There are 14 different movement commands. These are used so often that most have very short abbreviations which you ought to use instead of the full-length version - NW is much quicker than NORTHWEST, for example. The main directions are the 8 compass points, N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW. It is assumed that you "just know" which way is N wherever you are in the game, so there's no use of relative directions like left or right.

As well as these 8 directional commands, there is U and D for UP and DOWN. These are sometimes more convenient than compass points, although they normally match one of them. For example, if you're going up a hillside it's quicker to type U a few times than to read the room description in full to find out exactly which direction actually IS up!

A similar pair of convenience commands are IN and O (for OUT). If you're next to some opening, IN will normally take you through it (unless it leads outside). Although IN won't always work, you can use O almost anywhere - it moves you one room towards the room most centrally located in the game, which is nominally the point where the road fords the river. If you're ever lost, keep repeating O until you find somewhere you recognise.

Similar to O is the SWAMP command, which moves you one room towards the swamp from anywhere on the surface. You may have to do a few Os before SWAMP will work if you're deep underground. See the question on how to get points if you want to know why this command is so handy!

The last movement command is JUMP (or LEAP). This command is not used very often, and implies that there is a drop of some kind, over or down which you wish to move. Don't use JUMP casually, it can easily get you killed. As well as these 14 movement commands, there are other, magical ways to move about, but they're too high-powered to be discussing here.

[Back to Top] [Previous Article] [Next Article]

There are four main means of communication. To send a message to everyone (usually the best way to get a question answered!) just use the command SHOUT followed by your message in quotation marks, eg. SHOUT "I'M CONFUSED!". Most commands in MUD can be abbreviated, and this one can be shortened in two ways: firstly, SHOUT can be reduced to SH; secondly, the terminating quotation mark can be omitted. Hence, SH "I'M CONFUSED is the best way to do it. Shouted information is usually received as coming from 'a male/female voice', so people can't always tell who shouted. You can never be sure of the reaction of other players to a shout, so if you are ignored or they shout back sarcastic messages, don't feel bad about it!

The second means of communication is more local: you can talk to everyone in your room by using a string without any command, eg. "HI FOLKS!". Again, you need not type the final quote. The message goes to all players in the same room as you, and they can tell who said it because it appears as 'X says "HI FOLKS"'.

The third way to communicate is on a person-to-person level: to talk to an individual player, give their name (NOT including their rank) followed by the message in quotes, eg. PERCY "WHERE ARE YOU? (the final quote has been omitted, as usual). Percy would know you had communcated directly to him because he'd see something of the form 'X tells you "WHERE ARE YOU?"'.

The final method of communication is via WISH, as in WISH "PLEASE HELP, I'M NEW". This sends your message only to the most powerful (and friendly!) players, known as "wizzes" (wizards/witches). If there are any playing, even invisibly, they'll receive your message and will normally come to your assistance; a message from 'someone powerful' means it is from an invisible wiz. WISH is actually a spell, and you usually fall asleep when you use it, so don't be surprised if this happens.

[Back to Top] [Previous Article] [Next Article]

Only by asking them! If they choose not to tell you, or if they lie, then there is no way you can find out from MUD. It is considered "bad form" to ask this kind of question of someone unless you've got to "know" them quite well in the game, by chatting to them about game-related things.

Since MUD is insulated from the real world, people often use the game to role-play, since it lets them be anything they feel like being. If you see a character called Helga walking around shpeaking mit ein cherman accent, it doesn't mean she's really German, or that she's called Helga, or indeed that she's female in the real world. In MUD, you just have to take people as you find them!

[Back to Top] [Previous Article] [Next Article]

The WHO command gives a list of current players, including yourself. Most people user a shorter version, QW (or "quick who"), which cuts out most of the padding. There's a SQW ("super-quick who") that reduces the output even more, but it tends to be TOO slimmed-down for most people.

It may be that you do a WHO and the only name you see on the list is your own! Since MUD is supposed to be a multi-user game, that may surprise you. There are three explanations:

  1. There may be some people missing from the list because they're invisible at the time. If you receive a message from the game at any time referring to 'someone', it means you can't see them.
  2. There will usually be wizards and witches who are in the game, but they aren't on the list because they don't choose to be. If you receive a message from the game referring to 'someone powerful', it's a wiz ('someone very powerful' is an arch-wiz!).
  3. Yours may be the only name on the list because you are the only person actually playing! This can happen because of the time of day (eg. the middle of the night when everyone is in bed, or the middle of the morning when everyone is at work and phone calls are at their most expensive) or because there's some major attraction elsewhere that's drawing people away (the FA cup final, a royal wedding, an atomic power station meltdown) or because as soon as everyone saw you coming they left (change your deodorant). Another possibility is that the game hasn't been advertised enough, and that you're the only person who knows about it. Still, that's nothing that the investment of a few hundred million pounds won't fix!
[Back to Top] [Previous Article] [Next Article]