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Reviews Section
Armageddon MUD by Viv

Armageddon Mud is filling a small niche in a vast sea of muds.  It is a mud designed specifically for those who are interested in a fine roleplaying experience.  Roleplaying is not encouraged or enforced, it is expected and required.  On this mud, gone are the days of mindlessly going from place to place, zone to zone killing the same creatures over and over.  No longer can you run across the world from one kingdom to the next in a day.  Travel
is harsh, combat is deadly, and death is permanent.  The game is set in Zalanthas, based very loosely on the Dark Sun campaign by TSR.  It is a harsh desert environment where the normal fantasy races are turned on their heads.  Elves are now seen as thieving scum or barbaric tribals and dwarves are dedicated zealots.  Humans
are oppressive overlords, ruling the world by their numbers and organization.  There are a variety of organizations to join.  Think
you know how to dictate fashion and make a million off of selling
silk scarves and other fineries?  Join House Kadius.  Interested in the gritty life and heart felt camaraderie of a mercenary organization, try the T'zai Byn.  Like to sell illegal drugs and work in the black market being a low
down gutter thug?  Try the The Guild
a shadowy organization about whom only rumours and speculation are known.  Like to enforce the status quo, beat up on the weak and defenseless, and have a cadre of half-giant soldiers at your call?  The Highlord Tektolnes' Templarate is always looking for a few good men or women ready to whip those unruly masses into shape.

One huge attraction for the mud to me is the gritty realism.  This
place seems to be for real.  There is no twinkish alignment system.  Real life isn't like that.  There is no good or evil, just one huge shade of grey.  Even the most apparently evil of people probably have their IC justifications for what they do which fit into the game world.  Sure, that Templar
represents the forces of 'good' in the city, but who would suspect that she is taking bribes and has a nasty spice habit on the side?  These intriguing convulutions make the game tick for me.

If you are looking for a mud where you really and truely don't have to kill stuff to get by, where you truly can have something to do as a merchant, craftsman, or prostitute, Armageddon has this.  Many muds claim to have this sort of thing, but when you log in you
find that the merchant class is little more than a fighter who can get good deals at shops.  Not Armageddon.  There are viable things for merchants and craftspeople to do.  Pilot a wagon from one city to the next, picking up goods and getting rich.  Hire out people to forage raw materials from the surrounding countryside, which you then craft into exquisite works and attempt to sell.  Of course, you could do the foraging yourself, buy why would you want to do that?  You're the artisan, why should you get -your- hands dirty?

Enough with the add space and on with some potential negatives.  

The original misgivings a typical mud player will likely face when considering Armageddon are permadeath and an apparent lack of action or other PCs to roleplay with.  Permadeath seems like a horrible implementation to the majority of the mudding community, and I admit this was my original view. However, as one gets into the swing of it, one begins to actually see it as a major plus.  The fact is, that one character for one's entire existence on
Armageddon just wouldn't do.  There are far too many facets of the world to explore that just can't be done in a single character's lifetime.  The world is so intriguing and developed that when one of my characters dies, I always look forward to creating a new one and discovering more about the world from a new character's
viewpoint.  The second problem is that there just doesn't seem to be anyone around most of the time.  You will type who and see that there are 40 players on, but you can't find a single one of them.  This is due to the fact that travel is difficult.  There are clans
and areas in the world that are all but isolated from the rest of the world.  However, this problem can be combatted by joining up with some player run organization to get started in the game.  The organization will give
you people to play with and show you where the likely gathering places are for your geographical region.

Another problem with the mud that many see is that all races and professions are not open to new players.  There is a karma system for the mud, whereby you are awarded karma by the imms for good
roleplaying.  As your karma increases, more races and classes become available to you.  However, you actually *can* play any race or class you want, you just have to mail the admin and get
approval for any such characters if you don't have the karma to choose one during character creation.  The reasons for the karma syster are many.  The classes and races which require karma are usually more difficult to roleplay (magickers, psionicists) or
they require more responsibility to roleplay (mantis, desert elves).  The karma system is basically a way for the admin to say, 'Hey we trust you to do a good job of playing this race or class.'  Another reason for karma is so that the world's population properly reflects the desired theme.  Magickers, mindbenders, halflings, and mantis should all by the exception not the rule.  Through karma and character submission, the staff can assure that every other character you meet isn't a magicker.
Once again though, karma is *not* required to play any race or class on the mud, you simply have to petition the Imms for permission to play a karma required race or class if you don't have the karma for it.

One last thing:  The world is extremely harsh.  Only the strongest, smartest, and toughest will survive long enough to see their character's through their entire natural lives.  The player's and
the admin's attitudes often reflect this harshness.  However, if you stick it out through a few characters, then you'll likely find yourselves among the few, the proud, the Armageddon addicts.