MUD: Hat

The MUG Page:

By the two Arch-MUG's themselves... Kate and Frobozz...

Here we are again, with all the news and view from the land of Multi-User Games!

After our last bit in this august publication, we had a little chat with the original 'Arch to end all Arches', Richard Bartle, he who wrote most of the first multi-user game, MUD. He wanted us to point out that to the best of his knowledge, no-one from MUSE had ever issued 'Kill on sight' instructions about reviewers who wrote bad reviews of MUD-2. Perhaps our mole's vision is deteriorating! Richard did admit that someone said some nasty things about a certain magazine (Personnel Computnig Words, or something, we think they call it) but insisted it was meant as a joke. Honest Injun!

After our last bit of bad news for Essex MUD players (flashback: "You're all Novices!") Richard gave us a bit of good news. He promises that, barring action from the University authorities, the original (and free!) MUD at Essex will remain running for all who are willing to wait up until 2.00 am, when it currently comes online. Richard said he thought it would be immoral to get so many people addicted to the game, and then force them to pay for it. Good for him we say! The people at MUESli (that's "Multi-User Entertainment Limited Incorporated", the wholewhear games company, tee-hee!) are confident that people will be willing to fork out the old crinkly green beer vouchers for the privilege of playing at reasonably social hours. On a similar note, Richard thinks it unlikely that MUD-2 charges will be increased above the current &163;1/hr rate (they were originally going to be £2/hr) as the response to the new rate has been so good. What does Mr Bartle think about the rival MUD's that are springing up? Well, he says he was more impressed with GODS (more on that later...) and thinks that competition from other MUG's like GODS and SHADES will do everyone a lot of good!

MUD is about to stage an invasion! Richard and everyone else at MUSELI are keenly anticipating the latest deal they have made, to put MUD up on American Mega-Network CompuServe. CompuServe happens to use the DEC-10 mainframes that MUD was originally written to run on, so, like Compunet, there are only minor modifications needed to get the game up and running. The Americans will soon be hit by the full addictive force of the original MUD (no preservatives added), straight between the eyes, poor souls! Richard also points out that there are quite a few more players out there in Reagan-Land than there are here, so MUESli is hoping for a goodly revenue from the venture.

MUESli and Compunet decided to hold some Arch-Wiz elections at Compunet recently (at rather short notice, after the "Lotus Affair" we reported last time). Yes, you guess it! We prophesised right! (and we wuz only kiddin' honest Simon!). Lotus and Plod have been elected (in that order) as arches in Compunet MUD. Everybody's favourite, Mogg, gained third place, and those, together with Bella and Johnk (the Compunet presence) are the new force to be reckoned with in Cnet MUD. Just shows, truth is stranger than fiction sometimes, innit?

Undeterred by Kate's experience, Mogg is going to run a Spectacular (where everyone goes round killing everyone else!) on Oct. 26 (so by the time this comes out you may know the results!). People who braved the last Speccy will be pleased to know that it (and all future s[ectaculars) will be played by the rules thrashed out by us (together with Zaphod, Peter and Richard). We emphasise this partially because the rules we put onto Compunet have now been attributed to Johnk, and he wouldn't want anyone thinking he actually wrote them, would he?

We thought it was a good time to give everyone an update on GODS, the undisputed best of the independent (ie. non MUESli) MUG's. We had a chat to the infamous 'Tiger Tiger' who has spent over a year working on the concept, and the system to run it on. Lap of the Gods (Tiger's roaring company) is currently looking at ways to expand beyond the current 8 lines it has, and get more exposure for the game, something it certainly deserves! We went on the game to take a look for ourselves, and found that even without any advertising, GODS has a fair number of players (we saw 6 or 7 people come and go when we were on, well after midnight, and you don't often see that on many big systems like Compunet), most of whom are new to MUG's, rather than being refugees from Essex MUD or MUD-2. The game philosophy is very strange to staunch MUDders like ourselves, but it is very refreshing, and has some good answers to some of the problems that MUD faces when people abuse its wiz powers. The wiz equivalent in GODS is, not surprisingly, a God. Gods must be worshipped by mortals to sustain their powers, and so they are accountable for their actions (though they could try scaring people into making offerings!). Tiger's philosophy is to make the game as self regulating as possible, thus obviating the need for all powerful 'Arches' to keep the nasty wizzes in line. There is a complicated hierarchy to be observed at the temples of the Gods, where priests and acolytes pass offerings on, until they finally reach the Gods, if this is done correctly, everyone in the chain gets experience points for it! There are fighters and fighting in Gods, but, unlike MUD, there are no points for killing other players, so there is less mad mayhem! The whole feel of GODS is very fresh, when played by old MUD diehards like us, and we think that it will appeal to people who have become bored with MUD, as well as totally new MUG players. Commodore owners may be seeing a lot more of GODS in the near future, if rumours we are hearing are correct.

A quick SHADES update: the game is now successfully running on Pretzel, but due to a few tgeething troubles with the linking and charging mechanism, it still isn't being charged for! When it is finally running, it will cost 99p/hr, but we all hope the teething troubles last as long as possible! (hehehehe!).

In the 'fame at last' department, a quick hello to Hercules, Aiken (Kate send him a big kiss!), Piccolo (who we hope to be meeting soon!) and Alice (who has recently been spotted playing after a long interval, and was the first Witch on Compunet!). A big 'hello' also to Smith and Jones, who after being mentioned in our last piece have had their passwords confiscated by Lotus, in her new Arch-Witch guise. Zircon and Balinor (no need for the stars this time) are pressing to get them back, so they can stage a public execution, where all the personas they have killed can get together and murder them! What a way to go! Very fitting for such well-known (and feared!) berserkers. There is nothing actually wrong with what Smith and Jones are doing, and we think that they are taking everything in a very good spirit. We hope that everyone involved will press the new powers that be to allow this execution, and so fulfill the last wishes of the soon to be legendary Smith and Jones (And their aliases!).

That's it for the MUG Gossip mill this month. See you on the game!

Kate the Wicth has disappeared in a puff of Chanel No. 5!

Frobozz the Wizard has just disappeared in a puff of Smoke! (Probably from his wordprocessor!).

Richard A. Bartle (
21st January 1999: ccidec86.htm