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    Reviewed Mud: God Wars II
    Review Submitted By: Tony Z
    Author Status: Player
    Began on God Wars II: August 2006

    God Wars II is the MUD that has completely replaced my other online
    gaming activities. Other reviews have covered the 'what it is' very
    well, so let me fill in some of the 'non-mechanical' aspects.

    First, God Wars II is not a roleplaying MUD. It is centered on
    combat, most of it (currently) Player versus Mob, but also including
    Player versus Player. The motivation of most players is twofold -
    develop more powerful characters, and explore the continually added
    new features of the game. There is no IC interaction, but there is
    plenty of discussion of 'builds' - combinations of character features,
    usually oriented toward making your character better in certain
    situations.

    The jewel in the crown, the heart and soul of GW2, is its combat
    system, which is absolutely peerless. It models, in real-time detail,
    everything from spectacular martial arts techniques to armed combat
    with a large variety of weapons, to magic, and all sorts of
    dark-fantasy oddities (invisible creatures, demonic characters
    fighting with horns/tails/wing spikes, predators knocking you over by
    physically slamming into you, body parts getting severed, poisons,
    fire, etc etc). (My current character, for example, habitually cuts
    hands off his opponents with a swipe of a bladed tail, then catches
    the severed hands as they spin through the air, and keeps them as
    trophies.)

    Now, one of the important aspects of the GW2 culture is that the game
    is in a long-term 'open beta'. The creator of the game, KaVir, is
    online regularly, sometimes daily, and available to answer questions,
    even newbie ones, within reason. Since the MUD is constantly 'under
    construction', there is a lot of chat volume dedicated to the
    discussion of features just added, or about to be added. KaVir
    encourages plenty of feedback on his work. The game's development
    history goes back a good number of years, and shows no signs of
    slowing down.

    A few words on PvP - this takes two forms on GW2, open player killing
    (PK) and 'duelling'. After the initial training of a character, most
    of the action takes places in a game world called the Nexus, which is
    fully PK-enabled. There is no shame, and very little disadvantage, in
    being killed by another character. Given the size of the world, it is
    not often that one comes across other players in the Nexus, unless of
    course they are actively hunting for PK, and have taken an educated
    guess as to the location of suitable (weaker) targets! The usual
    result of a successful PK is the two players involved chatting about
    what just happened. Most players do not object to being killed -
    their characters come back just as strong as before, within less than
    a minute. Most players encountering a weaker opponent will attack
    without hesitation, and this is not considered unfair or even
    impolite.

    'Duelling' is a slightly more 'formal' PvP activity. Two players
    agree, usually via the chat channel, to meet for a duel, sometimes as
    a form of competition, at other times to 'test' a new build. The
    combat takes place in a 'duelling arena' - other players or random
    creatures cannot interfere. Kills in a duel are not counted toward
    the players' 'PK' statistics (which are only cosmetic/bragging rights
    in any case).

    Now for 'builds', the strategy aspect of GW2. A build is a
    combination of class (one of four currently, with a fifth on the way),
    combinations of class powers developed to various 'ranks', talents
    (which you either have or have not, they do not grow in ranks), basic
    stats (Brawn, Power, Mettle etc, akin to D&D abilities), trained stats
    (skill with specific weapons and fighting styles/stances), equipment
    (magical or otherwise) and subclasses (at high power levels). This
    allows a huge variety of characters to be created. Also, all but a
    few aspects of this can be changed within minutes, so a player can
    'rebuild' with a minimum of fuss to fix ineffective strategies.

    All of this adds up to an amazing game, where you explore the vast
    strategic variety of possible character builds, fight all sorts of
    mobs to grow in power, and chat about it all to the creator of the
    game, its admins and other players just like yourself. If you like
    complex mechanics and the challenge of individual combat against mobs
    AND players, all kept fresh by continual and frequent innovation, this
    game rocks like nothing you have seen.

    Drop by, and say hello to me if you see me there - I am Negator
    there.


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