TMC Reviews: Haven Lpmud

(Review Date: July 13, 2000)
TMC Reviewer: Selina Kelley
Mud Theme

Haven is touted as a "new and different kind of MUD which operates under new and different rules than other muds". While I can't agree with this description, I must admit that Haven is a mud that has an innovative approach to some aspects of its gaming environment. Put this innovation together with a fairly slick combat system, descriptive rooms, and the promise of roleplay, and Haven seems to be a mud to stick around in.

Mud Atmosphere

Overall the atmosphere of Haven was very friendly. Talkative players and wizards guaranteed that at any given time that I was logged in, a discussion was always in progress. Given that I seemed to rarely run into people while adventuring, it was comforting to know there were others out there. I didn't encounter a great deal of roleplaying, but perhaps that is more because I seem to lack the skill to be an inherently good roleplayer, rather than the mud lacking a roleplaying environment. I had numerous offers from players to help me out, which was greatly appreciated, and I never encountered anyone that was rude. In general, the areas that I visited were well written and thematically consistent.

Mud World

After a couple false starts, a few untimely deaths, and several hours of just straight fumbling around, I finally figured out how to navigate the mud. It's not that the commands were difficult or the helpfiles not helpful, it was more that none of the commands I expected to be there were actually there-- or if they were, they were called something else entirely. Once I found a guild, mapped the main area, and found a place to kill, I settled into a more comfortable mode of mudding. As mentioned before, I really liked the combat system. The defensive spells were readily apparent in the messages when they prevented damage, which helped a lot in determining if the spell I was using was helpful. One thing that bothered me the most about combat, however, was that it seemed very drawn out and tedious-- possibly because I was a low level-- but regardless, it did dim my enjoyment a little. Also, the rounds seemed a little strange, as they were spaced out irregularly so you didn't know when the next hit was going to come. Levels were based on skill points rather than experience, with skill points being gained by adventuring and killing monsters. These skills aid in the spells that you are given per your guild. The skill system seemed quite well developed, with an array of different skills depending which guild you joined. I trained my spells by going to my guild and having a master trainer teach me. Took me a while to figure out, but it was a very neat system. Being able to layer defensive spells to provide better protection was definitely worthwhile. Interaction between player and NPC was definitely a must. You can ask NPCs questions, and depending on who that NPC is, they will provide a response to you. This was an excellent way to incorporate help for a newbie into the game without an intrusive help file. However, 'help newbie' is a must-- you can't possibly advance early in the game without reading it extremely carefully!

Summary

While I didn't really find myself "connecting" to the game, per se, I found it to be enjoyable and well put together. Aspects of Haven that set itself apart from other muds in a positive way at times seemed to work against it as well-- a realistic combat system with timed rounds and realistic damage, while very well written, can be tedious and repetitive. Generally a thumbs up-- maybe not quite my cup of tea, but that was more my personal taste than the mud itself. It was very obvious that a great deal of hard work, time and effort had been put into the Haven, and I commend the staff on their efforts.