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Old 07-31-2006, 04:37 AM   #1
marzzbar
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Hi,
I'm relatively new to mudding and the TMS forums, so hi everybody.
I've looked through the post history and I've noticed that there is a lot of controversy surrounding Medievia. It just so happens that it's the second MUD I've played, and the mud I've spent the most time on (roughly 80 hours, how it got to that much I don't know, seeing as I haven't even developed my character very much ).

Anyway, I created this post with the intent of finding out people's opinion of the game itself, whatever your opinion on the whole Diku code derivative controversy is. Is it really as good as they say it is?

Me? Personally I've been quite disappointed with it. To me, it seems to be TOO focused on gameplay, and not on being an immersive experience. The overhead map is a clever bit of code, but I believe it takes a bit away from the gaming experience. People often don't read the room descriptions, sometimes turning them off altogether, preffering to look at something which instantly and easily shows exits, doors and paths. It reminds me of games like pokemon, and I don't think a MUD should be like that, as it doesn't make you feel immersed in the world.

Everything seems to be focused on killing lots of mobs to level, and then killing each other. They don't seem to offer much variety. Trade quests involve going from point A to point B whilst encountering mobs on the way. Lame. Autoquests are also pretty poorly done. Usually it involves finding an NPC, and then fetching an item, which is quite hard to find without asking someone else in the game, and bringing it back. It wouldn't be so bad, but the time limit (usually about half an hour) results in panicked searches in zones. Autoquests cannot be retained when you log off, so you pretty much have to do them when you find them, which is usually randomly through an NPC or a quest scroll. Because it is required to do autoquests in order to level, they are usually seen as a sort of chore, and as a result walkthroughs are easily available on the WWW on websites such as Dark Nomads

Combat is quite tedious and uninspiring as well. It can get quite spammy, particularly in forms of nine. Xp forms are created frequently, and these are quite chaotic, and you usually have no idea what's going on, other than spamming attack commands every now and then. This also detracts from the experience. Often you have no idea where you are, or what you are fighting, other then that they are alive, and if you kill them you get points.

Medievia is huge, but it's too easy to get from one place to another through the clan portal system and dragons. To me, that ruins the whole adventure and exploration aspect of the game.

Quite simply, World of Warcraft would be a much better game. Medieivia offers nothing better than what WoW has. If the drawing point of MUDs was that it uses the imagination, then Medievia fails at that.

However, that is just my opinion. I'm still only at about level 29, and I've heard that the game gets a lot better when you Hero (I still haven't tried PK yet ). Hopefully this isn't what all muds are like, because if it is, well, I'll just have to make my OWN mud...so THERE!
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Old 07-31-2006, 05:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (marzzbar @ July 31 2006,10:37)
Anyway, I created this post with the intent of finding out people's opinion of the game itself, whatever your opinion on the whole Diku code derivative controversy is. Is it really as good as they say it is?
It's primarily noteworthy for stripping out the credits to the original authors and profiting from their work. Other than that, you've basically got a stock Merc with some snippet-level features tacked on. It's still got the four basic Merc classes, no races (like Merc), the same tired old stock combat system, etc - in this respect it's years behind most of the modern codebases. The features it "boasts" (such as a wilderness) can frequently be found as snippets, often with more options and greater flexibility.

However it does provide some interesting food for thought in respect to advertising. If a decent advertising budget can attract so many players to such a mediocre game, what could a high quality game achieve with the same sort of budget?
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Old 07-31-2006, 06:52 AM   #3
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[quote= (KaVir @ July 31 2006,18:14)]
Quote:
Originally Posted by marzzbar,July 31 2006,10:37
However it does provide some interesting food for thought in respect to advertising. If a decent advertising budget can attract so many players to such a mediocre game, what could a high quality game achieve with the same sort of budget?
We plan to find out.

As for the subject at hand, I personally haven't tried it but one of my builders did and her exact words were, "It's sucks, KILL <wait>, KILL <wait>, *die of boredom*"

Sounds like she wasn't all that off on her description of the game.
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:46 AM   #4
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Well, it sounds like it has features that are typical in a DIKU derivative. I happen to like games like this myself and the things others on this thread find boring I find fun. Here's the rub: there are hundreds of diku derived MUDs that have at least some of those features that are in compliance with the licenses and are free, so I'm not sure why someone would play Medievia.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:41 AM   #5
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I played for awhile, but after hearing their advanced coding touted all over the world of Muds, yet seeing little to no evidence of it beyond the automapper, I split.

There are plenty of free Muds out there, diku-deriv and otherwise, that are far, far, far superior to Medievia.

And, comparing WoW to Medievia is comparing apples and oranges. Apples to moldy oranges.

A better comparison might be the IRE games and Medievia. From where I stand, the IRE games aren't stellar, but if you're willing to spend your money to play or to play for free with pay-to-play'ers, then you'd be better served playing Imperian. Superior coding and atmosphere, not to mention IRE being legitimate to Med being, at best, dishonest, and at worst, thieves.

You want †immersive? Try Armageddon.

-WP

{SelfEdited to moderate my disdain}
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:53 AM   #6
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If everything in this thread is true, I'm just astonished.

It just doesn't make sense for people to pay for that.

What am I missing?

I'd assumed that Medievia had paid developers churning out
real quality stuff. But it's just kill wait kill wait?

And I'd also assumed it was richly featured, but...

No races?
4 classes?

wtf?

http://dead-souls.net
-Crat
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:20 AM   #7
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Gemstone has thousands of paying customers and it isn't that much different in scope as Medievia, with a completely different code base and engine. The basic mechanical idea is - you kill stuff to earn coins and advance. Empaths are one class that doesn't have to rely on it, but as I've seen (and experienced in former days as a player) your options as an empath are:
1) Sit in the town square with a whole lot of snerts, attempting to roleplay while spam-healing everyone who walks in with an injury and hoping they tip you for your trouble.
2) Run scripts so everytime you see someone's death scroll on your screen, you can "fog" to them, grab them, fog them to safety, spam-heal them, and hope that if/when a cleric ressurrects them, they tip you for your trouble.
3) Say to hell with healing and become a "warpath" and hunt to get coins and levels.

Why get levels? Two primary reasons: So you can show everyone how bad-ass you are, and so you can sell your character on e-bay, for cash that you then use to pay for another character, thus making the game pay for itself in the long run - and possibly even turn a profit.

Sounds a lot like Medievia, though I don't know if their players sell characters for cash.
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:54 AM   #8
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I tried out Medievia once, and was immediately stricken blind by the insane rainbow of colors that assault you from the beginning. Being that I was now blind, I found myself unable to continue playing. When they come out with a braille version maybe I'll look at it again.

That said, going by what you described from your Mediviea experience, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on Carrion Fields. I can't claim to be unbiased, but CF might fit what you're looking for.
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:01 AM   #9
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Medievia will never be 'just a game'.
It will forever be known as the game that stripped the credits off the Merc code, insulted the people whose work they stole on their own website, and then set off to make money off the code they stole.

The reasons why they get so many players are the massive advertising, and the fact that they have been on line for so long. They mostly advertise outside the 'normal' Mud community, because every time they try to promote their game on a mud related site, they get flamed for what they did with the Merc code.

The reasons why players stay there in spite of the game being pretty mundane is probably the usual; they don't want to leave the friends they made, and they sometimes don't even know of the alternatives. Because of the advertising pattern many of Medievia's players are first-time mudders, who don't even know that other Muds exist.

There are lots of better and more immersive muds around, many of them totally *free* too. They are less well known and have fewer players because, being free, they don't have the funds for banners or adverts.
Try this site, which lists a number of free high quality Muds:
Free Quality Mud Collaboration
http://mud.adventmud.org/
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Jazuela @ July 31 2006,10:20)
Gemstone has thousands of paying customers and it isn't that much different in scope as Medievia, with a completely different code base and engine. The basic mechanical idea is - you kill stuff to earn coins and advance. Empaths are one class that doesn't have to rely on it, but as I've seen (and experienced in former days as a player) your options as an empath are:
1) Sit in the town square with a whole lot of snerts, attempting to roleplay while spam-healing everyone who walks in with an injury and hoping they tip you for your trouble.
2) Run scripts so everytime you see someone's death scroll on your screen, you can "fog" to them, grab them, fog them to safety, spam-heal them, and hope that if/when a cleric ressurrects them, they tip you for your trouble.
3) Say to hell with healing and become a "warpath" and hunt to get coins and levels.

Why get levels? Two primary reasons: So you can show everyone how bad-ass you are, and so you can sell your character on e-bay, for cash that you then use to pay for another character, thus making the game pay for itself in the long run - and possibly even turn a profit.

Sounds a lot like Medievia, though I don't know if their players sell characters for cash.
I disagree that Gemstone "isn't tha much different then Medievia".

As a person that played the game for over a decade and helped (through numerous forum posts and testing) to develop many systems I have to say that it is worlds apart from most MUDs. I have also played Medievia, though for not as long.

Simutronic's "Gemstone" uses a decent timed non-auto combat system. They do not advertise themselves as free, and never have. The code is original, save for some hold-overs from the ICE time. They employ a decently large staff of developers and customer service personnel that regularly crank out additions to both the classes and world.

Empaths (healers) gain experience through healing, as does anyone that takes up lockpicking. Once a mage can enchant (level 25) they can actually level through enchanting items. Rangers can gain experience through foraging terrain-specific (and even seasonal and time-specific) plants. Clerics can gain experience through raising dead PC's. They also have a non-combat experience system in the works, last I heard.

I am not here to tout Gemstone ( I no longer play it), just pointing out that as far as pay-MUDs that I have played over the years I found Gemstone, and one of Simutronic's other products "DragonRealms", to be the top of the heap (in my opinion).

Not knocking Medievia, as I am sure from previous posts that there will be plenty of people that will do that. Just pointing out that there are large differences between it and Gemstone.
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:37 AM   #11
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The rumor is that it gets more fun when you hero? Hm. What did I miss. †I heroed four characters there in my pre-awareness state (before I learned of the credits and license situation). I don't recall it getting any more fun. Three of those heroes had zero PKs. The fourth had a whole -one- PK, and that was a momentary case of the stupids on my part.

There is a difference between game immersion and flat-out feeling trapped. I found the latter to be far more prevalent.

The solution I found was to gather up all the friendships I made there, and transition them to IMs. †When I do return for brief moments, it is to find someone whose IM data I still seek or to chat in link. It is strictly those people who bring me back for the few minutes at a time, not the gameplay.

Make your own choices, eyes open and informed.
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Old 07-31-2006, 01:08 PM   #12
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I've not played Medievia so I've not got a first-hand opinion on it, but clearly a lot of people really enjoy it. I personally find World of Warcraft to be somewhere between tedious and painful, but 6 million people around the world disagree with me to the tune of up to $15/month.

Marketing makes a big difference, but marketing only gets people there. One has to have a game that appeals to people to keep them there once the marketing gets them there. Otherwise instead of an operating business, you just have a dot-bomb.

I've also said before, and I'll say again: Medievia's marketing kind of sucks unless part of their conscious strategy is to use the people who hate them to market for them. It's certainly what happens, but I kind of doubt that it was a pre-planned strategy on their behalf. They're happy to sit back and watch some forum posters ensure Medievia remains one of the most visible text MUDs.

(And in any case, I'll bet that, as with games generally, the single most powerful marketing tool for them is word of mouth from people who like their game.)

--matt
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ July 31 2006,05:14)
It's still got the four basic Merc classes, no races (like Merc), the same tired old stock combat system, etc
I'm not defending Medievia's codebase, but in my mind having no races isn't neccesarily a bad thing.

I mean, was that what you were saying or am I mistaken?
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:02 PM   #14
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Personally I am attracted to games which offer a wide variety of choice, of decision potential, of strategy, of options - places which encourage me to try new directions, push my character's limits, derive the benefits or suffer the results of my decisions.

I cannot honestly say I found this to be true at Med. Correct, there are four classes, and you can choose which order to take them in... and to hero, you'll go through all four classes, sometimes quite a few times. That's your choice. Hero as thief, hero as mage, hero as cleric, hero as warrior. That's your choice.

There are other things you can do in the meantime, of course, but at the end of the day, it seems everyone ends up in approximately the same place anyway.
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:10 PM   #15
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I agree with most of the things said about Midievia's gameplay. I did enjoy testing out their ship system, but they are hardly not the only MUD that has a system like that. The thing about Midievia is that they know they have to talk themselves up and make themselves look innovative on their website and advertisements to draw people. Many players of Midievia are not familar with other MUDs - that's because Midievia ... a) does advertise outside the MUD community, and b) are a bunch of "newbs".

In all actuality, the newbie quality that I've come to associate mostly with really bad Dragonball/Godwars MUDs and graphical MMORPGs like WoW was suprisingly prevalent.

However, despite the lack of innovation, exciting gameplay, or users that I could stand, Midievia makes their features look amazingly appealing in their advertising and very much so on their website. I am sure that is a big draw for people.

Sometimes, lack of modest leadership can actually become a boon, depending on the kinds of players you wish to draw. It seems to be a staple of MUDs that follow some commercial semi-free/semi-perk-cost format, and those MUDs tend to be the largest ones(with the exception of Simutronics, who had the benefit of being sponsered by AOL early on to create a huge following).

To the gameplay; it is the responsibility of any game designer who is using DIKU to decide whether or not they wish to remain a DIKU MUD, philosophically, or to push themselves to stretch, creatively. I have no problem with DIKU - I am a huge fan of that gift to the community. I do think that too many designers, whether by code snippets, or by philosophy, allow themselves to not see how they can improve their own gameplay in order to create a fresher MUD.

I.E., Clandestine MUD is, at source, DIKU - and even has kept a some qualities of DIKU which are actually desired by most players. However, philosophically, we went the route of trying to create an environment with dozens of unique mini-games and co-operative skills/etc that would force players to think and have fun in PK, professions, and gaming. Yes, automated combat can be a bore. However, this is typically because most combat systems are just designed to take the easy way out.

And I agree that Midievia takes the easy way out - after having designed numerous systems and helped consult with/fix numerous MUDs' combat systems, it is a fact that there are simply many MUDs that are far better.
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:20 PM   #16
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I wonder if the original poster wouldn't enjoy an rpi. Based only on the points that fail to satisfy enumerated in their post.
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Old 07-31-2006, 03:49 PM   #17
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The following are quotes from a recent player survey in response to the question: "Why do you still log into and play Medievia regularly?"

Medievia is an ever-changing and expanding world, constantly working towards making everyone's experience in Medievia as rich, fulfilling, and all around enjoyable for those who play.

Medievia is more diverse then any other game I have played. There is always something to do that suits whatever mood I happen to be in. Most importantly, it is the interaction with other people and the friendships formed on the game that keeps me coming back no matter what.

I love it, the changes, the zones, everything, both players and Gods are friendly and helpful. It is an enjoyable way of spending my day.

The large player base. I like how there are HUGE amounts of people on, no matter what time of day or night it is. There is no slow time. There is never any trouble finding people to play/interact with. And beyond that, things like catacombs, trade runs and ships make Medievia the best mud out there, hands down.

There is still more I have not yet done in this game. The challenge to master ALL of Medievia is what keeps me coming back.

The people I've met and known over the years, the new changes like ships and cpk. Iím anticipating town farms and workers.

Honestly, itís for the player interaction. I love the community, talking to my friends and pking. I have friends on med I've known longer then almost anyone not in my family irl. More to the point though, itís the ability to pk. I love running eq because it leads to pk, and gets me eq to pk better, but itís the rush of icing people that gets me in again and again. I think Medievia has one of the best playerkilling systems of any game I've ever come accross...after playing med I could never play a game that didn't have such a simple and well worked system of pk to allow me to take whatever risks I wanted to at that time.

The complex social structure of the game itself makes it a 'valid' alternate life for me. And like 'living', I want to advance and take part in what happens in the 'world'. The world of Medievia is dynamic and ever changing and that makes me want to experience through the changes (although I donít agree to all of it). There is a need to achieve 'higher' social status or reputation in the game (or at least to maintain it) and I believe that the changes offers more way to do that instead of just learning zones and get the best set in the game. (e.g dragon lairs, shipping adventures)

Best bang for the buck. I've donated probably $500-$600 between all my characters but what other games will provide me w/ the 6000+ hours of actual played time like Med has. I played World of Warcraft for over a year and it's a good game, but Medievia is a better game. I keep playing because I know that Iíve been playing w/ the same people for 9+ years either w/ or against and that's nice. Medievia is constantly changing and growing. I don't cpk often but when I do I actually feel a rush that I've never gotten from any other game whether it be from winning or losing. Also based in Philly I've gotten to meet other players w/ get togethers and such. I also feel I know my BL child real well which is cool.

The two biggest reasons for me are these: 1, your actions and accomplishments are able to be shared and experienced with real people who you form a very close-knit society with. 2, Medievia has a rich history, a nostalgia associated with certain people, time periods, events, changes. Having spent so much time watching this game evolve, I like being part of the current growth and changes.

I'm constantly impressed with the new features that V is adding to the game on a near weekly basis. Obviously, I've made friends that I enjoy talking to also. There's something about being able to do both of those things together-sharing a fun gaming experience with friends-though that keeps me coming back over and over.
-----

Obviously many people love our game. But, that's not to say that Medievia is everyone's cup of tea. To each their own.
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Old 07-31-2006, 04:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ July 31 2006,05:14)
It's still got the four basic Merc classes, no races (like Merc), the same tired old stock combat system, etc
I'm not defending Medievia's codebase, but in my mind having no races isn't neccesarily a bad thing.

I mean, was that what you were saying or am I mistaken?
It was just one of the various random examples of how many of the features have remained unchanged from stock Merc, despite the numerous advances other codebases have made in the last 15 years.

As I said before, I'd be interested to see what a high-quality game could do with the same sort of advertising budget.
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Old 07-31-2006, 04:30 PM   #19
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I think it's obvious many people like the game. I don't think
that's the point in debate.

What I think is being discussed is that it is suprising how
popular Medievia is, despite the serious drawbacks that
have been outlined.

One of the reasons that has been suggested is that
your player base just doesn't know any better. If that
is true, then testimonials don't really address the issue.

The fact that you have not addressed any of the points
raised is startling to me, because it tells me that they are
factually correct. You really do only have 4 classes, and
no races. And all the other stuff said here.

You haven't disputed any of the statements here about
Medievia being a mediocre mud, mostly populated by players
unaware of the many choices available to them. You haven't
disagreed that Medievia's advertising portrays a distorted
image of largely humdrum features.

I'm not saying these things are true, but by not disputing
them, you yourself seem to be stipulating to them.

IS that the case?

-Crat
http://dead-souls.net
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Old 07-31-2006, 04:49 PM   #20
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If you don't like color all you have to do is say no when the mud asks you if your client supports ANSI and it is funner when you hero because you don't have to exp. You can go on dragon lairs, trade runs, serpent hunts, build clantowns, lead a CPK stake, go PK with clannies/friends and there are new stuff added daily.

There's always plenty to do in Medievia and plenty of people to do it with. Of course Medievia can get boring (just like any other game) but only if you keep doing the same thing over and over again like exping.

Muds are meant to be a social environment where people interact and Medievia provides plenty of opportunities to do exactly that. They have shouts, tells, clan/town channels, a immortal channel for heroes and gods and a channel just for newbies where they can get help from gods and avatars.

Have you ever been to a CPK stake with over 30 people? To a dragon lair with 19 people? Been pked while exping and had clannies come help avenge you?

Sure it can get spammy but you can brief spells/combat, turn off the channels and if you really don't like the map just turn it off. People do read room descriptions, otherwise you won't be able to solve zones but there are lazy people who would rather read a walkthrough than spend hours solving a zone and it's the same with the autoquests.

You also have to remember what makes humans human is the fact that we're all different with different likes/dislikes. Maybe Medievia isn't for roleplayers but it's a great place to socialize and relax because maybe, just maybe the people playing Medievia don't want to roleplay or worry about the consequences of dying and being OOC. But if you are brave and want to experience the thrill of Pking/CPKing you can go into PK areas where you lose nothing but your dignity or go into CPK areas where you can lose an entire level and get stripped clean.

You don't have to spend a dollar out of your pocket to get donation equipment. You can ask other players to buy it for you for ingame money or join a bloodline who can buy it for you if you hero for them. If you can't kill something by yourself get friends/clannies to help you, I've always loved the group activities on Medievia.

Virtual realities aren't that different from reality, nothing is fair and if you want something you have to work hard for it. The only difference is at the end of the day you have to face reality.

I have played dozens of MUDs listed here and I still go back to Medievia, I've played over 2000 hours. There will always be good times and bad times but you have the option to leave and quit.

I know it's bad to take what isn't yours and claim it is but it happens to all of us. If the gods that run Medievia can't be the bigger people maybe you can by moving on. I don't know about other people but bashers turn me off. It doesn't matter whos right or wrong, if you have to resort to name calling and bashing you are just as bad.

It's better to find something you like and spend your time enjoying it than being bitter and spending every ounce of energy you have advertising about what you hate.
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