Developer(s) Nanvaent community (creators)
Engine FluffOS
Platform(s) Platform independent
Release date(s) 1991
Genre(s) Fantasy MUD
Mode(s) Multiplayer
Media/distribution Online
System requirements

Telnet client or MUD client, Internet access

Nanvaent, or NANVAENT, is a MUD hosted in the US (originally in the UK). Stylistically it is Medieval or Tolkienesque. It is one of the longest-running LPMuds.

The login screen of Nanvaent

Overview[edit | edit source]

Nanvaent's combat system is similar to that seen in many role-playing games, both on- and off-line. The game requires the player to collect experience points (known as 'xp') through either combat or completion of quests. This allows the player to advance their character's skills. Nanvaent probably contains hundreds of thousands of game locations (known as 'rooms'), although it is impossible to achieve a definitive count. Nanvaent also offers interaction between multiple players, creating a sociable society and the ability to fight as a team as well as independently.

History[edit | edit source]

Nanvaent was created in LPMud-form in February 1991[1] but has its origins in VaxMUD. Its name is an acronym that stands for 'Not AberMUD, Not VaxMUD, And Especially Not TinyMUD'.

Originally set up as an LPMud, the first administrators were Roger "Anjou" Dubar, "Aragorn" and "Edacom". A union was formed between Nanvaent and VaxMUD, a MUD played by the Nanvaent administrators and run by another MUDder called "Bill". Realising the potential of LPMud, code and players were converted to the LPMud codebase, sometimes with the help of Lars Pensjö, the eponymous creator of LPMud. Nanvaent, therefore, is able to trace its roots into the age of the white-coat operators. In keeping with this background, during some of its earlier years, logins to Nanvaent were restricted to between 5 PM and 9 AM GMT.[2]

By 1995, Nanvaent had ported to the MudOS game driver.[3]

Physical location[edit | edit source]

The server on which Nanvaent resides has moved several times. Initially, it was located at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, since all Gods of Nanvaent graduated from this university. Later, it was moved to run on a SPARC 10 at the University of Glasgow when one of the Gods was employed there. In 1998, a server dedicated to Nanvaent was purchased with the help of donations from players, and the machine was moved yet again to be located at the premises of an ISP in London where an administrator of the game was employed.

In 2009 the game was transferred to virtual machine in New Jersey, USA, where it still runs today.

Game structure[edit | edit source]

Hierarchy[edit | edit source]

As with many MUDs, Nanvaent's players can enjoy increasing rank within the game. As a player, individuals have the ability to move around the in-game space and talk to one another privately and on public channels. Often, a long-standing player will be promoted up the hierarchy, allowing them to add and modify game code and contribute to the development of the game. The various tiers of power are: Creator, Lord, High-lord and finally God. These levels correspond to increasingly sweeping permissions on the game server, as well as signifying greater degrees of trust and ability in the individual. As in project management structure, Lords are usually assigned an area of the game to oversee and may form teams of creators to work on development projects.

Domains[edit | edit source]

Nanvaent is split into several, usually geographical, domains, mainly to allow a lord to oversee a fixed physical area. These are known as North, Valley, West, Mountain, Coast and Mhaolain. In addition, several administrative domains exist to allow continuity of development in these areas. These domains are Guilds, Mythos and Quests.[4]

Guilds[edit | edit source]

These are affiliation groups which the players of Nanvaent are able to join, and which will affect their skill development, collaboration and other choices throughout the game. Examples include Fighter, Wolf, Thief and Barbarian. In some cases, membership of a guild is only accessible by fulfilling certain criteria, such as rising to a particular level in another guild.[5]

Quests[edit | edit source]

While the game can be played simply as a combat-type environment, puzzles also exist within the game. Frequently, a player will encounter a non-player character ('NPC') or feature which gives pointers to a particular puzzle. The player must then solve the quest to receive experience points or sometimes special items.[6]

Technical infrastructure[edit | edit source]

Nanvaent is an LPMud running on the FluffOS game driver and its own derivative of the Discworld mudlib.

Public contributions[edit | edit source]

In 2000, Nanvaent participated in an academic study of social psychology in MUDs,[7] and Nanvaent developers contributed to the development of the MudOS driver.[8]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Audyssey: Games Accessible to the Blind gave Nanvaent a five out of five rating.[9]

In 1995, Nanvaent was discussed in The Independent.[10]

References[edit | edit source]

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External links[edit | edit source]

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