A "MUD" is "Multi-User Dungeons (and dragons)". This means it's a roleplaying game which entails controlling a character with certain statistics, skills, abilities and attributes that determine how the character interacts with others. You as the player add to this your own choice of the character's personality, interests, dislikes, habits etcetera.

A MUD has an important feature - the "success" of your character is indicated by set statistics (like hp - hit/health points; mana - magical ability; moving points) and skills (like fireballs, shields etc.) which can only be gained by doing certain things. These limitations and inbuilt rules set how your character operates, and makes the game realistic (in a fantasy sense, anyway).

A "MUCK" is a "Multi-User Character Kingdom". This means it's a roleplaying game which entails controlling a character whose skills, statistics etc. are decided by the player themself - i.e. they are not set or controlled (for the most part, e.g. you can't change your name) by the game, but by yourself. You are given more freedom, in that you cannot be "killed" or have your "possessions" removed without consent except by an administrator.

The MUCK environment is prime space for player-built areas and roleplay, giving the players greater freedom and thus more influence over game events. Of course, the limitations on this system are that there are not built-in RP (roleplay) regulators like set skills and abilities which one can gain. Equally, poor roleplayers will not be forced to act according to how they would feel in a real situation (e.g. they can pretend they wouldn't be hurt by a superior enemy). In this sense, good roleplay requires sensible, intelligent players who will take the time to make it good.

So what the hell is DarkBlade?

Excellent question. DarkBlade is a game which itself is programmed in MUCK programming languages (which are very flexible, and can permit stricter rules than MUCKs usually employ) to program a MUCK area and a MUD area on the game. What this means is, one area works like normal MUCK areas, with the normal building/roleplay commands (with adaptations/improvements), and the other works just like a normal MUD, with the average item/roleplay/combat commands, societies and skills which are being upgraded as we speak. Not to mention the artificially intelligent MOBs (mobiles, non-player characters which make good killing and provide items and 'experience points' with which skills can be gained).

So, DarkBlade is what I, a MUD- and MUCK-er, ultimately wanted in a game. Now, whether you like it or not is up to you.