As usual, if you still have questions after reading this, please feel free to post a reply to the thread asking! If you prefer, you can PM or e-mail a staff member with your questions as well. Some of us are better with the MUX than others, but if we can't answer your question, we at least know who to forward it to.
This is not meant to be comprehensive by any means; I only intend to give a basic overview here. For more in-depth stuff, you can check out the help stuff in the MUX, catch a staff member (especially Darkhawk) in the MUX and ask them there, or post a question here.
One final very important note: When a command appears in an answer, it will be surrounded by brackets. (For example, [connect].) When entering these commands, type them without the brackets; the brackets are only there to set them apart from the other text in the answer and will cause the commands to not work if you enter them.
Q: What is a MUX, anyway?
It's a text-based virtual world in which you can create your own character and use it to socialize and/or interact with the environment of the virtual world. If you've ever played the old text-based games like Zork, you're already familiar with the basic "feel" of a MUX. The difference is that here, you aren't the only player, and you have a lot more control over yourself and your environment. (If you'd like a little more information, see our official MUX introduction here.)
Q: How do I get a character set up?
There are a few basic requirements for having a character (aka user account) set up. You must have an account on the message board which is neither gagged nor banned and you must be a regular member, and have your e-mail address (in Settings) set to a valid address. (This is so that we can get your password to you.) If you meet all of those requirements and would like to have an account, go to this thread
and e-mail the Mux Account Creator through its profile according to the instructions given in the first message of the thread.
Note that you do not need a character on CauldronMUX to use CauldronMUX. You can log in as a guest. This will let you chat with others on the MUX and explore the MUX. You just will not be able to create rooms and objects.
Q: How do I access the MUX?
There are two parts to this: connecting and logging on.
You can use our Flash client, here
, or you can connect to the MUX using a variety of programs. A list of suggestions can be found [url=http://www.ecauldron.net/cmmux.php#connect[/url]here. Some favorites among staff include SimpleMU for Windows or MudWalker for Mac OSX, but you should use whichever one you like best. If you are using an outside client, you will need to point it to port 24201 on ecauldron.net.
If you have an account, type the command [connect] followed by a space and your user name. Press Enter. You will be asked for your password; enter it and press Enter again. You should be logged on now! If you don't have an account yet, use the user name "guest" (without the quotes); you won't need a password.
Q: What are the rules?
You can find the Chat/MUX rules here
. Please read them before using the MUX.
Q: Anything else I need to know before I jump in?
Unlike on the forum, CauldronMUX doesn't allow us to pick and choose which conversations we want to be a part of and follow, and a choice to leave a conversation by leaving the room is automatically made public by the software. This means we need to be a bit more considerate of each other's sensibilities at times. While we don't forbid any topics beyond the PG-13 standard and ban on personal attacks, please do take others into account when bringing up a subject matter that might be upsetting. However considerate everyone is, though, sometimes people will still want or need to step out of a conversation - this isn't necessarily anyone's fault, so we ask that people be respectful of both people's right to bring up a subject, and other's right to leave a conversation that upsets them.
While CauldronMUX can feel like a fairly private conversation, it is still a public part of our forum where anyone can walk in at any time. Please keep this in mind, and don't say anything you wouldn't be okay with putting on the open board. Also, while we all need to vent some time, remember that personal attacks are still banned, regardless of the presence of the target of said comment.
Q: Where am I?
If this is your first time in the MUX, or if you are logged in on a guest account, you will find yourself in the Grey Mists. (The name is a reference to an in-joke from our Delphi days; feel free to ask one of the old-timers about it if you're up for a laugh!) This room really only exists to introduce people to the MUX; it has no special purpose other than that. If you see another person in the room, or an odd creature like a cat or a killer fluffbun, it's probably a staff member waiting to greet newcomers. (The creatures are generally puppets, which act as a person's eyes, ears, and voice, essentially allowing them to be two places at once.) The rest of the MUX waits right outside... The most common destination is probably the Cauldron Lounge, where most organized chats are held. You can reach it by entering the command [o] and then [cl].
Q: Where is everyone else?
You can use the command [+who] to see who is online and where they're at. This list will also show you some other information like how long people have been idle and who is staff.
Q: How do I move around?
At the bottom of every room description should be a list of exits. These exits are how you get to other rooms. You can use an exit by entering its name as a command. If an exit has an abbreviation after it, you can usually also use that abbreviation as a way of going through the exit. For instance, if an exit was listed as "Upstairs <U>", you could enter either [upstairs] or [u] to go upstairs. While the old rooms and spaces are still available in the Retro area (accessible from the Lounge), the Cauldron Lounge and the Grey Mists is really the only spaces currently in use. Should you get lost while exploring, you can always return to the Lounge by typing [@tel #23].
Q: How do I talk to people?
There are a few different ways.
If you want to talk to people in the same room you are, you can simply type a double quotation mark followed by what you want to say and then press Enter. For instance, if you put in ["Hello.] the MUX would tell everyone, "(Your username) says, "Hello.""
If you want to talk to someone who is not in the same room you are, you can page them by entering [p] followed by a space, their user name, an equals sign, and what you want to say. For instance, you could page Heartshadow by typing, [p heartshadow=Hi!] and no matter where she was in the MUX, Shadow would get a message telling her you said "Hi!".
You can use the same method, replacing [p] with [w], to send a private message to someone who is in the same room as you are. So I could type [w heartshadow=Hi there.] and Shadow would see, "(Your username) whispers, "Hi there."" but no one else would see the message.
If you are not logged in as a guest (i.e. you have your own acount), you can also broadcast a message to everyone who happens to be on the MUX, no matter where they are, by starting it with the command [pub]. For example, you could type [pub Hi!] to say "Hi!" to everyone.
Q: How do I perform actions?
Just start whatever you want to do with a colon. For example, if you typed [:runs around the room], everyone in the room would see, "(Your username) runs around the room".
Q: How do I interact with objects?
That often depends on the object. A good place to start is the command [look] (or just [l] for short), which will give you a description of the object. You can also use this on just about anything in the MUX, whether it's object, person, exit, or other. If you want to see something in particular, put that item's name after the command (so [l tree] would look at the tree). If you just enter [look] or [l] without specifying anything, you will be given a description of the room you're in. Some other basic object commands are [get] and [drop], which do exactly what they sound like.
Q: What do I do now?
It's a good idea to go to the Learning Library the first time you visit the MUX. (From the Grey Mists, go [out], then to [R] and then to [LL].) Enter the command [read placard], as suggested in the room's description, to get a short glossary of some MUX terms. You can also enter [learn] to start a tutorial about the MUX, or [commands] for some helpful commands, or [channels] to learn about the communication system of the MUX. The learn and commands tutorials will give you some more important "getting started" tips which will help you do things like set up a description of yourself to be displayed when people look at you.
Q: How do I get help?
There are several ways to get help. You can simply enter the command [help], which will give you a list of help topics and instructions on how to get information about them. (Also try [+help], which has some more topics.) If a staff member is logged on, you can ask them for help right there in the MUX. You can find out which staff members are on by entering the command [+staff]. You can check out the Learning Library for some help on basic topics. Or you can post on The Cauldron's message board asking for help in the Chat and CauldronMUX Support board
Q: How do I create an object?
Simply type [@create] followed by a space and then what you want to name your object. (For example, [@create sword] would make a sword for you.) You can then set a description for it by typing [@desc] followed by the object's name, an equals sign, and what you want the description to be. (Example: [@desc sword=A shiny, sharp pointy thing.]) By default, you will be holding the object you created, so if you don't want to carry it around, enter "drop" followed by the object name ([drop sword]). As with rooms, creating an object costs MUX bucks.
Q: How do I make an object so that only I can use it?
Type the command [@lock] followed by the object's name and then [=me], and then press Enter. For example, [@lock sword=me] would prevent anyone else from picking up your sword.
Q: How do I undo a lock?
Simply type the command [@unlock] followed by the object or exit's name and press Enter. Example: [@unlock sp] and [@unlock sword], respectively, would undo the examples above.
Q: What is a puppet?
A puppet is an object in the MUX which acts as its owner's eyes, ears, and mouth. Essentially, it allows you to be in two places at once. (Many people choose to make their puppets creatures, such as cats or bunnies, but what form yours takes is up to you.) When someone enters the room your puppet is in, you will receive a message telling you that it sees someone entering the room. When someone speaks to it, you will receive a message telling you what they said. You can also control it, which means that you can have it respond to people for you, or run errands for you while you're chatting, or any number of things.
Q: How do I create a puppet?
First you need to create an object (see "Making Yourself at Home") named whatever you want your puppet to be named. Then enter the command [@set] followed by a space, the object's name, and [=puppet]. For example, if I had created an object called Cat that I wanted to make a puppet, the command would be [@set Cat=puppet]. If you see a message notifying you that your object has grown ears and can hear, you've succeeded!
Q: How do I make my puppet tell me what is going on in another room?
Simply send them to the room you want to monitor. The puppet will automatically pass everything on to you.
Q: How do I control my puppet?
Type the command [@force] followed by a space, the puppet's name, an equals sign, and the command you want the puppet to carry out, and then press Enter. For example, if I wanted Cat to say hello, I would enter the command [@force cat=Hello!] Important: If you are not in the same room as the puppet, you will need to use its item number instead of its name. You can find this by looking at the puppet when you are in the same room it is.
At the End of the Day
Q: How do I log off?
Simply enter the command [quit]. It's very important to do this before you close the client you're using to connect to the MUX. If you don't, you could wind up leaving your virtual character still sitting there, looking as though you're logged on, but unresponsive to anyone who tries to interact.
Q: How do I make myself go back to a particular room when I log off, so that I'll be there when I log on again?
The easiest way to do this is to go to the room you want to reappear in and enter the command [@link me=here]. This sets your "home" to the room you're in. Then enter the command [@adisconnect home]. This will take you home any time you disconnect.
Q: How do I make my puppet or my objects go back to a particular room when I log off?
This is an important step for any objects you intend to carry around the MUX; it's only polite to clean up after yourself, after all, and it makes things easier to find when you log back on later. The process is very similar to making yourself go home when you log off. Take the object you want to do this with to the room you want it to go back to. Then type [@link] followed by a space, the object's name, and [=here], and press Enter. (For example, [@link cat=here].) Finally, type [@adisconnect @force] followed by the object's number (which you can find out by looking at the object) and [=home]. (Continuing the example, if Cat were item #42, [@adisconnect @force #42=home].) Important: If you want both your items and yourself to go home when you disconnect, you will need to separate the commands with semicolons, like this: [@adisconnect home;@force #42=home]. You can add as many commands to that as you want, as long as there are semicolons between all of them.
Public Places in the MUX
Here are some of the public places in the MUX, and a short description of each one.
Wandering the Grey Mists
This is the very first place a guest or new person comes when he or she connects. Back when we were on Delphi Forums, an irate person calling herself Lady Kismea cursed us all to "wonder the grey mists", and it only seemed appropriate to incorporate that into our virtual environment! There isn't much to this room; it's more a greeting room than anything. Staff members will often leave puppets here when they're online so that they can welcome people to the MUX and offer assistance if it is needed. Staff puppets you may encounter include FluffBun (Heartshadow), Puppy (Phoibos), Kitten (Chabas), Starlight (Star), Happy Fun Ball (Koi), and Bob's puppet (Bob). There is only one exit--to leave the Mists and go to Central Park, type [o]. You can teleport into the Grey Mists using #0.
The Cauldron Lounge is a room where Cauldron MUX residents often gather to chat. It looks sort of like a sports bar, but with different sports than you would normally find in such a place. You will find several private tables here, where you can sit with friends and talk amongst yourselves while also participating in the general conversation of the room. There are also several fun items to play with. Take for example the Moon Machine, which will tell you the current phase of the moon if you enter the command [+moon]. Or the Tarot Deck, which you can shuffle and use for readings. Or the Endless Ice Cream, which not only dishes up any flavor you can imagine, but also entices the other occupants of the room to try some themselves. If you need help using any of the items, just [look] at them, or ask the other people in the room. The only exit from the Lounge is [out], back to Central Park, and you can teleport to the Lounge using #23.
The virtual home of The Cauldron would certainly not be complete without a library! This one's function within the MUX is to provide newcomers to the MUX with valuable information about using the system. This should be your first stop if you aren't familiar with how the MUX works. Enter [learn] to get started on a tutorial. If you want to get straight to the commands, enter [command]. Or if you want to learn about the comm system, enter [channels]. The only exit from the Library is [out], back to Central Park.