Meet RetroMUD: Dan Richmond
I caught up with the inimitable Dan Richmond, who has been playing RetroMUD as Avala or Borfax...pretty much forever.  In this interview he shares his perspective as a long time player and gamer. [Editor's Note: In case your wondering, when he mentions Talien he's referring to me.]

Michael Tresca (MT): Tell us about your gaming background.

Dan Richmond (DR): I have played games since Pong up to XBOX One now days.  I learned about RetroMud in the late 1990's from a friend while servicing in the 1/75th Ranger Regiment his character's name is Avathos.  A few other soldiers were playing it and I was instantly addicted and referred about 30+ players over that also started playing it from the late 1990's till today. I am still currently a semi-active player.

MT: In your own words, what is a MUD?

DR: A Mud is a Multi-user Dimension that allows for table top gaming to merge with video games I would say is the best way to describe it.  It also allows unlike table top to play from great distances even back in the late 1990's when this was unheard of now with MMO's this is very common but MMO's cannot offer the diversity of a MUD nor could a MMO be maintained by so few staff members.

MT: What makes RetroMUD different from other MUDs?

DR: I am one of the longest if not the longest active players in RetroMud and what has kept me is the community.  How many games out there can you play for 2 decades?  And I am sure long as it keeps getting new content I will play another decade or more.  Granted Retro is not what it once was but they have a new Arch-Wizard Kellin that is quickly returning it to its former Glory.  I play XBOX One, PC etc but I always return to Retro it just has something special that no other game has been able to hold for me.  I think that special factor is the community and it is endless.  Every time someone makes it to what could be the end they add more content.  Currently there is only one player at the end and I am sure Kellin is already working on something to add another decades worth of play time to the game.

MT: Why do you play RetroMUD?

DR: I play for the community, I have literally been playing over 1/2 of my life.  Granted I am older now and have a family so I have a lot less time to play but I make time because I really enjoy it.  Its stress relief and most of the people there are a lot of fun.  It's one of those games even if you only have a few minutes log on wield your axe and cut a few heads off and go back to work or back to your life.  Even though I am disliked by many RP and players with limited skill there is still a good player base of skilled and power players.

MT: Why should anyone play RetroMUD?

DR: Its fun, there is a great community and there is still a little challenge in the game.  Most games now day's people don't want a challenge they want a movie that gives them rewards.  They want instant gratification the best equipment the best everything without working for it.  Retro use to be that Epic hard game for hardcore player only then over the years it softened to a really lax game with almost zero challenge and now Kellin is working on taking it back to a balance of challenge vs reward.  And from what I been reading Kellin is actually looking to bring a lot of challenge back to the game.  This ever evolving climate is what has keep me hooked through many many horrible changes and the ever evolving improvements.

MT: Tell us about your character. What's your favorite class and race?

DR: I was the first character to take the plunge and Remort.  This is starting over with a choices of mildly more power races and the ability to level to 110 vs 100.  My main character is Avala Warchild I always loved the Minotaur Race and the concept of a Bleak-Knight Paladin (Chaotic Good) that has given on Paladin Rules and Regulations and understands what it takes for good to Win and is now willing to do anything no matter how evil and what sacrifice it might cost to ensure Good will win no matter what.(Scorched Earth)  For many years I was known as the Minotaur Paladin Lord.  I loved playing this I enjoyed the concept and everything that came with it.  

Then in the early 2000's I pissed off Talien and some of the other staff because of my interpretation of a Bleak-Knight Paladin and Paladin was massively nerfed after a RP post I wrote after an onslaught slaughter of unworthy NPC Holy figures. The Minotaur race was gutted as it still is today.  I vowed to never play Paladin again as long as these changes stayed and have stuck to my word.  So I drifted from class to class and race to race for many years till I settled on an Chaotic Good/Evil Fighter who does good deeds (a lot like the Marvel Punisher concept) a bleak knight of whirling axes killing everything in my path to get to the desired result.  Fighter is a very neglected class with many broken skills even today is a party class and I enjoy leading parties on epic conquests around the Retroverse. Equipment parties and chatting away as we onslaught of killing Dragon's and Titans various demon's and angles throughout the Retroverse. 

My second character also a Remort is Borfax he is Ahrimazda (one of the only Epic power level races) Assassin-Necromancer Stab path this is without a doubt one of the most OP combos in Retro and very enjoyable if you just want to break shiny stuff and watch bodies drop.

MT: What's your favorite race? 

DR: Minotaur, even in its gutted state I have loved Minotaur since the book Legend of Huma and Kaz the Minotaur and I always will.

MT: What's your favorite class?

DR: Fallen, this guild/class is just an epic concept even though my only Fallen character is a newbie.

MT: What advice would you give new players?

DR: Learn the how to navigate before leveling past 15 take advantage of all the newbie-advantages, read the help files and use the mentor channel Retro is a very newbie friendly game.  Make friends to help you on your journey.   And plan your reincarnations well before just doing it they are costly but a thing that very few games offer.

MT: What's your favorite part of RetroMUD?

DR: The community is number one and second is figuring out the math behind the game to min/max the game in a hybrid.  I love to try to be as efficient as possible along with another friend that plays the game Ragnarok that has a very similar play style to mine and both of us seem to look at the game as an efficiency math problem that is forever needing to be solved.  My Axes + your face = more exp and gold for me.

MT: What's the most challenging part of RetroMUD?

DR: There really isn't one anymore other than just learning to play the game.  This use to be one of the most epic challenging games ever.  But like any game people complain enough and they make it easier to be more exclusive and bring in a larger audience and allow players that are unskilled to still be able to get epic equipment.

MT: What are you plans in the future on RetroMUD?

DR: Tuatara Fighter Psionicist the rest depends on the current mods.  Many terts are hard to get to and secondary are very limited and hopefully will eventually be opened after this review phase to allow more combos and options and not be so limiting.

MT: How do you help newbies? If a newbie finds you online, what should they ask?

DR: I own the Raji Chat tower I sell a lot of cheap eq out of there and it is a free place for them to come and regen.  If you are a fighter I also keep the Guild Hall stocked with free Weapons and Armor.  Also if any new players ask me for help long as I am not too busy I will give it to them.  If they ask me how to complete quests I just mud mail them a cheat sheet if they are not concerned with spoilers.

MT: Where can new players connect with you online?

DR: They can connect with me on RetroMud I have many alts but my mains are Avala and Borfax.  Or on XBOX Live as RequiemforHope . 

MT: Anything else you'd like to add?

DR: Retro is epically unique back in the 1990's when people broke off BatMud that totally sucked and became RetroActive to the RetroMud of today and the new code base Kellin is coding now it is just Epically Unique and enjoyable.  Yeah it's missing a few features that would be nice like Clan's and Graphics but no game offers so many Prime Guilds Classes, Amazing Races, Secondary and Tert guilds.  No game gives you that feeling of Table Top like RetroMud does.  I truly have enjoyed my time here and look forward to more New areas,  Expanded Endgame Leveling, New Equipment and the first new Primary guild that has come out in many years that is about to be released. This game is a must experience game. If you do play I recommend making sure to play Lord Proto's area one of the best in the game. Oh and the game its 100% free.

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