Materia MagicaMateria Magica
, originally entitled Moongate Online
, is a MUD
which has been in operation since 1996 and is now one of the most widely-played MUD's in existence. Its popularity during peak playing hours can reach over 500 simultaneously connected players. The world of Materia Magica is known as "Alyria", which consists of several continents, unique playable areas, and clanhalls. The overall theme can be compared to the likes of Middle-earth
wherein different races live in strife and bloodlust is commonplace. The lead implementor, Vassago, administrates the game along with several other "immortals" (thusly named due to their "godlike" status in the game).
Though hailed by players for its detailed, albeit ultimately text-based environments, Materia Magica is based on the principle of endless killing and leveling up. Hence, people will often refer to such a mud as being "cookie-cutter" and "just another MUD of the hack and slash genre". Despite such criticism, however, Materia Magica remains strong in player loyalty and its world is constantly being expanded and improved upon. Unfortunately, the MUD has recently seen a greater focus on profit rather than player enjoyment with the influx of "donation items" which -- in some instances -- augment a player's abilities to levels beyond that of a non-donating player's.