Coming To Terms With Dying
Death is a thing we all have to come to terms with, even more so in alter. There is no way around it, you will die as you play, and there isn't anything wrong with it. Some classes will result in more deaths than others, but knowing this ahead of time might make it easier.
Dying Happens, But It Still Isn't Good
When you die you will always lose three things. Two of them are easy to overcome, but one of them can really sting.
Loss of Experience: This can be frustrating, but it is actually quite easy to get back. Even at higher levels the XP lost from dying isn't that bad. You can go back out and regain the XP you lost in a pretty short amount of time. I've lost 10m from a death and got it back in less than 30 minutes. I'm sure others have lost five times that and still gotten it back quite quickly.
Loss of Gold: This one is harder to get back, losing a few thousand gold hurts no matter how you look at it. Luckily it is easy to avoid by not holding onto thousands of gold at a time. I'm careful to keep under 500 gold on my character almost all the time. This way just in case I do die I won't be losing enough to sting. Whenever you are in a city stop at the bank and drop your gold in. You won't hardly ever need it when you are out exping.
Loss of Knowledge: This one hurts...a lot. Losing knowledge in a spell or skill can really mess up your game, and it is the only real painful part about dying. You can get exp back quick, you can put gold in the bank, but there is no way to protect your knowledge. I've only ever lost between 1 and 5% of a skill or spell from a death, but I've heard higher level players talk about losing 8% from a spell. This just sucks, and it really does sting, especially since there is no way to get it back easily. If your loss brings you below the highest trained point you can spend a practice to get the knowledge back. You can also spend combat or profession points to get the skill back up, but both of these options are relatively expensive. A resurrection can get you back some XP, but you aren't getting back that knowledge as easy as your EXP.
What Not To Do
Some people (JimmyDub) have been known to do the following...
When you have recently leveled, and you have a very low XP amount, don't view this as a free chance to go somewhere dangerous and get killed. Then if you do go somewhere and get killed, don't keep going back dying over and over again because you don't have any XP to lose. You are losing something way more important, your knowledge. If you do this just a couple times you can royally mess up your character in a way that will take a very long time to fix. If you drop even 3% each time, but die 3 times, there is no telling how long it will take to get that skill or spell back up to where it was. You could get lucky and lose knowledge in something that doesn't matter, or you could get unlucky and lose knowledge in your primary offensive spells or skills. This means they are going to start failing in combat and you are more likely to die even more.
Get Mad, It's Okay Everyone Does
No one knows this better than Snoodashiff's very own Sito. He dies...well all the time, and he gets quite angry each time. We've all lost count of how many times he has said he is going to beat his head against the wall, delete his character, or punch his keyboard. This is all natural and to be expected. It is also okay to read the person, and if they aren't mad enough make fun of them a little, this is simply to bring them up to proper mad levels. It is purely for a therapeutic reason, I promise...well that and it can be fun. They are mad at the time, but then in a couple days if they are a person worth being around they find the whole thing funny. Some of my best times on Alter are the times where I died, that just means you are doing something right.
Use Things To Avoid Death
There are a few things you can do to escape from the jaws of your next death. You don't always have to be super cautious, and never go anywhere fun. Nothing will save you for sure, but some things can at least make sure you have some backup plans.
The first is learn the spell word of recall, and use it exclusively to recall instead of the normal recall command. Then once the spell is up to around 95% you can use it to escape in fights when you are having a bad time of it. You can also purchase runes of escape from the cleric in Seaside. These are no save, but work as a single use word of recall scroll. You use the rune and poof, you are back at a waypoint. This works even better if you create an alias to use them quickly.
If you are grouped with a cleric who is level 32 or higher, have them groupcast prayer for the dying. This raises your chance of being saved by the gods instead of dying. There is no way to check your increased chance, but trust me it is there and it does work. Almost all larger groups use this to ensure the best chance of not dying for the members. If it successfully saves you, instead of dying you'll just show up at your last waypoint as close to death as it gets, but still alive.
Learn the mage spell infra vision when you can. This allows you to look into rooms before entering into them no matter if it is day or night. This way you aren't walking into swarms of mobs without knowing it. You should always be looking where you go before you get there. This alone should cut down on your chance of death by quite a bit.
Turn on the wimp mode in alter. This should be on by default, but it never hurts to make sure. This makes it so you will automatically try and flee when your health gets too low. Just type wimp and you want the message that you are now an official wimp. If it says you will stand your ground just enter it in again and you'll be an official wimp. Some times when grouped you will want this back off.
Find The Balance Between Suicidal & Wimp
If you are careful and take some precautions you shouldn't have too many problems with dying at a high rate. Just remember, if you are almost dying then you are having fun. There is no point if you are always safe with no risk of death. On the flip side there is no fun if you just die every time you go out for XP. You have to find the balance, and make sure you are on the proper maps for your level.
Use your brain, learn from mistakes, and you'll be fine. Just remember, if you die people might make fun of you, but if they die you can do the same. Unless you are weird people who are always nice and encouraging, if that's the case I don't know what to say. Be careful and learn from your mistakes, don't blame the game, your cat, your dog, your mom, your lag , dying happens, and no one likes excuses every time.