Ashirion is a massive, original world with so much history that your first few hours on the MU* are spent swimming in it. At first this seems like a daunting task but when dealing with any new world is it not important to have a decent background? A decent hold on what is going on? In this regard, Ashirion more than provides.
Now, in my opinion, a detailed history is great but I enjoy equally creative races or species. I have played on a number of fantasy MU* and after awhile, the basic human, elf, dwarf combo with it's variety of variants becomes tiresome. Not trying to bash these races/species, they are after all classics in many a sense, but playing something new and exciting, stepping out of the box, can be a refreshing experiance. Once again, Ashirion provides both of these things. Ever played one of the cat-like Felin, the Foxlin (the name gives it away ;) ), or jackal-headed Ishanti? Or, better yet, if your rp is up to snuff and you can provide a substantial background for your character, perhaps one of the application races is for you. In any case, a host of both old and new races/species (they are referred to as species in Ashirion) are available to play.
Another beautiful thing about this MU* is its incredibly free form environment. I can easily say that it is the most free form out of any MU* I have ever played. This is accomplished in two main ways:
Firstly, there is no combat system in the usual sense. Combat is a consent-based series of poses (actions) that the players enact as their characters. That is, one person may say lunge in an open-ended pose and the other will literally choose how or if they are wounded based on their skills and the other persons and the overall basic structure of their opponents pose. When this style is done properly, (I'll get to the opposite shortly) it is a lot more fun than watching a computer battle for you.
The second way the MU* accomplishes its freedoms is through a unique magic system. You, the player, get to literally create your set of spells based on a set of factors (your skill at magic in general for example) and limitations (can't have gods walking around now can we?). The staff are more than helpful in working this out with the players though, for a variety of very good reason which I won't get into, first time players are asked to play more mundane characters or take the magic skill and learn their specials on the grid.
As you can see, with these and a few other tweaks to the roleplaying environment you turn what can be slightly static to a something that is constantly evolving and highly player interactive. But, I know what you're thinking... A lot of room for twinkish people to mess up, right? 'So and so's death ray blasts your face off. You die!!!' Well, this brings me to the staff on the MU*. They monitor stuff like this and try and keep a balanced and fair atmosphere. People who act in this manner are taken to the side and explained why this sort of thing is not allowed (though it is usually obvious for most).
In a more general sense, the staff are friendly and always willing to help with your problems. They also actively create large plot lines which you can get your characters wrapped up in and encourage you to create your own so long as you keep them informed and do not create events that threaten the overall theme or important key events that are going on. Though, if you /really/ want to try and kill the Queen you can try, but it is likely her guards will stop you, you will be charged with treason and then you will be killed. Under those circumstances, the saying 'you made your bed, now sleep in it' fits nicely and thus, these actions remove your characters right to consent.
Now, if these reasons do not convince you to at least investigate this incredible MU*, then I am at a loss. On the other hand, if a craving to explore and become apart of this amazing and dynamic world is upon you, check it out at http://ashirion.co.uk/ . I recommend it to the nth degree.
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