Dartmud, The lands of Ferdarchi is one of the most in-depth and involved muds I have ever played. I originally started back in 1996, played for awhile, then took a long break from it. I then returned in 2003 and began playing once again. I was once again snared by the spell that is Dartmud.
A few reasons that I enjoy DM so much is everything involves a bit of thinking and skill. For example I will discuss my current profession, that of a Fighter. The fighting system is based on setting various allocations to your fighting/defense hand(s). You can tailor your character to be a certain type of fighter. Skill improves also come with time using them against a suitable sparring partner, be it a player or a soul-less one (NPC). Other fighting related skills are available, including Thrown, Archery and bash. Oh, and the skill system is almost totally numberless. You won't see a percentage but a level of skill achieved.
One of the strongest points of this mud is the craft system. Want to be a smith? Go for it! But it'd be best to learn a few skills before hand like metallurgy and such so you can supply yourself with your own ingots. Once you have the proper materials it is a matter of getting the tools together and forging yourself something. It can range from a red brass armet to an ornately decorated katana. (Which you can decorate depending on materials you gave) But don't expect to be able to make everything in one day. It takes a great deal of time and patience, or a good teacher. Which brings me to my next point.
Castles, Houses, Great Keeps. Anyway you look at it they bring to mind visions of times of old, great happenings and loyalty. And that is just what they are. A place for friends to gather and learn, speak, and defend each other. There are currently many castles, each with its' own barons or baronesss'. So to a large degree political intrigue is also a major part of the game. Castles can also be added to, construction is active even if Narg the construction orc is a bit overworked. Want a new room? Higher walls? A moat? Slap down the coinage and you got it, in time.
Death on Dartmud is a very serious matter. If you are killed, and no one can get your corpse to a healer, then you are dead. End of story, make a new character. Even if you are saved you will lose some skills. Life is brutal and harsh in Ferdarchi but the creators do an excellent job to keep it in check so it is still a fun and exciting place to be. If you can afford it you can purchase an amulet. It's an item which holds your soul and prev2ents skill loss, but can be taken and stashed.
With a range of skills and people that Dartmud possesses it is a wonderful place to burn your time, and more than likely you'll burn too much time here. But I have enjoyed every minute of it, whether dead, alive, fighting, or crafting.
As with any Mud it has it's downfalls. Though the game is extremely stable and the creators work non-stop to make sure it is kept that way and bug free. One of the biggest downfalls I know of is the existence of communications outside of the mud. Which gives some parties an unfair advantage in politics and war. But when so much time is placed into making a character it is no surprise that such things will happen. Other than that I find Dartmud to be a wonderful place and plan to continue spending my free time in the Lands of Ferdarchi.
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