Top MUDs: The Journey of the Individual

A Rajamala warrior

Player-submitted articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iron Realms, the company or its employees.


 Anyone who's played an MMO has a sense of the vast scale of the internet. Millions of players online, with dozens of identical servers hosting similar iterations of the same world. Standing out in this vast community is nearly impossible – sure, there are a few famous players well known among the crowd of their particular game, but for the most part, the game world is a persistent place, rather untouched by those who live in it.


But that idea is shattered by MUDs. By their very design, MUDs are much smaller realms, and part of what makes them so appealing is the level of impact individual characters can have on the game world. In IRE games, for example, players lead houses, guilds and cities, with the process to learn class skills based entirely on interaction with other residents of the game. This makes for a very rich, player-driven system – people within the game, rather than arcane mechanics, lay out the foundations for progression and this creates an intricate system of politics and interpersonal interactions.


To advance in your city or guild, you earn favors from the organization's leaders and high ranking residents. Essentially every organization has set tasks you can complete, with additional perks and rewards often given for members who demonstrate that they are valuable and hard working. This setup makes for a vibrant, interactive world that draws people in – you aren't just grinding away to get to some abstract level or earn x amount of coin; instead, you are also working to prove yourself to your organization's leadership.


The concept unfolds in engaging ways: if you are a promising novice, it is quickly noticed. If you demonstrate aptitude for combat, you often find that you are recruited to assist with city- or guild-based conflicts. And the recognition extends both ways – those in power are known throughout the land. Guild or city leaders become household names, and their characters often find themselves in the spotlights of the land's activity. 


Beyond this, events are sometimes held where the land itself is changed....due to the result of player actions. For example, in Aetolia, a giant sea monster threatened the entire world. Not only was his emergence a result of a magical ritual cast by the Magi guild, his eventual defeat came about through the efforts of many players. In game lore, posts, scrolls and stories documented the roles various characters played in his defeat and many players have found that their characters are now part of the game's canon mythology and ongoing story as a result of their participation in this event.


In short, to become known in a MUD is not only possible, it's a rite of passage. The communities are smaller and more tight-knit, and players thrive on interactions. Individuals can make an impact on the world in impressive ways you will never see in an MMORPG, be that for their leadership style, their roleplay of a certain race, or their frightening ability for combat. Fame is not only possible, it is, arguably, one of the reasons why we play our characters! 


So, how do you view it? Is your character renowned/hated/revered/loved? If you could be famous for anything in your game of choice, what would it be?


Author: Moirean of Aetolia

Have thoughts on the MUD and MMORPG industry? Want to submit articles to IRE? Contact the editor!


If I were to have a character known for anything, it would be scholarly/literary endeavours.

I'm totally into this reading and writing stuffs.

Writing is the best contribution to the game! all the players that have written or been part of the history of Achaea! (or any MUD)

I constantly encourage my writer friends to play Achaea for this very reason.

The only problem with that for me is that MUDing is addictive and takes up time that could be used for serious writing:/

Agreed, heh. I could've actually finished reading a whole mess of e-books I downloaded... but I just end up playing IRE.

same here. 

Yes, this...



anything else.


It is an unfortunate consequence of MUDing.

Seems so.




Well said.




and same.

There's been some creators, especially in a different MUD who I had wish had written a book I could read.




Im a writer and I played this game to work on my inmaginative skills. Now I'm so addicted to this game I dont write much anymore

I could not agree more

maybe you could just a bit more?

I could not agree more

Certainly one of the more permanent contributions.

I really love the player-submitted writings. It adds so much flavor to the game.


you should see lusternia's.




Comic books!

Ours are the best!




yes they are!

Ours are magnificent!

We do have quite a bit. Some really good, others... Meh.

I have, some are pretty nice.

is it better?



Indeed, journals are the strong way of getting remembered.

what if it gets lost?




One of the best.





This is also what I would want to be known for. Sadly, I haven't yet written anything since I started playing, because I actually need to take the time to get myself to a point where I'm useful to my commune in a practical sense, for defending our commune and such. But I think, in general, that it's just nice to have people know you're there and be interested in interacting with you. It's nice to see a system where people take interest in the new players just as much as the old. There's less need for a focus on new players in most MMOs where you tend to have guilds and such who have high level characters that are tailored for large group things, and they have their cliques and usual ways that they're set in.

You don't see that as much in IRE games because they're constantly growing and evolving. The storyline is constantly changing, the players have a larger impact on the game, and individual groups literally can't afford to stagnate if they wish to remain.


It's the players that make a game, and nowhere is that more true than in IRE games, and IRE has found an excellent way to reward the players who put forth an effort to actively shape their game worlds.

if you really want to write, you better get off the IRE games, heh! i found this out the hard way.


because writing actually takes time.


Commitment, perseverence. Etc.

Just hang out with Astrasia :)


Play Lusternia


Nowadays I am too busy to even properly read the event announcements so I have lost in touch of the culture a bit, but if I did have mor time, writing would be the one to choose. Though in Lusternia, people are ususally known for their combat skills.



+1 and 2

I agree, overall. It seems like the most lasting thing you can do in a MUD, although not many people seem to actually do it.

I like credits.


But in all seriousness, my character works on scholarly endeavors. I tried war too, but not enough time for both.

Hey, me too! :D!









I do agree that the smaller, tight-nit community of muds does make it easier for the individual player to make some kind of name for himself. The common dream, however, is that the MUD one day grows in popularity to levels matching a small MMORPG for the very least. Would all of this be lost if that were to happen?

I don't think so. It'd be great if MUDs, and specifically, IRE ones, were competing at the same level as MMORPGs. I really really think that the key is graphics, and I'm 100% certain that we're not very far from being able to MUD-ify MMORPGs. I've seen some MMORPG players sorta stick to the RP (however limited it is) of some graphical games, and I believe that's a step towards the right direction for all gamers.

I'd like to try that, but I can easily imagine the 707733t speak coming out at me when while I RP a noble elf in WoW.

Yeah, that's an existing concern, I agree. Hence, it'd take some real effort from the player.

RP servers for major MMOs were stricter. :/ There's plenty of other servers for the leetspeakers to hang out - why do they choose ours!?

You have to find the right server!

Wyrmrest Accord is a good one for roleplaying community.

It's not just graphics, but user interface in its entirety. :/ Typing in commands, reading quickly enough to know what's going on at any given time, etc. all creates a significant entry barrier. In IRE's case, some of its main selling points (complex combat/gameplay, politics, etc.) also serve to limit its target audience.

I agree with this. Takes tremendous effort for a new guy to play and stay.


This I also agree upon.

I agree. Though I think graphics definitely play a big role, too

Couldn't agree more.  I've had friends, and my girl, who say "how can you follow what the hell is going on?"  It is definitely a steep learning curve.

Agreed. The level of entry with MUDs is much higher than MMORGs, since in a lot of cases they limit and/or simplify their features specifically to cater to the lowest common denominator.

Agreed. The level of entry with MUDs is much higher than MMORGs, since in a lot of cases they limit and/or simplify their features specifically to cater to the lowest common denominator.

Problem is that people want what they're familiar with and MMOs are hugely expensive to produce. Few are going to take the risk.

I don't think it is possible for MUDs to compete with graphical games and they shouldn't.

we're already there, probably is that MMO players insist on individual character balance where most MUD like the IREs give the illusion of balance.

I still don't know a lot of people on Lusternia, though having one world vs. many servers will benefit them, I think.

I am certainly in agreement with this!

Never gonna happen.

I agree that the small scale of the MUD makes it a much closer knit community. I don't think that it would be bad to match one of the smaller scale MMOs but the problem would most likely be that you'd have a wider range of population therefore a higher risk of encountering individuals that you do not like. 

Not sure where I stand really. I think some people might think of me as that incredibly annoying power minister who runs everything by the book? :P I tend to stick in the background, as befitting of my character.

as politicians should, really.

In the BACKground.

I'm still very new, doubt many know me at all, but I do aspire to be a feared combatant someday.

And to be fair, it's the most exiting thing about the IRE games.

and willpower, i would say!

Good luck

I wish I could say that but the time taken seems to be prohibitive!


Why be a fearsome combatant someday when you can be a noted scholar today!

I'm sure you will be

I want to be the one known for taking all ur base.


Combat, leadership, building a legacy -- Meruin wouldn't mind being known for all of it. But, then, he doesn't really care if he is, so long as he gets these things done.





Agree-wise, me.



good read



Hmm it is defiantly true a person can easily become well known in a mud

I think you mean 'definitely.'

well, he can still defy. odds, probably.

My characters have never really been renowned because I don't try to aim for high positions. It'd be nice to be known as an amazing designer or something else artistic.

good read



Not sure this is an entirely accurate article, but it's a good read nonetheless.

This highlights one of the things I do like about muds as compared to things like WoW.

I have tried getting into combat and politics, but I never get anywhere, I just don't bother trying hard enough. I am just not much of a political leader person, I prefer going off and doing my own thing... I guess player submitted art is a great way to gain brownie points from people haha!

^ haha!


Politics can be fun but also stressful! Lots to consider and everyone has an opinion.

My name alone has grabbed alot of attention of course, so no need trying there, and to add sugar-coating to the top I became a thief, so I am sure everyone absolutely adores me by now!

And now you've gone Evil! An evil char named Toot, heh.





How bad is stealing in achaea? In lusternia, it's close to impossible, which is a good thing imo. But in a game that allows it, how valuable/irreplaceable are the things one is able to steal?

Koe is just known to write graffiti. :P

Yep, that about sums me up. I doubt if more than 10 people outside of Mhaldor know me.

I know you, Edwin! Oh, wait...

aww! poor you...

Yep, the games are definitely structured to create small group bonds.

Yes, these games thrive on group mentalities.


Certainly true.

The article makes some true statements. Smaller is better.

Too small makes it kind of boring though. Like how there was no one new in the Geomancers for so long.

Some games are too small to really support six cities/communes, and we can end up with fewer than five people online at even the best of times.


Yep. That's a point we've tried to get across for a while.




...use of keywords.



I don't like spotlight or attention. I'd prefer to work in teh background, helping however I can.

I'm a big fan of helping.


I am Bill Nighy, and I have to say, my writing and communication skills have improved since playing.


Also, my patience.

Stay in the background and speak constantly of the old days.

I want to be known as a wicked tailor, Dying fabric with blood for the win

That's one way to do it


Tekla, with her mhunskin and rajamala fur. Katia, of course. And who can forget Amunet's orphan-skin outfit?

and people known for clothes and food!  I think it is Kez who does the food made of people... soilent green... but anyway yeah so many cool chars!

Lavinia, Anarwaen, Boosteya, and hmm, of course Lisbethae, and Chryseas, and Alcreadia...


Lots of designers. : )

I wish to be a well-rounded individual, accomplished in as many ways as possible, which certainly keeps my set of goals always moving forward.

I think faragan's most notable for his merchanting.

Definitely. The regular market announcements and use of ads did bring my attention to Faragan's existence.

"If you demonstrate aptitude for combat, you often find that you are recruited to assist with city- or guild-based conflicts."

Not always necessarily true. :C

I think it's not always are you good  but, why do you do combat too?

Because he's a griefer and jumped me while I was hunting. :C

IRE = PK ^^

one tear

where I stand



My uncle that needs to wake up more but now that I'm not a Nightshade it makes me sad. Sleepy uncle, you're my sleepy uncle.

For the most part, Dvurkha's pretty unknown.  If anything, it's as a budding fighter since she's not engaged in much else.  No aspirations (or time) to achieve political or literary reknown.



I'm practically an unknown, really

to really influence anything

I like to think I'm known by a few poeple


need to work on that really

I'm fairly unknown. I guess that just comes from being somewhat antisocial


I'm a serpent though, so I suppose that's appropriate

I'd want to be known as a thief, but considering the order I want to join and the terrible change Tecton just made to theft, I doubt that will happen.

...actually have a hard time since everyone's looking out for them. I can imagine it to be pretty hard to sneak up on someone when everyone's pointing at you. Doubt anyone can become a famous thief now. Stealing 2000 gold from someone who has 100000 in hands isn't nearly as impressive as liberating the 100000.


Good for us, but theft seems a bit dead now :(

This is one of the articles on here that's quite decently written:) Congrats

Though hadn't read many that weren't yet...

I agree, nice read!

yes it was a good read





I don't know that Lia's renowned for anything beyond perhaps being a workhorse, she can turn her hand to many things and do relatively well, and so she does. She'll not be famous, but a behind the scenes support character mostly.

I'm not much for that, I just like hunting and keeping to myself

In Achaea, my character is known for a number of things, her Order, her time as a House Leader, her time in the city government, and she is constantly asked for commissions of jewellery and tailoring. (I'm not giving out who she is either :P)


In Aetolia, I'm fairly new, but I only want to be known to be a hard worker and go from there. If fame comes of it, in some fashion, then so be it, but I'm not going to be out there seeking it.

my character is pretty low key but likes to be as involved as possible in relevant events, and is not really know for causing conflict but will intervene when needed


I tend to stay low key as well. I have yet to find enough time to focus on any one thing, so I try and dabble in a little bit of everything. I mostly run by myself just so I don't get caught up in something I won't have time to take part in.

And even if you lack time it's fun to be part of even smaller events!

Depending on the event. Lord Arion going turncoat on the Light and trying to scrounge for support amongst the undead He was trying to wipe out less than a RL week prior...coulda done without Him approaching me...

Give it time

Really gotta get back into my ritualism and stuffs, I feel guilty becomming a lonely sea wench.

Lot of people incommunicado this way, now. at any one time.

Writing is essentially creating game content!  It's a huge privilage!

that's certainly one of the cool things about MUDs!

Actually, MKO is still small enough and with constant war, people get to know your name pretty quickly if you participate even semi-regularly.

in my case, I want to be consistent in what my character wants. Everything else will unfold with that.


MKO is still pretty small and names do get around easily enough. Pretty much if you stick around for a while, people will know your character...


True most any MUD I'd think.

I am more of a lone wolf myself. I would like to learn to write though.

High profile can be fun but low profile means you get targetted less. Maybe a bit of both is good.

Having tried out Achaea, Lusternia and Midkemia in addition to Aetolia, I have to say that the note about promising newbies isn't always true (and I say that from the point of view of a novice aide.) Sometimes people are missed, so you might have to stick it out.

I'd like to be known something. I'm not sure what people know me for or as - aside from a whine.

If I could actually choose what I was known for I would have to pick being respected. That can cover any number of areas. They could respect you for your combat prowess, your vast knowledge of history, and even your never ending knowledge of the world around you. That one quality can cover any number of areas.

I always wish I have a better idea what I want to be when I start instead of drifting from role to role

part of the fun to test around.

I'm always impressed by the Ascendants in Lusternia...that's a pretty big deal, and it's neat to see that they leave their mark on the game.

renowned simply as "That guy"

I don't aim for fame or positions of power outright. With Wyst I just let her do her own thing and be a workaholic. Rank promotions and such just work their way in over time. Defence comes part and parcel of the job so auto party invites just happen (since not many are around when I am). I think this is the best way to "get" fame - through spontaneity and a good work ethic in your activities.

If any kind of reputation happens to precede her - whatever reason they may be - I kinda just shrug it off and plod on.

Though I wouldn't mind her to be famed for being a nice person and scholar... :3

At least in Eleusis, just being helpful and mature can lead you as far as you'd want to go in time. I dunno, maybe there's more politics elsewhere.

Exactly. There'll always be some kind of political issue somewhere in there but I guess it's not as evident in Eleusis compared to the other cities. Too small really and noone could be bothered with it all anyway (too many raids!)

are that your endeavours are really kept in the mind of other players.  Which might or might not be accurate.

Well, characters with really strong influences on events will be written into the events newsposts. There's also public posts and recorded events, although those aren't always accurate. Your character can go pretty high and then fade into memory quickly, depending on the kinds of things you do.

it's a multiplayer game afterall..

This last war on Aetolia really has me wanting, for the first time, to consider apping in an alt and just run around as a neutral war reporter.

Haha, write about me, because I want to be known for being a great war leader!

...low profile, basically good, and surprising to myself, at least some of the time!

Nothing wrong with being unseen.

Great read


Quite so


not bad

No one even knows my name.

I don't want to be famous, necessarily, just consistent. When I was younger and advancing in my Knight House, I had several great Knightly role models that I looked up to. That's all I want to provide for the folks that come after me.



Well, I don't care about becoming famous, but it would be nice to learn how to fight.


I'm quite happy people not knowing much about me.

Interesting article

I don't consider my character known, or that people have a defined general opinion of her. Seems to get along with most, though!

how known my character is. Probably not very. I was surprised when I came back from dormancy to find a younger Housemate had heard of me.


People who know Jiraishin from the cartoons I post on forums don't count.

It would be pretty cool to make an alt that interracted with absolutely no one and one day came out of nowhere and performed insane feats.

I must have passed right over this post before, I guess, but that's a great idea! It'd be both badass and hilarious!

I have to agree. That would be pretty awesome. But to make it epic, you would have to come out and perform these insane feats and then immediately disappear, never to be seen again.

Fame-chasing aside, I think it's just really cool how the characters are actually involved in the world's story, rather than a bunch of uncannily similar looking dudes repeatedly killing the same world-threatening villains and generally just doing the same crap over and over with no effect until the NPCS decide to shake things up. But sure, I think it'd be cool to become known, if for no reason than to feel that much more like my character really exists in the world.

Either super hot or super ugly!

Hah, this is so true. Everyone's either a stud or a crone. Where are the average people? :D

...I see your point, but that's just levels of attractiveness. And who wants to RP average? :D Ah well, I guess it could be interesting, depending on how you spun it... maybe I'll tweak my description now, just to prove a point. :P

To be missed, especially with the "newer" system (which is what, over five or more years old now?)----- where promotion to "full" comes via testing and tasks rather than accomplishments. I keep an eye out for "promising newbies" but to recognize them officially is a waste (although I still do at times, in order to let them know somebody sees them and they do not get discouraged). I understand why the system changed, because more felt they were not noticed, and there was no decent path to gaining class, but I cannot say that this "improvement" took care of the less obvious issues, which continue to this day.

Yeah I couldn't stay as engaged in Achaea partially because of the autoclass system. It removed a ton of the player interaction and it didn't feel as involved.

Horrible I say!

I'd say my character is unknown for the most part.

shaking my fist

*stomp stomp*

It's rather personal

I am just in it for the game...

Is it really possible to actually make history as many did in Achaea's early years? I think it is rather difficult today to do anything that actually makes history. All events seem more controlled by the divines now.

Yes and no. Your character can have a backstory, a history, but trying to make your character a name from that seems to be more and more difficult. It used to be that certain surnames actually carried some sort of weight, now it's "soooo I'm related to everyone, -and- my mother is my sister... great."


The only way to really make a name for yourself out of RP and your history is to be in your face and not going away about it, but I mean that will piss a lot of people off, and they'll kill you for it. Good examples being Bluef and/or Kurios. Neither being combatants, both infamous for... yeah. They weren't hunted by everyone, but they were hunted by many.

In Aetolia it's certainly still possible. Players affect a lot of things in the game - just a few years back a new guild was opened, for example, which was the result of years of player work and roleplay.

This article is too long.

I'd certainly not eve want to be famous, but I'd like to be in the circle of scholars and writers.

The journey of the individual is a difficult one.


not everybody can become known


Most people are fine with it as well!

Sometimes though...some are thrust into popularity just by being around

Being famous is not important to have fun.

I'll be the toast of the town, the girl on the go
I'm the type of pony everypony, everypony should know
I'll be the one to watch, the girl in the flow
I'm the type of pony everypony, everypony should know
Becoming as popular as popular can be
Making my mark, making my mark in high society
I'm the belle of the ball, the star of the show, yeah
I'm the type of pony everypony, everypony should know
See how they hang on every word that I speak
My approving glance is what they all seek
I'm the crème de la crème, not just another Jane Doe
I'm the type of pony everypony should know
At home, at the opera, on a fancy yacht
Becoming the talk, the talk of all of Canterlot
I'm the crème de la crème, not just another Jane Doe, yeah
I'm the type of pony everypony, everypony should know
Because I'm the type of pony
Yes, I'm the type of pony
Yes, I'm the type of pony everypony should know
- Rarity, from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Song written by Daniel Ingram)

I approve.



I'm egocentric and ambitious enough to wish to be good and renown at everything, but I'm way too lazy to approach that at top speed. So I very, very slowly work myself up various ranks: exploration, combat, leadership, RP (since we're talking about what -we- wish to be known for, not our characters, right?). I still suck a lot at all of these, but I'm slowly getting out of that stage!


peer iocun


It's easier to become infamous it seems hehe

Things sometimes take unexpected turns, and we find ourselves pushed into doing things we don't normally enjoy. I like to think I'm well feared by my enemies, but I know they mostly just despise me.

Nobody knows me


Either in combat or ritualism that has an impact somehow. We'll see how it goes.

I am officially an enemy of almost everything haha! I quit Mhaldor now they absolutely adore me! Wheee keep killin me sapience! Not like I care!

i agree, personal

Watch me! Imma write a book and becaome famoustest! Hahaha! Or probably just end up killing myself and die out like the rest of the come and goers.

I always seen IRE games as a book that you write yourself, as you are able to control your own actions.

I see it as a novel that you try to write with other players.

I wish the storylines I have seen/been involved with were as tightly written as a novel. To me, they seem more like chapters of an endless, endlessly convoluted soap-opera-by-way-of-fantasy-epic. I can practically hear the voiceovers at the end of some logs.


I have taken part in the Artisanals regularly, I think I should try harder at the bardics too.

it's easily done to make your character well known, but the trick is to do it in a good manner.. don't want to have a reputation for the wrong things..

500th post!


Is generally the way to get yourself known.

boom bada boom


Interesting comments.

In the end we are all part of the role-playing world to escape from the real one in some way... I balance it out very well personally, but the only thing to remember here is that we are here to have fun, I often meet people in Achaea who are constantly depressed and they allow this game to get them so down... I always ask them, why are you playing Achaea if it is making you so miserable? I think one needs to simply be balanced and if you aint enjoying it, do not let a game ruin your whole life.

yea..? A game is.. A game.

this is a comment

this is a comment

To a comment..

.. need more new articles.

Write a few? :3


few ..




credit comment!


Troll credit

I'd like to be famous for NOT being involved in Drama!

As a dwarven character I strive to roleplay in the mentality of my character and truly immerse myself in the experience. Bolrak's known within his house and city based on his personality alone, and I've never seen another form of online game allow a character to become known for just this.


The enforced context makes for a brilliant experience. The social aspects to these games are so much more complex and layered than non rp-enforced or player-run games

I'm excited to start developing my character's personality and exploring the RP in a new city. The guild so far has been great for that too, really focusing on RP style advancement as opposed to purely task based.


You're doing great so far! Keep it up <3

still trying to get into it myself

good artical

what's an artical?


It's Achaea specific.


I'd want people to know my character for the type of person they are. I'd want her to be known as someone honest, trustworthy, faithful, and fully devoted to whatever cause she's fighting for. 

Ill stick to myslef

definitely one of the perks.