1990s MMO Tibia adds ‘retro’ servers


Few online titles can boast the lifespan of Tibia, which launched 22 years ago in 1997. Fewer still can be that old and still feature active development that occasionally makes headlines. Two years ago, the silent MMO was propelled into the spotlight with its Mystery Door saga, while this past week, the dev team decided to roll out new retro servers for its fanbase.

The team is opening up six shards on February 6th: Three that will feature “retro hardcore PvP” and three that will be more PvE focused. No character transfers will be allowed onto them, and the servers are going to be exclusive to premium accounts for the time being.

“If the mere thought of mortal combat stirs your blood and sending other Tibians to the temple brings you the greatest joy, then the new Retro Hardcore PvP game worlds are exactly what you are looking for,” the team posted.

Learn more about Tibia by reading MOP’s Game Archaeologist retrospective about its fascinating history!

Source: Tibia. Thanks Panagiotis!

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Fenrir Wolf

I really thought Tibia was early ’00s. That’s bizarre, that it shared a time frame with Ultima Online, which is probably why now that I think about it because UO was all anyone talked about for a year or two.

Admittedly, even I was a fan. Though I preferred the PvE servers. I liked that I could just go mining and enjoy the company of others without it being some insane competition. It was a very introverted time, so we’d mostly just mine in peace. I miss that kind of ambient socialising.

These days, “ambient socialising” means people dancing naked on mailboxes, jumping around, and having poorly considered names which contain at least fifteen too many z’s.

Ultima Online has lots of memories for me. I was even a maintainer for a little known SphereUO server, more innocent times. I remember I felt that jail was too cruel for miscreants, so I programmed up an alternative and let the player choose their fate. They could either be locked inside a cell, or be transmogrified into a slime for the remainder of their sentence.

Any attempts at speech came out as *glip* and *gloop.* At least they could move around though and listen in on the conversations their friends were having. I found having a far less cruel punishment worked out in our favour too for the unfortunate cases we got wrong.

Most people were well behaved though because we were hardly stoic vagabonds, cut from the manliest of cloths. No, we were vulnerable, emotional children and we cared too much. It fostered a good community atmosphere, though.

At least where introverted personalities are concerned, if you treat people decently it inspires them to do better. Who knew?

Of course, none of this has anything to do with Tibia which I heard of first years later and, in my all too typical fashion, bounced off of it because it was nought but grind.

The only game that almost suckered me in with a grind loop was Istaria, where the reward wasn’t exclusivity, but rather being able to fly around as a humongous dragon and amass a horde for my lair. Being as typically Welsh as I am, that was… enthralling.

I persisted! Still, the allure of roleplaying an ancient, wise, benevolent, benign, kindly, and slightly naughty old ddraig was… compelling.

Ah, had it only been a different game.

Which still has absolutely nothing to do with Tibia.

TL;DR: Tibia is most memorable to me for the games it reminded me of that it wasn’t.


Very different eras. Nowadays you go to mine and see other people running around but none will say or respond to a hi on new games. Also the, grindy, games of the past had a good thing they gave bonus exp for teaming up in the open world. Nowadays you get less exp per mob for every extra team member since it just get split. The old system promoted more teaming and because grinding took time people ended up talking more as well. Nowadays games are superior on many technical ways but they got the negatives of letting down the social aspect(part devs fault in how they design them – part ours as gamers cause we evolved accepting mmos without the social aspect) and often trying to be overcomplicated(I mean games should be for fun, not get trained for a job). Roleplay is close to extinct even though I still often pick my char’s name, race and looks(including trasmogs/looks later) in a way they fill some role.


They actually call their PVE servers as Optional PVP servers, since PVP can happen only if both want to.

The game is quite old but has a charm and a simple easy going gameplay that makes it good for breaks between other games. I almost always have it as a third game