2016-12-11 06:00:17 (edited by david_solomon1 2016-12-15 10:33:17)

I want to advertise my two favorite muds of all time here. Even though these muds are well over 20 years old and around 7 years old respectively, I think according to the forum rules I can put this in new releases because I don't see a post about either of them anywhere. This will be a very long post.

So two things I want to establish first. These muds are both incredibly complex and are meant for highly advanced players.  There's also not a lot of handholding or free points or the like given out, so you'll need to be a somewhat advanced mudder to play. I've only other seen one mud that's more open world and lacking explicit direction than these two, and that's Lost Souls.

The second thing is that there is no soundpack, nor is there likely to be. The reasoning for this will be described in more detail later, but what I will say for now is that the detailing of the atmosphere is truly in the text and the mechanics of the game. There are so many detailed mechanics and complex systems, not to mention complex areas and equipment that it would probably take years to even get a reasonably functional soundpack working.

So with that out of the way, let me explain why this is an advertisement for two muds. 3Kingdoms and 3Scapes, or 3K and 3S,  refer to each other as sister muds. There actually tends to be something of a rivalry between them, especially when it comes to 3K players not liking 3S. 3Kingdoms is well over 20 years old, and back in 2009 there was a split from the main mud which became 3Scapes so that a group of wizards could take the mud off in a slightly different direction and make it their own.

First, let me share some features that the two muds share and that, in and of themselves, make these two environments unique amongst other muds:

Boots: A primary feature of both games is that the mud reboots automatically every few days. This is basically treated as a total reset of the world; unique pieces of equipment reload, many options are reset and the playing field is levelled.

Equipment: One feature that almost inevitably puts off a certain type of mudder is that equipment does not save across boots. This leads to what players call a bootrun, meaning that highly valued pieces of equipment load each boot and players spend several hours gathering them for their own use or to sell to other players. This means that, for the most part, you do not log in with your own set of gear, though there are exceptions (especially on 3K). You can, however, drop your link instead of logging out and remain linkdead for up to 24 hours to keep your equipment during the current boot.
Equipment is spread across 12 slots, some of which are mutually exclusive. You can wear helmets, amulets, cloaks (also called the light body slot), gloves, boots, rings and an other slot, which usually means a belt or some other piece of equipment that doesn't belong in one of the primary slots. Then you have your choice of either a main armor or a breastplate and greaves. You can also use a weapon and shield, or a two-handed weapon. Many guilds limit your choice of equipment, and a few guilds don't need equipment at all. Some guilds can not even use equipment.
Equipment's primary effect is to defend from various types of damage. There are 10 types of damage; edged, blunt, fire, ice, acid, electric, mind, energy, poison and radiation. Equipment can also give stat boosts. Some equipment can even act as a complete subguild in it's own right, for example, a set of equipment that works together to grant the player special abilities and even levels up, but puts players in direct competition by allowing them to hunt for the pieces and attempt to claim them all. There are also world drops, which are pieces of equipment and artifacts that have an extremely small chance to drop anywhere, from any mob, but are generally incredibly powerful and sometimes will load across a couple of boots.

Guilds: I will describe these individually later, but for now, I will simply say that the guilds here are simply unlike guilds anywhere else that I've ever played. There are around 18 guilds on 3Kingdoms, and 15 on 3Scapes. Each guild has it's own wizard, or coder, so they are all entirely different from each other. In other words, there are no shared skills or pieces of code, though there are ocasional abilities that interact with other guilds. In fact, each guild is it's own object. When you join warders, you're given a fancloak that is basically the object that contains all the code for your guild. This is a common theme in both games; anything that gives extra abilities or access to other systems is often an object.
To explain this in a little more depth, lets use a mud like Alter Aeon. Each of the classes, though it is different in it's own right, relies on the same systems to run it. A mage uses the same spell casting block of code for the root of it's spells as a druid. A warrior and a thief's skills are both utalized in the same way, though they may do different things.
In these two muds, each guild is actually coded entirely from scratch, so no two guilds are alike. Sometimes commands will cross, like gs for guild score or info for guild help, but this is not always the case. For example, sii's guild command is siihelp.
Even though guilds tend to be specifically good at something, there are almost always options to play in other ways as well. For example, the juggernaut guild is known for it's amazing tanking ability, but it also has the ability to be played as a hitter, to coin a phrase from other muds, and does it fairly well. Playstyles can often be freely switched out, meaning you can play how you want to and when you need to with very little hastle.
Also, even though commands may be the same, stats and mechanics will not be. Changeling's help system has a built in search function to help you find files by keyword, whereas warder tends to be a more straightforward list of documents. By that same token, the layout and content of a warder's guild score sheet will be entirely different from a changeling's guild score.
The only things shared by the guilds at all are the mud's base systems of HP, SP (spell points), the regeneration rates for these, damage code to an extent, and stats (strength, constitution, etc.) Everything else is completely different.
Even though there are duplicate guilds on 3K and 3S, those guilds tend to be quite different as well, since different wizards will have worked on them at different times. For example, gentech has had a lot more work done on it on 3Scapes, making it a little different to play than on 3Kingdoms.

Professions: Another object type, these are like mini-guilds that can supplement your main guild. You can have two minor professions, two specialization professions, and one major profession. Minor professions are direct boosts to your playstyle, such as the ability to deal more damage with all guild abilities or a boost to spell point regeneration. Specializations, well, specialize your character, making them better at dealing damage of a specific type or fighting better under certain conditions.
Major professions are the closest to an actual extra guild, giving you access to at least one complete ability. These include things like the marshal, who can boost the capabilities of his teammates, or the trapper, who can construct various types of traps from ingredients collected by dismantling items.

Combat: The base combat system of the mud is fairly dull, with descriptions like, "You struck a traveller a mighty blow.", or "You pummeled brainy smurf into small fragments." These descriptions do not change based on your damage type.
Having said that, most guilds forego those descriptions in favor of guild abilities which act as your attacks and are described in much more detail. For example, a warder using his warder blade might see, "You wound Lord Balthazar deeply with a curving slash."
Combats tend to be very long and drawn out. On many games, combat is a matter of a couple of minutes. On these two muds, combat can quickly become a matter of 5 to 10 minutes for a single battle. However, almost every guild has automated abilities that let you heal yourself, deal damage and use many of your abilities without having to be constantly typing. This means that you can play the game while doing other things.

Crafting: Yet another object, this gives you access to a crafting satchel. This can help offset the lack of equipment for players who would rather start with or make their own gear.
There are 6 crafting tradeskills; 3 gatherers and 3 crafters. Each has their own methodology that caters to a certain playstyle:
Farmer gathers ingredients for cooking and making potions by solving puzzles relating to watering and planting, as well as raising animals.
Miner gathers ingredients for blacksmithing by exploring the chaos mines. In this area, you search for nodes of ore whilst fighting off various creatures that attack you as you attempt to gather resources.
Chaos Wrangler gathers ingredients for enchanting items by "wrangling" energy from mobs around the game. This requires whittling their HP down to a certain point, and then capturing their essence.
Respectively, blacksmiths forge, enchanters enchant and chefs cook. The actual crafting professions are more straightforward, using recipes to combine ingredients with single commands.
Ingredients for crafting save across boots, so with enough time, effort and patients it's possible to avoid bootruns almost entirely.
On 3Kingdoms, you can advance all tradeskills to 100, whereas on 3Scapes you must specialize.

Auctions: Many muds have an auction channel, some even have an auction house. Both of these muds have the latter. Using yet another object, the auction line, you have access to a fairly in-depth auctioning system. Items can either be sold through the auctioneer, in which case they end up on an auction channel up for bids, or they can be placed up for sale in an environment similar to eBay. This includes minimum bids, length of time the auction will run, and even a "Buy it now" price.

Housing: Your house keys object gives you access to the real estate system which lets you purchase and customize as many houses as you want. You can purchase rooms for your house and write descriptions for them. There are also special features you can purchase for your house, such as portals to various places in the realm, or boxes to allow you to store items for that boot.

Alternate Characters: On both games you can have a number of alts which share certain benefits inincluding your bank account and housing. There are rules governing when you can create these alts and each mud has it's own policy.

Quests: Nearly 100 quests ensure there's plenty to do for those that like to solve puzzles and interact with areas beyond just hack and slash. Quests grant quest points that allow access to many bonuses, including the coveted high mortal status, which is yet another subguild. As with many LP muds, quests tend to be rather obscure and in some cases, guess the syntax is involved, which is very unfortunate. There are also around 20 skill quests, which grant skill points. More on those next.

Skills: These are also called mudskills. These are basically bonuses that the base mud system can grant you. You spend skill points to raise them and can gain skill points in a number of ways, including exploring, questing and levelling up. Mud skills grant bonuses similarly to professions. In fact, in many cases, a profession is simply a boost to a mud skill.

Reputation: You can gain or lose reputation with various factions around the game. This reputation can grant many bonuses, such as access to an exclusive set of rooms in an area. It can sometimes also be spent for powerful items to be used during the current boot.

Parties: The party system is yet another object. You create party banners which then allow you to join forces with other players to bring down extremely tough mobs. Partying is slightly different on each of the two muds, but the idea is the same. One person tanks, whilst support players do their best to keep his HP and other abilities up and deal damage to the mob. Many guilds can act in both, or all three capacities at the same time.

VAF Perks: Voluntary Access Fees are this game's form of donator benefits. These perks are just conveniences, allowing for things like more idle time, dropping link during combat, remotely identifying items or reading boards, or logging in one of your other characters while you have linkdead characters active. There are mud VAFs and guild VAFs. The actual cost of these benefits is very steep, with 1 dollar equal to 1 VAF credit. Many of the perks cost upwards of 50 VAF credits, with some of them like guild swapping costing 200 credits, so as you can see the pricing is pretty high. However, keep in mind that none of these benefits are necessary for play and are simply there to give players incentive for supporting the game by helping to pay server costs.

Theme: I wanted to discuss some of the gameplay features first, but one of the more original concepts in this mud is it's theme. The reason the muds are called 3Kingdoms and 3Scapes is because you have 3 realms you can actually play in. These realms are spread across over 40000 rooms. Though you always start in what's called the login room, from which you generally exit to the center of town, you can use waypoints throughout the 3 realms to jump directly into or near an area to make bootruns and equipment gathering easier.
Fantasy is your mostly typical medieval fantasy, high magic zone with dragons, dwarves and dungeons. Some of it's more exclusive features include unidentified item drops, magical portals and working ships, airships and caravans. The item drops are things like magic wands, rings, and amulets, many of which have special features. There are rings of whirling blades that summon animated swords to fight with you, wands of lightningbolts that let you blast your opponents with a little extra damage, and many other magical artifacts. One of it's most popular zones is a place called Westersea, which has it's own built-in line of missions (separate from quests) that many players use to get an early boost in experience.
Science is based on a futuristic version of earth. You start in the Hughston central station, and from there you have many options. You can range out into the desert wasteland to fight mutated creatures and post-apocalyptic factions. You can take a bullet train or a teleport pod to one of many cities like New York, Detroit or Atlanta and explore there. Or, you can take a shuttle to the Midway space station and play in the VR arcade, where you'll encounter areas based on Star Trek, Star Wars, Warhammer40k, Duke Nukem and more.
Chaos is where everything else belongs. The realm itself can be confusing to those new to the game with it's reversing exits and it's loopbacks, similar to mazes on other games. However, it does stay the same for the most part, so eventually it can be adapted to. In chaos, you'll find everything from sesame street to the bigtop circus. From fisher price playhouse to nethaq. From the smurfs to chess to a laboratory that lets you open wormholes and explore different worlds. You'll even find a gamer's apartment in which you can play popular games on his computer, such as Diablo2 and Halo. Often times when an area is based on or inspired by a book, game or series of some kind, it retains features from the source material. For example, Diablo2 has the difficulty levels and plot of the games built into the area, as well as it's random item drops, socketing gems and runes and it's enemies that spawn with boosts.

These are a selection of the game's most widely used features. There are probably some I'm forgetting, and many features lead to others, such as questing leading to high mortal status or levelling high enough leading to the eternal subguild.

Now I'll explain the main differences between the two muds.

Sharing of quest info, that is, info refering explicitly tohow to solve a quest, is allowed. Skill quests and many guild secrets are still illegal to share.
More newbie friendly: 3Kingdoms has many features that can make play easier for new players. Firstly, you automatically start with a small set of gear that usually includes a breastplate and greaves or a main armor, gloves, boots and a weapon. Some guilds also start with a cloak and shield. 3Kingdoms also has a jumpstart machine which allows you to skip directly to level 10. Even more recently, they've added a button which can grant up to 500000000 experience with multiple presses, allowing a player to easily jump into the 50 or 60 level range. While these may sound like incredible benefits compared to many other muds, rest assured that it's really guild levels that matter the most, not mud levels. So they really are still just boosts to help players get started. 3Kingdoms also boasts a set of what are called core guilds. These are guilds that have limited advancement, but where advancement is much faster than in a normal guild, to help new players get acclimated to the game and start exploring more quickly.
Characters: You can earn up to 5 characters in total. Two by getting characters to level 50, and a third by getting a character to level 100. You can also have a 5th hardcore character, which means that death is permanent but it comes with other benefits such as more skill points  via levelling. You can create your hardcore character at any time, but if you die and want a new one, you have to delete that character and start over completely.
Dungeons: 3Kingdoms has instanced content, often times scaling to the player's level and stats as well. This means that you've always got somewhere to gain experience. You can party with other players in dungeons, but only if you haven't started that instance already.
Areas: Because 3Kingdoms has different wizards, it also has some exclusive areas, such as the android showroom.
Guilds: 3K has guilds exclusive to it, including the bladesingers, psicorps, cyborgs, breed and knights. Most of 3Kingdom's guilds require player recruitment.
Botting is allowed in full.

Sharing of quest info, of any kind, is not permitted. Many quests have been changed to prevent crossover qinfo sharing from 3k. 3Scapes also has some exclusive skill quests.
Characters: You can create an unlimited number of alternate characters, each new alt being unlocked when one of your characters reaches level 50.
Areas: Exclusive areas include more development on the Diablo2 area, the crispy crematorium where you can fight giant animated donuts, among others.
Faster Advancement: High level players can drag you behind them after a certain point in your advancement, and if set up right this can lead to very fast experience gain. Many players are willing to help lower level players gain experience to unlock alts, as well as to make them stronger so they can contribute to groups in the future. Guild advancement is also tripled.
Guilds: 3Scapes has the witches and the warders as exclusive guilds. All of the guilds in 3Scapes can be joined without any player involvement.
Botting is not allowed in any form.

These are the main differences, though there are most assuredly others.

Now, on to detailed descriptions of the guilds. I don't know of any other way to demonstrate how unique they are from other muds. The guilds that I haven't yet played or don't intend to play will likely have less detailed, less accurate or less interesting descriptions, for obvious reasons.

Warder: 3S
Warder is my absolute favorite guild so far. There are very definite and well-defined milestones in the guild, as well as plenty of abilities to unlock on the way to each.
The guild is based on the warders from Wheel of Time, though I don't know how faithful it is to the series as I've never read the books.
What I do know is this. You start out with a cloak as your guild object, and a training blade as your guild weapon. From there, you start advancing in various ways.
Primarily you'll earn guild experience, which can be spent on skills like block, dodge, counter, blade, etc.
You'll also be earning points in your current form. You start with one form, and you'll unlock a new form every level on your way to level 5. At level 5, you'll get 4 new forms, 1 attack, 1 defense, 1 counter and 1 dodge. This will become a trend every 5 levels. As you use each type of form, you advance in that type of form and slowly master it, making all forms of that type stronger.
You'll soon earn the abilities block and void, which will vastly increase not only your abilities in combat, but your guild experience.
You'll unlock new abilities along the way to level 25, your first major milestone. These tend to be gained at ranks, such as level 10, level 25, etc, and include things like whirlwind on the plains (an area of affect attack), scout, etc.
At level 25, you'll unlock your Aes Sedai, or support caster. This gives you a whole new host of abilities, namely offensive and defensive spells, as well as the ability to stun mobs and hold them in place and the ability to grant other players extra regeneration.
At level 40, you'll unlock Baijan, or elemental strikes, in which you incorporate the weave directly into your blade to allow you to deal other damage types.
This is just a sampling of the things you can unlock. You'll earn forms all the way up until guild level 50, at which time they'll drop to every 10 levels, and trust me level 50 is a long way off. You'll regularly earn new spells for your Aes Sedai, and often you'll unlock new abilities for your warder as you gain new titles or ranks.
This is all supplemented by a huge amount of atmosphere. Every form is described in intricate detail with it's own set of damage descriptions. You'll spin and strike rapidly via Cat chases it's tail, you'll leap and vault like an acrobat in frog jumps over the lily pad, and you'll incorporate kicks and powerful slashes together in horses ride swiftly. With 4 new forms to unlock every 5 levels, you can imagine that this took a lot of work, but creates an impressive atmosphere of swordsmanship as you fight.
Spells also have well-crafted descriptions, from spirit blade to fire wheel. Even the defensive spells tell you exactly which flows helped to diminish the attack against you.
Eventually, you'll earn an ability called engage, which lets you study your opponent to determine if they are a darkfriend. If they are, when you defeat them, they have a chance to drop an angreal, which is a powerful guild artifact that boosts your abilities. A crimson tassel can boost your blade skill, while a glass hammer might boost your strength or an ivory turtle will boost meditation. It is very useful to gather as many of these artifacts as possible per boot.
Again, this is just a sampling of what is possible in this incredibly well-designed guild.

Sii: 3K/3S
Essentially, you are a parasite that can take on other host forms. When you join the guild, your consciousness is transfered from your own human mind into your sii parasite. From there, you'll go through an introductory level of advancement and then be able to choose your first host form.
This guild also has some great atmosphere, though it does depend on which form you're using. Some are described better than others. A few forms have completely unique abilities, and many of them have their own attack descriptions. There are usually 3 to 5 forms per level that you can unlock, not including secret forms unlocked through deeds or forms unlocked via donating DNA to the guild.
Forms are not usually just power upgrades. There are tank forms and damage forms for the most part. Forms range from the goroa, basically giant arctic apes, to the scarippo, stone-skinned humanoids, to the osiix, a giant meteoric blob that comes from an asteroid belt. Some forms can use full sets of equipment, some can only use a few pieces, and some none at all.
You can use a DNA sampling kit to collect DNA from mob corpses around the game, and donate it to the guild to unlock special forms. You can also complete missions and do other secret deeds around the guild to unlock forms and other benefits.
You also have access to the brood, a set of minions that will fight alongside you. You can infest mob corpses with a broodling larva, which will develop into a fully-fledged broodling after about 15 seconds. You can create a massive hoard of these, all depending on your guild level and skills.
Speaking of skills, there are categories of skills to raise that improve your abilities in various areas, from controlling your forms to controlling the brood and improving the sii's own abilities.
There are abilities that the sii parasite can use itself that can supplement any form, such as a mental shield to augment a form's natural defenses. They can also boost various attributes of a given form, such as giving it a massive metabolism boost to bring up it's regeneration rates. Sii can even use an ability called overload, where they essentially redirect any attack that would normally have stricken their host form to their own neurons. This acts as a kind of secondary HP bar. If your overload reaches 100%, your parasite's brain will simply shut down and you'll die.
Advancing in the guild allows you access to fragments of an actual storyline called movies, which you watch as you're meditating to gain a guild level.

Jedi: 3K/3S
This is a guild based on the Star Wars expanded universe. This guild is not really inspired by the movies at all, but instead by the books and other materials of the star wars universe.
Having said that, there are many options to choose from. The first step you'll take is to unlearn a career. I know that sounds a bit odd, but what it does is give you access to skills early on for you to start training. You can actually view all of the guild skills at any time, but you can only raise ones you meet the requirements for. For example, if you choose your bodyguard as your previous career before you became a jedi, you might be able to learn control pain and hand to hand combat right away, but it'll be quite a while before you can start raising abilities like cloud mind or reduce injury. Conversely, if you choose aspiring jedi as your previous career, you'll be able to learn force abilities much less early on as well as have access to lightsaber combat, but many of the more athletic abilities will be out of reach for a few ascensions.
There are over 50 different abilities to choose from; everything from sensing the force and life around you, to force push and telekinesis, to dodging and hand to hand combat. You can remain a jedi of the light, or fall to the dark side and use the force in combat to fight mobs with. Jedi tend to be better at tanking and healing, while the dark side tends to be better at dealing a lot of damage.
You can craft your own guild weapon, which in most cases is a lightsaber. However, there are lightstaves, the double-bladed lightsabers, and lightdaggers, smaller dual lightsabers, as well.
There are subguilds called traditions you can join later on in the guild that allow access to more specialized abilities. The jensaarai, for example, take penalties in lightsaber combat and a few other athletic abilities, but get to craft their own suit of ceremonial armor which means they don't have to collect equipment anymore. The sith get large boosts to abilities that damage opponents with the force, but lose access to force deflection, a powerful tanking ability. The teepo paladins forego lightsaber combat in favor of crafting blasters, which they use to deal out large amounts of damage. There are around 10 different traditions to choose from.

Juggernaut: 3K/3S
Sadly, this guild has a lot of potential in it's concept, but not so much in it's creativity.
It's a guild based loosely off of the battletech and mechwarrior universes. This means that you pilot a suit of powered armor, onto which you can mount weapons and other defenses.
The atmosphere is lacking, both in the descriptions of the rooms in the base and in combat itself. The attack descriptions are the same no matter whether you're using an energy, projectile or missile weapon. Some things actively don't make sense, for example, the healing ability injects stimulants into the pilot's bloodstream, rather than repairing your powered armor.
Having said that, the guild does have it's cool moments. At guild level 20, you can choose from 1 of 5 different suits to pilot, from the ultimate in defensive with no weapon mounts, to a suit that lacks in armor but can mount assault weaponry and deal out massive damage at later levels.
Special abilities include locking a satellite onto a target, from which other juggernauts can contribute missiles that will be fired after a timer is depleted. This can lead to some pretty massive damage on one mob if there are enough juggernauts online and willing to remotely fire their missiles.
There are subguilds called clans, each with it's own special ability. Wolf can call in support mechs, jade falcon can call in an air drop to replenish your stim vats, and ghost bear can go into a rage which gives the player a damage boost.
Overall not the most spectacular of guilds. If you're one who can play purely mechanically and want to play one of the best tanks in the game, this is your guild. If you're looking for atmosphere and well-thought out abilities and features, look elsewhere.

Changeling: 3K/3S
This guild is great in terms of atmosphere, though it's not necessarily the most creative iteration of a changeling. Still, it's a lot of fun to play.
When you join, you are immediately converted into a puddle of slime. This is your natural form. You also still have access to a human form.
From here, you can either start fighting in your slime form and gaining familiarity points, or you can go into the guild biomes and find an animal form you like. There are at least 80 forms to choose from, in an environment that has 4 cycles, dawn, day, dusk and night. You can pick everything from insects to massive dinosaurs, and just about everything in between. The only form that can really use equipment is the human form, so changelings have no need for equipment at all unless they're questing.
As you can imagine, not all forms are good or balanced. However, the combat descriptions are well done and bring a lot of atmosphere to the battles. Each animal form will be able to attack with it's natural attributes. A tyrannosaurus rex will be able to attack with it's teeth, claws and tail, all of which have their own attack descriptions.
As you battle, you'll gain guild experience which you can then spend on training 1 of 5 abilities, homeostasis, density, mitosis, resilience and morphogenesis. Different combinations of these 5 abilities both boost your abilities in battle as well as unlocking intrinsics, which are commands that can be used to do various things.
However, this guild is also very secretive and not many details can be directly discussed. For example, though I think it is overkill, it is illegal to mention anything about the ingest intrinsic other than what's listed in info ingest. You can not speculate to another player on what it does, and you're not even allowed to tell other players what amount of gold coins you've ingested, even if you're lying about it.
Anyway, the guild has a lot of neat abilities, like dissipate, which lets you convert parts of your body into a material that would best absorb an incoming damage type, and adrenalize, which lets you force an adrenaline rush for a damage boost.

Fremen: 3K/3S
This guild is based on the Dune universe.
Fremen don't have much need for equipment, as they can only wear about 3 pieces. The rest is covered by their guild object, the stillsuit.
They have access to a few guild weapons, including the crysknife, the maula pistol with various ammo types, the lasgun with a couple of different settings and the lassword.
Most of their abilities are unlocked early on, by spending guild experience on skills in the guild.
Fremen are a very versatile guild, being able to switch between pure tank, pure damage and a middle ground at any time they want. The atmosphere in combat is great, with excellent combat descriptions. They also have the ability to go into a kind of stealth mode, which makes them great explorers as they are one of the only guilds that can sneak past agressive mobs. My only real beef with the guild is the lack of abilities to unlock and use, but that is easily offset by the theme and detail the guild has.

Gentech: 3K/3S
These are genetically modified soldiers from a point in the far future, who have learned to access time travel. They have access to a whole host of time-related and technological abilities, as well as martial arts and weaponry.
This is not a good guild for a newbie to choose because they are very dependent on equipment and they need a large bank account to be able to advance in the guild.
You perform experiments of various risk every level to gain your abilities. Experiments can either succeed, fail or kill you outright, which all depends on the risk factors involved. Direct risk factor goes down as you gain guild levels, and players can also staff stations in the guild to help you succeed at experiments.
The atmosphere is highly customizable. You can have everything as verbose as possible, which is nearly a paragraph per ability, or you can brief it down to 1 word if you're tired of the awesomely described spam.
With around 80 abilities and a very unique concept, this is a great guild.

Angel: 3K/3S
Angels are very different on each iteration of the game.
3S Angels: Choose to be either divine or fallen. Divine are very good tanks, fallen are some of the highest damagers in the game. Most skills are shared between the two, though each gets a set of skills unique to the branch you chose. Atmosphere and theme are very much lacking, though at higher levels the combat descriptions can start to be neat.
3K Angels: This guild actually changes the combat system of the game fairly drastically to something resembling full manual combat. You use various martial maneuvers to attack, and you build up meters in high left, high right, low left and low right points while battling your opponent. Striking at these points when they reach 100% or greater is like exploiting weaknesses in your enemy's defenses, meaning you're more likely to land the attack and deal a lot of damage with it. However, due to the long nature of combat Atmosphere is fairly lacking, since the way you attack is somewhat described, but the damage description is just the typical mud attack. It also takes a very long time to get strong enough to fight mobs that most guilds can fight after a few days, and the guild is nearly impossible to automate without a vast knowledge of triggers and scripting.

Bladesingers: 3K
This is a prime example of a highly unique, but very disappointing guild atmospherically.
This guild evolved from the warder guild, and it retains the feel of warders witout any of the inspiration. You play as a weapon master who can use melee and magic at the same time. You can inscribe your weapons and armor with elven runes of magic, master any type of weapon you please and gain levels in order to unlock abilities.
There are 3 or 4 different schools you can join as a sort of subguild, though eventually you will advance through all of them.
However, the problem is that the guild has no atmosphere at all. Combat involves descriptions like, "You slash papa smurf." or "You heal yourself." There are ocasionally reasonably described abilities such as revalrie, which is a form of meditation. Again though, as with juggernaut, this is a guild for the more mechanically inclined and those seeking well-defined theme should look elsewhere.

Bard: 3K/3S
Bards are masters of song. They have many abilities that boost themselves and other players, and they tend to focus on swordsmanship for physical combat. I don't have a lot to say about them, since almost noone plays them currently. The guild is in desperate need of a recode and is supposed to be getting one on 3Scapes, in order to increase it's power and viability as a class.

Witch: 3K
This is one of the favorites on 3Scapes. It's based on concepts like wiccan rituals and celtic legends. It has access to many hexes and curses that are very valuable in battle for weakening higher end mobs, as well as being a decent healer. They are one of the better classes to solo with, and from what I've seen in groups have a decent amount of atmosphere and description.

Necromancer: 3S/3K
This guild's helpfile lays claim to a massive guild of nearly 100 rooms, and nearly as many abilities. It is supposed to be very customizable, with 5 different paths to choose from: vampire, lich, pure, shifter and werewolf. They have a lot of damage potential and are another great class to solo with. From what I hear, pure necromancers are very similar to the diablo2 style necromancers.

Elemental: 3K/3S
A difficult guild to play, they can not use much equipment in most of their elemental forms. There are 4 base forms; fire, water, air and earth, as well as two unlockable forms; spirit and time. You advance through each form individually before moving on to the next. They are supposed to have some of the highest damage potential in the game at higher levels, though they can be very difficult to solo with due to their inability to take damage.

Monk: 3K/3S
A fairly straightforward guild based on americanized concepts of chinese martial arts. Think Bruce Lee meets Anime.
They have abilities to change to a few different damage types, such as projecting lightning from their hands or attacking the mind directly. They also have very little need for equipment and can only wear a couple of pieces. They have few abilities and their atmosphere is more silly than impressive. For example, higher damage messages will talk about hitting someone so hard that they pooped on the floor, or hitting someone so hard they exploded like a chili fart. Can be a somewhat difficult guild due to the need for defeating powerful masters in order to advance past certain guild level thresholds.

Priest: 3K/3S
Pick your deity of choice and gain abilities based on what you chose. I know very little about this guild, other than that they are highly valued in groups and also have some good soloing options depending upon choices made. However, one thing I do know is that there are plenty of spells and other abilities to unlock and some special features that no other guilds have.

Mage: 3K/3S
Another example of completely divergent guilds.
3K mages: Your fairly typical fantasy style mage. Study to gain levels after filling an experience meter. Can also study to spend guild experience on abilities to boost your spells. Gain spells fairly frequently for the first 50 levels, then advancement slows down massively and spells become less frequent. Spells include old favorites like cone of cold, burning hands and lightning bolt, as well as a few originals like clenched fist and phantasm killer. Specialize in offensive, defensive or summoning, each with a fairly distinctive playstyle. For example, summons can tank for you instead of using your defensive spells to do it yourself. Defensive spells are fairly unique, such as shields that absorb damage directly instead of letting damage go to your HP. Descriptions are pretty good.
3S Mages: I know almost nothing about this guild, accept that they are very difficult to start but become extremely powerful later on. I have read that they are slightly similar to the 3K mages, only with more of an astral plain feel to them.

Cyborg: 3K
Cyborgs are an experiment in customization gone wrong. On the surface, they are utterly amazing. With almost a hundred different implants to choose from that install into various body locations, the guild looks almost infinitely customizable at first. However, do to poor balancing, only one build is really viable early on, leaving most of the other implants to either be completely useless, or to go unused until your character has months of advancement under his belt.
Having said that, the atmosphere is great. The combat descriptions of how you use your implant are intense and there are many different weapons to choose. Everything from elbow spikes to shoulder mounted nuclear radiation cannons to eye lasers. Defenses are just as widely varried and there's a defensive system for every damage type in the game, many of them with 3 layers of defenses. For example, the edged and blunt damage types are negated first by the telescopic riot shield. This can either be upgraded to, or enhanced by, a directional force shield module. Finally, there's the mass decelleration field. There are also passive defenses, such as dermal plating which replaces your skin and gives you direct damage resistances.
This guild is in need of some work, but can be a lot of fun if you're very patient, don't mind a little trial and error and are in for the long haul where grinding is concerned with very few actual abilities at first.

Psicorps: 3K
This is an excellent guild, though it could use a little touching up regarding atmosphere.
Essentially, you're a member of a military organization that uses implanted crystals to give themselves abilities. These abilities are usually mental in nature, hence the psi in psicorps. They include everything from transforming your hands into claws, to summoning a shoulder mounted rail gun on the offensive side of things. Defensively you can create shields and use abilities that simply let you endure damage. You can summon astral constructs and psimetal weapons. Eventually you'll gain the ability to psiwield, which lets you wield one or more weapons without your hands. This guild can become a real powerhouse in terms of sheer number of attacks and damage, though it takes a while to get everything running smoothely.
My problem in terms of atmosphere is that it looks as though the wizard that wrote this was not a native english speaker. Some things have been cleaned up, but the combat descriptions are still a bit of a mess. For example, "You claw gold chinese dragon with your right hand, creating a bone crushing sound."

Knights: 3K
Knights are fairly plain compared to other guilds. They're a simple fantasy themed guild with very little magic involved. The styles, though well described, are simple forehand and backhand style for now, as well as two-handed styles. There's nothing very exceptional about any of their abilities at the moment. They have various stances and methods that modify their performance in combat, though not necessarily the descriptions of combat. There's a lot of plans in the works.
One of the coolest things about the knights, however, is their creed. If you join the knights, you're expected to actually be a helpful player. Not so much in terms of roleplay, but in terms of actual philosophy. Thusly, the knights are one of the most resourceful guilds in the game. They are expected to act in an honorable manner towards other players, and knights have actually been removed for breaking the code of conduct. I find this to be actually quite unique, since I've seen it in terms of roleplay, but never in terms of how the player himself is expected to act.

Breed: 3K
This is the most secretive guild I think I've ever seen on any game, mud or otherwise. There is a guild quest to join the guild which is incredibly difficult. The entire guild is supposed to be based on puzzle solving, performing mud quests and a lot of patience. Other than that, I know nothing, accept that some of the NPCs in the quest zone look cool and the one breed player I saw seemed to have some body modifications. I have heard that if too many people start solving the guild quest, the wizards change it to keep the guild population down and in case of quest info leaks.

Core guilds: These tend to be less unique than other guilds, and thus I will describe them in brief. These are only available on 3Kingdoms.

Fighter: Your typical warrior. Learns skills such as smash, charge and intimidate. Relies heavily on equipment and trains intrinsic skills to make equipment more useful, like toughness and strength.

Sorcerer: A spell caster with control over the elements of fire and ice. Can use equipment, but not reliant upon it. Learns elemental barriers to absorb damage, and spells like frozen grasp and molten shower to deal damage. Learns damage over time spells that can interact with each other, such as frostbite interacting with a fire spell to do massive damage. Can summon elemental golems at high levels.

Cleric: Learns holy spells of healing and protection. Offensive spells tend to concentrate on targeting opponent's weaknesses.

Android: Upgrade various components to create a powerful battlesuit. Customize your android to fit your playstyle using mounted weaponry or play completely defensively by upgrading your plating and shocks and relying on equipment for damage.

That pretty much covers all the guilds, and I believe finally wraps up this post.

For those of you who are still here, I hope this was enough to convince some of you to play. If you'd like to give the games a try, you can find them at:
3Kingdoms: 3k.org:3000
3Scapes: 3k.org:3200

I play primarily on 3Scapes, though I can get on 3Kingdoms and try to help if anyone needs it. If you want to contact me in the game, type Finger Silvanus and look for any of my alts that are online, then you can send me a tell. Currently I'm playing Joram most often.

Thank you for reading.

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2016-12-11 07:00:27

Ahoy there
We've actually had topics about both these muds in the past,but those are quite old.
You describe both the muds quite well,and honestly just reading a few descriptions of the guilds that both these game possess, makes me want to play one of these right away, but like you said. having to do gear runs every few days or per reboot is the one thing that puts me off of both of these muds.
A shame really,considering the unique and very interesting sounding guilds and playability.

Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.
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2016-12-11 07:08:19

Perhaps it would help if I gave you more of a picture of how equipment works.

Firstly, bootruns are more of a high level activity. The unique pieces of equipment are generally on very high level mobs or in obscure areas.

As a lower level player, that is, generally under level 50, most of your equipment will be obtained in a couple of ways:

Guild boxes are almost always full of good gear as long as your guild has active players. Juggernauts, gentech, warders, witches, angels and necromancers tend to have a few active players at any given time on 3Scapes.

If not, there's always the auction house, which towards beginning to mid boot always has a few items for sale.

Sometimes people sell good gear to the shop in town as well.

Of course this all requires money, but after a little bit of grinding, money is easily gained in the smurfs or Diablo2 areas for most classes.

Does that help at all? I didn't like the temporary equipment at first, but when I played a bit and was able to see how little it actually matters until months or years down the road, to me it stopped being as big a deal.

In a lot of cases, you can simply grab one or two pieces of equipment from the shop, or buy the alienware pieces from the blacksmith in town, or most guilds even have a guild shop that sells some starter equipment, and you'll be just fine. Some guilds even have a system where the starter equipment us subsidised for you, so you pay nothing for your first few guild levels.

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2016-12-11 17:32:15

Does 3K still require players to recruit you to guilds?
Kinda sucks that 3S doesn'toffer the advance button to level 10, or that experience button, though honestly level 10 is good enough because then you can join a guild.

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2016-12-11 22:26:38 (edited by david_solomon1 2016-12-12 01:04:13)

A lot of guilds on 3K still require player recruitment. However, some can be joined automatically, such as changelings, elementals and monks.

3Kingdoms has a pretty active player base though, so as long as you aren't trying to get into a dead guild like cyborgs, you should be fine.

Joining a guild actually happens at level 5. It's easy enough to get there on 3Scapes just by fighting everything in the forest and once you've cleared that, fighting a couple of students in the newbie tower.

I'm also willing to help players get experience and get into the game.

I know the equipment not saving thing bothers a lot of players, but honestly the game isn't based on needing gear at every single moment. There are muds that are way worse about needing equipment and having to run it every login, such as almost anything in the Aber codebase. Both muds make it fairly easy to at least get a basic set of gear via guild shops, other players or the town shop. There's also the possibility to take a guild that doesn't need equipment because it either comes with it's own or can't use it.

Hope to see some of you there. Send me a tell if you need anything, and if I don't respond, wake me and I'll get back to you. Socials can be performed at a distance and wake sends a chime to the player so they know someone is trying to contact them.

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2016-12-12 07:34:18

This is useful:

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2016-12-12 08:02:34

Thumbs up david for a great description.
I don't know if these are as much my thing since I'm more into the exploring and questing and while I like interesting combat it's more a means to an end, likewise I've never been a fan of minimaxing in games too much I prefer to play on the fly and deal with what's in front of me, but I might give them a look.

One question from a site perspective. Do they have any specific screen reader adaptations? eg, ascii map or other ascii alternatives, directional commands, specific screen reader low spam mode etc.

I only ask because of the site database. While all muds are  pretty much playable, we can't add entries to the site for any and every mud someone plays otherwise we'd turn audiogames.net into the mud connector, so when we write entries it's for games like alteraeon, promethius, frandom, materiamagica, aardwolf  etc that have some sort of screen reader adaptations (alteraeon would get one even without the custom client).

Anything like that in either of these muds?
This certainly isn't about whether people should play them, just whether they need db entries, though there are still several muds that do need entries like cleft of dimentions, cosmic rage, lament, discworld and possibly lost souls.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2016-12-12 08:33:53

3Scapes has a readermode variable you can set that removes ascii art from a few places, though not all of them. It also makes a few adaptations such as making some displays shorter or less spammy.

As for combat spam, that's usually guild-based and pretty much every guild I've seen has many settings to brief information you don't want.

One thing I'd recommend for screen reader users is to type autoHP as soon as you can. This would be after a certain part in the tutorial for new players. It will turn off the HP display every round of combat, and then you can just type HP to see the display when you need it.

As for exploring and questing, I know I focused on combat a lot, but there's actually tons to do that isn't combat. With both muds being essentially 20 years old, there have been wizards building areas that whole time and it shows in the 40000 plus rooms to explore. Pretty much every area has a special feature of some kind, something to search, examine, fiddle with, etc. And there are 90 built in quests, plus little mini quests for many of the areas that involve reputation or a piece of equipment or the like. 3Kingdoms also has a missions system that's more like the typical retrieve items or kill mobs systems in some of the diku codebase games or games like Materia Magica.

With the games both having 3 separate things merged into one, you can also take your pick as to where you'd like to explore. If you're in a fantasy mood, go crawling through dungeons and caves to find magical artifacts, again, many of which have special features. You can find things like a jewel sword that can switch damage types when you press on the jewels, like pressing the ruby causes the sword to burst into flame.

Feeling in a more sci-fi mood? Go explore everything from post-apocalyptic desert wastelands to star trek, and expect that there's little hidden mechanisms around every corner and puzzles to solve. Trek will have working turbolifts, etc.

And chaos, as I said above, is for everything else. But even the smurfs area has hidden things to be found. Even Sesame Street has special features if that's your thing. Chaos has areas based on anime, games, books, tv shows, and just complete randomness.

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2016-12-12 11:59:56

The one thing that I don't like in 3k is that I have to type the whole command with total grammar correct. For example look at shelve

“If you are not united,” Jamuka said in a low voice, “you can be broken by those of no importance, just like a single arrow. If you unite, you will be as solid as the five arrows and no person will break you.”

2016-12-12 12:44:26

I suggest doing
alias l look at $*
As "look at" resolves to look, this works out nicely.
It wont' work with guilds which have look parsers. (necromancer.)
in there look x works automatically.

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2016-12-12 22:44:13

Can also use exa for examine. exa sword

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2016-12-13 00:20:17

Can you login as a guest to have a first short look? Some muds got guest-accounts. I like this very much.

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2016-12-14 13:03:37 (edited by david_solomon1 2016-12-14 13:05:01)

As far as I know, there's no way to log in as a guest.

However, character creation is only a 6 step process, username, password, gender, email, private or public email  and accept terms of service. On 3Kingdoms 7 because you have to decide whether or not to play a hardcore character. But there's no race or class selection, no character customization, etc, so it can be a matter of signing up in about 30 seconds to a minute.

As far as giving your email goes, I've never seen these two muds send out anything, for any reason. They don't even have a newsletter. I think they just want an email on file so that you can be contacted in case of tampering with your characters, or if you choose to have your email displayed publically, so other players can contact you.

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2016-12-15 10:34:48

An update:

I've edited the first post  with some information I forgot the first time. Namely core guilds and one major difference between guilds on 3Scapes and 3Kingdoms. The difference was mentioned later in the topic, but I figured that updating the first post with all possible information would be useful.

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2016-12-15 16:25:18

I am Ravon (with an o) on both 3k and 3s.
Send me a tell if you want anything.
A few (opinionated) tips, primarily for 3s:
Good guilds to start in as a newbie are fremen, lightside jedi (you will need some gold to construct your lightweapon. Ask a player for it.), and warder. Sii, fremen, and witches are amazing, like get you to level 50 in 3 days combat time amazing, but they take a bit to pick up so you need patience.
Avoid mage and bard. Bard is in desperate need of a recode, and mage requires a lot of effort to get started with.
help areadirections. Learn it, live it.

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2016-12-17 18:51:10

I've joined! As usual, I'm Uair!

Devin Prater
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2016-12-17 23:22:51

Now is a pretty good time to create a character on 3k if you're thinking about trying out the games. They're having some reward boots right now. Even though most of them have passed ,the current boot is Thorsday, which means that the more drunk you get in the mud, the more powers you have. You'll shoot lightning bolts at enemies, be healed by lightning from above, get boosts and even drain HP and other energy types directly from your foes, at no cost to yourself. The next boot is double profession experience as well as unbreakable equipment.

I've also, finally, been doing some exploring. For those interested, I can say that I have seen very few areas without something to actively do in that area. There are actually less hack and slash areas than areas with a purpose, from what I'm seeing. Yes, grinding is a big part of this game, but the wizards have definitely taken the time to make sure their areas have something to please other types of gamers as well. There's always something to search, some kind of toy to play with, I've even seen a few mini quests that offer small rewards like freeing a leprechaun or killing an assassin bug for the queen. Add to that the missions on 3Kingdoms which tend to have more storyline than some of the quests I've seen.

Remember that there are 3 realms to explore, which 20 plus years of work by dozens of wizards. There's bound to be something for nearly everyone here.

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2016-12-27 21:03:09

so I'm very sad to say that based on your desc they have better starwars stuff than I've ever seen in a starwars mud which is sad return of the Jedi is nice but having to rent is really annoying and I'm a dumb dumb and keep walking into deathtraps which has likely saved me from running out of moneys. going to take a look at one  or both at some point in time

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2016-12-27 22:13:10

So apparently I was wrong and these muds do allow logging in as guests. Sorry about that.

Yeah, the Jedi guild is pretty nice. It's not the most atmospheric in terms of descriptions, but it does have pretty good descriptions of a lot of abilities and really the only place it falls down a little is the lightsaber combat descs. The teepo blaster descriptions are good. I haven't seen the sith combat technique descriptions but they might be good as well.

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2016-12-28 00:52:55

Hey hey! I like the Mud so far. But what i realy dont like is how the exits of a room are presented. You can use the glance-command but it gives you only the abbreviation of the exits like nw for northwest or se for southeast. Thats not so nice to understand. Is there another command to show you the available exits in a better way?

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2016-12-28 18:03:27

it shows it fine at the end of the line but there is nothing wrong  if se  did stand for southeast what else would it stand for in that context but that might just be me

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2016-12-29 04:42:30

Sorry, there's no other way to display exits quickly that I know of. However, if you suggested this to the archons of either or both muds, they may implement something, especially on 3Scapes' READER mode.

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2016-12-29 15:03:28 (edited by Valmorian 2016-12-29 15:04:29)

you can set up a trigger to read the exits how you want them to be read. what client are you using?

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2016-12-29 16:34:09

@david_solomon1: HMM, any idea how i can contact the archons? Sadly there is no command for making suggestions.

@Valmorian: I think using a trigger wouldnt work in this case cause of possible similarities with the endings.

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2016-12-29 17:32:03

There's the idea command, though it's usually tied to the area it's used in.

Barring that, you can just mail your suggestion to one of the archons or wizards listed in help wizard.

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