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Old 04-08-2006, 04:29 PM   #21
Ilkidarios
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Can we get back on topic, please? †Last thing I remember this topic was about listing non-pfp MUDs, not arguing about god knows what.

And don't twist this into an attack on anybody else, but Prof and Matt, please don't argue. †I mean, if you have a MUD to say that's not pay for perks, say it, if not, don't.
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Old 04-08-2006, 07:05 PM   #22
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the_logos wrote; April 08 2006,155

Quote:
Originally Posted by
The person who starts the thread decides what the topic of the thread is by the initial post. If it was brought up in the initial post, it's on-topic by definition. This is a silly argument and I'm not going to continue it.
I totally agree. So can we please get back to the main topic?

I started this thread, for two main reasons; a) because an earlier thread about the same subject was closed down, and b) because I think it would be a good thing to establish a list of high quality Muds that don't allow in game benefits for real life money. We have apparently been denied having a search option to list those muds, so this is another way of making their existence known to potential new users.

In case somebody else missed the point, let me try to explain it in very simple terms:

There are two very different cultures among mud players;

1. The players who like the option of buying advantages for RL money, assumedly because in this way they don't need to spend so much time and effort on developing their char.

2. The players who dislike it, because they think it unbalances the game by giving an unfair advantage to people with big wallets.

In both the cases you can find arguments for and against it. Obviously both cases have their more or less wholehearted supporters, and there is also probably a rather large number that donít care one way or the other.

It is a bit hard to establish the proportion between the three groups. Apparently a pretty large number of players like the pay-for-perks option (or donít care one way or another), since the muds using it generally have very large playerbases. But this is not the full story. The pay-for perks is also a very effective way to get money from your playerbase, meaning that the muds that are using this method also have the funds to pay for banners and other types of advertisements. It would be interesting to know how many of their players that are drawn to their games simply because of this massive marketing, and how many that actively seek them out because they really like the P4P option. But again this is something that is hard to establish, except possibly by a survey among the pay-for-perks muds themselves. And this is obviously not going to happen, because it would be against the interests of the owners to publish such a survey.

ScourgeX wrote: April 07 2006,19,03
Quote:
Originally Posted by
The only difference I see is you mentioned more than one mud, but you are still basically advertisting for them. There are probably hundreds of muds that aren't pay for perks, yet you only mentioned a mere fraction of them.
This is a rather obvious observation, and the response is equally obvious:.
Naturally not all of the hundreds of non-pay-for-perks muds that exist are good ones, and as a consequence the ones that really are of high quality tend to drown in the grey mass, making them hard to find for new players.

The objective of this thread is to put the spotlight on these quality Muds. The totally free Muds offer a definite alternative to the commercial ones. Several of them have been on line for years, are run by very competent people and are of very high quality. In fact, if you are looking for originality and cutting edge coding, several of the free muds stand out in a vary favourable way.

So, please keep adding any muds to the list that you know of, which fulfil these two main criteria;
a) they should not allow any type of in-game perks to be bought for real money, and
b) they should be of high quality, stable and well established.
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Old 04-09-2006, 12:23 AM   #23
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I thought I should add a few,

Unwritten legends
Adventures unlimited

Both very very high quality, both very stable.
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Old 04-09-2006, 05:38 AM   #24
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The secret of Atlas

The secret of atlas is totally free, it laways has been and i will see to it that it always is free. Its more improtant to me to provide a good safe environment for mudders of all ages to gather in, than try and make a few easy bucks. Our player ages range from 8 to 50 years old.

Our special items are earned thru contests such as token hunts, and dm guided quests/games.

Once players reach full remort status, they are then offered special item tweaks based on how many times they continue to remort throught extra lives. So it does kind of put our full remort players in a class of their own with each one having his/her own unique strengths, and it gives them the necessary motivation to continue playing.

We are very stable, and have been around for a long time, and are constantly working on expanding and opening new areas daily.

*Sparky pats his staff on the back for their outstanding efforts over the years*
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Old 04-09-2006, 06:02 AM   #25
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Waddup, just felt as tho i should add a mud to the list :-)

Zebedee

link: zebedee.org

Great mud, medium size 3000-6000 rooms doesnt ask for money at all, Zebedee is full of great people who are willing to help you out with anything, Roleplay is encouraged but not manditory, there is restricted playerkilling but not much of that happens anymore. Come by and check us out :-) i started playing muds about 4 years ago and i always find that i come back to this one. Im usually on and am willing to help anyone start :-) hope to see you guys
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Old 04-09-2006, 02:24 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Anitra @ April 08 2006,19:05)
There are two very different cultures among mud players;

1. The players who like the option of buying advantages for RL money, assumedly because in this way they don't need to spend so much time and effort on developing their char.

2. The players who dislike it, because they think it unbalances the game by giving an unfair advantage to people with big wallets.
I can think of at least two more groups:

3. People who don't in principle mind paying for a game, and who prefer paying for things they want when they want them to having someone hit their credit card once a month whether or not they play the game that month.

4. People who think pay for perks is a great way to get other people to pay for their entertainment (these are generally the guys who provide in-game services for in-game money).

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Old 04-09-2006, 02:34 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ April 07 2006,19:13)
As for our inclusion on the list: We don't sell anything that impacts gameplay in the slightest, though we to sell non-game stuff like T-shirts and whatnot to help pay for the costs of operation, if anyone cares. We don't pay salaries or otherwise "keep" that money, however-- it all goes back into the game.
In all fairness, there is no way this does not impact the game at all. Once anyone pays money to the people running the mud for ANY reason, things change. Not only will things change in the minds of the admins themselves, but expectations will change in the minds of the players who buy these things.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with this practice, I am just saying that it is naive and unrealistic to claim this has no effect on the game or the way certain individuals are treated (or expect to be treated).
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Old 04-09-2006, 05:30 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Threshold @ April 09 2006,14:34)
In all fairness, there is no way this does not impact the game at all. Once anyone pays money to the people running the mud for ANY reason, things change. Not only will things change in the minds of the admins themselves, but expectations will change in the minds of the players who buy these things.
We haven't really seen much of that, and the one loud source of grumbling there is someone who, well, grumbles anyway. It's probably helpful that 95% of the staff has no idea which players have bought merchandise, and there's no simple way to connect player purchases to characters (we don't use an account system).

People get grouchy if they buy merchandise and it doesn't show up as quick as they like, but that's been a rare and understandable exception. Our forum conversations haven't changed in the way you mention. Maybe your playerbase is different. *shrug*
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Old 04-09-2006, 07:48 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ April 09 2006,17:30)
Maybe your playerbase is different. *shrug*
Hmmm. My player base is made up of human beings. What is yours made of?

Human beings are going to naturally expect things when they pay money to someone. The fact that there is an extra step (buying merchandise instead of just outright sending money) does not change the fact that they are indeed paying money to the mud operators.

Furthermore, the mud operators themselves know who is sending them money, and it would be unreasonable and naive to say they are not affected AT ALL by this fact. It doesn't have to be tracked right on their player file for it to be known. Not only are there always going to be some admins who know directly (because they process the payments and know the names of the people who buy stuff), but the players will mention it when they feel it is relevant (maybe they feel they are being taken for granted, or they want special treatment, or they think they should get a break because of their investment, or who knows what else). That's human nature and unless you have a mud of about 20 people who are more like a group of friends than a large mud community, you aren't going to avoid it.

In fact, the more competitive the game (lots of PvP for example) the more likely it is that people will perceive an effect from these purchases. The more competitive the environment, the more suspicious people are of how things go on behind the scenes, and the more susceptible they are to belief in conspiracies, preferences, and favoritism. The involvement of money in any manner increases this.

The critical difference is whether or not players are sending money to the mud operators. The existence of a tshirt or mug in between the transaction is largely irrelevant to the question of whether or not money can affect the entirety of the gameplay experience. Is it less than outright buying gear, items, training, etc? Yes, of course, the impact is MUCH less. But there is still an impact.
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Old 04-10-2006, 03:48 PM   #30
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It would be nice if certain owners of commercial Muds would stop trying to divert the attention from the actual topic of the thread, by the repeated more or less veiled attacks on Carrion Fields.

I repeat once again: The object of the thread is to cast some spotlight of the totally free quality Muds that exist, and to establish a list of them, to make it easier for potential new players to find a really good free mud, without having to sift through hundreds of stock ones.

Muds on the list should fulfil the following three criteria:
1. No in game advantages can be bought for RL money
2. The mud is fully operational and well established
3. The mud has qualities that distinguish it from the large mass of mostly-stock muds

As far as I know, Carrion Fields fulfils all those three criteria. Itís also notable that the allegations donít come from the owners of other free Muds on the list, which logically would be the first to react if they thought something was fishy.

We all know that there are some shady mud administrators out there, who cheat by giving unfair advantages on the sly to certain players (mostly their own morts, or their friends). But to imply , as Threshold seems to do, that the owner of Carrion Fields would do something equally unethical, is rather insulting, and Valg should be commended for keeping his calm. There is absolutely no evidence to support such an allegation, on the contrary there is a lot to suggest the opposite. Let me just point out a few facts:

1. Valg is a widely respected member of the mud community and during the many years that I have monitored these boards, I have not once seen anything that would question his integrity.
2. Carrion Fields has a large and loyal playerbase, dedicated enough to keep it constantly in the top 10. This would never be possible if there were a widespread dissatisfaction among the players.
3. Carrion Fields also allows reviews of their mud, in contrast to most large commercials. This again speaks of high integrity, and I donít recall seeing a lot of accusations about favouritism in these reviews.

To return to the original subject:
Setting up a list of high quality free Muds, will help the owners on that list to get a bit more of the attention they deserve, and should above all be a good service for players in search of a good mud where paying money for perks will not affect the gameplay.

If you know of any more Muds that fulfil the above 3 criteria, and in your opinion are good enough to match the already established standards on the list, please post them on this thread.
But please also keep the high standard demand, since we donít want the list to get diluted. Naturally the selection will be somewhat subjective, but the collected knowledge of the members of the list, should be enough to keep the standard.

Also, please keep the entries short and sweet, without any longwinded advertising for a particular mud, that is not the main object of the thread. It is the existence of quality free muds that the attention should be focused on.

The list will be updated regularly with unchallenged new entries.
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Old 04-10-2006, 04:07 PM   #31
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Antira wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Muds on the list should fulfil the following three criteria:
1. No in game advantages can be bought for RL money
I know you don't want to hear this, but in that case, no MUD qualifies. There's no way for an administration to claim that in-game advantages cannot be bought for RL money as it's not under the control of the admin. They can only specify that they, as admin policy, disapprove and will punish people retroactively, but at that point, in-game advantages have already been bought.

I'd change this to, "The mud administrators or controlling organization doesn't sell in-game things to the players" though that does have a fairly different meaning from what you wrote above.
--matt
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Old 04-10-2006, 04:16 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Threshold @ April 09 2006,14:34)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ April 07 2006,19:13)
As for our inclusion on the list: We don't sell anything that impacts gameplay in the slightest, though we to sell non-game stuff like T-shirts and whatnot to help pay for the costs of operation, if anyone cares. †We don't pay salaries or otherwise "keep" that money, however-- it all goes back into the game.
In all fairness, there is no way this does not impact the game at all. Once anyone pays money to the people running the mud for ANY reason, things change. Not only will things change in the minds of the admins themselves, but expectations will change in the minds of the players who buy these things.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with this practice, I am just saying that it is naive and unrealistic to claim this has no effect on the game or the way certain individuals are treated (or expect to be treated).
Exactly. Like the time I saw the circus at Madison Square Garden. I bought a t-shirt, then demanded that they upgrade my seat and let me ride the elephant.
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Old 04-10-2006, 04:23 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fifi @ April 10 2006,16:16)
Exactly. Like the time I saw the circus at Madison Square Garden. I bought a t-shirt, then demanded that they upgrade my seat and let me ride the elephant.
Holy cow, really? When I bought a t-shirt, they would only let me ride the donkeys. They said that if I wanted to ride the elephant I was going to have to buy a t-shirt and three mousepads.

--matt
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Old 04-10-2006, 04:44 PM   #34
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1) In answer to the allegations being made, I'm the one who handles the money for CF, so to speak. †If a player buys a whatnot, I process the request, send them a thank-you, and make sure the whatnot gets to them. †All I have is an automatically-generated email with a contact address and the name that was on the credit card. †I'm not sent anything about who they're playing currently, and I don't really care.

1B) I suppose they could reply to my thank-you and tell me "I'm currently playing X!!! †Help me out! LOLZORS!", but that hasn't happened once in my career as an Implementor. †If it does happen, it certainly won't have a positive impact on how I interact with that player. †

1C) If a player bribed a staff member (no T-shirt involved, just mailed them a check or whatever) and I found out about it, the staff member would be fired on the spot. †(We've fired some people during my tenure, but never for that.) The possibility that a bribe could happen in the future doesn't make us a "pay-for-perks" MUD. See below.

2) Carrion Fields states up front that OOC influence on IC issues is not allowed. †In other words, we have a rule that buying a whatnot doesn't get you special treatment.

3) Therefore, if you say that buying a CF whatnot leads to special treatment, you're accusing me of accepting a bribe and breaking our own rules, since I'm the only one with both the information and the access to grant IC "favors". †If you want to level that accusation, it would be courteous if you provided proof that it is happening anywhere but in your mind.

Until someone comes up with any such evidence, I'll continue to state what we stated at the beginning of this thread: Carrion Fields doesn't sell anything that impacts gameplay. †(Unless the T-shirt keeps them so warm that it steadies their typing, or the keychain keeps them from locking themselves out of their house. †Feel free to start another thread on that. †It wouldn't surprise me.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Earlier today, at a Red Cross office:

Matt: Hi. †I understand the Red Cross hates Japanese-Americans.
Employee: I have no idea what you're talking about. †Federal law prohibits such a thing, it's incompatible with our mission, and there are countless examples showing that we treat Japanese-Americans like we treat all Americans. †Could you explain?
Matt: Well, I bribed one of your employees to say something negative about them out loud. †It's right here on this tape.
Employee: Well, that would be against our rules, and that employee would be fired if they did say that while on the job. †It certainly wouldn't reflect on the Red Cross. †May I see the tape?
Matt: Sure. †(*Hands it over.*)
Employee: Sir, this is a cassette of Weird Al Yankovic's "In 3-D" album, with "I heart A.Y." scrawled in crayon on one side, and "Red Cross Evidence" scrawled on the other. †I just played a piece, and it's just polka medleys.
Matt: Well, I don't have an actual proof it happened. †But it theoretically could happen, and I could theoretically bribe an employee to say that on behalf of the organization, and that's what's important. †It's how I came to the conclusion that the Red Cross is a commercial enterprise that hates Japanese-Americans.
Employee: Might I interest you in one of our mental health brochures?
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Old 04-10-2006, 05:19 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
1C) If a player bribed a staff member (no T-shirt involved, just mailed them a check or whatever) and I found out about it, the staff member would be fired on the spot. †(We've fired some people during my tenure, but never for that.) †The possibility that a bribe could happen in the future doesn't make us a "pay-for-perks" MUD. †See below.
It's not about a bribe to a staff member though. It's about players selling stuff to each other, which you cannot prevent and which you won't even know about most of the time. Heck, players selling things to each other for real money is against our policies, but it has definitely happened and there's little we can do about it.

That's what I was commenting on when I said that there's no way for a MUD to honestly claim that there are no RMT happening in it and thus that real life money doesn't affect gameplay. The MUD can only claim that it has a policy against it, but then, so does Blizzard, and World of Warcraft gold is the single most traded game-related virtual asset in MUDs/MMOs.

--matt
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Old 04-10-2006, 06:07 PM   #36
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Muds cost money to run and as far as I know, there's a whole bunch of muds which fund themselves through fundraisers such as Valg's - ie using merchandising etc. We certainly do. But the thing is, there's no in-game gain there, and that's what all this is actually about. Maybe the label of "profitmaking" muds would be a sharper illustrator of the difference for people. Ie there are muds out there which exist purely to make money off people (Med, IRE) and use such mechanisms as pay-for-perks to do so.

Now I'm sure that some of the profitmakers are outstanding but I also have this perception that they're a bit cheap and deceitful. Cheap, because they're leeching off the work of us free guys - who do it for the love of our games, and who already have it much more difficult because we don't operate with the luxury of advertising budgets or professional programmers. Deceitful because it's all dressed up and labelled as "free", which is an offensive description to those of us who know the real meaning of what a free mud is and is supposed to be.

I guess with less and less mudders around nowadays, maybe they're finding it harder to attract people from the outside, so maybe they're concentrating on places where it's easier to get their players, such as here. Maybe another topic should be started in the Blue Tavern in which we (the non-profitmakers) could discuss ways to combat those profitmaking muds and leech something back. I don't think it would actually be that hard really. The key is to choose the battles carefully, choosing battles that they can't really pursue because they might cut their bottom line. Ie just giving away stuff that they'd charge for. Anyhow, as interesting as this is, it's just a detraction and not really what this topic is about.
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Old 04-10-2006, 06:54 PM   #37
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Clandestine MUD
Godwars II
Awakened Worlds
Everwar


All four, great MUDs, in different ways. They should definitely be on the list.
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:17 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nass,April 10 2006,18[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]7]
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Muds cost money to run and as far as I know, there's a whole bunch of muds which fund themselves through fundraisers such as Valg's - ie using merchandising etc. We certainly do. But the thing is, there's no in-game gain there, and that's what all this is actually about.

Maybe the label of "profitmaking" muds would be a sharper illustrator of the difference for people. Ie there are muds out there which exist purely to make money off people (Med, IRE) and use such mechanisms as pay-for-perks to do so.
Well, I can tell you that we turn a profit, but I can't speak for Medievia or other commercial MUDs without seeing their books.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Cheap, because they're leeching off the work of us free guys - who do it for the love of our games, and who already have it much more difficult because we don't operate with the luxury of advertising budgets or professional programmers.
Leeching? My company sends more traffic here than anyone else. We're not leeching. We're contributing far more than most MUD organizations do to this site. We're also the biggest financial supporters of TMS, which, I might add, is itself a commercial enterprise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Deceitful because it's all dressed up and labelled as "free", which is an offensive description to those of us who know the real meaning of what a free mud is and is supposed to be.
And here we go again. No point in arguing about this really as all the arguing in the world isn't going to change the fact that the way we use free is simply the standard in the games industry.

--matt
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:58 PM   #39
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Anitra, could you please update your first post with all the muds added? And add something in your post, perhaps in caps, that says it will be updated with new muds added. Perhaps that would keep people from starting to read the nonsense and just moving on.
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:15 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by
And here we go again. No point in arguing about this really as all the arguing in the world isn't going to change the fact that the way we use free is simply the standard in the games industry.
Sorry for asking, but who exactly sets standards in the games industry? Because, since MUDs are such a limited commodity, and your definition of free is always reference to "standard in the games industry", i would have to ask where this standard comes from.
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