I have been playing ArmageddonMUD for a few years now. Recently a newbie asked a line of questions basically asking how ArmageddonMUD compares to any other MUD. After responding I realized that the answer to these question sums up why I think ArmageddonMUD is a one of a kind MUD.
Your skills do go up with time and you can get better equipment. However, equipment is a pretty small component next to skill. Further, what is good and what is bad equipment is pretty clear. If it looks like ragged shit, then it probably is. However, if it is nice and new and looks protective then it is. There is no uber equipment. I take that back, there IS uber equipment, just expect it to be fought over. If there is a delfier sword of doom sitting around somewhere, don’t expect for their to be more then one, don’t expect to loot it off some random spawn, and don’t expect anyone to let you keep it. I have been involved with fighting over the some magical item in the game. They are very few and far inbetween, and conflict surrounding them is intense. Don’t expect your average mercenary grunt to ever see one. Most equipment is bought or created, though you can loot some on occasion from NPC raiders. Just don’t be surprised to find out that raiders wear glorified rags.
As for combat, it is as much of a component as you make it. You won’t be going into dungeons, clearing them out, and rinsing and repeating this until you are uber. The whole idea of a regular dungeon crawls or simply going out to kill stuff for the sake of killing stuff doesn’t happen on Armageddon. You are a living breathing person who can die permanently. If you happen to go through a dungeon like environment, it is probably a one time deal with a big reward (or death) at the end. Further, the ‘dungeon crawls’ I have been on have generally been terrifying and full of unknowns. If combat is your thing there are mercenary companies that cater strong to it. When you see combat with these guys it will be going out on paid missions to accomplish a job.
Skills come through branching. Basically, if for instance you start with archery and you begin to get good at archery, you will eventually branch arrow making. If your sneaky guy becomes good at sneaking and fighting, he might branch back stabbing.
Armageddon is a cohesive world. What your goals are will be whatever you set them to be. Staying alive is a good initial goal. The game revolves around plots though. All organizations have plots going on. Plots crisscross all through the game. They can be thought up of as quests, only instead of being driven by generic NPCs, they are drive by players and the staff. Pretty much anything you want to achieve can be achieved. If you want to start your own band of mercenaries, if you can gather the men and money, you can do it. In the past people have managed great things. One player even managed to gather an army and lead an attack on the games largest city that to this day is a pretty legendary event. He set Allanak under siege for an entire year before it was broken.
If you really want to see what this game is capable of, I HIGHLY suggest logging in this Sunday (November 2nd, 2003) from 2PM EST on. Sunday there is going to be something we call a Highly Recommended Role Playing Time (HRPT) being held. HRPTs are massive events the permanently alter the shape of the world. To give you an example of what an HRPT is like, some of the ones in the past included a city being attacked and destroyed by magik, a city being invaded and taken over, and rebels throwing out an oppressive army in a terrible and bloody battle. HRPTs generally mean large scale violence and a major plot shift. Even if the game has not caught your fancy yet, I strongly recommend sticking around for the HRPT. You will likely see upwards of 120 to 150 players on and will likely see some earth shattering events. With the numbers we have been seeing recently seeing number get closer to 200 wouldn’t surprise me. Simply make sure you have submitted a character by Friday night to ensure you have a character for the HRPT.