Tuesday, August 12, 2008

MMO's, a growing market of choices (Part 1) - Meridian 59

I have been an avid gamer in the MMO community since perhaps the beginning. I remember my first one. Meridian 59. A fun little world that one was. I loved that game and was playing until they jacked up the price from $10 to about $30 a month. The game went live after beta on September 27, 1996. It can be argued that Meridian 59 can very well be the first graphical 3D MMO to be released. I had a lot of fun in that game. Mana was done by a series of nodes you could attune yourself too. One of the nodes required massive co-operation of people to activate. It had an expansion or two, but I lost interest with the price tripling.
"In a cunning grasp of the economics of the internet (and over the dev team’s strong objections), the pricing model of Meridian 59 is changed from $10 a month to $2.49 a day, but never more than $10 a week, and never more than $30 a month. This effectively tripled the price of the service, with the added benefit that it confused the people it didn’t insult. Hundreds of accounts are cancelled. Tragically, the move proved to be profitable in the short term because 2/3rds of the population did not cancel their accounts. However, the damage to the community was very, very deep, and Meridian never fully recovered." (1)

[caption id="attachment_265" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Skeletons!"]Skeletons![/caption]

It was truely a sad day for many. I personally feel that led to the games eventual demise. Although, it has been picked up by other people and is playable at this time. Anyone who has played this game and is a bit nostalgic, there is good news to be found in it. You can still play.
"The game is currently running in both the United States and Germany. There are two normal servers in the United States run by Near Death Studios, Inc. There used to be a Sacred Haven (non-PvP) server run at Skotos, but that has since been closed down. Unlike most modern MMORPGs a subscription to a single account on one of the normal servers cost $10.95 per month.

With players only allowed to create two characters per account, and only one character per account being allowed online at a time. Meridian 59 players routinely operate multiple accounts simultaneously garnering the benefits of twice the inventory capacity, and twice the learning ability (as characters have been limited on the number of spells and skills they could learn since the Revelations expansion.)

The commercial game, which is patched free-of-charge for all subscribers, has a small loyal following of fans many of whom have enjoyed the game since its inception over ten years ago." (1)

For thier official site visit: Meridian 59 Near Death Studios

M59 had two factions you could join. The Duke and the Princess, in which you found tokens and turned them in. These gave your faction extra powers for a period of time. After reviewing the updates after I left, there appears to be a third rebel faction as well which can be joined. All this nostalgic reviewing has me considering starting it up for a month to check it out again.


  1. Meridan 59 on Wikipedia