For myself this has been the most addictive game I have ever played, over any other mud or even graphical game. The main reason for me is that I know I will always be entertained if I log on, there is always something to accomplish or do...even if all I want to accomplish is to kill some free time. I have played every guild and took the plunge a few years ago and became a wizard (builder - if not a very prolific one)
The mud itself has more than 300 original areas (must be well over 15,000 different descriptions) and is divided into different domains which can be accessed by self controlled boats, automated ferries or by more magical means (wands of recall, spells, even boots of recall). To make it less intimidating to new players after completing mud school you are given a transport device and a list of areas of note - newbie areas, shops, and common terms. To further help people explore you can type areainfo to see the level ranges, any secrets or quests in the area and a short description.
But with the number of areas you can always find a peaceful place to kill and not have to worry about someone stealing all the kills. Obviously certain areas are better than others depending on your level, but also it depends on your guild as well.
On lost wishes there are currently 8 guilds - mages, clerics of course, but also bandits, gladiators, werewolves, dragonspawn, golems and elementals. Each guild has its own playstyle and also its own special way of gaining experience (guild levels). For example, gladiators gain the most from killing the biggest monsters while being in different fighting modes and defensive modes, while dragonspawn gain their experience by just casting their spells and using their powers it doesnt matter to a DS what size the monster is. This is just one more way that lw tries to promote player interaction over player competition.
Of course competition has its place and to help with that there are games to play like scavenger hunts (you have a list of items and a time limit to obtain them), hit lists ( a list of monsters and a time limit to kill them). There are also a number of toplists (level, killers, explorers, heck even one for the most deaths :) ) which even if you are a low level with enough work you can get onto them. Or if you just like like keeping occupied while healing the natural way (sleeping) there are word puzzles and poket poker games.
Then there is the overall atmosphere of the mud, and the interaction of the players. There are a number of channels to access, the main chat line, a line just for newbies (and the people that like to help them), your own guild line, and if you like to roleplay there is an RP line as well. Not to mention public boards to address everything from certain areas, guilds, special announcements even a humour board (for that extra special geek humour), and a flame board for when somone or something is driving you crazy. And also to encourage player input there is a bug/idea/typo command which allows you to point out any that you see. These lists are kept on top of by the wizards and you are usually rewarded (money based on level) within 24 - 48 hours if your change is implemented.
Overall, this mud has kept me entertained for over 6 years and kept me coming back consistantly in that time. And if you are reading reviews chances are you are looking for some entertainment as well. So come give it a try, there are always people around to welcome you.
-Elder Warlord Catharsis, Gladiator of the Murmillons (Guild Leader)
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