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2. Getting started

2.1 To start MUDding, you will need a computer and an Internet connection (duh). Then, you need to find a client program with which to connect to the MUD. As mentioned earlier, Telnet is a good example, and some people to this day enjoy MUDding through a Telnet connection. However, there have also been huge advances in the development of dedicated MUD clients, which have added functionality. Most clients can trigger commands upon receiving a certain text string, which is particularly useful to automate mundane tasks. Some clients can take advantage of the use of sound protocols, and have automapping features. Enter "MUD client" into any Internet search engine and you'll have an idea of the range of clients available.

2.2 A large number of MUDders use a very popular client, zMUD, available from Zugg's website (www.zuggsoft.com). zMUD is free for a trial period, after which you will need to pay for it. If cost is an issue, there are also free clients available, like Mud Master (www.mud-master.com). Pick one that suits you best.

2.3 Next, you need to pick a MUD. There are many, many MUDs available, so it would be useful for you to go to a resource page where some of this information is collated, organised, and presented sensibly. The Mud Connector (www.mudconnector.com) is a good starting point. In deciding which MUD to try out, you should take the following into account:-

   (a) Do the underlying storyline and technological context feel, to you, like something you would enjoy? If you simply must travel in Middle Earth, then you should try to look for a MUD based on Tolkein's work. Or if you must cross lightsabers with Darth Vader, go look for a Star Wars MUD.

Necromium does not follow any specific fantasy genre, and draws its source material from many places. Some zones are deliberately humorous, and some zones pay homage to famous stories, while other zones in Necromium are totally original zones following an over-arching storyline which unifies them. Regardless, Necromium remains faithful to its fantasy roots and its medieval technological context.

   (b) Does it have (generally) favourable reviews? Many people put a lot of effort into trying out MUDs and then posting their experiences for others to read. MUD resource pages will have sections dedicated to reviews, and good MUDs often attract many favourable reviews.

   (c) Does the MUD offer your favoured style of role playing experience? Some MUDs enforce role playing, in which case you will need to stay in character at all times. Such MUDs will not look favourably if you talk about 128-bit encryption if you are supposed to be in character and playing a knight in medieval Europe. Some MUDs are more relaxed about this issue.

Necromium does not enforce any specific role playing requirements. Conversely, Necromium does not also prohibit role playing. Some players do enjoy a role playing experience, and these people are free to pursue their interests in Necromium. They are, however, a minority.

   (d) Does the MUD offer your favoured style of player killing experience? The issue of player killing is extremely important. When starting out, do make sure you are comfortable with what kind of player killing experience the MUD offers. Full-blown, no-holds-barred player killing, with full looting rights and permanent character death, is not everyone's cup of tea.

Necromium allows limited player killing, in certain designated zones, or otherwise as part of diplomatic hostilities. "Death" is never permanent. However, player kiling deaths in zones designated as "Chaotic Player Killing" or "CPK" zones attract experience loss and allow looting by players. Otherwise, player killing is not permitted - the game code does not allow it.

   (e) Does the MUD have a reasonably good web page which sets out information about the MUD, and current events affecting the MUD? Have many players on the MUD come up with their own web pages concerning the MUD? A well-updated web page, with support from player websites, is a good indication that the MUD contains a vibrant community.

   (f) Are any of your friends already playing on a MUD? If so, ask them for recommendations. Try their MUD - who knows, you may like it!

If you try Necromium, you will find many players thorougly enjoying their experience. We want you to have a good time, and we want you to bring your friends here and let them have a good time too!

2.5 With all this information at your disposal, it's time to leap in and check out your new world. Connect to the MUD using your client. To connect to Necromium, telnet to necromium.com, port 4000. If using zMUD, click the New icon, pick Necromium from the list of MUDs, and you're good to go.

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