I recently came across a game that reminded me of an endemic issue with many MUDs in this day and age. Namely, the eagerness to disconnect folks. This game also had a separate usability issue in the first 15 sec. that made the matter of being disconnected almost insulting. Here's a synopsis:
> connect game.host.com 8585
New players, enter code "add.new".
Enter your player name:
Do you wish to create the player "add.new"? Yes / No
After two attempts, I figured out that I was actually supposed to enter a name first, then type "add.new" when asked for a password…
But what struck me more than that is that I was disconnected when it would have been probably easier to return me to a prior step or to the welcome screen.
That just seems broken on a fundamental the character login and creation I've always have tried to make as simple as possible going as far as if the user typed help or questions mark at the login prompt to provide help text and examples
Trouble is, for any single character that a player may make they (should) only go through the creation stage once; one might guess that the sysops, knowing exactly the questions and responses to cut-out a new character in a minimum of key strokes will forget that a newbie might have only a vague idea of what they need to type and enter.
Depending on a player's style of play - if they always play one of a small collection of characters it can also be a bit of a mental gear change if they want to go off and try a new character and never mind if the Mud Server is not particularly friendly for that part of the process, the Mud Client can be downright awkward if it has code that auto-magically squirts a login name and password that the player enters as part of setting up a profile which is all fine and dandy if it is an existing entity on the Server but not if the Server has never heard of the character and the User has to perform a different one-off process the first time.
Doesn't everyone know that you type, create name password, to make a new character on MOO?!!?
I do, but then you'd have to play on one or a MUSH/MUCK to know. I recall the create and connect commands being part of the MOTD for at least one game (i.e. the bit that gets sent when you connect), although I have seen things like 'connect guest' as well. In the latter case you usually select a name/password somehow and then create the player/account via some command or admin/staff approval. Disconnecting on an invalid name/password combination is just utterly pointless and painful when trying to login. It'd be like refreshing a webpage every time you typed an invalid login instead of just clearing the input boxes and showing an error (although I suppose the latter requires vaguely modern web tech rather than a plain http form).
For what it's worth a non-coder/linux user may or not even understand this sort of thing: (y/n/c).