I first came across Mordor through Mud Connector in the hope that it would give a genuine JRR Tolkien Lord of the Rings style universe. It did not disappoint. On top of that, it has multiclasses, in what at first glance appeared to be an improvement on other muds. You have to pick all of the 5 classes, simply placing them in your order of preference. Then you gain levels more quickly in your first class than your second class, and so forth down the line.
Mordor has a relatively good newbie area, and gaining levels is really easy. You can gain in each individual class using 'autolevel' to automatically gain, or else you can choose which to gain in with the gain command. On top of individual levels, you also have an overall level. For example you may be level 100 cleric, level 40 mage, level 22 warrior, level 15 ranger and level 3 thief, but your overall level is level 30.
Unlike other muds, Mordor goes further with the second (and later) classes by giving a lower level of skill proficiency through training depending on the level. On top of that (something that wasn't made clear initially) the skills cannot be gained very easily through use, and there is a definite cap on how high they can ever be trained through use. Thus if you have warrior in a later class, you will never be able to hit well with enhanced damage. Thus, whilst in theory you can multiclass, in reality they are only lesser classes, not true multiclasses. Warriors are still warriors, but can, in a pinch, cast sanctuary on themselves and even heal themselves. Thus you are really single class, or perhaps dual class, but with a few extra things as well.
The questing system is such that you are not even allowed to quest until you are a very high level, about level 30 overall, and even then you get only 1 or 2 quest points for what are very difficult quests, with quest items costing several hundred - several thousand points each, thus making questing seem virtually pointless. At higher levels, however, questing becomes easier, and on top of that, as a reward for the easier questing, you get MORE points! Quests at level 100 can get 80 points per quest and be relatively simple while quests at level 30 can be nearly impossible for 1 point.
You also get a set number of training points per character, which expires after level 5. But don't despair because you can gain stat points through quest points - just a mere 22,000 quest points per stat point. Based on a high level character getting 80 quest points per quest, that's a mere 300 or so quests for you to complete - which means just 6 months of questing for ONE stat point! Talk about difficult! Most people train stats so that for all 5 stats they are about the same level, 17 or 18, and go up to higher levels with equipment.
Equipment increases stat points in part points, e.g. +0.2 wis. Equipment is really easy to get, as you are usually fighting mobs of 10-20 levels higher than you (max xp is about 20 levels above you), but you only need to kill mobs of your level to get good equipment. Thus if you ever die and lose all of your equipment, you can quickly get more stuff through killing mobs. This is a real plus.
After level 50, when you die, you have to go to where you died (did you remember where you died? Is it possible for you to go back?) but before then you can just get the stuff from the morgue near recall. After that, it can be really hard when you die.
Charming mobs is really powerful, as you can charm 2 mobs up to 8 levels above you to fight for you. With remort priest you can charm a 3rd mob too, and most remort classes also have your own pet charmie that you can summon at any time. Once you get to a level where you can hire charmies, you become almost invincible in battle, and it becomes really easy.
Grouping loses virtually no experience, thus if you ever want to group, everyone on the mud in your level range will join you. People almost never say no. Its a great way to meet people. Thus even if you are struggling, you can just join a group and suddenly be really good.
Most people on the mud are pretty good, although there are a few people who manipulate groups and don't pull their weight, whilst making demands. The excuse 'clerics have to heal AND charm AND spellup AND cast offensive spells AND fight' is pretty weak when they aren't doing anything. Most people are helpful however, and will help you out so that everyone in the group is doing something.
Money is at a premium, and is hard to come by, until later levels. Oh and Mordor has this really unusual rule where you can not only play 2 characters, but they can be logged on both at the same time! Of course, they can't interact 'in any way', but its easy as pie to get around that by using a second person to pass equipment and gold from one person to the other, such that your second character becomes super powerful from the very beginning.
As Mordor has been about for a while, most people who are there have been about for ages, and have many characters, and hence are ridiculously over powerful, in what is basically a cheatingly powerful way. Everyone does it, so if you don't do it then you are at a significant disadvantage.
The worst part of Mordor is when it comes to Player Killing and clans. Mordor only has about a dozen or so clans, and most of them are evil or else don't care either way. Evil clans will player kill anyone at any time for any reason, and use the most despicable tactics imaginable to do it. It is perfectly acceptable to sneak up on someone while they are fighting a tough mob, or halfway through a quest, or while they are grouped with others (the group members can't assist), and the mud is coded so that they are not allowed to fight back. Put simply, if you want to kill someone, you can, and they can't do anything about it really. You feel like being a turd to someone? Just go ahead and do it. If they try to fight back, they are not allowed to. It is illegal and is coded so that they get in trouble if they try to fight back.
Of course, most muds wouldn't allow this, but Mordor prides itself on not being like most muds. Whilst anywhere else it would be called cheating, on Mordor it is perfectly reasonable, and trying to stop it is apparently cheating.
So for all of the beautiful world, the wonderfully detailed code, the great game, the game is destroyed because in the end it encourages cheating.
Its kind of like playing some onlinegames, where everyone can hack the server and create duplicates of rare and unique items, and then if you don't cheat then you get player killed non-stop and it ruins it for everyone.
Mordor is just like that - it appeals to the lowest common denominator of players, the people who delight in being long term, knowing all of the cheats and bugs, and abusing them to their delight. It is in essence an old boy's club. They love it, and they delight in nothing more than abusing newbies.
Its little wonder that it has a declining playerbase when they behave like that.
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