IntroductionThis section provides an introduction to MUD, and was written to be of some help to absolute beginners who are just starting with the game. Before you can begin to play "properly", there are a few basic facts you should know to smooth the way. Traditionally, this information is obtained from other players, but newcomers are often too shy to ask. Also, although other players will usually help you once they realise you really ARE a complete novice, it's often hard to convince them that you're not an experienced player acting dumb!
All MUD players would agree that the first few games are very confusing, and not everyone stays the course. However, many years of experience in showing newcomers the ropes has highlighted certain areas where most players have problems. To help you find your feet more quickly, then, the commonest questions asked by novices are paraphrased in this document, with the appropriate replies. Note that these questions are game-related only - if you have problems accessing the game, or with your communications software, contact MUSE direct (MUSE is the company which runs MUD).
The questions are listed in a vaguely "easiest first" order. Some of the later ones you won't understand until you've played the game and seen things happen you'd like explaining. At the very end, after the questions, is a list of words and phrases commonly used in MUD by the players, the meanings of which aren't always apparent to the beginner.
Other essential information is provided within MUD itself, by the commands HELP, COMMANDS, INFO and HINTS. There may also be a good deal of assistance and advice in the MUD on-line library, depending on whether or not the more experienced players have contributed anything: select option L from the Option prompt you get after you've logged in, and type HELP from there to find out how to work the LIBRARY program (it's easy!). Remember, you can always take time out to search the Internet for interesting player-run sites, too.
Throughout this text, and normally in MUD itself, commands are written in upper case. The reason for this is so you can tell what to type; there is no requirement that you actually type the commands in upper case when you're playing...
Q:How do I get out of the Elizabethan Tearoom?
A:There are two things you need to know to get out of the Tearoom: which direction to move, and how to overcome the feeling of dread that descends upon you. The first problem is easy, since the room description tells you that the way out is to the north. Hence, give the command N (which is short for NORTH).
Going N is no use, however, if you have no points: you will get a feeling of dread when you try to leave the Tearoom, and can't get out until you become suitably composed. To become suitably composed, take the advice given at the end of the description of the room, and SIP TEA. This will give you one point, enough for you to get out by going N. There is no need to SIP TEA every time you play - only do it if you have no points.
Q:How do I find out who else is playing?
A:The WHO command gives a list of current players, including yourself. Most people use a shorter version, QW (or "quick who"), which cuts out most of the padding. There's a SQW ("super-quick who") that reduces the output even more, but it tends to be too slimmed-down for most people.
It may be that you do a WHO and the only name you see on the list is your own! Since MUD is supposed to be a multi-user game, that may surprise you. There are three explanations:
Q:How do I know who the other players are in real life?
A:Only by asking them! If they choose not to tell you, or if they lie, then there is no way you can find out from MUD. It is considered "bad form" to ask this kind of question of someone unless you've got to "know" them quite well in the game, by chatting to them about game-related things.
Since MUD is insulated from the real world, people often use the game to rôle-play, as it allows them be anything they feel like being. If you see a character called Helga walking around shpeaking mit ein cherman accent, it doesn't mean she's really German, or that she's called Helga, or indeed that she's female in the real world. In MUD, you just have to take people as you find them!
Q:How do I talk to other players?
A:There are four main means of communication. To send a message to everyone (usually the best way to get a question answered!) just use the command SHOUT followed by your message in quotation marks, eg. SHOUT "I'M CONFUSED!". Most commands in MUD can be abbreviated, and this one can be shortened in two ways: firstly, SHOUT can be reduced to SH; secondly, the quotation marks can be omitted. Hence, SH I'M CONFUSED is the best way to do it. Shouted information is usually received as coming from a male/female voice, so people can't always tell who shouted. You can never be sure of the reaction of other players to a shout, so if you are ignored or they shout back sarcastic messages, don't feel bad about it.
The second means of communication is more local: you can talk to everyone in your room by using a string without any command, eg. "HI FOLKS". You need to type the opening quote here, but not the final one. The message goes to all players in the same room as you, and they can tell who said it because it appears as X says "HI FOLKS".
The third way to communicate is on a person-to-person level: to talk to an individual player, give their name (NOT including their rank) followed by the message, eg. PERCY WHERE ARE YOU? (the quotes round the message have, again, been omitted). Percy would know you had communcated directly to him because he'd see something of the form X tells you "WHERE ARE YOU?".
The final method of communication is via WISH, as in WISH PLEASE HELP, I'M NEW. This sends your message only to the most powerful (and friendly!) players, known as "wizzes" (wizards/witches). If there are any playing, even invisibly, they'll receive your message and will normally come to your assistance; a message from someone powerful means it is from an invisible wiz. WISH is actually a spell, and you usually fall asleep when you use it, so don't be surprised if this happens.
Q:How do I move around?
A:There are 14 different movement commands. These are used so often that most have very short abbreviations which you ought to use instead of the full-length version - NW is much quicker than NORTHWEST, for example. The main directions are the 8 compass points, N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW. It is assumed that you "just know" which way is N wherever you are in the game, so there's no use of relative directions like left or right.
As well as these 8 directional commands, there is U and D for UP and DOWN. These are sometimes more convenient than compass points, although they normally match one of them. For example, if you're going up a hillside it's quicker to type U a few times than to read the room description in full to find out exactly which direction actually IS up!
A similar pair of convenience commands are IN and O (for OUT). If you're next to some opening, IN will normally take you through it (unless it leads outside). Although IN won't always work, you can use O almost anywhere - it moves you one room towards the room most centrally located in the game, which is nominally the point where the road fords the river. If you're ever lost, keep repeating O until you find somewhere you recognise.
Similar to O is the SWAMP command (abbreviation: ZW, as SW is SOUTHWEST), which moves you one room towards the swamp from anywhere on the surface. You may have to do a few Os before SWAMP will work if you're deep underground. See the question on how to get points if you want to know why this command is so handy!
The last movement command is J (for JUMP). This command is not used very often, and implies that there is a drop of some kind, over or down which you wish to move. Don't use JUMP casually, as it can easily get you killed.
In addition to these 14 movement commands, there are other, magical ways to move about, but they're too high-powered to be discussing here.
Q:What's the basic syntax for commands?
A:Commands are of three forms:
Most of the time the nouns are objects (eg. UMBRELLA), but some commands expect strings, which are messages in quotes (eg. "HI FOLKS!"). It doesn't really matter what preposition you use - F (short for FROM) is commonest. Adjectives and adverbs can be used if you really insist, and articles are occasionally useful (KILL A RAT attacks one of them, whereas than KILL RAT attacks them all).
Most commands, but direction commands in particular, can be strung together on one line, separated by dots. Each dot means one repetition of the previous command, eg. O.O.O.O.O.O.O is the same as O....... and will move you OUT seven times.
Q:How do I pick things up, put things down, and find out what I'm carrying?
A:The command to pick up an object is GET, which is shortened to G. If you G STICK then you will pick up any sticks lying about in your room. The command to put down an object is DROP, shortened to DR. If you DR STICK you will drop any sticks you are carrying (they'll fall to the ground in your room).
Some objects, eg. bags and boxes, are containers. You can put objects in a container by using DROP (or PUT), eg. DR COIN IN BAG. To get something out of a container, use GET (or REMOVE), eg. G COIN FROM BAG.
You can also get objects from creatures and other players by using GET (or STEAL). G AXE FROM NORBERT will attempt to transfer Norbert's axe to you, although you won't always succeed, especially for big objects. DROP (or GIVE) will hand an object to a creature or another player, eg. GIVE BOX TO VAMPIRE.
To find out what you're carrying at any time, use INVENTORY, which is shortened to just I. There is a limit to the number of objects you can carry loose (ie. not in containers), depending on your dexterity; there is also a limit to the total weight you can cart around with you (including anything in your containers), depending on your strength.
Q:How do I pick up lots of objects in a room at once?
A:The nouns which MUD accepts are arranged in a hierarchy of "classes". For example, in the cottage there is a groat. The groat is a kind of coin, and all coins are a kind of money. Money is a subclass of treasure, which in turn is one kind of solid. All solids (and everything else, for that matter) are of class object, also known as all.
Now, if you were in a room and typed G GROAT, it would only pick up the groat. G COIN would pick up the groat and any other coins there, and G MONEY would pick up all objects of type money (which of course includes the groat). G TREASURE (shortened to G T) will pick up anything in the room which is worth points, and G SOLID will get anything solid (treasure or not). G ALL will attempt to get everything in the room.
This classification system works with nearly all commands in MUD, although the fancier aspects of it aren't used so often. So long as you remember G T, G ALL, DR T and DR ALL, you should get along fine.
Q:How do I score points?
A:There are three ways to accrue points in MUD. By far the most popular is to wander around looking for treasure, and, when you find some, to take it to the swamp and drop it there (a process known as "swamping" the object). This will score you points equal to the value of the object. You can then go off searching for more treasure. Swamped objects are effectively out of play until the game is reset, unless the powers that be "unswamp" them.
The second way to get points is by doing certain actions. For example, deep underground is a fountain of wisdom, and entering it will get you a considerable number of points. Needless to say, getting to it isn't all that easy! Eating food is a rather simpler action which often results in an increase in your points.
Finally, there's fighting. You get points if you kill someone or something in a fight, or (generally) if they flee from the fight. The rewards of fighting are immense, and the higher-ranked players can be worth many thousands of points if killed. However, it is also very dangerous, since if you are the one who is killed you will lose all your points, whether you started the fight or not. Even if you win, you will have made yourself an enemy (and yes, any non-players you fight will remember you, too, at least until the next time the game resets!). Fighting players is a very high-risk, yet potentially high-return, business.
Q:How do I find out how many points I have?
A:There is a command, SCORE (or SC for short) which will give you the full details about your character in the game (your persona). This is quite extensive, and many players prefer to use the QS (QUICKSCORE) command, which only displays the more important properties of your persona, including your points.
Whenever you gain (or lose!) points, you will be reminded by the appearance of your new score in round brackets after the event. You'll see it, for example, when you SIP TEA in the Tearoom for the first time; you'll also notice it when you drop treasure in the swamp, and when a fight finishes (assuming you survive!). The change in your score is also presented, so you can gauge the relative worth of various treasures and activities.
Q:What happens to my points when I quit?
A:Your points, along with your other important attributes, are saved when you quit (in the persona file, if you're interested). What isn't saved is a note of your location when you quit, what you were carrying, nor any abilities/disabilities you had which resulted from magic used on you. For example, if someone had cast a glow spell at you so you could see in the dark, this would not be recorded when you quit (however, neither would the results of a deafen or similar spell!).
Q:Where will I find treasure?
A:When you first start, this can be a problem until you find your way around. All novices start off on some section of the narrow road which cuts across MUD from east to west. Off this road you will find some buildings, the important ones being the cottage, the inn and the villa. All these buildings contain treasures which are worth points ONLY to low-ranking players. Such treasures are called trinkets. You will sometimes find proper treasures in these buildings, too, but they are usually removed and swamped quickly by other players as they pass by.
The particular places to look are in the lounge and small bedroom of the cottage; the lounge bar and small bedroom behind the door marked "PRIVATE" of the inn; the nursery in the villa (near the top of the tower - just keep going up from the ingresso). There are also trinkets in other easy-to-find places, such as the stable.
The easier treasure is to find, the less it is worth, so don't expect to come across really valuable stuff until you've explored more.
Q:How do I know how much something is worth?
A:There is a command VALUE (or VAL for short) which tells you how much an object is worth at the time. VAL ALL will tell you about everything you can lay hands on, including players in the room, and VAL T will just go through the treasures (including trinkets).
Values change depending on how many players are in the game, and how much treasure has already been swamped (the more of either, the better). You can VAL something one minute and get a different result when you repeat the VAL the next.
Q:Do I have to make a map?
A:Well it would certainly help! To get an idea of the general geography of The Land (as MUD's domain is called), go to the study in the cottage. There, you will quite often find a crude, general map. Read it, and see if you can reproduce it yourself. This will give some indication of where the main areas of the game are situated, at least for the rooms above ground.
To get an impression of what the particular room you're in looks like, you can either read the room description (which will tell you where the main exits are situated), or use a "mapping" command. There are two of these, EXITS (or just X) and MAP. X provides you with a list of all the exits from a room, and where they lead to (assuming you can see in there). The MAP command gives a visual representation, which is handy if you're looking for a particular kind of room, or want to know what is blocking your way in a particular direction (eg. door or wall). To find out what the symbols on the MAP command mean, there's a KEY command that explains them. You can AUTO MAP to get a map every time you move; likewise, there's AUTO X. Use UNAUTO MAP or UNAUTO X to stop, as appropriate.
So yes, you should certainly make a map; it will make things far easier to find in the long run. Ideally, log all your screen output to a disc somewhere (if you can), and explore The Land with gay abandon. Then take time to make a map later, off-line, when you're not playing.
Q:How do I see in the dark?
A:Well, you have to get a light! The commonest way is to find a stick (they lie around in forests), go to a fire (all the main buildings have one or more) and LIGHT STICK FROM FIRE. You will then be able to see in the dark. Sticks are called brands by most people (although to be pedantic they only become that when they're alight!). WARNING: entering the swamp carrying a lit brand is fatal! DOUSE BRAND before you go in, or just DROP BRAND nearby. You can use lit brands to burn down most doors, but the brand is also consumed a little in the ensuing blaze.
The second way to see in the dark is by having someone cast a GLOW spell on you. You will often hear people shouting asking for a glow, because they can't cast the spells themselves. Magic-users can, however, and since it is a "cheap" spell to cast, will often oblige if you ask politely. If you are obviously a complete novice, stumbling around lost in the dark, you may even be given an unsolicited glow by a wizard or witch who has noticed your plight. It's always polite to shout thanks if that happens.
You can get to glow yourself if you find the circle in the attic of the inn, and drop some treasure in it. It will then tingle with magic, and you can ENTER CIRCLE to start glowing. Also, certain objects glow in the dark, eg. some swords, but if you do find such an object always keep a check on your stamina...
Q:What happens if I walk around in the dark?
A:Nothing special, except you can't see... You will therefore perform less well in fights and so on, but you won't fall into any pits and break every bone in your body (if that's what was worrying you). Players with good maps often don't bother with a light when they enter areas they know well, they just walk around typing G T at the appropriate points!
Q:Why is treasure sometimes worth less?
A:The value of practically all treasures is scaled. Except for a select few items (eg. coins), all treasure has a minimum value and a maximum value. The more (visible) players there are in the game at the time, the closer to its maximum it will be. This reflects the increased difficulty in finding treasures when there are many people competing for them. So, an object will be worth more if there are more people playing.
That's not the end of the story, though: there is a second type of scaling involved. Every 105 minutes or so, MUD resets, which entails throwing all the players off for a few moments while objects and puzzles are replaced in their starting configurations. It stands to reason, then, that treasure will be easier to find immediately after a reset than later on when much of it has be claimed. To account for this, the value of treasure is scaled by a factor which increases as more treasure is dropped in the swamp.
The VALUE command combines both these scaling factors where appropriate.
Also, as mentioned earlier, some treasures (those of class trinket) are only worth points to low-ranking players. If you have gone up a level since you last valued them, they might not be worth the same - in fact, they could be worth a NEGATIVE number of points to you! This is a second way that treasures can sometimes be worth less.
Q:What do I do if I'm attacked?
A:Fights are an intrinsic part of MUD, and you are bound to be attacked eventually, by The Land's resident creatures if not by the other players! It is important to decide quickly whether you stand a chance of winning or not. If you think you're bound to lose, it's best to leave the fight as soon as you are ready. The command to do this is FLEE, shortened to F. This makes you drop everything you were carrying, and moves you in a random direction. Since it may be that there isn't an exit in that direction and you could therefore remain in the room with your opponent (who may well attack again!), FLEE is best used in conjunction with a direction - OUT is a good one, since most rooms have an OUT exit. Hence, if in doubt, F O!
If you think you can win, or would like to risk it anyway, do nothing! Fights continue automatically in MUD, blow by blow, until either party dies or flees. The exact details of how a round of fighting proceeds are quite elaborate, but are based on your strength, dexterity and stamina. The higher your dexterity, the greater your chance of hitting your opponent. The higher your strength, the more damage you will do when you do hit. Your stamina is how much damage you can take, and when it falls to 0 or less, you die. When you are hit in a fight, you are told your remaining stamina as a fraction of your total, eg. (39/45) means it's 39 out of a maximum of 45. For those players using colour, the first figure will be coded from green (not very injured) through yellow (somewhat injured) to red (very injured!).
These colours have a secondary purpose in that when you flee, you lose points depending on your stamina at the time. The standard amount lost occurs when your stamina is between 26% and 75% of its maximum (ie. in the yellow zones). If you have more than 75% of your stamina when you flee, you will lose double the standard amount (unless you are on maximum stamina, in which case you will lose quadruple it!); if you flee on 11% to 25% of your stamina (red zone) you will only lose half the standard amount, however, and if you flee in the bright red zone (5% and under) you will lose NO points for fleeing! Of course, you my well die if you leave it a little too late...
Lots of players wait until their stamina gets close to 0, then FLEE. A good many of such players get killed, because the time between blows in fights is randomly determined and there's a fair chance another exchange will take place before your FLEE command takes effect! So leave a margin of error when you decide to flee, in case your opponent gets another blow in. The most common complaint received by MUSE is "my flee didn't work", which is regarded by the more experienced players as meaning "I didn't flee in time"...
There are many other commands related to fights, and, although most are too specialised to mention here, there are two which merit a brief outline. If you are attacked and are carrying something you think you could use as a weapon, use the RETALIATE (or USE) command, eg. USE STICK. This will increase the damage you do when you land a blow. Also, it turns out that the command sequence F O followed by QUIT is very popular because people don't want to hang around if they are low on stamina; however, if your opponent is quick you can be attacked again after the F O but before the QUIT has been performed. The command SUPERFLEE (or SF) combines the two. It costs more points to use, but at least you'll survive!
Q:What happens when I'm killed?
A:It depends how it happened. If it was due to your doing something silly like jumping off a cliff, you will be "dead", but can come back straight away completely intact (although your stamina will be reduced). If, however, you died because your stamina went to 0 or less, eg. in a fight (but there are other ways it can happen!), then you will be "dead dead" and your persona will be completely erased from the records. Even the name will disappear! This is often a heart-rending occurrence, and can take some getting over, but other players are usually sympathetic and will do their best to cheer you up.
Expect to be killed, especially when you are exploring. You have three personae which you can use, ie. three different characters. Most players keep one for "serious play" and use the others for fun and exploring, since it doesn't really matter if these get bumped off by The Land's creatures or other players. This is a thoroughly sensible approach, and is recommended.
Q:How do I regain lost stamina?
A:Well, there are several methods. The safest is to quit the game and wait. Your persona will get back about one point of stamina for every minute you don't play with it. Either use another persona instead, potter about in LIBRARY, or log off and save money!
A similar way to get back stamina safely is to stand around in the Tearoom when you enter the game. This is quicker than leaving your persona out of play, but of course you will be paying money while you wait. Quite often when you enter the game there will be people hanging around in the Tearoom recovering lost stamina, and they will usually be only too pleased to have someone to chat to; if you need any help or advice, or just a shoulder to cry on, try sitting around in the Tearoom and accosting people as they enter!
A more dangerous way to regain stamina it is to SLEEP. Here, you get your stamina back at the rate of 1 every 2 seconds after the first 6. If you are attacked while asleep, however, the consequences with respect to your health will be severe! It is also difficult to sleep sometimes because other players keep making noises and waking you up (but not always in bedrooms).
The quickest way to regain stamina is to eat a wafer. These are highly sought-after objects found in places which are often difficult to get to, but they will immediately add an amount to your stamina if you eat them. As with treasure, there are some wafers which are intended expressly for the use of low-ranking players (especially in the monastery area).
Of course, there are other ways to get back stamina (eg. certain potions and spells), but they're not all that important to low-level players such as yourself...
Q:How do I increase my strength, dexterity and maximum stamina?
A:You get enough points to go up a level! The LEVELS command tells you how many points are needed per level. Every time you go up a level, your strength, dexterity and stamina go up 10 points (5 if you're a magic-user), to a maximum of 100. There are a few potions around that can raise (or lower!) them, normally only temporarily. Similarly, there are spells and artefacts that can have a limited effect.
Q:How can I distinguish between all these similar objects?
A:Certain classes of objects, for example brands (sticks) and keys, have lots of instantiations. If you DR KEY, you will drop all keys you're carrying. Although it's possible to DR A KEY if you just want to drop one of them, you have a problem if you want to let go of a particular one.
Help is at hand with the IDENTIFY (or ID) command! It turns out that all objects do have unique names, it's just they're not usually shown. You may actually be holding key1, key4 and key52, and could therefore DR KEY4 if that's the one you didn't want. The ID command turns on the displaying of these identification numbers; UNID turns it off.
Q:How come sometimes I only get short room descriptions?
A:Rooms have a short description and a long description. When you enter a room for the first time in a game, you will be given both descriptions. On subsequent entries, you will get only the short description, and will have to use the LOOK command to get the full description again. If you want the long description every time, use the VERBOSE command; to get only short descriptions when you enter rooms, use the BRIEF command. UNBRIEF and UNVERBOSE take you back to the original "verbose on first entry" mode.
There is a related pair of commands, FIGHTBRIEF and FIGHTVERBOSE (FB and FV) which you might find useful. They control the amount of text you get when a fight is taking place. Although the descriptions of blows may be interesting, they can sometimes be a pain, cluttering up the screen with inessential information.
Your VERBOSE/BRIEF and FV/FB settings are saved with your persona, so you don't need to use them every time you play. If you're an old pro' and want all your settings as brief as possible, there's a SBR (SUPERBRIEF) command; if you want maximum verbosity, use SVERBOSE.
Q:What are the other players shouting about?
A:Lots of things! It's impossible to classify what you're likely to hear, although some things are more likely than others (bad language is rare, for example, because players who use it are punished almost immediately by the wizards and witches).
What is often confusing to newcomers is the strange call "icons?" followed some minutes later by a countdown from three to one. This is where a group of players have got together to tackle a particular puzzle which involves their issuing a MEDITATE command simultaneously in certain places about The Land. Once you've got the feel of the game, you'll find out more about it from your peers.
Some players like to keep everyone informed of their activities. These characters will usually supply a ready stream of amusing incidents as they stumble about The Land in their quest for treasure, although not all are friendly... You also often hear people shouting "hi" (or words to that effect!), and bidding you farewell when they leave (sometimes saying where they have left the useful objects that they accumulated while playing, eg. keys).
You will occasionally hear appeals for help, when players have been attacked by some of the more vicious creatures. Wait until you have experience of fighting before thinking of joining in, or you might not last too long. Sometimes players will shout for help to lure others into a trap, but thankfully this doesn't happen too frequently.
Some wizards and witches will set quests or quizzes for players, by shouting out questions and awarding points for the correct answers. This can be fun, and you can join in while carrying out your normal exploring/treasure-seeking activities. If a visible wizard or witch shouts, you will be told their name, rather than the male/female voice in the distance. Likewise, they will be told your name when you shout - anonymity is not guaranteed!
Finally, not everyone likes shouting and you will sometimes see shouts like "QUIET!" and "SHUT UP!!!". These people are trying to catch some sleep to restore stamina, and shouting wakes them up! If they're powerful magic-users, you may find yourself being dumbed if you persist. You have been warned!
Q:How do I get to use spells?
A:It is way beyond the scope of this document to discuss spell usage in detail, but it is the right place to issue a warning. Set into the North Mountain is a cave of stars, which contains an object called a touchstone. If you touch this, you stand a chance of becoming a magic-user. However, this chance is VERY low until about level 7. Consequently, DO NOT TOUCH THE TOUCHSTONE until you know an awful lot more about the game! Otherwise, the odds are that your persona will be instantly destroyed.
Q:How do I stop being attacked?
A:Combat is an integral part of the game, and must be accepted as such. Nevertheless, many players get very attached to their personae, and are greatly distressed if they are killed in fights. Others accept that fighting serves a purpose, but object to being assailed on all sides when they are exploring or merely socialising. To accommodate such situations, MUD has a class of "protected personae", or PPs. These are just the same as normal personae, except they cannot attack or be attacked by other players; this includes "attacks" from spells (benign or otherwise) and the stealing of their objects. Note that game-controlled objects ("mobiles"), such as the vampire, are not bound by any restrictions, and have no compunction in attacking or otherwise harassing PPs. You can tell a PP because the persona's rank is of an explorer/priestly kind, rather than the conventional fighter/magic-user variety.
To become a PP, you must VOW in the Elizabethan Tearoom; to return to normal, UNVOW. UNVOWing will reduce your points by two thirds, as PP life is so much easier than non-PP life, so don't become a PP if you want to crank up a large total of points. Except in incarnations of MUD advertised as such, you can NOT make wizard or witch level as a PP. PP personae are for fun and socialising only.
Q:Is there any on-line help while I'm playing?
A:Yes, of sorts. The most useful command is COMMANDS, which lists all the main commands so you can pick out the one you knew existed but didn't know what it was called... There is also HELP, which explains the most important commands, but it's quite long so you might notwant to do it too often. INFO will give you some information, and HINTS might also help a little.
Of all of these, only COMMANDS is worthwhile reading more than once.
Q:How do I find out about everything this de-mystifier hasn't told me?
A:There are many entries in LIBRARY (option L from the login menu), which will give you hints and ideas. If you explore it, you're bound to find something of interest. Not all of it is supplied by MUSE, as players are sometimes given their own sections in which to upload their own entries; these are often more entertaining and informative than the "official" ones - and more up-to-date, too!
By far the best way to get information, though, is to chat with the other players. The Elizabethan Tearoom is a good place to talk, since everyone passes through there when they start to play (and there's no fighting, either!). You'll find they are an endless source of information, generally happy to talk, and will probably be interested in you and what you have to say. Communication is MUD's main strength, and you should use it to the full. It is also two-way: if you want to talk, then talk! Don't wait for someone else to start!
Then, of course, there's the Web! Many players have their own sites containing MUD-related information. The details are occasionally of dubious accuracy, but some of it is excellent. MUSE's own web site is at http://www.mud.co.uk .
OuttroductionFinally, while we have your attention, we'd like to make this de-mystifier as useful as possible for newcomers. Once you've played for a while, even if you decide to play no further, please give us your opinions on what we can do to smooth the way for new players. A convenient way to do it when playing is by selecting option M from the login menu, and using an L command to leave a message for RICHARD; alternatively, use the BUG command from within the game, or email us - our address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We do listen, and we usually even manage a reply!
Copyright © Multi-User Entertainment Ltd. (email@example.com)
30th September 1998: fulldm.htm