The longest running online RPG in history

pioneering inventions and innovations by the finest text based game in the world

The First Online RPG

Until November 1989, there was no such thing as a roleplaying game online -- tabletop roleplaying games existed for decades and multiplayer adventure games, but nothing that kept running with or without you on a computer in a multiplayer environment. Other games at the time cloned the ideas of MUD1: online adventure games of dungeons, quests, puzzles and items reset hourly or daily competing with points and basic PVP using KILL <player>.

Avalon looked a decade ahead of everyone else. It was a continuous online RPG with a consistent game-world of players able to make decisions and write history nonstop. In other words, Avalon became the first computer-based game master. It had access by modem since the start; from 1990 to 1993, two dedicated premises with terminals and sleeping quarters in Camden, UK and Sheffield, UK; and, of course, since 1994 via world-wide Internet. It had presence on the JANET system in the UK prior to the Internet and for international players always available to play by modem connection until 1995.

Countless Inventions

Upon release in 1989, Avalon was the first to create these online game aspects:

  • a sophisticated combat system based on equilibrium and balance (cooldowns)
  • player-run guilds and cities around which ideologies formed
  • balanced professions with unique skills each with dozens of abilities
  • skill-based PVP combat that favoured talent and skill over seniority
  • player-run cities and government, with princes, barons, laws and economies
  • gold! actual currency economics
  • persistent personal inventories and ownership of shops too
  • personalised descriptions and customisation of one's own avatar
  • afflictions by poisons, cures using herbs
  • divinities that follow a Greco-Roman mandate of antagonising or helping mortaldom; they serve no administrative function whatsoever
  • Ordination: a series of major Gem Quests culminating in an elimination sequence until the last mortal remaining becomes a god or goddess
  • real allegiances of importance: guild, city, personal patron, guild and city patrons among the Pantheon of Olympus

Avalon expanded rapidly in its first year:

  • crafting items as Loremasters
  • simple commodity economics
  • creation of all the major professions seen today: Mage, Knight, Sorcerer, Thief, Ranger, Seer, Bard,
  • first (only?) online game granted copyright in the UK as a novel
  • created most unique, beautifully written locations of any game by 1991
  • realistic weather system, fatigue, hunger, various climates in the world

In the mid 1990s, Avalon exploded with realism:

  • between 1990 and 1992, over 1000 abilities added to the game across over three dozen skills of the many professions, balanced
  • complete herb, poison, flora and fauna systems for animal and plant growth
  • full blown commodities economics, with over 30 commodities
  • Farming and Labours, the first real commodity hunting system for harvesting those commodities with each having their own hyper-realistic methods and requirements, from mining for metals from mountainous mineheads to planting and harvesting various crops in fertilised fields (see Farming and Labours list of abilities, they are largely as they were since 1994 including animal husbandry)
  • crafting items by the cities and guilds using the vast economic system
  • the first full warfare system of legions that require rations and strategy, in a PVP system of taking battlements while fighting off other players

The Longest Running RPG in history

All of these things exist today, though they are much more refined, improved and expanded from decades ago. Avalon's roleplaying experience has never stopped since it went live, making it the longest running roleplaying game in existence. Since November 2014, Avalon clocked over 220,000 hours of roleplaying as a continuous game: an unbeatable record during which its players have spent millions of hours making epic history in its unique world.

Latest Innovations

As the first online RPG, Avalon was exceptionally visionary and still is today.

  • 2001: 3D warfare system with guild and city legions with 50+ unique skills, including tunnelling, mine fields, archery, mortars, melee, plundering others of resources, razing to destroy locations, fortifications and besieging them
  • 2005: professions gain specialisations to make playing experience of each profession unique and years of enjoyment. The first specialisations were:
    • Thief Burglary with the ability to create sophisitcated lockpicking kits honed by other thieves and improved by use and care
    • Thief Assassination with the ability to kill silently and track opponents in new ways
    • Loremaster Opalescence gathering special powers by weaving specific gems
    • Seer Oracles that can watch and effect the whole world from the ethereal winds
    • Seer True Mystics with companions that can learn skills from their target and become dopplegangers to take over another player's existence
  • 2007: Divine Warfare system to commpete for control over the divine realms and obtain special Realm Powers based on percentage of ownership; every location in the world has a unique signature that influences other aspects of mortal gameplay
  • 2010: The entire world is given additional heights and depths to all places with hidden oil, caves, treasures and other secrets for tunnelling legions and players to explore
  • 2014, January: A new economic model called Sponsorship: player activity quantified as divine globe power and guild reputation can be used to 'pay' for another player so they can play for free indefinitely and exists alongside subscriptions without any difference between them
  • 2015, February: Divine Marriage, allowing divinities to couple together in a permanent alliance of shared give and take using each other's realm powers and patronage of mortals to their dual benefit