One of the biggest draws to any good MUD is the complex combat system. They can be detailed, complex and in-depth, allowing for a variety of styles and techniques. However, it is also very difficult to get started due to the sharp learning curve. By following some of these tips, hopefully you will be ready to start practicing and one day be able to hold your own in some of the most competitive MUDs out there!DO keep a combat journal. While this seems like a silly idea, jotting down a few notes before and after a text-based fight can help you consistently improve. While some clients (like Mudlet) have a place for you to write down notes, I find it easier to keep a simple notepad application open. No matter what your preferred method is, though, the important thing is to write down the notes. Discuss what you did well, what went wrong, and what you need to improve. By writing it down, you can check over your notes later and minimize the amounts of mistakes you make more than once.DON’T worry about always winning. One of the most frustrating parts of fighting in a MUD is losing, especially when you feel like you should have won. But until you are actually an experienced PKer you shouldn’t worry about winning or losing, only improving. This isn’t an abstract, uplifting point – it’s simple logic. If you win a fight, you get the affirmation and a self-esteem boost. If you lose a fight, though it might sting your pride, it shows you where you are weak and what you have to improve upon with that MUD’s combat system. And, for someone who wants to get better, that’s more valuable than a win. After all, you tend to learn more from a loss than a win.DO talk to others. There are other MUD players out there who are going through the same thing as you, or have before. Talk to everyone who will talk back, even if they aren’t regarded as a ‘top-tier’ fighter. You can learn stuff from just about anyone, if you listen long enough, and hearing bad advice is relatively harmless. If they were wrong, you can simply discard the tactic. If they were right, you’ve gained valuable knowledge. So, make sure to talk to other text-based fighters where you can, swap stories and logs.DON’T be a bad sport about losing. One of the most obnoxious things is a sore loser, and MUDs are no exception. Though it might be tempting to blame a loss on lag, or a system error, don’t. Simply tell the other person ‘nice job’ and fix whatever went wrong. It’s not their fault you set an alias wrong or that you lagged, and these events are random and just as likely to happen to any else in the text game. They’re a part of fighting, and you have to learn to deal with them without complaining. Acting polite and professional will earn you far more friends (and those willing to help teach you!) in a MUD, and far more respect, than crying or complaining ever will.DO keep practicing. Even at the top of your game, you can still get better. Keep fighting people, keep practicing, and keep working at it. There is no such thing as ‘too good’, and there is no real ceiling in MUDs. You are limited only by your creativity, so make sure you keep trying new tricks and tactics. Though it may seem exhausting to think about, fighting at least one or two text-based fights a day is a sure-fire way to stay sharp.DON’T artie up, or buy crazy weapons to compensate. In some MUDs, you have the option to purchase stat-increasing weapons or equipment. Until you are a proper fighter, DON’T. Artifacts and high end weapons, while providing a very useful combat boost, also encourage laziness. Many text game fighters have cited that artifact weapons have actually made them worse at combat, and as a beginning fighter you need to get the basics down before trying to obliterate everyone with your amazing gear. This isn’t to say that artifacts are bad – they can be very useful and they help support that game’s well-being, but starting out with them will promote laziness and make it more likely that you will never break out of mid-tier in your MUD.These tips are just simple things that I have found helpful, and though they don’t guarantee to make you a top-notch fighter overnight, they certainly won’t hurt your chances. Combat journals, manners, and a willingness to talk to anyone and everyone will not only improve your reputation among other players in the MUD, but it will also help you develop good connections and solid skills. Avoiding complaints, a poor attitude and artifacts (for now) will help you develop as a fighter, get used to losing, and most importantly, help you learn from your mistakes. Though simple, these tips will enhance your combat abilities so long as they are followed.Best of luck to you, and see you in the Arena!