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Old 09-21-2009, 09:23 AM   #1
misao
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What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

Please, please stay away from the RPI argument here, thank you.

Detailed answers are appreciated, not just 'a MUD has coded combat and a MUSH doesn't' (which is probably wrong anyway).
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:48 AM   #2
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

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Originally Posted by misao View Post
Please, please stay away from the RPI argument here, thank you.

Detailed answers are appreciated, not just 'a MUD has coded combat and a MUSH doesn't' (which is probably wrong anyway).
"MUD" is the genus and "MUSH" is one of the species within that genus. You'll find a bit of history at Richard A. Bartle: Early MUD History among other places. There's also a "MUD tree" article at MUD trees - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that links to descriptions of the various code bases.

Other than that, though, what you're likely going to get in response to your question are statements like "a MUD almost always has coded combat, while some MUSHes don't." While I'm not a coder, from what I know the forms and contents of various types of games are determined in part by the elements included in their basic code packages and in part by the conventions that have grown up around games built on those packages based on the earliest and most typical use of each. For example, I know of no reason why MUCK games have to be "furry" games, and yet they almost always are, likely because FurryMUCK was one of the first games using the MUCK code base.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:19 AM   #3
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

My experience is almost entirely with MUSHes, though I did play a few MUDs for a couple of months before getting into MUSHes instead, so I can't guarantee that what I write about MUDs is entirely correct. However, based on discussions over the years with players who have been active on both MUDs and MUSHes, I think the following things can generally be said:

* MUD codebases appear to generally be held to be more versatile and able to support complex systems for combat, economy, crafting, etc.

* MUDs generally make use of more coded systems. You get plenty of MUSHes with coded combat of varying levels of complexity (the most fleshed-out combat system on a MUSH that I have encountered is what Elendor MUSH has), and you get some with coded economy and coded crafting. But you also get a lot of MUSHes without any systems at all or with very basic dice-rolling systems to simulate rolls in table-top gaming. I only know of a couple of games that has a fully code-dependent setup with economy, crafting, and all of that.

* Because there are less coded systems on most MUSHes, you don't generally have anything to do on your own. There are no mobs to kill or quests to perform to gain experience, and there are generally no crafting systems for learning new tasks and creating objects to sell and so on. 99% of the time you are dependent on having someone else to play with on a MUSH.

* This is of course a question of degrees, but in my experience roleplay on MUSHes and roleplay on roleplay MUDs tends to be quite different (for some examples of MUSH roleplay, here's a link to our Log Archive). One thing I have never seen on a MUSH, for example, is pre-determined emotes. There also tends to be more focus on character development (writing backgrounds, personas, etc) on MUSHes. But that is not true for all MUSHes and probably not for all MUDs either.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:34 AM   #4
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

I hope not to derail my own thread, but I'd like to interject here to state that I read some of the logs that were on that site and loved them, Nymeria.

Following that, I'm considering giving the Blood of Dragons MUSH a try, but I'm afraid I haven't read R.R. Martin's series before. Would that be a problem?
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:38 AM   #5
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

As jackal59mo2 stated, a MUSH is a type of MUD. Or more precisely, MUSH is a derivative of TinyMUD, which is the parent of one of the three main families of MUD. TinyMUDs usually tend to be more socially oriented than other types of MUD, and typically have less support for coded mechanics (such as combat).

The other two main families are DikuMUD and LPMud, both of which tend to be more game-oriented. DikuMUD is primarily hardcoded, and provides you with a fully working game out-of-the-box, which is perhaps one of the reasons why it's proven so popular. LPMud (which also drew inspiration from TinyMUD) usually requires more work to get started, but has its own powerful scripting language, which provides certain advantages in the long term.

All three of the above MUD families were inspired by AberMUD, which was the first popular open source MUD. AberMUD was inspired by MIST, which was a derivative of the original Multi-User Dungeon (aka MUD), named after the single-player game Dungeon (more commonly known today as Zork).

There are hundreds of different MUD codebases available today, but the majority of them still belong to one of the three main families.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:42 AM   #6
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

Glad you liked them, misao. We'd like to think we have a pretty good group of players.

That said, I looked over your other thread (on looking for an RP-focused MUD), and I do have to note that we're not a big game, not even by MUSH standards. You mentioned having found Firan too small in terms of playerbase, and we're a good deal smaller. Firan, being one of the few MUSHes that actually does offer coded economy and crafting, is actually pretty large as far as non-adult MUSHes go.

But you're certainly more than welcome to check us out. What we tend to recommend to players who haven't read the books is that they pick up one of our Cameos (time-limited characters for testing out the game with) or a previously played character that is fully CharGenned.
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:10 PM   #7
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

In my experience, MUSHes try to tell a story and that's it. They don't support any code enhancements beyond a few minor things here and there. They don't support actual combat code, or anything that affects the characters, it's just a huge chat room and when there isn't any "roleplay" going on, they just idle where you can't find them so people don't stay in-character at all times either. I've found the RP on Mushes to be fairly stagnant as well because they only roleplay when everybody gets together in big groups. Solo-RP is nonexistent and you can't really effect the game world because like I said before, nothing is coded. No skills or anything.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:16 PM   #8
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

That is definitely not true for all MUSHes. Take Elendor, for example. Their combat system supports a wide array of weapons, and there are associated stats and skills (that can be trained up), and it can most certainly affect the outcome of battles and lead to the death of PCs. However, the system is never used on its own without roleplay.

While our CharGen includes setting stats and skills for all characters, our game does not have what I would call a full combat system (yet), but we do have coded systems for jousting and for melee combat in tourneys. These systems are used to determine the outcome of such events, so that can certainly affect the game. We also have skills that play into our rumor system, since social intrigues and politics are a big part of the setting, and there are many games (World of Darkness games, for example) that make use of +roll systems for a wide array of skills.

How much or how little you can affect the game world on a MUSH depends entirely on how it is setup. We follow known canon events on our game, so there's a limit to what can happen. But MUSHes that use original themes can allow quite a lot of changes at the hands of players.
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:47 PM   #9
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

The problem for me is you have no power on a MUSH. You can't physically kill a character without intervention which is just silly. You can't shoot arrows, ride horses realistically, and all that jazz. Without code to support it the roleplay is very stagnant in my opinion and is on the level of a chat-room IRC roleplaying game really. Just my two cents though and I've visited plenty of MUSHes, they just don't cut it for me. Not enough realism.
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:54 PM   #10
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

Sure you can kill people on a MUSH. There are plenty of non-consent MUSHes, I think most of the World of Darkness games fall into this category. You have to roleplay to do it, and it has to be ICly plausible, but plenty of people get killed via coded commands on this MUSHes as part of roleplay. And while Elendor isn't fully non-consent, plenty of characters have died there over the years when using the combat system. Which, btw, includes bows among the available weapons.

Coded mounts are uncommon, yes, because of how objects on MUSHes work, but I am not sure that its more realistic just because its code supported. Realism for me is about the quality of the poses, not the coded support. However, I do prefer that when there is coded support, it isn't too simplistic.

A MUSH isn't going to offer you the same things as a MUD, but "realism" is very much a subjective term in this discussion. Most MUSHers would say that MUDs are far less realistic than MUSHes because they do not require anything like the roleplay that a MUSHer is used to.
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:02 PM   #11
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

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Sure you can kill people on a MUSH. There are plenty of non-consent MUSHes, I think most of the World of Darkness games fall into this category. You have to roleplay to do it, and it has to be ICly plausible, but plenty of people get killed via coded commands on this MUSHes as part of roleplay. And while Elendor isn't fully non-consent, plenty of characters have died there over the years when using the combat system. Which, btw, includes bows among the available weapons.

Coded mounts are uncommon, yes, because of how objects on MUSHes work, but I am not sure that its more realistic just because its code supported. Realism for me is about the quality of the poses, not the coded support. However, I do prefer that when there is coded support, it isn't too simplistic.

A MUSH isn't going to offer you the same things as a MUD, but "realism" is very much a subjective term in this discussion. Most MUSHers would say that MUDs are far less realistic than MUSHes because they do not require anything like the roleplay that a MUSHer is used to.
You're assuming that players are not going to roleplay on a MUD the way they would on a MUSH? Just because you limit the code of the MUSH doesn't mean you're going to get people to roleplay anymore then they would on a MUD. It also depends on your definition of roleplay. To me, I can't roleplay unless I have code backing me up. How can my threat to choke you mean anything to a player if I can't actually make good on it? Or if I want to play a prank and throw something at them, I have to emote it, yet there is no code to support whether the object lands? Even if there is code to support some things, the code should support nearly every action you could take against another player.

For example, if I want to grab a player, there should be a command to grab them so they can't move. Of course they would make a save against this, and the code would do the work. You can roleplay as much as you want, but when the time comes for the actual grab to occur, the code is there for that. Far more realistic, far more fun, and far more like a real life encounter. MUShes are far too much like a fantasy realm where nothing can really happen unless a Dungeon Master comes around and says to roll a d20 and see who wins the dice toss. They just don't have that "real" feel to them because there is hardly any code backing up the exemplary roleplay of a player.

This applies to every mud though. Which is why I only play certain types of muds which I won't mention here.
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:34 PM   #12
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

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You're assuming that players are not going to roleplay on a MUD the way they would on a MUSH? Just because you limit the code of the MUSH doesn't mean you're going to get people to roleplay anymore then they would on a MUD. It also depends on your definition of roleplay. To me, I can't roleplay unless I have code backing me up. How can my threat to choke you mean anything to a player if I can't actually make good on it? Or if I want to play a prank and throw something at them, I have to emote it, yet there is no code to support whether the object lands? Even if there is code to support some things, the code should support nearly every action you could take against another player.
It depends very much on your definition of roleplay, yes. I do not call anything roleplay that includes pre-written or pre-coded emotes. That is my definition of roleplay, and probably that of most MUSHers, which is why they wouldn't consider MUD roleplay either "good" or "realistic". MUSHers tend to feel that if code has to determine the outcome of every action, you're not really playing a role. And that is what makes something "real" for a MUSHers, the fact that someone is really getting into their character.

But, certainly, a MUSH is far more about co-operative story telling than creating your own adventure.
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:39 PM   #13
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

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But, certainly, a MUSH is far more about co-operative story telling than creating your own adventure.
Exactly. You can't be a loner. You can't really do anything alone on a MUSH. You can't go out and hunt down NPCs and KILL them. Skin them for actual coded objects. Sell the objects for actual money. Use the money to buy an actual NPC -or- PC prostitute. Etc, etc, etc.

I don't think the movie industry would be as successful if they took out all the sets, the props, the death, the battles, etc, etc, etc. What makes us want to read a story or be a part of one is that we think we're there, I simply have a hard time believing in a story being told within a chat room like setting. When I know my character can die permanently to a stray arrow to the head, I take the roleplay far more serious. Any mistake you make could be your last. Any political coup you try could lead to the death of your PC at the hands of NPCs or other PCs. That's what makes realism so important in a roleplay enforced mud.
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:05 PM   #14
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

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A MUSH isn't going to offer you the same things as a MUD
A MUSH is a specific type of MUD (derived from TinyMUD as I described earlier), and any MUD can potentially replicate the features of any other MUD, so in theory a MUSH could indeed offer the same things as another type of MUD. You could make a MUSH look, feel and play exactly like SMAUG if you wished, although the value of doing so is rather debatable (it would be far easier just to download SMAUG to start with).
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:07 PM   #15
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

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A MUSH is a specific type of MUD (derived from TinyMUD as I described earlier), and any MUD can potentially replicate the features of any other MUD, so in theory a MUSH could indeed offer the same things as another type of MUD. You could make a MUSH look, feel and play exactly like SMAUG if you wished, although the value of doing so is rather debatable (it would be far easier just to download SMAUG to start with).
The best MUDs are the ones that take from multiple codebases, multiple mud features and settings. Putting it together to form a hybrid which is original and at the same time as things that still make it original. I assume when you put in the card game WAR for GW2 you had inspiration from another card game?
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:08 PM   #16
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

Delerak, when will you accept that RP 'quality' is subjective? I find MUSH RP 'quality' (leaving issues about playerbase size, lack of PC-driven plots, etc, aside) far higher and less chatroom-like than the emotes that I see in your favourite MUD (the one that you tried to tout in my completely unrelated post). Fully fleshed-out sentences with a high level of detail are of 'higher quality' to me than simple nods, hugs, jumps. But I accept that it may not be to others. And I do not sling MUDs that do not conform to my standards as "roleplaying", or chatroom-like.

I do agree with your points that do actually have substance (as opposed to being just ad hominem attacks), such as the lack of code, though. I suppose that would be a defining difference in my opinion.

Nymeria, I'm not complaining about the lack of characters online in FiranMUX. More about the lack of people doing anything other than just sitting there. I guess that's a major disadvantage of MUSHes. I do hope to find one that isn't like that.
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:14 PM   #17
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

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Delerak, when will you accept that RP 'quality' is subjective? I find MUSH RP 'quality' (leaving issues about playerbase size, lack of PC-driven plots, etc, aside) far higher and less chatroom-like than the emotes that I see in your favourite MUD (the one that you tried to tout in my completely unrelated post). Fully fleshed-out sentences with a high level of detail are of 'higher quality' to me than simple nods, hugs, jumps. But I accept that it may not be to others. And I do not sling MUDs that do not conform to my standards as "roleplaying", or chatroom-like.
I don't see how it's subjective. Either you're roleplaying or your not. What is subjective is the type of player you encounter on any MUD or MUSH. You say you like fleshed out emotes that are well-written. That's a certain type of player. That has nothing to do with the quality of roleplay that the game as a whole conforms to. MUSHes tend to conform to a much lower quality roleplay standard because of the missing features. Code reinforces roleplay the same way a set reinforces an actor playing a role. Or the same way a sword reinforces the way a character is killing somebody. Or the way a pen is nice to have and be able to actually write something to down and have a physical written object from it. These are all things that reinforce roleplay and allow for a much more realistic world and realistic roleplay.

You'll find all types of people at muds and mushes, some are very good emoters (posers whatever), and some can't emote for ****. Some don't even speak english as their first language so I don't expect them to emote well, but I do expect them to remain in-character, else they can get in trouble with the staff for doing stupid things like using OOC to argue about something. OOC is used very limited by somebody who is truly staying in-character.

I could argue my point all day but I've argued this point before many times before I never get anywhere with certain threads so whatever.
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:19 PM   #18
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

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A MUSH is a specific type of MUD (derived from TinyMUD as I described earlier), and any MUD can potentially replicate the features of any other MUD, so in theory a MUSH could indeed offer the same things as another type of MUD. You could make a MUSH look, feel and play exactly like SMAUG if you wished, although the value of doing so is rather debatable (it would be far easier just to download SMAUG to start with).
In general, I think when codebases come up for discussion on a MUSH, people tend to use lowercase "mud" to refer to the game family, and MUSH and MUD to refer to the groupings within that family.

But yes, looking purely at the codebase, you can probably run a MUSH-style game on a MUD or a MUD-style game on a MUSH. I guess it would be clearer to talk about the differences between MUSH-style games and MUD-style games.

Misao,

Fair enough regarding the difficulty of finding roleplay even on a relatively busy MUSH. MUSH culture seems to be more social than MUD culture in that players often connect when they are at work or otherwise unable to play so that they can chat with people OOCly.
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:22 PM   #19
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

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Fair enough regarding the difficulty of finding roleplay even on a relatively busy MUSH. MUSH culture seems to be more social than MUD culture in that players often connect when they are at work or otherwise unable to play so that they can chat with people OOCly.
This is exactly the problem I had with Blood of Dragons. While GRRM is my favorite author and I love his world. It just doesn't work when I login and expect to find some great roleplay and with 4-5 people on I can't find anybody anywhere. They're all either idle or chatting OOC somewhere. This is why I didn't put much time into the MUSH, and it's why I don't play mushes in general. When I login I expect the character to be 'waking' up from his virtual being and I am taking him over. I should be in-character when I login and be ready to roleplay whatever comes my way.
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:24 PM   #20
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Re: What are the differences between a MUD and a MUSH?

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I don't see how it's subjective. Either you're roleplaying or your not. What is subjective is the type of player you encounter on any MUD or MUSH. You say you like fleshed out emotes that are well-written. That's a certain type of player. That has nothing to do with the quality of roleplay that the game as a whole conforms to. MUSHes tend to conform to a much lower quality roleplay standard because of the missing features. Code reinforces roleplay the same way a set reinforces an actor playing a role. Or the same way a sword reinforces the way a character is killing somebody. Or the way a pen is nice to have and be able to actually write something to down and have a physical written object from it. These are all things that reinforce roleplay and allow for a much more realistic world and realistic roleplay.
They reinforce -your- opinion of RP. To me, RP is playing the part of a character in a story, writing his life story with other people. How is it of 'a lower standard' than yours? RP stands for Role-Play. Code can help or hinder, but it is definitely not the only means by which RP can be achieved.

Have you never seen those RP forums that existed before the time even MUDs became popular? During the era of email-chess games? Would you call the entire genre false?
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