TMC Reviews: Thanatos

(Review Date: July 18, 1999)
TMC Reviewer: Jeffrey Smith
Mud Theme

Given that this is a mostly stock Rom 2.4 mud, there is little theme here... smurfs, the galaxy, Old Thalos, the Shire... except for a loose definition of "fantasy". On the plus side, there were no glaring non-fantasy zones, so Thanatos stayed true to that aspect. Even the little things, like making the starting city something different, were absent. The "god" in the temple in the main city was stock. The temple was stock. The city was stock (Midgaard). Nothing about Thanatos, in-theme, worked to set it apart from any other Rom 2.4 mud. There was no discernable mythos to the mud either, and thus no assistance in role-playing, since the "theme" didn't support a world where stories could be created.

Mud Atmosphere

The mud lists as "Newbie Friendly" in their TMC write-up. I experienced only one thing I would consider friendliness during my time there: an invisible immortal spelled me up a couple times, without saying a word to me. Other than that, I was completely ignored, apart from the occasional congratulations for leveling. There are, if you look, lots of little things that can give you a clue about the atmosphere of a given MU*, and the first glimpse I got into what to expect was when I typoed a command, and instead of seeing the normal "Huh?" or "Unknown Command", I was greeted with "What the hell are you talking about, you dumb bastard?". This I personally found offensive, and it took away from my enjoyment of the mud. (This was also noted negatively in a previous MudReview review, I found out.)

Mud World

The world is about 80% stock zones, which, if you like stock zones, makes this mud someplace you'll enjoy playing in. However, I like to see muds that, while starting stock (as they all do), work to find their own niche in the mudding community. For this reason, I was not impressed with the world of Thanatos.

The writing in the mud could also use a bit of a facelift. I was unable to tell if a zone was still using the stock descriptions or if someone had re-written them, but the zones which appeared to have been revamped looked no different than their former incarnations. I also found the world to be rather sparsely populated, as I never saw more than 4 players and/or 3 immortals on at any one time, but this _is_ summer, and that is traditionally a slow period for many MU*'s that rely on school players. I will say that it was fun to roam the old Moria again, but only for nostalgic value. The disappointing thing was... it was right where it always is, the first north exit, east out of Midgaard . I found the Mob Factory right where I expected to, as well as several other zones. In my quest for originality, this was saddening.

Additional Comments

I am a very firm believer of truth in advertising, and as such, I must take exception to Thanatos' listing on TMC. At the time that the mud was submitted TMC classified a medium sized world as having 10,000+ rooms, and Thanatos advertised this in their listing. My best estimate would be that the mud has only 6,000 rooms in play.

Also, being over 80% stock zones, their listing of "World is mostly original" doesn't hold up either. Additionally, at character creation time Thanatos offers an "Extended Race Selection" of human elf dwarf giant troll dragon, troll and dragon being the only non-stock races. In my mind, an extended selection should mean a significant change to the stock selection. With this in mind, I was only mildly surprised that their at creation time "Extended Class Selection" is mage cleric thief warrior monk, with monk being the only non-stock class available. I don't feel these classifications are appropriate - every mud whose listing is inaccurate, for whatever reason, brings into doubt every other mud's listing by comparison. If you have a stock mud that you're working on, it would be best to make sure you are accurate and list it as it is, and not, perhaps, how you hope it will someday be.

Also, there are notes, ideas, news items and other communication venues that, unless you take the time to read every one of, pop up in a "reminder" every couple minutes or so. This was very annoying when trying to read descriptions, to have the reminder pop up and scroll things off the screen (it's fairly large). The work on colors, however, was very nice, and added a lot to the experience vs. a "straight-out-of-the-gzip-file" Rom mud.

Summary

Considering how long MU*'s in general have been around, I guess I'm no longer as impressed by a stock MU*/world as I would have once been. Given their inaccurate entries in their listing on TMC, and having roamed their stock world for some time, it's not someplace that would hold my interest for long. However, if you are a fan of near-stock muds, you'll love it on Thanatos. The world is a showcase of everyone's favorite stock zones, and with 6 races and 5 classes to choose from, and while there won't be many surprises, it's enough to make it enjoyable for the stock fan. However, it must be noted that the mud is only 9 months old (at the time of this writing). I admit that my tastes run far more to the creative, and I see Muds as an extension of original or thematic vision, and for that reason, I do not find this mud to be of a caliber that would encourage me to devote my time to it, but this is my view, and only my view. "Your mileage may vary" as the saying goes.