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Old 12-24-2005, 10:47 PM   #21
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Actually I think I just drive our playerbase away with my extremely bad jokes.
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Old 12-24-2005, 10:49 PM   #22
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Incidentally, does anybody keep any stats on how often a newbie is converted to a return player? I expect the figures range from 1% to 50%, but even just 10% should suffice for a game that has enough publicity.
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Old 12-25-2005, 01:46 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (mudnutx @ Dec. 24 2005,18:37)
As someone who has logged tried lots of muds imo the reasons for players giving up early on are:

- low quality newbie school that bores the player to death. Many times I have been sure that a MUD had lots to offer but after reading the boards in the 7th newbie room i just wanted to scream.

- eye-bursting colour schemes. Either all white or some garish mix. If I am required to type set colour in I wonder if the admins give a toss about my enjoyment if thye are so lazy that they fail to set a colour default.  

- fido
- midgaard
- having to retrieve my corpse
I look at MUDs like this almost in the same way I would look at a tire sitting on a store shelf as a car. It's just a component, not an actual finished product. A lot of MUDs are just stock or completely-uninspired crud. I've tried out well over 850 MUDs (quit counting around 800, and lately I've tried less than in years past...only about a dozen new ones this entire year) and am rarely impressed by what I find.

Most MUDs with newbie schools don't really offer any major code differences that anyone who's played a MUD before hasn't encountered and understands. And the number of completely new players that enter the MUDding community probably isn't high enough to justify the number of "newbie schools" out there and even if it did, most newbie schools are as you point out of such low quality that just experimenting around can give one a better understanding than they provide ("if you want to go north, type north and you will go north...if you want to go south, type south and you will go south...if you want to go west...." is one of my all-time favorites since I obviously thought that while typing north would allow me to go north, typing south would take me west. That kind of dumber-than-dirt redundancy gets old fast).

As for color, I'm starting to believe that a lot of MUDs are run by color-blind people. :-D That's really the only explanation aside from a massive lack of aesthetic taste.

Again, the last three aren't really "features" of a MUD, they're features of a stock codebase. And stock is a pretty good description of a lot of the MUDs out there. I always like to bastardize Harlan Ellison (himself bastardizing Theodore Sturgeon, but Ellison is far more cynical so I like his figure better) by saying that "99% of MUDs are crud, but then again, 99% of everything is crud." Looking over the offerings out there, it's true. And sometimes, as far as some things in life are concerned, I think 1% might be too generous. MUDs and video games in general probably fall into that category.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 12-25-2005, 02:18 AM   #24
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I agree that about 90 percent of MUDs probably aren't worth playing.

The arrogance of some MUD owners is amazing; they honestly think that people will actually PLAY some of the tripe they cook up. A case in point is to download the portal client that I use. The first mUD on its list says:

One of the most immersive, rich MUDs on the net. period.

That's all it says! Now, I am entitled to wonder "how is this mud immersive?" and "what makes it so good?" but there is no qualification to support either claim!! I am meant to take this MUD owner's word for it that his MUD is super dooper rock your socks off good. Gee, that reminds me of certain used car salesman and real estate agents. And I did try the MUD once: it is crap.
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Old 12-25-2005, 01:42 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (mudnutx @ Dec. 24 2005,22:12)
I struck the close button. Bye bye discworld. You suck. Or at least what i saw you did. Good riddance. I can 9only conclude that to play discworld one either has to have the patience of a saint, be a masochist who enjoys wasting time, or both.
Or, more likely, your tastes are simply different from other peoples' tastes.

--matt
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Old 12-25-2005, 01:45 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (mudnutx @ Dec. 25 2005,03:18)
The arrogance of some MUD owners is amazing; they honestly think that people will actually PLAY some of the tripe they cook up. A case in point is to download the portal client
I'd say you are slightly disconnected from reality, no offence. On the last page, you were trashing Discworld as being a piece of crap, and now you're proclaiming that mud owners who run pieces of crap are arrogant for thinking people will play them.

Guess what? Discworld has more players than 99% of muds. The admin isn't arrogant: He's creating a game that a lot of text MUDers like, and it's, clearly, simply realistic of him to think that some people will play, since, after all, they do.

--matt
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Old 12-25-2005, 05:15 PM   #27
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Disconnected from reality? Isn't that the norm for a mudmad , fantasy man?

I think that you have exaggerated what I said to some extent. I said that some mud owners are arrogant to EXPECT players to play their sloppy muds; I never said that the owner would fail to acquire a large playerbase. Of course I am aware of the playerbase that discworld has.

In the same vein, I once tried runescape. I couldn't get past its tutorial so I gave up. I had to get thses rocks and there were none there. I think that the owners of runescape are arrogant to expect players to put up with such a blatant flaw and stumbling block; but that doesn't mean that their playerbase will be small.
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Old 12-25-2005, 05:43 PM   #28
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Actually I agree with mudnut on alot of things... however on discworld I had an easy time finding the brooch. Those that do not figure out how to find it can simply ask and swiftly recieve help...

(I will never play discworld again but that's for completely different reasons...)
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Old 12-25-2005, 07:56 PM   #29
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And that's what I did!

I asked on the newb channel. I was told to search. I searched in a few rooms and found the brooch. But then I was required to give the brooch to a womble. I asked the newb channel and they told me that teh womble wandered throughout the rooms connected tothe foyer. So I spent 20 minutes of pointless, fruitless searching for this womble; I couldn't find it.
Because you had to find the womble to get into the game proper and make a character, that was, for me, the entire mud down the chute. It may have appeared from my earlier post that I was not giving discworld a go and that I was on some cynical search and destroy mission; but I was actually trying my hardest to get into the mud!! Honestly, if you set out to make a mud that was as user unfriendly as possible then this would seem to be an excellent way of doing it.

Based on my difficulties it is a mystery to me how they have acquired any playerbase at all.





So, the only thing I can conclude is that in my approx 30 minutes of playing discworld is that its newbie process sucks.
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Old 12-26-2005, 06:21 PM   #30
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I think you simply had bad luck... normally you can't help to bump into the womble long before you find the brooch (especially since the newbie area is so small). Therefor I would say that your experience is an isolated incident (no offence mate...)

However discworld helpfiles about for example wizards are atrocious.. (or were when I played). Many Muds seem to recommend to play the warrior class if you're not only new to mudding but also new to this Mud in particular. Many of us try your mud only and ONLY because you have something that differ from the common mud. We do not want to have to make friends while playing a hack-slash character to be able to learn the "secret commands" and "ins and outs" of other classes...
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Old 01-06-2006, 01:46 AM   #31
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I think the most important part of getting a new player to join a MUD is the newbie tutorial.

I started played Aetolia a few days ago. The credit thing worried me a bit, as well as the number of players - I prefer muds with around 30 - 40 people online usually - but I figured that all of the Iron Realms muds are rated among the top in this site constantly, so I might as well give it a shot.

Created a character, loaded it up and went through the newbie tutorial. I figured it would be the usual 'here is how you train, here is how you attack.' Instead, I was treated to a daring escape from a prison. And it was a blast. It showed off some of the game's features (combat - awesome. The way the game displays room exits - not so awesome) and taught you how to play all while in a dynamic environment, all in the span of under 20 minutes.

There's this rule that I learnt about in a lecture on entrepreneurship. It's called the elevator rule. It goes like this: you might have a great idea, but the only time you have to sell it to a potential investor could be the time that the two of you are stuck in an elevator together. So you have to be able to sell your idea within 60 seconds. Go.

Iron Realms Entertainment lives by this rule. You join the MUD and as soon as you've created your character you are thrown into the action. No time to read blackboards or help files when the prison guards are breathing down your neck. Not only that, but the player has choices that they have to make during it so it's also an involved experience.

There's the secret to success guys.
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Old 01-06-2006, 02:27 AM   #32
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Glad you liked it! That particular newbie intro is actually pretty new.

How do you prefer the exits be listed out of curiosity?

--matt
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Old 01-06-2006, 02:50 AM   #33
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Now, keep in mind that I've only played for a few days, but -

My problem is with how doors are handled mostly. A room with a door to the north, south and soutwest and a doorless exit east would look something like

north (open pine door), east, south (closed pine door), southwest (closed pine door)

First problem I think is that when you have a lot of exits from a room, this list takes up a couple of lines. The second one is that it's hard to find an exit right away.

Personally, I'd prefer the exits to look like:
Exits: (north), east, [south], [southwest]

One line, easy to quickly scan through. Maybe more confusing at first, but it wouldn't be too hard to clear up. The thing is, I don't see myself really caring that the door is made out of pine or stone or whatever, and that if I did, I would be able to 'look at north door' and get all of the information I wanted.

The other minor gripe was that at first I thought it was saying 'To go north, type 'open pine door'' instead of 'The door to the north is open.' I figured it out though
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Old 01-06-2006, 02:59 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Drealoth @ Jan. 06 2006,03:50)
Now, keep in mind that I've only played for a few days, but -

My problem is with how doors are handled mostly. A room with a door to the north, south and soutwest and a doorless exit east would look something like

north (open pine door), east, south (closed pine door), southwest (closed pine door)

First problem I think is that when you have a lot of exits from a room, this list takes up a couple of lines. The second one is that it's hard to find an exit right away.

Personally, I'd prefer the exits to look like:
Exits: (north), east, [south], [southwest]

One line, easy to quickly scan through. Maybe more confusing at first, but it wouldn't be too hard to clear up. The thing is, I don't see myself really caring that the door is made out of pine or stone or whatever, and that if I did, I would be able to 'look at north door' and get all of the information I wanted.

The other minor gripe was that at first I thought it was saying 'To go north, type 'open pine door'' instead of 'The door to the north is open.' I figured it out though
Interesting. I shall point Aetolia's producer at this thread. I do not think it's a good idea to have the type of door in the description as it is irrelevant to most movement or room-looking, as you say. Perhaps north(open), east, south(closed) would work well with an option to go to a more condensed, but harder to understand system like you suggest.

--matt
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:01 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Drealoth @ Jan. 06 2006,03:50)
Now, keep in mind that I've only played for a few days, but -

My problem is with how doors are handled mostly. A room with a door to the north, south and soutwest and a doorless exit east would look something like

north (open pine door), east, south (closed pine door), southwest (closed pine door)

First problem I think is that when you have a lot of exits from a room, this list takes up a couple of lines. The second one is that it's hard to find an exit right away.

Personally, I'd prefer the exits to look like:
Exits: (north), east, [south], [southwest]

One line, easy to quickly scan through. Maybe more confusing at first, but it wouldn't be too hard to clear up. The thing is, I don't see myself really caring that the door is made out of pine or stone or whatever, and that if I did, I would be able to 'look at north door' and get all of the information I wanted.

The other minor gripe was that at first I thought it was saying 'To go north, type 'open pine door'' instead of 'The door to the north is open.' I figured it out though
Thank you for the suggestion. As Matt pointed out, our novice intro is new, as are the door types. I'm glad you liked the intro and I hope you'll stick around to see all the great things that are coming out of Aetolia.

And we'll be working on those door listings soon!

Belakai
Assistant Producer
Aetolia
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