Clare and Shalimar.
A SLIGHTLY long time ago in a dilapidated country cottage fairly far away, my chief forms of entertainment were cow-tipping <not really, but ask me about it sometime, as it's a legendary southern sport> and playing another version of MUD2 called British Legends, available only on Compuserve. The then-boyfriend got used to my yelling things like "Oh, no! I forgot the pick!" and "What did I do with my wafer?", which I'm sure was much more fun than what HE was doing (trying to get football on our one channel of television or listening to the cats have rodeos on the stairs).
Last summer <about six years after I first discovered this wonderful game>, I found MUD2 and wished I'd kept my maps. I'm actually very sad about the lapse in time, as I see my slowness and clumsiness as yet another indication that I'm getting old -- I seem to remember being quite quick at fighting before, and I certainly never drowned in the sea when it started to rain.
My learning curve is so drawn out and my laziness so absolute that I don't hope to emblazon the annals with stories of my success, but killing things and solving puzzles has got to be the best stress relief after a day spent teaching 12- and 13-year-olds English.
I have to fight for computer use with the former-boyfriend-turned-husband, as fantasy football, baseball, basketweaving, etc. leagues are as addicting to him as becoming sorc for the sixty-third time is to me, but I usually win.
My goal: to stay necro for more than a day <ahem, Whatever>.
I WAS introduced to Mud by a dear friend, Pugsley. He had been talking about this game and about how for 12 years he had been playing it. I must say that aroused my curiosity... a game that could hold a person's interest for that long.
I was hesitant to go there, though. To be honest, I'm horrible at video games and such, but figured it was worth a look. Since I write sci-fi and fantasy, the concept of a role playing game intrigued me. Pugsley prepared me by explaining a few basic things about the game and introduced me to the library where I could go for information. He even made a list for me with a lot of the common commands and syntax. (Such as get, cry, smile, etc.)
Armed with all this knowledge, he let me loose in the land. I was overwhelmed to say the least. I couldn't imagine how I would learn to navigate this place. Pugs suggested, (very insistently) that I start to map.
Now there was something I liked doing. I had played Zelda (the very first one) with Khan/Hux. He did all the fighting and I did all the mapping. So, off I went into the land armed with pencil and paper. (Btw, I have some good maps and they are mine! All mine!)
I remember doing the Inn. Took me almost a whole reset the first game or two (who am I kidding it was more like a week or two) to get a glow, but what an accomplishment! Even getting a weapon and a glow in one reset was a tremendous accomplishment. I started experimenting with things. I tried peeling the fruit, folding the magazine, opening the music box with the ring inside...solving puzzles. Killing was scary. I remember my first battle with a zombie and how I would shake. (I still do going against draggy, or some of the killers here) but found it was a high, a legal one at that.
I must be truthful here to say that Pugs did help me in the very beginning. A few mobiles that I stupidly attacked as a swordswoman in the first few weeks, like the old man and the skeletons, did disintegrate, but I remained alive to fight another battle. I even got into arms dealing. I felt more secure with two weapons, and three, even better. (That was until I grasped the concept of weight) Everything was wonderful and then it happened. I lost my first and only persona.
I was using the name Merwynn at the time. It held a special meaning to me as an old Celtic legend spoke of Merlin being a woman, not a man. I found that fascinating and a plausible reason why Arthur loved the wizard so much. So, I chose the name Merwynn.
My first death... Pugs took me into the wardrobe where I had to figure out how to get into the attic. After accomplishing that feat and being thrilled at finding all the treasure there, I tried to get out, but it wouldn't open. I attempted a few things and after I discovered I could break it down, Pugs took over. (He has this thing about all those "hit door f bat" messages. Says it fills up his screen and is annoying) All of a sudden, I was dead. (If you want to know the full story, and what Pugs typed, you'll have to ask him.)
There it was, that fateful message "Not updating persona." I sat there staring at my screen. Merwynn was dead and my dear friend had killed me. Pugs called me on the phone. Told me to come back in. Said he had made a typo and he would restore me. I refused, sobbing. I remember saying over and over, Merwynn is dead and you killed her. Pugs demanded I return immediately, (sometime I think being a Wiz carries over to rt) and valiantly he tried to explain that it was an accident and he could and would bring Merwynn the swordswoman back. I finally agreed to return, but felt I should pick a new name as Merrwynn was, after all, dead. To this day, I think back to this and how frustrated Pugs must have been, but I had made it to the level of swordswoman! Merwynn was real to me and at that point I knew I was hooked.
I've died a few more times since then. Merwynn came back for a bit, but mostly it's been Shalimar, who I play the most. She's a bit of me and bit of what I could never be. She boldly goes where I never could. It's Shal who will stop to help a newcomer or killer. Unfortunately, she is very trusting and often times it's that quality that gets her killed. Like me, she can't say no and has often stopped what she was doing to be of help. But, that may all end soon. Shal is learning to overcome her fears and all of you may see a new side to her. Oh, she will always have a hug for a dear friend, or a minute to help someone who really needs her, but she's less gullible now. Most of all she's learned the one important lesson of the game, TRUST NO ONE!
I know I've written a lot here. I guess it's the writer in me so before I bid all a fond adieu, I'm going to get my two cents in.
Get soapbox and stand on it
WIZZES: We have some great ones here and they are one of the best things about the game. I stand in awe of most of them. Some will take the time to talk to you; others will even help. They brighten the game with their sense of humor. (Hey look... Shal's going to feed the Draggy. Let's nudge it a bit. Better yet, let's make it rain!) I like the idea of their being the "Great Immortals." It adds mystique to the game. I have no problem looking up to them and feel it is part of the role-playing. I, as everyone else, have my favorites for different reasons. There are some I like some I don't and some I even adore! There are also a few that I respect, but that was earned. My one big gripe is that I know and have seen so few. Come out! Say hi for a minute. I know it can be annoying when a newbie starts whining, unblind me, repair my weapon, or can I have the rabbits foot, but you were new once upon a time. It's the price you pay to be worshipped * wink *
THE GAME: A great place to vent frustration, get a way from it all, meet some nice people, and learn a lot more about yourself than you'd care to know.
THE PLAYERS: They range from nuts that run around the land killing the ogre with a brand, to those that attack you out of paranoia. (why did you attack me? I don't know you) Most annoying are those that think they own everything in the Land. I'm talking about a magic user that will cripple a low life and steal the one or two items they have. They haven't the guts to attack the low life (how would it look if a big ole necro or warlock killed a swordsman on the obit) but it's ok to cripple and blind them. Also, let's not forget the Tea-Room mages. I find this appalling even though I adore them as friends and enjoy chatting with them. My feelings on this is, Get out there and play! It's a game! If you can't keep your mage, then you don't deserve to be one. Come in the game as a low life and learn how to survive. (ok, that's not me talking) I overcame what I felt was a huge loss to me, even thought about leaving, but here I am cause I won't let it intimidate me any more. What we all need to remember, is that in the end, we are all there to have fun.
THE MOBILES: What creativity. Not just in the choosing of names but how they can interact amongst themselves too. And Draggy! My favorite. Oh how I love her. Once they tagged me with Shalimar the dragon murderer. In my defense, she has eaten the coal a million times and should know better. She even sits there and waits for it, expecting you to bring it to her. And depending if she has PMS, she will either look longingly at it, or glare at you.
RICHARD: The creator of this great obsession. I bow to your inventiveness and genius. To have created such an intricate game and for it to have stood the test of time, I salute you.
THE LAND: Some things always stay the same. The Wyvern is always on the first floor, the thief will always steal your longsword, and Valetant will always say something to get the Banshee a shrieking. Other things change, like the weather, where the vials are, the directions on the chart, and what new Wizmort (or the same with a new name) is going to make your life miserable.
WIZMORTS: OK... deny it. You can say they don't exist, and maybe semantically you are right, but a Wizard who plays a mortal persona is a Wizmort. You have made it to the great hall of Wizdom and by doing so, know the ins and outs of the game. You have this knowledge that you just can't forget and use it when you play. (ex: You watch us mortals and get free answers to the mausoleum without having to snoop). I'm not saying this is wrong. You have three slots and every right to use them, but it does give you a playing advantage as well as an edge.
You are a Wiz already; losing a mage doesn't have the same impact. You fight with a bit less at stake.
WIZMORT KILLERS: Some of you do take the time to talk to us after a fight and it can be a wonderful learning experience. To those Wizzes that do, thanks. There are also some that just kill to be killing. You see them at the beginning of a reset and they clear the land by sword or intimidation. They fight anyone regardless of their level. If you manage to get something, and they want it all, they will blind and cripple you or attack you. It's all part of the game I suppose, but just know that some of us mortals know who you are. You do have a distinct style. We're not as good a player as you are (yet) but we're not stupid. So, the next time you venture out into the land, why don't you just go after the top ten list? (or would that be Wizacide?)
Get off soapbox, throw soapbox south. Qq
This Web page copyright © 1998 Viktor T. Toth