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Old 03-22-2008, 01:37 PM   #1
Ide
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muds doing things differently

I'm starting this after reading a review over at TMC and trying a new mud. I wanted to put this up here for people to post examples of muds that are doing things differently in their theme, setting, mechanics, and most especially, their presentation. I'd like to keep this out of Advertising for Players to limit blatant promotion. Let's discuss not only muds that are doing things differently but concrete examples of how they're doing things differently.

Here's my first example: Revelation. Here's the listing at TMS.

The review at TMC of this mud was not particularly flattering, but it piqued my interest enough to try it, and I have to say I was very surprised. This game uses a (small) custom client that handles the entire experience, from new character creation to connection, quite seamlessly, and in a very unusual fashion for a text mud.

The interface itself is also more like I imagine a MMO interface to be. As a text mud player I was very confused for a little bit while I got oriented, and in the end I found the interface somewhat not to my taste, though it would be unfair to say I couldn't get used to it if I wanted to play there.

As far as I can tell, after playing for only a few minutes, the game is free, without pay for perks (could be wrong here). The gameplay itself doesn't immediately strike me as very innovative or interesting, but the presentation itself is well worth looking at.

Any other examples?

Last edited by Ide : 03-22-2008 at 02:25 PM. Reason: found the TMS listing
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Old 03-22-2008, 01:58 PM   #2
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Re: muds doing things differently

Good topic, something I'm very interested in too

Because MUDs are so confusing when you start, I added a new java client onto our website which basically has all the newbiecommands on buttons marked start1/start2 etc, with instructions for newbies to press each one in turn.

What it does is deactivate anything which adds to spam - so hopefully it's as "un" confusing as possible, and does all the steps neccessary to get to somewhere where there are likely to be other MUD players (a fountain in a town).

Early days yet, we'll see how well it works...

But I think it's one of those things really worth working on, those first 1-2 minutes, to make the whole experience as unconfusing and pleasant as possible. Ie make it so that there are as few reasons for people to "bail out" of the process as possible.

It'll be interesting to see how well batmud's new client works out, for example, with its graphical aspects. Does it make the process easier? Does it make for a more sticky process?

Likewise, maybe the answer is to add a module which shows an in-game map, so a player has a reference where they are from the first second.

Last edited by nass : 03-22-2008 at 02:15 PM. Reason: adding batmud
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Old 03-22-2008, 05:21 PM   #3
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Re: muds doing things differently

I've got a few ideas for doing things differently, as far as advertising goes, with Tears of Polaris... but not yet ready to disclose those ideas.

I will say that we, as in MUD administrators, need to look at doing things differently to get a new group of players. The Java clients, which are becoming more common, is a good start to make it easier for new players to try out the games. The bigger games, that can afford traditional advertising, is also a help to us all as they bring new blood into the genre as a whole.

We need to look at what the big graphical games are doing and see what makes them thrive, besides the obvious of they have pictures. One aspect is just the easy of getting into it, clicking on things is much easier than learning a million different commands. For a MUD that is hard to beat, but with good intro systems and Java clients(customized for each game is better) we can lower that barrier to entry just a little. Of course we don't want to go too far, we want to make starting easier but keep the depth that makes MUDs unique, that is a hard balance to strike.
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Old 03-23-2008, 03:45 AM   #4
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Re: muds doing things differently

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ide View Post
Any other examples?
I'm working on What is CircumReality? .

It's not a typical MUD though because it does have graphics (not as much as a MMO), is about talking to NPCs (instead of killing monsters, even though monsters exist), and my own world implementation will be fairly short (10-ish hours to complete instead of 500 hours).
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:40 AM   #5
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Re: muds doing things differently

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Originally Posted by Baram View Post
The bigger games, that can afford traditional advertising, is also a help to us all as they bring new blood into the genre as a whole.
I'd be delighted if that were true, but until there are stats to prove it, I'd have to wonder about this. If you look at where they spend their advertising, it's all at TMC and TMS, all the commercial guys. These are both primarily portals which cater to existing MUDders, not portals which bring in new blood. TMC because, well, it's TMC, cool as hell, old as the hills and the place everyone knows in the community. TMS because the voting thing means most inbound traffic comes from mud websites. Not only that, but some of the advertising messages cater towards existing MUDders too "tired of shallow game support etc".

This gets them the best conversion ratios because us MUDders are a geeky bunch and text-based gamer arn't for everyone, as this thread demonstrates. On the other hand, I think they're trying to reach out more nowadays, as tools such as the IRE Facebook application shows. My suspicion though is that in order to make money, the bigger guys need to attract new players, and the highest conversion rates are for people like us, or people coming through to here from smaller MU*s, who have MUDded before and are familiar with MU*s, rather than non-MUDders.

I guess all this waffle boils down to my personal and profoundly unscientific and uninformed suspicion that what's happening is that the growth in the commercial guys is more down to taking players away from the amateur MU*s than from broadening the community, as such. This is because their advertising dominates the portals, but to be fair, also other factors, ie their clients are better, their playerbases bigger and their games well supported.

*note this is not an anti-commercial tirade or flame opportunity, it's just what I happen to think based on a total lack of scientific data!*
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:47 AM   #6
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Re: muds doing things differently

I can think of at least 15 other sites that IRE advertises on besides TMS/TMC, and have been for years. I remember when they started advertising on Ctrl+Alt+Del, I had never heard of it but went there to see the ads... read the comic every day now.
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Old 04-04-2008, 03:18 AM   #7
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Re: muds doing things differently

Ah - fair enough, I guess I don't get around much . Where else do they advertise, then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baram View Post
I can think of at least 15 other sites that IRE advertises on besides TMS/TMC, and have been for years. I remember when they started advertising on Ctrl+Alt+Del, I had never heard of it but went there to see the ads... read the comic every day now.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:25 PM   #8
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Re: muds doing things differently

Ide,

Excellent observations. The example you point to is an amazingly interesting way to go about it. Like you I couldn't spend much time in their world as I just wasn't interested. The Interface was fairly confusing as well, but with some tweaks...

It is MUCH better than Ness' work over at WoTmud.

I really think that this could be a direction for MUDs to go to increase the time that people "stay," in game after realizing it is nearly entirely text based.

Ness,

You really need to work on your client. It's really not that intuitive at all.
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:50 PM   #9
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Re: muds doing things differently

Mostly places geared around online gamining in general, like MUHQ.com, and web comics.

Lotusofro: I didn't try out their webclient, but the overall site in WoT is pretty nice. I personally think the WoT site and Imperian's site are two of the better looking MUD sites out there. Some things that could be changed in both, but they look good.
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