As a longtime player of this game, I feel that it is my duty to give a straightforward review of the Wheel of Time MUD for the mudding community. I’ve been in many MUDs over the years, and even if I stop playing for a little while I always come back because this truly is the best MUD of its class and genre.
If I had to summarize Wotmud in one word, I would choose “intense”. From the moment you login to the moment you rent you are fighting for survival. This game is all about good versus evil, and heroes of all shapes and sizes fight for their cause (or themselves) to succeed in the ultimate race to see who will accrue the most points toward the Final Battle. Conflict rages across the world as three groups vie for dominance of the map. No matter where they are, no player is exempt from the brutal reality of war. Your life is in your own hands.
As can be gathered, much of our fun can be had fighting, and this is indeed an excellent player-killing MUD. Instead of stock characters who fight on supposedly level fields in a very boring two-bit way this game promotes the best shot at realism I have yet to see with its many unique features, most definitely the character creation and development systems.
Instead of stock classes who have set skills they can practice with their trainable and therefore controllable mental stats, the MUD rolls you set and unchangeable values that you play with for your entire character life. Every character can roll a random set of values that they can keep or restat (our version of rerolling, which is unique because it can only happen after a lot of work on that players part). While it may seem difficult to start this way, the process of earning the best stats is often the most effective introduction to the game you could ever have, and best of all you’ve earned it for yourself with your own hard work. This type of effort can be very empowering despite the difficulty.
The character development system is also completely unique: even though there are classes, all classes can practice all the skills except the channeling weaves, which only someone from that class can use (which is a book supported exclusive talent). Therefore, when it comes to these skills, you can customize your character as you choose without coded class restrictions that you might find in stock MUDs.
As far as strategy is concerned, the game is extremely realistic. There are pros and cons to every character setup you can imagine, and there are tiers of development for each character that might seem simple on the surface, yet might take years of regular playing time to achieve. The whole game is masterfully designed and includes systems within systems to ensure a continual challenge for the players (and staff!). In my experience, this kind of ingenious challenge is one of the main reasons the game retains its many longtime players (even a few who have played ten years or more). In addition, there are many, many rooms on the map and every room is unblemished with stock; instead it is 100% original and written by a talented member of the building team. Every area has secrets, advantages, traps, choke points, watch rooms, and other goodies to keep gameplay interesting throughout every area of the map. Therefore no matter where you are, you know fun is somewhere around the corner.
To touch on roleplay briefly, there are many, many options in that area. Point of fact, no playerkilling system can exist without its roleplay infrastructure. After all, this is a book-themed MUD that after all these years has remained true to the author’s vision. Every character can choose to roleplay in a clan, or singularly, but it is only through roleplaying in a clan that most of the playerkilling bonuses and special abilities can be earned. Even the most pk oriented clans must roleplay their characters to the standard or they lose their seat therein. No holds barred, this game is strict on its players in the roleplay department. In fact, under the surface of an awesome war environment blossoms the growing bud of intrigue. Many clans on the same side hold disfavor, or alliance, with others clans, and this creates a very realistic environment. This environment can really immerse you (often in just minutes of login) and I’m always busy trying to achieve my goals (even after so long playing here). This game is very multidimensional.
As for the environment, it is positive and well regulated. Many make longterm friendships, find partners, or meet up in a nearby region. There is even player apparel you can purchase to wear at such events. Players are free to report discourtesy on the web boards and in person, and NO harassment or misconduct to others is tolerated. Players can feel secure knowing that those who violate the conduct of a “houseguest” will be escorted out of the 'house', sometimes never to return. Just as your life is in your own hands, so is your character. Just like any MMORPG, the game attracts many types of individuals and the great majority of the time the staff handles all disputes efficiently and quickly. Rarely, players are allowed to return after being asked to leave the game, which demonstrates that the staff has a soft spot for the players, despite the hard rules.
In summary, the game is beyond par, and has been made with much love and care. I would highly recommend it to the experienced and the new mudder alike, but I’ll warn you, be prepared for challenge, and most probably, addiction.
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