Ever heard of World of Warcraft? Maybe Skyrim? Maybe <insert relevant multi-user game here>.
You have? GREAT! You’re ahead of the game already 🙂
Lets give you a run down on what a MUD is and how it’s about to rock your world:
What is the purpose of a MUD?
If you don’t know anything about gaming in general, the purpose of MUDs or Roleplaying Games (RPGS) is specifically to allow someone to develop a character or hero to create stories and provide a mode for…..escaping real life momentarily. Most people enjoy MUDs specifically because of the immersion, friendship, bonds, and education you can receive through the game. I myself (as the Creator of this particular MUD), enjoy what MUDs have brought me over the years with solid friendships, enhancing my ability to type, write, and imagine scenarios, which has enriched my life in multiple ways.
If you ever wanted to be an actor, if you ever wanted to get lost in a fantasy novel, if you like the idea of creator hero stories and watching them play out, MUDs honestly may be a great extracurricular option for you. You can literally login at your leisure, develop your own story, and at least on Advent of the Mists MUD, do it all for free.
What does MUD stand for?
MUD stands for Multi-User Dungeon. It’s essentially a “System” (the dungeon) that allows “multiple users” (Multi-user) to login and interact with the dungeon. There are other kinds of derivatives of this word, such as MUSH, but Advent is a MUD and the only MUD you’ll ever play, so it’s irrelevant to go over inferior games at this point 😀 If you really wanted to geek out, you can dig into some really old MUD history and how it started.
What the heck is the dungeon?
I’m so glad you asked..
The Dungeon, or the “system” you are playing on, is generally a very enriched world of “areas”, otherwise known as towns, cities, woodlands, etc. where you create a “hero” (your character) to jump into the world and level up some badass skills, kill bad guys (or good guys, if you happen to swing that way), run organizations such as governments or assassins guilds, and interact with other people trying to do the same thing as you.
Kinda sounds like those big graphical games we talked about above, doesn’t it?
How does a MUD work?
A MUD is built in a special style of code that allows the game creators to create a world and your methods of interacting with that world within the limits of what the code currently allows. Basically, you type in commands in the MUD, and the MUD responds to you. Almost like a chatroom, but not really because there are so many choices you can make on a MUD, from killing a bear to going to the local tavern and staring a bar fight or simply kneeling and praying to one of the many Gods in one of the temples. The MUD is coded to allow you to do many things that you would type commands for to interact with the game itself, or other players.
For example, on our particular flavor of MUD, you can learn a huge variety of skills such as sword fighting with small blades, pickpocketing, casting invisibility spells on yourself, and even give yourself a shield of fire to protect you from certain attacks. While the concept of your hero character is fairly infinite, the actual capabilities of your hero are limited by what the code allows and can provide. All characters are limited to how many spells and skills they can learn, or how strong they are depending on the race they choose, but you can mix and mingle any race, spell, or skill in whatever variety you want, which is something you can’t find on the larger MMO games.
Essentially, the roleplay and type of character you create is unlimited, which is the biggest benefit of playing a MUD. However, like all games, you are confined to what the code or system allows you to do. Fortunately for you, MUDs have a more flexible capability for variety and change than larger MMOs because they cater to a smaller crowd and are easier to update due to their antiquity.
How do you play a MUD?
Playing a MUD will be a little bit of a learning curve, but don’t worry, we’re going to provide some initial guidance. Additionally, when you login there are usually assigned “newbie helpers” available to ask questions to at any time.
Understanding how commands work on a MUD:
MUDs will be a little different than what most gamers are used to because everything is done through text entries. Rather than pointing your mouse NORTH, you type the word “NORTH” or “N” for short. If you wanted to put on a shiny new breastplate you found, rather than click some icons to switch gear on your game, you’d type “WEAR BREASTPLATE” or if you wanted to take it off “REMOVE BREASTPLATE”. Maybe you want to look at it to see what it looks like? You would “LOOK BREASTPLATE’, and if you wanted to see how it compares stats with something you’re already wearing, type “COMPARE BREASTPLATE TUNIC”, which would then compare your breastplate with the tunic you’re already wearing and let you know if one is better than the other.
So while the concepts are the same between some of the larger MMO’s, the technical details are very different.
A sample of some other commands you can do:
- WHO – Lets you see who else is online
- HELP <topic> – Lets you see if there is a “helpfile” on a particular topic or command
- OOC <words> – During you first 10 hours of play you’ll have access to the “NEWBIE” chat channel. This allows you to ask questions any time for all of the Staff and Helpers to see.
- ASK <words> – The Ask channel gives you direct access to the Staff to ask questions.
- TELL <words> – Lets you send a message to a specific person to ask a question or communicate with them out of character. So if you wanted to ask Crystal a question, you would type: TELL CRYSTAL HEY WHAT IS UP?
- SAY <words> – Lets you speak out loud when talking to other characters in the game
- EAT/DRINK <food item> – Lets you eat or drink items you have purchased that are food
- KILL <target> – Lets you attack a critter or bad person. Be wary who you attack though, some may be able to kill you quickly!
- MURDER <target> – In order to prevent accidental deaths, a separate command to actually murder a player is required 🙂
- LOOK or LOOK <target> – Lets you look at the room you are in, look at items on the floor, look at people in the room, or look at gear you are wearing or currently hold in your inventory
- SCORE – Lets you see your score or stat sheet for your character
- INV/INVENTORY – Lets you see what you are holding in your inventory
- EQ/EQUIP/EQUIPMENT – Lets you see what you are wearing
- OPEN <direction> – If there is a door or gateway in a direction you are trying to go in, you can open them and then move through them
- TAKE/DROP <item> – If you see something on the ground or want to drop an item, you can do so easily. You can also TAKE and PUT items into containers, such as TAKE GOLD CHEST, PUT GOLD CHEST.
- PRACTICE <spell/skill> – You can learn new spells and skills to enhance your character. Watch our Video!
Creating Your Character:
Ready to login? It’s time to CREATE YOUR CHARACTER *insert ominous drums*. Watch our video 🙂
How does a MUD compare to other online roleplaying games?:
MUDS and MMO’s like World of Warcraft are similar in a lot of ways, but different in so many more significant ways. For example:
- MUDS are generally free to play
- Our MUD lets you customize your character to any variety
- On a MUD you can change storylines and the entire direction of things in game
- MUDs can be logged in from any computer, even cellphones
- MMOs are usually subscription or purchase based
- MMOs usually force you to pick a limited class of skills
- MMOs you follow the storyline the creators give you and have no real in-character impact on the game
- MMOs require some hefty computer specs to run, and don’t think about playing on your cellphone
Review our article on the Benefits of MUDs.
Why would I want to play a text-based game? That sounds boring!
I can see that you haven’t yet discovered the glory that is MUDing, and that’s okay. But let me paint two scenarios for you.
- Have you ever read a book and became so immersed in what was going on you completely lept out of reality and onto the pages of the book as if you were there? Yes? That’s MUDing.
- On your graphical MMO games, can you create a sword-wielding, fire mage who worships and is blessed by the Goddess of Death, all while managing the local courtesans guild? How about creating an elvish ranger who grew up in the harbor of Caer Menthadon so has acquired the talents of using water magic to heal your comrades, and maybe you are on a mission to assassinate and successfully murder the King of Mahalia, having your name entombed in the history of the game for eternity?
No? I rest my freaking case.
Sounds kinda cool, huh? Why don’t you dive in? Start by figuring out what program you’re going to use to login to the game.