Adventure has never been so... free!
As a fourth-year college student working full time, it's pretty difficult to find the time to relax. About three years ago, however, I found a swirling portal in my bedroom, jumped through, and landed in a world more spectacular than I could have ever imagined.
The world was Lusternia. My first stroll through the Basin of Life was met with active, friendly players - all of whom were willing to stop and help the newbie. Because of the extremely helpful player base, and the 24/7 newbie support, there was never a question that went unanswered. As someone who had never even heard of a MUD game before, these were invaluable resources.
It wasn't long at all before I was traversing the lands, slinging spells, and tearing creatures into pieces. For the days I didn't feel like fighting, there was influencing, a more passive way of dealing with NPCs by using words instead of swords. My character not only progressed through the levels, however! Helping whenever I could, I gained recognition among my fellow players via advancing through the ranks of my city and guild, organizations which were not only immersive, but entirely player-run!
With new events, cities, guilds, and Gods popping up all the time, it's always been easy to find ways to help the game progress. There's always something new going on, and most of it is driven by the players. There's no other place where one person can feel like the driving force of an entire world!
It's been three years since I left my bedroom; if I had it my way, I'd never go back. After walking through the door feeling beaten by the world, it only takes two minutes to leave it all behind, pick up my staff, and start hurling lightning. The best part? It's all free. The only requirement is imagination.