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Old 09-29-2007, 04:51 PM   #1
Newworlds
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Searching for a Mud

While we are heavily arguing the topic of "What is Free?" and a push for change is in the works for more options in the search engine, I have found some serious modifications that need to be changed in the search engine to better categorize what players may look for.

The first change should definately be in the drop down box about Number of Players. The present system here (if anyone uses it to find a mud) is severely inadequate. Who would search for a mud with 6 to 10 players or 11 to 15 or 21 to 25. That is rules out way to many muds that sit on the verge of this. Much better would be the following options:

[ ] 0..10 Players
[ ] 11..25 Players
[ ] 26..50 Players
[ ] 50..100 Players
[ ] Over 100 Players

Anything in between is virtually the same in most games.

The second change I believe that is needed is an option on Age or Maturity. Rather than "Adult" game which normally categorizes highly sexual content.

I would think this option box could be:

[ ] This mud is for all ages
[ ] Under 16 Allowed to play
[ ] 16 or Older Only
[ ] 18 or Older Only

NW requires you to be mature to play in the environment as a RP Enforced Game. Most players on NW and those that find our game do not enjoy roleplaying with immature players who use chat speak in game and cannot maintain a mature disposition. Many players have said they have had a hard time finding a game with the required maturity that we demand. I think this option box would help such players find the mud they seek and the peer group they seek.

What do you think of these options and what other options do you think might enhance the search engine?
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:26 PM   #2
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Re: Searching for a Mud

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
[ ] 0..10 Players
[ ] 11..25 Players
[ ] 26..50 Players
[ ] 50..100 Players
[ ] Over 100 Players
I would go one step further and make it a broader range here:
0-20
21-50
51-100
over 100.
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:41 PM   #3
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Re: Searching for a Mud

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
[ ] 0..10 Players
[ ] 11..25 Players
[ ] 26..50 Players
[ ] 50..100 Players
[ ] Over 100 Players

Anything in between is virtually the same in most games.
I agree. I might even consider grouping the first two categories together (0-25 Players), though I suppose an argument can be made that there are likely a significant enough number of players that would see a real distinction between a mud with 10 players and one with 20.

Quote:
I would think this option box could be:

[ ] This mud is for all ages
[ ] Under 16 Allowed to play
[ ] 16 or Older Only
[ ] 18 or Older Only
I think the two age distinctions should be kept at 18 and 13. If a mud feels they need to restrict access based on age, they are probably doing it at 18 (the age of majority) or at 13 (the age below which COPPA restrictions kick in).

There is also no real need to distinguish between the first two is there? Aren't both just variations on "all ages allowed to play"?

Quote:
What do you think of these options and what other options do you think might enhance the search engine?
Some more options could be added to the "Category" entry. There is, for example, an entry for "Medieval Fantasy" but not one just for "Fantasy." Given that the fantasy genre, both in games and literature, has expanded well beyond the Dark Ages with Dwarves motif, it might be worth making this distinction (or just dropping the "Medieval"). The game I'm currently working on would certainly fall in the fantasy genre, and it has a feel to it that would appeal to people looking for a fantasy RP environment, but it is definitely not a "medieval" fantasy.

Some additions to the Codebase options would be nice as well. Many of the newer (and even not-so-newer) bases are not listed, including my own favorite (nudge nudge wink wink say no more), the Genesis ColdC Server.

The "None" and "Accepted" options in the Roleplaying category could probably be rolled into a single "Non-Roleplay" option (unless "None" is supposed to mean that roleplay is actually forbidden). It might be nice to see more distinctions made between roleplay styles. Players looking for consent-based RP aren't going to be happy with the RP style of Armageddon, just as players who enjoy Armageddon and similar RPIs might not be as thrilled with a game like Threshold which, while RP-mandatory, also has a number of gamier elements (static quests, level grinding) which such players might consider more appropriate to hack-n-slashers. I'm not really sure how I'd propose going about categorizing the roleplay style of muds in a meaningful way, however. This is likely information better left to the muds' info pages and websites.
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:30 PM   #4
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Re: Searching for a Mud

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Originally Posted by Sandra View Post
I would go one step further and make it a broader range here:
0-20
21-50
51-100
over 100.
I like that.
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:51 PM   #5
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Re: Searching for a Mud

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Originally Posted by Atyreus View Post
I agree. I might even consider grouping the first two categories together (0-25 Players), though I suppose an argument can be made that there are likely a significant enough number of players that would see a real distinction between a mud with 10 players and one with 20.
It's not so much that, but rather the fact that all those fly-by-night stock muds with 0 players would be in the same category as the muds which have an average of 20 players (with perhaps a lot more than that during peak hours).

Not all players want to find a mud with hundreds of players online at all times, but most want at least a reasonable number of other people they can interact with. As such, I think it's a good idea to keep the first option within a fairly low range, although I'd agree that both the current "0" and "1-5" are perhaps a bit unnecessary. Either "less than 5" or "less than 10" would be pretty reasonable though, in my opinion.

And before someone comments on my motives, let me clarify that my average playerbase is currently 30.53 (calculated over a 127.5 hour uptime).

One thing I really would like to see, though, is for the search option to let you pick multiple playerbase sizes, perhaps even with a quick way of selecting "anything above/below this option".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atyreus View Post
I think the two age distinctions should be kept at 18 and 13. If a mud feels they need to restrict access based on age, they are probably doing it at 18 (the age of majority) or at 13 (the age below which COPPA restrictions kick in).
Personally I'm not so keen on listing an explicit age, mostly because it's so arbitrary (although I can understand muds including it for legal reasons). My current mud doesn't have any sexual content, but it does contain excessive violence, and has no rules about language - thus I've selected the "adults only" option as an informative suggestion/warning. But I'm not going to ban people for being under a certain age.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atyreus View Post
Some more options could be added to the "Category" entry. There is, for example, an entry for "Medieval Fantasy" but not one just for "Fantasy."
I think just "Fantasy" might be a bit too generic, except perhaps as a placeholder (for when a particular Fantasy subcatagory isn't available). I'd also really like to have a "Dark Fantasy" catagory for my own mud - there's already a "World of Darkness" catagory (which is a specific type of Dark Fantasy), but nothing for other types of Dark Fantasy. For info about the subgenre, see: Dark fantasy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:47 PM   #6
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Re: Searching for a Mud

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Not all players want to find a mud with hundreds of players online at all times, but most want at least a reasonable number of other people they can interact with. As such, I think it's a good idea to keep the first option within a fairly low range, although I'd agree that both the current "0" and "1-5" are perhaps a bit unnecessary. Either "less than 5" or "less than 10" would be pretty reasonable though, in my opinion.
I must agree with Kavir on this. Though I wouldn't turn down more players, if we had them....
Having what I consider a mud that treats everyone with respect, and where we are all good friends,
is ideal for me. 10 - 20 players is the perfect not too big, still paying attention to individual player
needs type mud for me. We at 6 Dragons are like a close knit family, and I know a lot of other muds
out there are happy to be the same.

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Old 09-30-2007, 12:48 AM   #7
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Re: Searching for a Mud

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Originally Posted by 6Dragons View Post
I must agree with Kavir on this. Though I wouldn't turn down more players, if we had them....
Having what I consider a mud that treats everyone with respect, and where we are all good friends,
is ideal for me. 10 - 20 players is the perfect not too big, still paying attention to individual player
needs type mud for me. We at 6 Dragons are like a close knit family, and I know a lot of other muds
out there are happy to be the same.

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telnet://6dragons.org:4000/
I can see the reasoning behing both this post and Kavir's. Perhaps the 0..20 is a bit high and maybe this model might work?

[ ] Under 10 Players
[ ] 11..25 Players
[ ] 26..50 Players
[ ] 50..100 Players
[ ] Over 100 Players

This allows for five options: 1 low, 1 high, and three in the middle ground. And the categories I think will allow players to find the nitch that works for them. Under 10 being the new or very tight group. 11 to 25 being the small but still relatively workable base. 26 to 50 giving a medium range. 50 to 100 large but not huge, and over 100 getting the players that are searching for a big playerbase game.


On the age/mature debate. That's a tough one for me. While I like defined ages, I through in the 16 + age because it seems that if a person is 16 or older than seem to be able to roleplay. This is a bit selvish as NW is a rp mandantory and we seek good roleplayers, as apposed to anyone playing, but I'm not sure how else to break it out. Suggestions?
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Old 09-30-2007, 01:05 AM   #8
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Re: Searching for a Mud

I think broadening the ranges would be helpful for the small muds out there like mine as there would be a greater chance of coming up in someone's search. However, I think keeping the current ranges and letting the player use checkboxes to check the ones they want would be best. When I use this search, I generally end up doing 2 or 3 searches.
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Old 09-30-2007, 01:47 AM   #9
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Re: Searching for a Mud

One of the problems with player counts is understanding what it means.

First, let's assume that the MUD is being truthful. But as anyone who knows statistics, "average" is really not very meaningful in itself. For example, a MUD that has 50 people on noon to midnight then none from midnight to noon, might say 25. But for someone who can play only midnight to noon, the number is meaningless. And for the others, it doesn't really represent the true population.

I'm not sure what the correct metric is... but maybe it would be better to allow the average to reflect a 6 hour period, and for the game to declare what that period is.
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Old 09-30-2007, 03:29 AM   #10
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Re: Searching for a Mud

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Either "less than 5" or "less than 10" would be pretty reasonable though, in my opinion.
The correct usage here would be "fewer than 5" or "fewer than 10".
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Old 09-30-2007, 03:44 AM   #11
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Re: Searching for a Mud

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Originally Posted by Ogma View Post
The correct usage here would be "fewer than 5" or "fewer than 10".
Symantics. Kavir's point was cleary understood.
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Old 09-30-2007, 04:15 AM   #12
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Re: Searching for a Mud

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Symantics. Kavir's point was cleary understood.
And that would be "semantics". I am sorry, the fewer/less distinction is one of my pet peeves.
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Old 09-30-2007, 04:32 AM   #13
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Re: Searching for a Mud

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Originally Posted by Ogma View Post
And that would be "semantics". I am sorry, the fewer/less distinction is one of my pet peeves.
No worries, I understand your point, I just don't care as much about fewer/less perhaps as you do. You win the typo award of the month.
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Old 09-30-2007, 06:50 AM   #14
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Re: Searching for a Mud

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Originally Posted by Ogma View Post
The correct usage here would be "fewer than 5" or "fewer than 10".
Fewer than 5 players online at all times, but an average player base (mass noun) of less than 5.

I always tend to think in terms of "average player base", probably because I keep track of it in fractions rather than whole players.
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Old 09-30-2007, 07:27 AM   #15
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Re: player base by time zone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhiroc View Post
One of the problems with player counts is understanding what it means.

First, let's assume that the MUD is being truthful. But as anyone who knows statistics, "average" is really not very meaningful in itself. For example, a MUD that has 50 people on noon to midnight then none from midnight to noon, might say 25. But for someone who can play only midnight to noon, the number is meaningless. And for the others, it doesn't really represent the true population.

I'm not sure what the correct metric is... but maybe it would be better to allow the average to reflect a 6 hour period, and for the game to declare what that period is.
If they declare the time zone, and that peak time, it can be confusing also. At least I have have only rough guesses of those time zone TLA's, usually in the way of "not my time zone".

Most people can do the math if time is announced in GMT/UTC.

I suggest that 4 hour slots are fine, making 6 numbers.

Average player base at given time (GMT/UTC hours):
00 - 04
05 - 08
09 - 12
13 - 16
17 - 20
21 - 24
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Old 09-30-2007, 12:19 PM   #16
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Re: Searching for a Mud

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogma View Post
And that would be "semantics". I am sorry, the fewer/less distinction is one of my pet peeves.
I feel your pain, Ogma. Fewer/less is one of mine. The bigger one for me is when people use "over" instead of "more than." Makes me twitch.
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Old 10-01-2007, 09:27 AM   #17
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Re: Searching for a Mud

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I feel your pain, Ogma. Fewer/less is one of mine. The bigger one for me is when people use "over" instead of "more than." Makes me twitch.
Maybe some people like to be "over" 10 people. ORGY!

I think there's a really big difference between 10 players and 20 players, but there's really not that much difference between 5 and 9. This seems like the most helpful one to me:

[ ] Under 10 Players
[ ] 11..25 Players
[ ] 26..50 Players
[ ] 50..100 Players
[ ] Over 100 Players

Now, my question has always been is this "peak time" count or total playerbase count? Does this mean that when you log on, you should expect to find around 25 players, or does it mean that you log on and between 5 and 10 of your dedicated players are online?

I've always assumed that it was a "peak time" count, but I've logged on to some of the games and wondered.
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:56 AM   #18
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Re: Searching for a Mud

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Originally Posted by Mina View Post
This seems like the most helpful one to me:

[ ] Under 10 Players
[ ] 11..25 Players
[ ] 26..50 Players
[ ] 50..100 Players
[ ] Over 100 Players
Unfortunately muds with an average of 10 players wouldn't be able to select any options, while those with an average of 50 players would need to select two :P

I'd propose either:

[ ] 0-10 Players
[ ] 11-25 Players
[ ] 26-50 Players
[ ] 49-100 Players
[ ] Over 100 Players


Or:

[ ] 0-9 Players
[ ] 10-24 Players
[ ] 25-49 Players
[ ] 50-99 Players
[ ] 100+ Players


I favour the latter, as the milestones are (mostly) round numbers, but that's just personal preference.

I'd also rather see the values go above 100, even if it's just the extra option for 250+ that we've got already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mina View Post
Now, my question has always been is this "peak time" count or total playerbase count? Does this mean that when you log on, you should expect to find around 25 players, or does it mean that you log on and between 5 and 10 of your dedicated players are online?
The listing refers to it as "Avg Players Online", which seems fairly clear to me. If you've got 25 players online for the 6 hours of peak time and 5 players online for the other 18 hours, then that's an average of 10 players online.

TMC instead lists it as "Min. # of Players Online", which I find to be far less useful.
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Old 10-01-2007, 11:10 AM   #19
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Re: Searching for a Mud

This is already coming up in some of the posts in this thread, but I'd like to lend my support to the idea that playerbase size in some way needs to convey peak vs. off-peak times for a given MUD, where applicable. Peak times will be similar for most America-based MUDs, but some will have strong European or Asian followings to round out other chunks of the day and others won't. It does me little good to find a MUD with an average 50 playerbase (if I'm looking for that) if the hours I can play are the hours it's hanging around 10. A MUD with its prime times coinciding with my play times will probably feel like a 'bigger' MUD to me even if its average is lower than another game.

I'm not sure what the best way to convey that information in a searchable way is, though.
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Old 10-01-2007, 11:46 AM   #20
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Re: Searching for a Mud

I actually messed up on the 4th option here. It should have been 51..100. So here is the new list:

[ ] Under 10 Players
[ ] 11..25 Players
[ ] 26..50 Players
[ ] 51..100 Players
[ ] Over 100 Players

As for time frames. I putting peak hours will muddy the waters and is confusing EST, MST, Euro time, etc. I think better would be a listing (if it's not already in the search engine) of where your game is located. Europe, U.S.A., Asia and/or what your games standard clock is or your playerbase (for example NW is based on Eastern Standard Time, location doesn't matter much, we have many players from Europe and elsewhere). I know many muds are listed as Euro based or Asian, etc.
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