Alternate Universe

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Frequently Asked Questions


This FAQ is compiled from the questions that players have asked. If you have a question that is not on this page, please email it to

General Questions



MudWideWeb (MWW)

Stock Market




The Sigma Signal

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General Questions

What is Alternate Universe?

Alternate Universe is a level-less, classless MUD. This basically means for you as a player that it is not necessary to spend hours crawling through sewers killing rats and lizards to gain experience points and increase your charater's strength, health, etc. Rather, your character's development and your own personal experience here depends mainly on your own imagination and your own contributions to the MUD environment.

Alternate Universe is still relatively young and developing. There are a few quests in the works and a one or two linear mini quests that you can embark on, but for the most part, this is an open environment. Go explore, investigate, travel, and then by all means tell us your ideas and suggestions. Report bugs, make up gossip for the Station newspaper, find friends, start a Spaceball League.

How do I play Alternate Universe?

All you need is a telnet program (which comes with Windows and Linux) and an internet connection.
Windows Users: Click 'Start'..'Run' and type telnet 1063 into the box, then press 'OK'.

Linux/UNIX Users: Type telnet 1063 from the command-line.

Once you have connected, you should create an account by logging in as "newuser". This will ask you to choose a player name and password (and to enter a few other details) then your account will be created and you may then log in using your chosen name and password. Note that accounts that are unused for longer than three months will be deleted.

What happens next?

When you log in for the first time, you will find yourself in a teleportation room. Follow the instructions, and you will start the game. Your first "mission" is to make your escape from the planet Xylan, where you will be rescued and end up at a space station, called "Sigma Station". From that point, you may start to meet other players, but up until that point, the game can be considered a single-player linear-story game (the purpose of which is to get you familiar with the basics of Alternate Universe).

How do I get help?

The most useful way is to simply type "help". This will present you with a choice of further help files, all of which contain useful information to help you get started. You may also find the MudWideWeb terminals helpful, especially if browsing their databanks. There is also the in-game email system to ask questions and make suggestions.

What are command aliases?

Shortened versions of commonly-used commands to save your fingers and keyboard. Prominent examples include "n" (instead of "go north"), "x" (instead of "examine") and "ut" (instead of "use terminal"). For a more extensive list, type "help aliases".

What happens if other players attack me?

They can't (at least, not yet) PKs (player kills) are not possible in AU at the moment. If/when they do become possible, it will be restricted to certain areas, and you will be warned before entering an area where PKs are allowed. You will also have to have backed up your personality and DNA at a medical facility before being allowed to enter. Upon dying, you will be regenerated back at the medical facility (minus your possessions).

If you suffer prolonged verbal abuse, either walk away, ignore it and hope you don't meet that player again, or report it to duncanj using one of the in-game email terminals. Don't fan the flames!

How do I chat/communicate?

There are a variety of ways. If you want to send a radio message to a player who is somewhere else in Alternate Universe, use the "radio" command. If, however, you are in the same place as another player, use "say", or "do". Email terminals are useful for leaving messages for other players (you will either see their player names online, or on the Alternate Universe website).

Who should I contact if I have problems?

It seems that most players are willing to help others out, but here's the top three choices:
  • duncanj (Creator)
  • barnoid (Architect)
  • tregina (Journalist)
Either leave an in-game email for one of us, or chat with us when we're online. As a very last resort, email (real life email, this time).

Is there a mailing list for players?

Yes. We have set up a Yahoo group, called
alternateuniverseplayers where players and developers can post messages, vote on polls, etc. You do not have to receive emails - have a look at your member preferences - though you will probably have to sign up to Yahoo in order to post messages and vote on polls (this is free, and relatively painless).

I have a problem connecting to Alternate Universe, what should I do?

If you cannot connect via telnet, then Alternate Universe might be offline. Have a look at the
server news page to see if there are any recent reports of downtime or problems. Try using the Java telnet applet to connect. If you are connecting via a UNIX/Linux telnet application and are experiencing a problem where messages are not being displayed until you hit enter then try creating a .telnetrc file in your home directory containing: set crlf
If you are experiencing trouble with backspace/delete then perhaps you will be able to change the settings of your telnet client to solve this. The telnet handling code in the server is being rewritten to solve these bugs, but please appreciate that it is difficult to test the telnet behaviour on all platforms under all conditions.

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What is the unit of currency in Alternate Universe?

The "credit". It is not possible to convert credits into any real-life currency, or vice-versa.

How much money do I have?

Type "playerstats" (or "ps" for short) and look for the part that lists your wealth.

Where can I get more money?

The normal source of income for players at the moment is the
stock market. You can also win money, or if things are really bad, beg for some from other players (who may use the "give" command to lend you some). Failing that, of course, you could always get a job..

What can I use money for?

There are also plans for you to be able to purchase your own apartments, spaceships, and equipment, but this is not possible just yet.

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How does combat work in AU?

Combat is not implemented in Alternate Universe yet. Have no fear though, it will be possible very soon.

Where are the monsters?

There aren't any just yet.

Are PKs (Player Kills) possible in AU?

No. See
What happens if other players attack me?.

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MudWideWeb (MWW)

How do I use the MudWideWeb?

There are two ways - either find a web terminal in Alternate Universe, and surf using that, or look for the link from the main page on this website, and surf using your regular web browser.

What information is available?

Many pages about systems, objects, planets and cultures are available. You can use it to find a list of
SpaceBall equipment suppliers, or to view the live prices from the stock market.

Can I create my own pages?

Not in the sense of a home page, no. However you're very welcome to write about something in Alternate Universe and submit it to the MudWideWeb, in fact you can
get a job doing this.

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Stock Market

How do I use the stock market?

Find a trading terminal. Upon using it, you will see a screen displaying the current stock prices, availability (number of shares left), change (most recent price change) and trend (price change over the last 10 minutes). You can buy or sell shares by pressing "B" or "S" and entering the ID of the company you wish to trade in.

A view of your current stock portfolio (the shares you own) is displayed when you press "P".

Where can I find a trading terminal?

There is one in your private quarters on Sigma Station, and several others on Isis.

How do I make money from the stock market?

Buy low, sell high! Any stock with a price below 100 credits is definitely worth buying. The markets update once every minute, so you will make your greatest profits if you come back in a few hours or days after you buy the shares.

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How can I travel around?

Once you have arrived at Sigma Station and had enough of exploring the locality, you can save up to purchase a ticket to Isis. Once there, you can get a flight back. More wealthy individuals may use the quantum teleportation devices, which are instant, but cost a lot more.

How much does travelling cost?

It depends on the destination and where you purchase the tickets, but approximately 1,300 credits will buy you a one-way ticket to Isis. Teleportation costs a lot more - around 10,000 credits per trip.

Where can I travel to?

From Sigma Station, you can travel to Isis, and on Isis you can use the
Isis Monorail System to get around.

Where can I purchase tickets?

A ticket terminal is located in the Sigma Station terminus, and on Isis, in the Isis terminus.

What is Hermes, and where does it go?

Hermes is the interplanetary space freighter that travels regularly between Sigma Station and Isis. It departs Sigma Station every 20 minutes, and takes 10 minutes to get to Isis, and 10 minutes to return. When it is arriving, announcements can be heard in the terminus areas, and you should proceed to the specified departure gate/docking hatch.

What is the Isis Monorail?

A free underground transportation system on Isis. It travels quickly (every couple of minutes) from Isis Terminus to Biodome A - examine the information signs to see when the next train is due. The line is due to be extended over the next year.

Where can I get a map?

Maps are available from the
maps page. You will typically find a map image code in AU by examining a map (for example, in the Sigma Station terminus) and receiving a map code. Type it into the map page in order to view the image.

Who/what is Odysseus?

Odysseus is an Autonomous Rescue Craft, permanently in low-orbit around Xylan. It constantly searches for and rescues stranded pilots from the planet's surface, and brings them to Sigma Station. The flight takes just a couple of minutes, and Odysseus will keep any passengers informed of its progress. Once you have been delivered to Sigma Station, there is no way to get back onboard the Odysseus.

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Why would I want to get a job?

Alternate Universe thrives on the contributions of its players, however small or large. You will be rewarded with credits, and possibly a much-coveted title, depending on your contributions.

What kinds of jobs are available?

Starting at the smaller end, you could write material for MudWideWeb pages, or whole articles for the
Sigma Signal. If you fancy making your mark on the world more directly, the Cygnus Corporation are hiring Builders to work on new areas of Alternate Universe.

How do I apply for a job?

Look in the latest edition of the
Sigma Signal for advertisements.

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What is SpaceBall?

SpaceBall is a game involving a field (pitch), a ball, two goals, and two teams (made up of players and/or bots). The aim is basically to get the ball into the opposing goal as many times as possible.

How do I play SpaceBall?

See the
official SpaceBall guide.

Where can I purchase SpaceBall equipment?

Have a look on the
MudWideWeb for the latest information.

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The Sigma Signal

What is the Sigma Signal?

The Sigma Signal is an online newspaper that reports current happenings inside Alternate Universe. Read the latest edition to find out what is going on. It has an office in Biodome A on Isis.

Who writes it?

Tregina writes virtually all the articles herself, with a little input from Duncanj.

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