I have played (and will play) many other games in my life, so why have I stuck with Lusternia for so long? After all, many of my friends are amazed that you can even play a game without graphics, especially given the modern era of 'shock and awe' graphics engines. There is a reason, and it is this: the content. Those graphics generally cover up flaws in the game, and especially in console games, it seems. "Cool-looking boss" or "lush environment with attention to details" can cover up the fact that defeating the boss or traversing the environment is simple, or even mind-numbingly boring. Lusternia, like IRE's other games, do not have any graphics to hide behind, and all that's left is quality.
People play IRE's games for many different reasons: roleplaying, crafting, raising beasts, fighting others, hunting denizens, shooting creatures with lasers from a ship, or, unique to Lusternia, influencing for experience points, or a myriad of other reasons. Lusternia gives people the opportunity to play whatever kind of game they want: if they want player-versus-player (PvP), you have a complex, rich, and easy-to-learn-but-difficult-to-master system. If you want to climb the ranks of your organization politically, you can, as all of the organizations in Lusternia are run by players with Divine patrons for guidance. More of a hunter or explorer? Lusternia gives you both an experience and explorer ranking to compare you to other players. The game is also self-policing, so all of the trolls that infect other MMOs such as World of Warcraft get easily and quickly rooted out. Killing new players has palpable consequences, not only from the administration, but from the player's guild and city or commune as well.
I play a merian Celestine in the Kingdom of New Celest. Merians are a humanoid fishy race, but you have the option in Lusternia to write your own description, so you can either look more human with barely noticeable gills or a full-out fish with huge fins! The Celestines are a priestly guild that use the powers of Celestialism and Sacraments that guard the Cosmic Plane of Celestia, where the angels and Holy Supernals reside. The city of New Celest was created out of the ashes of the destruction of Old Celest during the Taint Wars, and so our enemies are those of Magnagora, who use and accept the Taint's power. If you're already lost, that's fine! It just goes to show how complex in both mechanics and lore Lusternia is. This added depth makes it a joy to play day after day; it's not just Good versus Evil, and there are four other cities and communes I haven't even mentioned, and the relations between them can change on a weekly basis. Celest and Magnagora even had to team up in the past… you won't find Good and Evil teaming up in other games!
The choices really are endless in Lusternia, and that's why I've played it for so many hours. Its being free is just icing on the cake! And that's the reason why I've started this blog -- to convince the hesitant that text games really are worth the time investment, and we're always looking for both quality citymates and worthy enemies!
If you're interested in joining the adventure, hop on over to lusternia.com and make a character, read about the available races and guild choices, and most importantly, try the game! We have guides who are always willing to help new players, and most everyone currently playing really goes out of their way to help newbies find their footing. See you there!