A couple years ago, my friend introduced me to an online role-playing game called MajorMud. I've spent unrealistic amounts of time playing this game with LordMorpheus and Lia, which has repeatedly gotten me strange looks from other gamers and friends of mine. MajorMud is a text game.
MUD is an acronym for Multi-User Dungeon. Muds were very popular back in the 1980s at universities especially because they had the capacity to hold many people in one game. All of them were text based, and ran either on UNIX systems or on a BBS, which was a popular form of telecommunications before the internet became commonplace. Today, MUDs have taken the backseat of a very long bus to MMORPGs such as Everquest or Ultima Online. This is likely due to flashy 3D graphics and marketing. The concept itself however is not new.
MUDs are commonly set in medieval fantasy times, and often have elements taken from already popular fantasy media. In fact, Tolkien references in MajorMud are quite common. There are weapons made of Mithril and a city named Rhudaur, both of which are blatant references to Lord of the Rings. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is present as well, with monsters such as a Displacer Beast.
The winning factor for MajorMud over games like Diablo II however, is the sheer size and detail of it. I have a level 33 ranger that I've been playing for a couple years now, and I still have not explored more than a third of the world. Every couple of years, the company also releases a new expansion module which contains more areas, items, and quests, at no cost to the players. The detail level of a MUD is incredible, and your imagination takes flight as you're forced to picture each room and creature in your head.
MUD games aren't for everybody. They require time, patience, and a lot of reading. If you get past this, you're in for a level of detail that you've never experienced before. If you've gotten bored with short flashy games, try a MUD.
Thursday, December 20, 2001