I have played the Cleft for more than three years running, at this point. In that time, I have seen some of the most dedicated, patient, impressive brainstorming for a better player experience of any community I have ever been involved in; a process which shows itself rapidly if you stick around for more than a week.
Developers are always open to players both through the game itself and through a notice system in the game--and they're constantly on the prowl for ideas for improvements. In the introduction tutorial area, players are taught basic mud commands--and commands which have diverged and grown from stock to permit a unique and diverse world crafted partly in nostalgia gaming and partly with a spirit all its own.
There are no less than four secrets to discover in the simple tutorial zone, hidden as rewards for new players who take the lessons there to heart: this is part of the overall feel of discovery this game can permit. There are comprehensive helpfiles, as well--one for each skill and spell a player learns, in addition to the broader helpfiles for commands and categories.
As for the classes of the game, each one has a distinctive and impressive specialty all its own--familiar ones like the regenerative healers ranging to weather manipulation and monster mastery.
Speaking of the monsters, each mob is distinctive, and there is an ongoing effort to make combat more interesting--while this is most evident with the jaw-dropping confrontations that occur after breaking through a particularly challenging temple, maze, or forest, some of whom are most effectively fought by means outside of automated combat, even everyday enemies are often given complicated, interesting tactics and behavior.
The world is sprawling, diverse, and often in development; designers continue to craft new cities and areas as well as redesigning them to be more player-involving. A wide variety of environments exist in the Cleft, from the depths of the bottom of the sea to labyrinths of the highest caliber to even the unyielding mountaintops--and beyond!
Adventures in the cleft are as varied and as interesting as the people who play it--Are you an investigator? Do you spend time gathering information? Dozens of hidden treasures are scattered throughout the world, whispered of in forgotten lore! Are you a warrior who loves the challenge of a fresh fight? Try Smash Stadium, a carnival challenge to test your might! It's this amazing diversity that helps pull the cleft together. Almost every inch of the world is engaging and exotic, and there is a continual effort to rejuvenate old areas along with the construction of new ones.
If you play muds, and are bored of standard grinds, procedures, and kill X for Y, explore the Cleft. I hope to meet you there.
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