Threshold (online game)
|Release date(s)||June 17, 1996|
|Genre(s)||Fantasy RP MUD|
Threshold is a roleplaying enforced MUD (text-based online role-playing game) that has been in operation since June 1996. Its focus is on providing a place for roleplaying in addition to traditional MMO/MUD style gameplay. It has as many as 70-100 players online at any given time.
Owned and operated by Frogdice, Inc. in Lexington, Kentucky, Threshold was originally created by Michael A. "Aristotle" Hartman.
Threshold is a text-based MUD. The focus is heavily on role-playing, and the enforcement and stimulation of roleplaying motivate the bulk of its rules and cases of administrator intervention. It has a long-standing policy disallowing minors and one must be over 18 to play.
Threshold is a fantasy based MUD set in a world with three main continents and a chain of islands. Religion based on a pantheon of Greek-like deities plays a dominant role in the story of the mud, with the ability for players to rise through the ranks of religious organizations to gain divine powers. The concepts of good and evil serve as a core driving force of the roleplay within the game. Threshold provides a framework for a player-driven legal system where players can take the role of judges, lawyers, and the jury in order to prosecute players who are accused of breaking the law. There are fifteen guilds in Threshold which are equivalent to character classes in Dungeons & Dragons, one being a secret, unlisted guild. Players can diversify their characters further with skills acquired by joining a clan. Players can also supplement their main occupation by learning one of four resource gathering professions.
Business model 
Since 1996, Threshold has always used some version of what is now known as the "free to play" business model. It started out with a donation system where players donated towards server upgrades and hosting costs. Then Threshold evolved to a registration system which encouraged players to spend at least $50 per year. In 2007, Threshold transitioned to a pay for perks system where players can purchase virtual items.
For three consecutive years, Threshold was The MUD Journal's highest-rated role-playing game. Computer Games Magazine listed it as a highlight of less popular MMOGs, describing it as being particularly focused on role-playing, and noting the distinct passion of its players.
- "Journey Beyond the Threshold!". thresholdrpg.com. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
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- Hartman, Michael A. (1997-06-21). "Threshold Role Playing Game!". rec.games.mud.announce. Retrieved 2009-01-11.
- DJ Kyle. "Interview w/ an Online RPG Game Creator". Ignite 107. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- "Threshold RPG is No Longer Pay-to-Play". mpogd.com. 2007-05-20. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- Baker, Tracy (2001-08-01). "Top 10 Free Online Games". Computer Gaming World: 11.
- "Lost in Transition". Edge: 76–77. 2009-03-01.
- Bartle, Richard (2009-01-05). "Threshold". Retrieved 2009-01-10.