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TMC Player Reviews: Alter Aeon


Review Submitted By: zaar
Author Status: Player
Started on Alter Aeon: 6 years ago
Submission Date: Apr 4, 2013
TMC Listing: Alter Aeon

The following review is the opinion of the review's author [zaar] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff.

If you are looking for a mud rampant with hypocrisy, an elitist group
of coders and builders and where money determines the quality of your
character, look no further; Alter Aeon is the mud for you.

First, I would like to concentrate on the money aspect as that is
what most people seem to care about in terms of muds. Alter Aeon is
not considered a pay-to-play mud, but it may as well be, and with the
prices for perks, you’d better have some good income flowing in.
Lets take a quick look at what things cost and their relevance.

Storage for one year: $25. One weightless, $25. One transfer of a
character, $20. Change of spell colors (does nothing but changes the
colors you (and possibly others see), $10 each. One practice, $2.5.
Get out of death free card, $2.

These fees are insanely exorbitant and yet people still pay them. A
weightless is a rather large feature you cannot do without; most
players have multiple sets of equipment they wear; mages and clerics
have a cast set, warriors have a hit set. Everyone has a regen set,
then a quantity of saves, which help protect you from mobs which do a
specific type of damage, among a few more popular sets. A weightless
gives you a place to put all of these sets and weighs nothing. Of
course if the four eqset slots aren’t enough for you, you may also
purchase more. This means that $25 is pretty much a mandatory cost for
any character that is mid-level because they will have multiple sets
of eq to juggle and all that weight in a normal container adds up
incredibly fast. This is rather inconvenient because it means that
your encumbrance shoots through the roof and you run out of mp much
much easier than usual. A storage is also a rather nice convenience
because it allows you to store this vast amount of eq you will most
likely accumulate somewhere, but that again costs money. If you should
also wish to purchase practices, they cost you about $2.5 per
practice. Dentin also very kindly offers a level 1 character, whose
stats are fully maxed for $2000, which he says is actually a discount.
This provides some idea of how much it costs to train your stats to
25, which is the maximum they can be trained to. For example, it
currently costs me 14 practices to train one stat and 20 to train
another. This means that I would spend $85 to increase two attributes.
Dentin has also recently introduced get out of death free cards; for
those characters who suck at life and die constantly, you have to buy
these to keep your experience. This is the most direct way to actually
improve your character. When you die, you lose up to 10 million
experience. A get out of death free card prevents this experience
loss.

Now there is an alternative to buying credits. You can use in-game
gold to purchase credits at the usual fee of 1000 gold per credit. I
have never seen it higher and usually it’s lower than that. At 100
credits per dollar, this means that for $10 worth of credits you need
1 million gold at the minimum to purchase the credits. This sets a
weightless at 2500000 gold on the low end. As a higher level thief,
most players can make about 75k every day or so, which means that it
will take you at least 33 days to make the required 2.5 million gold
for the requisite weightless. I have heard people talking about
spending up to 35 practices or more to raise one stat; this is 6250000
gold worth of practices, which at around 75k gold a day would take you
about 83 days. People frequently talk about the fact that you can
trade gold for credits, Except as a higher level player you will have
already needed a weightless and thus more than likely can not function
without it. To make things even better, it is fairly difficult to find
and sell items for any amount of gold and a run might net you around
2k gold if you do it solo and only kill. In a group splitting your
gold with six members means around 400 or so, probably less.
Inevitably AA is a pay-to-play mud, whether or not it advertises
itself as such. If you just want to play a mud and get the features
usually given to most players (the ability to carry equipment as well
as some sort of storage), AA is not for you. While I do agree with
putting money into a game if you enjoy it, players should be able to
play the same game without having to donate money to be functional,
especially at the prices AA charges. Ten dollars to change your spell
color? Most muds I have played allow you to change the color of stuff
without paying insane fees for it.

The admins (and the owner himself) make the mud an incredibly fun
place to be. The main builder, who goes by the name of Morpheus
frequently patrols the public channel, rule book in hand ready to lay
down the banhammer on anyone who even might possibly consider getting
near the line they shouldn’t be crossing. Jokes are also not
acceptable. When he is not patrolling gossip with a vigor, he can
usually be found ranting and raving at his loss of sight which he
would like everyone to condole and worship him for overcoming or
modifying areas so that players who found ways to beat them have it
much harder. All this area modification is apart from the numerous
areas that were built and abandoned, which means that they are not up
to date with any of the new systems, have the tendency to load
equipment many years out of date and that no one visits because the
mechanics of these areas make it impossible to beat.

When the admin isn’t busy railing against the people he considers
idiots, he is currently worshipping the leader of the newest and
greatest clan, (who is known for recruiting every possible newbie and
using them as cannon faader in his exploration groups), for somehow
contributing to the mud by doing all this wonderful work. He also
likes to spend time spewing random philosophical tidbits of wisdom
that only he understands, but which you earn bonus points by trying
vainly to provide a cogent response that actually makes sense to him.
When you do not agree with these random philosophical ramblings, we
return to being angry at the perceived stupidity of the player base on
mass and morning that not everyone has the vast intellect of Dentin.
When Dentin is not engaged in long-winded philosophy, discussions on
how –he- could make the government better or dominion worship, he
can be found nerfing random skills and spells so that everyone who
wakes up bright and early to a new change log gets to hear about how
wonderfully things have been broken. When there is nothing to nerf, we
occasionally have flip-flops of level 1 2 3 and 4 skills which
apparently should be in different locations than they were before, but
which were terribly out of place and should actually be moved because
a player might miss the level 4 skill he got at level 1 within the ten
minutes it would take to get to level 4.

I do have to sympathize, at least a bit with the player base that
currently infests Alter. While there are a few good needles to be
found within the dung heap, mostly the mud is full of blind
individuals, eagerly awaiting their next check so they can purchase
more practices, running massive groups from within the depths of their
parent’s basement. If you do not have all day to devote to AA, I
recommend you stop now! The mud is mainly made up of maybe a top 10%
of players, with the other 90% tagging along, earning browny points
like it’s going out of style to try to get the equipment they would
otherwise be unable to get by themselves, either because they can’t
kill the mob or you have to kill it a few hundred times to make it
load the piece you want. Among this 10%, most of these players are
elitist jerks who will charge you insane amounts of money (Athlon) or
join clans like Shadow Alliance so they can pretend they’re good at
something.

From tyrannical administration with angry builders to the requirement
that you pay to play this mud, AA does not have to much good going for
it. While it used to be fun many years ago, Dentin has since tried
dumbing the game down. Up next, the framework to allow the win button
to be floating in front of your nose, before you finally get the win
button right there in case you actually want to use it. Until then, be
ready for lots of useless features and angry admins.

Submit Comments About this Review


Comment Submitted By: Fehlan
Author Status: Player and staff member
Started on Alter Aeon: 2002
Submission Date: Apr 5, 2013

(The following review comment is the opinion of the comment's author [Fehlan] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff).

Wow. First you call them perks, then you go on to twist everything to
sound like requirements. I'll admit, the weightlesses are NEARLY
required, if you wish to power-play. Anything else, well, colors and
restrings are strictly cosmetic, and practices or maxxed level 1
character are for those who don't care about investing a few bucks, or
see it as a donation. Or are too lazy to work for them, of course.
Since a practice (at the higher levels) costs 10mil exp, and you get 5
or more for every level (36 levels per class, currently 5 classes, do
the math), they're FAR from required to purchase. As far as stat
training costs, why buy a character with all the work done? Play the
game. EARN practices, and max your stats. You want to cough up the
cash to not have to PLAY the GAME? Why play the game? So obviously
trollish.... Thanks for the review and advertising.

PS Learn how to use the enter key, you'll do better at mudding and
won't have to buy what's handed to you for no cost and a little
effort.

Comment Submitted By: Dentin
Author Status: Player and staff member
Started on Alter Aeon: 1995
Submission Date: Apr 5, 2013

(The following review comment is the opinion of the comment's author [Dentin] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff).

While I can in some sense understand your point of view, parts of your
post appear ... confused. To clarify:

1) Pay to play is generally considered 'You can't log in without paying
for an account.' We're definitely not pay to play. Dragon Realms is.
We're absolutely 'pay for perks', and never claimed not to be.

2) Prices are high not because we're trying to be jerks, but because
we're trying to limit how much stuff gets sold. Limiting how much of an
impact paid items has is critical to making sure free players can
compete on an even footing with paid players.

3) The money market is awesome, and gives players without cash a safe,
secure way to get credits so they can buy things too. I know many
players who have used the money market and trading to buy weightlesses
without spending a dime. If you take the time to accumulate or create
something worth buying, other players will buy it.

4) I have and play over a dozen characters, and none of them use
weightless containers (or any of the other buyable perks.) As the lead
game designer, I consider it my duty to avoid using credits to ensure
that the game remains playable without them. So far, I have not had
difficulty doing so.

5) There is only one admin - me. Morpheus is not an admin, nor are any
other gods. Please don't accuse them of an abuse of a power which they
do not have.

6) Gossip is not a public channel. Did you read the channel disclaimer
and the help pages on moderators and avatars? That describes how the
moderation process is handled. If you prefer an unmoderated forum, you
should create your own channels (from which you can ban even me.)


I'm sorry you're having a hard time on AA. It definitely sounds like it
isn't the game for you; best wishes on finding a new home.

-dentin

Comment Submitted By: zaar
Author Status: Player
Started on Alter Aeon: I quit
Submission Date: Apr 7, 2013

(The following review comment is the opinion of the comment's author [zaar] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff).

One of the reasons why I log on AA currently is just to talk to
people I know that don't use any form of messenger. I was idling when
this wonderful tidbit of wisdom came through, I thought it was worth
adding to the review. [bovine] Dentin: ssraxx: frankly, I'm done with
your paid game advantages argument. You can buy advantages here, with
money. Suck it up. You don't like it, there's the f****** door

I obviously sensored it out, but there's the kind of response you
get from the main owner of the game. Needless to say, I found the door
and walked myself right through it. I don't even care to idle on AA
anymore.

Comment Submitted By: JJYanik
Author Status: Player and staff member
Started on Alter Aeon: About 11 years
Submission Date: Apr 7, 2013

(The following review comment is the opinion of the comment's author [JJYanik] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff).

**Note to the reader** I have no control on how this gets formatted
on the website. If this will be formatted like the comment above, I
apologize in advance.**

I disagree with a lot of your post regarding Alter Aeon and I think
you should have fairly pointed out the good instead of just negativity
(some of which is warped to fit your opinion). Nice formatting by the
way and I dread what mine will look like.

Money does not determine the quality of your player. I have been
playing for about 11 years and I “chose” to make purchases on
game. I have weightlesses for my characters because it is a choice,
not a must.

Before I had weightlesses (I played about 3 years WITHOUT them and I
had many eq changes), I made sure that my characters knew the spell
“tensor’s floating disc”. For those who don’t play Alter Aeon,
that spell only costs mana and can hold various weights of equipment
(depending on how good you can cast it).

Or I had as what Alter Aeon players call a “storage character”.
This would be a created character that could hold various sets of
equipment. Dentin (the game creator) allows you to have many
“storage characters” (without cost) and for you to log them on to
switch equipment.

The rest of the things you mentioned would all be any particular
player’s opinion to purchase. There is no need to purchase a change
in spell color (I have never done this).

I have never transferred or bought another player. I find it defeats
the game and I want a character that I made with my time, not someone
else’s. Again, this is a transaction that a player and another
player chooses to do.

There is no need to purchase practices at all. Your post failed to
mention the other way the game gives you practices. You are given a
bunch of practices when you start your character, you earn practices
as you level, you are gifted practices from time to time and running
practices is not a huge issue. I recently ran 37 practices between two
characters in the course of about 2 weeks. If you know how to play,
how to get experience, know how to train your stats from the creation
of your character, getting experience to train your practices should
not be an issue. To me, this was nothing and I like the mud because it
NEVER ends.

Your rants about weightlesses have been addressed by me above and it
was a waste to repeat points you were trying to make again.

Apparently, per your information, you have been playing for about 6
years. Eqsets were not around 6 years ago. What did you do then? You
probably (if you didn’t have a weightless) had various containers
containing your “eqsets” and you made aliases to change into them.
I consider eqsets to be way easier due to not having to make an
aliases to change eq. Dentin did not have to offer 4 eqsets freely and
could have charged for #1 eqset. If I didn’t want to spend money on
getting eqsets, I would use up those 4 free ones and then do it the
old fashioned way as explained above.

I do not own a storage locker because I choose not to. I use the
“free route” that Dentin has allowed me by having “storage
characters”. Again, this is a preference for each individual player,
not a must.

I choose not to repeat my opinion on practices since I already stated
what I said above. Being repetitive is not MY thing.

Yes, Dentin offers a level 1 character for $2,000.00 but if that is
the route someone chooses, in my opinion, why even start playing?

I played in the days of the game where you lost HALF your experience.
Dentin has implemented changes where you loose 10 million experience
instead. I would say that was a positive change and it wasn’t
something that Dentin did for himself but rather the playerbase.

I don’t purchase credits at all in the game and I get along fine
with my 4 main characters. I personally don’t find a need for them.

Equipment can be sold on auction for decent amounts of gold. I am
considered a veteran player and true, I have the means to purchase
what I want or need with gold. Some may say it’s not fair to the
newer people. Well I was there once. I was there when there wasn’t
credits, storage lockers, etc. and I got by without an issue. Dentin
should be given credit for wanting to provide game “extras”
without making it a MUST.

Please keep this is mind too—Dentin DID NOT have to make the game
free along with the freedom to make and name a character (as well as
picking a class), make multiple characters, have eqsets, bank gold, or
having the ability to make private channels. He gives you the ability
to make your own clan (true it costs gold/credit) but he doesn’t
have to supply you with around 19 rooms for FREE once you make a clan.
And before you think about ranting about clans costing gold, many
clans were founded on having characters getting together and pooling
their gold. That is how it was done back in the day before credits
existed. I think the only reason Dentin implemented having clans cost
gold (and now credits and gold) was to avoid a massive number of clans
with little or no members. And don’t forget, Dentin allows you to
build your own website (without have terms or conditions that it must
include a link back to AA) in order to make your clan dues cheaper.



Yes, Morpheus is a builder on the game but not the MAIN builder. He
is considered a “world builder” due to the many areas he has
released on the game. I seem to recall what you are speaking of in
your post about “Jokes are not acceptable” on gossip channel.
Please type “channel stat gossip”. Jokes are fine but when they
border on the “crude” side, they DON’T belong on channel gossip
because it is a “public channel”. Dentin has allowed any player to
create private channels of their own for whatever they want to speak
about, etc. And just to make it a point, there is NO cost for making
your own channel either.

Morpheus doesn’t rant and rave about his loss of sight and can do
some pretty amazing things in my opinion for being blind. He is the
first and only “world builder” on the game. From knowing and
watching Morpheus interact with players, I find he is personable and
knowledgeable. Don’t break the rules set in place for EVERYONE and
you won’t have an issue. He is a lot more vocal than other world
builders (for those who are world builders who aren’t super vocal, I
am not saying it is wrong to not be vocal). Morpheus has been
modifying his areas based on the changes that were put into effect on
the game. He has not been trying to make them “un-runnable” and
Dentin would not allow such a thing. If you aren’t a builder and
don’t know what goes into building an area, I would refrain from
stating an opinion on what goes on in that “world”.

I speak with Dentin a lot of the times personally and he has never
“worshipped the leader of the newest and greatest clan”. Dentin is
highly intelligent and I will admit, I don’t always get what he is
talking about, but that isn’t a reason to make him sound like he
thinks he is above everyone. Just because you don’t know what he is
talking about, doesn’t make him a “bad guy or bad admin”. He may
find something funny that you and I don’t and he can be that way
because that makes him Dentin.

If you are blind and you made the statement that it is full of a
bunch of blind individuals eagerly waiting for their next check to
make purchases within their depths of their parent’s basement, then
you are just an unhappy person making such a judgment call. If you are
not blind and you made that statement, that was just a plain wrong
statement to make. And by wrong I mean “messed up”. I am not a
blind player but whether you are blind or not, you just degraded ALL
blind players with that statement. You make it sound like they can’t
do anything for themselves and they have to depend on others to live.
I know a bunch of blind players on the game. Some work, a lot have
families and yes, there are those who probably collect disability. But
out of the blind players I know, I have yet to find a blind player who
is only capable depending on others and feeling sorry for themselves.
If you are blind and you feel this way, I would seek counseling
because you haven’t come to terms with your disability. If you
aren’t blind, then you are just plain ignorant and discriminatory.

I actually can’t post any more regarding your post because I find
the rest of it ridiculous and a waste of time.

I just want to know one thing and maybe even a reader of your post
might wonder the same thing:

If the game has “lots of useless features” (your opinion) and is
run by a money grubbing admin who “spews random philosophical
tidbits along with tyrannical, angry builders, why do you bother to
log on?

Comment Submitted By: Draak
Author Status: Player and staff member
Started on Alter Aeon: early 1997
Submission Date: Apr 7, 2013

(The following review comment is the opinion of the comment's author [Draak] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff).

Previous comments did a good job countering a lot of what was posted
above. I just wanted to point out that there's an 18th level mage
spell that lets you create a temporary weightless container for 48
mana. Some players using this spell develop sufficient inventory
management skills so that they never end up needing a permanent
weightless container.

There's even a few scrolls with this spell on it, so you don't even
have invest practices into learning the spell if you don't want to.

Comment Submitted By: Shadowfax
Author Status: Player and staff member
Started on Alter Aeon: 1996
Submission Date: Apr 8, 2013

(The following review comment is the opinion of the comment's author [Shadowfax] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff).

Here we have a prime example of how _not_ to write a
mud review, in case it wasn't obvious by the
author's inability to limit line length or spell
simple words correctly.

What started as an almost-legitimate gripe about how
donation perks affect Alter Alter gameplay quickly
descended into wanton hyperbole, personal slander
and bigotry against the blind. These things have no
place in a honest review of a mud. TMC has better
standards than that. Hating on blind folks?
Really? I'm glad you quit Alter Aeon. Take that
bad attitude of yours elsewhere, Zaar!

Alter Aeon does not charge rent and is free to play,
period. Bonuses received from donations to the game
offer convenience for the player but are not
strictly necessary. I have played this game for
many years, have never made a single donation and
can play through the highest level of areas
available. Many features have been added to the
game over the years, and, while naturally it's a
delicate act to make new content useful while
balancing it against the old, the new content ends
up worthwhile and continues to breathe life into the
game. The staff are amicable and reasonable human
beings who spend enormous amounts of time helping
out new players, not catering to the 'top 10%' as
the reviewer suggests.

Comment Submitted By: JJYanik
Author Status: Player and staff member
Started on Alter Aeon: About 11 years
Submission Date: Apr 8, 2013

(The following review comment is the opinion of the comment's author [JJYanik] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff).

**Correction to my first post**
I stated (in regards to Morpheus), 'He is the first and only
“world builder” on the game.'

The correction is that Morpheus is the first and only blind 'world
builder' on the game. My apologies to the other world builders for my
mistake!