[MUD-Dev] mud vs. mush membership

Adam Wiggins adam at angel.com
Mon Aug 2 12:11:01 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


On Mon, 2 Aug 1999, Jay Carlson wrote:
> Adam Wiggins wrote:
> > If your admin is willing to put in the same effort on your mud,
> > you can get the same effect - filter out all the chaffe and being
> > left with an influx of fresh faces that have a lot to contribute.
> 
> How do we do that?

Well, if it's a story-based mud with highly developed characters, a careful
screening process of character applications is a good place to start.  I know
that some of the more popular MUSHes require that you write up a *very* detailed
character background and submit it, and then it may be days or even weeks before
your character is cleared to enter the game.  I've seen this on a smaller scale
on MUDs, as well - character creation is a matter of writing up a short
(a couple paragraphs) description of what sort of character you have in mind.
The admin look over the description, assign you stats, starting equipment, and
a basic description.

The only problem, of course, is that the player may not know yet whether they
want to play your mud; and, similarly, even if they are willing to invest
the time they may not be sufficiently aquinted with your mud's theme to come
up with a good character that would fit into the game's world and story well.
If you're based on a pre-existing theme (Dragonlance, Tolkien, Shadowrun..)
then you can tell them "good read the book(s)!"; but if you're original, you
need some way to show them the mud's theme.  Guest characters (maybe you inhabit
the body of a townsperson briefly) or an automated tour might be the
way to go for this.

Of course, you do need very good admin who are willing to both spend the time
reviewing character descriptions, and then are good at creating workable
characters.  I played one mud that worked this way: my character worked out
fine, but I told a friend to join me, and he made a character who, among
other things, he described as a primitive type who was strong but unskilled
with weapons.  Whoever made his character gave him a sword as part of his starting
equipment, but when he tried to wield it he got the message, "You aren't skilled
enough to wield that!"  (Of course, the idea that you need any skill at all to
wrap your hand around a hilt is fairly silly.)  Obviously the person who made
his character didn't do a terribly good job - they should have known that that
would be the case.

Adam W.





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