Multi User Games Hat

Multi User Games

Blane Bramble brings us right up to date with a look at the NEW incarnation of MUD...

MUD 2: Back from Beyond.

First, why a new incarnation? MUD (or more accurately MUD 2) used to be licensed to British Telecom, and was available through them via a PSS gateway, as well as direct dial lines. It achieved a large amount of success despite an almost total lack of marketing or publicity, and was running away quite happily - until one day BT decided to pull the plug on it. Quite why they decided to shut down a successful (and almost definitely profitable) system will no doubt remain a mystery, but all was not lost. MUSE, who developed MUD and licensed it to BT soon had another licensee - namely Roger Harazim, and the system is now available once more.

Whilst the loss of BT's 'backing' is a serious blow, removing any advantage that MUD 2 may have had over the other games currently available, the removal of the hindrance imposed by the apparent disinterest BT had in MUD 2, and MUGs in general should be a distinct advantage. The new incarnation is said to have been tweaked, and also various improvements are planned.

Well, that's enough of the potted history, now on with a look at the game...

Logging onto MUD 2, one of the first things you notice is the vast library of information available about the game: a beginners guide, help information, terms and conditions, and the 'MUD De-mystifier'. Quite an awesome array, which, no doubt, sometime I will get round to browsing at leisure. As with all games, new players are well advised to take the time to read help information, it is suprising just how many people still think they can just dial up and play without reading about the game and the available commands (how many of you would attempt to play a new board game without first reading the instructions?).

On creating a persona within MUD 2, you are presented with the option of 're-rolling' your statisitics, which redistributes your strength, dexterity and stamina randomly, allowing players some degree of say in the physical make-up Of their persona. If you want a particularly strong character you can probably have one, but at the expense of your dexterity and stamina.

The MUD 2 parser is supposed to be one of the most sophisticated (if not the most sophisticated) in use. MUD 2 understands and deals with fluids, containers and so on although experience of games shows that players tend to ignore any sophistication and stick with GET ALL/DROP ALL type commands wherever possible... There is quite an array of commands to do with personalising your setup - AUTO EXITS displays the list of available exits (and the name of the location they lead to) automatically when you move, and so on. Wandering around the game, the descriptions are atmospheric (but not over the top length-wise), with objects and other information folded into the description as one paragraph. Although this makes more sense structurally, it does make it harder to see at a glance what objects or creatures are within the location - which can be a disadvantage, especially at slower speeds. Weather information is included (for much of my time on-line I was informed 'It is raining', which seems realistic enough...).

Where to for the future?

With a fairly sophisticated system, a ready-made loyal bank of players, an energetic and enthusiastic team behind the game, and a spattering of publicity, MUD 2 has to have a rosy future. The game has enough short-term interest for new users to wander around acclimatising to the system, and (by the number of players who swear by MUD 2) enough long-term interest to keep many of those on. With a few new areas being worked on, the resulting expansion of the game will provide existing players with new exploring to do, and it is difficult to see how MUD 2 could possibly fail.

Accessing MUD 2

Dial 081 478 4488 (speeds up to 2400) or 081 553 3155 (1200/75 only). Enter mudguest at the log-in prompt, and follow the menus. Or log-in as usual for seasoned players.



Shades is up and free on TAO - (071) 275 9996. To try Shades, once you have connected to the system and got the prompt, type SHADES and then hit RETURN, you should get a message about a gateway server, if nothing appears to be happening after 10 seconds or so, try typing RETURN again to wake the system up. After that you should be at the Shades log-in, and can follow the on-screen directions.


Both the IOWA front end and MirrorWorld are due for a shake up soon, with a replacement front end being developed, and MirrorWorld due for moving to a more powerful machine that will allow the game to be further developed.


The Void has moved (yes I know it moved quite a while ago), and is now on a London exchange number, which should provide local access for more people. The new number is (081) 566 9234. Other details remain the same.

Blane Bramble

Richard A. Bartle (
21st January 1999: tmspr92.htm