It's like playing PvE and PvP inside of Tolkien's books.
The quality of the text in the rooms and zones is extremely and consistently high, and the world is enormous.
As of right now, here's the world map:
The two G's on the left are the Grey Havens. The R is Rivendell, the double M in the center is Moria, and the E on the bottom is Edoras. The ? zones are under construction.
Each of these zones are large and complex on their own.
I usually play a Hobbit thief, and can fondly recall some of the times, many years ago, when I was out in the wild, doing my own thing, when a band of Orc players came by. This was usually a death sentence, but at times, if I was high enough level, I could hide and sneak my way out of there.
Or...when I was higher level, I'd find some Black Númenórean tracks. After a long and careful hunt, there he was, resting by himself in the woods, unaware of my presence. Moments later, I was going through his stuff, after a quick knife to the back.
Very heart-pounding times!
I tried some other MUDs later, but most of them have smaller worlds, not so intricate or well-described. I just couldn't get that same magic of exploring that I did from MUME.
I still visit ElvenRunes once or twice a year, to see how you guys are doing ;)
> the gameplay balance was horrible.
I think I know what you're getting at, but it would depend on when you played the game.
What balance did you find horrible, and roughly what year was that finding?
* The game wanted to motivate PVP, but it did so by punishing PVE players horribly: at higher levels, dying to a mob meant losing more than one whole level, which was hard to get back.
* If you played anything but a tank, ping mattered too damn much. I like scouts/thieves. My ping stank. My experience wasn't very happy ;)
* Mandos sleep. Need I say more? Whose idea was that? I'm lucky I never got it, but it's inexcusably bad game design.
* I understand that playing evil races is supposed to be inherently harder, but it was too damn hard. My favorite moments were when the "darkies" (I apologize, but that was the slang for evil races back then) would come raid Bree and Fornost. Yes, it was terrifying for us pukes, but I loved it.
I have contemplated going back many, many times, but the first pain point I mentioned always keeps me back. I just can't dedicate that much time to a game that rewards so little and punishes so much. But I miss it a lot, too :)
Ping time is definitely important, but I had a lot of success playing on a 1200 and then a 2400 baud modem. Running PPP over that gave me some nasty latency spikes. You could not always play in the normal way, but the game was definitely fun and playable, in different ways. (:
Re: losing more than a whole level after dying: that and the other 'hard' things about the game really drew me in.
I crave games where there are real risks, something substantial to lose. For most free games, that is going to be mean time.
It's like the difference between playing laser tag and paintball wars. It usually hurts to get lit up with paintballs. Thus, all of the players are far more focused and invested in doing well.
Definitely consider going back. There aren't that many players on these days. When I checked the other day, there were only 30 or so.
So you can play with relative safety in vast chunks of the world, as either side.
I thought that was Valley of Morgul, not Mandos sleep? I could have sword Mandos sleep was something that could strike a high-level char not-quite-but-sort-of randomly, ostensibly to prevent spamdying. Sort of a "take some time to cool off, buddy" thing.
> Re: losing more than a whole level after dying: that and the other 'hard' things about the game really drew me in.
> I crave games where there are real risks, something substantial to lose. For most free games, that is going to be mean time.
I guess that's the key difference right there. I found the punishments excessive and, to make things worse, the ping was leading me straight into those punishment situations. I like having real risks, too -- that's why I think the latest changes in Conan Exiles are actually pretty good -- but I guess I disagree about how hard the punishment should be.
Ironically, I felt that way back when I had oodles and oodles of free time. Now that I'm married and have a kid, I have even less of that, so you can imagine that I'm quite leery of going back to a game that threatens to punish me by taking away huge amounts of something I have so little of ;)
At any rate, I might try it again. Few games have ever scratched that itch for me.
EDIT: To clarify, it's not the safety that I need in a game. One of the best moments I still remember was when I had to run away from a BN who surprised me while I was trying to do Malardil. Safety is overrated. Losing more than a full level because I'm running from a big bad PK player and I mobrip? That's depressing ;)
I have very fond memories of RoC as it's where I learned to program and had my first taste of algorithm development.
> 3) Personal grudges
> This is not real-life, and most people do not want it to be.
Meaning: Do not carry RL personal grudges into the game.
Loved that. Should be put at the entrance of all social media platforms.
This might be not necessarily true - when one uses social media account with his personal, official name, contains content that prove it's identity then it is quite safe to assume that this social media account is just digital representation of this particular real life person. So in this case if someone has personal grudge against this person then why it shouldn't be propagated to online presence?
Also, from a tech angle almost all of these are incredible horror shows of legacy code, if you've ever wanted to see 40+ year old code that was written in danish originally then take a look at one of the DikuMUD descendants.
> Connect to Middle-earth.us: 4500 with your favorite MUD client.
And this made me wonder. I thought classic MUDs were played over telnet with a regular telnet client, but apparently not. So, market research time. What sorts of MUD clients are people using?
Most MUDs (including SoI) do fully support telnet, but get richer if you use a client that allows intelligent logging, macros, multi-channel support and better text highlighting. If you're curious there's a nice wiki page about the different clients available.
Ha ha, I see :)
> In my time I've used MushClient, SimpleMU and zMUD, all of which I can endorse (but MushClient was probably my favorite). I've also heard people rave about TinTin.
I will look into these ones then.
> If you're curious there's a nice wiki page about the different clients available.
Is the wiki page you are referring to on Wikipedia or elsewhere?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MUD_client this one it?
FYI the settings differences between these are pretty simple so maybe play with a few (possibly starting with free ones) before settling in.
Personally I don't have the time, energy or interest to play an MMO with the kind of time sinks that Everquest had and that Pantheon plans to repeat. But if it's an itch you want to scratch then look for that game.
In 1999, there were no expansions and the level cap was 50.
I do think that it's interesting that new commercial MUDs are launching. (Well one anyway.)
Cyberpunk MUD. Been online since 1997. It has a web client which is great, but continue to support mud clients and simple telnet. No color, ansi, xterm256 all supported.
Has good accessibility options as well. Very friendly to visually imparied with special code for stripping out stuff like ascii art.
Roleplay enforced. Has a detailed timeline and wiki. 50-60 people online at anytime. Good and well trained staff.
It was amazing how much drama existed behind the scenes and how there would be a family tree of staff/codebases stemming from that drama and stolen code/areas. As the Wheel Weaves is apparently not running anymore, but a few years ago I found a split of a split that still has an in-game game that I wrote that people still apparently play and enjoy. It's really gratifying.
Back then, I was Artanin and the drama is why I gave up the mud. I did put the Weave files I have on github, tho.
It sounds like this stuff lives on in the likes of Space Station 13. IIRC at one point one team stole the compiled server code of of one of the other team's versions, decompiled it, and worked on it from there. One of the most popular versions has a client that forces users to watch an ad before playing and people are constantly trying to reverse engineer the API and build a replacement client. Some people have even made decently impressive attempts at making a 3d version of the game.
Unfortunately, it looks hugged to death (?), cause I'm getting a connection refused.
$ telnet iconoclast.org 7777
telnet: connect to address 188.8.131.52: Connection refused
Text is the ultimate medium because it directly connects with our imagination. I remember jumping out of my chair after reading a line of text on my screen.
Recommend watching “Get lamp” documentary to fans of MUDs, text adventures and those born after:
There was a similar non-terminal MUD-like game called Phantasia as well. Heavy LOTR themes, Java client, permadeath, players could ascend to become Steward, King, or even Valar with special abilities that affected other players. It was available way back on Netscape and is still scraping by.
Dragon Court was another MUD-like. Java with painted art graphics in the browser.