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TMC Player Reviews: DragonRealms


Review Submitted By: Dan
Author Status: Player
Started on DragonRealms: 1996
Submission Date: Jun 18, 2018
TMC Listing: DragonRealms

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

Welcome to Dragonrealms, the best and worst MUD you'll ever play.
I'll start with the good. DR has several dozen skills you can train,
and the systems themselves are robust and immersive. The experience
system is such that you can do something for a while, and then do
something else while that experience 'absorbs' into ranks. There are
a few really complex and fun systems like sorcery that allow you to
use spells from other guilds to customize your character a bit as
well.

With 20+ years of development, there are a ton of items, a massive
amount of lore, and a huge world to explore. You'll be taking boats,
riding mammoths, crossing perilous rope bridges, and flying on
balloons from province to province.

There's also a very active and helpful part of the community devoted
to writing scripts that will help you get started with some middleware
called 'lich'. Or, if you'd rather write your own scripts, there is
a dedicated front end (though it's not free) that comes with a wealth
of features including a frequently updated map system of the entire
game.

For the most part, the community is helpful and friendly. However,
like any game, there is a subset of players that are very high level,
incredibly toxic, and will kill you for laughs. They can even
circumvent the 'strict' pvp policy by just creating monsters in the
room you're in to kill you instead of just killing you outright. If
they can't summon monsters, they could intentionally blow up boxes
and kill you that way.

So it's a great game, but it has a lot of problems.
First, it takes a massive time investment to get anywhere. You can
start PVP at any point, but you'll find that the vast majority of the
PVP community is level 150 or higher, which will require about 4K-7K
hours of time in game, depending on how efficient your scripts are.
This wouldn't be so bad, as that's maybe 6-8 months of 24/7
scripting.

However, DR has a scripting policy that expressly forbids scripting
while AFK, meaning those hours will have to be spent while you're
watching your text scroll. If you're caught, you earn stacking
penalties of the entirety of your XP, starting at 10%, then 25%, then
35%, and so on.

With how the XP system works, that 10% xp loss is more like 15-20% of
your time invested. Diminishing returns in the xp system means it
takes longer to earn a rank at higher skill.

There is a server called The Fallen (TF for short) that allows AFK
scripting, but it costs $5 more a month. 1 character on the main
server is $15 a month, TF is $20. Also, this server is PVP only, so
you can expect to die a lot more often.

TF has a lot of other problems as well. It's neglected by staff, and
has a history of being punished unfairly. For example, staff forgot to
remove a portal to an event. Players kept using it, and staff was
furious and cancelled the next event entirely. TF doesn't match the
main world due to the neglect, so if you bought the front end with the
nice maps they won't work like they do on the main server. TF has an
incredibly small playerbase, maybe a dozen or two characters, and is
completely devoid of an economy.

The economy on the main server isn't much better since DR introduced
microtransaction (or MT) events.

Crafting is practically worthless because MT events have immensely
better items. The in game currency is also practically worthless, and
most in game items are sold for real money since the items worth
having all come from MT events.

Development in the game is stagnant because of MT events. Instead of
building the game's systems, or even finishing the ones that are
half-implemented, staff builds pay-only events and items. Simutronics,
the company that owns DR, was bought by a company that mostly deals
with mobile games. I feel like this explains the reliance on MT events
to generate income.

So this was my experience. I quit after I lost about 6 months of xp
because I fell asleep on the couch watching Netflix. I guess even if I
hadn't fallen asleep, I still wouldn't have noticed the script
check. The staff actively doesn't want you to get 'big' and will do
everything they can to stop you. As much as I love this game, it feels
like it's been ruined by the company that runs it.

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