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TMC Player Reviews: Lost Souls

Review Submitted By: Indigo Wendigo
Author Status: Player
Started on Lost Souls: 1995
Submission Date: Jul 23, 2017
TMC Listing: Lost Souls

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

Lost Souls is easily one of the most innovative, customized MUDs out
there. You will not find a generic, out-of-the-box MUD experience
here. Unfortunately, this is also a MUD with some pretty deep flaws.

First the good. Characters are highly customizable; dozens of
playable races can be combined with a large number of guilds (classes)
and associations, and an extensive system of skill specialization
provides for a huge variety of play styles.

The game world is huge, and while there is some variation in the
quality of the areas, most of the areas tend to hold up pretty well.
At times, it does feel like the size of the world is there largely to
hinder character movement between areas of interest, and while there
are several ways to move around the world more easily, the starting
player will most likely find the sheer breadth of the game world to be
one of its more intimidating and frustrating features.

Thematically, this MUD mainly conforms to the high fantasy genre,
although the fact that the MUD has been around for over 20 years and
the development staff has changed quite a lot in that time means that
the overall experience can feel somewhat disjointed. At times, the
stitched-together feeling of the place can tend to break one's
immersion. While some attempt has been made to create an overall
mythology for the place, it often feels quite artificial. In other
words, as long as you don't care how the sausage is made, it's
enjoyable enough as an overall experience.

Play is highly combat-driven. While there are opportunities for
character development outside of combat, the bulk of development comes
committing genocide on as large a scale as possible as quickly as
possible. What quests there are range from the epic puzzle to the
epically disappointing go-and-kill some NPC in a far-flung location
with no motivation other than a little blurb telling you to.

Unfortunately, there is no real community here. On the typical day,
there may be a few players actively playing the game, while the rest
are AFK, sitting around spouting inanities in the global chat channel,
or botting. Grouping with other characters is nearly unheard-of, as
most of the game is set up for a purely solo play style. Botting is
unfortunately rampant, and while botting isn't necessarily actively
encouraged, some of the advancement mechanisms of the game highly
incentivize it. Role-playing is more or less nonexistent.

This is not a very family-friendly game. Coprophilia, tentacle-rape,
and other 'mature' themes are a part of the in-game world as well as
being openly and frequently discussed by the community on the global
chat channel.

In a way, large chunks of the game are victimized by the game's
innovation. Large changes are made to the mudlib without updates to
guilds and areas to ensure balance or compatability, so several of the
older, unmaintained guilds end up losing their viability.

The game has a system of perks for donations to the game, but the
perks offered are often game-breaking; here you will find some of the
most egregious examples of play2pwn.

The overall complexity of the game can be very off-putting to
newbies, and the community just isn't big enough or engaged enough to
counteract that.

Still, this is a unique MUD experience, and for all its faults, the
MUD is highly addictive for those who are self-starters and those who
enjoy a great deal of variety, even if the variety doesn't always
make a whole lot of sense.

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