Allow me to begin by saying the MUD itself was rather enjoyable. It had the feel of Shadowrun in the descriptions and layout of the game world. The NPCs conveyed that same feel, and it was very easy to immerse myself in the MUD environment. It's very obvious that the staff here know Shadowrun the game and know what they want their MUD to be in relation to it.
I've read other reviews of the MUD regarding both negatives and positives. In my experience, I found there to be both negatives and positives in the MUD itself. As far as positives go, the IMM staff that I had the opportunity to interact with were, for the most part, quite decent folk. There were at least a couple of occasions where I made poor tactical decisions and ended up dead in places where the retrieval of my gear was quite problematic. After several failed attempts to get it and resigning myself to re-acquiring everything from scratch, a staff member was kind enough to allow me to get all my stuff back. I did not -ask- for this assistance, I did not -expect- this assistance...it was merely given. I found it to be very kind and can only hope I was appropriately appreciative.
The restring mechanic in-game allowed me to acquire a nice-looking set of equipment that fit my character's design very well. It took some grinding, yes, but was very much worth it in the end. I wound up with a 'safe' set of gear to wear in the more civilized parts of Seattle, a 'run-ready' set for shadowrunning and a couple of different 'disguises' (purely for RP purposes) that I'd use on runs requiring a less direct approach. All in all, I was able to create the type of character I wanted to play once I put in the time and effort to fine-tune him and his equipment.
Acquiring a vehicle took some time and I did get lost (a lot!), but the game world is complex in its layout and takes time to get used to. After a couple of weeks or so, I was able to get around fairly well and advance my character accordingly.
As far as interacting with other PCs, I'd have to say it's a rare occurrence. Admittedly, the player base seems small and communicating with others via radio and phone is tedious, but it -does- fit within the parameters of the game world as established by the admins. I did interact with a couple of other players (and their RP was quite good), but my character was not a 'people person' and I played him as such, so the fact that the interactions were short-lived and (mostly) non-productive were very likely my own fault.
I did find the overall OOC game environment to be -very- silent. I quite understand an RP-intensive world, but the sense that anything more than the most minimal OOC conversation was frowned upon was rather prevalent. For me, it made the game experience a tad tedious, but I'm also not as...driven, maybe...or focused on the Shadowrun experience as a whole, as were others involved in the game. (All of my previous Shadowrun experience comes from PnP tabletop, where OOC talking and general BS is a part of the whole experience.)
I did not participate in any of the RP events that occurred during my time in Seattle. This was due both to my (admittedly) light experience with the tabletop rules used in the MUD as well as my general avoidance of 'stand-around RP'. I am not saying that the way the RP events are handled in Seattle 2064 is wrong, merely that it wasn't for me. The downside to my avoidance of the events is that participation in them is tied to advancing certain aspects of my character. I found myself hoping there were other avenues for such advancement, but apparently there are not.
Lodging. Acquiring a place to live for my character was, again, time-consuming and a bit of a grind, but very much worth it. At the end of my time in the MUD, I actually had two apartments. One was my 'home base' and had all my nifty customized stuff in it and the other was a remote 'safe house' I could run to if I had the need. Tough to handle on my still-low income as a new runner, but I was settling it and getting it done.
Overall, by this point in my time in the game, I was pleased with my character, his equipment, his skills, his abilities and the knowledge base I was slowly growing about the MUD world he lived in. However, I took some time away from the game (a couple of weeks, a couple of months, perhaps? Again, terrible memory) and when I tried to log in upon my return, my account was gone. Deleted, I suppose, from lack of daily (or semi-daily) use? I've no idea. I don't -remember- reading anything in the help files that mentioned a required play-time amount or schedule. And I'm not saying it wasn't there if it was...only that I don't remember it.
I was a bit put off and considered contacting the game staff concerning the situation but ultimately decided against it. Not because I thought they would ignore my concerns but because I didn't know what the time requirements of the MUD were, and I didn't know if I would be able to maintain them.
Overall, Seattle 2016 is a very excellent depiction of Shadowrun. It's fun to customize your equipment and make your character look -just- the way you want them to. Character creation is a -little- slow and complex, but worth taking the time to figure out. Vehicles and lodging are relatively easy to get compared to many other games. It's easy to get lost but rewarding to learn your way around.
Communication in-game can be tough. OOC vs. IC protocols can make getting answers to simple questions for new players less easy than it could be. This MUD seems suited more for experienced Shadowrun players who are familiar with the current core rules than those less so. It -is- a fun game, but it is also a tough game to get comfortable with.
Thank you for your time.
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