About a year ago, I went from a dungeons and dragons player and at my husbands insistence, joined the MUDding community. As someone who had always been more a fan of the roleplaying that my amazing DM put in than the combat system, I was very skeptical of what I would find, with so many references to the 'hack-n-slash' muds spawned from diku.
Thanks to my husband, and his being a player of a certain RPI for about seven years, I wound up finding so much more than I'd hoped. Crafting, roleplaying, trades, no levels, and so many other people equally as into it as I was. I was hooked.
But then I really started looking, and, lo and behold, I find the Southlands. I was floored. Most of my mud experience so far had been in a world that was steadily winding down, waiting for its second incarnation. In the process of that, it had lost so many of the venues available to players. Like making people work real life years for 'virtual' stores, or depriving them the ability to start plans, and leaving them always at the whim of staff plot lines, with a staff that is distant at best, disdainful at worse.
Then I came to Southlands. Refreshingly kind staff, an immersive and beautifully written world. The code is stellar on most levels, lacking very little from those of the best muds. Best of all, to me, while keeping a class system, it still allows anyone to excel at most anything.
Want to build a tower in the woods? Go for it. Want to become a farmer, miner, nobles aide, painter? The sky is the limit. Literally. With every room as a save room and most every item able to be crafted, not to mention the amazing way the staff works with players, there is little to nothing one can't do, given the time and effort is put into the task.
The less good: The crafting system, while very extensive and very detailed and unique, has a very large drain on stamina. About ten months ago, I tried the southlands, made a merchant, and spent two days trying to make something. I literally quit the game because I didn't realize the way the system worked. It's a good system, overall, but the penalty to your stamina can be -very- extreme until you become skilled in an area.
The playerbase, while providing amazing roleplay and very interesting, dynamic plots and characters, is a little on the small side, though it's slowly, steadily growing.
I miss some of the small things about the code on my old mud, such as being able to view items in stores, and being able to sing, rather than say, things, while singing.
This isn't a negative for me, as I'm not a fan of color, but a lot of people who might be used to a mud with a great deal of color might be put off by the seeming lack of it in game.
Overall: This is a wonderful mud, with a beautiful, dynamic, thorough, immersive world. It's run by a friendly, amazing, and very kind and helpful staff, and has a code that is, I would say, a nine out of ten. It allows for great and indepth roleplay with nearly endless possibilities. I am very satisfied with my experience so far and have, and will, send a recommendation of it to not only everyone I know, but anyone who will listen.
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