MOO (MUD object oriented)

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Welcome to the MOO (MUD object oriented) learning project. This project allows Wikiversity participants to learn about the text-based virtual reality environments known as MOOs.

What is a MOO?

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"MOO" means "MUD, Object Oriented".

What is a MUD?

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MUD is an acronym for Multi-User Dungeon (or Domain), based on the Dungeon and Dragons board game. The board is a world divided into various sized rooms with interconnecting exits. The world is inhabitted by several monsters and contains many items like armour, weapons, potions, hearbs, scrolls, poisons, containers, and furniture. Each player creates their own character and tries to advance it as far as possible by moving around the world and 'interacting', usually by killing or getting killed by, monsters with the help of other characters.

Most MUDs use several point systems: Experience, Hit, Mana, Move, and Gold being the most common. Characters also have attributes, such as strength, intelligence, wisdom, dexterity, and constitution. These are defined by the character's race and modified by class. The class defines what skills and spells a character can learn, but race decides how well they can do them. In some MUDs, it is possible to multi-class and in others to remortalise.

The game is played over a network, using a telnet client to connect to the MUD server, and logging in as your character, typing commands, and reading the response. Each room has a name, description, and exit list. By carefully reading the description you can figure out where you are and what surprises the room contains. Other players, monsters, and items currently in the room are listed by name and title (or item description), and their current position (standing, resting, fighting, incapacitated, or corpse).

You can use several communication channels to talk, say, shout, yell, auction, and whisper to others. This variety enables players to remain in contact throughout the world. Players can turn off channels to avoid channel spam. Unlike direct channels, notice boards provide discussions, questions, bug-reports, and advice, regardless of whether players are logged in or not.

Because the MUD simulates a world and people have the choice to become someone else, MUD culture has undergone some academic scrutiny. Four player types have been identified:

  • Killer - Likes to kill players, the easier the better.
  • Achiever - Likes to win, accept all challenges, and work hard.
  • Explorer - Likes to map the world and discover how it works.
  • Socialiser - Likes to talk, and talk, and talk.

These four types interact with each other as follows:

  • Killers like Socialisers, ignore Explorers, but dislike Achievers. Socialisers are wimps and the aftermath of whining and complaing is the best. Explorers are damn tough, but don't care, so leave them alone. Achievers just won't lie down and die, sooner or later they'll get you.
  • Socialisers like Explorers, ignore Achievers, and dislike Killers. "Explorers just know ever so much you have simply got to have one around when conversation falters. Achievers are too boring, you can't imagine, always after something, and have nothing but their own ego. Killers are so rude and impolite, they should be banned for good. Like yesterday three of us were talking when ...." yes, thank you, moving to
  • Explorers like Achievers, ignore Killers, and dislike Socialisers. Achievers want to know stuff, which is great to see them use it well. Killers are just one more hazard to exploring, initially fun, but one dimensional. Socialisers are just plain ignorant.
  • Achievers like Killers, ignore Socialisers, and dislike Explorers. Killers are good challenge and you can always beat them in the end. Socialisers are no competition, but tell the world who the best of the best is. Explorer's have no competitive spirit and a waste of time.

Successful MUDs have a mix of all four types, as each contributes to the mud culture. Setting up the world to provide interest for all types is more an art than science. Ensuring that killers don't drive out socialisers, achievers the killers, socialisers the explorers, or explorers the achievers, takes careful balancing between interest, difficulty, challenge, and oppotunity. A major factor is building unique, rather than using stock, areas. Builders are designated players who have to bring the world alive with interesting descriptions and colourful words. But more than that, the layout and quests must be well tested for difficulty and interest. Coders define the game play, the skills, races, classes, and available items. Angels are special players who spend their time helping others and mediating conflicts. Immortals run the MUD, make policy, are forbidden to play, and lurk in the background, just so you know they're watching.

Object programming

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Putting it all together

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A MOO is a MUD that makes use of an explicitly object-oriented programming language for constructing the MUD. See: MOO programming language.

Mooversity can help Wikiversity participants learn about object-oriented programming.

Activities and discussion

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If you have participated in a MOO, please provide a description and a link.

External resources

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See also

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