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TMC Reviews: Ansalon


Ansalon QuickFacts

TMC Listing: Ansalon
Server Type: [Unknown] 1.5b4 (from Ahotasu's AlphaMud, then Rom 2.4)
Site: ansalon.net 8679 [66.228.38.196]
Homepage: http://www.ansalon.net

TMC Reviewer: Jonathan Kensler
Mud Theme

Ansalon is a fantasy world based on the Dragonlance series. Along with this, role playing is a major part of the mud. Each immortal on the mud role plays as a deity, championing various causes anywhere from healing to death. There are also a number of races, although I must say I wish there were more. There were only a few, fairly run of the mill classes. I was also asked to choose an alignment of good, neutral, or evil when I started. What I found interesting is that once in the game, the race, class, and alignment that I selected had a greater effect on my character than just determining what skills I could get. These three factors were very important in role playing, and in clans. Because of my race, alignment, and class, I was limited in what clans I could be in, adding to the genuine role playing atmosphere in the mud. One of the clans was set up in a way that I found really beneficial to the mud, in that one of the requirements to join the clan is to help 3 people. Don't get me wrong though, hack and slash is still a major part of the mud. Ansalon has over 100 mortal levels, and the characters that I saw were fairly evenly spread out in terms of their level. There also always seemed to be at least 10-15 players on at any time.

Mud Atmosphere

After having played many very different types of muds right before coming to Ansalon, I have to admit that I had temporarily forgotten and mixed up some of the ROM commands, rendering me a true newbie in many ways. I had quite a bit of trouble in the beginning as well, because when I recalled, I found myself in the temple of the deity that I followed, which was in the middle of a town that I wasn't familiar with. I had a map, but it didn't really explain how to get back to the mudschool. While I was trying to figure this all out, there was also the problem of dying from not knowing where to get any food or water. In these aspects, it was a bit hard as a total newbie. But very soon an upper level player was helping me, being very patient and helpful, answering my questions. I was shown where to get food and water, given some equipment and other things. This helped enormously. Other players also were quite willing to help me. Although the actual mud itself might have been a bit tricky for a newbie, the players more than made up for it. The players were quite nice, and the immortals generally seemed the same. They seemed to be on very often, and were quite visible. One thing that concerned me though is that in their wanting to ensure that Ansalon had a nice atmosphere to it they could be rather overbearing in some cases. It seemed, at times, that they were too quick to determine if someone was becoming a problem player and then eliminate them. During character creation you can choose to either have the ability to pkill and be pkilled, or to choose not to be able to pkill or be pkilled. However, the immortals seemed to take pkilling as a sign of a problem player and so they were sometimes targets for being deleted. For this reason, there is almost no pkilling on Ansalon. The other unfortunate thing is that players who choose to be evil tend to be more troublesome in general, so of course there are fewer evil characters on Ansalon. This creates somewhat of an imbalance because there are so many characters that are good. This was the one main fault that I found in the imms, but to be fair, they are honestly and very actively trying to ensure that Ansalon is a pleasant, family type mud.

Mud World

I saw both original and stock areas. There were far more original areas than stock areas, and what stock areas I saw tended to be in somewhat out of the way places. The stock areas really didn't seem to be used much at all by the players. This was understandably so, because the original areas were excellently laid out, and quite well described. The places seemed to fit well together and there was a reasonable emphasis on consistancy with the Dragonlance theme. Besides the rooms, I also saw a ferry, which for a fee would take you to one of a number of different cities in Ansalon. Ansalon also has pets that you could mount and ride around the mud, and who would fight for you as well.

Additional Comments

Although I found the role playing rather nice, the coding of the mud is still mainly based upon hack and slash, especially at lower levels. What I would hope to see from Ansalon in the future is a higher level of customization of the programming of the mud, gearing it a bit more towards role playing. This would emphasize one of the best aspects of Ansalon.

I also found it slightly odd that there is really no story behind what you are doing in Ansalon. When you make a new character, you are basically just told that the world of Ansalon needs some new heroes. With the large role playing aspect of Ansalon, I would expect some sort of general story (or perhaps stories, based upon alignment or god).

Summary

Due to the fact that Ansalon's immortals attempt to ensure a positive and happy environment, and possibly go a bit overboard in doing so, Ansalon does not seem like the ideal place for thieves or pkillers. I would have to say that they might very well have a rather rough time. I would also have to say that those who desire to play either strictly combat oriented muds, or strictly role playing muds would not be all that comfortable playing Ansalon since it has quite heavy aspects of both combat and role playing. On the other hand, those players who enjoy both role playing and combat might very well find Ansalon a pleasant mud to play on. Likewise newbies would also find Ansalon a rather nice place to start their mudding experience, based upon the friendliness and helpfulness of the player base.

Comments from the Ansalon Administration

PKill and PSteal do exist on Ansalon, and we frown upon them when they are not done within an RPed scenario. Some past players abused the PK system tremendously, and had to be disciplined. Deletion is the last resort, as it should be.

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