When beginning your journey into the world of Materia Magica as a sight-impaired player using a screen reader, there are a few things that you will want to do in order to insure you will have an enjoyable gaming experience.
Sight Impaired Game Clients
MUSHClient Bundle for Sight Impaired
For sight impaired players, Materia Magica offers a custom MUSHClient bundle that has everything set up and ready to go for you.
VIP-Mud Game Client
As an alternative, Materia Magica recommends the use of VIP-Mud. VIP-Mud is for everyone, but they paid special attention to the needs of the blind gamer. It is a full-featured Mud client that includes full scripting capabilities similar to ZMud and TinTin+.
Regardless of the client you choose, make sure various settings within the game are set to make the game more accessible for you. The commands to enter in-game are:
SET COMPASS OFF - This turns off the graphical compass that displays room exits.
SET SHOW-EXITS ON - This turns on the room exits display, so you will get information as to where you can move from your current location.
SET EXTENDED-PROMPT OFF - This reduces the size of your prompt so that it does not show your current hit points, spell points, and stamina information (you can view this information via use of the REPORT command, or by typing SCORE, or you can turn the prompt on and off again).
SET SHOW-COLOR-ALTERNATIVES ON - Materia Magica uses symbols and text displayed in different colors in order to notify the player of certain things within the game that might be important. When this setting is enabled, any information that is normally presented by various colors will be represented by simple text that can be read by a screen reader.
For example, the SHOW-EXITS display will normally show adjacent rooms that are "dark" (have no visible light source) or player-killing (PK) rooms, in different colors. With the setting enabled, these colors become text tags. Another example is the various spell affects that are active on other characters will be displayed using simple text instead of colors.
SET BRIEF ON - This causes room descriptions not to show up when moving through rooms unless you explicitly request them, by typing LOOK. Instead of BRIEF, you may want to SET SUPERBRIEF ON - this performs the same function as brief, with the added elimination of descriptions of NPCs and PCs being displayed when you LOOK at them.
In addition to the general BRIEF settings, there is an additional setting that can be toggled during combat by typing COMBAT MODE BRIEF. This will allow you to not see the combat rounds of other fights taking place in your room or, when you are in a formation, will allow you to just see combat rounds as they pertain to you, not what your form members are doing, which will greatly reduce spam and is beneficial for those using screen readers.
You may want to set up various sound triggers to help notify you of important events as they occur. These can help dramatically while playing Materia Magica since there will be times where it is not feasible to sit there and have your reader read off every line of text as it scrolls onto the screen, even at a higher speed for your given reader as you won't be able to react quickly enough. For times like this, it is a good idea to setup various sounds that will trigger when various messages scroll onto the screen to allow you to react in a much more timely matter and possibly save you from dying.
Since everyone has their personal preference for MUD clients, this will provide you the basic idea of how to set up some of these types of sound triggers so that you can take this info and create whatever sound triggers you desire later within your client of choice.
The first example of a line of text that comes in very handy is the line that scrolls when you have successfully fled from combat. The line for this would be the following: You pant and gasp, trying to catch your breath. To setup a trigger for this line of text, you would go into your triggers menu for your given client, and when it asks for the trigger text that you want to have play the sound you want to notify you, copy the line above into your client then just attach a sound for this trigger and you are set.
Most of these examples that follow are for combat, since that is primarily when you want to be notified of various things immediately that are done to you, or you have done to your opponent, in order to react appropriately.
When you get webbed, the line for that would be the following: You are enmeshed*.
When you successfully land a spell on your opponent - for example, casting and landing 'web' on your opponent would be the following: *is enmeshed in thick webbing produced by the spiders!
All of these sound triggers allow you to determine what exactly is going on to you or to your opponent while in combat without having to wait for your reader to read each and every line of combat.
There are of course many more sound triggers that can be made, but once you have gotten a handle on creating your first sound trigger, you can then expand upon them as you come across events about which you wish to be notified.
Materia Magica has several Player Guides who are sight-impaired and may be available for additional assistance.