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Old 12-04-2003, 03:32 AM   #1
Hephos
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Had a discussion with someone lately regarding sizes of playerbases and how long it takes to reach a larger amount of players average online.

Does someone know of any newly started muds that has reached more than 50 players online average, or there about? By newly started i mean somewhere around 1 year or so.
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Old 12-04-2003, 08:23 AM   #2
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Do you mean 50 on at one time? If so I doubt that's possible without some VERY good and expensive marketing.

The mud I play has only JUST gotten 50+ regular players on during on-peak times. Although the amount of players playing would be a lot higher then that of course
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Old 12-04-2003, 08:54 AM   #3
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Was thinking average, but well anyone know any muds that have player peaks at 50+ and are new, less than a year open for public?
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Old 12-04-2003, 10:40 AM   #4
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We did not hit 50+ for several years, I have heard of "new" muds which were basically spin-offs of other existing muds which started with code and areas doing well, but I've honestly not heard of any reaching a decent size in under a year...and I'm talking free muds, not commercial ones.
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Old 12-04-2003, 10:57 AM   #5
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Yeah i'm interested in any muds that has gotten a large pbase with 50+ at peaks that is NOT a spinoff of existing muds or muds starting up an old game that has closed down or similar.

I'm interested in any muds starting up from scratch with a completely new game idea and getting a pbase from scratch.

Anyone know of any similar muds?
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Old 12-04-2003, 01:00 PM   #6
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It's extraordinarily difficult these days... I believe they existed in fair numbers in earlier days, but recent market saturation makes building a strong playerbase more time consuming, and very reliant on a steady stream of advertising (and thus new players). Hitting 50 active players PERIOD in under a year is a fairly good acheivement these days.
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Old 12-04-2003, 04:41 PM   #7
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A coder named Arawn, who runs Lensmoor Mud, once told me that there is a sort of turning point when you reach 30 players at peak time. Players come and go all the time even in good muds, and below that number, the newcomers and the ones that leave seem to more or less even out, and your player base stays pretty stable. (This of course applies to games that don't spend a lot of money on banners and other forms of advertising, but still has something more to offer than just stock).

Once you pass that magic turning point, the inflow becomes bigger than the outflow, and from there it starts snowballing.

I am not sure if this formula still is valid, but I think there must be something to it. At least it seems to apply to my own mud. Our p-base has been steady around 20-25 at peak time for several years, and every time we get close to the magical 30, someone decides to make some drastic change (like equip downgrading, or massive codechages). This always upsets the players and we drop back a couple of notches and have to start the slow climb again.
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Old 12-05-2003, 03:33 AM   #8
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Perhaps we reach that "turning point" soon then at SharŻne We peak at 30-40 players nowdays.

Anyways, had a discussion with someone that thought newly started muds would get 50+ players -averaging- online instaneous (if it had the correct features). I was just interested to see if there was actually any newly started muds with that many players. IMO it doesn't really matter that much what features your game has... its more about what community you succeed to build. Even stock games, could IMO get a pretty huge playerbase if they handle it correctly.
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Old 12-05-2003, 09:25 AM   #9
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Muds are - after all - social games. †But when potential new player connect to your new mud and find it empty or sparsely populated, many don't even bother to try it out, no matter how many clever features you put in your game. †The feature they really want to find is interpersonal interaction.

Friends = happiness = success. †Applies to muds as it does in real life.
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Old 12-05-2003, 03:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
But when potential new player connect to your new mud and find it empty or sparsely populated, many don't even bother to try it out
Which brings up some important aspects of a successful launch: actively visible immortals, a few diehard players (likely former playtesters), and enough connections to bring in a quick batch to get things up to at least 2-3 average players for a week or two. That helps a lot.
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Old 12-05-2003, 06:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (jornel @ Dec. 05 2003,09:25)
Friends = happiness = success. †Applies to muds as it does in real life.
And to The Sims ™.
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Old 12-11-2003, 04:07 PM   #12
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This sort of in the same vein of thought. What suggestions does everyone have for getting more new players into a game? Obviously there are banner ads as an option, but I'm looking for some maybe less traditional methods. And possibly methods to bring in players that haven't ever played muds. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-11-2003, 04:13 PM   #13
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You could try making promo-flyers and putting them in stacks around colleges.

One mud I worked at did this. They made the promos as PDFs so anyone could download, print them and put them wherever. Some people wanted to do this because everyone likes to have a local network of players.
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Old 12-11-2003, 04:29 PM   #14
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But how successful was such a campaign? Obviously, theres many different ways to advertise the game, but from experience, what methods have been most effective in gaining playerbase?
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Old 12-12-2003, 12:58 PM   #15
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But how successful was such a campaign? Obviously, theres many different ways to advertise the game, but from experience, what methods have been most effective in gaining playerbase?
It is a pretty generic form of advertising so the success is going to be determined by how much effort you put into the campaign and the game itself.

Here are some more generic advertising ideas.

The most successful campaign in advertising is when you advertise to the direct customer. So banner adds at TMS, TMC and Kyndig should be the most successful.

Stick to the free advertising on TMS, TMC and Kyndig. Do this as often as the rules allow. Try to keep your updates informative, let players know what the game is about, and also let them know new updates to the game. Make it clear that you are constantly building on the game.

If you want to retain customers from TMS, TMC and Kynding another obvious hint would be to treat every post you submit like you were talking to a prospective customer. Responding to posts with "**** off, idiot" probably isn't a great way to attract people.

Supplying needed information to the MUD community is a great way for some free advertising. If you posted the step-by-step guidelines for common MUD questions then it will become a resource. You can always have this on your web site, or just include your contact information with your mud at the bottom. I don't know how many times I have passed out yduj's moo duck tutorial. The same goes for writing articles.

After that you need to advertise where you think your customer will be on the net. purchasing google keyword adds would be a good start. Put an advertisement when someone types in "fantasy mud".

Your next option is to advertise where you think you will see customers in the real world. So advertising in comic book stores or around colleges would be a good bet. It isn't 100% assured that you will even find a client there because unlike advertising on TMS, TMC and Kyndig there is no way to know if people in that area will be interested in Mudding. But, there is a good chance.

Past that you can always try to join forces with a few other MUDs. If you have a specific type of genre for your mud (WOT, Cyberpunk, Pern) try contacting mud admin from similar genres. To avoid starting hate channels do this in a professional manner, so contact them outside their mud (check out their web site and send them an email). Just see if they would be interested in sponsoring an "open house" you will advertise for your players to check out that mud, and they will do the same.

Most importantly; keep a solid record of your advertising campaigns. I've done several add campaigns for companies (not muds). And the most important thing to remember is how successful each campaign is. If you have 10 banner advertisements track them all and see which one gains the most attention. Stick with the best campaigns. When you put a print campaign out record your net traffic and see if it does spike at certain times. Put the print campaigns out at different times (try a college one month, then a comic book store the next), this will make it easier to track. Be simple with your print advertising, don't expect users to go to http://www.yourdomain.com/record.jsp...ookstorethree. You can do this for banner advertisements, just not print.

The more effort you put into it the more you will get out of it.
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Old 12-12-2003, 04:49 PM   #16
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Thanks for the info Trespasser. Some of that stuff we have already done with some success (banner ads and tracking where users are coming from) but you definitely hit on a few points that I had not considered. Thanks for sharing the info!

One thing that we had possibly discussed on our mud is having like a month long reward thing where if you bring in two or more new players and they log X amount of play time (like 12 hours or a day or something like that) then they get a shirt for the mud. We have had several players say that if we did this they would be interested, however the implementation is really the question. We need to make sure that players aren't just starting another character and logging that amount of time to get the shirt. What do you think about that? If it worked, we get more players from recruitment/referral bonus stuff plus we get advertisements when players wear the shirts (albeit, untargeted ads).

Kubera.
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Old 12-12-2003, 06:29 PM   #17
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I'd be a bit cautious about offering players rewards for bringing in new players to your mud.

Mouth-to-mouth is probably the most common - and quite effective - method of advertising for most non-commercial Muds, who cannot afford banners or other ads. But offering any substantial reward for promoting your mud, could lead to ill-advised players logging on to other Muds just to 'advertise' yours over the open channels.

And that in turn would almost certainly backfire, and make your mud look bad instead of good, although you yourself didn't do anything wrong. At least in my own mud, the players usually mock and ridicule anyone who tries that stunt, and most imps would not only ban them on the spot, but also log on to your own mud to complain.

If you want the players to help, it would probably be a better policy to ask them to write a review for the mud.
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Old 12-12-2003, 10:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ Dec. 12 2003,18:29)
If you want the players to help, it would probably be a better policy to ask them to write a review for the mud.
Do you really think so?

Does anyone with even the tiniest clue about mudding and the way those reviews work give them any credence?

I think most people know that mud reviews fall into two categories:

1) People who play (or most likely admin) the mud trying to pump it up.

2) People trying to slam it out of either a competitive desire or revenge.

Neither motivation make for very useful or honest reviews.
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Old 12-12-2003, 11:14 PM   #19
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You mentioned tracking success of advertisement. You might not be aware, but with a MUD this is very easy to do, even when you have different advertisement campaigns running at the same time. Unlike advertisement for other companies, where you say your experience is at, with a MUD you can just ask a question to the player upon character creation, asking them where they found out about you.

This method can actually provide even more useful information, as you can track how long players from X source actually last on your MUD, ie one place you advertise might bring you lots of players logging on, but they don't stay, while another will give you fewer, but a better percentage who decide to play your game on a permanent basis.
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Old 12-12-2003, 11:43 PM   #20
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...with a MUD you can just as a question to the player upon character creation....
Great Idea!

With T-Shirts, one thing you could do is have a monthly award, a player-of-the-month. A player could be awarded on creating a great rp, bringing on a few lasting players, or just helping out a newbie. You could also throw in a few random drawings just so people don't feel left out.

Overall, I think this could be beneficial. If your players are having fun they will want to get more people on there regardless of the t-shirt. And you could still use that campaign to promote other useful activities (helping newbies, rp, etc), as well as getting new players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
But offering any substantial reward for promoting your mud, could lead to ill-advised players logging on to other Muds just to 'advertise' yours over the open channels.
One solution is to clearly define the rules. Don't spam on another mud, don't spam on any discussion forum, if you do you won't get your t-shirt.

I've had this happen to me, I think it happens on almost every mud. A player wants to help and they log into a mud to advertise. IMO it isn't a big deal, I just log into the mud and give the owner a heads up with the IP and that's it.

I've also had to deal with the reverse where players were advertising on other games, so I apologized and dealt with the problem. To me, it is just one of those things that can happen no matter if you ask your players to advertise or don't ask them to advertise.

As long as you are clear about important issues like that you shouldn't have any problems.
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