LabMUD is a work in progress (Coming into this MUD, you have to know this fact acutely or you will set yourself up for disappointment) by some of the good ol' boys from the ARPI team and some newcomers. Designed on the all-new FutureMUD engine built from the ground up by the game's owner, it feels much like the RPI games try to (but never quite achieve) -- So far this is one of few games I have come across with such high transparency from the staff regarding their own involvement and the game itself, without giving too many of the game's story spoilers away. The community-- staff and players included-- has been incredibly welcoming to my friends and I(after one obligatory misunderstanding), who came from a different MUD. All in all, it is the potential of LabMUD, and FutureMUD, that excites me about the future of this hobby that should have died decades ago. For the first time, it feels like we can progress, without the chains of legacy engines weighing us down. Thank you, LabMUD, for giving me hope again.
LabMUD was introduced to me by one of the staff. I had never played a MUD before, and had no real idea what I was in for. I was apparently in for a helpful, welcoming community all too eager to let a new player get steady on their feet, and an addictive and enthralling RP experience.
The MUD is in alpha, and it's still an enjoyable experience. It's well-made, and there's love and care in every corner of the code. (Also they made a newbie guide, which I'm very thankful for.)
I've never played a MUD before, but LabMUD changed that for good. I fully intend to branch out from here and play more MUDs on the FutureMUD engine and beyond. LabMUD has thoroughly hooked me, and I can't recommend it more.
So I've been around the RP Mud community for a bit now, well over a decade and I've played a wide range of games. And I will have to say that I'm seriously impressed by the detail that has gone into this RP system, I'm in awe of the intricacies of the medical code, there's nothing like seeing someone cut open and stitched up and all the roleplay that goes hand and hand with the coded commands. I've been playing now for a few weeks, and I'm still learning and discovering new things, and with the code being updated on a near daily basis, I'm sure there's loads more to come!
The community is refreshingly nice and welcoming, eager to help, even with all my inane questions and struggling with a new command set. The staff have been amazing in bringing the world to life, with random echoes, scary experiments, and horrific scenes that leave me on the edge of my seat. Have a huge amount of respect for everything they do.
The player base is decently high, and the world suits the number of people around well, so it's easy enough to come on and get involved. So if you're looking for a friendly roleplay game with a bit of a horror and survival edge to it, Labmud might be for you.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
This MUD has real potential. It’s a new code base, in development that has a lot in common with RPI muds but far more detailed combat system and a few other changes that are improvements. At this time, it is very unfinished with large parts of code yet to go in place, but this review is not over the code state of the MUD so much as the playing experience and atmosphere of LabMUD, in that regard, LabMUD is abysmal.
The crew currently ‘running’ the show on LabMUD overlap the same crew that was on Atonement RPI and it shares all the same problems as a result. At this time the play atmosphere has been reduced to a small group of thugs that control all the guns and kill or abuse anything that doesn’t kiss their butts or ask how high when they say jump. There is no opposition, no options out., You are completely at their mercy. They are friends of the staff. They are staff themselves and at the exact same crew that eventually destroyed Atonement RPI by deleting the database while trying to grief players in a drunken stuper and it will probably come to an end
This is not a recommended place to play as long as it is clearly an OOC exercise by a handful of players that are in cahoots with the staff to create their own little ego boosting torture program for other players. What’s more, the staff lie. They claim staff are not allowed to be players but they not only are players, they are controlling the show and they get to read any other players
Applications because they are staff… This is completely an exercise in a self-jerking power trip by a small handful of very abusive player-staff.