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Old 01-29-2006, 01:08 PM   #1
somied
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Hi, I'm curious as to what players are generally looking for when they first login to a MUD in order to find out if it's worth investing their time in. I'm not talking about end-game features, like the PK system, RP system, custom areas, etc. I'm more looking for 'first impression' features.

For example, I personally can't stand playing MUDs that don't have some sort of graphical representation of exits (i.e. a compass, mini-map, etc). I also look for games with 'style'; it really turns me off when there is little to no color or too much color (looking for highlighting and emphasis here, not 'lag you and blind you' color) and/or all the command output is still stock, or just overall aesthetically unpleasing. To me, even though the game is based on text, I still don't want to feel like I'm playing an interactive book

I don't want to change the end-game features in my MUD to try and suit everyone, but I think it would be beneficial if I could at least cater to the majority of new players' preferences when it comes to first impression features. Thanks in advance for any tips!
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Old 01-29-2006, 01:42 PM   #2
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If I login to a MUD that has only skills/spells that are used for
combat/food&water/teleportation/boast defence/boast attack it's a major turn off.

Most of them are basically do X damage display message Y, +effect
effect: hold for 1 sec/do X damage over Y time(poison)/knock down/reduce attacks of target/etc...

I want something different... I like something more, for example in Coffee Mud you get access to a lot of trade skills (paper making, jewel making, planting, farming etc...) Although I do not like the way coffee mud makes it repetitive and boring.

While this might not seem like a first impression I personally believe that most people do tend to write: "skills" "spells" to see what their character will have access to in the future.
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Old 01-29-2006, 02:45 PM   #3
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I'll target my answer towards people who don't already play text MUDs, as that's where the potential for growing the number of text MUD users lies. I'll just talk about the very first part of a MUD experience. Those first 5 minutes are perhaps the most important factor in retaining a new user. I'm going to use Achaea's introduction as an example of one that does some things right and some things wrong at the end.

1. Presentation This is a no-brainer. First impressions matter, a lot, and if you've got a disorganized or ugly website, or blind the user with horrid color combinations, you're making a mistake. If you use no color, you're also probably making a mistake. Color can and should be used as an organizational tool, assisting the user in quickly classifying the vast amount of information text MUDs typically throw at users. Further, color is a layer of information that can be placed directly on top of the the text as far as the end user is concerned. Most other types of encoding will involve marking text with extra characters (for instance, putting a star before a line), which increases the amount of text you have to throw at the user.

2. A user-grabbing introduction I'll suggest this is probably best accomplished via a story-based introduction (like WoW's quest system that leads you while teaching you the game mechanics), but an introduction should do two main things:
  a. Retain and peak the interest of the user.
      Make it interesting! But don't make it too long, and don't peak too early during the introduction.
  b. Assist the user in getting over the hurdle that the interface represents.
  Any user interface has a learning curve, even if it's extremely well done. Just learning to use a mouse has a learning curve, for instance, though I'd imagine nobody reads this really remembers not using a mouse proficiently. Text interfaces have particularly steep learning curves, and so it is crucial to try to ease the user's journey along it. Things like well-organized, well-formatted, comprehensive help files are great and a must, but the user can't even access them until you teach him how. (Unless you have help files accessible via a web page, which I definitely recommend. Minus a couple potential outlying examples, anyone who has gotten to your website knows how to navigate a website already.)

The user introduction can and should do this (help the user get over the interface), and ideally, it would do so in the context of a story, to keep a player's interest. What you can put in an intro and how it could work are really up to your imagination, but I'd suggest a couple different properties are at least worth considering:
1. Highly directed. Don't just drop players down and expect them to wander around and find things or learn things. Give them direction. Minimize the chance that they can accidentally leave the path(s) of the introduction, but allow them the opportunity to purposefully exit it.
2. Build interest early and continue building interest (while teaching) to a peak. You might consider the fairly typical three act story structure if you're looking for an accessible way to present a (short) story.
3. If your goals for it are simply as an introduction to the 'real' game, keep it short. On the other hand, WoW's "introduction" is just part of the quest system that leads you through the entire game. I believe this is their single best feature and if you can replicate it well for even the newbie part of the player experience, you're going to have a great intro. Just keep in mind that the learning curve for the text interface is a lot more difficult than WoW's interface.
4. Polish it, both in terms of presentation and in terms of usability. Track how players move through the introduction, and how many you lose at each 'stage' of it. By doing this, you may be able to get a rough idea of what you're doing wrong and fix it.
5. Try to avoid interrupting people in the introduction with unnecessary text. If it's not core to the newbie experience, they shouldn't have to see it. Don't confuse them until they're over the hurdle the interface represents.

Example: Achaea
I figure more of you have tried Achaea's newbie intro than any of the other IRE games' so I'll use it. What Achaea does right:
 a. Fairly attractive, organized website.
 b. Help files accessible via website.
 c. Very pretty client (Nexus).
 d. Story-based, highly directed newbie introduction.
 e. Introduction and game generally use color primarily as an organizational tool.
 f. Tracks completion rate of every section of the introduction. This has been quite useful over time in allowing us to raise the percentage of players retained from the intro vs. those who start and quickly quit. We actually cut out major sections of the intro and streamlined various other bits over time, though it's still far from perfect, and an entirely new one is in development.

What  Achaea does wrong:
 a. The intro is too long.
 b. The intro peaks way too early. There's a moment fairly early on in the introduction that new users frequently cite as something that really grabbed them. You're led to a dungeon by an adventurer, and when you descend into the first level of it, you hear a noise, and your adventurer says it's goblins, and that the two of you would fall to them, so you must flee. He flees, you follow, and he gets slain by a goblin. The goblin advances on you, you take a flesh wound, things are looking grim, and suddenly, in charges a paladin to the rescue. This is great, but the problem is, that's the most exciting part of the introduction, and it's only really the 2nd stage of the introduction (out of 5).
 c. It tries to teach too much. It throws far too much information at a user, who isn't going to remember most of it.
 d. It takes place in the same world the other players are in. This can cause some problems with other players confusing the newbie (are they players or NPCs who are part of the intro? What should I do with them?) or with things like area or continent weather messages and whatnot. Some text has been excluded but it hasn't been comprehensive enough.

There's certainly much, much more than can be said in the matter, and I completely avoided the topic of character creation, but that's a start.

--matt
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Old 01-29-2006, 03:53 PM   #4
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A few things will immediately send me running.

1) Forced color. I would really rather not have to go through a lot of trouble reconfiguring my mud client just to turn all that color off. Just like reading a book, I like reading my muds in black and white. With the white being the background and the black being the text. Since muds involve screen scroll which can strain the eye more than a book can, I don't mind a minor adjustment to lighten the text to a nice dull grey or darken the background to a muted ivory. But having to remove forced highlights on specific words and phrases is a pain and it takes more time to do it than it does to walk 20 rooms into the game, so I would just..not walk that 20 rooms and find another game to play.

2) Auto-help files that show up immediately after you log in, and don't START by telling you how to turn them off. If I have to endure 20 minutes of tips being shoved in my face every 15 seconds I'll just find somewhere else for my entertainment.

3) Non-intuitive help files. If I want to know about combat, I should be able to type "help combat" and find a paragraph about it with keywords referencing more detailed files about different aspects of the topic. I shouldn't have to type "help general" then type "2" for skills, then 7 for warrior, then 4 to finally find a paragraph that explains the syntax for engaging in a fight. Especially if I have no reason to know that "skills" is located in "general," or that this process would even lead me to the combat paragraph I'm trying to find.

4) Stupid or badly written room descriptions. Presentation is everything in a text game. If you don't know the difference between "where," "wear," and "were" and reject assistance from a grammar-checker, then please don't be a builder, or expect me to want to play your game. Similarly, I know I am in the room. You don't need to tell me that in your room description. Nor do I need to be told that an NPC is standing before me. If they weren't, I wouldn't be able to look at them, would I? Well, unless they're sitting behind me - but if that was the case, their desc wouldn't read that they're standing before me. Either way, "standing before you" is just one example of the kind of "little things" that just really turns me off about some text games. When they stack up in a single room description, it'll get me thinking I can find better quality somewhere else.
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Old 01-30-2006, 06:16 AM   #5
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Arrow

I'm fairly new to MUDs in general, so my introductory experience is still fresh in my mind...

To me the fascinating things were the character I could choose, and the world I was about to enter. Things like the availability of maps and colour schemes were irrelevant to me as I had no prior experience of them and had no baseline to gauge them against.

I agree stongly with the_logos' points on introduction - for first time players their 'first impression' is as dependent on a brief and enjoyable in-game experience that teaches the game mechanics and introduces the player to the world, as it is on simple and clear presentation.

Another crucial element for any first-time player is to be given a simple set of user commands very early on - how to move, how to look, and how to access those all important help-files. I remember first reading the help-files of the MUD I play, and being greatly amused by the jokes in them. I thought to myself "If the developers here gave the same attention to detail and sense of humour to the world as they did to something as potentially mundane as basic help files, I know I'm going to have fun here!". After all, in order to gain even the most basic level of proficiency, any novice player is going to have to trawl through an awful lot of help-files and a little humour can make the process more enjoyable...


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Old 01-30-2006, 08:43 AM   #6
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Thanks to those who replied, you've been very helpful - and I'm definitely still interested in more opinions!

To the_logos: as you stated early in your post, your tips are focused basically solely on potential players that have never played a MUD before, and while it is good advice, my MUD will be focused on those who have. It won't cater to 'true newbies' by any stretch of the imagination.

I have two main reasons for this: first of all, catering to players who have never played a MUD before takes an extraordinary amount of extra time, work, research, trial and error, and patience. In my opinion, unless you are running a MUD that produces profit, the added effort it takes to accomodate these particular players is not worth the moderate benefits. Often they will become frustrated, confused, and generally require so much attention that they end up distracting the staff from what they should be doing, like building/coding/enforcing rules/etc.

And secondly, I'm a die-hard believer in 'self help' (or in more blunt but accurate terms: RTFM). I think society in general tends to treat people like helpless children who must have their hand held and guided through life in a protective bubble. In my opinion, if you've figured out how to connect to the game, have decent reading comprehension skills, and a little common sense, then you should have no problem figuring out how to play the game on your own (or at least a well documented, fairly intuitive game).
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Old 01-30-2006, 10:18 AM   #7
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Personally, I like the three choice menu.
1. New to muds?
2. New to this game?
3. Experienced player.

It's easy to filter the players and everyone's happy.

As for just making the player read the manual, you'll find that most of them leave. Sure, eventually everyone's going to need to refer to a help file, but it should be a goal that they shouldn't have to for the first 30 minutes of play. Help files are there in case they're needed. Players want to kill monsters, not sift through syntax.

On Aetolia (haven't played Achaea, but I imagine it's the same) the game throws hints at you such as
So and so says "Drealoth, STAND up. The guards are coming."
I think I'd be able to figure that one out regardless of if I'd played a MUD before.
If they'd have said "Before you begin, read Help Newbie1, Help Newbie2, Help Newbie3, Help Movement, Help Channels, Help Inventory and Help Combat." I'd have disconnected right there, and so would a lot of other players.

Play through the IRE MUD's newbie introductions and you'll see how easy it is to introduce a new player to mudding. A MUD shouldn't treat the player like they're stupid, but should cater to players of all experience levels. New players are very quick to pick things up, but they still need that helping hand at first. Besides, unless you are planning on making a stock DIKU mud (in which case you won't have to worry about any players) you're going to want to introduce the new players to the special features of your MUD, so it doesn't take much effort to add a quick explanation of how to move around if needed.

The only players that you shouldn't want are the ones that come to the game with the intent of causing harm to it. IRE has an advantage here - they live or die by the customer. Community run ones don't feel this to the same extent, but it's not hard to scare away your entire playerbase. Now a lot of community run MUDs do an excellent job of keeping people happy, but a lot of otherwise great games also screw up royally in this regard.

The other benefit is that if you can leave a new player with a good impression, they'll bring friends (as a new player probably doesn't have any MUDding friends yet). Everyone remembers the first MUD they played, not everyone remembers the fifth or sixth. (AVATAR for me).

On a side note, one of the cool things that CoffeeMUD does (I have no idea if other codebases do this) is that when a player types help for a topic that doesn't exist, it logs it so you can get a list of most requested help files that don't exist. If your codebase doesn't have this, I'd suggest adding it.

Alright, now that's over:
Features that I like.

Tasteful colour - it helps when you want to scan over something quickly.

Grouping - MUDs are multiplayer games, and a lot of MUDs forget this. I play MUDs to socialize. AVATAR did a great job of this. Groups with 20 or more people happened all of the time, and it's a blast ripping through mobs like that (and sometimes the mobs did the ripping, but it was still fun).

In depth combat. Aetolia's combat is fun, because it makes mobs seem less like 'difficult to open treasure chests' and more like actual competitors. Automatic combat leads to
'k goblin'
Alt+tab
come back a couple minutes later
'sle'
Alt+Tab
come back a couple minutes later
'wake'
Rinse. Repeat. Wipe hands on pants.


You have to keep the players engaged.

Also, keep global channels off for the first few levels for the player - they tend to make things spammy and even more confusing for a new player.
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Old 01-30-2006, 01:47 PM   #8
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While I agree that IRE games all have a great introduction sequence for 'new-to-MUDding' players, unfortunately these players don't finish this sequence and instantly integrate into the regular playerbase. No matter how wonderful you've designed your introduction, there is a learning curve to MUDding that can't be made to disappear in 30 minutes. These players will inevitably retain their 'newbie' status for months and months (provided they continue playing), all the while draining resources from and testing the patience of your staff and other players.

Please don't get me wrong... I have nothing against these types of players, I'm just saying that my game won't be aimed at them


It seems that tasteful use of color is the #1 first impression feature looked for so far, which is what I expected.

What do you guys think about character creation? Do you prefer the quick & easy 5-or-so-prompt-style or do you prefer more customization, via 'creation points' (not talking about the boring stock ROM style here...) or other similar models?
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Old 01-30-2006, 02:02 PM   #9
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Offer both...

However I prefer a simple creation which let's you customize as you go along (in game). Even one so simple that it basically just let's you choose race & starting city/nation.

Or a combination of a preset/costumization as you play.
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Old 01-30-2006, 02:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
I have two main reasons for this: first of all, catering to players who have never played a MUD before takes an extraordinary amount of extra time, work, research, trial and error, and patience. In my opinion, unless you are running a MUD that produces profit, the added effort it takes to accomodate these particular players is not worth the moderate benefits. Often they will become frustrated, confused, and generally require so much attention that they end up distracting the staff from what they should be doing, like building/coding/enforcing rules/etc.
I understand your position, though I consider it somewhat unfortunate. Too many text MUDs focus only on attracting players from existing text MUDs. There's certainly good reason to do that, but it'd be nice to see more text MUDs actively trying to bring new people into text MUDing as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
In my opinion, if you've figured out how to connect to the game, have decent reading comprehension skills, and a little common sense, then you should have no problem figuring out how to play the game on your own (or at least a well documented, fairly intuitive game).
I think you are drastically underestimating the hurdle that a text-based interface presents. I know many people with decent reading comprehension and more than a little common sense who have tried text MUDs, even ones targetting non-MUDers such as the IRE MUDs, and just given up.

Learning to use an interface is rarely the fun part of a game.

--matt
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Old 01-31-2006, 06:48 AM   #11
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I agree with the_logos on this one. We are all so used to the syntax (or small derivations of it) that we think it makes perfectsence.
open door, open east, open door east, open east door

--The door is locked.
Hmm what do I do now?
-Use lock pick in lock ---> "Could you run that by me again?"
-Use key in keyhole ---> "Could you run that by me again?"
-Help keys --> No such help file
-Help keyhole --> No such help file
-Tear my hair out --> "Could you run that by me again?"
-%#%#%#% --> "Could you run that by me again?"
-Quit /Y --> You have disconnected from <blabla> without paying rent and have thus dropped all your equipment.
-/delete zmud
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Old 01-31-2006, 08:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fishy @ Jan. 31 2006,12:48)
We are all so used to the syntax (or small derivations of it) that we think it makes perfectsence.
open door, open east, open door east, open east door
That sort of problem can be handled through better feedback, and help files for each command. Typing an invalid command could result in the the user being told how they can view all available commands, eg:

> pick lock
Unrecognised command 'pick' (type 'commands' to list those available).


Equally, typing 'help' on its own should provide the user with a list of the basic commands, while invalid help file requests should provide suggestions, eg:

> help locks

-----------------------------------[ LOCKS ]-----------------------------------
HELP NOT FOUND: locks
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Suggestions: lockpicking.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The help files themselves should also reference other related help files, making it easier for players to find related commands - eg:

Syntax: get <thing>
Syntax: get all

This command allows you to pick something up off the ground, as long as you are standing right beside it. If you are some distance away, you will need to 'target' it and walk up to it first.

See also: wear wield remove give drop swap


The commands themselves should also support different types of syntax, for example:

Syntax: give <object>
Syntax: give <object> <creature>
Syntax: give <object> to <creature>
Syntax: give <creature> <object>
Syntax: give to <creature> <object>


The user can also be provided with hints to guide them through each step of the game, a sort of optional 'hand holding' without forcing them to jump through the hoops, eg:

<HINT> Ready for a live opponent now? Enter the prison and try the prisoner!

> enter prison

You must be right beside something before you can enter it.
Unfortunately, the prison is one hundred and ninety-eight feet to the east of you.
<HINT> Try typing 'target prison' to move towards it first.

> target prison

You target the prison.
You start running towards the prison.

>
You turn east and carry on running.

>
You stop running.
<HINT> You may now enter the prison by typing 'enter prison'.


The same system can also be used for handling common responses, as well as the commands
syntax commonly used by other muds, such as:

> chat off

You chat, 'Off.'
<HINT> If you want to switch off the chat channel, type 'config chat'.

> kill prisoner

Kill mode activated. Type 'kill' again to cancel it.
<HINT> Automated combat is vastly inferior to manual combat - see 'help kill'.
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Old 01-31-2006, 08:22 AM   #13
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MUDs, especially small MUDs should log all of the failed commands that a player types. If the player asks for a help file that doesn't exist, log that and then write that help file if enough people are requesting it. Also log failed commands that a player is giving. Most of them will be typos I imagine, but I bet there are some suprises too.
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Old 01-31-2006, 08:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
I think you are drastically underestimating the hurdle that a text-based interface presents. I know many people with decent reading comprehension and more than a little common sense who have tried text MUDs, even ones targetting non-MUDers such as the IRE MUDs, and just given up.

Learning to use an interface is rarely the fun part of a game.
When I made the disclaimer about having to be a "well documented, fairly intuitive" game. I was referring to systems such as were pointed out by KaVir. It is actually quite rare that I find games with good documentation like that, and as a result, that's something I'm currently striving for.

Who knows... maybe with a better help system, catering to true newbies will become effortless.
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Old 01-31-2006, 10:35 AM   #15
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I agree about the colours and help files. If I try out a new mud and can't find the help files readily and easily I'm pretty much gone. I cringe when I see room descriptions containing instructions. I do like the Ire intros and with vet speed It's done within five minutes. Your intro is your huge chance to put your world front and centre and capture their imagination.
A bit of variation in intro's would be nice though, be it from alignments, races and cities.
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Old 02-01-2006, 02:57 PM   #16
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A couple of thoughts from my own experience:

1) Small bits of information at a time are especially good. If I run into a huge introduction, or even a long help file when I'm starting out it is probably going to get skimmed at best

2) Hooks for different player types are always a good idea, unless your game is focusing on a certain player type. Basic skills and combat stuff tend to get focused on since that is where there is often the more complex syntax. But non-combat oriented players may not be as enthralled with that sort of thing. Good hooks about player run politics, or important quests or merchant opportunities sort of broaden the appeal of the game.

3) Good Newbie Areas. Regardless of the intuitiveness of help files or colour schemes I usually make it through chargen without too much trouble. It is in the newbie areas where I end up making up my mind about the long term playability of a game. If I just get dropped into a rote mud school where I fight a few things and get some equipment and then just end up on the street, my attention is going to wane quickly. If there are lots of interesting quests and things for me to do as a newbie, things that draw me into the game and give me a motivation to learn, then I'm a lot more likely to stick around.
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Old 02-02-2006, 12:55 AM   #17
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I agree that color is a big factor. I don't want it to be bland, and I don't want it to be overwhelming. Also I like what the_logos said about using color to present information. One color will be your room title, another the desc, another the exits, another for objects, players, channels...etc. Also try to keep with some of the more basic colors...since almost every client has a black background, use bright or light colors for text to contrast the bg. Don't use dark purple or something ugly like that that I have to strain my eyes to see!

Keep the display organized as well, and make it look natural. I don't want to see symbols in a room desc. In fact probably the only three places that a symbol (other than parentheses, which should not be used in descs) is in the prompt, in a text editor type of system, and on a ascii map/motd.

Also I want the interface, both the display and the syntax, to be organic. What I mean is that everything must work in a way that you forget your using a computer. That's why I hate MUSHes, they feel like a programming language, not a realm! For that reason, I would not like to see something like this:

"Unrecognizable command, try HELP COMMANDS"

although something similar would be acceptable during the intro but not later.

The most important thing is probably that you get me interested right away. As the_logos said, use the intro to get me into a story right away. If I enter a mud and see a sign that says "Mud school, go north to learn how to play" or something like that, I'm gone. I love IRE's introductions, especially Imperian's, which involves me more in the story of the realm itelf and provides a better thrill than the other IRE intros.

The best intro I've ever seen on a mud went something like this...I don't remember the name of the mud, but here we go. When I logged in, I was standing in the courtyard of a ruined castle. Then the scene shifted and the castle transformed into a battle that had taken place there. Ghosts and such started to materialize, and I was directed to enter the castle. As I explored the castle, certain rooms had scenes associated with them that showed how the battle unfoled, and even let me participate. At one point some damsel told me I would have to fight, but first I needed to gain some equipment, sword, shield, armor, or some such stuff. I then had to go looking for the stuff and perform simple quests to gain them, all of them helping me to learn the syntax. I also had a spirit guide that I was able to summon for advice, which basically acted as a reminder of what I'd already been told or gave me small hints. As I progressed through the castle and the battle continued to unfold, I found some rooms where I was able to do chargen type stuff as a part of the into. Changing my sex, race, class, and appearance by talking to some godlike beings or some such, and then had to leave the castle to enter the 'real world'

There was more to it than that, but it's been years. The gist of what I'm saying is that it was interesting and informative at the same time.

Another thing for me that's huge is the combat system. I love IRE's blow-by-blow system where nothing is automated. I HATE combat systems where you type "Kill [X]" and blows are exchanged automatically. That's why I've never been to get into any other mud that wasn't IRE or Simutronics (which is pay-per-play, so blah).



So i guess to recap everything I've said, don't overwhelm me, make everyhting feel as natural as possible, get me involved in a story from the getgo, and give me combat where I control every move I make.
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Old 02-02-2006, 04:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (danr62 @ Feb. 02 2006,06:55)
Also I want the interface, both the display and the syntax, to be organic. What I mean is that everything must work in a way that you forget your using a computer. That's why I hate MUSHes, they feel like a programming language, not a realm! For that reason, I would not like to see something like this:

"Unrecognizable command, try HELP COMMANDS"

although something similar would be acceptable during the intro but not later.
What's your proposed alternative? A natural language parser?

And what would you suggest doing when a command is invalid? How is the user going to know what to type if you don't give them any suggestions?

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Originally Posted by
The most important thing is probably that you get me interested right away. As the_logos said, use the intro to get me into a story right away. If I enter a mud and see a sign that says "Mud school, go north to learn how to play" or something like that, I'm gone.
Introductions can be okay, but keep them optional. I log on to a mud to play, so if I'm forced to sit through a long introduction I'll almost certainly just drop my connection. I'd far rather see a separate location where I can go to learn how to play if I want to, and when I feel ready to do so.
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Old 02-02-2006, 11:16 AM   #19
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The very first thing I look for on any mud is ways to progress.

I'm very goal oriented, so I need ways to feel like my character can achieve something. The ways to achieve should be clearly defined even if it's as simple as kill X mob for xp to get to next level. If I have to stumble around and try to figure out what the point of the game is, then I'll log off.

The next step, naturally, is to examine the ways I can progress in the game setting. I prefer to have several ways to progress, and I like a lot of choice because I'm NOT one of those people who likes to be able to do EVERYTHING in a game. I like to be able to pick and choose what suits my character. Thus, if there's not several ways to progress within the game, I'll generally end up logging off.

Last but not least, the progression system has to make sense to me. This is a matter of taste, but poorly designed systems really bother me. I haven't seen this as much on muds, but it's very plentiful on MMOs. Some systems in major MMOs are very clearly tacked on and barely mesh with the game. Stuff like that will have me logging off never to return faster than anything!
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Old 02-03-2006, 01:15 AM   #20
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Interesting thread. As a system designer, coder and builder over the years I have often scratched down notes on features.

If I have to see another diploma beast I will...
...log out.

I like innovative new-player entry systems.

Ones that use questions to determine initial stats instead of rolling interest me. I also remember one mud that used a "dollmaker's shop" to allow choices of features (eyes, ears etc.) that were integrated into the character's description.

I also enjoy random MOB creation over (or in combination with) set MOB's in areas. It breaks monotony and can be quite exciting as well as sometimes frustrating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (danr62 @ Feb. 02 2006,00:55)
Another thing for me that's huge is the combat system. I love IRE's blow-by-blow system where nothing is automated. I HATE combat systems where you type "Kill [X]" and blows are exchanged automatically.
I am recoding combat in a JAVA Codebase (CoffeeMud, by Bo Zimmerman) to do manual timed-combat. Getting close. Just need to get my timing variables passed back to the queue routine and integrated. Any JAVA wizards around?

I agree that auto-combat just does not do it for me. I understand the positions of both sides, I just prefer non-auto combat.

-Dan
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