(Last Updated: May 24, 1999)
This document is not intended to teach the beginner all there is to know about muds, mudding and getting connected. There are already documents out on the net which provide this kind of information so there is no point in duplicating the wonderful resources already available. Instead, this document will help point you to other resources where you can find the help you need and cover some of the points you may not find elsewhere or in easy to read terms.
You have a computer, you are connected to the net, how can you MUD?
First of all, if you do not meet the two requirements listed above then this won’t help much. I assume you do have a machine at your disposal which is connected to the net, otherwise, how will you have retrieved this file? 🙂 MUDs run on machines which are literally scattered about the world. The MUD program itself is called the server, it handles all of the stuff needed to run the game and provides a way for outsiders (YOU) to be connected to the server, and to partake in the game. Be advised that while most muds are games, not all are. Some muds exist to serve educational purposes or are research-oriented. When I refer to term ‘game’ I am really meaning the MUD itself, whatever its intent… While the server provides the way for others to be connected and involved you, the mudder (or mudder to-be), must have software which will connect your machine to the server. This software is called the client. Jennifer ‘Moira’ Smith has written a set of documents called ‘The MUD FAQ’ which explains all of this in fine detail. It should be regarded as the mud bible to the newbie and veteran alike and for this reason your next step is to read the documents making up the FAQ. In fact, you should read some of it a few times, there is quite a bit of useful information which you may not pick up the first time through. Here are the urls for the 3 sections of the MUD FAQ, I recommend you put this document aside right now and dive into them, pay particular interest to section II, covering clients and servers. Come back to this doc when you are ready and keep reading! To access the FAQ you will need a web browser, I assume you have one at your disposal and know how to use it.
Ok, I know what telnet and mud clients are now, where can I get one?
Now that you have a lasting knowledge of what clients and servers are you probably need one. I have created a section of the MUD Connector for resources of interest, some for general internet stuff, some for games stuff and of course, most for MUD stuff. Point your browser to the following url for the TMC Resources Center:
There are alot of telnet apps available on the net, just a few are listed here. You’ll need to read the directions for the particular app you choose but be sure the one you use allows you to set a port setting of your choice. Some telnet programs only allow 3 or 4 different post settings but since muds run on all different ports you’ll need freedom with this setting. Now that you have a working telnet program you can use it to play the muds of your choice, just enter the mud host machine name and the mud’s port in the appropriate boxes and you’re ready to go! Consult the telnet program’s instructions for more detailed information…
Note: If you are running Windows 95/98 or Windows XP you already have telnet installed on your machine! The filename is telnet.exe and it is located in your windows directory.
Connecting via a web browser
The MUD Connector offers links to all of the muds listed with exception to the graphical muds, which require special software to connect (consult the specific graphical mud’s homepage for more information). Most up-to-date web browsers will know what to do with telnet links, automatically invoking your software and making the connection to the mud. Before your web browser can do this you must instruct it where to find your telnet app. This is probably pretty simple for most browsers, read any help docs which accompany the software to figure it out. As an example, Netscape’s Navigator allows you to set this in the Options | General Preferences | Apps options menu, you’ll see what to do once you get to this screen… Once your web browser is setup to use your telnet app all you will need to do is click a telnet link to open a connection to the mud. You can also type in a telnet url into your browser’s location box to accomplish the same effect.
e.g. Entering telnet://mud.aus.sig.net:9999 will open a connection to LegendMUD, an award winning mud which I highly recommend visiting.
One last note, I neglect to mention interfacing a web browser with a non-telnet mud client because I do not know of any which will work this way. If you happen to know of any mud clients which are invokable from a browser please let me know and I’ll update this document.
[Update: February 9th, 1997]
I have recently learned that Chaco’s Pueblo client will interface with a web browser. When installing/configuring the client it should set itself as the default application for telnet links. This should work for Netscape version 3.0 or later and Internet Explorer 3.0, though I am not certain about other versions.
[Update: October 30, 1997]
Note for AOL users, courtesy of firstname.lastname@example.org. In order to connect to muds you must be using AOL 3.0 or newer. The procedures necessary for connecting are the same as for non-aol users (you must have a telnet application to connect from outside of a web browser and to use your web browser you must have it configured to invoke the telnet app installed on your system). For AOL 3.0 you must be using a 16-bit telnet app, in our resources page look for the link to ‘CWSApps – 16-bit Telnet Apps’, you’ll find a comprehensive list of telnet apps that should work with AOL 3.0. AOL 4.0 should have full support for 16 or 32-bit telnet apps, if anyone reading knows otherwise please let us know so we can revise this text. AOL also has information about telnet on their site, use keyword telnet to access this info.
[Update: March 4, 2007]
Attention Windows Vista Users: Windows Vista enables something called AutoTuning by default which earlier windows versions had disabled, to bypass this problem login to your computer as an Administrator and open a command shell (Start -> Run -> type cmd ) and enter this text and then hit return:
netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disable
You will need to do this each time you restart your machine until Microsoft resolves the issue in a later patch.
Connecting via a Java Applet
The MUD Connector now offers a Java-based telnet client which allows players to connect to most of the muds listed in our database. To use the applet you must be running a system which supports Java and have a web browser which will run Java applets… To use our applet point your web browser to:
Give the applet a few minutes to load, keep in mind it is loading 900+ muds from our database so it might take a little while. Once loaded you will see the list of all available muds. Note, this list is not the entire MUD Connector database, some muds whose listings are older than December 1995 will not be listed, and others may have requested their sites not be included in the java applet (for security reasons). Using the applet you can click on a mud’s name and see its MUD Connector listing, or connect right to the mud. The applet should be self-explanatory, however if you have any questions send email to email@example.com.
Note: Users who are behind a telnet-restrictive firewall will not be able to connect using any of the above methods. Java telnet applets, mud clients and telnet app all use the same protocol for connecting to mud servers, any firewall which prevents one of these methods from connecting will prevent them all from working.
While this document is not the most complete reference for playing muds and is not intended to be, it should provide enough information to get started. If you run into technical difficulties along the way I would advise consulting your Internet Service Provider’s technical support, afterall thats what they are being paid for. You can try asking me specific questions but I don’t have all or even most of the answers, I can try to help however, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good Luck and Happy Mudding!
Icculus (Andrew Cowan)