Created in 1993 by a bunch of ordinary gamers, the Wheel of Time MUD it is the oldest in its genre. Managing to stay the leader in this genre since the mid 1990s, over 3 million characters have been created since inception. Three major expansion phases contributed its massive playerbase, and now that online worlds such as MMOs and MMORPGs have attracted mainstream attention and an explosion of players, the Wheel of Time MUD feels extremely confident in its future, and the story looks set to continue.
Image credit: tor.com
The exodus from MUME and the early years
The MUD itself was started when a bunch of friends who used to play another mud called MUME decided they wanted to do one of their own. Flash, Zun, Mournblade, Ingtar, Kilvarnan, Mogrash and Nass all played MUME together. The first zones and coding were all done by these ex-mumers, and in the early days we’d all get hugely excited if we had more than 3 people online =).
We are the oldest MUD set in the Wheel of Time universe; whilst Sanctuary got there before us in terms of the theme, that MUD folded and closed its doors early in the day. Our contemporary was Moment in Tyme; this MUD gradually moved away from its generic fantasy theme to convert to a Wheel of Time in the mid 1990s, and whilst it was very successful as a generic fantasy MUD, it failed to sustain its playerbase when it became strictly just roleplay orientated. Even MMORPG’s like Ultima Online have gone stale while WoTMUD is still standing.
It’s a success, and the MUD expands!
The Wheel of Time MUD has had two major expansion phases. The first of these occurred in 1996 following a website relaunch and the launch of clans, which led to us being chosen as Yahoo’s New Site of the Day and featured as Mud of the Month by the MUD Connector. During that year, our player numbers went from a regular 10-20 or so players to between 50 and 75 per night, and many of our most senior immortals such as Doyn and Vivienne come from that period.
WoTMUD just listens to what you personally have to say.
The second expansion phase occured after another website relaunch in 2000, which got us chosen as a Netscape Recommended Site and featured in several prominent online newsletters. During the period 2000-2004 the MUD expanded beyond 100 and 150 players, and one one occasion reached 227 simultaneous players in 2003. Oh, the spam! During that time the average number of players per night was 140-160, with Sunday and Monday evenings being the busiest. A “C” to “C++” codebase change in 2005 started the third expansion phase, one that is in progress at the time of writing.
Size isn’t always an advantage. Big software companies spend millions of dollars and years creating high end graphics you need a new computer to use and setting up game rules they think will be fun. WoTMUD just listens to what you personally have to say. We are not here to get your money, we just want you to have a good time and to get to share it with you. As a result the Wheel of Time MUD has a thriving community and the mood is always optimistic.