The DISCWORLD MUD – A Review

Discworld.

A world created by British author Terry Pratchett which contain a variety of funny and interesting novels.

There is also a MUD based on the world created by good ol Sir Terry. The MUD is what we will be discussing today in my little review here.

As a note, a MUD is a text based online RPG, think the precursors to the modern MMO. Everything is written in text. Don’t be afraid, its like playing an interactive book at times. You use commands (look, kill “name”, north, ect) to perform actions.

I have been playing this single MUD off and on since 1998, back when I was in high school. I have tried numerous other MUDs, including some of the bigger ones like Aardwolf, Genesis, and the IRE Family of MUDs and no matter what, I always end up coming back to the Disc. Why you might ask?

Well for a variety of reasons. Lets break down what makes the Discworld MUD unique, and why I think anyone who is looking for something fun and different should give this world a try!

Unlimited Growth and Character Building:

The single biggest factor, for me, is their unique character growth and advancement system. This game has 6 guilds (Priests, Wizards, Witches, Thieves, Warriors, and Assassins). Those guilds are broken up into specializations which determine what your guild skills are, and possibly what abilities or rituals you have access to. For example, the Priest Guild has one set of skills (The Faith Tree) but each god gives its priests different rituals.

This game uses a skill system rather then class system for advancement. Skills are broken up into Trees (Fighting, Faith, Magic, Covert, Crafting, Adventuring, People) and further broken up into types. For example, if you wanted to get good at swinging a sword, you advance Fighting.Melee.Sword. You use Experience Points (XP) to advance in your guild, or to learn from other players.

You gain XP by doing pretty much everything, and XP is the currency you use to advance a skill. You get XP for fighting and killing NPCs, performing spells or commands (Such as stealing), and just being logged in. With money you can train those skills in your guild to their maximum, and if you have no cash or are trying to go beyond what your guild can teach you, you can teach yourself or learn from other players.

Your guild and speclization determines the skills you can advance to level 300. Here is an example of one of the Warrior Specializations, the Ankh-Morpork Palace Guard:

crafts.smithing.black.weapons
fighting.defence.blocking
fighting.defence.parrying
fighting.melee.flail
fighting.melee.heavy-sword
fighting.melee.mace
fighting.melee.sword
fighting.points
fighting.range.thrown
fighting.special.tactics
fighting.special.weapon
fighting.unarmed.striking
adventuring.evaluating.armour
adventuring.evaluating.weapons
crafts.medicine.firstaid

However, nothing stops a player from advancing non guild skills. Lets say that fighter there wants to be able to use Wizard Spells! Well, he just has to advance his Magic skills up. However, once his guild trains him as high as they can go (5 levels max for non wizards in Magic btw) he has to go and learn from other players, most likely a Wizard of some sort. I play a priest, and if I wanted to learn to steal I can simply by training my stealing skill higher. Basically, your guild has unique commands / spells / rituals for you, but you can diversify to your hearts content, and there is no max level to a skill. Your guild can teach you to 300, sure, but some of the long time players have skills up in the 800+ range.

Your skill level determines your bonus, and everything in this game works off these bonuses. Higher is always better. The sky is the limit with these skills!

A Huge Player Driven World:

The world is, no joke, massive. Tons of areas to explore, and find secrets, do Quests for XP and Cash, own property and run your own store or have a house, play board games, become a Player Killer and have PVP fights (and steal from each other and all that jazz), events that occur both guild specific (such as the House Games of the AM Assassins Guild or the Witch Trails) or general, such as a monthly sight seeing event in Ankh-Morpork.

All the guilds are Player Run as well, each branch having their own rules and codes of conduct. Cities frequently have player councils, deciding laws and even court cases and such.

There are even player run Newspapers you can read! Or write for (and get XP and Cash for that!) Nevermind the sheer size of the world. Here is one of the major cities in Thumbnail size

That city is surrounded by terrain by the way that you can wander. Also, this game is fairly populated, compared to many MUDs, with an average 70+ players on at most times of the day. The player base is mostly american and UK.

Tis a Silly Game:

At the core though is the humor. I mean lets take a look at the gods the players can worship, as an example:

Pishe: Goddess of Slight Showers and Healing
Gapp: God of Fine Clothing and Fashion
Gufnork: God of Fluff and Fluffy Things
Sandelfon: God of Corridors
Fish: God of Fish
Hat: God of Unexpected Guests (and Parties!)
Sek: Seven Handed God of Destruction!

The player base tends to take a silly view of things as well. Assassins in AM tend to wear pink underwear, and other such nonsense. There are RPers (I am one) but mostly the world is about having a good time, eating lots of pie (them WIZARDS!) and just enjoying each others company.

Overall, the Disc has been around for over 20 years now, and its still going, still active, and still a ton of fun. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To play simply visit http://discworld.starturtle.net/lpc/ and click the Play Now link to open the Java client!

If you do decide to play don’t fear the game, there is an extensive tutorial town for you to wander in safely, as well as a NEWBIE channel to use. Also you can browse the official wiki (https://dwwiki.mooo.com/wiki/Main_Page) for more information, and once you join a guild the players of your guild will be happy to help you. Hope to see you in game. If you do join, I am called Vranick.

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Want your Nerdy Item Reviewed? Here are the Rules

This is also now a page at the top. But I figured I would post it as well.

So I have gotten a couple of random requests to review things again. I figure I can open reviews up for those who are serious about it. I will only review certain things, and with certain guidelines and rules regarding them. Here are my rules, and how you go about requesting a review.

Be aware reviews will be done in video form. I no longer do written reviews.

Things I will review (Specific Rules Below):

1) Books
2) Games
3) Music
4) Comics
5) Movies
6) Loot Crates (of the Nerdy Variety)

Now, here are some specifics about the above categories. In ALL CASES you must be willing to provide the item you want reviewed. I am not spending what little money I have to buy a copy. Sorry guys.

Books:

I will accept books in EPUB or MOBI format. I do not do anything of an overtly sexual nature. I primarily read sci fi and fantasy. I will read the book until I either finish OR it loses me. Sorry but if the book can’t hold my attention that is a problem in and of itself. The book “getting better later” is not a valid excuse for poor pacing.

Games:

For video games, I need a copy of the game via Steam Key, GoG Key, or Humble Bundle Key. I do PC Games only, as I do not have any consoles. I tend towards almost anything but sports titles and anything akin to Dark Souls. Sorry, I have no tolerance for “git gud” games. I am also not a huge fan of MOBA styled top down games. Beyond that, I promise to play the game for a minimum of 2 hours. If I want to keep going after that I will. However, I have a 2 hour rule and if the game cannot hold my attention for those 2 hours, well, thats the end of it.

For Physical Games, I need a copy of the game. I can provide an address for it to be sent to, if need be. Beyond that I am pretty open to trying anything.

For Tabletop RPG games I prefer physical copies of the rules. If you prefer, you can give me a EPUB or MOBI formatted copy. I do adventures or systems. These will take a while however as I have to find time to play using the rules after reading em / play the adventure.

Music:

No Rap, Regge, Hip Hop or Country. I am willing to try anything else. I will review it song by song. I tend to prefer albums. MP3 or Physical release is acceptable. If digital, give me some album art please.

Comics:

Electronic format PDF / MOBI / EPUB or a physical version. Either or.

Movies:

Electronic format is fine. I don’t do horror or anything politically driven. Not my thing.

Loot Crates:

I like gaming, nerdy shit, tabletop games, wrestling. If your loot crate has nothing to do with these things please do not approach me. The answer will simply be no.

If you want me to review something, you can either contact me on Twitter via DM (@cbsa82) or by email at cbsa82@gmail.com

Be aware I may not accept it. If you just send me something randomly, there is no promise I will review it. If you want to see if I am willing its best to just ask me first. And I am picky. You need to WOW me.

Timeframe wise I promise that if I accept is I WILL review it. Just might not be immediate. I work a 40 hour a week job and have a personal life.

Also be aware I am a harsh but fair critic. I will tell you what I like, what I don’t like, and why.

For examples of my review style I present the following. First, my written reviews are a good idea of how I judge things.

A List of Books I have previously reviewed
Game Reviews I did for Vox Ludicus

And all video reviews will be in a format similar to the below video, and posted to that channel:

RANT: I am Done with Crowdfunding (Now in Video Form)

So this is a companion video to my original written rant that I did a week-ish ago. You can read the original here.

Due to things that occurred the night I recorded this, I felt the need to reiterate my issues with crowdfunding as a whole now. And also, more content for my channel is always good.

My original statement stands: I am done with crowdfunding / kickstarter / indiegogo. I don’t care how good a friend you are to me. Unless you have had multiple SUCCESSFUL Crowdfunding campaigns that also were delivered on time, I am not even going to look at it.

My full thoughts are both at the above link, and in this video.

Musings on Youtube and Twitter

I think this will be the first time I have written a blog in a long while, and its about analytics, my Youtube channel, my Twitter, and thoughts about such things.

So its been about 6ish weeks since I relaunched my youtube channel. In that time I have gotten a total of:

432 Total Views, of which 140 are from Subs
2:23 Average Watch Time (Sub + Non Sub) / 18% Retention
4:17 Average Watch Time (Sub Only) / 42% Retention
86 Total Subscribers

This is across 7 videos. So I am doing pretty good all things considered.

Whats interesting to me is that if we take the total views of 140 from my subs, and spread that out, it means that each video has roughly 20 views from subs each. Now, I have been told (and I forget where) that 10% of your videos views should be subs, which means you should expect 10% of your subs to be active subs. For me, that would be about 8.6 / 9 views per vid. So I am WELL above that curve. Happy Days! Also, I am gaining subs at a rate of roughly 1 every day or two. Which is kinda nutty when I think about it.

Granted, several of these are folks who are all “Sub 4 Sub” which is pointless, and I will have no part of. I want people who will WATCH my content not just random numbers.

Now, my worry here is that most of these subscribers came because of my recent Tabletop RPG 101 Series. Granted, I intend to have more videos about Tabletop gaming as its a big thing in my life and I love it dearly, but honestly, not every video going forward is going to be about that. I mean, my next few vids are going to be (in order)

– The Rest of the Tabletop RPG Series, including a new special Part 6!
– A Comic Book Review (Liberty Deception)
– A Tale from the Tabletop (based on this Poll I ran on Twitter)
– Maybe a Top 5 of some sort.
– A game review or two (Shovel Knight tops this right now)
– 2 Book Reviews (by the same author in fact)

My focus is on nerdy stuff not just tabletop stuff you know. I got movies I wanna cover, games I wanna talk about, Top 5’s and things. I mean just look at the Topic List! I just updated it today by the way so its got all 7 videos I have done so far linked ;)

Whats fascinating is how big a role Twitter seems to be playing into my growth. I have never been one to really “get” twitter, and honestly I still don’t. 140 characters is very small, and its hard sometimes to get my point across, especially when you get more and more followers and follow more people. I am currently, as of today, at 670 followers. Thats NUTS. Granted, I am pretty sure the breakdown of them is:

– 300ish Bots / Advertisers / Business Accounts
– The rest are Real People

Thats amazing. The great majority are fellow Tabletop gamers like me. This worries me because, again, my videos and my tweets and myself are not all tabletop rpgs 100% of the time. I talk about wrestling, video games, music, movies, ect. Books. Nerdy stuff! Thankfully I have made a few friends it seems so far on twitter, and everyone has been super welcoming! I am actually enjoying it, and I like chatting to folks about cool Tabletop Plot ideas, and running games, and so on. Hell I even helped one lass via DM with creating an interesting backstory for her character which was fun :D

One thing I have noticed from a few folks, however, who are also youtubers is this obsession with getting all their twitter followers to sub to them on Youtube. Lets be real, if I had that I would be doing stupid good, but at the same time I am not going to ask my followers to do something I wouldn’t do. And frankly, I am not going to sub willy nilly to people who I have zero interest in listening to. Same with following em on twitter! I am just not going to do it.

I get it, people wanna be successful (for their definition of success) on Youtube. Some people want the fame, the recognition, the fans. Others want the money. But I am weird in that I don’t really care about any of that. I just like sharing what I love. And being me of course.

The attitude of folks online, like these other youtubers, makes me sad. They are so focused on advertising that they forget to be real people. I cannot count the number of small youtubers who followed me on twitter and when I go check out their tweets, its nothing but advertising of their own works, and maybe some “XXX liked this video” tweets that come from Youtube. And thats it. No engagement with the people who follow em, nothing. Its a giant circle jerk.

Yes, I advertise my channel on Twitter. I usually tweet at most once a day about one of my videos. Thats it. And I actually use Twuffer to set those up ahead of time. The rest of the times just me, chatting with folks, retweeting fun things, cool art, and such. I am a human, and god damnit I am gonna act human! Bout the only thing I still have on full automation is my Auto DM, which doesnt even mention youtube! It actually says, and I quote:

“Hey there and thanks for following me here on Twitter! Hope ya don’t mind the AutoDM. I am an old fart and honestly can barely keep up with this twitter thing but I am trying. Lets start chatting! Tell me something about yourself! Favorite game / gaming system / book / boardgame / video game? Any fun stories to share?”

Wanna know something funny? I have gotten the following responses recently:

“Sure I’ll check you out !! Could you also check me out here? *LINK* let me know when you’ve subbed so I can do the same!:) hope to see you round in my comment section!?  Also, heres a new video of mine if you wanna check it out! leave a like or whatever ?:)”

“Could you maybe check out my channel?”

And similar. It makes me laugh honestly. These were in response to my Auto DM above, where I don’t mention my channel, or anything. I swear people don’t read.

All in all so far I would have to say I am doing ok. I could always do better. But at this point its a forgone conclusion that I will hit the 100 sub mark and get a custom URL, which will be fun. Not in any rush though. Lets see what happens by the end of the year!

Oh and since I forgot to post it here is Part 3 of Tabletop RPG 101

Stay Nerdy folks :)