Rent, in MUDs (primarily DikuMUDs), is a mechanism for both enabling and limiting persistence of a player character's possessions. In the "traditional" rent paradigm, in order to keep belongings between game sessions, the player must travel to an inn and use the
rent command there, and is assessed a price, in game money, for each inventory item; items that cannot be paid for are not persisted. If the player simply uses the
quit command rather than
rent, inventory items are not kept, and fall to the ground. Many evolutions of this approach exist: the
rent command is often made to be performable anywhere rather than only at an inn, sometimes costs are removed or made negligible, and so on. At times, in MUDs where inventory is made to simply persist automatically when the player quits the game, the conceptualization of inventory persistence as "rent" is sufficiently ingrained that this is referred to as "autorent".
Rent is often considered an annoyance to players, which is a factor that drives the many variations seen on the concept. On the other hand, the need to pay to retain one's items can provide an impetus to engagement with the game, though this may be seen as unduly coercive.
- Benedikt, Claire Lisette; Ciskowski, Dave (1995). MUDs: Exploring Virtual Worlds on the Internet. BradyGames. p. 177. ISBN 1-56686-246-9. "Keeping Your Equipment Don't forget to find an inn and rent before you leave the MUD. If you just quit, your character probably will lose his equipment, so make sure you rent. This action can be one of the most annoying things about Dikus. If you have a new character with little or no gold, you are in trouble. You can also have a hard time if you find an item that's quite powerful. It's great, until you have to rent. The rent on your magnificent item may be well beyond what you can afford, forcing you to choose between going out in search of more gold and giving up the item."
- Towers, J. Tarin; Badertscher, Ken; Cunningham, Wayne; Buskirk, Laura (1996). Yahoo! Wild Web Rides. IDG Books Worldwide Inc. pp. 157, 163. ISBN 0-7645-7003-X. "[pp. 157] To Rent or Quit: That is the Question [...] Some MUDs will allow you to simply type quit to log off. That's it. Will you have your stuff when you come back? That depends on the MUD. On some you'll keep your stuff, on others you'll only return with part of it, and on some really painful ones you won't come back with anything. (You'll return with your money, though, so sell the stuff you have before you leave.) Other MUDs may require that you rent at an inn. This will usually allow you to keep your stuff, but if you're a long way from the nearest hotel you could be in trouble. Some rent is free and some will cost you a certain amount of money per item. This can be a pain, but sometimes it's your only choice when you think the MUD is worth it and you want to keep your stuff. [pp. 163] Also, make sure you rent instead of typing quit or you'll drop all your stuff."
- Shah, Rawn; Romine, James (1995). Playing MUDs on the Internet. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 68. ISBN 0-471-11633-5. "Rent One of the main factors that some Muds still have not dealt with is called rent. Rent is the game money you pay to keep your equipment safe until you return. Not all Muds have this ability. Some Muds, you simply quit on, and your equipment is stored. Other Muds make you rent, but the cost is so small as to make it negligible. Then there are Muds that actually make you pay for every item you wish to keep, which can be a major problem to play on. Cash becomes a severe problem because, every time you leave, it costs you money to stay away. Some people dislike Muds who have expensive rent, because it forces them to play or lose all their hard-earned equipment. This can be a major drive to play."
- "Idle, Autorent". Worlds of Carnage. Retrieved 2010-05-02.