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Old 01-24-2003, 03:53 AM   #1
Valg
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Talking

I will forego explaining all of the basics.  Suffice to say that Carrion Fields has all of the things you would expect from a MUD that has prospered for over eight years.

Some highlights that should be important to players thinking about trying another MUD:

- We’re a roleplaying MUD.  The only OOC channel in the game is used for answering questions for new players at the lowest of levels.  After that, everything is designed to be immersive and In Character- no distracting chatter about who’s going to win the Super Bowl.  We host a full pantheon of detailed religions, a number of cabals (including one based on building our history and providing events for top-notch roleplay), and have a varied and unique series of rewards.  A staff of 30+ Immortals maintains the environment and keeps everyone roleplaying with frequent quests and interactions.  And you can make your mark- our in-game libraries are filled with page after page of player-authored contributions and historic tributes.

- We’re a PK MUD.  Not only do we feature a huge array of abilities, but each class plays in a unique manner.  That Maran high-elven sword/dagger specialist who employs Incarnadine Wave and Flow of Shadows is going to be so different from that Scion fire giant mace/axe specialist who uses Crashing of Waves and Trapping Beneath Thunder, that you will probably forget they are both members of the warrior guild.  And yet, we religiously adjust and re-adjust things so that the game balance stays tightly focused, and every dog can and does have their day.  New players always ask what is the "best" character to play.  Old players know there is no answer.

- We have a veteran playerbase.  Being up since 1994 means that many of those 100+ people you see in the evenings are lightning-quick killers who can change gears and lecture you on the finer points of the history of law enforcement in Galadon.  Our 24,000+ rooms won't feel so big when you're trying to hide from them, or when one swoops to your rescue.

- We have an equally veteran staff.  Professional treatment.  Swift and just enforcement of our rules.  Fast attention to bugs.  Constant development.  Top-notch original areas.  1400+ easily indexed helpfiles.  Detailed, epic quests rooted deep in our world's history.

- We are 100% free.  No 30-day trials.  No varying levels of service- we value every rule-abiding player.  No gear for dollars.  No hidden fees.  We won't bribe or force you to vote for us on Top Mud Sites.  Everyone plays on a level field- if that guy just beat you down, or got picked to be Captain of the BattleRagers over you, it's because he's better, and not because he had an extra $50 to spend or because he's an "Iridium" member.

- We're tough.  Not tough as in "It takes 500 hours of mashing the same two kinds of goblins to build a character who is any good at anything."  Tough as in our areas and rules encourage fierce competition.  Many items exist in finite numbers, and if you want that shiny sword over there, you might just have to rip it out of another player's cold, dead hands.  Tough as in the mind-hurting twists and puzzles of Kteng's Laboratory or Nyathl Ikalith, the Silent Tower, some of which have been in for years without any player fully unlocking the innermost secrets.  Tough as in you won't be fighting NPCs who are just skill-less tackling dummies outside of the first few newbie areas.  Tough as in we show cheaters the door.  Tough as in you'll look up from your screen, realize you've been with us for a year, and still be baffled at all the facets of the game you haven't experienced or mastered yet.  Tough as in two seconds to think is often one more than you had.

- We welcome new players.  We have a specific newbie channel for helping you learn the ropes, and a highly customized Academy area with dozens of small quests to help teach you the game.  1400+ help files and a staff that knows exactly which one to point you to when you're having trouble.  A website with tons of frequently updated information and a forum specifically for helping new players get over the initial hurdles.  You'll still die a lot (see "We're tough.", above), and we won't spoon-feed you, but you'll learn a little more each time until you're the one they're running from.  If it was easy, it'd be boring, you know.

Questions?  Check out our website at www.carrionfields.com today.  Browse around, ask a few questions on the New Player forum, or just log in to carrionfields.com 9999 and jump in with both feet.
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Old 01-25-2003, 05:19 PM   #2
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Wrote a review for Carrion Fields a few days ago and suggested it to Flyer who wanted to know a place for a new roleplayer. Definately worth a look. And when I say "look", I mean give it a week or two. As with about any mud, your first impression is rarely a thorough enough glance to get the overall feel for a mud.
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Old 02-02-2003, 05:24 AM   #3
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I'll just build on some of the things that Valg mentioned here.

First, our class diversity.  This is one of the reasons I still can play mortal after mortal after several years of playing CF, and being on the immstaff.  Nearly every class you can choose has some amount of customization to it so you can direct where you want to go with each character.  Warriors choose weapons to specialize in, invokers can choose which elements to focus their studies on, shapeshifters can choose which focus of forms they can attempt to learn.  I could go on even further with our other classes, but I don't wanna bore anyone now.  All of these classes are balanced to stand up against each other.  They are also designed to stand up at each other at all ranks.  We try to do away with the idea that mages *must* be weak early on, and warriors weak in the late game.  No matter what you pick, we do all we can to make sure you have a competing shot at any level.

Second, our quests all add into the history and flavor of our world.  Our history has been written by us, and by our players.  When people speak of some other great names of the past, they are talking about other real players of the game.  This also holds true for the events we hold.  These are things we run, and that our players have a chance to be a part of the shaping of the history of the game.

Third, a unique blend of RP and PK.  RP is enforced, and PK is mandatory.  There is no toggle so you can't be killed.  While we do have restrictions on who you can kill according to level and experience attained, there is no way to escape being killed altogether.  This creates for a very unique environment.  If you wish to play a valiant knight, another player may very well be playing your archnemesis.  You will have oppurtunities to roleplay with them, as well as fight them, and this creates for a rather unique experience.  We have places for all kinds of players.  The Bloodthirsty can join the Battleragers and join the fight against magic, or you can join the mysterious Chasm of the Eternal Night, or if you would rather play a more light hearted role, you can join the Heralds of the Eternal Star.  We have options for nearly every kind of fantasy role you would want to play.

I just felt like expanding on a few of Valg's points, but the main one is give us a shot.  There is a lot to see and do, and while it may seem overwhelming, we do all we can to make the transition friendly, without the spoon feeding.
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Old 02-05-2003, 03:39 PM   #4
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The week's events:

I stated above that we're a dynamic game that's always on the move. Events from the weekend:

- Rumors persist that a high-ranking member of the BattleRagers has forsworn their ranks to take the BloodOath of the Empire- an oath not sworn since the Empire's last High Arcanus betrayed them generations ago, leading to the First Sundering that shattered their Palace.

- The Holy Brigade of the Phoenix has joined forces with the Acolytes of the Golden Sun to preserve what is holy, and banish the taint of evil. They have consolidated their memberships within their Fortress after their separation helped lead to the god Zulghinlour finding an opportunity to deal Eryndorial a near-fatal injury.

- An unnaturally potent blizzard recently touched down on, of all places, the jungles of the so-called Strange Island. Residents of the Feanwynn Weald reported tales of frozen corpses washing up as far south as the southern shores of the Sea of Despair. By the time the blizzard subsided, most of the island had been covered in frost which took days to melt.

- Nomad tribes south of Hamsah Mu'Tazz reported fearsome insectoid creatures patrolling the Sands of Sorrow in coordinated parties. The creatures did not seem aggressive to the nomads, though sentries that challenged them were horrifically dismembered. The tribes also reported seeing a small band of unknown travellers fleeing east, ahead of the creatures.

- What seemed to be rampaging magma para-elementals with unknown motives torched Udgaard and much of its surrounding towns. Many residents who attempted to flee were struck blind by brilliant shafts of Radiance, and subsequently put to death by Udgaard Loke once his child-priests deemed them unable to work. The horde was apparently banished by the firm command of a mysterious half-elven man, who has not been seen since.

- Several unusually brave kobolds were seen marching north from their village, wielding small rocks and, in some cases, slightly larger rocks.
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Old 02-05-2003, 07:50 PM   #5
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I'd like to be mourned by the name "Bubba". Thanks for asking, very considerate of you.
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Old 02-06-2003, 03:50 AM   #6
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5 minutes review:

Drab, hard to distinguish channels, prompt and such. Thusly logged off after 5 minutes
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Old 02-06-2003, 09:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Azhon @ Feb. 06 2003,02:50)
Drab, hard to distinguish channels, prompt and such. Thusly logged off after 5 minutes
It turns out you'd need to type "color" to turn the color on.  If this is difficult to figure out, a MUD that prides itself on "toughness" may not be in your best interest.

It's a low color usage game even still.  If you're a veteran of MUDs with PK, this design choice seems natural.  If you're used to fluffy non-competitive MUDs where players hug each other instead, the crayola-factory-gone-wrong school of color may seem more natural.

Needless to say, no MUD is the best MUD for every player.  I hope you find one that is to your tastes.
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Old 02-06-2003, 11:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (The_Disciple @ Feb. 06 2003,08:34)
It turns out you'd need to type "color" to turn the color on.  If this is difficult to figure out, a MUD that prides itself on "toughness" may not be in your best interest.
I'm sorry, but this statement just made me burst into a fit of giggles. Thanks for making my day!

I prefer a low color environment myself. It gives me a headache to see 10 colors in one room description.
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Old 02-06-2003, 04:07 PM   #9
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Re: color:

We intentionally use low color. Combat is fast-paced and can end quickly, and we prefer that only important stuff calls you away from the black and white. We also emphasize (and enforce) roleplaying, which is why intercharacter communication is important enough to color.

As for room descriptions and other possible ways to inject color: I play a text MUD for the same reason I prefer books to movies. If I went to a bookstore and saw prose books with the word "tree" colored green, I'd suspect I had accidentally wandered into the kids' section. I like to think that the bulk of our descriptions are sufficiently evocative that they do not require it.

All that said, I don't think anyone can accurately evaluate any sophisticated game in five minutes. Here's hoping you decide to come back and turn the color on.
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Old 02-06-2003, 05:00 PM   #10
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I did turn colour on, I'm not that stupid (Shock)

That's what I meant by hard to distinguish mobs and such. They were all in one colour
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Old 02-07-2003, 11:06 AM   #11
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You expect mobs to be in funky colors? Sheesh you'd be disappointed if you tried to play DM. Of course our NPC's have been mistaken for players before, at least by the newbies who aren't familiar with the random stuff they say.

BTW, I haven't tried this mud but here's my honest opinions of it based on what little I know.

1) I don't care for muds with levels. Or classes for that matter, but that I can deal with (Armageddon comes to mind).

2) If it's done right, you shouldn't have to have PK determined by level ranges. On DM, anyone can TRY to PK anyone, but a 3 day old newbie isn't gonna have a CHANCE against a 6 month-1 year-5 year veteran. Unless of course they get some supermage to oss a gfb on them. (Yes I know you don't know what that means but I don't feel like explaining it while I'm half asleep. )

3) If it has mudwide channels, it's probably not the kind of RP I'm used to.

4) And a question: Does it have crafts? I'm not gonna play a mud where all there is to do is kill stuff and RP out a soap opera of romances.

Actually I doubt I'd play it anyway, I can only handle getting deeply involved in one mud teehee. I have nothing against the mud or its staff or players, I just like to try to classify this stuff in my head and I tend to talk to myself.
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Old 02-07-2003, 03:09 PM   #12
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1) We use both classes and levels. Personally, I find that many classless systems lead to a much smaller number of viable character archetypes (everyone takes the "good" skills), which is ironic given that they were presumably designed to allow for more variety. We've instead opted for making our classes wildly diverse. I'm aware other games have had success with classless systems, but we like our particular flavor.

2) PK is bounded by total experience, though that can be adjusted by a few factors. Notably that your "effective" experience total will dynamically adjust if you are especially successful, and that no player can touch you for the first few levels, while you get your feet under you. It's a tough culture, and baby orc berserkers (*) would have very short lifespans if senior members of the Holy Brigade of the Phoenix could take them out.

(*) Orc class choices, in alphabetical order: Berserker.

3) No mudwide channels. Only thing that comes close is a newbie question/answer channel which is for OOC questions about how to play, and that can't be used or heard once you've passed the first few levels. All mortal-mortal communication is In Character and RP-enforced.

4) No craft system at present. Given the high rate of gear turnover (i.e. people will kill you and take your stuff, class abilities that destroy select gear, etc.) our players tend to learn that material possessions are a very transient phenomenon. Also, the best items are finite in number, and we like the degree of competition this provides. Plus, a lot of crafting systems end up being very passive and achiever-y in practice, and we're all about interactive. Personally, I think it's really cool when I get my grubby paws on a Unique item, and I also think it's really cool when I'm fighting to get it back an hour later.

Carrion Fields is like a Raiders home game. It's a lot of fun, but it's not for everyone. That's why we're on the Advertisement board- helping people figure out if we're their niche.
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Old 02-08-2003, 12:18 PM   #13
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I'll hafta respectfully say that I don't think I'm quite in your niche then, hehe. I'm glad you didn't take my half-asleep rambling as a flame because it wasn't intended to be. I like hearing the perspectives of people who presumably have mudding experiences/expectations different from my own (except of course for the pure h%s'ers who abhor RP ). Who knows, it might even turn into some cool ideas if I ever manage to get a mud started.

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Personally, I find that many classless systems lead to a much smaller number of viable character archetypes (everyone takes the "good" skills), which is ironic given that they were presumably designed to allow for more variety.
True, to some extent. Most fighters on my mud of choice tend to learn all of the combat skills, and one highly skilled mage is very like the next in terms of what spells they have, and people of every stripe either ignore crafts or try to learn all of them. However you're neglecting the personality behind the chars. Two mages with exactly the same spells can be entirely different. One may devote himself to healing, while another may prefer to use his spells mainly to blow people up and explore. And I rather like the ability to at least TRY to play an ogre mage, because that opens up whole new avenues of RP. (Note: While our system is technically classless, trying to learn skills from 2 different "classes" impedes your learning in both of them. You CAN play a fighter/mage, but chances are you'll suck 20x longer than a plain fighter or mage would.)

As far as 2) goes, we don't usually have problems with old established chars killing off newbies. Sure we have our supermages who go "that newbie's a mohnkee, he must be a thief, let's blow him up!" but for an unrestricted PK mud we have surprisingly little PK. Although lately we've been having a rash of newbie chars played by ooc friends of our current big bad evil guy, and given recent experiences with such, a lot of people are more willing to kill first and ask questions later, even if the char in question is a newbie.

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3) No mudwide channels.
Good for you. I'd probably die without our ooc command (which is NOT mudwide) but that doesn't mean I wanna hear 20 newbies jabbering on ooc'ly all the time. I tend to rant a lot about my mud ideas in ooc a lot hehe.

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Given the high rate of gear turnover (i.e. people will kill you and take your stuff, class abilities that destroy select gear, etc.) our players tend to learn that material possessions are a very transient phenomenon.
I admit we have a problem with too many items. I've seen piles of 20k apples and 100k seeds. I'd much rather have items degrade/rot than totally take out crafting though. In general though, personal possessions are rare until you're sufficiently useful to belong to a house, as people routinely break into your inn room and steal them (which is why most people don't even bother renting an inn room), and most items don't save on you when you quit. Most crafters won't even bother making anything decent for a homeless person, although some will because newbies have to keep rebuying it and thus are a good source of income if they've managed to figure out how to make money yet.

Quote:
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Also, the best items are finite in number, and we like the degree of competition this provides.
Some of our items are like this either because they were coded that way, or because they're so hard to get that maybe 2 people on the entire mud can get them or bother to do so. To my knowledge there is only one strange black steel katana on the mud (I *think* black steel was discontinued or something, but whatever the case I've yet to find anyone who knows where to get it now), and maybe like 3 or 4 amethyst pendants (despite rumors to the contrary, the quest that gives them is probably disabled). You can get dragon scales by a couple of methods, although they're still rather hard to get. However, very few metallurgists have the skill to make them into dragon metal. I once saw some guy wearing full dragon metal armor and weapons, and I was like holy cow. (These items would've cost as much as a castle if he'd had to pay for them.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Plus, a lot of crafting systems end up being very passive and achiever-y in practice, and we're all about interactive.
You mean like people sitting alone in their comfy castle practicing all day long? Yeah there's people who do that, but there's people who do that with any skill. I've never been one of them. If I practice anything alone, I go bonkers. We have quite a few mages no one's ever heard of who pop up suddenly with better skills than mine because they were hermits and it annoys the heck outta me. But I don't think it has anything to do with crafts specifically.

-yet another long-winded post you probably didn't want to read
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Old 02-14-2003, 07:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (OnyxFlame @ Feb. 08 2003,11:18)
Quote:
Originally Posted by
However you're neglecting the personality behind the chars. Two mages with exactly the same spells can be entirely different. One may devote himself to healing, while another may prefer to use his spells mainly to blow people up and explore.
Wouldn't that be equally true in a class system, that two characters with identical spell lists could have radically different RP? Further, a properly implemented class system can help insure that two members of the same class do not have identical ability lists.

As far as crafting goes, I think it is fair to say that it tends to become "passive and achiever-y." That's not to say it inherently has to be, but when it ends up that way on the vast majority of MUDs that implement it it's not an unfair generalization, any more than "MUDs where characters have names like ownzorbitches tend to have a lower standard of roleplay than muds that do not" would be. Neither is a condemnation, either. MUDs are like ice cream, and not everyone likes chocolate.
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Old 02-18-2003, 02:52 AM   #15
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To anyone that's interested in giving things a shot, I'd recommend logging on, heading through the Academy.  Take the time to get a feel for the game commands.  99% of things are laid out in either room descriptions or help files.  And about anything else can be cleared up over the newbie channel.  (You can turn this off if you don't want to hear other folks).

I'd give it several hours (all at once or over the course of a few days).  Maybe rank up a warrior, join a group with a couple others and see how things fare.  Whatever you do, resist the temptation to log out if you find there's not enough color

I've found myself more a fan of the class system as opposed to a classless (I'm gonna grab all the skills/spells) approach.)   In the years that I've been playing, I've yet to play even half of the race/class combinations available.  Add to this that the skill/spell set allows for widely different takes on particular classes and you've got some goodness.  Large steps have been taken to assure that each warrior is different from the next, for example.

Add to that the best area I've seen on any mud I've played (Scarabaeus' "Inferno") and I'm one happy camper.

Oh, I had intended to address the limited PK range. At the most basic, your PK-range is at most 9 levels below and 9 levels above, depending on your race/class combo. I would be forced to wet myself if things were opened up and the tip top levels were hunting me down. That just takes the fun away for me. I want to have a fighting chance and not only because I've got some uber-spell cast on me.

For those folks that are extremely successful in PK, they begin to see their range "distended". Meaning that the better you are, the higher level folks you can fight (and can fight you). Makes for a nice balance that gets rid of the Level 15 bash-bash-bash warrior that preys on the newbies.
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Old 02-18-2003, 12:11 PM   #16
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This probably isn't the best place to post it, but since we've got on the subject of classes vs. classless here's an idea I've been toying with for the last few years but since I have no idea how to even code a skill to begin with it's not gonna do me much good.

Skill-relatedness. Every skill in the game would be related to every other skill in some way. Some closely, some so far apart that they have nothing in common.

You could learn closely related skills with no problem, up to a certain limit. Then your learning rate for each additional closely-related skill would slow down. The less related two skills are, the harder it would be to learn both of them efficiently.

For instance, magic and combat would be so uncompatible that even if you managed to learn both of them, you'd suck for a long long time. (This is the way DM works.) But even some combat skills would be more closely related to each other than others, and so your fighters may end up picking different skills to focus on, or trying to learn all of them and being more well-rounded but less powerful overall.

Where this would mainly shine though would be in a craft system. Skills like lumbering and woodworking would be closely enough related that you could learn both of them, heck even add in a few more crafts to your repertoire, but get enough crafts under your belt and it'd become almost impossible to learn any more. (A lot of DM players tend to try to learn every craft available and then they whine that none of the shops can afford anything they make, because everyone else is becoming supercrafters too.)

I believe this would be a classless way of doing what CF already does. I'm not saying it's better, just that I have too much time on my hands to think of this stuff.
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