Changes are afoot at MUD2.COM. Perhaps the most significant changes since our site came into existence at the end of January, 1997.

Free Promotional Period

It is my pleasure to announce that usage of MUD2.COM will be FREE between now and May 31, 2002. Free access will be granted to all existing and new accounts. You are encouraged to play as much as you want, and you are encouraged to bring as many friends as you can, and introduce them to the Land.

New Rates

Effective June 1, new, DRASTICALLY REDUCED RATES will be in effect. Monthly subscriptions will be available at USD 7.50; an annual subscription will cost USD 75.00; and pay-as-you-go fees are reduced to USD 0.50 per hour.

Over the next few days, all active subscriptions will be reset. Accounts that remained unused for an extended period of time will be purged. The credit on active pay-as-you-go accounts will be prorated. Monthly and annual account holders whose accounts are prepaid will be contacted.

New Payment System

What makes the new fee structure possible is a new, streamlined and automated payment system that uses theĀ  [PAYPAL] online payment service. There is, of course, a catch (isn't there one always?) If you are not yet a PAYPAL user and live outside the United States, it may take up to a month to set up a PAYPAL account (basically, they require you to verify your identity by entering a confirmation number that appears on your next statement next to a nominal charge.) I have hopes that PAYPAL will do away with this requirement in the near future; in the meantime, I hope it will not prove to be too great an inconvenience.

No other forms of payment will be accepted, with one exception: it will still be possible to pay by mail for hourly subscriptions, but all accounts must be PREPAID. We will continue to accept cheques and money orders in US, UK, and Canadian currency.

Needless to say, you are still welcome to e-mail with your individual needs or concerns.

Why the changes, you ask? Undoubtedly most of you will agree that a reduction in price was long overdue. When MUD2.COM started, our basis for comparison was service providers like GEnie, were playing MUD2 cost 3 US dollars per hour. Compared to that, a 20 dollar monthly subscription was a real bargain. Reality has changed over the course of five years (five years! hard to believe) however. Today, our "competition" is spiffy online games with spectacular special effects available at a low monthly fee. Whether or not special effects make a better game may be open to debate, but if we wish to attract new players, which of course is the lifeblood of any online game, we must offer competitive pricing.

Unfortunately, under the old, cumbersome payment system this really made no sense; the workload associated with processing payments was simply too great. PAYPAL makes a difference: it makes it possible for us to not only accept payments online, but to automate the entire process. I (that is, Viktor the arch-wizard) have been using PAYPAL for personal purposes for over two years now, and I have had an overwhelmingly positive experience, which is why I chose this route, and which is why I am not afraid to recommend it to others.

Other changes are also afoot. In conjunction with the free period in May, we will do some modest advertising. It's been a long time since MUD2.COM was formally advertised on the Internet; hopefully this time, a "campaign" will be successful in bringing in new players.

I am sure you share my hope that our "relaunch" will be successful, and MUD2.COM will remain a crowded place, enjoyed by its loyal players for many more years to come!