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Old 01-26-2014, 07:57 PM   #1
dark acacia
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The Telnet Travelers' Guild

For the past couple months I've been playing around with the idea of creating an organization of MUDders who travel from MUD to MUD and provide unbiased reviews and interest for various games, especially those small games that are new and trying to build a community or once had a large following and now only see a few people on. This idea came from my other idea of "Try a New MUD Day."

I decided to wait until after the major winter holidays to post about this idea, and right now I'm just posting to see if there is any interest in participating.

Here's how it would work:
1. The Guild chooses a MUD to try out and a date and time to meet together in the game.
2. When the Guild meets in a MUD, they decide together who is going to choose which race and class to try out. This way the members cover as much ground as possible.
3. The Guild spends time in the MUD, trying out different things together and individually. They may party and quest together, and they may come back one by one to play on their own too. People who are already part of the game should always be welcome to play with Guild members.
4. After the evaluation period, the Guild discusses their experiences and posts their impressions and opinions in a place where this information can be easily accessed by other people without interference from the staff of the evaluated game.
5. If any Guild member particularly likes the game, he or she may choose to stay and continue playing on their own.
6. Games are chosen based on how new they are and how big their communities are (so a game with a large community would be less likely to be evaluated simply because they already have so many people).

If the Guild does take off, there would have to be some basic ground rules for the conduct of members. There would also have to be a definite procedure for how the Guild operates in each game they visit. I've listed a basic code of conduct here below but there's always room for changes.

1. Every member of the Guild will have to respect the rules of the particular MUD being evaluated.
2. Each Guild member represents the Guild and must behave accordingly in order to help maintain a good reputation for the Guild.
3. Reviews and evaluations must be as fair and accurate as possible. Fair criticisms are just as important as glowing recounts.
4. Any harassment against Guild members by players or staff of a particular game being evaluated should not be met in kind. Report abuse through the proper channels but don't escalate anything or fire back out of anger. Just walk away or ignore the offender.
5. Guild members who do not meet the standards of the Guild will lose any sanctioning for their actions by the Guild.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:06 PM   #2
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Re: The Telnet Travelers' Guild

I like the idea. Are members required to post their impressions? How much time does the Guild spend in one mud? Does it take breaks in between muds? Is choice of mud decided by popular vote or by the Guild leader? Are members required to help one another in game or is PK OK (perhaps that depends on the mud).
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:00 PM   #3
dark acacia
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Re: The Telnet Travelers' Guild

These are all things which have to be worked out by the Guild once it is formed and has a home.

What Guild members do in each MUD will vary based on the type of MUD they choose. If it's a traditional race/class combination MUD, then each person tries out a different class. If it's skill-based, then everyone tries different skills. If it's RP-enforced, everyone comes up with their own character to play.

Working in parties or competitively or solo are all encouraged (and probably required) since all facets of gameplay should be considered (for instance, is it a game where parties are important? if so, is it hard to get into a party? what's the game like for a solo character?).

I'm not sure how MUDs would be chosen, but I envision that some MUD Admins may invite the Guild to visit their game for the publicity and commentary.
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:06 AM   #4
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Re: The Telnet Travelers' Guild

I love this idea. I want to join the guild.
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:31 AM   #5
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Re: The Telnet Travelers' Guild

Sounds like an excellent idea, that should be positive both for the Guild members and the MUDs they visit.
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:12 PM   #6
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Re: The Telnet Travelers' Guild

I'm wondering how representative this might be. I can sort of see admin spreading the word that they're being "mystery shopped" this weekend and having 20 or 30 players online and participating instead of those 3 afk players you might usually see. All chat will be interesting, informative and in-character, no swear words allowed (except that one, you know who he is! that admin silently temporarily banned).

There's a reason that food critics don't phone a restaurant and ask for a table for the food critic of <media name and type>.

There's not really an answer to this because, after all, you're not being corporate spies. But you might want to send out a few people a week early, just to see if there's a difference in numbers and chat quality

It sounds like a great idea and a lot of fun. I just think, probably because I'm a little warped, that it would be more fun with the comparison.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:51 PM   #7
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Re: The Telnet Travelers' Guild

I don't think MUDs are comparable to restaurants.

I think it makes sense to tell the mud admins in advance and actually encourage the admin to tell their community that these folks were going to be giving their game a trial run.

It is more useful/helpful to the MUD community as a whole for any evaluation of a game to at least see it in its best light. As long as every mud the Guild visits gets the same advance warning, then everything is fair.

Not to mention, many MUD communities have been around a long time and could definitely benefit from the fun and excitement of something like this happening.

For example, when Massively.com did multiple live streams of Threshold that was definitely something the community got super energized about.
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:26 AM   #8
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Re: The Telnet Travelers' Guild

Agreed.

A blind test is better than an appointment. I won't partake Acacia, simply because I would likely be biased, but have fun wherever you go.

Edit: Also I won't be spreading any news as an admin. If I attract gamers to join our game from TMS I am not going to waste their time by falsifying our gaming experience.

- Phasma.

Last edited by PhasmaInMachina : 01-28-2014 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:29 AM   #9
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Re: The Telnet Travelers' Guild

I am very interested in this idea! I'd like to participate if you get it set up.

To add my opinion, I think that arriving unannounced is the best option. For some games, this won't matter since they have such tight-knit and low playerbases, but it's the best way to experience a typical day on the MUD. If the staff of a game won't pull out all the stops to welcome the typical newbie, then we're not getting an accurate view of the game if they do that for us.

That said, it will be really obvious which games change their attitude to welcome the guild - just ask a non-guild player about the help they received as a newbie and compare it to the guild member's experience.

Either way you go, though, I'd still like to join.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:13 PM   #10
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Re: The Telnet Travelers' Guild

I think it should be a mix of unannounced and announced evaluations. Guild members could scout out various MUDs and give their first impressions and reviews, then the Guild could announce that they will be trying the game out together. This way there is little to no interference from the administration in the beginning. When the evaluation is complete, the Guild publicizes all reviews and commentary.

One thing I don't want to see is the administration censoring reviews and evaluations that reflect poorly upon them from their own people. It's already the case in the MUD community where many MUD admins jealously guard their members so that they can keep warm bodies sending in commands to their games. These admins won't want their own people (or anyone else) reading poor reviews about their own games.

Another goal would be for the Guild to come up with a standard review format for each member. Each member will write their opinions and rate the same aspects of each game on their own and have space to write a short essay of their experiences. Maybe the total overall rating for a game would be based on total positive and negative reviews.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:44 PM   #11
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Re: The Telnet Travelers' Guild

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark acacia View Post
Another goal would be for the Guild to come up with a standard review format for each member. Each member will write their opinions and rate the same aspects of each game on their own and have space to write a short essay of their experiences. Maybe the total overall rating for a game would be based on total positive and negative reviews.
Sounds sensible. I wonder what's considered the most impartial mud site where the Guild could post its reviews. Mudconnector? I'd say Mudbytes but I don't know if many players visit there. Does the Guild need its own site? Mudportal seems slanted toward mud owners, but maybe plamzi can weigh in on that.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:38 AM   #12
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Re: The Telnet Travelers' Guild

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ide View Post
Mudportal seems slanted toward mud owners, but maybe plamzi can weigh in on that.
It's true that so far MUD owners have been more active in the forums, but it's not by design. The site aspires to help admins attract more players, and the app aspires to become a cloud replacement of a modern full-featured client like Mudlet. So players are the end game.

I would say that for an idea like this one, a site like Mudconnect or Mudportal would be the best fit, because each has a web-based client plus a forum for exchanging impressions. Mudconnect, of course, is more populous.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:17 AM   #13
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Re: The Telnet Travelers' Guild

Acacia, I do not have much RL time, but if you accept me I am in for the guild. I always try different MUD on my own just out of curiosity. PM me, please.
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:41 PM   #14
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Re: The Telnet Travelers' Guild

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Originally Posted by flbellman View Post
Acacia, I do not have much RL time, but if you accept me I am in for the guild. I always try different MUD on my own just out of curiosity. PM me, please.
I don't want to turn anyone away, but at the moment the Guild needs to be established before anything else can be done.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:32 PM   #15
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Thumbs up Re: The Telnet Travelers' Guild

Yes I think this is for me. I've always travelled the muds. In '92 when I started I actually visited every single mud on the then famous mudlist text file. I haven't done that as much once I became a regular on my home muds so it would be nice to revisit that gypsy experience again. I suppose a member will have to recuse themselves if one of their home muds is chosen for evaluation. Probably would be wise to have all applicants submit any muds they've got established characters on.

As for the method to visiting I would think surprise visits are also best. The surprise won't last long anyways! A mud with no players suddenly swarmed by half a dozen simultaneous players will know something is up. Still they may think it's just a bunch of friends.
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