Developer: Webzen (Korean)
Release: October 3rd, 2003
Between my Diablo phase and before my next major influence (Lineage 2), I spent some time playing Mu Online (beta). I largely played this with my best friend with whom I had spent a lot of time playing Diablo II with. I had wanted to move to a game that consisted of many more users interacting with each other all at once, more like Runescape and far beyond Diablo II’s limitation of 8. I found Mu Online to be a game with graphics like Diablo II (slightly more advanced), and also allowing hundreds of players to actively be logged on at once and visible on the screen with one another. In one of the main towns alone there could be several hundred users all carrying on conversations and trading their valuables with one another.
As I said, I joined this game during its beta. It only featured 3 classes at the time; A Dark Wizard, a Dark Knight, and a fairy elf (ranged attacks). The top tiers of gear for the 3 classes (in which they looked their best) were red for the knights, blue for the wizards, and white for the fairy elves. Having this armor was a mark of prestige. The game followed closely along the lines with Diablo 2. Using attacks, you kill creatures, gain XP, lvl up, obtain objects (loot) from the creatures you kill, and use it or trade it for other items you would rather have with other players. I spent only a couple months within this world. As it was beta, the amount of things you could do was a bit limited. One feature I quite enjoyed however was the ability to “sit” in chairs or on benches, or to “lean” on walls inside buildings. I know, a small, irrelevant thing, but it was a welcome addition that added to the immersion and visuals of the game. Waiting at the bar, leaning against the wall, waiting for your companion to arrive, the head of your avatar following wherever your mouse cursor was. It gave you a sense of a more in-depth control of your character. This is a feature that is lacking in most MMOs even today that I find quite unfortunate.