|Developer(s)||Philippe "Eru" Rochat, Claude "CryHavoc" Indermitte, Pier "Manwë" Donini, David "Nada" Gay, Gustav "Dáin" Hållberg, project community|
MUME, Multi-Users in Middle-earth, is a MUD, one of the early offspring of DikuMUD, founded in 1992. MUME enjoys a measure of popularity in the MUD world. In a September 2000 interview Raph Koster, the lead designer of Ultima Online and the chief creative officer of EverQuest II, lists MUME as one of the games that influenced him as a game designer by "doing such interesting things with player conflict".
MUME was created in 1991 by Philippe "Eru" Rochat, who was soon joined by Claude "CryHavoc" Indermitte, Pier "Manwë" Donini, and David "Nada" Gay. The game was built as an homage to J. R. R. Tolkien's world as described in The Lord of the Rings. MUME has since released several new versions, incorporating new changes and areas that recreate Tolkien's world in text format.
The setting of this MUD is in the Third Age, before the War of the Ring. Players characters may belong to any of several races of Men (including Dúnedain, shape-shifting Beornings and Black Númenóreans), or be Dwarves, Hobbits, Elves, Half-Elves, Orcs or Trolls.
MUME maintains a player-killing aspect by allowing the players of evil characters to battle the players of good characters, but restricts other player-killing, promoting a balance of player versus player conflict with non-lethal role-playing. Hostile races are recommended only for the experienced player, with the implication that such races will indulge in player killing.
MUME includes numerous locations based on Tolkien's works:
- Grey Havens: An elven city on the west shores of Middle-earth
- Blue Mountains: A dwarven city in the western mountains, far away from the war.
- Shire: A peaceful area of hobbits, where magic and warfare are not tolerated.
- Bree: A central city where all races can meet, trade, and rest during their journeys.
- Fangorn: The domain of the immensely tall and giantlike, treeish Ents.
- Fornost: A half-ruined Númenórean city on the northern borders where spirits still roam.
- Tharbad: A city of scoundrels and thieves, where Black Númenóreans often lurk.
- Rivendell: An elven city of magic, safe from the surrounding dangers.
- Moria: A deep dark pit of secrets, traps, and a fearsome balrog.
- Warrens: The home of trolls, it is a series of tunnels northwest of Rivendell.
- Orc caves: Both races of orcs have guarded caves nestled within the Misty Mountains.
- Mirkwood: A dark and misty forest where it is easy to become trapped.
- Lothlórien: An elven forest protected by archers and elves.
- Rohan: An area that is home to Isengard, the Rohirrim, and the Fangorn forest.
The Race War
In MUME, players can join several factions in the ongoing war between good and evil:
- Armies of the West: Men, Elves, Hobbits, Dwarves, and Beornings.
- Armies of Sauron: Trolls, Black Númenóreans, and (Tarkhnarb) Orcs.
- The Renegade Zaugurz, a splinter tribe of orcs hated by both sides.
This factionalization promotes camaraderie between those on the same side. Player killing is generally restricted to fighting those of the opposite side, and players not desiring this style of play can usually find areas safe from the war. (Though nothing is guaranteed — players occasionally band together to form raids that invade enemy lands.)
The Race War aspect has spawned many fansites for MUME, where text logs of combat between the sides is uploaded and shared with others, to be commented on and rated. This can bring about long-standing player involvement, with those who have stopped playing sometimes continuing to read logs on popular fansites.
Role-playing is encouraged on this MUD in a number of ways. New players are encouraged to select a character name which fits into Tolkien's world, and if the name they choose is blatantly inappropriate, they will be forced to change it. Different towns have different local laws which characters will be jailed for violating; for example, using magic is a crime in the Shire unless you are a citizen. Many "Istari" (immortal characters who gain experience by helping newbies) and "Rangers" (experienced characters who still play the game as mortals but have also volunteered to help) encourage newbies to roleplay, some going as far as to discourage use of the global chat command "narrate" because it is unrealistic.
MUME is based on DikuMUD. The core of MUME is written in C, while the mudlib (global critical code, such as game commands, justice system support and shop functionality) and game world (code for specific rooms, mobiles, and objects) are written in Mudlle.
- Maloni, Kelly; Baker, Derek; Wice, Nathaniel (1994). Net Games. Random House / Michael Wolff & Company, Inc. p. 79. ISBN 0-679-75592-6.
MUME IV Multi-Users in Middle Earth, or MUME, simulates Tolkien's world of Middle Earth. [...] Role-playing is encouraged, but this is primarily an adventure and combat MUD. [...] Server: Diku
- "The Last Outpost". Archived from the original on 2007-12-30. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
- Nayar, Pramad K. (2010). An Introduction to New Media and Cybercultures. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 143. ISBN 1-4051-8166-4.
It is therefore interesting to see the online spaces of MUDs being created along the lines of fictional worlds in novels. Popular examples include the online game Discworld MUD, based on Terry Pratchett's fiction (discworld.atuin.net/lpc/), or MUME (Multi-Users in Middle Earth, (www.lordotrings.com/artmedia/mume.asp) and LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online, lotro.turbine.com/), based on J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.
- Aihoshi, Richard. "Raph Koster Interview". VaultNetwork. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2000-10-17. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
- "April '98 Mud of the Month". The Mud Connector. April 1998. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
- Herlihy, Jay (2003-04-25). "The Oldest DikuMuds". dikumud.com. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- Herlihy, Jay (1998-10-09). "The Historical DikuMUD List". rec.games.mud.diku. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- Greenman, Ben; Maloni, Kelly; Cohn, Deborah; Spivey, Donna (1996). Net Games 2. Michael Wolff & Company, Inc. p. 247. ISBN 0-679-77034-8.
MUME [...] The action takes place in the late Third Age, before The Hobbit and after the loss of the One Ring by Sauron. The key of Erebor was just found by Gandalf and all the epic tales narrated in The Lord of the Rings may take place.
- Hall, Lynne (1999-05-30). "TMC Reviews: MUME - Multi Users In Middle Earth". The Mud Connector.
- "Mudlle download site". Retrieved 2010-04-07.