GemStone IV is a high fantasy game set in the world of Elanthia. Originally offered on service providers such as AOL, Prodigy, GEnie, and Compuserve, the game is now exclusively available via its website.
In GemStone IV, players pick from a variety of fantasy races and classes and advance their characters through the world by fighting monsters and doing minor quests. The game's story is told primarily through live events and invasions run by the in-game staff ("GameMasters").
GemStone IV began in 1988 as GemStone II ("GemStone I" was a demo game that was never released to the public), and began on the GEnie service. It received a hardware and mechanics upgrade to GemStone III, where for a time it was set in I.C.E.'s ShadowWorld universe. When the game moved to AOL, it was "de-I.C.E."'d, and once again set in its original world, Elanthia.
In 2003, the game engine and mechanics received a major overhaul. The name was changed to "GemStone IV" to express the significance of this upgrade.
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