This is a review for the current incarnation/parallel universe of the Atonement RPI universe. Started by an ex-admin and a few players, the game is built off of the same concept as had been prevalent in the Beta phase of Atonement. Rust is a lone settlement on the moon which surrounds an as-of-yet player inaccessible dome called the Hyperion Platform, one of the last havens for the population of space-faring folk who originated from Earth.
The playerbase is constructed of Terrans, Martians and Calistans, humanoid races, who were prisoners in a penal colony which rebelled. The rebellion resulted in the eventual collapse of society, ending with the struggling community of Rust. Rust is a circular map with three different clans, or families, who--at least in the preamble write up--vie for territory, resources, and influence.
One of the difficultes with the setting is that it was developed in a few short weeks, by admin's admission. While players at first had goals of securing themselves survival gear and exploring the maps, it quickly ran into difficulty with players having very little documented background of their families, and without real reasons for contention between families. Groups of players go on rounds of scavenges to the same areas day after day for something to keep active with, and this has resulted in a great overabundance of craft and building materials for each family.
Since earlier plots with cannibals in the wastes there has not been a great deal of in game staff-run plot, which is fine for those truly looking for a sandbox experience. But where other games flourish with a rich world--a variance of monsters, things to find, maps to explore, strong cultural elements and secrets--the game falls flat.
Luckily the game has a contingent of loyal players from the Beta and even Alpha phases of Atonement who are set on writing in the game regardless, citing the difficulties of a small staff. The issues for other players appear to be that there seems to be no visible progress despite seldom assurances that there indeed are upcoming changes (such as a wildlife update promised months ago). The RPI has gone from a peak time of 30-45 players to less than 20 most peaks, and around ten during off-hours. The map is also large and divided enough that three family quarters seem excessive, as it's rare to find many gatherings in any quantity, save for if a party is going out on a routine scav--which generally involves not a lot of roleplay, spammed walking to the same placed with possible fights with the same types of monsters, and spammed scavenge skills.
It is not to say that there is no attempt playerside, nor staff side. It appears as if there are honest attempts to add interest or content in the game. If you are interested in making your own fun in a world whose thematic conflicts and cultural depth are undercooked, you may enjoy the game. If you are that kind of player you may find fun in the game.
A word of advice: some players and staff are historically allergic to criticism. If you are turned off of bickering, the forum should be avoided.
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Expect bugs while we transition TMC to a new platform, please help us by reporting them!