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TMC Player Reviews: Armageddon


Review Submitted By: Raul
Author Status: Player
Started on Armageddon: November 2017
Submission Date: Dec 29, 2017
TMC Listing: Armageddon

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

I'm a big fan of the poop sandwich style of writing feedback. In
other words if you must criticize something then stick your
criticism (the poop) between two nice things (bread? mmm). Anyway,
no more cussing. Let's begin.

BREAD SLICE ONE

Armageddon bills itself as a roleplaying intensive game. Its tagline
is 'Murder, Corruption, Betrayal'. It is set in the harsh desert
world of Zalanthas where you can't even get a drink of water for
free. The documentation is extensive. So extensive, in fact, you
likely won't be able to read it in one day, or three, or ten. This
is not a bad thing. The more fleshed out the game world is the
better it tends to be. Clearly Armageddon benefits from being over
25 years old as it has had all that time to form, and reform, and
define itself. The idea of Armageddon is extremely good and
extremely sound. It has a lot of potential, and undoubtedly hundreds
if not thousands of people have found Armageddon fun at one point or
another.

Creating a character is relatively easy. There are lots of resources
available to a new player, including sample characters, a
walkthrough, the helper system and the General Discussion Board.
Picking a guild and subguild is easy. Writing a background is pretty
easy provided you understand you are writing a Level 1 character
here. Keep those origins humble.

Then you enter the game. There's a newbie tutorial that's helpful if
Armageddon's your first MUD. There's a pre-game shopping area where
you can gear your character up before they head out into the harsh
world. Allanak, here I come!

THE ... POOP

This is where the disappointment starts to set in. You start in the
local tavern's dormitory and wander into the bar. You're looked at.
You try to introduce yourself. There's several people at the bar to
introduce yourself to. And... nothing.

It's not like I'm talking to NPCs here. These are PCs. They're
talking to each other. They're just too busy to talk to me. One of
them is trying to get laid. The other is trying to play hard-to-get.
The third is looking for an elf to beat up. The last one is wearing
a hood indoors and is keeping to themselves. One or two of them look
at you, sure. But they don't respond. They don't try to inquire
further.

It's fine. I'll just give a prompt. 'I'm looking to join the Byn,
who can I sign up with?' The Byn is a mercenary group and the
recommended clan for new players. I'm hoping that by the grace of
God there is a Bynner in the tavern willing to recruit me right then
and there. Wouldn't that be lucky? I can play a mercenary and learn
about this deep game with some in-character friends.

Then I get my first response. 'Sign? What do you mean by sign?'
someone asks. Then it hits me. The stupid little thing I had
forgotten. Most people in Zalanthas are illiterate. They can't read
or write. In fact, for most people, it is a crime to read or write.
So I try to correct myself via the out-of-character command to try
to explain that my character wouldn't say 'sign', that they would
know people can't write, that he can't write, and he would use a
different word like 'join'. 'Sorry, I meant to say join!'

The response I got was out-of-character: 'You said sign so roll with
it.'

Roll with it. Roll with it how? I made a genuine mistake as a
newbie. I tried to tell them that I was a new player and made a
mistake and would appreciate if it was just ignored this one time.

'Sorry but no. In-character actions have in character consequences,'
was the response I got. Generally, this is a philosophy I can agree
with. However, these are my first few minutes into the game. Making
such a simple mistake in my first few minutes of play, surely, was
forgivable? Apparently not this time.

I hate to admit it but at this point I started to shake at my
keyboard. All those hours reading the documentation and crafting a
character, and my character could be arrested or even killed for
saying 'sign up' instead of 'join' within the first few minutes of
play. I moved my mouse over to the X on my MUD client and closed
out. I'll try again tomorrow, I thought.

And, yes, I logged in the day after. People were, again, at the bar.
I tried to introduce myself. 'You were the guy that said sign up
last week right?' By last week they meant the RL day before (1 week
in-game is 1 day RL). Some completely different character remembered
that I had made a mistake yesterday, although this was a week ago
in-game, so this character had the words 'sign up' in his thoughts
for over a week.

I tried to work past it, then I closed my MUD client again. This
time, I decided to spend time with my kids. I'll try again tomorrow,
I thought.

I did not try again the next day.

Trying to ask for help was a nightmare. Between the spammy Discord,
the unfriendly forum and the unresponsive live helper chat I could
not get a word in edgewise. My introduction to the community was
piss-poor and frankly I didn't expect it to get better than that.

BREAD SLICE TWO

It's nice that these features are there. It's nice that some players
will be able to find them useful. It's nice that I got my character
approved within minutes. It's nice that so many people are so
passionate about Armageddon. Maybe I could give it another try
sometime. Right now though, I just don't feel up to it.

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