Heads up. Let’s do this!
So let’s start at the history. Eshraval started in 2005, revamped due to shitty players/ideas until they reached the point of Esh 3.0 and 4.0, the prototype of the current setting. Then it was rebranded (for reasons only Vince Garton, one of the admins and Scott Hutton, the founder of the game knows I guess) as the Otherworld project. At first, the place was merely a refreshed Eshraval v4. Due to reasons again (assuming the lack of development?), Arden was given the ultra overhaul and it was changed from “RP-Worldbuilding” to literally “co-op Worldbuilding”. As a member/noob of the place, I like to review esh as she is now and as a tip of the hat to the project guys.
My first impression at Ardenica was bad. I didn’t like the visual place (eh, the first Arden forum hurt my eyes), it felt bland for me and seems like a global dystopia (many thanks tvtropes for that impression). But as I read on and on it grew on me and I got hooked on the place.
Development was kind of slow at start (that was the plan during the total revamp), the map was altered to fit the new setting plan and new ideas were brought forth to make it a more “non-earth” setting. Like Vaestic views on morality.
So in the setting. I liked how they did the world and how they did the wiki. It was consistent, detailed, large and has a wide range of information that you can have. It was as much as diverse as World of Gotha (well, even surpassing them) and has various focal points that was equally developed even though the process was slow. The world is planned to be in a great power game between nation in the continent of “Messeno-Joriscia”, the closest we have to Europe and the Middle east, while the rest, like Ascesia and Lestria are pawns to the game. Another interesting aspect of the place is that the old world was ravaged by a nomadic “hun” empire who speaks old church Slavonic that has set an immense impact on society resulting in a less-free and more dystopian society. In the east the authoritarian religion of Vaestism controls the people, while in the west the Cairan nations and the Sirians control society (this is not the case for republics in the place, or to put it appropriately, “respublics”). Here true democracy does not exist, cultural and religious identity prevails over racial identity, and a world war pit them to famine for decades. Also theres a human less giant Australia-like continent on the east and the world powers scrambled for dominance of it.
At least Arlaturi Messenia is safe.
Anyway, as an ultimatum, it’s great. It’s detailed, well thought and given lots of effort. Even though the graphics were kind of “bleh” (too few thematic and accurate maps. I made one political map for my own for my personal reasons). It is a literary joyride from the main page to the stubs and the overall is a grand web of pictures.
Graphics (maps/flags/art) - 6/10
Writing - 10/10
Organization - 9/10
Overall - 9/10.
The black tide shall sweep the globe
The people shall be one under the state
The perilous evils of the so called “free lands”
Are lies and must be apprehended, before it’s too late
The rule of many is corrupting
The self is not perfect everywhere
The rule must be of only one
The earth shall be overcame
On the new world that we shall all create
We shall advance to all forms
And order shall be imposed by the brave
The people and the state shall ascend
The world shall come to upheaval
Before the Retter descends
We must acquire knowledge
The world is in war
Against the dark and the light
We should ascend against the great abyss
And be free unto the immortal gates