Text Games: A Spotlight on Midkemia Online

Midkemia Online rooftop fight

by Ryan Richardson


The Classes

Currently, Midkemia Online boasts a selection between four different text game classes: magician, priest, soldier, and rogue. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, and all are competitive. The stealthy rogue boasts access to two possible tertiary skills, Thievery or Performance, and the ability to assassinate other players. The soldier class, clad in plate armor, mows through most text game enemies with sheer determination and brute force, and their skill with weapons is unequaled. Priests, devout followers of a text game divine, wield warhammers and prayer in combat, as well as whatever powers their God has granted them, be it the subtle manipulation of shadows or the ability to summon a raging inferno! Magicians, masters of the arcane, stand with the very elements at their disposal, with demons summoned to their side to serve the mage's needs.


The Combat

Combat in Midkemia Online is vastly different from anything previously seen from Iron Realms Entertainment. While there are many text game afflictions, the key behind successful PvP is defending against your opponents attacks at the proper time, rather than curing what they hit you with. If you DO get hit, you have a few abilities at your disposal to cure afflictions, rather than the array of cures that you see elsewhere. Most players can go their whole career without seeing a vial!


The Roleplay

The game is based on the Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist, and takes place in his world of Midkemia. Here, the humans of the Krondor and the Eledhel in Elvandar combat the Moredhel, dark elves in the city of Sar-Sargoth. Trolls and goblins also populate the continent of Triagia, standing with Sar-Sargoth to make up what is collectively referred to as "the North", while dwarves join the humans in Krondor. Don't think that you have to read the books to survive in Midkemia Online, though, as your fellow text game players will be more than willing to help you learn about the game's canon. There's also a wiki and plenty of text game help files that describe the history, too!


The Playerbase

The playerbase of MKO is a small one, but it's growing still, and long-standing text game players are never afraid or unwilling to interact with newbies. There's a strong distinction between what is and is not in-character, and you'll find many of the most hated enemies in the text game are great friends outside it! The environment is friendly, and if you're not sure about something, there's almost always someone willing to help!


Midkemia Online is a fun, slowly-growing member of the IRE text game family, and if you're in the mood for something a little different, take it for a spin!

Ryan Richardson is a text game enthusiasts who enjoys the best online role playing games from Iron Realms!


to see this written, especially the bits where you point out that there is a storyline/cannon that exists and that there are resources available for people even if they haven't read the books themselves, and that there are players who are willing and ready to help our new players. Thank you. :)

....Aaaaand it's nice to get a Midkemia article up here, too, as opposed to the Lusternia and Achaea ones that I keep seeing! :D

I completely agree with this comment.



Yeah, it's good to see a showcase on something else.

... particularly when MKO is, among IRE's games, the most likely to benefit from a few new faces now and again. Add in that, given the smaller overall population, it's far harder to get 'lost in the shuffle' like one can in the others, and every new face stands a chance of benefitting themselves, just a little.


(And any accusations that the Mockers make stew from their novices is purely hearsay. The city's neither seen nor heard evidence to back such claims.)


Well, now, I've got some new books to read and a new game to check out sometime. Awesome!

Hey Sable, they are good books. you'll probably enjoy them

I only tried Midkemia for about a week when it first launched and never got really involved with it. I have been thinking about giving it another try though

I really loved reading the books, I think I might actually play this now. So tempting.

Do eeet

Ack, I liked the books as well, but can't start... not.. enough.. time... ack, let's make an account and check it out!!

I am Bill Nighy, and I too shall read the books!

I tried playing Midkemia when it first was opened to the public... I just couldn't get into it. Has much changed since then?

A TON has changed since then.

We've come a long way since I first started playing, and that was about four months after the game started. It's worth checking it out again.

Agreed. It's a very different game from what it was when it was released. A different game in a good way, of course.

I considered myself something of an IRE veteran when I stepped into the world of Midkemia. I was hard as nails... You know, the kind of newbie that skips all the tutorials and starts the game by popping at the City square and getting straight into RP.


Then I tried denizen combat... Ten minutes and three deaths later, I realized that I really had no clue about MKO.  Took me a while, but actually, that feeling of being totally lost in a new world (you know, that feeling that originally got you hooked to Achaea) was really quite nice.  I've hung up my boots on Achaea and Lusty since and never looked back.


MKO ftw, my friend. MKO ftw.

It is good to be lost once in awhile, puts things in perspective.

It makes you realize the best part of things!

But the reason I couldn't get into it is because I don't really have a grasp on the history of the world. I feel the need to understand the history of the world before I can really feel comfortable in it. Yeah, I'm one of those nerdy guys who likes to read the manual cover to cover before I play a game, and honestly laments the fact that games don't come with them anymore.


The other IRE games have the history right there on the website, but for MKO It's a bit more inconvienient. I'd like to get around to reading them eventually though.

There is actually a Wiki for MKO being written by Players right now :D

And absolutely anything can be explained to you in the forums or even in game if you ask. Also, if you take the time to get hooked into the books, MKO will be just THAT much more awesome for you

As Midekemia as still rather new, it is easier to join in and shape the world!


Its still growing, but its not too big yet. You can still climb to or near the top without having to slave at it for too long.

Be part of the events that help shape our cities and their relationships with other cities etc.

It really is a great game, give it a shot.

Ugh.  Terrible mispost above. I meant to say:

Midkemia Online, though young can be quite immersive. More players can only add to an already rich atmosphere. Take the opportunity to shape the world!

Nice read. Thank you

very nice


Thanks for the article!

Hooray, MKO! :D About time we get some love.

Sounds interesting, I'll be sure to check it out. Thanks for the article!

wondered what this game was about. thanks

Nice Article.


I tried reading the books to get sort of a handle on the world before hand, but couldn't really get into the second book. They're not bad, just not my style of writing. There were resources online to help gain knowledge of the world, but, they were somewhat vague last I looked. Have the online resources improved as well?


I still have a character there that I pop in on now and again, maybe I'll have to start looking back into it.

It highlights the best points of the game and the reason Im so addicted.  

I just can't seem to get involved in it.

I had no idea this was based on literature. That's really cool. I'd really like to see A Song of Ice and Fire MUD!

Direwolves and dragons and wights. Oh my!

..From IRE would be totally awesome. The lore is so rich, the world so big and detailed, many different conflicts and well known characters. And more important, huge fans army which garantees decent population. IRE, it could be you best one if you did it right

Ah, at least there's a change in environment and mechanics.

I frequently can't get into a second character or a second game

I try to play Imperian and MKO at the same time, but I am much more careful to what happens in MKO.

Trust me, I know the feeling. Midkemia Online hooked me right in so much so that I had to go dormant in Achaea. :(

I know that feeling

interesting combat mechanics.

I started a new character on MKO. I decided to follow the path of priest, and was a little surprised when I found out I had joined a city more or less devoted to evil. Rather than spurning me or coaxing me to change class however, they completely accepted me as-is. I was a little shocked.


I really like the simplification of classes in MKO. You're either a Mage, Warrior, Priest, or Thief. This is a lot simpler than having three different types of knight, three classes than can steal, etc. I think it's a pretty cool system, at any rate.

Among the four classes, three have some skills that allow thieving !

with thieves as the worst at stealing  the item you want.

That's somewhat over-simplified.  Yes, I raged like everyone else when my Bard got nerfed with 10-minute rifle cooldown (again, over-simplified!), but the Pickpocketing skill in Thievery more than makes up for it.  Now's the time to roll a Thief, trust me. There are still idiots strolling around in Triagia with over 2 gold in their hands ;)

The foks from the other IRE games probably don't know 2 gold in MKO = 20,000 gold in theirs, heh.  Love MKOs money system, keeps ya on your toes a bit when your shopping for something, what with having coppers, silver, and gold pieces.


Don't worry folks, all those piles of coins handle making change and the like for you!

Sounds like I need to give this another look.

Yea the combat mechanics sound interesting. It might be a nice change. I am still trying to wrap my head around the whole preventing the affliction before being afflicted idea. I am not sure how one would even begin to code a system for that.

Or is that what makes it nice? That you dont need to code systems, or get them from coders to get involved in combat there? It does seem pretty interesting either way.

Systems do need to be coded because, while the PvP system works differently, it is still rather complex. Attacks have varying speeds and unlike other IRE games there's a trigger line for when an attack starts and one for when it lands. Also attacks have different ways to defend against and you need to code in how to react to each. Then, you DO get afflicted and you need to have a healing system also. There are a lot of factors to keep in mind but indeed, it's widely different from say, the Achaea system.

The combat mechanics sound intriguing. Gives you more opportunity to defend. Seems more realistic than attacks that always hit and afflict and there's nothing the target can do about it but react.

There's a bit of luck involved in defending, though, mainly because the timing is important, and there are lots of things that can impact on how fast an attack completes. Add in a bit of network lag, and it's virtually impossible to fight 'perfectly'.

It sounds like MKO has an interesting take on the base IRE style combat mechanics, it might be worth checking out at some point.

I quit Achaea after 3 years to play MKO...it was worth it every second!

I think a lot of original universe games suffer from a shallowness in plot. You start looking into the background of a plot element and you see simply nothing there. It was never required to be there because that's not the point of the experience, of the medium. In this medium, you spend your time grinding, or fighting in an arena, so what's the point of elaborating on the story? But I think that game worlds based on books(and especially series of books and expanded universes) get the best of both worlds. So I could see myself giving IRE Midkemia, and the books behind it, a try.

I kind of feel the opposite. I've played games based on books before and I often felt like it interfered with good roleplay and immersion. Because no matter what, the game is still a distinct entity from the book, but if people come to it having read the books, they have this outside idea of how things ought to work that will occasionally conflict with other people's understanding of the books, or with the reality of the game.


If you aren't based on anything exactly, you can still get inspiration from existing literature (see all the vaguely "Tolkeinesque" muds), but the game world will be its own world that you take entirely on its own terms.


Still if people say it works well in MKO I guess I will take their word for it.

Having played Achaea for so many years, coming to one based on a book was interesting. The community is small, but that means your not quite a faceless one in the crowds of other people and you do get noticed a fair bit. So far, I've been enjoying every minute.



I could not stand the books to save my life. But the combat sounds interesting. Though the rest sounds like of wholly uninteresting to me. :(

might have to pick up the books if I have time..

MKO is the only IRE game I haven't tried yet. This might have to happen soon.

I've played around with a lot of IRE times but found myself settling in MKO, it has had its problems but it seems that they are all getting ironed out well over time.


Messed around with it a little, but I couldn't get myself immersed.  A shame.  I also just do not have time with having an extremely active Achaean to learn a whole new game.

I'd love to have the time to try all the Iron Realms games, though I've only tried (and liked) Achaea and Lusternia so far.

Interesting, guess I can no longer say that Lusternia is the only one that broke from hugging the IRE code base.

I tried to get into achaea first, as it seems to be Iron Realms flagship game. When I couldn't get into it I tried giving Aetolia a go, only to find out that it's essentially the same game. I was extremely disapointed.


Luckily I did go on to try out Lusternia, which is awesome.

I played it for a couple of hours and couldn't get into it. But I blamed it on the fact that it really is hard adjusting to a new system. Personally, I enjoyed the books and I hope that IRE continues to support this game.

I tried to start playing Midkemia and it seemed interesting, but the overall small playerbase was a downer

A small playerbase means that you can meet or know everybody !

I'd really like to read the books, but I can only really travel with a kindle. I hope they decide to have the series on there eventually. I did play the game for a few moments to try it out and it seemed interesting. There's a good chance I'll go back to it if I have more time to spend there. 

I'll have to read the books sometime. Might make me more interested in MKO if I know more of the background.

Can't see me testing MKO without reading the books first.

even though the world is based upon the books, you are in control of what happens.

another situation of small playerbase, which is what makes it a turn-off for me, as well as the fairly stationary races and class. Some may be attracted to a more old-fashioned MUD, but I like my unusual races with classes that have unique abilities.

I've always seen it listed on my connections but never tried it out, as I'm partial to Achaea and Aetolia. Seeing this little gem though, I think I might go take a look at it. Thanks for the enlightenment.

the best

Guess it deserves a try.

It sounds like there are only a few classes but then when they branch out it sounds kind of deep... I would try priest out.

I've tried to play it but I don't really understand it all that well sadly, however it does look VERY interesting from an RP perspective

I love it. MKO is fantastically addictive

I tried MKO when it was first released, but I had a hard time getting into it. I have a hard time getting into most MUDs, though.

I might try it.

I'll try it eventually, but I just don't have the time for it at the moment.

the Riftwar Saga was badass. Good luck to you and yours on that, it sounds pretty great. I don't think I have time to start another IRE at this time.


It requires quite some effort if you want to get into it.

As with plenty of others, I'm hesitant to give MKO a fair shot. I'm always worried about getting into a universe based on another medium, like a MUD world based on books. Especially since i just don't care enough to read the books (ironically, I hate scfi/fantasy books).


But, I'm also an altoholic, so this might be what it takes to give it a try.

In MKO it really is optional, so I wouldn't worry about not feeling like reading them.  I didn't pick up the books till after 4 months or so of playing the game, and I did fine with RP.  If you don't know or have a question how some particuallar part of background works, there's usually a number of people willing to help ya out, either in game or on the forums.

It sounds pretty interesting. Not sure I want to try it out now, or wait until it gets even more established, though.

Please, come to MKO! It's a whole different feel than other IRE games.

ill try it someday, very nice read

The combat in it seems very interesting.  I'll have to try it out.


The description of combat in this article just made me various curious to play MKO. It sounds interesting, never heard of a combat system that works like that. I think I'll go make a character tomorrow, see if I like it!

For those of you hesitating because you don't know the lore, it isn't too hard to pick up the key points; there are "good", nature oriented elves who are generally peaceful and isolationists (eledhel), "evil" elves who want to control the world and reside in the frigid Northlands (moredhel), their allies/servants the trolls and goblins, and then the human kingdom and their dwarven allies. The humans/dwarfs are loosely aligned with the eledhel, and the moredhel/goblins/trolls are enemies with everyone.

That is sufficient to get yourself in a proper, general mindset, then you really can pick up everything you need through in character interactions. For those looking for more, you can check out a nice map of the world, a general wiki on all of the books that deal with the world, and/or a new wiki organized by the admins/players of MKO. That last one has information specific to MKO, of course, including an overview of the lore as it pertains to MKO.

It is definitely possible to get a good sense of the lore, if you like, without reading the books!

Personally, I started with MKO and I don't think I will ever switch. I did give Imperian a try and fought someone and was very confused as to why -all- of my earnings were lost each time I died, and being used to non-insta attacks, fighting in any other game just seems silly and sounds like it could be... way.. wayyy easier then MKO's.




Same as Karic's above comment, I tried  other games but always came back to MKO and let the other game characters get deleted.

Now if only I could learn to kill those damn Soggies

You can be a priest of evil???

Not really. There are no truly 'evil' Gods in Midkemia. However, most Gods have an aspect that is seen by the majority of people as 'evil' in nature.

Sounds marginally interesting.

by a marginal.

Midkemia online was the first text based rpg I got into and I was hooked.  Just like Feist's novels, it eases you into its realm, instead of bombarding you with text you initially can't comprehend. The players I've met are great, very much in character (you join a siege, you get hit in revenge later when you're alone, as expected). Experience gaining is a blast, though I expect it becomes a crawl as I get higher in experience. For me, Midkemia online delivered on letting one experience Fiest's world. I do wish I could contribute something to the game though, maybe write a few books for the library at Sarth? 

I remember a while back (maybe just when the game opened, or even earlier?), they were asking for books. If you contact a God, you might be able to get a book in there.

I've played Achaea, Aetolia, and Imperian, I was around before Lusternia ever existed... and I find that MKO by far has the most dedicated-to-RP playerbase in any of the games. Maybe the legitimate history that is available if you read the books/read Raymond E Feists blog (Yes, the author has a blog, that he will answer specific questions you have about the books as well, including some of where he got his ideas from), or any of the few Midkemia wikis available on the web. Yah, the other IRE's contain info about the history on their sites, but it is in no way all encompassing, nor is the history of the other IRE's directly followed or adhered to. There is nothing that is guaranteed to happen in the future, and nothing that really entirely was a big deal in the past. I definitely find MKO to offer a lot more when it comes to conflict legitimacy and roleplay, than the other games.

The part about not having to worry about vials just wow me.

I need to read the books now! Yay for interlibrary loan.

I might take a look at it in the future. The combat seems interesting


makes me want to try MKO.

Tempted to try other IR games too. :)


I've been about to do that for a while!

MKO was the reason I got back into MUDs. I loved the books and wanted to get into this game. I played it for quite some time as a priest. Loved the game but had to get out when I went back to college. Might go back though when they bring out Rangers.

Midkemia is rocking the vote rankings lately.

Loads of changes since this article. New factions and new tertiary skills added and more updates almost weekly. The player base has also increased exponentially.

I might try making a character in Midkemia (if I ever manage to tear myself away from Achaea).The simplicity of the class system is intriguing.

Good work IRE, it is important to keep the playerbase happy. MKO is climbing the chart very fast.

Too bad I don't have more time.


I wish I had the time.  Loved the books.


I was a complete and utter newb in every sense of the word when I started MKO. I never in my life played a MMO, much less a MUD. But damn, did I get hooked like a Scorpion Fish (MKO Fishing adds nice flavor). I don't have anything to compare MKO to, So I cant say It's better than X or worse than Y, but I can tell you, I play it every day, and have not yet felt the need for something.... more.

I'd probably join once it's out of beta.

Sounds like fun, but not sure I wanna take on another MUD right now.

There was enough time for all the fun!

Someday I want to make the time to at least try the game. For now however I just don't have the time. WTB days with 48 hours? :D

recommended if you haven't tried it yet.

Most players can go their whole career without seeing a vial! - really?