Stay far away from this! This game is monetized harder than many modern mobile games, and definitely more than any other game in this medium that I have encountered. Lots of bad dev issues, and I feel like the game is in its death throes due to sudden radical changes and a rapidly declining and disgruntled player base.
I've played this game on and off for many years, but I've finally had enough and decided to quit and write a review. Take my bias with a grain of salt, but I genuinely want to warn people about what they can expect. Most new players likely won't read this, as they tend to show up after seeing the single player game however (which is *completely unrelated* to this game, and even its story/lore is different and non-canon here). The retention rate of new players is also extraordinarily low despite the traffic and new accounts it gets because of this phenomenon.
By far the *biggest* reason I would immediately tell people to steer clear is the monetization. Mako, the premium currency, is what paywalls many of the more fun aspects of the game, and recently the automated market to trade freecred (in-game currency you earn by playing the game) for mako was completely removed from the game. This paywall includes (but is absolutely not limited to) game mechanics such as: changing the sizes of your body parts, reverting back to forms you have mastered, transforming aspects of other people, changing the colors in your automated description, paying to reroll skill checks in RP, buy extra perk points, paying to hide your private parts, increasing your rather limited inventory space, etc. The game also runs on stamina-like system similar to mobile games which you can pay to refill, as well as lootboxes for things like rare power upgrades (ex. Nuclear damage type conversion is extremely rare and exclusive to the lootboxes). New players especially are also likely to get baited into buying things they may not really need with real money, and there are plenty of traps with relatively useless ways to waste your mako (once again, like a predatory mobile game).
Nuku, the head dev, will essentially hold long awaited bug fixes and such for ransom behind large mako donation pools, but will then turn around and freely implement ideas that are rushed, poorly thought out, and often unpopular. In the same afternoon that he thinks of them, he will sometimes push out updates with little to no community input or quality control (and often no patch notes in the update channel) that usually break random things in the game's ancient spaghetti code, causing further compounding problems as these issues go undiscovered/forgotten/ignored. These spontaneous updates are usually the ones that would never get donation funding as well, such as deleting content, nerfing things, etc. while he usually actively charges the player base for the good stuff.
In the last few months, he has been constantly pushing out constant radical changes to the game that I have not enjoyed at all, many of which aren't even documented because he'll only mention them in the public global OOC chat and you'll easily miss them unless you sift back through the entire chat log. Group farming end game monsters was somehow seen as a problem (despite being standard behavior in most online RPGs) and constantly struck with nerfs, changes, and unpleasant talk until the people who ran and participated in public farming groups gave up. Newbie items (literally gained as starting gear) and other similar basic items were made to cost millions of freecred (and thousands of times more expensive than any other comparable items in NPC shops), and Nuku just said he didn't care and left it like that. The player economy has been made increasingly nonexistent as more features are removed, people only really trade rare lootbox items anymore. Remorting (basically 'prestige' level resets that become absurdly expensive over time) was changed to make it much more annoying and tedious to catch up to veteran players (ex. The level scaling system has been removed so you can't participate in bosses, farming, daily quests, etc. with friends while you are grinding remorts, removing convenience and fun for more tedium). He has also performed spiteful detrimental updates in response to being annoyed by chat, usually followed by logging out after implementing them so he doesn't have to listen to complaints. He also has a hard comprehending people's concerns about the changes he makes, and frequently ignores or outright dismisses them in chat.
Gameplay is an absolute mess, don't come here for that. The new player experience is complicated and miserable, and by the time you actually understand the game enough to stop dying, combat will become absolutely trivial and can be easily automated with built in features. You might get a kick out of the crafting system if you like messing with stats and numbers, but you'll find little to actually do with it outside of hunting optional boss versions of enemies with absurdly bloated stats for repetitive titles (the only "challenging" end game content because you can just keep procedurally scaling it upwards until only the cheesiest and most optimized strategies work). The game's content is mostly abandoned/forgotten, with entire zones that are usually empty and never used by the player base for RP and such. Entire game mechanics such as repeat attacks (which composed basically 1/3 of all damage focused abilities, classes, roles, items, etc.) were scrapped recently due to spaghetti code issues that they couldn't fix, after simply leaving them broken and nonfunctional for a very long time.
RP is the game's saving grace due to being entirely community driven and there being some good people here during my time. However, the player base is increasingly dwindling and most players just sit in one spot all day long for OOC conversation and casual RP. "Judged" RP with a DM and rolls using the skill system has essentially been on life support with only a small but passionate fraction of the player base participating. However, the RP specific skill system just randomly got nerfed pretty hard, so I don't know what the future holds regarding it all. This was my last reason for staying, but bad updates ruining even this has pushed me over the edge into finally quitting.
So yeah, I don't recommend playing this, and I definitely advise against spending money on it. As somebody who has previously contributed quite a bit, I regret it honestly due to the awful way Nuku has been treating the game and its community as of late. If you do play it, be aware that whatever you like about the game is subject to change at any moment at the whim of the head dev, usually with no real regard as to how you or other people may feel about it. It's a real shame because there was plenty of potential within the game and its setting, but the serious problems just kept getting worse.
I have come back after a long time away. This place used to be a lot of fun. Maybe it can be again. Right now there aren't many people about. But that might change. For now you can explore and get stuff you would normally be competing for a lot more easily. Real estate is pretty cheap right now.
I have just refound this mud after years of looking. I first played this about 10 years ago before it was called 'classic' it was amazing back then and is still amazing now. The fact that vampires and dragons feel so powerful is great. Iíve been playing a dragon and it takes time to level up but it is worth it you feel powerful and not just squishy. The player base is great and helpful and the imms are helpful. So if your looking for a place to hang or even one to call your mud home (they have them here as well) come on in you won't regret it.
See you there
Been playing Dragonball evolution for years. The only mud I still enjoy. Great community, lots of events, and frequent updates. If you're a fan of the dragon ball franchise, I highly recommend checking it out.
This Mud. Is the greatest mud I have ever laid my eyes upon. I know that's a pretty common claim for these types of game, but I promise that this time is real. Every Line Matters. Every single line of text in this game drips with hidden meaning and inneundo that would stump even Hemmingway. The hidden secrets I've found to which I am the only discoverer number in the hundreds. I've built stories with people whose subtlety in their roleplay hides depths of dreams, wonders and failure. The setting is a dark fantasy dystopia. The world is deeply broken and its gods are self-serving, racial tensions are at all time highs due to recent history, occupied territories see executions daily. Your character is thrust into the middle of this to act as yet another pawn in the grand scheme. From there you can choose to develop yourself mentally, physically or something in between. Every choice matters, every mistake piles onto another. As a result everyone feels unique to play around, the sum of their character's deeds becoming the foundation of their rich backstories.
The mud itself is pretty good the vast amount of race/class combinations you can make are basically endless. The problem is this reward system for playerkilling that makes the elite too strong and literally ruins all fun for any clanned playerkiller because of it. It has gone unaddressed for years. That coupled with the worst IMMstaff I have ever encountered makes it kind of a toxic enviroment to play in. People just bitch and complain on the out of character channel all day and then one of the admin will tell them to suck it up or some other asshole remark that makes people basically quit. The playerbase has dwindled down to almost a minimum from the great MUD it once was. At this point the game is basically the owners cash cow, it is a free mud but basically it is ignored by the owner and he just collects cheques from people who want in game advantages purchasing con cards.
Comment posted on Tue 04 Jul 2023 12:51:58 PM CDT by Ben:
I started playing Dark and Shattered Lands (DSL) in college around 1996 or 97, I can never remember. Over the years, the game has had it's ups and downs, but over all I have really enjoyed my time on DSL, and the players and imm staff are awesome. The game code has undergone massive changes, and a lot of really cool features have been added, including: areas, storylines, mechanics and more digital flavor than you can imagine. Whether you want to concentrate on roleplaying or player killing (or both!), DSL provides a fun environment to explore and discover. The player base is friendly, and we help newbies get rolling so they can join in the fun.
If you haven't tried it out, give it a shot! Currently (Summer, 2023), our numbers are down, and we could really use some new people to come in and join us. Con is right around the corner, and it would be a great time to come!
Haven of The Embraced has been a fixture of my life since I was 14 or 15. I love the players and the community that we have on Haven. I never got into Table-Top roleplaying, but roleplaying on Haven is a lot of fun, with the right partners. I do most of the development for the game and have done so since approximately 2012 and I enjoy putting new features in and seeing players enjoy them. I take player feedback seriously and do whatever I can to make sure everyone that logs in will enjoy their experience, however they choose to play Haven.
I left for a few years due to personal reasons but I'm back and I've been putting changes in on a regular basis since. I take pride in this game and want to make it as popular as it had been back when it first opened. Hopefully, we can rise through the ranks and be in the top 10!
I love this mud. The mechanics are great and getting better all the time. Greg and Arcades have put a ton of work into this and it shows. I am really looking forward to the growth of the player base as this mud is new and still undiscovered. If you want someone to play with just look for any character that starts with Bel.