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Iron Realms

Iron Realms pioneered the Item Mall in 1997 by auctioning virtual items to players in Achaea. Iron Realms now owns 5 MMOs that have been rated the best in their genre.

Author: IronRealms

How Thief Class and Player Theft is Balanced in Achaea

Posted by IronRealms Thursday November 10 2011 at 12:06PM
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The Serpent class plays a unique role in Achaea, being similar to the rogue class by using whips, dirks and venoms, summoning a loyal snake that deals out afflictions and the controversial ability to rob other players. A Serpent may use the Hypnosis skill to snap their fingers in a player's face, causing the victim to hand over their goods. This unique thief class can phase into the shadows, becoming completely invincible before leaping out of the shadows with a vicious backstab. By using a combination of venoms, they can completely lock an opponent, leaving them immobile and helpless to the Serpents execution skill.


There are methods to prevent being a theft victim. The Selfishness defense prevents your character from giving away goods, so Serpents usually strike when they notice you drop your Selfishness when you go to give away an item to a quest mob, for example. The Serpent also becomes flagged for PvP to anyone in the server, for a period of 7 days. Such is the life of a backstabbing thief!


Victims of theft who are not strong enough to kill a high-level Serpent player can hire a player who is a member of the assassins guild to hunt down the thief and kill them. The official assassin system allows the victim to feel a sense of justice, and they could even hire an even more skilled Serpent to steal all their items back for them!

How Item Malls in Iron Realms MMORPGs are Balanced for PvP

Posted by IronRealms Saturday November 5 2011 at 8:02AM
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When Iron Realms became the first company to sell virtual goods to players, one primary concern was whether or not pay-for-perks in an MMORPG would unbalance the game. To prevent the game from being dominated by a person's credit card rather than skill level, Iron Realms took two major steps;
  • Allow players to acquire credit shop items with  gold equivelancy.
  • Tweak and balance all cash shop items to ensure no one has God-like powers.
Iron Realms games feature two main currencies - gold, which you gain through bashing, questing or selling trade-skill commodities. The second currency are 'credits', which can be bought from the website. However, players may also buy credits from other players with gold, so anyone who plays long enough can have all the cash shop items without spending any real money. Here are some examples of the top tier (most expensive) credit shop items in Achaea, Iron Realms flagship MMORPG.
Logosian Gauntlets / Sash of Caymus
(+3 Strength / Intelligence)
Both of these add roughly 10% to your damage, scaling down if you're already a high-damage race. While this does seem high, consider that this is only 100-150 extra damage. It won't let anyone oneshot you, which gives you time to react to the heightened damage.
Shield of Absorption
10% less physical damage taken, +15% chance to block all physical damage
This artifact is huge for most classes who can wield shields, but it doesn't make anyone unkillable. It does not block "killing blow" hits, it simply lowers the sustained damage you take by roughly 20%, all things considered.
Weapons: Altered Stats
These aren't overpowered, as the stats are not 'optimized', as in they aren't exactly what a metagamer would want. A metagamer would want 40 damage/150 to-hit/300 speed, for example, instead of 90 damage/198 to-hit/228 speed. There are weapons out there with 250-260+ speed, which are exactly the kinds of weapons metagamers want, but they aren't available in pay-for-perks options. 
Iron Realms puts a lot of time and effort into balancing the games, and continuously pays extreme attention to preserve the balance. The staff behind the curtains pays very close attention to major problems and tends to fix them very shortly after they surface, especially if they involve balance. They even open balancing "seasons" in which players can write reports on what they feel is unbalanced, and make a lot of changes based on player opinion (with sufficient evidence). Artifacts do not make people overpowered, but why do I say this?
  1.  PvP in Achaea is a very complex thing, and the skill cap is incredibly high. As opposed to the PvP systems in World of Warcraft, there are multiple different things to consider when participating in combat in the text MMORPG Achaea. Instead of there just being crowd-controls and damage like in World of Warcraft, there are afflictions and damage and hindering, all with very different strategies, and even different strategies within them. Once you learn to hinder and afflict, massive damage isn't as scary.
  2. The diminishing returns system works very well. What this means is if you already have 17 strength, +3 strength will only add about 20 damage. If you have 12 strength, +3 strength will add about 60 damage. This way you will never get killed in one hit and you always have time to react and let your skill play a factor in whether or not you survive.
  3. Defensive artifacts do not make anyone unkillable. As mentioned in point #1, afflictions have an extremely strong presence in Achaea's PvP system. There are no artifacts that defend against afflictions or even make you cure faster. 
In closing, realize that there will never be such a thing as "perfect balance", except in rock-paper-scissors, which is rather boring. When you have something as complex as Achaean PvP, balance becomes a very difficult thing to maintain. Iron Realms does a great job of preserving the balance while installing a pay-for-perks system that allows Achaea to remain free-to-play for everyone. You absolutely do not require artifacts to become a top-tier fighter in Achaea, as the artifacts I highlighted above are well known as the most powerful artifacts in the game, and not even those artifacts cause an imbalance.

Achaea's Player Housing Offers Sandbox Customization.

Posted by IronRealms Tuesday November 1 2011 at 12:21PM
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In Iron Realms flagship MMORPG, Achaea, player housing is one of the most customisable features. There are many, many possibilities of what you can do with player housing, it is literally entirely up to you. In games such as Perfect World or Second Life, it can take a very long time to set your house up just the way you want it. Rather than spending hours and hours trying to do level design for your house, in Achaea, you can create an image that portrays much more than is possible within the parameters other games give you. Say you want to create a dragon's lair, a kitchen, or even an art room -- it's all possible and you don't need to spend hours and hours tweaking everything so it looks "alright". You really are limited only by your creativity! 
Similar to games like Minecraft, you can even build a castle surrounded by a lake. But rather than building it pixel by pixel and block by block, you simply describe it through a paragraph or two. A fan of books? Immortalize your favorite setting by using it as inspiration for your own home (within reason)! You can even add in detail that you could never add in graphical sandbox games, which is the best part of the process.
  Features of Player Housing
- You get a piece of Achaea when you buy a plot of land in a city. You can even buy all the land around you and make a fortress!
- Doors operate based on permissions. You can allow anyone in your guild to open your door, or you can allow only yourself and your family to open your door. Entirely your choice!
- Create your own garden growing your own herbs that nobody else may harvest! You and any of your allies may harvest as much as you want of these herbs, not hindered by the hourly cap that exists out of homes.
- You can even create a resting room that gives you extra endurance / willpower recovery, making it much easier to regain that endurance after a long day hunting!
- You can buy furniture for your house for anyone to use, ranging from a chest to store your treasures in, a dresser to keep your clothes in, or even a couch, or bed!
- Create a private hangout, designed how ever you want.
The possibilities literally are endless. Now, surely this must be a complicated and expensive process, right? No, not really. Just describe the room -- think of some of your favorite levels from whatever graphical games you've enjoyed the most. Level design is a little similar to the description process -- start with an idea, then flesh it out, then flesh it out even more and add details. There are a lot of games that have at least one place that is beautiful enough to likely catch your attention and make you really appreciate how beautiful that game is. You can create a room description that evokes that same feeling, and you don't need to be a programmer to do it.