Shadowgate's biggest draw actually is the RP, I can honesty say there is no mud with better RP. Though you won't find anything more then basic meet and greets, tea time or goof off until around level 25.
The reason for this is because until you reach around that level everyone around your level will for the most part be busy grinding, grinding and grinding and the imms don't really want to bother with low level plots and stuff.
So if you are interested in just getting right in there and having an adventure you may be disappointed.
This wouldn't be so bad if not for the level capping and stuff slowing the grind to a crawl. So you do need a lot of patience to play this game.
Additionally there is such a high player turnover at the pre level 25 levels that keeping a dependable party is hard. Finding them to begin with is pretty hard as well as contacting strangers is not easy and relies on them answering a meet and greet flag at some location.
And not having a party is very bad, your death rate will be very high without a party slowing your leveling even further.
Oh and you can't just grind in a safe place, the game forces you to go on scavenger hunts at random places all along world forcing you to explore, meaning you will need a party or the willingness to die a thousand deaths.
On the issue with syntax shadowgate is so and so, you can often get help from a mod if you are close to the right syntax at lower levels but not quite right, and often the game itself will help you along. But you will find issue with syntax a whole lot still and need a thesaurus handy. Especially with the mandatory quest which is a nightmare. And since they have a variety of programmers there is 0 consistency with the syntax. And its all case sensitive. But it could be a lot worst.
Lastly there is the exploration itself, now a good thing is that the maps seem to be logical which is to say its very easy to remember your way relative to other muds, in fact if you are new at muds, this mud is probably among the easiest with which to find your way around.
Even the maps that are supposed to be confusing and complicating, teleporting you at random are easier to memorize then you might think.
The bad thing? The sailing. Once you start sailing the boredom will tear at your skull. 2,500 squares to explore alone in the initial water and you can only move one square every second or so, no rapid movement through it and the waters like to toss you around.
But once you get to level 25 and the RPing begins, the plots will suck you in, the community is helpful and good at the plots, and it becomes very fun, with the only annoyance being the sailing.
At the same time, it will be around this time that you start finding yourself out of things to do. One of the biggest problems is that there is a total ban on giving any ic or ooc help in exploring dungeons, finding areas, finding places, finding items anything. And often time the syntax is so non-intuitive that a thesaurus won't help. So when the RP slows down, you will find yourself either sitting in an inn doing nothing or making rounds on the various dungeons spending many futile hours trying to find out what you need to do to continue on in that dungeon.
The only problem with the community is that 80% of them seem to have chosen to play an arrogant character and there is a pretty large glut of humans, half-elves and elves and drow and not much in the way of dwarves and other races.
But don't let that stop you, there is no mud with better RP once you reach it.
Oh and one more thing, there is no mud that feels more like DnD in existence either. If you are the kind that loves making characters and watching them develop then truly this is the MuD for you.
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