Shattered kingdoms is one of the many hack and slash mud these days
attempting to Claim RolePlay. Given the myriad of games making this
claim, I was first a little wary to try it out, but when I finally got
around to it, I was somewhat surprised. I came in expecting the
roleplay would be a gimmick term thrown out and the game itself
wouldn't have any roleplay whatsoever, like many who make the claim.
I was wrong on that regard. So wrong in fact, I feel Shattered
Kingdoms has raised the bar for its level of play.
On the hack & slash and tactical aspect, SK has a far more balanced
game than you're likely to find on many other muds. Through use of
skills, party arrangement, equipment and spells, you can do a great
number of things. The combat is far more than just kill x loot y, in
fact the WAY you go about the killing can have an enormous affect on
how successful you are. What level you are and the skills aren't
quite so important as how you plan your battles. In these regards, SK
is light years above most H&S. They don't have some hundred thousand
classes and races and instead of making a whole lot of duplicate
spells and abilities, each one has it's unique features, with some
The player killing aspect is another thing to consider, as it's a
huge part of the game. After all, killing npcs all day can get quite
boring. Just about anyone is opened to be player killed, however what
prev2ents random player killing is the Roleplay, which we'll get to a
little later. A fairly effective justice system keeps the random
player killing down and ensures the game will have at least some
method to the madness. Given most player killing games tend to end up
being newbie unfriendly as a result, SK has successfully balanced the
PK of the game with newbie friendliness.
In the area of newbie friendliness, the game is surprisingly
successful. While I have not personally heard much from the staff, I
didnít need to. The other players have been willing to help out in
most cases and the help files are quite well documented, with a few
exceptions. There are holes in the helpfiles where important things,
such as ways you can lose XP and other penalties, are a little more
buried than they should be. But at least the files are there, even if
they are not as readily apparent as one might hope. As far as
complexity, the game allows for someone to simply walk around and kill
stuff, but at the same time the inner workings are more much in-depth
than they appear. This lends to a fairly straight forward newbie
experience as well as a more deep and customizable veteran one.
Now on to the roleplay. At first the game requires you to stay in
character and doesn't even really give an OOC (out of character)
option. With different languages and with 'adjectives' showing
instead of names when someone walks into the room, the roleplay would
appear promising. And to be fair, SK has raised its standards
significantly over the average wannabe rp game. It is in RP that I
have the biggest complaints. As with all games the players will make
all the difference. In my experience fewer than half of them seem to
have any concept of the difference between OOC and IC (In character).
They seem to take things personally that occur in game and then argue
about it out of game as though it is a reflection of the player's
personality and not their character. Very well played characters can
often be chastised because they acted in an IC way that doesn't flow
with how the players OOCíly wished they would of acted. As well this
leaves players to ignore their IC personalities and OOC info if acting
OOCíly instead of ICíly can make things better for their character or
their characterís friends. The General Discussion Board is a strong
reflection of this, where such concepts as above listed of separation
of IC and OOC are completely lost on many of the players of this game
and the staff hardly does anything to help promote a better
understanding of what RolePlay is. It seems as if many of the players
would consider it roleplay to say 'would thou like to go train with
me?' rather than 'Lets go kill some mobs.' The amount of OOC abuse
on players because of Ic actions is ludicrous and no one seems to
understand why it's not supposed to be that way.
To be fair, most any RP games don't even have the above problems,
because roleplay never gets into the door in the first place.
Therefore itís because of SK's successful implementation of Roleplay
that I'm able to point out these problems.
If you're looking for a tactical hack and slash game which is both
easy to learn and full of depth, then SK is a good choice.
If you're looking for a Roleplay experience for serious role
players, then SK is probably not a good choice.
While it's interesting to see what direction this game will
ultimately go in, for now it is a heavily tactical Hack and Slash,
with a side of roleplay.
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