Built on a modified version of the Doom Engine, Meridian 59 was the first commercial 3D MMO and released a year before Ultima Online. The game play of Meridian 59 seems really simple yet very similar to the current mechanic of most MMORPG's; walking around and fighting things seem like the most common interactions in the game. The graphics are simple and like Runescape, which uses a default zoomed out view because the graphics are bad. The major innovation was as mentioned before, it was the first 3D online multiplayer game. These days the game focuses mostly on PvP with numerous "tournament" videos floating around the net. In the past it wasn't very quest oriented, mostly just monster fighting and no leveling up. Your character increases abilities and such through different schools however most personal stats are changed independently of one another as in max health increases by attacking creatures that are a "challenge" for the character. Player killing in the game is usually PvP, however, sometimes the player run justice system has to step up and deal with problem players, sometimes by killing them. As far as griefing, it is hard to imagine that this game has a problem with griefing though, even if the whole player run legal system were to show up. However, the forums are filled with complaints of older players teaming up and PK'ing newer players

Meridian 59 is very different from the world of Epic, considering that Meridian was the first 3d multiplayer game ever and Epic is so advanced that it's basically virtual reality and a barren wasteland of a world can still use it, not to mention it's apparently been running on its own for over a thousand years. Characters seem to slide around and any real motion is hard to detect/decipher. The interface is old school and the HUD takes up the entire right and bottom edges of the screen. One similarity between the two games is that the PvP fights in the games lead to political resolutions, although with Meridian the political side is only in-game.

In the end, the game has certainly survived and still requires a monthly fee that apparently people are still paying. It seems most likely that the people that are currently playing are old players, ones that have invested a lot of time in the game or simply still enjoy the game play. Oh, and it still costs $10.95/mo to play.

Check out the AWESOME 1v1 fighting here.

Group Members:
Clifford Chamberlin
Peter Q.