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Old 06-04-2006, 01:56 AM   #1
Ilkidarios
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I'm currently looking for a MUD, perhaps set in Medieval Europe, that is a more realistic representation of Medieval life.

I don't mean where 8 out of 10 people play as serfs, not that realistic, but one without all the "fantasy races" and "magic". I'm not sure if there are a lot of these out there, but I'm just sick and tired of all the conventions of typical fantasy MUDs, heroes, dragons, dwarves, all that garbage.
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Old 06-04-2006, 02:55 AM   #2
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I think you may like Unwritten legends. Yes, it does have the fantasy races and magic, but they handle it in a way that is very refreshing.

I have been in your spot before, enough goblins and whathaveyou to make me want to puke, but when I signed up with this game I was pleasantly suprised. I think if I tried to describe what I mean I would fail horribly because I usually do. If you are in a rut I suggest signing up and giving it a go. Whats to lose?

http://www.unwritten.net/testgamma3.html

And yes it is medieval themed. You can even take a griffon or boat (boat is way cheaper but slower) to the games other continent which is japanese medieval era themed as well. It is all very well done and well written, you can feel their created culture.
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Old 06-04-2006, 04:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Ilkidarios @ June 04 2006,01:56)
I'm currently looking for a MUD, perhaps set in Medieval Europe, that is a more realistic representation of Medieval life.

I don't mean where 8 out of 10 people play as serfs, not that realistic, but one without all the "fantasy races" and "magic".  I'm not sure if there are a lot of these out there, but I'm just sick and tired of all the conventions of typical fantasy MUDs, heroes, dragons, dwarves, all that garbage.
I considered making just such a MUD but decided upon a later period instead. I've tried to find a good MUD that accurately duplicates the Medieval period, without much success. The closest I've found is Harshlands which, although being a low-fantasy setting, does have a far greater respect for medieval life and conventions than any other MUD I've encountered (that being somewhere between 850-900 MUDs).

There are fantasy races (players can choose from three "races" of humans which are more akin to cultures than anything, elves, or dwarves; several other fantasy creatures are frequently seen but not playable by PCs) in Harshlands but they're not common, and rarely do players play them (in over six years, I've yet to encounter a PC of a race other than the three human variations). Magic is something rarely encountered, mostly whispered about if anything though there are religious "spells" and "incantations" which occassionally are used and may have effect (again, I've never personally encountered it in over six years of playing though I have heard of such things). Some players, like myself, choose to take a very non-fantasy approach to the world, regarding many fantasy elements as fantastical while treating those fantasy elements which are frequently encountered in a more natural manner (ie, orcs from the mountains are treated the same as animals, even though they carry weapons).

It's not purely-devoid of fantasy, but it's probably the closest there is. The problem I've encountered with MUDs is that many of the people who create them have no idea what comprised medieval society, much less an interest in creating a MUD which features such an approach.

If you do find one which does, let me know. I'd be interested in checking it out and seeing just how well it does stack up to the historical model.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 06-04-2006, 07:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Ilkidarios @ June 04 2006,07:56)
I'm currently looking for a MUD, perhaps set in Medieval Europe, that is a more realistic representation of Medieval life.

I don't mean where 8 out of 10 people play as serfs, not that realistic, but one without all the "fantasy races" and "magic".
The only one I know of is Age of the Throne, if you don't mind pay-to-play.
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Old 06-04-2006, 12:45 PM   #5
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As a professional medieval historian, I can tell you right now that there are no muds that come even remotely close to portraying medieval life. It's good to get that out of the way so that as a player, you can be realisitic about the choices that really exist.

When players ask for something medieval, they usually don't mean medieval. They mean some level of fantasy (from gritty to 'high' ) that has a bare minimum of medieval or renaissance trappings, such as castles, armor, swords, and kings, but lacking everything that truly makes it medieval: feudalism, critical class differences, fashion and artistic values, farm and trade based economy, shifting borders based on the results of marriages and warfare (nations exist only as the extension of their rulers - part of the feudal construct), etc. etc. etc.

All that aside, I find myself playing Unwritten Legends because there is a genuine interest in providing more elements of various time periods. While it is generally referred to as 'medieval' and most areas follow a pre 1600's feel, some areas are definitely renaissance and some are definitely 'regency period.' There are definitely regions that feel like historical places that we are familiar with, which may be along the lines of your request.

If I was still looking for a place that was more than 50% medieval, I'd be disappointed with UL. But I don't expect game developers to deeply understand medieval aspects; it's taken me most of my life and university study to get to the point where I have a body of knowledge and context for even a small part of the medieval history and historiography that exists today.

I'm quite content with the serious interest displayed by the staff of the game to portray as much 'medievalness' as they can, when they learn about it, and to the extent that it can make a fun game.

This is the first game, for example, that I've ever played that knew a 'girdle' was a decorated belt, and allows you to buy hose in sets of braies and chausses. Sure, there are many mistakes (simultaneous management of a small village by an Abbey, a noble, and a mayoral council, for example), but over time I've seen many similar errors fixed.

I think it's important that you decide exactly what 'medievalness' you require from your game, and realize that an even mostly accurate representation doesn't exist. If you decide you just want a good medieval 'feel' and a bit more grittiness than the average High Fantasy mud, then UL may indeed be the game for you.

For some reason, medieval MUDs always seem to have magic. I haven't found a way around it that I can recommend to you.

---Brett
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Old 06-04-2006, 02:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (BrettH @ June 04 2006,18:45)
As a professional medieval historian, I can tell you right now that there are no muds that come even remotely close to portraying medieval life.
The original poster didn't ask for an accurate portrayal of medieval life, just something with a "more realistic representation of Medieval life".  He then elaborated on his request, stating that what he wanted was a mud with no magic or magical races.

Why, then, suggest a mud which has both of the two features he specifically stated he didn't want?

It seems we see more and more of these sort of responses...

Player: I'm looking for a mud with X, Y and Z.

Respondent: My mud doesn't have any of those features, but try us anyway!
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Old 06-04-2006, 09:57 PM   #7
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Why, then, suggest a mud which has both of the two features he specifically stated he didn't want?

It seems we see more and more of these sort of responses...
I generally agree; I see many people just using any excuse to advertise their mud and not listening to the original post at all. I rarely suggest that people come to UL unless their criteria matches closely.

This was a different case for me, and I think probably for the previous poster who also suggested UL. The fact is that I don't think the original poster will be able to find the game that he's looking for, even though many of us have spent a lot of time looking for just such a game.

However, I can speak for myself at least and say that I sympathize greatly with the sentiments, and in my search for a similar game, I ended up making some concessions in order to find a place to play.

My post was in response to what I felt to be a kindred spirit, or at least, a similar quest to one that I have taken personally. My advice and commentary was therefore heartfelt, rather than a thin excuse to advertise for a mud.

If the original poster finds a game that matches his criteria, I would be very interested to hear about it, but I fear he will not unless he makes the game himself. When your options are either not to play at all, or to find something that does not exactly fit your requirements but still satisfies some of the point behind the requirements, I'd go with the latter.

My post was made in an attempt to provide what small assistance I felt could be offered. If I misjudged the poster's intentions and needs, I apologize for having wasted his time.

----Brett
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Old 06-04-2006, 11:47 PM   #8
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I'm not sure what turned me off of the Fantasy world, I just thought to myself one day "They need to create some new races."  But then, nobody did.  So like a good song, once you have the same things going over and over again, all the fantasy stuff just lost its appeal to me.

I started thinking to myself a while after that "Wow, these MUDs are less historically accurate than the movie A Knight's Tale.  They might as well as have 'Tarzan Boy' playing in the background, because that's probably what elves and dwarves listened to."

Anyways, here I am, searching for something without all the ridiculous spells and goblin-bashing.

The biggest problem with a fantasy setting is that there's very rarely anything new. They'll say they've got a new feature, but it's always something you've seen in a book somewhere or even in another MUD, like airships or dragon riding. Unless someone comes up with new things to populate a fantasy world with, I'm afraid I'll be turned off of fantasy for a long time.

And I don't care how many times you change the names, lizard-people, cat-people, and people with wings are always the same.
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Old 06-05-2006, 01:05 AM   #9
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I completely sympathize. Let us know, in all seriousness, what you find in your search. I'm always interested in the new arrivals, and if the gaming community is ever going to strike off in new directions.

---Brett
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Old 06-05-2006, 01:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Player: I'm looking for a mud with X, Y and Z.

Respondent: My mud doesn't have any of those features, but try us anyway!
I know I probably came off that way, but I also searched for a mud that seems to fit the picture Ilkidarios was drawing. Searched in a BIG way, might I add. Probably spent at least an hour a day over a period of several months, then kept searching only not as much because I was disheartened.

UL just seems to fit it the best I have seen yet. But whatever floats ones boat, just my suggestion.
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Old 06-05-2006, 03:04 AM   #11
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UL is a good fit in what possible way? The game is totally fantasy, you got your elves and dwarves and cat and dog people... so they go as far as to rename drow, oooo how brilliant. You can ride a gryphon huh, that sounds just like the medieval europeans to me. From what I can learn of the magic it seems to be the pretty powerful, like big brother powerful. No but still even though we'll talk like we're not just trying to advertise our game even though we bring it up over and over, its ok because we use words like sympathize, and present ourselves as like minded while contradicting you in the same breath.
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Old 06-05-2006, 12:18 PM   #12
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UL is a good fit in what possible way?
It isn't a good fit. It may, however, be a plausible alternative. I think both of us mentioning UL said that. However, both of us also have done the quest for the type of game the poster was asking about, and have found a few things about UL that worked out for us. Mainly, that the world is based more closely upon real world historical cultures than any of the other games we were looking at. If you wanted to make a character from a place much like India, that place is in UL. They have places more or less like England, France, etc. Exact historical copies? No. The 'feel' however, is there.


Quote:
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The game is totally fantasy, you got your elves and dwarves and cat and dog people... so they go as far as to rename drow, oooo how brilliant.
That's right. This is one area that doesn't suit what the guy was looking for, and both of us mentioned that drawback. However, there are no dark skinned white haired elf races that live underground in a matriarchal society, so I don't know what you're talking about in terms of drow.

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You can ride a gryphon huh, that sounds just like the medieval europeans to me.  From what I can learn of the magic it seems to be the pretty powerful, like big brother powerful.
Unfortunately I haven't found a game based on a medieval feel that doesn't have magic. If I knew of any games like that, I wouldn't have posted about UL at all. UL at least has a somewhat more 'gritty' feel than the other fantasy games I've tried. Sometimes atmosphere is as much as we can hope for. Note: Age of the Throne is not medieval at all, it is based in 1700's France (Three Musketeers era.) I know, I tried it too.

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No but still even though we'll talk like we're not just trying to advertise our game even though we bring it up over and over, its ok because we use words like sympathize, and present ourselves as like minded while contradicting you in the same breath.
No, what we are doing is indicating that like-minded people have not found the game he is specifically asking for either, but have found some degree of pleasure and satisfaction in UL due to its other real-world facets.

So far, I haven't seen anyone offer him the 'right' game. If you know of one that exactly fits his criteria, please let him, and all of us, know. My post, and I believe the other one about UL as well, were honestly intended to be of some assistance since this fellow will likely walk the same path that we have, and may well end up in the same place for the same reason.

Perhaps Harshlands will serve him better, which has less medieval feel but also less magic. The fellow that posted about Harshlands was also just trying to help, even though his game isn't a good fit either.

You'll note that nobody has posted about UL on any of the other 'looking for a game' threads in a haphazard fashion, even though the thread 'looking for an addictive game' is wide open to subjective interpretation and has had people posting their games in somewhat opportunistic response. There is a reason two people from UL decided to respond here, and it's not coincidence.

At least we are trying to help and offer dialogue to the original poster's situation, rather than to attack other people's posts. Somehow, I don't think your post has helped the man's quest for a game at all.

---Brett
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Old 06-05-2006, 02:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ June 04 2006,07:15)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilkidarios,June 04 2006,07:56
I'm currently looking for a MUD, perhaps set in Medieval Europe, that is a more realistic representation of Medieval life.

I don't mean where 8 out of 10 people play as serfs, not that realistic, but one without all the "fantasy races" and "magic".
The only one I know of is Age of the Throne, if you don't mind pay-to-play.
Just a point: AOTT isn't medieval at all. It's in the Age of Reason (17th century), taking place in Paris. Louis XIII, 3 Musketeers, Richilieu, etc.

Edit: Whoops, I see the poster above me pointed that out already. Sorry. (though note that 17th century = 1600s, not 1700s.)
--matt
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Old 06-05-2006, 04:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 05 2006,20:24)
Just a point: AOTT isn't medieval at all. It's in the Age of Reason (17th century), taking place in Paris. Louis XIII, 3 Musketeers, Richilieu, etc.
Ok, so I was off by a century...IMO it's still a closer fit than something with fantasy races and magic. If that's what the original poster wanted, he could pick from the vast majority of muds out there.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:35 PM   #15
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Well, this search might be harder than I thought.  Just putting the word "medieval" into the TopMud database searcher turns up eight hundred something pages of results.  If I get some free time, I might go trolling through there, occasionally looking at the ones that don't sound too obviously fantasy.
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Ilkidarios @ June 05 2006,18:35)
Well, this search might be harder than I thought. Just putting the word "medieval" into the TopMud database searcher turns up eight hundred something pages of results. If I get some free time, I might go trolling through there, occasionally looking at the ones that don't sound too obviously fantasy.
If memory serves me right, the actual category is "medieval fantasy", there is no "medieval" category and no general "fantasy" category. When I see this category, I think it means "elves, drows, magic, swords, and shields" not medieval in the historical sense. Perhaps there should be "Medieval Historical" or some such category?
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Old 06-06-2006, 12:35 AM   #17
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I didn't do an advanced search, I just put in "Medieval" in the regular database search, seeing as there's no category that is strictly realistic medieval MUDs, which may or may not exist.

A few moments ago I did an advanced search with a single category specification "historical".  It turned up a few bonafied historical MUDs from various time periods (Age of Thrones, an Ancient Rome MUD, a 1920's Chicago MUD, etc.) a few MUDs which didn't really deserve the classification "historical" (last time I checked, sidhe never existed), and get this, The Lost Generation, a genuine World War I MUD.
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Old 06-06-2006, 04:42 AM   #18
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So as not to derail the original poster's (possibly hopeless) search for a MUD, I've decided to post some thoughts separately in another thread.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:15 PM   #19
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Check out DartMUD.

Medieval fantasy, it has the races (although they're unique to that game as far as I know) and it has magic.

If you're more worried about the realism bit though, this could be the game for you. The MUD has no levels or classes, and if you want to learn how to cast a spell you have to find the spell and practice it - not an easy task. Similarly, skills grow through use, not through spending skill points or anything abstract like that. Roleplaying is enforced and death is permanent.
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