Sci-fi MMORPG Tears of Polaris development put on hold, but not cancelled.

tears of polaris

 After 4 years in development, highly anticipated sci-fi mmorpg Tears of Polaris has been put on hold. Although it had built a forum following, an open beta stage was never reached. The only part of the game available for public testing was an early introduction tutorial, which was reviewed favourably. 


The announcement came on the official forums. Iron Realms President Jeremy Saunders posted:


At this point we have decided NOT to continue with Tears of Polaris development, and we are putting the project on hold, but not completely cancelling it.

There are a few reasons for this, but let me hit the main ones.


Some of the major code shared across the IRE games has been completely changed beyond repair. These systems have to be the same so that we can universally apply IRE code updates to the game. These updates have not been done on ToP for many, many months.


For the most part, all the of the skills are just Achaea skills. Some not even reskinned. Any new IRE game has to be completely new from the ground up in regards to skills. We would literally have to start classes all over from the beginning.


The space system (one of the main reasons for playing a sci-fi game) is not close to being ready.


Matt and I have talked about this several times. We still want to release a sci-fi game, but ToP is not even close. In fact, it will be faster for us to start completely over.


For now, we are putting the project on hold indefinitely. We are currently working on several other large projects and upon their completion we may begin work on a new version of ToP from the ground up. Most likely we will pull from our existing pool of experienced producers when we do this. Most of them have expressed an interest in working on a project like this.


 Being a sci-fi mmorpg, Tears of Polaris set out to establish itself as a unique experience from traditional IRE games. In one update to the forums, the producing staff described the space system; "In contrast to the traditional rooms of IRE games, space disregards such a concept which would be restrictive and limiting. There are no rooms in space, and as such there will be no commands for players to go north, south, up, down, etcetera. Instead, everything is based around coordinates such as <1, .5, 8>." Coordinates-based navigational systems in sci-fi games have been popularized by titles such as EVE Online and the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic.


 While Tears of Polaris captured the interest of those eager for a sci-fi mmorpg from IRE, there was some concern over whether folks were ready for another IRE game. Some expressed the opinion that a sixth game would thin out the players across the servers. As an interesting note, Iron Realms second game Aetolia was created due to Achaea, IRE's flagship game, being unable to handle more players at the time. Since then the servers have become capable of handling far more players, but Imperian, Lusternia and Midkemia Online have joined the IRE roster over the years. 


Thankfully, no matter what happens with the Tears of Polaris project, I'm sure Iron Realms has great plans for its current games


Editor: Tony Celentano

Are you disappointed by this news?


I was actually looking forward to see what it would be like.  The biggest problem, perhaps a big part of the reason the forum wasn't popping, is people never heard any updates.  And I think it's a real shame to put it on hold.

I was also looking forward to Tears of Polaris. I adore sci-fi and the fact that iron reamls was working on one made me really happy. I lurked in the forums and I fell in love with the world building. I'd probably be happy with any game iron realms creates but I'm going to miss the potential that Polaris had.

A sci-fi IRE would be basass and it sounds like there were gonna be a lot of cool innovations in Tears :/

I want to play!

I am a huge fan of sci-fi related gameplay but I've not found a MUD experience that has the richness of what Achaea (and other IRE products) offers.  Most large scale, multi-user games follow the archetype of pre-modern science play with a lot based upon swords, missile weapons, and magic -- D&D, to put it bluntly.

Thanks to the IRE staff for this info and good luck putting it on a front-burner sooner than later.  I'm not sure the accessibility or testing opportunities for players, but it would seem that there could be some benefit to drawing from the current pools of players in each current IRE game.  Testing is going to be pretty tough on the dev side of the game; it may even be a good time to get some mortal builders to write and produce needed help file and room descs.

(the above all written with zero knowledge of the behind-the-scenes activities, but with 100% excitement to be part of a sci-fi IRE offering).


I actually have room in my stable of games for a decent sci-fi space game. Although I was really hoping for jumpgate Evolution to turn up (cancelled forever - *cry*) it never occurred to me to have a mu* version... I hope this resurfaces.

Me too

same here.


That's too bad, but we need more players for the games we have to really populate the worlds.

Very much this! Pay attention to the games you already have!

Honestly improvement of existing games sometimes helps a company more than creating a new one.  While the creative juices are great to have flowing within a company, new games mean new bugs, new issues, and depending on staffing, less attention to other games already in existence.  I like new stuff showing up in Achaea, it's a good feeling

Yeah, I would agree. People aren't getting more either you are getting new blood, or the new game is siphoning people from their current games (which depopulates the older ones).

indeed, no need for a new game, stick to what you have and improve on those.


while I do think a sci-fi would be awesome, I'm more inclined towards improving the current games





But this game seemed like it was gonna be REALLY cool.

yeah, you have a point and I'll have to agree. 

Why build more games when the gods are not even that active on the ones you have?


Came here to say this.

Say what?



I agree. It'd be much better to see more online characters than to spread them out over another game. Lusternia at around 3:00 PM (+8 GMT) is almost a graveyard.

Surely it can't be as bad as Lusternia at 7:00 AM. EST.



Graveyard times do have their advantages to players who live on the other side of the world. On the god note, we do need more gods, the players feel as if the game is dying when god participation is so low. Currently, god interaction is slightly higher… yet again… only to some orgs.





Same with MKO. Achaea, however, is poppin'!

ToP was/is very different from the other IRE games thematically. I'm not sure it would've competed directly to such a large extent.

Good point.

I was very excited to see somthing so different come from them. While I doubt I will stop playing Lusternia anytime soon, I was definately looking foreward to checking out ToP.

It would have been nice to have something SO different, in terms of scope. I agree, I don't think I would stop playing Achaea but it would be a good change of pace.


Yeah, I'd like more people in Achaea during European times.

So very true.


On the other side, we have pretty empty hunting grounds, which rocks.

Honestly I think I'd enjoy more people to interact with more than having more hunting grounds.


Still, I really don't think something like ToP is going to be appealing to the same people as something like Achaea, so I don't think that's much of the problem here.


Champion Penwize Baker, the Relentless (male Mhun).

He is 63 years old, having been born on the 8th of Mayan, 515 years after the 

fall of the Seleucarian Empire.

He is ranked 1st in Achaea.

Bashing got boring for you??

well, if the developers spent more time expanding our world, we might have more hunting grounds too.

More herbs to harvest! :P

And fishing areas !


Here people hunt like madness!


I can't speak for the other games first hand, but MKO definitely could use more people, specifically the kind who really want to immerse theirselves in the world instead of just throw a few skills around.

Population in many IRE games is suffering greatly or not realizing its true potential. Release this game (while cool in concept!) would only serve to further spread your player base. Too many companies have done this and paid heavily for it. I do not view it as a wise move until bases in all other games have been built up extensively. Also, another thing to consider is that you only have so many coders and all games are always works in progress and need a lot of work as they constantly advance to adapt to the ever changing need of their customers. Just my thoughts.

Why not consolidate your gains? Spreading out just seems extremely premature at this point. *shrugs*

I'm not familiar enough w/ the series to have any idea what sort of draw it would represent.


I would have been really interested to give this one a whack, given that it's a Sci-Fi MUD instead of the fantasy world ones so apparent. :) But though I must say, focus on the other MUDs for now. Like Midkemia, they want/need some love.

Well said


There simply ain't enough players for the existing ones. However, this is totally new. So it might work.

While I would love to see a Sci-Fi MUD from IRE, I think they should focus on their current games for now. Many of them feel dead, because the gods simply aren't active, or even if they are, only those in a particular organization are.


On the other hand, I'm not sure that ToP would've attracted the same audience as the fantasy IRE games, so tere wouldn't be as much thinning out as we seem to think.

I didn't even know about this but that would have been cool to have a sci-fi based game!

It sounded familiar but I also don't spend a ton of time at my computer in the net. Sounds pretty cool too and I wouldn't worry about thinning. Different people gravatate toward what they like more. People in the end, stick with what they like more. Variety is good!

The only MMORPG I've played is Anarchy Online. It didn't have space travel though. While I'd like to try this game, I feel I can wait.


I can agree with the player-base thing, but don't forget that because it is offering something different from the likely thousands of fantasy text games, that it would bring new players from other games than just IRE ones.

I never had much luck recruiting friends but had tried.

I've had no luck, but I haven't really tried.

no luck here either. IRE games have a high learning curve, require big investment time and money wise, and aren't always immediately fun.

whoever you hired to work on it really dropped the ball. Also sounds like the instructions from management (you) were not clear enough, or else that oversight was too lax.


I'm curious, did you have full-time coders on this for four years? Man.

You got to remember that scripting a game of this level can take a lot of time. If they don't have enough full time developers to keep up with current games and create a entire new one (Which would not be based off of anything prievous really). Give them a little credit that they are keeping up with the current ones and still attempting to expand into other genres.

While we do not have all the details, we can definitely infer that ToP was NOT managed properly. When a project goes south it is always always the fault of management. Unless of course a satellite drop on your coders or something :) hehe

This is the first I've heard of this mmorpg but it's definitely a game I would be interested in.  Having played Achaea for years, this sounds like the Achaea's version of Starcraft.  I'll be keeping my eyes open for updates.

The first MUD I played was sci fi so I was really looking for this.


The context of Jeremy's post, ie posts -before- and -after- his 'announcement', is rather depressing and not presenting IRE management in a very good light.

I agree completely. It shows absolutely horrible managerial skills. I find it extremely funny that most people are only now hearing about ToP. One of the -big- complaints ToP had was that IRE was completly unwilling to support the game in the form of announcements and advertising.


I also am completely appalled that IRE would have the gall to try to justify their actions through a poll answered by uninformed players of other games.

Furthermore, their stated reasons are blatantly false. I can't believe they would continue to tout these lies.  

Grow up, IRE. Or find someone who can do your jobs.


You're making it sound as if ToP was independent game with an independent producer that IRE had no interest in helping and was actively attempting to sabotage.

Ultimately I am willing to believe the news from other producers who confirm that the ToP team did not produce enough content within its 4 years of development and sugar-coated much of its promises.

Do you really think IRE would have anything to gain from actively attempting to undermine one of their own business ventures? 

I was really looking forward to this, but oh well. Maybe that means we will get many more awesome events in the other games to make up for it.

agreed. I was really excited when i originally heard about ToP.  I'd love to make a space pirate or something equally awesome, but i can understand giving up developing if we're going to get improvements in Achaea and the like.  Also, more active Divine is really really needed.

I Dugg this but got no credit. Also, it's asking me to submit it?

IRE could admit those things. A lot of anticipated games are put on hold and fans are told "when its done" and then x years later they get not even close to what was hyped. I can't wait to hear what big projects are in store. Some events for achaea I hope

time and go back and experience the Dun Valley Saga again. It was probably the most balanced, fun, unpredictable event in Achaean history.


Not like these days where the outcomes are organisationally-favoured. You always know who will "win" at the outset. Boring.

This is sad, I was looking forward to it.

kind of weird how achaea stagnates around the same amount of players online.  What if it blew up to 1000 people online at a time regularly?

I'd be glad to see 1/10 of that consistently on MKO... but, then, I'm absent enough, myself, to not be in any position to complain about others not being around...


heard of this game.



yay no ToP and here I was actually getting interested :(

I'm still ok with current IRE games

Tears of Polaris development is what led me to discover Iron Realms to begin with. I have been eagerly anticipating this MUD and am disappointed to here news of further delay.

I discovered IRE looking for Midkemia. I've tried it once or twice since it came out, but always find myself returning to Achaea due to a richer developed world and more people.  One day I hope MKO gets better and fuller, but until then I'll spend most of my time in Acheaa

They're doing alright, but I think they're lacking a lot at times. Sure we have to take into account they have a lot of things going on, but sometimes they just need to consider that maybe they're stretching themselves too far and not paying enough attention to them all and following through with the things they state and or promise will happen.

It's a Gelf!


If you can hire more people, I'm all more more realms.

If your stretching the people you have out across more realms though...I don't think that will work long term.

I thought this could be a nice try. Guess it's back to Achaea

Well, good luck with whatever you guys choose to do and I will wait for it patiently.

I propose we #OccupyAchaea until it comes back!

Sounds good to me! I'd better get to dragon before starting a new game!

Pretty sure Tears of Polaris was mentioned a few times in newsletters and stuff... Anyway, I think it's a good thing it was scrapped. It seems a bit of a waste to spend so many years on it though. You'd think these problems would have been realised sooner... As everyone else has said... Maybe the other established games will get some more love now.

I heard about it in news letters and stuff. Never really checked it out. I didn't realise it was in development for so long. Four years is a long time to not even have a game to test. Sucks for everyone who put in a lot of work into it and they get nothing out.

ive only heard of this game within the last year, i never knew it was int the making for four years though

ive only heard of this game within the last year, i never knew it was int the making for four years though



sorry to hear about that

hrm sounds like a good idea, but still.. rather have the team improving the current ones! 

Please don't make any more IRE games.


In fact, can we just squish some back together?


I've only ever played Achaea. Never played Aetolia, Imperian, Lusternia, or MKO. Why? Because even by the time Aetolia rolled out, I had no desire to buy credits for the same thing I just bought credits for in Achaea. Also, why bother with two of the same thing?


Remember those old comments on Achaea's old website? How it was the only text game that mattered, or that there's not a deeper game in existence? Oh, and did you know that making a character and going through the newbie introduction (the old one - Loom Island, not the new Ceylon one) was part of a college course? Those quotes/nuggets were made YEARS ago. Probably almost a DECADE AGO. I feel like a lot of IRE's main playerbase is now spread too thinly over the five games. What could have been one game that still reflected and lived up to those comments is now five games desperately grasping for mediocrity. Yeah, mediocrity. IRE's games have to be measured in their social value, because how boring would it be to play a game where no one else ever logged on? They goofed somewhere along the line, and pissed off too many people, who all went elsewhere. Add that to the variety of graphical mmporgs out there, and the desperation becomes evident. I mean, IRE pays me 10 credits a day to invite anyone who will accept my fake facebook requests. Hrm!


Don't get me wrong, I love Achaea and (not in a mentally ill sort of way) my character has had a huge impact on the real me. He's given me the opportunity to learn things about myself, though the pieces of my personality and my personal beliefs than crossed the veil, that I really never considered possible. I just wish they would have considered the future of their existence a bit better.


It would be cool if credits transferred between games...might make me more likely to look closer at the other games.

I heartily agree. I would be more inclined to play another IRE game seriously if the Elite membership counted on other games. or was seriously discounted.

Having played Imperian, Aetolia, and Midkemia enough to get a feel for each at the least (I've played Achaea just enough to realize I'd never get past the similarities with Aet to see the differences), each really does target a slightly different player base, many of which wouldn't be quite as happy in another as they are in their favorite. There's also the question of having quite that many overly strong willed people in one place. Each game has their 'big names', and all but a few of those are different players from the 'big names' of the others. It gets drama-tastic enough having them spread across 5 games... shove them all in one proverbial room... and the place'd come crashing down around you.

I like your response, it's well grounded and explains why people move on. Frankly I would've left IRE maybe for good if I didn't change game from Aetolia to Lusternia and that's not saying Aetolia is bad, but situations change and people like to explore options that allow them to still have fun.

Yeah, and all the games offer something different with regard to atmosphere. Aetolia kicks Achaea's ass on the RP front, but I feel like Achaea PK is more fun.

This is very true. A lot of what defines each game is the playerbase and the community.

Unfortunately there is truth behind this..

Makes perfect sense!

Meh. I play MKO and no other IRE games. So the credits part isn't a huge deal to me.

I think, IRE may be spreading out a little too much, but... not my call to make.


Agree, but I would support some merging of some of the games to increase the player base.

I've never understood the having to trade credits with other players to try out a new game thing. I guess it's that the IRE games are all competing with each other.


Is how I'm feeling.


Same here. I was really looking forward to ToP. :(

I'm disappointed that ToP won't be released any time soon although given the reasons provided for the hold on development I can completely understand it.  However I would like to hear from the ToP producers as well.

Damn! I was looking forward to ToP, even though I was a little worried about player numbers. I thought that the sci-fi angle would overcome this and draw people in. Fantasy is great and all but very samey.

I'm not a Sci-Fi fan but halting a project after 4 years of development sounds disasterous. That must be a lot of wasted code..

Seems like ToP could use a fair bit more publicity, even if it's being delayed! 

Just don't let it down the drain, although I for one think it's better to continue to work on the already existing games rather then starting new ones.




I was there for the tutorial thingy. I liked it.

I am new to mudding. I got involved in Achaea early in 2011 and I am loving it. It's the best gaming experience ever, even if I am advancing at a very slow pace. I am a BIG science fiction fan, though. Fantasy has always been my second choice in RPG and I think that IRE is right on the fact that many players would have switched to ToP. In fact, that is what I would probably have done.

While I was reading all ToP forum entries, I was wondering: how can IRE support a new game? Is it convenient for IRE to introduce a new game that would inevitably thin the numbers of each game they have? Achaea is conveniently populated but sometimes I wish there were more players.

As I discovered that ToP introductory tour occurred years ago and nothing new was happening from then, I tought that something was really wrong with the game. I thought that IRE was gioing to cancel the project, anticipating this article. No big surprise, then.

Morevover I do not think that ToP will ever see the light. Most probably, IRE will put efforts in ToP only if new players will fill the places ToP will cause to other IRE games. That is also part of the increasingly aggressive advertisment campaign on IRE games in social network trough promotions. As Mud are not so popular in the world, I sense dark coulds over ToP, and Mud in general. It will be a success for IRE to keep and improve what they already have in the years to come. Quality is the best way to go for IRE now, and they cannot afford to have it diluted in different games. I trust it is a great effort to have all the IRE games up and running already but IRE should focus more on impoving the games they have, (less dormant gods...just to make an example). In the best case scenario IRE will mantaing its place in the market as a high quality niche gaming experience. This step is in the right direction given the present situation. Still five fantasy games and no sci-fi game, make little sense to me, but probably this happened because of IRE past mistakes.

Anyway, even if I appreciate IRE clear outing about ToP arreseted developement, I am really disapponited because I would have loved to play in a sci-fi enviroment. I could not ask anything more.


The five fantasy games have quite different feels, I've tried the others but only got gripped by Lusternia.

Did you try Achaea first? I can't seem to get into any other IRE game, currently. Was going to give ToP a try, but alas!

I am sure about that. My statement was only about having more genres covered by IRE games. It seems that IRE did not have a clear vision in developing so many fantasy games before ending up into the ToP failure. It looks like the business developement was a little bit too patchy.

However, IRE is now doing a great work and must put all efforts in improving every game they have and the client too.

When I was looking at Achaea previous website I was disappointed, asking myself whether there would be a refresh and...ta da! The site is now brand new and very appealing. They updated Nexus as well, but I think there is still a lot to be done there.

We are all addicted IRE, but keep up the good work! Choose quality over quantity, it pays more in the end.

over quantity. Put the energy in the improvement of the existing games please.


Was looking forward to it, but at the same didn't expect much from it given the slow progress.

I definitely have to agree with that. The way things have gone for it so far, it's no real surprise that this happened. Also, as others above have said, it'd be much nicer to see the other games tended to before another one gets worked on.

I can't begin to imagine how difficult coding a sci-fi MUD would be. Especially with no framework currently available. I mean, the only thing I can think of that would replace the "space" coordinate travel is maybe the "landmark" type travel being used to move from planet to planet in the same fashion that we now move from city to city but with more restrictions on off-path movement. It wouldn't be very realistic i suppose but it would make the current framework from the other IRE games more adaptable to such a concept.

I am more of a fantasy fan myself but a sci-fi IRE game might be interesting.



I'm quite content with Lusternia! Keep the new content rolling, sci-fi < fantasy anyway! :D

that's a shame.



What a coincidence that I was thinking of this game just when I started re-reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. A bit sad by the news since I was hoping to see what kind of worlds they would have conjured up.

Quality over quantity...I'm glad it's put on hold especially if there were so many issues with the code already.

Aww that girl in the article picture would have to wait for a while before she gets to see some action heh.

The playerbase is quite small for the other IRE games, especially Midkemia, I think only Achaea has a large population.

I contribute to Achaea and Lusternia's population ^_^

I had definately looked into giving TOP a try it would have been interesting to see how space was handled in a text game but I think putting it on hold wasn't a bad idea either. With the quality of games that IRE has put out they definately want to get it right.

I haven't played any of IRE's game besides Lusty, but if ToP had been released I would have definetly tried it. I'm disappointed it was cancel- err... put on hold but better to get it right after delay then to get it wrong altogether.

Why did I spend so much money on MKO. Classes aren't even finished after a year.

They're not, but the game's plenty playable as it is.

Work on what you got. Spreading yoorself too thin can be a comppany killer.

As long as the ones they have keep getting better and better then their time is well spent not doing a new game halfway.

Stick to what you pwn at, IRE =)

Makes sense to not force it if it is going to be unsupportable later.  Sounds like there were  enough issues to justify the reset.  It would be nice to see a space based IRE game though.

I love a good sci fi romp, but I have never been able to migrate to another IRE game, so I can't really say I would try another IRE game if it came out no matter what the scene.

Certainly seems interesting!


It makes sense to build a strong base and then expand.  I've tried some of the other IRE games and while they are good, they don't have many players. Players are what make the world rich, not necessarily the genre.



Better for it to die than to be a subpar product.  Try the scifi theme again once you get some more dedicated coders, and see what happens!

I voted wrong..i changed my mind..stick with the ones that does work and keep it working in mint condish!


So I voted no, only because the current games need some more attention to fix some problems that have lingered about for years.


On the other side, I think a properly executed space mud would be incredibly badass and tap into a new market. The problem is this is going to have to be pretty well executed and will have to break out of the mold of clones that Achaea/Imperian/Aetolia/Lusternia are. Taking a look at Imperian, for six years, most of the skills were merely just clones of Achaean skills trying to pass off as imperian unique (see fixing games above.)


I think it's sad that so much time and effort is put by the wayside, but I think it's a good thing for the IRE franchise at this point in time.


For the most part, all the of the skills are just Achaea skills.

I can say with ABSOLUTE certainty that the above is a complete lie.

I'm not particularly interested in TOP but I did volunteer to help write and edit some skill messages for TOP along with a friend, very early on. I was allowed in game and played with all the skills available at the time. Many of the skills I played had concepts behind them I have never seen before in an IRE mud or any mud for that matter. The rest such as not enough work being completed I can't speak to, could very well be true. I also didn't experience any of the space aspects, though the concept was explained to me. But unreskinned copies of Achaea skills? Simply not true. I can't say for certain, but this smacks of the real reason this was put on hold being swept under the rug. However I don't really care about TOP to be honest and if it is cancelled oh well, go go Lusternia.

Many of us on the ToP Forums have been pointing this fact out too. The only thing I can think of is that some UNRELEASED abilities that none of us got to test in the previews were the same, otherwise they were completely different. The whole thing fings shoddily handled and I'm just incensed by the blatant lies.

I've been told by some that there were a lot of lies floating around from Kunin, wether or not that is true, this statement from Jeremy is a blatant falacy. The whole thing feels shoddily handled and I'm just incensed by it all.

I'm among those that are very disappointed to see the game put on hold. I absolutely love the sci-fi genre, and it would have been fun to play an  IRE game in that setting.

while the new setting would be fun, if this means more Achaean deities can return, then I'm all for the indefinite hiatus

Would have been cool, and different. But also MKO needs, well, people. Don't play the other IRE games (but Achaea seems really crowded? Or maybe just larger than I'd like) so I can't say much about them.

This is probably a good thing, in terms of further splitting the niche playerbase attracted to IRE's games already.


I kind of saw this coming, based on how dead the forums have been for... well, as long as I can remember.

I wonder what it would be like if all the ire communities were together in one game

Would have been interesting to try out a sci-fi game.

This honestly sounds like something I would play. I can understand why it was put on hold though, It sounds like it would be Achaea, with a space system, and it'd just be easier to pop a space system into Achaea.

It would be easier to do a space system into Achaea I would think, and that is most likely why the postponed it, to keep it unique.

Is that what's up with the planet in Achaea?


I will just keep plugging along in Aetolia... polymath, here I come!



It sounds like this may be an interesting game, i'll have to keep my eyes peeled for it. 

I would have liked a nice sci-fi change from the fantasy, but I can understand IRE's reasons and do not blame them.

I'd rather they sort out the kinks first anyway.


What a shame :(


I wanted to play that game! :(

A scifi mud would have been interesting.

Rein in the concept, cut out the extraterrestrial excess, and you've got a much more workable model.  Space exploration can be added once perfected.

I really wanted to see what this was going to be like, i'd love to see IRE tackle SCI-FI.

I bet everyone who fancy star trek et cetera are sad about it ^^

Always sad when anticipated projects fail, but I do wonder if the number of IRE players really justifies the number of games they have, already.  I'm no economics/business consultant, but text games are already a pretty niche market, and I'd worry about over-extending yourself offering a niche product.

That's exatly my point. It seems that there are too many games for too few players. I play Achaea and the population there is merely sufficient. Maybe they should try to think about unifying some games. I really do not know how this can be fixed. I am too much of a newbie. I am no economic/business consultat as well, but things are pretty apparent here.

The inevitable result of Soon(tm) is Postponed Indefinitely(C)

I'm bowled over that just about 50% of the people think Iron Realms should stop making this game altogether and focus on what they've already got. Tears of Polaris would finally bring a different flavor to Iron Realms games rather than the swords and sorcery medeival D&D style bull that they've doing for the past four games straight. I think it's ridiculous that they haven't already tried out a new style yet.


I say, quit focusing all your energy into fantasy fiction and try your best to get out this fresh new sci-fi genre game going.

I feel the same way :(

I have to agree with Lanko who said
"I also am completely appalled that IRE would have the gall to try to justify their actions through a poll answered by uninformed players of other games."

It's completely reasonable that dedicated players of other IRE games would want to give their games more focus, but I swear, find ANY of the players that were able to experience one of the two previews and I can assure you their reviews would be positive.

I realize IRE has stated that the preview was essentially everything the project was and nothing more, but I'm confused by their reasoning behind scrapping it. As an avid ToP forum lurker I'd just like closure on the matter, and this post doesn't seem to do the job.

68 yes, 69 no.

So close!

50/50 split. If it didn't have potential I don't think fifty percent of the vote would back an entirely new game.

Excellent comment!

Brilliant idea...sorry to hear that it got put on hold.

I've would like to play this game


I am sure I would try it. At least just to see how different it is.


I am sure I would try it. At least just to see how different it is.

I'd be more concerned about improving the population on the current game offerings. 

I was always curious about this game, but at some point you have to cut the cord rather than keep it in development hell forever.

I personally think that IRE would be rather good at sci-fi games, but I can understand why they would want to halt development, sounds like alot of work to fix it, especially while so busy with other stuff.

Personally, I can understand the issues that the developers are having, plus their concern is to also to continue to provide for the current games. It's great to hear that the idea to have ToP to come out at some point, it just may take awhile. So, yeah, let's just all be patient :P

I'm good at being patient.  It will be really fun to play a sci-fi mud.  I am grateful that Iron Realms won't release a shoddy game just because lots of people wanted to see it.  If they want to wait until they have a quality product to give us, I say good for them.


I'm a much bigger fan of sci-fi than fantasy, and I was really looking forward to seeing what Iron Realms was going to do with the genre.


Hopefully, they'll come up with something.

Agreed, I'm a bit disappointed too, but good things come to those who wait!

Perhaps, but it probably won't be the cancelled project being put back on the coding block. Usually, these things just die and that's it.

And like they said even if it doesn't come back that doesn't mean they won't try a different route from the ground up. Something had to keep holding it up so a reboot might be the best thing for it.

Well, whatever's the best course of action should be taken, and so I think this is okay. I look forward to the day we can get a taste of an IRE sci-fi MUD!

Hopefully all the extra advertising and digging will attract enough players to support this in the future


I will be sad about ToP, I really was looking forward to it. With Lusternia being destroyed by people getting demigod in 1 week, the only thing left there is it has the best PvP in IRE. I was hoping ToP would outclass the PvP and make it so people can't obtain demigod in 1 weeks time sitting behind a turret of a gun in an aethership (basically without any work involved).


I cant wait to see what Sci-Fi setup is in the works though, and hopefully it will come before the downfall of my favorite IRE game :(

Wait, it takes a whole week to reach Demigod??

Screw it, I'm quitting. :(

Scifi MMOs are hit and miss with me. They are either really crappy or really good.



Suspended like SC: Nova?


I lol'd at Lusternia having best PvP

And I LOL at the 30 total people who play Imperian. 

Rather 30 players with decent PvP then 70 with WoW jr ^^

you make a good point there buddy!

Sometimes the truth hurts, your combat system has no real learning curve to it, combat in Lusternia is what makes the game... sorry


I will give you thistho . The way you make changes to skills it much better IMO, our envoy setup is basically a nerf them before they nerf us group and while all envoys in Lusternia claim unbiasness.... They have biasness in them. Even the game's head immortal has shown her(his) biasness, its in people's nature to be. Which is why its so hard to try to balance things with a select few.

Imperian at least has all their cards on the table when it comes to trying to balance things and they (i hope) arent balanced on the extreme end of the scale like we are. Our changes are based on assuming the skill user is a demigod with every artifact in the game that could possibly augment the skill in question and in a giant zerg using said skill, not your basic player but your extreme player.

Sorry off topic..... I really hope IRE does a scifi based game, the engine IRE uses is just the best Ive seen for Mud's.



This is bullshit! I was looking forward to playing ToP really badly, but since they are putting it on hold, that just means another company or other people can start making a Sci-fi text based game. Too bad for IRE. ROFLMAO. Second place is the first loser, afterall

seeing the number of successful MUDs. It seems unlikely that another one will come around as easily as you seem to say

I was really looking forward to seeing what a sci-fi IRE game would be like, hopefully they pick this up again later.


Was looking forward to this game, but I'm unsure if there is a big enough market for it considering the popularity of MUDs. IRE needs to do what is best for IRE.

Noo :(

Now come back to Lusternia. xD

Oh well...


It would have been cool, but I'd rather they did it right instead of erring.

I wonder why the similarities were never noticed to begin with or, if they were, why they let that continue.  It's too bad.  It's an interesting idea.




At least MKO is pumping out some regular updates now :D


I'm really looking forward to trying out Tears of Polaris, but I already feel split between two games. I'm very bad at handling multiple games. Makes me wish I had bodies that share experiences, then I could at least enjoy TWO titles at once!


Cant imagine playing another life.

Like the one I have too much. 

Take care

I can't wait to try out Tears of Polaris.

I tried a few other SF Muds, but they just didn't do it for me. Might be interesting to see how IRE will handle theirs, if it ever gets finished.

That's all I wanted from there.

Sad to hear that it got put on hold. I wasn't thrilled about MKE, but I was actually looking forward to TOP.

Love for MKO plz :(

This. We're still in beta and all that. >>;;

Are surely an issue, in Achaea. Other IRE games have much more involved RP and other Gods/Admin active. Current Leadership of Achaea isn't too interested in making the game better in terms of RP, it seems. Rules abound that are more restrictive than any other IRE game as to what Gods/demi-gods can and cannot do when interacting on a daily basis. 

I think it would be a lot better for the development team to "finish" Midkemia and upgrade the existing games instead of continuosly trying to create new ones.

Its a shame that one of the more interesting themes got put on hold, but its good that they decided to do it if they saw the game wasn't shaping up as it should rather than throwing resources at something beyond repair.

It possesses a great potential and I was looking at trying it out. I'd rather have a quality game than a skin graft from one placed on another and calling it good. As for the player base thinning issues, I will have to agree it'll thin out the player base even more, granted. But often times exposing a new game of a different genre can get people to play it and attract them to ironrealms. Once here curiosity usually gets the best of all of us and we'll try out the other games (I know I've tried a few of them before.) If you're complaining about player base, then start to recommend the game via word of mouth to get the name out at least. The more it gets out, the more people will come and more people means a thicker playerbase, which means more people to kill! Just sayin~

I have a hard enough time maintaining 1 character in 1 game, I don't know how the hell I'd keep up with one or more in each game, so any new game probably won't have my in it any time soon.

 would rather them have a working game totaly new than just a remake so, this I think is a good thing.

Does anyone even play Aetolia anymore?

I was looking forward to this new game, but I would like to see something that can stand on it's own, and isn't just a rework. While this project is on hold, I look forward to what will be brought to the other IRE games, and what this one will eventually become.

I think just cancel it and let's move on

Like... it' won't cost anything to keep it around.

Like... it' won't cost anything to keep it around.

Hello everyone!
I just want my credit.


I"m pretty surprised the vote is this close. I remember lots of support for ToP when it was first announced. I suppose people just got tired of waiting with results?

I suspect there's also a lot of votes against ToP up there because the other option is weighted to get more votes. When a group is presented with a choice of either a) having someone develop something new that those voting have nothing invested in themselves or b)  having someone put more value into the things those voting have, themselves, invested time, enegy, and money in... it's only logical that they'd want their existing investments to pay out more than leaping into something new, unpolished, that would require the same type of investment they've already put into the previous. Midkemia Online got a huge influx of players and interest from the other games early on, and as time went on, many from other games went back to their previous out of the simple feeling that they would get more back for their time from there than they were getting back from MKO. 

I'm glad someone realizes how crazy this poll is. A 50/50 goes to show how much interest this game brings despite the bias this article puts on it.. 

Having played Achaea, Aetolia and now Lusternia, I actually rolled my eyes when I heard they were trying to release yet ANOTHER game under the IRE label. Honestly, the playerbase is already stretched waaaay too thin over the current five games. Lusternia itself, though I love playing it, isn't perfect. Nor is Achaea, Aetolia, Imperian or Midkemia. Why not just work on improving the games already released BEFORE trying to branch off into a totally different direction with something like Tears of Polaris? Just saying.

Yeah there isn't exactly that different of a draw between the fantasy and sci fi crowds.

There are some, actually, who don't care for fantasy but love sci-fi, or viceversa. I myself loathe both, but hate fantasy slightly less.


Personally, I think they should axe one of the five they have now and scuttle those players into the other games, then focus on building more solidly from there. But if they did, with my luck it'd be Lusternia, and then I'd just stop playing IRE games.

that is kinda the problem. I expect most people agree, with the caveat of "not my game"


 but really, if all the games' player bases were combined, with the game they were combined in made to accommodate, it would be epic


Like fixing the horrible lag in Lusternia that "doesn't exist" please.

You're implying there aren't discrete subsets within game populations (hint: there are - I know quite a few people that only play and have only played Imperian, for example).

I'm really disappointed in this announcement. I was really looking forward to trying ToP I thought the game sounded like it had a lot of potential. I think it would be good for IRE to have a decent Sci-Fi based game under their belt. It would open up their base to another group of gamers which might help some of the other realms too. A lot of people have been talking about focusing on the games they already have, I feel they should be doing both, as who knows what new games would bring. However I would also have rather seen ToP open then MKO.

Kind of a bummer, this game sounded pretty fun.

I am bummed by this news. I was looking forward to seeing where they were going with this.


I was really looking forward to this new idea for a MUD. Ah well. :( sad face

Such a shame :(

Probably my favorite BBS door game was TradeWars2002. I loved that game. My biggest problem with it was it was developed as a single player at a time game, with multiplayer stuff an afterthought. Does that make sense? Combat was a numbers game, with no thought to skill at all (other than sheer tatical positions). I was truely looking forward to another game with a little more depth and interaction laced through the fabric of it's being. Short of a true to scale 3D game, like Infinity Universe promises to be, I believe that a MUD would be the best place to do such an adventure. It truely pains me that this attempt has fallen by the wayside.

Also, with most of IRE's games being high fantasy based, I believe that a sci-fi themed game would not stretch the current player base too thin, as it is an entirely different genre and should attract an entirely different crowd.

I'm disappointed too. I was looking forward to the release of this IRE game.

I feel bad about the loss of ToP, but it's due to sadness over a potentially great project being squandered and floundering. I'd feel much the same if there were an announce one day of "Hey, Imperian is closing its doors forevah!". I don't play, and have no intention to, but the world would be a less awesome place without it.


And in that vein, the world needs to be a less awesome place due to lack of ToP, so it's better they take their time and refocus on making it great and worthy of the IRE label.

I was looking forward to this :(

Don't spread yourself too thin, Ironrealms!

Ahh, I wanted to try this one. Oh well, I will continue to have hope that it will return someday!

My opinion on the subject of ToP and whether or not to focus on the games IRE has or not... 


Each game is governed in such a way that, yes, Jeremy is on top. He wants the games to succeed and change and add new things to keep people coming in and coming back. BUT each game has its own group of coders and Gods to make the changes. ToP had it's own coders as well. It's not that IRE needs to focus on the games they have, the Gods in charge of said games need to do things, not IRE itself.


So, if Aetolia or MKO need more people, maybe they can get the attention of those whom play Achaea, or Imperian, or those that heard about ToP.


Don't blame the CEO if his subordinates that were in charge of your game aren't doing things.

As someone who was involved for a short time as a builder, I can certainly say that there were a lot of cool ideas being spun around.  Unfortunately, the project felt overshadowed by a lack of motivation to actually sit down and finish projects.  It felt like any progress that was made was glacial; it was very difficult to figure out exactly what the admins were looking for, and little support was given in learning the details of these systems.

I wouldn't blame Jeremy for this without knowing more, and it's been a couple of years since I took part, so I don't know what's happened since then.  I do look forward to seeing if this takes off in the future, though! I do see a lot of potential in the work they've done so far.


4 YEARS! Really!??

It took IRE Management 4 years to realise that their producers were producing substandard work?

My boss checks on me every day... we have meetings every week. Let alone 4 Years...

If this was the case then I'd love to work for IRE.

Come play Lusternia, we have spaceships.

then again, it's not the first (space) sci-fi MUD too, right?

sad panda

I realize a lot of people are saying it's best to concentrate on the games that already exist, but I would love a sci-fi game 1000 times more than any fantasy setting. It just would be... way cool... is all... I hope you manage to develop one fairly hitch-free soon! 

I'm not able to play more than one game at the time unfortunately

I followed ToP at the beginning, and was really looking forward to something different (which might well attract players new to IRE), but I got bored waiting. OK, the intro test was good, but the playtest just didn't satisfy after so much promise. Aim lower and maybe it'll get off the ground?




It would have been interesting to see what an IRE sci-fi game would be like. Oh well, I guess.

While I tend to feel that IRE cannibalises its existing playerbase with every new game it puts out - spreading people from Achaea, Aetolia, and Imperian over to Lusternia, for example, rather than attracting a substantial % of new players from elsewhere on the interwebs - Polaris looked awesome enough that I didn't care. Every other IRE game is high fantasy, with swords and horses (and their own unique traits), but Polaris was the first sci-fi game, nothing like the others.

I was also really excited by what the game's producer had said about things like skills and overall design, with very little (supposedly) copied from legacy Achaean code, contrasting with the other games that felt all too familiar with Riding and Survival and Concoctions analogues.

The cancellation bums me out, the circumstances surrounding it disappoint and jade me, and the cynic in me is doubtful that Polaris will ever be picked back up. I'd certainly play it if it was, though.




You can't put this on hold indefinately. I demand lazers.

And terminators...


Kinda was looking forward to it. :/

That's too bad, I would have checked this out.

The idea of moving via coordinates seems pretty cool.

I had been following this game since its early planning stages, it looked like it would have some potential.

I love sci-fi. Can't really think of a good sci-fi MUD off the top of my head, but I was interested in giving ToP a go. Lets see what happens.


Sad to hear it got put aside, but I wish IRE all the best on any future projects they undertake as well as on improving curent games.

well if there is a market for it it would be in iron realm's interest, but if there wasn't enough of one it would just drain time and resources that could be put towards ire's other games



I must say, I am rather confused by some of the comments here. 


Tears of Polaris most definitely should be developed to completion and it should remain true to what set it apart.


The skill system in ToP presented flexibility to a degree, not simply in the abillity to select skills from a collection of choices, but the ability to learn individual abilities rather than just investing lessons in the skill. Sure, you could get to a point where you are the equivalent of transcendent but at the same time, you could save lessons by learn the bashing-relevant abilities, watch your abilities get stronger as you invest more lessons into them or a linked ability.


The clan system was, by design, aimed at allowing players greater ability to build the world. Clans are nice and all, but being able to develop them with further abilities is something that has yet to be really developed on. Lusternia cartels being the only example I am aware of and they only give the ability to design.


This is before we even get to the skills themselves, I find that I cannot play Acholian unless I am playing a class that is distinct within one of them but at the same time Lusternia runs into the issue that, by design, they cannot create new classes so the only way to get something new is as a general or tertiary skill. What was presented to the hopeful players of ToP was new with the ability to continue the development of new things within the design. (Seriously, one of the skills involves pseudo-coding)


Of course, there is always one of the more favoured and basic changes. The inability to "tune" defenses against alleigances you do not have. So if you wanted to tune your totems to zap any member of clan X, you would have to gain membership create modules designed to test that loyalty and then implement them in the defenses... which will eventually decay and then it depends on how good clan X is on spychecks.


Much of what made ToP stand out is in the design and theme, which cannot be replicated in the current games. IRE is same old same old, nuke two of the games bring on the Sci-fi and then something a bit more modern TSW/WoD style. 

Didn't read much about why ToP was special before, and that's very interesting, actually. I'll definitely join in the madness if ToP ever gets completed.

I've been hopping from game to game looking for something to hold me about for a while now. This seems like it'd be a nice break from most games.

"If" is a key word here

I want to see IRE do sci-fi, but I can understand that it may be best t owait.

Patience is a vurtue, and with more planning, and plenty of Beta testing will make a game better for all, so it's best to wait!!

Virtue is spelled with an "i." 

Huh, I hadn't even heard about this game. I think IRE focusing on the games it already has out is better, though.

Well I'd love to see a text sci-fi out for this group. There's no reason why you cannot gain more programmers in the future to work specifically for ToP while the rest focus on the games out. [Like giving Achaea a couple new places to hunt so gold isn't so hard to come by?] [Giving Aetolia more events?] [Giving Lusternia quests that don't involve running around like a chicken with it's head cut off?] There are plenty of skilled and experienced characters who can also get involved with ToP as far as RP goes, just stop being so concerned with how much who spends money on the IRE group and maybe take notice of the rest of amazing RP influencials that are out there. I see this as part of the reason people get bored is lack of personal experiences between denizens and players, and having those encounters might be TOO rare unless you're in an Order or have it in good with the Gods. I've been playing Achaea for three months or something and haven't had one, yet in Aetolia it was VERY exciting to meet some of the denizens personalities..  So ToP has a lot of potential in that aspect and I think a lot would be looking forward to being involved in the game's developement! Sooo much you can do with aliens and such :] Good luck guys and keep up the good work! 


I had actually forgotten that game had been in development...

I especially want some way to get bonuses for it before it comes out, like a promotion on the other IRE games.


Already thinning the playerbase of the other games.

cuz it was looking really cool, but yeah - we need nothing less than to make our player base even more diffuse between multiple games. Though Achaea and Aetolia still seem to be doing great there.

I've never heard of a space-based MUD...i'd be interested seeing how this would be implemented when it does. Sucks when you have to scrap so much code.


I've played a couple space MUDs, and most of them are pretty exchangeable. There were a few enjoyable features I saw (like Star Conquest's mining system), but none of them had the well-made feel of any of the IRE games.


I'll be waiting for ToP, and see what it can do. Looking forward to it!

Would be neat to see

Totally agree. Sci Fi and Superhero are two genres I'd like to see IRE try..

I wouldn't mind trying a sci-fi Ironrealms game,  it seemed pretty interesting, hope it comes through sometime.

Stilll sooo sooo soo want it



Dont you want it too?

I just get the feeling that a space MUD would tank.

Some of us are diehard Sci-fi nerds... And kinda wish this Achaea was a Sci-fi setting

good luck in the development stages

I hope some day this title will be released. I used to not be into sci-fi at all but things like Star Wars, and playing EVE Online for many years have changed that.

Playing EVE Online makes you bitter about all things Sci fi...

I never really got myself into that game. It's interesting in a boring way..

its just like Starcraft: Ghost