Top MUDs: The Journey of the Individual

A Rajamala warrior

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


 Anyone who's played an MMO has a sense of the vast scale of the internet. Millions of players online, with dozens of identical servers hosting similar iterations of the same world. Standing out in this vast community is nearly impossible – sure, there are a few famous players well known among the crowd of their particular game, but for the most part, the game world is a persistent place, rather untouched by those who live in it.


But that idea is shattered by MUDs. By their very design, MUDs are much smaller realms, and part of what makes them so appealing is the level of impact individual characters can have on the game world. In IRE games, for example, players lead houses, guilds and cities, with the process to learn class skills based entirely on interaction with other residents of the game. This makes for a very rich, player-driven system – people within the game, rather than arcane mechanics, lay out the foundations for progression and this creates an intricate system of politics and interpersonal interactions.


To advance in your city or guild, you earn favors from the organization's leaders and high ranking residents. Essentially every organization has set tasks you can complete, with additional perks and rewards often given for members who demonstrate that they are valuable and hard working. This setup makes for a vibrant, interactive world that draws people in – you aren't just grinding away to get to some abstract level or earn x amount of coin; instead, you are also working to prove yourself to your organization's leadership.


The concept unfolds in engaging ways: if you are a promising novice, it is quickly noticed. If you demonstrate aptitude for combat, you often find that you are recruited to assist with city- or guild-based conflicts. And the recognition extends both ways – those in power are known throughout the land. Guild or city leaders become household names, and their characters often find themselves in the spotlights of the land's activity. 


Beyond this, events are sometimes held where the land itself is changed....due to the result of player actions. For example, in Aetolia, a giant sea monster threatened the entire world. Not only was his emergence a result of a magical ritual cast by the Magi guild, his eventual defeat came about through the efforts of many players. In game lore, posts, scrolls and stories documented the roles various characters played in his defeat and many players have found that their characters are now part of the game's canon mythology and ongoing story as a result of their participation in this event.


In short, to become known in a MUD is not only possible, it's a rite of passage. The communities are smaller and more tight-knit, and players thrive on interactions. Individuals can make an impact on the world in impressive ways you will never see in an MMORPG, be that for their leadership style, their roleplay of a certain race, or their frightening ability for combat. Fame is not only possible, it is, arguably, one of the reasons why we play our characters! 


So, how do you view it? Is your character renowned/hated/revered/loved? If you could be famous for anything in your game of choice, what would it be?


Author: Moirean of Aetolia

Have thoughts on the MUD and MMORPG industry? Want to submit articles to IRE? Contact the editor!


Is to be is to be and stuff...

Is a vampire

Being a vampire is the best.

That's a big draw of Aetolia.

My title says it all.

If I could be famous for anything it would most likely be as a wize man that it would be a bad idea to aggrivate. Of course wise men rarely get aggrivated, I still have a way to go. :(

Wize choize!

I'd like to be famous for abusing the PvP system and making people mad for when things get nerfed more than they already are.

go around harassing people though!

I like it when people reach high.

Manu's got you beat.

Not sure what I would want to be famous for, I do not do well with publicity :P


being the most annoying person possible!

Nice article



I'd just like to be famous for not being terrible!

I love how many aspects of being known there are.. kowledge, leader, pvper.


hmm, now I get it

Some characters like to stay in the shadows, of course, and avoid being known too well.

Bring a snack


Am I the only one that sees: "Someone of IRE game's picture Someone of IRE game" on the left side of the comments? It's rather annoying.

Get a pic and it goes away!


This is very important for the individual.



just here for the credit. "blah blah"

what he said

Sometimes the journey gets too much, and it is nice to escape back to reality.

I do not see how smaller and no arcane mechanics is beneficial. In a casual mmo most the population is so dispersed in different areas and you will join in on events paired with random people most likely from other servers. Muds are arcane mechanics by most peoples definition and we love it.

Let me make another comment about a journey of some kind to mask the fact that all I really want is a credit kay.




Hated as always, but love by few.


I don't know what to say to this XD

"If you could be famous for anything in your game of choice, what would it be?" lol


Probably combat?

Love it!



good read

this is definitely one of the things that drew me to Achaea in the first place

good read.

My fame was for Org hopping but I finally broke my Cycle and returned to the two Orgs at which I feel are my home.

Come to think of it, I am liking that when my character talks about making changes, people actually listen (and in quite a few cases, offer advice)


The best thing about a smaller community is that there is always someoe willing and able to help a new player.

It's hard to learn by yourself though


I was pretty well known in Achaea for various reasons, was both liked and hated, depending on who you asked. I enjoyed what I did for the most part and did it for the people that meant something to me, not for the fame or for myself, despite what other people believe. Unfortunately perception tends to be the rule. I'm still in the process of making myself in Aetolia, but I'm already working my way up, doing things that other people haven't been doing that should have. If you want something done, do it yourself, right? :P


I'm pretty unknown so far, but I would like to contribute to the city in some way and maybe do something to help forestals.

IRE feels this way

I love learning stuff, it's an adventure

I won my first couple spars, it's great!



I'd like to gain some renown and respect, but I don't know if I ever will.

I've never heard of you! heh.


For me, I'd like to be knighted and then move on to an officer spot such as HoN, HL, or M-A-A.

I am loved by Eleusis, of course.

Are the answer to how to learn and grow in most aspects of the game.

i like seeing how much i can smash out.

There is no I in team




I think I commented on this one already...


Commenting again

I'd probably want to be famous for having explored further than others or having better knowledge of lore.

A worthy goal

So frustrating getting lost... Better stick with knowing the lore!

It's very rich and quite useful at times, too... :)


I could see if I've posted here already but why.


More like dusting Babel shrines, Salik.



I hope to be a house leader some day. Like that's ever gonna happen. But, one can dream, no?

We need new writings

I whole heartedly agree that smaller is better, though I would like to see a few more players around. Also, not sure what I would really want to be famous for...


I think I'm still generally known as a promising, energetic kid or something to that general effect. Not established at all (I don't think anyone outside my city even knows I exist, outside a handful of exceptions) though.

credit comment

...sometimes isn't the best policy.

I love the RP, but hard with the writing and hard to get help with it if your native tongue isn't english

I'm an alt..


I can see how that would help with roleplaying abilities to a small degree but unless you are a creater/moderator I don't see how writing really helps with Mud gaming. Oh sure you could become a poet or write a few books for your hous elibrary about something in game but again this seems a very small part of the game to me. Now if you are a moderator, which would be known as a celani or a god, Then creative writing would be a huge part of the game. When I used to play D&D I always found that GMing was far more rewarding than playing.

Talk is cheap. It's better for people to see you act directly, than let people spread word about it. Awe can turn into gossip very quickly.

I think the only thing I'm known for is occasionally being Tanris' punching bag.


I know you for a lot more than that... you're also my punching bag in the arena.

ends with a bound credit!

I want to be the very best.

Like no one ever was.

Kagato has been through a lot in his time in Lusternia and I've definitely enjoyed most aspects and try to take it in my stride.  I've definitely started to become more involved though after becoming the Culture Minister for Celest and have some activities in the works.

With regards to if he is "loved/hated", I'd say a bit of both in equal amounts.  He has people that care about him and those that he considers close, dear friends, while he also has those that find him quite the irritant and seem to take delight in popping up out of nowhere with the hope of cutting him down (which adds to the fun, gotta keep on your toes!)

If I had one thing I'd particularly like to do though, it would be to be involved in a major RP event - I think the last thing I was even remotely involved in was when the Trill race was turned into Frost Trills and Ice Angels, at which point Kagato was at odds with Eventru and ended up leaving His order for a time - Most major events always seem to happen when I am at work or sleeping (just my bad luck, I guess)


I love MKO for this reason, its one of the smaller players bases but we still outvote most of the IRE's cause we are all dedicated and love it.
Means we can actually make a difference in -at least- half the player base depending on what focus on. We have new players that RP heaps and are known by nearly everyone, from most cities. And with such a low requirement to PvP people can make their mark there without too much hassle aswell. Love leaving a mark on a game/Getting heaps of genuine hellos/cyas when you log in/out.


Credit comment.

Really want to make my name, some day. ^_^

He stands alone.

Even though I'm not famous worldwide, just being recognised in my house is what keeps me coming back.


Nice article :)



I like my character to be known as a promising novice and later learn to be both a combatant and writer in equal talent. But hey, we'll see.

I've tried quite a few now and in all honesty Achaea is definately my top choice but I have enjoyed others like DFC when it was here as well as aardwolf. But achaea reigns supreme and has lasted the longest in my life

Credit comment

Credit comment.

As far as I'm concerned, IRE staff has been amazing at creating a game and an atmosphere that is fun for everyone involved. But, I believe that there have been some key players who have taken the initiative to really contribute to the game and it's those people that really make the playing experience what it is. So thanks to all who have contributed.

I think Ashra is a pretty well known character by now.  I'd say her knowledge of all things combat related and her history of her guild is what really makes her known.   Most know who she is before I ever have a chance to meet them IG which is pretty cool.  I just wish some of the impressions people get wouldn't be the wrong ones. lol

What if you like your character's life more than you like your own? :P

just spend more time on your characters life :) 

Yay credit





I'm looking to become famous in Achaea as a city defender an a philosopher / writer.

What makes me love MUDs so much is the fact that you can actually achieve things like this, whereas in commercial 3d MMORPGS you can't change the world much, nor lead anything other than one of many hundreds of guilds.


I will say, this is much better than mmos


I haven't won any spars  myself.

Lusternia has just released Ikons and Gestalts, I think it will boost our very rich culture even more!

haha of course they do

IRE rocks

Relatively unknown at this point. I do hope to change that soon.

is good!

they are certainly uniqe

I like it when players have an impact on the game world. 

I like it when the Divine have little or no impact on the world, however.

Except, perhaps, when that impact kicks off a large-scale player interaction.

Well, at the time of writing this, Eilona is only a 21 year old Druid, so she's definitely not known for anything at all outside of the House. Maybe one day she'll be known as someone who is nice to RP with.

Reverence would be nice. But for now, my character must remain content with the title of "Goat Slayer". :x

I am not famous, not sure that I want to be.


I like this, one of the things MUDs have over MMOs is how many different things one can be known for.


Don't get me started on being behind on reading - but I have mastered the art of split screen. Work or Pleasure reading in one window - my MUD client in the other!

Need moar books


Just because text is so much more versatile

I like cheese!

credit a day, keeps a doctor away.



not want the people who star in an event are chosen or if they just happened to be in the right place at the right time.



Being psychotic good.


My character is largely ignored due to being young and new.

No one cares about Tilly at the moment!


and by few you mean none

My character is an unknown unknown.

..For now! :X




of course establishing a character is neccicary first char is known for his paintings and his poetry, most people who know his work tend to know they are free to contact him directly, and his work flows with his mood, and his mood is a lot like the winds usually, heh, ever changing and unable to be contained or pinned.

My character is unknown, sadly.

Not yet!

That Xer gets more well-known in Achaea. In a good way OOCly (i.e. don't want to be listed as a douche >.>), but in an evil way ICly :D Need to first work on getting CR6 first <.<

I'd likely be known as helpful


good read

I've played seveal MMOs, and the feeling of community is not to be compared to MUDs. However, there is also a negative - if you screw up in MUDs, everyone knows. And their mother.

Know for writing is definitely a nice idea.  As you get to transcribe history and events and capture the moment...


However, I can't help to think it would be great to be known as the adventurer that saved the world...  I would be even willing to accept permanent death on this..








Credit comment.

Credit comment.

free credit


I don't really want to stand out. I'm asocial, but my character is the opposite. She naturally stands out a little bit in groups of people. People either comment on her behaviors or the fact she is so quiet. At one time, Fay was known for being a "mute", even though it isn't true.


People who stand out on games though tend to be the ones that socialize over global mediums like general chat or constant shouts. They always have something to say, whether you like them or not!

I don't want to be a loud mouth either.

i agree

My character is just sort of there, I'm not a spotlight hog :b

free credit

My character has a longing to interview and record the lives of those both in Gaudiguch AND other cities, but sometimes he lets out steam, so to say. I play him as someone that can switch from serious to silly then back to serious within the span of an ingame day. As for an epic goal... I have some, but I will not share them. I really would like to influence the world of Lusternia in some way though. Leave at least a scratch in the records, if not through combat or scholarly pursuits, then through my interactions with others.

Very interesting.

I'd just like to become an effective fighter as a tae'dae! I'm sure its possible, but there's not many around.

some people just buy their way to glory... I don't know if people love me or hate me or whatever heh I just do what I want and don't really care if I'm gonna be famous or not


you can be as notorious or as secluded as you like, for the most part.  Some people don't like the limelight.

Lots of comments...

There are quite a few of personal goals that I've set for myself, but fame currently isn't on the list...

good read


Intersting article