God Wars 2
God Wars II logo
Developer(s)Richard Woolcock
Enginecustom codebase
Platform(s)OS independent
ReleaseMarch 10, 2002[1]

GodWars is a family of MUD engines derived from Merc,[2][3] created in 1995 by Richard Woolcock, also known as "KaVir".[4][5][3] GodWars' setting is influenced by White Wolf's World of Darkness.[6]

In 1996 the code was illegally released and advertised on a website for free download.[7] After fighting extensively to stop the illegal use of his codebase, Woolcock later released the code publicly.[8]

The original GodWars was later renamed Dark City then Last City, with added wilderness code.[9]

Since 2000, between 28 and 84 derivatives of the God Wars code have been active,[10][3][11] including Vampire Wars, which is based on White Wolf's Vampire: The Masquerade and won the October 1998 Mud of the Month award at The Mud Connector.[12]

God Wars II

MUSHclient screenshot showing a typical dungeon in God Wars II.

In 2002, Woolcock wrote a new MUD named God Wars II, a conceptual sequel to GodWars,[3] with a more personal dark fantasy universe.

Combat System

The game relies heavily on player versus player combat, like the original GodWars, and features a deep and complex combat system where the player has to manipulate the limbs associated with the attacks, creating combos when the commands are stringed together.[13][14] This combo system is inspired from the tabletop game Spellbinder, of which the complexity is comparable to chess and go.[citation needed]

The combat system was prototyped in his earlier Gladiator Pits MUD,[3] which won the maintainability award in a public coding competition, the 16K MUD competition,[15][7] and has been called "stunning".[16]

Other Features

God Wars II is also noted for its war mini-game (a strategic poker variant) and its helpful graphical MUSHclient interface. This interface includes a map that the user can click to travel faster and mechanical shortcuts. The game has a large world, without rooms typical of MUDs but using coordinates, and a process for advanced character customization.[3][14]


  1. ^ "God Wars II - Development timeline".
  2. ^ John Bellone (March 2002). "So you want to be a coder, eh?". The Mud Companion (3): 28. ISSN 1499-1071. If you have a good amount of time on your hands, have a lot of ideas, and don't see another codebase that can be easily changed to fit your needs, then Merc is your choice. It is very flexible, has all the basics (except for color) and is just waiting for you. The next two choices are derivatives of the Merc codebase, SMAUG and GodWars. SMAUG is the codebase that 'Realms of Despair' runs on and is still being developed today ... GodWars is very similar to SMAUG, because it's based on Merc, and was created by KaVir
  3. ^ a b c d e f Dean Gillett (2011-08-15). "Meet the Devs: KaVir of God Wars II". GamingHUD. Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. I had the opportunity to interview hobby developer Richard Woolcock (pictured left), better known as KaVir in the MUD community. KaVir created the original GodWars, which later became a codebase, of which there are 30+ MUDs running on it according to The MUD Connector. After closing the original GodWars down, KaVir would later move on to create God Wars II, which in my opinion is one of the most complex and advanced MUDs I've ever played.
  4. ^ "First God Wars advert (19th July 1995)".
  5. ^ Erwin Andreasen; Brandon Downey (August 2001). "The Mud Personality Test". The Mud Companion (1): 33–35. ISSN 1499-1071. Archived from the original on August 18, 2000. Results from "Famous" MUD personalities ... Richard Woolcock ... Creator of Godwars
  6. ^ "God Wars II - Game FAQ".
  7. ^ a b "Raph Koster's Online World Timeline". 1996 [...] GodWars, a Merc derivative codebase, is released unofficially.
  8. ^ "Godwars Codebase History". Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  9. ^ http://arch-wizard.com/mudbase.txt [bare URL plain text file]
  10. ^ "MUD Activity Charts". Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  11. ^ "Hierarchy of MUDs".
  12. ^ "TMC Archives: Mud of the Month". The Mud Connector. Archived from the original on 2006-03-25. The muds that were chosen as TMC's mud of the month each illustrated examples of excellence and provided a sampling of the wide array of entertainment value that muds can and do offer, we proudly stand by these choices and offer the past motm pages in our archive ... Vampire Wars - October '98 MotM
  13. ^ Emil Visti (2007-10-30). "Gaming from within the terminal". linux.com. Archived from the original on 2013-06-25. Retrieved 2013-01-26. For a little check on what game developers can actually accomplish with MUDs, take a look at God Wars II, or at least look through its New Player's Guide -> Combat section, which is simply astonishing in its complexity. For instance, it can utilize commands to make different body parts do separate things during combat.
  14. ^ a b "GamingHUD". Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  15. ^ Andreasen, Erwin. "16K MUD competition - results". Retrieved 2013-01-28. In Maintainability, the clear winner is Richard "Kavir" Woolcock's (kavir@kavir.org) "The Gladiator Pits" entry. The C-code is simply exquisite, with very light macro usage, instructive function names and superb commenting: every function is commented with its purpose, arguments it takes and what value it returns. In addition, plenty of user documentation is included, carefully describing every available command. Out of original Diku's 647k of code, about 70k (11%) were comments. For "Gladiator Pits", the number is 18k out of 39k (46%!).
  16. ^ Lord Ashon (April 2001). "Explorers have more fun". Imaginary Realities. Retrieved 2013-01-28. I want your mud to offer me something that no other mud does, and something that is challenging. Whether it is something stunning like the combat system that KaVir has developed for Gladiator Pits, or something totally mindless and random like the map system from GroundZero and GroundZero II. Both of them challenge my skills, why? Because, they are so unique and different.