The Wheel of Time Turns: Our Game History

The Wheel of Time turns, and the MUD keeps on going. Created in 1993 by a bunch of ordinary gamers, the Wheel of Time MUD 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 have contributed to its playerbase. Now that online worlds such as MMOs and MMORPGs have attracted mainstream attention and an explosion of players, the Wheel of Time MUD feels confident in its future. The story looks set to continue.

The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. No eye can see the pattern until it is woven.

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The exodus from MUME, the Wheel of Time genre and the early years

The MUD itself began when a bunch of friends who played a mud called MUME decided they wanted to do one of their own. The core creative team consisted of Flash, Zun, Mournblade, Ingtar, Kilvarnan, Mogrash and Nass. The first zones and coding were all done by these ex-mumers. 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. A mud called Sanctuary beat us to the punch with the theme, but folded and closed its doors early on. 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. It was very successful as a generic fantasy MUD, but failed to sustain its playerbase when it became strictly roleplay orientated. Many early MMORPG’s 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. Many of our old senior immortals such as Doyn and Vivienne came from that period.

WoTMUD just listens to what you personally have to say.

The second expansion phase occurred after another website relaunch in 2000. In this period we were chosen as a Netscape Recommended Site and featured in several prominent online newsletters. During the 2000-2004 period the MUD expanded beyond 100 and 150 players, and on 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 was the dawn of the third major expansion phase.

Keeping it maintainable

Size isn’t always an advantage. Big software companies spend millions of dollars creating high end graphics that you will constantly need the latest and greatest technology to use. Those can be fun if you have a big budget to spend on them. WoTmud 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 share it with you. As a result, the Wheel of Time MUD has a thriving community and the mood is always optimistic.