TMC Reviews: Basternae

(Review Date: October 31, 1998)
TMC Reviewer: Tony Gould
Mud Theme

Over the past two weeks, I have been reviewing Basternae, a Diku based PK mud. Overall, I've got mixed feelings about the game. Some things could be improved on, but for the most part I was impressed.

Basternae is a very medieval mud, sticking to its theme with every last detail. The world is vast, and every room, PC and NPC is very well described. Depending on which race you select, you start out in a different home town. I chose a half-elven ranger and looked at various other PCs and NPCs and was duly impressed with the descriptions, especially the NPCs. One that I found that was awesome was a "scarred-elf." It described her battle scars, garb, eyes, hair, and build. It was incredible.

Mud Atmosphere

I never really got a chance to interact with other characters too often, so I have no idea what the immortals are like, but most PCs are nice. If you say hello, they'll say hello back (if they can speak your races' language). If you ask someone a question, they'll give you an answer. Overall everyone roleplayed, which I was very impressed with. One charecter I found even agreed to group with me and we slaughtered a great many things together. Although I was not happy with a few things. Twice I was PKilled by a character 10 and 13 levels above me. If I were a higher level, I don't think that would've mattered, but I was level 6. My group and I were resting in a forest, and another band of two came up to us and slaughtered us both. The other instance occurred less than five minutes later when I was slaughtered while healing without any equipment. I don't know if the PK limit is 15 levels or what, but I was not happy with the results.

Mud World

I found the world to be incredible. All of the rooms are high quality, well described and have no grammar or spelling errors in the descriptions. I was even impressed with how peacekeepers of the cities and towns will arrest you if you are caught looting a player's corpse that isn't one of your group members or yours. I found a corpse that contained some good equipment and I looted it. I was then speedily arrested by the town's peacekeeper. Another time I was starving and needed food, so I looted a corpse for a ration of meat, and a city guard caught me, and arrested me. The sentences were even different, depending on the degree of my offence. I was impressed!

Additional Comments

Overall, I found the realism level was pretty good for a medieval mud. There were some exceptions to this. For example, failed attacks at an iguana, cat or wasp will cause it to laugh at you. These examples do tend to take away from the realistic environment the mud seems to strive for. Particularly impressive was the language barrier that different races experienced, making communication much more realistic, if a bit baffling.

Summary

I found Basternae mud to be an impressive medieval-style mud. The players I could communicate with were friendly, the world was very descriptive and well written and the realism level high. My main complaint involves the player-killing, which I experienced first hand. PK mudders should enjoy Basternae tremendously.

TMC Reviewer: Jason Everroad
Mud Theme

I could not find a theme of any true nature on Basternae, the only semblance of a theme I could detect was that it was based on a Dungeons and Dragons style of setting. The mud is based on a total PK atmosphere and most people on the mud indulge quite freely in it. I noticed no "true" storyline of any sort. There is, however, a section on guilds which is a bit helpful, and it seems quite predominant that if one wants to have success on this mud, they should have lots, and I DO mean LOTS, of friends.

Mud Atmosphere

Basternae has a nice atmosphere, in the midst of all the PKing going on. The people on the mud seem friendly, and I saw a few cases where they helped some new players out. In the same breath however, they will also kill you without even giving it a second thought, but really though, isn't that the main idea of a PK style mud anyways? One will not find much in the way of roleplaying on this mud, as roleplaying really doesn't fit in well with the muds simple concept of "kill or be killed". Basternae contains a VERY large player base, and many players seem to be on quite frequently, which shows the addictive nature of the mud. This mud has so many players regularly playing, one will have little trouble finding someone to group with, or fight against. Keep in mind however, this is not a place for the cautious player, as in any moment you can be attacked for any, or no reason whatsoever.

Mud World

The world is comprised of many unique areas, there is much to explore on Basternae. The problem, however, might be whether you can survive long enough to do any exploring. Areas on the mud are well detailed, and will give you some very interesting reading, if you take the time to read the room descriptions. Spelling was right on cue, and I found no errors whatsoever. Many different races populate Basternae, so at startup it would be a good idea to take time and choose one that you would feel gives you the best chance at success in a Pk style environment. Mobs in the mud, even at the starting town level, can be aggressive, and can attack you with little or no warning. I felt some of the mobs were a bit on the strong side to be in an area where newbies start out. While in such an area I was attacked by a "commoner" who proceeded to pummel the life out of me rather quickly (about three hits). Of course one could say this is a good way to prepare you for a much stronger, and more lethal adversary...other players.

Additional Comments

I would like to have seen some storyline to the mud. I tried "help story" and looked all over, but could find none. Color Ansi text looked nice, and was not too overbearing, which made it one of the nicer to look at displays of text I've seen in a while. One fairly major concern I had was that while on the mud, if you have to leave for some reason, you cannot just type quit, but you are made to find a hotel, so you can safely quit there. This poses a problem for different reasons, one being for those who are heavily into their playing and all of a sudden realize "Hey, I'm late for work" Those people are now made to find a hotel to rest before they can even leave, not to mention the fact they could easily be attacked on their way out, causing a further delay. The only apparent loophole would appear to be to just disconnect.....well...that doesn't work either, because once you disconnect, there is absolutely NO safety cushion to prevent you from being attacked and killed while you wait for the mud to save and quit your character. I'm sure they did this to curtail, the 'PK, run, and quit' style players, but I think there are better ways to handle this, for instance have a small time limit before one can log off right after they PK or attack another player...then the only person who gets punished is the person commiting the PK act.

Summary

A good PK mud, that is somewhat devoid of story, and contains little to no roleplaying. The players are both friendly and can be helpful, but can be brutal at the same time. Lack of roleplaying does not hurt this mud in the least as that was not it's point or intention, it is, in all intensive purposes, a pure PK mud, and in that, it excels very well.