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Review Detail

 
LabMUD
RPI MUDs
Overall rating 
 
2.6
Game Mechanics 
 
4.0
Feature Set 
 
4.0
Game World 
 
2.0
Community 
 
1.0
Staff 
 
2.5
Role Play 
 
2.0

Great Engine, Bad Game

Game mechanics and feature set:
There are a lot of good features that people have been asking for in other games for a long time, as well as some new ones that are a bit more hit or miss with me. There are a lot of things that are more complicated or management intensive than they really need to be, like inventory and item management or manipulation. Is it a big deal? No, not really, but does get to be tedious and annoying when you have to do it all the time.

Combat is one of those things where you need to know how to build your character in creation, know how to grind and know how to tweak your combat settings or you're going to end up being ruined by the people who do. Nowhere else is game mechanic knowledge more powerful and necessary, so much so that people coming into the game without friends in the know to tell them how to build a superstar are never going to be more than corpse waiting to happen. My first character was a punching bag because I focused on an innovative character with a mix of real strengths and weaknesses, while my second character was a streamlined destroyer of worlds because I asked one of the "superstar" players for help. By playing up the flirty/bimbo/envious angle, I basically got him to point by point build me a super soldier that exploited the system, getting me stats and skill potentials beyond what is suppose to be possible.

To say it was sketchy would be an understatement, but I definitely had a much more powerful PC... and some hormonal mongoloid that humped my leg everywhere I went.

So, the mechanics and features are pretty great and I hope to see some games pick up the codebase and run with it, but I hope they'll leave the inventory management and exploits behind.

Game world:
I'm told the game world has opened up a bit now, but at the time I was playing it was a lot of long empty halls and misc rooms, a boxing ring, a mess hall, a small outdoor area and a medi-wing where all the staff favs and groupies would hang out. I'd guess less than a hundred rooms with not a lot of reason to ever go into most of them.

Community:
Not really a community in my opinion. There are two kinds of players, the people who matter and the people who don't. The people who matter are basically the ones the story staffer gave all the attention to, who mostly consisted of players from another game that roll together. They got all the fun and story, then there was everyone else who puttered around doing interpersonal stuff until they got killed by the cool kids, or stopped logging in.

My first character was a putterer because I entered the game an anonymous unknown and didn't assimilate into the trendy cliques, then was killed while idling because I told off one of the fragile asian girl PCs, who were the popular sex-for-power trend at the time.

My second character was a mover and shaker because one of the staff favs and horndog extraordinaire thought I was an impressionable bimbo irl and made every effort to win me over by getting me involved, so he could show off what a beastly alpha he was. It was an interesting change of perspective, but I abandoned it after a week or two of casual playing. I didn't really have much fun and that whole group was always making in and out of character jokes that didn't make any sense if you didn't play other games with them.

At no point did it ever feel like cohesive group, or a welcoming community.

Staff:
Staff are more of a small dev team for the engine, instead of some group of judgemental overlords like SoI or Arm. They're more hands off and let players manage players with minimal meddling, but they also ignored a lot of exploits and let players from the golden days of their former games get away with a lot of abuses. I had no issues with them personally until they promoted a player to handle running the story, which was a turning point in how heavily favored one group became compared to everyone else. It was really obvious who the favorites were when it came to story, especially when I got to see it from both sides of the fence.

Role play:
A lot of high drama, but most of it lacked substance and longevity. There was more to talk about and do if you were with the group who got all the attention from the story staff, but I felt a lot of players were left out in the cold and quickly ran out of things to talk about. It's not that the players were lacking, so much as the only ones provided with anything new and interesting to see and do were the ones least inclined to share the wealth.

A lot of idling, a lot of walking aimless, a lot of logging on, asking whats new, collecting pay and logging back out.

In closing:
I wouldn't recommend it as a game, but I would recommend the engine. It's worth checking out to preview the engine, but don't expect to get much else out of it.

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