Frequently Asked Questions on MUDs In General
Please note that this FAQ is in it's first incarnation, and therefore the questions are in no real order.
What Does MUD Stand For?
MUD stands for Multi User Dungeon. This doesn't mean that it will necessarily be in a dungeon - you could just as easily be in a space ship, underwater, or basically anywhere. That is up to the creators of the MUD you are playing.
What Is a MUD?
A MUD is a text based game that people play over the internet. It is a roleplaying game, where you take the place of a character in a virtual environment created by other people. When you first use a MUD, you will create a character with a name that you choose, and certain attributes that you can improve by playing the game (for instance, your strength). It is generally you against monsters on the MUD, and other players - the monsters are computer simulations, not real people, but the other players are all people who can be anywhere around the world. This means that you can wander around the areas of the MUD and meet other real people and interact with them, not just mindless mobiles (or mobs - these are the monsters). Most MUDs are based around themes, which is one reason why there are so many - everyone wants to play with a different theme. There are vampire ones, futuristic ones, arcane ones, all sorts of different MUDs.
Why Do People Play MUDs?
People play MUDs for fun. Just as any other type of game, it is there for enjoyment, as a way to escape for a bit and just play. There is an air of competitiveness to the game, just as there is to any other decent game, which is another reason - however, the best way you can find out the answer to this question is to play one for yourself!
What Do You Do On a MUD?
Generally, the idea is to improve your character to a very high level, and become the best player on the game. As in most games, you are constantly trying to get better and better, and to beat all the other players. In a MUD, you do this by making your character stronger and more powerful - as it is a game that gives you control of a virtual person, you must build him up by training and killing other beings within the MUD, which can be other players or mobs (mobiles, the computer generated monsters). You roam around the areas within the MUD, and discover new things and building your character, with your goal to be the best.
What's So Much Fun About Killing Imaginary Monsters?
The fun isn't in killing imaginary monsters - it's about competing with other people. If MUDs were just you against a computer, they wouldn't be half as popular, but as it is, you are against real people as well. You can create friends and enemies, but in the end you are against everyone. Beating other people and getting to the top is the fun part.
How Long Does It Take To Learn How To Play a MUD?
To get into a MUD, it doesn't take very long at all. Once you know a few basic commands and have a small knowledge of what you should be doing, you are playing. To really know how to play the game well, it will take you quite a while - even for an experienced MUD player going to a new MUD, it would take him quite a bit of time to get used to it, as all are different in some way.
What Should I Expect When I Connect To a MUD?
Usually, you should expect some sort of welcome screen, and a prompt for the name that you will be known by. Once you enter your name, if it has not already been taken, then one of a few things could happen, depending on which MUD you are playing. You could be asked for your statistics - the computer will generate some for your character at random (these will be things like strength, intelligence etc), or you may be presented with a menu of things to do. You may just be dumped straight into the MUD itself - it really depends on the MUD. You will end up in the MUD at some stage though, which is when the fun really starts.
So What Do I Do Now?
Probably the best thing you can do as a new player to MUDs is to type "help". This should show you how to use the help command and what you can get online help for. If it doesn't, then it's not a very good MUD, at least for newbies. Some other useful commands to type are : "look" (this tells you what your surroundings are); "commands" (this should tell you what commands are available to you); "say", followed by what you want to say (this will allow all players within your vicinity to hear you - type look to see who will hear it). Then try out some of the commands on the list (if there is one) and try moving around. "Who" tells you who is on the MUD at the time as well. Don't forget that on most MUDs, commands can be shortened - for instance, "look" can be abbreviated to "l". Also, some commands may be different on different MUDs.
How Many Different MUDs Are There?
A lot. For a list of most of them, try accessing the web site :
which is a very very popular site that people submit the locations of their MUD site to.
Sometimes I Hear People Say Weird Things. What Are These Words?
These are most probably acronyms for common phrases. Check out our common acronyms page for an explanation of a lot of these.
What Is a Smiley?
As MUDs are text based, it is hard for people to show their emotions when just typing. One way that has been discovered to counter this is something called a smiley. There are many different variations, but the most common form is... :-) . Looked at sideways, it can be seen as two eyes, a nose, and a smiley face. As mentioned before, there are many variations - :-( [sad smiley] ;-) [winking smiley] :-> [alternative smiley] :P [tongue hanging out] or just :) [midget or lazy smiley].
What Sort Of People Play MUDs?
Many different people play MUDs. Probably the most common type are university students, as most have permanent internet access to the internet, and the time to play them for quite a while. Also, most university students are always trying to think of a way to get away from studying! However, you will find all walks of life on a MUD, just as you do elsewhere on the internet.
What's The Best MUD To Try?
Probably Vampire Wars ;-).
What Can And Can't I Say On a MUD?
Basically, on a MUD, you are free to do as you like. Some MUDs are strict about rudeness, whereas some aren't. The best thing to do is find out by asking someone what is acceptable to do. As a general rule, however, swearing is not really condoned, and abscene or disgusting remarks may get you thrown off. Vampire Wars is quite flexible in this respect, as some of the Admin (especially Azazel) are quiet rude. However, racism, sexism, homophobia and related behaviour are not accepted.
What Is Considered Cheating?
On most MUDs, it is quite hard to cheat unless you have access to a higher up position. Having more than one character and using them both together to help each other could be considered cheating, but it's really quite a lof of effort to go to which doesn't achieve very much once you get to higher levels. However, having more than one character on at the same time does wasate unnecessary memory on the server, so it is best to keep to one character. Sometimes people find loopholes in the game which they exploit, and this may also be considered cheating. Abuse of loopholes will be considered cheating 99.9% of the time. Also, "botting" is considered cheating (see the glossary page). Botting is where you set up your MUD client on a trigger or macro that lets it do something long and boring without you having to do anything at all. This makes it unfair on other players, and is considered to be cheating.
Who Should I Talk To?
The best people to talk to are those who have been trusted with higher up positions. They are normally quite helpful and will help you with getting started. Typing "who" will tell you who is on at the time, and those that sound important generally are - speak to them. To talk to someone, type "tell" followed by the name, followed by the message; for instance, "tell satan hello" will tell Satan "hello". This command may be different on different MUDS. You can find out a lot by asking people things, if you don't understand, so don't be afraid to ask! However, DON'T ask someone before you have read any available documentation (which you seem to be doing now), or at least the FAQ (which you ARE doing now). People get really annoyed at new players asking the same question over and over again when it is available to read - this means making use of the help system as well.
What Are Experience Points?
Experience points are a measure of how much you have done - you gain experience points by killing mobs, which you can then spend to train your character to a higher level. Different mobs give different amounts of experience points, depending on how hard they are to kill, so don't expect to get too many too soon!
How Do I Use Experience Points?
As mentioned above, you can spend them on your character, to make them better and harder. On Vampire Wars, to see what you can spend them on, type "train" - it tells you what is available to train, and how many experience points it takes. To use them (and this is specific to Vampire Wars - on other MUDs, you must ask how to do this), type "train" followed by the attribute you wish to improve. For instance, you could type "train hp", which would pump experience points into increasing your hit points by one. To save you time and trouble, typing "train hp all" will pump all your experience points into training hit points, instead of you having to type "train hp" lots and lots of times, if you have saved up lots of experience points.
How Do I Tell How Hard My Character Is?
Type "score". This tells you what attributes your character has. For an explanation of the score screen, see the "Explanation of the Score Screen".
Is There Any Sort Of Principle/Motto I Should Play By?
Yes. A quote from Uriel : "If it moves, kill it. If it kills you, try killing something else."
This is the first version of this FAQ, so it
is in now way trying to be complete. If you think that there should be something
else in it, please contact Azazel