A Tale in the Desert

a.k.a. ATitD

created and published by eGenesis / Pluribus Games in 2003, running on Linux
type: role-play
genre: Historical, Bartering, Base building, Crafting, Fishing, Prospecting, Researching, Resource harvesting, Walking, Massively Multiplayer Online Game
setting: Past
perspective: 3rd person
player options: Internet
other: Freeware
languages: eng fre ger

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A monthly fee, free software, social MMORPG set in Ancient Egypt without combat. The focus of the game is activities such as fishing, growing crops, training animals, mining, and such whereby players advanced most efficiently when they cooperate. There are also personal and group challenges to perform. The game has a unique in game government where players themselves are elected and a legal system operated much by the players also. The legal system can ban players, redistrubute abandon property, or even allow or disallow rule altering actions such as individual requests to have a sex-change. The highest office is Demi-Pharaoh, a position that allows the player power to reassign property absolutely, change and influence rules of the game, and even effectively remove players from the game making a tyrannical regime with real-world powers a real possibility (so elections are taken seriously). The systems of the game require a tremendous amount of cooperation. Attempts at adding currency to the game have not been effective, the setting (like the real world example) just doesn't lend well to anything except bartering. New players enter the world at 'newbie island' where experienced players can gain advancement by visiting and helping new players to learn the basics of the game while they also advance. Tests, challenges and player development are divided into categories: Architecture, Art, Body (Health), Harmony (replaced and is a variant the Conflict category), Leadership, Thought, and Worship. There are 127 other 'lesser' categories that have not all been found. Details of the game are sometimes added by developers without announcement. It is up to a player to discover it the new features and tell others so that they can explore it together.

Unique challenges have been presented to the players due to this games unusual format.
Knightmare, Mafia, and another player attempt to force everyone to use the legal system more responsibly. As part of their effort, Mafia damaged a vital resource in the game (effectively detrimentally altering the entire game experience for all players). Players used the legal system to ban Mafia from the game.
A player named Khepry overly-depleted resources and indirectly cause massive environmental catastrophe in the game.
Some skills, called 'stranger skills' allow a player to take advantage of everyone else when they learn them. Effectively, it is possible to learn and then use anti-social skills in the game.
A Character named Malaki traded worthless materials and advocated slavery for women (in addition to treating them as worthless to begin with).
In one phase of the game, treasure chests contaminated with Lung Spore Disease began washing ashore. Players were offered the challenge of finding a cure. Getting the disease inhibited the victim making it more difficult to participate in finding a cure or efforts to stop the disease from spreading. The sick had to be treated. It was left entirely to players to solve the various secondary problems with only the cure itself being programmed into the game.

2014-04-29 ATitD operations were shifted to Pluribus Games
zerothis # 2010-08-21 01:59:42

Technical specs

display: textured polygons

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A Tale in the Desert in-game screen.
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