A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

MUD Musing

I played on a MUD (a non-graphical, text only Massive Multiplayer Online Game) called Medievia a long time ago. In fact, its partly because of it that I became fast friends with quite a few very cool people. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is my short attention span, I moved on and haven't played on Medievia actively in many many years, aside from very short stints every six months or so.

I got a wild hair a few weeks ago and decided that I wanted to kill text-based monsters for virtual experience points, but that I didn't want to do it on Medievia. So I looked around for a few minutes and settled on trying Aardwolf. Its a pretty cool MUD, large player base, and not overly complicated like some MUDs can be.

I played Aardwolf here and there for a week or two, before getting bored and moving on to other interests. But while I played I made a few observations. Firstly, that the MUD is very well put together, from a player/newbie perspective. I'm not new to MUDs, but this one was new to me, and had a significant number of features that were new to me. The newbie 'walk through' was fantastic. It was informative and helpful, and even scalable - depending on whether you were completely new to MUDs or just new to Aardwolf. The staff and other players all were friendly and helpful. There were lots of little features that really seemed to make the whole thing really shine. One thing that I began to notice after awhile, that seemed to detract from it though, is the quest system. Briefly - to get levels, you kill stuff and get XP, but to get 'wishes', and sweet special items, you need quest points, which you get by running quests and campaigns. Quests are basically "go here and kill this mob" kind of thing, but always with some flavor, and they were fun and not difficult. These wishes and special items were sweet enough though, that quest points (with which to buy them) were a pretty important currency in the game, and not one that was transferable. "Quest grinding" was a major part of life on the MUD. And they're all solo too - at least at the lower levels (I seem to recall some mention that at very high levels, some campaigns were not solo).

One of the things that I did enjoy about Medievia was the way grouping, or forming worked. You and other players got together and killed monsters for XP. The same thing existed on Aardwolf, but the focus on solo questing seemed like a barrier to group play.

So anyway, the moral of the story here is that Aardwolf is a cool MUD, but that grouping at lower levels seems totally nerfed in favor of quest grinding.

1 comment:

Michael said...

What Medievia did that I thought was inspired, and kept my interest for a long time, was adding a "medals" feature. It was basically bragging rights, and you could tell who was focusing on what by viewing their medals. Though I never got the complete set, Lugh's "killing blow" medals were an impressive set.