As a long time player, I felt I should offer another perspective to the review posted recently.
While the game was called 'aged', it should be noted that where this stems from is the fact that the game has been around for quite a while. And, because of this, there is deeply rooted ideology, legends, lore, historical references and other factors that, in my opinion, make the game's realism seem even more relatable and effective.
The Pros listed below are true. But, there are several more pros to that. The game has a constantly evolving flow of 'power' and a very dystopian feel to it that starts straight out of immigration and continues through the life of your Character. The constant struggle to survive, thrive and climb the mountain to the top (and keep it) is an ever-changing, fluid experience.
I would disagree that there are 'hundreds of thousands' of bugs. There are bugs, as there are in any game, and with the new changes and systems being added to the game, that's to be expected. There is a phenomenal growth in such things as forensics to study the bodies of corpses, identification of corpses, drug withdrawals and addictions and other improvements which are being flushed out...quite frequently. And, there is a positive transparency offered by the GMs by posting all bug reports and fixes that can be seen on the forums.
ERP is allowed in the game, yes. But, it's not a driving factor for RP. And, as I said earlier, it -is- a dystopian society with joys (prostitutes), strippers and nefarious 'folk' that prey on the down trodden - in an IC approved manner. Sexual harassment and any ERP which is not mutually agreed on is not allowed - in any fashion. I have yet to see any OOC harassment myself but, I know that GMs have a zero-tolerance for such behavior and it is quickly handled if it's brought to their attention. Yes, there is a help file which is there to politely remind players that the game doesn't require that type of RP to propel a story. But not because it's a prevalent issue.
As for the coded support for archetypes, I would strongly disagree with this. There are some that are not as strong as others, but there is a healthy system in place for the majority of archetypes that are used. But, again, the archetypes are a model example used to help guide new players. Just as each person is individual, each Character is not going to be a carbon copy of the archetype. And, with creative RP and sometimes GM assistance, most anything can be accomplished in the game.
As for the memberships. This game is ran by volunteers who donate their time to help. The Senior GMs have set up a lot of features for the game that help keep it online and running smoothly, something I appreciate having played games in the past that lag, drop out or have other issues. Memberships help fund those programs. Every six months, Senior GMs hold town hall meetings for all players to attend where they offer further transparency on all funding and where it's been applied. As a player that enjoys the game and appreciates the efforts, I see nothing wrong with this trade off. Memberships are not expensive and offer the player free rent, yes. However, making chyen (SD's form of currency) in the game is difficult in reference to the theme (remember, dystopian) but it is easily accomplished to find housing based on your social/economic position. And, there is free housing given for all 'immigrants' (new players, newly created characters) for up to two weeks while they learn the game.
All in all, the game offers a rich environment to explore a post-apocalyptic world where the societal and social lines are drawn and the haves and have-nots struggle to find their way. It's a game that will draw you in from the first time you play and keep you on your toes. It's not for the feint of heart as there is a theme of struggle, loss and harshness. But, don't confuse that with the OOC community as a whole. GMs are super helpful and most players are the same. I would try the game and formulate your own opinion!
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