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How are the other games going?

TaelTael Member Posts: 1,197 @ - Epic Achaean
With people retiring characters and some contemplating a move, I'm curious if anyone here who plays any of the other IRE games could provide an update on how they're doing. The newsletters give a sort of very broad overview of events and mechanical additions, but I'm curious about the player experience.

So any information about Lusternia, Imperian, and Aetolia, ideally in comparison to Achaea, since we're all presumably most familiar with it.

Here are some of my questions:
  • What is the population like? Does it feel like it's increasing or declining? Is that a problem (either one)? Does it skew older or does it feel like it's mostly a lot of relative newbies with high turnover?
  • What seems to be the general focus? Combat? Individual or group? Raids? Roleplaying? Is it balanced or does the population seem to prefer one thing over another?
  • What is the mechanical balance like? Does combat feel as dynamic, varied, deep, and interesting as Achaea? How about group combat?
  • Since it seems to have become a big question over the last year: What does the general state of automation seem to be?
  • What are the RP themes like? Does it seem to be moving in a more light-hearted direction or is it trying to be darker and edgier? What's unique and interesting in the game's RP?
  • Any recent-ish additions that are particularly noteworthy? Things that really changed the game for you in a substantial way?
Obviously feel free to add whatever you like or to ignore these questions entirely - I just wanted to provide some things I'm personally curious about to maybe spark some responses.
Blujixapug
«13

Comments

  • KayeilKayeil Washington StateMember Posts: 2,824 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    My past experience with Aetolia... the small population and slow moving environment at times made it frustratingly difficult to advance. If someone is feeling lazy or keeps putting something off, you can expect to be waiting a really long time. Fun RP and cool lore, though. Has a server-side like we do.

    As for Lusternia... I find it unnecessarily and overly complex. Has some really cool features, but it's SO much to take in. At the time I tried it out, they did not have a reliable mapper. Not sure if they have any reliable curing systems. Pretty sure Vadi had made one for Lusternia, but he may not be updating it anymore due to the same reason he doesn't update SVO anymore. Also, the population there was ridiculously small, much smaller than Aetolia's. Expect to spend a lot of time alone and figuring out things on your own.
    What doesn't kill you gives you exp.

    Ismay
  • KayeilKayeil Washington StateMember Posts: 2,824 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Sasiya said:
    It also has so many quality of life upgrades that I just miss when playing other games, one example being the audit command that tells you exactly what your crit chance is, what your XP modifier is, what your dodge chance is, what your resistances are, etc. 
    The above is so true. Even if you try another game and aren't a big fan, you might see some features and things you REALLY liked that would fit into Achaea and can idea it here to see if the admins will consider implementing it. Some of these things have been like... recently liquid rift was added, and I know that was a feature on Lusternia long before Achaea. I also sent in an idea from an artefact I saw in Aetolia that made it so your voice doesn't get lost in the wind, and then it got implemented here (clasp of vocal intensity). I actually like Aetolia's minipet system better than ours (or what it was when I played). You send them off into the "ether" instead of them sitting around in your inventory or all over the place, and can summon them when you want. Lusternia has or had this really cool shop system where you can search for what you're looking for in one place and it'll compare different shops, their prices, and how many they have available.
    What doesn't kill you gives you exp.

    Sarathai
  • KietKiet Member Posts: 3,263 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited January 2016
    Aetolia seems like the biggest, and the one I'd be most interested in since from hearsay it's the most RP focused. That said, the PK seems abysmal, level 99 is practically required (though easy to get apparently?), and the population is really small. The other three games are even smaller, I'm pretty sure. Imperian is the most PK focused as far as I know, but I wouldn't really be interested in PK in such a small game probably (there are 9 people online in Imperian right now).

    Lusternia is definitely the most 'out there' of the IRE games, but last I checked it still had like 50 guilds for a population a quarter of the size of Achaea's, which is ridiculous. There's also way too many skills and the rep is no one ever 1v1s in Lust, even less than Achaea.
    KayeilAereidhna
  • KayeilKayeil Washington StateMember Posts: 2,824 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Lusternia just feels like a game where they can test out the most outlandish and crazy things they can think of, no matter how difficult or weird it may seem.

    Aetolia is GREAT for the RP focused, and the hunting isn't too bad either. The high levels are WAY higher than Achaea's, and there's lots of incentive to keep leveling because you can earn points to spend on things like your Haven or on skills.
    What doesn't kill you gives you exp.

  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    Kiet said:
     (there are 9 people online in Imperian right now).


    Not sure where you're seeing that, but I'm posting 7 minutes after you and there are 42 people online (including me, presumably) there.
  • KayeilKayeil Washington StateMember Posts: 2,824 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I've heard good things about Imperian, but haven't had interest myself. Especially the mining system there. No idea if it's similar to ours at all.
    What doesn't kill you gives you exp.

  • KietKiet Member Posts: 3,263 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited January 2016
    Sarapis said:
    Kiet said:
     (there are 9 people online in Imperian right now).


    Not sure where you're seeing that, but I'm posting 7 minutes after you and there are 42 people online (including me, presumably) there.
    I'm checking http://www.imperian.com/game/who . I guess theirs is bugged or stuck? It tends to be accurate for Achaea

    42 is way better than 9 though, I gotta say!
  • AverisAveris Member Posts: 7
    I've been looking for a recent thread like this. Thank you for posting this question!  I'm a Lusternia refugee and I loved that game years ago, coming back to it now, after a 5 year break, is plain overwhelming.  There was lots of RP to be found, but too much PVP in my opinion. All RP seemed like conflict RP...I think I may have been hanging around the wrong people though, lol.  

    Anyway, I'm trying out all Aetolia and Achaea (as well as a IRE clone) now and it's nice to hear non-newbie views about the games.
    Jeslyn
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    Kayeil said:
    I've heard good things about Imperian, but haven't had interest myself. Especially the mining system there. No idea if it's similar to ours at all.
    It's not. I don't think there's any game anywhere that has a mining system that works like ours, though the world is a big place so who knows.
    Kayeil
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff

    Kiet said:
    I'm checking http://www.imperian.com/game/who . I guess theirs is bugged or stuck? It tends to be accurate for Achaea

    42 is way better than 9 though, I gotta say!
    Definitely bugged.
    Kasya
  • KryptonKrypton shi-KhurenaMember Posts: 2,377 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    If your dream game is an amalgam of... RuPaul's Drag Race
    Are you saying all conflict resolution occurs by lipsync battle? If so... good-bye Achaea, hello Lusternia!
    (Mhaldor): Herenicus says, "Apologies, I am in-and-out of hold with Verizon wireless customer service."
    Averis
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    In favor of Lusternia I will say that their aetherspace maps are lovely.

    http://wiki.lusternia.com/Aetherspace
    JemaineTrevize
  • BlujixapugBlujixapug Member Posts: 1,833 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Krypton said:
    If your dream game is an amalgam of... RuPaul's Drag Race
    Are you saying all conflict resolution occurs by lipsync battle? If so... good-bye Achaea, hello Lusternia!
    No. But you can influence NPCs instead of killing them, and PVP by debating instead of physically attacking. You can learn Dramatics to perform roles and affect personas to get influencing/debating modifiers. (Debating also has a GenderBend ability, mfw.) Clothing and jewellery buffs your influencing depending on how opulent your outfit looks. Perfumes give modifiers to different influencing types. Different beasts can convey influencing modifiers. What else... Sitting in a throne gives you a temporary charisma stat buff. Wigs (talisman equivalent) from one of the promos give an influencing buff. Probably some other stuff I can't remember.
    image
    Mami
  • KayeilKayeil Washington StateMember Posts: 2,824 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Krypton said:
    If your dream game is an amalgam of... RuPaul's Drag Race
    Are you saying all conflict resolution occurs by lipsync battle? If so... good-bye Achaea, hello Lusternia!
    No. But you can influence NPCs instead of killing them, and PVP by debating instead of physically attacking. You can learn Dramatics to perform roles and affect personas to get influencing/debating modifiers. (Debating also has a GenderBend ability, mfw.) Clothing and jewellery buffs your influencing depending on how opulent your outfit looks. Perfumes give modifiers to different influencing types. Different beasts can convey influencing modifiers. What else... Sitting in a throne gives you a temporary charisma stat buff. Wigs (talisman equivalent) from one of the promos give an influencing buff. Probably some other stuff I can't remember.
    Don't they have some kind of feast type skill where if you eat certain foods it can boost different stats?
    What doesn't kill you gives you exp.

  • BlujixapugBlujixapug Member Posts: 1,833 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Kayeil said:

    Don't they have some kind of feast type skill where if you eat certain foods it can boost different stats?
    Food can buff dex or con, and HeroFete - which is their Cooking tradeskill equivalent of a Chorale or Rite of Dawn - gives some set of buffs.

    Or, it used to. They seem to have completely redone everything and removed the stat system entirely a few months ago, because balance. Classic Lusternia. I don't know how it works any more.
    image
  • IsmayIsmay Member Posts: 690 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Might want to hold off on Aetolia for now. From what I've read on their forums, they've seriously nerfed gold drops from bashing. I think it's now 10% of what it once was. They earn next to nothing for bashing, though they did mention a few gold quests. Questing has never interested me though, so the low gold drop is a major con for me.
    Give us shop logs!

    Pretty please...
  • KietKiet Member Posts: 3,263 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Their credits are also at 9k per on CFS so I assume they had massive inflation.
  • KayeilKayeil Washington StateMember Posts: 2,824 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Oh wow, Aetolia credits used to be very nicely priced... and if the gold drops are that bad I wouldn't bother. The population is pretty low, and there's so many different things you can do on Aetolia.. sometimes spending money and experimenting with different parts of the game is all you have to do to entertain yourself besides reading the huge collections of books.
    What doesn't kill you gives you exp.

  • SasiyaSasiya Member Posts: 133 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited January 2016
    Ismay said:
    Might want to hold off on Aetolia for now. From what I've read on their forums, they've seriously nerfed gold drops from bashing. I think it's now 10% of what it once was. They earn next to nothing for bashing, though they did mention a few gold quests. Questing has never interested me though, so the low gold drop is a major con for me.
    This is literally my biggest issue with the game at the moment. Previously, it was possible to buy 'cryptic chests' for 150,000 gold per chest in the artifact shop (Aetolia's version of globes of shifting contents). These chests could contain minipets, relic pieces (assemble for unique artifacts), items that gave limited time buffs (higher crit chance, more xp gain, etc), and other neat misc items. The average payoff of these chests if purchased in bulk was slightly less than 30 credits per chest (could get more or less depending on luck), which meant that if credit prices went up above 5000 per, people would just buy chests with their gold instead.

    Apparently, converting gold to credits outside of the credit market is against IRE policy, so these chests got removed from the game. Some people had accrued tens of millions of gold and a lot of it was dumped into the credit market instead, which made credit prices skyrocket, and in turn became super expensive for regular people. The administration realized that gold generation in the game (in particular from bashing) was too high, and they chose to reduce it by roughly 90% of what it was previously in the endgame zones. Far, far too much in pretty much every basher's opinion (with a few exceptions). In all IRE games I tried, it was at least possible to earn a few credits by going out and killing monsters. I remember when I first started in Achaea and went to Annwyn - it took a while, but I was eventually able to transcend my first miniskill with credits purchased with gold earned from killing Sidhe and animals and whatnot. It was a great feeling. Questing is just not appealing to everyone.

    As of this moment, Aetolia's credit market has stabilized somewhat: Total credits for sale: 244 shown (244 total)  (Average sale price: 6278)

    There are still plenty of credits sold at higher than 10,000 per, but I'm thinking prices will continue slowly creep down towards previous levels. This is just my assumption, and I may very well be wrong. There is currently no real gold sink of in the game to speak of. Nothing. At all. The state of the economy is not ideal, but I hope the administration will be making changes to improve the situation.

    I understand that if a single player can max out gold gain to obtain thousands of artifacts in just a few months, then something needs to change. What happened was that the changes hurt all the players, not just the select few who unbalanced the system. I didn't mention any of this in my previous post because it's still all very new changes, and I'm not sure how things are going to land when the dust settles.

    TL;DR
    If you just want to try out Aetolia, create a character, get involved, start RP'ing with folks, level up a bit, but don't transfer your retirement credits until the thirty days are almost out. Wait a bit, get a feel for the game, and if the economy issue still is a concern, then don't commit to the game. I really hate advicing against trying out Aetolia long-term (thirty days really is not enough to figure out if you're going to stick with a character or not), because it really is a game that I enjoy a lot, but if new people can't afford credits off the market, then there's a problem that needs to get fixed.
    BlujixapugAereidhnaAveris
  • KayeilKayeil Washington StateMember Posts: 2,824 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Speaking of credit markets, when I tried out Lusternia cfs was at like 50k or higher. No idea if it's better now.
    What doesn't kill you gives you exp.

  • KietKiet Member Posts: 3,263 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Why would you slash gold income by such absurd amounts without introducing a gold sink of some sort to actually use the millions of gold some people are undoubtedly sitting on? Now the dudes with 10 million gold are even richer and the gap gets bigger with newbies.

    This is why I never end up sticking to non-Achaea IRE games :(
  • SasiyaSasiya Member Posts: 133 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Why? That's what everyone wants to know right now.
  • MorsulMorsul Member Posts: 112 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited January 2016
    Re: Lusternia.

    I'm going to echo what's been said, the admin (Estarra, especially) is pretty crazy. There is good crazy, though, and bad crazy. Most of time it's the good version, a few times the bad kind.

    The nicest thing about Lusternia for me is the number of choices you get as a character. For example, each class still has the basic three skills, but typically one of those you can choose yourself from a pool. You can have a Guardian (ent-class) in Gaudiguch whose skills are Cosmic (specializing in Transmology), Rituals (specializing in Paradigmatics), and Hexes, but then you can also have a Guardian in Hallifax whose skills are Cosmic  (Harmonics), Rituals (Aeonics), and Astrology.

    Plus, everyone can take a trade skill right at the start. From the top of my head, there's Bookbinding, Brewmeister (yes, brewing beers), Cooking, Artisan (furniture), to name a few.

    It's also true that Lusternia is notorious for pumping one The Next New Thing every other month. Over the past year and more, though, there's some sort of Overhaul going on where the admins scaled down all the bunch of little mechanics that grew during the feature creep. There's even talk of a sort of Renaissance-style Guild Overhaul to address the empty population of some orgs.

    EDIT: the in-game economy of Lusternia

    A few years back gold drops were increased in Lusternia, plus mobs gave more gold the longer they're not hunted/influenced (around the same time Achaean mobs did this, too, I think!). Theoretically, anyone can get at those big gold drops, but of course if you have a more established character, this is easier. It's some big experiment on trickle-down economics that spun wildly out of control, and now the average price of credits in Lusternia is 40k - 50k.
    BlujixapugKayeil
  • TrevizeTrevize Member Posts: 1,517 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited January 2016
    Lusternia was the only non-Achaea IRE game I stuck with.

    Cool as hell on many levels.
    Current scripts: GoldTracker 1.2, mData 1.1
    Site: https://github.com/trevize-achaea/scripts/releases
    Thread: http://forums.achaea.com/discussion/4064/trevizes-scripts
    Latest update: 9/26/2015 better character name handling in GoldTracker, separation of script and settings, addition of gold report and gold distribute aliases.
    Kyrra
  • KryptonKrypton shi-KhurenaMember Posts: 2,377 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Blujixapug said:
    No. But you can influence NPCs instead of killing them, and PVP by debating instead of physically attacking. You can learn Dramatics to perform roles and affect personas to get influencing/debating modifiers. (Debating also has a GenderBend ability, mfw.) Clothing and jewellery buffs your influencing depending on how opulent your outfit looks. Perfumes give modifiers to different influencing types. Different beasts can convey influencing modifiers. What else... Sitting in a throne gives you a temporary charisma stat buff. Wigs (talisman equivalent) from one of the promos give an influencing buff. Probably some other stuff I can't remember.
    Sounds like Undertale, re: influencing.
    (Mhaldor): Herenicus says, "Apologies, I am in-and-out of hold with Verizon wireless customer service."
  • BiancaBianca Member Posts: 3
    I'm currently debating a move from Lusternia to Achaea actually through the retirement system! I'm a long time player of Lusternia, having cut my IRE teeth on Achaea about a decade ago. 

    Based on my experience, Lusternia PK balance is superior to Achaea's in that 20k credit investment in artifacts is going to give you more utility, mobility, and and a slight edge in actual offensive/defense, but does not create an impossible schism between the haves and have nots. This is actually the major aspect of Achaea vs Lusternia that holds me back as a PKer from diving into Achaea. You will feel your artifacts in Lusternia, but you won't win with them and there isn't a glass ceiling for non artifacted combatants. Based on what I've gathered about Achaea, that glass ceiling is very much an accepted part of PK. 

    The Overhaul (a couple years in the making) is nearing completion. The stat removal has actually been fantastic, and not just "because balance." Lusternia suffered from the same issues Achaea did, everyone played the same two or three races. Rather than copying stat packs, Lusternia came up with the idea of racial perks and normalizing stats across the board, and picking races based on niche value (one race is tanky, one race bashes faster, one race is slightly better in influencing, etc). It's actually been exceedingly popular in Lusternia so far. Not everyone is a cat man anymore and there's a perk that appeals to however you play the game. 

    The "features" of Lusternia are abundant, to the point of being extreme and possibly ridiculous, but rarely are the necessities. Such as wig curios: if you don't influence, you don't need them. You can opt out of them most times if you feel like it. There are a few exceptions, like wonder crystal items, but again, while it feels overwhelming none of it is needed to be competitive. 

    The price of credits in Lusternia appear crazy but post level 100 (which is exceedingly easy to obtain in Lusternia) you can amass millions without much effort. They are crazy only in context to other IREs, but we have entire swathes of the population that are richer than all of the organizations and could clean out the credit market if they wanted to. Though they don't because you run out of artifacts that have a significant impact on your gameplay. As a PKer you can hit 5k in escrow and be totally fine

    The biggest flaw in Lusternia is that conflict is not super prevalent. It's been on the steady decline for a while. Incidentally why I've been eyeballing Achaea. Some of the recurring conflict mechanics, like revolts and wildnodes are exciting when enough people are around to contest them. Raids and what not are mechanically discouraged with harsh penalties. Envoys are currently trying to address that. I will say the envoys are also empowered to change a lot, not just skill balance. They report on everything, from raid mechanics to artifact effects. 

    I've also heard from people that play both here and there that Lusternian conflict is somewhat slower in paced than Achaea and easier to keep up with. You tend to not explode in group combat unexpectedly and die without knowing why or what happened. 
    AereidhnaBlujixapug
  • CooperCooper Member Posts: 5,304 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    You're a bit off the mark on there being a glass ceiling for PK without artefacts. 5+ years ago I'd probably agree, but there have been tons of changes since then that have brought artefact bonuses down quite a bit. There are a lot of classes now that don't need a single artefact to compete at the top levels. The artefact advantage allows you to be more lazy/unskilled and still win, but mechanically there isn't much artefacts will let you do that you can't do without them (there are exceptions, of course, this is just a general statement).

    It's the hefty coding requirement that gets most people now.

    Bianca
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