One of the most interesting aspects of most online games is the economy. It takes gold (or whatever the currency may be) to buy equipment, supplies, and possibly upgrades or other trinkets for your character. By effectively making gold, one is able to access these benefits and enjoy greater benefits than those who do not know how to make gold quickly and efficiently.
Perhaps the most common way to gain gold is to quest. In most games, completing certain actions will yield a reward of gold, or other valuable items that may be sold to get gold. Figuring out these quests can vary in difficulty, from extremely difficult to something as simple as fetching an item. A good rule of thumb is that the difficulty of the quest is directly proportional to the reward. You will not be making millions fetching a housewife's broom for her, for instance, but you should expect a decent reward if you hunt down and slay a dragon.
Being a good quester entitles a few key techniques. In most text games, GREETing denizens will get a response of some sort, so make sure to greet everyone you meet. Try to listen to what they say, and ask about key words. For instance, if you stumble across a goblin cursing his bad luck, perhaps try asking what's wrong, or about the bad luck itself. From there, you may get more dialogue, which yields more key words.
Quests are mostly problem-solving, so make sure to keep your textual eyes and ears open for any chance to help someone. Try looking around to see if there is something strange in your room. If there is, try interacting with it through various means. Push, prod, poke, turn, whatever looks like it may work. The solution to quests usually are not obvious, so paying attention and being willing to try different things increases your chances of successfully completing a quest. Once you solve it, writing down the solution is not a bad idea. That way, should your gold ever run low, you can return and do the quest again to replenish your supply!
Beyond asking, there is bashing – or using in-character terminology in most games, 'hunting'. Killing NPCs is a great way to make gold in many MUDs because they often drop items or gold. It is much simpler than questing, though the rewards often take longer to accumulate. In addition, there is an inherent risk in this; the risk of death is present. Depending on the game you are playing, this may vary somewhat, but care should still be taken before embarking on a hunting trip. Ensure you have the proper supplies (potions, armour, weaponry) to fight the enemies, and sometimes bring a few friends along to ensure your survival. You will have to split the reward, but you will also be able to clear areas much faster with a few others helping you. Once an NPC is defeated, it will either drop the items it is holding or you will need to loot the corpse to retrieve whatever it has. Either way, you should be able to accumulate a fair amount of gold this way.
The final way, and sometimes the most dynamic, is to sell items. Even in a game where mobiles do not buy from players, other players may have interest in what you are selling. The key to this is to identify two basic principles – supply and demand. It is a basic economics concept, find what people want and how much of it there is. If you can find a way to make something that people want, then you make money. The rarer or harder to acquire the item it is, the more you can expect to make from selling it. Most games have some sort of crafting skill which allows you to make items. These items could potentially be sold to other players or mobiles, depending on their use. What can be sold will vary from game to game, so it's important that you look around and find out. This is probably the most difficult of the three techniques, however it is also the one with the greatest potential reward. Once you figure out what sells well, money will be simple to acquire.
The key to success in many competitions is having a large gold base to draw from. You will find it easier to buy gear, explore different areas, and your character will be able to enjoy much nicer things. By learning to quest, hunt and sell items effectively, you can enjoy all the benefits of great wealth in a timely and efficient manner.