I'll start off my now second review of Armageddon, by stating, "This MUD has no equal in the RPI
genre." Now with that being said, it has positive and negative qualities like all MUDs do. I'll
start first with the positive qualities that have been encountered with my several years at the
- Freedom: What I mean by this is, you are not bound by anything except certain
documentation which helps 'guide' your roleplay with a character. If you want to play a
human mercenary with a missing eye, it can be done and supported with a scar-code. Perhaps
you want to turn your body into a frightening display of gory ink? Or a work of art from the
Tuluki tattooists, it can all be done, and supported with a code. This is the one thing that
always set Armageddon apart from other MUDs, the constant work on the code, and the constant
feedback the staff is willing to receive from the players. You are free to alter your character
as you see fit. If you take massive trauma to the head, you can IN GAME go and put the type
of scar on your head and people can see and read it. Or you can even send in an e-mail with a
description of the scar and have it added by a staff member (albeit taking some time).
- Code: The code for the mud is really an astounding thing. Is it Diku? Well it is listed as
diku, but over fifteen years of coding has gone into the mud and I'd doubt that any actual
diku code is even left. The combat code needs work, but compared to other muds it is very
easy to learn and understand, and it is simplistic, something needed for the harsh setting
the mud uses, which is very similar to AD&D Darksun. With an array of combat skills to further
help with your roleplaying in the burnt world, such as: Disarm, Kick, Bash, Archery, Guard,
Subdue, Charge, Two-Handed, Dual Wield.. And those are just off the top of my head. The point is
the code will impress those who enjoy a slow MUSH environment with a very extensive emote system,
or even those who like a fast-paced PK-style combat code, which Armageddon also has. You can
literally die from one hit in combat.
- The Setting: From half-giants, to hairless dwarves with the focus to sail the Silt Sea. The
setting, to anyone familiar with Darksun, will seem just like you are in Athas. The Athasian
races are all there, the defiling/preserving magick, and the great beasts of the Darksun from
Mekillots to Anakore, to the lovable kanks. The setting truly is something to experience if you
have never roleplayed in a Darksun environment.
- Community: The community for Armageddon MUD is very loose since the playerbase is spread across
the entire World. There are players in Germany, Australia, Turkey, I even think there is one in
Russia. While the main players are centered around America, the general discussion boards are a
great place to connect with the players at www.zalanthas.org. Annual meetings are also held in
the real world so players can meet and talk about old characters and good times they had playing
with each other. For the last 4 years a fairly large group of players (30-40) have met at the
DragonCon in atlanta. I was one of them in 2002-2003 and 2004. It is truly something to talk to
someone about a character they played years ago with you and recount the foolish antics of when
you were a newbie still learning to stay in-character!
There are so many things I am leaving out here, but I don't want this review to get too
long-winded so I am going to leave the positives at that, and believe me there is a countless
list of things that make Armageddon great, and that is just the firsts that come to my mind.
Now onto the bad qualities the mud has had, still has, and probably will have in the future. And
a note to anyone reading any further, I have always been a somewhat jaded player about the
following concerns. Mainly because my learning curve for the mud was so high, and I came from a
very aggressive PK-mudding background and it took me years instead of months to get the hang of
roleplaying. So here are some things that have constantly been a problem for me (and others).
-Staff: I knew this would be the first on my list, so I am just going to get it all out. The
staff of Armageddon is constantly evolving, constantly changing. Their are those who have been
around since I started playing (very few), and then there are some names I see I have no clue who
they are. There are lots of concerns for this, the amount of retired staff is overwhelming. My
one concern is the ratio of active to inactive staff. While on my end I can't judge anybody
because I am a player.. I will however list a few things about the staff that have constantly
been a thorn in my side while playing at the MUD.
1. Conflict of interest. Unfortunately most of the staff loves playing the game. They even get to
the point where they are allowed to play the game with a PC (player-character) and are also
allowed to continue playing their immortal. This leads to a huge conflict of interest, and while
I am sure the staff trusts each other and their fellow staffers, it just screams to me as a
player 'potential abuse'. Let me elaborate on that for just a second. On Armageddon the immortals
get assigned to clans, and I will go into that later, but let's say hypothetically speaking that
one immortal who is assigned to CLAN A is also playing a PC in CLAN B. Now while this might seem
just fine how it reads, let's also say that CLAN A and CLAN B are in two different places and the
information gained with the immortal will obviously be known to the 'player' of the PC in CLAN B.
Anyone can see that this will irk a player to the bone, but now that it is said I will leave this
can of worms half open and go onto my next gripe.. Clans.
2. Clans: This is half and half with me, the clans are a VERY positive thing to the mud, however,
somewhat connecting with the point I made above, sometimes the immortals running the clans will
go into a 'burnt-out' phase, and you never hear from them or see them helping you in the clan.
What I mean from 'help' is jumping into higher ranking NPCs (meaning no PC can ever attain the
leader of a coded, imm-supported clan)-- to roleplay with you, or guide you along in the clan,
especially if you are new. It seems that when you join a clan the immortal is just there to build
items/rooms and have a list of all the current PCs, but I feel they should be more connected with
the PCs, and this I haven't got much luck with. HOWEVER I have had much interaction with 'ghost'
immortals, whom I never knew who they were, but suddenly jumped into an NPC, so please do not get
me wrong, I think the staff does an alright job, but sometimes I (and others) can feel like the
bad apples are outnumbering the good ones, and I think clans could be run much better. Then again
this also ties back in with my 'Freedom' quality above, the immortals love to give you freedom in
the game to do what you will with most roles, so perhaps this isn't a bad thing, but I would
rather see those Lord Commander NPCs that never do anything come to life sometimes to give me
3. Grudges: What can I say? Heh. The staff are human, they will hold grudges against players that
have done things in the past and have learned from their mistakes. If you have a bad reputation,
it's very difficult to mend. And you know what? I'm just as bad because I am a player holding a
grudge against some staff as well, and the ones holding the grudges. It's just a big old
neverending cycle of grudges and scars that have never healed.
Now onto one last thing..
-New players: This can be one of the most irritating things to me as of lately, because I can
really feel for some of the newer roleplayers coming to this great mud. However I cannot stand it
when I am trying to play a scene with a newer player and suddenly I see.. the black-eyed man has
lost link. Don't get me wrong, I used to do it, I was a very disgruntled player, and probably
still have some of it in me, but for me now it's very hard not to lose control and just kill the
player (having an IC reason to do so). So I will end this review on the note that I think newer
players coming to play need to read the documentation extensively, get a handhold on the setting
and before they do anything, make sure they know what each city-state is all about. Please do
this for us the players and the staff, make it easier for us, so that we make it easier on you
and don't kill you for going linkdead.. Adieu.
-the RunningMountain formerly known as Delerak.