As it is found in the real world, online free text games are filled with cities, towns, religious orders, churches, and social clubs (often referred to as clans) and even family lines that can occupy a player’s need for social interaction as well as learning opportunities. Many articles have been written to introduce readers to the concept of MUD games and how they function, how to play and to become part of an online world, but the purpose of this article is to show how a player is never alone unless he or she chooses.
Cities and towns provide a sense of civic pride and community. Many have laws, a city belief system, and generally follow a way of life which the player chooses upon entering the online game. Since MUD games are usually based in fictional worlds, the cities are aligned as evil, neutral, good, peaceful, or nature. What remains important is that a player picks the city that best represents the character he or she creates. Of course a citizen may choose to leave his or her birth city for a new land; there is no law that prohibits the citizenship changes because a character may change his or her outlook, but these changes can come with some ease or some stress depending on your first choice of city-state to reside.
Some may wonder why would choosing to leave the original homeland cause stress. It is nothing but a text game. Like any other move in life that is made in the real world offline, a move online will affect friendships, may divide families, and force the character to adapt to a new set of city laws and codes that do not reflect the birth city. All moves, though, do require some research and before a person decides to leave his or her homeland, it should be taken into consideration what losses and gains they will make. Some cities may no allow certain religious orders to live within their walls. Is the character willing to give up his or her religious order for the new life? Sometimes marrying another character will require a move if the player decides to live with his or her spouse in a new city. Yet, there are many successful marriages in the game and yes, in-game marriages are can be either opposite sex or same sex marriages, where spouses live in allied cities, but follow separate lives. However, the travel between cities to see one another can cause added stress when family may be needed close.
Truly, no one player can dictate how another chooses to live as long as he or she follows the rules of the organizations chosen. This is why many players are city-less or houseless, also considered rogue players, because they can move between all cities without any hindrance. That is to say the can move from city to city without a problem as long as they are not an enemy to a specific city or town. If the are an enemy, usually they will be hunted and killed. However, the rogue player is sometimes older and wiser and has lived in a few cities before embarking on his or her own. The rogue player will have already established ties in a house, order, family, clan, and have a base number of friends to keep from feeling lonely. It’s usually advised to wait until the character is established enough before embarking on a life of wandering city to city.
Religious orders may appeal to some players. If this is what a player seeks they can find evil, good, neutral, and nature based orders to join. Again, like a city, orders may have prohibitions or rules that require you to live in a certain city or the god followed may patron a city and require followers to reside in the patron city. Often players will discover that most divine orders are rather neutral and they can move between city to city with no problem. Likewise, a character may discover that serving as a member in an order is prohibited from entering cities that have laws which contradict the divine order laws. It is always best to educate the character if one has to leave a religious order as it may not be pleasing to his or her Divine patron. Moreover, a religious order becomes like a family. Sometimes a departure causes anxiety because a player is bound to the laws and the oaths made to the order. Again, like any big change found in the outside world, such as a move or change of job, the same feelings of loss, remorse and healing which follows with pragmatic88 the change will be experienced in game.
There is an often used quote that states, “You cannot choose your family, but you can choose your friends”. This is not always true in a textual RPG game. A wise player will take time before joining a family. In the MUD world, a player can choose who he or she wishes to have as a mother or father. Sometimes the parents are discovered in an instant. Of course, others may wait many years searching for a family that feels right. Moreover, there are others who feel that starting their own family tree and bloodline may be a wise choice and embark on that life choice. This allows for newer families to flourish and to connect with established families if a player chooses. As in the real world, a character may choose to marry or not marry. He or she may choose to have children or to never have children. The choices are entirely up to how the character and player evolve over time and game experience. No matter which choice is made, the player will experience the same sibling issues, fights, rivalries, camaraderie, that is found in the real world.