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Sociolotron - My review of the first week in-game


ReMeDy

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Sample screenshots:

[spoiler=Sample Screenshots]

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Sociolotron is a sex-based MMO created by casual people committed to delivering a unique product. The developers are unaffiliated with industry professionals, and they lack strong financial backing; however, Sociolotron's distinct qualities deserve merit. It took years for the game to reach its current status, and the results are evident. Unfortunately, clunky nuisances detract from the otherwise special experience.

 

Sociolotron is closely compared to Ultima Online, The Sims, and Second Life. You and your created male or female character have a wealth of goals to consider, including but not limited to political status, prostitution, dancing, slavery, BDSM, morality choices, crafting, combat, pregnancy, blackmail, creating newspapers, and more. Truly, the developers have thought of everything. Note that transsexual sex is permitted. When joining Sociolotron, players should be open-minded to a number of social fetishes, with the exception of there being no underage porn, scat, goro, or anything too twisted.

 

When creating a character, you're presented several options. Unlike most MMO's, gender plays a role. Women can become pregnant, lactate milk post pregnancy, suffer dexterity penalties with big boobs, and more. Next, you choose your character's hair, color, length, and level of attractiveness. Attractiveness doesn't change the player model whatsoever. By default, all models look attractive, but for other players to learn if you're ugly, they must click your player model and read a description of your ugliness. Players must get into the habit of doing this if they want to know what a player genuinely looks like. Players also choose from a selection of skin tones, including unnatural sickly green and extremely dark black. Most players are wise not to pick these, but some NPC's use them, so it's odd seeing what looks like a zombie hooker.

 

The graphics resemble Ultima Online with its top-down isometric view, which is to say they're bad. It's understandable, however, why the developers did this. If the game was in 3D, poor facial expressions and lip syncing would be problematic, so the more realism offered, the more the developers set themselves up for failure. Again, the developers aren't professionals, so working with an inferior engine is more practical.

 

Graphics resolution is a big drawback. The graphic display is no bigger than 1024x768 while the rest of your monitor's screen is reserved for the interface. As a result, you can't see far in front of your character. The game also lacks zoom-in and zoom-out functionality. The lack of interface customization is simply poor.

 

The interface keeps track of your character's stats, skills, and urges. Urges can corrupt your character's sexual tendencies. For example, assuming the role of a masochist in BDSM means your arousal meter increases faster when your character performs submissive acts and incurs pain. Stats include the typical strength, intelligence, dexterity, constitution, and charisma scores seen in most RPG's. Several players build their characters the same, so there is a lack of originality. The acceptable practice is to max str, int, and dex. Constitution is decently important, but not a big deal. Charisma is almost worthless, unless you're a specialized role, like a prostitute.

 

Another downside to the graphic engine is all character models look identical, excluding gender, hair, and skin tone. Thankfully, clothing options are varied. You have collars, secretary suits, high-heels, sorcerer clothes, amazon clothes, ball gags, you name it. Each of these items is equipped and visually projected onto your character. Similar to Elder Scrolls Skyrim, this clothing is treated in layers, so you can mix and match! Some items even include special functions. For example, characters with ball gags are forced to mumble in chat. Characters can have collars locked to the neck (with a key needed to break free), and a character can tow the leashed character with him or her. Optionally, towed characters can walk doggy style. You can also force someone into chains against their will with strength stat checks. The dominant and submissive roleplaying possibilities are immense.

 

Unlike Ultima Online, characters don't look ugly. On the contrary, they're too sexualized! All men are muscular and all women are slutty, including the human NPC's. It would have been nice to occasionally see elderly people or normal folk. Beauty can be accentuated in the presence of ugliness, so in a world where everyone is beautiful, they lose a sense of identity. My only other cosmetic concern is all women wear bright red lipstick (a turn off for me). This seems nonadjustable, with the exception of wearing a mask to hide the mouth.

 

There is no audio. Its absence is a double-edged sword. It's rare to find good voice actors who can provide convincing sex sounds and the developer would have to account for character customization options involving different voices, otherwise everyone would sound the same. There's an option to play in-game music disabled by default, but enabling it doesn't seem to work.

 

The gameplay is the meat of the experience. The plethora of options drives players to overcome poor graphics, controls, and audio while giving players an incentive to play this over other MMO's. In Sociolotron, you play how you want to play. Will you be an honorable or dishonorable character? A prostitute? A rapist? Specialize in blackmail? Tailoring? Gardening? What about Law?... Will you be a judge? Prosecutor? City Guard? Most importantly, nothing is forced upon the player, unless you get raped! Unfortunately, much of this content is late game derived, so I can't share my experiences with how well it's properly executed and whether Sociolotron has the audience to maintain its system of occupations. It's impossible to detail everything gameplay related in the context of this review, so view this manual for more details:

http://www.sociolotron.com/sociomanual/frame_main.htm'>http://www.sociolotron.com/sociomanual/frame_main.htm

 

Interaction and roleplaying is not enforced, but highly recommended. I've never witnessed a community so driven to roleplay. On my first day in-game, literally the first two people I met offered to help. They gave me a shield, answered questions, and recommended me better stats. Interestingly, the man was leading the girl around and the girl would call him "daddy." I guess there are all types of fetishes in Sociolotron! The next two characters I met also stopped to say hi. Either I was really lucky or I hit a goldmine of social online interaction. The developers even created guidelines for all newcomers on how to roleplay.

 

On the flip side, interaction with NPC's is poor. There isn't a way of talking to them, other than seducing them or reading their random sexual remarks. Furthermore, there are no NPC shopping vendors, but rather ambiguous lockers where you buy things from a list. The NPC guards are also robots, literally! Outside of player conversations, the game world is too artificial.

 

Dying in Sociolotron can be permanent, but with interesting twists. If you have a child through pregnancy, you can appoint he or she as your new character. Optionally, you can assume the role of your dead character in hell. From there, you can work your way up the demon ranks and hope a human summons you to the mortal realm. You can either be helpful to the human, or resist to break free from them and assume the role of a monster who stalks mortals for sustenance. You can also hunt down the person who killed you and get revenge. Note, however, that players don't die to NPC's, and new players receive special "newbie" protection from PC's.

 

Now let's discuss sex. This is literally a complicated subject, and it's common for beginners to ask questions. Sex is dependent on what your arousal meter is. There are several sex commands on the menu but you need to start slow and work your way up based on your arousal. For example, if you try to stick your dick in a girl's ass while you're still limp, your arousal drops.

 

The sex menu is divided into three sections: actions, speeds, and positions. The Actions menu includes grabbing, kissing, inserting, and more. These selections are conveniently combined into simple actions on this menu, (ex. insert penis into vagina). Available actions are determined by gender and what you're wearing (ex. you can't fuck if wearing pants).

 

The second sex menu is posture. This menu lets you choose pairs of postures for you and your partner and is displayed graphically for simplification. Posture options are dependent on what action you choose.

 

Finally, the third menu allows you to choose the speed of the action which includes none (ie. no movement), slow, medium, and vicious. If you leave the speed on "none" your arousal level will start to drop. Slow and medium speeds will typically raise your arousal level over time. Vicious, for hardcore dom and sub types quickly raises your arousal level, but will also raise your pain level and needs constant monitoring.

 

The sex suffers from a number of flaws. Its complexity is a bit deterring to newbies who may already be uncomfortable asking questions. Animations sometimes don't line up. When ejaculating, sperm magically appears on the floor. Due to the character's small character models, details seem nonexistent, such as the penis and vagina. Overall, you must suspend your level of disbelief to enjoy Sociolotron's visual depictions. The experience is geared more towards social advances, rather than visual ones, while the sex is complementary.

 

Sociolotron used to be free to play, but now includes a pricing model. It is $4 for the first 30 days, $9.95 per month after that, $8.95 per month after six months, then $7.95 per month after one year. Paying $10 a month for any length of time feels steep considering this was Ultima Online's pricing model. The problem is Ultima Online was developed by a professional company. Sociolotron was not. Furthermore, Sociolotron's population is significantly smaller than what was in Ultima Online, and Sociolotron only has one server, so why should their server cost justify $10 a month!?

 

Sociolotron is not only an MMO, it's a social experiment. The immense gameplay options and unrestricted social freedom is a breathe of fresh air amongst today's strictly regulated MMO's. Unfortunately, you must overcome an immense learning curve, clunky controls, and outdated graphics to appreciate its nuisances and gameplay. The game rewards patience. Unfortunately, I do not have the patience, and I will not resubscribe. I don't regret paying the meager $4 fee to try it, since it opened my eyes to an MMO's possibilities and my time was certainly memorable to say the least! The fact this game was not made by a professional company leaks through in some areas, which is a shame because it possesses great ideas. Unfortunately, great ideas don't always make a great game.

 

FINAL SCORE: 5.0 out of 10

+ Plethora of great social activities you won't find in any other MMO.

+ Superb roleplaying community who are accommodating to newbies.

+ Sex!

- Heavily outdated graphics.

- Controls and interface take getting used to.

- No audio.

- Sex is a bit complicated.

- $10/month after first 30-days.

 

 

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Notable Links:

 

Sociolotron Official Website:

http://www.sociolotron.com/intro.htm

 

Sociolotron Manual (a must read!):

http://www.sociolotron.com/sociomanual/frame_main.htm

 

Sociolotron Client Install (does you no good unless you paid and registered!)

http://www.sociolotron.com/download_new.htm

 

Sociolotron Forum (for paying customers only! Must register via email to playerdark@sociolotron.com)

http://www.soc2130.com/cgi/ikonboard.cgi

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That game is still around?!?! I am shocked. I found it when it was in it's infancy and joined up on the Beta test team. We had one area and 3 NPC's.

 

I think I was user #12. Got real boring after a while and never looked back at it. I am glad to see he's making some cash flow with it though.

 

Here's a trivia tidbit. The Vampire sword's ability was my design. :-)

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Great review and I had forgotten about this game from some years ago when it had popped up. Like Irishredneck I was disappointed but I had the benefit of a much larger populace as the game had been well around for an year or so.

 

Secondlife is a mess and that game (forget the name) by Red light district was just as disappointing with few people and small area.

 

 

I suppose these games could benefit from where Second Life failed. Letting the community made content be available easily and even for pay/free. It would add to content and thing to do. Graphics are not super important (see minecraft).

 

thanks for the great review again, I might just check it out once more to see watsnu

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For my part I can say that I loved Sociolotron. Honestly it's the only MORPG that I've ever enjoyed. Community was good and there was some serious roleplaying going on. Still, there were so few players and no content updates that I ran out of interesting people to meet and things to do.

 

Even with all it's problems I came back twice after vowing never to return. :)

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I remember I played this for about a month a long while back. The thing that intrigued me mostly was how player-driven a lot of things in the world were. Stuff like the politics, policing, the crime, the interactions back and forth. All that stuff is basically what I want from MMORPGs, not just the "let's go hack monsters apart with a group, that's SOCIALIZING!" that we tend to see.

 

But yeah, it really is a very... clumsy experience overall. The ideas are great, the execution is more often that not.

 

Supposedly there is a second game in the works but it seems to be one of those things in development limbo. There is no way discernable way afaik to know how close it actually is to completion and it's been going for several years now I think.

 

I would love to see the concept expanded upon, keeping the heavy focus on player interactions. But just providing a better game overall. That would be awesome.

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For me the biggest problem with socio over time was that the community had, over time, become pretty in-bred, everyone knew everyone and their alts, and OOC stuff was taken IC (even if fervently denied). New players generally didn't stick around for long because it was really hard to do anything that wasn't supported by the established players.

 

I had some fun times with it, to be sure, but couldn't really justify paying for it when the best you could hope for was to either stick to the most popular bar, or pick a side in a rather boring fight for who wins whatnow..

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One major question that still boggles me even after my review and experience with the game: Is there a way to change the color of a character's lipstick?

 

Supposedly there is a second game in the works but it seems to be one of those things in development limbo. There is no way discernable way afaik to know how close it actually is to completion and it's been going for several years now I think.

 

I would love to see the concept expanded upon' date=' keeping the heavy focus on player interactions. But just providing a better game overall. That would be awesome.

[/quote']

 

Agreed about expanding the concept, preferably just with this first game. I think making a second game from scratch with the 3D is a mistake, because a lot of hard work from this first game is being wasted. They have a solid foundation with this first game, so why not just build on it by simplifying the controls, diversifying the character models, polish up the graphics, work on the audio, and advertise the hell out of this game?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I remember playing this game back years ago for a little while. It wasn't quite what I was expecting - from the little bit of backstory I read, I was expecting something like an Adult Fallout game. Still, it was intriguing and had enough potential that I played with it off-and-on over its development.

 

However it hit a point where development on it seemed to stop, and the game never felt completed. Spelling, grammatical, and formatting errors were never fixed. Many of the game's mechanics were never well thought-out or balanced. The graphics too were never the greatest. With what the author was charging for the game, there was absolutely no reason he couldn't have hired some artists and, instead of using amateurish poser models, gone with a hand-drawn, artistic look to the whole game.

 

Overall: A unique game, that had a ton of potential, but was poorly delivered.

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I liked it for it's "your characters dead" system and you couldn't change events if you did something dumb & got yourself in the poo, I also like how you could mask your true identity. I remember being adventurous and trying out some sort of bondage machine, then finding I was stuck and couldn't escape, so yelled for help ans my rescuers had a lot of fun with me before letting me go :)

Still it got dated, stagnant and boring, so I lost interest.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I loved that game long time and almost every character I met in there was unique.. and some, a hand full of people even became really close buddies to me. Some only for a short time, even less for years and now that I think about them I really feel like I miss them.. you guys know that I am not just talking about the socializing aspect of the game, right? I mean, this game gave so much room for imagination. You could not see it on your computer monitor, but I swear everyone to whom I discribed what I just invented out of thin air could actually see what I was holding in my right hand. :blush: On the other hand, the people driven power system, perma kills and an afterlife as demon.. well, not if you could get your hands on some fetuses of first borns, of course.. yeah, that was another interesting part about that game the complete secrecy of how stuff worked. You could read the documentation and still there were a myriard of things to discover, mainly from others than by finding out yourself.. well, as in real life, you had a relativly restricted environment that gave the impression of being security and on the other hand that whole feeling of protection could change into a never ending nightmare.. I remember that one time I got grabed and dragged deep into a house where I could not escape from even after I got kill again and again for hours, until this huge crowd of people that some of my few friends called together, I didn't even know most of them, came over and rescued me. Makes me shiver and smile at the same time.. and yes, London was far too big for a few hundred players. Still, I never had an online RGP experience like I had with that game ever again.. pure sex magick. If PlayerDark ever manages to finished the new 3D version of the game I will definetly check it out, but I guess how good it becomes depends on.. us. ;)

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