I used to play multiple blockbuster MMOs, but upon discovering Aberoth, my subscriptions to them dwindled out. Some people thought I was insane. But I saw the game as a renaissance of virtual worlds, reviving design decisions which seemed harsh, but also made the world feel meaningful and interesting. A world of liberty in a cultural wasteland. If you are lucky enough to remember the glory days of old Runescape, Ultima Online, MUDS, or even old Sierra games, you are probably prepared to dive in. Otherwise it may shock you. This guide will summarize what to expect, and give you tips to survive.
How do I protect my items?
Anything non-engraved is dropped on death. You can engrave items using the table in the tavern. Engraved items have a 16% chance of being dropped. The number gets tweaked sometimes. It is designed to be punishing, but not completely account-destroying. A player in top gear probably loses about 100k in an average death.
Even ultra-rare items can be dropped. If you see someone with a white shield and two red dots, he risks dropping several months of work. This has happened about twice so far, creating a lot of drama.
The best way to minimize risk is to not spend all your money on one item. Keep some money in your vault, and keep some backup items in your bank vault, so that you always have a way to keep playing.
How does PvP work?
Above 5 life, anyone can turn red (by typing "unfriendly") and attack other players. This can happen anywhere. This could include someone you thought was your best buddy, when you are nearly dead and out of health potions, in a desert or cave somewhere, far away from civilization. It is not always fair.
Your first experience with red names will probably be in the Rogue's den or Forest, where you have a chance of escaping into town. In town, you can log off in three seconds, or run into your bank vault, but the white names in towns might also help fight off any red names.
But red names can happen in town too. There are currently no NPC guards. This is especially true in the tavern, since engraved items dropped there are safe, so someone risking death by turning unfriendly only has to worry about experience loss (but you won't risk losing engraved items either, so it is a common place for fights). If there are not many people online, and the wrong person or crowd is about, you might not be able to leave your bankvault at all. But PvP is hampered by anti-griefing mechanisms, and the effects of these are more pronounced in town.
What are the anti-griefing mechanisms?
Attacking, or especially killing, another player, will turn you wanted (with an ! at the end of your name). Wanted players cannot enter certain places (unless they are already in it) including town or their vaults, meaning they cannot easily resupply. They also have to take at least 30 seconds to log out, even if they are in town.
If someone keeps killing, he will eventually turn infamous. An infamous person is permanently wanted for 24 real-time hours. If he dies he will spawn inside the town jail, which is often considered humiliating, and regular townfolk can visit, and many insults have been exchanged between the bars.
Wanted time builds up with each friendly person attacked or killed. This is the main anti-griefing incentive, since someone who takes a long time logging out and cannot escape into his vault is an easy target as soon as a bigger fish comes long (whether in strength or numbers), plus he can be attacked by friendly players without them risking getting wanted times themselves, making him safe for people to attack, since they can hit him while still being able to run into their vaults or logout.
What are the other PvP systems?
There is the archenemy system, which allows people to focus on a single player, without the wanted system interfering. The idea is that someone who is an absolute menace (and good at getting around the wanted system) will accumulate many archenemies, so that eventually it will be unsafe for him to play even if he does not go unfriendly.
The other system is guild wars. Guilds at war are not affected by anti-greifing mechanisms. For this reason, you should be careful about which guild you join.
How dangerous are monsters?
Very. The game rewards you with more xp for fighting difficult monsters. So people have an incentive to fight the toughest monsters they can reasonably win against. This means you have to pay attention to your healthbar, ready to run away, drink potions, or use magic, in case you take some unlucky hits, or get too many on you.
Added to this is the fact that you cannot run through monsters, and cannot run through objects like rocks or trees, so taking the wrong path (especially if panicking) can lead to you getting stuck on things and backstabbed to your death. If you are trapped in an absolutely terrible position, your arm will be swinging but not even hitting anything.
The game rewards patience and planning. Such as resting fully between encounters, and fighting in places which protect your flanks. But there is always the temptation while training to get bored, and train without fully healing, in more risky positions. Many players will die plenty of times from such mistakes even with no one else online to trouble them.
Finally, scheduled or random chaotic events can suddenly change a safe area into a dangerous one. For example, the forest during a full moon will spawn the Werewolf, which has never been soloed even by high-levels, can run faster than any player, and will slaughter any mid-level within seconds.
1. It is good to be friendly to everyone. The game has strength in numbers. People who have bad english or are argumentative will tend to be at a disadvantage. Also, a lot of the more powerful players will have useful advice.
2. Trade scams are common, so it is good to stick to the safe selling system (e.g. "Sell Wizard 300").