TMC Reviews: Malevolence
(Review Date: February 25, 1999)
TMC Reviewer: Laszlo Vincze |
Mud Theme |
Malevolence is basically a medieval fantasy MUD. However, it seems that
whenever the concepts "historical accuracy" and "fun" came into conflict,
the coders of the MUD chose the latter, and somewhat ignored the former.
The result is a mainly medieval feel, with a bewilderingly haphazard
collection of anachronisms. There is a mob called "Hitler" (set in the
appropriate "Hitler bunker" area), a dinosaur park, and "joints" you can
smoke, to name a few.
Mud Atmosphere |
The MUD's friendliness to newbies was one of the first things I noticed,
and one of its best points, in my opinion. Most people were very friendly,
and more than happy to answer my questions promptly and accurately. This
held true for players and immortals alike.
The player base is very small (I never saw more than 10 people on at once,
and there were a few times when I was alone on the MUD), which means that
you get to know everyone (and vice versa) pretty fast. The players seem to
like meeting new people, and I felt like a part of the community in no time.
I must note here that while the banter on the chat channel is friendly, it
is often quite explicitly adult. This holds true for the MUD in general,
too. The imms seem to think that as long as the players act grown-up, they
deserve to be treated that way, and the players seem to realize this.
The overwhelming majority of the players on Malevolence realize this, and
are mature in their conduct. I witnessed no silly spamming or whining on
the chat channel during my stay. Profanities were unabashedly used, but not
Roleplaying on Malevolence is rather limited and perfunctory. While players
would cheerfully gossip with me about any and every imaginable topic, and
many of them would even engage in some in-character chatter, if you are a
hard-core roleplayer, you are likely to be disappointed with the MUD at
this time. Of course, if the player base expands, the situation may well
Mud World |
The world is original, as far as I could see, and descriptions are well
done, though at times a little unorthodox... for example, the description
for one part of the starting city is a little poem. The only problem I had
here was that the descriptions seem to be plagued by a large number of
typos and other similar errors, which really took away a part of the
enjoyment I got from reading them.
Combat descriptions are colourful and interesting. Unfortunately, some of
the descriptions are somewhat inappropriate against non-human foes, like
"With a dextrous strike you stab Dove in the arm."
Races are rather standard, with minotaurs being pretty much the most
unusual - none of the weird and wacky things you can find on other MUDs.
Classes are quite interestingly done, however. There are the 4 basic
classes, which you can join and leave at any time. You can be in several
classes at the same time, and can even quadruple-class, should you want
to, but the more classes you're in, the harder it is to advance. You can
alternatively choose to join a guild, Paladin, Sorital or Ranger. Guilds
usually have some of the special abilities of several classes, and a few
special abilities of their own. If you belong to a guild, however, you
cannot belong to any other classes or guilds.
One thing I found praiseworthy on Malevolence is a type of mob, called an
"AI". These are basically random NPC's. What makes them special is that
they are quite uniquely coded, giving them some semblance of intelligence.
These AI's can loot corpses, change equipment, attack players and each
other, and run away from battles which seem too difficult for them. The
part I found most intriguing was that the AI's don't just pop into
existence. Instead, they woo each other, then mate and have children
(other AI's). I really was quite impressed by this.
Additional Comments |
Advancement on the MUD seems to be, like many other things, geared to
encourage newbies. With many skills that can be (at first) cheaply
advanced, progress for the first 10 levels or so is gratifyingly fast.
Along with the friendliness of the players and immortals to newbies, and
the fact that PK is practically nonexistent, (there are VERY strict
restrictions on it) this MUD would be quite ideal for anyone new to
MUDding, in my opinion.
Malevolence has its faults, and if you are an avid roleplayer or a die-
hard playerkiller, (pun unintended) it's probably not the perfect MUD
for you. If, however, you are someone new to MUDs, or just looking for
a fun place to hang out, chat with people, and go on the odd rampage or
two, I definitely recommend trying it out. The MUD is a very good place
for newbies, but has plenty of features that will interest and surprise
even the most experienced MUDder. I enjoyed the time I spent here
greatly, and I'm certain that with the expansion of the player base,
Malevolence could easily become a a truly classic MUD.