It appears that we have fallen a little bit behind: this month, we have two POTM biographies for your reading pleasure.
Mapper made POTM in October of last year. He has since of course made wiz, and is better known as Gromit the wizard, but he could still be persuaded to submit a biography of his old mortal persona.
Our November POTM was Laura, a long-lost MUD2 player. I've known Laura since our days on the ill-fated National Videotex Network, or NVN. I was very glad to see her return to our Land, and I could only applaud our immortals vote that made her POTM this month!
I didn't use this name when I first played MUD2, but I quickly realised the vastness of the game and created Mapper. My goal was to map every room in the entire Land. I meticulously and painstakingly drafted and redrafted and then redrafted again each and every room with the exits. When complete, there were over 800 rooms and I was addicted to MUD2.
Meanwhile I had worked my way up to champion mostly by playing successful mobile bashes (3000 was a lot then), I survived the TS and got to necro before I bumped into a killer... I had found 2 wafers and the LS so I tried killing the rats for the first time, but about half way through Pandora the sorceress appears and attacks me with the BS, shortly I'm on 10 stamina, out of wafers and trying to keep up with the scroll from so many rats, Pandora the sorceress hits you, Not updating persona.
Having nothing left to map, I turned to the rest of the game and found progress slower, most players talked about it taking years. I was impatient to learn so when I found out you can snoop other players(!) and there was a tool that made it relatively easy(!) I jumped at the chance and started snooping almost every reset.
After snooping got boring I started to play more and snoop less. I died to the dragon and the wyvern before making warlock on a bash. That same bash before I had time to check out the new spells, I offered to help with the surly dwarfs (very silly), I fled twice and got out on 6 stam!
Time passed, I did all the tasks for the first time, learned why highlifes should carry protection the hard way and slowly made my way to mage. One reset I was on 119k, well kitted and Pepper the warlock comes on, since she had attacked me a few times, I attacked expecting some free flee points. But it didnt turn out that way! Not updating persona.
Lost two more mages, 130k to vampire and wraith, 150k to surly dwarfs after trying to steal a wafer (that wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have 6 already!). Fled lots to the orcs, lagged in a fight with orc15 at 190k, lucky for me it died before I did!
Then one Sunday morning I 'did' the dragon for the last time, raided the keep, plundered druids, swamped the crown, dodged the orcs, beat up a wafer stealing golem and swamped the icons to cross over to wiz.
Hmm. Where do I begin?
I've played text-based adventure games since 1983. I was introduced to Zork I, and almost instantly I was hooked. I went on to play the rest of Infocom's works. Even after Infocom met its corporate FOD in 1989, I never lost my love for text adventures, and have never understood why they 'went out of fashion' when we still have books in the age of television and motion pictures.
Then, in 1993, I made my way to NVN. There, in September of that year, I discovered MUD2 for the first time. The idea of a multi-player adventure game intrigued me, and I had already checked out a few others, but MUD2 was the one that hooked me. A text-based virtual reality, in which you can not only slay monsters and collect treasures, but also help (or hinder) other players in their quests. Among the first people I met were Viktor (then Gandalf) and Pasht. I ran into them on my first log-in, and they helped to show me the ropes.
As Laura (and one or two others) on NVN, I had several triumphs and tragedies. Some time after making sorceress for the first time, I died to sk1 (skeleton1). A very traumatic loss, but I soon recovered. It was actually three months before I met my first killer and had my first player fight. I had to flee the first time, but soon after, I gave Letusprey her comeuppance.
Mostly, however, I enjoyed the teamwork and camaraderie. I owe much thanks to Pasht, whose cheerful demeanour always managed to lift my spirits, and to Grimm, who warned me about some of the nastier elements of the game and helped me to stay focused. There are all sorts of stories I could tell, but I have to keep this bio short. :)
When NVN disappeared in June of 1994, I was heartbroken. I was suddenly banished from The Land, into a world where no one had even heard of the place. However, I did manage to find Viktor's E-mail address, and he sent along updates on MUD2's later incarnations.
I was hesitant about returning to MUD2, especially due to the corporate FOD of NVN. So I did not appear on either the Iplay or Kesmai sites, which is just as well, as they ended up going much the same way. But finally, along came MUD2.COM. Here was a site run by people who loved the game as much as (if not more than) I did, one that wouldn't have its plug pulled without warning. I guested in October of 1997, and after a cheerful greeting from Pasht, I decided I was ready to return.
I'm not sure just what appeals to me most about MUD2. I suppose it's the need to escape
from the dull, everyday world into a world of adventure and magic, where just about
anything can (and often does) happen. And of course, computer adventuring can often be a
lonely experience, and even the best NPCs can only provide so much company. In some ways,
MUD2 is more of a real adventure than even the
best commercially-available adventure games, for here, you are not alone. You have plenty of kindred spirits to help you (or hinder you, if they prefer). And of course, there's the fact that no two resets of MUD2 are exactly alike; each one is a new experience, a new adventure.
All in all, I have been enjoying once again adventuring in The Land with friends old and new, and demonstrating to them my skills and quirky sense of humor (oops, humour--this IS a British game, after all!). NVN shut down before I could make it to mage, and I still haven't made it there here at this writing, but who knows how far I may go by the time you read this? (:
In any case, thanks to all the wizzes for granting me recognition as November's Player of the Month, and to the mortals I've encountered for their many and varied roles in helping me get there...(:
See you in The Land!
This Web page copyright © 1998 Viktor T. Toth