[MUD-Dev] Attracting players

John Hopson jwh9 at acpub.duke.edu
Thu Sep 16 14:14:32 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

At 09:49 AM 09/16/1999 -0500, Ralph Koster wrote:
>What are the list's thoughts on this issue? The intent is not to get
>Legend/DartMUD/Arctic/etcs (Arctic btw has statistics better than Legend's,
>but overall still in the same league) up into the top echelon, but my
>observation has been that without the influx of new players, administrative
>problems start to rise due to player sense of entitlement, lack of new faces
>to put on your good behavior for, etc.

	As the undergrads flock back to school and the resulting wave of new
players has entered my mud in september, I've been asking them where they
heard about my mud (Aarinfel).  About 75% have said it was on mudconnector,
through doing a search for a particular set of traits they wanted to find.
I've rated my mud as "Roleplay Enforced", since it's impossible to gain
levels without roleplaying, and that seems to be the primary search term
that brings in new people.  Of course, once they search the Aa in the name
means it comes up at the top of the list.

	Most people aren't going through the whole list, simply due to the fact
that there are over 1400 muds out there now.  Even if they are, there's
only a miniscule chance that they'll get far enough down the list to see
your mud, even if it starts with Aa.  Damn numbers. :)  The primary aspect
of our listings is the search terms, that's where we need to stake our

	Just to give you a little background on Aarinfel, we're a roleplay
intensive mud which focuses on court politics in an original fantasy world.
 Pkilling is always possible but results in becoming an outlaw.  Leveling
is done through quests and roleplay.  Killing of mobs does not provide
experience points or money.  The average age of our players is in the early
to mid twenties, and we've been open for almost exactly one year.

	I know this seems like a very specific mud which would only appeal to a
narrow group of serious roleplayers, but we're getting half again as many
new connections as LegendMud and twice as many hompage attempts.  It is NOT
my intent to play "mine's bigger than yours" but to create a starting place
to look at why one listing is producing more raw connections than another.

	The following are the aspects of LegendMUD rated on their mudconnector

		Multi-Play: No 
		Player-Kill: Restricted 
		Extended Class Selection
		Equipment Saved
		Ansi Color
		Quests Available
		Character Approval Unnecessary
		Newbie friendly
		Skill-Based Training System
		Skill-Based Equipment System

	How many of these are going to be things a prospective new player will
search for?  Saving equipment is basically standard these days, as is ansi
color.  Everyone says they have extended class selection, just like
everyone says they are newbie friendly. (only 206 out of the 1400 listed
don't say they're newbie friendly)  A lot of what you have are negatives,
such as No multiplaying, no wild pkilling, no character approval.  While
people may eliminate muds due to those principles, they're not going to be
what attracts them.

	Here is the list of options for Aarinfel:

		Multi-Play: No 
		Player-Kill: Restricted 
		Extended Race Selection
		Extended Class Selection
		Class-less System
		Multi-classing Allowed
		Equipment Saved
		Ansi Color
		Quests Available
		Character Approval Unnecessary
		Roleplaying Is Enforced
		Generally Adult-Oriented
		Newbie friendly
		Skill-Based Training System
		Clans Offered
		Detailed Character Customization
		World is all original
		Small World (under 3,000 rooms)

	People really look for things like the all original world and the Enforced
roleplay.  There's a lot more here, a lot more ways that the mud will show
up in a search.  A couple months ago, Mudconnector changed how it listed
the Roleplay option.  It went from having 2 or 3 choices (No roleplay,
roleplay encouraged) to having 4 choices and reset our listing from
"Roleplay required" to "Roleplay allowed".  This caused about a 50% drop in
our connections until I noticed the change and corrected it.  (Btw, Andrew,
if you're on here, it might be a good thing to notify muds when relevant
listing options change)

	This really seems to be the deciding factor, choosing one or two of the
rating options and being rated as high as possible on them.  Anyone else
experiencing anything similar?

	Andrew and Ilya, any chance of providing us with some statistics on
searches?  How often particular terms and search options are used, stuff
like that?

						John (Aka Jarok of Aarinfel)

>> LegendMUD
>> Number of days listed                       - 693 -
>> Current connect status                      - Connected -
>> Number of consecutive days with this status - 24 -
>>                             Raw      Avg
>> Total telnet attempts       1775   2.55988
>> Total homepage attempts     1075   1.54978
>> Total searches              1090   1.57287
>> Telnet attempts this month    60   1.93548
>> Homepage attempts this month  41   1.32258
>> Searches this month            5   0.16129

Number of days listed 				- 359 - 
Current connect status 				- Connected - 
Number of consecutive days with this status	- 56 - 

					Raw	Avg
Total telnet attempts 		1220 	3.39833 
Total homepage attempts 		1241 	3.45682 
Total searches 			98 	0.27298 
Telnet attempts this month 		97 	3.12903 
Homepage attempts this month 	91 	2.93548 
Searches this month 			8	0.25806 

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