The Types of Items in Item Malls

item mall
Item malls or "cash shops", when used correctly, can enhance MMORPGs for both players and developers. It helps when they stock wares that appeal to players -- especially when they cost real money! Iron Realms became the first company to profit from the sale of virtual goods with in-game auctions in 1998. Here are some of the more popular categories of wares found in many MMO item malls, including but not limited to all five games produced by Iron Realms.


Elite Weapons and Armour

For the price of the commodities, players can  forge their own weaponry and armour. But cash shop weapons in an MMO give players an extra edge, sometimes even altering a character’s stats! Iron Realms games call these items artifacts. (Or in Achaea, artefacts.) Artifacts not only reset to their owner’s inventory, but also they never decay! Even if a player goes dormant, they can return knowing their artifacts are still in place.


Single-Use Spells

Single-use items disappear after a player uses it only once. They can include potions, scrolls, or items that alter a character’s physical trait. Several MMORPGs produced by Iron Realms sell a Dagger of Reincarnation, an artifact item allowing characters a single reincarnation to change their race. Lusternia features the self-explanatory Bubble of Gender Switching, and an artifact called a dimensional anomaly which increases the size of a player’s rift (a type of storage area) by 50%! Additionally, Lusternia, Aetolia, and Imperian all offer a one-time use artifact that gives an XP bonus over a certain number of hours, whether logged in or in general. While other conditions apply, for those without an Iron Elite membership it is a great way to enjoy a short-term bonus.


Loyal MMO Pets, Customized by You

While not part of the standard MMO cash shop in Iron Realms games, all five MMORPGs they produce offer players the opportunity to purchase a loyal pet by special request. While not very useful in combat, pets add a unique element to Iron Realms games. A base price includes a fully custom description, unique name, and a few other standard things like simple commands. Admins prefer unique pets to copycats of mythological, legendary creatures. For an extra fee, add-ons lend distinct personality traits and other reactions to pets -- their limits hindered only by the player’s imagination.


Player Housing

Regardless if it’s called a house, an aetherspace, or an estate, all five Iron Realms MMORPGs offer a form of virtual housing. In Achaea, a special MMO item mall designated just for furniture allows players to buy everything from chairs and couches to rugs and tapestries -- and almost everything in between. While Midkemia restricts furniture to room descriptions, statues and other decorative items are available to enhance the look and interactive qualities of a player’s personal Midkemia estate.


Not Enough Vanity Items? Create Your Own Unique Clothing

Developers of Iron Realms games let their imaginations run wild when creating this type of wares for MMO item malls. This type of item could relate to leisure or vanity. It might offer convenience or repeatedly produce special items. An example is a bracelet that removes a player’s need for food or sleep, a wand that creates portals for quick travel, and a drinking horn that magically refills with booze! In Aetolia players with a clockwork craft gnome artifact can perform all crafting activities from anywhere in the realm, as opposed to others required to visit a crafting office. Achaea takes the MMO item mall to a new level with their Shop of Wonders, where all items sell for Mayan Crowns, the most expensive commodity in the MMORPG. One item sold there that makes life easier for characters is a pair of Landstrider’s Boots, that make it possible to quickly traverse certain types of wilderness areas that otherwise slow movement.


While MMO item malls are important to the structure and life of a MMORPG, without an assortment of items that appeal to the needs and wants of the players they’re doomed to fail. Iron Realms takes into account ideas and comments from players when crafting new wares for their item malls.


What artifact wares from Iron Realms are your favorites? What game do you think has the best choice of artifact items? Your comments are welcome in the spaces below!


Author: Mitch O'Hara

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Unique wings and pets selling for over 2,000 USD should have a catagory too.


That's reallly a lot of money. Artifacts are good, but very expensive.

I saw a set of spiked gloves for...1400 credits, equalling more than one year of my Iron Elite memebership. That's way too much.

Truly that is a significant amount but if someone is going to pay for a bunch of 0010100 that translate into a pair of spiked gloves let them.

The players invest their credits in the game as a form of support, and the game thanks them by giving them spiked gloves! :D


credits make the world go round


I mean, I agree with you all. Still it is a lot of money for a game. 1400 credits make the world go round quite confortably. That's way too much for me. I assessed the Membership as my playing budget and I will not go over it. Still, it is impressive that some people buy this stuff. As per the 01 comment, about paying for Bits, even diamonds are expensive just because someone decided so, and are alo less necessary than an artifact for my character...

The diamond thing... it's funny. True, and a different way to look at things... I like it.


perfectly round, yes yes

There is a reason to why it's been possible to play IRE for 10+ years for free.

It's better to regard credit purchases as a way of supporting the developers rather than the means to an end.

each one of those 1's is a spike and don't forget it.

They should not.

perosnally I'd like to see more pets...that can't be killed.

I agreed, but only if they are useless in combat.  More of a roleplay function.


Iron Realms deserves to make money somehow, this seems reasonable.

The only problem I see with it is it causes a lot of people to complain it isn't fair for one reason or isn't fair and not everything can be free (or at least will be free).  I personally think it is good that the people at IRE are paid for making a game I enjoy

It's fair. I believe that credit can come esaily enough to those who don't want to pay USD for credits, but I still support IRE with the occasional small credit purcahse.


It's only fair for such a good product.

Credits are a bit harder to come by in Lusternia where the adverage price for 50 cr has been normally over 30k each.



While not everything should be free, I believe it shouldn't be outrageously expensive either. Over a thousand dollars for a single virtual item is pushing it, don't you think?

It is, but the credits it takes can also be bought with in game gold. So with an investment of time, gold can be accumulated and atrefacts bought.


There is nothing, to my knowledge, that cannot be bought this way.

hell yes! that's why hurrah for Taming in Imperian!

For some that is a lot of money, others won't even miss it. If no one thought it was worth it then it would never sell.  It's really a value proposition not a cost proposition.  If someone believes its a good value at that price and they have the credits, they'll buy it.  Same happens in the real world. I personally think it is nuts that someone would spend $8,000 on a HD 1080p 70 inch television, but it happens all the time.  Its not value for me, but it is for others.

I completely agree with this. Paying for perks is one thing, but a virtual items costing hundreds or thousands of dollars is completely absurd.

unless you have that much.

IRE is charging what the market can bear, apparently.  If that includes a few extremely expensive items, so be it.  As long as there are people willing to pay top dollar for credits, it's only logical to set up the pricing model to take advantage.



I love player housing more than all that other stuff.

I agree! Housing (at least in Lusternia, which I'm familiar with) is quite fun to play with.


That's already an Arti package

Aetherbeast pets!



manses for the win, and dont even talk about manse shops.

I would like to see more offensive artifacts that are not weapon orientated, I mean swords and such don't help me hit harder as a magi.

Aldar Diadem, Int Sashes, Collars, all are useful for magi. Tuning fork doubles vibe length.

they are!

they are!

I'd like to see weapons besides rapiers (even non artefact) become viable for knight combat.

I'd like to see weapons besides rapiers (even non artefact) become viable for knight combat.

I agree with Rakon, if for no other reason than I hate picturing a knight in full plate dual wielding lightweight dueling swords.

why? knights don't HAVE to use the biggest sword..

A use for polearms. Seriously, they have a crafting section for it, but no real use for polearms outside decoration

Rapiers pale in comparison to "real" swords - You don't picture any knight from any era from any country with a flimsy little rapier.

I agree to a point, because knights are pretty viable in combat at the moment.


Ton's of them in lusternia.

It's only expensive if you choose to purchase said items.

For my own amusement I would like an artifact that kills anyone who touches it besides it's owner in a very bloody and comical way. More seriously, I am not in the artifact market.

that would be pretty funny and different!





I had such a thing in a mud called dragonrealms. It was armour and if anyone else tried to wear it, the armour would kill them.

I think it's about time to pay a visit to the Shop of Wonders and have a look around. I've been seeing a lot about it in these articles.

The Shop of Wonders is nice but I generally find the items sold there too expensive for what they do. Some of them are just vanity items but some are actually quite useful, or would be if they weren't so darned overpriced. And the balance seems lacking as well, as if, when determining the prices for those items, they simply threw darts or something.

I hope they some day restock there shop with some former items.

Are awesome enough that you don't need credits to buy one. 

Yay for that! I haven't got one yet, but it's nice to know it is an option with gold!



I remember the first auctions, back when you got credits for time in realms...

I just went Serpent in Achaea and bought a level 3 dirk. Is fun. Difficult class to understand though!

Have always been tempted to go serpent..skills sound awesome, plus illusions off balance! Though it is one of the harder classes to "master."

Not being combat oriented, most of the artefacts are useless to me. Aside from things like artefact vials, or gloves of harvesting, I much prefer to spend my credits on lessons or my house.

Lusternia's artifacts are probably best with regards to not imbalancing combat too much.  Also they have a nice rune system.

Lusternia is underrated! More should play the game.

Aetherhunts alone...quite awesome. Though I shall ALWAYS despise the Slivven

gimme summa that



Cheer up!

I think it's clearly been demonstrated that, especially in IRE Games, there is something for everyone here. Whether you use the offensive and defensive artefacts for combat or for improved bashing, or you go for more vanity and fun-related items, there is something for everyone to spend their hard-earned credits on in all IRE games, and thats what helps make them so great.

I agree, well said

I heard they sell rings of escape

This article reads like one of those full-page ads in newspapers designed to look like legitimate news to trick you into reading. Way too many exclamation marks were spent spruiking very expensively priced artefacts. Which is odd, when you have so many crafting systems in place that let people design and create their own items. You could have drawn parallels to Second Life or something, where players can render their own content and sell it to other players. Or compared it to other MMOs, where crafting only allows creation of items from a set list, compared to the design freedom available in Achaea.

Yeah... a lot of these articles seem like advertisements rather than actual articles, in general. :s Also calling IRE games MMOs is silly. It has a pretty good population for a MUD, but a typical MMO server probably has more people on it than IRE as a whole could support. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn't make the article feel any better. :s

Also, if Achaea were an MMO, they could probably afford to lower their prices. I'd pay $5 here and there for interesting things, but they want a ridiculous amount of money for even the most inconsequential artifact, so, yeah...

Spruiking. Haven't heard that used in a loooooooooooooooong while.

They make me jealously sick!

Work harder!

And yes artifacts are far too expensive... more people would be buying them if they didn't make them so ridiculously unavailable to the working class...

A gem of transmution alone would cost me over R3000 which is like R375 Dollars... that alone could buy me a bass guitar or something cool like that! Yet that is pretty much what all the cool artefacts cost... and arm and a leg.

I simply choose to ignore the existance of such things. If I somehow over time get that much credits, great, may as well spend them too. But I'm not going to fling huge ammounts of money at the game because I feel I need to have something right now. To each their own though, if people can spend that much and be happy and not miss it, why not? I'm certainly not going to say that they shouldn't give their money to IRE when I enjoy playing their games. Just as long as it remains feasible for me to play the game without dropping a lot of cash on it, because I simply couldn't afford that.


Artifacts are nice though...

unique weapons with customizable moves


Nice article





I disagree.

You can get them without paying for them, it just takes time and a lot of patience. Too much haha

There are too many good artifacts to really get every artifact you need !

the more practical items they have, the more disparity between those who spend moeny and don't . My favourite itemshops are those which sell vanity items or items that don't give you an advantage over other players.

just think, it will only take a few thousand days of posting comments to get some of the uber-leet items you want!!!

Soon time to go shopping!  Now I just need to get some Mayan Crowns.  :)

Bring back facebook credits so I can Tri-Trans!

Ooooh shiny artefacts

I've bought myself a set of pipe runes, and I'm quite pleased with those. They weren't too expensive on the auction, made my character permanent, and give me an edge in combat.


If you want something bad enough but can't fork out the real cash for it, you can make it work, bit by bit. To all those who do pay up you keep our games progressing and our coders in food. Where would we be if not for paid for artefacts?

Two options, save time and effort and use real cash to get something that will enhance your play time or work on getting it in game. At least the credit system is not entirely something you can only get by with real money.

I never have and probably never will (be able to) buy artefacts, but my favourites are the ones that give some benefit or added flair outside of combat.


Shame...they're quite useful


Meh. Get rid of all arties. Would make things better...

Would make things kind of boring, it is at least something to work for


I would agree with that

Prices are high.


I like trying to get artifacts IG. I don't like the new denizen auction going on in Achaea though

Good read, thanks!

Artifacts are what you spend on after you have all of your lessons, that is a lon way off for me.

YOu can earn all the credits you want in the game. You con't have to spend a single penny.





I would agree I love lusternia housing.  they can be made all with in game gold and you never need perchus the artifacts for houses unless you want something special.  a lusternia manse looks just fine  with no credits spent.  I recall from my aetolia days that those start with credits.  That's why I love lusternia manses no credit and it's a fabulous  place as large as you can raise gold to make it.

... is that if you have an idea for a new artifact, you can submit it and maybe they'll put it in for people to purchase! You never know and it never hurts to try, what's the worst that'll happen? They say no and kick you in the face?


Or they say yes and kick you in the face. So you come up with the idea, then they're kind enough to sell it to you. Nope. If they gave the creator credit for the item maybe, but they should at elast give you the artifact suggested.

I don't know much about artifacts yet, but I think a scalpel would be useful.

Like a ton.. 

I agree, weapon veriety would be great.  in lusternia we have a little more veriety but, it's all the fast weapons rapier,katana, clangaxe, hammer.  The other types  don't really get used. I'd love to see a wider veriety so all weapons are used to some perpus.



I absolutely LOVE my gem of adaptation in Aetolia. It let's you change statpacks everytime I change class, a must for multiclassing.

of meat



Achaean Cookie jar is the best.

Another credit

my shield is the bestest artifact ever.


In soviet Lusternia you get a shield rune and so you can put it on things without needing to tie up a hand with a shield.

My first artefact... Gloves of harvesting! Try them and you're sold.

I really like the artefacts that give you something in certain intervals, like the stationery kit or the silver stocking they gave away last december. I'm always amazed to see how much money people spend on things that have entirely no purpose ingame, like the flower pot or a custom denizen (I think that one was auctioned off for 11000 credits...)


One of my favourite artefacts is the tophat... not only a versatile tool for theft, but a great rum storage as well.

I think that maybe artifacts should be more affordable


Saving up credits with gold is doable, it just takes a few months of consistent work to get a nice arti. It can get very tedious, I'll tell ya.

Speaking as one - I like knowing that the game that I've been putting my oney into will last a little longer, be it through credits or iron memberships it's what keeps things going. That and the wow factor when you showoff something that people don't see much.

I know most ir have stat mod artifacts but, lusternia doesn't I'm not sure if this helps or hinders race selection for rp or for stats since they'd not be modifiable till demigod.

I like the fact that its -possible- (even if a lot more work) in the IRE games to get anything you want without paying real money. Obviously that fact doesn't prevent enough people from paying to keep the game going, and it's a lot more heartening than a lot of pay-for-perks muds where there's no way to buy the perks other than cash.

Free credits are great for any item


I miss FB credits...

I don't see it worth it to spend so much RL money for credits, but, hey. To each their own. If I had the money to throw at massive credit packages to give myself the advantage, I would, but I don't, so, I'll do it through lots and lots of work.

hooray, things you have to buy to be good

Stat bonus artifacts and artifact bows and arrows.

I'd like to see an artifact quiver that doesn't run out of arrows. Or regenerates arrows, say, 50 or so, every RL day.

Stats would be nice but let's not have them stack.

Wings! And furniture. And other cool extra vanity things. There are many options for vanity extras in a MUD...

Wings would be pretty nice. DWARF FROM ABOVE!

Wings is wonderful for lots of things!

Wish Demigods could still fly on their own again..

Never bought an artifact, but I covet the frivolous ones like the candy box and the flower pot.

Like things that don't cost so much...

the boots mentioned in the article got removed from the Shop of Wonders, more's the pity. I wanted a pair of those, if I could save enough for the crowns.


As for prices of artefacts, I've never used real money on Achaea, and I have a crafter's portfolio, a tailor's license, a jeweller's license, a L2 bow, a L1 customised crit pendant, a few assorted non-decay items (can think of 4 off the top of my head), a wyvernskin pack, a top hat, and probably one or two other things I'm forgetting right now. On the other hand, I didn't tri-trans for well over 2 RL years, and I wasn't the one who paid for some of those items.


boots would be great

they're all really expensive and game breaking..

things that replicate skills from other guilds/archetypes.  I'm thinking particularly of the pig's nose in Lusternia, but there are others.  Picking a guild means weighing strengths and weaknesses - if you can make up for the weaknesses with artifacts, it messes with that balance.  But so many people love those pig noses...

They way I see it, you have a bunch of dingbats there you can spend elsewhere or don't have to save up for. Your guild also shouldn't suddenly become useless because one skill is available to others through an artifact.

I tend to think of the pet as an arti pack, since beastmastery clones several skills from other classes/races. Not much of a need to get a ring of flying if you pet can fly you around.

As awesome as the artefacts are, it's entirely possible to enjoy this game without putting any or a lot of money into it.

You don't need arties, unless you want to reach tier 1 

Art ma
ifacts are nice but way too expensive..



kind've a boring article


Boring but. Credit!




Credit! though I wish MKO did artifacts that make weapons non decay. Damn things cost a fortune to upkeep if you want good stats

Ill admit they are expensive

Item malls are dumb. It is just another way to rip off the customer. Much like the high price of credits you can buy via the website. I mean seriously, so damn much for just a handful of credits?

If people are willing to pay...

if you enjoy having dedicated coders/admins, they need a way to bring in revenues

Exactly.  You need a revenue model to make a profit and the item mall is an integral part of IRE's model.

...of giving players the opportunity to get artefact items without paying real money. The credit market, free credit promotion things for holidays, credits for various promotions and credits for leveling all make it possible for anyone to have a house and some artefacts without ever using dollars. That is a nice thing for those who can't afford to pay for them.

meh just lower the price. I know if a artifact weapon stat was 250 for level 2 and not 400 more people would buy them. I have one but only because it was 40% of the day i got it :P

Both have about the same items, however in Aetolia you can attach the artefacts' 'ability' to an already existing item instead of being bound by whatever item they have made for it which is pretty neat. I would have to say that wings are pretty cool, though I used the heck out of the rift vault in Achaea as well as a few other things.


Credit comment.

personally I think that the arties are fairly well priced...Don't buy the more expensives ones if you don't think they are worth it.  I'd prefer to see IRE in business than not.  That said, I would like to see more types of arties

The prices do seem a little steep, but if people pay them more power to them.


Wish I was rich.

I like Aetolia's item powers the best.