Underlight

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Underlight
Developer(s) Lyra Studios
Platform(s) Windows
Release date(s) 1998
Genre(s) Role Playing Game
Mode(s) Multiplayer
Distribution Download

Underlight was a fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). Underlight was Lyra Studio's first product, launched on Mplayer in 1998.

Gameplay[edit]

Underlight focuses on character development and interaction primarily through in-character roleplaying, rather than combat or items (although both exist and have their place). The game gives players the opportunity to shape the world through roleplaying, both in a figurative sense by influencing and manipulating events and in a literal sense, where new arts (the game's version of spells) are introduced and modified, new planes (levels) form, and new rooms appear through the actions of the players. Advancement in the game revolves primarily through interaction with others, where strength (experience) is gained via interaction with others, and arts and orbits (levels) are earned by requesting and completing a variety of tasks from teachers, players who possess the ability to train others in obtaining and strengthening arts. Underlight's setting is a shared dreamstate or consciousness, reached by people who have attained a heightened state of mind through advancement of mental skill and ability rather than physical technology. These people hail from earth-like sections of a world, each surrounded by an impenetrable boundary mist. Gameplay commonly revolves around the interactions of numerous Houses (guilds), each with a different take on the dream they inhabit and their beliefs on many different aspects of the game. There are no non-player characters (NPCs) aside from monsters (or "nightmares".),[1] which provide an outlet for combat when aggressive interaction with players is not feasible.

Demise[edit]

In November 2006 Lyra Studios announced the game would be shut down on New Year's Eve 2006 due to a dwindling user base and chronic lack of game staff.

Rebirth - Shades of Truth and Echoes of Chaos[edit]

Following the demise of the Lyra run version of Underlight, a license was purchased by an independent group in an effort to continue running the game for those of the community who enjoyed the unique atmosphere of the game, but were unable to find a suitable replacement. It was hosted by Ixios Development from 2008 to 2013 under the title of Underlight: Shades of Truth. In 2013, Red Coat Games took over hosting and maintaining the game under the title of Underlight: Echoes of Chaos; but, they shut it down by the end of the year.[2]

Clash of Dreams[edit]

In early 2014, another independent group KoiWare, obtained a license to operate the game and planned a release later in the year. This new incarnation operates under the title, Underlight: Clash of Dreams, allows players to bring in characters from both the Lyra and Shades of Truth versions.[3] As of March 2014, closed beta testing was under way. The new versions went live in September of 2014. Clash of Dreams was able to get the NPC mare engine up and the original server back online complete with the entire database originally used in the Lyra version (allowing old players to return with the characters just as they were when they last logged in 2006 and prior) they also have the SoT player database, and the clash of two flavors of UnderLight had begun. Clash of Dreams has added new levels, content, arts, tweaks and various other updates to the original software, and have an ongoing development team. [4]

Critical response[edit]

GamesFirst retrospective of Underlight highlighted its unusual setting, potential for social interaction and low system requirements. However, in comparison to more modern MMORPGs, the graphics and playing area seemed poor. Other criticisms included an unfulfilling combat system and lack of depth-adding elements (for example, there was no indication that additional equipment could be found later in the game.) Overall, Underlight was awarded 2 out of 5 stars.[1]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Aaron Stanton (05/02/2002). "Underlight review". gamesfirst.com. Retrieved 2008-12-31.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ http://echoesofchaos.com
  3. ^ http://clashofdreams.com
  4. ^ https://twitter.com/ClashOfDreams/statuses/443206491198480384