Alter Aeon is a MUD (an online multiplayer text game) that's been open since 1995. The codebase is custom, and the world is almost entirely original. The game world itself is huge; as of this writing, there are over 35k rooms in the game, of which appoximately 3/4 are open and available to mortals. This is across approximately 250 zones or areas.

Alter Aeon has strong support for the blind and visually impaired, and a substantial percentage of the playerbase is blind.

The game is free to play, with the option to buy non-gameplay-affecting perks such as strings and customization for a small fee.

The Game From a Player Perspective
The overall theme of the game is Swords and Sorcery/D&D, with a small number of sci-fi/fantasy and modern areas connected with suitable plot devices to allow their existence.

Players gain levels in the four base classes of mage (spellcasters), cleric (priests and healers), thief (stealth and assassins), and warrior (fighters) by gaining experience. Unlike most MUDs, the class system is fully multiclass, allowing the use of all four classes simultaneously to they extent that the skills have been trained.

One of the primary ways to gain experience is through killing, so there is a substantial hack-and-slash aspect to the game. Alternatively, there are many other ways to gain experience that do not involve killing - everything from borderline methods such as theft to innocuous acts such as healing, fishing, and practicing skills. Completing quests is another interesting way to gain experience that need not rely on hack-and-slash techniques.

Higher levels allow access to spell and skill trees, so that as one goes higher in level the number of available spells and skills increases.

A custom executable client has recently been made available that adds graphical mapping capabilities, status bars, and a number of other interesting features.

The Online Community
The web site for the game has a tremendous amount of information, including real-time server statistics, in-depth articles about various game aspects, and quest walkthroughs. There are also maps of both the full game world and isolated areas, and player forums for posting and sharing information.

New players are directed to dedicated newbie zones on the island of Sloe. Players start out going on quests almost immediately, and rapidly learn the game as they progress through the quests. Advanced players can bypass these islands and move directly to the mainland if they wish.

The online stores and shops can greatly assist high level players looking for specific equipment.

For more information, see the official Alter Aeon Web Site

Roleplaying is allowed, but not strongly encouraged. The rules don't strongly encourage it, and there are many facilities that would be considered 'out of character', such as long distance tells, channels, and in-game email. A handful of players and clans adhere to their own private roleplay rules.

See also: RPG, MUD, The Roleplaying Metanode, Role Playing MUD, MMO, MMORPG

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