TMC Reviews: Dark Waters 2 [Pirate Wars]


TMC Reviewer: Jennifer Haeffner
Mud Theme

Based on an island world devastated by nuclear war and struggling to bring itself back up to a technological standard, Dark Waters has a firm theme on which to ground itself. However, it falls far short of the actualization of this theme. While the theme of this mud is science fiction, the reality of this mud seems to be a blend of fantasy and science fiction. Though the skills and areas are all definitively science-fiction, the races that you have to choose from are fantasy based (i.e. dragon, faerie, troglodyte, etc.), and some races are even given “magic”, spells with which they can affect the world. The players form into clans such as Blackhawk, Teltek, Federated, etc., that are designed to promote the science fiction theme, but in reality do little other than form gathering spots for players and provide them with technology and an excuse for pkill. All in all, the theme of this mud is lacking. The storyline provides a focus, but few of the players avail themselves of it.

Mud Atmosphere

This mud is generally a friendly place, though the players tend to be more than usually immature. There is a very small player base on this mud, the average being three to four players and perhaps an admin. The max I saw at any one time was eight players and two admins, and I would often log in to find myself the only one on. This is not a terribly newbie-friendly mud. While some players do attempt to help others, to the best of their ability, it is common, and apparently sanctioned, for players to demand money, favors, and other compensation for even so small of a thing as information pertaining to where the trainers are. Many players also feel that it is acceptable to publically insult other players and to freely curse on public channels. While this is not necessarily a negative aspect, it should definitely be taken into consideration for those who do not wish to encounter this type of thing on a mud.

Mud World

Dark Waters is a very small mud, with perhaps less than 1000 rooms, all told. With eleven regions, and ten attainable islands, this mud has definite room for expansion. The islands mainly consist of one small town and perhaps a small region outside the town to explore. Once one reaches a certain level of competency, there is really very little to do or see, and the player is forced to return to the same regions again and again in order to advance. As well, Dark Waters is lacking in interaction and imagination. The same town theme is repeated over and over throughout the islands, almost without exception. There are very few mobs with which to interact, and objects are very lacking. It is possible, with an engineer, to create objects, but these, again, consist of the same items repeated over and over again, albeit with unique names as the engineer decides.

Additional Comments

The admin staff on this mud is small and rarely seen. On the few occasions when an admin is seen, they are friendly, mature, and willing to help out to the best of their ability. This is not a heavily modified SWR. Players are warned when they create that this mud is in ‘beta-testing’, and in my estimation, will need a great deal more work put into it to become a unique place to play. It is far too easy to max your abilities and levels in this mud. It took only 8 hours of playing to max engineering skills, and the others seem as easily obtainable. Within two weeks I had maxxed 95% of my skills and professions, and was already leading a clan. The only obstacle encountered on this mud seems to be the lack of regions and islands on which to find funding and areas to practice skills in.

Summary

With some work, this could become an enjoyable game. As it stands right now, it requires a great deal of time, coding and building to become an average mud. The positives are the admin staff, who are always polite and helpful, and a solid code base that rarely seems to crash. The negatives are an immature player base, far too easily obtainable skills and levels, and a very small world upon which to play.



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