MUME, Multi-Users in Middle-earth, is a game, one of the early offsprings of DikuMUD and one of the oldest DikuMUDs still running. In a September 2000 interviewRaph 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".
Created in 1991 by Philippe Rochat, who was soon joined by Claude Indermitte, Pier Donini, and David Gay, the game was build 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, where you can take on the role of a noble Dúnadan or Man of one of the other races (including shape-shifting Beornings), a sturdy Dwarf, a sneaky Hobbit, or a proud Elf. You can also take on a persona of an Orc, a Troll, or a Black Númenórean. MUME is notable in that it maintains a player-killing aspect by allowing the players of evil characters to battle the players of good characters but restricts other player-killing, which allows you to wander off in search of a few hours of role-playing escapism.
MUME is based in Middle-earth and includes several notable locations from the books:
- 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: A new zone that is home to Isengard, the Rohirrim, and the Fangorn forest.
The Race War
MUME has interesting player dynamic, in that players can join on either side of the on-going 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.
Players can easily find a tight camaraderie that band together with those of their side to fight evil (or good) players. 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 to 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 has provided a strong lasting quality to MUME, with players who have stopped playing continuing to read logs on popular fansites such as Elvenrunes.
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.
The core of MUME is written in [[C (programming language)] with a large amount of extensions written in Mudlle. These extensions range from global critical code such as certain commands, justice, shops, and rent, to code for specific rooms, mobiles, and objects. There is about twice as much Mudlle code in MUME as there is C.
On July 4, 2009:
- 150,606 lines of C/C++ code
- 357,127 lines of mudlle code
- 23,764 open rooms in 230 zones
- 1,319 types of objects
- 1,272 types of mobiles
- 2,869 player accounts
- 20,922 characters in player accounts
- 781 accounts have played the last month
- 493 accounts have played the last week
- 231 accounts have played the last day