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Shattered Kingdoms is a roleplay-enforced MUD that successfully unites quality roleplay with the tactical considerations of challenging PK. Established in 1996, SK is one of the few top MUDs that remains completely free--no pay-to-play, no pay-for-perks.
Shattered Kingdoms is known for its high quality building, its abundance of unique quests in all degrees of difficulty, and its stable and well-written code, which is constantly being improved and expanded. It has a challenging combat system; frequent immortal-run events; a dynamic game world; and a large, vibrant community of active players.
One of the crown jewels of Shattered Kingdoms is its exclusive tactical formation system. Players and their assorted pets and charms can march in 3x3 formation, letting warriors take the brunt of physical attacks from the front row while mages, archers and pole-arm equipped fighters add to the mix from the safety of second and third ranks. Safe, that is, unless they are surprised from the rear by a sneakily-placed backstab!
Few MUDs can offer the frenzied intensity of two or more formations attacking each other in combat. And those strategic protections are often needed--not just against other players, but against the NPCs, who also fight intelligently by their role in formation. Add in weapon sub-types, missile- and spell-ranged combat with auto targeting, mounted combat, dueling, and siegecraft, and you have combat that is accessible while still challenging for veteran players.
While killing other players is restricted only by roleplaying requirements, it is possible to play a non-violent character as well; experience can be gained through quests, roleplay rewards, bonuses for discovering new areas, and casting spells. Roleplay has benefits on Shattered Kingdoms: Characters who guide new players gain mentor points to improve themselves, and characters who consistently roleplay well become Paragons with the ability to reward others.
The world of Pyrathia is huge--it boasts more than 180 completely unique areas, each of which has its own story and quests. Exploration is a never-ending pleasure, always offering a new adventure around each corner. New areas are constantly being added, while old areas are updated, improved and adapted based on the changes that players weave into the world. All areas are coherently joined on an overhead map that updates your location as you travel.
Pyrathia has a wide variety of intelligent races. Each race`s history and social structure is woven through areas, lore and mythology. Ethnic differences drive conflict among the more populous races. Each race distinguishes itself in more than just statistics: Minotaurs gore their opponents, while giants throw boulders. Tiny sprites use tiny equipment that is not suited to medium-sized humans; neither wear the same gear as mountable quadrupeds, such as centaurs and griffons.
The six kingdoms on Pyrathia have player-led factions that influence the political and economic conditions of each nation. Each kingdom and sub-region has its own true-to-life economy where inflation, recessions, and supply and demand all play major roles in the cost of goods and services. Tribunals, composed of player characters, patrol the roads and supply leadership and financial support for the law and military of their kingdoms.
Religions are also a major part of life on Pyrathia. Although the gods rarely reveal themselves directly to mortals, their powers are real as wielded by their religious followers. While membership is required for clergy to wield the full might of the gods, even lay worshipers receive minor boons for their devotion based on their god`s spheres of influence.
Players may also be admitted to less public organizations, known as cabals. Each cabal provides its members with a handful of additional abilities through the power of its coveted artifact. Be warned: These powers can be taken away if the cabal loses control of its artifact to outsiders.
Whether your pleasure is roleplay, combat, exploration, achievement, or a combination of all of the above, Shattered Kingdoms has what you seek. Step into this immersive environment and let your character come to life. By which name would you like to be known?
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