[MUD-Dev] Newbies

Richard Ross rross at rross.eurobell.co.uk
Thu Feb 24 12:55:26 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


From: MichelleThompson
> 3).  Why not do the mud school differently?  Instead of a small area where
> people go thorugh and type look sign, look sign .............
> Use mobs with prog, procs, or scripts (whichever you call them) that the
> players follow and then the mob teaches the players.
<snip examples>

YES!
I've played a mud (back when I was playing instead of coding) which walked
the player through an extremely well designed and coded newbie area to
familiarise them with not only the basic mud commands (north, exa etc) but
also taught them about the world they were about to enter.  Since the newbie
area was isolated from the main mud areas (a series of offshore islands
iirc) the big bad helper killers couldn't get there to spoil things.  There
were a few points that I wasn't keen on though, and I think these could
happen easily if you're not careful.
Firstly, the whole thing was very -long-.  I spent almost two hours playing
just through the newbie area.  There wasn't an option to skip quests which
taught about mud basics, so I could anticipate experienced mudders being put
off by having to relearn everything.  In addition, if you got disconnected
during the course of the newbie area, your character was deleted (or wasn't
saved, which is the same thing) and you had to start from scratch.
Secondly, and this was the big downer for me, the mud itself didn't come
close to being as good as the newbie area.  Many of the so-called "basic"
commands (listen, smell etc) which were advocated in the newbie area weren't
coded into the main areas themselves.  The monsters (I'd call them NPCs, but
they lacked character, and a mob by definition should be mobile) in the
starting area were all too hard, and there was no apparent support for the
not-so-newbie.  Needless to say I gave up and moved on to other muds.
Anyway, this was some years ago now, and the memory of that newbie area has
stayed with me, to the point of my taking inspiration from the idea and
coding something like it into my own mud.  Hopefully I've avoided the
pitfalls.

Richard




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