If you’ve played games online prior to the year 1999, you’ve probably heard of a multi-user dungeon or two, or MUD for short, and I’m sure the above screenshot feels right at home. They were the first MMOs ever, and are the grandfathers of the modern graphical MMO.
They sport all the features you’d expect from a top of the line MMO these days including: a persistent world, hundreds of characters in a single place, PvE, a rich and complex story, and even some roleplay. In the case of a few, there’d be some of the most complex, strategic, and heart-pumping PvP you could ever imagine. Rather than using graphics, MUDs are completely text-based. One in particular, could be the saving grace for a tragically dwindling breed of game that perhaps offers more in gameplay than any modern MMO on the market: Lithmeria: The Endless Siege. You can play it when it opens October 12, 2012.
Lithmeria is a fantasy MUD, recycling some familiar tropes such as the classes available (you can play as a warrior, priest, mage, or rogue), and the races, which consist of a standard mix of human-esque people, animals, gnomes, and spirit beings, and dragons. Of course there would be dragons. Where Lithmeria differentiates itself is in the details. Sure, you can play a warrior, but there are three specializations from there, each excelling at a specific type of gameplay. The crafting mechanic has been built from the ground up to provide a deep, customizable system for all items, from potions to weapons, to armor, to ships allowing for specific advantages and drawbacks depending on how a final product is manufactured for your personal gameplay.
It’s hard to sum up Lithmeria, as it strives to accomplish so much and seems to be well on the way to fulfilling all of its promises. In a nutshell, Lithmeria is a game about two massive empires vying for control of dozens of strategic points, pushing the battle lines to the enemy cities. Aiming for realism, supply lines must be kept moving, troops must be ferried across the sea dividing the two continents, economies must be kept strong, and targets of opportunity must be assassinated. The goal is to allow players who are interested in PvE to contribute just as much to the war effort as those who are on the front lines engaging in PvP.
Obviously, as a MUD, the game is presented in text. That’s right folks, there’s no pictures to speak of outside of a few ASCII maps. Personally, I find this ideal for MMOs. Using the medium of text, combat takes an entire new depth. I guarantee you’ll never find an MMO that provides combat as in-depth or strategic as MUDs can present, especially Lithmeria. Each area has been handwritten to describe the surrounding, allowing you to flesh out the details in your mind’s eye; you’ll never see more gorgeous vistas in a graphical MMO than you can imagine in your mind.
Lithmeria is geared to cater to almost every facet of player, allowing anyone to contribute to the game in a meaningful way, whether you want to be on the deck of a ship launching projectiles from catapults at other war galleons or assassinating a target behind enemy lines and slipping out undetected, or even just trading on the stock market. Lithmeria opens October 12, 2012. Until then, check out their forums here and their website here. There is a ton of useful information and a steady player base looking forward to the game’s release. Think you’re ready?