I’ve not played as long as many Armageddon players, indeed I am still on my first character. But, I wanted to write a review from a newbie’s perspective. I started Armageddon last October. I had very limited experience in role-play (I knew what role-play was) and had no experience with MUD, MUSH, etc. In fact about the only thing I had going for me was a friend who had been telling me about this great role-play and belonged to a few yahoo group RPGs. This review will try to answer more of the “start up” questions about the game and give a bit about the over-all first time experience.
The first thing people find when they come to Armageddon is a TON of files and information to read through. Be assured that almost everything (99.99%) of anything you wish to know about the game can be found in the help files and information sections. My only criticism here would be I personally didn’t like the organization of the information all that helpful. In fact part of the reason it takes people a couple of hours to read it all is because some of it one must go hunting to find. The information covers everything from code to geography to understanding how one might play any given race or character. Over all, I’d allow about an hour to read enough information for a person to understand the basic code and atmosphere of the game.
Other helpful sections (helpful to read before/during play) are the wonderful stories (these are examples of what the role play should look like in game as well as giving one an idea about what the game actually looks like) and the general discussion board. The GDB is where one can get to know players, talk about anything (although no, generally, IC information is passed, so nothing is ruined because a player found out something before his character). This is also a good place to advertise if you would like to create a character that maybe already knows a character when they enter the game. This way you and another player can go into the game having characters that already know each other. There are also “helpers” who are online (almost twenty-four hours a day) to give more personalized help. I’ll admit having someone who I can just AIM when I don’t know what to do has been very helpful.
Ok, moving on to being in game and characterization. Other reviews have already touched on the amount of choice given to new players so I will not discuss that here. One thing (if you so choose) is that there is a place on the GDB that one could ask if anyone would like to create a character with you. (Say you create a male character and would like to enter the game already as friends or family, you can put up an add here for someone to create a character that already knows yours). Now I think this (one’s first introduction to the game) is where many newbies become frustrated with the game. You are plopped into the city (one may choose to start from a number of different cities) and left on your own. This is probably where I would say the .01% of the help files fail. The maps are not very helpful (no stores are pointed out and if you get out of the city there is no information to help you) nor are you told you could actually cook for yourself (instead of spending all your money on expensive tavern food. One also must come up with IC reasons why your character (who has lived in the city all their lives) suddenly doesn’t know anyone, where anything is, or can’t really do (code wise) much of anything.
This review I hope has shared some of the hardships and frustrations of new players as well as given testimony that although the world may be harsh, role-players of all levels can enjoy the game. The player base is friendly and helpful (even to those of us who know so very little about anything) and the game is such that one can play with the knowledge that they will be given as much help as they need to have an enjoyable experience.