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Last Updated December 4, 2008
1341 Mud Listings


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TMC Reviews: Urath

Urath QuickFacts


TMC Listing: Urath
Server Type:
Site:
Homepage:

TMC Reviewer: Nick Herber
Mud Theme

This is medieval fantasy mud in the style of so many others. What I found refreshing was the all-original approach that has been taken here. As they say in their website, no wheel of time, King Arthur or soda machines to be found here. They encourage role-play, which is something I was pleased by. There is heavy talk of clans and some very nice code for fighting and magic. All in all, they do their very best to portray something original, and seem to pull it off nicely.

Mud Atmosphere

The owners and imms here were very quick to answer my questions, even the really simple ones that would frustrate most people. Now, there is the issue of finding help. It is not a real crowded mud, but the players I interacted with were very quick to ask me if I needed anything or had any questions. This mud also labels themselves as role-play encouraged, and while I did not see much in character interaction by the immortals, the players were quick to get right into form most times. There is restricted player kill and I have heard some talk though received no clarification on ability to have limited multi-charing for role-play, both of which were nice touches and added to the friendliness of the atmosphere. I liked the website as well. Several of the links had nothing on them, and I will admit that I was looking forward to a story under that section, but the city map and information found in there was very handy and easy to read.

Mud World

By the TMC listing, this is a medium world of over 3,000 rooms. All in all, the areas looked nice and there was some nice interactivity in some parts as well. This was something of a must considering the low number of players. There were several things to keep a player busy, though it really would have been nice to see more people playing (this is something of a hint to those of you reading the review). I am still not a big fan of the room rent code to save a player’s equipment. It sort of lacks in character sense and I have kids that yank me away on the spur of the moment, but that is a personal preference but one that I weight somewhat heavily myself. A huge point in their favor in my mind, however, is the all-original standpoint. That takes a great deal of work to rid a mud of all stock and make something from scratch, so that is always worth a look in my opinion.

Additional Comments

It took some playing to get the hang of things on Urath for me. Some of the commands and style were completely original, and that made it tough at first to get the hang of things. Thankfully there were some very friendly people on who did not want to see me flounder, and put a few of their hours each into making sure I got off on the right foot. There is another drawback to the seldom-seen imms that I encountered a few times, and that is when crashes occur. They happen on all muds, but I had a tough time getting on the last couple of days now due to them and found that to be a slight disappointment.

Summary

In their website Urath claims to be a fairly new mud though I believe they have been underway for quite some time now (700+ days on TMC listing). If you are looking for something new and original, this mud will probably hold some appeal for you, especially if what you are searching for are people who will role-play. If massive numbers of players on-line at once or rampant playerkill is your goal, you would probably be best advised to look elsewhere. As it stands, this mud is fairly enjoyable, but has plenty of room for growth as well.


TMC: Daedalian Musing – Dungeon Crawling? : Caves

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Dungeon Crawling? : Caves
by Delphine Lynx November 4, 2002

The purpose of this piece will be to examine the different factors which go into the creation of a Cave style dungeon, and is intended as a companion article to the others in the Dungeon Crawling? series.

“If there hadn’t been women we’d still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girl friends.”

Caves make excellent dungeons, for the simple reason that they exist. This may seem a bit cryptic, but look at it this way. To construct a complete dungeon is a massive undertaking, involving coordinated tunneling, bracing, construction of walls, etc. The number of individuals – or even institutions – capable of affording such a construction is limited, creating a situation where it can be very difficult to, within reason, justify the existance of the dungeon to be raided. That’s where caves come in.

Among the advantages of a well designed cave is that it offers an opportunity for dwarves and similar characters to utilize their racial abilities; many characters of these types rarely get to use their senses to full potential. Even in a MUD where the benefit to these characters is limited to infravision, a cave still caters nicely to that. What’s more, if desired by your MUD, the dwarf could be made to become an integral party member, as the setting provides a perfect venue for the classic set of Dwarven abilities (however rarely MUDs may bother to duplicate them); navigation abilities and other senses neatly serving the auxiliary role that a thief plays in the typical trap filled dungeon.

In order to properly discuss my theories on the creation of good cave like dungeons, I will first put forth some thoughts on each individual aspect. Not only will this serve to cement some of the concepts I will later refer to, but it will, I hope, serve to give you additional thoughts which may help in designing your own caves.

We will begin with the entrance, for, barring teleportation, imprisonment, or some other Act of God, the first the characters see of the cave will be its entrance. As such, we will start with that, and as with everything else presented here I will elucidate through examples upon which you may then base that aspect of your specific cave.

  • Obvious but not without merit is the high profile wide open cave entrance one is used to seeing. The advantage here is that the characters can progress into the cave immediately, without worrying about what they’ll do if their descent line breaks, the portal closes, etc. While some groups will be all the more wary because of it, an entrance like this will typically set players a bit at ease, and works nicely for new players who may not have specialized equipment at their disposal.
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum will be the entrances through the bottom of a body of water. At the least it will require a good swim to get in, or possibly even magic. Further, by forcing them underwater, you deprive them on the familiarity that comes from simply walking through an entrance or down stairs, as well as quite a bit of gear. How many fighters can dive and maneuver through a tunnel with full plate and an entire armory on their back? Play on this. Make their entry easy – so long as it’s on your terms. They will then be within what’s most likely an extremely dark and damp cave, with wet torches and few supplies (assuming your MUD incorporates such into its swimming rules). Again, the exact opposite of the suggestion above; with this style entrance, players are ill at ease the moment they enter the cave.
  • Ah, one of my favorites, the cliff side entrance. There’s just something alluring about making players scale a fifty meter cliff only to descend twice that after they’re within. As with the underwater entrance, this style of entrance provides both risk and a limit to the amount of equipment that can be brought in, though obviously without the necessity of dampness. This can make an especially good lair for creatures capable of flight, or just superb climbing. Further, it provides an environment where a thief will be extremely useful in gaining entrance without resorting to locks or traps – both of which will be rather rarer in a cave than in the typical dungeon. Provided you want to avoid rappelling (which, of course, many MUDs do not support), it is still possible to create the same effect with well written ‘down’ descriptions.
  • One of the most unpleasant entrances for a player will be the sort where they simply don’t know what kind of entrance it was. Whether taken in blindfolded, unconscious or through some form of teleportation, the effect is the same – there’s no known way to backtrack. Effectively, even with a hundred possible forks in the path, the players are backed into a corner from the get go. They have nowhere to retreat which is likely to be safe. In fact, in such a case it may be best to play up the confusion, adding more and more paths to the cave in question, creating a feeling of never having a chance of finding an exit. For the moment, however, suffice it to say that the unknown entry method is not only viable but potentially very interesting, and should be seriously considered as an eventual plot device in a quest.
  • Perhaps one of the most cliche of cave entrances is the straight, vertical drop into a seemingly bottomless hole. The only way in, a thin rope dangled into unseen depths, rappelling down into the perpetual darkness, the only light the torch you’re desperately trying to keep away from your climbing rope. There’s a reason it’s become a cliche. But that’s not what I utilize it for. The ‘cool’ factor of rappelling down into the cave is, in my opinion, just about equal to that of rappelling to access a cliff face entrance. Rather, given the unknown nature of what’s below, and the possibility of it being a one way entrance, it’s possible to easily raise the level of supposed difficulty before even introducing the players to the cave’s denizens.
  • The last entrance I’m going to discuss is that pushed through from a dungeon of another type. While caves, as aforementioned, can be used for those villains who need a dungeon but may not have been able to afford one, they also serve admirably as links between other dungeons, or simply extensions thereto. As such, it’s not very difficult to imagine a possible entrance being through an existing dungeon. Or, perhaps even better, an exit within a dungeon. Nothing like spending days attempting to escape a cave, only to wander right into a cell.

The list goes on, of course. But the above, in my opinion, exemplify the basic types you’re likely to find, though the variations are endless. After all, you may need to rappel down a cliff into a castle where there’s a lake with a cave at its bottom.

So the players are now within the cave. And the first thing they’re liable to notice is the light within the cave, or the lack thereof. What’s often neglected, though, is that even after having established a source of light, it’s unlikely to be complete light. Unfortunately, MUDs do not represent this well; the following suggestions are based on a light source granting the player complete visibility, and are thus there as a retroactive factor in descriptions.

  • Attempt to play off of shadows. Rather than using them periodically by mentioning that ‘you see shadows playing off the walls’, use them instead to repeatedly tell the players about movement and threats (i.e., as part of room programs rather than in the descriptions themselves). And then, just when they start to get bored, sloppy, and start to ignore them altogether…Why, that’s when it isn’t a shadow at all.
  • Don’t necessarily forego man-made lighting entirely. Especially in a setting where it’s a cave that’s somehow connected to a dungeon, it’s perfectly reasonable for sconces or some other form of lighting to be placed throughout the cave. In addition to the obvious function of providing light, these may also serve as beacons, alerting the players that there is something different in the areas where they’re placed.
  • Try to use natural light sources, ranging in possibility from exotic lichen to long holes leading up to the surface, or even glowing fish and other underwater growth in underground lakes. The more natural light sources you can reasonably work into the cave, the better the effect, for then the players have more to focus on than the same drab rooms one after another. The other thing to remember about natural light sources (specifically holes) is that, for better or worse, they serve to connect one to the outside world. As such, they may well ruin any effect of complete isolation or surrealism a long time within a cave could create, not to mention bringing up the question (and potential unrealism) of why a character cannot in some manner force their way out.
  • Occasionally utilize complete darkness. There are multitudes of ways to arrange for a torch to go out, for instance if the party were to stumble into a lake, or suffer a sudden breeze through one of those aforementioned light holes (at night, of course, so as not to be letting in light itself). What’s more, there are ample opportunities for a far more simple accident to cause something of that nature. Depending on the terrain of your cave, there may be cases where it’s perfectly reasonable to drop a torch. Again, something not incorporated at all into many MUDs, but which ought to be looked into.

Illuminated by the light, of course, will be the terrain and layout of the cave itself. Here is where you really have the opportunity to make a cave stand out from a generic dungeon, because within what is physically possible for stone, the cave can take any form imaginable. You needn’t worry about the logic of why, how or what for. For once, if it strikes you as interesting or useful for the game, you can design it in with absolutely no additional justification.

  • Vertical drops are excellent in caves, if only because they’re the only time you can use them so frequently. Unlike designed structures, a cave is theoretically created without rhyme or reason. As such, there’s no reason not to have all the vertical drops you want to challenge your players.
  • Include a lot of forks. Part of the advantage offered by forks is that they prevent the PC from knowing everything about the terrain behind them. It’s always possible, once you’ve passed some fork unexplored, that a colossal monster will burst forth from it to attack your back. As a last note on forks, remember that, in a cave, they needn’t be a matter of North-South-East-West, but Up-Down, or any combination of the six.
  • To continue in the vein of the above, try to use the Up-Down axis extensively. Players grow accustomed to thinking in terms of the world as a plane – or, in the case of multilevel dungeon, as a stack of smaller planes. As such, their sense of what’s “right” is immediately thrown off by sloping corridors. Also, remember that with just a slight change in altitude you can easily make corridors loop over/under one another, further confusing players, especially if they don’t notice the slight grade – very difficult to notice for characters not adept at life underground, or who simply decide not to read your room descriptions.
  • I’m fond of utilizing underground water, for the fact that it provides a natural barrier which, unlike a rock wall, isn’t insurmountable. This can then be extended to including underground plant life, which will require the damp to grow.

An element played upon by many a gleeful GM in pencil and paper games is the potential for natural dangers within caves, and this idea may equally be applied to a MUD dungeon. The purpose of a natural danger is threefold; firstly, to do as traps do, and hinder progression through the cave. Secondly, they can serve to add a feeling of realism to your cave – once natural dangers are faced, it ceases to be just an anonymous dungeon with a novel entrance. It becomes, “The cave where we were almost buried alive” and “The cave you should skip until level 11 so you aren’t buried alive.” Lastly, you can use natural dangers of different styles to subdivide a cave system. If one section of the cave is flooded, another filled with dangerous gasses, and a third prone to rock slides, each will take on its own unique feel. By developing such different styles you can run multiple adventures within one cave without it beginning to feel trite. Some natural disasters include:

  • Including a toxic atmosphere in part (or all) of your cave creates both a challenging and a realistic environment. Literature is rife with stories of candles lowered into wells to test for oxygen, and there’s no reason not to force your adventurers to do the same. Further, given the unavailability of gas masks, it can be a quest in itself to find the proper method of surviving in the different atmospheric conditions, thereby creating inaccessability without utilizing either strong monsters or locked doors.
  • Cave-ins serve an extremely useful purpose beside immediate mortal danger: They trap the party. With carefully applied cave ins, you can funnel the group in a certain direction; possibly even getting them to take risks in exploring some more difficult areas, if only for an exit. (see Boo? for more discussion on what to do with a trapped group)
  • Who doesn’t like flooding? There’s nothing like the scenes in old movies where the lone hero outruns a tidal wave of water as he dashes madly for the cave’s exit. While such blatantly cliche scenes may not fit well within MUDs (if only because text doesn’t lend itself to them), flooding in general can be excellent – especially as it effectively converts the entire flooded area from one type of cave to another. Unfortunately, such can only really be applied once…. But why not do it? Eventually, most areas grow old and tired. Through flooding, a cave can be entirely rebuilt, all in character. And it has a hidden advantage. By incorporating flooding, you can allow access to otherwise inaccessible passages on a ceiling/sheer wall – simply swim to them as soon as the room floods. A lovely way to justify the mysterious (and useless) opening that had been there since the beginning; no longer is it useless.

The last key point discussed in this piece will be my thoughts on the issue of a cave’s inhabitants. Here, more so than with any other item in this essay, I must stress that my ideas are hardly complete – you can do virtually anything with monsters, and should experiment at every opportunity.

  • Weak but numerous enemies, such as goblins and kobolds, are excellent for caves. While they may not be powerful enough to build their own dungeons, they nevertheless will need one (at least those that aren’t “employed” by some stronger over-species as is typically the case). By employing these sort of monsters you can frequently hint at great numbers of enemies, and yet, due to their relative weakness, every ambush is not likely to be fatal – and thus may be used for effect. What’s more, these sort of creatures make excellent foes for new players, and a cave may be a perfect area to host such foes.
  • [Most] every cave requires some large and ferocious uber-demon, a creature to lurk at the cave’s darkest depths and pursue the players upon approach. With such a nigh impassable adversary at the cave’s core, the players will then never quite know what else is down there – and it provides them a reason to return later when they’ve grown stronger, to at last complete that elusive dungeon.
  • Remember that the cave’s inhabitants will invariably know its twists and turns far better than the players do. Keeping that in mind, you can easily spring ambushes at every moment – through heretofore undiscovered passages, through tunnels behind the players, or even simply without explanation. Keep them on their toes…make them feel that they’re never quite safe.
  • One thing I’d suggest you avoid for the most part are caves-specific creatures. While the occasional living rock can be exciting, if they become too abundant, any surprise or suspense is lost. Better, instead, to mention rocks frequently, and so keep the players off guard for when that last rock you mentioned turns out to be living and very dangerous.

For better or worse, the breadth of even the smallest cave is such that I cannot touch upon everything, even in the longest of essays. It is my hope that I have provided you with a beneficial introduction to the kind of thought process I employ in creating a cave, and that it shall prove useful to you in creating your own. Above all, remember that, as with any aspect of your game, it’s important to tailor it to just that: your game. Don’t let the advice of some writer interfere with what’s already working for your MUD.

Dungeon Crawling? : Caves – copyright © 2002 by Delphine Lynx – All rights reserved.

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TMC Reviews: SlothMUD III

SlothMUD III QuickFacts


TMC Listing: SlothMUD III
Server Type: [Dikumud] Heavily Modified
Site: slothmud.org 6101 [69.64.36.225]
Homepage: http://www.slothmud.org/

TMC Reviewer: Ingrid Vertow
Mud Theme

SlothMUD III is set in an original world, in medieval ages, with all the typical features of a fantasy MUD: alot of gleaming steel and flashy magic, and alot of species such as dragons, goblins, elves, dwarves. Original features include a unique, detailed, well laid-out world with its own history; interesting skills and spells; a good sense of humor. The player system doesn’t include any races at all, and though it’s possible to play the role of whoever you like, it doesn’t give you any special abilities. I found the self-description option definitely short on space (about maybe 250 symbols) to let you create a decent portrait of your character. Other aspects of character creation process are very brief, which to me is an advantage. You only choose your name, class order, hometown, and are ready to wander. There are no restrictions imposed on names, though I doubt a character with an offensive name would last for long ;). The level cost is fixed, and you do not get to choose skills at the beginning. You choose classes instead, and each class has its own skills and spells, strengths and weaknesses. There are eight classes to choose from: mage, cleric, warrior, thief, necromancer, druid, bard, monk, you have to choose four of them. The latter 4 classes have been added only recently and are being tweaked still.

Of those I played, thief and mage are the classes of offense, and warrior and cleric of defense. You do not get to see your stats (Str, Int, Wis, Con and Dex) until level 8. They must be rolled using special tokens that various mobs load. The first two classes affect your stats rolling. I must say it is considerably harder to get good stats if you play a mixture of classes (like thief/mage or mage/warrior) than if you play complementary classes (like mage/cleric or warrior/thief).

There is a help file for each command, and the command list is quite comprehensive. Those commands not available to you are in a different color. Most are intuitively comprehensible, and there are some very curious ones I haven’t seen before, such as ‘hunt’ (lets you track both PCs and NPCs slowly if they are not far away; I found it very useful for the newbie that I was). Quite big is the list of socials, and to my surprise the original Diku social-command stock has been not only expanded but also extensively rewritten.

Mud Atmosphere

Frankly, the atmosphere of this MUD was what hooked me up in the first place. Within five minutes of having logged on, I was poked at, licked, patted, and offered help. (I refused, for I usually try to get by alone at first, to see how well a MUD is done.)

The traditional MUD school is well-done, though it only provides basic information for absolute newbies; I personally could have used some guide on the more intricate commands. Public channels are not available until you have reached level 3, and then you have to know they exist in order to turn them on (‘gossip’, ‘auction’, and ‘quest’). It was not until level 10 that I discovered such useful commands as ‘showexits’ and ‘echo’; I think they really should be toggled on by default or included in the MUD school.

Roleplay is not at all imposed upon the players and often (heck, all the time) you hear complete OOCness being discussed on gossip. I didn’t find it much to my liking, but that’s me. Swearing over public channels is not tolerated in general and may earn you a noshout (makes you unable to gossip) if a vigilant Immortal hears you.

You die quite often (ok… I did), but if you ask on gossip fairly, someone helps with corpse retrieval more often than not. Due to the world’s enormity, it may happen that no one is near, which was the only case I didn’t get help. Ironical is the fact that it is harder to level and progress on the continent created for newbies (Valkyre) than it is on the usual continent (Thordfalan & others).

After the actual death, you lie for a few minutes unable to do anything, but someone can raise you from the dead.

Clans do exist on SlothMUD. I do not know how to join one of them; I suspect asking a clan member for an appointment with the elder should be enough. Clans are something that is still a complete mystery to me, and I couldn’t get sufficient information on them.

Mud World

The world itself is very large, well-written, and has an air of novelty I haven’t seen for a long time. Each room description is unique (at last, no identical generic rooms); there are, however, mobs with identical descriptions. If you are running quickly through well-known rooms, the flow of text can get spammy, but the optional ‘brief’ mode helps. The color palette is nicely developed (though customizable, should the need occur) and helps distinguish important information from simply entertaining.

There are quite alot of areas. During my stay on this MUD, three new ones opened (each with a quest), so the world is growing fairly fast. There are six major continents and two islands. It requires roughly half an hour of real time to travel ’round the world by means of transportation ranging from simple boats to dragons. At higher levels it is possible to apply magic for instant relocation. By the way, you can fish while sailing on a boat or waiting for one (be sure to buy a pole first).

The descriptions actually describe what you see without telling you how to behave, are decently sized and almost without mistakes. If you notice a mistake and submit it through ‘typos’ command, it gets fixed fairly quick. A small number of areas are based on this or that book, such as the Unseen University which comes from Discworld series, or Kendermore from Dragonlance, or the Dragonmount from the Wheel of Time. I found the eclectic mix rather enjoyable. I wonder, if they were an RP-enforced MUD, how well a kender would do at Saidar ;).

The aspect of role-playing is very poor (I’d say almost completely missing). There are no experience points given for RP sessions. Do not take this as a disadvantage, though. There is a certain charm in going about the world hunting equipment, killing monsters, exploring areas as a being not restricted by environment that playing a role imposes.

Some areas really amount to masterpieces. I discovered that simply wandering around and reading descriptions can be very pleasant, not an activity I found enjoyable previously on many other MUDs. Oddly, the hometowns’ descriptions are rather poor in comparison with some distant and faraway areas, though logically it should have been the other way around.

Additional Comments

Unfortunately, the MUD has a tendency toward crashing alot (three crashes in a row can get really annoying), though more often than not it stays stable. Usually it comes back online in a few minutes after a crash. The website as such deserves a *clap-clap-clap*. It is fully player-supported. Though I found it a little awkward to navigate, it contains player-supported maps to all areas, some of which are close to perfection, and are really, really the best MUD maps I’ve ever seen (check out the maps for Bal Harbor, Settlestone, Aisholm, Volcano, Tabaxi Wilds, Iceglen, M.A.G.I.C. to see what I am talking about). It is true that the maps kill the adrenaline of exploration, but since using or not using a map is up to you, it is nice to have a choice. Other than the maps, there are a great many additional useful pieces of information. They even have a theme song of their own.

Summary

One of SlothMUD’s biggest advantages is the descriptions of rooms, mobs, and objects. They are decently written (some very well so), and there are enough of them to form a large world. They claim having been online for more than 10 years. It can be true. The world is well-balanced in terms of spells/skills, equipment, and economics, and offers a fair challenge. SlothMUD is newbie-friendly and player-killing is limited to the extreme, but nevertheless playing provides enough adrenaline to leave the heart pumping rapidly. In a week’s time of playing I achieved not much, there are hundreds of possibilities still left unexplored.

There are 50 to 60 players online daily and half as much nightly. There aren’t all that many Immortals, maybe about 10 that are regularly visible. I talked to a few and they were helpful as a rule (some of them, though, paid no attention to me and they weren’t AFK – why be visible then?).

In short: I doubt SlothMUD would be home for anyone interested in thorough roleplay or an easy game, but it is the place for someone longing for a MUD to relax, chat, exercise brain, and simply have fun.


TMC Reviews: Threshold RPG

Threshold RPG QuickFacts


TMC Listing: Threshold RPG
Server Type: [Custom] Role Play Required and Enforced
Site: thresholdrpg.com 23 [64.253.106.100]
Homepage: http://www.thresholdrpg.com/

TMC Reviewer: Lynne Hall
Mud Theme

Threshold is a fantasy-based MUD with a strong emphasis on roleplaying. It has a well-defined and complex structure, with race, guilds, clans and religions all having importance within the socio-political system. Unlike some roleplaying MUDs, there is also plenty of action in the form of fighting, games, and quests, along with the inevitable enjoyable friction between players of different guilds, clans, etc.

However, a word of caution. Although I really enjoyed Threshold, my first impressions of it were extremely negative. I visited the website and thought yikes, this looks scarily authoritarian. Threshold has only one god, Aristotle, and my initial feelings were that he would be big into control and would rule the place with an iron fist. On starting to play, these feelings were reinforced as I ploughed through acres of helpfiles, where there is a strong ethos of what is and what is not permitted in Threshold.

This really put me off, and I ended up in a total panic about what I could and couldn’t say / do, and I was wary of asking other players for help, as I was so worried about saying ooc things, or what channel I should be using. There is a newbie channel (heritage), but no one used it when I was around. I did wonder if the other newbies also felt embarrassed or worried about asking something you shouldn’t and so, like me, kept silent. On a positive note, the helpfiles are complete, well written, relatively interesting and actually helpful! However, digesting all the information was difficult and I kept stopping and starting as I felt overwhelmed at times. But, you do need the information to actually start existing in Threshold.

My initial fears were unjustified and the theme is well supported by Aristotle. Basically, his position appears to be entirely related to roleplaying integrity and his (and the player’s) conceptualisation of Threshold as a place / world not a game. And, after spending some time in Threshold and seeing how it worked, this is the real theme of the MUD: a true roleplaying environment with an impressive vision. This is a somewhat radical approach and does have to be emphasised to new players, but applause for Aristotle, that he makes the point that perhaps there are things you cannot say and questions you cannot ask in a virtual world.

Mud Atmosphere

At first it is frustrating, as this is one of those MUDs where you need to introduce yourself to others, so, although there may be 70 players on line, as a newbie your chances of knowing any of them are slight. However, they are interested in you and conversation initiation is relatively fast, particularly if the characters are of the same guild or race. There are a lot of high level players (obvious ‘cos of the snazzy gear). Just listening to them, which they don’t seem to mind, lets you get a fair idea of the strength of community in Threshold.

Roleplay is a fundamental aspect of Threshold and is of a high standard. Players stay in role and there are plenty of plots and storylines going down. People interact quickly (which can be unusual in roleplaying MUDs) and conversations are rapid. There is inevitably some player killing, but this is in role. Hack and slash it’s not, its more of a fight and think place.

All the high level characters I met were relatively helpful. There is a way of getting your own personal helper, through going to the Tourist Office. This results in a player arriving to talk to you, but even with this I was a little nervous about what I could and couldn’t ask and kept it in role, when really I would have liked to ask for a bit of practical advice about commands and so on!

This is a combat-based MUD with some focus on level. This seemed to give an atmosphere of a sense of purpose and players seemed well rounded. There are pre-guild levels, “heritage”, and these are a solitary existence. However, this doesn’t last too long and you start to be integrated.

Mud World

The world was well described, I didn’t notice any typos or missing descriptions, everything had an air of completeness and all the wrinkles had been ironed out.

There are stacks of races, ranging from the standard Tolkienesque to some animal-morphed races. The racial cohesion is extended through the existence of racial languages and actions. There are the standard guilds and a couple of extras (such as necromancers). Each guild has its own set of additional abilities and skills and related help files, so the guild choice is really indicative of the role that you intend to play within Threshold.

The fighting is standard, but acceptable. Lots of different areas, some of which are graded, so that you can determine where you should fight. Some quests too, the low-level quest was nice and brief and not at all difficult, and quite informative about how you should be interacting with the world.

It is one of those places where you have to rest and eat and so on, however, it is sufficiently well integrated to stop it being irritating. It also encourages people to sit in the bars and restaurants, so that you can find them. It is a big place, and the exploration capacities are considerable, if you like scouting and mapping and so on, this would be a good MUD for you.

Additional Comments

As to who should play Threshold, well, to some degree it would suit almost anyone. However, due to the fact that early days on the MUD are spent pretty much alone, I would suggest you would need some basic knowledge about how to get going and have had some experience elsewhere. If you are an experienced MUDder this is a great place to be, I certainly really enjoyed it. I found that it had mixed up the best of many flavours of MUDs, from the serious roleplaying sort to those that focus almost exclusively on fighting to those that have lots of games. One of the most positive factors about Threshold is that it is mature and has a solid player base, with between 30-70 people on line all the time.

As there is considerable emphasis on roleplay, there is a command that causes a log to be automatically made and be given to the MUD Admin and they can determine if a roleplay bonus is necessary. I thought this was a really neat idea, after having spent much time madly roleplaying in other places, only to realise that no deity around and no bonuses going to emerge (not that one roleplays for bonuses, just sometimes the recognition is nice)

Like many other mature MUDs, players of Threshold are encouraged (but not forced) to contribute financially. Paying the registration fee offers players a number of additional skills, abilities and possibilities. Further information about this can be found at the Threshold website.

Finally, although I found the newbie stage difficult, I felt that this enforced reading of the helpfiles and the need of knowing people was a good approach. It does prevent high level characters being asked numerous silly questions, as can occur in other places, and it would be nice to be high level here.

Summary

I would just like to write “TRY IT!” but it deserves more than that. Threshold is a really splendid MUD. It has everything and more that this style of MUD should have. So, if you enjoy an adventure-style MUD, where combat and leveling are important (yet without the tedium of unrestricted player killing) and elegant roleplay is the norm, this could well be your place.

Review Feedback from Aristotle

Most importantly, I would like to thank you, the reviewer, for keeping an open mind about Threshold despite your fears that the many help files and single administrator would make for an unpleasant game. I was very happy to hear that your “initial fears were unjustified”. I was thrilled to read that your final conclusion was that the rules and extensive help files helped to create “a true roleplaying environment with an impressive vision”, and I certainly appreciate your “applause for Aristotle”.

Regarding the heritage channel: it is usually very busy. New players are encouraged to make liberal use of the heritage channel to obtain assistance. The only thing they should be aware of is that most likely, other players will tend to answer questions by pointing new players to a help file. It is our philosophy that this is much better in the long run since the new player learns where to find the information as well as the answer to the question.

The STEA (Sable Tourism and Entertainment Authority) will be happy to read the praise they received in this review. I feel they do an excellent job, and I am very proud of them. Aside from planning special events and games in Threshold, they really try to make new players feel welcome and help them adjust to the game. I am happy to say that your good experience with them is very typical =)

I was very happy to read that you found the roleplaying to be of a very high standard, and that you noticed how the players of Threshold stay in character all the time. I am also glad you noticed how easy it was to “get involved” with the community. Threshold is complicated and yes there are a lot of rules and help files. But in the actual game, players are almost always really excited to have new people to play with, and as a result, they enjoy getting new people involved in their conversations and goings on. I am glad your experiences reflected this as well.

>Quoted from the review SUMMARY section:
>
>I would just like to write "TRY IT!" but it deserves more than that.
>Threshold is a really splendid MUD. It has everything and more that this
>style of MUD should have. So, if you enjoy an adventure-style MUD, where
>combat and leveling are important (yet without the tedium of unrestricted
>player killing) and elegant roleplay is the norm, this could well be your
>place. 

Thank you once again for such fine praise. I hope other fans of roleplaying games visit and have a similarly enjoyable experience.

-Michael Hartman (Aristotle@Threshold-rpg.com)


TMC Reviews: The Inquisition

The Inquisition QuickFacts


TMC Listing: The Inquisition
Server Type:
Site:
Homepage:

TMC Reviewer: Jeffrey Smith
Mud Theme

The Inquisition is a unique fantasy world, completely original with no stock zones that I could find. The zones that exist are well-written and make sense within the worldview set forth by the mud-world itself. The world is medieval fantasy, with little obvious magic, thus making it actually worth noting when someone finds magic within the world. The player starts in the section of the city Lithmore, in the old section, where new players can gain initial levels without the restrictions that exist elsewhere on the mud. This is a world that will discourage the casual mudder who’s looking for a quick level-up/grab-n-go experience, for this world requires its inhabitants to be both quick. savvy and persistent. Money is scarce, and killing animals and insects and avians can only get the new player so far.

Mud Atmosphere

From my exposure over the months that I’ve visited this world, the mud itself is a friendly place. The immortals are helpful and courteous, and the players are, for the most part, the same. Suggestions are listened to and acted upon, so long as they fit into the world-view of the mud. Questions are answered nicely and concisely, They have a good helpfile system (which gets pointed to a lot) and their web-site is also full of tips and helpful information. The main emphasis of the mud is the role-playing, and they have a fabulous system that automatically awards role-playing experience to those participating in such (and I’d love to know how this is done), so role-playing is a vital part of the mud. I was fortunate enough to participate in a few RP “scenes”, one gained me the position of a retainer of the Duke (I think he was a Duke, he was noble) of Tubor. I saw a wedding, which was quite well done, and the reception that followed presented a tradition where the bride and groom have their wrists bound by a chain of daisies at the culmination of the wedding ceremony, and must remain so bound throughout the reception, thus symbolizing their union and almost forcing them to learn to work together, to begin to rely on each other’s help. I thought this was fascinating, and the two characters who got married played it off without a hitch. (No pun intended)

Mud World

The world of The Inquisition is relatively small, but since it is role-playing and not hack-n-slash mudding that is the “norm” there, that works rather well for them, since the main key to Role-Playing is finding out _where_ there is RP going on that you can join. In a larger world, this would be near-to-impossible. The room, monster and object descriptions are sometimes a bit rudimentary, but they are all-original, and provide enough atmosphere to support the RP-intent of the mud. They are accurately written, with few, if any, spelling or grammar errors, and those that are found are fixed quickly. This mud is more realistic in the way it presents itself^Å more legitimately medieval than traditional “fantasy”, no flowery crystal-spired turrets, lofty castles that seem impossibly built, it’s all very down-to-earth, thus setting the scene for “realistic” role-playing that focuses less on the power/skill of the character and more on the personality developed.

Additional Comments

The one drawback with The Inquisition is this: Unless you have a ton of time to devote, and are good with interacting with other people, you won’t go anywhere in this mud. Levelling outside of Old Lithmore (the newbie area) is slow and virtually impossible beyond about the 7th or 8th level. If you don’t know where role-playing is going on, you’re cut out, and likewise, if no one knows you, it’s much harder to get involved in the role-playing that you do stumble onto. In fact, out of 100 mortal levels possible, you can only reach level 67 by killing things. After that, RPXP (Role-Playing Experience) is the only way to continue your upward climb. So, if you’re like me most days, and prefer to be the “lone leveller” type, this place might not be your best bet. However, if you’re like me on my odd days, and really into role-playing on Muds, then this is the place for you.

Summary

The Inquisition is a small-but-growing, role-playing only Mud, and has some of the best mud code I’ve seen yet for role-playing. (I especially enjoy fishing for my dinner, but that’s just me maybe. 🙂 The staff are helpful, the regulars friendly, and the world contributes significantly to the encouragement of actual role-playing. If you’re a RP-er and looking for some “realistic” role-playing, without the influence of the powermudder elite hanging over your head, I’d heartily recommend this Mud to you. Just tell ’em Bertold sent you. 🙂


TMC Reviews: Carrion Fields

Carrion Fields QuickFacts


TMC Listing: Carrion Fields
Server Type: [Rom] 11+ years away from ROM 2.3
Site: carrionfields.com 9999 [208.11.111.70]
Homepage: http://www.carrionfields.com/

TMC Reviewer: Brandon Brown
Mud Theme

Have you ever read the summary on the back panel of a book; then begun reading the book to find that there is no similarity? To be honest, that’s how I felt upon entering the worlds of Carrion Fields. Before visiting, I read an interesting (yet rather stereotypical) story on the battles of Chaos and Order, located within the game’s in-depth website. And then, entering the realm, I find no further mention (except through the ‘story’ command) of this epic battle. The realm picks up with a totally different story: the battles of races and classes, and so on. So, beyond Thera’s story of creation, there is no essential theme – just a regular (or so it seems in the beginning) life in the realms of Carrion Fields.

Ahh, but don’t think that there’s nothing to devote yourself to in this world. Upon choosing your race and ethos, you’ll be left to decide your spheres and religion – which all narrows down to, in layman’s terms, your character’s virtues. An impressive array of choices are presented to you, allowing you to design your character’s sphere in any way you see fit; let it be the pursuit of knowledge, the valor of war, or the art of music.

Mud Atmosphere

What is a MUD without her players? Absolutely nothing. This is where I find Carrion Fields to excel in. A large base of players, more than 80+ at normal times, most of which seem to be friendly and helpful. I met a few amazingly helpful players, all of which took me under their wing and showed me around, taught me the realm, and even offered me a few maps that they had compiled. Upon one journey, I was with two “newbies”, who revealed to me (OOC) that they had been playing for two years under various different characters. They find Carrion Fields so enthralling that they continue to create new characters and try to advance up again.

Unfortunately, the roleplaying atmosphere did seem rather non-existent for many players. They seem quite content to simply “hack ‘n’ slash”, without any roleplaying. Upon a few adventures, my fellow companions were discussing sound cards and game controllers, until I began to exaggerate my roleplaying – I guess I made them feel guilty 😉 Being a strong advocate of rp’ing, I feel that players should do it on their own, not just follow along with somebody who decides to roleplay.

Mud World

An almost non-stock world is always enthralling, but only when the rooms have descriptions worth reading. I found, upon travelling most of the world outside (and partially inside) the main town of Galadon that very little time has been put into describing the world. Upon walking through, directly outside the town, I found the exact same description for nearly 25 rooms. Granted, a few sections of a road may be the same in reality, but as you get further away from civilization, wouldn’t you assume the surroundings would change?

The object database, though seemingly normal as far as standard mud objects go, was vastly limited in quantity – which I found rather nice. Only a certain number of objects would load in the realm, making it more difficult to get what you wanted and increasing the amount of pkills necessary for equipping your character. “You may have to kill your neighbor for his armor”, a help file claimed.

Additional Comments

Lag was always a problem here, as well as system halts and various crashes (or perhaps it was just a very long slowdown). I found this the most annoying and ever present factor of the game for me (glancing down at my notes right now I see every so often the term “Major Lag” with a couple of exclamation points for emphasis). Granted, lag is not always the fault of Carrion Fields and their equipment, but could also be the routers used to connect my PC to the server. Following this idea, I always made sure to rotate between three ISPs everytime I would connect – unfortunately, the lag remained a very present problem with each connection.

The administrative staff (Immortals) were, as far as I could see, very rarely present, and seemed to not play a major role with players, as their help files incur. It’s suggested that players ALWAYS roleplay and ALWAYS follow their sphere and ethos to assume that you’re always being watched. Apparently the players (at least those I encountered) do not follow this ethic. I did also encounter one or two administrators who felt the need to play the part of an immature child, a few of those annoying types who interfere greatly by simply being a problem to a player. Following and echoing, etc.

The website itself is an amazing source of information and facts, and is definitely a great starting place for newbies to the MUD. It features a well-documented help section, as well as links to outside sources and help files. It also details all spells/skills/songs, etc of the classes and defines the races of the world. A must read for anybody new.

Summary

Overall, a very interesting place to play. Though lacking a massive role-playing environment in relation to it’s imitators, it still brings out a large world of intrigue and combat – enthralling any player who may dare to venture into it’s realm. So, if you’re interested in a friendly world, filled to the brim with features, quests, and interesting people, enter the world of Carrion Fields.


TMC: The Villain's Handbook

tmc_h-4287579contents_h-3203865sitemap_h-9617235listings_h-1989187contact_h-1369134discuss_h-5881237


The Villain’s Handbook
by Ephera December 25, 2005

Forward

More than a few people have applauded my characters as villains, and a couple of people have come to me to inquire how to be one. I’m sure that a lot of people have their own views on it, but I thought I’d post my own since apparently people think there might be something to it.

For reference, my villains include: Aurian (Evil Archmage), Zaranthis (Grand Inquisitor), and Elaseth (Grand Inquisitor)

This Handbook is dedicated to Caelik, my long-time friend who actually enjoys the brighter side of evil (aka, good).

Introduction

On a role-play game where you hope your characters will be more than just two-dimensional knock-offs of an archetype, how is it that some players are considered better at being bad than others? The answers are both simple and not particularly obvious, but here’s a short, comparative list:

What Arch Villains Are Not (But “Vanilla” Villains Are):

  1. About their style of dress or grooming habits – These things do not make villains on a role-play game because, to be frank, they’re usually archetypes used to fill in information for a reader. For example, when we’re watching a movie or reading a comic, the guy in black and red is probably a villain. Sure, some of that comes into play on a role-play game, but chances are that where you see it isn’t where true villainy lies – instead you’re looking at someone with fashion sense or a lack thereof.
  2. Obvious – This is probably the reason that everyone who fits into the generic description above is probably not likely to be an arch villain. It works for Marvel Comics, but it doesn’t work in real life. If someone can pick out an villain by looking at them or listening to what they say in the local tavern, chances are it’s not a real villain. In fact, things such as sitting in the local inn and insulting people frequently work against would-be villains becoming “the real deal”. The reason for this will become obvious as this article continues.
  3. Stupid or juvenile – If a character comes off as stupid, more than anything else, they’re unlikely to be able to be a true villain. This is because being a real villain requires the ability to convince people that they’re at least moderately reasonable. They also are not juvenile. They do not fit into the mold of a child’s idea of good or evil, because their concerns are material and practical. Children see things in the light of ‘good or bad’ whereas villains perceive the system as “this works” and “that doesn’t” to achieve my selfish goals.
  4. Alone – Villains have friends, and frequently powerful friends. No person can have the kind of impact that a villain does without people to back them up or enforce their will. Alone, a villain (no matter how good they are at combat) is fodder for a bunch of people who want to take him or her down.
  5. Inactive – This isn’t how often a person logs into the game or role-plays. Instead, it’s referring to getting things done. Villains do not sit around and let the world go by, they meddle. If something displeases them, they do not let it be and irritate them, they fix it. They constantly work towards some goal, and that goal, no matter the specifics is first and foremost THEIR goal.


What An Arch Villain Is:

  1. A person with philosophy – I suppose there’s an argument about whether or not a villain is a villain if they eat babies for breakfast, but a character that who does is only a generic villain without the real fear-inspiring bits. They’re bad, like they need a spanking bad, not arch villain bad. The real villain may have this behavior, but it is unnecessary because the key to the sheer scariness of a villain isn’t their habits (especially if those habits are exercised only in private or in places where people are unaware of them). The players of villains consider habits icing on the cake and get down to real evil by explaining the mentality behind those habits and sticking with it in everything they do. They’ve got a point of view, and that point of view is what makes them capable of doing something like magery without fear, disgust, or remorse.
  2. Aware of the system – If you look at the list of arch villains, most of them are notables. They’re in-your-face doing things other people think are awful and get away with it time after time after time. They know the system operates and no matter what they do, they don’t step wrong. In almost all cases, they have even integrated themselves INTO the system and use it to their own advantage by enforcing it, making it more draconian and a rock-steady base for their operations.
  3. Manipulative and selfish – Villains plan what they’re going to say and do. They have a feel for where they are going and try to figure out what the next step is towards their goal. They avoid getting into the typical rut of boredom. Their mental conversations aren’t as simple as “I’m a baddie. Let’s see, ate a baby this morning, took a leak on the knight’s doorstep, scribbled some graffiti… hmm, what’s left for the day?” In fact, most villains probably never even consider if they’re good or bad. Instead, villains are ultimately selfish, and rather than thinking about desires in terms of personal characteristics, they think of things in terms of “does this action benefit MY goal?” If their goal is filled, it’s good, else it’s bad. Morality to them is entirely developed around the concept of their own desires.
  4. Sure that they are right – An arch villain believes, no matter what, that they are in the right, and their philosophy is sound. They have faith in their own morality. They do not act against their own nature nor do they attempt to play into the role of a villain because they want to be bad. Instead, they go about their business with confidence in both their aims and their methods.
  5. Convincing – Remember how villains are never alone? In order to gain supporters or even just to make sure everyone has a reason to support them when the time comes. Thus villains slowly gather people on-board and come to an understanding with them. If they cannot make friends directly, they’ll get their hooks into someone by making sure the friends of their target are on their side.
  6. A planner – Villains think of the way people will react, what they’re going to face, or the possible outcomes of a problem before it occurs and make sure they’ve got a viable solution on-hand. When no one knows what to do, they’ll generally follow the easiest path that sounds good and is put before them, and villains make the most of it (with a bit of help from skill #5 on this list.) Villains take the time to foresee events and be prepared.

Tips And Tricks To Making A “Real” Villain

  1. Know the system. Know who is sleeping with who, know who the power-players are, and know what will get you into trouble and what will keep you safe as you go about your business. Identify other power-players and make sure you’ve reasons that they will, when push comes to shove, back you whether they like you or not – and make sure they’re aware that backing you is in their best interest!
  2. Never, ever, under any circumstance, fight a battle you cannot win. Whenever a conflict appears, evaluate it for: “Can I achieve my desired goal?” if the answer is no, back down gracefully or even join the other side! But do NOT fight a loosing battle. It will hurt your creditability and your perceived strength.
  3. Have goals and have a philosophy before you begin. Add to it as time goes by, but your character’s core philosophy should be something they will fight over and try to convert other people into believing. The goals and philosophy should be somewhat personal, and absolutely rigid. People don’t change you, you change other people.
  4. Consciously evaluate what things you want and how to get there. Evaluate what you need to get there and what you don’t. Get the things that you do and don’t bother with the things that you don’t. Be proactive, and if the situation doesn’t suit you getting where you want to go, change it.
  5. Gather followers. Make friends. The loner character isn’t a good villain because they don’t get the general pervasive power they need to enact their goals. NOTE: It is not necessary for these friendships to be one-sided or false, but they can be!
  6. Be willing to fight and enjoy conflict. If you’re the type of person that doesn’t enjoy egging other people on or creating a scene, a villain probably isn’t the right type of character for you. They will be an endless headache, especially once you’re established and people make a point of trying to knock you off your high-horse.
  7. Exercise patience. It’s not really possible to be a villain overnight. In fact, don’t bother striving for villainy and just make sure whatever it is that you are doing is something most people disagree with, then do it. Do it well and then find something else other people disagree with and do it. You’ll be a villain in no time, especially if you’re successful.

Conclusion

A lot of the villains we see are of the “I do bad things” type, but good and evil really isn’t that simple. Villains just aren’t just about “being evil”, they’re characters that create and stimulate conflict. A three-dimensional person has a bit of it all in them, and villains should be, above all, characters. Whether or not they’re good or bad shouldn’t be evaluated by a conversation or style, but by their affect on the game and other people.

With luck, this little guide should achieve its goal to improvevillains by letting them see the perspective of a villain and imitate it. If one of our historic villain doesn’t agree with everything, they probably agree with at least some of it, and any of it can help someone get into the game and make a great villain that suits their needs.

Good luck!

About the Author

Ephera is the owner of The Inquisition, a Role-Play Enforced MUD. The articles submitted to MudConnector were written for her MUD forums at www.theinquisition.org/forums, but expanded for general Role-Play MUD consumption.

Disclaimer

Villains cause conflict. Intentionally playing a villain does not excuse you from the consequences of anti-social behavior. Using this article to create a villain does not make the author responsible for your actions.

Additionally, this article was written for The Inquisition MUD, a role-play enforced game. The advice herein may not be appropriate for all RP- enforced games, though it is probably has some relevance for any.

Comments / Discussions about this Article

The Villain’s Handbook – copyright © 2002 by Ephera – All rights reserved.

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TMC Reviews: Discworld

Discworld QuickFacts


TMC Listing: Discworld
Server Type: [LP] Discworld LP
Site: discworld.imaginary.com 23 [216.254.34.56]
Homepage: http://discworld.imaginary.com:5678/

TMC Reviewer: Selina Kelley
Mud Theme

As taken straight from the web page, Discworld MUD is a multi-user game based on the Discworld books as written by Terry Pratchett. Having never read the Discworld series, I cannot comment on the theme from that aspect, but as far as interesting ideas, concepts, and theories go, I just have one word to describe it: Wow.

The theme of Discworld, bar anything else, is innovative, clever and witty. Expect the unexpected.

With fish, wombles, intelligent shades of blue, straw dummies, shiny plaques, mended drums, Shifty Jim, Ankh-Morpork pence all on a very chilly spindlewinter’s afternoon, Discworld had me laughing at every second turn, and left me wanting to read more.

The cabbage was a very nice touch (and cute!).

Mud Atmosphere

There are never less than 75 people on at a time, not that I saw anyway. Most of the time I saw more than 100. The website claims that 125 is the max, but I saw a few times it peaked 130+. At any rate, the atmosphere of the mud was surprisingly ‘calm’. There were lots of fun shouts, but not a huge amount of spam. I fumbled around for the first couple login hours, but met up with a couple nice semi-newbies who helped me through the process of picking out a guild and showing me where to begin training. I was pleased by how nice everyone seemed to be.

While I was there, I did notice the usual ‘idiot newbie’ log in, but they were dealt with swiftly and patiently by others willing to help out even the most excessively exclaiming newbie. (You know the ones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????) 😉

Mud World

Boasting 8000+ rooms, I have to believe the accuracy. For the explorationally challenged, I was absolutely impressed by the website offered by Choppy (found at http://www.bogo.co.uk/chopper/ or just check out Choppy’s finger information). The “Zoom” capability was awesome, and you can tell a whole lot of time went into it 🙂 The FAQ was humorous whilst being helpful, and there’s a handy ‘help essentials’ file too.

As far as my experiences go, I spent most of my time in the main city. Not because I was afraid to venture, or didn’t have the time, but mainly because there was so much to see, and so much to do in there, that I found myself wanting to check out every nook and cranny available to me.

The fact that I advanced all the way to level 7 before I killed a single NPC was awesome– training skills and practicing being a ‘thief’ really helped acclimate myself to the mud. If you go this route, however, prepare to be *extremely* patient — experience comes slowly with training. Leveling was much faster after I put to death a few sad old men 😉

There’s an extensive religion system on Discworld, priests are able to enact ‘rituals’ that have been taught to them. It’s also an alignment based mud, but even though I killed a whole bunch of what I would think of as ‘good’ NPCs, I never strayed from neutral, making me wonder what needs to be done to manipulate your alignment.

I didn’t notice that there were many languages until I got to a higher level, where I noticed that my ‘cost all’ command returned a whole bunch of languages I’d never seen before. However, I never really found any place that used them, all players talked in the ‘universal language’ 😉

NPCs were ‘smart’, I could have discussions with the ones in my guild, and in fact *had* to, to find out what commands to use and in which rooms I should train. Clever responses helped me figure out what i should ask next, and helped me find the answered I needed. There were tour guides as well that could show you around town.

There weren’t as many help files as I would have liked, I tried searching for help on skills and other assorted goodies, but alas didn’t find many at all. If it hadn’t been for a couple of kind players, I would have been stuck wandering the mud in confusion, but once I was shown the initial ropes it was pretty easy to catch on.

The fruitbat flavoured badge was quite tasty…

Additional Comments

Wow. I’ve never before seen a mud that has been so intricately put together that I’ve *wanted* to read every description. Being able to search in every room was great, and finding items randomly was great for a newbie — I made some good money from that! To say that Discworld is ‘unique’ might be going too far, but it’s as close to unique that any mud I’ve been on has ever been. A great deal of thought has gone into every aspect, and (surprisingly) considering the age of the mud, it in no way feels stale.

Summary

Discworld does not pretend to be what it isn’t, and in fact almost *under* sells itself. The listing on TMC, whilst technically accurate, does not begin to describe the flavour of what Discworld is. The feeling I got from the mud was one of fun, quirkiness, and constant surprises. I spent a whole lot more time on there than I expected, but it was time well spent!

I commend the Administration of Discworld for creating an enjoyable place to visit, and hope that future muds that I review can live up to the standards that Discworld has created.


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