TMC Reviews: Discworld
(Review Date: August 2, 1999)
TMC Reviewer: Selina Kelley |
Mud Theme |
As taken straight from the web page, Discworld MUD is a multi-user
game based on the Discworld books as written by Terry Pratchett.
Having never read the Discworld series, I cannot comment on the
theme from that aspect, but as far as interesting ideas, concepts,
and theories go, I just have one word to describe it: Wow.
The theme of Discworld, bar anything else, is innovative, clever
and witty. Expect the unexpected.
With fish, wombles, intelligent shades of blue, straw dummies, shiny
plaques, mended drums, Shifty Jim, Ankh-Morpork pence all on a
very chilly spindlewinter's afternoon, Discworld had me laughing
at every second turn, and left me wanting to read more.
The cabbage was a very nice touch (and cute!).
Mud Atmosphere |
There are never less than 75 people on at a time, not that I saw
anyway. Most of the time I saw more than 100. The website claims
that 125 is the max, but I saw a few times it peaked 130+. At
any rate, the atmosphere of the mud was surprisingly 'calm'. There
were lots of fun shouts, but not a huge amount of spam. I fumbled
around for the first couple login hours, but met up with a couple
nice semi-newbies who helped me through the process of picking out
a guild and showing me where to begin training. I was pleased
by how nice everyone seemed to be.
While I was there, I did notice the usual 'idiot newbie' log in,
but they were dealt with swiftly and patiently by others willing
to help out even the most excessively exclaiming newbie. (You know
the ones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????) ;)
Mud World |
Boasting 8000+ rooms, I have to believe the accuracy. For the
explorationally challenged, I was absolutely impressed by the website
offered by Choppy (found at http://www.bogo.co.uk/chopper/ or just
check out Choppy's finger information). The "Zoom" capability was
awesome, and you can tell a whole lot of time went into it :)
The FAQ was humorous whilst being helpful, and there's a handy
'help essentials' file too.
As far as my experiences go, I spent most of my time in the main
city. Not because I was afraid to venture, or didn't have the time,
but mainly because there was so much to see, and so much to do in
there, that I found myself wanting to check out every nook and cranny
available to me.
The fact that I advanced all the way to level 7 before I killed
a single NPC was awesome-- training skills and practicing being a
'thief' really helped acclimate myself to the mud. If you go
this route, however, prepare to be *extremely* patient -- experience
comes slowly with training. Leveling was much faster after I put
to death a few sad old men ;)
There's an extensive religion system on Discworld, priests are
able to enact 'rituals' that have been taught to them. It's also
an alignment based mud, but even though I killed a whole bunch
of what I would think of as 'good' NPCs, I never strayed from
neutral, making me wonder what needs to be done to manipulate
I didn't notice that there were many languages until I got to a
higher level, where I noticed that my 'cost all' command returned
a whole bunch of languages I'd never seen before. However, I
never really found any place that used them, all players talked
in the 'universal language' ;)
NPCs were 'smart', I could have discussions with the ones in
my guild, and in fact *had* to, to find out what commands to
use and in which rooms I should train. Clever responses helped
me figure out what i should ask next, and helped me find the
answered I needed. There were tour guides as well that could
show you around town.
There weren't as many help files as I would have liked, I tried
searching for help on skills and other assorted goodies, but
alas didn't find many at all. If it hadn't been for a couple
of kind players, I would have been stuck wandering the mud
in confusion, but once I was shown the initial ropes it was
pretty easy to catch on.
The fruitbat flavoured badge was quite tasty...
Additional Comments |
Wow. I've never before seen a mud that has been so intricately
put together that I've *wanted* to read every description. Being
able to search in every room was great, and finding items randomly
was great for a newbie -- I made some good money from that! To
say that Discworld is 'unique' might be going too far, but it's as
close to unique that any mud I've been on has ever been. A great
deal of thought has gone into every aspect, and (surprisingly)
considering the age of the mud, it in no way feels stale.
Discworld does not pretend to be what it isn't, and in fact almost
*under* sells itself. The listing on TMC, whilst technically
accurate, does not begin to describe the flavour of what Discworld
is. The feeling I got from the mud was one of fun, quirkiness, and
constant surprises. I spent a whole lot more time on there than I
expected, but it was time well spent!
I commend the Administration of Discworld for creating an enjoyable
place to visit, and hope that future muds that I review can live
up to the standards that Discworld has created.