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BAT Mud

Reviews Section
Realms of Despair by Roland

I have been playing Realms of Despair for over 8 years, and over that time period I have tried just about everything. I have been an immortal, I have served on some of the councils, and I even tried my hand at pkill.

I still login to talk to friends, but I do not actively play anymore.

The Good:
Code Stability - This is probably one of the most stable muds around. Lots of coders who know what the hell they are doing. This stability comes at a price though.

Game Stability - It is very rare that an immortal will come around and take away an item. In many cases, even if the item is out of game, or was too powerful for the time and was removed, those who managed to acquire it early on get to keep their winnings. Realms does this better than any mud I have played.

Large - Lots of people here. Many more than most of the other muds I have played on. There are a good number of active people. Large numbers of areas to explore.

Admin staff - Compared to other muds, the administration here is pretty good, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Newbie Friendly - There is an entire council devoted to new players, and the administration is rather newbie friendly. Some of the player base is not, however, and will not hesitate to cause trouble for the stupid or slow.

Multiplay - One of the few muds that still allows multiplaying. This is excellent for getting a feel for all the different classes.

The Bad:

Stagnant Code - Not much changed on Realms. Given the large player base and the size of the mud, changes have to be done carefully and cautiously.  Also, much effort is spent in making sure that the balance of the game is not disrupted. The end result is a stagnant mud where the changes done in a single year are equivalent to what a new mud would do in a week.

Stagnant Game Play - The mud is essentially mkill only, all hack and slash. There is very little to do in terms of making things or doing something other than kill mobs. There is some lip service paid to pkill, but pkill is essentially dead as well. There are a group of die hards who still hang out and beat the crap outta each other, and they seem to have fun doing it. But with 350 characters online, there are 5 pkillers.

Poorly worded rules - The last thing anyone wants is 10 pages of laws or rules. But there are many cases in realms where each rule is interpreted differently by different immortals. Why should you have to check the "who imm" list before you say or do something? And pretty much every rule or law has a weasel-worded clause that basically says the immortals have the authority to do whatever they feel like. it is obvious that the game is run by the immortals, and that they should have the last say in a matter. But there needs to be some balance between the rights of the players and the whims of the lower level immortals. Here is an example of the help file for "rights"
"You have the right to remain silent or to hit the off button at any time."
This says something about the attitude of the administration to the players. Without the players, there is no mud.
There are also cases where an immortal notifies the rest of the staff of a change in enforcement of a rule, and this is never updated in the relevant help file, and no notice is posted that it has changed.

Housing - The in-game housing system is pretty poor. The houses are limited, and there are very few for sale. The ability to control who goes in or out of your house is also very poor. This could have been implemented much better. It took years to implement, and the results are sub-par.

No ingame player vendors - Unlike other muds, players cannot set up their own vendors. This results in people making bots, and spamming the various channels with what is for sale.

Channel Cops - Many of the lower level imms appear to spend their entire time nitpicking over rules and getting on people for improper use of channels. This has to be one of the worst muds for this.

Poor Admin Structure - There are lots of immortals on Realms. For the most part, however, only the top few have any real authority. And they can be hard to get ahold of, usually because they are very busy. Most of the lower level imms have virtually no authority to make decisions and are tasked with enforcement of the rules, without any explanations.

The Ugly:

OOG equipment - This could have gone either way, depending on whether or not you just started or have been playing a long time. There are lots of items that are out of game, and can only be obtained by trading. This leads some players to accuse the older players of having it easier or having some sort of advantage. The argument can also be made that this is what makes the MUD interesting, because there is always something else to get.

Bot Friendly - this could have gone either way as well. Lots of people make bots that make the game easier for others, and lots of people make bots to "gold" or to stake mobs. People have made a fortune off of bots, and some believe this has ruined the in-game economy.

The Shattering - A couple of years ago, a wholesale mud change was made called "The Shattering". Lots of people hated it, lots of people liked it. A large number of older players left the game altogether because of it. This event was talked about years before it happened, and when it did happen, it was rather underwhelming.

Addictive - This mud can be highly addictive. After years of playing lots of different types of games and getting tired with them, I always seem to come back here. I think it is because of the people I have met, and not because of the staff or the gameplay. Unfortunately as time passes, some of these people have actually died, and others have left the mud for good due to disagreements with other players or immortal staff.