An offshoot of MUD-type text-based online games, MUCK games, in general are more dedicated to depth of roleplay than MUDs. Where a MUD will often be possible to play without other players around, by going out and hunting the game's automated monsters using its automated systems, a MUCK is usually far more reliant on player intervention. On MUCKs, the game's systems will almost always be designed with the intention of merely providing roleplayers with a firm framework for their play, rather than a system so comprehensive it could act as an alternative. As such, monsters generally have to be 'puppet' objects operated by player judges, rather than automated 'mobs' for players to hunt on their own, and almost all action on MUCKs needs a player or plot-runner/judge at its heart for anything to happen. Effectively, MUCKs are the Pen & Paper RPGs of the MU* world, and have a reputation for a heavier emphasis on roleplay than most MUDs.
The name is a pun on MUD, and doesn't stand for anything in particular (Though some may insist it stands for Multi User Character Kingdom). The original programmers basically said 'Once you get deeper in the Mud, it becomes Muck.'
Tropes common to MUCKs:
- Furry MUCK: The oldest recorded (and certainly oldest still active) MUCK.
- Furscape MUCK: Another old MUCK, with a hard sci-fi-based theme.
- Redwall MUCK: Active since 1997, though not as much as it was some years ago, a MUCK built around the Redwall universe.
- Southern Cross: A large, long standing MUCK drawing from the various Final Fantasy games, although primarily set a little over a thousand years after the end of Final Fantasy VII, the aftermath having led to a kind of light-post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Presently in its fourth major incarnation, with each focusing on a different part (and in one case, period - one incarnation was set very shortly after the coming of HOLY) of the game's world. Predates, and by now diverges somewhat from, Squaresoft's post-FF7 canon, but still contains surprisingly prescient similarities here and there.
- Now defunct due to funding issues and creation of SC: Heroes of Space
- Southern Cross: Heroes of Space: Southern Cross' 'successor'. Based on a combination of pulp-sci-fi influences and very, very loose roots in the original Southern Cross' Final Fantasy premise, SC: Heroes of Space is an experimental MUCK with significantly less emphasis on in-depth lore (and to a certain extent, roleplay) than its predecessors. The idea is to create a light roleplay environment with a particular focus on epic space adventures, tied into a highly automated browser-game type web page.