The MUD Starter Kit

Colin Moock
(C)opyright Sams Publishing, 1995

This document appears as Chapter 6 of Teach Yourself the Internet: Around the World in 21 Days, Neil Randall, ed. It includes a general introduction to the world of MUDs, as well as a tutorial on the very basics of getting started. There are al so some references at the end. For a more complete list of references, try my 51 Sites of Note in the MUD World. Most of my work is biased towards Tiny MUD and educational MUDs, but I cover enough gaming information to get sta rted with more game style MUDs. Also, some of the references are generalized to suit a very beginner audience. Because the text has actually been published in print, please contact me if you have any questions about reproduction.

[MUD RESOURCES]
[COMMUNICATION IN THE VIRTUAL CLASSROOM]
[VUW MOO HOMEPAGE]


MULTIPLE USER DIMENSIONS (MUD’S)

Twice in my years of using the Internet I have been made supremely aware of exactly what it is I am doing when I sit using my computer in my comfortable room in my little Canadian city. Both times I have been using MUD’s. The first time I was playing a game with “Blackthorn”, a user from Seattle, Washington, USA. We were teaming up on killing some evil goblins, when my mother walked in my room and told me to ask my fellow marauder what he thought of Jean Chretien, who at that time had only recently be en elected as the Canadian Prime Minister. Blackthorn replied quite innocently, “Who’s she?” He thought I meant another player on the game.

The second time, I was preparing to write this chapter, and sent a general request out for information and documentation. Within an hour, I had received a long piece of mail with the subject “MUD Frequently Asked Questions”. I opened it eagerly only to find that the entire text was in Italian.

All of the services available through the Internet cross borders to one degree or another. Most, however, seem eventually to lose their feel of distance both in geographical and in cultural terms. Very little of the character of an Australian gets e xpressed by the domain suffix “.au” in an email address. Likewise, a WWW site somehow always feels to me removed from its HTML author. The one place on the Internet where I get consistently reminded of the people behind the computers, is on MUD’s.

IN THE STARTER KIT YOU'LL LEARN


What a MUD is
Where MUD’s came from
How to use MUD’s to play games
How to connect to a MUD
How to get started with some basic MUD commands
How to understand some common MUD terms
How to get a permanent user account
Where to get information about specialized connection software
Where to find the right MUD for you
Where to find MUD information sources

1.1 WHAT IS A MULTIPLE USER DIMENSION (MUD)?

MUD’s have been described as text-based virtual reality. Essentially, a MUD is a text setting (like a description from a novel) which allows users to interact both with their environment and with other users. Structurally, MUD’s are made up primarily of descriptions of real and imagined areas such as forests, dungeons, offices, universities, cities, rooms, or any other spatially oriented environment. Users can navigate through and examine these settings, and can communicate with other users within the context and confines of the particular setting of the MUD. Socially, then, MUD’s provide users with a grounded situation in which to interact with others at near real time speed. Communication commands are modeled on real life, with “say,” “tell,” “whis per,” and “shout,” among the most common commands. Non-verbal communication is also incorporated into the virtual world. A user can, for instance, shake hands with, or smile at, another user. Like the description says, MUD’s are text-based virtual real ity. Something to note, however: obviously, the authors and programmers of MUD’s are rarely famous authors. In fact, very few MUD’s exist as commercial entities. For the most part, their creators and administrators work entirely on a volunteer basis. The quality of the virtual experience depends in many ways on the imagination and thoroughness of each individual MUD’s creators; the difference in quality has as many variations as there are MUD’s.

1.2 THE HISTORY OF MUD’S

New users of MUD’s often encounter a great deal of confusion simply because of the imprecision of the name and its acronym, and because of the sheer number of MUD spin-offs. In general, you should know that all MUD’s, no matter what their name, have the same foundational premises: on all of them you can walk around a virtual world, and on all of them you can interact with other users. You are safe to call them all MUD’s, though some will complain about your lack of accuracy. The confusion over the name stems from the origin of MUD’s.

Between 1979 and 1980, Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle developed a program called Multi-User Dungeon at Essex University in England. They called it MUD1. Originally, the project was a commercial venture, but students became involved in both playing and programming the game. Some of these students actually created their own versions of MUD1. The first was called AberMUD (programmed at Aberstwyth), and was distributed over JANet (Joint Academic Network) and the Internet. Both MUD1 and AberMUD were entirely game oriented. Remember, the 1980’s was the zenith of interest in TSR’s Dungeons and Dragons. As in D & D, players of MUD1 were there to explore dungeons, fight monsters, buy swords, and become powerful wizards. However, once MUD1 entered a br oader academic forum via AberMUD, it grew once again. From AberMUD came TinyMUD and LPMUD. This growth marks a crucial change in the world of MUD’s: LPMUD continued the gaming tradition of its predecessors, but TinyMUD was developed as more of a social environment than a game. No dragons here, just a place to interact and create interesting things. Hence, a confusing renaming took place. The “D” in TinyMUD came to mean “Dimension,” or “Domain,” or “Dialogue,” or anything that didn’t sound like a game . The “D” in LPMUD continued to mean “Dungeon,” but eventually also meant “Dimension” when different LPMUD’s started to provide gaming settings not based on dungeons and medieval scenarios. To this day, the distinction, and the ensuing confusion, still exists, and there’s no sign of things getting any better: one descendent of TinyMUD now bears the name “MUSH” for “Multiple User Shared Hallucination”.

TIP: As a general rule, MUD’s are divided into two categories: 1) games, and 2) purely social environments. Both LPMUD and MUD nearly always refer to a game with some form of combat, while TinyMUD and its descendants, TinyMU CK, TinyMUSH, and TinyMOO, all refer to more socially oriented MUD’s.

MUCK, MUSH, and MOO are all variations of TinyMUD. Each is a step away from the game atmosphere towards MOO, which is the main type of non-game-oriented MUD. If you want to know the whole fifteen year saga, check out Lauren Burka’s WWW site at “http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/lpb/muddex.html”.

1.3 PLAYING GAMES WITH MUD’S

Though the beginning of this chapter stresses the people behind the computers in the world of MUD’s, many users of MUD’s wish to submerge the reality both of the computer and of the real people working the computers in order to achieve a virtual reality experience. The original creator of MUD1, Dr. Richard Bartle, wrote that:

MUA’s [Multiple User Adventures (MUD’s)] can exert an influence over a large number of...players all out of proportion to that of either a chatline or a game alone. MUA’s have an emotional hold over their players which stems from the players’ ability to project themselves onto their game persona, feeling as if the things which happen to the game personae are happening directly to the players themselves....The really exceptional thing about interactive, multi-user computer games of the MUA variety is n ot that you’re chatting to someone miles away (although that can be fun), and it’s not that you’re competing against a real human instead of a machine (although that can also be fun); it’s that you’re existing in another world. That’s the root of their a ppeal.

His observation certainly holds true in the world of games. Though games are not the specific focus of this chapter, you will be able to use all the skills you learn in the next sections within a game context. Remember, all MUD’s (Tiny and LP) work on the same principles. Once you learn one, you’ll be able to use them all at the basic level.

In most MUD games you have one central goal: kill things. By killing things, you gain points, and by gaining points you go up levels. Once you have made it through all the levels you become a wizard. As a wizard, you gain the power to actually crea te your own area, that is, if you’re zealous enough to learn to program. Typically, don’t expect to become a wizard in less than a year if you’re only going to play for an hour a day. The combat system is designed to be extremely slow in order to prohib it players from shooting up the ranks too quickly, and, hence, from not knowing what to do once they become wizards.

That gives you a skeletal structure. The interesting part is finding out what each individual MUD does to enhance that structure. MUD games can get incredibly elaborate. If you get hurt in a fight, what do you do? Drink alcohol to heal, or cast a healing spell, or drink a potion. If you’re drunk from healing, you can’t fight, so how do you get sober? Drink some coffee, or sleep it off. Sound familiar? Most MUD games go much further. Choose your race, learn new languages and speak them only to others who know your tongue. Join players’ guilds and gain special powers (telepathy, spells, skill enhancement) from devotion, deeds, and donations. Engage in one on one combat with another user, or in full scale multi-user battles. Go on a quest to increase your level. Buy a dog or a hawk from a pet store that follows you around and fights with you. Decide which weapon and armour suits your class: monks can’t use weapons because they need their hands free for martial arts. Truly, some MUD games g o into seemingly endless detail.

The fun for most users is discovering those details. Therefore, your best bet for getting involved in MUD games is either to jump right in and figure it out as you go, or to follow through the next section learn some MUD basics: communicating and mov ing. You can then learn each individual MUD game’s style of combat when you get there. Follow the instructions below on connecting to MUD’s, but you won’t have to type “connect guest”. Just wait for the game to prompt you for information. Section 1.8 of this kit lists a few games for you to try, and gives you information on how to find out about the hundreds more.

1.4 CONNECTING TO MUD’S

The simplest and most common way to connect to a MUD is to use TELNET. Since TELNET is a generic Internet tool, however, it can provide only basic screen formatting and text editing. There are connection tools called “clients” (described later in Sectio n 1.7) that provide much neater interfaces to MUD’s, but TELNET provides usable access that’s easy to learn. Many MUD’s try to take into account the fact that the majority of their users only have TELNET. Those MUD’s design special features to make up f or what can occasionally be a fairly jumbled and ugly screen display.

TASK 1: CONNECT TO A MUD

You will be connecting to a MUD of the MOO type (MOO stands for “MUD-Object-Oriented”) called LambdaMOO. Remember that MOO’s are entirely social environments, so there won’t be any game features here, but it can still be fun! LambdaMOO is the largest of all MOO’s, in fact, most other MOO’s are developed from the basic LambdaMOO program. Most users of other MOO’s also have accounts at LambdaMOO, so you can imagine how busy LambdaMOO can get. Luckily, this means there will be lots of users waiting to as sist you. Unfortunately this also means that your connection will be slow. The amount of time that elapses between you typing a command and the MOO responding to it is called “lag”. The lag time can reach as long as ten seconds on LambdaMOO.

1) Login to your UNIX shell account.
2) Type “telnet lambda.parc.xerox.com 8888”. You must have a space between “com” and “8888”. This is your first MUD address. All MUD addresses will have either four or five components: a series of either three or four words separated by peri ods, and a four digit “port number,” in this case “8888”. Sometimes your computer won’t be able to convert the words to numbers. If your TELNET can’t locate the host, you can try giving it the actual numeric address. Most MUD lists provide both. The n umeric address for LambdaMOO is “192.216.54.2 8888”. Notice that you still need the port number.

TIP: If you mistype even one digit in an entire MUD address, you will be sent to an unknown machine and asked to login. If you ever see: “login:” when you try to connect to a MUD, you’ve typed the address wrong. Type “CTRL- C” to end the TELNET session, and then check that you have all required parts of the address, including the port number. You might try using the numeric address instead.

Once you complete Step 2, your should get the following on your screen:
% telnet lambda.parc.xerox.com 8888
Trying 192.216.54.2...
Connected to lambda.xerox.com.
Escape character is '^]'.

***************************
* Welcome to LambdaMOO! *
***************************

Running Version 1.7.8p4 of LambdaMOO


PLEASE NOTE:
LambdaMOO is a new kind of society, where thousands of people voluntarily come together from all over the world. What these people say or do may not always be to your liking; as when visiting any international city, it is wise to be careful who you associate with and what you say.
The operators of LambdaMOO have provided the materials for the buildings of this community, but are not responsible for what is said or done in them. In particular, you must assume responsibility if you permit minors or others to access LambdaMOO through your facilities. The statements and viewpoints expressed here are not necessarily those of the wizards, Pavel Curtis, or the Xerox Corporation and those parties disclaim any responsibility for them.
For assistance either now or later, type `help'.
The lag is approximately 8 seconds; there are 191 connected.
Type `connect <character-name> <password>' to connect to your character,
`connect Guest' to connect to a guest character,
`create' to see how to get a character of your own,
`@who' just to see who's logged in right now,
`@uptime' to see how long the server has been running,
`@version' to see what version of the server we're running, or
`@quit' to disconnect, either now or later.

For example, `connect Munchkin frebblebit' would connect to the character `Munchkin' if `frebblebit' were the right password.

After you've connected, type `help' for more documentation.

Please email bug/crash reports (but NOT character-creation requests) to lambda@parc.xerox.com.

3) You are now at the LambdaMOO site, but you are still not connected to the MOO. You are only looking at what is called the “welcome page”. Since you don’t have account on LamdaMOO as a regular user (you’ll learn how to get one later), you wi ll have to connect as a guest. Type “connect guest” to log in as a visitor. You don’t need a password. You should then see the following:
connect guest
Okay,... guest is in use. Logging you in as `Ruddy_Guest'
*** Connected ***

1.5 PERFORMING SOME BASIC MUD ACTIVITIES

TASK 2: COMMUNICATING AND MOVING AROUND

1) Immediately after you connect, LambdaMOO will ask you which type of environment you wish to enter. You should see:

Would you like to start in a noisy or quiet environment? A noisy environment will place you where you can get help from others and converse; while a quiet environment will give you a quiet place to read help texts.
[Please respond 'noisy' or 'quiet'.]

Type “noisy”. This will put you in a place where there are other users. Then you should see:

The Coat Closet
The closet is a dark, cramped space. It appears to be very crowded in here; you keep bumping into what feels like coats, boots, and other people (apparently sleeping). One useful thing that you've discovered in your bumbling about is a metal doorknob set at waist level into what might be a door.
There is new news. Type `news' to read all news or `news new' to read just new news.
Type `@tutorial' for an introduction to basic MOOing. If you have not already done so, please type `help manners' and read the text carefully. It outlines the community standard of conduct, which each player is expected to follow while in LambdaMOO.

TIP: Up until this point, everything has probably looked pretty smooth and coherent. However, you’re in now: DO NOT PANIC! Things will scroll by before you can read them; commands may get mixed up with other text; lines ma y be truncated. You can fix all this. Remain calm.

2) The Closet is the first room in LambdaMOO. Read the description. That’s where you are, or more accurately, that’s where you should envision yourself being. You can see already that the description provides hints about what you are supposed to do. You might want to open the door. However, if you tried typing something like “I would like to open the door,” or “Please open the door for me,” the computer won’t know what you mean. You need to drop all the articles from your speech (the, an, a), and to issue short, terse commands. For instance, to open the door you type: “open door”. To turn the doorknob you type “turn doorknob”. Also, you might have to keep trying until you get the right phrase. If you type “swivel handle” and nothing ha ppens, it’s not because there’s no doorknob, it’s just because the computer doesn’t realize that “handle” is another name for “doorknob,” and “swivel” is another word for “turn”. Try it now. Type “open door”. You should see:

You open the closet door and leave the darkness for the living room, closing the door behind you so as not to wake the sleeping people inside.
The Living Room
It is very bright, open, and airy here, with large plate-glass windows looking southward over the pool to the gardens beyond. On the north wall, there is a rough stonework fireplace. The east and west walls are almost completely covered with large, well-stocked bookcases. An exit in the northwest corner leads to the kitchen and, in a more northerly direction, to the entrance hall. The door into the coat closet is at the north end of the east wall, and at the south end is a sliding glass door leading out onto a wooden deck. There are two sets of couches, one clustered around the fireplace and one with a view out the windows.
You see README for New MOOers, Welcome Poster, a fireplace, Cockatoo, Helpful Person Finder, The Birthday Machine, a map of LambdaHouse, lag meter, and Dutch here.

Not all rooms have such extensive descriptions, but this is the main hub of activity in LambdaMOO, and the place where you can always come for help.

WARNING: Once you enter the Living Room, there will be an enormous amount of activity. Typically there are at least ten users in the Living Room all chatting. While this is exhilarating, it can also be overwhelming. Stay c alm. This is about as noisy as you’ll ever see a MUD get.

3) You probably want to get in on some of this communication. To say something to others in the Living Room, type “say” then leave a space, then type your message. Your message will be sent to everyone in the room. For instance you might type : say Hi, I’ve never used a MUD before. And everyone else in the room would see: Guest says, “Hi, I’ve never used a MUD before.” The “say” command is your main communication device. Note that only those in the Living Room will hear you. If you go to a nother room, only those in that room will hear you.

TIP: Now that you’ve learned how to talk to other users in a MUD, you should know the most useful command you’ll ever learn: say I’m new...could someone please help me learn to use a MUD? People on MUD’s are nearly always he lpful and will spend their time answering your questions and teaching you the ropes. If you have a specific question, just say it, and watch carefully for the reply.

One of the confusing aspects of the TELNET interface is that everything you type gets mixed in with everything else. You will have to get used to this. Don’t worry if your typing is dispersed through messages that are coming up on your screen. Your command will still work when you press ENTER. A display like the following is common. In this case, Guest is typing the command “say can someone help me learn how to use this MOO?” Guest’s typing is printed in capitals here so can see it, but when yo u’re really connected, it will all be in lower case.

SAY CAN SOMEONE Bill [to Sally]: the weather is sporadic and crappy, humid
sumHmers and mild winters.
ELP ME LEARN TO USE THIS MOO?
Sally [to Bill]: yep, you said it.
Kelvor [to Shadow]: i'm gonna have to get going here in a second
Silver_Guest [to Mr.jones]: I've just been introduced two days ago. I get completely lost in tunnels and cellars.
Mr.jones [to Silver_Guest]: so I've heard...
You say, "can someone help me learn to use this MOO?"

Notice how the MUD sends you confirmation of your command all on one line with the sentence: You say, “can someone help me learn to use this MOO?” That’s how you know your command registered, and it lets you see what you typed if you can’t decipher it through the other users’ conversation. Remember if you’re typing and something interrupts you, just keep right on typing. The MUD remembers what you typed, even if you don’t!

4) Eventually you might want to talk to a user that is in a different room than you are, and say won’t work, and you don’t want to go all the way to that user’s location. To send a private message to one individual in the room, type “page” foll owed by the user’s name, followed by your message. For instance, you might type: page Bill Nice to see you again! Bill, and Bill only, would see: You sense that Guest is looking for you. He pages, “Nice to see you again!” Note: on LPMUD’s and other MU D’s the word “page” would be “tell” but the result would be the same.

5) Most MUD’s have built-in actions. They are easy to use and enhance the experience greatly. Try typing the following, one at a time: “smile” “bow” “wave” “laugh”. Others will see the action you do in text. Some MUD’s have hundreds of actio ns for you to use.

6) After you’ve tried talking a little, you’ll want to move around. Type “look” to get a description of where you are again. You can always type “look” to get your bearings. The “look” command will usually also tell you the exits you can take to get out of your current location and into another one. Once you have read which exits there are, simply type the name of one of them to go in that direction. Typically, MUD exits are based on compass directions, i.e. north, south, east, and west. H owever, some rooms will have others like “up,” “out,” “porthole,” “ladder,” or anything else that can be used to get from one place to another. Still other MUD’s work entirely on their own system. The HyperText Hotel MOO is a walk-through fiction, and t he main exit type is “follow”.

7) The four commands, say, page, look, and exit-name, will get you started using MUD’s. From there on in, the more you learn to control your persona, the more real the virtual reality will feel. To learn more about how to use MUD’s, you can an d should always type “help”. Finally, your last task will be to take the MOO tutorial on LambdaMOO. This tutorial will help you practise some of the basic commands you have learned, and will teach you more. The tutorial will also help you fix up your s creen display. Type “@tutorial” to start the tutorial.

TIP: Many commands in MOO are preceded by the “@” sign. This feature is particularly abundant in MOO’s in comparison with other MUD’s. If a command doesn’t work, you might try putting an “@” in front of it. Alternately, if you already have an “@” sign and it doesn’t work, you might try giving the command without the “@”. If you get used to MOO’s, you’ll have to train yourself to omit the “@” when you use other MUD’s.

TASK 3: FIXING YOUR SCREEN DISPLAY (MOO’S ONLY)

The LambdaMOO tutorial does a good job of teaching you to adjust your screen display. However, for a general guide to fixing your display, follow these steps. Note that your specific set up may require slightly different parameters. The following are, however, fairly typical.
1) Type “@linelength 75”. This prevents lines from getting cut off.
2) Type “@wrap on”. This enables word wrapping.
3) Type “@pagelength 22”. This will prevent text from scrolling by before you can read it. There’s a catch, however. You will need to type “@more” every time the scrolling pauses. The “@more” command will bring up the next page of text.

1.6 MUD JARGON

Because of the time typing takes, lots of frequently used phrases get shortened by users. Often they’ll type only the initials of common phrases. In addition, MUD users seem to like giving nicknames to things. The following are just a few of the terms you’ll see used on MUD’s. Expect to also see more general Internet lingo like “flame” or “spam”.

rl: Real Life, as opposed to the MUD character.
irl: In Real Life.
afk: Away From Keyboard. Users might type this if they have to leave their computer for any reason.
btw: By The Way
otoh: On The Other Hand
imho: In My Humble Opinion
brb: Be Right Back
MU*: A reference to all the varieties of MUD’s out there. MUD’s in general.
“to wiz”: a verb used to describe a user’s graduating to the level of wizard.
“net-dead”: The user is logged in, but their connection has been cut.
“idle”: When a user hasn’t touched the keyboard for a while.
“lag”: The time that elapses between typing a command and getting a response to it from the MUD.
“newbie”: A new MUD user.
emoticons: Be prepared to see lots of sideways smiley faces :) They’re faster than typing “smile”.

1.7 GETTING A USER ACCOUNT

On some MUD’s you’ll automatically be offered a character the first time you log in. Each MUD differs slightly, but most simply ask you to type in your name and the password you’d like to use. From then on you type in that same name and password to conn ect as your old identity. On others, however, you will have to request a character after you log on as a guest. To become a registered user on LambdaMOO, for instance, you type: “@request player-name for email-address”. So if you wanted a user to b e called Chris, and your email address were csmith@tech.com, you’d type “@request Chris for csmith@tech.com”. On more restricted MUD’s you may have to provide more extensive information about yourself in order to be granted an account. If you don’t want to give out that information, then perhaps this MUD isn’t the one for you. Once you have used @request, your character request will be processed. If you are granted an account, your name and new password will be mailed to you at your real email address . You’ll also be mailed instructions on how to connect. To connect to a registered user identity on LambdaMOO you type “connect” followed by your user name, followed by your password: “connect Chris secretpassword”.

1.8 BETTER THAN TELNET: INFORMATION ABOUT CLIENT SOFTWARE

If you’ve simply had enough of the TELNET interface, you might consider getting a “client”. You’ll have to have a decent knowledge of the operating system you’re running on, but if you manage to set a client up, you’ll love the difference. Clients autom atically adjust your screen display, allow you to connect to several MUD’s at once, and can separate your input from the MUD output, thus eliminating the jumbled look of TELNET.

The most popular UNIX client for Tiny MUD’s is TinyFugue. You can learn more about setting up TinyFugue (aka TF) at the WWW site: http://tf.tcp.com/~hawkeye/tf/

There are clients for nearly every operating system (including Windows, Mac, and DOS), and for nearly every type of MUD. The client FAQ will get you started on setting one up for your system. Visit: http://www.math.okstate.edu/~jds/mudfaq-p2.html

To get a free copy of nearly any client by anonymous FTP, check out: ftp://ftp.math.okstate.edu/pub/muds/clients/

1.9 FINDING THE MUD FOR YOU

There are probably over a thousand MUD’s of reasonable quality set up around the world. Most allow public access. Part of the process of finding a MUD that suits you involves simply visiting a bunch of them and trying them out. Below you’ll find a shor t list of the more established MUD’s. You can see the variety out there from these few. Many academic institutions are setting up “Virtual Campuses” for correspondence students. Businesses are creating Virtual Offices. And, of course, eager individual s are still hacking out endless gaming scenarios. To get a good-looking list of a few hundred MUD’s, point your WWW browser to Scott Geiger’s homepage at “http://www.interplay.com/mudlist”. You can even t elnet directly to each MUD right from the web site if you’ve got your software set up correctly. Also, for a searchable index sorted by MUD type and theme, try Andrew Wilson’s WWW site at “ http://paladin.cm.cf.ac.uk/htbin/AndrewW/MUDlist”

GAME MUD’S:

Dragon’s Den
A venerable adventuring MUD, mainly in the Dungeons and Dragons genre, that just keeps expanding and improving. Fairly small user base right now, and ready to grow. A good fully functional MUD with lots of support for newbies.
telnet hellfire.dusers.drexel.edu 2222
or 129.25.56.246 2222

BatMUD
By far the biggest and most complex gaming MUD around. Nearly half a million rooms, hundreds of spells and special skills. Dozens of guilds. Get lost forever. Two hundred players on average, with little lag. Excellent detail (from sunrises to thi rst) adds to the atmosphere of the game. Probably the best, but certainly not the easiest. You might want to get your training on other MUD’s first. Located in Helsinki, Finland. Check out their WWW site: “http://b at.cs.hut.fi”
telnet bat.cs.hut.fi 23 or 130.233.40.180 23

Genocide
Encourages player to player combat. You might want to have some MUD experience before you try Genocide.
telnet camelot.shsu.edu 2222 or 192.92.115.145 2222

Future Realms
Closely adherent to the Star Trek theme. Offers a very large realm and an interesting social system based on Star Trek. All your favourite Trekkie toys. Minor combat system. The creators spent a good amount of time on development before opening th is growing MUSH to the public early in 1995. Lots of help for newbies. WWW site: “http://www.fc.net:80/~infoteql”.
telnet dendrite.onramp.net 1701
or 199.1.135.110 1701
Also try these in the Star Trek genre: HoloMUD (telnet holo.fc.net 7777); TrekMOO (telnet aaraaf.ravenet.com 1701, or 204.176.14.4 1701). TrekMOO will likely have moved by 1996. Send mail to stm-l@abmsystems.ns.ca if you have trouble connecting.

SOCIAL, ACADEMIC, AND NON-GAMING MUD’S

LambdaMOO
The parent of them all. Huge areas to explore. Decent polish. Hundreds of users. Lag time can occasionally make Lambda nearly unusable.
telnet lambda.parc.xerox.com 8888
or 192.216.54.2 8888

Brown’s HyperText Hotel
An attempt to render hypertext fiction into the MUD environment. Interesting pioneering effort. A little unpolished.
telnet 128.148.37.8 8888

P(ost) M(odern) C(ulture) MOO
An academic forum for the Arts. Expect to chat, but not necessarily about Jaques Derrida. Users don’t necessarily conform to the theme.
telnet hero.village.virginia.edu 7777
or 128.143.200.59 7777

Diversity University
Probably the largest and most elaborate academic project going. A host of interesting adaptations of academia to MUD’s. Extensive collaboration with other academic MOO’s, and also connected with the Global Network Academy. Serious tone. Only those involved in education are given permanent accounts. Neat to see, though, even as a guest.
telnet moo.du.org 8888
or 192.101.98.5 8888

BioMOO
A forum for Biology research and graduate students. User access limited to “guest” and legitimate Biologists. Not a place to hang around and chat, but certainly an excellent example of the potential for academic research and collaboration in MUD’s. telnet bioinformatics.weizmann.ac.il 8888

1.10 SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABOUT MUD’S

If you would like to learn more about MUD’s, explore the following sites and services for excellent and thorough information.

Lydia Leong’s MUD Central at “http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~lwl/mudinfo.html”
One of the best sites out there. Information about and links to FAQ’s, MUD Lists, WWW Sites, FTP Archives, and Usenet groups.

Fran Litterio’s MUD Page at “http://draco.centerline.com:8080/~franl/mud.html”
A good all around reference, with links to other reference sites.

Yahoo’s MUD Page at “http://www.yahoo.com/Entertainment/Games/MUDs_MUSHes_MUSEs_MOOs_etc_”
If you can type the name in correctly, you’ll find lots of info here, as well as an annotated list of sites with direct telnet links.

Research Papers at “http://lucien.berkeley.edu/moo.html”
See what’s going on in the study of MUD life. Both recent and classic texts, as well as links to other collections.

USENET Groups

You might also want to subscribe to:
rec.games.mud.announce: Arbitrated to provide news to the MUD community.
rec.games.mud.lp: Discussion of, and information about, combat-style MUD’s.
rec.games.mud.tiny: Discussion of, and information about, social-style MUD’s.

For 51 other MUD references, check out my 51 Sites of Note in the MUD World. There are, of course, probably hundreds of good sites out there that deserve to be on my list that I just haven't seen yet, but this is a S tarter Kit, after all. Drop me a line at colin_moock@iceinc.com if you feel excluded.


Thanks for checking out the kit. Hope it helps you on your way to this exciting world!

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