I would like very badly to give this mud a better review.
Unfortunately, while reviews of this mud have thus far been
overwhelmingly positive, they only cover part of the story.
On the whole, the previous reviewers' discussions of the mud's
positive points are fairly accurate, and so I do recommend that you
read them as well, before deciding whether you wish to play here.
A major problem is that the mud is a little schizophrenic in nature.
Avendar has recently been introducing some systems to cause players to
treat mobs more like players. Unfortunately, it has been done very
haphazardly, with several areas absented from this system that should
not be, and with very little thought applied to it.
That aside, it is a system (where repeatedly killing mobs of a
certain 'faction' will cause them to dislike you, and eventually
become aggressive to you) that would be much more suited to a MUD that
is less combat-oriented. It is close to impossible to reach the
game's highest level without having at least one entire area attack
you on sight. This in fact causes a mechanical bias towards the good
alignments, as many of the areas in which they fight are already
aggressive. Paired with a system called 'request', which allows
those of good alignment to simply ask a mobile for their equipment,
and recieve it, the bias becomes severe.
While the avowed intent of this system is to cause players to think
of mobiles as closer to PCs, the problem with attaching such
importance to the death of a mob is that to a PC, a death by itself
means fairly little. There is an experience penalty, and a chance
players may take from your corpse, but most player characters attach
little meaning to their deaths, and will kill each other at the drop
of a hat.
Roleplay is enforced, but is not of particularly high-quality.
Character backgrounds are required, but not noticably screened for
quality or continuity with the setting, as long as they don't mention
ninjas. Many characters who would highly benefit from immortal
assistance or advice in this regard are left simply to flounder and
continue as they are, without being informed or realizing that they
would benefit from this kind of aid.
Unconventional interpretations of alignment are tolerated, but not
particularly encouraged. Players who work with the same alignment
several times within a certain number of characters, where one
character can last up to a year, to better learn the nuances of it
have been known to be encouraged to delete by immortals.
Descriptions are monitored but not closely. They are mainly screened
more to fit style guidelines than for content. It's not rare, but not
uncommon to see characters who, in their descriptions, take actions or
impose emotions upon your own PC.
There is little emphasis on internal continuity in roleplay. A player
character who has dealt with the same immortal at different occasions
may reference prior events and receive little more than a blank stare.
What history there is is intriguing, but underdeveloped, and there is
no sense of passage of time in the game beyond what month it is. There
is a great deal of information that the player should know in order to
properly roleplay a character with more knowledge of history than a
rock that simply is not present in the game, or is near-impossible to
Despite a desire to place a greater role upon the player for roleplay
than on the immortal staff, there are entirely too many occasions
where an immortal is required for progress with a storyline, who
simply cannot or will not put forth the time.
A great deal of importance for this is placed on, not only who you
know, but who likes you. While I do not believe favoritism is as
rampant as some players have stated, it is absolutely a factor.
Immortals have given game-breakingly powerful items to their OOC
friends, run mud-wide quests for them in order to give them a greater
compliment of deaths (to the point of attempting to railroad the
opposition to this quest by sending in multiple NPCs which kill large
groups of people even when they are not immortal-controlled. The
attempt to give the character more deaths ultimately failed, and it
seems the entire storyline which had been established for this skidded
to a halt and ended right there, for lack of alternative planning),
and, for those less popular, forced players to wait six weeks with
objects that cause high-level mobs to attack them, near-constantly,
all the while saying that there will be an event to deal with this
item 'soon', and severely punishing the character when an immortal
did arrive to take the object.
Characters run by players who are unpopular can change the balance of
power of the game for months, bring out high-quality roleplay from new
players, and only recieve the joy of being the brunt of numerous
immortal-run quests to kill them, while those run by more well-liked
players can attain game-breaking additional powers and eventually a
permanant place in a permanant, easily accessible room for doing
little more than logging on, killing a few people, and logging off
when there is no one in their PK range.
I do firmly believe in the value of player killing to roleplay, but
in Avendar, not only is 'a person who wants to kill all persons of
type x' considered a perfectly good role, is is actually considered
good roleplay. When this is mentioned, many people will say, hey,
character x didn't kill many people and they 'were successful', but
those doing so will consistantly ignore the much greater number of
'successful' characters who did.
Possibly most telling in that regard is when players reminisce about
old characters, the most common thing about them brought up is not
personalities, or actions, but who or how many people they killed.
Despite these issues, I still play this mud. I still, on the whole,
enjoy this mud. I can't give it a whole-hearted recommendation, but
because of myself, I can't really tell you to stay away. I do,
however, thoroughly recommend you stay away from the IRC channel
devoted to the mud. While often perfectly innocent, there can be the
greatest hotbed of politicking about the game.
Post a comment
Comment posted on Fri Sep 2 07:19:25 2005 by Chadim:
As both a player and immortal on Avendar, I was somewhat dismayed to
read this review. In many ways, it contrasts significantly with my own
experiences on the MUD, and so set me to pondering. Though I am not
aware of some of the events Alriana alludes to, I'd like to address
those of her concerns I can.
The first of these is the relatively new system of factions. Like
most major new features, there are indeed some small bugs with
factions. It is simply a matter of fact that such things take time to
settle into their proper niches and become reasonably balanced. I find
it to be really a rather minor thing when playing -- just treat NPCs
like real people (ie, don't expect to be able to slaughter every
other person in Krilin without feeling some animosity in return), and
you're fine. I believe that with some tweaking, factions will be a
powerful aid to roleplay.
Nor do I feel that those of good alignment are overpowered by this
addition, nor from 'request'. I've played many good characters, but
I always feel I have a strong mechanical advantage when playing evil
or neutral. Consider: evils and neutrals may kill any alignment for
their gear, and so in theory all gear is available to them. Goodies
may kill evils, and a small subset of neutrals. Without request, they
would have less than half of the total gear available to them -- with
it, they still have less, as many many neutral NPCs are off-limits to
them, and not all good NPCs can be requested from. (Note that request
only works on good-aligned NPCs). Furthermore, good-aligned PCs have
to use a least a few extra training session on charisma to help their
Descriptions and backgrounds are both monitored. We do the best we
can -- many of us have work and/or school and cannot be on all the
Unconventional interpretations of alignment are indeed not
encouraged, in the sense that a person aligned as neutral but
performing only evil antics and unable to defend these actions when
questioned will be aligned as evil. I cannot apologize for this.
If you are receiving a blank stare when mentioning things that an
immortal saw some time ago, 9 times out of 10 you are dealing with a
If there were a good way to implement the passage of time so as to
continually replace existing mobs with new ones, we'd love to have
it. Unfortunately, we don't know of such a way without rewriting more
or less everything.
'Favoritism' is actually very very minor, if it exists at all, and
is usually the name applied when someone is roleplaying well and so
receives rewards for it, or when someone is roleplaying poorly and so
receives due compensation for it. Also, there are a lot of people who
roleplay well, but then go and do something not conducive to rewards,
such as cheat or abuse game mechanics or OOC info (which, I suppose,
are just subsets of cheating).
I do not know of events where game-breakingly powerful items were
given to OOC friends -- I do know of one sigil that was too powerful,
but once this was realized, it was toned down. I very much do not know
what Alriana is referring to with that quest to restore lives, or what
imm-bestowed item made NPCs attack.
When I think on 'successful' characters, I recall several whose
main focus was on PK (within their role) as well as several who had
little to do with PK, or performed it only when necessary. I disagree
that the numbers are nearly so unbalanced as Alriana feels. Rather, I
believe that the presence of successful PK and low-PK roles indicates
that this MUD is looking for RP, and that PK can be a critical part of
Overall, I think I must disagree with most of the views expressed in
Alriana's post. There are indeed faults in Avendar -- by no means do
I claim it to be perfect -- but in the end I believe it to be a very
Comment posted on Thu Oct 18 01:18:12 2007 by Anghwyr:
Aww. come'on. If factions bother you, then you just don't want to
deviate from your habit-grown ranking patterns. It's trivial to rank
to lvl 51 without touching a factioned, or even a humanoid mob, and
even if you hit some factioned mobs, you're still not in trouble.
lvl 1-5, mud school.
lvl 6-10 lizard caves
lvl 9-15 quests
lvl 15-22 chaja caves (centipedes, lizards)
lvl 22-30 young deer in morn,
lvl 30-35 lions on the savannah
lvl 35-40 stags in morn
lvl 40-51 hero mobs that are aggro anyway.
People yammer and moan the moment something is made more difficult for
them mechanics-wise, but the truth is that a faction system is a very
interesting rp-promoting tool. Makes you think about chosing sides.
(and hopefully it'll replace the whole good vs evil mobs setting that
is still the basis of the world)