Sunday, May 24, 2015

Online Text Adventure Games - Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions

The world of online text adventure games can be incredibly daunting for new players, especially first-timers with no experience with MUDs. Don't worry though - everyone started out as a clueless newbie at some point! Here's a list that answers some of the frequently asked newbie questions to give you an edge over your fellow text game players!
1. "Why do I need to read so many help files? It takes so long!"
It may take a while, but you'll be glad you decided to spend the time reading. The help files contain all sorts of useful tips and tricks written to help you learn how text adventure games work, and in most cases will likely solve most of the questions you have on any subject. When in doubt, always refer to the help files.
Besides, they are online text adventure games - 99% of the time, you'll be reading, so this is a good place to start!
As above, these are text adventure games. There are no pictures. In an age of increasingly graphics-focused gameplay, many potential players tend to get turned off by the fact that text games have no cool graphics to indulge your senses in. However, since MUDs don't have to deal with the limitations of graphics, the text based online worlds are much more diverse and imaginative. They have skills, abilities and descriptions that would never exist in a graphic game because they would be a nightmare to create, but in text based rpg games, the only limit is your imagination.
When you have that, who needs pictures?

3. "How do I earn gold?"
There are a number of ways to earn gold in text games. The two most common ways are doing quests and killing monsters in the various hunting grounds. Generally, you should attempt to solve quests by yourself if possible. The satisfaction you get when you finally complete the quest is ten times better than getting the answer from someone else. If you get stuck, however, don't be afraid to ask for a hint from a fellow online text game adventurer! Most people will be more than happy to help out.
4. "I'm completely lost. How do I find my way around?"
Even though imagination is a good thing, when you're a brand new player and it's your first time all alone in the vastness of an online text game world, graphics probably look pretty good right about now. Don't despair though! Many text based games have simple maps for each area to help new players (and sometimes older players!) keep track of where they are. Just search the help files, ask other players, or check on their website.
5. "Why can't I tell other players that I'm lagging or I had to take a call?"
The whole point of text based rpg games is to play somebody you're not in real life. Your fantasy character Sir Bob, Bringer of Light, lives in a world of high magic and medieval settings, and has probably never seen a computer in his life - heck, computers probably will never exist in his virtual world! Thus, it wouldn't make sense for him to say things like 'Lol, I died just now because my Internet was lagging,' because a) Internet doesn't exist in his world, and what doesn't exist can't lag; and b) without the Internet, Internet-speak also doesn't exist. To anyone roleplaying with you, Sir Bob, Bringer of Light has just spouted a bunch of nonsense and probably needs his head examined by the nearest healer.
From a player's perspective, being OOC or 'out-of-character' really breaks immersion and takes the fun out of roleplaying for all parties involved in these text games. Imagine roleplaying the traditional Good versus Evil debate, fully immersed in your role - and suddenly, out of nowhere, your opponent says, "Brb phone," and the whole atmosphere within the text based rpg is destroyed.
This is a pet peeve of most players of text based games. Try to avoid being OOC if at all possible, and if you must explain why you couldn't be here for the battle of the century, say something like 'I had to make a pilgrimage to faraway lands' instead of 'I had to visit in-laws for the weekend'!
If you enjoyed this article you should jump into your own online text adventure games right now.
Karin Chan is a text game enthusiast and currently plays games from
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