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Old 09-30-2005, 07:10 AM   #1
nass
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Guys,

Just wondering which MUD's homepages you all think are the "best"... but more importantly... why? I'm looking to redo the one I did, just kinda fishing for ideas =)

Thx,
Nass
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Old 09-30-2005, 01:03 PM   #2
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Well, I don't have any websites to recommend, but what I'm looking for is basically class & race descriptions when I go to a mud's website. I also look for info re remorting, tiers, what are the PK & RP rules. It boils down to why should I play this MUD? What makes it different? If it only has 4 classes & 6 races, I'm probably not going to be interested because of the lack of variety. I also hate it when you go to the website advertised, & it's not a website, but a bulletin board. I want the info to be easily accessed, I don't what to have to read a bunch of worthless threads to get at the info I want.

Hope this helps a little...
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Old 09-30-2005, 03:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (nass @ Sep. 30 2005,07:10)
Guys,

Just wondering which MUD's homepages you all think are the "best"... but more importantly... why? I'm looking to redo the one I did, just kinda fishing for ideas =)

Thx,
Nass
I think it depends on what the purpose of the homepage is. Is it there to advertise to existing text MUD players? Is it there to advertise to people who have never played text MUDs before? Is it there primarily as a resource for existing players?

What we decided was that we wanted to try and cover all three to some extent, so we created the Iron Realms portal to promote our worlds to people who haven't played text MUDs before . It's thin on information but lets people jump in and start playing right away from there or lets them click through to the individual MUD homepages for more information.

The MUD homepages themselves are really targetted at text MUD players or very savvy graphical MUD players. They vary in terms of how much existing players use them. For instance, Imperian's homepage has a bunch of data on it pulled from the game showing things like most dangerous player, player deaths in the last hour, top ranked explorer, etc etc. The websites are also used to store things like area maps for players to use or world histories for players to read. For instance, Lusternia's rather pretty maps are here. The websites are also used for things like Achaea's prose and art contests, letting players search through and look at/read winning submissions. For pure visual style, my favorite is Lusternia's site.

I also completely agree with GuruPlayer regarding the irritation factor in going to a supposed homepage and just finding some forums that I'm expected to dig through.

--matt
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Old 09-30-2005, 06:14 PM   #4
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Well, I guess I can speak to this topic some. As you may or may not know, we redesigned the Medievia website not too long ago. Everyone will agree that the old one was way out of date..

To quote the_logos:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Is it there to advertise to existing text MUD players? Is it there to advertise to people who have never played text MUDs before? Is it there primarily as a resource for existing players?
Yes, yes, and yes.

We have added a new 'How to Play' section that gives a new person to the website a mini-tour of the game. We have also added a 'Play Now!' link on the top of the main page to get people playing quickly.

We also have a section called Facts & Figures that pulls data from the game to rank players, clans, clantowns in all aspects of the game: experience, deaths, pks, dragon points, autoquests, etc. The current players absolutely love this and strive to be in the top lists on this part of the website.

We have just started implementing live data, and so far we have our Live Map that updates every 10 minutes. The Medievia Economy can be viewed in charts and graphs.

The Mudslinger Newspaper is Medievia's literary publication. Works of fiction, poetry, news stories, help articles, etc. are all written by the players or gods of Medievia. We are redesigning that next.

The Medievia website also has player pictures, clan sites, maps, all our in-game help online, interviews, polls, and a lot more stuff. However, we have been around awhile, so we have had a lot of time to create more pages.

You have to be sure to answer the 3 questions the_logos asked if you want a successful Mud website. You have to appeal to new people to the site but also be a resource for current players. If you can do that, you'll have a good Mud website. Be sure to have a client page to give people the options on how to play, since connecting to a Mud is not quite as simple as other games.

Hope this helped some...
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Old 09-30-2005, 10:39 PM   #5
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My favorite mud site, hands down, is Inferno www.ke9.com

Regardless of what anyone feels about pay to play games, or pay for perks (or in this case a game that's closing its doors after over a decade of running)...

I just totally love this website. It's got an awesome manual, with cross references all over the place. A person can go to the "Quickstart" thinking they might only need to read the very basics... and read something that intrigues them and want to read further - and be able to link directly to the page that goes into detail about the topic that interests them. No need to search endlessly for info on most things, because of the sheer number of cross references.

You could start out interested in learning about a race - aerians for example. And within that page, the word "Light" (the alignment they hail from) is a hyperlink to the Lightland city, which has further hyperlinks to lightland roleplay, to various clans within that alignment, etc. etc.

Checking out combat has a reference/hyperlink to armor, which is actually in the economy section of the website..and so on and so forth.

Everything is laid out very neatly and logically, but also cross references so you can read things how YOU prefer to read them.

Check it out now, if it interests you, because I have no idea if the site admin will leave it up after the game shuts down on Sunday.
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Old 09-30-2005, 11:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Jazuela @ Sep. 30 2005,22:39)
I just totally love this website. It's got an awesome manual, with cross references all over the place. A person can go to the "Quickstart" thinking they might only need to read the very basics... and read something that intrigues them and want to read further - and be able to link directly to the page that goes into detail about the topic that interests them. No need to search endlessly for info on most things, because of the sheer number of cross references.
Yep, that's how all our websites work too. The help sections are all in sync with the in-game help, and keywords are automatically hyperlinked all over the place. It's a very handy feature for newbies (or even oldbies), as you say.

--matt
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Old 10-01-2005, 01:09 AM   #7
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www.armageddon.org

The sheer amount of information available makes it my most frequented site. Simple, to the point. Documentation is key to any mud's homepage. Lots of it.

-WP
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Old 10-01-2005, 04:44 AM   #8
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Jazuela; Sep. 30 2005,22:39
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Regardless of what anyone feels about pay to play games, or pay for perks (or in this case a game that's closing its doors after over a decade of running)...
Just curious: Why is Inferno shutting down after such a long time, and how do you know they are doing it? There is no information about it that I can see on that website.
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Old 10-01-2005, 09:06 AM   #9
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It was announced on their "unofficial" forum by the man who has the server at his house. He's leaving the game open a few extra days for folks to reminisce in the OOC area of the game, but after that he's closing shop for good.

As to the why of it, you could probably look at a few different threads to get a general idea. I haven't played the game nor have I had direct contact with any of the admins in a few years now. I have only what's posted on that forum to go by.
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Old 10-01-2005, 11:35 AM   #10
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Are we talking about home page (the first main page of a website) or the website?

For best home pages (main page) I would say of the top 20 muds Aetolia best achieves what I think a home page should do.


Oddly, this has come up for me recently when discussing what should happen when someone clicks on your home page.

Two things: First it should make someone want to play. It should give information about what your game is, and make people climb on board with your idea.

Second it should give an easy navigation to the rest of the site. One you accomplish goal one, and make people want to play, it should be easy to for someone to find the information that tells them how to play.

Aetolia's first page starts with an short colorful explanation of what the world is. This is followed by a come on in the form of short paragraphs headed by an action verb. I think it's the best pitch.

I wouldn't personally play Aetolia because it doesn't fall into the niche of muds I like. But their first page was good enough to make me momentarily wonder.

Oddly, the two muds I think are most suited to my playstyle and what I want in a mud, do this very poorly. They start by telling me about the codebase and the rules. (This is a DIKU MUD and it's an RPI) Great, Important information to have on your site, but not something that captures the imagination of the potential player.
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Old 10-01-2005, 02:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fifi @ Oct. 01 2005,11:35)
For best home pages (main page) I would say of the top 20 muds Aetolia best achieves what I think a home page should do.

Aetolia's first page starts with an short colorful explanation of what the world is. This is followed by a come on in the form of short paragraphs headed by an action verb. I think it's the best pitch.
Thanks! Those verbs are what's referred to in advertising as "calls to action." They're a very time-tested method of increasing the proportion of people that will respond to your message.

--matt
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Old 10-01-2005, 06:51 PM   #12
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The Iron Realms sites are nice and all, sure. But if anyone is on a dial-up forget it. I vote for armageddon's website because it loads much faster for those who aren't running broadband (and I am on broadband) and isn't trying to seduce you with eyecandy to play the game.
www.armageddon.org
-D
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Old 10-01-2005, 07:37 PM   #13
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It's not so bad. I'm on very slow dialup (gprs) and their pages load in a reasonable time. Sure, not under 30 seconds, but then again, nothing that's not just text on plain background does.

I like eyecandy. It makes the webpage an integral part of the game's fantasy world. In the case of IRE games, it also delivers a professional image, which I'd say is a must for a pay-to-play game. Sadly, not all p2p muds care to invest into a half decent webpage.

What really turns me off a mud's webpage:

-- stolen/unauthorized artwork (you know who you are)
-- flaming text and clashing colours
-- hard to read text (usually because of lack of contrast between text and background)
-- flash-only pages - they can look fancy, but atm are highly annoying to use
-- haphazard navigation
-- lots of "Under construction" pages that have been in place for months or, in some cases, years

A mud page should also have decent compatibility with text-only browsers and readers, since blind people are a larger minority in the mudding world than you might think.

Lots of information is good, and room for player contributed content shows that the mud has a good community. Dynamic content supplied by the mud is a standard for most serious muds nowadays.

You want to show that you have a rich world, and if possible, drag the visitor right into it and make them want to be part of it. You want to show you have a good community that promises hours and hours of fun. And you want to show that you have a staff that cares about the game and its image, and is able to handle running it with a degree of professionality (even if it's a hobbyist mud).
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Old 10-02-2005, 03:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Delerak @ Oct. 01 2005,18:51)
The Iron Realms sites are nice and all, sure. But if anyone is on a dial-up forget it. I vote for armageddon's website because it loads much faster for those who aren't running broadband (and I am on broadband) and isn't trying to seduce you with eyecandy to play the game.
www.armageddon.org
-D
Eyecandy trying to seduce you to play a game is precisely part of what makes a good MUD web page, as there is no way people who haven't played text MUDs before are going to try out a game whose web page is an ugly POS. The text MUD market is small. The market of people who don't yet play text MUDs (because they aren't aware of them, or aren't aware of how much cooler they can be than graphical MUDs, etc) makes the market of people who do play text MUDs look insignificant. Reaching them is how text MUDs will be kept alive and thriving into the future, and using simple Marketing 101 tactics is a good place to start.

There's a reason so much money is spent on putting pretty wrappers around products of all kinds in every single type of product imaginable, from canned food to cars to video games to DVDs to books, etc.

Angie wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Sadly, not all p2p muds care to invest into a half decent webpage.
It always boggles my mind when a MUD that's trying to be commercial has an ugly homepage. There is no single bigger mistake that MUD could be making.

--matt
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Old 10-02-2005, 10:14 PM   #15
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i agrees with Logo.

Because as player I am, i looking for a mud to play often just to find a interest. If i find a webpage that look terrible thattend give me a message "Okay I lied, i didnt work hard and yes My mud by per chance are a stock mud and same skill system. In other word, my mud boring and dull you dont want to play.."

something like that.

my two cent.
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Old 10-03-2005, 02:02 AM   #16
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Just to be fair though, that's not to say a MUD with an ugly homepage can't be a good MUD and vice-versa. It's just that to a visitor who is coming in from browsing the web (as opposed to a recommendation by a friend) is likely never going to get the chance to find out if the page is ugly, as he's just going to leave.
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Old 10-03-2005, 08:28 AM   #17
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True, true. I've been tempted to play by Iron Realms' and Simutronic's webpages, more than once. Their look express professionalism, originality, and a fully featured MUD. None the less, I currently play a very good MUD with a crappy webpage.

Which is the best mud homepage? I say Iron Realms'
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Old 10-05-2005, 08:16 AM   #18
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Thanks all, good points. Tend to agree with "the_logos" here - in fact I've already tweaked mine to have a bit more action-orientated imagination capturing text. Fwiw, I'm the guy from http://www.wotmud.org/ (which, imo, isn't too shabby) - I did that entire site about 4 years ago so I'm kinda fishing around seeing what's hot and what's not .

Am familiar with most of the points raised, tempted to to a complete makeover and go for a more 'old parchmenty medieval' look, but it'd probably end up looking like the Iron realms portal but be crappier, kinda what I don't want
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