Jan 2007: Zork
- The actual article for this area is Zork
Review date: 7/1/2007
Mobs are largely bland descwise, do nothing interesting, and have no remarkable moves in battle besides possessing way more HP than anything in a level 26-35 area ever should. One of the worst offenders is the one known as Brog, who as a named person would seem at first to be at least somewhat important, but has no desc at all, does not react to the talk social, and carries no items. The grues aren't very impressive either - if they're supposed to be so mysterious and deadly that I'm explicitly not allowed to know what they look like because no-one has ever seen one and survived, then stop putting them as killable mobs all over the place (also: I'M CARRYING A LIGHT... even though, somehow, most rooms in the area are autolit, which they really shouldn't be).
As for items, the Yastard scroll is the only one I ever really care to get from here, and that's mainly for amusement rather than doing anything useful. The letter opener dispenser sells a level 35 shortpiercing that is almost identical in power to the other level 35 shortpiercing in the game, except a bit lighter, slightly more random, a lot cheaper, and annoyingly lacking in anything that would identify it as a letter opener in either its short or long descs. I found no good use for the Obolus Coin, nor could I open the oak cabinet in the house, so there may be a few things I missed.
I did manage to complete the "quest", which never caught my interest to think very hard about it before, though it required no real innovation. Some echoes weren't written too well either. The reward was a decent level 35 longbashing weapon, but nothing that I'd find worth doing again... even on a level 35 character that uses longbashing.
In short, I'm going to go ahead and assert that the area is poorly written and poorly coded and is a prime candidate for a complete revamp. At least there weren't any secret doors to the north (that I remember).
Review Date: 11-09-09
There are a number of big problems with the quality of this area, which Milo has covered. I want to talk about an underlying problem I have with the area as a whole. Cleft of Dimensions is a text-based game that has an area (Zork) based off a text-based game. Zork is one of the oldest text-games, so its existence here has to be special. I could see three ways an area like this could be addressed:
a) A completely faithful recreation (but then why wouldn't i just play Zork) b) A faithful recreation with beefed up descs and fights c) A homage/parody of the game that quotes it a lot but abandons a lot of its context
I think the area was built muddily, combining aspects of all three approaches based on, I'm guessing, what the builder felt like at the time. Knowing the history of Zork really impacts how I play through it, and it is probably the last remaining connected area I think doesn't even deserve to exist here.
If you have no knowledge of the source, that's fine. But the area is not fun at all to play through. I was only most intrigued by the first few rooms. Zork is connected in a manner that hints that it is its own dimension, so it is able to have its own internal logic, but that logic is inconsistent with itself. Overall, I think the flaws of this area are rooted in how well the original game translates here. Oh, and the mobs here REALLY need to be more interesting. I added Olbohn a while ago, but he only gives flavor text.