MUD is a gaming term that stands for Multi-User Dungeon, or Multi-User Dimension. A similar term you may be familiar with is MMORPG: Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.
Basically a MUD is a game where you create a character to explore a large world filled with characters played by other people, as well as non-player-characters, or NPCs. NPCs can be anything from a helpful bystander who tells you about your surroundings, to a roguish space pirate looking for a mercenary, to a fearsome beast trying to kill you.
As you explore the world, you gain experience points (or XP) by doing things like killing monsters, completing quests, even piloting your ship through space. When you gain enough XP, you move up to the next level.
In addition to XP and your level, there are many more attributes that affect how your character experiences the world. Here are just a few:
- statistics such as strength, intelligence, and health
- states-of-being such as tiredness, hunger
- age, race
- class, skills
- and many, many more!
So how do you explore the world in a text-based MUD like Starmourn? You will start off in a location, or "room." If you type LOOK, you will see a description of the room (which could be anything from inside a small closet, in a noisy cantina, outside a sprawling spaceport, or on a vast, dusty plain). You will also see a list of directional exits, such as north and east. Just type the direction you want to go, and you will find yourself in a new room!
Starmourn is not a solo adventure. You are far from alone! You can talk to people in your location with the SAY command, or talk to someone who's in another place with the TELL command. There are lots of people around, even if you don't see them right away. To see a list of all the players currently online, type WHO.
You can also talk to groups of people on various chat channels. One such channel is just for newbies - to say something there, just type NEWBIE and then whatever you want to say. For example: NEWBIE Hi, I'm new and don't know what to do next!
In addition to talking to people, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of NPCs you can interact with. They are also referred to as denizens, or sometimes mobs (short for mobiles). A common thing to do when you encounter new denizens is to GREET them. Denizens who have quests or jobs for you will usually respond to this command.
There is MUCH more to Starmourn than we can possibly cover in a brief intro to MUDs, but hopefully this makes things a little bit clearer! For now, we recommend jumping straight into the game: create your character, proceed through the introductory tutorial, and ask any questions you have on the NEWBIE channel! Welcome to Starmourn!