I love a game with a good emphasis on the roleplay. Character immersion is a priority for me, I want to feel what my character is feeling. MMORPGs come close, but usually they're limited to player-interaction roleplay. Very rarely can you leave a real, lasting mark on the game world.
Smaller niche games like MUDs have a much deeper emphasis on roleplay and player-driven events that are furthered by game staff. Achaea is a MUD game that is one example. Recently in Achaea, an entire city was blown up, and all of the players that lived there are now homeless refugees.
Because the game is in text, players were able to read and connect emotionally with what was happening on the screen to their beloved home as huge winged beasts invaded, crumbling their buildings to rubble. The entire event was very well-written and received favourably by the players. Pulling off an event of such magnitude in a game like WoW would be near impossible. Lining it up across all the servers, executing the event and staying lag-free? Not in a million years.
MUDs offer a superior experience:
- Deeper Roleplay - Commercial MUDs are able to take their profit and put it back into the game, which means hiring the coders and staff writers to lay out the fantastic roleplay events. In Achaea, some players are accepted into a volunteer program where they can play mythological god characters, allow players to join their religion, and start wars with other gods.
- More Customization - MUDs offer the feature of being able to customize many things about yourself. Want to turn that plain longsword into a mighty longsword of epic flames? Submit a customization request, wait a few days for the staff approve it and show off your new, custom-designed weaponry to your friends.
- Dedicated Playerbase - A MUD is considered large when it has 400 players, but the smaller community is usually tight-knit and helpful of newbies. It's easy to see everyone online and ask for help, and many players have been playing for years. Heck, I've been playing MUDs since 2001, and have made many friends over the years.
Come play a MUD if you're into roleplay and don't mind sacrificing graphics for an immersive experience. It's like reading a book vs watching the movie. You know the book is going to be better, because the movie cuts out all the scenes they couldn't afford. With the book, you're getting the full-ride experience, you're in the story with the characters because the author is compelling you there. And now I'm compelling you to give a MUD a try, at the very least!