I remember this game. Or at least, I remember the start of it, but not how it ends. I was (and still am) a massive Discworld fan, and it's hard to believe I didn't finish this game. At least it was until this article reminded me how unplayable it was.
Still it was gorgeous, with beautiful details. I remember that when you left the keyboard for too long, Rincewind would start calling out for you, which was a bit creepy first time that happened; as if he'd actually come alive and was really annoyed and irritated by my absence.
Even as a Discworld fan, with a good working knowledge of the Disc, AND as a MUD player, I still found the Discworld MUD impenetrable.
Also, and I know I'm being pedantic but I can't help it; the cardinal directions are wrong.
On the Disc, the Ankh runs Hub to Rim and the approved map projection of the Disc position Ankh-Morpork in what we would call the 'South', and on the approved map of just Ankh-Morpork, it shows the Ankh running 'North-South', but in the game the Ankh incorrectly runs 'east to west'.
To be fair, this game came out in 1992, decades before Pratchett could be coerced into the idea of providing a canonical map of the disc. :P
"You can't map a sense of humor. Anyway, what is a fantasy map but a space beyond which There Be Dragons? On the Discworld we know that There Be Dragons Everywhere. They might not all have scales and forked tongues, but they Be Here all right, grinning and jostling and trying to sell you souvenirs."
I never played any MUDs, having started on computer in the Commander Keen era. I recently tried to get into them through Discworld, but couldn't even get basic stuff like opening cupboards going. As an experienced MUD user, is there a more beginner friendly MUD you could suggest that I try out?
There's lots of ways to get around, though some are limited to certain guilds (classes), e.g. only witches can use broomsticks (with the risk of getting lost if your navigation skills aren't up to snuff), and only priests that specifically worship Hat can cast the spell that teleports you to the location of a random other player on the server (including someone who, for example, might have just been thrown into the River Ankh for failing to pay their Thieves Guild dues). I recall the most reliable method of getting around is the carriage system, where you just need to find a stop for the appropriate carriage (e.g. look at the above map for Ankh-Morpork for the Intercontinental Express carriage (if you can't find it, look for the gray circle on the central island), which will take you to any of the major cities listed in the table at https://dwwiki.mooo.com/wiki/Travel#Carriages_and_Ferries ).
As for encountering other players, a quick look tells me that there's around 50 other players online (a far cry from its heyday, but still active for a MUD in this day and age). You're likely to encounter other players spontaneously in the guild houses, but almost certainly never if you're just wandering the wilds. But there's a general chat if you just want to chill out (or at least I think there is, I haven't actually played in over a decade :P ).
I found a copy of Noir back in 2006 after reading about it on Home of the Underdogs, misplaced it during a move, and never completed the game. Until I came across the save data while exploring old hard drives during the pandemic, I'd completely forgotten about it.
How difficult is it to get up and running? Discworld 2 was a cinch - but then it runs on scummvm so of course it is (greatly entertaining game too). I've read that Noir really doesn't want to run on any modern machine.
You can try this post and its follow-up about getting it running on modern systems. It's basically wrapping DWN in a VM. The follow-up points to a patched EXE that is supposed to work on modern Windows. Good luck getting it working.
I got utterly stuck in Discworld Noir - Got as far as the docks, but couldn't get on the ship :( I guess I could look up a playthrough these days and have another go, but it's way down on my to-do list.
I got stuck several times, usually you just need to go and talk to every single person one more time and you'll find something you missed! I also found a good hint website which would give you options of increasingly explicit tips for each part of the game which you could click to uncover if you wanted more detail. Good for just getting a pointer to the the part of town you should be looking at.
I loved it but I recall the first CD adventure game being very buggy. I did finish it, but often certain things did not work properly, characters would disappear or jump around depending on what order I tried things, I think I may have done a sequence skip by mistake, and so on. It's been years though so maybe it wasn't as bad as I remember since this article didn't mention that at all.