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Old 01-28-2012, 10:31 AM   #1
Nottage
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Name: Chris
Location: United Kingdom
Home MUD: New World Ateraan
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Undecided on if to try TBP? Review here.

The following is a review on The Burning Post II for those that are still undecided if they should give it a whirl. Ultimately it is designed to give an unbiased opinion on the game and you guys can then judge for yourself if you want to give it a try

1. Newbie Integration. – 85/100

Newbie Integration in The Burning Post II is something I have some things to say on. The game offers a channel known as “Visnet” that any new player can use to ask questions relating to game code and theme, as well as any other questions one would require for maximum integration, and the ability to allow you to delve in and lose yourself in the game world. There is an ability to switch the channel off, but the game boasts active staff, as well as a category of players known as “Citizens”

“Citizens” are there mainly for help of the player base and are a form of guide for new players and old a like, thankfully this RPI does not offer boosts in terms of IC or OOC rewards for these players and the position is entirely voluntary, this in itself keeps the integrity of the IC world, so that these players have no advantage over the average player or even the newbie.

The mud does offer advice on the first character and after spending minimal time there I have noticed that new players should listen to the advice of the Staff there and begin as a Lithmorran Davite, initially I believed this just to be like most RPI where it’s advised but it really has no impact on IC game play. This world however is kept to by the playerbase and starting as anything else can if you are not familiar with the theme and code be to your detriment. Racism is very real in the IC world (Which does not spill over to OOC Channels) and it is entirely possible for a newbie beginning as a Vavardi to find themselves in a position of death quickly.

As far as the IC world goes, newbie’s are not given exceptional special treatment, which I find preserves the theme from corruption, there is however the occasion where one might be referred to a help file which informs them that their actions are leading them down a negative path, this in itself can serve as a good guideline, as well as being a reasonable trade off for the circumstances in which the game is set.


2. Chargen – 70/100

Chargen is another ball game all together, and whilst this is part of newbie integration I have chosen to make this a separate category due to the fact Perma-Death is very real in this RPI and there really is not any case for reincarnation of a character, and therefore it affects both New players and Old. Effectively Chargen in The Burning Post II boasts both good points as well as the occasional bad point.

To begin one of the major points which registers as good is the RPI quietly guides you through the theme and background of the IC world, as well as basic politics in which your character would need to know. This is only true however if you have the patience to go through the help files and then further study through the references in each. Really without this information you are not going to get very far in context due to the mistake of insulting a noble or inquisitor for example. It is also required for simple actions such as penitence and knowledge of the cult/mages.

Chargen does offer guidance on the character concepts which may be safest for new and old players a like, as well as guidance on how to flesh a character concept out before you leave the area. For example there is a help scroll which it refers you to that speak on what kind of things to consider in your character profile, things such as “Undoubtedly he or she has a family, or at least a few close friends, living elsewhere.” And also guidance on what is and what is not allowed, for example to enter saying you have a brother PC without contacting staff first to see if it fits.

The next point of Chargen here is that you soon find yourself in a skill appointment area, where you are given rpxp as a starting point to give your character any skills they may need to boost you to your character concept (Within reason, you won’t be a grandmaster in anything without a Application approval to staff, which in turn cost QP to do.) There are a number of pros and cons to this system however which I will outline. Some of the positives here is that it allows for you to develop what you want in a base character, do you want a doctor, or perhaps a warrior? Why not try a scholar in the languages? All of this is achievable through this system.

The downside to this system is that it places extreme trust in the player base not to abuse it, which on its own shows the responsibility and maturity of those who play there, but it also opens the door for people who want to cheat the system, and whilst the player base is at the level it currently is it is manageable, but if the player base was to increase significantly it may become difficult to keep on top of, and may in all reality require a slave staff member to keep on top of it all and work on that solely so the coders can focus on more pressing issues.

The final part of Chargen is the item creation, this is by far the most frustratingly difficult part of creation when one does not know the code, it results in a mess of items, I however managed to work it out with the help of Visnet in a reasonable time of half an hour. The bonuses to the “Restring” system in place there is it allows for optimal individuality, obviously sticking with IC requirements, for example having a solid reason why you’re wearing silk if you are a freeman.

3. Roleplaying – 85/100

Roleplaying in The Burning Post II, is by far one of its best features, which serves to its benefit as an RPI, Players stick from what I have seen to the theme almost 100% with a few exceptions, there is a reasonable amount of Conflict RP as well as room for romance RP and just general character development RP, this includes the ability to just sit and learn a language from another player, through to role-playing scenes of singing and dancing, and general Inquisition period banter in the alehouse. Ultimately any form of roleplay is acceptable as long as it is within theme and the game rules.

Which brings me to my next point, threats against your character are very real here, due to the staff and players wishing to keep the integrity of the IC world, your character can be forced into unwanted positions or discriminated against by other characters if they have IC reasons to do so and are backed up by stats and skills, an example of the reason is a Lithmorran throwing mud and backing a Vavardi or Charali into corner simply because they are a different race. Or an inquisitor suspecting you of cult activity and deciding to lock you up and torture you into speaking. That being said Lithmorran, nobles and inquisitors are far from being safe, the world boasts underground organizations, and the brotherhood may choose to mug a noble whilst he is alone or even kill him. Or a extremely racist Lithmorran may risk reprisal from the Vavardi when no ones looking. (The mud however has strict rules on this spilling over to OOC, any discrimination is a punishable offense.)

However there are some areas that roleplay is curbed and disallowed, an example of this is Mudsex, whilst your characters can indeed sleep with each other it is to be done via a Fade to black, due to the ability of other character classes being able to listen in, and the last thing they want to hear is, “Oh yes, put it there, that’s the spot, mmmm”. I mark this up as it protects any youths that may be behind an alias. Another example is any RP that revolves around extremely sensitive sexual abuse, the reason for this is obvious and is disallowed in almost all RPI, so I mark The Burning Post II up on this respect as well.

Another feature that exists is the ability to fade any roleplay someone is uncomfortable with, for example if an inquisitor is describing in detail scenes of torture and the victim feels uncomfortable receiving it, they may using an OSAY ask for it to be stopped and faded due to its nature, and by policy it must be stopped there and then. This does not mean however the scene never took place at all, it is simply skipped and both players are to respect their stats and continue with the scene that comes after it.

Now for the roleplay style promoted here, thankfully it does not promote the traditional laborious method of block emotes and turn taking, where each individual takes turns to emote responding to all the other characters at once. I find this style to be grotesque and would downgrade any RPI for using it. Instead this mud offers any style an individual wishes to use, be that block turn taking, or short emotes that are straight to the point. Really as long as you are not clearly spamming you can write your character how you want to write him without any fear of OOC reprisal for that.

The last thing to mention with regards to Roleplay is the amount, since I have begun playing, I have not had a shortage of it from the moment I entered the game world to now, there is almost always someone to roleplay with, and more often than not a multiple amount around. One method of finding roleplay with to use the command WHERERP which lists the locations of people looking for roleplay, this however offers the ability to toggle this off so as to not show up if you wished not. On most days I have roleplayed I have found the online players who are active to be anything from nine to twenty

Last edited by Nottage : 01-28-2012 at 10:47 AM. Reason: Changing Posts around and adding site details.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:31 AM   #2
Nottage
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Name: Chris
Location: United Kingdom
Home MUD: New World Ateraan
Posts: 3
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Re: Undecided on if to try TBP? Review here.

4. Economy – 60/100

This is a segment of the game that is severely lacking in some aspects and has some fantastic areas in others. To begin with the in game currency of silver and gold; so far from playing I have found this to be near dead, currently one of the only ways I have seen to earn the currency is to either teach a profession or work in a guild, This is detrimental if your character can not find any places of work or not in a guild as the income is near enough dead. On top of this I have found very little need to have coin at all, all clothing you will need can be found in Chargen with enough planning and there is really very little in the terms of buying/selling, Currently I have not found anything other than ale and a language lesson to spend it on. As for income am yet to receive anything in that regard.

OOC currency however is well thought out, this comes in the form of QP and whilst difficult to come across can be used for a wide range of things, including RPA, whereby you can exchange it for reasonable assistance, for example if you are in jail for 10QP you might be able to have a lockpick smuggled in. However for 50QP, you might be able to have the brotherhood break you out. Initially I thought this to be a bad thing but once I figured out how difficult it is to obtain QP I noticed 50QP was a respectable amount to have and is unlikely to come across in the first month or so if not more.

Some other things QP is required for include character applications to positions of power; this is good as it allows the player applying to have sufficient experience and understanding of the game world to be able to effectively roleplay the position being offered. QP is also exchangeable for IC coins.

5. Back-story and Theme – 90/100

Now to the penultimate aspect of The Burning Post, it’s back-story and theme. The game has an indepth past including the war and consolidation of King Dav, and the founding of the Order and its sub chapters. It includes racial backgrounds and personality traits, as well as the physical appearance. The history of the world such as the Vavardi opposition to King Dav and the help/opposition of the various races gives a good launch pad for the in game racism and events.

In short King Dav formed the Order and declared the Lithmorran the superior beings, Mages were outlawed as were the Cultists of Vavard origin. It is suspected had King Dav not done this the Vavard region would be vastly Cultist. The order teaches that the god that the cultists worship is in fact a demon that promotes sinful desires and action. As a result most have been swayed and subdued into the orders faithful, and any action against the order is punishable as heresy and will result in subsequent burning on the fire. (This is not to say the order always gets the bad guy, or that there is no cultists/criminals left.)

The RPI is set in a small island and town “New Yarsith” For this reason from what I can tell the game world is relatively small compared to some of the other RPI’s out there, however this does not detract from the actual world. The staff and players work deligently to form an atmosphere that gives the feel of a large world, for example posts on the stories board include actions from the Queen and her emissaries, also subsequently the Royal family of Dav and the Order dominate most of the known world, with incredibly rare exceptions of criminal activity but even then they are still recognized as the ruling governance.

The game world boasts the offer of any character role you want based on its theme and the time period of the Inquisition. Without spoiling it, I will not comment on the theme any further other than to say that the politics are in depth, and any action in game has sufficient consequences, want to know more? I advise trying it for your self! (Important to note, all power positions are not played by the staff, but all players.)

6. Final Verdict – 78/100

Pro’s –

1 – Fantastic theme and back-story.
2 – Optimal character development, with very little in ways of restriction.
3 – Roleplay can fit to anyone’s style, there are no strict rules on OOC methods of play.
4 – Integration for newbies is well planned and fantastically presented.
5 – No excessive waits for Application process.
6 – Extreme trust in the player base and maturity from them
7 – QP System to ensure integrity of game world.
8 – Systems in place to ensure the maximized enjoyment for the player, without OOC disturbances.

Con’s –

1 – In game Economy is lacking.
2 – Chargen can be confusing for New players.
3 – Item restring may appear confusing, as well as some of the code.
4 – World is small, to reflect the player base.
5 – New Players may suffer with bad choices in character creation. E.g – Beginning as a Vavardi.

Details:
The Burning Post II
burningpost2.co.uk:4321

Last edited by Nottage : 01-28-2012 at 10:47 AM. Reason: Changing posts around
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:59 PM   #3
Kiore
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Re: Undecided on if to try TBP? Review here.

Nottage,

That was a very well written review. I only read some of it, because I don't enjoy reading novelettes, but the parts I did read were great.
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