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Old 10-04-2007, 12:15 PM   #1
Milawe
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Love of Small MU*s

Are there any of you out there who love playing on small, new games just for the sheer challenge of it? I know that a lot of people look for big muds because they want more people with whom to interact, but are there players out there who deliberately look for smaller muds?

I know that I really enjoy new (usually smaller) games simply because I love the challenging aspect of building up the world (economy, crafting, etc.) along with being a ground breaker. When I started playing my first mud, their average player size was around 20-25 people at peak times. Most of the time, the numbers hovered around 10-15. The mud grew REALLY fast, though, but I got to be there for when gear that is considered weak now was the BEST GEAR EVER!!!!

Several of the graphical games that I played were so much fun to play when I was struggling for every piece of resource and coin I could find. No one could power level anyone else because we were forging our way into the "new world". After the games grew established, I often got bored unless there was something else, like PvP, to catch my interest.

If you like smaller muds or new games, speak now! (Does that sound too bossy?)
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Old 10-04-2007, 12:25 PM   #2
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

I've always preferred smaller games. I guess it partly depends on the world size and what comm channels are available, but I tried Aardwolf once many years ago and there were over 200 people on and I just felt spammed to death. Any more than about 50 people and I tend to feel overwhelmed. For me I like a playerbase that ranges from 10-50, not only because it's less spammy but because I like to get to know the community I'm playing in.
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Old 10-04-2007, 12:26 PM   #3
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

I like all kinds of MUDS and small ones too! And I can understand your enjoyment of the new gear and struggle at the bottom feeling. That is fun.

For me, it hinges more on ease of playability. It is a game afterall and I don't want to struggle to read things (like if everything is in psychodelic color).

Okay I spoke, I'm off the hook I hope!
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Old 10-04-2007, 08:27 PM   #4
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

This probably makes me sound like a very anti-social mudder, but there are times when I'm happy as a clam to play on a completely empty MUD. Once in awhile, I might even find a MUD that looks very interesting to play and be enjoying myself until the immortals suddenly show up and then I quickly understand why that MUD has no players ...
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:42 AM   #5
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

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Originally Posted by Lurker94 View Post
This probably makes me sound like a very anti-social mudder, but there are times when I'm happy as a clam to play on a completely empty MUD. Once in awhile, I might even find a MUD that looks very interesting to play and be enjoying myself until the immortals suddenly show up and then I quickly understand why that MUD has no players ...
I don't know if I think that's entirely anti-social. Maybe you look for GAME PLAY designs first and the social atmosphere second. One of the things I do like about a new game is that everyone's on the same footing at first, and often, people band together to help the mud (economy, crafting, etc.) grow. As more people come in, these bands may split up, but they always have that old, common background together.

Maybe I like to experience the growth of a mud, and that's why I love new games.
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Old 10-07-2007, 07:26 AM   #6
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

I prefer a middle ground.

A playerbase can be so small that it hurts the game and severely restricts what the players can do, and the quickest way to turn me away from a game is to present me with large amounts of time spent waiting for people to log in (or for the playerbase to grow) so that I can experience parts of the game that I can't alone. One example is TorilMUD. In its glory days, Toril had a large playerbase with 200+ players online during peak hours. The game was built around this, both because there was a hard divide between "goods" and "evils" who could only interact on confrontational terms, and because a large percentage of the game world was built with big groups in mind, with areas that required parties of 20 or more players to succeed. Now TorilMUD's playerbase has dwindled to a fourth if its prior numbers, leaving much of the game's content beyond reach, groups - especially for lower and mid levels - very rare, and the population severely imbalanced. As much as I loved that mud, I've now deemed it all but unplayable for the newcomer, and a waste of time for the veteran.

At the other end of the spectrum is Aardwolf. I gave that mud a decent try a few months ago, trying to get into it and see if it was as good as it is popular. While I recognized its well thought-out and innovative code, the game was just too impersonal for me. With online numbers often exceeding 400, noone knows you and you don't know anybody. I prefer tight-knit communities, so when after a month I still didn't really know anybody, I gave up trying to get into the game and went to look for a mud where I wasn't just another unidentifiable drop in the sea. Apart from that fact, I thought it was an excellent game for its type, but it didn't have the mud feeling so I thought that I might as well go play WoW or Everquest.

Then there are muds with pitifully small playerbases; I try out a lot of muds, but I admit that if I log in around normal peak hours and find 3 online, I don't even give it a shot.
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Old 10-14-2007, 07:30 PM   #7
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

Greetings,

Since I am mainly looking for rp in a text based game, I want numbers. 50 to 100 players is enough to grab my interest and what comes next is if they are active. There is nothing worse to me than to start a new game and do a WHO command, see 70 players logged on and no one out and about rping or even playing. This awareness may not be evident initially, but after a few weeks it is.

I play muds to interact with other players and if there are not enough players, I get bored.
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Old 10-16-2007, 04:31 AM   #8
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

I not only love small Muds, I run one myself. (Small in the meaning of players, of course, our world is a really big one).

What I particularly like about the smaller Muds is the close-knit community, almost like a family. Everybody knows each other, for better or for worse, and every player can potentially put their mark on the world. In a smaller Mud there is also a lot less crowding in the zones; for instance you don't need to wait for some key mob to repop because someone else has killed it. And above all, it is a lot less spammy. Strictly RP enforced Muds may not get that problem, since they have no globals channels, but I once tested a couple of the bigger Muds on the list, and the spam on the open channels and in the main meeting place drove me away after a very short while.

A smaller Playerbase has both advantages and drawbacks of course. Single player conflicts often spread to involve half the Mud, and can lead to Clan Wars. This adds to the fun sometimes, but there are also times when I think the Mud resembles a bad soap opera, with all the Drama going on.

The biggest disadvantage is of course the fluctuations in the playerbase, for instance the low tide during summer vacation, which I think all Muds experience. With a small Mud these fluctuation get a lot more noticeable, and of course leaves you more vulnerable, since there is a 'critical mass' that you need to maintain. New players don't tend to stay very long if the mud is next to empty. Also some events would work out better if there were more players to interact with.

We have never catered for the masses in 4D, and over the years our pbase has remained pretty stable, although it has dwindled somewhat during the last years. It seems that the inflow of new players is not as big nowadays, as it used to be. I'd like it to remain small, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't like to see at least 10 more players on line at peak time. After all, what we've got to offer is so good that I think more players should experience it.
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Old 10-17-2007, 11:40 PM   #9
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

I am all for smaller muds. I am also similar to a previous poster in that I can easily play a mud (even an rp one) with good gameplay alone for hours and days. One of my favorite muds was called Times of Trouble and 90% of the time I was playing it alone.
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:47 AM   #10
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

Haven is a small mud, and I've only recently decided to start advertising it again and trying to rebuild the playerbase. I know all of my players by name, and I like that "family" feeling in my mud.

I don't know if I'd like the game if I had 50 people online all the time.
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:21 PM   #11
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

I would consider 50 people online at the same time to be a "small" mud, as far as population is concerned.
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:26 AM   #12
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
I would consider 50 people online at the same time to be a "small" mud, as far as population is concerned.
Well it depends what you're used to, but 93% of the muds on TMS (1634 out of 1757) advertise themselves as having an average of 50 or fewer simultaneous players*. So in relative terms, having 50+ simultaneous players would technically make you one of the larger text-based muds (in terms of population).

* Not including those with '0' players, as searching for that criteria seems to list all muds. I also suspect that not all muds claiming an average of over 50 simultaneous players are being completely honest.
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:55 AM   #13
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

Well I started with Gemstone. When I first started playing the server would crash whenever there was more than 50 people playing. Then they fixed that, and the server wouldn't crash til there were over 100. It kept improving until they "went internet" and we found ourselves with over 1000 people playing at any given moment. For me, THAT was a large game. I stopped playing and went somewhere else where there weren't that many people either, and eventually it was usually around 60 at peak time (8-11 PM EST), and less than 10 at the furthest off-peak time (3-6 AM EST). For me, that was small. Then I went to another game where the average "who" would number 40, most of the time. I consider that small as well.

For me, anything that's "significantly" smaller than the largeness of GS, even currently with their average of around 600, is small. If they are only 10% of that, then they're small.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:08 AM   #14
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
For me, anything that's "significantly" smaller than the largeness of GS, even currently with their average of around 600, is small. If they are only 10% of that, then they're small.
As I said, it depends what you're used to. Someone from Kingdom of the Winds (which peaked at 12,263 simultaneous players in a single world in 1999) would probably consider Gemstone "small" as well.

On the other hand, someone who's used to muds that are mostly empty would likely consider 50 simultaneous players to be a "large" population.

That's why I think it's perhaps less confusing to talk about sizes in relative terms.
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:29 PM   #15
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

It also depends on the size of the world, and the nature of the interactions. If there are multiple places for a character to first show up (different cities on the same continent, and different continents on the same planet), people are probably not going to be attracted to a "small" playerbase, game-wide. Small, meaning practically empty. If you could spend 4 RL days wandering from one end of the game world to the other and never run into another PC, eh...might as well play Sim City or Zork.

Also, unless specified KaVir, I would never include graphics RPGs in any discussion about MUDs. I would assume the OP meant specifically text-based interactive online multi-player games of one sort or another, whether MUD code, or DIKU, MOO, MUSH, ROM, Godwars, etc. So your comment about that anime graphics game, to me, is akin to comparing a MUD to a shoot-em-up game at an arcade where two buddies can put a couple of quarters into a machine and take turns making the little duckies go pop on the spinning wheel. Both are fun. Both are interactive. Both are games, both are multi-player, both involve a bit of thought, both are stationary, and both are available online. But they are nothing alike and there is no practical comparison.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:08 PM   #16
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
Also, unless specified KaVir, I would never include graphics RPGs in any discussion about MUDs. I would assume the OP meant specifically text-based interactive online multi-player games of one sort or another, whether MUD code, or DIKU, MOO, MUSH, ROM, Godwars, etc. So your comment about that anime graphics game, to me, is akin to comparing a MUD to a shoot-em-up game at an arcade where two buddies can put a couple of quarters into a machine and take turns making the little duckies go pop on the spinning wheel. Both are fun. Both are interactive. Both are games, both are multi-player, both involve a bit of thought, both are stationary, and both are available online. But they are nothing alike and there is no practical comparison.
They're both MUDs. One is a primarily text-based MUD. One is a primarily graphical MUD. The only real difference is the client. You could slap a graphical front-end onto a text MUD just like you could slap a text interface onto WoW. The comparison to a shoot-em-up game at the arcade is not at all apt since that is a fundamentally different type of product, regardless of the front-end you put on it.

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Old 10-23-2007, 02:14 PM   #17
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

Incidentally, good post from Raph on this very subject: Raph’s Website » Are MUDs and MMORPGs the same thing?
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Old 10-23-2007, 04:19 PM   #18
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

No, the only difference is not the client. Gemstone comes with a graphics client, which shows the player directions, maps, injury locations, a little picture to show if the character is standing or sitting, or in a group, whether or not he's bleeding, etc. etc. etc. Gemstone is NOT a graphics-based game. It is a text-based game. It is ALSO massively-multiplayer, and it is ALSO a roleplaying game. That makes it a MMORPG, but it does NOT make it a graphics-based game.

When the -vast majority- of people who visit THIS website (topmudsites) are looking for a new mud, they are looking specifically for a text-based mud. They are also specifically NOT looking for a graphics-based mud. If they were looking for a graphics-based mud, they would look on one of the websites that cater to graphics-based game fans. This is not one of them, and in THIS website (topmudsites), when someone is talking about MUDs, they are talking about text-based muds, UNLESS THEY SPECIFY OTHERWISE.
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Old 10-23-2007, 04:36 PM   #19
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
No, the only difference is not the client. Gemstone comes with a graphics client, which shows the player directions, maps, injury locations, a little picture to show if the character is standing or sitting, or in a group, whether or not he's bleeding, etc. etc. etc. Gemstone is NOT a graphics-based game. It is a text-based game. It is ALSO massively-multiplayer, and it is ALSO a roleplaying game. That makes it a MMORPG, but it does NOT make it a graphics-based game.
I think you miss the point. The client is not the game. The game is the simulation of the world/game running on the server. The client you connect to the game is separatable from the server. In other words, the essential part of a MUD or an MMORPG or whatever you want to call it - the world - is fundamentally similar.

Quote:
When the -vast majority- of people who visit THIS website (topmudsites) are looking for a new mud, they are looking specifically for a text-based mud. They are also specifically NOT looking for a graphics-based mud. If they were looking for a graphics-based mud, they would look on one of the websites that cater to graphics-based game fans. This is not one of them, and in THIS website (topmudsites), when someone is talking about MUDs, they are talking about text-based muds, UNLESS THEY SPECIFY OTHERWISE.
I don't think it's particularly productive to put words in the mouth of every TMS user. I know when I talk about MUDs I mean MUDs in the general, not just text MUDs. If I mean text MUDs, I try to say text MUDs. So that's at least one person for whom your generalization is inaccurate.

No arguments from me that the site primarily (but not exclusively) caters to text MUD enthusiasts though.

--matt
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:55 PM   #20
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Re: Love of Small MU*s

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Incidentally, good post from Raph on this very subject: Raph’s Website » Are MUDs and MMORPGs the same thing?
To me MUD and MMRPG is an abstraction of a simulated "world" with multi-user capabilities. Both terms fit nicely into that: Multi User Dungeon, Massive Multiplayer Roleplaying Game. What could be argued is if the word 'massive' especially points out that a MMRPG, unlike a MUD, would need a minimally some specific amount of players online. Even with that interpretation a MMRPG could still be seen as a MUD.

About small MUDs. Both small MUDs and large ones have benefits. Something I find great with smaller games is that you are (usually) able to communicate with the developers of the game. In a really large game, e.g World of Warcraft there are so many players that you could just as well be trying to give suggestions to a wall.

Another benefit with small games is that you can learn to know most of the players. It can also make roleplaying easier and if there is a dedicated staff team aiding roleplay it can become very immersive.
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