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Video Game / The Realm Online

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The Realm Online, originally launched as Sierra's The Realm, was one of the earliest ever graphical Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games and is the longest running graphical MMORPG of all time, originally launching in December 1996 and still online as of June 2017, edging out both Tibia and Ultima Online.

Today, it is mostly remembered as a waypoint for players awaiting Ultima Online and EverQuest, as it had cornered a market that was a powder keg, just waiting for the killer MMORPG. Today, it prides itself on its low requirements and friendliness to those with dial-up or otherwise poor connections, though boasting a player base of a humble 200 or fewer simultaneous users most of the time.

Also of historical significance is its use of a separate map for battles — it's generally credited as the first MMORPG to use instances for this reason.

The official website is here.

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Even in The '90s, the level cap soared well into the thousands. EXP tables have a fairly low curve, and higher levels have increasingly diminishing returns.
  • A Homeowner Is You: Following in the mold of its younger rival Ultima Online, later versions of The Realm added player housing, which is entirely instanced.
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  • Anti-Grinding: Experience received from monsters decreases as you level up, forcing you to stick with monsters around your level.
  • Continuing is Painful: For the first few years, the death penalty was very steep. You would lose 10% of your overall exp (likely deleveling multiple times) and any items without an enchantment that let you take them with you. As competition became increasingly steep, the penalties steadily dropped.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Around the turn of the millennium, this became the norm — with a small EXP penalty and recoverable item loss becoming the penalty, which is the current MMORPG standard.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: A cave near the starter town is literally named Newbie Cave.
  • Item Crafting: Present to an extent, and one of the earliest graphical MMORPGs to have this feature. Wearables couldn't be outright created, but could be enchanted — a necessity for higher level players.
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  • Jack-of-All-Trades: High level players can be this, as classes has relatively small importance. Any player can learn to do anything, with skills being stat-locked, so player class is more of a springboard.
  • Karma Meter: An originally unseen scale of good and evil, which would change depending on what types of monsters you fought. Affected certain abilities and interactions, such as interactions with fairies.
  • Long-Runners: Online for 20 years and counting, as of June 2017, and has held the title of longest running graphical MMORPG since around 2004.
  • Palette Swap: Given how high the level cap is, it's only natural that monsters are palette swapped a lot.
  • Turn-Based Combat: It use a weighted turn based system, with certain actions requiring more time than others.
  • Twinking: Very possible, as there are no level limits on items. Furthermore, more experienced players can enchant items of newer players.
  • Unknown Item Identification: A feature of the game, potions and other consumables often are not identified when dropped by monsters. These items can have adverse effects.