Welcome to the Achaea Forums! Please be sure to read the Forum Rules.

Comparing Iron Realms MUDs

ReleeRelee Member Posts: 1
Hi! I used to play MUDs back in the 90s and I've been playing Achaea for a few days. I got interested in MUDs again after reading some of Richard Bartle's book Designing Virtual Worlds. Achaea is the oldest MUD under the Iron Realms banner, right? I thought it would be a good place to start. But there's other MUDs too, and I'm curious how they all relate!

First off, what are the differences between the Iron Realms MUDs? Why do they need so many, and what features make them each unique?

Second, how are the communities on each of the MUDs?

Third, how is the support for each of the MUDs? Are some given preferential treatment? I don't know if Iron Realms develops these MUDs or just publishes them or what, now that I think of it. 

I appreciate all the info you can share!


  • AhmetAhmet Wherever I wanna beMember Posts: 3,370 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    A few points.

    Achaea is the most populous of the IRE muds.

    Each mud has it's own development team, so it's not like they're trying to spread themselves between different projects across MUDs, though the sizes and workloads of those teams vary, I'm sure.

    As far as the differences between the MUDs go, each MUD has a different world, story and varying levels of convenience commands. I'm not gonna give a quick run-down because the IRE website has a general measure, and the intricate differences would take far too long to cover and what each person cares about would make that breakdown completely different. I'd honestly suggest making a character and spending a few hours going through the intro and novice areas of each to get a feel for the differences, see if any of them grab your attention.

    Achaea's the best, obviously, but that's my personal bias speaking.
    Huh. Neat.
  • VallieVallie Member Posts: 245 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited January 2017
    Comparing vs. Lusternia:
    To me, the biggest difference is setting: Achaea is high fantasy - dragons, knights, mages, sneaky sneks. There is sailing and the creatures you face are often some sort of fantasy trope of monster or another. Lusternia is fantasy-ish, but has a lot of planar travel/space things built in (you fly space ships and shoot lasers at space monsters in aethercraft). Rather than become a dragon, you literally become a demigod or even an ascendant (like super demi-god). The Gods in general are a lot more openly active there, and it's not too difficult to become a walking Avatar of them if you want.

    Communities: One of the reasons I left Lusternia was because of numbers, Achaea is usually 3-4x Lusternia's pop at any given time. The cities are pretty empty to me, so there's not a real feel of community, whereas I've felt that Achaea's feel much more developed.

    Support: I never really sat on Lusternia's forums, but the fact that the admins here post quite often in a huuuge variety of threads (even the rants sometimes) signals to me a very strong interest in the player base. One of the coolest things in my mind was recently @Kenway mentioned he had done some trig to determine astronomical positions of things in the sky, and @Nicola commented on wanting to get that information - that's real player created content being pulled into the game, and that's awesome. In terms of game mechanics support, I think both Lusternia and Achaea are about equal - they both have their own systems to suggest changes in balance, and experienced combatants weigh in on them with the admin.

    A particular difference that I noticed was Achaea really does have the possibility to be player-driven - Cyrene's declared neutrality as far as I'm aware was completely a player decision, but it's hugely influenced it's place in the world, for better or worse. Individual people can have an effect on how world events happen. In Lusternia, it felt like you were more along for the ride, and while the storytelling and the world was very detailed and in-depth, it still felt to me that everything was hugely predetermined and otherwise static.
  • BlujixapugBlujixapug Member Posts: 1,833 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Achaea: first, biggest. (Best.) Setting is most broadly 'fantasy'.

    Aetolia: dark fantasy, undead, lycanthropes, vampires. People tend to take roleplaying more seriously - not to say they don't in other games, it's just more of a thing in Aetolia.

    Imperian: once upon a time it was the most PVP-focused one. Absolutely no idea what it's like now in terms of playerbase activity, general feel etc. Setting is very divided into three factions into which all cities and guilds and most classes fall: magick vs antimagick vs demonic.

    Lusternia: developed by the same lead producer for its entire lifetime, and their unified vision means Lusternia has very extensive, coherent lore that unifies every area, city, god, guild, race etc. Lots of large-scale quests. Its phantasmagoric theme is very colourful and a little bit love-it-or-hate-it, mingling spelljammer, steampunk, and Rocky Horror, with a playerbase that embraces it.

    Starmourn: greatness foretold

    Playerbase numbers may or may not be a dealbreaker for you. None of the others have the numbers Achaea does. If you mostly play in NA peak hours, it probably won't be a problem. Otherwise it can be an issue.
  • AsmodronAsmodron Member Posts: 3,137 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited January 2017
    Having played and tested each of the IRE muds, I can say that what brings me back to achaea most of all is numbers. It is such a big aspect of game enjoyment when you feel you can interact with a big community and feel you can always meet new people. No one wants to really play alone in a ghost town.

    While the other muds have some great quality (such as Lusternia's fantastic storyline and lore) it all tends to feel mute if the world itself feels dead.
  • ScaeScae Member Posts: 16
    Achaea looks more populated, but it really depends on time. I played a lot in Imperian, it feels almost the same.
    Be wild; that is how to clear the river.
  • RhyssinRhyssin Member Posts: 9
    To your question about why they need so many, Sarapis once said that Aetolia was created because Achaea had too many players for what the server could support at the time. As to why the other games happened, no clue. Could just be good money.

    Between Lusternia and Achaea, beyond the size difference, I think the communities are pretty similar. A lot of very helpful people on the forums and in game. I think socially they can both be a little hard to break into unless you're willing to put yourself out there a little bit, but they are both very welcoming of new players. I think approaches to roleplay differ between all the games, but overall the communities have invested in the roleplay/lore/setting of their world.

    From what I know, the individual MUDs and their development teams run them essentially independently with light oversight from IRE (ie. you will see similar monthly promotions across the games). I don't think any one gets preferential treatment, though I think it may seem like that because the bigger MUDs like Achaea can afford to pay some additional staff (assistant producers, lead builders, paid coders) in addition to the volunteers that work on the game.
Sign In to Comment.