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Reviews Section
Discworld by Griffin

Discworld is a mud with many wonders.

One of them is its ability to create a consistent
environment, without ever taking itself too
seriously. Its quirky humour, even about itself,
is what has always brought me back, even after trying out quite a few other muds. Even though
the role-play here may not achieve high
literature standards, I ended up prefering a Discworld witch who flies into a cow because
she is too drunk to steer her broom properly,
over the sour and stern role-players I have
met in many other places.

Another wonder is the way Discworld has niches for
just about any kind of player. You can be the
standard hack&slash-type player or playerkiller,
but the storylines of Discworld also provide
many opportunities for role-play. The immense
complexity of the mud can keep explorers and
investigators busy for years. Discworld is one
of the few muds I have ever been to that offers
you possibilities to really play without having
to kill everything in sight, yet still have the
feeling that you are achieving something.
(Although yes, the killers make to to the top
score boards a lot faster.)

The possibilities for non-hack&slash play are
getting bigger all the time, which has enriched
the place a lot, in my view. The diverse player
styles mean that there is always the opportunity
to change your style playing when you are looking
for something new. And if you still manage to
get bored, then a career as playtester or creator
lay within reach.

Third, the creators of Discworld are responsive and approachable. There are usually a few dozen
of them online at any point, actively developing
new stuff to play with. These people actually
listen to players, collect ideas and feed-back
all the time, which leads to quality expansions
that are usually immediately popular with players.

Incidentally, this also has created one of the
major downsides of the game: a relatively small
group of players uses this openness of the
creators to constantly whine about changes, perceived imbalances, unfairness, etc. Thus
the public debate on the bulletin boards is
suffocated in most unfortunate discussion of
game mechanics and in politicking. The immense
complexity of the game means that balance issues
can be debated ad nauseam. I guess you can avoid all of that if you just ignore the boards, but
it goes seriously at the expense of in character
collective communication. E.g. a bulletin board
for a guild is typically to overwhelmed with
game mechanics to address guild politics.

To round up, here some of my personal favourite
features: write a book and get it printed,
run a shop, own a house and decorate it (soon),
make pottery, set up a business by selling various
kinds of tea, run your own organisation, set
up a family, become a member of the governing
board of your guild, engage in the politics of
a town council, design your customised gear,...

...but always with a wink and a smile.