IMPERIAN - Imperian Online Help

1.3 IMPERIAN

There are other text-based worlds available on the internet. There are, in
fact, hundreds. Why play Imperian then? What, if anything, makes it different?
To understand that, you have to first understand that the vast majority of
internet text games are based on only a handful of "stock" games. Many of them
are nearly identical with only superficial differences. It's as if you bought a
book, opened it, and found that many of the chapters were absolutely identical
to other books you had read. Furthermore, the worlds most of these games are
based in are generally disparate collections of unrelated dungeons and castles.
Usually there is not even a cohesive history for the world.

To us, this lack of a cohesive, original world in most internet text games is
enough reason not to play them. Therefore, the first thing we did was create a
detailed and coherent mythology and history for Imperian that is reflected in
the world itself.

Our next major complaint with most text games is that although they are
presented in an environment that is perfect for multi-player use, they are
not, in our opinion, truly multi-player. Generally they involve playing
against the computer either by yourself or in a team of other players, but the
point is that they are played against the computer. While Deep Blue's victory
over Gary Kasparov demonstrated that a computer can best the best human being
there is at an intellectual game, chess has fairly simple rules that don't
involve subjective things such as the interaction of personalities. There is
simply no way that a computer can provide a challenging and interesting
opponent in a game as complex as Imperian.

Thus, the focus of Imperian is on interaction with other players, whether
positive or negative. Certainly, there are many things that can be done that
do not involve another player, but generally, these things are done in
preparation or expectation of interaction with another player. This ethic is
reflected everything from the way the various magickal and physical abilities
work to the way that Demon tamers and their allies are pitted against the
rest of the world. When one side prospers, another suffers, and vice-versa.

One important side-effect of this focus on player vs. player interaction is
that it can provide for a very intense and emotionally-laden environment.
Beating a computer might feel good, and being beaten by one doesn't feel good,
but the fact is that since you can never completely disconnect yourself from
your character, you are going to feel what it feels to some extent. If you
become a serious player, then you will not be able to help but be affected
emotionally by what happens to your character.

The basic idea behind Imperian, then, is to provide a canvas upon which the
players may paint an interesting history. We try to provide a significant
degree of control over your life while balancing this with responsibilities
due to various groups you are a part of, such as guild, city, race, and Divine
Order. Between the personality conflicts of individual players, and
ideological conflicts of political organizations, Imperian's story will live
forever.