Why You Can't Win Duels

Anyone whose played Iron Realms role playing games for any period of time has decided at some point that they wanted to learn how to join the illustrious ranks of the combatants, and get involved in a little PvP. However, it seems that no matter how good you get, or how many neat little tricks you learn, there's always some reason why people won't acknowledge you as a good combatant. Well, here's a list of reason why you may not be given the credit of being a good warrior in your favourite IRE game, even if you do get a lot of kills. 

1) An overpowered skill set

 A common problem in every IRE text game is that there will always be a class or specialization that is viewed as being inherently overpowered. People will maintain that these classes only stay as they are because the administrators have somehow forgotten to beat them to death with the infamous nerf stick. No one will give you the credit you deserve for winning a duel with such a skill set unless you go out of your way to use it, or if the administrators actually do nerf the text game skill set, just to keep people from complaining about it on the forums. 

2) Cheap Tactics

 Even if your skill set isn't overpowered, there's a good chance that hidden inside your seemingly innocent abilities is an unholy combination that is so effective, and so painful to your enemies that it's clearly obvious that the creators of the skill set never once intended for the skill to be used in such a way. The honourable thing to do is upon discovering such a combo is to immediately bug it, as a clearly effective tactic must be cheating, no matter how clever you were to think of it, and to never use it in combat. If you do use it in combat, your win will be ignored, and you'll be called a cheap fighter who has to rely on one trick to win. 

3) Dishonourable Duels

 Even if you don't have an overpowered rpg game skill tree, or use cheat tactics, it' still very possible to get an undeserved win by fighting dishonourably. Have you ever jumped someone while they were hunting? Ever started a fight when someone was hungry, or sleepy, or when you had some area defenses in effect? If you've ever done any of these things, then you're immediately counted as a dishonourable rpg game warrior, who can't fight anyone on equal grounds. The only way to avoid this horrific title is to fight someone when you have the exact same defenses as they do, when you both have the same level of hunger and sleepiness. Also, if you do happen to win a duel just because someone had a bit of lag, then you're an evil opportunist! You should have been able to see in the middle of combat that your opponent had lag. 

4) Another Person's system

 One thing that all combatants in all IRE games have in common is this: A good automated curing system. Most people have learned how to do some basic scripting so they can make a system that allows them to be competent at fighting. But, what if you want to be a warrior, but can't script? Well, you better learn! Although there's many system available for most IRE games either for free, or for credits, some people will simply shrug when you use these system, and say "Well, sure, they can fight, but only because of Scripty McScriptalot's system!" So, while your text game wins won't be discredited entirely, they will be credited not to you, but to the system you're using. 

5) Artefacts

 This is likely the main reason your duels will be declared cheap wins. Saying "he/she is a artifact whore" is the main way that people shrug off those who seem to be really good at combat. If you beat someone at combat, but then it gets out that you have an artefact or two to help you in combat, then not only is your win discredited, but you yourself, as a character, are discredited. I mean, how dare you spend a commodity other then time to help increase your skill in a text based game that is intended for fun anyway? Shameful!


If you still want to be a combatant, it's still possible, just make sure that you go into every duel without doing any of the above combat taboos, and maybe, just maybe, someone will pat you on the back for beating them once in a fight in an online game. 

But don't hold your breath. 


M.K. Barry is a text game enthusiast who enjoys the best roleplaying games from Iron Realms!


Ada's picture
10:03 PM

I still don't get what a cheap tactic is Stare It's only good strategy and presence of mind if you can use everything available to you to your advantage. Lets hear some examples of cheap tactics shall we? :>

Selira's picture
11:15 PM

A mickey! Only costs, what, 20 sovereigns a use?

Shihai's picture
4:54 PM

But a mickey can be great fun!

Flec's picture
6:15 AM

Very cheap and very cost-effective!

Yilkon's picture
1:26 AM

I'd imagine most people would consider kill rooms to be a cheap tactic, although it probably really depends on the circumstances in which it is used.

Daslin's picture
11:49 PM

That's a cheap combo... Effective, but cheap.

Kand's picture
2:20 AM

One of the best things I've ever read. But you should have been even more overboard with it! But in all seriousness you should have pointed out that in order to be acclaimed a good combatant, or in fact to receive just about any positive attention at all, that you have to play the forums and join OOC clans!!

Atherian's picture
6:09 PM

Very curious wording - "play the forums". Perhaps a subtle suggestion that the forums themselves have became an overly involved part of greater Sapience? It's been suggested that the forums leads to more direct divine intervention in the realm of combat than any other single act. When an individual shows some creativity/ingenuity in how they use their skills, their success is, of course, immediately brought to attention on the forums, where it becomes much more widespread than it would otherwise have been in realm. This spells NERF.

Does anyone else feel this is, well, problematic?

Nona's picture
6:56 AM

What do you consider 'a bit of a lag'? Living far away from... wherever achaea is located i always have bigger delay than those that live right next door? Does that count? Nope. I absolutely understand if someone will get disconnected for, let's say, 5 seconds or so. Being a priestly type, the only adventage i would have would be to do judgement that would be utterly unfair, but otherwise i don't see if a lot less would have a really serious outcome on the fight (for me). Not to mention it's not that easy to spot a minor lag in the fighting spam.

Kensei's picture
7:53 AM

I would certainly add luck as a factor! My luck's always rock bottom, though I think I managed to win a duel some time ago with a stronger opponent who had artifacts because of it.

Missing and dodging can make a difference, especially for a melee combatant, so I'd say if you aren't lucky enough you might actually lose -some- duels because of it!

Masaryk's picture
2:11 PM

Nothing wrong with using other people's systems. I don't have nearly enough time to code all that stuff myself!

Athorem's picture
10:27 PM

I'm not really good with coding stuff, so my few attempts were disasterous, and ended up in me deleting it all.

Nona's picture
7:41 AM

I did my own system by myself. Although it can't compare to Vadi's or any other one that people use, i'm happy i made it by myself. Just like you, i had absolutely no knowledge about coding when i started... Now? It's not all that different.

Athorem's picture
6:08 AM

Yeah... I'm learning. I'll get to that stage one day... I hope. Anyhow, I'm much better than I used to be.

Nona's picture
9:11 AM

At least you're getting better! I used to be better than i am now...

Xinna's picture
1:09 AM

I actually kinda suck at coding as well, and I coded my own system. I'm fairly happy with it, too.

Vyretre's picture
2:58 AM

Also I'd say that enough people use them that it no longer matters

Supra's picture
11:49 PM

No joke, some of that stuff takes for ever.

Masaryk's picture
3:16 PM

I kinda wish there was a log that saved every duel you ever participated in. I know that would probably get pretty bogged down for a lot of people though...

Lisbethae's picture
6:29 PM

...cheap tactics sounds like good research to me.

What I see most is people class hopping and never really understanding how skills work together within a class.

Exain's picture
9:19 PM

I say Yes to all of the above. Do it.

Samanthya's picture
12:21 AM

I see what you did there

Veryl's picture
1:32 AM

You also can't win because in the end you lost boat loads of supplies like herbs and salves. Those notorious serpents (me) using ginseng illusions are horrible.

Awan's picture
3:01 AM

I clicked on this expecting it to tell me how to stop losing every time I fight, and now I still don't know. Sad

Nona's picture
11:59 AM

Same here. I have to spar more. The problem is, i usually don't feel like it.

Masaryk's picture
1:18 AM

The more you spar, the more you learn!

Celty's picture
2:21 PM

Practice makes Perfect!

Sryn's picture
3:06 AM

Then there are those who can practice for years and still die in 15 seconds to some beginner.

Rean's picture
11:31 PM

Haha, funny read. Well written. Smile

Boosteya's picture
5:51 AM

Funny read, I know it's tongue in cheek, but I see way too much of this. Whenever I mention to an ooc friend who plays that I think X is not only a good fighter, but actually not a jerk, whoever X is, my OOC friend can cite a time or more when X was less-than-honourable.

I've given up sharing my opinions about fighters, by name.

X IS a good fighter, and a nice guy when he's not beheading or (insert instakill here)ing you.

Y, on the other hand, is a jerk and the only reason I don't say so to his e-face is because I'd have to deal with expressing negative opinion vs. giving insult cause. (Cowardly, who me? Fair enough.) I only associate with him IC, not OOC, if at all, but I have friends who have, and they agree. In fact, one person told me a really gross story about Y, another confirmed it, and I believe it.

Then we have Z. Good fighter, shameless jerk. But I LIKE him. I hear stories about his IRL antics and they make me smile. I don't want him anywhere near me, but I don't begrudge people who can stand him.

And I could go on. Maybe you think you know these guys. Maybe you do.

I won't confirm or deny, so don't ask.

Masaryk's picture
1:52 PM

I know all of them!

Oceana's picture
11:20 AM

, but interesting read. Sounds a bit like a summary of the combat complaints in the General Ranting on Forums.

Nona's picture
10:11 PM

But... It's so close to how i see it!

Sherazad's picture
2:29 PM

It's all bad when your client crashes but mudbot is keeping you in the realms. Talk about being vulnerable D:

Little ones, they scream like bunnies~

Masaryk's picture
4:10 AM

Yeah, always worried when something like that happens..

Masaryk's picture
12:20 AM

Aye. It's never fun coming back into the game after something like that happens...

Selira's picture
5:27 PM

You must really feel strongly about that

Alexan's picture
11:16 PM

I often wonder what Role Playing Games Games are…

Friztic's picture
4:07 PM

I can see it now. "There's rules for what you are, you damn cheater!"

Ehrlen's picture
5:52 PM

Great article, and a lot of the sentiments could easily be applied to the majority of online games that have a player-vs-player aspect. I would say, though, that I can see the bit about artefacts. When one guy decked out in artefacts can single-handedly raid a city that is being defended by over five players that are having a difficult time killing him... it really makes you wonder if you will ever be able to be very successful in PVP without buying artefacts.

Archene's picture
4:15 AM

Worse are those who instead of killing you, can simply play with you not letting you die...

Habi's picture
5:13 AM

triggers are a definite must in any battle, they keep me strong and healthy!

Kione's picture
5:17 AM

Seeing as Achaea is the oldest of all of the IRE games, is it still receiving enough Divine attention to keep combat balanced at the highest levels?

Tinta's picture
2:50 PM

Absolutely, because it's not just the oldest IRE game, but it's also the most popular IRE game. The primary MUD voting site has Achaea at fourth place, and the next-best IRE game was in sixth or seventh.

Selira's picture
6:21 PM

Not only that, but the general consensus is that combat is more balanced under Tecton than it's ever been.

*cue hordes of angry PVPers and "Bard needs to be nerfed!"*

Achilles's picture
8:28 PM

Combat isn't nearly as fun since people can buy systems so easily and cheaply. Sure a few guys will make their own (or build off on a bought system) but the combat system is far less entertaining than it was back in the old days.

Jophrae's picture
7:53 PM

I prefer to code my own system, that way I can make it the way I want and tweak it as needed. I never really understood paying for something that you could almost as easily taylor-make to your own specs for free.

Melodie's picture
8:38 AM

All of these are so true, and why combat scares the heck out of me!

Habi's picture
10:06 PM

ahh probably because of all the confusion and real time battle!
i find it fun!

Tinta's picture
1:21 AM

Meaning everything is just way too fast. The only way to be competitive in combat is to have a huge combat system, not just cures...

Achilles's picture
2:15 AM

it's as if everyone wants there character to turn into a NPC.

Friztic's picture
9:55 AM

might be far less engaging, but what can you do?

Synove's picture
4:42 AM

I would not consider myself a good PvP player. I am not super into it, and not super good at it. But I will say that over the years I have ran into so many people who use the above faux pas in order to win fights and act like they are something special when it comes to PvP combat.

2 very old players that I remember who were not of that sort: Danicar and Khaseem. Both impressed me on an amazing level with their ability to improvise , dominate, and just downright take enemies by surprise. I once saw Danicar clear a room of 4 paladins. He was a monk at the time, and, although monks were a little over powered back then, taking down 4 other characters of any mean stature is quite an accomplishment. As I am learning to PvP better I want to eventually shoot for this type of excellence.

Kione's picture
8:25 AM

It's a lot of fun to watch other people fight. When it's me in the Arena... Well, that's a whole other experience...

Calleis's picture
4:52 PM

Don't make a good combatant, but they sure don't hurt Sad

Sryn's picture
3:45 PM

Artefacts bring combatants up a tier. A bad combatant with artefacts can kill ok combatants. An ok combatant with artefacts can kill a semi-good combatant. And so and and so forth. So when a really good combatant get artefacts, it gets stupid and OP.

Soldarian's picture
3:28 AM

Great article! Title was misleading, but the article is a highly amusing read, and makes a good point about the mentality of discontented PvPers.

Achilles's picture
12:32 AM

also hurt damage based classes more than affliction ones

Kione's picture
6:34 AM

Well, now I know why everyone has a Shield of Absorption...

Jacen's picture
3:32 AM

That's the bad thing about being a monk, everytime you win against another class, its always " Well monks are OP anyways"...

Athorem's picture
8:16 AM

That's IF you win. Doesn't happen to me very often.

Sryn's picture
1:32 AM

Monks are OP with artifacts. If someone goes and straight out damages me to death. That is OP. I mean, I am level 101, dragonform, with a SoA.

Christelle's picture
9:24 PM

The reason I always lose in combat is because my opponent is too smart to stay in the forests long enough for me to noose them.

Beyond that I'm rather clueless as to how the whole fighting thing goes.

Tukio's picture
9:31 PM

Spars are fun just spar often.



Nenris's picture
2:35 PM

Too much scripting.

Tinta's picture
5:37 PM

That's the main reason that I haven't done much combat yet... I'll need to start scripting soon though.

Kestyn's picture
4:21 PM

Maybe I can work on these!

Hasar's picture
9:06 PM

Creative offense, smart defense (whether that be a custom system or manual adjustments in a fight) are large factors in duels.

The last time I was wrong, was when I thought I made a mistake.

Dommactus's picture
9:32 PM

Is something taht should also be considered.

Lyris's picture
8:42 PM

I suppose that if you win more fights than you lose, you should get some respect for it. Often though, respect is hard to come by. Maybe we all need to be content with achieving our own goals rather than seeking approval from others. In other words, if you aren't getting credit for your skills, whatever they might be, give yourself some credit.

Andraste's picture
10:19 PM

That's why people QQ

Lisbethae's picture
5:38 PM


Eileithyia's picture
8:12 PM

I'm new. I could see how all of these could be true.

Aliath's picture
8:00 AM

Cannot win if you are magi, its the other person that loses then Tongue

Jhumerl's picture
11:53 AM

Most of these are just part of the game environment. Cheap tactics, unfair duels... If you're not prepared to fight and know the tricks that can be used against you, your dying is still your own fault.

Gudrann's picture
10:13 AM

What a negative article :s If you write these to attract new people, you're doing it wrong...

Koltar's picture
7:55 PM

I've never really been big into PvP, and this is pretty much exactly why.

Ayo's picture
6:53 PM

Because passive healing methods work against meh.

Ulyador's picture
6:12 AM

I'm still new to Achaea, but I don't see why some people would take this article so seriously. I admit, for a newcomer it can seem a bit daunting to read it at first, but I'm sure it's nothing more than a sarcastic jab to the whining that is usually found in the forums....Well, I'd hope...

Ekil's picture
6:21 AM

Player-to-player combat is far too affliction-reliant, requiring that you have a good system to cure yourself, gag the unimportant messages, and colorize the lines you use to make your next move. Being an action gamer, all the scripting puts me off as I know that in order to compete, I have to get the best systems.
Don't get me wrong, Achaea is my second text-based multiplayer game I've ever played, and by far my favorite: a living, breathing world, vast player-made history, competing ideologies, and a terrific community keep me coming back for more.
I just wish fighting other players was like fighting denizens; Attack your opponent, keep yourself alive, and be doing this with no more than colorized lines and function keys. Sure, because of afflictions the end of fights can be entertaining, even if it's your cold grook blood oozing out of your cyan skin and you've convulsed so badly that your spine was broken. Still, I prefer dying because my eye wasn't as quick as my opponent's, not because his system shrugged off every spell I threw at him before he locked me up with a variety of disabling afflictions.

Naheem's picture
3:30 PM

I've always found the cures help file to be especially daunting. I know that combat in a text based game is difficult to make engaging (the same could be said for graphical mmo's as well) but in my opinion, the sheer number of afflictions and cures take a lot of the 'action' out of things. As a newcomer with zero PVP experience, the challenge of it all turns me off from dueling at all. It sounds like half the time you're spent curing whatever your oponent is dealing out and not doing any of the damaging. It's a much subtler battle form that I have only seen in IRE's games and one that I'm very new to, so perhaps I'm turned off because of that.

Anyhow, I do enjoy being afflicted while hunting since that really does make me sit up and pay attention. Perhaps these encounters will wean me into the more challenging prospect of pvp.

Marwhan's picture
12:50 PM

anyone with artefacts is OP. I guess if people come up with a string of combo's for their abilities people get mad because they haven't thought of it first.

Riley's picture
1:54 AM

I remember when Tranquility and Dreseden were near impossible to kill one on one, Tranq because he had what was probably the very first achaean curing system, and Dresden because she had basically every artie available at the time. Although as time has gone on the classes have become more balanced and arties throw it off a bit less now a days.

Sryn's picture
3:54 AM

It isn't so much arties throw it off a bit less, more like everyone has arties so it doesn't quite show.

Achilles's picture
1:06 AM

Some races and classes were suppose to be susceptible to damage (Mainly magic users like Magi, Occultists) but with so many artefacts that boost health that's no longer the case. Duels (especially ones between damage classes) can last a comically long time 1v1.

Exelethril's picture
5:58 PM

Not everyone has arties, dude.

Sryn's picture
1:26 AM

The 1%!

Achilles's picture
2:12 AM

make a huge difference too. Bad internet bad.

Masaryk's picture
2:38 AM

Yeah, my has been pretty iffy as of late...

Ariafel's picture
5:20 AM

And timewarps are TERRIBLE.

Achilles's picture
9:13 AM

I finished hunting one day (up 5%) then a timewarp happened so that was wiped out. I rehunt the area and soul rip and die. A -10% swing! Took a break the rest of the day.

Jarl's picture
4:33 PM


Achilles's picture
2:28 AM

hopefully some day I'll die and then a timewarp will happen this erasing my death.

Masaryk's picture
2:47 AM

Hate when that happens!

Xinna's picture
7:04 PM

Ouch. I'm glad this hasn't happened to me yet.

Sryn's picture
1:30 AM

Yeah internet has been bad lately.

Somerled's picture
10:09 PM

I've noticed that most combatants that I've encountered, with the exception of a rare few, are absolute dicks. I guess that, from what I've seen, knowing how to PvP gives you license to be a complete elitist jackass.

Sryn's picture
3:24 AM

I would actually say it is more like the complete dicks are the ones who put in effort into PvP so they can be dicks.

Achilles's picture
11:27 PM

just some arties make some things pretty imbalanced. Hangedman/web loop is fun...Not.

Masaryk's picture
11:44 PM

Yeah, I can agree with that!

Masaryk's picture
6:51 AM

Yeah, it's tough going against people with some arties.

Somerled's picture
11:45 PM

Same difference.

Dragons also. I've noticed that a lot of people turn dick when they get that level and form. Again, with the exception of a rare few that I've interacted with.

Xinna's picture
12:13 PM

And I wanted to try combat...

Azuhi's picture
2:39 AM

damn straight

Tzond's picture
5:34 PM

You won because your might level is higher than mine. Worst reason ever.

Kalvon's picture
3:41 AM

I like the kitty with rapiers and billowing cloak. Thrust and pose!

Rocknar's picture
2:13 AM

Because your opponent is just better than you....plain and simple.....yeah right wish that was true there is always someone who has an excuse

Sryn's picture
2:25 AM

Well, in a text-game it would be difficult for your opponent to just be better than you. Though there are factors which could make it seem like it is so, but those are also used as excuses for those who lose...

Sryn's picture
2:58 AM


Selira's picture
8:27 PM

With a lot more practice now, I can say that that's the key part to winning things. Fight more. Learn how to survive. Learn some basic coding and get people to help you, and you'll improve.

Mortagona's picture
12:39 AM

lack of practice is why I can't win duels

Xinna's picture
4:58 PM

Wish I had time to practice.

Tzond's picture
12:57 AM

Agreed, what you really need to win is practice

Aldeberan's picture
11:52 PM

Practice would be great. I'm so bad at combat, the biggest problem is I don't even know where to start. Though many of the things above make me feel like I simply can't get into combat because everyone has that "edge" on me and I can't make up the difference.

Cobault's picture
9:29 PM

The best is always 'I soul-ripped/lagged out. Not fair!'