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BAT Mud

Reviews Section
Armageddon MUD by zhunga

I've found this MUD both incredibly interesting and incredibly disappointing at the same time.  This is not a negative review for I have good things and bad things to say about the game, though for all the reasons listed below I have decided against playing this game, at least for now.  

On one hand the game is filled with (some) rich detail, character's are REQUIRED to make a description of no less than 4 lines in length, role-play is mandatory (unlike MUDs which make similar claims but fail to back them up), OOC communication is down to a bare minimum so it's very easy to stay focused and in character, there are many races and classes to explore, immense documents comparable to a mini-novel in length, extremely supportive staff particularly with assisting new players, an advanced emoting code (and I mean advanced!), and on and on.

The flip side of the coin, is that while seemingly richly detailed there are many cases where over a dozen rooms are identical.  I don't like the fact that many streets in the game are given the exact same description as the next.  I keep expecting to see Fido NPC dog come around the corner!  There is enough minutaie of detail in the world (especially a fantasy world) to give each portion of even a mundane city road it's own unique descriptions.  Though this is a small criticism and the greater reality is that there is still a great deal of depth to the game world, in its players and its size.  Still, beginning the game to a 10-room long road with the exact same (small) description over and over made a bad first impression.  First impressions in online gaming is important.

The two key reasons I am against playing here however are this.  The game shuts down for 10 hours of maintenance each and every Saturday without fail, making the game effectively inaccessible all day according to my time zone.  This wouldn't be such a problem to me were it not for the fact that Saturday is the one day out of the week which I can devote more time to online gaming than any other.  I could be a lot more forgiving if the game were closed every other Saturday or rotating days out of the week.

The second reason I am strongly opposed to playing an otherwise incredible game is the inability to communicate with offline characters.  By my understanding, the only way you can send a message to someone who isn't logged on is to try and find a player who is and ask them to relay your message to the necessary party should they see him/her before you do.  All communication is done 100% in character which seems great in theory but in practice I can only assume I would be spending weeks and even months, sometimes, trying to reach certain characters, especially considering most players are illiterate.

In fairness I've only played the game for a short few hours but I've had the privelage of watching others play.  It was through word of mouth which led me to this MUD in the first place.  On one occasion I was watching a friend play his character.  He had been nagging me about trying this MUD for ages but I have always been a player of MUSHes (believing they possess a higher level of roleplay).  His character was some sort of desert bandit being chased by local authorities for his crimes when all of a sudden his enemy threw a poisoned knife at him from a room away and paralyzed him.  Now this all seemed very interesting to me watching the event until I observed my friend's inability to type out any command whatsoever.  The paralysis MUD code did not allow him to input help commands, access the who list, or most importantly: EMOTE!  In fact, no command worked at all.  A person who is paralyzed should still be able express through emotes how he appears, how his face is pressed against the dirt and his immobile body stares lifeless ahead, etc., etc.  Most unnerving was watching him try to type 'who' or 'help poison' or 'emote lies tangled in the bushes' and receive the response: You can't move, you are frozen!  The code (and my friend's enemy) were preventing him from roleplaying!  In the MU*'s I have played when two characters are IC opponents, they still want each other to be able to roleplay even when one is trying to kill the other.  The point to me is that no matter how well roleplayed this game may be it's still limiting its players by a Diku code.  It is still a MUD where its code supports hacking and slashing moreso than roleplaying.

In closing I may decide to give this MUD another try some day, the players and staff I discussed with on the online discussion forum seemed very supportive and friendly.  I really liked the storyline of the game and its setting but there's a lot of its features which I found irksome, awkward and difficult to accept.  This game is simply not for everyone.