MugScan Hat

Meanwhile, behind the scenes of the multi-user scene, life is partying away too! Every day, new and innovative ideas are coming out of the minds of MUGgers everywhere. Sitting on top of this is Pip Cordrey, who has his finger in so many pies it's a wonder that he has kept such a low profile! Yet still his own multi-user network is beginning to add a whole range of programs onto the phone lines; and he is ever eager to pass these breakthroughs onto you... You really do not know the trouble we had to go through to get his feet back on the ground for this...


by Pippin


Just as text-based adventures on micros have proliferated in recent years, so online Multi-User adventure systems have been highly successful as well. They, in fact, have been around since the earliest days of computing and modems. Essex University was the first UK site where a MUG was available and such was its success that the university authorities had to limit MUD's activities to night-time only. MUD was and still is one of the most popular Multi-User games, but of course there is now quite a choice of good games. To play a Multi-User Dungeon you need a computer, a modem, communications software. The object of the most games is to accumulate enough points to progress to the status of a Wizard or some other powerful persona status depending on the story-line of the game. This persona usually has remarkable powers that other players do not have. for example the ability to snoop on all other players and to force them to do various things. The points themselves are gained by collecting treasure and killing other characters. Few players, however, would confine their definition and enjoyment of the game to this.

Role-playing is a very important element of Mugs, though the computer provides certain important differences between this and other role playing adventure games. As the games are played using a computer at home, players have total control over the character they choose to project. Another advantage of the computer run game is convenience. You can play Mugs with, and against, lots of other people whenever you choose without the bother of arranging a meeting place and setting aside an evening or day, and of course the games run twenty four hours a day. Many of the game worlds are furbished with castles and buried treasure as most 'Lands' are 'middle earth' scenarios but increasingly other types of game are coming on line with space epics like Empyrion. Flash Gordon complete with Imperial Princesses are a new favourite background story. Games usually contain about a thousand locations which are described to players who roam around using the 8 points of the compass plus commands such as IN, OUT, UP and DOWN.

The descriptions you receive as you move may contain hints about the best route to take next and clues to where treasure might be hidden, and of course give you clues to some of the puzzles that can result in you gaining even more points. You are told if any other characters are in the area. In addition to other people playing the game there are a number of 'mobiles' - computer-generated characters - such as the castle guard, bats, thieves and dragons.

Fighting can be either a blow by blow system, with the player typing each attacking or defending move or blows can be automatically exchanged, with the computer generating the fight depending on your stamina which is allocated by the machine depending on your level. This added to your weapon power (if any). This figure is deducted from your opponent's Stamina if you score a hit.

Whether or not you score a hit depends on the relative difference in level of the two players, and the number of blows you get in during a round of combat. The fight continues automatically until a player dies, flees or quits.

In most games fleeing and quitting incur points loss for cowardice, but if you started the fight, and you're killed all your points are lost. You lose only half if you were the victim. One of the most popular aspects of Mugs are undoubtedly their interactive nature. Apart from enabling you to move around, fight or hunt for treasure, they allow you to meet people. You can conduct conversations via your computer keyboard. As you see there is a world of adventure waiting for you out there, so dust off you modem and get playing. This corner of Confidential is devoted to telling you about all the latest ideas and developments in the MUG world, so try and get yourself online and share in the fun. In the next issue I will be reviewing some pretty revolutionary new concepts in game play to see you then..Pippin.

All the games shown use 1200/75 baud rate with one stop bit and no parity, except Shades micronet when you would use standard viewdata software.


Mud201-998-8899 play as Guest or subscribe.
Gods01-994-9119 play as Guest or subscribe.
Zone01-994-9119 play as Guest or subscribe.
Shades0343-810905 Free test port for MicroNet.
Shades MicroNetYour local Prestel viewdata number (2p a minute)
MirrorWorld0883 744044 and 0883 744164. Free to play.
Parody0883 744044 and 0883 744164. Free to play.
Quest0883 744044 and 0883 744164. Free to play.
Empyrion0883 744044 and 0883 744164. Free to play.

Richard A. Bartle (
21st January 1999: cnffeb90.htm