When I first discovered the world of mudding many years ago, I went through a short stint in which I tried dozens of different muds including Achaea, Dartmud, Materia Magica, and some different versions of WoT, to name a few of the more well known ones. Each of which had their own points of greatness, but also major detractors, which led me to constantly trying new muds. About a year ago, however, I came to Armageddon and found that not only did it possess all of the positive features of the other muds, it lacked all of their weaknesses as well.
The way this mud is set it, the ideology of hacking and slashing for experience and equipment become obsolete. Taking a new, untrained character out of any major city to hunt for monsters will lead to a quick death by a NPC creature or a PC raider. Not only that, killing monsters does you very little good in terms of acquiring new equipment or money, as, adhering to the realism of the game, animals do not magically drop coins and fantastic weapons when killed. Mindlessly kill a NPC in the city or fail an attempt to steal from one will cause you to be branded a criminal and youíll be arrested unless youíre really good at what you do. That said, there are hunters or, in the case of massive monsters, whole hunting parties who leave the confines of the cities to hunt for creatures, a task for which they are rewarded with the valuable skins and bones which they can craft or sell to merchants later on. If youíre avoiding the monsters outside of the city by staying within the city walls, youíre not much safer; offend a noble and become the target of a carefully plotted assassination. Sneaking thieves and brutal, powerful Templar law enforcers will also make sure youíre well entertained.
In terms of the roles that a character can take on, Armageddon, though lacking the hundreds of different guilds and dozens of different races of a few other muds, has quite a numerous amount of incredibly well developed race and guild combinations. The mud breaks traditional molds of small, kind, druidish elves and wise, mountain dwelling dwarves with tall, untrusted, thieving back stabbers and stubborn, bald, single-minded dwarves. Each race has itís own unique characteristics and histories to match. The guilds a character may take on are detailed as well. From lock-picking burglars, to foraging and hunting rangers, each has their own set of abilities and talents. You can play a merchant and travel between the cities and many desert outposts, trading your way to riches, or become a pampered noble, allowing other players to cater to your every need. Role-play is highly enforced and expected by both the staff and the players themselves and the plot lines are many and world changing. Every action of a fellow gamers will be supported by distinct emotes and well thought out roles.
Every room and item, generic of player-made, is intricately described and detailed in every possible way. Not to mention the NPCs who are equipped with clothing and weapons and uniquely characterized. When someone speaks about a particular merchant by name or description on the GDB board, an out of game place where questions, input, and ideas can be discussed, all the other players immediately know who is being refereed to. That is the level of detail that even the most miniscule of NPC characters is given.
The staff members of Armageddon are very dedicated, and, as far as I know, monitor the game at all hours of the day, every day of the week. How do I know this? Because there has never been a time when Iíve wished up for immortal assistance for help with the occasional bug or the animation of a NPC to help me role play and not gotten a response.
Now, if this game is so great, why am I sitting here writing a page long essay rather than playing it? Because the staff secretly gives you in game money to write them. (At least I wish they did, since this concept seems to work well by a certain mud I've played.) Well this is largely in part to the fact that deaths in the game are real and permanent. My character just died and to my knowledge, thereís no magic potion you can drink thatíll bring you back to life; although, I wouldnít be surprised if some method existed, given the large scope of the game. Creating a new character and getting it approved takes time and effort, an aspect of the game that, at first, kept me from playing it. In fact, itís very likely that the reason everyone isnít playing Armageddon is because it takes so much work to get started. After all, who wants to spend all that time and do all that work just to try a mud? But I can guarantee that the effort is well worth the time and is rewarded many times over with a great experience.