Ancient Anguish
Rank: 40

     

Looking for a huge world to explore? Tired of clumsy pay-for-play games disguised as "pay-for-perks"? Bored of enforced role-playing and looking for a place where you can indulge in wanton slaughter or clever banter with good company? You've come to the right place! Ancient Anguish is a vast, free, and incredibly engaging MUD that has since 1992 retained a friendly and loyal playerbase. The world is constantly expanding, adding new challenges, fun new highly developed classes, and more ways to pass the time than you can swing a hobbit at. Home to an average of 40 players at a time - any time of the day or night - you're never hurting for a partner in genocide, a room full of poker buddies or just someone to chat with.

Ancient Anguish received the prestigious MudConnector "Mud of the Month" award in November 1995.

One of the things that really sets Ancient Anguish apart is its commitment to both balance and diversity. Each race, class and guild is genuinely unique, every combination providing the player with a different set of strategies and perspective of the world. While the necromancers raise one of their many powerful undead minions to annihilate anything that stands in their way, rangers prefer to raise a wolf from a pup as a lifelong companion that will eventually grow to enormous proportions! There's no end to the amount of strategies you can use to enjoy the game, and you'll play for years trying all of them out.

But our engaging gameplay is only the beginning. Ancient Anguish is an open ended story, a fantasy novel come to life, a perfect place to escape from reality. An adventurer weary of hack and slash can relax in a posh restaurant, fish for giant squids in the ocean, engage in a game of trivia, plant and nurture unique herbs, woo sultry exotic dancers in hidden desert cities or compete in an elf tossing contest. The possibilities are endless! Ancient Anguish is not just a mindless treadmill to run on, it is a magical world waiting to be explored.

So if you're looking for a place to cure your bloodlust, a wonderful and beautifully described place to explore, or just a friendly game of chess, AA is the place for you. Join us at anguish.org on port 2222!


Mud Theme: Middle Ages Fantasy

Ancient Anguish Mud Reviews

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Review posted by Fir
Posted on Fri Mar 15 20:25:07 2013 / 0 comments
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I have experience on 5 different MUDs. I originally came to AA in 1998 through a friend's recommendation and have stayed ever since - I went on a hiatus for a while, but came back when I ran into a blog-post-like essay that I knew only my friends on AA would appreciate. The place remains as the social context where I feel I can really be myself, both in the sense of being able to take more roles than just the one that has grown on me from a given social group, and because the international multi-guild environment means that the cultural norms are flexible. I think it's important that role-playing is encouraged but not enforced; it's alright to just hang out too, there is no need to continuously be performing your role.

As a note that I think is still underappreciated, Ancient Anguish has vastly improved my social skills by providing a safe place to practice things like assertiveness, competitiveness and even nonserious hostility (your guild is against my guild, you shall go down, Scyther!), none of which are particularly easy to try out as a girl for social and traditional reasons but that have definitely come in handy later. I've honed my leadership skills in there too. :) Not to forget some of the inevitable drama of teenage, nicely sandboxed away from my home doorstep, the first loves and the first frights of being misinterpreted and actually pissing someone off (and the world turns out not to end after all!).

I had before that watched a popular Finnish mud and found it way too visually noisy (colourful) for my tastes. One other mud I abandoned for being entirely too illogical (you're in a glacial room with penguins, go one south and find yourself in a desert? AA is strictly thematic, so I'm spoiled for quality), another for both being the only person on and too many 'realistic' restrictions like what I can't do if my hands are full. A third one I left pretty soon from partially because it also had awkward realism (when it's night, you cannot go on the streets as a newbie because you do not have a light source, so you cannot get anywhere) and because the areas were just chained together and you had to rely on following directions in corridors. And it was more silly than cool like AA's in-depth fantasy world with greater-than-life quests and tensions between factions in the world that the player could choose different sides on.

I used to love ADOM (a nethack-like game) because it had a 'wilderness', so I fell totally in love with AA's grid-based map that had areas you enter from the map. (As an extra bonus, playing AA would not get me a) starved or b) corrupted to death for playing it for too long, like ADOM did.) There's also magical maps that show where you are on the grid, but I didn't even find out about them for years, I got around by my own map.

I've drawn separate maps of pretty much all the areas (some are incomplete, because of guards that are too tough for my risk-averse tastes or secret passageways I haven't discovered...yet ;)) Another hobby I've acquired is collecting 'exploration points' - once you have explored enough areas, an NPC gives you a hint like 'Have you ever tried bobsledding as a means to flee a pack of rampant frost giants?' and then you spend a while trying to figure out where on earth you can go bobsledding (this example is fictious to avoid spoilers) and discover a new aspect of some area you've explored before but missed out the details on.

Another exploration encourager is The Geographic Society, where you get points for yourself and your guild by discovering rooms (building cairns in them) that no one else has during a reboot cycle. An aspect of (social) guild battles is added on top when the claim on a room depends on which guild's members have marked the cairns the most times, and the guild with the most cairns gets benefits from the society.

AA is not equipment-saving, so I cannot at the moment fulfil my desire to be a packrat collector of all things I find (while also gear does not wear out, which is nice), but you can buy a player-owned house and collect furniture into it, 'collect' random abilities (weaving skill, different weapon skills, honing your class abilities etc) in addition to the money and raw exp. In my role as developer, I am currently working on a way to build item collections that support this tendency - the idea really got moving when I learned at our game meet-up last summer that there are many other collectors like me! :) (Also that the people playing the game right now are really cool.)

(PS. This review has also been posted on Mudgamers, which randomly inspired me to gush about my favourite mud today. When I noticed how long the text ended up as, I figured I should maybe put it here too since I keep forgetting to review the game here where the reviews functionality isn't so visible... X-))

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Review posted by Ruptive
Posted on Wed Apr 18 21:36:32 2007 / 0 comments
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This MUD is simply too vast to ever get bored. I have been here since 2000 and I have never stopped making discoveries. There are just so many ins and outs.

Even the pure hack and slash aspect has so many avenues to explore. Each time I tried a different class, it was a whole new world. A cleric can outlast almost any opponent if he uses the healing power of his gods. A necromancer can bring down huge enemies quickly, as long as she can maintain control of her undead warrior.

Whichever class you play, your experience will be different. The total uniqueness of each class means that there isn't a formula for the best character, and each class is rewarding. You cannot be satisfied until you have played every class, and you cannot master this game; New records are inscribed at the hall of heroes all the time.

The exploring side of the game is just enormous. There are many areas with interesting stories that do not get ravaged by warparties and also many that do. What makes this game so great is that even high-adrenalin areas are fully described, and all npcs are a part of a story. The world feels real and it is impossible for a wizard to insert big monster #247 with the best sword.

There are also miniquests littered all over the game. Curious players can spend a few minutes or a few hours racking their brain, and often there is a reward. The more vicious killers can ignore them altogether. Everything is woven together, yet nothing stands in the way, whatever your playing style.

Ancient Anguish stands apart because everything is quality and original. You do find big scary monsters, but they also have a history. There are areas to gain experience FAST, but they are well described. There is powerful equipment, but it is hard to get. Nothing ever feels familiar the first time you see it.

Ancient Anguish is high quality game that caters to killers and explorers equally.

Warning: If you try it, you will be addicted.

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Review posted by Serin
Posted on Wed Apr 18 21:22:03 2007 / 0 comments
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I've been playing AA for 8 years now, and I'm still not tired of the place. It's HUGE and still growing (well over 20,000 rooms), and I have yet to see everything there is to see. Not to mention many of the new areas added contain unique and fun challenges (as well as some incredibly dangerous ones!) to tempt even long-time players.

Combine all that with the rigid standards that everything must be describe-all, well-written, and properly balanced, you have a beautifully described world with multitudes of places to visit that gives you a feeling of total immersion. Add in a fun-loving, mature population (who can actually type well!) and you'll never want to leave.

So stop on by. If you see me there, send me a tell! I'm always happy to assist a new player. :)

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Review posted by Killcrazy
Posted on Wed Apr 18 21:21:39 2007 / 0 comments
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I've been playing AA for over 10 years. I've played other muds but few compare to it.

For the explorer sort, this mud packs quality into its areas like no other mud. Pretty much everything can be touched, smelled, sniffed, tasted, searched. The NPCs being made for the game keep getting smarter. The classes are top-notch, it has the fewest bugs and typos I've seen in any mud, and the players are extremely friendly and fun.

For the competitive sort, there are many top ten lists to compete on, from killing to discovering new areas to being the best player at trivia or poker or chess or flaghunting or any of the other myriad of games available.

In the past year or so, AA has seen some pretty major improvements. We have an entire new continent, with dozens more areas, higher level monsters to go with our new levels (up to level 50 now!), some truely epic creatures that are akin to WoW raid size. We have mining, we have a new guild up north, new quests and miniquests, and best of all, a new class.

The artificer class has finally hit AA. About 7 years in making, worked on by a number of people, the class is one of the hugest, complex and most compelling classes I have played in a MUD. You can produce just about everything, specialising in one of two different areas - spellforging, and spellcrafting. You can build mechanomagical monstrosities, enchant wands that rain fire, or just make lots of money forging different items for people.

I definitely recommend trying it. Some guilds are more newbie friendly than others (don't jump right in bed with the war-mongering Scythe clan!), but bears, knights and snowfolk are extremely friendly to newbies. For those that have tried the game, come back and see what's on offer now!

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Review posted by Dafeon
Posted on Sun Mar 25 20:37:15 2007 / 0 comments
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Recent developments on AA

Ancient Anguish is a well-established MUD with a rich history stretching back to 1992. As can be expected from a game that has lasted this long, it is well-run, stable, addictive, huge, immersive, possesses excellent and consistent quality, offers excellent gameplay and rich social interaction.

The game is going through a phase of rapid development and expansion at the moment. A new major area or project comes into the game at least every fortnight, and these aren't just token half-baked overpowered or typo-ridden areas you see on other MUDs. Considering our arduous quality control and balance process where each project is reviewed by between 3 and 7 administrators, the projects are of the highest quality and each provide many hours of gameplay.

There's never been a better time to come play AA. For the new players, we have recently introduced a new tutorial for new players to AA and several other features to help new players to the game learn the basics. For the returning players, the deluge of new content will keep you glued to our game for all the free time you have.

Finally, the stability issues referred to by the previous reviewer have been resolved, with the game experiencing no crashes for the whole of 2007 so far.

So come join us and see for yourself all the fun that you're missing! - Dafeon, Arch of Quality Control

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Review posted by Tymbir
Posted on Sun Dec 10 18:33:50 2006 / 1 comment
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I've been playing Ancient Anguish off and on for over 10 years. It is far less daunting to the newcomer than many others MUDs out there. There IS, however, a LOT to see and do. Between the 10 classes (Artificer {new class}, Adventurer, Cleric, Fighter, Mage, Necromancer, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue {if they existed}, and Shapeshifter), the 6 Guilds (The Realm of the Black Bear, The Courts of Chaos, The Eldar, The Knights of Drin, The Monks of Antana, and The Scythe), and the 5 races (Dwarf, Elf, Half Elf, Human, and Orc), you have a LOT of choices for your character.

The MUD is immense, I have not even approached seeing all the 'rooms' in the MUD. Even more areas are added regularly by the Wizards. The Wizards were players like you and me who have demonstrated an extreme level of knowledge about the MUD and are given the opportunity to make additions and changes. I've had a few friends and many guildmates make it to Wizard status (Hi Fairydust!). Though they have not told me what they had to go through in their wizard training, I do understand that the rules for additions and changes are VERY strict.

The quests in the game are some of the best kept secrets. You may not discuss them in any sort of detail. Do a web search on 'Ancient Anguish Quests' and you will have a lot of trouble finding ANY spoilers. Quite an accomplishment for a MUD that is over a decade old.

There are many very good maps of AA available out there to aid your wanderings. I mostly use Methos' map, to keep from getting lost! :)

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Comment posted on Sun Dec 3 17:36:46 2006 by Fir:
     

I've played Ancient Anguish rather actively since 1998, and been a wizard (part of the coding staff) since about 2000. I still play actively, and I love to explore new and old places and draw maps - there's a lot of AA to map out, I've got a couple of notebooks filled with notes and maps on areas and a map of half the wilderness (continent of Anguish) that takes 6 A4 pages of squared paper.

We actually have one more guild since this review was written, the Snowfolk of the far north. ;)

The process of becoming a wizard involves exploring areas and solving a percentage of the quests, and I decided it was for me because I wanted to take the job of running the bimonthly local newspaper, The Canticle.

Tymbir mentioned about the process of getting new areas in: it involves having the area checked so that it fits in with the AA history and theme, and a thorough spelling and code check so that bugs won't inconvenience players. I've been to a couple of other muds and was kind of disappointed at the minimal descriptions which weren't internally consistent. In AA, I feel I'm living inside a fantasy book (or series) that's had a really good editor. :) Besides that, I think the things I like the most are all the great friends I've made there, and the exact right amount of seriousness - I can role play, but I don't have to, and most of our areas have bits of subtle humour that you keep running into, while not being tacky.

To balance it out, we're kind of bad at upkeeping websites and suchlike (we're too busy having fun on the mud side, maybe? X-)), but don't let first impressions on externalities turn you away. ;)

Review posted by Llanfear
Posted on Sun May 15 23:19:23 2005 / 0 comments
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Ancient Anguish is not suitable for children. The admin would like to claim otherwise, although they do NOTHING to control the environment to protect minors from being exposed to adult material. They do not own up to their tolerance of obscene materials, refusing to warn parents by categorizing themselves as 'adult'. The players are often found having sexually explicit conversations on public lines without consideration to who else might be reading the text. There are always conversations about drug use to be found, encouraging others by example to try them. The vulgarity is not censored, and yet the administration claims it to be a family mud. Even the webpage now shows a very realistic picture of an elven woman wearing nothing from the waist down.

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Review posted by Dracul
Posted on Sun Apr 10 21:54:54 2005 / 0 comments
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If there is any one constant to Ancient Anguish, it is passion. Most surviving text games are either churned out by paid coders or painstakingly toiled on by a group of overly-dedicated people who have been around for as long as they can remember. This is certainly an example of the latter. To many of us who play Ancient Anguish, it is home. A home that we fight for and fight over just like anything truly loved.

As a new player, Ancient Anguish can be almost daunting in its vast and immersive expanse. Though Ancient Anguish is not a strict roleplaying mud by any means, tight Balance, World, and QC standards set it apart from any other. While a few of the oldest areas still exist, great care can be seen from the moment players step from the Ancient Inn into the world of Anguish. All Immortals are players who proved their knowledge of the world of Anguish before helping to extend its story.

Anguish is not a world based on a myriad of races and classes, but rather a handful of classics given robust development. The game-play is geared toward intricacies and depth rather than simple pellet rewards. While certainly one can run through in the hack-and-slash style, and many do, it is difficult even then to miss the vast variety of strategies and opportunities.

For even the most thorough explorers, it is virtually impossible to do everything available. With an enormous number of rooms and rich description, even after years of gameplay there is always something new to discover.

I am passionate about Ancient Anguish. I invite you to find the same passion.

- Dracul

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Review posted by Drakon
Posted on Sun Feb 22 23:49:19 2004 / 0 comments
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Ancient Anguish...all I can say is this mud is perfect. Instead of making a bunch of stupid classes like Death KNIGHT! or Hell angel or anything like that, it has taken all the basic classes such as Fighter, Mage, Rogue(not supposed to know about these), Cleric, Paladin, Necromancer, Ranger, and I have a feeling I might be missing one. But at any rate, they have taken the basic classes and made the skills not only extremely interesting and versatile, but worthwhile.

You won't max your character out in a day, or in a week, it will take time, but the entire timeline from when you start is extremely fun. When you do max out your stats and levels, the fun doesn't stop. There are so many different things you can work on, be it guild- specific by raising the amount of Karma you have, or being the best explorer in the realms. If you only have an hour or two to play the mud, it's still worthwhile, heck, a couple mins is worthwhile.

I would try to list all the things Anguish has, but lets just say it's taken them 11 years to accomplish what they have. It's huge, and every room you're in probably has some smaller details, that could lead to other things.

The player base is large and constant. You might not get to know those who are from the other guilds in the realms, and if you're in some guilds you might already have a general dislike for them.

These are the fun times of Ancient Anguish, its one of the only truly exciting muds out there, and with the wizards that are extremely strict against helping any players, players cheating, etc... You can guarantee that it will stay this way.

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Review posted by Rossak
Posted on Wed Jun 25 22:51:46 2003 / 0 comments
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Ancient Anguish... all I can say is this mud is perfect. Instead of making a bunch of stupid classes like Death KNIGHT! or Hell angel or anything like that, it has taken all the basic classes such as Fighter, Mage, Rogue(not supposed to know about these), Cleric, Paladin, Necromancer, Ranger, and I have a feeling I might be missing one, but at any rate, they have taken the basic classes and made the skills not only extremely interesting and versatile, but worthwhile.

You won't max your character out in a day, or in a week, it will take time, but the entire timeline from when you start is extremely fun. When you do max out your stats and levels, the fun doesn't stop. There are so many different things you can work on, be it guild- specific by raising the amount of Karma you have, or being the best explorer in the realms. If you only have an hour or two to play the mud, it's still worthwhile, heck, a couple mins is worthwhile.

I would try to list all the things Anguish has, but lets just say it's taken them 11 years to accomplish what they have. It's huge, and every room you're in probably has some smaller details, that could lead to other things.

The player base is large and constant. You might not get to know those who are from the other guilds in the realms, and if you're in some guilds you might already have a general dislike for them.

These are the fun times of Ancient Anguish, its one of the only truly exciting muds out there, and with the wizards that are extremely strict against helping any players, players cheating, etc... You can guarantee that it will stay this way.

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Ancient Anguish Stats
Raw Data Average Data
# Days Listed7899
Last Connection StatusConnected
# Days With Status985
Total Telnet Attempts6540.083
Total Website Attempts31560.400
Telnet Attempts This Month321.032
Website Attempts This Month471.516