I'm just curious whether anyone else used to MUD back in the day.
(Multi-User Dungeon...like a text-based MMO, or playing a combat-oriented Zork with 10-100 players).
In university (early 90s), I used to have to ration myself to a couple hours a day, because I felt playing MUDs was about as much computer crack as WoW when it first came out. In fact, I have a friend who failed out of school because of his MUD addiction.
RP, PvE, PvP, and all that are nothing new. I used to play on a MUD called "The Forest's Edge", which for the most part was PvE, although they did this experiment with characters who declared themselves Lawful Evil being able to attack and be attacked by other players, but were limited to 10 lives and then deletion. I was in a guild, was a guild leader for a while, had close friends I'd never seen in my life. Couldn't leave the computer to talk to my girlfriend because I was the only cleric in the group and if the tank bit it...
All in text, baby.
To keep in mind how old MUDs are, one PvP strategy would be to dump as much junk on the floor as you can, because it would generate a line of text for each item:
"An old, smelly apple lies here."
"You see a shiny, brass sword lying in the dust."
and if you could dump around 50-100 items, you could wait for someone to enter who was on a slow modem (like 300, or 1200 bytes per minute...), and while their modem was loading these 50-100 lines of text, you'd be typing "cast fireball" or your macro/alias equivalent as fast as possible, and by the time they could see the last line of item text, they'd start seeing,
"A loaf of bread is moldering on the ground here."
"Bigby the Mage attacks you!"
"A fireball DECIMATEs you."
"A fireball DECIMATES you."
"You are dead."
"You have lost 89234 experience points."
"Bigby is now looting your corpse, and junking the items he can't carry."
Having just tried RIFT, I was thinking back on how all of the game mechanics have evolved, and then remembered that, "back in my day, we didn't have pretty pictures and 3D shader anti-whatsit polygonal shiny crap, we had text. And we liked it."
And after 8 hours of MUDding, you might be walking out of a university computer center at 3 in the morning. And see an empty water bottle on top of a trash can, and think, "I should pick that up. It might be useful later, or I can sell it for a few coppers..." And then promise yourself to go back to your 2 hour limit.