As of current (July 2019) the MUD are fairly new and rapidly growing, usually seen 2-3 new players everyday with players fluctuate from 0-15 on peek hours.
<> Game Mechanics:
*Character progression: are levels and skills based system. You gain 1 skill point everytime you level up for a total of 100 skill points. These points can be spend to mix and match however you want with 22 different skills allows you ultimate freedom in character building. Ability are specials you can use while Skill gives you new abilities and increase their performace. Each skill have a cap of 20, after certain ranks in skill you gain a new ability, at rank 20 you gain the signature ability for that skill.
*The combat: are Balance based. After you attack or use ability you will become Unbalanced (cooldown) and cannot do anything else until you are Balanced again. Unbalanced time are usually between 1-5 seconds depends on your weapon type or character build. The pace of combat are fast enough so you never get bored and slow enough to allows human interaction.
*Balance of builds: (Almost) Perfectly balanced as all things should be. A common problem all RPG game must face and they are doing a very good job at it. "What are the worst build?" are our inside joke because there are no such thing, all builds are playable so it all come down to which one do you like instead of which one are most powerful.
<> Feature Sets:
*Detailed world: Rooms description are detaily described, writing are great, a lot of interactive contents in the game and minimal typos.
*Immersion and Roleplay: are very encouraged but not enforced. All game contents are designed and polished to promote roleplay and immersion, there are world chat channel for OOC while everything else are IC.
*Guilds: There are 4 guilds allows you to further customize your character with general theme of Wizard, Druid, Assassin, Army. This doesn't mean you cannot play a wizard in Army or Assassin, or play an assassin in Wizard or Army, nothing are restricted and they are all designed to cater for all playstyle/build. Beside from abilities you gain from guild, they are also main Roleplay platform with guild title can only be gain through roleplay, those titles are purely bragging rights and have zero practical impact.
*Craft: are customized and lite system currently, with plans to expand it further in future. For now you won't found advanced recipe requires 20 different parts and dozens of each parts to craft an epic item, but more like foraging components to brew consumable potion, color mix for scribing spell scrolls etc
*Exploration: Go hand in hand with your character progression, you will never get bored with a bunch of different dungeons with secrets and lores for each of them and a real boss fight in the end, not just a bigger monster.
*Quest: Prepare for the Quest-aholic syndrome with over 1000 quests, some belong to a questline, most are kill/collect/find items quest. Best thing? They are not enforced! and rewards boost your character progression a lot.
*Grind: There are endless grind, but skill points cap are lv100. Take about 1-2 months if you are active to reach lv100. That to me are good grind:reward ratio and I enjoy it.
*Standardized UI: Near zero weird syntaxes because everything are hinted, standardized to waste you zero time to figure out the right combination of letters while playing RPG. All important info such as room name/exits, NPCs, quest, items are all colored. If you have tendency to play on mobile, worry not for Asteria are mobile friendly! With Blowtorch and MUDRammer you can play this MUD almost as good as PC client, no extensive scripts are required.
<> The Community:
*Staffs: are very friendly, keen on players inputs and allows players to develop the game along side with them through ideas. Several of my ideas has already been implemented. Within 2.5 years 2 devs built a MUD with ~15000 rooms and expanding, featuring polished contents and in-depth mechanics are definitely an impressive feat for me. All game mechanic are transparent so there are close to none differences in this regard between experienced and new players. If you don't know something, ask!
*Players: Very friendly and helpful towards newplayers, most are very keen on roleplay.
All in all, the biggest downside is that the game is still in development, as much as devs may try, 2 persons can only get you so far, there are much rooms to grow and your ideas are important! Asteria for this reason lack in game ascii map and use website map instead, some areas/dungeons design don't follow grid structure so this may cause some difficulty for new players to navigate, luckily most of them follow semantic geometry so it is navigatable using mental image.
I've got hooked on the game for 2 weeks so there are a lot of praise as you can see but I tried to make this as close to what I experienced as possible. Thank you for spending your time and read my long review, hope you enjoy it and give the game a try! :)