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    What is linkdead?

    Linkdead refers to a situation in text-based online games, especially in multi-user dungeons (MUDs) and similar roleplaying games (RPGs), where a character remains present in the game world but the player controlling the character has been disconnected.

    A linkdead state can happen for various reasons, such as an internet outage, a computer crash, or the player closing the game window without properly logging out.

    While linkdead, the character is often defenseless and can be subject to attacks without the ability to respond or defend themselves.

    The term “linkdead” originated in the early days of online gaming, where internet connections were less stable than today. In these text-based games, a sudden disconnection due to network issues was common, leading to the creation of the term “linkdead” to describe characters who were still in the game world but no longer controlled by a player.

    Linkdead FAQs

    How can you tell if someone is linkdead in a game?

    In most text-based games, there are commands you can use to check the status of other players. If someone is linkdead, their status might show as “idle” or “disconnected.” Some games might also announce when a player becomes linkdead to inform others in the immediate virtual vicinity.

    What happens to a linkdead character in most games?

    While the specifics can vary from one game to another, generally, a linkdead character remains in the game world in a passive state. They can’t perform any actions, but they can still be affected by the game world and other players’ actions.

    In many games, there are safeguards that eventually remove inactive linkdead characters from the game world to prevent them from being easy targets.

    How can players avoid becoming linkdead?

    To minimize the risk of becoming linkdead, players should strive for a stable internet connection and avoid closing the game window or client without properly logging out. Using the game’s “quit” or “logout” command will ensure that the character is safely removed from the game (unless that game keeps all characters in the world at all times, which some do).

    Is there any way to help a linkdead player in a game?

    In some games, players can cast protective spells or use items to safeguard linkdead characters until they reconnect. However, the available options depend on the game’s mechanics. It’s often encouraged to look out for fellow players who have become linkdead, especially in team-based scenarios.

    Myths about being linkdead

    One common myth is that a linkdead character is safe from any harm. This is not true. In many games, linkdead characters are still vulnerable to attacks and environmental hazards. However, there may be policies in place prohibiting other players from taking advantage of a linkdead character.

    Another misconception is that if you go linkdead, your character will be automatically logged out right away. While this may be true in some games, in others, characters can remain in the game world for a significant period before being removed for inactivity.

    Linkdead examples

    • In a text-based game, a player’s character might be exploring a dangerous dungeon when the player’s internet connection fails. The character becomes linkdead and stands defenseless against any monsters that encounter them.
    • During a critical battle in a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), a player unexpectedly goes linkdead, leaving their character inactive on the battlefield while the rest of the team struggles to adapt.
    • A player goes linkdead in a safe zone within the game, such as a town or a city. Other players notice the character standing idly and may attempt to contact the player outside the game to alert them of the disconnection.

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    About the author

    Andruid is a writer, roleplayer, storyteller, and nerd who tries to live by Bill and Ted wisdom, i.e. "Be excellent to each other."