Avalon: The Legend Lives (0)

Avalon: The Legend Lives
First release date
PC iPhone iPad Android Acorn Archimedes

Avalon: The Legend Lives is an evolution on the original MUD genre. It was described by Richard Bartle as “a new MUA that has already attracted great attention in the industry due to its departure from the traditional MUD1 mould”. It is a text-based that was released on October 29th 1989 at the last of the so-called Mega Meets ADVENTURE 89.

Avalon was the first 'game' to marry table-top roleplaying game depth with multi-player computer gaming. Before Avalon, a multi-user game was about doing puzzles, gaining points, ultimately trying to become a 'wizard' once over a certain number of points. Simple and charming, originating in the UK with MUD in the late 70s and matured by Mirrorworld and Gemstone I, II and III in the US. Richard Bartle, co-creator of MUD summarized the MUD1 mould reviewing in the early 90s and wrote of it as “uncannily similar in many areas, particularly in its basic search for treasure, get points, go up levels and become a wizard.."

Avalon was different from the start. It had skills each with dozens of abilities. It had a player-run guilds and cities. It had an ecosystem and a world economy. It had currency. It had ownership of items and property and location creation (e.g. building yourself a house). It allowed players to run shops or to be elected to lead their guild and decide its members, or win the honour of running one of the cities - defining the world's future by starting wars, conquering enemy cities.

It did not shutdown every hour to “reset” to a simple start-point where the player logged back in, retaining only name and points score (the MUD1 mould). Avalon had complex religious orders and wizards were just a pseudonym for one of the magic using guilds: it had Gods instead with realms of power and priesthoods and like mortal, freedom to direct the game's plotlines - to make its history.

While it was inspired by many early Multi-User-Dungeons and absorbed many of their superb multi-player standards, Avalon had different goals and was more akin to the TSR “Rolemaster” tabletop roleplaying game than a point-scoring run-around.

Before Avalon the concept of “player v player” fighting in any meaningful sense did not exist. Games followed the MUD mould: if combat was allowed you typed “KILL <player>” and the game compared points and a handful of special items you might have picked up ahead of your rival (a mad dash after the “reset”). Winner was decided, gaining some of the losers points. Loser was either deleted or had 50% points penalty. The first fight in a multi-player game decided by the player's own skill was in Avalon. Nothing was decided from the start. Everything depended on the fighters themselves.