How MUDs can avoid the MMO deathtraps.

MMO assassin class
Player-submitted articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iron Realms, the company or its employees.


 As new MMOs are being developed, players ask questions like "What will the endgame be like?". The endgame is becoming dangerous territory for MMOs; even BioWare's SWTOR endgame has been called a "grindfest to PvP". If that's the case, are MMORPGs becoming the fantasy gamer's version of the first person shooter? It seems like more and more MMOs are being developed for the person who just wants to come home from work and score some frags.


MUDs have always been designed to be fairly complex, as challenging yourself to learn the game is part of the fun. The early graphical MMOs were the same, as games like Ultima Online and Everquest were difficult for a new player to get started by themselves. You'd think this would hurt a commercial title, but we all know how popular Everquest became. So why have MMORPGs been dumbed down over the years? Folks will argue that MMOs are expensive to develop and companies need to cater to a larger market to stay alive, but then why did early and more difficult MMOs do so well? Shouldn't the MMORPG market be dead today, if difficult and unfriendly games like Everquest paved the way?


Some might say that MUDs are following the same trends as MMORPGs, in that scripts are turning MUD combat into twitch-reflex arcade shooters, and solo grinding to endgame is easy as ever. There might be some truth behind those statements, but MUDs haven't succumbed to all the flaws that are killing the MMO genre. No MMORPG to date has successfully pulled off the player-driven factions and dedicated roleplaying communities that make MUDs so enjoyable. No MMO engine can handle the mechanics of IRE combat without lagging out; and as long as MUD producers continue creating memorable roleplaying events, as long as they keep introducing mechanics that are ahead of graphical MMORPGs capabilities, MUDs will continue to be an alternative to the MMORPG market that is becoming, in my opinion, increasingly single-player.


The topic of the future of MUDs interests me because I've invested many years into Achaea, and I can't imagine this tiny universe ever disappearing. I think about how it's just a game to an outsider, but to me it's this whole other world with real friendships and accomplishments. It's different for typical MMO gamers because they expect to play a game to endgame and then wait until something new comes out. How many players are going to switch from SWTOR to Guild Wars 2 after the latter launches? But MUD players are loyal to their games, we're career-players and I think MUDs are going to be here long after MMORPGs can't top whatever PvP endgame is flavour of the month.


Author: Aktillum of Achaea

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I have definitely seen people hop from MMO to MMO, and I wonder how people can continue playing WoW when it's the same thing every time (pretty much) -- all of IRE's worlds are constantly changing, and have actual RP potential.

Because they don't have graphics to deal with. Its programming and writing, and its so easy to pull of a fanastic battle between two gods, that rips open mountains to new areas than it is for Graphic games. Then of course you gotta look at each game does well. I mean we litterally kill those autospammers/gold farmers before (if they even realize this market exists) they become a problem.













For screwing up Pi.


No pie for you!






And how!




Preeettty much, yeah..Makes life a lot easier.






Yep, that's it



This could just be because without them, IRE still has their monopoly on credit sales.

not sure

don't think so.

Could be.

It's kind of like how the core of Lusternia doesn't really change very often - only very recently did we get FIRSTAID to help people without reflexes - but we still come back. New areas open up, new stuff to kill, new honours to be won. Same thing.

Love it :D

I have been playing Lusternia from Beta and I still enjoy its diversity, and I generally ignore the idiots


Though I wish they could change the dynamics of orgs, it has become boring to have the same orgs allying together.



WoW suffers from the same problem virtually all MMO's have: quickly exhausted content.  Many MUDs out there have far more content and coupled together with the dynamic roleplaying environments some of them have, many people will never get burnt out.  I like Ultima Online's idea though of booster packs.  LOTRO has something somewhat similar.  I think booster packs are the new trend for MMO's, but they are a bandaid at best and do not really solve the major problem.  I would say out of all the games I have seen LOTRO is by far the best designed though, but to each their own!  (Exception being when they added in radiance during Moria only to remove it later, but everyone makes mistakes.  Actually, it was not a mistake.  It was an intended substitute until they found a better mechanic...)

Having played WoW, LoTR and several muds, I will say that for all multiplayer games, the best selling point is always going to be the community. If you make friends, you are far more likely to stick around.

I couldn't agree more. Without a nice community... things get boring quickly.

how very true

Thats right - you don't log in if its not fun

It's not just quickly exhausted content, it's quickly exhausted content for every single character you make. In Lusternia, sure Influencing is similar to bashing, but it helps that diplomacy is an actual, workable mechanic in Lusternia. I would like for other IRE games to have something like it, as it is a nice enough break from 'scoring frags'.

good point. though, to be fair, not all producers/coder is Estarra. take that as you will.

A really good point. I used to think Boplopia was stupid. Then in Lusternia there was Crum. But when I really looked at Crum, I realized there was an actual story which wasn't forced to fit, nor did it only kinda fit, but it perfectly fit into Lusternia.


Now if they'd only kill off Weeky Pedia.


Especially as people get more efficient at it. Lotro was lots of fun!



Agreed, particularly when the majority of the MUD content comes from player interaction.

The last mega event in Achaea was pretty amazing! I came back after a long dormancy and we managed to sink a city, kill a few gods and resurrect some old ones in just a couple of months ^_^

"No MMORPG to date has successfully pulled off the player-driven factions and dedicated roleplaying communities that make MUDs so enjoyable."

Let me introduce you to nullsec. EVE also has dedicated roleplaying communities, but they admittedly are something you need to look for, and not something you see everywhere you turn. The main storyline factions are also independent of the players.

That said, EVE is probably the only example of it. UO used to have pretty good roleplay and factions, but "all good things."

+1 from a longtime EVE (role-)player on this.

I'm not sure that's true either. Many MMOs have strong RP communities (even WoW) likewise many muds (Including IRE) have mechanics-driven people who care little for RP but more for achieving endgame and bashing...

eager to try EVE now...

Avoid Jita if your comp cannot handle the graphics...>_>

EVE gets overlooked in this sort of thing far more often than it deserves.

It does kind of seem impossible for a graphical MMO to have the kind of playing lifespan of a mud, by virtue of the people it attracts, and how much more it takes to provide new content.

There are some MMOs that've been around as long as (or longer) than IRE's MUDs, so I can't really agree with that. As far as whether players have stuck around that long or not, that question goes for both MMOs and MUDs.

graphics will always > than text.  so even though the 'endgame' of text might be better you can't see it

Eh. I can see how pretty graphics do appeal to a larger group of players, but whether that makes them better or not is a matter of opinion. Some of us will always prefer text.

will always prefer a book over a movie.



Agreed.  With text I use my imagination as the graphics engine and am less limited as to how I want things to look even with room descriptions!

Graphics are only better than text for people who cannot imagine the world around them or are too lazy to read! Text has so much potential and you can make and describe things in ways that no graphical game can perfect the same way. A talented writer can come into a MUD and create wonderful things, where in a graphical game they will be balked immediately by the limitations place upon them.

Which is why no movie is every better than books? They're different and have their own strengths and weaknesses.

ever better, you mean.

Graphics become 'outdated' when the player base expects the visuals to keep up with the modern competition. In any case, I have never seen a computer display what my mind is capable of producing.

woot woot!

I find it kind of odd that we keep comparing Iron Realms games to all these graphical games. For me the two are about as similar as a book is to a movie. Neither one is better thant the other, they're just different. The only thing text games compete against is other text games.

Its like someone trying to compare Console games with MMOs. They generally serve different markets, and are enjoyed at different levels.

... movies and books are nearly always compared when they overlap on a given tale, and only very, very, rarely do the pretty pictures even land on par with the books that sparked their creation, in the opinions of the reviews that are always generated in such cases. It often takes viewing the two as entirely separate stories to truly enjoy the movie, when a person already knows and loves the story as presented by a book.

that's the way I see them as well as I always found the books to better than their movies :p


YUP. Just not the same. Everything has an end but love keeps stuff going.

you have a point. and like movies-books most people prefer the not good version of movie over the book, because of time and timed amusement/entertainment. 

I agree 100% with this comment, I love Muds and I love MMOs but for entirely different reasons, and they really aren't comparable except that they are both forms of entertainment. Some people may be able to appreciate both for different reasons, but some will never understand the appeal of MMOs and some will never understand the appeal of Muds.

Keep it complex that MAKES people learn, but simplify the means in how one prevents pitfalls in learning.  I despised the old system where had to "Pay" others to make a system for you.  Mostly because it doesn't let players appreciate the reasons behind why there learning combat, and its value. 


2nd thing always comes to mind is the blending of genre.  IT is not a MMORTS RPG or some kind of toaster put things into.  You reap what you sew into the soil, if you get bored in under 30 seconds of being in-world then don't play. 

+1 to your last sentence.

Different things, different clients, difference demographic

I agree 100% with the writer if the article. MUD is evolved gaming compared to other games like WOW RP matters. I simply love it. Raids tend to the pvp grindfest but it is just a matter of keeping things under control there. Viva the MUDs!

I've played so many MMO's and yet I always come back to Aetolia, MMO's have pretty graphics, music and such. But they lack RP and mystery, everything is too scripted.

Thank god I play IRE.







I am Bill Nighy, and I've played WoW, MU, RF Online, Ragnarok... and I've completely forgotten even the names of the characters I've played there. There's just no lasting impression compared to MUDs, IRE ones specifically.

Huh, that's a good point. I can't remember my characters on WoW etc either. Maybe because I never thought about their personalities and just wandered through the game looking for pretty things.

I've played all of those except WoW. And it's true, most of those games just feel like a grind and I don't see roleplay, ever. Just 733t sp3k4.

Wouldn't it be nice though if MMO developers started adding MUD elements in their graphic games? Say, a strictly enforced RP would be nice to begin with.

Yeah, I formed a RP enforcing PVP guild in Ultima Online after I "overheard" several players talking about NASCAR.



I would much rather play Achaea than any other game for that matter.


MMOs are limited with them graphics... the imagination can take you much further.

wurd, yo



Odd answer

That exactly what I think. And MMO are much more difficult to customize.

The RP helps a lot..

I like pretty colors and explosions, and I also like the exhilaration that a good story can bring. Unfortunately, it's just too difficult, at the moment, to consistently bring the two together in a world that is supposed to be ever changing.

I do love graphics and a good story, but I don't think its exclusively text>graphics or anything extreme - there are good stories/quests in games with graphics, and a good story in a text game is crucial to its success, although the latter is heavily based on the player environment, perhaps more so than a graphics game, as they have images/explosions etc. that can also tell the story.

I am Bill Nighy, and I approve of your message!

I'm really still trying to wrap my head around the fps analogy. I don't think it holds at all...

We understand




Good points made through here, especially those relating to pie. Mmm... pie...

I like graphic games , but Achaea is the greatest thing since Creation.

With MMOs, i think the interplayer relationship is the most important for retention. When people have their friends to play with, they want to keep playing with them. Even in the case within the MMO's themselves; people will orghop together. Taking a step further, many people try out new MMOs togehter, too.

Isn't this a huge thing in MUDs too, though?

Lusternia is incredibly complex, and so the producers have been "dumbing things down" for quite some time. The end-game and conflict systems are constantly being tweaked, too. This has been both a good and bad experience...

I think it's because of all the connections you form here through RP that really makes you remember and keep coming back to games like this, compared to those other MMOs that are more about competition and pwning the noobs. Also the people you play with. If I played with RL friends (in any game, really) I'd be more inclined to keep playing, so long as we both had some level of interest.

I played WoW during a MUD break and, while it was fun, I missed the way players can actually CHANGE the game world in MUDs, be that through politics, economics, events, lore. That is so much more engaging and addicting, for me.

MUDs will survive because there will always be a clientele looking for substance over surface.



Agreed, Sir!

hell yes.

IRE games have been around a long while, but the general concencus is that the games are dying out slowly, but it doesn't make them any less fun to play.

FPS' are simple. Point, click, shoot 'till dead. Underscoring our complex wall of text PvP, I guess? But I don't like how it makes me feel bad since I do this. :C


Each to their own. I tend to get bored with graphical games

Few graphical games really last for that long.. they stalemate rather quickly!


I play text based games because i can't afford the graphics of all the other popular ones. I mean I can barely afford Achaea some times when i realy want something but atleast the game doesn't demand a membership or subscription to anything.


 edit- ..stupid double post

I like both graphical and text games. I get very picky with the graphical ones though. I love Zelda games so I mostly stick with those, and the Fable ones. I play the Sims the most though, but that's for the house decorating. I tend to play graphical games for a few days then go back to the MUDs for months. MUDs are just more fun to me. If I had the means to get a house in one of the MUDs I would probably spend a lot more time decorating that than anything I've done in the Sims.

Personally, I think both have their place and may have their attraction depending on the contents and the taste of the player, among other things.

read I think that because things are constantly chnging in muds that they stay alive

unlike waiting for a huge patch, the players themselves can also change things

Text is better if I would have to give up the quality of the game for some pretty pictures. Of course I would like to have my cake and eat it too but if i can't I want the text.

Thats it right there - if games with graphics were as good behind the scenes as text games, they would be better.  In the same way that if text games were as good as tabletop roleplaying games.  but sacrifices have to be made and they each have their own place.

is that they're all EXACTLY THE SAME.  Since people have made so much money off this formula, everyone clones it and it fails.  It's fucking annoying to the consumer.  I've played WoW, I don't want to play it with a LOTR skin, a DnD skin, or even a STAR WARS skin.  STOP.

Exactly. The uniqueness of Achaea is what drew me. Particularly the fact that players run the cities, to an extent at least. I found that great, and still do.

I think that the combat alone will keep MUDs viable. There is nothing more fun than a fight between you and your enemy and it lasts a full 5 minutes with noone gaining the upper hand.

Some of these more recent articles seem like comparing apples to oranges



end game PvP = shooters . But it's true that generally end game means PvP wich is a lot of fun.

I don't know how endgame is in a MUD, but now I can say there will be probabilly much more to do than most of the MMO out there.

Not sure I like the comparison of MMOs and FPS - both have different strategies and styles all together. Claiming that a FPS doesn't have strategy, tactics, and things of that nature is sort of discrediting those who are actually good at them - it takes skill to be good at FPS and it takes skill to be good at MMOs and MUDs. Just different types of skills.



Just like Tukio said earlier, apples to oranges. There are enough differences that I don't think MUDS fit in very well with other games as far as gameplay or endgame.

I am not convinced that muds can die out like graphic based games, providing they are worked on constantly, but i geuss it might happen.

I agree with you Stuart. As long as there is someone working on the mud, even with little changes, the life expectancy is quite a bit longer. After all a graphical game can never match what we see in our minds.

Achaea is a world, not "just"  a game.


Same for Aetolia

I agree.

motion passed


Was it ever a question?

Bring on Guildwars 2.


I did like the first...but WoW was better :<

Was better back in Core...expansions were great but, still felt rushed.

That's not how to avoid it though!

Text is accessible to everyone. It is possible for any player to customize the world around them, in a way that just isn't yet feasible for a graphical game.  If I want a killer looking weapon, I take a few days and write out a paragraph designing exactly how I want it to look.  Then I find a forger to make it in-game.  How would that even work in a graphical game?

Muds are way different at they are theather for the mind where the graphic mmorpgs or as I put More moronic ogre rampages per games stupid. Cause most of the people that play the graphic ones have little imagination or even care to use it. Where on IRE games you have to have it to even enjoy it. Don't fall to the corporate or society thinking where imagination is a terrible thing. When in fact its a terrible to see it being wasted by telling your kids to grow up and act like every one else. Not me when I was kid, I had the biggest imagination around. Now Im going to start writing my own book.



MUDs don't require the amount of players most MMORPGs do to survive, and it's easy to foster a fanatical playerbase when it's smaller - people are still out there playing on NWN2 servers, but it's the diehards.

Achaea doesn't have an "endgame," does it? I mean, you can bash to dragon, but that's just the end of one particular structured goal (and not even the end of that, really, as you can keep bashing up the curve to infinity..).

I don't think any IRE game has an "endgame". Wel... if you consider Tears of Polaris a game, then that's the exception, heh!

That's aiming low!

Doublepost, ignore.

I think dumbing down is often misused to complain about user-friendliness. No game should be difficult because it's plain aggravating to get anything done. I think if MUDs want to keep up on the market they should very much do everything to make the game friendlier to the player, but keep it challenging through things like quests which involve a puzzle that requires some actual thinking (instead of them being something you'd find in a kid's first puzzle book).

I don't see an endgame in Achaea. People leave when they find something else which interests them more, or when RL doesn't allow them to play achaea anymore, or when they are too disappointed because of something that happened in game. Some will come back and continue, even after years of absence.

I can so see myself being 90 years old and still playing Daryn on Achaea... and still complaining about Characters who are older than me treating me like a child! :P

"Some will come back and continue, even after years of absence."


Player interaction.

An 'endgame' is completely player decided when you live in a dynamic world. MUDs are much more a bucket of lego bricks. From these bricks anything can be built that you can imagine. And the more people that participate in the construction, the more elaborate the creations can become. A graphical MMO is like buying a set of legos. Sure you can alter it a few ways, but you are so limited by how that it becomes almost moot to do so. Truly though, it comes down to dynamics. The graphical MMO's are built on very strict systems that are overly static. Whereas MUDs are loosely built systems that leave huge gaps to be filled by the players.  However, this makes MUDs almost pointless without an active player base, whereas in a graphical MMO, you get almost as much fun out of playing it alone as you do when playing with a large group of people. Which once again leads back to the, "Why play a graphical MMO, when a single-player/Console game has far better graphics, story and limited lag (system dependent of course)?"

There are a lot of ways to avoid the pitfalls MUD's have fallen into.  Here are some of the major ones:

1. Open-ended methods to the greatest achievements.  This is perhaps the biggest one.  Any system as simple and static as combat (and I include even IRE's relatively complex and changing combat system in that) will be subject to optimization, scripts, guides, etc, and there is no way to keep that from becoming somewhat arcade-like.  In order to keep things fresh, the greatest achievements have to involve methods that better simulate real-world complexity, such as politics, diplomacy, and perhaps even science.  Achaea (I can't speak for other IRE games) seems to fulfill this quite well, and this is probably the #1 reason that I'm not likely to give up on it the way I have on every MMO I've tried.

2. A role-play-friendly enviroment that responds to player activity in a realistic (rather than just mechanical) manner.  This strongly compliments the first factor, as such advanced achievements will necessarily be closely connected to role-play (as anything that isn't connected to role-play and is purely mechanical can be "gamed".)  This also creates a strong community of people who really feel connected to the fictional universe (due to actually being able to affect it), and while you're not going to get the same player base size as a large MMO (and in fact can't handle it, due to the fact that it's nearly impossible to make multiple servers for a single game under such a method), what you do get will be a lot easier to keep, and a lot more willing to pay under a model like IRE's.  Achaea does this one amazingly well.

3. Game-Master equivalents.  In tabletop roleplaying there is a GM/DM, and a good GM is the key to making a memorable and interactive world, far beyond anything that can be scripted.  Achaea does this one too, through its gods.

4. No real endgame.  This will keep players there after they would have otherwise ended the game.  In the absence of the other factors, however, it will simply lead to people having no goals and leaving out of boredom.  But with the ability to set your own goals and seek them through nonconventional non-"gameable" means, and with GM-equivalents making sure the enviroment responds to anything you can come up with, and with the role-play to make you actually care about your accomplishments, the game can keep players coming back for as long as possible.

So I'd say that Achaea is in no danger of running into the problems MMO's face, specifically because its style is one that does not require an endgame.  Of course, that style is completely unsuitable for graphic-heavy MMO's (which do cost a lot to develop, and so do need a larger fanbase than a roleplay-centric system can handle; I suspect that the earlier MMOs had far weaker graphics than modern ones.)  As so often happens, the methodology that is best for long-term success is not the one that seeks to appeal to the largest base, but rather the one that seeks to gain the most devoted base.

I agree with this comment.  very well writen.  I think all the ir games do this though only having really played aetolia and lusternia  I think lusternia does it extreamly well and aetolia might I'm not sure.  not thre anymore.  the others probly do as well since they're still around. devoted player base as you said. 

It must be good. I agree

don't see an endgame in a RP game....doesn't make sense.

There has to sometimes major RP change, or the possibility of long lasting change due to player actions, otherwise everything stagnates.

not ever played a graphical mud since I lost my sight I talked to people that have and the main complaint I hear ist he graphic mud is not as flexable as the text based mud.


I would have to agree with Werin's post. I've tried MMORPG's like WoW, and one thing I like this over that is there isn't an end goal. There's always something to look forward to or something TO do.

This is true.

Lusternia is where I house my alter ego. It's not just some MMO. It's a parallel universe where my more successful self lives.

That's probly the same for a lot of us. Lusternia of corse is the best ir game.  Come play with us!

Here, I can kill things and be successful and... well, at least I like to think, liked!

The lack of endgame is a draw for me in Achaea.  While I appreciate the creativity and technology that goes into graphical games, there is a real passion that goes into Achaea, I believe.  I quite enjoy the fact that you can build and write your own destiny in Achaea.

wish they could combine these two then neither would die

I don't really need an "endgame".

Nothing wrong with scripts but they need to have more and better events. Hasn't been a good one, a real epic one, I feel in a long time.

Perhaps if we tried running from them



You cannot outrun the trap of death.

I'll never understand the WoW craze.  I hope Achaea never becomes the text equivalent.

state of events for a while now.

in a MUD, Achaea specifically in my case. I can conjure and see any illusion my mind can come up with. That will never happen in a MMO.

With how much MUDs necessitate interplayer relations, I think it naturally retains players better as long as there's enough cohesion between players to keep them in.

Even after a year of inactivity, it was basically the people I knew that sorta brought me back.


That's what makes a difference.


Quite true

I enjoy both graphical games and MUD.  I -play- the graphical games, and I -live- in Achaea.

I like MUDs probably becasue its the closest you can get to replicating tabletop RP (although still not close enough).  Building a system would be the least enjoyable part of it because if it were good enough, you could just sit back and let the machine do all the work.

Graphic games are great for 20 minutes of harmless fun too and a better way to desensitize yourself to random violence than Youtube

I vaguely like programming a system, but only because I like programming. If I didn't like programming, I'd probably not play Achaea at all, and just stick to other forms of roleplay, eg tabletop, freeform, etc.

That said, I like games that require tactics, and a huge part of tactics is positioning. That's possible to have in a MUD, but it's so much smooother in a graphical game. (A hardcore text-based strategy game where orders were given via coordinates, and information was given in text, and potentially involved information gathering/hiding as important fundamentals would be pretty cool though!)

Text makes thing easier for IRE also when it comes to build good quality content. I think that quality is what matter the most. In mud you can have good quality RP, I am not sure if this is true in other graphical games. 

 "and as long as MUD producers continue creating memorable roleplaying events, as long as they keep introducing mechanics that are ahead of graphical MMORPGs capabilities..."

I agree

I'm still hoping for full virtual reality.


I think you can find it more or less

get rid of endgames.

At least not in Imperian/Aetolia.


No way. They are essential!



the unfortunate thing is that the MUD population, though stable, is reletively stagnant as well. Many people dissappear fairly quickly

it's not THAT easy to learn if new

I agree.

I must admit it took me a few solid tries and characters to become familiar with Achaea and the way text gaming works... that is mostly the reason why most people choose to play all them graphical games to death, Try and describe Achaea to people and they think you are talking about some boring book that you have to read, god the effort would simply kill them.

Nothing better than using yer imaginashun

So much in Achaea, even though I am approaching 300 years old I still have not done nor seen it all. *That* is what makes it a great gaming experience.


MUDs are the best.  Not only do they require that you have an imagination, but they enhance your vocabulary.


my vocab is improved and stuff

Yea, that is quite common I suspect.

Thanks to Muds

Same. Plus it matters of you spell words wrong. Motivation to watch those tricky ones.

All MMOs are deathtraps, for the person playing of course.

text doesn't age. ;D

something something cheese

i'm getting into trouble with my wife more now that i play MUD than when i played console games, that's for sure.


I'd honestly say that having MUDs act like MMORPGs is impossible


I'd honestly say that having MUDs act like MMORPGs is impossible

.. the reason, or at least my reason why I keep on coming to MUDs vs MMOs. I don't like the way combat seems to be headed, but even if MUDS become text versions of MMOs combat wise, I'd still pick the MUD.

Free one :)

I concur.



love em!



article seems a bit pessimistic.  Yes, there is a grind to endgame, yes it is easier than it used to be.  But is it killing the MUD genre?  The number of folks posting here would indicate not.

I really feel that the grind, while it does exist, is greatly alleviated by the great social and roleplay aspects of achaea--which you don't really find in World of Warcraft or any of the other MMOs I've had the chance to play.



WOW and such are attempting to appeal to a larger audience, and as such, they have to dumb down the level of gameplay to the "casual gamer". Typically with MUDs, the "casual gamer" does not venture there, so the audience is entirely different and complex things go over much better in the MUD world due to that. That said, I don't think the graphical MMOs are designed to have a huge long shelf life. Just like normal games are expected to lose interest over the course of a year or two, MMOs have the same general plan. They plan for their game content to be released and last a year before they have to generate more income by releaseing new content.

personally, the only mmo deathtrap I've seen is trying to be like WoW but better.


I think IRE is safe

Well. In ref to Achaea grind to dragon, it's pretty doable, definitely better than a long time ago. Before, there wern't crits and even less places to hunt. Now there's tons of islands, Meropis - with its huge addition it is even bigger, and Iron Elite.

Dragon is doable, just have to be committed for a few weeks.

No crits? Sounds like dark times indeed :x

Good to hear

glance direction.

Glance everywhere, all the time. Probably the most lifesaving skills I got, after abusing the hell out of Sanguispect >_> Having it proc so you don't have to run out and get that last hit in is a total valid tactic, really!

I think that the role playing, especially in a MUD that enforces it, is the main difference. There are not a bunch of idiots running around screaming LOLBOTZ every time they do something that they think is cool.

It certainly is much easier to enforce in smaller communities. In MMOs I sorta filter it out, I've found you can have a similar experience if you find a guild or other group of likeminded individuals. Still, MUDs offer freedom that MMOs just can't give, and the player is much more of a creator.





Muds have more roleplaying opportunities and thats why they are more fun.

Bikini armour in Ter---some random game--it's all anyone can hope for in an mmo. I'll look into playing other mmos later; for now, Achaea is addicting enough.

Not always the case but the reason I like Achaea is because the combat is so complex. It means I am not just hitting the 5 same attacks over and over.

I think every game can get boring after a while.  

aye :(


  1. Credittttt

on the brainzzzz?

The overall MUD population seems unusually small. I'd think there would be more people with an interest.

don't suck

something something credit

the variety of things makes Achaea a special game, you might need a week break here and there but you aways come back

enter the Thousandth Door, do not expect to be safe..

It takes alot of hunting to do it but the extra skillset and power thast goes with it will be worth it. [I hope!!] also get a ship. If you aren't on the seas you are missing too much of the game. Get what you need to experiance the whole game.


Not feeling like inputting much. The end.



One problems muds have is the monetary cost to be good

Credit comment.

with ninja like skills?

The fact that our story is ever-changing, updates and events can be implemented much faster, which will give players a sense of 'moving forward' and keeping things interesting, is a major factor that contributes to avoiding the deathtraps.

Many people have danced around the point, but I've not yet heard it said. (Though in fairness, I got about halfway through the comments before I realized I was essentially hearing all the same things again and again, so I thought I'd just skip the rest, so if I missed it, I'm sorry.)

MUD's are superior in some ways, yes, as the graphical games are in others. Sadly, the amount of alts makes it nearly impossible to know for sure, but we have a much smaller player base in Imperian right now, as opposed to the player base of something so mainstream like WoW. On one hand, that feeds the elitist in me, but on the other it is a reflection of how sad the "Gimme-gimme" instant gratification mindset is helping to slowly eliminate truly good roleplaying-objective games.

Never having been a big fan of the WoW world, (In fact, never having played it because of the dual-factors of the obnoxious and dubious element it tends to attract and also because of the distance it's travelled from the concepts I enjoyed so much playing Warcraft II on my dad's PC as a young teenager) I have however watched those around me pop in and out of the game from time to time, usually in waves of a few months to a round. I've watched over shoulders, spoken with some Imperianites who play both, and discussed some aspects of it with people I've never known to play MUD's, but whom I think would do well with it.

I have noticed that while there are some similar factors, the depth of the roleplay is very difficult to pull from the mire of pre-constructed storylines with no real emphasis on the character, only on the tasks. And while, sure, there are guilds, for instance, the noteriety of them is severely limited due to the fact that the sheer number of players makes it easy for the number of guilds to nearly match, and trying to figure out which are RP-intensive in a way that is soluble to Imperian (Read: Any IRE MUD) is nearly impossible due to the ridiculous names or hidden references in each. Those withthe most inriguing face forward, of course, are so over-populated that it's difficult to get anyone to come to your aid, in my mind a roleplay opportunity capable of making or breaking a character's loyalty to an organization, in many cases.

I've watched raids and quests and battles of all kinds from the backseat-gaming perspective of a room full of WoW players, and I have to say, I'm less than impressed. The area is often very contained, the graphics are generally a lot of bright, flashy lights and confusion of muddled sound, and it seems that the moves used are the least possible imaginitive ways to bring down any target. The larger the quest, the supposedly greater the dire need for help of others in various parties and organizations, which is a large kudos to the developers, but with the sheer number of players, it is not chellenging to come up with the numbers and strength to make it a great challenge. In Imperian, a city can be comprised of many people you don't know, but the trouble is that if you do not respond to a raid, council or city defence, towne support or some sort of hefty decision-making battle, you can't hide afterward. You go from anonymous to notorious in a single "month" for not helping out. It seems to me that in games like WoW, it would be much more difficult to carve a name for yourself out of the millions logging in and out every day. Not like in Imperian, for example, where even the "little people" have heard of or seen folks like Lucian, Dreguar, Maglust and Zenigra, Draven or Tahm, Juran or Akumu. Bad or good in your own eyes, there are things about these figures that are known to the majority of the game. Detriment or not, they have still made a name for themselves, and their legend has been born.

The last bone of contention I have for the pre-programmed graphics games is just exactly that. The limitations of having to wait while someone creates the graphics to reflect everything you truly want to reflect your character, or offer up in trade. In Imperian, my character has many tradeskills, so as an example she has made herself an entire outfit out of gold-coloured leather that has the image of a phoenix, so that the mask, vest, pants and boots all make it look like the character is dressed to BE a phoenix. I created this and many other designs with such willful and intentionally evocative creativity to give it a measure of uniqueness. However, I've watched and listened as others have lamented the inability to do similar things with the WoW-genre games. Sure, crafting is a part of some of them, but your wares always come out looking either exactly the same as everyone else's, or else created from a limited number of choices, none of which reflect the image you want to project. With millions of different personalities (Some of them split!) logging into the game on a daily basis, it's nearly impossible to create and code, detail and publish something unique to every character played by every player on every server in the game. There simply aren't enough coders in the world to make that happen smoothly.

These are only some of the limitations that a pre-coded game has to contend with, and while I understand and admit fully and welcome conversation to the limitless other ways a graphics game, or even a text game can fail us, the truly definable difference is the pandering. Are we likely to see Lich King IRE anything? Likely not. Are there possibilities of a Lich showing up in the realms somewhere? Yes, as a matter of fact. But we don't feel the need to try to lure others into the game with cheap advertising campaigns (Here's lookin' at you, Mr. T.) or lame social pressures so that the populace can enjoy something not at all tailored to whatever actions they're themselves influencing.

Naw. We just have crazy credit sales and artifact giveaways. :P

Whatever the method that hits closest to home, though, there are hundreds of thousands of reasons why dedicated MUD players will maintain a fierce and undying loyalty (For some of us, that's a sigh of resignation I can almost hear) to the games that don't make us feel like stepping in, paying our quarter and stepping up to the D-Pad, but make us feel like an immersed, influential unit of a closer community that has the ability to change not only the world of the game, but the world outside it, if we're brave enough, smart enough, and practiced enough to put the skills we learn through the computer screen into true action.

And that's something I don't think WoW is ever going to give me.

Nice article by aislygn, I agree that text games are richer and offer more, which is why I love the IRE games

MMORPG will always suffer this problem. I think the work needed is just to much for current tech to handle, maybe in the future

backflips, loads of backflips

Its all about player experience and their imagination.

It is totally up to the player in a MUD to work with the RP options, the Game Masters or equivalent, and the other opportunities to help make the game more worthwhile for themselves and for others

I don't play many MMO's; to me, it's always been about the story. What I don't expect from some MMO's is the amount of flexibility I can get from text. ;) Sadly!


Bronislav has a good point, text is very flexible.



More options mean you have to be better. Don't confuse earlier games being better simply because they did well. Often there was little competition.


version of the first person


seems like mmo's have peaked

Hrrm traps, maybe time to swich classes!











I have definitely hopped from MMO to MMO once the story portion of the game is done.  It seems once the story is done that the endgame in most MMOs is grinding for gear.  I haven't had the same issues with MUDs, particularly IRE's games, since the story is always ongoing and permits so much more player input and influence.

MUDs : MMOs :: Books : Movie



i used to play Perfect world international, but i like the community in MUDs better

free credit