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BAT Mud

Reviews Section
Materia Magica by Materia Magica

This is an outstanding hack and slash mud.  Any hacker who is looking
around would do himself a favor by starting here.  The people running
this place have identified what needs to be done to achieve their
goals and then done it.

ACTION - Plenty!  Many unique areas with lots of mobs that are fun to
fight.  Combat is exciting.

MAGIC - Complex.  Many factors are involved to determine how to build
your character.  So many options that it would be very difficult to
become master of all of them.  The magic available to each class is
mostly different and appears to require a unique approach to
succeed.  Those who like magic need to experience this mud.

RACES and CLASSES - Meaningful differences.  Many options with each
class.  You chose how to develop your character given the available
choices.

PK - Absolutely!  Thriving.  There is no permadeath.  Those who want
to avoid PK may have some difficulty as it is restricted by area.  If
PK is not your thing, you must determine if this game will meet your
expectations before sinking a lot of time into it.

In the newbie region, there is a quest that requires that you go
through a PK room.

RP - Not much for beginners.  However, there may be some available as
one advances to a higher level and meets the right people.  I did run
into a player whose clever use of emotes and aliases demonstrated
that he was (or could be) adept at RP.  

I really did not play enough to make a determination of the RP
potential of the mud as a whole.  There is no sayto, directional
emote, or aliases that accept variables.

PLAYERS - Overall, players are more friendly than average for an
action-oriented PK-enabled game.  There is your occasional
antagonistic adolescent.  While I was on a quest I was told by one
such youngster to leave or I would be PKed until my balls turned
blue!  At least this lady's(?) discourtesy was matched by her graphic
humor.  But otherwise players were enjoyable and very helpful.

You can count on over a hundred characters online.

MEETING PEOPLE - Combat code encourages grouping.  People are always
asking to form a group.  My problem was the if I grouped every
opportunity, then I would level too fast to fully explore the Newbie
region.

Unless you constantly turn down every chance, you will meet
experienced players who are starting up new characters.  Often these
will seek you out again the next day, asking if you want to group or
if you need anything or have any questions.  You don't have to be Mr.
Personality Plus to meet lots of nice people here.

The Where command shows the location of others in your region.  There
are several options to the Who command.  These are helpful in a game
of this size.

NEWBIES - There is a region for new characters, up to level 10.  A
new character will spend 3 to 15 hours here depending on how much you
emphasize leveling.  There are several areas in this region,
including a town, forest, and cavern.  The cavern itself is large
enough that there are NPCs selling supplies in it.  After level 5,
you really should take the time to explore this place fully, before
you are forced to leave.

There is no need to beg for equipment or money.  Be patient and exert
some effort and you will be asked (or advised) what you need.  You
can get it by killing mobs, or with money you get from killing mobs.  
Other players will take you to fight the right mobs to get what you
need.

In addition to the web site, help files, and introductory area, there
are Guides who will answer your questions.

SETTING - Descriptions convey the mood without being too long.  
Region and area layouts make sense.  Exploring is fun.  Code allows
you to look into adjacent rooms unless a door is closed.  Exits are
shown on a compass.

QUESTS - There are easy to difficult (for newbies) coded quests in
the newbie area.  I was assured that there are easy to difficult
quests throughout the game.  Leveling does not depend upon quests.

QUIT ANYWHERE WITH EQUIPMENT SAVED - no rent

SOMETHING DIFFERENT - Death as a newbie is fun.  You can choose to be
sent to random areas in the mud to explore as a 'Shade' entity for a
few minutes.  You get a glimpse of what is out there (and it looks
good).

ADMIN - I sent some feedback and got an email response from an admin
within 24 hours!  His comments demonstrated the same competence and
care that are evident throughout this mud.

IMMs - When I sent tells to IMMs with questions that required some
thought as well as game familiarity to respond, I received quick and
courteous responses that dealt intelligently with my questions.

WEB SITE - This is example of how good a site can be.  My employer,
with revenues in the hundreds-of-millions, should have such a great
site!  Informative.  This is a complex mud with many options where
you must make choices.  The site provides much of the information you
will need.  It is outstanding.  Really, whoever put this thing
together has a future.

FORUMS - There is one on the web site and another on a player site.  
Lots of opinions available.

DONATIONS - Cash donations are rewarded with in-game benefits.  These
are not required to advance, but competitive players will probably
feel the need to donate.

MISC - There are fun socials, mounts, herbalism, and clans.  You see
character names, not just descriptions.  All relevant information
about your character and equipment is available.  

FURTHER EVIDENCE OF ADMINISTRATIVE SANITY - You don't drop your
weapon when you flee.  You don't have to play every week to avoid
losing your character.  You don't have to solve a quest to emote.  
You don't get old and weak.  Equipment and containers do not
disappear from your inventory over time.  You needn't give your ISP
email address or submit an application to play.  

The game runs on a dedicated server.  Crashes are uncommon.  Lag is
there occasionally, but not objectionable.  

This is a full feature, mainstream, modern game.  It is well designed
and run, and it is fun.