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Notes from Achaea

I have played Achaea, Dreams of Divine Lands for more than ten years--an uncommonly long tenure in one MMO, I think. In this blog I will reflect on my experiences, current Achaean events, and the nature of virtual community.

Author: MhaldorMage

Happy Fifteenth Anniversary to Achaea and Iron Realms

Posted by MhaldorMage Friday September 14 2012 at 6:27AM
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Hello friends! Well, it's been a while, so I think the time is ripe for me to tell you more about my adventures in Achaea, one of the MUDs offered by Iron Realms, and my favorite game bar none. 

Achaea recently celebrated its fifteenth anniversary, which is also the fifteenth anniversary of Iron Realms, since Achaea is its first game. To mark the occasion, the administrators and volunteer leaders ("Gods") had a variety of festivities on offer, including Egg Hunts, Foozles, and arena games such as Rampage and Free-for-all, offering gold prizes to all participants and more valuable prizes to the winners. 

I was also pleased to catch up with Sarapis, AKA Matt Mihaly, the founder of Iron Realms and the Zeus/Jupiter figure in Achaea's complicated mythology. Sarapis was the producer of Achaea for a long time, but he has since passed that role on to Tecton, AKA Justin Walsh. Sarapis remains CEO of the company however, and is now returning to a more active role within the game he created a decade and a half ago. Those that wished an audience with Sarapis during the anniversary trekked up to the isolated Saoghal Valley, where he sat in his temple, casually playing chess and chatting away while the "old-timers" reminisced about the days before auto-class. A word of advice, if you do decide to join, don't get anybody started on auto-class!

The other "gift" of the anniversary--though it must have been a decision long in the works--was the extension of various forms of in-game communication to far-flung, isolated areas. Prior to this change, communciation was easily accomplished only within the "heartland" of Sapience, the main continent. Go north into the tundra, or south across the Notic Ocean to Meropis, or to one of the far-flung islands to the east or west, and you would be alone with your thoughts, able to speak only to whatever intrepid adventurers were accompanying you. Now telepathic speech carries easily across the entire Prime Material Plane. 

This change returns Achaea to the way it was ten or more years ago, incidentally, when there were not yet any farflung areas to speak of! I think it is a very positive development; the old status quo did increase the feeling of distance, but it also made exploring Meropis or Suliel a bit of a drag, especially if you only had one or two friends to accompany you. Range limits on transportation skills have not changed, and areas that are on separate "planes" altogether--Annwyn, Bopalopia, the Underworld, Nishnatoba--still won't allow for normal communication.

Lastly I should mention the felicitous appearances of Ironbeard the Magnanimous during the jubilee. Ironbeard is an ale-swilling dwarf with a great big sack who gives gifts to lucky adventurers on special occasions and at certain times of the year.

That's how Achaea and Iron Realms celebrated their fifteenth year. I've been playing for 11 out of those 15. Is there any good reason why there shouldn't be fifteen more? I can't see any.