlason, Jon Payne, Mike Thome, and Kenny Woodland created Hack, which introduced a lot of new features to Rogue. Mike Stephenson was responsible for branching off into the NetHack version.

Like Rogue and Moria, each time a character went through the game it was different. There were 'intelligent' monsters that would follow you through the game. While this and other games of this variety were fun, they were missing the multiplayer aspect.

1979-1989 (MUD is born):

The very first MUD (Multi-user Dungeon or Multi-user Dimension) was written by Roy Trubshaw in machine code in 1979 on a DEC-10. It was a very primitive form of what you can find today, but you could move from room to room and chat with other players. Bugs were found in early versions of the code (one example being if two people were in a dark room, one with a light source and the other without, the light source only worked for the one holding it.)

Also around that time Public Caves was written in BASIC (goto 1964.) In Public Caves, though, you could just move from room to room, writing messages on the walls (I imagine there were trolls on this first game too.) Interesting to note that one of the players on Public Caves was none other than Ken Arnold, who helped create Rogue.

Despite the problems, the code moved forward, with Richard Bartle inheriting it. The first players were primarily other students at Essex University. After leaving the University, Bartle made the MUD a commercial enterprise, with people having to pay to play. The games were getting interesting, though, as the people designing a MUD began to have more and more control over what their creatures (known as Mobiles or MOBs for short) were capable of doing.

From this starting point, the code forked, and forked, and forked. One of the many deriviatives of the original MUD was VAXMUD, which was written in FORTRAN for VAX/VMS systems around 1987. This version was sent out precompiled, though, and the source code wasn't made available at first, which might have caused it to lose popularity.

The early to mid 80s were when MUDs began to hit the mainstream (or at least the geek/gamer mainstream) as evidenced by the many articles written around that period. In 1989, TinyMud was released to the world, it forked late that year to spawn DragonMud.


In 1990, Stephen White released the first version of MOO (MUD, Object Oriented.) TinyMUSH was also born around this time. Although not really meant to stand for anything when created, the code writers eventually stated it stood for "Multi-User Shared Hallucination." Another code fork that was based on TinyMUD was TinyMUCK 1.0, which gains popularity over TinyMUD because it's easier to 'Muck' around with the code and came with an interpreted programming language, TinyMUF (Multi-User Forth) which as the name applies is basically Forth with some special libraries added on.

Taking up where TinyMUD and AberMUD left off, Lars Pensj created LPmud, making the code easy to change. Valhalla, a MUD using the LPMud codebase, started charging players for access in 1992. Also that year, The MUD Institute (TMI) was formed to further innovation with LPMud (MudOS came out of this.) Finally, 1992 also saw the spawning of Nightmare Mudlib from LPMud, which was released to the world in early 1993.

The first virtual rape took place in 1993. The Village Voice wrote about the incident. A character in a LambdaMOO game gained control of a voodoo doll that allowed him to 'control the actions' of other characters in the virtual environemnt. Nothing physical happened, but it still raised the issue of whether it was wrong even if it just happened in a virtual world with text only.

The 1990s also saw other forks of the code, bringing it further and further than the original MUD code written so many years before.

Present day:

Even with EverQuest and other graphical online role-playing games, MUDs continue to flourish in the 21st century. With new MUDs opening and closing all the time, it's nice that the Internet offers current MUD information. From Adult-Oriented MUDs to those based on the X-Files, MUDConnector offers a one-stop shop for those interested or curious about MUDs. Other sites, like MudWorld, also offer a lot of information on the current MUD scene.

While I have undoubtedly left out several of the variations and forks of the code (most likely *your* favorite version), I wanted to collect some links together to make it easier for you, the reader, to find out more about MUDs (as much or as little as you would like.)


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


My favorite is
o Adventure. 0%
o Rogue. 7%
o Moria. 10%
o Hack. 17%
o MUDs. 29%
o MOOs. 8%
o MUSHs/MUCKs. 8%
o ...not here. You forgot to mention Zork, you dork! 18%

Votes: 94
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o EverCrack
o Adventure
o sometimes each other
o Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games
o quite some time
o spelunker
o D&D player
o PDP-10
o Colossal Cave
o Jim Gillogly
o Rand Corporation
o The Original Adventure
o ASCII characters
o Moria
o written by Robert Alan Koeneke
o Angband
o Hack
o NetHack
o very first MUD
o Multi-user Dungeon
o Multi-user Dimension
o DEC-10
o Public Caves
o goto 1964
o helped create Rogue
o Mobiles
o MOBs
o forked
o forked [2]
o forked [3]
o MUDs
o many articles written
o TinyMud
o DragonMud
o Multi-User Shared Hallucination
o TinyMUCK 1.0
o Forth
o LPmud
o The MUD Institute
o MudOS
o Nightmare Mudlib
o the incident
o LambdaMOO
o current MUD information
o Adult-Orie nted MUDs
o based on the X-Files
o MudWorld
o Also by kpaul

Display: Sort:
Dirty MUD | 101 comments (95 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
JudyMUD (3.66 / 3) (#1)
by frankcrist on Fri Nov 01, 2002 at 10:43:30 PM EST

Represent!  DoD-financed Sequent multi-processor dedicated to Fred/JudyMUD.  Where the hell are Druin and Bertal and LordFoul and Thurston when you need em??

Get your war on!
DikuMUD (3.33 / 3) (#2)
by kpaul on Fri Nov 01, 2002 at 10:49:18 PM EST

...didn't really get into that fork or its children.

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

I miss Dragonrealms (4.25 / 4) (#5)
by j1mmy on Fri Nov 01, 2002 at 11:14:42 PM EST

It's still going, I think, but it was certainly my favorite MUD ever. My parents weren't happy when I ran up the AOL bill over $100 on a regular basis (this was back when they still billed hourly). Then AOL canned it, and it went to a pay service. Then people started scripting so all sorts of annoying restrictions were put in place. Then it turned to crap.

MUDs older than 1979 (4.75 / 4) (#6)
by epepke on Fri Nov 01, 2002 at 11:25:55 PM EST

1979 was not the first MUD. There were several networked MUDs available for the PLATO system developed at the University of Illinois at least by 1978. I remember because that was my last year in high school, and we had some terminals in Sarasota High School for the PLATO system run by Florida State University.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

Source? (3.50 / 2) (#7)
by kpaul on Fri Nov 01, 2002 at 11:32:53 PM EST

I couldn't find anything...

Sure it wasn't Adventure or something?

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Sourced. (4.50 / 2) (#9)
by haflinger on Fri Nov 01, 2002 at 11:57:23 PM EST

The year is 1978. Source.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
not multiplayer? (3.50 / 2) (#10)
by kpaul on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 12:05:52 AM EST

i didn't see anything about it being multiplayer. i'm still pretty sure MUD1 was the first MUD (multiplayer)...

i found some more info on it in a Google cache:

"Supposedly, while not a multiplayer game in the traditional sense, it allowed players to meet and chat while in the dungeon."

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

It's MUD1 alright. (4.00 / 2) (#13)
by haflinger on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 12:11:17 AM EST

Fall 1978: Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle code it for the PDP-10.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
The Trubshaw claim is wrong. (4.00 / 1) (#99)
by platopeople on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 11:34:10 AM EST

Multiplayer games, including a dozen or more DND-type games -- all multiuser -- were already OLD by 1978 on PLATO.

[ Parent ]
Found some on Google (5.00 / 3) (#11)
by epepke on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 12:06:01 AM EST

The source is my brain. One of the games was called Moria. The graphics were fairly primitive, just a line perspective representation of a regular rectangular maze. Definitely multi-user, though.

I did a Google search and found this.

Funny you should mention Adventure, though. During 1977-1978 I wrote a text adventure game for PLATO, but that was just a single-person.

The PLATO system was amazingly sophisticated. Networking was built in, and it was very easy to produce a multiplayer game. Text input corrected for spelling errors. The screen was 512 by 512 pixels (monochrome only), and there were downloadable fonts (charsets and linesets). Moral equivalents of email, newsgroups, and instant messaging (called "term talk," because the Term key triggered it from within any other program).

The original terminals were huge, mostly empty boxes with plasma panels. Part of the reason for this was that you could load the terminal with slides that would project on the back of the plasma screen under program control, a kludgey way to get good graphics. (PLATO was designed as a teaching system.) Later terminals, by 1980 or so, used CRT's; they abandoned the slide idea. There was no mouse, but there was 16 by 16 touch-screen capability. The keyboards were custom and had an awful lot of extra keys.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
sorry (2.00 / 1) (#12)
by kpaul on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 12:08:53 AM EST

didn't mean to offend. ;)

thanks for the good comments and info...

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

I wasn't offended (n/t) (2.00 / 1) (#14)
by epepke on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 12:12:06 AM EST

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
first time the phrase MUD was used (4.00 / 2) (#15)
by kpaul on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 12:12:24 AM EST

...probably would've been a better way to put it...

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Defining a "MUD" (4.00 / 2) (#44)
by KaVir on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 06:12:11 PM EST

MUD wasn't just a multiplayer game - it was a multiplayer adventure game. The name "MUD" stands for Multi-User Dungeon because MUD was intended to be a multi-user game in the style of "Dungeon" (aka Zork). In fact it was primarily inspired by the single-player game "Adventure" (aka "ADVENT"), but the authors of MUD thought that Dungeon was a better game, so they picked that name instead.

Maze games (such as Hunt the Wumpus and Mines of Moria) predate Adventure - but they are generally referred to as "precursors", because they are/were a different style of game. The same rule applies to muds.

[ Parent ]
Moria (3.50 / 2) (#46)
by epepke on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 07:24:53 PM EST

Well, Moria had shops you could buy things in and monsters you could battle, and the rules weren't terribly unlike D & D-based games. So I think it counts.

Hunt the Wumpus, of course, was a totally different thing. It seemed more of a teaching aid for simple graph theory than anything else.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
MMORPGs are not like MUDs. (4.20 / 5) (#8)
by haflinger on Fri Nov 01, 2002 at 11:34:30 PM EST

And I think they're inferior. Here's why: MUDs have personal styles.

A MMORPG has thousand, maybe millions, of players. They're all buggering around this vast environment, at once.

Most MUDs will have usually a few dozen, maybe a hundred or so players. There will be a few wizards, maybe three. This gives it a personal touch. So you can go to a Vampire MUSH and it'll be different from a D&D-style hack'n'slash MUD.

Variety is good. I like variety. MMORPGs reject it in favour of having a really big world. Sigh.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey

MUSHes are even better than MUDs for this..;-) (5.00 / 3) (#25)
by MightyTribble on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 01:43:28 PM EST

I first got into MUSHing on AmberMUSH back in 1994. On an evening there'd be around 100 people logged on (out of a total population of over a thousand), in a few dozen different locations. The vast majority of them were playing characters with *real* character. Backstories, personalities, quirks, friends and enemies.

The only way to 'improve' your character's stats was through roleplay. If you did a good scene, other people who played with you could nominate you for experience points. Every month the admins went throught the nominations and handed out advancement. It worked pretty well when the player base was small enough for the volunteer admins to handle, but the system wouldn't scale well to a contemporary MMORPG.

Of course, there was nothing to stop you from improving your character by developing their character - interacting with others to establish connections and taking part in (often quite bzyantine) plots spanning weeks. And some of the 'feature' characters were played by *very* good players. Deirdre and Bleys'95 spring to mind.

MMORPGs, on the other hand, are nothing but exercises in creature harvesting and PvP. You can try to roleplay, but it's necessarily a much shallower experience. I think that's partly because of the sheer number of players and the mental shortcuts that pretty graphics allow for. I regard them as 'Roleplaying Lite'.

[ Parent ]

MUSHes/MMORPGs/etc *are* MUDs (4.50 / 2) (#40)
by KaVir on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 09:07:50 AM EST

MUSH, MUCK, MOO and the like are all decended from TinyMUD, which (like DikuMUD and LPmud) drew inspiration from AberMUD.

The MMORPGs are often referred to as graphical MUDs, even on some official MMORPG FAQ's.

[ Parent ]
Community flavor (4.00 / 1) (#56)
by Moebius on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 12:54:44 PM EST

I couldn't agree more.  Every good mud has its own character, defined by both the implementors and (this is important) the players.

I was lucky enough to be in the early beta tests for Asheron's Call, when there number of players was only in the hundreds.  It was a really different atmosphere when you make it out to Fort Tethana in the Direlands and joined the few dozen characters up to the area.

I've often thought that Everquest (or some other game) should make some special servers and limit them to a perhaps a few hundred characters.  If their load-balancing is as good as they claim, it shouldn't take a very disproportional amount of servers to run, and they could probably charge a bit more per month for these servers.  I would be much more interested in paying for a MMORPG if they implemented this.

[ Parent ]

DnDBBS (5.00 / 4) (#17)
by IHCOYC on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 02:12:35 AM EST

DnDBBS was my favourite online game from about 1986 on. If I remember correctly, it was written in Microsoft QuickBASIC originally, by a fellow named Eric Oredson. I wrote some utilities for the programme myself to make it compatible with the WWIV BBS programme.

One of the things that made DnDBBS intriguing is that player characters became persisting objects in the gameworld even if you were offline, which made the game more interesting. Evil aligned PCs would attack on sight. Good aligned PCs were supposed to fight back; the version of the source code I got had to be fixed to enable this. You'd log back in again to find a pile of junk from low level characters at your feet; or you'd find you'd been slain yourself.

Another thing that made the game interesting was that sysops could add their own rooms and monsters. I eventually expanded the game world to about twice the size of what I had gotten, adding areas filled with dinosaurs and evil smurfs, and eventually adding the Vimhaven area that was promised by the texts of the rooms I got at the outset. I also modified the source code extensively, adding a clinic where users could modify their stats, and giving PC's sexes; the original game had a "lady" class for female characters, which I changed to a "bard" class. I added code to let players know who had attacked them, and who had killed them.

In my experience, the game became an early version of abandonware. I attempted to register the game to acquire the source code; no one ever sent me any, and I had to get it from other channels. I have since seen other later versions of the game that have been reworked even more extensively than the one I tinkered with. I am glad to see that some of my ideas and some of my BASIC code got carried into those later versions.

This game is one of the things I miss from the good old days of BBSing. It was at its best much more interesting than TradeWars or The Pit.
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelæis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit Grignr.
--- Livy

topmudsites (4.75 / 4) (#18)
by tichy on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 02:14:25 AM EST

You forgot an important link: Topmudsites, where players vote for their favorite mud. I vote there every day for my own favorite. Yeah, I still mud ... hard to get rid of old vices.

As for the issue of MMPORGs and wether muds are dying I think Richard Bartle (the one who inherited MUD1 as you explain) said it best. Quote:

Play all the graphic-intensive games you like, but so long as you can read there's always something better.

Spelunker (2.20 / 5) (#22)
by marx on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 07:14:21 AM EST

Now I finally understand this Terrance and Phillip insult:
Eat penguin shit you ass-spelunker

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.

What about MUSE (5.00 / 1) (#23)
by wizardofoz on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 10:47:53 AM EST

I remember running a character on MIT's MicroMUSE, Oceana, and other MUSE. If memory serves, M.U.S.E. stood for Multi User Simulated Environment. The ingame programming language allowed pretty much anything you could think of. With a little practice, you could create objects that reacted when handled. For instance, you could create a candle in a room that you could stare at, and be taken to a room within the candle.

I was given a link behind some computer cases, that crack in the wall led to my lab, which I had spent some time on refining.

I was never able to find source for the MUSE system, and it has since gone to ground. Last I heard it became a closed educational system for kids.

I later gave it up for full time MUDing.


please help, looking for a MUD (5.00 / 1) (#24)
by nex on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 01:30:32 PM EST

folks, i need some advice. i would like to play in a MUD where both rather extensive client-side triggers/scripts and a good amount of player-killing are allowed. i haven't found one yet that has a reasonably large amount of players and rooms. does anything like that exist? the scripts are more important than the player-killing; i just mentioned the second criterion because i find it stupid if this issue isn't handled with an apropriate in-game, in-character solution (like prosecuting playerkillers and revitalising bodies through cloning or magic), but with artificial rules and flags. it's repellingly unrealistic to mark players with flags that make it apparent to everyone that they are outlaws on first sight, no matter how much charisma they have.

so, i want my scripts, i want playerkilling and a reasonably high number of players and rooms. but no dumb for-fun-only player-kill-only MUD! roleplay should be encouraged and enforced. and i'd very much prefer a cyberpunk/futuristic/sci-fi-setting; everything else would be okay, though. any relevant tips would be much appreciated.

by the way, once i succeeded in using rather clever script in a MUD where they were forbidden and they even had automatic 'bot detection. i collected some geographical data and generated routing tables from it with a perl script, which output a whole lot of tintin++ triggers. those were able to walk my character to any destination, opening locks where necessary and even entering and exiting vehicles, in a realistic way with randomly generated pauses. after playing for a while, no one had noticed and i even got an award for realistic role-playing. i wouldn't say i've cheated, because the script wasn't aimed at, say, getting through locked doors so fast that no hidden thieve could follow, or anything else that client-side triggers usually do. it just saved me from a lot of typing and drawing maps, and i could devote part of my attention to something else while my character was walking somewhere.

but what i'd also find interesting would be a MUD where programming skills could really be employed for your advantage in the game (legally!), e.g. by having a script that cracks combinations locks or something like that.

can anyone help? please?

botting and pkill (5.00 / 2) (#26)
by tichy on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 02:27:36 PM EST

Dartmud might fit your needs.

Pkill: I couldn't agree with you more. Flags and restricted Pk are silly, it's like the whole mud is a playground and the mommies are watching. DM is unrestricted Pk... but killing sprees and other juvenile annoyances are almost unheard of. Instead there's a heavy layer of political mindgames (in the better sense of the word...) This is because most of the population is composed of adults. The mud is adult oriented, not because of any sex related stuff but because it takes an adult or a mentally mature kid to enjoy a game like that. We call it a hardcore mud.

Botting: There are various definitions of this, they vary depending on the mud. In DM botting is forbidden, but the definition of botting is leaving your character unattended while your scripts are working. Using any scripts whatever while you are looking at the screen is 100% legit. But say, leaving your character on and going to sleep while your scripts work on your skills all night long will get you killed or banned. But yeah you can use scripts to be faster than others, cleverer, or whatever (in fact good scripts are almost necessary for efficiently practicing the most important skills like magic).

The theme is not futuristic, it's medieval sui generis. RP is not enforced, only encouraged, but I find it to be very thick.

[ Parent ]

thanks! (4.00 / 1) (#27)
by nex on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 02:45:19 PM EST

thanks for the info, i'll have a look at dartmud, sounds interesting.

i didn't think of bots when i wrote the comment above (although it might be interesting to fill a MUD with some bots for the sake of experiment), only what are called cyborgs, i.e. scripts that run while i'm playing. they are forbidden or heavily restricted in most MUDs for a good reasons: geeks and programmers have an advantage over other players. but if you have a MUD where this is explicitly allowed and people who don't use triggers know beforehand they could suffer because their characters have slow reflexes (i.e., the human player's reflexes plus any lag ;-), it's okay.

by the way, i'm thinking about building a MUD myself, but i've got a full time job at the moment and writing my thesis work at the same time, so i can't do much :-( my dream would be to have NPCs that are so smart that you can hardly distinguish them from PCs. while this would be impossible to do (at the present time) in any traditional MUD, it could be achieved by restricting words you can type to a list of words known by the system and restricting sentences you can utter to a list of grammatic constructs the system can interpret. (e.g., a NPC would understand "If you kill foo, I will give you bar" and the system wouldn't allow you to phrase it differently, like "I'd give ya bar, given ya flatline foo", to ensure the NPC understands you.) with this restriction, it would even be rather trivial to have automatic translation or even "skins" that make the world appear futuristic to some players and medieval to others! for example, A sees: "gandalf the sherrif zaps a wand of lighting at you!", and B sees: "gandalf the street judge shoots a phaser beam at you!"

> Flags and restricted Pk are silly, it's like the whole mud is a
> playground and the mommies are watching.
hehe... i'll assimilate this wonderful phrase and add them to my own. i was always annoyed when my mommy was watching and i wasn't allowed to kill the other kids ;-)

[ Parent ]

unfair bias (4.00 / 2) (#30)
by tichy on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 05:47:33 PM EST

[scripts] are forbidden or heavily restricted in most MUDs for a good reasons: geeks and programmers have an advantage over other players.
That's what they say. In that case, it's an unfair bias in my opinion. Mud admins cannot compensate for all the RL skills of the players. Some players are smarter or better killers than others; the english skills of non-americans vary a lot. Those are RL skills, and I see no one compensating for them, so why do programmers get the shaft?

...restricting sentences you can utter to a list of grammatic constructs the system can interpret
I don't wanna shut down your idea but... If you do this restricting on what people can say, what you'll achieve is making everyone (PCs included) as uninteresting as current day NPCs. The idea is to do the opposite... get NPCs to be as interesting as PCs :) My philosophy is that the most exciting feature of a mud are the other players, and the mud gives you ways to interact ... cooperatively, or not.

[ Parent ]

Bias. (4.50 / 2) (#32)
by Korimyr the Rat on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 07:02:41 PM EST

 Decent scripting skills give a person a much greater advantage than almost any basic "intelligence" or English skills. Once you know the commands you need for a MUD, English is irrelevant.

 Not to mention, you get a lot more programmer types on most English language MUDs than people who have problems with English-- and you've got a situation that can be very disruptive for "vanilla" players.

"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

irrelevant? (4.50 / 2) (#42)
by tichy on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 04:09:30 PM EST

I would say that, at least to me, a mud where your communication skills are 'irrelevant', is not worth playing. In the muds I play your verbal skills can be crucial to your success. And Alfie's point applies: if your combat system is so that whoever types "kill X" the fastest wins, then yes, having scripts is a huge advantage but whose fault is that?

[ Parent ]
(not) compensating RL player skills (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by nex on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 07:36:18 PM EST

> Mud admins cannot compensate for all the RL skills of the players.
that's a good point, but it's also worth mentioning that the difference between a 'normal' human player and a 'cyborg' can be more extreme than a difference of 30 IQ points. and if you have your character brute force a combination lock while watching tv (you could make the script alert you accoustically if someone comes around and you need to react), the players that don't know how to do this can get really pissed off :-) still, it's a valid point---why shouldn't i compensate for my social clumsiness with what i'm good at? :-)

> If you do this restricting on what people can say, what you'll achieve is making everyone (PCs included) as uninteresting as current day NPCs.
that's not the goal, of course. there are two issues: you might not be able to say what you want and you might not be able to say it the way you want. these problems are far from trivial---if they were, someone would have done it already.  it's just an interesting research topic. your ordinary MOO system already has a list of the names of every object it contains (nouns) and of actions you can perform with individual objects (verbs) and of attributes of the objects (adjectives), so i believe it should be possible that PCs talk to each other pretty normally. NPCs don't need to pass a turing test---it's good enough if PCs are able to do so :-)

you're right, the most exciting feature are other players. consequently, one of the greatest annoyances is the lack of other players. imagine a crowded street scene that is described as if there are 100 persons in a particular segment of the street, close to each other, and the system makes it easy to pickpocket and get away and adjusts other parameters. so far, so good. but it's really strange when you look around and only see one character (a PC that is in the same street at the moment). the crowd should be simulated more realistically. you should be able to pick an NPC from the crowd and follow him home or whereever he goes. and you should also be able to ask him simple questions.

but these are only random rants, i haven't started coding yet, except for some auxilliary systems the MUD will need.

[ Parent ]

Re: unfair bias (4.75 / 4) (#36)
by Alfie on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 01:36:54 AM EST

Two thoughts come to mind. Firstly, I think it is reasonable to assume that most people who play combat-oriented MUDs have access to tools with scripting features and manuals for those features. Tinyfugue is a good example. Since there is equal access to clients which enable one to script, I don't see why scripting must be banned on the basis that it is unfair. (A fair game is one where everyone has the same freedoms and the rules are applied to all equally. A fair game does not imply that everyone must agree to be exactly the same in terms of skills, time spent playing, and so on.)

Secondly, I think that players' ability to effectively script versus a coded combat system and their desire to do so is a sign that the coded combat system isn't very good. If you can program a computer to do it then it probably isn't very challenging or interesting for a human to do it. Also, if a player wants to script your system that implies that he or she does not enjoy doing issuing the commands manually. So, basically, what I'm saying is that the answer is to write a better combat system rather than banning the use of scripting.

Oh, and one final thought, many players enjoy roleplaying, socializing, and exploring—none of which are particularly helped by scripting. So people who choose not to learn how to use their clients scripting features can still enjoy MUDs.

[ Parent ]
excellent (4.50 / 2) (#43)
by tichy on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 04:10:12 PM EST

So, basically, what I'm saying is that the answer is to write a better combat system rather than banning the use of scripting.
Most definitely. And it doesn't only apply to combat but to all systems.

[ Parent ]
Scripted combat (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by KaVir on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 06:35:55 PM EST

I think that players' ability to effectively script versus a coded combat system and their desire to do so is a sign that the coded combat system isn't very good. If you can program a computer to do it then it probably isn't very challenging or interesting for a human to do it.

By that line of reasoning, the only challenging or interesting type of combat system would be one which was pure PK - no mobs (because if they can be programmed to fight, the combat system would no longer be "challenging or interesting").

[ Parent ]
Regarding Scripting, (4.33 / 3) (#49)
by Alfie on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 06:00:00 AM EST

I run a unix-like system on my home computer, and I often work in console mode. When I find myself typing the same sequence of commands over and over again to accomplish a frequent task, I will often abstract my task into a shell script which achieves the same goal but with less typing and attention on my part. This is not uncommon behavior among computer users, and I think the benefits of abstraction are well documented.

In the parent post of this thread, it was noted that many MUDs ban the use of client-side scripting on the grounds that it is unethical or `cheating'. I disagree. I think it is perfectly natural to create tools which ease the burden of repetitive tasks.

[ Parent ]
Aliases vs. Scripts (4.50 / 2) (#52)
by Korimyr the Rat on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 09:48:40 AM EST

 There, we have the difference between aliases and scripts.

 When I was actively playings MUDs, I'd often assign a few commands to quick, easy-to-type aliases, using the MUD's own alias system. This was mostly for quick, typo-proof access to non-combat commands and for emotes I used frequently in-character. That's a better comparison for your shell script.

 I don't know of any MUDs that object to aliases, whether server-side or client-side.

 Scripting, on the other hand, involves having commands entered automatically based on triggers. On one MUD, I saw a fairly sophisticated script which involved using the "scan" command to look around for rich, easy mobiles, and to avoid attacking or showing weapons around protector mobs. The player could walk into the area and walk away from the computer for fifteen minutes while his character cleaned house.

That's a very large advantage against someone like me-- or, worse, someone who doesn't even use the alias system.

"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

Heh, amateurs... (4.00 / 2) (#60)
by Kintanon on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 02:57:39 PM EST

During the Zmud 4.62 days I was a master scripter. I had bots with sophisticated shopkeeper routines, hunter/gather routines, and questing routines. They could hold conversations for 2-3 minutes with immortals and get away clean claiming they needed to do something and then idling for a few minutes, or occasionally logging off for an hour. They would clear out a zone, harvest the EQ, sell it all, sleep, spellup, and reharvest. Whenever they found a certain piece of EQ they would hold it in a special container that was never sold. Once the containe was full they would turn into a shopkeeper and start auctioning off these items at set prices. I would just leave it running for weeks at a time. I later became an immortal at a different mud and adapted the script to perform immortal functions, run quests, etc.... It was probably 2000 assorted triggers, aliases, macros, variables, etc... all in different cascading categories that could turn each other on and off.


[ Parent ]

well done! (really) (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by nex on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 05:00:27 AM EST

if i ever manage to finally start my MUD project and build my own MUD, i'd like you to play it. because what you described is exactly what i'd like to do, but it's banned in every decent MUD i ever saw, so i figured i'll have to make my own. and it would make a perfect test case if it's played by an experienced master-scripter.

(as i mentioned above in the grandgrandparent or so,) i once started to do something similar, but with a more primitive client that only had tintin++ scripting. i wrote my triggers in human-readable "meta" code and had a perl script that made triggers out of it. but it was only an autopilot for my char. it took very long to go certain routes, when you had to wait for a vehicle, for example; so i automated this and made myself a cup of tea while my char approached its destination.

kintanon, are you still interested in that kind of stuff?

[ Parent ]

Very much interested (4.00 / 1) (#77)
by Kintanon on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 02:56:20 PM EST

I occasionally fire up ROT mud code or the more extended version called DOT and do some scripting for kicks. I'm messing with TinyFugue now because I was told you could run perl scripts and stuff in it, but I'm still experimenting with it.
I'm currently playing a mud called lothlorien because I've been an immortal on there before so I can get away with botting while I work out the kinks in my Tf scripts.  I've so far not found anything that does the job as well as the Zmud scripting system though...
If you know of a REALLY good scripting client for linux I'd love to hear about it. Preferably something that has good documentation. It must have the following:
Named and Categorized Triggers capable of enabling and disabling themselves.
Complex Pattern matching
Tick Timer (or a method for creating one, not that important really)
and a way to create all of the above using CLI commands.

TinyFugue and TinTin were a big disappointment so far...


[ Parent ]

any client will do (4.00 / 1) (#80)
by nex on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 04:10:06 PM EST

tinifugue's no good? perl sounds like a good choice for complex pattern matching. you don't need a client that supports it, though. a client with a nice user interface (supporting MUD sound protocol or whatever you need) is enough, you can write a proxy in a few lines of perl that goes in between your client and the server.

recently i needed a quick and dirty web filter and used that technique for the HTTP protocol. my first version was based on this: http://www.stonehenge.com/merlyn/WebTechniques/col11.html -- just like about every perl web filter  is.

however, i wanted something that also runs under windows and found out that the "fork" emulation is ActiveState perl (otherwise the best windows port AFAIK) is still pretty buggy and i switched to java. any, in principle, it works very good ;-)

anyway, i'm too busy at the moment for mucking around with my own MUD, i'm writing my thesis work. but "scripting for kicks" sounds seductive, maybe i'll try that again next time i'm bored.

[ Parent ]

Hrm... (4.00 / 1) (#83)
by Kintanon on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 05:52:30 PM EST

I'll have to try that out... I haven't quite mastered the art of having things like perl read-from/send-to the mud client.
I'll have to get deeper into perl, but I bet I still end up writing some kind of parsing engine for it if I really get back into scripting.


[ Parent ]

hell, why not (4.00 / 1) (#88)
by nex on Wed Nov 06, 2002 at 02:28:58 AM EST

i can't promise anything, but maybe i'll also have a try at it. imagine having a local proxy that does bidirectional stateful string substitution (that buys you aliases, triggers and variables all at once) and reads its rules from a simple text file that just contains a bunch of regex substitution rules---sounds like it's worth a try, i'd say. you can contact me (at) nex (at) o-slash (dot) org if you'd like to exchange some code.

[ Parent ]
working (4.00 / 1) (#89)
by tichy on Wed Nov 06, 2002 at 06:34:04 AM EST

Im working on a client for KDE that embeds a perl interpreter. You can add/remove triggers, commands, keys and events on the fly by calling a perl XS function. Triggers use regexes. Can also start sub second timers. Events are things like input, connected, exit, etc.

Named and Categorized Triggers
So you'd like to remove all triggers in a certain group, etc? You can remove based on command name/trigger match/key or on the sub it points to or both. So, not directly supported but you could do this just with perl; just keep it all in arrays.

If you mean commands+regular perl subs by this, yes.

and a way to create all of the above using CLI commands.
You can code these commands to your taste, in perl.

Nowhere near release though, just something I do in my spare time.

[ Parent ]

Finish it and I'll send you 20$ for a copy... (4.00 / 1) (#91)
by Kintanon on Wed Nov 06, 2002 at 12:07:48 PM EST

I'm serious. That's everything I need and more. Perfection itself... Sigh. I would just need to brush up on PERL.
I'd certainlly send you 20$ for a copy if it looked good and worked as advertised.


[ Parent ]

have to discriminate between PCs and NPCs (4.00 / 1) (#70)
by nex on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 04:51:43 AM EST

yes and yes. good points and true arguments, especially if we leave botting out of the discussion and just talk about scripts that automate little tasks for the player.

only one little point of critique: you don't "script against the combat system". the combat system executes tasks that the game master would do in real life role-playing. it rolls dice, decreases hitpoints and so on. it's the foundation of combat. if to me, scripting against the combat system sounds like exploiting bugs and flaws of the combat system. sure, if it has a bug, it's not good enough, but you should report it, not exploit it.

what you are really scripting against are your opponents in combat, and there's one point you didn't mention: a part of your opponents consists of mobs, another of human players. it is true that a mob you can easily script against is boring and badly designed. it's also true that a combat system that allows you to grant your character super-human reflexes through scripting is badly designed. so, you're totally right there; the problem isn't scripting, the problem is bad design. i also like your thought about what fairness is about. just wanted to remind you that there are tasks that aren't easy just because you can script them easily -- there are areas in which computers are superior to humans. not forgetting to try to block every time you're attacked, hiding in the shadow or following character foo as soon as foo comes into view (he might be out of sight again if you had to type the command yourself), closing and locking a door fractions of a second after you entered the room.

this should all be handled by a better game, of course, not by banning of scripts.

[ Parent ]

Talk about biased (4.00 / 1) (#59)
by adrizk on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 02:04:11 PM EST

>the english skills of non-americans vary a lot.

What about Aussies, Brits, and Canadians ... eh?
Anyway, I'm sure a lot of us would have something to say about the English skills of some Americans ;-) (not that trying to imply anything about the present company)

[ Parent ]
why do you object? (5.00 / 2) (#72)
by nex on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 05:01:30 AM EST

> the english skills of non-americans vary a lot.

that doesn't exculde the possibility of speaking much better english than a typical american ;-)

[ Parent ]

NPCs to Fool Players (4.50 / 2) (#50)
by craigtubby on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 08:04:54 AM EST

> my dream would be to have NPCs that are so
> smart that you can hardly distinguish them from
> PCs.

:-) It all depends if your players are clever, or new.  

I remember when I first found a MUD (BatMud) and started  playing it I bumped into an NPC with a few "triggers" (called Harry I think) - fooled me for about 30 seconds.  

Then his incessant demands to party with him caused me to kill him.

try to make ends meet, you're a slave to money, then you die.

* Webpage *
[ Parent ]

don't have to be that smart to spot an NPC (yet) (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by nex on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 05:08:42 AM EST

> Then his incessant demands to party with him caused me to kill him.

that would make a good .sig :-)

but it really depends more on the NPC than on the players. a bot from another player won't be able to fool you any time soon. however, a NPC that has access to all the information stored in the MUD and can eavesdrop the communication between all players, would have several possibilities to "cheat".

[ Parent ]

Real world... (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by Ken Arromdee on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 10:56:17 AM EST

In the real world, p(layer)(eople) killers don't get marked with a flag visible to anyone around them, but on the other hand, in the real world, a PKer is eventually caught, and put in jail or worse, and the PKer's player doesn't get to make another PKer character--he's permanently removed from circulation. The effect is that in the real world, survival of the fittest keeps the PKers from being too big a danger.

That's not true online--the online world is already unrealistic. Measures like PK flags are just there to compensate for this unrealism.

[ Parent ]

pk flags (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by tichy on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 08:31:55 AM EST

Sorry to have sounded so disqualifying. I agree pk flags have a place in the sun, they're just not for me.

That's not true online--the online world is already unrealistic. Measures like PK flags are just there to compensate for this unrealism.
What are flags compensating? IMO the matter isn't realism but coherence in the fictional world. If it takes a mud admin to punish a PK, it breaks that. When a moron PK is instead reduced and killed by other players, it not only leaves that intact but serves as a community experience for the players that is not achievable by anything you can code. But yes getting a player base capable of sustaining that is a feat in and of itself and yes it probably doesn't scale all that well.

[ Parent ]

But... (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by Ken Arromdee on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 10:51:22 AM EST

My point is that if a PK is killed online, he can make another character. Real-life PKers don't get to make another character. There are also some other differences; for instance, online PKers don't leave behind evidence such as fingerprints.

[ Parent ]
clarification (4.00 / 1) (#90)
by tichy on Wed Nov 06, 2002 at 06:40:46 AM EST

I realized we're talking about two different flags. You're talking about killer/attacker flags, I'm talking about Pk/peaceful flag. I don't doubt the usefulness of killer/attacker flags in restricted pk or no pk muds. What I was saying is that I prefer muds without Pk/peaceful flag, i.e. full pk muds.

[ Parent ]
Sojourn and Everquest and Duris (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by kennon on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 03:19:30 PM EST

I read somewhere that the designers of Everquest took alot of ideas from SojournMUD. I personally play a fork of sojourn called Duris (www.durismud.org / durismud.org 6666).

Its extremely feature rich, full PK (with in-game restraints to prevent complete mass death), and a large player base (almost always 80+ people on). Its a racewar themed mud, with 3 sides (you can't directly converse with people on other sides of the racewar in-game, but you can fight them). Its very fun hunting down other players in zones and such.

After playing Duris, all other muds that I've seen seem to pale in comparison.

MajorBBS (4.00 / 1) (#29)
by Danse on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 05:23:38 PM EST

I'd played a few MUDs on BBSs when I first managed to get online in the early 90s. Everquest seems like almost a direct translation of MajorMUD, a MUD developed for MajorBBS systems. I played that one for a couple years before I got tired of it. That's probably why I haven't bothered with Everquest or any of the others. It just doesn't hold much appeal for me anymore.

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
MUD concepts in a modern game (5.00 / 2) (#31)
by SwingGeek on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 07:01:11 PM EST

I haven't played MUDs a whole lot, but from what I've seen, Bioware's new game Neverwinter Nights lets people run game servers that are in a way a lot like MUDs but with modern, graphical interfaces. The Neverwinter campaign isn't much like a MUD, but it includes good build tools and a scripting language, which people have used to build MUD-like worlds.

Here's the official site.

Still waiting for NWN Mac. [n/t] (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by haflinger on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 07:51:04 AM EST

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
MUDs aren't dead. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by magus123x on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 10:29:33 PM EST

Simutronics Games

Right now I'm playing GemStone III, which has been around only a few months less than Nethack. It's depth rivals it. How many people in game?


Active Players: 1026
Type WHO FULL to get a list of active players

Staff on duty:
GameHost Strathspey

DragonRealms probably has just as many if not more players in game right now.

These people pay monthly to play despite the fact there's nearly no PvP. It's that good.

Perhaps they pay for freedom from PVP? :) [n/t] (none / 0) (#38)
by haflinger on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 07:47:42 AM EST

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
No PvP? (4.00 / 1) (#64)
by djwavelength on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 04:34:13 PM EST

did they change GS3? Last i played, it was full PvP, except in towns. Often any kill stealing was resolved by a swift spell or sword blow from the offended party.

[ Parent ]
PvP (4.00 / 1) (#65)
by magus123x on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 04:37:41 PM EST

PvP is always implemented, but always against policy if unwarranted or if you don't make use of the WARN/CHALLENGE system.

But by and large, it doesn't happen often

[ Parent ]
No discussion of clients? (5.00 / 2) (#35)
by MyrddinE on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 12:18:50 AM EST

I can't imagine any post about MUDs could be complete without a mention of some of the excellent clients out there to play with. One of the best, and my personal favorite, is zMUD, though there will always be a spot in my heart for putty. Back when I had a shell, TinyFugue was indispensable, though I have forgotten most of what I used to know about scripting in it.

There are many mud clients; I've just named the few I use.

And, finally, you should have at least mentioned the effort to bring some multimedia to MUDs with the Mud eXtension Protocol. Spearheaded by Zugg, MXP is a great way to add sound and images to a text mud, without having to make an entire graphical client app. The protocol has mostly stabilized, and is being used by several MUDs.

a better win32 MUD client (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by insta on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 04:00:00 AM EST

I used zMUD for a long time before I discovered MUSHclient.

Don't be deterred by the "MUSH" portion of the name. It packs almost every feature that zMUD has except it's faster, slightly cheaper, and in my opinion, better supported.

It also features a fully functional scripting system that allows anything in VBscript, Jscript, and PerlScript.

I've been using MC for over two years now, and I haven't ever experienced a single problem with it.

[ Parent ]

tt++ (4.00 / 1) (#67)
by eudas on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 05:53:20 PM EST

you forgot the original: tintin++.

eudas, tin man
"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]

Building universes (5.00 / 2) (#41)
by Alias on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 12:39:51 PM EST

One thing I really liked about MU* was the ability for nearly anyone to build its own part of the game universe. Even someone with minimal programming abilities, such as yours truly.

I was involved into the early days of Steve Jackson Games's Illuminaty Online MOO, back in 1991. Some friends and I designed the French block before we lost 1) interest, 2) Internet connection. I really digged the way we could populate and furnish the place.

I have currently no interest in MMORPGs, partly because they don't offer this possibilities. Mostly because they're more hack'n'slash than online communities -- and they require a hefty time and money investment.

Stéphane "Alias" Gallay -- Damn! My .sig is too lon

A date problem (4.33 / 3) (#47)
by KaVir on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 07:39:03 PM EST

As you pointed out, William Crowther created Adventure in the early 70s based on both his experiences of playing D&D and his hobby of exploring caves.

However, the first printing of D&D wasn't until 1974. There's some interesting speculation about the exact creation date of Adventure here.

Great source. Thanks. [nt] (3.00 / 1) (#48)
by kpaul on Sun Nov 03, 2002 at 08:04:54 PM EST

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
You are neglecting to consider... (4.00 / 1) (#55)
by jd on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 12:19:11 PM EST

The time-travel properties of orange smoke. Once these are taken into consideration, along with specultrial voices, the whole thng makes perfect sense.

[ Parent ]
Shadowbane (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by nobody99 on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 09:29:26 AM EST

About six or seven years ago I worked on a mud called ChaosMud which was a heavily modified DikuMud. A while back I learned that all the guys who ran that mud are the guys who are putting together Shadowbane, a big MMORPG that's supposed to be coming out soon. Reading up on the game it seems that they stole an awful lot from the old mud to put into their game. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if they used the MUD code as their starting point. Good bunch of guys, hopefully they can live up to all the hype that their game has gotten.

Waiting on Shadowbane (3.00 / 1) (#57)
by farl on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 01:27:12 PM EST

i signed up for the beta on thism but didnt get in. I am waiting to see if this lands up being any good.

[ Parent ]
me me (4.00 / 1) (#66)
by eudas on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 05:42:08 PM EST

god i hope they didn't use chaosmud as their codebase... talk about spaghetti code. c1, c2, ways, woc, aoc...

that being said, it was fun as hell to play. especially when you start abusing the bugs... the des 4* dam bug, the spamming the inkeeper crash bug combined with the save/give/save dupe bug, blah blah blah...

it's funny when the gods have to snoop you constantly to find bugs because your group of friends is better at finding and abusing them than they are at fixing them... :)

"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]

Movie Vs Book? (4.66 / 3) (#54)
by FortKnox on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 11:37:55 AM EST

I heard that most mud players prefer the lack of graphics to use their imaginations more vividly.
They compare it to movies (MMORPG) vs. books (MUDs). Any mud players think this comparison fits? (I'm just a mud admin/coder, not much of a player)
Yes, shrubberies are my trade. I am a shrubber. My name is Roger the Shrubber. I arrange, design, and sell shrubberies.
I dunno (4.00 / 1) (#78)
by carbon on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 03:19:38 PM EST

I think that, graphics or not, a game needs depth. It's possible to make graphical RPGs/RPG-likes with (Final Fantasy VII) and without (Starship Titanic) depth, and textuals with (NetHack) and without (final place entry in this year's IF comp) depth. I guess it's just a matter of how much skill the game was made with.

Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
MUSHs and MUDs (4.00 / 1) (#58)
by Arevos on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 01:56:41 PM EST

I've never really found an enjoyable MUD. The combat systems on all the MUDs I've been on are annoying automatic, and require very little skill; just a lot of patience. Anyone know of any MUD with a very unique combat system that's actually fun to use?

Also, I find the roleplaying on MUDs to be a little sparse. But that's generally my fault, as I have spent far too long MUSHing, and that's spoilt me :). But, even ignoring the better roleplay, MUSHs still seem to have a better community and hold more interest. Though again perhaps that is because of the smaller playerbase.

Anyone like to recommend an interesting MUD to me? :)

Skotos (4.50 / 2) (#61)
by Kwil on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 03:05:55 PM EST

It's a small company looking to make a go of pay for play with muds. They've got four games up and running right now. The main one, Castle Marrach, is pretty involved and has a dueling system in it that definitely takes some skill.  I haven't been a member since the beta test ended, but even in the beta they were starting to get some decent roleplay happening.

At any rate, you can find it at http://www.skotos.net/

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze

[ Parent ]
Dare I suggest...? (none / 0) (#62)
by zoarre on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 03:49:10 PM EST

the RubberRoom? :)

[ Parent ]

Achaea (4.00 / 2) (#68)
by ComradeFork on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 08:06:17 PM EST


Combat is.. Very different to normal MUD's.

By the way this MUD is highly populated, with hundreds of people on at any given time.

[ Parent ]

an interesting toy mud (4.75 / 4) (#63)
by Shren on Mon Nov 04, 2002 at 04:21:52 PM EST


A mud built on top of the Linux operating system. When playing the game, you're at the command prompt and all of the commands are interpreted by the shell.

Very interesting from a cutting edge/neat toy perspective.

The Forest's Edge (5.00 / 1) (#69)
by Burning Straw Man on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 01:17:05 AM EST

TFE (The Forest's Edge) was the best MUD I ever played. The codebase was written by Alan Button (aka Greyclaw), a PhD student at the University of Michigan. The code was very advanced, and I had a lot of fun playing and writing there as "Phule".

The code lives on as several 2nd generation TFE "clones", most catalogued by a former player.

What was most interesting was the way these virtual games brought people together "in real life". At my university, there was a group of 6 people who are still good friends, now 7 years later. And several of us drove across the country a couple of times, to meet up with other people we had met online. We would not get together and play the game, we would get together and have a few beers, play music, etc.

Unfortunately a MUD, like any addiction, had its casualties. A couple of friends failed out of school, some ended up moving from engineering to liberal arts, etc.

In any case, I still look fondly on those early gaming days. The multi-user dimension makes just about every game I've played since pale in comparison.
your straw man is on fire...

TFE and Greyclaw (none / 0) (#96)
by eskri on Fri Nov 22, 2002 at 01:35:02 AM EST

TFE was certainly the best mud that I have every played on, as well. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of TFE was the ability to "interact" with the world, generally by typing in some action verb coupled with some noun word found in the room description. This necessitated a close reading of room descriptions and a keen imagination. Definitely a mud for puzzle-lovers. At the time, it was rather revolutionary, imho, for diku-based (loosely) muds. GC was perhaps the best coder I've interacted with (briefly) while I was there early on. And Object was probably the best builder I've ever had the pleasure of reading. And Phule was probably the craziest funniest god to walk the lands of TFE. BTW, what happened to GC? After he "quit" to take a break from the hassles of administration, did he ever go back to his brainchild? And is he mudding still? Thankfully, I managed to quit before failing out of school... :D -- Kha-d'arnis, the hooded dwarf warrior. ----- Eskri, the fencer.

[ Parent ]
GC and elusivity (none / 0) (#97)
by Burning Straw Man on Fri Nov 22, 2002 at 08:39:03 AM EST

What I will say about Alan Button is that he is absolutely the least trackable man on the planet, for someone who ran on online game as successful as TFE was for as many years. I've tried to track him down a few time, with no success. Last I heard, he had his PhD in Physics and was writing compilers and data processing for some Silicon Valley tech company. But try Googling for him. Outside of a couple references to some of his research work, he doesn't exist.
your straw man is on fire...
[ Parent ]
fyi (2.50 / 2) (#75)
by SlashDread on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 09:08:37 AM EST

No MUD story should go unmentioning mud.com, CircleMUD, and AstroMud its highly modified princess.

Greetings SlashDread

MUDs for macs (4.00 / 1) (#79)
by Iron Golem on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 03:45:16 PM EST

I haven't played a mud or something like that for a long time. Anyone know any good programs to run muds from a mac? Specifically ones that don't costanything.
I have nothing good to say, so I will say it.
Re: MUDs for macs (4.00 / 2) (#82)
by WheeSplat on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 05:01:21 PM EST

There are definitely an assortment of MUD servers freely available for the mac. Some of this info might be out of date, as it's been a long time since I've tried to run a MUD on a mac, but I've heard of mac versions of PennMUSH, TinyMUSH, CircleMUD and LPMUD.

If you have OS X, you can probably compile most of the Unix MUD servers. If you don't, you can install MkLinux and run a Unix server from that, though that would require you to be booted into Linux the whole time your server is running.

Splat@Star Wars: A New Threat MUSH
starwars.pennmush.org 9999

[ Parent ]

Linkage (4.00 / 1) (#86)
by kpaul on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 08:31:04 PM EST

Mac OS MUD servers

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

OSX (4.00 / 2) (#94)
by Fat Tony on Wed Nov 06, 2002 at 04:56:44 PM EST

Most of the traditional MUDs run on *nix platforms, and as such, should compile and run under MacOSX

[ Parent ]
Re: MUDs for Macs (5.00 / 1) (#95)
by dizzentive on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 09:16:46 AM EST

Well, I think you need to distinguish exactly what you mean by "run muds from a mac" first, but I will reply anyway. :)

There are several codebases that you can compile and run on a Mac, a short list:

Or, just go here:

If you on the other hand wanted to simply connect to a MUD, I suggest you download RapScallion, which is the best client out there for MacOS Classic, there are a couple of new ones that look mighty promising for OSX but I do not run X, so I wouldn't know.

-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GL/CC/IT/P d-@ s+:+ a- C++++(--)$ UL P++ L+ E- W N o-- K- w(---)$ O- M++ V-- PS+(+++) PE(--) Y+ PGP+ t+ 5++ X R+++ tv++(--) b++(++++) DI++(+++) D+ G++ e-@ h--- r+++ y? ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
[ Parent ]

MUSH and MUCK, not the same thing (4.00 / 1) (#81)
by WheeSplat on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 04:53:48 PM EST

MUSHes and MUCKs are lumped together in the poll, but they are two very different things. MUCKs use MUF, a Forth-like language, where MUSHes use MUSHCode, a (mostly) functional language. Additionally, the games that run on these two servers are usually different. The vast majority of serious roleplaying MUDs run on varients of MUSH, where most of the MUCKs I've seen tend to be social/building related, though there are exceptions.

Even within the MUSH and MUCK categories, there are several different server varients, with different features and capabilites, each used for different types of games.

Splat@Star Wars: A New Threat MUSH
starwars.pennmush.org 9999

I ran out of poll slots. Sorry. (4.00 / 1) (#85)
by kpaul on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 08:29:36 PM EST

Also why I couldn't do every fork of moria and hack, etc.

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Looking for GOOD role-playing mu* (4.00 / 1) (#84)
by Moosechees on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 06:17:48 PM EST

Ever since my favorite role-playing mud, World's End, died out, I've been looking for another mud similar to it. Basically, it was role-playing enforced, but characters still had stats and skills and whatnot. The powers on the mud would log/watch people constantly, and would often create new events around the world, often based around a specific character or characters. While you had stats and items and so on, they weren't really 'important'. Now, it was far from 100% 'real'. Nobody could really 'die' unless one of the powers stepped in and did it for a reason (for example, the person in charge of the character wanted it dead, or deserved to have it deleted (doing brazenly idiotic things repeatedly)). Does anyone know of a good roleplaying mud where roleplaying is -enforced-, and is not full of people talking like they're in a Shakespeare play?

I've Always Had Fun ... (4.00 / 1) (#87)
by xrakk on Tue Nov 05, 2002 at 09:06:15 PM EST

playing a mud called medievia. medievia.com / medivia.com 4001
------- "The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do." - [ B. F. Skinner ]
[ Parent ]
Discworld MUD (none / 0) (#92)
by Xanthipe on Wed Nov 06, 2002 at 04:12:35 PM EST

If you've read the books, then give it a whirl. It's good fun, and I've never met someone who's really unfriendly on it...


The best answer I can give to the question of whether I am alive or dead is "Yes"...

[ Parent ]
Forgot the address :$ (4.00 / 1) (#93)
by Xanthipe on Wed Nov 06, 2002 at 04:15:12 PM EST

Discworld MUD at http://discworld.imaginary.com:5678/


The best answer I can give to the question of whether I am alive or dead is "Yes"...

[ Parent ]
First MUDs were on PLATO. Long before '78. (5.00 / 1) (#98)
by platopeople on Fri Dec 20, 2002 at 01:28:56 AM EST

The number of multiplayer dungeon and dragon games on PLATO created before 1978, indeed, before 1975, is at least ten if not more. By 1978, geez, there must have been two dozen if not more. ALL multiplayer. Multiplayer games started on PLATO in the late 60s. By the early 70s they were all the rage. I'm writing a book about the history of the PLATO system (see www.platopeople.com for details) and I've interviewed 500+ people over several years and I also personally was a PLATO user. Rest assured, there were lots of MUDs online long before this 78-79 MUD in the UK. - Brian

thanks for the info [nt] (none / 0) (#100)
by kpaul on Wed Jan 01, 2003 at 07:09:39 PM EST

2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Does this work? (none / 0) (#101)
by Vateska on Wed May 21, 2003 at 01:27:18 AM EST

I don't know if it's anything like your old MU*, but OtherSpace seems to fit your description pretty well. The coded systems are merely an occasional guide for the real action, roleplay. The staffers are friendly and plentiful. The storylines generally stay realistic or plausible, but fun has precedence over physics.

Here's the website:

Dirty MUD | 101 comments (95 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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