So, I've only been playing New Worlds for a month and I felt like I should weigh-in with my experiences thus far. I started out making my first character in the North, which is more newbie friendly and after a couple of weeks, I became a bit bored and made an alt in the South which is advertised as being harsher and not newbie friendly.
I'm going to start out with my biggest beef with this MUD so far. I've seen New Worlds advertise itself both as RPE and RPI, BUT... okay. I hate to be a RP snob (but I am a RP snob) and for the most part, the 'RP' I've seen on New Worlds has consisted mostly of:
Bob nods. Bob laughs. Bob smiles. Bob asks, 'How are you today?' I probably wouldn't have even stuck with the game this long if I hadn't latched onto another player on my northern character - a player who is, hands down, one of the best writers I've ever come across in my 15 years of RPing. I pretty much exclusively RP with him now as... once again, I hate to be a RP snob, but I haven't really met anyone else on the game who I feel is worth my time. I'm not big on idle chit-chat tavern RP. I don't want to sit there for an hour and endure a one-dimensional scene of just says and nods and smiles and laughs.
That said, after making my southern character, I have run into three more people who seem to put actual effort into emoting and RPing rather than just relying on built-in emotes and says. But they seem to be the exception rather than the rule.
So far as I've observed, people tend to break character often, making references to OOC movies and books, poking fun at flukes in the code (ex. 'I just crippled a snake's arm. I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW SNAKES HAD ARMS.'), and just otherwise being silly in an OOC way in their emotes (ex. Bob boggles at the concept of the fourth wall. <- Yes, that is a real emote I witnessed on this game.) At times it feels more like a chat room than a MUD where roleplay is supposed to be a key feature. At least it does in the North. My RP has been so limited in the South that it's difficult to say how the majority of players act down there. I imagine they're a good deal more serious, though, as the entire IC culture of the South is simply more serious!
That's not to say I haven't liked my experience there so far. There are things to enjoy! For example, I love that, in the North, new players can receive an IC tour of the city which is given by another player. I hate automated tours in games, so that was a fun and new experience. You have to RP through the process of joining a guild rather than just automatically starting out the game in a guild, and in my experience, that made for a bit of fun RP (if a bit one-sided at times). Sailing about is fun and there are various islands out in the ocean that you can explore. And the playerbase is large, though the game's mechanics encourage idling (several things being set on timers which only progress by being logged in to the game), so even though there's usually about 130 people shown as being online, they're not actually all there actively playing.
If you're looking for a casual game to dump your time into, then New Worlds is probably the game for you. And you should check it out! It's nice and fun and light. If you're looking for a serious RP experience with intriguing plots, however, then I'd say you should probably keep looking. Once again, I'm not looking to hate on the RP community of New Worlds as there are a few gems buried throughout the world, but, overall, it's definitely not the sort of RP environment you would imagine when you hear the phrases RPE or RPI.
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