for us to organize with so we can create a new guild for the new server.
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 Anyone want to play a really old free MMORPG? Meridian 59

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Posts : 106
Join date : 2009-02-03
Location : BC Canada

PostSubject: Anyone want to play a really old free MMORPG? Meridian 59   Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:54 pm

I found a free server for meridian 59 that I've been messing around a bit on. It would be fun to have some more people I know there to hang out with. Could be something fun for some of us to do while waiting for word on the new EQ server.

This is the first MMORPG I ever played, it came out in 1996 or so. I've played it on and off for 4-5 years now, aside from EQ, its the only other mmo to have held my attention really well. I know the graphics are pretty bad, but its still a pretty good game. Theres lots of strategy on how to build your character, and pvp actually takes skill.

You can download and sign up here.

Some interesting history can be read here. (and heres a cut and paste from here)

Meridian 59, the first commercial, 3D massively multiplayer game, was developed by Archetype Interactive and published in September 1996 by 3DO. Meridian 59 was Archetype Interactive's only product; Archetype Interactive was acquired by 3DO in June 1996. Archetype was run by Steve Sellers, Mike Sellers, and John Hanke, with Andrew Kirmse and Chris Kirmse filling key technical roles. Damion Schubert contributed to the design along with a team totaling 22 employees and contractors. The game's technological base was initially inspired by Scepter of Goth.

The game was in an early beta stage in April 1996 when it was noticed by Kevin Hester and other game developers at 3DO. Trip Hawkins, CEO of 3DO, recognized the forward-looking value of the game and the company, and 3DO bought Archetype in June 1996. More than 25,000 players joined the game's public beta that lasted up until its commercial launch on September 27, 1996, beating its next major rival, Ultima Online, by approximately a year.

Although Meridian arguably holds the title as the first realtime three dimensional online role playing game, it lacks some features of its modern forebears. For instance, the ability to jump was not implemented as a function of character input. Any jumping required in puzzle solving is done by climbing an incline and falling from one platform to another. This is the same limitation that Doom suffered; the game used a similar engine written in part by the original developers.

Due to restrictions placed upon level designers by the graphics engine, many of the maps appear to have similar limitations to Doom. For instance, unnatural sharp edges are common, as are short walls that are placed to prevent the (non-jumping) player from entering incomplete areas of the world. Tree-lines are duplicate image stamps ,similar to tiled desktop backgrounds, and environment sounds are short clips from readily available sound sources.

However, the game contained may other features that modern games duplicate later: guilds had a dynamic voting system for changing leadership, customized sigils that appeared on shields, and guild halls that could be won or lost. There were also in-game bulletin board system (called newsglobes), a personal mail system that both players and NPCs could use to send messages, a political meta-game, and frequent expansions that expanded the world and gameplay options.

Prior to its release, the term "massively multiplayer" and the acronym "MMORPG" emerged in meetings within 3DO (beating out other monikers such as "large-n game"), as did the now-ubiquitous monthly subscription model. At the time, AOL was still charging per minute, though a change to flat fees was anticipated. The game received multiple awards, including the fantasy-role-playing game of the year for 1996. It has also had various updates throughout its life, each adding new monsters, spells, and areas.

The game is now aimed primarily at fans of PvP (Player vs Player) combat, as it is virtually lag free and has a player-run justice system implemented to mediate killing of other players. Unlike many online RPGs, it is not based around character levels and classes. Instead, each individual skill and attribute, including health, develop independently of one another. Hit points (health) are acquired by killing monsters that are a challenge for the player. Mana (magic points) is acquired by exploring and finding mana nodes in the game world. All base attributes except karma are static, but they can be adjusted with certain items and spells temporarily.

Meridian 59's new rendering engine.Players choose from seven skill/spell schools, six of which are based on patron gods in the game world's mythos: Weaponcraft, Shal'ille, Qor, Kraanan, Faren, Riija, and Jala. Each school has a different focus and application in gameplay.

Meridian 59 is a typical sword and sorcery setting where adventurers go out and fight monsters. In the game, there are few NPCs, with most of them static and unchanging. Most of the focus is on the activities of the players as they fight against the monsters in the land.

The game is set in the 59th provincial colony of an ancient empire which explored the universe through portals in a magical nexus. However, several hundred years ago, something went wrong and the young frontier colonies in Meridian 59 were separated from the Empire. Now the land is in turmoil. Political factions fight for territory and power, monsters, trolls, orcs, and the undead threaten to destroy all life, and the magical nexus is in a flux, causing disasters across the land. Meridian 59 features six cities and towns: the rebellious mining town of Jasper, the royal city of Barloque, the thriving but troubled Tos, the peaceful farming village of Marion, the crossroads lake-side university town of Cor Noth, and the independent jungle island settlement of Ko'Catan.

While there is evidence of ancient dwarves and some other high fantasy races, players can only play human characters.

Weaponscraft - Physical combat, including dodging, parrying, weapons skills, archery, shields, and disarming.

Shal'ille - Based on the patron goddess of rain and peace. Healing, protection, uncursing, harming evil, curing, resurrecting, and trucing.

Qor - Based on the patron goddess of evil and darkness. Damage, blindness, curses, and other ailments to control or harm opponents, as well as invisibility.

Kraanan - Based on the patron god of war and valor. Combat "buffs", resistance to various kinds of spells, attribute modifiers, and miscellaneous other utilitarian spells with practical applications in combat.

Faren - Based on the god of the earth and the elements. Mostly Area of Effect and Direct Damage spells based on lightning, ice, wind, fire, and other natural forces. This school also contains spells to resist the elements.

Riija - Based on the patron god of illusion and trickery. Spells used to deceive players or confuse monsters, including hiding information, summoning illusory minions, and spells to manipulate the mind. Riija is also home to the most powerful teleportation spell in Meridian 59.

Jala - Based on the patron goddess of music and artistry. The School of Jala is comprised of songs and jingles which have magical effects on all entities in the area, including negation of the effects of the other schools of magic, creation of potions and enchanted magical items, and mana and health regeneration.
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