I'd somehow managed to avoid reading anything about Mortal Online until this morning. Upon hearing that the game's free trial has been extended, now lasting forever, Jim directed me to this conversation about the player-driven sandbox MMORPG. He also said, "it's a game where you spawn with just your pants" which caused my browser to instantly open a new tab and attempt to download the client. It took a couple of hours for me to get hold of it this morning due (presumably) to server errors, but now I'm all set and ready to run around in my pants. More info and a trailer below.
So, the free version is the same as the previously available trial except without the pesky 14 day time limit. That means skills max out at 60, as opposed to the magnificent and complete '100' of the premium version. You'll have to reach into your bank account to loot and trade expensive objects as well, which hopefully doesn't mean I'll be stuck with the starting pants for the rest of my mortal life. It's also impossible to use thievery skills without paying for premium, which is deeply upsetting as the dance of robbery is the most entertaining part of the video.
It'll be interesting to see how players have chosen to live and interact during the years that the game has been active. The aim, as I understand it, was to offer a blank slate, with players responsible for building, setting up an economy, resource gathering and just about anything else that goes into making a society work.
Is Mortal Online's world functional or dysfunctional? Only venturing into its vastness will answer that question but it's worth remembering that when the free trial began, Quinns related this tale: “There’s this one naked player who stands on a bridge all day and night and when players try to cross it he beats the crap out of them with a stick”.