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Old 03-01-2012, 07:31 PM   #1
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Exclamation Nice MMORPG MUDs-to-MMOs article

Good to see text games getting some love in the mainstream MMO press again: From MUD to MMO - No Elves Allowed at MMORPG.com
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:24 PM   #2
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Re: Nice MMORPG MUDs-to-MMOs article

I saw and replied a few times earlier today! She/he's looking for the top 3 MUDs to review! That should definitely boost a few games playerbases! So far people are just suggesting IRE games. I would suggest some, but hope around too much to have favorites right now.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:34 PM   #3
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Re: Nice MMORPG MUDs-to-MMOs article

Hi,
So, I've not read the article, but:

Lost souls has many features not found in graphical mmorpgs; one can walk through walls, for example. It's also really, really realistic, including a lot of simulation-type stuff (the main coder actually tried to do ecosystem simulation once, but birds fighting fish all across the mud was lagging it to unplayable...)

For most influential while not being a carbon copy of mmorpgs, there's batmud; they have a lot of players on, and guilds aren't "skill trees", though it does lean in that direction.

For most fun, idk; I hop around a lot too.

Other thoughts: geas (maybe), dartmud (probably)...

I don't intend these as reccomendations; I intend them only as muds that I think are good examples of something, do something well, or are influential in some way. There's also godwars2, which is perhaps the closest to an mmorpg while not out-right being one; that's probably the best for someone who isn't familiar with rooms to review.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:55 AM   #4
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Re: Nice MMORPG MUDs-to-MMOs article

The columnist asks

"The second thing that piques my curiosity is the reason for the transition from MUDs to MMOs. Is it simply evolution or is it because we're visual creatures at heart? ... What would stop you from engaging in a text-based game that offers you the things you have craved in an MMO?"

I'm going to cross-post my reply from there:

I think that there is no reason for MUDs not to be much more popular than they are.

Successful MMORPGs are inviting in ways that most MUDs are not, even when they could be. MMORPGs tend to do a much better job of getting you right into the action. MUDschool is generally long and very dull. MMORPGs tend to do a much better job of keeping the momentum of your character's advancement moving. MUDs tend to inflict XP debt for dying, often along with dull corpse runs, so you can easily finish a session significantly behind where you were when you started it. Conservative as the MMORPG genre can be, MUDs tend to be bad at individuating themselves. Plenty of official MUD descriptions barely even mention the setting - or mention it in passing.

Above all, MMORPGs do a much better job at allowing you to improve your character's equipment without having to scrutinize a lot of statistics. It is common, for instance, for a MUD character to have to try on every piece of equipment and then study their own statistics to spot the changes.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:16 AM   #5
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Re: Nice MMORPG MUDs-to-MMOs article

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg View Post
I think that there is no reason for MUDs not to be much more popular than they are.

Successful MMORPGs are inviting in ways that most MUDs are not, even when they could be...
I agree with the points you make but I disagree with the conclusion.

Imagine a MUD that does everything an MMO does to be user-friendly, accessible, appealing to casual players of all skill levels, etc. Now imagine that this MUD is still all or mostly text and that the year is 2012...
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:28 AM   #6
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Re: Nice MMORPG MUDs-to-MMOs article

I don't see your point. As big as the gaming industry is, text games/MUDs can be a pretty small niche and still keep growing. I too think that the bulk of the problem with muds is that we've traditionally never bothered to increase our appeal, because in the olden days, we didn't have to.

Most of the muds with >10 userload are run in a professional, systematic way now. In an environment where there's this much competition, we have to actually pay attention and build a game that the players, in particular new players, can enjoy. We've tried really hard to that on Alter Aeon, and certainly the results have paid off over the last 2-3 years.

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Old 03-18-2012, 12:08 PM   #7
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Re: Nice MMORPG MUDs-to-MMOs article

Quote:
Originally Posted by plamzi View Post
I agree with the points you make but I disagree with the conclusion.

Imagine a MUD that does everything an MMO does to be user-friendly, accessible, appealing to casual players of all skill levels, etc. Now imagine that this MUD is still all or mostly text and that the year is 2012...
There is no doubt that in 2012, MUDs can't compete with MMOs in terms of popularity, just as books are never again going to compete with television and cinema for people's leisure time.

But still, that's compatible with MUDs being a good deal more popular than they are.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:10 PM   #8
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Re: Nice MMORPG MUDs-to-MMOs article

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Originally Posted by dentin View Post
I don't see your point.
I'm reading this as that you don't see Plamzi's point rather than that you don't see mine.

Please let me know if I have that wrong!

Congrats on your success with growing Alter Aeon.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:22 PM   #9
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Re: Nice MMORPG MUDs-to-MMOs article

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Originally Posted by dentin View Post
I don't see your point. As big as the gaming industry is, text games/MUDs can be a pretty small niche and still keep growing...
Dentin,

How many of your new players would you say are people who have never played a MUD before? If your playerbase is slowly growing primarily by converting existing mudders away from other games, then someone somewhere is losing players, and the niche is not growing.

Also, I'm curious if you do any promotional activities to reach non-mudders and if so, how successful these efforts are in your opinion.

I have a playerbase that is 60-70% players who had never played a MUD before. And in the 2 1/2 years of our existence, the game has reached over 40,000 people, very few of whom knew what a MUD was before they fired our mobile or our web GUI. Most of my efforts have been focused on making the MUD as accessible and appealing as it can be to a new, visual MMO generation of very casual players.

Even so, the conversion rate is wildly different between people who have played a MUD before and people who haven't. The gulf is far deeper than what can be bridged by making a better tutorial, or setting a clear goal in the first 15 min. of play, or having readily available and extensive help files, or helping new players navigate the world easily via maps and auto-maps (we have all these things).

Here's a brief snapshot: More than 90% of mobile players quit when they don't see a familiar 2D-scroller or 3D UI. Then some quit because they don't like to read, or can't read that fast. Then some quit because the ways to interact with the game world are numerous compared to any MMO. Then some quit because the world is truly open as opposed to herding them from one simple "quest" to another by cleverly positioned obstacles.

I think that most MUD devs have forgotten by now what it's like to try and convert a person who has never played a MUD before. In 2012, it is very very difficult. That was my point.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:53 AM   #10
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Re: Nice MMORPG MUDs-to-MMOs article

Congratulations on your 60-70% ratio! Ours is at least 50%, and probably pretty close to yours.

Almost all of my promotional activities are focused on people who have never played a mud before. My conversion rates are moderate in some fields, and terrible in others. However, our userload has been growing, and not because I've recruited existing mudders.

I agree that it's extremely hard to get true newbies into muds, but I think the problem is that very few games truly put in the thought and effort required to do it well, not that we're a naturally shrinking niche. Graphical games have been available for a decade now, so it's not like that niche is growing exponentially; if our niche is shrinking at this point, it's because we haven't been offering enough, not because we're being pushed out by new technology.

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