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This document attempts to answer some basic questions you may have about MUDs or LPMuds in general or Darker Realms in particular.

  1. What is this all about?
  2. So this is just another RPG?
  3. I've played DIKU, ROM, etc. MUDs before; how is LPMud different?
  4. So how do I try it out?
  5. I have a MUD/telnet client, what address do I use?

  1. What is this all about?

    MUDs are multi-user adventure games. In the beginning there were card and board game RPGs, such as Dungeons & Dragons. Then computers made it possible to make computer games, and text-based adventure games such as Zork (aka "Dungeon") allowed fans of RPGs and medieval fantasy the opportunity to play as a character in a virtual world, slaying monsters and solving puzzles and quests. With the advent of the Internet and other multi-user systems, these single-player games were taken to the next level, and MUDs ("multi-user Dungeon") were born. Like their single-player predecessors, the general goal was to play as some kind of medieval (or futuristic, depending on the MUD theme) character and acquire equipment and money, which in turn enabled you to slay monsters and solve quests. In addition, the multi-user nature of MUDs caused them to be one of the earliest places for people to get together online to just meet people, chat, and hang out. Because of this DR has quite a few card and board games to augment the medieval and fantasy aspects of the game. Now that the web is popular, we've seen things evolve beyond text-based MUDs to graphical multi-user environments such as Ultima Online and EverQuest, but many of us still prefer our text-based environments in the same way we prefer reading books to watching TV.

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  2. So this is just another RPG?

    While MUDs undeniably have their roots in traditional RPGs, they're quite a bit different. Your character has stats, but there is no real "dungeon master" controlling what you encounter, unless you count the game driver program. The game is built and maintained by wizards, who themselves are ordinary players who fulfilled the requirements of becoming one of the MUD's developers and maintainers. Regardless, while many of our players and wizards are avid RPGers, we also have quite a few people who don't go for RPGs and still are quite addicted to MUDs. And there are also RPGers who just don't find MUDs to be their thing. Just try it for yourself. :)

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  3. I've played DIKU, ROM, etc. MUDs before; how is LPMud different?

    LPMud was one of the first MUD code bases created, and it still remains rather popular. It's not as easy to set up an LPMud and admin it, though, so if you're encountered a MUD before the odds are it was one of the newer, easier code bases such as DIKU, ROM, etc.

    Some of the basic differences:

    • The LPMud code base is much more flexible and powerful, which means that wizards can create more complex areas and quests, and also means LPMuds are a lot more unique and less like clones of each other.
    • LPMuds generally don't let you save your equipment between logins, unlike DIKUs. This is considered a feature by many players who enjoy getting and trying different kinds of equipment, and it means that special weapons can be truly unique, and everyone gets a chance to use them.
    • LPMud has a concept of "items" in rooms that other code bases are lacking, which allows the virtual world to have much more depth and detail in descriptions. You can, for example, "look at table" in a room with a table, and then perhaps "look at dish" if there is a dish on the table, and then "look at fish" if there is a fish on the dish... you get the idea.
    • While it's not required by the code base, LPMuds (especially "classic" LPMuds like Darker Realms) tend to be more focused on solving quests and spending time on advancing, instead of lots of hacking and slashing with quick advancement. LPMudders spend plenty of time slaying, but it's a longer process and not quite as repetitive (DIKU monsters generally regen within minutes, whereas you can easily wait over hour for something on an LPMud).

    While there are fewer LPMuds these days, and they aren't always as full as the DIKUs, most of them have been around for many years and have a very dedicated player base and rich history. The only way to know which kind you prefer is to try both. Different types of people like different types of MUDs. If you like DR, great. If you don't, feel free to suggest changes, but keep in mind we're a classic LPMud on purpose, and our long time players like that fact.

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  4. So how do I try it out?

    MUDs generally use the telnet protocol, which means you'll need a telnet client or a specialized MUD client. You can find some of these on the connecting to DR page. Once you have a client, read its help files to find out how to use it.

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  5. I have a MUD/telnet client, what address do I use?

    DR is hosted at darkerrealms.org, port 2000. You can login as "guest" if you just want to look around. Be sure to read the rules whether you've played a MUD before or not, as well as help general, which should help you get started.

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This page last modified Wednesday, 19-Apr-2006 14:06:40 CDT.
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