Nightmist is a free-to-play hybrid text/graphical MUD for Microsoft Windows, first released in 2000 by Jonathan Leighton-Hoggett and Simon Crowder, known in-game as JLH and Pandilex respectively. Due to its mixture of text and graphical elements, Nightmist utilises its own custom client to connect to a server, rather than a generic client or Telnet. Though, by strict definition, Nightmist is a role-playing video game, the primary focus is on levelling, trading and some combat.
Players create characters prior to playing, having a choice between 7 races, each with a range of classes that they can specialise in, along with distinctive racial attributes. The player must roll their character's six statistics in an attempt to maximise those crucial to the class they have selected; once rolled, these never change, except via some specialist equipment.
Two servers exist for Nightmist: one where only a single character can be played at any one time, with a heavy emphasis on teamwork; and the other allows up to twenty characters, termed 'alts' in this instance, to be online simultaneously under the same player (with the exception of the Pacifist class), and the emphasis is more on self-sufficiency.
The game worlds, having been developed over the years by multiple designers, are built of several thousand unique items and monsters and tens of thousands of individual rooms, resulting in an extensive and diverse realm with which to explore. Between the two servers, the game worlds are very similar, as the single-character server was created several years later and used the multi-character server as a base, but are now diverging.
Today, Nightmist enjoys a small but loyal playerbase although the game's evolution has stagnated somewhat in recent days. It is free to download and play, although there are incentives to donating to the game, such as unique avatars to characters and equipment with customised descriptions.
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