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Old 05-15-2006, 02:01 PM   #1
Kelvin
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Greetings,

I'm going to give you the quick "sales pitch" for Battletech: The Frontier Lands, a BattletechMUX featuring those lovable 13 meter tall, bipedal war machines that many of us have grown fond of (mechs).

Introduction
Battletech: The Frontier Lands is only one of two games of its kind in existence anymore. It has been up for 2 years, 10 months, 10 days, 22 hours, 11 minutes at the time of this first post, and features an active playerbase of a few hundred. We have anywhere from 20 to 50 players on at any given time depending on the hour, and battles can quickly grow large and brutal.

The Combat System
The real unique and innovative thing about the Frontier is its combat system. It is truely unlike anything out there offered under other games, not only in theme and setting, but capability. You can very finely and granularly pilot the war machines this game centers around, manipulate and tweak them, work with a team on a 3D playing field (map), employ tactics, perform specialized maneuvers (death from above may sound familiar to you), use special ammo types, jump, fly, duck, dodge, sprint, all from the comforts of your ferrofibrous cockpit.

Note: The rest of this post is from our typical Battletech ad, it's worded in less MU* centric terms for ease of understanding

The Quick Run-Down
Battletech: The Frontier Lands is a BattletechMUX set on the Periphery planet Randis IV. Major and minor powers inside and surrounding the Inner Sphere have taken an interest in this planet for some unknown reason as of yet. Large scale combat between several houses and lesser powers has enveloped the insignificant rock of a planet, along with some of the unfortunate neighboring planets. Players take to the front lines, piloting their very own Mechs, Tanks, VTOLs, Power Armor, and eventually Aeros, Dropships, and Naval units.

The Twist
The game is completely free for everyone to play, as is the codebase. We offer a fully persistant, always changing game that's available to pretty much everyone around the world, but the catch is that it's largely text-based. While we are definitely not to be considered a MUD, we share a somewhat remotely similar heritage in that our medium is primarily that of a text-based one. Although there are two released semi-graphical HUDs and a completely 3D HUD in development.

Gameplay - Clients
The Frontier (and BattletechMUXs in general) can be played with a graphical HUD or a traditional MU* client. Both THUD and Xpertmud are publicly released and in good shape, and there is a third 3D HUD in the works. See some screenshots below:

http://docs.btmux.com/images/thumb/3...px-Thudpic.jpg - THUD
http://docs.btmux.com/images/5/5d/Xpertmud_small.gif - Xpertmud
http://squishywaffle.com/ChudFrontierMap.avi - A video of the 3D HUD's terrain engine demo. This has yet to be released.

Gameplay - Movement and "Turns"
BattletechMUXs are real-time, just like a real-time strategy game. Things progress at a steady rate and aren't turn-based like the board game. You actually steer your unit around on a hex-based map, similar to the board game, but you adjust your speed, heading, and other movement settings as you go. Fighting is done by picking targets, maneuvering within range, and engaging in ranged or close quarters combat. You can perform most of the familiar old physical attacks, even the infamous "death from above." You will find the combat system, while intimidating looking, is actually very easy to use with some practice, and is very detailed and depthful. This is particularly so with the aid of a graphical HUD, which drastically lowers the learning curve.

http://docs.btmux.com/images/0/0a/Armordiag.png

Gameplay - Objectives
Players battle for control over various objectives such as bases, relays, generators, and other implacements via a capture system. The current state of the map can be see on our map page. You can quickly see base ownership on there based on the colors. Blue is Lyran, Red is Draconis, and Green is Capellan. The game is up 24 hours a day and the terrain is constantly changing hands and being battled over. Fights for a single base may go on for hours at a time, with every hex gained being precious.

http://docs.btmux.com/images/b/b4/Frontiermap.png

Reasonably True to Classic Battletech
We currently have over a thousand Classic Battletech units templated and in-game. You can pilot everything from a Flea to a massive Atlas, or a Infiltrator Battlesuit to a Cavalry-SRM VTOL. Most of our rules are directly from the BMR, with a smattering of Maxtech and some adaptations of turn-based rules to our real-time environment. We implement some of the Solaris techs that are used in special events, and some other assorted fun things. For a list of units that are currently in supply out of the aforementioned thousand, see our online TRO.

Getting Involved
Those with programming experience can be put to work assisting in adding more technologies for use between any of the existing BattletechMUXs out there under our BattletechMUX Codebase project, which the Frontier is the flagship game for.

http://docs.btmux.com/images/3/3a/Btmuxlogo.png

Detailed Stat Tracking
We have taken to collecting stats for the players recently, offering a wide variety of ways to brag and extend your e-phallus. Take a look at one of our player's profile pages for more details. Note the nifty automated forum signature on the bottom We also offer Kill Stats and player rankings.

The good thing about a homegrown game such as this is we are very open to new ideas for extending our stat offerings, and those with web scripting and SQL experience can get involved in the development.

http://docs.btmux.com/images/0/03/Fr...llersgraph.png

Enlist you friends, form outfits!
Players have the option of forming their own outfits. These are sub-groups within factions of sort. They can share resources and have some additional abilities to help cooridnate things within the group. In the future there may be tournaments that pit your outfits against others out there for actual prizes like Classic Battletech TROs and Source Books (We have done said contests in the past with good results). Check out some of the existing outfits on our outfit ranking page.

Play in a Decently Documented Environment
We have taken a rather open approach to documentation. You'll find a wealth of information about the game on the Frontier Section of the BattletechMUX wiki. There are a number of designated players that have been tasked with helping newcomers get accustomed as well, augmenting our automated training system.

In Conclusion
Battletech: The Frontier Lands is a great way to burn some time here and there and despite being text-based, is often found to be much more immersive than graphical Battletech games. Because of the lack of real graphics, the pace of development is very fast and we often respond to requests and suggestions within 24 hours, sometimes implementing requests within 15 minutes or less. Time has seen us evolve into something much more advanced and far-reaching compared to the BattletechMUXs of old. If you haven't played since BattletechMUSE or for more than 2 years, I strongly encourage you to stop by and see where BattletechMUX has ended up.

On the same token, if you are a complete newcomer to BattletechMUX or Battletech in general, we welcome you to stop by and play as well. We're a generally friendly lot and would love to have some more bodies to shoot...err, play with If this sounds good to you, stop by our <span style='font-size:19pt;line-height:100%'>Getting Started</span> page. We hope to see you in-game!
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Old 05-15-2006, 05:34 PM   #2
Brody
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Brody will become famous soon enoughBrody will become famous soon enough
Send a message via Skype™ to Brody
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Sounds neat!
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:07 AM   #3
Kelvin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Brody @ May 15 2006,13:34)
Sounds neat!
It's different

And heh, Aqua Teen Hunger Force for the win
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Old 05-17-2006, 11:48 AM   #4
Kelvin
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Sorry for the additional spam, but I just thought I'd make another quick note. We currently give new players an adjusted amount of funds to help them get in the game and stand a chance against the more experienced players more or less immediately. With the current starter funds, you can expect to be able to purchase one large, well rounded unit or a number of smaller ones. In addition to having these funds, you do start with a number of starter units that are also very solid. For any of you who are familiar with Battletech, the are currently: JR7-K Jenner, PXH-3S Phonix Hawk, and TDR-7M Thunderbolt.

If any of this doesn't make sense to you, not to worry. We have a dedicated subsection of our staff that is entirely devoted to helping new players, Come on by and join the fray!
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:21 AM   #5
Earthmother
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Kelvin--

I like your non-MU* centric ad style.

Is that the kind of thing you post up in game shops and whatnot? Can I yoink some of those ideas/styles at some point in the future? It *looks* like you do a good job of attracting book-players into your gameworld... do you find this ad works for attracting players?
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Old 05-18-2006, 12:08 PM   #6
Kelvin
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In all honesty, we haven't done any real paper advertising, although we do have flyers posted up on the website for those who want to. To my knowledge, this is done very little, or not at all.

The trick for us has been to hit up sites like mpogd.com (we're in the top100 there and it yields huge dividends in traffic) and other general gaming sites. Usually when I talk about the game on those sites, I don't even mention the term "MUD," as many people immediately associate that with:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
> con beastly fido
You look much stronger than beastly fido.
> kill beastly fido
Commence killspam
Either that or they automatically assume that a text-based game would fail to hold their attention.

A very valuable tool is some sort of semi-graphical client. These can be easily crafted in Java, Python, or other higher level scripting languages, or as plugins to existing clients like Mudmagic's. If you can come up with just a little bit of eye candy, you can start advertising on MMO sites without being questioned. To get some coverage on a mainstream gaming site, you need to blurr the definition between MU* and MMO.

Guess I went off on a ramble there, but to answer your question, yes, we've found it to work well. Good places to post stuff like this include SomethingAwful forums, Penny Arcade, MPOGD, and various RPG sites. Also, it's great to post this ad on Battletech sites. In your case, post it to any forums within your game's theme and you'll probably grab quite a few.
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