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Okay, this was suggested. Seems fair enough since VIP Mud likely gets people interested in muds who weren't previously. If you've played muds before and are comfortable then this isn't for you, this is a total newb guide of how to connect onward.

Feedback welcome. If there are any issues let me know and I'll adjust it. Also if it's far too complex let me know too, I know I can ramble at times laugh.

There are three parts -
"set up" is how to get into the mud for the first time
"About VipMud" is a description of what VipMud can do at a basic level to help you, without getting too complex.
"About muds" gives basic mud commands that are pretty common.

Set up
Right now, first you need to install VIP Mud. Fairly straightforward, you also need to set the voice options. If you can use it to output straight to your screen reader then feel free, otherwise you can use SAPI. To begin with using all the same option on every category is probably best.

Next find a mud. Alter Aeon is quite handy as a tutorial since it has a mud school you can learn in and get used to playing. You can find it on the games list, go through and find the web site. It has a port specifically for screen reader use so make sure you use that when we get to the port number.

Load up VIP Mud, you should be in the selection window with the default "Fred Valhalla". That means character Fred in game Valhalla. Tab to the button marked "add".

Now you can choose a temporary character name, you can edit this later don't worry. You won't know if this name is available until you connect and try to create it. Just put what ever you like in there for now, and tab along. Look through the list of games already predefined to see if your choice is there. Alter Aeon is so it's a good choice all the same. If it isn't then tab on and enter the mud name in the box provided. Next tab on and enter the host and port number, these should be available on the mud's web site. The host address looks like a web address but without the WWW, the port is usually a 4 digit number. Got those in? Good.

From there you can tab to the OK button and there you go, you've just set up VIP Mud ready to connect. Just choose your character from the list and hit enter, or tab to connect and press space. Assuming your internet connection is working and nothing is blocking the port you should now start getting feedback from the mud server, showing a login message. Sometimes there is a lot of decorative dashes or whatever else so just ignore them, that is fine too.

The login message should tell you how to make a new character. If you need to go over what you've received again just press tab and you'll be in the output area, and can move around it just like you would in something like notepad with your screen reader. While new messages will still arrive, and be read if you don't interrupt it by accident while navigating, the window won't move your position to another line automatically so you'll never lose your place because new messages came in and moved everything down. Often you'll have to type a specific word such as "create" or "new" followed by enterto tell the server you wish to make a new character, the login info should tell you what the specific command is. From there you should be able to follow the options for creation such as password, gender, class or whatever else.

A little about VipMud.

Tab will move you between the input box and the output window. You're quite easily able to review stuff you miss in the output window, and can get back to the input box by pressing tab again or by typing. Typing automatically moves you back to the input box, since you don't need to type in the output area. Nothing you type is sent to the mud unless or until you press enter, at which point the contents of the input box is sent. If there are semicolons ; in what you typed then VipMud treats taht as an enter when you send it, meaning it gets sent as a separate command right away. For example typing
"get helmet;wear helmet"
sends get helmet and then wear helmet straight afterward. The whole thing is sent together, but only once you press enter/return.

Keys
Keys are where you can set shortcut keys to send specific commands. I would say it's very useful to use the F keys such as F1, F2 and so on to perform common commands especially in combat. For example you can find F1 in the list, and set it to "kick" which sends the kick command when you press F1. This can help save RSI tongue

Some keys are set up by default on the numpad, you will have to enable numlock to use then which helps stop them from interfering with normal screen reader keys. With numlock on the number keys on the numpad act as the 8 compass directions, sadly I don't recall the full list. You can change them in the keys option though, so you can set things like the slash or star to check your inventory and so on.

Aliases
These just let you create a command which VipMud converts to whatever you like sent to the mud. For example in Alter I used to use one called "clean" for after fights, which sent "get all corpse;sacrifice corpse" to deal with the looting and then get rid of the body giving you a little extra gold.

About muds
Here are some common commands for muds. Note that give, get and put can vary in moos and mushes are a completely different beast. Mostly those these apply. These tend to be quite barebones in what you need to type, they are very much commands not instructions.

N, E, S, W, NE, NW, SW, SE, U, D
These are the directions. The 8 compass directions, plus up and down. These are the normal way of moving from one room to another. Muds are made up of rooms strung together.

look, or just "l" often
looks in the room you're in. Normally happens automatically when you move into a room, but can be useful on occasion too.

exits, often just "ex"
Shows you what exits if any exist in the room. You can't go north if there is nowhere north to go to after all. Often shown on the look too, but exits can be easier sometimes because it's less spammy.

scan
Not always present, but if it is it will look around and try to tell you if you see any players or creatures in nearby rooms. Only tends to work in straight lines if at all. Sometimes this is a general command available to all, sometimes it requires a skill for rogues and the like. typing "help scan" will tell you the specifics.

recall
Not all games support this, but if they do it will take you back to a place you set previously. Some games have this as a spell instead, or have recall scrolls available. Typing "help recall" will give you the details.

look object
Looks at a given object. Don't type object, replace it with the name of the object. This can sometimes give you useful information, or just a description. Some objects might be containers, so you can "look in object" to see what's inside it.

examine object, or "exam object"
Use like look, some games use this to provide expanded information

inventory, often just "i"
Tells you what you're carrying in your inventory.

equipment, often just "eq"
Tells you what you're wearing and wielding.

get object
drop object
picks up and drops things.

wear object
remove object
wield object
unwield object
These wear or remove the given object, like a helmet or a breastplate. Wield and unwield are special forms for weapons. Some games allow you to use wear on weapons too, others require you to use wield instead. You can also "wear all" or "remove all" in many games.

put object container
get object container
Puts something inside a container, or gets it out. For example "put sword bag" or "get sword bag"

kill target
Starts a fight with the given target.

consider target
Not always available, and not always accurate, but it is designed to give you an idea of how your chances are against the opponent. Some games which heavily modify an existing mud system without adapting consider make it inaccurate, but it is still generally useful. Things to watch for are beneficial spells the monster might cast on itself, which can frequently make this assessment wonky.

cast
Varies from game to game, type "help cast" to see how it works in your chosen game. Normally you can miss out the target once you're in a fight because the mud automatically knows who you're fighting, but not all games do this so be careful. Beneficial spells usually automatically cast on yourself instead, so don't worry about accidentally healing something while you're fighting it too much.

give
Can never remember which way round this goes, obviously it gives something to someone. Type help give if you need to do this, sometimes quests might require it.

say message
Says something, well yeah...

tell person message
reply message
Tell sends a message to the character you specify, while reply sends a message to the last character to send you a message. Some muds disable this. For example
"tell cx2 oh come on you expect me to read all this?"
would send a message to character "cx2" saying "you expect me to read all this?". If cx2 then typed "reply hi there" right after it would then send a message saying "hi there" to you, because you were the last person to send him a tell.

score
Gives you information about your character. This varies between games and can include showing your class and level, your armour level, attributes or whatever else. If you've ever looked at pen and paper RPGs this is sort of like your character sheet in the mud. Try it and see what you get. Some games use other commands like "info" too for other information.

practice
Varies from game to game, usually used to gain or improve a skill or suchlike. Type "help practice" to find out the specifics for the game. Also look up "help level" and "help experience" while you're at it to find out what happens as you progress.

open object
close object
These open and close objects, and can also do so for doors. Some games let you replace the object name with a direction for doors, it can vary slightly so check the help.

Unlock object
lock object
Well they lock and unlock something, if you've got the key. Otherwise you'll need to find out if you can use pick or a spell to do so. Works a lot like open and close, and equally varies in the exact manner for referring to doors.

help
Shows the basic list of help topics for the game.

help subject
Gives you the help topic for subject, assuming there is one. For example "help open". It's a good idea to poke around these to find the nuances of the game in question. If you're ever in doubt about a command look it up in the help, whether you wnat to know how to make it work or you want to know what exactly it can do etc. There is also usually help available on classes, skills, spells and anything else you might need help on. Try "help combat" for example and a lot of games have a description of how combat works, or help "armor" to see how armour works. Watch the spellings with these, especially if you're from a non US country. If your normal spelling doesn't work try the US version. For example dropping the U from armour, though some muds have it set up so both spellings work.

cx2
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To live by honour and to honour life, these are our greatest strengths and our best hopes.

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A couple questions answered.

How do I get Sapi to reread the window
Sadly I don't think this is possible, VipMud seems to send messages as it gets them and I'm not sure the client has a concept of what a "window" consists of. I could however be wrong very easily.

What about big help topics? How do I deal with them more easily?
Using page up to find the top can be quite helpful while you're in the output window. Careful though, page up can sometimes jump way more than you need.

cx2
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To live by honour and to honour life, these are our greatest strengths and our best hopes.

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hi how do stand on Valhalla i vill sleep but i type stand not stand sorry my English is bad

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type st or stand

I love audio gaming!

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can you make a guide on triggers and making sounds play for certain things in the mud? always found that complicated... it never worked, and do i need the full version of vip to use sounds?

:D happy to help out with games and the like... maybe :D

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@Brad, you don't need the full version to make sounds play if they're your own sounds and your writing triggers, (or indeed if they're scripts and sounds from someone else), but if they're a soundpack downloaded from the mud that uses msp, that is the mud sound protocol, then they will only work in the full version of Vip.

Thus far the only games I know with msp are materiamagica and six dragons.

@cx2, great guide. I have a suggestion however, why not post a version of this in the articles room, sinse it's just for this sort of thing that the articles room was created, and then I can put a link on the Vipmud db page.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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hay evry one! how do I take itoms? t
thanks!

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Hey! This kind of article is just what I needed. I've been avoiding muds because I didn't know anything about them or how much time it would take to learn to play them, but now that I've read this, I may just get into them.

What I'd like to see is a similar article for Mush client so I could compare them to decide which one to invest my time into learning.

I like that Mush client is free, but if VIP mud is far better for use with screen readers, I'll go that route.

I'd also like to know what other restrictions there are on the unregistered VIP mud, as a way to compare it to Mush client.

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Great! Finally an article for my level and other noobs who have no idea what a mud is at all.
I will definitely try it now that this doesn't sound as complicated as I expected. Although for me it looks like most people in here are IT-experts.
Just one thing: Adding an introduction at the beginning, what a MUD is and what it is about would be nice. I still don't know what MUD means and what it is but I know how to learn it now haha.

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From the VIPMud help file:

You may play the full version of VipMud free for thirty days.  After this period, you can play a slightly slimmed down version of VipMud for free. The slimmed down version only supports one session at a time, no MSP, no Debug Module, and a maximum play time of two hours before you will need to start-up VipMud again.  As a bonus, if you play Valhalla Mud, the two hour limit is waved.  We do not have any business relationship with ValHalla.  We offer this service to provide you with a MUD client without the need to make a purchase. But, please consider purchasing VipMud so that we can add more great features. Go to http://www.GMAGames.com to place your order.

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Thanks, Draq.

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I tried setting up VIPMUD on my Windows 7 32 bit system, I wanted to use CODE Factory's ETI Eloquence for Windows as the voice VIPMUD uses for everything, but when I set it up, the speaking rate was way to fast and no matter what I tried I could not get VIPMUD to change it. I also kept getting errors on startup about not being able to initialize the screen reader or SAPI voices.

When I inquired with GMA Games about these problems, I was told they no longer had access to Windows 7 so they could not reproduce the problems I was encountering, so they couldn't help me.

And with that, any thought of buying a license for VIPMUD disappeared, I'm not buying something that has no support.

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