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Old 10-25-2010, 03:53 PM   #1
Bobo the Bee
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Bobo's Tour de Mud

This is where I'll post the link to the reviews of MUDs I feel like doing, along with the summary of how I feel about it. If you'd like to comment to agree or disagree with my thoughts, feel free to do so here or on the blog itself -- here you're more likely to get a response, I think.

1: GODWARS II
Mud Title: GodWars II Admin: KaVir
Up Since: 2003ish (Beta Testing began January 11th of that year)
Codebase: Custom - Featuring Manual Combat and a Roomless World.
Time Played Before Review: 2 weeksish.

Mud Summary: GodWars II is a combat-oriented, PK-heavy MUD that has been completely built by KaVir from the ground up, who continues to develop for the game. The combat system is unique, deep, and complex and is fairly well balanced -- though, as usual, most swear on some things being overpowered, and tweaks to the system are often made. A personal dislike is that the Mud is very RP-discouraged, but it doesn't try to be anything like that so I can hardly condemn the place for it. Someone described GW2 to me as 'the ultimate time waster' and I tend to agree -- and we both say that in both a complimentary and condemning manner.

Grade: A (+++unique combat and movement, +customization, +war, +GUI. --Poor Documentation, --Sometimes Faulty Mechanics, --Players can be a bit offensive)
Jump to: The Shadow Wars (B)

Last edited by Bobo the Bee : 11-08-2010 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:16 AM   #2
Vatiken
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Re: Bobo's Tour de Mud

Short, clean, seemingly unbiased... good review. I look forward to reading your future posts. One idea though, if you continue on reviewing, would be to review some muds that are "lesser" known to TMS. With all due respect to Kavir and GW2, I frequent these forums daily and because of that I probably know more about Godwars 2 and it's features then my own MUD's.
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:58 AM   #3
Bobo the Bee
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Re: Bobo's Tour de Mud

Thanks for the compliments.

And yeah, it is my goal to have a fair number of lesser-known MUDs that GodWars 2 which, as you've said, is so much discussed and so well established most of us know about it at this point! I used to be the type to check out all the 'New Mud Listing's here and on other Mud Listings, but I find that I don't have time for that in many respects. I'd prefer for MUD Admin (or players, I suppose) to suggest places for me to try out, but that might not happen so quickly!
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:57 PM   #4
KaVir
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Re: Bobo's Tour de Mud

I must admit I'm rather surprised by your comment about documentation, as most players are very positive about the dynamic help files and the 'what' command. In fact, a frequent problem I encounter is people ignoring the help files because they expect them to be inaccurate or out-of-date, being used to that from their experiences on other muds.

On your blog you mentioned "Things like cooldown, soak, and other various attributes of combat aren't very well explained in the helpfiles, and learning a good character build can be a very frustrating series of trial-and-error." There is actually a 'cooldown' help file which describes how cooldown works, and a two page 'armour' help file (the American spelling 'armor' is also supported) which describes how soak works, along with 'bypass' and 'critical-bypass' help files which explain how to get past armour. While decent character builds are indeed difficult to create, there's a 'build' help file which gives you some solid advice for starting out, and it's dynamically tailored to the viewer's class - this help file is referenced by the 'classed' help file, which the context-sensitive hint system advises you to read the moment you class.

The in-game documentation is something I've actually invested quite a lot of time and effort into, primarily to compensate for the vast learning curve faced by players switching from other muds (this is something many people consider a major negative, and it comes up in most reviews, so I was rather intrigued that you didn't mention it). So I'm definitely open to suggestions for adding or clarifying help files - I know there are a few other things that really are missing, and those I'm aware of are on my todo.


You mentioned that "the AI pathfinding is horrible". In fact it's non-existent, the monsters will simply charge at you (or to the location they last saw you). I thought I could get away with this because I didn't realise people were able to attack targets without line-of-sight - this is the sort of feedback players often forget to mention :P It's most likely a side-effect of the blind-fighting changes. The dungeons used to have some very broken mechanics though, and I've had to overhaul them a few times, so this is clearly something that needs more work.

The issue with accidental casting is intentional to a certain degree (learning the ins and outs of your different combos, and how to use them to your advantage, is an important part of the game), although I've tweaked a few combos in the past to avoid major conflicts. It's really difficult to do this without causing a conflict with something else, however - perhaps because of the diversity of spells compared to regular combat techniques.

There have been quite a few clearly flawed (if not outright broken) mechanics in the past, and no doubt there are more of them buried away, but I try to fix them whenever I find them.


As far as the players being annoying, some of them can be downright obnoxious, despite my attempts to persuade them to shift their more unsavoury conversations to the (off-by-default) 'gossip' channel. This is a difficult situation to deal with though - a lot of players really hate being told what they can and can't say, and policing the public channels with an iron fist would upset just as many people as doing nothing, so it really is a case of "You can't please everyone". However players do have an 'ignore' command, so you can do your own moderation if you wish.


Thanks for the review!

Last edited by KaVir : 10-27-2010 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:32 PM   #5
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Re: Bobo's Tour de Mud

In retrospect, with your comments KaVir, I don't think I came across the way I meant to with the help files and the sort. To be clear: yes, most things are documented, though there are a few things that can be difficult to find -- that 'help ethereal' doesn't exist as ethereal weapons/armor is only explained at the bottom of 'help attack' is one example of the few complaints I've found. You'll have more issues with helpfiles on most other MUDs out there. Rather, I meant more that it can be quite confusing, which is more a result of the complexities of the system itself. I can read a helpfile on something and, well, not really "get" it just from that. The explanation of 'WHAT' this term is and 'HOW' it is calculated is generally there and fine, but knowing how it 'APPLIES' to me can be a difficult connection to make. "So Cooldown is 4 for light armor? Well, 3 seconds doesn't seem like that much, does it? Soo .. okay?" is kind of how I felt after reading the file in question.

I think that a helpfile -- or a post on the website, forum, wiki, somewhere that you can link to in-game -- that steps through a few mock combat sessions or rounds that are doctored to help explain each step of the system could be really beneficial to helping someone like me understand it more deeply.

That you can admit problems is one very important thing I think all MUD Admins need to have, and in looking in a small extent over your forums I was pleased to see that you do participate in debates regarding balance and new features. I can't tell you how many times I'll find a flaw on a MUD and bring it to the attention to an immortal and be responded to poorly for 'calling out' the staff or something silly like that.
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:34 PM   #6
Bobo the Bee
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Re: Bobo's Tour de Mud

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobotehbee View Post
stuff
Ungh, I hadn't realized that I had a second, incorrect account on this computer's auto-login. There, fixed.
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:04 PM   #7
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The Shadow Wars (B)

2: The Shadow Wars
Mud Title: The Shadow Wars Admin: Zandor
Up Since: February 2000
Codebase: Rom - Heavilly Modified
Time Played Before Review: 1 weekish.

Mud Summary:The Shadow Wars (TSW) is a Wheel of Time fantasy Role-Playing MUD that is currently situated in an alternate storyline where the Blight and Seanchan become active arund-abouts 30 years before the Eye of the World, the first book in the series. I will go ahead and say this: if you aren't a fan of the Wheel of Time books, I doubt this place is for you, and while the mud is 'RP Encouraged' only, there are much better pure non-RP muds on the market.

Grade: B (+overworld map, +alternate storyline, +merits/flaws/talents, +rpxp, --poor helpfiles, --not very newbie friendly, --leveling, --turns, ??combat system)

Last edited by Bobo the Bee : 11-08-2010 at 01:17 PM.
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