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    • CommentAuthorwillreaves
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2008
    Considering the tastes and interests of the board and it's community I thought creating a discussion about text-based gaming might be of some entertainment.

    I am one of the administrators of a MUD, Iconoclast, whose theme and settings fall within the range between gothic, cyberpunk, and futurism.

    We're beginning a restructuring process at the moment to precede a move to a newer code-base. However, we are still looking for more people interested in the game world itself. Feel free to poke around on the webpage or stop by ( and take a look around.

    Now, for the general topic that spawned this thread:

    Recently, we've had a resurgence in players and the interest shown in text-based gaming has increased. Has anyone else witnessed or experienced the burnout that's becoming a pattern with flashy graphic games like WoW and Everquest? What would drive people back to text-based gaming (aside from the obvious quality of the written word over computer graphics)?
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2008 edited
    Honestly, I stopped playing Major MUD because of scripters. Keep them out, and you've got a great start
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2008
    People still do these? I tried long ago. I couldn't ever figure out how to do ANYTHING except ask for help, and no one ever helped me.
    • CommentAuthorwillreaves
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2008
    Our main drive for the past 12 years has been world building and roleplay. Not much script exploiting you can do for that.

    If you stop in during the early evening hours (CST/MST) someone should be around. We're typically friendly.
    • CommentAuthorSpadiee
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2008
    Honestly if there has been a resurgence in players it has probably not been from people new to the genre but those looking for something more involved in role playing than the newer games are. Warcraft in particular is not a place for people who enjoy pretending to be something else entirely. Even on the RP servers you're subjected to people who will verbally assault you on most any level if they so much as assume that you might be serious in your role play.

    I love the written word as much as the next guy, it is something I hope to make a living on one day, but when it comes to games I've always found it more enjoyable to separate myself from the character I play so that when I'm burning a homeless man or looting a corpse, I don't have to fight pesky remorse for my actions. I can simply click, kill and suddenly your hat has become my hat.

    I commend you though for your work in the text based genre, mate. That is heroic level business.

    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
    Wow, thanks for reminding me about MUDs. I totally forgot that I used to play the Discworld MUD religiously for several years.
    • CommentAuthorsacredchao
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008 edited
    I actually messed with Iconoclast a bit. I really liked the fluff, but I really wasn't sure what it was for. You couldn't just type "Kill (beast name)" and kill things like in the others I played, so I didn't really get it.

    I played the Star Trek one quite a bit, and actually started coding an offline qbasic version, but I never learned enough code to make it do anything more then allow you to move around the beginning area. I was only in 7th or 8th grade, so it's not too surprising.

    There were a few others that I played, but I can't remember many names.
    • CommentAuthorwillreaves
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
    We were trying to move away from typical hack 'n slash 7 years ago, and in the midst of the changes/updates a large number of the administrative staff went through employment and housing changes, and things got put on the back burner. Even before that, though, the primary focus was roleplaying.
  1.  (626.9)
    I never got into the whole online gaming thing, mostly because I never mastered the art of playing well with others over the internet. About the only online game I ever played with any degree of attention was Urban Dead and that was only because I got to play a zombie and eat the shit out of people.

    My sense of humour doesn't tend to translate well to the internet. On a site like Whitechapel I get a chance to check over what I'm saying before I post it. In real time chat it's all too easy to forget that and this leads to tragic misunderstandings whereby I offend people without meaning to. I'd rather not actually offend people by accident so I just don't get involved.

    Urban Dead tended towards black humour and there was a limit to how much stuff you could do in one day. I liked this since it limited the amount of time I wasted on the damn thing. Also you got to kill and eat people.
  2.  (626.10)
    I met my other half on a MUG called Void over ten years ago. Which is weird to think about now. We've not played in such a long time. I think it's now a hive of clumsy text-fucking.
    • CommentAuthorMDickey
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
    There was an old MUD named Zebesta, that caused many of my friends and I to fail out of college. From what I understand it's no longer up and running, and I actually lovingly blame my haphazard typing (however fast it may be) on that place.

    I think the appeal is that you don't need to drop thousands of dollars on a video card and/or processor for a bit of entertainment, in fact you could probably play most MUDs on your phone if you were so inclined.
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
    I run a Silent Hill RP MUCK. it goes through waxing and waning periods, depending on whether a new game or movie has come out recently, but there are a lot of people who consistently find it fun. many of us SH fans seem to be writers, and it's fun to turn our creativity loose on those characters. a while back, we expanded to Second Life, leading to the creation of "Little Silent Hill." visuals add a fun new aspect to the text RP.
  3.  (626.13)
    I'd agree that it might be a case of people looking for a place to role-play 'properly' something that is really hard to do on graphic RPGs, heaven knows I've tried. I've looked towards going back to MUDS to see if I can find such a thing.

    The other increase might be in the popularity and rise of serious games theory and games journalism - if journalists are writing about the heady 'good old days' then some folk might be willing to try something a bit different.
  4.  (626.14)
    I used to play a MUD a few years back: Merentha... which was pretty fun, until the admins started changing the way they wanted to run it, forcing a guild I owned which was based on contract kills to eliminate pk from any of our activities. They seemed to go through mood swings, and I was constantly wary when I talked to them, for fear of being "dested"...

    Wow that brings back memories. To think that I was so attached to an identity based on zeros and ones.
    The real reason why I forced myself to give it up however was simply that I was going to fail High School if I didn't... it was just so addicting.

    Before that though I had the Zork Anthology(my favorite being Beyond Zork) for my Mac, which I had gotten for Christmas because I'd asked for it from a catalog not even knowing what it was. To think if I hadn't, I might not be the geek I am today:-)

    I played WoW, and would probably still be playing it if I had the time. But even so, if the incredibly invoking music wasn't there, it would have failed to compare to the better MUDs out there.
    • CommentAuthorMaC
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2008
    I play around on Urban Dead sometimes, it's text based but kinda fun and addicting.
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2008
    I doubt it counts as as MUD, MU or MUSH, but I mostly game at, which is play-by-post, has it's own dice-roller and so forth. A big attraction for me is that I don't have to specficially set aside a time to do it and I can look in on it when I'm doing other actual life stuff and not get sucked too far in. Plus, it's free
      CommentAuthorBexx B.S.
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2008
    oh wow... I'm having TRADEWARS flashbacks!!! EEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
    • CommentAuthorAfrop
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2008
    Fine. I'll address the obviously leading question in the topic-starting post.

    I have had an on again/off again relationship with a few different MUDs/MOOs/MUSHs. I've ensured my immortality in at least one of them by putting my No, For Real Life self into the world as a builder. I've been an imm but never an imp. I'm also a programmer. I've also, face to face, beaten down various New Media types about the applicability and limitations of the form. I hate the obligatory "cred" portion of a posting, but I'm suddenly thinking about why it might be positive. I'd also like to think that I'm defining my limitations there, too.

    So: "What would drive people back to text-based gaming (aside from the obvious quality of the written word over computer graphics)?"

    Really? In a forum which, let's face it, is in some way related to the combination of the written word and visual images...we're going that route?

    A simple answer to your question is: Nostalgia. Why are there cyclic resurgences in Nethack, Trade Wars, etc, etc, and so on? I certainly wouldn't want to impinge your most likely impressive work (at However, if your resurgence touched even a measurable fraction of WoW, you wouldn't need to ask here. You could ask the massive influx of players you're experiencing.
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2008
    I played for a while in the big Iron Realms MUDs Aetolia and Achaea, and in the Discworld MUD. I just... I guess they're too in-the-middle of mechanics and pure writing for them to grab me because of either.

    I do quite like them, I just haven't gotten seriously into any yet. I get closer to it everytime I try, though. Maybe next time.
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2008
    Achaea was fun just because it was so damned confusing. So many little tweaks and things that everyone had figured out, but wouldn't explain. I stopped mainly because I couldn't find a group of people that I could play with. meh.