Now I have not played New Worlds Ateraan long, and yes, I have not played many MUDS. In fact this is my first MUD and what I think to be the one I am going to stick with. I have read every 'review' of NWA here, and while very very few I 'agree' with, most are what I think to be people who are just mad about something happening in game, and they just are trying to vent their hate as they did something wrong, or lost something. So I hope to write this and hopefully shed a true light on the matter. So here we go!
Starting: The tutorial, is absolute wonderful, you pick a name and race, and then are placed into the small room. They hand hold you slightly here, so you can get used to how a MUD works. Typing 'say' to talk, or 'attack (thing)' to attack. Even teaching how to ask NPCs for quests and such, and the NPCs in the Tutorial have a small storyline. In one of the first rooms, it teaches you how to chat in one of the many channels in game, such as 'OOC' or the Question' channel. So I typed in the 'Tutorial' channel, and something I did not expect at almost midnight, someone messaged me back and welcomed me. Sadly my name was a little bit common, and they asked if I could change it slightly. They even gave me a very nice alternative that I like and so I remade the char, and went on. Just a minor problem, that I understand. We all must be creative with our names. If you are playing a lykan, do not name yourself bob. All in all, the Tutorial is a wonderful and nice experience to anyone who has not played a MUD before. If you have already played MUDs or NWA, you can skip the Tutorial, so don't worry.
Char Creation: After you finish the tutorial or skip it, you then pick your starting location. Either Gahlen, the good city, the best place to start for new players. Or the southern city of Darmahk, which is home to slaves, and a lot worse. You pick your Background, sadly there are only six, but they all have a special starting power or bonus. The backgrounds are from a roaming gypsy to a merchant. Also you make your description, which is of course what people see when they 'look' at you. You can even change it in game later by visiting a merchant for a makeover. You of course can be very imaginative with your own description. There are of course then general races, such as humans, dwarves, elves, and such. Though they also have some others, like centaurs, nymphs, and some Anubis like creatures. All in all, the char creation was nice, nothing overpowering and nothing to small. For me, just perfect.
Starting off: In Gahlen, you start out as an Immigrant, and you can request a tour of the city from another player. I found this to be a wonderful way to start RP right off the bat, and even learn where things are. Of course you can deny the tour if you like, but it is perfect if you are new like I was. In NWA, Immigrants are like your novice class. You must get exp and 'crowns', the in game currency, by doing things such as; gardening, fishing, trading, or just hunting. For Immigrants, the Training Ground is by far helpful. Its can provide a slight challenge, and if you do die, you can just ask for some starting things from an NPC to get right back in the fight. After you rest up a little, of course, since you did just get knocked out by that fighter. After quite a bit of figuring things out and training, you level up to level 9 and you must write a history for your char. Just write a small essay for some background on your char. You can look up others histories as well, to get a feel of what you can do. After you finally write your history, met some people, powered your skilled, and got to level 10, you can now join a guild. This is basically your class. You have got your Fighters, Mages, Clerics, Druids, Rogues, and Merchants. The Merchant is in my opinion, downright wonderful. Having another player making you things, or you yourself making things for others. It just gives you a feel like, your not just going to an NPC, and typing 'buy (this, that, and the other)' all day as you do things. Darmahk starting is a lot different, as you start out as a slave. I did not play Darmahk at all, so I do not know much about it there. Though the basics are still the same, but people are a lot more rude, as that is how the society is there.
General Gameplay: The general game is basically this, train and get crown. Sadly that is what a lot of it is. Though the general population of the game, which is sizable of around 100+ at all times, will keep RP generally interesting depending on your type of char and how you RP yourself. Something that really helps, is the player driven events as well as the admin events. Some player driven events are caravans, that you can join as a bodyguard to get some crowns and also to get more beer and food for your local and others taverns. Other things are some type of sports, and even auctions. The admins also run events, such as something such as a rat infestation, to a full scale invasion, to the gods themselves fighting each other. during such things as invasions, immigrants of course are to be helped and rounded into the safe areas, such as the Immigrant guild, or the nearby church/temple, seeing as they can not fight well enough yet. The events are mostly frequent and are quite fun, as even the three faiths can get closer to their actual faith in the game
*insert rage comment about why I only said good things*: I spoke on what is good about the game, so people can enjoy what really goes on. Now if you will let me finish, I will speak on the bad things. The world is not that big. It is good and very sizable, but you are limited on quite a lot in terms of levels and you needing help on getting to places. Such as a low level going into a nearby forest to kill a fox, but a boar comes up and kills you. Though that helps you learn about things, so silver linings, right? Moving on, the MANY bugs. Well what did you expect? its going to have bugs. just like your attic, there are bugs in many games. While yes, not getting your gold from a bonus, or your bow and arrow did not award you EXP for that kill, does make you a tad bit mad, just send in a bug report. Its the same in any game. Now, while there 'is' a thieves guild and assassins guild, you can not play one as they are strictly picked by the admins. A def red flag, yes, as I wanted to play a thief myself, though they do this so everyone just does not go and kill everyone in sight. They watch players and if you RP well, they will offer you the position. Just work hard and you might can be one. The OOC...oh the OOC chat that goes on. I find it VERY distracting, though luckily you can turn it off, so only something minor. There are a couple of other things, such as NWA is VERY time extensive. By that I mean it takes a long time to level up once your guilded. some find this bad, some find it good.
Overall: I find NWA to be very good. While some days are slow, at a moments notice, things can go bad and a dragon might attack the town, and the next thing you know, your running around town defending it from orcs, or other things that can happen. If thats not your thing, go buy one of the many ships and go sailing. Fish, Crab of whale in the ocean. The RP is enforced and it does make it a good place. overall, its laid back, and not just 'kill all these, level up, kill all these, level up' hack n' slash types. You can even get exp and crowns from just RPing well. The freewill you have is quite astounding, not as in classes or races, but as in how you want to play.
Verdict: Give it a try, as its a nice time, and new players to NWA and even MUDs like myself, can come and join right in, without knowledge of MUDs. the extra things like housing and boats are nice, as well as much more. The amount of surprises is quite marvelous, if you have the patience to explore and wait. Good things come to those who wait.
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