Why MUDs Own MMORPGs in the PvP Arena.

Elf Rogue

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

 The concept of “health” is integral to most games you will find out there. You have X amount of health and when it hits zero, you die. Secondary resource bars are also common in RPGs. If you are a caster, you might use mana. If you are a damage dealing machine, you might have rage or energy or some other stat which indicates your attack power, but the idea boils down to the same thing; in the end, you have meters and resources.


 The core of combat in IRE games is focused around how to hinder these healing methods. You can give afflictions which have a variety of devastating effects – anorexia, for example, makes someone unable to eat or drink, while paralysis makes them unable to move. Classes like the Syssin from Aetolia are masters of stacking these afflictions to completely “lock” opponents up and prevent them from curing.
Damage isn't the only way to kill, and some classes such as the Cabalists even have ways to link their health bar to their mana reserves making them nigh impregnable against straight damage. Iron Realms MMOs feature “insta-kills” which are basically kill scenarios you can work to set up and then instantly kill an enemy with. For example, the newly revamped Carnifex guild features an incredible ability called pulverize which looks absolutely brutal when executed. To set up that kill, they need to strategically break enemy limbs and get certain afflictions to “stick”.and if their foe fails to cure them, the Carnifex knight can smash their hammer into their opponent's chest, crushing it into a bloody, fatal paste.

Gameplay Footage

This is just touching on the tip of the PK iceberg. Combat in MUDs is engaging, engrossing and enthralling and you can spend years exploring tactics and finding new tricks. It is a truly challenging and exciting experience, unrivaled in gaming, where quick thinking and clever tactics will let you rise to the top. 
Author: Moirean of Aetolia

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



complexity might not be for all people

is a bit les complex than the other IREs.

In theory it does but everything is so automated now that it tends to simply favor those who have the most in-depth programming and scripting knowledge. Still fun with great complexity though, much of which is still beyond me but I look forward to learning.

the body part-targetting and wounding system of knight combat in Lusternia! Even though I'm not at all proficient at it yet. It just seems cool.

They beat 'em because of how many variables and outcomes there are.

is necessarily limited. Lusternia has something like 70+ afflictions. There's no way to reasonably convey that much information in a graphical MMO. More complex combat means there's more room for clever tactics and underdog strategy, which I find greatly appealing.

Back in the old days Narsrim used to kill people by making them eat poisoned pies.

and cool.

you are more then likely to get a win button in a MMO then a text game I think.

MUD combat is kinda skill prohibitive. people need to be at certain skill levels to do anything

MUD combat is kinda skill prohibitive. people need to be at certain skill levels to do anything

MUD combat is kinda skill prohibitive. people need to be at certain skill levels to do anything

MUD combat is kinda skill prohibitive. people need to be at certain skill levels to do anything

MUD combat is kinda skill prohibitive. people need to be at certain skill levels to do anything

MUD combat is kinda skill prohibitive. people need to be at certain skill levels to do anything

MUD combat is kinda skill prohibitive. people need to be at certain skill levels to do anything



.. to see if combat is as complex as just using a system and attacking in MUDs.

Honestly there isn't much difference between mmo and mud combat. Both really just factor down into an amount of time healing and defence wise. The fact is with the system requirement taking any amount of player skill out of healing requirements you get the same MMO payoff it's just instead of having a broken leg for x seconds you have a broken leg for x seconds if you have something. The real difference comes with the offense in the came, and sadly some people automate that as well, on top of that some classes are almost completely the same as an mmo in that you just hit your J alias over and over again. Of course I'm compairing my mmo pvp knowledge to guildwars, and from what I am away GW did pvp right while most MMO's just fail at it. So I guess that is the major difference IRE doesn't fail at pvp like most other developers.

agree and disagree

Yeah, you can fit so much more into text based PvP than graphical games.

Depends on how you measure things, but combat wise, is generally true.

+1, couldn't agree more... who needs graphics to limit the possibilities?

I let my curing system do the quick thinking!

How is that working for you?

Also I think reading comprehension is an overlooked skill in MUD pvp

there's no way an mmorpg could do the things we do


I've played Achaea numerous times on and off, and I've always been fascinated by the depth and creativity of the combat system--specifically, the PK and spar combat. I've always also thought it kind of neat that preparing oneself OOCly by enacting triggers to deflect afflictions and moves actually feels a bit IC, too, if you think of it as genuinely learning from past mistakes and combating them by being more prepared the next time you step into the ring. And I guess this happens in MMORPGs as well, but they simply can come nowhere near the vastness of combat in the MUD realm.

It's almost IC - in fact, it can be IC - but a lot of people get their triggers and even systems OOCly rather than through IC means, which is fair enough because getting them all yourself is a huge barrier to combat as it stands, but honestly with the prevalence of systems, they ought to at least send explicit affliction information via GMCP and stuff.

Something like...


-If enabled, sends a list of the character's current afflictions whenever DIAGNOSE (or a similar ability) is used, or a list of the character's current defenses whenever DEF (or a similar ability) is used.


-Whenever the character gains one or more defenses or afflictions, it sends them in an array of strings. If the ability doesn't explicitly say which affliction/defense is gained, the string "affliction," "defense," or "unknown" is sent instead. If the affliction/defense is gained without any notice, no message is sent. Eg. Char.State.Added [  "shivering", "frozen" ]. 


-As Char.Affliction.Added, but whenever an defense or affliciton is lost, instead. After dying, you'll probably get a huge freaking list, though, so if it's simpler to do, there might also be a Char.State.Cleared message too for situations like that, or for abilitites that strip all afflicts and defs.

PvP is one of the reasons that I keep coming back.

Also on an unrelated note, more articles, please!

Indeed, I like hearing point of views from other IRE muds.

pvp is fun heh

I've had friends over the years that I've tried to get involved in Achaea. The learning curve is pretty high to get involved in combat, and that's even if you have bought your own system. It can be a barrier to entry I think.

I can see that.

Good thing there aren't huge international contest for MUD pvp...I can't imagine that going over well at all.

A huge crowd watching this text battle like I can Koreans watching the MLG finals for StarCraft.

I have mixed feelings about Achaea's combat system. On one hand, it's pretty fun, but on the other hand, if I didn't personally enjoy programming, I'm pretty sure I'd go play something else. :x



I have yet to play some of the fps, strategy, or space exploration type muds so I can't quite say how well it is in comparison. I usually lower the graphics so low in pvp games that it minds well just be ascii art heh.



pvp is best in IRE games

Keep adding in auto-curing, generic messages and the like and IRE combat will quickly morph into PvP even less engaging and enthralling than a MMORPG.

Much more goes into PVP'ing in MUDs, it seem more personal and has a lot more depth

very deep!

A static game like WoW could never beat out a game with so much diversity as most MUDs, but that's just the nature of the beast.

I just like combat in MUDs more than MMOs cause in MMOs they're a lot more flash instead of substance.



smile and nod

smile and nod

Pvp would be good if Mhaldor had people

I wonder what I'm going to have to do for my combat passage.

Interesting article to read!

MMO combat has a lower barrier of entry, thankfully. I can't judge MUD combat because it's just to difficult to get into. 

I enjoyed the read, I also liked the little log

I agree!

I think it's tougher to do afflictions with people's crazy systems. I usually damage out.

I think it's tougher to do afflictions with people's crazy systems. I usually damage out.

Some people have the option of doing afflictions or damage (knights). Others, like monks are strictly damage, and some people just won't die to damage alone.

As a knight of achaea, you are forced to fight with the faster blades of choice, like rapiers, some just use scimitars. but in the end it's takes some skill to stack venoms on an opponent as most now days have bought extremely good healing systems where as some like myself, build them from scratch, I generally do the bare minimum of venom stacking to a point where i can atleast do a disembowel, which after a few dsl's may actually end up for a kill, problem is, one : your target has to be prone, and unable to move, two: they have to be impaled and stay impaled to i regain balance, and three, they have to have less then 2.6k health at the time, otherwise the alternative is a cleave, but that a 10 - 12 second delay, alot can happen in that time.

Around six seconds from sheathing my rapiers and drawing another weapon to the end message coming? Not 10-12. That is all on one alias.

It's unfortunate i don't know enough about the mage class that i can actually kill anyone, i know crystalism is supposed to be used alot, but in essence personally i think the mage class is not very good for insta's as the holo caust has been modified to do less damage and only now effective against groups. Someone may argue, but mages are much better at npc bashing the player killing.

Learning to fight is so hard...



I love pvp learning

Having played WoW, I enjoy the PvP there a lot more, as far as playing casually goes.

WoW PvP sucks.

but with the popularity of curing systems MUDs have essentially moved more towards hard coded limitations like mmorpgs.  In that case you might as well get the visual effect versus reading text.

Sooo complex

and so IRE owns the RPG world in the PvP area

No stupid healbots and groups requiring them.

I haven't been involved in much combat yet but as a software engineer and an avid fantasy reader, I look forward to both the RP conflict and also the opportunity to write an elegant and fast system.

I can't get either of those experiences in a MMORPG.

Combat in IRE games is obviously more complex than they would even dare to try in a mass market game.

Need more systems




interesting I guess

With the way the system's work in these games I'd say there isn't much of a difference.

The free boundcredit

The free boundcredit

here for the credit too

What the subject says.

Not enough articles for me to have a new comment every day :/



Some many ways to kill someone, so many strategies, so many wyes to trick people and misdirect their attention



....like an Achaean combatant, other games become a lot easier....




I want Broken Star... I'm sooooo close.

Yeah so true!



Fallin in love is so hard on the knees



Don't know if I fully agree with this. MUD pvp is a very interesting dynamic, though.



Has actually gotten a lot easier because of ready made systems. You are more concerned about offense these days.


Well I don't 100% agree. Saying "own" is regarding this in a matter that everyone is looking for the same thing out of combat. 

Sometimes I really just want to smash things - if I'm in that sort of mood and MMROPG is going to be much better. If I'm really tuned in and want to really test my skills, a MUD is going to be better. But one is not necessarily going to 'own' the other because they're fun - at least in my opinion - for completely different reasons.

There definately is nothing better than MUD style combat. Although the learning curve is much much greater it is still worth it

but hunting still gets a bit repetitive.

Abolutely agree; there is a huge potential for depth in mud pvp compared to other types of mmorpgs.


maybe people who can stand MUD PvP will have more fun with it, but most people prefer something simpler so for them MMORPG combat is better

The pvp in a mud is far more complex. An mmorpg might involve MAYBE sipping a potion or two eveyr now and then. One fight you probably will take multiple herbs, and potions on top of mashing attacks at an even increased rate of speed typically.

of course, lots of other mmo combat is still scary hard

I think both graphical esports mmo's and muds are probably on the same level for different reasons. They both require complex thinking and both have an arsenal of defenses tactics used to prevent your opponent from gaining a victory.  If anything, due to absense of artefact like items, the graphical mmos are at least more balanced and challenging.

This is one of the aspects that drew me to Achaea years ago.  The combat is more than a simple "Hit target" with the victor the being who can outlast the other.  With IRE's combat, at least the PVP portion, combat is incredibly complex and far more interesting.  Even with a good set of reflexes in place, victory requires skill rather than brute character force.

I haven't played a lot of mmos but the lock seems like something I haven't seen elsewhere


Credit comment.

is complicated

Loki and heartsead make me happy. 

Loki and heartsead make me happy. 

MUD combat really has more depth. I mean, hello, you're fighting 12 fae at once in aeon (Choke)!

..and since there is skill involved, that makes it more fun.

Do they really?

of course, you lose the positioning and movement components of mmo combat

at least I can understand what's going on in WoW!

the learning curve is steeper, I'll give it that

explaining it  to friends is really hard, though

Afflictions = complexity = strategy = thought. Combat in IRE MUDS is a deeply satisfying experience.

true story

MMORPG combat is easier to get into, though. It also doesn't require automated systems created in programming code and 'tiers' are less important.

I have always had difficulty with getting into PvP in any of the IRE games.  While I will say it appears to be much richer than that available in your traditional mmorpgs, I think it is quite complex and takes a real commitment to learn.


because you can juggle around 30 vials and smoke 3 pipes at once in MUDs.

Ain't never told no lie, ain't never told no lie.





a painting of a rice cake doesn't cure hunger


something something credit

Uh, publish this with a combat log ending in Vivisect. Instant membership sell.



As a fighting game fan, it's the complexity that sells it for me.







looks old.


I feel like MUDs have a lot more steep of a learning curve in PVP than MMOs - but MMOs look better, there's no denying that!



good show

free credit

Pee Vee Pee



Credit comment.




"... the Carnifex knight can smash their hammer into their opponent's chest, crushing it into a bloody, fatal paste." Awesome! Knight go squish!

Mechanics in MUDs in terms of kill conditions can get quite a bit more creative than normal MMOs imo!

Best pvp I've ever had in a game.  However, server side auto curing killed it along with easy to escape skills.


Now I sit around and program cool things that will never be used because no one fights outside of a team.

I think my favorite part about IRE pvp is the creative ways to kill people the design teams have come up with. Damage kills are rare, unless there are large group battles or an ability that does massive damage if certain preexisting conditions are met. Huzzah for IRE!

Damage kills aren't at all rare in my PvP experience.  Perhaps that's because BM is a bleeding class.

Good read, I have come back to muds after 15 years due to stale pvp in MMORPGs

I love the adrenaline rush I get when in a PvP fight, but I'm rather disappointed that insane aspects of battle have such big impact on the outcome.

Graphics games don't give me an adrenaline kick anymore (well, Arkham City, but nvm), but PvP in IRE is adrenalistic.

With a MUD I can completely immerse myself within. With that said, I'm sure you can figure out the rest. :)

agreed, I left MMOs due to stale pvp

wouldn't mind some more in depth articles on this topic

The complexity can be fun, but sometimes it's also too much.

it's too complex to grasp. I'll need a couple more months..

very strange article