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Old 04-08-2012, 05:27 PM   #1
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Name: Marsh
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Which aspects to review?

[May be in wrong forum - if so pls feel free to move.]

For some time I've been meaning to do some detailed, up-to-date reviews of some MUDs. Particularly aimed at newcomers. The ones I found when looking for a MUD were suspect (for bias), or too subjective, or out of date, or not detailed enough. I want to focus on some objective elements of a limited-but-representative playing time, then present the subjective judgements separately. Of course my reviews will go out of date quickly, too. But at least I'll have put something out there for people.

This is in no small part due to Sasca's post, here:

Now that the the only MMO I could tolerate is dying, it seems like a good time to do this. Because... gaming time credit.

I'm building a list of things I intend to examine in each game, so that a like for like comparison can be made where that's possible. Here's the list so far, questions for admins are below it.

  • Basics: pay details if any, codebase, website address, server address, advertised RP type, age etc. (probably just a link to one of the main databases for this stuff)
  • Review basis: dates and times played, variables chosen, paths taken
  • Numbers online and breakdown of players vs wizards/imms, also idle times,
  • Connection types and their quality: browser playable? prettiness and usefulness of a provided client or in [my MUD client]
  • Char creation and customisation
  • Tutorial island - the length, depth and quality of that initial 'you are in the Dimbledop Academy' section
  • Help files - codebase standard or truly useful?
  • Rule enforcement, including rp enforcement where appropriate
  • Guilds, groups and gangs
  • Mobs
  • Text - english spelling, grammar and puctuation; quality of writing; immersion
  • PvP
  • Immersion - conforming objects, game system messages, examine text
  • Comms - channels and other systems ease of use
  • Other resources - websites, fansites, maps...

  • As an admin, what aspects of your game would you like to see reviewed for players?
  • In your game, what element has the highest ratio of
    (high) workload and importance : (low) player interest/notice
  • How long does a reviewer need to play your game to fairly form an impression suitable for other new players to read?
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
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Re: Which aspects to review?

Every so often someone comes along planning to do a load of mud reviews. They do one or two, then get burnt out and vanish - and more often than not, their blog vanishes with them. So if you are going to write some reviews, please put them somewhere where they'll stay!

Here are some of my thoughts on reviews.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:27 PM   #3
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Re: Which aspects to review?

Thanks, KaVir. I'm only intending to do a few reviews, and slowly at that. Maybe a half-dozen, over the course of a year or so.

I think I'll bung them up on my own blog merely to ensure they're not anyone else's copyright, but probably under CC license, then x-post them to the forums.
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:50 AM   #4
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Re: Which aspects to review?

It would be nice to see a few unbiased reviews again, and your list of criteria sounds good to me.

It would however be better to have them placed on a mudrelated website than on a personal blog, mostly because it would be more permanent and they would have a bigger impact in that way.

What happened to the Review section on TMS that Lasher talked about in that old thread KaVir linked to?
If that doesn't work, there is always the Article section here on TMS. I contributed to that a bit myself in the past, but it has been pretty dead lately, I think the latest article is dated 2005.
No reason why a series of reviews couldn't be posted there as articles, is there? Possibly a way to comment each review could be added too?

Otherwise TMC has a review system where you have to e-mail the reviews and get them approved before they are published. This is to avoid the fanboy/disgruntled player syndrom most likely. And they do have a comment option there.

On the subject of which games to choose; try to get a wide range of categories; commercial versus free, focus on H&S versus focus on exploring, questing, trading and crafting, various grades of PK, various grades of RP etc. And if possible try to get at least two games in each category, so there is something to compare for the readers.

Any Mud should be pleased to be among the chosen, even when a review isn't 100% positive. As someone declared long ago; "All publicity is good publicity".

Last edited by Molly : 04-17-2012 at 05:41 AM.
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