You have to face it. Everyone was a newbie once when the foray into text online games began and no doubt there will be hundreds more to come, but I have written these fine words in the hope that you, dear newbie, can get a quick grasp of how not to seem so band spanking new in a MUD (Multi-User Dungeon).

Leet and TXT speak.
This is put at the top as I think almost everyone can agree that any kind of leet or txt speak (coming from the term ‘texting’ on a mobile phone) is a horrible habit and should not show its ugly, word breaking face in any text adventure game. Words like ‘lol’, ‘U’, ‘ur’, ‘Y?’, ‘rofl’, ‘h8’, ‘l8er’ and any kind of combination of taking letters out and replacing them with any other letter (or number!) to make a phonetically spelt word, or in fact adding the letter ‘z’ to the end, should never be used when you are in a MUD.

Think of an online text game like a book. Albeit a very good book, written by hundreds of authors as they weave their characters into the story. You do not have to be perfect with the English language to be able to play MUDs, but a basic understand of correct grammar and punctuation helps an awful lot. Think about what you are typing. If you are unsure on how a word is spelt then try to have a word checker open, as it only takes a few moments to check if a word is spelt correctly, and you will be seen in a much better light if it is!

You are not a God.
I am sorry; someone has to break the bad news to you. You, my dear newbie, are not a God. Your character is not a God nor do they have amazing divine powers that will enable you to crush a human body just by giving them a stern look! It is sad, I know. But mourn not! You COULD be given divine powers, if you work for them.

Learn to role-play responsibly. Learn the limits of your characters and their skills, as they can become a good basic beginning of how your character can flourish. Let them grow slowly into the powers they will one day wield, as there is no reason to hurry. You don’t hurry and skip through a good book now do you? This is your characters life, guide them into living it and becoming the true hero (or villain) they should be known for.

Read the Rules!
One of the most common mistakes is to skip through the rules thinking you know it all. It is possible you could, but in every MUD there are different rules and it is worth taking some time out to read through them to make sure you don’t accidentally slip up.

Does the online text game allow you to be more than one character? Are you allowed to swear? Is violence in game frowned upon? Can you item trade between characters? What happens if you get in trouble, and how do you appeal against the decision? All this is important, as most MUD games will have rules that state that if they are broken, your character will be banned.

Be Polite
There is nothing more than can be asked of you other than to be polite. If you don’t understand something, be it a command in game or a story line, then simply ask. No doubt there will be people in the online text game that are more than willing to help you learn the ropes. Be polite and send them a message with a ‘Hey, sorry. I am new to all this. Can you help me?’. MUD gamers enjoy the worlds they are creating and to have another person join their world and expand with a new personality is a good thing.

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