Re: Bad vs. Good MUDs, was: Windows Issues

From: Peter Ajamian (
Date: 01/03/01

"Daniel A. Koepke" wrote:
> > ... are actually causing the vast populations of potential players to
> > skip my mud, simply because it's the same brand as theirs?
> Maybe.  I don't think so.  On the surface it seems like a fairly logical
> assertion.  Beneath that, I doubt its validity.  People, if they're
> interested in trying something, will try it.  If they have a bad initial
> experience with one element of a vast array, they'll probably try another
> element and another and another, until they find something that hooks
> them.

People do, however, tend to give up if they keep trying and fail to find
something.  There comes a point when anyone will say, "I've had enough,
there's nothing but garbage out there."

After enough bad experiences someone who sees a new CircleMUD claiming
to be the best thing since sliced bread will at best say, "I'll look at
it when I get around to it.", and at worst say, "It's just another
garbage CircleMUD, not worth my time to check it out."

Taking this into consideration, someone who wants to develop a popular
MUD must create it to appeal right from the get-go.  It must draw the
player in within 5 minutes and hook them by the end of the day.  Any MUD
that does not appeal within 5 minutes will inevitably be discarded as,
"Just another garbage MUD", no matter how good it gets later on, simply
because, "later on" is never gotten to.

Considering this, I keep the following guidelines in mind while
continuing to develop my MUD:

1.  Give the new players at least one attractive goal to reach in the

  -  Possibilities can include fancy commands and abilities that are not
realized in other games, allowing the player to contribute to building
the world (ie. they get a planet or country, or ? to play with when they
reach a ceartain level), allowing them to be placed in a position where
they lead other players in the game such as a clan leader.

2.  Give the players a clear path to follow to reach the goal:

  - Clearly defined steps towards leveling, good documentation, and even
step-by-step instructions to get them through the first one or two
levels are all things that should be considered in this.

3.  Player Interaction:

  - IMHO, there is only one thing which can truely hook a player into a
game so that they will stay through whatever you throw at them.  That
thing is other players.  I have seen it time and time again where
someone will gripe about how bad a game is they play, the game has grown
boring and the staff have made no indication that they intend to ever
make more improvements.  When asked why they continue to play in such a
game the answer is almost always the same, "because all my friends are
there."  What does this tell me?  It tells me that you can have the most
garbage game and it will remain popular as long as player interaction is
good.  Here's what I recommend to improve player interaction:

 - Encourage communication, don't limit it.  Don't require players to
sacrifice in order to communicate, make communication easy and readily

 - Hold events which will involve groups of players, advertise these
events ahead of time so that players will all be on at once to
participate in them.

 - Encourage players to hold thier own events.  Give them the resources
and the resoning to do so and make them attractive.

 - Force interaction at ceartain levels.  You can make levelling
requirements that require the cooperation of other players from various
other levels.

The above is by no means an all-inclusive list, or even a how-to guide
to making a popular MUD.  Ceartainly a good MUD must have other things
as well, those are simply what I have identified in my limited
experience as being the most essential things that make a popular and
lasting game.

Regards, Peter

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