Well, this is a bit awkward since normally I am opposed to these sorts of things and it is time to put my shame aside and half advertise my favorite little game. While trying to keep this short and sweet, and probably failing.
For those of you who arenít familiar with MUDs, Aetolia is a text based multiplayer RPG that does what few other online games succeed in(in my experience) and provide a mandatory roleplaying approach, while having a combat system completely different from other games. Along with that they have a wide range of organizations and societies that are mainly run by players but often interact with the admins(who play Gods IG to explain new areas and the stuff).
The company who owns Aetolia is most famous mainly for Achaea, which is where Aetolia originated but no one really sticks to this. The original story was that there was a being who rivaled Tecton(or Sarapis, I wasnít around at the time. But basically the head god of whatever regime) and since the two were evenly matched, Tecton created a alternate world for the new being to play around in. And that being became the high god of the new plane. This is the dubbed down explanation.
So Aetolia got the reputation for being Achaea.. just with werewolves and vampires(which I have a feeling will sell it to people immediately), but the Aetolia crew is trying to completely change that. Achaeaís combat is so insanely complex that it is hard for a new player to get involved, in many ways Aetolia is considered the easy version but honestly, its better then getting your ass handed to you by illusions and certain things in Achaea that are ratherÖ ugh. So Aetoliaís developers are working on getting rid of almost everything legacy(term they use to describe anything they got from Achaea). The paladin and infernal, along with the druid are having complete skill changes. Which I canít look forward too more.
Now that I got the lore out of the way, let me get to one of my favorite parts, combat! Now why I love it so much is because it is so skill based and at the same time.. fun. What makes It great is that, unlike big MMORPGs, its not totally about your numbers, though those help. Aetolia has somewhere about 60 afflictions. There are four main starting types of cures on top of that. Each cure has a balance(cooldown essentially), and each curing type has multiple herbs/bodyparts(undead use.. other cures), So the when being hit with around 4 afflictions in 2 seconds, that are hidden so you donít know what you got hit with at first, the human reaction time tends to fall a bit short. So what most players end up doing is creating curesystems. These are programmed responses that prioritize and cure for you based on prompts you get from the game. This adds a level of complexity that some people(I have no idea how) can actually do manually, but most people spend sometimes over a year working on a system that no one can break.
Aetolia(I havenít got into combat on Aetolia but on Achaea I was a mid rank fighter at best, but I understood combat theory really well, so I am running off the assumption they are mostly the same) is a bit more leaning to afflictions them damage kills, like most games. So if you flat damage kill someone, they were either low level or have low skills. Or terrible curing. Aetolia you are more likely to instant kill someone in single combat then damage kill, though you can do it either way. Instantkills are typically a bitch to pull off(rightfully so) and make curing, and defense the biggest part of the game. The only downfall is most of this is for PVP only, and not pve/pvm(whichever term you prefer). The combat is too complex for pve so they ended up making only a few skills relevant for grinding(or bashing/hunting as we call it ingame).
Now, as I said before, Roleplaying is mandatory and thus a lot of people donít even get into combat. Many just enjoy talking, socializing, ingame politics, crafting(you can make a ton of different things), there is far more than just combat.
Why I am posting this(besides wanting more people to play with)? Achaea tends to get more attention as IRE(Iron Realms Entertainment) original and ďbestĒ game. Though there is a lot of argument over that. Whereas Achaea will have 100+ people at any given time, Aetolia only has 50+ which saddens me. Along with that, my city.(think citystates) is having a off period and I think some fresh blood would do us good. Not to mention I always love having more people to play with.
If any of this interests you. Please through me a pm or post here and we can talk, a little thing about me is I donít like throwing my IC name around so if you are interested in playing send me a pm and I will tell you my IG name. I use a client called Mudlet and know it.. decently. I can make a crude curesystem but I am working on a curesystem with a friend that she did most the work for so I canít give it out. I can give you my starting work from before I got her system, which is decent for hunting and guild requirements. Aetolia also has pretty nice ingame promotions, one right now is pretty fun, and honestly I think it is one of the best to get some nice things for a starting player(some cash items are being offered on the Wheel, well a lot of them).
Though on that note, let me quickly say while a lot of Aetoliaís players do have cash items, you can earn most of that ingame if you want. I only bought about a third of the ingame currency I have used so far(I only purchased enough my accuracy wasnít crap) and earned most of it rather easily while leveling.
And a final note, the website is out of date, so you are more likely to get better info off their wiki. And I mean really out of date.