[MUD-Dev] Re: mudschools

Matt Chatterley matt at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Thu May 14 11:16:06 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


On Mon, 11 May 1998, Marian Griffith wrote:

> In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Mon 11 May, Holly Sommer wrote:
> > On Mon, 11 May 1998, Koster, Raph wrote:
> > > >    dumps you into the big bad world.  I guess he wanted a Merc mud 
> > > school :)
> > > An issue we have wrestled with a LOT. After all, even newbies tend to 
> > > hate mud school.
> Actually, no. It is not the total newbies that dislike mudschools but the
> experienced players who are new to a mud.  They know most of what is said
> in the school  and hate to have to plod through it  to gain the necessary
> first experience points and basic equipment.  For players who are totally
> new to mudding it is great.

Absolutely correct, in my eyes. The typical attitude (speaking
personally), is a fairly arrogant one - "I've played muds before, I'm NOT
a newbie!"

In many cases, I can actually figure out a game on the fly - if it belongs
to one of the stereotypical groups that I am used to. If it were something
really quite different internally, or in terms of player UI, I'd flounder
in frustration, and eventually resort to documentation, or perhaps the
School, if it existed. The first time I ever played a mud (coming from a
Talker background in the very start), I did go through the Mud School, and
it set me up for hours of addictive fun. It wasn't even (looking back), a
GOOD Mud School, but it was an olive branch gratefully accepted.
> > OK, not to make an issue of this but... well, I will :)
> > What, exactly, is the problem with mud schools? They serve the singular 
> > purpose of letting those who are brand new to your (type of) world gain 
> > some familiarity with it, before venturing forth. I should think that any 
> > admin would be glad to have a "mud schoo" which answers newbie questions, 
> > rather than having to answer those questions him/herself time and again.
> True, and more than one mud has added a mudschool of sorts as an after-
> thought. In fact, the newbie sword on one of the muds mentioned here at
> times is nothing more than a kind of mudschool.

Precisely - someone else noted this too. Mudschool (to coin it as a
phrase) refers to an artifact or location assembled specifically for the
purpose of teaching either kind of newbie (there are two), the basics of
the game, and easing them gently into play, generally in an OOC fashion
(although for some themes an IC mudschool would be possible).

The two kinds of newbie, Marian noted - virgin mudder, and new arrival.

I want (need?) my mudschool to cater for both groups, and the only way I
can see to do this is to fragment it into two sections, 'Introduction to
muds' and 'Introduction to this mud'.

The former will guide them through communication commands, movement
commands, the way things tend to work and give suggestions on
'mudiquette', while the latter tells them how the game works (and how this
differs from many muds), what they can expect to happen, and how they
might get started playing.

We are still toying with the idea of requiring a 9/10 score on a 10
question multiple choice quiz (based on the central documentation), before
allowing them into the game. I'm tempted to say 'If they don't read the
docs, they deserve to get slaughtered..'

But the main reason for pondering a quiz is *not* to make sure they don't
get wasted on arrival, but to help stop them asking the staff silly
questions. Is this possible? Probably not. :)

- -- 
	-Matt Chatterley
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.." -John Lennon (Imagine)

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