The name 'Duris, Land of Bloodlust' says it all. This mud is probably one of the most successful muds to date since its creation in the mid 1990's. Why? To put it simply, it has the nasty tendency to make you jump out of your seat when you least expect it.
The theme of Duris is a three-way war of the races with each unique racewar side uniquely tailored to fit your 'role-playing' tastes. 'Good' aligned races make up the bulk of the newer players which provide this racewar side with a numbers advantage and simpler, somewhat player friendly environment. By comparison the 'Evil' and 'Undead' racewar sides experience more hardships and consequently are played by more experienced players. All sides have a wide variety of unique race and class options. A quick list of these will give you an idea of the diversity of this game:
Good Races: Evil Races: Undead Races: Storm Giant Ogre Wight Barbarian Troll Revenant Centaur Githyanki Phantom Human Orc Vampire Dwarf Duergar Shadow Beast Grey Elf Drow Elf Lich Gnome Goblin Shade Thri-kreen Thri-kreen Minotaur Minotaur Halfling Half-Elf
Hitter: Warrior, Mercenary, Paladin, Anti-Paladin, Reaver, Ranger, Monk, Berserker, Dreadlord
Rogue: Thief, Assassin, Bard
Magical: Sorcerer, Conjurer, Necromancer, Illusionist, Alchemist
Clerical: Cleric, Druid, Shaman, Warlock
As you can see, the goodies races have the most options for new players. The evil and undead races and their class options require a bit more knowledge to select. Each race has an excellent variety of usable innate abilities. For example Lich’s, Grey Elves and Drow Elves have magic resistance which enables them to shrug magic, Phantoms have the ability to walk through doors, Goblins have the ability to self haste for short periods of time, etc.
As a new player I would strongly recommend learning the mud as one of the “Good” races. There are a number of players on the “Good” side that will assist you with information and if you are lucky some equipment as well. In addition as a good race you can access a newbie chat channel by typing “nchat”. Experience on Duris is best done in groups, so you probably want to type “toggle group” to enable a (Group Needed) flag next to your name on the who list.
When designing your character you initially pick your race then your class. There are a wide variety of available classes that fit into the standard groupings of classes commonly found in fantasy games. Your class options are based upon the race and racewar side that you choose and include the following:
Different combinations of race and class will provide an extremely different experience. For example a Centaur Ranger is size large and due to its unique body structure it cannot utilize the ranger “springleap” ability to takedown victims (although it can still bash if a shield is worn). However Centaurs cannot be taken down by any opponent smaller then itself, feature enhanced damage when using the “kick” skill and they have most hitpoints of any ranger class in the game. By contrast a Grey Elf Ranger has almost half the hitpoints of a centaur and can be taken down by anyone within the standard takedown size ranges. Yet Grey Elf Rangers can utilize the “springleap” ability, they have innate magic resistance and they do more damage in the same amount of time as a Centaur Ranger due to a faster “pulse”. Obviously, race-class combinations can make big differences in your characters abilities.
Duris features up to 56 levels. The first 50 are attained by gaining experience via zoning, “fragging” (player killing) and/or quests. 51-56 are attained one at a time by completing 'potion zones' which require a strong organized group and good leadership. Attaining levels from 1 to 50 is not that difficult once you have played the game for a bit. The idea is to get you into the action of the game as soon as possible so that you can compete with the other opposing racewar sides for 'frags'. 51-56 potion zones are long; however they can provide immense gratification from either receiving a potion and the accompanying top notch equipment or slaying opposing racewar sides within the potion zone as your enemy attempts to potion their own.
Ability to succeed in the game is dependent on two things, levels and equipment. The Duris map is quite large with 5 major continents and a number of lesser continents/islands. There are more zones in the game then you will probably ever get to do, and the room count is a ridiculous number way over the million mark. Yet, the way the game is designed there are a number of excellent methods of getting around so that you do not feel lost.
The size of Duris makes it quite interesting in terms of racewar battles, because they can occur anywhere, anytime, with any number of players involved. This is where the 'I think I soiled myself' aspect enters into the game. As a player you are free to attack anyone regardless of racewar side just about anywhere. True safe rooms do not exist, although your guildhall can be a temporary haven from the opposing racewar side. Hometowns provide limited safety from opposing racewar sides to low level players but they are not totally secure. The beauty of player killing on this mud is that the players enforce who dominates and who dies, not the code.
The equipment found this mud, is exciting to say the least. Duris has maintained a firm grip on thematic content, so you will not see silly names on equipment or zones, and the ANSI is stellar. Equipment can provide a wide variety of character enhancements, including effects that would normally only be attainable if you were playing a different class, or racewar side. Balancing your character’s equipment properly is key to having a strong character. In addition to standard zone equipment there are a number of unique 'Artifacts' which can provide your character with enhancements. All Artifact items must be 'fed' on the blood of an opposing “fraggable” enemy race character within a four day period, otherwise the Artifact will magically “poof” out of your hands. Once poofed the Artifact will load at its default spawn point in a difficult zone where anyone has access to obtaining it (provided they have a group to do the zone). In addition you will get your name listed on the Artifact list (if that sort of thing matters to you) for all to see. Here is the current artifact list for you to get a glimpse:
Daqill the orb of the sea Duac the unholy avenger named 'Bloodlust' Lac SunBlade the two-handed sword of Justice Ippo the mystical warhammer of the barbarian kings Lur staff of blue flames Daqill a cloak of Elvenkind Iat the sphere of wind Kymazz Lyrical Instrument of Time Duac the platemail of the DragonLord Straker the sword of fire and flame Zulor the sword of light and darkness Noob A God Stone Ayaki Avernus the life stealer Lom Doombringer the sword of chaos Hitokiri Tiamat's poison tail stinger Daqill the Living Necroplasm Grubner the holy mace of the effreeti Azcre Tsunami, the trident of storms Iruzl a blood red sword named 'Death Rider' Keslor the Rod of Dispator Hitokiri a pair of pale, misty gloves Sais the mace of the earth Gitji Tendrils of Shadowy Mist Aik the globe of shadows Torsak Chaos, The Unholy Avenger
”Frags” are obtained by slaying enemy races. The only time you will not frag an enemy race, is if the victim you killed was more then 10 levels lower then your characters level. This discourages newbie killing as a method of obtaining frags and feeding Artifacts. Like the Artifact list there is a frag list where you will be listed if you are within the top 10 fraggers.
The best feature of this mud is a consistently active group of coders. This has been the situation since the day Duris was born, and will probably remain so until the end. Updates are put into the game daily, which can be accessed by the “news” command. There is a constant sense of growth.
Aside from the player killing element of this game there are a variety of other features to the game including:
1) a brand new quest system 2) personal ships, sailing and pirating/sinking other vessels 3) guilds complete with guildhalls and outposts 4) random zones, equipment, and continent connector zones that change per boot 5) active website with a forum for battle logs, newbie help and player input
I almost forgot to mention, that the fighting in this game is VERY dynamic. Solo fights or small skirmishes occur frequently, however the large group fights truly exhibit a well thought out fighting engine in zones as well as in player killing. Without a good level of group coordination you will be very lucky to experience success on the battlefield. As a plus every class in the game has a unique purpose or advantage they bring to a fight, so you don’t feel left out because you picked the wrong class/race.
There is so much that can be said about this game, but one of the best points that can be made is that a large number of Duris players continually return to the game after taking time off to deal with real life. Duris qualifies as a serious addiction. For more information check out WWW.DURISMUD.COM, and if you jump on, I will be happy to introduce you to the game by having my Undead Wight Warrior feed off your carcass.
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