Dark Pawns is a very fun and rewarding MUD, beautiful in its simplicity.
There aren't 100 different races that barely differ from each other and there aren't 50 different classes full of useless skills. Three melee classes and three magic-using classes that allow you to enjoy the world within through their eyes and skills. Classes compliment each other well and you're allowed three characters on at a time, letting you have anything from a traditional tank/damage dealer/healer combo to solo mobs or two damage dealers/support classes and a healer to help other players take down larger foes.
I really love a few things about Dark Pawns: one would be the distribution of gear. Some items are available by killing a fairly easy mob yet are considered an endgame or at least an essential mid-level item. Other pieces of rare gear have very low drop rates and/or are on big mobs that require help from others. This always gives you something to do and strive for.
Another thing I love is the remort system. This allows your base character to turn into a more powerful version of the original class you pick. A mere thief can grow into an assassin, learning new skills, gaining more hit points and hitting harder. You can also continue to remort to keep getting better and better starts until you gain "perfect" stats so that you no longer have to eat or drink.
The combat and mobs you fight are all very cool. With combat it's exciting when you start to get enough decent gear to slash/pierce more difficult mobs hard, contributing to the fight more. You have to use certain skills depending on the fight, like a warrior's bash to knock a magic-using mob to the ground or a thief's circle to backstab during a fight, doing maximum damage while your tank takes hits. Better have a good tank that can rescue you in a moment's notice or you'll get OBLITERATED or EVISCERATED by the mob six times in one round, halving your hp.
The areas all have cool room descriptions and there are some very unique enemies within. Some of my favorite times were going to Amber castle to kill ghosts with my clan mates or to Grey Keep to kill Hiscdrezzez, the snake-like bastard whose room is in a no spell zone so you have to use flee/regen tactics to earn the valuable gear he drops. Other zones require waterwalk or quick traversal to get through safely but always provide good xp or cool eq to be had.
Lastly, the players. I'm not the roleplaying type and neither were these guys from what I could gather, which was a relief to me. Everyone was talking on a personal level when I joined and yet they made me feel welcome right from the beginning, answering any questions I had even when I felt annoying or knew I should just figure it out on my own but wanted to lessen my chances of dying. Clan Trinity is a newbie-focused clan of very capable players but everyone on the mud helped me in a big way, whether it be gear or knowledge; both more often than not.
All of my attempts to describe to you the majesty of Dark Pawns really pales in comparison to actually playing and learning it ... it's truly unique and a pleasure to play. My mind would drift off daily while at work or with friends, wondering what gear I could get on my own, how many levels I could grind out or what big mobs my clan and I would wack that day. Thanks to everyone for making it such a fun game and the immortals for their hard work keeping the place running smoothly.
Please check out www.dpreturns.com to look at the directions to zones while you play to get a feel for the game and the cool stuff you can eventually see. Also type prompt all and auto loot when you make a new character. All of the directions on the site start from Market Square, 4s of the Temple altar in the home town of Kir Drax'in.
Oh, by the way, player killing is allowed so don't throw a tantrum when you get killed for being the newbie.
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