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BAT Mud

Reviews Section
Battletech: The Frontier Lands by WhiteKnight

Frontiers is a science fiction real-time war simulation based on the Classic Battletech game system put out by the FASA Corporation.  

Players take the role of a freelance warrior on the war-torn planet of Randis IV, piloting the machines of war to capture the planet on behalf of the faction they have joined.  Battlemechs, large robotic vehicles capable of a wide range of missions, dominate this war, but are not alone on the battlefield.  Tanks, Infantry, and Helicopters all bring their unique abilities to the conflict, often tipping the scales one way or the other.

Unlike many other Real Space (RS) sites, the Frontier Lands features an economic system that allows each player to purchase and own their own combat units.  Currency to buy combat units and skills are obtained by combat, patrolling the map on the ground, or by completing/capturing objectives.  Also, combat units and pilots are not lost to death, but can return to combat after a variable length of time.  

Players may also purchase non-player combat units to aid them while on their missions, and there are several objectives and/or missions that can be attempted by players who find themselves without others of their faction online to aid them, allowing players to enter combat alone, if necessary.

New players are given a set of 'starting units' that largely remain competative throughout their careers, and allow them to enter the game quickly without being overly disadvantaged.  The site also offers an automated training course for players new to playing in a MUX/MUD environment.  Online documentation is helpful, but is currently being revised due to recent changes.  

To ensure the players are not permanently assigned to factions or units they may not like, all players are resuffled between the factions on a monthly basis.  Players who find others who they like to play alongside can form an Outfit, which is treated as a single unit when reassigned.

Recently, the Frontier Lands converted over to a new code system, and is currently refining it to enable more capability and options to the players.  Also, tournaments and Administrator-run scenerios (known as Tiny Plots) are occassionally run.  

The game can be played with only a simple TelNet client and connection, but there is also an option to play the game with a Graphical User Interface called the HUD.  Documentation is available on the website for installation of this program, but it is not required to play.

While it sacrifices some of the hard edge psuedo-reality of other Real Space sites, The Frontier Lands remains one of the few where the player has control over their own careers, and can always count on being able to enter the main combat environment.  At the same time, the very qualities that may seem unrealistic to more hard-line players make the site a very good place for players who have not played in a MUX environment to start as there is little or no penalty for mistakes and the combat environment is nearly identical to other, stricter sites.

To read more, the site's website is at: http://portal.btmux.com/