- Ahra Pahts Show Spoiler
For the 3rd expedition of the Fan Ages Touring Club, we visited one of the most ambitious projects in the history of Uru modding, conceived at a time when there were many more active builders than today: Ahra Pahts.
First released on May 7, 2006, the main authors are Aloys, J’anim Paedet and Robert the Rebuilder, and it includes help by The Enlightened, Besharen, Darryl, Chacal, and others. It also has its own website.
It’s a massive city, whose name means “City of Outsiders”, and is divided in five triangular districts. The IC story is that it was built under King Loshemanesh, in an effort to encourage more interaction with other cultures.
Each district is divided into wedge-shaped ‘shells’, for a total of 150. Any builder could reserve one (or more) shells and fill them however they liked (with some limitations). At some point in 2010, 121 shells were reserved; unfortunately only 13 were actually completed. Reservations lasted 6 months unless renewed, so today almost all the reserved shells are technically free for grabbing (except Doobes’ and Deledrius’ )
Conveniently, there are numerous books to a mini-nexus: Prin Pahts. From there, you have access to any shell, never more than a short walk. The book in the middle links to the two levels of the central tower, with a nice vista of the nearest shells.
To compensate for the lag that the size of the Age would cause, bits of the city are paged in and out on the fly to only show the visible parts of the Age. Two drawbacks are that the game freezes for a moment while swapping parts, and respawning to a sector that was not paged in results in humorous visual issues
There are only two actual puzzle shells, 111 and 415; the latter is also part of the Devokan Trust storyline (which we’ll tackle at a later time).
For someone new to Age building, who might be intimidated by the idea of working on a whole Age, working on a shell could be an excellent mini-project. Porting the Age to Korman is something that has been discussed recently, mainly to assemble, improve (e.g. by adding actual water) and perhaps simplify the structure in a single place without page-swapping. A usual, available hands (and heads) is the limiting factor!
I’ll openly admit having a soft spot for this Age and the concept behind it; as with the early Ages, some shells are more developed than others, but each has its little interesting details worth seeing. One day I’ll manage to push that ball all the way up, in shell 427 .
Next time: Somahoglahn, by Jhon J. Jaguar Andy Legate’s Ages!
(Previous tour: the early Ages)