Just like out of character actions affect you in real life, so do the actions of the character you roleplay affect the life of your character in a text-based roleplaying game. What you do will effect the outcome of your story. A simple algorithm can not determine every possibility; your actions are only limited by what you develop as your character. The reputation your character has will due due to your overall attitude, actions taken, and who you form relationships with. Leaving behind a legacy in a text-based roleplaying game that people can remember fondly is worth more than you can imagine.
Consequences are a part of life even in a roleplaying game. You can not expect to randomly attack someone without reason and expect to be taken seriously (except this is part of your character; and even then, people will probably call you crazy). The choices you make need to have thought, and be more than impulse. Consistency in how you role play is important to have, as making wild decisions will make people doubt your commitment to roleplay as a whole.
And whether you like it or not, people will judge you based on the people you associate yourself with. Your character's reputation will be affected by the organization or group they choose to join. Relationships are always multi-faceted, but in a MUD they are even more complex.
Keep in mind that first impressions are key, and what you say or do upon meeting someone may shape their opinion of you forever. Games are supposed to be about having fun, but in a roleplaying game that does not mean you can act silly all the time and ignore proper roleplay. It is there for a reason; you and others are trying to immerse yourself in a fantasy world. Mentioning out-of-character things that do not have any relation to the text game will be met with annoyance. There is a time and place for everything, and if you make a habit of such things, you will quickly become known as someone to avoid interacting with.
Your legacy will be dependent on what you do, and the consistency of your roleplay. Uniqueness is nice, but staying true to your developed character will always be more rewarding in the long run. If you ever decide to quit, choose to leave behind a legacy for your character that is reliable, and does not cause people to roll their eyes.
That being said, you can never please everyone, so do not sweat it if you gain a few enemies along the way. Just deal with it in character, and it will do more for your character's reputation and legacy in the long run.
By Christopher Davis