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Old 01-04-2003, 12:51 PM   #1
Brody
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: North Carolina
Home MUD: OtherSpace
Posts: 1,599
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I could ramble on and on about my own reasons for you to come visit us at jointhesaga.com 1790 and http://www.jointhesaga.com but I'd rather you hear it straight from the players. Hear what they have to say:

I came to OtherSpace shortly after it opened in 1998. Honestly, I tried it out because I was friends with a lot of people there through another game I had played for a while, and I was a little wary of it, because I had never played an original-themed MUSH before. I didn't know if I'd enjoy it as much as playing a character in a world I was more familiar with, like Star Wars or Star Trek.  Soon, however, this fear disappeared.  I learned before long that OtherSpace's universe was much less restrictive than established-theme games, with more room to take a character in whatever direction you choose.

OtherSpace, of course, has its own canon and its own thematic boundaries, but unlike an established-theme game, the players get to contribute to and occasionally expand those boundaries.

But what is it that keeps me coming back to OtherSpace? I'd have to say its unpredictability.  OtherSpace is a game where anything can happen, at any time, in any conceivable way.  You can never get too comfortable with the universe, because you might wake up tomorrow to find it's completely different.  OtherSpace is truly a dynamic environment.  I once spent several years playing on an established-theme game, and the thing that struck me was, players came and went, but the game remained more or less exactly the same.

The same worlds, the same organizations, the same ships, the same bases, the same antagonisms and alliances. Players filled holes...starship captain, fleet commander, president, emperor, corporate CEO. But those roles always exist, and new players are simply plugged into them when old players leave. You don't really leave a mark on a game like that, and after you've left it's as if you were never there. Someone else comes up to take your place, and that's that.  

Not so on OtherSpace, though.  Here, you create your own place in the game, and you make it unique. If you decide to leave, there's no one who takes your place. The game goes on, but with new people making new unique places for themselves in it. And you can have tremendous, permanent impact on the game's reality, which other players will have to react to even long after you're gone. On OtherSpace, the players ARE the story, and make lasting contributions to it. Players on OtherSpace have brought down criminal empires, precipitated alien invasions, led uprisings against corrupt governments, and even destroyed entire planets. As with all games, some of these players moved on and left the game when they felt their time there was done. But unlike so many other games, the world of OtherSpace was different for them having been there. That, I think, is what makes OtherSpace so much fun. You can make a difference. The game is designed to give you every opportunity to contribute in unique, original ways to the evolving storyline. I've never seen another game like that.

***

Hm, where do I start? I've enjoyed my whole experience here, actually.  When I first started playing OS, I settled in really quickly, it was kind of an immediate feeling that I was going to fit in and stick around.  Even though I was more than a little clumsy as a newbie, I never saw anyone go out of their way to avoid me, or got any sign that people were irritated with me.  I settled in as quickly as I expected to, and logging on became something like going home.

During the first few months, I stumbled into one interesting thing after another, which is how I got completely hooked.  A few things have happened to my main character that were ICly bad for her, but I've OOCly enjoyed pretty much all of it, and every minute of it was great RP.  It's made her that much more realistic, too, because a lot of the important scenes have been scenes that changed who the character is, and now I can point to specific reasons why she behaves or thinks a certain way.

It's not just my main character that I've enjoyed, though - I like being able to have alts, even though I don't always play mine as much as I should.  It's nice that I can find a different kind of RP if I'm not in the mood for my main, or if she just can't move to where there are other people.

It's probably a bit of a cliche, but I like the people here, too.  I've had an easy enough time staying on good terms with others, and I've made a couple of good friends.  It's just kind of natural to be around the folks here. Anyhow, I sure don't plan to be going anywhere any time soon.

***

It's difficult to explain what I like about OtherSpace. I'm one of those RPers guilty of becoming very emotionally involved with my characters - I cheer when they succeed, I'm happy when they are happy and I cry when they are sad and I get frustrated, angry and rail against the world when bad things happen to them. And bad things do happen, time after time - sometimes it seems that admin-led plots are all about bad things happening. I don't like that plots often seem to be run for the sake of the story rather than for the characters. And yet even through storylines that seemed to consist of just one bad thing happening after another, driving my characters in directions I didn't want to explore and changing them more and more from the characters I wanted to play, something about OtherSpace kept me logging in. Something made me want to keep trying, to find a thread that could lead my characters through the dark places and back out the other side. I can only put it down to the quality of players, and the atmosphere they produce.

This is what makes OtherSpace a special place to play. You can make friends easily who will support you OOCly even as their characters support you ICly, building a community feeling that goes beyond the IC world. Combine this with the fact that OtherSpace is filled with quality RPers, and you have a place where you can rely on others to pick up and respond to subtle hints and nuances in RP, not to abuse OOC information, to give you a shoulder to cry on when things are going badly, and to appreciate the characters you develop as well as the stories that are told. OtherSpace isn't just a place where bad things happen. It's also a place where people pull together to make a sci-fi community in a setting that really feels real.

***

Over the past year and a half (and through the eyes of six different characters) I have been exposed to my first real, and still the best for me, experience to roleplaying. So many of the players here truly do care about their characters and how they are portrayed, making it not a battle of who has the best stats and magical-goblin-smasher-of-doom, but a cooperative effort by the players and staff to tell a story that can (and quite often has for me) move a player that is immersed in it the way Otherspace does it. Someone could say about the theme that it is set 1000 years into the future, but it can become more than that with player involvement. It can become the story of the life of a character, their troubles, their families, and their daily triumphs over life's little obstacles. While the plots on Otherspace are very well done and quite grand at times, it's this small scale roleplaying of a character that is the most interesting for myself. Another thing that is quite nice is that new players can find ways into the roleplaying as well. All that one needs to do is find a way to plot events and they can get involved, if that's their thing... if it isn't, there's still plenty of non-plot RP to go around. Other than that, and for those who would consider Otherspace as an RP venue, just check it out at jointhesaga.com port 1790. There are plenty of helpers that can begin guiding you to what you need for Otherspace.

***

When I came to OtherSpace, I was amazed at the immensity of the story that the creator, Wes Platt, had woven. There were unique species wandering many planets, many of which had significant hazards. There was interstellar intrigue, space piracy - people rising to fame, and others falling into infamy.

With a diverse player-base that was friendly and willing to help a new person learn the ropes, it was easy to learn the system. Coded systems rarely broke, and were only created when it was necessary to assist in the furthering of the story.

Three and one half years later, I am still amazed at the immensity of the story being portrayed. There have been immense changes - instead of a stable interstellar government, there is a large amount of independent worlds, which argue and fight with vigor. There have been generations of lives played out - Traitors found, heroes lost. What I think is particularly effective is that the Staff allows players to lead major organizations, and encourages them to create their own. As an example, my company, the 'Tycho Exploration Cooperative', was operating in some form or another since the time I began playing until now.

Throughout the time I have been here, the staff has been on their toes giving us vast Story Arcs, which allow for many different types of characters to interact. Many of the staffers assigned to single worlds will do mini-arcs while the main arc carries on, giving even more versatility to the roleplaying experience. Over all, I would have to say that among the twenty or so different MUSHs I have played on, this has been the most fun.

In just one month, Ace has watched a friendship shatter and then re-form, helped to rescue the Demarians when a very kind doctor was stuck at a quarter inch tall, toasted the hero of the Moebius incident and then did battle with a Nall's dinner, mourned the loss of the first dog she's ever remembered seeing, and gone from being a down and out Nall camp refugee to being the bodyguard to the Ungstir Ambassador.

And the best part is that it only keeps getting better and better.  Everyone has been very helpful and has made a newcomer feel welcome and gone out of their way to get me involved.  Already I feel like Ungstir is home and that Ace is a part of a living, breathing universe.   I can't wait for her to get out more and see the rest of the universe.  She has yet to meet her first Demarian or Sivadian, hasn't walked on a planet's surface or seen an ocean, and has only seen the landing pad of Tomin Kora, though I think that last one is probably the best as so many people have warned her from going any further.

I should also mention that you and the other folks at Otherspace have done something that no one else has been able to do in the last two and a half years.  You've broken my addiction to Everquest, giving me something far more fullfilling and enjoyable than any MMORPG could ever give - an extraordinary roleplaying experience filled with wonderful people and three dimensional worlds.

Thank you again for letting me be a part of it.

***

Why do I like OtherSpace? The theme is totally original and covers a wide range of possibilities without going overboard or having stagnant areas. There's always something to do if you're willing to take some risk, which is inherent to all forms of RP and is especially true of IC actions having IC consequences. But if your character gets into a jam, you can always find some path to avoid death.

If you like science-fiction, then you’ll probably find one race or more that interest you. There are a few variations of humans, genetically engineered humanoids called Specialists, bear-like Castori, feline Demarians, robotic Phyrrians, and at least half a dozen other possibilities. It’s the ability to pick and chose what race you want to be that also drew me. I have a love of felines, so Demarians were perfect for me. Heck, the director of the MUSH will listen to ideas for new races if you’re inclined to make one. Talk about service.

And the staff are friendly and helpful, at each level of it. You can get rewards and recognition from fellow players about your RP ability. Want to stay on top of things ICly? Check out the funky softcoding toys the coders have made up, like +news. Have discussions on the ‘Net forums, voice your opinion! Also having the ability to pick and choose traits and skills that your character is good at is also a bonus. Raise your skills over time, using both RP and experience points gleaned from RPing to help you reach your destination.

Be a doctor. An arena combatant. A politician. A pilot. These are just a drop in the bucket as to the possibilities that OtherSpace offers. If you have the will, reach up, grab that brass ring, and ride its wave all the way to the end -- which could be years in doing.

***

I have enjoyed almost everything about OS, from the interesting people to their even more interesting characters. Most of them are very well developed and thought out, and there are so many people around that are better role-players then I could ever hope to be. From what I've seen, the admin as a whole are a nice, fair bunch, and many of them put up with all sorts of questions, in all of their silliness.

***

I'm coming up on two years on OtherSpace now, and with such a variety of experiences behind me on the MUSH it's hard to come up with any catchy, coherent praise for the place.  Otherspace is absolutely huge.  It's a universe so big that none of the administrators know everything about it, and even the creator of the universe doesn't have all the details.  This means that the potential for story and for roleplay has not all been tapped.  It's easy to do something that's never been done before.  It's easy to carve out your own little niche in the realms of the as-yet-unknown of the multitude of cultures and planets, and to inhabit that -- a lot has been done before, but it doesn't crush out space for individuality.

Paradoxically it's also very hard to remain uninvolved at OtherSpace.  With all the space, all the planets and rooms and ships, it's still almost impossible to avoid being sucked in to a dramatic situation.  Everything's always evolving on OtherSpace, to the point where some days, returning to the computer after even an hour is a major revelatory experience.  The story arcs are mythic in scale, huge overreaching tales that create -- and destroy -- heroes.  OtherSpace will surprise you with its plot twists, with the ability of the plots to reach out and grab your character and suck them in, with your own ability to respond to earth-shattering (literally! situations.  And then, sometimes, it will slow down and give you time to reflect, and time for you to learn the depths of change your character has achieved.  In a world of MUSHes where most action has to spring from a player's own head, and revolve soley around their own character, OtherSpace has a very unique, dangerous, and thrilling feel.  Stock up on the canned goods, because once you get into it it's hard to leave your seat until it slows down.

***

I began playing OtherSpace sometime in the year 2000. I found the MUSH through the Top Mud Sites, though I could be mistaken. Since I first began playing what has struck me as the best part about it is the way it is structured and managed. The aides and administrators of the MUSH take a on hands approach with the players, starting random acts of RP which provides almost constant reason to RP. The term 'stoking the fire' comes to mind and holds true. The arcs are interesting as well, and it is apparent that the people running the arcs strive to get everyone involved in some way. I like OtherSpace because I can be what I want to be, and the reactions from the IC world are realistic. There are always actions and reactions in the MUSH, which make it feel more 'real' and enjoyable. Most everyone on the MUSH is friendly and willing to help if they can, even the players, making it an extremely inviting and warm place to start and grow in the OtherSpace world. One of the things I like the most are the little restrictions on things. I have been to other MUSH's where the administrators do not seem to know where they are going with a plot, or even the whole theme, often the theme itself on these other MUSH's twist and contort into something different than what you had thought it would be. That happens less, if not at all, on OtherSpace, at least, not unless there is a good, logical reason for it.

The players I have met on OtherSpace have not only affected my online life, but the things I have learned from them and through the time spent there has affected my real life for the better in my opinion. Lessons online can often hold true in life, and my time there has been a wonderful experience, one I will remember for the rest of my life no doubt. There was a time when these exact words I would not have believed myself. In the past I have done things out of frustration with things happening on the MUSH which caused me to create disturbances. Misunderstanding was a big factor in that, and now that I have had time to learn and grow more my feelings have changed.

***

The Ungstiri's dark mop of hair shifts once, to try and follow the beast's motions, and the only thing worse than his vanishment is that it leaves nothing to distract her from the awful clittering of chitonous shells, the twicker of little legs. For a moment, just one, she can't breath. Until she picks a spot, up on the ceiling, small, and looks to it, just looks ... a focus against the dark. A swallow, a gasp, ungstiri thru to the her blood and heart. "Geet eet ofer veeth ..."

68,6880 minutes. Or 11,448 hours. This is, since I officially stumbled into OtherSpace. And was swallowed as one might be by that infamous maelstrom, but with no desire at all to find a barrel to make one's escape. To step into OtherSpace is to step into a dense and vibrant world, one in which the future history continuously moves forward, irregardless of asking permission or kowtowing to your beck and call.

Pretty much like the real world.

One can drift on the current of story lines, and be drawn into its ebb and flow. Or one can take that deep breath and walk against the current, to navigate your path on your own. And that is what is enjoyable about otherspace. You first step into a role, an integral part of this world, with a place, a purpose, a home, or if not a home, a reason why. Then, then you can take that first step forward into Otherspace, and what you get out of the roleplay is directly related to the effort you put in.

And that's fun. Addictive fun.

Pilot a fast starship, explore new planets beyond the OtherSpace gate rings, fight in the arena, corner the interstellar markets, or just spend a night in a dockworker's tavern discussing the upcoming rockhopper races.

The choice is yours.

Slowly, slowly the small dark haired deyvachka turns, simple, precise, a martial manuever of one heel rising and then the pivot upon the other. Innokentevna's heel snaps down as she slowly walks, an automaton. Rigid, one step then two. Slowly her hand reaches to her throat, to close into a small fist. She tugs, once ... she tugs twice ... never in her life has she ever been strong, and on the third tug her hand snaps out in a harsh arc ... a the end of it her palm opens .... a glint of saffron abandoned in her wake.

A glitter of yellow, a tumble of metal and chain. Drowned beneath a sea of people the simple piece of jewelry clatters across the floor left behind. A little girl's, once. Katya's. A plain gold crucifix.


Not everything is good. Dark times come, from the passing of a gray veil across the stars to the darkest shadow where death lurks. Those moments that either make or break a person, more than life or death but the tempering from which one either grows or shattering.

Those moments that take one beyond simple wish fulfillment and into another psyche, where the consequences are more real and vital than the collection of gold pieces or another monster's head to mount upon a trophy filled wall.

There are also the good times too. Bright ones, fun ones and sometimes just silly and enjoyable ones. Adopting a sister, or the flush of a first romance. The test flight of a new stardrive, when a friend thought dead steps through the door, or maybe simply finding a furry alien asleep in your chair.

That is OtherSpace at its the best, where you are challenged not by game mechanics or the collection of items to gain the next level or the next bigger gun. Challenged, to play at your very best, and where the best is not the roll of the dice but how real you can make your character, how far you can take your role, pushed to the edge and then beyond. The type of roleplay that holds you to the edge of your eat or hits you in the gut with a simple turn of phrase.

And that is why one stays.

Because characters can do more than succeed.

They can grow.

She takes a breath and looks across to Daneel. "I ask't heem, vhy ... vhy deet he go forvart, vhere he knev a vulf vas. My brozer just smile't an sait "Because eef I hat gone back, I knev zere vas a vulf avaitink, an nothink voult be gain't ... eef I vait'ton zee britge for someone to safe me, I voult be eaten nyi by one but tvo hungry volk vhile I vait't for salvashun ... goink forvart ... da, zere vas a vulf een my path. But beyont .. beyont vas zee roat zat took me home to you."

She downs the glass, swallowing the vodka in a single draught. 'To your roat home, Daneel. To your roat home.'

Daneel ponders that for a moment. "To the road home."

Innokentevna sets down her empty glass, leaving the bottle of vodka open ... a silent sentinel against the dark. She pushes herself off the counter, a touch of her hand on Daneel's shoulder, a shrug, and then a slow walk out ... to the next day, to the Forest.


477 days ... and looking forward to the next 477 ... and the next, and the next.
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