Cybersphere is the best cyberpunk MUD I have ever found. It's worth being clear on that because while Iím going to do some complaining about it, and while I didnít find it fun enough to keep playing, I also maintain that if you want to try some cyberpunk MUDing, you should check out Cybersphere.
Whatís right with it:
Firstly, Cybersphere definitely has a cyberpunk feel to it. The city of New Carthage (and the surrounding areas, insofar as I have seen them) is very well described and very atmospheric. PCs are required to fit in with this setting. Your name and description must be appropriate and you must submit a character history before being approved to play. When I made a mistake in my biography, so that it didnít quite fit in with the setting, an immortal politely complimented me on the history and pointed out my mistake, asking that I fix it up and resubmit. I call that classy and good for roleplaying.
There are lots of skills to take, plenty of which have to do with combat and most of which donít. That strikes me as very appropriate for the setting.
I met quite a number of people who were interesting in roleplaying with me and who played their parts very well. I really enjoyed some of the scenes I got to play. I also met quite a few people who were only too willing to go out of their way to help orient the newbie.
Lastly, newbies get a few days of grace before anyone can pkill them, provided that they themselves donít try to attack or steal from anyone, including the mobs.
Whatís wrong with it:
There are too many players on Cybersphere who just want to kill other PCs for no good reason. Even while I was new enough to have my few days of protection, some other players tried very hard to get me to attack them so that they could waste me. Yeah, I know life is cheap in the future, but you have to put a lot of work into a Cybersphere character, including writing up a history, so getting wasted for no reason is no fun.
Speaking of death, death comes very easily in Cybersphere. Just wandering around can get you killed very easily Ė whether by mobs you canít escape or by traps you canít avoid. You have to put too much work into a Cybersphere character to have them killed off so easily. You *can* pay to have clones available, but it costs significant amounts of money each time, and if you take the cheap version, your stats will deteriorate.
It isnít clear what a Cybersphere PC is supposed to be doing and you donít get much guidance. You start the game with no money and no equipment. If you can find a helpful PC, they may tell you how to get some money from the bank and how to get work delivering packages. By these means, you can pick up a little basic equipment. Delivering packages is fun at first, but it gets old. I kept waiting for my employers to ask me to whack somebody (or do anything else) but they never did. There is an unemployment office but, so I was told, it serves no purpose. I couldnít even prey on the mobs. The ones I found were either (a) drone citizens or desert lizards who had nothing worth taking or (b) gangsters who were all too tough for an (equipped) inexperienced samurai. Also, if you ever hit a member of a gang, every other member of the gang will attack you on sight from then on. To be fair, it is clear that the administrators are running all kinds of interesting plots for established characters, but that didnít really help me any.
So do I recommend it? I recommend *trying* it, if you like cyberpunk. The atmosphere is good, there are some good roleplayers, there are some interesting plots going on that maybe you can become a part of, and I havenít found anything better in the genre.
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