Monday, March 1, 2021

Returning to the Realms of Despair

Ever since I've started playing Realms of Despair two months ago I've been amazed at how much the game has grown over the three years since I last played. While it seems like other muds are struggling and dying the Realms of Despair has been going through a renaissance of late with a steady number of players, new content and other changes being implemented. As a returning player what has struck me is that the changes that have been made over the last few years have all been improvements. This post will cover the changes since I've been away and my thoughts about them.

  • Prestige and Multi-classes: This has been the biggest change that has impacted upon gameplay over the last few years. It is now possible to upgrade level 50 characters to either the new more powerful prestige classes of dread vampire, hunter, harbinger, knight, infernalist & buccaneer or to multiclasses such as mage-thief and so on. These classes have opened up new parts of the game bringing new strategies and options to killing bigger mobs. While there is a significant barrier to unlocking these new classes in glory, gold and experience points the benefits outweigh the price. It just means I need to work on getting glory anyway I can so I can join the fun.
  • Discord Server: Zistrosk has set up a discord server for the game. This has been a fantastic way to connect and communicate with players outside of the game. Announcements about new changes and events are broadcast to the players on the server while also allowing for feedback to be given. It's been useful for me when I'm not online but I get a notification on my phone through discord saying that a quest is about to start. I can just log on and start questing. I also love that on discord Zistrosk, the proud druid chose to use this picture for his avatar:
    It's from the old game Druid. I used to play this game 30 years ago on a commodore 64. I loved playing this game and remember having nightmares about the demon skulls spitting fireballs at me. The music in the introduction was one of the catchiest tunes ever made in 8 bit music. I asked Zist about this game and he said that in his mind this is how he pictured druids in Realms of Despair, which funnily enough is exactly how I envisioned them too.
  • New Immortals: Since I stopped playing Sarakin, Lilith and Incendi have all been promoted to immortality. The Council of Elders have shown excellent judgement in elevating these three to their group. Each of these individuals are skilled players, have demonstrated knowledge of the game and contributed to game's community. On top of this they are all good people who have earned their position.
  • Training: We can now train the stats for new characters in pre-auth. This beats the old systems of having to reroll a heap of characters overnight until you get the stats you wanted or the older method of making unpronounceable statnames that you had to cross your fingers would get authed. The no more rerolling means that no longer new players will see a screen full of spam names of people trying to roll that perfect thief.
  • New Areas: I haven't had a close look at these new areas as yet, but from what little I've seen and heard they will be worth a look at. Honestly the more recently built areas have all been made to a high standard in writing, puzzles and challenges.
  • New Races: There are two new races available now - dragonborn and tiefling. While I am less excited about this change and would have preferred a return of the lizardmen, however, it does allow other options for race and class combinations.
  • Top MUD site voting: Ok this is the one change of the last few years that annoys me.

    Everytime I want to vote for the game now I have to prove "I am not a robot". From the sound of things there was some controversy with other muds playing the system to get higher rankings. I guess that this is why we can't have good things...

I'm sure that there are other changes over the time I've been away that have slipped past me. One thing that hasn't changed has been the community. Everyone has been very supportive and encouraging of me despite leaving without a trace. I'll write more about me at a later date, but thanks everyone who has sent me a tell, written an email or been in touch other ways.

Thank You.


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