Here are the answers to a few questions players brought up repeatedly.
- When I sign on to the game, why does it require an e-mail address?
- To help keep track of players, including (sadly) those who behave in an abusive manner. Also, to provide a means to contact you if something important needs to be announced (e.g., an important change, extended downtime, or a significant game-related event.) Specifically, your e-mail address will never be used to send you unsolicited commercial e-mail (also known as spam) nor will it be disclosed to a third party (sold or otherwise transferred) who may use it for such a purpose. E-mail addresses (along with any other personal information that you may provide) will also never be disclosed to other players in the game, be they 'wizzes' or 'mortals'.
- Can I use an invalid e-mail address?
- Please don't. The error messages I get when you do that are annoying, and you won't really be able to use your account afterwards, because you'll never receive the password to go with it.
- Do other players (including wizzes) ever see my e-mail address?
- No. Only game operators (arch-wizards) do.
- I accidentally used the wrong e-mail address. Can you resend my password please?
- Sorry, no can do. In these days, it is way too easy for an impostor to create an e-mail address that differs from yours in only one or two letters, and then steal your passwords. For this reason, it is our standing policy to send passwords only to the e-mail address under which the account is registered. If you used the wrong e-mail address with a persona name that you're rather attached to, don't worry: after approximately 60 days, your persona will be erased due to inactivity, and you'll be able to reclaim the name.
Does Free Mean Free?
- You can't be giving away this game for free. There must be a catch. What is it? Are you using our e-mail address for some commercial purpose?
- Yeah, right. Sure, I have acquired my 20+ years of programming experience for one single purpose: so that finally, I can write 14,000 lines of C++ code with which to harvest a few hundred e-mail addresses that I can then use to sell you a psychic reading, a multi-level marketing franchise, a weight-loss pill, hot virgins or images of same, a hair-growth formula, useless plans for illegal pay-TV decoders, or some equally desirable quality product or service. I mean... come on, people. Never mind any claims I can make as to my integrity and whatnot, but have you any idea as to the cost of 14,000 lines of code? Using this very crude measure of software productivity and a rough estimate of $10/line, that'd mean that I spent $140,000 worth of work to collect, what... perhaps a thousand e-mail addresses? Now if you can tell me how I can make more than $140 per address in order to recoup my investment, I am all ears... for now, though, the game remains free and if I really want to stop making money as an expert programmer and become a scumbag junk-mailer instead, I'll just buy a million addresses and some mass-mailing software from another scumbag for a couple of hundred dollars. Or, to put it in other words, the game exists because it's a labor of love for me, and it remains free, if for no other reason, then because I have no idea how to make money out of it and keep it viable at the same time, while I can make a comfortable living from other projects as a professional programmer.
- So why did you do it?
- I think I can tell the story now. Let the dirty secret be known to all. You see, it's all the cat's fault. Despite years of repeated promises, Richard never put this sleek, black cat back into MUD2. So when British Legends was terminated on CompuServe, MUD's cat ceased to exist. I'm sure you agree that this was intolerable, and something had to be done.
- OK, so the game is free but I have too much money and I want to contribute. How?
- First of all, the game is free, no questions asked and no strings attached. You are neither encouraged, nor expected to contribute; those who do contribute will receive no preferential treatment in the game. So how can you contribute? The easiest is via the PAYPAL online payment service; just send money to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot use PAYPAL, please send an e-mail and ask for a postal mailing address. And thanks to those who contributed already!
- Can I have more than one account in the game?
- Yes, absolutely so.
- I can't remember my password. Can you resend it please?
- I can't, but you can. Try to log on to the game a few times using the wrong password, and it will eventually offer to resend the correct password to you (using the e-mail address with which you signed up when you created your persona.)
- I no longer want to play your stupid game. Shall I tell you that you can erase my persona?
- Please don't punish me with even more mail, just go away if you don't like our game. Your persona will be automatically erased anyway after more than 60 days of inactivity.
- What happens if I 'make wiz' in the game?
- Should such an unfortunate thing happen to you (well, you may not consider it unfortunate yourself, but it's unfortunate to a poor, overworked arch-wizard!) you're requested to send e-mail at your earliest convenience to email@example.com (e-mail advertisers: see disclaimer.) Until you hear from an arch-wizard, you're requested to remain invisible and refrain from interacting with your mortal friends (or your mortal enemies, for that matter.)
- I am a wiz from British Legends and I cannot use my name. Why?
- The names of 'permed wizzes' from British Legends have been reserved. If you can be verified as the 'rightful owner' of a name, you'll be permitted to use it. Note that this doesn't mean that BL wizzes enjoy any special privileges here other than the protection of their (often, very well established) names and (if they had such a thing) their tombstones.
Game Features and Authenticity
- Where can I chat with my fellow players?
- An on-line discussion forum is soon to come.
- I cannot find feature X in the game. I thought this version is supposed to be 100% compatible with British Legends?
- Well, yes, but... Richard Bartle reports that the British Legends code base, which resided on CompuServe's computers, is lost for good. This version is based on a version of the code that actually predates British Legends. Features that have been added to British Legends after the game was installed at CompuServe needed to be reconstructed on the basis of saved game logs and our (often imperfect) memories. Many important features have been reconstructed successfully; some are works in progress, some are put on hold pending reliable logs that can be used to aid in their reconstruction.
- I would like to see feature X in the game. Would you consider adding it?
- No. If you want to see a new and improved MUD, visit MUD2.COM; MUD2 is the latest version of Richard Bartle's game, continuously upgraded and updated with new features. MUD1 exists for another reason: many of us believe that in its original form, despite (or perhaps because) of its simplicity, MUD1 represents a uniquely well balanced, highly enjoyable on-line game. For this reason, apart from bug fixes and maintenance, it is doubtful that any new features will be added to this game.
- This can't be British Legends, this game is much faster!
- The slowness of British Legends was a consequence of a CompuServe requirement. Originally, MUD ran at whatever speed the computer that it was hosted on permitted. Even I am not that much of a purist (not even after reverse engineering all those thousands of lines of BCPL code and faithfully porting it to the Windows server platform) so as to insist that we artificially slow down the game. (Actually, it is slowed down a little, just not to the same extent that it was slowed down on CompuServe. Other measures were also incorporated into the game code in order to prevent the higher speed from compromising the game's balance.)
- I can't stand it, RESTORE THE DELAY!
- Trust me, we tried. The response was overwhelmingly negative. Of course I realize that no solution will make everybody happy, but the general concensus is that the faster game is more enjoyable, and also (very important!), it will make the game more attractive to new players.
- I want color!
- No. MUD2 has color if that's what you really want.
- What's this VALLEY area? Are you turning this game into MUD2?
- Not at all! The VALLEY area (that you reach when you go EAST from the Narrow Road Between Lands) actually existed before British Legends was ever installed at CompuServe. For some reason, this area was never installed by CompuServe, but that's no reason for us to not use it here.
- Why is VALLEY not integrated into the main game? Why do I have to drop everything to go there?
- The MUD engine has the ability to run more than one game (database). MUD is one such database, VALLEY is another; there were other legendary games in times past that used the same engine, for instance the infamous MIST. But these are really separate games and should be viewed as such.
- So whatever happened to VALLEY anyway? When I go east from NRBL, it's no longer there.
- VALLEY has been (temporarily? permanently?) removed because it was grossly abused.
Rules and Cheating
- What are the rules of the game?
- Short version: there aren't many.
Longer version: Please read or Terms & Conditions. If there are any rules you disagree with, please feel free to comment on them; the purpose is not to offend players but to provide a consistent, manageable playing environment, and this is no large corporation with an army of lawyers, so the rules can be changed if necessary!
- What is multilining?
- Multilining is the use of two (or more) personae at the same time in such a way that they can communicate outside the game. Examples include roommates playing MUD and talking at the same time, or a single person using multiple personae. Multilining is unfair to other players: for instance, if another player dumbs your persona, he can reasonably expect that you wouldn't be able to call for assistance. For this reason, multilining is considered a form of cheating; if wizzes detect signs of multilining, they will likely intervene.
- What is looby-loo?
- Looby-loo (the phrase has its obscure origins in a British children's television series) is the use of multiple personae (not necessarily at the same time) in such a way that one takes the risks, while another enjoys the results. For instance, collecting and stashing treasure using a one persona and then scoring points for it using another would qualify as looby-loo. This is considered cheating.
- Can I use macros and triggers?
- Macro use is not exactly welcome, but it is acceptable; we recognize that not every MUD player is a ten-fingered typist and a keyboard macro can be a life-saver. Trigger use is strongly discouraged. If I wanted to run a game in which moronic scripts compete each other, I would just cut the Internet connection and let the scripts run on a local computer instead; much cheaper, and hassle-free, too. MUD IS A GAME FOR PEOPLE, NOT SCRIPTS. If you are a trigger user, please don't complain if wizzes treat you unfairly, or worse.
- What are triggers?
- You don't want to know.
- What's the issue with these confusing names? Is the game called MUD, MUD1, or British Legends?
- The original name of this game was Multi-User Dungeon (derived from the name of the single-user Dungeon game, predecessor of the classic Zork series), or MUD for short. When CompuServe obtained the rights to run the game, it began marketing it under the name British Legends (players usually referred to the game by its abbreviated name, BL.) The author in the meantime developed a new version of the game, MUD2; to distinguish the original version from the new one, many began to call the old name MUD1. As a matter of curiosity, the actual version number of MUD1 is version 3, whereas MUD2 is version 4 (versions 1 and 2 were experimental versions with limited playability.)
- So what's this Goat Cup thingie that I've been hearing about?
- The Goat Cup is an annual tournament of the Land's wizzes. The tradition started many years ago on CompuServe, and by popular demand, it's been reintroduced here. The Goat Cup tournament is usually held in February each year.