Realms of Despair. What is there to say about the number one mud? Plenty, and most of it isn't good.
Realms promotes "leveling a character". If someone went to a mud just to level a character, they're missing the entire point of a multi-user dimension. Interaction with other players in a synthetic world is the key point in any mud, but the staff of realms promotes numbers over experience. A case of this being that a condition for joining the staff of realms is a maxed experience level. It takes about 24 hours to maximize a player's level, but does that player know anything about realms'
guilds/orders/clans? Granted, all players want their characters to be powerful, but that shouldn't be the goal of the game.
Another condition for becoming a staff member is having 500 hours logged on to the mud. This is easily accomplished by
connecting to the mud and typing something every 15 minutes, or better yet create a program that'll do that for you.
While the gameplay and funfactor were high at first, degradation of the gameplay aspects destroys much of the playability of this mud. The once user friendly system has been degenerated to a skeleton of ultimately useless help files. Any essential questions a player has go unanswered, because the other players don't know the answer, the answer isn't documented in any help file, and the staff at realms doesn't acknowledge the player to be 'worthy' of a response. A majority of the time,
the mud's response to a help topic is "File does not exist."
Also, the classes/races in realms are not balanced. This painfully obvious, when low level players consistently usurp higher level ones in player killing battles. Also, some classes are frustratingly weak, even at high levels. Granted, the game isn't about strength, but it should be about fairness.
The biggest problem, however; lies with the staff of realms. They believe in eternal punishment, in which a character does something wrong, that character is punished for the rest of its game life. The character will continue to be punished long after the incident is forgotten, and the staff memeber who sentenced it has quit the staff.
The staff at realms also enjoys repeatedly killing players they 'like'. Some players I've talked to have over 2000 deaths, 99% of which are attributed to the staff of realms getting their kicks. The staff of realms also enjoys using its power to
line not only their pockets with gold, but their alternate characters' pockets as well. A mud is supposed to promote
role-playing in all aspects, yet the staff continues to shirk that responsiblity in favor of better numbers.
In conclusion, the greed of the staff of realms and the message they give to their players is numbers good, gameplay bad. Which also explains why the staff has spam voted for this mud. If you want a real gameplay experience, look
somewhere else. If you like to rack up big numbers, your computer's calculator is better suited and more fun.