I'll do a review using the template to get a feel.
MUME (Multi Users in Middle Earth (MUME - Multi Users in Middle Earth
MUD (Text based MMO)
Level based/Skill based/Mixed class based (see below)
If you are a Tolkien fan, enjoy MUDs (or pen and paper RPGs, if you have never experienced a MUD), and like PvP, then you couldn't go far wrong with MUME.
Choose to join the forces of good, or fight on Sauron's side, PvP is definitely the focus of this well made and engrossing game. Play the character you wish to play, with fully customisable classes. You can create the standard tanks, healers, spell-slinging mages, backstabbing thieves, or mix them up a bit and go for a hybrid of any or all of the above. Level by gaining XP then spend your skill points on the skills you wish to develop. You can buy the skills from any class, but the more you mix up your character the less effective you will be when compared to a pure class.
Then team up with your friends and explore the world of Middle Earth, from the Grey Havens through the Shire, all the way to the far side of the Misty Mountains or Fangorn Forest via either Rivendell or Tharbad. Or even the dreaded Mines of Moria, if you are daring (or foolish) enough! The playing area is HUGE (over 23,000 individual rooms!!).
It's not for the faint of heart though. As the heroes of good or evil die, the victorious side gains influence and its power spreads. And there is nowhere that is entirely safe. Sneaky ork thieves have been found lurking in the woods around the Shire before, and Ork warbands riding their vicious Wargs have raided into the very streets of Bree and Fornost on occasion. In these times no-one is safe, as there is no opting out of PvP.
Dying in PvP carries moderate setbacks, while suffering death to a mob (NPC creature) will carry a steep fine in XP as well.
If you've never played a fully featured MUD before, you'll be amazed at what they can pull off. This game has got a LOT to offer. Fatigue, stealth and backstabbing, mounts, spells, hunger/thirst, lockpicking, day/night/seasons, ageing, melee combat, missile combat, mounted combat, stealing, baking, potion making. I do find that I just keep coming back to this one.
No download, but requires a terminal server emulator (easily found for free).