Oh, Harshlands. I believe this is the only MUD I've ever played where a cleric can go to battle in full plate mail armor, retain the ability to cast his spells/'rituals' while wearing the plate mail & sneak (literally, sneak) through the forest. You can also, if you play your cards right 1) be a sergeant in the Crimson Leopards (protectors of the lands around the city of Tashal) 2) be a Sergeant in the Iron Lions (a mercenary run caravanning company) 3) be a priest of your religion 4) be a full time farmer and 5) use your Crimson Leopard 'patrol' time to hunt for and skin animals which you then give to your PC wife to create her leather goods with. You can do all of that friends, while being a Guilded Master Bard!
That brings me to the part where you can also be a Guilded Master and never craft anything at all once making it to that point. You will not get punished by the Mangai (the ruling party of the Guilds).
The game has potential. The world that this MUD is based on his rich with details and would be really lovely and fun to play, where executed properly, but the amount of favoritism and lack of ethics on the part of the Immortal staff makes it slightly less desirable.
Pros: The basic world is nice. The concept is very neat. The crafting system is fun when you're bored and want to 'create' things. The Immortal/Admin staff rarely gets involved in any sort of lengthy or detailed RP scenarios, and routinely let them fade off in the middle. It's RPI.
Cons: It's an RPI where hardly anyone really Roleplays. Or, at least, I don't consider a bunch of 'says' as roleplay. A great many of the immortal staff are not able to speak in proper English, (which would not be a problem if the majority of the players were not English speakers). You can literally tell which Immortal is helping you by the number of 'your/you're' 'there/their' errors there are.
Also, the amount of mud...snuggling? is excessive. If you're not willing to pair off and do the horizontal mudsnuggling with someone, you're often alone in a tavern for a long time waiting for what is considered, there, RP. Granted, the lack of decent RP might be due to the high restrictive emote system, which is another con.
There's also only about three areas to play in - two of which have a very, very, very limited playerbase. Even the 'active' area, Tashal, only has around 10 people on at any given time.
The game is perma-death, so if you dare to explore outside of the city and are not prepared (or able) to fight, you could easily lose your character. There's no leniency for newbies, either.
Something I consider a huge con is the hypocrisy prevalent in the administration. There is a strict no-OOC policy and the staff gets very antsy if they discover you've done things in any way OOCly. That, I think, is fair - considering. However, they will quite happily punish players ICly for things that the player has supposedly done OOCly, including refusing to award RPP to sets of players who actually do Roleplay, participate in the world, and try very hard to enrich the game.
Obviously, this all should be taken with a grain of salt. My opinion of the quality of RP is obviously just that, an opinion, and you should check it out to determine whether you like the type and style and amount yourself. The world could be wonderful. The cons, for me, make it not worth the hassle of playing.
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