I think we’re past the Golden Age of MMOs, we’ve moved into some 9th level of ADHD Hell where a gamer’s attention span is only on the next release. We’re just grinding in one game while we wait to grind in another.
I’ve pretty much given up on MMOs until something that blows us away comes out, because it’s just the same thing over and over. Grind, loot, arena PvP. Where’s the roleplay, where’s the GM-driven events where players alter the history of the game?
MUDs still entertain me, for numerous reasons:
- Less Company Greed: I find that MMORPG companies are like banks. They are “too big” to fail, so they don’t have to focus on customer enjoyment as much. They can package together the same old concept and put it on the shelves for the consumer to buy. Even though people become aware, there are more people unaware, so the cycle continues and improvement never gets made.
In the most popular MUDs, there is usually a small item shop that keeps the game alive, but most of it goes into just that - keeping the game alive. Many staff members are former players that volunteer their time to keeping the game exciting by running GM events and using NPCs to interact with players.
- Crafting features galore: One of my favourite things about crafting in MUDs like Achaea is how you are able to customize almost anything you want through text. For example, this shield I designed for my character to wield - I submitted a customisation request, and within a few days the staff approved it.
Comprised of a large circle with two smaller circles for ears, this shield emulates the shape of the rodent's head. Painstaking artistic detail has been added to capture the ferocious cuteness of a Jester's best friend. The entire shield is painted a light grey, with black whiskers and a little button nose. It has little bombs with lit fuses for eyes, and it clenches a dagger between its teeth.
- Real Faction Warfare: MUDs tend to revolve around player-factions being at war with eachother, but not in the Horde vs Alliance way where neither side can really gain the upperhand in the game. Permanent destruction can be caused to cities, shrines to Gods can be defiled to rubble, and player heads can be piked along the road after they’ve been decapitated.
There’s many other reasons to play MUDs over MMOs, but I’ll leave it up to you to actually check the games out for yourself. The text-based interface might feel a little strange at first, but seriously, get involved in the community and experience what its like to actually roleplay a character in a persistent world.