I first began playing RetroMUD about a year and a half ago. I have been playing MUDs since 1996 and have played a lot of MUDs. Very few MUDs have ever met my standards. What I look for in a MUD is something that is unique and offers something more than just repetitive combat. I first learned about RetroMUD from a banner on a MUD search engine. To tell the truth the name RetroMUD always turned me off trying out the game when I frist saw the banner about 3 years ago. I would see the banner and go RetroMUD? What kind of name is that. Finally one day i decided to take a look at it. I first went to their website. There was a lot of information and I learned that it was an LP MUD. Why is that important? Well, it completely depends on personal preference. I tend to like LP Muds because of their system command structure, and that they usually have races and more focus on RP than DIKU based MUDS, but that is just a personal preference.
RetroMUD's website was very well done and provided alot of information about the game, races, guilds, skills, and spells. This was important to me because I have played a lot of games with poor websites (little or no information) and was simply turned off to the game from the lack of effort in their public presence on the web. I am not saying this is one of the most important features, but it was a major factor in helping me decide to try RetroMUD for the first time. I was intrigued by the many races and the significant differences between them. I was amazed at how many guilds you can choose from, and the idea of a guild path. Probably the number one factor in my trying this game for the first time was the Dragon race. I mean whoa, I can be a dragon? I wonder if they are powerful? How is it balanced? Those are some of the questions that led to my first character on RetroMUD.
In RetroMUD you get exp for every new room you explore. This is a very good thing for newbies and at first I found it to be fairly entertaining. I began to explore the 'Retroverse' and I began to see some really neat features that I had not seen on other MUDs. There were 6 worlds with their own individual features, methods of interplanetary transportation, layout, and theme. The first feature that stunned me was depth. And when I say depth I mean that you can fly and swim above and below the current plan. RetroMUD has a color ASCII wilderness map, and that map is not two dimensional but three dimensional. This means you can fly up into the clouds or swim to the bottom of the ocean.
An example of a neat feature that I have not seen anywhere else is the planet Raji. Raji is the air planet and is made of many floating islands. You need to fly from island to island to get around. There is also a ship that can take you to the major islands, but true freedom on this planet requires flight.
The Races of RetroMUD are amazing. In most MUDs I have played races are just a different set of standard stats. Meaning if you are a strong race you have a bonus and a weak race you have a penalty to the appropriate stats. In RetroMUD stats are not the only thing different about races. Races have individual and different racial commands, emotes, size, armor slots, regeneration rates, skills and spell maximums, and vision. The vision aspect of RetroMUD can be very anoying, but whoever thought of it was a genius. There are races who can only see in the dark. I have never seen that on another MUD. Most of the time races with dark vision can pretty much see all the time. In RetroMUD there are four different light levels and races can be divided by what light levels they can see. This can sound complicated, but it adds an interesting twist to the game playing a dark seeing only race trying to find your way around on a well lighted world.
Guilds on RetroMUD are another feature that makes RetroMUD stand out. RetroMUDs guild system is extremely complex but allows players the freedom to pretty much create any character they wish. The maximum level in retromud is 100, during those 100 levels you join various guilds. These guilds give you skills, spells, and stats. By the choices you make you form a guild path that determines what kind of character you are. From a mage specialized in poison damage to a fighter specialized in fencing weapons. Another significant feature is the inclusion of trade guilds. Merchant and Alchemist are guilds that allow players to be intergrated into the economy of RetroMUD. Armor and weapons can only be worn if they fit your size. Thus they need to be resized by a merchant. Weapons don't keep their resize past reboot, so they need to be resized every day. Alchemist can add elemental damage to your weapons.
RetroMUD is an extremely complex game, that's why I like it. However it is not very newbie friendly. In order for a newbie to succeed here he either has to have had some experience with MUDs, have a friend that can help them learn, or be very determined. RetroMUD has a lot to offer players, but it takes a long time to get there. Leveling is slower than any other MUD I have played. This can lead to a lot of frustration. Another important fact is that RetroMUD is not really a solo MUD. As you gain levels it will become more and more difficult to solo. So if you don't interact well with other people you will struggle in retromud. However if you are a friendly person who is willing to learn you will enjoy the how different players come together to take down tough opponents.
Come and join us, though the path be long and difficult, the journey will be worth it.
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