After taking a break of over a year I decided to relog on Realms of Despair and I found the entire world totally changed, the 'shattering' had happened and the mud I once knew pretty much every corner of was totally changed. My old characters still existed thanks to a friend who had taken care of them, but I decided I would make a new character and would leave my old ones alone for the moment so I could get a view of how the game changed starting by the character creation. The new pre-auth area is a log bigger than the old one but gives the possibility to skip the entire learning process for more experienced players, I decided to go through it and found it extremely well done also if a bit overloaded with information it gives you all the necessary knowledge you need to start out. After I had my name accepted I found myself at the new academy and received tells, including a tell from a bot that offered leveling spells so I went to see that bot and got my lowbie spelled up and then went back to the academy where the new 'Tsythia' blessed me with the blessing of thoric wich added to the spell ups I already had from the bot and basically I had my level 2 thief with all important stats maxed out even if I wasnt wearing any eq yet.
There are several bots around that provide you _all_ kind of spells you could wish and links to homepages with directions, leveling tips, deity information etc. etc. etc.
When I compare this to when I started playing this game it is much much easier for new players to start on this mud than it has ever been before, a lot of people are whining but imo they don't really know what they're talking about, plus the new exp system now grants a character w/o alts logged bonus experience which means that the experience player's only advantage over the newbie is knowledge about the game and nothing else and even if the areas I used to level at were changed drastically for the most part with help of these sites I managed to av another character in a very short time.
Also the new deity system didn't represent a problem thanks to these sites. I can understand some of the players that lived the entire shattering were a little overwhelmed by all these changes but for someone like me that had quit the mud due to the lack of new challenges after having pretty much done everything you could do I enjoyed these changes and saw a new reason to start mudding once again to discover the now huge and elaborated world out there with all the new puzzles and challenges.
Now the point had arrived were I logged my old characters again and my old organization became my family once again like I had never left and the spirit I encountered was the same as mine. There's a lot of great stuff out there to discover, let's get out there and find out what no one else has yet. The changes I had found to the classes of my various characters were great and I have yet to find one which I don't like and they all make sense from my point of view.
In my eyes the 'shattering' only brought good to this fantastic mud and gave people the chance to seek out new equipment instead of trying to get one of these expensive eq pieces that they can't run for and that take a lot of time to gather the resources for for buying one. New equipment, as long as it is still rare, always has been traded for a lot more than it's proper value before everybody knew how to get it.
In conclusion to the new people I can only say, try this mud out, I have been enjoying it for years and now I do once again to the older, frustrated people I can only say to get their minds working and their characters out of their recall spots and discover the new things out there, if you're smart enough you still have the chances of making nice profits, if you are not then stop complaining and live your life in resignation but stop writing pointless complaints about a mud that has evolved in the right direction.
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