Hello, I have played many MUDs over the years and decided to give Batmud a try. To start, their java based client is AMAZING. All the information is in the right place, the overworld map makes navigation a breeze and It's generally very intuitive and delightful. I wish every MUD on the internet had one of these babies tuned up for it!
The newbie channel has been, by and large, very helpful with my, numerous, questions. Other channels are different, however, 'bat', the primary channel is largely a haven for the 'good ole boys', and people forming groups will usually have little time for a low level member trying to squeeze in. This is not to say that I didn't get help! A few members, especially Morag, took me aside to group, and those were fantastic times. Just don't expect it consistently, there aren't Morags to go around. Most seem to prefer to party with those who already have great levels and very high trained skills/spells.
The skill/spell system is a touch unforgiving. You really need to have things basically mastered to use them with any amount of efficiency, and saving the xp to do that is no mild challenge. For example: It took 516 thousand xp to get 'Attack' to 100%. Attack is one of THE most basic skills that determines your basic accuracy with melee weapons. Getting this to 100%, which is not as high as it can go, is considered just part 1 of even starting to be a front row person. Don't think that 100% means it always works, either. With 100% attack, I still miss about 30% of the time against easy/very easy mobs. Similarly, with 63% fire building, I often have to try two to five times to actually get a fire going.
Group combat is smooth and simple, especially with the client. You can see your allies' health and stamina and magic points swiftly and react to the adapting situation as needed. I have no complaints about the party system. Well done.
Crafting seems to be a large part of the game, but as a ranger, I was not able to see too much of this. I did discover that my 'make bandage' skill required cotton, which requires 30 plant lore to find and pick, but you can only pick cotton in the autumn. A rude surprise to discover AFTER investing the XP to make it possible. D'oh.
I could also turn corpses into various bits of armor, but I couldn't tell how good they were with any amount of accuracy, so most was simply turned into a bit of extra income at the shop in town.
A merchant will have to give a better report on player crafting. Player cities seem very flexible. I didn't have (even a dream of obtaining) enough money to build one, but I saw many and entered a few. They were just as serviceable as main cities, but built at the whim of their owners. Very nice. +points.
Overall I rate Batmud as a challenging game with a lot of detail and options. If you're willing to surmount the high cliff of entry, you may find a game you can sink a lot of time into.
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