Mud Theme |
Multi Users in Middle Earth (MUME), as the name suggests, is based on the
fantasy world created by Tolkien. The timing of MUME is pre-Lord of the
Rings, thus the ring is "lost," Sauron is powerful and all the major
personages of this era are present, as are the various Middle Earth races
and locations. Having read the Lord of the Rings or the other Middle Earth
books helps significantly, and provides essential background knowledge to
the storyline. The environment is fairly rich and the action that occurs is
consistent with your expectations of Middle Earth, with orcs attacking
peaceful races, hobbits having jolly little lives in the Shire, and so on.
Mud Atmosphere |
MUME is newbie friendly, with both the immortals (ainur) and a group of
helpful players (istari) willing to offer support. The immortals provide a
newbie kit, this is automated so if you manage to get on line when there are
no immortals present (which seems to be a fairly unusual occurrence) you
still get one. The immortals I met were friendly and willing to help and
The istari are players who are willing to help newbies. If you are lucky
enough to be able to find one, they do come and help you. However, if there
are no istari available, other players are not particularly helpful and
rarely speak to you or offer help. I did try to get by both with and without
istari. When istari were there to help I quickly levelled, travelled a lot
and enjoyed the experience. When no istari were there it was a much more
tiresome and tedious process.
Level 5 is the level to aim for, and if an istari comes to help you they
tend to stick around until you have reached this level, at which stage the
view is that you're no longer a newbie and thus ready to go it alone. Groups
are encouraged and one feature I did like was the fact that the division of
travel points and experience was affected by your status in the group, for
example the group leader was given more points.
This seemed to be a levelling focused MUD and roleplay seemed to be fairly
limited. However, the extension of typical MUD commands to allow a more
complex fighting experience does elevate it from typical hack & slash, with
fighting and exploration not roleplay providing the basis of the atmosphere.
Mud World |
The MUD is large, with many towns and areas. The descriptions of the towns
and areas are well written and there are few errors. However, these
descriptions are similar to those in any fantasy / mediaeval MUD and the
fact that they represent places in Bree or the Grey Havens or wherever is
incidental. I did find the descriptions cumbersome and occupying many lines
of text, particularly if there were objects present. The brief mode helps a
little, but the descriptions still tend to be spammy.
For the newcomer, the initial area to be visited is determined by race, and
it is possible to be any number of races including elves, humans, hobbits,
orcs, trolls, etc. The hostile races are recommended only for the
experienced player, with the implication that such races will indulge in
The various areas within the world are fairly far apart and a lot of
travelling is involved in getting from place to place. There are horses and
other riding animals that offer a way of moving more quickly and less
tiringly between the various areas of the world. There are also a number of
helpful mobiles such as rangers who offer to escort you from place to place
and in simply following these, the way is quickly and safely negotiated.
Although this is a good idea, it is quite boring watching your character
wander around the countryside, even though at times you are encouraged to
return to a certain place.
The characters are skill based, however, there are quite a complicated set
of statistics / abilities that have to be practiced. Levelling involves not
only experience but also Travel Points, that are attained by going to less
visited places. This does encourage exploration, however, due to the large
size of MUME it also means that you tend to spend significant amounts of
time on your own.
Combat and magic use are based on a fairly complex set of commands.
Interesting features include time delays, charming, the possibility to
change the mood of fighting (on a 6 point scale), different combat actions
dependant on party composition, etc. Many skills exist and these are not
guild restricted, although your ability to learn and use such skills is
related to the likelihood of your guild using such a skill. Some of the
commands are quite novel, for example trophy lets you know what sorts of
mobiles you have killed and how many times you have killed them. MUME
encourages exploration and innovation in that the more you kill something
the less experience you gain from it. This avoids the tendency to kill the
same things over and over again as it becomes less beneficial to you over
Additional Comments |
The MUD is newbie friendly, however, it is also interesting for the
experienced player. This is due to a well constructed and coherent world,
with a number of unusual and novel features that make combat a more complex
activity than normal. However, I would strongly recommend that anyone
contemplating spending time here had read as much Tolkien as possible prior
to beginning a character.
The help system is detailed and has a number of different facets. There is a
bulletin ball in the Hall of Mandos, which provides a set of helpful hints
for the new player and are actually worth reading, although this gets a
little boring after a while. The help system itself is detailed, and
provides help on the commands and in the form of FAQs. Further there is
in-character help available from the libraries and guild noticeboards in the
One thing I really disliked in this MUD was the high level of spam.
Conversations, narrations, descriptions and so on were all spammy and the
screen was often filled with information that was superfluous to
requirements in my view.
Another negative point is the web pages. Although these are comprehensive,
they have been automatically generated and each page has a myriad of links
based on words. For example, wherever "about" appears you get a link to the
"About MUME" page.
If you're based in Europe this is a good MUD to play, as there is a large
player base playing during European day / evening time, so you're not up at
4 in the morning due to the fact that everyone else is from the States. The
player base is large, during peak time there were over 50 players on and
usually at least 2 or more immortals.