GodWars is a MUD engine derived from Merc, created in 1995 by Richard Woolcock, better known in the MUD community as "KaVir". GodWars MUDs are typically loosely based on White Wolf games such as Vampire: The Masquerade, and generally offer supernatural classes such as Vampire, Werewolf, Mage and Demon. They tend to be more heavily focused upon player versus player combat than most MUDs.
More than once there have been copyright issues involving the GodWars codebase. "Aldric" with the help of fellow mud players "Amoeba" and "Rotain" implemented a renamed and edited version of the GodWars codebase. KaVir saw to it that the mud was shut down and it was only a matter of time before the codebase appeared in the hands of many other unauthorized people. In 1996 the code was illegally posted and advertised on a website for free download. After fighting extensively to stop the illegal use of his codebase, KaVir eventually gave permission for people to use the GodWars codebase by way of a license, although by this point he had already moved on to other projects.
The GodWars codebase was very accessible, and many MUD designers contributed to later versions of the codebase. GodWars MUDs often included a unique method of gaining "experience points" through explicit, consensual sexual gameplay with another player. The less PvP-oriented Dystopia codebase and the entirely PvP-oriented Utopia codebase are the most successful examples of further community development. Utopia MUDs removed all grinding elements from gameplay, allowing the player to begin and focus entirely on PvP combat as soon as they finish the extensive character creation process - in other words, growth could only be gained by killing other players.
Recently, Woolcock has written a new MUD engine named God Wars II, which was chosen as Game of the Month by MudMagic in June 2005 and has been described by an article on linux.com as "simply astonishing in its complexity". It features a coordinate based world and a combat system inspired by Firetop Mountain, a play-by-email version of Richard Bartle's Spellbinder. The theme and focus resemble the original God Wars MUD, although it has moved away from the White Wolf setting and instead adopted its own dark fantasy theme.
- "Hierarchy of MUDs".
- "First God Wars advert (19th July 1995)".
- Dean Gillett (2011-08-15). "Meet the Devs: KaVir of God Wars II". GamingHUD. "I had the opportunity to interview hobby developer Richard Woolcock (pictured left), better known as KaVir in the MUD community. KaVir created the original GodWars, which later became a codebase, of which there are 30+ MUDs running on it according to The MUD Connector. After closing the original GodWars down, KaVir would later move on to create God Wars II, which in my opinion is one of the most complex and advanced MUDs I’ve ever played."
- "Raph Koster's Online World Timeline".
- "MudBytes archive of GodWars derivatives".
- "TMC Archives: Mud of the Month". The Mud Connector. "The muds that were chosen as TMC's mud of the month each illustrated examples of excellence and provided a sampling of the wide array of entertainment value that muds can and do offer, we proudly stand by these choices and offer the past motm pages in our archive ... Vampire Wars - October '98 MotM"
- Emil Visti (2007-10-30). "Gaming from within the terminal". linux.com. "For a little check on what game developers can actually accomplish with MUDs, take a look at God Wars II, or at least look through its New Player's Guide -> Combat section, which is simply astonishing in its complexity. For instance, it can utilize commands to make different body parts do separate things during combat."