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This is a guide on the various preferences available in HellMOO, which allow plays to customize their experience of the game.

Viewing Preferences

A simple readout of the various preference categories can be accessed with the @prefs command, which will produce something like this:

 Category        Description                                                 
display         Visual / display related settings.                          
gameplay        Settings that affect gameplay behavior.                     
mail            Mail system settings, 'help mail'.                          
who             Settings to tweak 'who' behavior.   

From there you can view specific preferences within categories. If you wanted to see the gameplay prefs, for example, you would type:

@prefs gameplay

That then gives this list:

Preference      Value Description                                            
autobarge       off   barge into illegal places without confirmation         
autoeat         off   automatically eat when hungry                          
autofight       on    keep attacking once begun                              
autosmell       off   auto-smell when entering a room                        
autosmoke       off   automatically smoke cigarettes/blunts in your inventory
defendhome      off   defend your home when not connected                    
followleader    on    automatically follow party leader                      
hints           on    show hints every so often                              
opendoors       on    open closed doors automatically as you walk            
tersefight      off   reduce combat spam by not showing swings, etc          
unlockdoors     on    unlock locked doors automatically if you have the key  
wears           on    enable wearing messages  

Changing Preferences

Most preferences are binary; they can be "on" or "off". Change them with this command:

  @prefs <pref> is <on/off>

Using 1/0 instead of on/off also works. HellMOO sets default preferences on every character that is made, and the default set is pretty universally helpful. However, if a preference is not to your liking, it can be changed as above; all the prefs in the other categories work the same way. Thanks to the descriptions included in the @prefs readout, the various options are also self-explanatory. Beware, however, that a significant percentage of prefs are broken, outdated or entirely non-functional.

Popular Preferences

Below are some popular preferences to toggle, with explanations on the rationale behind them:

  • @prefs followleader is 0. This is almost essential, and disables a strange relic of the Party system which often gets people killed.
  • @prefs showdesc is 0/@prefs shownudes is 0. Players who are more interested in HellMOO as a "game" than as a "world" tend to turn these on. Showdesc 0 cuts all the fluffy descriptions of tiles, leaving only the important objects, while shownudes 0 gags the "nude" descriptions of NPCs and players, which serve no practical purpose and can be very lengthy.
  • @prefs autosit is 0. This is absolutely essential for Hideous Freak mutants; it stops characters from automatically sitting down after a certain time has passed. Normally, this brings out a destress effect, but for freaks, it will gradually stress them instead.
  • @prefs checkpoint is 0. This disables the regular messages on server checkpointing, which serve no real purpose.
  • @prefs hidejobs is 1. This automatically hides jobs that have been totally maxed out from the job readout. In the early game, it can be satisfying to see the grayed-out entries of finished jobs, but by the midgame it gets very spammy.
  • @prefs analstress is 1. This disables the game's default behavior of only reporting stress changes in higher numbers. Without this pref, it's easy for stress to sneak up on you.
  • @prefs hints is 0. This disables the occasional hints that the game offers. Since hints trigger every time you enter their tile and tell you the same thing over and over, most experienced players find them annoying.
  • @prefs singlecolumn is 1. This makes your character's inv readout display in one column down the screen, which some players find much easier to read than the back-and-forth default.