I am, by no means, a MUD expert. I was asked onto BuffyMUD by a friend and was swept away by the people there.
And, I'll say this: the absolute best thing that BuffyMUD has is a helpful, creative player base, most of whom respect RP over PK or levelling and work hard to give life to the code.
Levelling is fairly easy. Besides mobs, there's also missions available and occassionally one can get an automission that will lay tons of XP upon you, allowing less combat-oriented characters a chance to level up.
The code itself is fun and has a lot of good elements to it: The races, for instance, are fun and well-balanced and while the classes are at times limiting in their construction, everyone has the ability to customize their character more or less to their liking, provided they have the sufficient XP and in-game money to afford the new skills/upgrades/whatever.
The PK system is fun and the combat quick and easy. The commands available are simple enough to understand and actually killing a character is difficult in the extreme and, in theory, quite dangerous.
The magic system is fun and utilitarian, bestowing fun abilities as well as giving magic-oriented characters some ability to stand up in a MUD that is based largely around physical beatdowns.
However, the code is not without it's problems. As noted in a previous review, social attacks (largely things to mess with people without actually hurting anyone/thing) are level-based rather than stat-based, so a character with limited knowledge of hand-to-hand combat is able to fend off the attacks of a lower-level bruiser by nature of... I don't know.
There are other problems, to be sure. But they're minor. For the most part, the MUD is twenty tons of fun. There's good people and always something to do, even if people aren't on.
However, there are two large, glaring problems. The first is that while minor suggestions are taken up, larger suggestions and requests for assistance are often met with hostility, if they are met at all by the administrators.
The second, and most important, problem is (as has been noted before) the RAMPANT AND FLAGRANT favouritism that pollutes the MUD and makes it VERY difficult to continue playing if your character wishes to make a significant difference in the gameworld at large. Offenses that are cause for character deletion for some players are laughed off for others. And while the administrators keep their mortal characters (and never mention who they are and, in fact, delete characters and ask people to leave for mentioning publicly who they are or for speculating publicly who they might be) secret, they always Always ALWAYS win. The only time any of the administration loses is to one of their own and any attempts to change this or speak out against it are slapped down with semantic wordplay and/or outright hostility.
Have I left because of an instance of this? Yes. After months of playing and having fun and stories that were sadly interrupted by the administration finally culminating in a few angry rants...
I had fun. The people are SO much fun on this MUD. It's a pity the administration doesn't care to be fun, as well.
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