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November 19 2006

Banyan Tree MUX: A brand new text-based roleplaying game played in real-time. Set after the end of Buffy and Angel, featuring an original setting and totally unique characters, it's an up-and-coming MUX that only recently opened its doors.

I stumbled across this game while looking for new places to play after a hiatus from roleplaying. It's set after the end of both series and takes place in an original city with a cast all its own. There are no characters from the shows on this game, but don't let that stop you from checking it out - it just means YOUR character gets to be in the spotlight!

I've only been playing there for a few weeks, but my time there has been enjoyable and productive. The staff and players are great, very eager to help new players out, and it's easy to get a hang of the commands.

If you've never played on a MUD-style game before, there are lots of tutorials online you can check out. It's easy to learn, and it's a great way to get involved in unique, fan-made extensions of the series now that they're finished! There's not much to the website yet, but there are forums and some files on the game that give you all the information you need.

This is your chance to get in on the game on the ground floor and be a part of its success. It's definitely worth your time!

Oh, wow. This is one place I never thought I'd see an advertisement for a MU*.
Where have you played before? How does it compare?

The only genre that I've really extensively played (... approaching five years) is PernMU*, which is slowly dying a very sad and inevitable death. If you've played on PernMU*, how would you compare the RPing styles, the quality of the players, the amount of players vs alts, and all that?
I never played on PernMU*, but I've played on several Buffy games, run my own games, played on lots of Marvel-themed games, etc. I never really played on many games with actual stats, but Banyan Tree has stats, which means people can't... cheat, basically. In consent-based games, you run into the problem where people will have their character dodge something, for instance, that should hit. You can't do that in stat-based games, so it's a nice change, for me.

So far, the quality of the players has been good. Most people are quick posers with a few lines, but all coherent and well-written. I haven't seen many alts, but there are one or two. It's a brand new game, so it could do with more players around!

The forum actually has some logs of RP on there, if you wanted to glance through them for an idea of how RP goes. The logs were what eventually won me over. I've been satisfied; the staff is running a sort of premiere right now, so lots of things happening.
So basically, the only thing this has in common with Buffy or Angel is that there are vampires? It's original characters and original settings...

I did a forum search and could not find the word Buffy in there anywhere, so I'm not sure how to determine it is connected to the shows.
I did a forum search and could not find the word Buffy in there anywhere, so I'm not sure how to determine it is connected to the shows.

You're right it is kind of odd that there is NO mention of Buffy on the page if it is set in the Buffy-verse. I connected, and in the news section "genre" it says that it's set in the Buffy verse. That's some information they might want to put in the forums or in an about page on the site.

Anyway, I don't know how familiar you are with these games, but usually they use original settings and characters, but maintain the rules of their universe. So in this MUX vampires would follow all the rules established in Buffy for example.
There are also no slayers allowed as characters. Despite... the fairly large number of slayers in the current Buffy universe.

I can understand limiting the numbers to only a few, and making them FCs or something, but none?

I haven't RPed on there, though I did log on last night to ask some questions and read the news files. I don't know if it's me, but the attitude they present in the news files is kind of... demeaning. If they're asking for mature players, 18+, I think they can take a more mature approach to writing their news files.

Also, I've never played no-consent or stats MU*s before, though I find that when the reason you are implementing stats is just to keep order (and isn't particularly useful during RP) it also sort of strikes me as a little distrustful. I usually err on the side if; if the staff thinks you're mature enough by your application, then you should be mature enough to understand character flaws. If that's not true, then staff should sit you down and talk to you about it-- and not force a stats program that doesn't really get used as such.

Anyway, this was just my first impression. I really did like the people I met, but the game itself struck me as assuming that I'm not going to be a mature player, and to prove myself I'll need to jump through these five hoops.

Also, Caleb, it depends on what genre you're playing in, really. They very. I've seen Harry Potter games with Harry, Hermione, and the rest, and one where Hogwarts is in space (called Hogwarts in Space). Tolkien games pick an Age and often have the characters that are in that Age. It just depends.
"I usually err on the side if; if the staff thinks you're mature enough by your application, then you should be mature enough to understand character flaws. If that's not true, then staff should sit you down and talk to you about it-- and not force a stats program that doesn't really get used as such."

I'm inclined to agree, but in my experience, this kind of elitism (not used with a negative connotation - like I said, I agree) drives away players and you're left with a small playerbase that never really gets any bigger. Expecting maturity of players is all fine and good for the ones who can actually manage it, but the majority of the MU*ing world isn't capable of sucking up their pride and taking a hit now and then. The stats system simply enforces realistic (or slightly more realistic, anyway) combat situations without necessitating elitism among the players. If it's consent-based, you end up with the mature players on one side, and the less mature players on the other; the more mature players are hesitant to play with the less mature players because they can't trust that the less mature players are really going to understand the concept of 'In Character Actions = In Character Consequences'. I don't think I'm explaining this well. Basically, a stats-based system eliminates the possibility for people to powergame, but still makes the game accessible to everyone, rather than limiting its scope to only the most mature people who can be trusted 100% to play nice.

RogueSlayer: the whole idea behind calling it "Buffy-themed" is that it takes place in the universe of Buffy and Angel without necessarily using those characters. There are vampires, werewolves, demons, witches, etc. that follow the 'rules' for these races set up in the show. There are Slayers, Watchers, and demon hunters. There just aren't the characters from the show. Buffy and Angel had pretty unique ways of dealing with a lot of the supernatural races, and it's totally fair to say that it's based on Buffy and Angel without having those characters around.

I assumed the reason there were no overt Slayers around was simply because the game is new, and characters which are that powerful are not the kind of characters you would give to a new player you've never seen in action before. Give it some time, and I'm sure they'll introduce Slayers as PCs. I can't think of very many good, successful Buffy games that gave Slayers out to everyone who wanted one - most required that you play on the game for a certain amount of time before being granted one. That's not such a bad thing.

As for the tone of the news files, I'll be honest that I can see where you're coming from, and very much agree that they need some work before they're accessible to everyone. The thing to remember when exploring the game is that it's new. Give it some time to grow, change, expand, and you might be pleasantly surprised. I read the news files but still made a character, and I find the game is much more than the news files would suggest.

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