My experience with Sloth mud was mixed at best. I loved the 8 character classes, of which 4 you could choose from. Your first, or prime, choice even got skills or spells you would not get if they were your second, third, or fourth choice. The classes were also very balanced and unique. Necromancer were actually able to summon the undead and Druids were able to shapeshift.
Scan was enabled allowing you to look several room around you and using hunt would allow you to search for mobs that you didn't actually know where to find.
Practicing spells is done by reading books. The starter books are in the respective guilds and there are libraries that hold some low-mid level books. You can find other books on mobs, overall a very balanced way to learn skills.
The players were quite numerous for muds, sporting generally over 20-30 at any given time. Also, they were very helpful if you asked them, and quite newbie tolerant.
The website offers great insight into the classes which can be quite complex. Also, it offers a searchable and superb database of items in the game and where to find them. This includes spellbooks, recipies and components used for crafting items. Another feature is the world map which can show you where other characters are, and lists to show which characters are logged in and which are grouping.
However, there were some minor and serious issues with gameplay. First; casting spells. All spells had to be surrounded by the ' symbol. This may actually be necessary as there is quite a list of spells and skills. This wasn't really a concern as I just aliased them in my browser.
Second; there is a severe shortage of equipment. Granted there is quite a list of equipment and a database is posted on slothmud.org. However you would need a large group or a higher level character to actually retrieve the items. And there is a catch to this as well, equipment items spawn rarely, meaning several trips may be needed to get the item. Equipment can be bought in armor shops but is usually just basic stuff, also some equipment can be forged but components for building said equipment is just as rare.
Third; the 'consider' system seems completely broken. Monsters that were 'perfect match' were easily defeated in a few rounds.Even after gaining 5 levels in my prime class the weakest monsters in the starter town were still rated 'perfect match'. While mobs that were rated 'You would need alot of luck' were generally what I killed for experience and gold. Then other mobs with the same rating would completely decimate my character. The only real way to judge an enemies strength was to fight it. Also while fighting you will have to 'look' at the monster to see how much you have hurt it. Looking at the monster in the middle of battle can be disorienting as it causes much spam. This led to my fourth concern.
Fourth; monsters would remember you, usually for hours of game time. This isn't really a problem except they would remember you even after you died. So once you tried to reclaim your corpse they would attack again, but this time you would have no equipment to protect yourself. Game designers partially fixed this by allowing 'familiars' to retrieve your corpse for you. Also, every time you die you are forced to disconnect from the mud. Which may get annoying depending on how often you die.
And the final problem I found was monster looting. Some monsters will loot your corpse. This can be especially frustrating as the consider system isn't great. Example: You 'test' a mobs strength by fighting it. It ends up killing you. You return to grab your corpse (usually by familiar) and find most of your equipment missing. Looking at the mob (providing he doesn't kill you before you flee) shows you that the mob has taken your stuff and left you with little to fend for yourself, now the mob has your stuff and will also attack you on sight. You now have to get another character to get your stuff back for you or start over completely.
While I much enjoyed this game and started to make friends here the third, fourth, and fifth problem reduced my gaming fun to mere frustration.
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