Testers are players that are given special access to a test port to help check out new features before they are implemented to the main MUD port.
Generally, new features that are added to Aardwolf do not go straight from the coders' minds into the live game. Because new features are often not checked for every possible argument, some may have game-crashing flaws that were overlooked in the coding process. For this reason, a copy of the main MUD is set up on a different port, allowing people to log in and test changes made there. Characters on test port can also be modified to test a certain aspect of a feature, without having it affect their main character on the MUD.
Those with a tester flag are asked to help check every possible facet of any new features. This may include features that are not liked. Feedback is appreciated, but a feature that is already coded into test port will generally not have any major changes made to it before it goes live.
Testing is also a tedious process- new commands that are added must be checked for how they react to invalid and valid arguments. This can sometimes cause a series of crashes. It may sometimes involve more than one character interacting with each other; for this reason, testers have the ability to find other testers with 'who tester'.
Testers are privileged with advance knowledge of these new features. As such, they are asked not to share this with fellow friends, clan members, etc.; this would give those people an unfair advantage. This includes discussing things in public on main port or other external methods. Also, it is not allowed to invite non-tester friends over to have a look around. Others will see the new features when they are rebooted into the live port.
Testers which are found sharing this information will have their flag removed. It is not a port where one can 'play around' with a powerful version of his/her character, as would any tester using test port for reasons other than testing- finding cp/quest mobs, doing parts of area quests, testing rebuilds, etc.
There is no minimum level requirement for testing; it is simply asked that you have a working knowledge of the game and many of it's aspects, to help more thoroughly test new features.
Applying for tester is on an 'as needed' basis; notes will be posted on the Announce or Mudinfo boards when new testers are desired. If you are interested in helping, please post a note to Lasher on the Personal board when these requests are posted.