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Reviews Section
Wormhole by Slarty

I'm an experienced mudder. An addict, even. I know my way around quite a few different codebases, and I've seen altogether too many small, new muds created by people who instinctively know they want to run a game rather than play in one, and who get hold of the source and put up a(nother) mud.

I call this the stock CircleMUD cyndrome... Midgaard, Harold, fidos, gnome swords, troglodytes... the works. So some kids installed a MUD and they're learning OLC. So what? It ends up as another short-lived clone with about six players.

Wormhole clearly started life as a Circle, but it's been given a complete makeover in terms of the mud world. Midgaard has become a space station and, something like a cross between Deep Space Nine and Babylon Five. (It's got a Bajoran priest, but there's also a place called Below Levels.)

If I have a criticism of Wormhole, it's that there is no clear game culture. There are dark jedis, the borg, mad max, the matrix and HHGTG themes. On the other hand, the area authors have been given a free rein. Many of the zones they have created are labours of love or tributes to a favourite book or film. New code has been added, here and there, creating transporter rooms, light sabers and other pieces of equipment that beef up its sci-fi credentials. A light saber is not just a renamed sword because those who wield it can learn additional skills with it. Wormhole guns do a 'blast' attack. Some need recharging at an electrical outlet; others need a particular kind of bullet.

Not all zones are what you might call "grind friendly". Some contain too many puzzles, and these tend to be left alone in favour of places where you can hoover up experience points. (Wormhole is level based with 110 mortal levels, plus remorting. This sounds like a lot, but levelling can be quite fast, with a new skill or a piece of equipment to use every few levels.)

All in all, it's a good reworking of the CircleMUD format, with some nice bells and whistles. The approach to PK is a bit odd, in that it's compulsory at the 5th remort... but nobody's forced to take that final remort.