Text-based MMO MUD Starmourn is a sci-fi sandbox spectacle due out later this year

    
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It’s been a while since we talked about Starmourn here on Massively OP, but if you squint back into 2016, you’ll remember that it was announced as a new roleplay-centric, sci-fi massively multiplayer MUD by developer Iron Realms, which itself has been around for decades pumping out and maintaining high-quality text-based MMOs. The game features extreme customization, crafting, player economy, 50 alien races, PvP combat, starships, creative death mechanics – the works.

As MOP tipster Avaera reminded us, the game is now set for the launch of its “first playable release” this year and has been rolling up game information at a steady pace over the last couple of years. This summer, for example, Iron Realms has covered the game world’s core government, complete with lore, as well as its unique combat.

“Starting from a relatively clean slate with Starmourn has allowed us to work on some of the pipedreams and ‘wouldn’t it be nice if we could…’ bucket list items that would be a nightmare to try and retrofit into an established game,” Iron Realms Producer Justin Walsh wrote earlier this year. “One example that is exciting is blurring the lines between players and NPCs in terms of interaction and combat – there’s very little in the way of ‘this ability only works to/against players’ or ‘this interaction only works against NPCs’, which is a refreshing change.”

That same interview also covers the game’s player-killing rules (yes, there’s ganking, but there are consequences – “it’s not a free-for-all gankfest”), and yes, the game will have the equivalent of a cash shop for funding purposes (that’s been common in MUDs for longer than MMOs have been around), but don’t expect to see pay-to-win.

Just another reminder that for sandbox MMORPG fans, a lot of the real genre innovation may not be happening in the graphical realm at all.

Source: Official site. Cheers, Avaera!

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Oleg Chebeneev

Ive been waiting this one for quite a while. Loved IRE’s other MUDs, especially Lusternia. But I dont like that they bring conditions system to combat. I cant believe that in all those years they cant create something better then this clunky, boring and overcomplicated system.
Also Starmourn races are total unimaginative mess. Half of them are just earth animal types. Oh look, the space lion, space ape and space bird. Not impressed? Here is space rhino, brah! Or maybe you want space crocodile? Maybe if I was 6 years old I’d like this space zoo they call races.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

I guess I should be ashamed to admit, but I’m not; the stream of text and ascii graphics are deal breakers for me. It’s odd because I grew up in the dawn of the PC age, so you would think that nostalgia would be a draw here. But when I read about how the lack of graphics left them time to work on deeper systems, I lose all sense of caring. I admire the effort and I am sure some will enjoy it. But when I sit down to play a game these days, I’d honestly rather have a beautifully done 3D world with unsurprising / shallower / simpler systems. Time spent on assets and world building is costly, but it’s worth paying for to me.

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Oleg Chebeneev

For some imagination can create more vivid picture than any 3d graphics

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Kevin McCaughey

So does it have 3d graphics? Not really clear on that having read your article.

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Weilan

It will have letters in Unreal Engine 4.

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Oleg Chebeneev

MUDs are text games but there will be space ship combat on ascii map.

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Alexander Smith

I like the idea of muds but they just never grab me.

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Roger Melly

Didn’t realize MUDs were still in existence .

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Oh yeah, this one started in 1996 and is still going.

https://www.play.net/dr/

Dragon Realms

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Grave Knight

Oh, yes, Iron Realms, the guys who are developing this MUD, have been running Achaea since 1997.

This is also not their first attempt at a sci-fi MUD, though this one is a bit more successful. Apparently the previous game they were working on was canceled due to mismanagement. The guy in charge apparently wasn’t keeping the engine they were using up to date, so it was just a waste of resources.

I’m just hoping they have good PVE for those of us more interested in adventuring and shooting malicious space bugs (and other horrors of the unknown).

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Alex Hyer

I still run a Star Wars “MUSH” and it has 80+ people on it a night.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

I call dibs on naming my character Xyzzy!

I mean it!

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António Dredske-Raquel

I’m actually excited for this. I haven’t played a MUD since BatMUD days.

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Grave Knight

Iron Realms Entertainment also has a number of fantasy MUDs with Achaea being their oldest one.

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Weilan

I tried to play Achaea one time, never played a MUD before, what instantly turned me off is that the text keeps f-ing scrolling and I can’t read it, so I gave up at this point. I don’t know how people put up with this garbage.

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Crowe

So… like general chat on a busy server?

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Weilan

Which would be OK, for a game like WoW or CS:GO, but not for a game where everything is text. If you don’t undrstand what I mean, I will explain in more detail.

There is one window for text, everything goes in it, even events that don’t directly concern me. Game starts, I’m in a dungeon cell, I plan to read the text and get immersed, use my imagination. As soon as I read the first sentece, rampant text start scrolling and it doesn’t concern me, my description of my surroundings is lost among this text, I can’t read it, even if I scroll up, it doesn’t stay like that, it just keeps scrolling regardless.

That’s like trying to play WoW or CS:GO and the screen is obstructed by live footage of other people playing.