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.
Use the following form to submit your comment. Please keep in mind these guidelines:
Expect bugs while we transition TMC to a new platform, please help us by reporting them!