Feb 2007: Joel Island
- The actual article for this area is Joel Island
Player: Rachel (as Mayoko)
Reviewed on: 02/02/07
I went through Joel on a level 22 wizard. The descs do look like they need to be redone a little, but they're okay.
At this level I'm 'significantly more powerful than an Iffish', I remember them being annoying at slightly lower levels though, with blind and all. Took me a few rounds to kill it, though. O_o Seems Iffish have beserk? "An Iffish starts frothing at the mouth!" Fish with anger issues, scary thought.
I'm 'significantly more powerful' than the steamed crab as well. XP That always makes me laugh. Yay. :D Got a good amount of exp for that. This review is making me notice stuff about the mobs, like the steamed crabs cast barrier.
Oh look, a Pebbler. Which are everywhere. Joel, Frosty, Coronar Lowlands...somewhere else, I'm sure, just can't remember. I'm 'slightly more powerful' than it. Other than pretty good damage (and nearly dying due to my lack of attention), it didn't seem to do anything special. The items it has sometimes are useful if you know what to do with them.
And...last (in this part, anyway) is the Water Thug. 'Slightly more powerful' than it, too. Didn't seem to have anything special either, damage was less than the Pebbler.
Now onto the village!
Zombies are about as powerful, lessee how this goes. ...Well, that took a while. They have a damn good amount of hp. And are able to flee. They're zombies. ZOMBIES. They should be trying to rip me apart mindlessly, not having enough sense of self preservation to flee!
In the Fort now...
A Draygonian soldier is about as powerful as me. Shouldn't be too hard. (Arrogant, no. Over-confident, maybe.) -giggle- Significantly more easy than a zombie, sadly. 114 in one hit with a spell that did only 11 to a zombie, uncharged!
About as powerful as a masked wizard. Youch! Damn wizards aggro (Might just be other wizards), didn't finish it off, though. Used an earth based attack, nearly killed me! But, pretty good fight.
Draygonian general, about as powerful. (Shouldn't the general be a little tougher?) Ow, goddamn. That consider is far off! I did about 100 damage to it, and it turns around and does about the same to me, but it had much more left than I did! -throws various things at them-
Moving on! =/
Hmm. Aside from the stuff you fight while doing the quest, that seems to be it.
I like the quest, I think. That one part drives me batty, though. >_> Good leveling area, if you have good AC and avoid the evil, evil generals.
Player: Cyx (playing as Tyro)
Review Date: 02/02/07
Oh yes Joel Island, always brings back my memorys from years ago when I first started playing as Cyx and the first time reaching high enough level for a ticket to the island then all the deaths there especially ones a certain wizard i'd always group with at this time would have. Seems really easy now due mostly to having explored pretty much every inch of the island over and over as different alts. It's one the perfect places to exp except that most people don't go there due to having to take a ferry while another area of the same range is close by Truce. Also could be considered a good starting place to get a feel for how some the quests in the game work with multiple quests on the island and many people may find and solve one or two but miss the rest due to all the secret the island holds. By replaying it now as Tyro a level 17 koopa knight the first part of the area seems pretty easy unless you aim for the iffish which can blind and gets annoying while the water thugs put up a good challenge even for a knight. So just sticking to crabs at first when you arrive is a smart choice. Some the room descs could maybe use a touch up but most them appear good. The soldiers up on the surface provide some nice lvl 20 armor and weapons if you are able to beat them and with the extras you can sell for money. At the end of the area is a nice "boss" type person who I won't spoil for those who haven't been there before. All the quests should go smoothly due to Ageatii fixing the little things that were broken in them by code changes to the mud. Overall it's a very nice area and still today one my favorite areas, could use a little remodeling but there are many other areas which could use remodeling more imidiately.
Player: Kolem, Playing as Ivan (Level 23 Knight)
Date: 7/20/08 (Later review)
Area: Joel Island (16-25)
As always, scores rate from one to ten, with fives being a completely average score. Points below that level suggest something is amiss, while points above suggest interest, things I like or approve of, or general work that is of high quality.
Descriptions: 5/10 I find it difficult to criticize these descriptions. They are of appropriate length for what then need to cover, and 'hidden' exits are referenced in ways that draw the player's attention to them in the caverns. They don't stand out, but they also keep themselves within the realm of necessity--In short, adequate without suffering too badly.
Balance: 2/10 I have to admit there are some serious, serious problems on this Island at the time of this writing. This really saddens me, as Joel was one area that truly fueled my sense of exploration of the MuD and delving into quests--possibly because on my first run I waited till level thirty to fourty before I came here. Speaking as a level 23 character:
--Villagers resist weapon and magic and flee constantly, and give no experience
--Goan soldiers, gifted with shield block and Defend, have a seemingly unlimted supply of Diluted Tonics once they hit critical HP levels. This is not an issue when you can deal lots of damage, but low-damage-output charas may have several brink of death rounds.
--The boss of this zone has a means of completely restoring their MP should they run out.
--Sentry soldiers, wisards, and the like seem to autoassist and will attack you en masse should you linger in a room. This can lead to lag deaths.
Attractions 6/10 Despite the above stated imbalances, there's actually reason to come back here. Once the initial quest is done with, it's possible to get a potent Wand here, and there is another adventure that ties into this area. Futhermore, one of my favorite drops in the game is tucked away here, and I often return here as part of my attack strategy before facing even the most major bosses in the MuD--in fact, the more powerful the boss, the more desperate the need for this item is as a lynch- pin in my tactics. However--this zone is *not* terribly expansive, and once you've done a couple "Joel runs" you'll know the place back to front.
Linkage: Alternatively 4/10, 1/10 I am rating this as a ferry from one of the 'start' towns, as part of the recent movement to push Viorar as an option as a starting zone. Otherwise, it's a ferry from Viorar, which--assuming you start in Truce--is no small jaunt. Furthermore... this zone doesn't GO anywhere. It's an island, and furthermore, it's one with a definitive start and end, linking explicitly to Viorar. I'd like to see a system of ferries one day, leading from island to island in a way that makes geographical sense, linking more of the isolated zones.
Personal: 4/10 Although I once had deep love for this zone, playing through it on a character it's supposedly geared toward makes me realize just how limited this zone is. It has riches, brief adventure, and an unfinished dead-end quest at the moment (the statue, which IIRC is useless at the time of this writing). The drops are solid enough, the monsters somewhat less so, and writing this review was one of the most sobering MuD trips I have endured in some time. Even regarding those drops, my char who pops in truce often faces quite a trek to get CLOSE to them, and at this point it almost feels like a chore.
That said, this zone, as all zones do, holds a lot of promise with a little tweaking. The soldiers, who could interact with each other and be promising--See the newer Guardia Castle for an excellent example of this--currently cover four or so types, and the sahagins demonstrate fling-combat in a neat way. The villagers, in my opinion, should be made UN-killable (Though skipping them should be common sense, we're often rewarded for doing things in unexpected and intriguing ways elsewhere for amusement's sake if nothing else. HELLO KABU!).
This area has been updated since the above reviews.
Review Date: 11-28-09
Descriptions: Descriptions function mostly adequately. Some places are described in very bare detail, and a few are on the boring side when they should be more interesting (the fort). I attempted to add extra descriptions to anything one might want to look at, but probably missed spots. All items should have extra descriptions.
Balance: The cave monsters are pretty balanced, and share slightly similar resistances. Iffish can be risky/annoying to take on if you can't heal blindness. Sahagins can be disarmed to prevent their special attack, and Pebblers can be easier if you can detect hidden. The large Pebbler miniboss was previously way too powerful and has been nerfed. Villagers aren't worth fighting, as they give no exp and resist your attacks. I don't plan on changing this.
I am going to defend the difficulty of the fort because it's supposed to be a high-risk, high-yields zone. Soldiers here will attack you if you linger about, and aid each other. They have a series of special attacks and carry tonics (these aren't infinite anymore - that was a bug). It's very difficult because they all can drop armor on death that should be good for their level, and they give extra experience for their level. I also have a tendency to make "quest" areas harder than those zones you travel through. The attack power of the fort mobs has been reduced to make up for the fact that they wield weapons, so disarm should work well here. Lagging out because you were fighting 2 or more mobs is not an issue with the builder, unless said mobs have combat progs that spam a lot of text. The fort boss is very difficult to fight if you are unprepared, but is definitely beatable.
Fruit of Power has been nerfed.
Attractions: There are two mining spots, but one is kind of worthless. There are a few, sometimes random events connected to this area, and a couple of them can take you outside the area, to the other side of the world. I don't really know what else to say here without just advocating that you should come to my area. The main quest rewards you with a train and 2 practices! Do you like Omanyte? You can catch one only in Joel Island!
Connections: The island is remote, as it should be. There is a story here that is connected to other areas in the game and hopefully in the future, will be the jumping point to the area the invaders originate from.