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Frequently Asked Questions on MUDding

1. Where are MUDs located?
MUDs are run on many computers around the world. To play a MUD, all you need to do is telnet to the MUD's Internet Protocol (IP) port. HOTL3 is located in Singapore/US; our IP is hotl3.com and the port is 23. So just head to hotl3.com 23 to start playing.

2. Don't I have a right to MUD?
No, it must be stressed that MUDs are not a right, and your access is granted out of trust. People usually have to pay to use processing time on the large, expensive computers which MUDs often run on, and you're being given a special deal. If you're using a school account, you might want to check your school's computer policy. Some institutions have banned MUDding and games.

3. What should I do to connect to a MUD?
There are a couple of ways to connect to a MUD, the most basic being the 'telnet' function on your Windows or Unix system. HOTL3 is at the network address 'hotl3.com' at port 23, you could type (on most UNIX systems) telnet hotl3.com 23 or, on some VMS systems, telnet hotl3.com/port=23 and you'd be ready for action The other way is to use a Windows client such as ZMUD, which is a program that gives you a nice, user-friendly interface for MUDding.

4. What's a client program? Do I need one?
A client program is simply another program you use instead of telnet to connect to a MUD. Clients also provide useful things such as macros, triggers, and cut-and-paste editing. Face it, using plain telnet is boring. You can't really see what you're typing and you'd be missing out on colours too.

5. I'm connected! What do I do next?
Once you're connected, you'll be prompted for a name and password. Of course, if you've never played before, you won't have any. You'll need to create a new character - the game will guide you along the process. Once you're in, you'd do well to type 'help' to see what you can do and how you should go about doing it. In most MUDs you play by issuing commands, sometimes with arguments. MUD School will help you familiarise yourself with the common commands and soon you'll be able to venture further.

6. What kind of name should I use for my character?
Obviously, nothing vulgar or socially offensive. To keep with the medieval/fantasy theme, try to go for fantasy names. Probably something pronounceable too, so that people can identify with you.

7. What should I use as a password for my character?
Pick a password just as you would do for any computer account. Use a word, or better yet, a phrase or anagram, that isn't obvious. Don't, for instance, use the same name as your character, or your own first name, or your girl/boyfriend's name. And never use the same password as the one on your computer account.

8. What can or can't I do in terms of player interaction?
You shouldn't do anything that you wouldn't do in real life, even if the world is a fantasy world. The important thing to remember is that it's the fantasy world of possibly hundreds of people, and not just yours in particular. There's a human being on the other side of each and every wire! Always remember that you may meet these other people some day, and they may break your nose. People who treat others badly gradually build up bad reputations and eventually receive the NO FUN Stamp of Disapproval. The jury is still out on whether MUDding is "just a game" or "an extension of real life with gamelike qualities", but either way, treat it with care.

9. What's the difference between IMMs and IMPs?
IMPs (Implementors) are the people who write the game and own the database. IMPs can do whatever they want to whomever they want whenever they want. A more appropriate name for Implementors would probably be 'Janitor', since they tend to have to put up with responsibilities and difficulties (for free) that nobody else would be expected to handle. IMMs, or Immortals, are lower-ranking gods. They assist the IMPs in the day-to-day running of the MUD, such as answering player queries and enforcing MUD policies.

10. Can I approach IMMs and IMPs for help?
Feel free to approach them for questions regarding administration or gameplay, but don't expect them to reveal everything there is to know, such as how to calculate dates. Some element of mystery and anticipation should be maintained in a fantasy RPG. DO NOT ask IMMs or IMPs to retrieve your corpse, help you get equipment, help you kill a mob, give you karma or experience points, or basically cheat in any way.

11. What's a newbie?
A 'newbie' is someone who has only recently begun to participate in some kind of activity. When we're born, we're all life newbies until we get experience under our belts (or diapers, whatever). You're a newbie until you've got the hang of MUDding, basically.

12. How can I get help?
First, read help files to learn more about commands and some game concepts. Also, players who have been logged on for a long time (which you can check using the 'who' command - they'll be near the bottom of the list) are often helpful, as they are usually the veterans who've seen and done it all before. Asking relatively high level characters is usually the way to find things out.

13. Why do some people delight in bullying others?
This question can be answered in a variety of ways. Suffice to say some people are basically caught up with their egos to ever think of anything else other than themselves. MUD is home to the good, bad and ugly. Just play by the rules, and if things get personal, its best to settle them outside the MUD, rather than involve innocent bystanders, unintentionally or not.

14. What is a flame?
Flames start when people take their differences into a public arena, for instance, the BBS or chat channel. Basically, flamers try to convince each other that the other party is either wrong or stupid or both. Avoid getting into flame wars, and if flamed, laugh it off or ask someone else what you did wrong, instead of provoking more flames and making other people suffer.

15. What is a BOT?
A bot is a computer program which logs into a MUD and pretends to be a player. Using bots is illegal on HOTL3.

16. What is a log?
MUD administrators keep online files that log connections and certain actions. Certain client programs allow logs to be kept of the screen. Logs are useful for recording interesting or useful information or conversations, as well.

17. What is lag?
The Internet is made up of thousands of interconnected networks. Between your computer and the computer which houses the MUD, there may be up to 30 gateways and links connecting them over serial lines, high-speed modems, leased lines, satellite uplinks, etc. If one of these gateways or lines crashes, is suddenly overloaded, or gets routing confused, you may notice a long time of lag time between your input and the MUD's reception of that input. Computers which are nearer to the computer running the MUD are less susceptible to lag. Another source of lag is if the computer which hosts the MUD is overloaded. When lag happens, it is best to just patiently wait for it to pass.

18. What's the easiest way to annoy a veteran MUD user?
Demand something. Whine. Follow them around. Beep or tell them over and over after they've asked you to stop. Steal a kill.

19. What's the easiest way to be a mean veteran player?
Don't give help to the new players. Kill them, ignore them, shout "get a life!" at them. These are the best ways to kill off MUDding in general, actually.

Unwritten rules of the game

MUD Dictionary
Definitions of terms used in MUDding

Singlish Glossary
An insight into the Singapore lingo

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