Table of Contents

MUD Player Types Survey


Ptah: This survey is an impromptu one to help you see what sort of mud player you are. There'll be a set of questions--then you answer one of the four choices. Keep score of how many you answered as a, b, c or d. After we're done, you can then tell us all what type you are... and then I'll talk some about what the types mean.

Hastur: just how many a's and b's and c's and d's or the answer for each question?

Ptah: Some of these you may think that you can't pick just one answer--you HAVE to pick only one.


(1) What is the goal of mudding here?

(2) What is the point of a new area?

(3) What are levels for?

(4) What are other people on the mud for?

(5) Which of these are you more likely to say?

(6) Which is more important to successful mudding?

(7) What is the mud?

(8) What are you prouder of, of your mud accomplishments?

(9) Again, what are you prouder of?

(10) What is the point in knowledge of the mud?

(11) Which is nicer to add?

(12) Which is cooler?

(13) Which matters more?

(14) What is the most important command?

(15) What is the mud:

(16) Again, what is the mud?

(17) what is the mud?

(18) Does this game have an "end"?

(19) Is the mud a game at all?


Ptah: OK, some of you will have totals spread evenly across the board, and some of you will have a, b, c, or d noticeably more emphasized.

Piccolo: how do you total letters?

Ptah: just add up how many times shows up. If you had to answer a AND b, it counts in both a and b

Pentara: 4 10 7 6?

Solomon: 8856

Lagmonster: hrm. 6787

Hastur: a=2 b=6 c=11 d=7

Nemulas: a:7, b:12, c:4, d:3

McDougan: Ay zrrrrro, bee fibem shee, shishteen, dee, fibe

Airar: 7 11 5 5

Snap: 7 11 1 8

Ptah: OK, let me tell you what these mean

Bedwyr: 8 13 3 4

Zelda: 5 10 6 6

Grau-Wulf: a:4 b:12 c:6 d:3

Jalav: a:5 b:7 c:7 d:7

Bert: 4 15 5 4

Point: 10 7 2 7

Beam: hehh 0 6 12 8

Piccolo: 3 7 10 6

Ptah: Those who have high "A"--like Point, say, are "Achievers." You are interested in kicking the game's butt, levelling, racking up numbers.

McDougan: dee moosht be grendlllsh

Point: Whee~!knos point sees that

Ptah: I think anyone who knos point sees that

Lagmonster: heh. sounds like him :)

Hastur: not me....a is lowest number I have

Kamiya: 6, 10, 7, 4.

Beam: hehe i didnt have any a's

McDougan: I nebrr anshwered a

Zelda: not me either

Hastur: =P

Kall: I didn't have A as my highest, you bloated sack of festering ale, McDougan.

Ptah: Those of you who have high in B are "Explorers". You think that levelling is secondary to mastering all the little details, and you like to poke around because it is FUN to poke around. It also means that you are therefore the type who answers surveys.

Snap: whee f you are

Zelda: thats metype B

Ptah: so I bet most of you are type B

Bedwyr: YAY

Solomon: I'm A/B

Wither: *giggle*

Hastur: 6 b's....third place

Bert: YEA !!

McDougan: *grumble*

Lagmonster: hrm...not moi

Beam: my second lowest

Snap: C's are the wierdo's

Ptah: Type C is "Socializers". You may as well go MUSH. :)

Hastur: *bounce c*s

Snap: cackle!

Ptah: BTW, this is where *I* land when I play.

Lakespeed: a=0 b= 4 c=17 d= 6

Point: *laugh* Yeah, go mush :P

Kamiya: *laugh*

Beam: bah i have 12 c

Lagmonster: hrm...c's my 1 pt :P

Hastur: MUSH? *gag*

Bedwyr: touche

Lakespeed: a=0 b= 4 c=17 d= 6

Snap: go figure, Ptah =p

Ptah: it means that you are here because of the friendship,s the people, etc

Piccolo: mush? like in the meatball that rolled off the table?

Ptah: the community, in other words

Beam: helps if you have played a while though

Zelda: *nod beam* it changes over time...once you finish exploring

Lagmonster: probably tells you why you have played a while, conversely

Ptah: if you are type D, that means you are a "Killer". Basically, you not only are clanned, but you also think PK rocks, and enjoy controlling the mud that way,

Lirra: Pbbpphhts Ptah and mushes =P

Lagmonster: *peer* where are you D ppl?

Hastur: ick....i got d as second

Wither: *peer* Who's d?

Piccolo: yeah, right - the number of c/ds you had us answer?!!

Ptah: Well, classic D's we've had have included Agyar and Augustus...

Mina: *ponders what Morph would have got*

Lagmonster: those of us that are even?

Piccolo: so I'm a mushy first, then I explore, I kill a little, and I always under-achieve.. :)

Zelda: thats the kernel of the pkill problems here...voluntary clanning leaves pkill dominated by killer types

Ptah: classic C's we've had include Rusalka and Dusty. Classic B's include Mercenary and Mingus. Classic A's include Rufus and Sylia.

Jalav: i think these answers would change over time though.... 3 yrs ago i'da been an a.... now i'm split between the last three

Ptah: Yes, they DO change over time. Let me tell you some about how they affect each other :)

Hastur: *bounce*

Ptah: the amount of each on a mud affects the makeup of the mud

Ptah: for example, the preferred targets of killers are socializers

Piccolo: but socialisers may not be clanned.. )

Beam: hehesu

Ptah: this is because killers get more power when they kill socializers (there is more gnashing of teeth)

Mina: but they are the easiest targetrs

McDougan: WHOOT?!?!?!? *shudder*

Lakespeed: a=0 b= 4 c=17 d= 6

Ptah: of course, if they chase away all the socializers, they run out of prey

Wither: *nod*

Beam: i socialize all the time

Ptah: which is why many of our rp'ers tend not to clan :)

Ptah: or leave the mud entirely. :)

Wither: Make new players take the survey, and only admit a's, b's, an c's.

Lirra: *nods to Ptah*

Kall: it's more like those of us who are clanned can't rp because we get attacked all the time

Hastur: im a socilizer and i permas to escape ok

Ptah: let me tell you how the four types relate to each other...

Ptah: Achievers like to group with achievers and compete in a friendly way for levels

Lagmonster: <--wans to know what it means to be evenly spreadout..

Ptah: If your mud is nothing but achievers, it'll do just fine.

Zelda: you mean killers want people to mind being killed

Ptah: as long as the game keeps growing.

Snap: but then again some peopel leave the mud becaue they are trying to rp and they kill someone who gets their feeling hurt and takes it personally and then they quit cause they don't want to deal

Snap: knows a few examples of such.

Ptah: The more explorers there are on the mud, the faster achievers will level, because achievers would rather get the answer to a quest or a fight stretegy from someone else because it is faster :)

Ptah: achievers could care less if there are socializers on the mud, mostly :)

Ptah: lastly, achiev4ers don't like killers, but regard it as a badge of honor to get past one, because it makes the achievement more worth it

Lagmonster: hrm. Killers are a branch of achievers?

Ptah: if you therefore remove ALL kilelrs, achievers will start to leave the mud, because it is too easy

Ptah: on the other hand, add too many, and the achievers decide it is impossible and leave too

Ptah: Explorers see achievers as explorers who haven't caught on yet that levels aren't everything :)

Wither: Hehe

Ptah: the number of achievers on the mud therefore has nothing to do with how many explorers you get

Lagmonster: less evolved mudders...

Snap: couldn't there be a combo of both?

Ptah: explorers ike other explorers. Unfortunately, it's next to impossible to ATTRACT exporers to a mud

Snap: like an explorer with an unclanned and a killer when clanned?

Wither: The mud has to keep evolving for them.

Ptah: Not really, Snap, these are overall player attitude

Ptah: You CAN be balanced, of course

Snap: well how do you be a killer with an unclanned char?

Lagmonster: *ponders 6 7 8 7...*0 and clan :)

Ptah: You reach level 10 and clan :)

Ptah: You can still have the ATTITUDE though

Snap: then why do clanned have unclanned.

Zelda: I think this has to be one of the best muds for explorers surely

Wither: *nod Zelda*

Lagmonster: for killers too, i think

Piccolo: because they are only allowed one clan..

Ptah: explorers could care about the amount of socializers; and they basically have the same for killers, though they often respect the killers' knowledge of the mud

Lagmonster: and for achievers...when you see lvl-to-50-in-a-day...

Ptah: they can, btw, usually kick a killer's butt in single combat

Ptah: because they know everything :)

Wither: *ponders clanning*

Beam: and some killers are explorers

Lagmonster: heh. basically, an older player who cared enough could kick anyone's butt :P

Ptah: Socializers like having achievers around, because without them there's lkess of a soap opera to talk about

Ptah: but if the achievers get to be too many, the socializers feel that the game is "all about points" and go elsewhere.

Snap: so everyone needs everyone

Kall: we all need to get along

Ptah: socializers think explorers need to get a life. :)

Snap: no we don't, we just all need to be here

Piccolo: and judging from our points, we have a healthy mix..

Bert: Doh

Jalav: spoken like a true socializer

Lagmonster: heh...get a life, bert :)

Outsider: what about point?

Ptah: the more socializers you get, them ore socializers you will tend to attract too--they just add up

Snap: killers give socializers something to talk about =p

Ptah: Lastly, socializers think that killers are heartless evil scum who should be playerdeleted.

Grau-Wulf: HEY watch what you be sayin about us Explores

Beam: how would you have guessed the make up to be ptah

Airar: Well, Ptah, you hit me right on the head... 7 11 5 5

Lagmonster: under-achieving exploring socializer who understands the killer..6 7 8 7..:P

Ptah: add one killer, and you're liable to lose several socializers

Snap: I dunno I have less d's than b's

Lirra: <--doesnt quite think that08:22

Jalav: *personal note* bunches of killers and acheivers prob didn't take the time to take this survey.... they couldn't care less about it.

Snap: I'm an explorer!

Ptah: Yes, I already stated that the people taking the survey will be self-selected explorers anyway :)

Snap: I did map out the whole mud *scuffle*

Ptah: the nature of the mud is that we have a fairly strong streak of explorers overall anyway

Zelda: and there is such a thing as 'social desirability' affecting resonses

Ptah: which is very fortunate, --I'll get to why in a moment

Wither: Force-survey everyone!

Ptah: OK, How killers see the others...

Kira: targets?

Outsider: targets?

Zelda: fair game

Ptah: Achievers are the natural prey: smart enough to make it a challenge

Wither: Extraordinarily mobile mobs?

Snap: I bet a lot of grendels are bored explorers =)

McDougan: Rrr nn othrrr wordsh, cannooon foddrrr...

Ptah: Killers avoid explorers, because a) an explorer can often BEAT them b) even if they die, explorers simply don't care much (it's not as personal, and levels don't matter either)

Ptah: when you increase in explorers, you tend to reduce killers somewhat

Ptah: Killers see socializers as a different sort of prey

Ptah: not like achievers, because they don't stand a chance, whine lots, and are generally lots of fun to dominate

Ptah: Increase socializers, and killers will show up. The socializers won't last long after that ;)

Wither: It's a cruel world :(

Lagmonster: how do they see each other...or are we getting to that.

Pentara: I take it socializers are the ones on the chat channels all the time?

Mina: this sounds like a situation for a mud where all can pk, not where it is optional

Piccolo: of course, if the socialiser is not clanned, then he couldn't care less about the killers

Ptah: lastly, killers tend to band together for defense but still PLAY solo. They also tend not to fight each other.

Jalav: can i ask a question?

Ptah: sure, Jalav

Zelda: but they drive non-killers out of clanning

Beam: you taking this from legend mud experience mainly?

Buffalmacco: so in which situation you think we are Ptah?

Jalav: what category do the people fall into that will kill killers into extinction to protect other players, but do not pkill for their own fun or pleasure?

Lagmonster: naw. achievers/explorers could clan if the socializers made good enough firends.

Ptah: No, this is actually from research by Richard Bartle, who co-wrote the original MUD a decade or more ago

Lagmonster: an achiever who has a good socializer friend, maybe?

Ptah: it was published in the Journal of MUD Research

Ptah: Jalav, those people are usually explorers with a strong social streak

Beam: pretty good work

Ptah: as a classic example of a player who did exactly that and was exactly that: Khelleck

Lagmonster: heh. a knight?

Ptah: Some would say "THE knight"

Bert: *salute* Sir Khelleck my old GM

Ptah: Dominic was similar as a player too actually

Jalav: *nod* I remember Dominic

Ptah: OK< what does this mean for keeping a mud running?

Bert: Those 2 were the best Gms I had as a knight

Zelda: so bascially socialisers would clan for RP, but get wiped out by the killers?

Ptah: You may have noticed that lots of these pairings end with people quitting the mud :)

Ptah: yes, Zelda

Lagmonster: hrm...add more areas for achievers/explorers to protect socializers?

Zelda: leaving pkill without any RP

Ptah: There's almost no way to increase explorers; add any type EXCEPT explorers and killers appear; let killers get too big, and the mud goes poof

Ptah: If you go the social route and bar killers, then the mud turns into a huge chat room,and soon the mud proper is irrelevant, and the phone or IRC or something takes over :)

Pentara: Wouldn't more explorers come if the MUD got a reputation for bring big, like Legend?

Ptah: Pentara--that's an indication that you tend to be an explorer

Ptah: Legend is SMALL

Ptah: it's DEEP, but it's small.

Pentara: I definitely am an explorer :)

Ptah: WHich is what Explorers like.

Beam: make it harder to kill pplers and achievers

Lagmonster: hrm..yeah. i know of some large shallow muds,

Ptah: Go to say Toril or Medievia, and you'll find lots of killers and achievers, no socializers and no explorers

Ptah: the explorers are all over on DartMUD and the socializers are on PernMUSH

Bert: well increasing the complexity and changeing areas and implementing new areas always attracts explorers

Bert: at least the explorers won't disappear

Ptah: Bartle posits the following stable configurations:

Beam: honestly i have looked for other good muds

Bert: that's why Legend is so great, there are frequently new areas to explore

Ptah: explorers do disappear when the mud runs out of new stuff, or when the killers get too obnoxious

Solomon: My focus is on the mechanics. How skills and spells operate. How you can use them in unexpected ways. My greatest enjoyment doesn't come from mobs, areas or items, but from skills. :)

Solomon: That's why I so look forward to skilltrees.

Ptah: These are the balances he sees:

Ptah: A balance between killers and achievers. You have no social types, and there's a few explorers, but not many

Ptah: this is btw the classic DikuMUD :)

Lakespeed: *nod solomon*

Pentara: Where do RP people fit in again?

Ptah: in the classic Diku? They don't. :P

Beam: the solution is i see it the ppl who have become widely balanced

Beam: lot of ppl averaged near the same for all

Ptah: Type II: A sociallizer mud. This is the classic MUSH. Killers show up but they are reduced to being spamming rude idiots.

Ptah: Explorers and achievers have nothing to do there, so they aren't around.

Ptah: Type III: A mud with no players. The killers have scared everyone else away, and gone to another mud.

McDougan: *laugh*

Ptah: This is what we often get told Legend is becoming, when Grendels go on a spree :) Note that the research shows that having SOME killers is good, it keeps achievers on their toes.

Ptah: Lastly, The Type IV Mud:

Ptah: I'll quote from Bartle, because it seems better than explaining it.

Ptah: "A MUD where all groups have a similar influence (although not necessarily similar number."

Ptah: Explorers are nurtured by giving the game great depth, while also regularly adding new features.

Ptah: They thereby keep the population of killers in check.

Ptah: THe few who remain keep the rabbit-like socializers from taking over.

Ptah: lastly, achievers get attacked by killers often enough to feel like they are accomplishing something

Ptah: he says, "This is the most balanced type of mud, since players can change their position on the interest graph freely" -- like all you balanced guys

Ptah: "However, actually attaining that stability in the first place is very difficult indeed; it requires not only a level of game design beyond what most MUDs can draw on, but time and player management skills that aren't usually available to MUD administrators."

Jalav: *cheer* our Mud Administrators

Ptah: Lastly, a note about longevity

Beam: i think explorers can play type I

Lakespeed: *cheer ptah* for having that type of mud!

Ptah: the article makes the point that type I (games) and type II (social) muds die. Fast.

Ptah: they have a high turnover rate.

Ptah: type IV like us, basically go on, and on, and on.

Wither: *cheer Legend*

Ptah: and yes, type III are already dead.

Ptah: one thing to note is that roleplay or not roleplay is *irrelevant* in this

Ptah: last thing--another question.
What is the mud?

Ptah: the answer is, all of 'em, to different types. A to achievers, b to explorers, c to social types, and d to killers...

Ptah: Anyway, so now you know who you all are :) Hopefully this was interesting to you.

Solomon: Lots!

Wither: Very interesting :) Thanks!

Kamiya: very interesting. hope it'll be in an LT or something.

Ptah: If you are interested in the original article, it was in the Journal of Mud Research, located at

Jalav: very interesting

Ptah: I'll put the questions up on the web site in the Lecture series...