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Procedural realms

title:Procedural realms
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developer:Procedural realms
last edit by:Dark


Despite it's less than inspirational name, Procedural realms is a truly unique role playing experience.

Like many muds, the principle is simple, grab up your favourite implement of destruction (enchantment optional), run out into the wilderness looking for unfortunate wildlife to slay, wale away, get stronger, find better gear, rinse, repeat, and if you can find some locals willing you to pay you for the extermination of said wildlife, all the better.

Of course, said above basic description could apply to any number of games, and indeed any number of muds, what makes procedural realms unique is the way this formula is implemented.

For a start, the adjective "procedural" in the game's name is not idle. To anyone familiar with game design, "procedurally generated", means that the game itself puts together content at random. In this case, literally everything in the game is generated anew as you encounter it, from the vast open overworld map, to the quests you are given, weapons and armour you find, and even the creatures you face, and the treasures you earn.

Where in most games, you must traverse one environment to another going through complex mazes or journeying around a specific zone, Procedural realms gives you a true sense of freedom, beginning at coordinates 500-500, you can usually move freely in all directions (unless you need to swim or enter a dungeon or building). The further out you go, the tougher monsters you'll face and the greater the rewards you will earn for slaying them.

Of course, slaying monsters is not the only thing to be done in the game, since that vast map also contains many untapped resources. Choose 3 of a number of crafting skills, from weapon and armour smithing, to mining, farming, cooking, scribing magic parchment or even building construction, then head out into the wilds looking for vanes of ore to mine, seeds to grow, hide or cloth to sew with or wood and stone for your building endeavours. Since each character can have only 3 trade skills, and since both player run and none player character shops will accept a wide range of items, cooperation and playing economics are definitely encouraged.

As well as all sorts of crafting, and continual quests to slay monsters, you can also enter the arena to challenge gladiators to combat, brave dungeons for some serious treasures, and even engage in player vs player combat should you so desire.

With so much in the game, from the gear you make to even the food you eat generated randomly or by what choices you make, classes are no exception. None of this choose a class at the start and stick to it. Your classes are determined by the way you distribute your stats, for example those wishing to be a warrior might look at investing in strength and agility, whilst monks will need agility and stamina. Since you can both buy extra stat points (at a fairly steep cost), and also get more each level, changing classes is always possible.

Even your skills are customisable; choose one of several skills, ranging from magic spells, to more efficient resource looting, and be free to advance your character as you want, or indeed reset your skills later at a cost.

The adaptations for screen readers are especially good. You can turn off the auto ascii map with config automap off, and the irritating healthbars with config healthbars off. However, just because you are not looking at the ascii map does not mean you can't get a quick overview of the terrain with commands such as scan and survey, some handy star symbols have even been added to let you find quest targets quickly.

With many things to make, skills to gain and a vast land to explore, even though the text in the mud is less florid than in some games, the shear variety of what is on offer, and the ever expanding world and new objects, as well as the different crafting skills and player economy make this one a fresh and unique game to play each time, and one which is surprisingly addictive, as well as very easy to pick up and play, indeed those who want a quick power gaming jaunt, as well as those who want to build, farm and scribe as easily as they fight, will definitely find procedural realms worth a visit.


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Updates: entry 2 Feb 22 and description 2 Feb 22

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