Lusternia replaces its producer as the text-based MMO/MUD turns 15 years old


The timing for this bit of Lusternia news couldn’t be worse, to be completely frank. The MUD’s producer, Robb “Estarra” French, has been ejected from his position as producer right at the moment when the text-based MMO/MUD was kicking off its 15th anniversary celebration.

Information on what happened is sparse, but French’s farewell address, which meshes in-character remarks as Estarra with out-of-character references, makes it seem that this was out of his control:

“As I have pledged before that I would never abandon Lusternia, please know that this is not my choice and if there were any way I could stay in any capacity, I would. My great hope would be to return one day as a creative consultant to oversee lore and story, but alas for now I must drift into the Void.”

Estarra’s goodbye was quickly followed by a post from Jeremy Saunders, executive producer of Iron Realms Entertainment, who thanked French for 15 years of service in Lusternia and over 20 years at the studio. The producer position will now be taken over by two people, Orael and Ianir, who previously were coders for the MUD. A post from Ianir attempted to assuage the vocal players expressing deep concern over the future of the game in the context of some of IRE’s other MUDs:

“We are aware what it looks like, having two people previously serving primarily as coders in the producer seat where a storyteller once was, in a world which was about the lore. We have many volunteers here who were involved in the creation of story and events here, including myself, and promise to you that none of us intend to let the story of Lusternia die or falter in any way.”

Ianir’s post further promises that the devs of Lusternia will shake their bad habit of starting on new projects without finishing or refining older projects, as well as share a roadmap of updates in the coming weeks. For now, the 15th anniversary celebration continues with a number of events running through the entire month of October.

source: official site (1, 2, 3, 4), thanks to Avaera for the tip!

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It doesn’t seem really that surprising. As the thread indicates Estarra did a great job with the lore of the world, but when I played the complaints were about the game part of Lusternia.

So yeah, Estarra gave the game it’s lore. But she was also responsible for decisions like “making bashing more interesting” by making NPCs strong and weak against certain damage types, without making sure that all cities had access to a “good” damage type.

She also often seemed more interested in shutting down complaints than doing anything about them.
If players couldn’t give the admin a simple to code solution to even the most far-reaching issues then the issue wasn’t a priority. When players started getting angry or frustrated because of the lack of action she would start using tactics like tone policing to shut down complaints. Allegedly, “Affinity” got to a point where any discussion of the system was banned.

So what other outcome can you really expect? Why would anyone continue to play a game, let alone invest up to hundreds of dollars a month into, with a producer who behaves like that.

Kickstarter Donor

Estarra, no!!!
I don’t play now. But I played Lusternia from the very beginning up until about 4-5 years ago. I would still peak in the game and forums every so often. I’m pretty sad about this.

Oleg Chebeneev

One of the best MUDs Ive played. Particularly rooms descriptions and quests. Estarra wasnt just a producer, Lusternia was his child and he was behind everything in the game. Not sure what could cause his departure


Hoping for the best. Lusternia connected with me the most out of all Iron Realms games.


Wait…MUDs are still a thing?


Hmm I wonder on the reason but reading it doesnt seem to mean necessarily ejected – could be as well -out of control- real life issues or a job. I doubt these MUDs give much income to be a main job for anyone even though there are lessons etc people can buy


It definitely does not read like he was ejected. It reads like he had to leave on his own for some reason. Especially when you read the part about how he’d like to be able to return one day as a creative consultant, that most likely wouldn’t be an option if he was being forced out.

The writer of the article here assumed he was being ejected so wrote that into the story, but to me (and obviously you) it doesn’t read like that at all. It reads as if he has stuff going on in life where he needs to leave the game.

Not having a choice doesn’t mean he was fired. There are lots of things that could happen in real life that would make him have to leave without really having a choice.


And Lusternia had a population of around 45-60 logged at all times. To anyone who worked there it was a hobby because the lesson packs and artifacts bought probably would just cover the hosting costs – at best they would get some small sum yearly which doesnt constitutes a job so a new(and busy) job can also be a reason for it