Aetolia vs Achaea

AssinelitasAssinelitas Member Posts: 4

I am really thinking about sinking into one of the Iron Realms game, and currently my favourites are Achaea and Aetolia, and I am trying to figure out what are the main differences between these two. I was trying to find some answers but I got posts that are several years old and they are talking about things such a player base so I am questioning how relevant they still are.

Thus far from what I gathered Achaea has the sailing system, which is not present in Aetolia(?), and Aetolia is more RP focused(?). (feel free to correct me)
I get that the classes and races are somewhat different, but besides that? Does one have more skills? More in depth lore/quests/PvP/ PvE/ RP? Better combat system? Is one more P2W? Does one allow you to climb higher in the world hierarchy (like being a lord of a region/city or something like that)? Just what are the main differences in the games?

I spend a few hours in both, but the early game content feels really similar, and when I asked in-game, most I was able to get from people is "They are totally different games" and "You have to try to see" but I am not so fond of dumping a few weeks in both games just to choose one afterwards, and I think having a comparison might also be helpful for future potential players.

I will be grateful for any answers!


  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,147 admin
    My answers come with bias:

    We do not have sailing. There are plans for something I think would be better, but plans don't count.

    Aetolia is more RP focused. Especially in regards to PvP.

    I believe we're currently winning for most unique classes/skills.

    Our PvP systems are both very deep, but the biggest difference comes down to this: Our combat is deterministic, Achaea's is not. When you give an affliction here, generally you know it happened. Our curing goes in a specific order. Achaea's uses randomness in many instances.

    The heights you can climb to are similar! I'm not sure Achaea still says you can become a God, but we don't. Our Gods are very storyline based, and we don't move players into those spots due to fairness.

    I cannot say for Achaea, but I do try hard to keep Aetolia from being full-on p2w. Most everything in the game is achievable with ingame work, especially due to daily credits. We also work hard on design of artifacts and such to try to prevent any of them from being a 'must', or failing that, we endeavor to not make the problem any worse with newer, shinier things.

    Other things would be colored too much by my bias, but players can go right ahead. Any questions, I'll try to chime in!

    I also won't speak ill of my fellow games, because we're an IRE family.

    Aetolia is better.
  • PhoeneciaPhoenecia The Merchant of Esterport Somewhere in AtticaMember Posts: 798 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Howdy! Welcome aboard.

    I used to play Achaea a few years ago, and have some friends that play on Achaea now (and I occasionally hop on myself), and most of the differences mostly come from thematics and RP.

    The biggest difference between Aetolia and Achaea is that Aetolia is very RP-intensive. Longform emotes are FAR more common here where in Achaea, longform emotes tend to mark you as a mudsex character, or people will look at you weird.

    In terms of thematics... To use D&D terms, Achaea is more like Forgotten Realms where Aetolia is more like Ravenloft. Aetolia has a darker setting, and as of late, much of the story has been geared towards doing battle with foreign, eldritch abomination gods as opposed to engaging in war with each other.

    Random PK is more common in Achaea, so in Aetolia, you're less likely to be PKed for lulz within minutes of logging in. Theft is also heavily discouraged here - stealing stuff is a fast track to getting ostracised by the playerbase.

    In a lot of ways, Aetolia can be much more cooperative. You'll find no shortage of people happy to help you level up and get equipped.

    Achaea has a lot more wilderness maps and cool places to explore, but Aetolia has a lot of neat places to discover too. 

    One of the things about Aetolia that I've enjoyed is that you don't have to be involved in combat at all in order to develop your character or become influential or well known. Want to be a merchant? A performer? A scholar? You can! 
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,147 admin
    Phoenecia said:

    To use D&D terms, Achaea is more like Forgotten Realms where Aetolia is more like Ravenloft.

    I love this comparison. I would give Forgotton Realms to Lusternia though, and Achaea more Grayhawk. But a valid comparison! You'll see common fantasy themes in Aetolia, but always a bit of a darker version.
  • AssinelitasAssinelitas Member Posts: 4
    edited May 2020
    Ok, firstly thank you both!
    This is incredibly helpful to me. I really like Aetolia thus far, the RP is a really big plus side for me. I have a question about the PvP still... People are telling me that the PvP here tends to be heavily scripted base (which I don't really get how that should work) and that you have to rely on the fact that your code is better than the opponents... So how does that work?
    Tiur said:

    Aetolia is more RP focused. Especially in regards to PvP.

    Also if I could get a bit more detailed on this please, as I am not sure what does RP PvP mean.. I mean I could imagine a battle in RP, but not with the usage of abilities and spells.
  • TekiasTekias WisconsinMember Posts: 472 ✭✭✭

    Tiur said:

    Aetolia is more RP focused. Especially in regards to PvP.

    Also if I could get a bit more detailed on this please, as I am not sure what does RP PvP mean.. I mean I could imagine a battle in RP, but not with the usage of abilities and spells.
    He means that there's not much 'killing for killing's sake' (which does exist in Aet, though), but more 'I'm fighting you for an in-character reason'. The PK has a cause. Might be flimsy, but the cause exists.
    Formerly: Spiegel. Eidycue.


  • AxiusAxius where I amMember Posts: 379 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2020

    On the first question:

    People rely on scripting and code to basically automate all of their combat. It's a lot more elegant than what I imagine, but I always say to imagine it's a lot like having a long table of "if this, do that", but I imagine it's -not- like that.

    Edit on above answer: It also means our PVP is a LOT faster and a lot more blitzkrieg-y (for my senses at least), and is nearly, if not completely impossible to manual pvp in any capacity, I think

    On the second question: If you don't have an RP reason to PK someone, you're likely not finding PvP, you're finding group PVP consequently to be more common, with Ylem battles and the Orrery and the like. (Both are events that occur roughly... once every few weeks for Orrery, I wanna say once every 2 weeks, but it may be once a month, -ish-. And pretty much almost hourly for Ylem battles, depending on how active lessers are that day. Heck, one day I saw like, -three- lessers in the span of almost 30 minutes.

    but one-on-one PVP is relegated to Sect battles, and RP driven conflict caused between you and someone else, and if you don't have good reasons, you open yourself to being attacked by a group.
  • StineStine Member Posts: 220 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2020

    that you have to rely on the fact that your code is better than the opponents

    Having seen some of the code that people make and are successful in combat, I can say with 100% certainty that you don't have to be a coding savant to do well. I would even go so far as to say that you don't need to know how to code with to begin, as long as you can trial/error your way through building things.
  • PhoeneciaPhoenecia The Merchant of Esterport Somewhere in AtticaMember Posts: 798 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Success in PvP in Aetolia is hinged on two things: how well you know your class and your skill at scripting an offense or access to one someone can give you. Because afflictions and cures are pretty predictable in Aetolia (and also the presence of First Aid), a lot of people will code a system where if X person is afflicted with y affliction, then the offense will execute z skill. Stuff like that.

    PvP is held to a much stricter standard, at least RPwise, compared to other games. You're expected to have logical, in-character reasons when you PK someone, but the person you're PKing has to have done something to warrant it (and simply being a member of a certain city or guild isn't a good enough reason). The more PK-happy you get, the more scrutiny you'll face, and certain IC justifications will only get you so far for so long.
  • AssinelitasAssinelitas Member Posts: 4
    Ah ok, I get the RP PvP now!
    And for the PvP in general.. My problem with the scripting is not the coding itself, but rather the fact that there is something like this in general.. I mean doesn't it get boring when you just sit back and watch?
  • SibattiSibatti Mamba dur Naya Amidst vibrant flora and treesMember Posts: 373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
    I wouldn't say PVP is necessarily sit back and watch level. You still have some things that you're going to need to pull the trigger on, make a decision, pivot your strategy. In the general sense when someone says coded scripting, they mean that you're not sitting there typing out "dhuriv reave " etc.
  • TedrunaiTedrunai Member, Immortal Posts: 227 Immortal
    edited May 2020
    Hi there, for me the thrill of PK was in what happened before and after. Meticulously setting up your offense, putting in special cases and how to handle them before the fight. Debriefing fights, finding the little things to give you just that little bit of extra advantage next fight. During the fight itself it's true that a lot of it is just watching your preparation do its work. There is some interaction, many people manually decide when to go on the defensive (trying to disengage, putting up shields, stop attacking to focus on healing/defensive skills) and when to switch strategies.

    The combat is so fast-paced that automation will almost always outperform manual, that's just the reality of an engine that is complex enough to require deep and rapid decisions (IRE's combat system in general) but simple enough to make coding for it easy (MUDs in general). That said, there are certainly classes that you can manual to great effect, mostly the limb damage classes (Aetolia has 2 general flavours of combat routes: afflictions and limb damage).

    I can't speak for Achaea but I'd imagine automation is very much a major thing there too. It might not grant the same level of advantage over manual as here, since as Tiur mentioned our combat is deterministic, but automation is a pretty core component across IRE PvP in general.
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,147 admin
    Tedrunai said:

    I can't speak for Achaea but I'd imagine automation is very much a major thing there too. It might not grant the same level of advantage over manual as here, since as Tiur mentioned our combat is deterministic, but automation is a pretty core component across IRE PvP in general.

    It is even MORE scripted and automated. Because you don't know what afflictions they have, or what you will cure, you depend more on the bot thinking than yourself. It's just as fast, but with even more information you have to glean from the situation, so...

    That said, some of the most successful fighters are manual. Even blind! It's approachable without making a system do it for you.
  • EhtiasEhtias Member Posts: 148 ✭✭✭
    I have a lot of manual interrupts in my combat scripts, a lot of my kaido usage is manual interrupts that take priority over my main scripts choices. Same for defensive abilities and such.
  • NisaviNisavi Member Posts: 170 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Having fought in both Achaea and Aetolia, what @Tiur said is largely true. While there is technically more scripting, there is technically less automation. This is because curing there is not a set cure order and can vary, with few ways of necessarily tracking what was given. Also worth noting that the PK community in Achaea highly looks down on those with too much automation, but there are split camps on what level is acceptable in their eyes. As a somewhat related aside, Achaea is also faster than Aetolia in terms of combat speed. I was doling out 0.8 second swiftcurses, for example.

    Aetolia, on the other hand, is a lot less random. Some classes are certainly more complex than others, and some have more RNG elements, but you can generally track afflictions fairly easily with some scripting with most classes. Some classes can't track certain things, like I can't really track my own Gloom afflictions really well, but there are ways to accommodate for this -- at least to some degree.

    That being said, I would never advocate for anyone to go full automation in Aetolia, despite it being technically possible on some classes. I would instead advocate for a somewhat automated offense, but you're actively changing and making determinations on what route to pursue based on what affs or conditions are currently going on in a fight. Sure, you could probably script some kind of weighted determination script to do that, but I think that's more work than is really necessary and probably not as effective as adjusting your route as needed.
  • AssinelitasAssinelitas Member Posts: 4
    Ok! Thank you everyone! After considering everything, I think I will try Aetolia for a bit.. :)
  • IarsysIarsys Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I'm going to piggy-back this thread, instead of making a similar new one. Sorry in advance.

    I'm retiring from Achaea, and looking for a better game. Ire has the best, at their base forms. Before deciding on one, I intend to give it some time and play first. However, I do have a few questions.

    How is the trade system here? Are players free to engage in open commerce? Do you have player run stores/shops here? If so, are they controlled by orgs such as cities?

    Trade skills, how developed are they? Do you have crafting trade skills? Do designs get approval in a timely fashion here?

    Is the player base generally open and welcoming to newer faces? Are there closed off groups that ignore the peons? How are merchants and other kinds of players viewed by the community in comparison to combatants? Are the fighter types perceived in a better light here?

    Do the admin seem to be active with the community, or is there a disconnect? As players, do you feel that your concerns are satisfactorily addressed?

    Is there any kind of widely used system that includes both combat curing and utility features that make gameplay more appealing?

    I understand that some of those questions possess the potential to offend. Please know that is not intentional. I've just learned, from past experience, to be blunt enough to ask before investing thousands of dollars into an online game like this. After losing that much irl money, I'm a bit on the cautious side.

  • PhoeneciaPhoenecia The Merchant of Esterport Somewhere in AtticaMember Posts: 798 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Heh. As a player that's HIGHLY invested in the trade and mercantile aspect of the game, and playing a largely merchant character, I can talk a little bit about that.

    Aetolia has very active trade and commerce, and it's highly competitive. Each of the four cities all have shops within their walls, and there's a handful of shops in the neutral area of Esterport, including a few lease shops that go up for auction every few real life months. There also exist rare market stalls, which can be placed anywhere, but they tend to be very expensive and rare artifacts to get.

    Player shops are run by players, and are either personal enterprises or run for cities, guilds, and orders as a means of providing equipment and curatives to org members. Cities have limited control over shops. They can limit who can operate one within their city, and also regulate the tax rate, but also are how you retitle and redecorate. Some cities also have minimum stock rules and anti-monopoly rules to prevent people from hoarding shops. Beyond that, they can't directly control what you can stock or how to price things. Esterport is the exception as it's an NPC city, and there's no oversight, so you have the most control. Shops are a hot commodity, and Esterport shops are the most desirable because of the neutral territory - anyone can visit your shop and can buy from you, so you have a much wider market.

    As far as trade and crafting skills go... We have a LOT of them. Crafting and trade skills are divided into 3 categories here. Mercantile skills produce essentials used by everyone, and you can only have a maximum of two Mercantile skills. These skills are Forging, Herbalism, Apothecary, Toxicology, and Enchantment - Herbalism and Apothecary are mutually exclusive, so you can't have both. Then you have the craft skills, which are full skills and require a 100cr investment to buy, but you only need to learn up to Expert rank in order to make custom designs. These skills are Tailoring, Woodcraft, Jewelcraft, Furniture, and Cooking. And then you have Talents, which are smaller craft skills that have variable costs, but require no further lesson investment and you can start designing stuff right away. Talents include Floristry, Fletching, Luther, Ventier, Tambourier, Fireworks, Papercraft, Taxidermy. I'm probably missing a few, but we have a LOT of craft skills.

    Crafting is pretty good here. Turnaround on design approvals lately varies between a few days to a week, but our standards of writing can be a bit higher, and the nuances of crafting have a significant learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it can be pretty fun. Just keep at it and you'll get better. 

    You CAN invest heavily in being a merchant character and develop a reputation. My character has become very well known as a crafter and merchant, for instance, but it's not without hurdles. Merchant stuff requires a heavy investment of gold and credits, particularly if you're dead set on picking up every craft skill you can. Designs cost gold, as do materials, and materials right now can be expensive and hard to obtain unless you wheel and deal or get involved in Farming (which is another can of worms. Our economy is a little broken right now). That, and shops are a highly desirable commodity. It can cost hundreds of thousands of gold to get a shop in a city, millions of you want one in Esterport.

    My best advice? If you want to dive into merchantry in Aetolia, it's probably best to partner with someone already well established. Phoe likes boosting enterprising new merchants that catch her attention, and a lot of players will be more than happy to help with gold and materials. Building a reputation, though, that's all you and how well you can sell your stuff. 
  • TekiasTekias WisconsinMember Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    Iarsys said:

    Is there any kind of widely used system that includes both combat curing and utility features that make gameplay more appealing?

    Just gonna touch on this one for Phoe. We do have an internal Firstaid system that covers pretty much everything with a baseline efficiency. You can tweak parameters/curing order as well, so even without a scripting system, you can jump into combat and have a fairly useful curative setup.
    Formerly: Spiegel. Eidycue.


  • KjellKjell Member Posts: 36 ✭✭✭
    Hello! I am a new player here and I am greatly enjoying the crafting! I took Forging and I have both some Trade Skills and some Talents.

    Some times the crafting can be very frustrating but my majority experience is very positive! It is a matter of learning the system! Becue is in charge of crafting and has been very patient in answering questions! English is not my comfortable or first language and people have also been very patient with my designs.

    I also have a shop and I do not think I am running it at Greatest Efficiency but it is very fun to develop! I started off with selling some designs in Kaiara's shop. Shops are a limited resource I think, there are only so many in each city. So you have to wait for one to become available if you want to run your own on your own. But there are many people who are welcoming to partnerships of some kind!

    I think one of the greatest disatisfactions that is still in progress is the Commodity situation. There is some scarcity that makes me feel guilty about crafting when the commodities are more needed for class function instead of fun things and that can be very challenging. But it is a conversation every one is still having and hopefully it will find its balance soon! And it is not unmanageable to stop me from being creative.
  • BlancheBlanche Member Posts: 19 ✭✭✭
    There's also trade involving the commodity market/game economy via means of farming and, soon, mining. It seems to be an investment, though.

  • TeaniTeani Shadow Mistress SwedenMember Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭✭✭
    All in all, this gaming community is full of people willing to help, so never hesitate to ask.

    Need help with coding? There are clans and channels open for a lot of tech talk, from newbie level to the more advanced stuff. There is also a separate section on the forums for these things, which can be quite helpful. One of the best ways to get started with PvP is by joining in the more frequent group fights. Ask about ylem and you are sure to be introduced to that. 

    Want tips on questing? Ask in character for help on where to go and who to talk to. A lot of people will point you in the right direction or take you along to show the way. There is a nice system being established to help make questing a bit more logical or easy, with prompted dialog to help you find answers in character. 

    Like creative writing and want to craft? Crafters will definitely help out, by offering a place to sell your things, provide gold or commodities, proofreading or explanations when it comes to guidelines among many other things. There are so many different things to work with that it's difficult to get bored. Tailoring, woodcraft, jewelcraft, carpentry, cooking, brewing, making instruments, perfumes, smokes, bombs and fireworks, just to mention a few!

    Want to engage in roleplay arcs? There are clans for this too, and many players available to ask for advice, watch to learn new tricks, "pester" with questions on lore or mechanics.

    Asking is free, and should never be discouraged. No need to apologize for wanting to learn more! We might be a smaller community than Achaea, but we definitely have a helpful bunch of people around. 

  • YedanYedan Member Posts: 50
    I am a transplant from Achaea as well. I was an avid combatant here, and after a short adjustment period with a not too steep learning curve, I am absolutely -loving- the combat here. The people are awesome, they have great attitudes on both tethers, very helpful and welcoming to newcomers. Leadership isn't gated off to the select few, even after switching tethers I've had the opportunity to step back into a ministry position. I just want to say thank you to all the players and admins for making my time here so enjoyable, and making the transition from Achaea to Aetolia virtually seamless. I haven't looked back! <3 you all.

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