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Old 10-03-2002, 11:52 AM   #21
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Old 10-03-2002, 12:59 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Jazuela @ Oct. 03 2002,09:26 am)
I think Simu should place DragonRealms as a single offering on TMS, and GemStoneIII as a single offering on TMS, and the "info" button can explain the different versions of each. The same goes for Inferno, which has just recently split into Inferno: Classic and Inferno:Firestorm.
If they're different games, they're different games. If you want to make Simutronics compile their different games into a single listing, I'd suggest that all MUDs sharing the same codebase be forced into a single listing too. Sounds a bit ridiculous when put like that doesn't it?

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Old 10-04-2002, 03:39 PM   #23
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Angry

Ok, some interesting topics here.

When I began this post, it was as a suggestion to add the $ (dollar sign) or some other sign on the TopMuds listing pages so I would know (before I had to click 2 or 3 times) whether I had to PAY or not.

To me: If I am a FREE mudder, it is a waste of my time to delve any deeper investigating any game - when the only way I can ever play it would be to shell out money from my pocket.

Sure, I was very curious : who were these NEW mu*s added to TopMudSites that all of a sudden have 5000 votes in the 14 day time period? I was flabbergasted to think that a mu* might have that many - in the past 8 months, I'd never seen ANYONE get that high! I was totally amazed...

And then distraught when I found out that they were pay to play. Why? I don't know, I guess I still felt the way when I first started mudding back in 1991. I felt that the game was built by players, for players, and I didn't see the need to pay.

But really, I just wanted some way to see : DO I have to pay to play this mud? Some EASY way, as if putting a $ on the very beginning of the TopMudSites page, next to their name. Would that really harm them? Would that stop the 1500+ players that these muds have from going to them?

Doubtful. I would think it wouldn't stop or hurt those muds at all.

I have nothing against pay for play muds - I think they're fine, and fantastic. Heck, they have some awesome web sites! And I guess its not about "competing" with them per se, but like someone else said, won't they be dominating the Top 20 very soon - if they haven't been already?

Maybe even have some kind of search for just free muds - so those who are in high school, or college, or even out in the real world - with little enough money for basic CABLE each month - can search for a meangingful, FREE experience online?

In my opinion, these muds have more players because they are probably better, bigger, more thought out than free muds. (no offense meant to anyone, so don't flame me on that! )

Why though? Well, if someone PAID me to help build areas on a mud, or paid me to help code a mud, or paid me to help build a website - wouldn't you spend more time, effort, energy working on that? On top of the advertising and other bonuses that come from having a source of income - better hardware, quicker access, 24/7 help lines, an answer desk - a way to pay with credit card?

On the Free Muds - the workers and administrators are volunteer. They still have a life - have to put food on the table, goto school or pay the bills. If my 40 hour a week job was administrating a mud - wow - that would be a lot of fun - but also, I would do it a lot better than the 5 hours a week I spend doing stuff now, trying to "work it in" with my real job.

Bah, maybe I'm off my original topic. All I wanted was to do a search for the TOP Muds in the FREE Category ONLY. Is that too much to ask?



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Old 10-06-2002, 02:28 AM   #24
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It's not quite what you think it is at pay 2 play muds. In the one I play most of the staff is still volunteer. What the money does pay for is onsite staff and better hardware and they do pay some gamemasters.

I agree with putting in a dollar sign because it is pertinent information. Some people might not want to pay, but others may want to check it out to see what they are like. From what I have been reading they are likely to have superior experience and combat systems, better systems in general. But, they also have a far larger population and many people might not enjoy that. The scroll can be tremendous in a busy room especially if you are not used to it.

For the most part they don't offer the intimacy that smaller muds do. You make a circle of friends but there is no way you are ever going to know every player or character.

I do think it is more important than things like server speed.

Achaea doesn't mention they are a pay for advancement mud on the info page nor even anywhere I could find on it's web page. I even clicked on play and went into the character manager without any notification that there was anything to buy. I thought I read in the posts some where that it is P2P?

Threshold mentions it in info. Armageddon looks free. The Eternal City doesn't mention payment on the info page or on the first web page you hit. There is no mention until you click create an account at which point they offer a free thirty day trial.

At the very least I would like to see a specific slot on the info page where they must indicate whether or not there is any charge and if so a short description of it. (monthy or for access to wealth, training, experience, etc.)

I don't see any downside to this.
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Old 10-06-2002, 02:52 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Seraphina @ Oct. 06 2002,02:28 am)
I agree with putting in a dollar sign because it is pertinent information.  Some people might not want to pay, but others may want to check it out to see what they are like.  From what I have been reading they are likely to have superior experience and combat systems, better systems in general.  But, they also have a far larger population and many people might not enjoy that.  
Well, there's no question it's pertinent information, but I think the question is why single out that piece of information? It's no more important than, say, custom vs. codebase. I, for instance, want to always know, right away, allows PK or not. Pay or free is unimportant to me. Others might feel that the most important piece of info is fully custom vs. codebase. There's any number of distinctions you can draw, and any is as valid as the next.

--matt
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Old 10-06-2002, 05:07 AM   #26
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To me, I'd say listing server speed would make more difference as to where I would want to play.

Do I ever want to play a MUD hosted of some guy's cable modem? No.

And it really does only take one or two clicks to find out whether a mud is p2p or not - if you can't afford 2 clicks, you need to a) get a better modem, or b) start aquiring a more realistic work ethic.
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Old 10-06-2002, 12:57 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
It's no more important than, say, custom vs. codebase. I, for instance, want to always know, right away, allows PK or not.
Interestingly I have noticed all the games seem very forthright about those details under info and many in their descriptions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
And it really does only take one or two clicks to find out whether a mud is p2p or not - if you can't afford 2 clicks, you need to a) get a better modem, or b) start aquiring a more realistic work ethic.
Excuse me? I play a P2P game. They make it obvious that it is a P2P game right up front by making it clear they offer a 30 day free trial. It was not two clicks to find out if The Eternal City was P2P. I went to info and to the game site and read considerable background information on classes etc. without finding out it was P2P.

I saw no indication at all at Achaea's site that they are P2P so now I am not sure if they are or not. Aha! *Third* visit to the site I finally found the $ information under "credits" which looked like where they would list the creators of the games to me.

"A 'credit' is an Achaean currency, which you may purchase on this page. Once your character has his or her credits, he or she may spend them on whatever is available to spend credits on, such as lessons for skills, artifacts, pets, houses, and so on." Beneath is a listing of various foods from a 20$ salad to offerings for close to 300$."

You mention that there are other significant facts about games and that is very true however that information seems very easy to find. I have to wonder why some P2P games keep this information buried in the web sites to the point where someone could actually create a character without realizing the game is P2P.

As a consumer when I am considering a product I want to know how much it costs up front. I do not want to waste time finding out about the product before knowing whether or not there is a charge for it. There may be people out there for whom it makes no difference if something is free, 10$ a month, or 100$ a month, but I would guess they are few and far between.

From the posts I have read I gather that the entrance to this site of P2P mud offerings is fairly new. It's good for the site as P2P's generally have larger player bases so generate more traffic per game. On the other hand, a large part of the draw to the players is an opportunity to see what else is out there. If there is no way to figure out which games are free and which charge it makes the site a lot less useful to me.

My experience of checking out other muds so far leaves me cold. I am not going to spend hours clicking on muds and searching their web pages to figure out if they are pay or free. It has left me suspicious of all the muds listed because some of the pay muds put the information in an obscure place or only divulge that there is a charge once you have decided to play.

It seems that prior to the entry of P2P muds the default was that the muds are free to play. Some of the P2P muds are being upfront either in the short description on the ratings page or in the features area of info. Others are leaving the information obscure. I just clicked on Shattered Kingdoms and don't see any reference to charging, but I am suspicious anyway because of the P2P sites that are not being upfront about charging. Is that fair to Shattered Kingdoms? Depends on if they too charge.

This is not fair to the free muds or to the players using the site as a reference. Another solution would be for the free muds to all change their descriptions to specify FREE. As free seems to have been the default it doesn't see right to me that the entry of P2P muds on the list should force everyone else to change their descriptions because of a few muds that prefer to leave that information obscure.

How popular do you think this site will remain if players have to wade through all kinds of information on mud sites to discover whether or not they have to pay?

Why would muds that charge be resistant to including that information in their description?
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Old 10-06-2002, 01:06 PM   #28
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I personally would never play a pay mud, but to each his own.

However, I don't mind having pay mud listed as long as it is blatant that they are pay/donation/what-ever-they-try-to-call-it.

It just is annoying to get in then find out half an hour later that they want you to pay them money.

I support having a simple icon on whether it is pay or not so I can quickly go past it without bothering to look at it.

Just my opinion
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Old 10-06-2002, 01:11 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Seraphina @ Oct. 06 2002,12:57 pm)
I saw no indication at all at Achaea's site that they are P2P so now I am not sure if they are or not.  Aha!  *Third* visit to the site I finally found the $ information under "credits" which looked like where they would list the creators of the games to me.
Well, you didn't see an indication, because Achaea isn't P2P. We are a commercial game, but playing is free, forever. If you never want to give us a dime, that's entirely your business. We've got major players who have spent thousands of hours playing, have maxxed out their skills, achieved ultra-high levels, and never spent a dime.

So, the reason Achaea doesn't mention it's pay-to-play is because it isn't. We employ that is basically a donations system that gets you rewards for donating, though those rewards give you generally only incremental advantages. Can't purchase xp, only, say, an artifact that lets you get 10% more xp when you do a quest or kill a monster. Can't purchase overwhelming weapons, only weapons that might be 15% better than the statistical average weapon forged by a player.

I'd have no problem with being classified as "commercial" but I would heavily resist being classified as Pay-to-Play, because simply, we aren't. We made the decision years ago that we wanted people to be able to play Achaea for free, because we didn't want to exclude people who can only spend $10 a year, or even nothing at all, becuase though they might not contribute money, they contribute anyway by just participating in the social structures in the game, and thus providing content for other players.

--matt
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Old 10-06-2002, 01:35 PM   #30
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Thank you for that response Matt. I appreciate your explanation of the distinction between having to pay and having the option of paying as well as the distinction between offering experience verses potencially increased experience through items that offer a bonus during game play.

An indication that a game is commercial would be fine by me. It seems different commercial games each have their own pricing set up which the potential player could then explore if they remain interested.
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Old 10-06-2002, 01:48 PM   #31
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Just for the record, since I saw the game I'm playing now mentioned previously...

Armageddon doesn't charge anything for playing. It's 100% totally and completely free, with no option to "buy" other skills, equipment, things, characters or whatever.

It does accept donations to support the cost of running the game; server and host fees for instance, but the only "incentive" it offers in exchange for the donation is a thank you and your name somewhere on the website as a contributor.

Also for the record - I have absolutely no problem with pay games, and in fact any company that can make money (legally) off a hobby gets my applause for their success. The only reason I'm playing for free now is that I've finally found a free game I can feel comfortable playing, where game integrity isn't just pretty words with little to back it up.
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Old 10-06-2002, 02:27 PM   #32
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the p2p muds might have the money, but I haven't seen DG or DR or Gemstone adversited anywhere other then banner ads on their homepages and places like mudconnector and here... which are places that free muds can advertise at as well.
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Old 10-08-2002, 12:30 PM   #33
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Angry

Once again, some interesting points being brought up. I think we can agree on these points :

YES : Whether a mud is P2P or not is just as important as the speed, PK or no PK, and other important aspects of a game that would help you decide to play it or not.

YES: Someone along the way decided what was important enough to see listed on the info screen. So now we can see how many average players there are online, how long the mud has been up for, and whether it is PK or no PK.

YES: I would agree that it would be wrong or sneaky of a game to NOT list it was $$ somewhere on their info / web site page. Somewhere early enough that it wouldn't take you 5 clicks, or 10minutes of investigation to find out if you need to pay or not.

SO :
How do we go about letting TMS know that we would like the P2P issue looked into further? How do I bring this up to the TMS staff to try and decide whether to add a $ or not?

Isn't there some way we can do a Poll, or something like it, asking the common visitor to TMS what they would like to see? Maybe we could add more than one slot - not just the P2P slot, but the slot that shows the average connection speed, or other things that are missing from the Info page (maybe things we haven't thought of here?)

Can the moderator of this group somehow escalate the issue higher, or would it take some form of Divine Intervention to get something like that added to the Info screen?

Whether you like P2P or not, the current poll on TMS shows that it is about 50/50 - 50% of the people have paid to play a mud, and 50% have never paid to play a mud. Wouldn't that mean that at least hundreds (if not thousands) of people WANT to know if its P2P or not?

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Old 10-08-2002, 08:52 PM   #34
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Honestly, i don't see what the big deal is about having a $ sign next to the games' rank on TMS. Is it really important to the game's popularity weither it's pay to play or not?

As to making it clear to people that it is p2p, they can find out by clicking on the info button. Is it really that hard to push *one* button?

I'm not against putting the $ symbols up either.. i just don't think it would make much a difference. So why bother?
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Old 10-08-2002, 09:12 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Caledric @ Oct. 06 2002,2:27 pm)
the p2p muds might have the money, but I haven't seen DG or DR or Gemstone adversited anywhere other then banner ads on their homepages and places like mudconnector and here... which are places that free muds can advertise at as well.
I don't know about DG, but Simutronics has marketing deals that no free MUD could hope to compete with. Deals with mainstream magazines like Computer Gaming World, and, I'm told, Rolling Stone. They also have, or had, a relationship with Microsoft's Zone, Rennaisance Entertainment Corp (they run Renn faires), and more, to promote their products. There's nothing wrong with any of that of course, and their marketing people are pretty good at what they do from what I can see.

--matt
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Old 10-08-2002, 09:38 PM   #36
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Reasoning why $ matters:

Money matters. Far more than server speed or any other of the irrelevant points brought up by the PtP/Achaea twits brought up in this thread so far.

'Nuff said.

-D
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Old 10-08-2002, 09:58 PM   #37
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Not 'nuff said, Dul.

Why does $ matter more on the rank page than on the info page?

Whether a MU* is p2p or not, and how much it charges would be more informative than descriptive, imho.

Like I said earlier. If you randomly pick MU*s, whats the difference between if you pick a top 20 MU* that is p2p versus if you pick one with a Dark Sun theme - if you're not looking to pay or play in the sand? You still lose time.

If you're looking to research the MU* you're about to try, you'd look to the information page or the MU*s web site, no? With minor research you'd be able to weed out anything you'd find offensive - be it theme, codebase, cost, rp/pk preference, etc.

So what makes p2p so vitally important to be on the Rank Page?

I don't play a p2p MU*, I don't play on anything in the Top 20. Am I just missing something?
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Old 10-08-2002, 10:18 PM   #38
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I don't know about DG, but Simutronics has marketing deals that no free MUD could hope to compete with. Deals with mainstream magazines like Computer Gaming World, and, I'm told, Rolling Stone. They also have, or had, a relationship with Microsoft's Zone, Rennaisance Entertainment Corp (they run Renn faires), and more, to promote their products. -the_logos
Computer Gaming World? Arrh? Rolling Stone?? you gotta be kiddin' me. I think DR was meantioned in some article about Ash.. whatever's Call last month. Not an advertisement. Rolling Stone? The music magazine? huh? I gotta missin' something. Hey if they did have a advertizement there, please, gimme some directions. I gotta see this.

You can play Dragonrealms thru MSN Zone. Which is great. Alot of people discover DR there. I know i did, and a ton of other people i know as well. (*nudge nudge* excellent way to introduce your MUD to people, for those of you looking for effective advertizing).

And about these "rennaisance fairs", they have player gatherings where they have a costume night. Is that what you're talking about? That's not really advertizing since it's something done for players, not prospective players.

The truth is, DR does next to no advertizing. They used to (i think) but then decided to rely completely on word of mouth. Players bug the admins to do more advertizing all the time, so this idea ya got that DR's advertizing is far better than any other MUD is kinda confusing since the exposure they've got on TMS is the biggest advertizing DR has gotten in a very long time.
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Old 10-08-2002, 10:28 PM   #39
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TG_Nek: Why?

Tell me, do you want to break out a credit card to play a MUD, without prior knowledge?

There's a few reasons behind it. I actually bothered to surf the listings earlier for a MUD to play, but not one of the P2P MUD was properly listed as a P2P MUD on the listings under Info. That is why. 'Pay to Play' is not specified on the listings, and in Achaea's case, nothing is mentioned on the website. I'm sure that Achaea is not the only MUD like this.

-D
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Old 10-08-2002, 10:37 PM   #40
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>The truth is, DR does next to no advertizing. <

That's not true. I think you're simply comparing Simutronics, a relatively small business, to other businesses like Microsoft and Sony. Of course you'll see their products splashed everwhere. Everyone does what they can. We do plenty of marketing, or we wouldn't get any customers.
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