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Reviews Section
Realms of Despair by Jeroen Vogelpoel

I've played RoD for a bit more then a year, and sad to say, I'm very disappointed with this MUD... Let's start with the good things first tho, the SMAUG engine. I love the SMAUG engine, because of the stability it has on RoD. It's easy to work with when you want to build and it's very customizable, so nothing but praise for the coders that made SMAUG a reality. However, a good and solid engine doesnt make a MUD. It also requires players and gameplay. And that's where RoD lacks...

The gameplay is poor at level 2 thru 49. Because the real fun doesnt start untill you reach level 50 (Avatar level) you'll have to level yourself first. However, recent changes have made leveling very hard and nearly impossible for new players. And there is almost nothing else to do besides leveling, except for perhaps joining a guild. (Most orders dont allow players that arent an Avatar yet, to be inducted) Another thing which has severely messed up gameplay is the pkilling section of the game. The gameplay used to be so bad, that there are a few pkillers (deadlies) left now, and in a desperate attempt to reliven pkilling, the situation was actually made worse.

Another big disadvantage of RoD is the fact that some members of the staff of RoD (the immortals) abuses their powers. Mind you, I said some members. There are of course allot of good immortals who try their best to make the game run smooth and make sure everyone abides the rules (and solve the problems if needed in a friendly way). However, there are quite allot of imms who 'control' the game. I myself have once been silenced for 24 hours after telling a single blonde joke on a public channel. I've also been threatened, harassed, spam-slayed and I even got my connection denied for a day once. I'm not saying I'm the perfect player, and I deserved some punishments. But most are just harassment from the immortal staff.

The normal players, too, arent really improving the game. The people that claim that RoD is great because there are reguraly 400+ players online, forget to mention that about 150-200 are alts and 50-75 are bots, leaving about 200 real players. Also this 'Newbie Council' story is a mythe. Sure, there are allot of people in the NC who truly want to help newbies, but there are also allot of people who merely use the NC as a way to gain favor with the immortals, possibly as a small step towards immortality itself. The players themself (alts and bots excluded) arent that great either. Sure, there are allot of nice peeps around, but allot of people tend to try and gain favor with the imms (read: suck up) in the hope of acheiving immortality/certain favors...

Considering all this, I highly recommend anyone NOT to play Realms of Despair for now. Things can be improved dramatically tho, by demoting several people, by making botting illegal, and by adding more quests for lowbies (and in european times, too) Okay, that's all I have to say for now...

 - Jeroen Vogelpoel
   (former player of the character 'Ingham')