Well, quite a long time ago now, I was flailing around mindlessly, mudding on a rather small mud with few players (and even fewer that liked my ambitions of world domination), when a friend of mine sent me a message.
He'd started out on new mud. At the time, it was called Vampires Lair- a World of Darkness based mud, with Vampires, Humans, and Werewolves as the main fears/characters.
My first memory of VL has to be standing inside Tiopon's room, the first time she classed me. Roleplay was encouraged (which was most definitely fine by me) and I quickly settled in, enjoying myself.
The second memory I have was of the old server crashes- An experience that at the time would have made me leave if the community wasn't so addictive. Since then, the mud has moved to a much better server, and I've gone from character to character- VL has grown too. Times changed, vampire clans faded and new ones grew- A map system appeared, advancements and constant changes (as the mud is pretty much constantly updated) enhanced the method of play.
Mages were added (but aren't open yet!)-adding a new twist to the gameplay, as Mages (testers) started to appear with strange and frightening abilities.
Eventually, things leading to more things,War seemed to break out among the immortals, and VL split. The majority of players followed Tiopon, and VL changed into DL- Dark Lair. Tiopon is still there- but few of the old immortals remain. They were replaced by new ones- People who'd been there long enough to have experience.
The players on DL are generally great people- There have been a few rather unsocial players to pop up every once in a while, but they've been driven off over time by the majority. People are friendly, mostly polite (though some of us take pride in being at least a little nasty- once you understand us you'll get along fine :p)
When Newbies appear, people usually race to tell them how to start out- and point them in the right direction. Tiopon seems to always beat me to it, but I have helped a few in my time.
The roleplay is brilliant. Even people with barely any experience in WoD can quickly adapt to the society, as most other players will fill you in as you play. When I began, I had little WoD knowledge- but now I find myself researching clan backgrounds before I create characters, whether they need an interview or background or not.
DL has a RP flag system, which you obtain by writing a background on your character. Having an RP flag give you certain bonuses, like the ability to learn more 'powers' (Disciplines or Gifts) and more exp from battles.
New characters also have 'Newbie' flags- the flag gives certain bonuses also- like rendering you immune to player attacks (PK has to be justified RPly, but you could always get one...), and giving you more exp. Having that is a great bonus for new characters, and means that they have a chance to get the experience they need to train their characters to the point where they're not dwarfed by every player in the mud.
Aaand thats it. I wrote this while my client was down. Otherwise I'd probably be playing DL right now.
Some muds are good, can hook you in place and keep you playing for a while. After four years always coming back, I can say that Dark Lair is certainly an experience you shouldn't pass up. I'd recommend it to anyone searching for an World Of Darkness experience.
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