The MUD Objective

You might ask yourself this question: Why MUD?

There are probably innumerable reasons why people play MUDs, but the standard answer I would give a person posing the above question would be "To gain experience points and to advance to the highest level in the game."

The Rat Race: A Mudder's Obsession with Experience Points

The most common measure of the success of a mudder (a person who muds) would be the total number of experience points (commonly abbreviated as xp or exp) he/she possesses and the level attained in the game as a result. Since many people play MUDs for much more than simply the single-minded accumulation of experience points, this might seem a rather superficial and overly simplistic method of evaluating a player's worth. Nevertheless, a successful mudder is often defined as the one with the most experience ppints.

One goes about gaining experience points in a variety of ways.

Killing NPCs (Non-Player Characters) or Monsters
In most MUDs, such creatures or monsters are coded by the MUD programmers (wizards) and more often than not, these beasts are maniacal killers and pose a threat to the well-being of the general MUD population. Your mission as a MUD adventurer would be to go around and slay as many of these unfortunate critters as possible. The number of experience points gained from a kill varies, depending on how aggressive and nasty the monster is, and how difficult it is to subdue. Naturally, the tougher the monster, the more experience points you gain from killing it. There are other bonuses one gets from slaying a monster, like the booty it keeps in the form of money or weapons and armour. But bear in mind that most monsters do not take kindly to such provocation and will make it his/her/its mission in life to terminate your existence in turn!
Solving Quests
Those of you familiar with text-based adventure games for the PC will have no problem understanding the concept of Quests. This is usually in the form of an unsolved 'mystery', or a task to complete which requires some puzzle-solving skills. In some MUDs, solving quests is necessary merely to advance levels, and in some others, they are necessary only if you have reached the highest player-level and want to make an attempt at Wizard-hood.
Providing services for other players
Some MUDs allow a player to choose his/her vocation. This option is not available in simpler MUDs which assume that every adventurer is in it for the sheer sadistic thrill of hacking, slashing, maiming and destroying. Some MUDs allow the player to decide on his/her course in MUD-life, and some are free to become pacifists if they choose. Now these players can gain their experience points by providing services to other players. For example, a Healer can gain experience points by healing wounded adventurers at their request. Advancing levels is the whole point in gaining experience points! When a player has amassed a certain number of exp, he or she can then 'advance' to a new level. A player starts off in a MUD as an Utter Novice or Newbie (Level 1) and advances slowly through the levels. Most MUDs have at least 19 levels, and more complicated ones have many more, and divide levels into smaller categories. Higher level players are naturally more powerful than low level ones in a very wide variety of ways.

The ultimate MUD objective for some is to reach the highest level and/or to 'Wiz Out' which means, to gain 'Immortality'. See the help chapter on Wizards to find out more about Immortality.

Back to the MUD tutorial.

ArtemisWorks 1996