1985 saw the origin of a number of projects inspired by the original MUD.
These included Gods by Ben Laurie, a MUD1 clone that included online creation in its endgame, and which became a commercial MUD in 1988; a tolkienesque MUD started by Pip Cordrey who gathered some people on a BBS he ran to create a MUD1 clone that would run on a home computer.
At the same time, Compunet started a project named Multi-User Galaxy Game as a Science Fiction alternative to MUD1, a copy of which they were running on their system at the time.
Traditional MUDs implement a role-playing video game set in a fantasy world populated by fictional races and monsters, with players choosing classes in order to gain specific skills or powers.
The objective of this sort of game is to slay monsters, explore a fantasy world, complete quests, go on adventures, create a story by roleplaying, and advance the created character.
This left MIST, a derivative of MUD1 with similar gameplay, as the only remaining MUD running on the Essex University network, becoming one of the first of its kind to attain broad popularity.
MIST ran until the machine that hosted it, a PDP-10, was superseded in early 1991.
Neil Newell, an avid MUD1 player, started programming his own MUD called SHADES during Christmas 1985, because MUD1 was closed down during the holidays.