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TMC Player Reviews: Armageddon


Review Submitted By: Anaiah/Bardlyone/AmandaGreathouse
Author Status: Player and staff member
Started on Armageddon: January 2008
Submission Date: Mar 10, 2017
TMC Listing: Armageddon

The following review is the opinion of the review's author [Anaiah/Bardlyone/AmandaGreathouse] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff.

I began playing Armageddon in 2008. It was my first mud, and I loved it. A newly
blossoming gamer fresh off of a much belated discovery of Diablo 2 and still all
too wildly in love with the Ashlander elves of Morrowind.

I loved the amount of depth, expression, and freedom this change of platform had
allowed for, and the intensity of immersion was like no game I had ever heard of
or played before. It was so good, it inspired tens of thousands of hours over a
decade or so, of my enjoyment.

It was two and a half years into playing that I was welcomed aboard as a Story-
teller - the lowest ranking of staff members. The greatest portion of my time is
here, this year and a half or so period between June of 2010 and October of 2011
when I was not only playing but also on staff.

During this period, most of my time was spent as the sole active staffer for the
many varied clans of the northlands open for play. A job that was complicated by
answering to an administrator for anything from item to room to npc building who
was so absent that most of our contact was not recorded on their staff forum but
instead done over chat in various forms.

This all led to a sort of stagnation that is apparent in other areas now as back
in the day it was in the Northlands. The beauracracy set up which makes the low
ranking staff members more or less glorified pencil pushers and ties their hands
on doing their namesake and... actually telling stories... has only grown deeper
and more profoundly stifling as time wears on.

The culture has gotten so stifling that even your crafts when you have a master
crafting level merchant pc are micromanaged to the point 'you cannot use
phrasing like brilliant azure when blue would suffice' - and that is not an
exaggeration. That is lifted directly from a newly changed help file on the
subject.

Only suitable, one must suppose in a game where player glass ceilings have been
so lowered over time that you can no longer play mages with a full skill tree,
you can no longer make a tribe or family that is not preapproved by staff, you
can no longer advance, even in roles which the staff has sponsored in, to senior
levels of in game power. In a ranking of junior noble, senior noble, and senator
or house head, you used to be able to advance to senior nobility. Not so, now.

A system with blue, red, and black (three tiers) of power for the templarate (a
sorcery based noble 'police force'), you used to be able to advance to red robe,
and have houses. Not so, now. Only blue robes. You used to be able to advance to
senior positions in other clans as well, such as Merchant Houses. And again, now
not possible. You used to be able to advance beyond Sergeant to the rank of the
Leiutenant in the Tzai Byn mercenary company. Now not possible. In fact, the one
Leiutenant they've had in years was sponsored in from a pool of favored players,
to the protests of many, only to (not surprisingly) find no success.

The pervasive culture of preferential treatment, hacking up the world piecemeal
to try and funnel players together, lowering glass ceilings, and absolutely and
totally awful treatment by staff over the years, has bred so much hatred and so
much resentment, that the group of people who are now a part of their community
of spurned, banned, and wronged former players has ballooned to such a size that
now it is not the official game forums that even show up as the prime search
result for this game, but that of those who were wronged by its administration.

I myself absconded to this group, the day I had a staff member delete the entire
content of my forum post and replace it with a linked video 'whorf is right over
and over again'. This was in 2013. In 2011, one of the top ranking staffers who
was responsible for so many of the disgruntled players and I came to an impasse
and rather than resign from staff when I was moving to a place where I would be
without internet indefinitely, I quit staff over it. Naming names, this person
was Nyr.

In the past few years since then, I had distanced myself enough from my sense of
discontent to return under an alias. Which was fine, until my husband started to
come back from hiatus and it made it apparent who I was. This was when I was met
with the message that I could not special app, put in requests (the primary sort
of method for doing anything, even joining clan forums), or even put in to do
master crafting with my merchant pcs (this being the equivalent of saying that
your warrior can't use weapons, it's a primary feature of the guild).

I was upset, but willing to play on these terms, as it was something my husband
and I both loved, and could sit next to each other and do. Everything was for a
certainty quite biased against me, but whatever, it was good escapism. For a
time. Everything seemed to be getting better, the voices of many of those who
were wronged seemed to be heard, and Nyr stepped down as Producer.

And then in the last six months, everything has moved into a constant backslide
again. Nergal is the replacement for Nyr, purportedly, though I'm frankly not at
all certain they are not the same person. It takes a certain kind of person to
send a player a picture of your penis uninvited. The same kind of person who is
able to unflinchingly suggest that a character in an ankle length skirt has on a
'whore skirt', direct quote. The same type of person who would suggest that one
upset over the use of sex as a threat to ruin their characters' reputation and
use of whore as an insult (in a world which according to its own documentation
sees whoring a valid profession and has no western sexual mores or bias against
sexually active women) and will decry it as something you should 'expect' to be
experiencing, 'if they dressed like and acted like' a person who was covered
from chin to ankle to both wrists, sitting in a public place and talking to a
person for their boss. The same type of person who would endorse animating the
game world to come to life to slander that same person to their monogamous lover
as publically having sex with someone the day before.

Of course, that is only the one experience. That leaves out the prior experience
where another female pc was slandered and ruined the same way by someone whose
name she didn't even know, who was so keen to make the city believe they'd been
intimate that they were willing to die to scream it at a crowd. And that's also
leaving aside the character after, where staff's solution to bringing the game
world to life was to animate an npc superior to seek out a female pc who was on
active duty and working and demand a blow job, denouncing her as a whore after
she turned him down.

I am permanently banned from the game for posting the log of the incident with
the dwarf and the barkeep. Nergal of course, called me a liar twice, and said
that the only reason he didn't post it was because he didn't want to embarass
me, and suggested that my highlighting the part where his exact response was the
very thing he had just said he didn't say. Frankly, I'd rather not be a part of
this crapshoot anymore. No one deserves to be harassed, insulted, called names
by the staff of a game, and then banned to silence them from speaking truth. In
fact, the only reason I am posting this review, is because he himself suggested
that it is one way to keep the administration accountable. Fine.

You're accountable. You lost a decade long player, and you're accountable.

Good bye and good riddance.

Submit Comments About this Review


Comment Submitted By: Ammut
Author Status: Player
Started on Armageddon: 1999
Submission Date: May 26, 2017

(The following review comment is the opinion of the comment's author [Ammut] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff).

The treatment of players and former staff by the current administration is awful. This mud is slowly dying. Years ago before much of the changes noted in the above review occurred, it used to have high 50-60's playing at peak. Now at best you'll see 20.