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Armageddon MUD
Developer(s) Independent
Engine DikuMUD
Version Updated Weekly
Platform(s) OS Independent
Release date(s) 1991
Genre(s) MMORPG, MUD, RPI
Mode(s) Multiplayer
System requirements Internet with Port 4050 open, and a Telnet Client

Armageddon is a low fantasy MUD, a form of multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) for geeks, designed to provide a roleplaying experience in the harsh desert world of Zalanthas. It was founded[1] in 1991 by Dan Brumleve, Nasri Hajj, and Santiago Zorzopulos in Urbana, Illinois. It is a DIKU-Based MUD but has been intensively and continuously customized and modified. Armageddon is coded mainly in C, with elements of Javascript. While Armageddon requires its players to maintain as high a level of roleplay as any MUSH, it combines that roleplaying focus with the hard-coded realism of a DIKU MUD.

The game environment began with a heavy influence from Dark Sun, Dune, and other fantasy / sci-fi sources (e.g., The Morgaine Stories by C. J. Cherryh, Thieves' World created by Robert Asprin) but has since grown and evolved. While some of these elements are still part of the campaign; the world continues to develop with new ideas[2].

The game world has two warring city-states that regularly erupt into full scale battles whose outcomes are decided through the actions of the playerbase. The citizens of these cities are composed of commoners trying to live from day to day, nobles that scheme and plot to rise in power, and templars who mete out justice according to the laws of the cities' respective Sorcerer-Kings.

It was announced by the staff of the MUD that Armageddon MUD will be closed sometime in the future, and will be replaced by a new similar harsh survival RPI-MUD made by the same staff, there is no deadline for when the new game will be up. The new MUD will be based upon Armageddon lore, but will have some shifts to stop questions of copyright infringement over Dark Sun elements, and to improve the code-base. As of July 2009 the new MUD is still in the works, and the old game is still open and thriving due to a large plot-line by the staff to slowly bring the world to its 'end'.

Contents

The World

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City-States

Allanak

Decadence and an ancient past has molded the original city-state of Allanak into a class-based society. The people can trace their history and traditions over two thousand years, having transformed from a huddled mass of desert dwellers fearing what lied about them into a crowded metropolis ruled through violence and oppression. Templars and nobles hold the power within the city where they scheme constantly with intent to accumulate personal wealth and power. The commoners struggle to live from day to day while a select few with daring and cunning find ways to secure their own destiny.

Allanak once ruled the Known World and has since retreated back to its original city-state. This expansion was heavily influenced and run by the players as was the subsequent loss of these territories. For many within the Citystate this collapse went unnoticed, their lives lost in a self-absorbed orgy of violence and pleasure. Public displays of torture, incredibly violent and bloody arena matches, and outrageous indulgences of depravity are the norm for the people. Amongst all of this the templars walk with impunity and engage in personal displays of power at their own discretion. It is not unheard of for a templar to simply point at someone and force them to do their bidding.

Tuluk

The other city-state of Tuluk is a vibrant and young caste-based society. Player influenced events led to the people of Tuluk throwing off the yoke of Allanak's oppression, the people still flush with their victory. This sense of growth, expansion, and opportunity makes Tuluk a center of intrigue and subtle political maneuvering. The City is ruled with silent oppression where the people who break the law simply disappear. This fear of disappearing infuses the population with a careful, subtle attitude that helps avoid the attention of authorities. Therefore, certain conversations are simply not held in public, with neighbors spying on each other and reporting those who speak too openly on taboo subjects.

During the occupation of Tuluk the noble Houses managed to survive by relying on the common caste to hide them. This shared experience developed a closeness between the commoners and nobility that allowed the Nobility to flex real power upon the liberation of Tuluk. In present times, the nobility and the common caste retain this symbiotic relationship and often operate closely together to further their own schemes, creating friendships and business opportunities. However, the line between the common caste and noble caste is so inherently accepted that any sexual contact is strictly forbidden. Mingling between the people of both castes are the templars of Tuluk who are always watching the Citizens to make certain none break the law, silently disappearing those that do.

Outposts and Tribes

Struggling to remain independent and free of the control of the Citystates are smaller outposts and safe havens. These communities provide sanctuary from the dangers of the wastes and for those weary of the deadly politics and tyranny of the Citystates. But with safety comes the price of harsh and unforgiving local law enforcement.

Living precariously away from both the outposts and city-states are the nomadic tribes. Each of these sects of people can give the player a rich experience of culture, providing for their people while fending off beasts, raiders and magickers.

Magickers

Treated with dread, hatred and loathing amongst all the lands of Zalanthas are the magickers. The city-states are swift in their reactions to magickers, with Tuluk banning them from inside the city's walls and Allanak subjugating their elementalists with gemmed collars. The other wielders of near ultimate power, the sorcerers, are killed mercilessly by either city-state. In order to stay alive, these powerful people are forced to master their respective elements, or in the case of sorcerers, their inherently massive well of power. The magick system in Armageddon is robust and extensive, being divided into eight distinct and unique magick classes. Seven are based on elementalism and the eighth on sorcery. Each class explores their respective element through a multitude of spells that cover a wide range of depth and power. Although new spells are being added regularly through the diligent efforts of the mud's staff, the magick system is actually low-fantasy and it is rare, and often deadly, to encounter practitioners of these powerful arts.

Differences from Most Other Muds

There are no levels to be gained in Armageddon; a player's fighting prowess, like his abilities of woodcrafting or bartering, is measured entirely by skills which rise individually and invisibly through in-game use. Another important aspect is that of "perma-death". When your character dies in Armageddon, it is a one-time, permanent thing. So while players in most Hack and Slash MUDs tend to have three or fewer characters throughout a multi-year career, the lack of resurrection and a brutally lethal game world sees players on Armageddon going through ten or even twenty times that number. The combination of skill-level invisibility and perma-death has helped players focus on roleplaying realistically by giving them a true fear of death and a greater concern for their character's interaction with the world than with a numerical skill percentage.

Players are allowed only one character at a time, with each successive one being tied to a single player account. The account then becomes a sort of personal record, storing staff comments about the player as well as a general measurement of trust called "karma". Karma allows a player to create a character using restricted classes and races, most notably magick-users.

When Armageddon began it didn't have a Karma system in place, allowing any player to play any race or class. However, as the staff began to focus on the flourishing roleplay in Armageddon, the need arose to restrict ever more powerful classes into specified strata. By allocating karma to players who displayed growing levels of trustworthiness and knowledge of the game world, staff could be assured that the more potent classes were treated with the appropriate level of respect, roleplay and care.

Points of interest

Armageddon was also the first MUD to add the 'think' and 'feel' commands, which allow one to silently express the thoughts and feelings of their characters without broadcasting them to everyone in the room.[3]

The code is in a constant state of improvement and enhancements which has made the game very stable and allows for dynamic changes to the game world without requiring a restart or shutdown.

Armageddon is currently going through a major plot that will end in its destruction; out of its ashes, a second version is being developed. Currently, the next version's release date is unknown.

References

External links


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