#1 Edited by Vuud (1944 posts) -

After the Pathfinder video I have an RPG itch I need to scratch. I've tried f2p MMO's, plenty of single player RPGs, but I got a monkey on my back so I need the hard stuff. I want to try MUDs. Are there any duders out here who are into MUDs? What sounds most interesting is that it seems to be a lot more free-form than your standard MMO of moving your guy around, clicking monsters until they die. Hopefully theres more of a storytelling element to them.

I figure I'd try the top 3: Achaea, BatMUD, and Aardwolf. Got any tips or want to roll around with me this weekend?

#2 Posted by Sinusoidal (1379 posts) -

Be prepared to lose a significant portion of your free time. I haven't MUDded in a couple of years now, but the last time I did I spent well over 300 hours progressing and leveling in CthulhuMUD, which is not the best or most in depth MUD out there by far, but has a fun, close knit community who are often willing to lend a helping hand to newbies. Plus, hey, it's in Lovecraft's universe.

MUDs are a different beast from MMOs entirely. Like you say it's not just moving your guy around and clicking on enemies until they die. There's lots and lots of typing. Thousands of different possible commands. Skill trees like you've never seen in a MMO. Heavy, heavy character customization. And the possibility of making your own content. CthulhuMUD is a smaller MUD, and it has thousands of rooms, places to explore, secrets to discover and enemies running the gamut from obnoxious gym teachers at Miskatonic U. to massive otherworldly Lovecraftian horrors requiring several remorts to defeat. (A remort is when after you reach level 300, you start back at 1, but keep equipment and skills such that you'll be even stronger at the next 300. I remorted twice in my 300+ hours of play, there were still enemies I couldn't even think of approaching unless I wanted a quick death.)

I shouldn't have clicked on this thread, now I'm tempted to throw away my spare time for the next few months on another MUD...

#3 Posted by thomasnash (545 posts) -

I've recently got back into the Discworld MUD. I played a little bit when I was like, 14, but just recently had a bit of a hankering for it and fell into a pretty deep hole. I guess that's what happens when you're unemployed, you download MUSHclient and start getting really into multi-string aliases that train your character's language skills when you loot stuff.

As you've probably guessed it's based on the Terry Pratchett Discworld books. It does a really good job of capturing the tone and style of the books, perhaps leaning a little more into the humour of the earlier books.

It's a pretty good MUD. At first I felt the class/guilds system was pretty limiting; there are 6 guilds (fighters, priests, wizards, witches, thieves and assassins), each of which has several sub-types, mostly location specific. The guild you choose establishes what your "primary" skills are, and these can be leveled up for money and xp at your guildhouse, and this is the cheapest way of advancing. But you can level up anything if you find someone to teach you (or teach yourself at eye-wateringly high xp costs). Like I say, at first I felt it was limiting (with my assassin character) because it felt like it was forcing me to play a certain style. I later played as a wizard which kind of broke me of the thinking that leveling up at your guild was the only way to go, because most spells have multiple skillchecks, and depending on what order you're in some of the skills will be outside of your primaries.

There's a pretty robust set of quests, which are in the 90s adventure game mold (eg feed 10 wolf corpses to a dog so he'll give you a key into a house he guards), which are good to get a quick xp boost. It also has an achievement system which gives far smaller xp rewards, and lots of them would require you to play for many many years.

I don't know what it's like on other MUDs, but the community isn't the best ever. It's tiny compared to when I was 14. the number of online users tends to peak at about 130, which given how absolutely enormous the world is isn't much, and the types of player aren't as varied as they used to be. It only seems to be idlers and numberchasers (i dunno if that's a widely used term: people who are into racking up xp as quickly as possible) which is understandable given how quickly the ability to gain skill levels drops off. Even getting to guildmax (level 300 in all your primaries) takes a long long time. Idlers tend to be people who've been around for a long time and just hang out to chat, sometimes offering teaching and other services. The community is also kind of...lame? Like how you get with small internet communities, they seem a bit luvvie sometimes.

What I really like is looking at the way that emergent economies and suchlike spring up, sort of like a very light version of EVE online: there's a taxi service which charges 5 game dollars to teleport you places. Player shops do brisk trade in scrolls so non-wizards can cast spells. I just find that stuff kind of cool, and it adds a bit of humanity to the game. Incidentally, it's a mark of how much the game's popularity has dropped off that when I was14 the protocol for player taxis was to just 'yell' taxi (if you were in a city), whereas now you have to look up which members are on line and on duty and send them a tell.

Soooo yeah. I think it's a pretty cool game, although I don't play much anymore. I haven't tried any other MUDs. I almost tried aardwolf but I wasn't thrilled by the look of the systems. For me Discworld MUD seems unique in the way it plays, it's scope (I've never heard of a MUD with as many rooms) and it's atmosphere (it's not a proper RP MUD thank god, but it's a little more community oriented than most pure xp grind MUDs). My biggest problem with it is that there are some very high barriers to entry to doing some of the more exciting stuff (MMO style raids, for example) and the grind to meet them stops being exciting quite a long time before you get there.

#4 Edited by Faltru (112 posts) -

https://www.theforestsedge.com is a great MUD, but unfortunately the player-base has been greatly diminished over the years.

I think that the best way to scratch the Pathfinder itch would be to play some Neverwinter Nights, but unfortunately I don't think that any of the good PWs are still around.