God Wars II is the MUD that has completely replaced my other online gaming activities. Other reviews have covered the 'what it is' very well, so let me fill in some of the 'non-mechanical' aspects. First, God Wars II is not a roleplaying MUD. It is centered on combat, most of it (currently) Player versus Mob, but also including Player versus Player. The motivation of most players is twofold - develop more powerful characters, and explore the continually added new features of the game. There is no IC interaction, but there is plenty of discussion of 'builds' - combinations of character features, usually oriented toward making your character better in certain situations. The jewel in the crown, the heart and soul of GW2, is its combat system, which is absolutely peerless. It models, in real-time detail, everything from spectacular martial arts techniques to armed combat with a large variety of weapons, to magic, and all sorts of dark-fantasy oddities (invisible creatures, demonic characters fighting with horns/tails/wing spikes, predators knocking you over by physically slamming into you, body parts getting severed, poisons, fire, etc etc). (My current character, for example, habitually cuts hands off his opponents with a swipe of a bladed tail, then catches the severed hands as they spin through the air, and keeps them as trophies.) Now, one of the important aspects of the GW2 culture is that the game is in a long-term 'open beta'. The creator of the game, KaVir, is online regularly, sometimes daily, and available to answer questions, even newbie ones, within reason. Since the MUD is constantly 'under construction', there is a lot of chat volume dedicated to the discussion of features just added, or about to be added. KaVir encourages plenty of feedback on his work. The game's development history goes back a good number of years, and shows no signs of slowing down. A few words on PvP - this takes two forms on GW2, open player killing (PK) and 'duelling'. After the initial training of a character, most of the action takes places in a game world called the Nexus, which is fully PK-enabled. There is no shame, and very little disadvantage, in being killed by another character. Given the size of the world, it is not often that one comes across other players in the Nexus, unless of course they are actively hunting for PK, and have taken an educated guess as to the location of suitable (weaker) targets! The usual result of a successful PK is the two players involved chatting about what just happened. Most players do not object to being killed - their characters come back just as strong as before, within less than a minute. Most players encountering a weaker opponent will attack without hesitation, and this is not considered unfair or even impolite. 'Duelling' is a slightly more 'formal' PvP activity. Two players agree, usually via the chat channel, to meet for a duel, sometimes as a form of competition, at other times to 'test' a new build. The combat takes place in a 'duelling arena' - other players or random creatures cannot interfere. Kills in a duel are not counted toward the players' 'PK' statistics (which are only cosmetic/bragging rights in any case).
Now for 'builds', the strategy aspect of GW2. A build is a combination of class (one of four currently, with a fifth on the way), combinations of class powers developed to various 'ranks', talents (which you either have or have not, they do not grow in ranks), basic stats (Brawn, Power, Mettle etc, akin to D&D abilities), trained stats (skill with specific weapons and fighting styles/stances), equipment (magical or otherwise) and subclasses (at high power levels). This allows a huge variety of characters to be created. Also, all but a few aspects of this can be changed within minutes, so a player can 'rebuild' with a minimum of fuss to fix ineffective strategies. All of this adds up to an amazing game, where you explore the vast strategic variety of possible character builds, fight all sorts of mobs to grow in power, and chat about it all to the creator of the game, its admins and other players just like yourself. If you like complex mechanics and the challenge of individual combat against mobs AND players, all kept fresh by continual and frequent innovation, this game rocks like nothing you have seen.
Drop by, and say hello to me if you see me there - I am Negator there.
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