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TMC Player Reviews: Ansalon

Review Submitted By: Simon Huxley
Author Status: Player
Started on Ansalon: February 2006
Submission Date: Apr 1, 2006
TMC Listing: Ansalon

The following review is the opinion of the review's author [Simon Huxley] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff.

There are some good things about this MUD. Reasonable playerbase,
some nice modifications, sensible economy. The thing that really put
me off it, however, is its approach to dying. Basically as soon as
you set foot outside your home city or do any exploring in general,
high-level aggressive mobiles and 'death rooms' abound. This wouldn't
be a big problem if the MUD approach to death wasn't 'your corpse and
all your belongings stay in the room unless you can get back there
equipmentless and not die, or have a ridiculous amount of money to
pay for your corpse to be magically returned.' Your corpse will also
decay in 15 minutes real-time, which is a shorter length of time than
most of the MUDs I've played on.

To be fair, if there's an imm around they might return your corpse
for you, but there won't always be, and they don't have to, by any

It's a shame, really. It's a good MUD apart from this glaring problem,
and if it weren't for this 'feature' I'd have no problem recommending
to anyone. As it stands, after the third complete-eq-loss-with-no-
chance-of-retrieval due to no-warning 'sudden death' fun I couldn't
keep playing. It was just too disheartening.

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Comment Submitted By: Zivilyn
Author Status: Player and staff member
Started on Ansalon: Before time
Submission Date: Apr 12, 2006

(The following review comment is the opinion of the comment's author [Zivilyn] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff).

I completely understand and sympathize with the dying aspects Simon,
when I first started mudding I had the same issues. I mean, you get on
a new mud with a huge world.. you wander forever and die... how to
get back? The mud has been being built for the last 9+ years, so it's
gotten extremely expansive.

One thing is that corpses are automatically returned if you're low
level, but that doesn't help if you get past that point and still
are 'new'. That is something from the Diku/merc/Rom line of things,
although we have raised the level so they come back to you longer.

We do try to retrieve corpses (especially for newer players as we do
realize the mud is extremely large), but true, we aren't always
able to be there.

The healer corpse return option was set up at the going rate of a
'quest note' which is the cost of a corpse return with an immortal
(although we generally do it for free for new chars as above). I am
open to options and ideas, a flexible scale with no note being
returned if the corpse isn't available for example, might be a
viable choice. With the note being given upon no corpse, it would
quickly become a loophole where someone buys 100 steel quest notes, so
we'd have to remove the note part.

Player corpses actually last for 40 minutes (real time), (40 ticks,
10 hours game time). Sometimes that is long enough, other times it
doesn't seem to be. Perhaps player corpses should simply not rot if
there is anything within them? Honestly, I'm very open to suggestion
(we just hadn't had a discourse on this subject that I remember on
the mud).

There is always the option of noting immortal if you've died and
can't get back to your corpse. My first priority is that this game be
enjoyable, and completely re-equipping is not generally something I
put in that category. If you do die, and can't find your way back (or
no immortals are available, no high level mages etc), by all means let
the imms know. We are here to help and we do realize that learning a
game of this sheer size can take some time (years in fact).

As far as agro's... some areas do have adjacent areas that aren't
as friendly (namely neraka forest north of Neraka, or the marsh). Yet
as a player, I always felt strange when i could walk into a room as a
goodie dwarf... an evil goblin standing there with a hobgoblin and
they're way tough... and they just stand there. For me, it took the
life out of the game, not having to fear for mine. Though, I
completely agree that the 'death rooms' (DT's Death Traps they're
affectionately called by a morbid few) are not generally needed. These
are something that goes back to the early days in the Diku line (IE.
Gerighelm and Death with his Scythe, although at higher levels we'd
always go back and rip him for past offensives ;p). I personally am
for removing the DT's, at least having an exit available on those few
ones we have left.

What I found to help when I started, was to group up with people,
learn the ropes and the areas with people who know them. The entire
'party' idea of mudding (and D&D for that matter) is safety in
numbers. The towns are generally safe, but outside of them you do have
wilds where things aren't always such.

Anyway, I'm sorry you found things difficult, I do realize that
Ansalon is very large and sometimes aggressive. I hope you were
able to enjoy some of the aspects and had fun.

Ziv/Skol, but mostly Dave.