Advice for Newbies

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24 Aug 2004 22:14 #7974 by Absent
Advice for Newbies was created by Absent
There are already many fine threads on this subject, but I think it would be beneficial if we tried to collect the best infomation in one easily readible thread. I invite everyone to submit their best advice!

Also, if new people have any input on how this information might be better conveyed, or suggestions for new help files, posting it here on in the idea board in the game will be helpful. Tell us old hands how to help you better!

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24 Aug 2004 22:15 #7975 by Absent
Replied by Absent on topic Re: Advice for Newbies
-Channel Behavior-

-If you ask questions and are told to read helpfiles, READ the helpfiles.  We’re not trying to fob you off; the helpfiles are the best way to give you the information you need.  Not to be harsh, but if you don’t like reading helpfiles, AL is not the game for you.
(Associated advice for older players: If you don’t know the answer to a question somebody asks on Newbie, do NOT answer.  Conflicting information coming from all sides will confuse and upset new players.)

-Treat people with respect on channels. If you’re chatting, and somebody is offended by what you’re saying and asks you to stop, please stop.  The channels are for everyone.  If you must describe your latest romantic conquest with your friends, do so using another forum, such as IM.
  Sometimes, nobody on will know the answer to a question you ask on newbie, in which case try asking the question again later. This is a very complex game, and no one player is able to answer all questions.  If you are having difficulty getting an answer for your question, or you cannot phrase your question without revealing IC information, try the mentor area.  Mentors are happy to help however they can.

-Don’t worry about asking stupid questions, even questions you suspect cannot be answered on the channels due to IC/OOC or game mechanics issues.  We were all newbies once.  I often had to ask the same question multiple times because I forgot the answer I just got.  If your question cannot be answered on the channels, we’ll tell (To older players: Politely!) that we cannot answer, though often we can point you to helpfiles that may answer your question in a different way.

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24 Aug 2004 22:17 #7976 by Absent
Replied by Absent on topic Re: Advice for Newbies
-Crafting-

-By far, the most frustrating part of AL is figuring out how to craft objects.  We can give syntax on channels, like “You type make [thing]” but we cannot reveal the materials or even the exact wording of the thing you may want to make.

-However, you are not without hope.  You can “analyze” an item that you find to determine what materials would be needed to make it.  You can also attempt to “disassemble” an item, which will reduce it to its base materials.  Most likely, you will need to do this repeatedly before you get any information.

-The best way to learn a craft is to find someone in the game who knows the craft and can teach you.  This is difficult, but you will discover methods for advertising for help.  Keep in mind that nothing is truly free.

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25 Aug 2004 01:00 #7977 by Absent
Replied by Absent on topic Re: Advice for Newbies
-The Wilderness-

-There are no maps of the wilderness available online.  It is considered cheating to provide others with maps you have made yourself.  Also, it takes all the fun out of exploration! (Believe me, this is fun once you get into it)
  You can make maps using colored pencils and graph paper, but it’s easier by far to use a simple paint program. You can make corrections easily when things change (and things are changing all the time) and it has the advantage of being right on your computer.  I use Paint Shop Pro, but others have used MS Paint just as easily.

-On the subject of maps: I prefer to make maps for towns using graph paper. Towns change rarely, and additions and subtractions in these cases are easily added to your map. You'll find that the process of mapping a town enables you to remember where things are a lot easier. I rarely use my town maps anymore, but they are handy to have around.
The subject of the underdark came up on the newbie channel recently. This area is very difficult to map, as there are different levels and anyone can dig tunnels any which way. For brief excursions, perhaps the lessons of Ariadne or Hansel and Gretel will aid you. I recommend that you leave the underdark alone until you are more sure of yourself. If you have set your heart on the great below, it would be wise to travel with someone who has some experience down there. Getting lost in the underworld is a terrible experience.

-When you first leave town, you ought to stay pretty close to that area. Familiarize yourself with the surroundings.  Be aware of sources of drinkable water and various natural hazards.  It’s always a good idea to look into the next screen of wilderness before you start moving, as there can be aggressive and fast animals that can take you by surprise.

-Swimming has proved the early death of many an air breathing character.  It is very tiring to swim on the surface, and you take damage if you swim below the surface and will eventually drown.  The amount of weight you are carrying will obviously influence things.  Caution is essential.  It’s a good idea to make aliases for breathing and holding your breath, as these commands are very useful while swimming.

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25 Aug 2004 02:21 #7978 by Absent
Replied by Absent on topic Re: Advice for Newbies
-Combat & Death-

-You don’t have to kill stuff!  This is a hard concept to wrap your mind around, especially if you’re used to other muds.  You can gather or buy your food if you’re hungry.  If you are a carnivore and don’t want to spend a lot of money on food, fishing is a relaxing alternative to hunting.  If you so desire, hunting animals is a good way of getting meat and is also a decent, if dangerous, way of making money.

-Even if your character is non-violent, chances are that you’ll find yourself in a combat situation sooner or later.  It’s a good idea to have a custom retaliation and several combat styles so you can switch on the fly.  Nothing can explain these better than help retaliate and help style. Things everyone should have in retaliate: wake and mobilize.

-It’s difficult to determine how tough of an opponent any given animal is.  You can judge its relative strength compared to you, but that is not always a good indication of its battle prowess.  If you’re not very well prepared, even rabbits can be deadly.

-Discretion is the better part of valor.  If you find yourself in a tough battle, get out of there!  It’s better to be called a coward by fools than to die, with the accompanying stat and skill loss that comes with it.

-No matter how careful you are, your character will die a few times.  This is true especially when you’re starting out.  You will feel angry, especially if you die at the hands of another player.  Be aware that if you choose to waive your newbie shield, there will be players who will seek to kill you.  Our theme is dark.  If this upsets you too much, there are many muds that do not allow pkilling.
  If you find yourself feeling really depressed when your character dies, it’s a good idea to take some time off from the game.  Even a few days can help you put things in perspective.  Play some other games, hang out with your friends, do something fun for yourself, and you’ll find that pretty soon you’ll want to play again.  Remember, if the mud stops being fun for you, you don’t have to keep playing.  Many of us take breaks for weeks or months at a time.

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25 Aug 2004 03:15 #7979 by Absent
Replied by Absent on topic Re: Advice for Newbies
-Roleplaying-

-Bringing your character to life is the best part of AL.  We have many built in emotes (type feelings for a decent sized list) but to stand out you should create custom emotes, making aliases for them so you can use them quickly.  Is your shy, quiet character still making drunken sailors' blush?  Perhaps she can mutter a mild expletive instead.  What does your character do when he’s angry?  Does he snarl like an animal, or perhaps stomp his foot on the ground?
   Always try out your custom emotes by yourself to check for errors.  Keep in mind also that you are writing them for others to see, so phrase it how you imagine it to appear on their screen.  In the example above “:mutters a mild expletive” will create the desired effect.  Help emote is indispensable reading.
   A pet peeve of mine is overly florid or “purple” prose.  An example would be “[Character] raises a lily white hand to his well sculptured face, examining his perfectly manicured fingernails that catch the light of the setting sun.”  If I see you consistently emoting in such a fashion, I will give you a bad IC rating.
   Avoid overacting as well. If you find people rolling their eyes at you constantly, then you need to work on this.

-You don’t need other characters to roleplay.  Some of my favorite moments occurred during solitary rp.  Pet that stray cat you meet in town, introduce yourself to the barkeep after you ask his name.  You’ll be surprised what stimuli our npcs respond to!

-Try to create a balance between your racial stereotype and your unique personality.  Sure, a few braman are fierce warriors, but the majority will never attack first.  Aquapurae who tell all and sundry that they eat meat and breathe underwater should be ostracized by the aqua community for lack of guile.  As in rl, how we act is heavily influenced by what society expects of us.  Do whatever you want, but don’t be surprised by raised eyebrows or downright hostility if you break your culture’s taboos.

-Madness is difficult to roleplay well.  I have met many “crazy” characters in my time, but only one was roleplayed convincingly.  It’s become a cliché for an insanely grinning silent person to run up to you, do something silly, and run away.  If you have your heart set on being unbalanced, do some research into mental illness. Were you crazed as a child, or were you a young adult when your mind started go soft?  Has old age caused you to be forgetful and confused?  How do you survive in a world with a Dark Age understanding of madness?  What sets you off; a color, a sound, a situation?

-You don’t have to write a detailed history of your character, but be aware of the choices you made in character creation and incorporate them into your personality.  Traumatic events such as the death of a friend later in life should also affect how you behave.  Think about how real people respond is such situations, and model your behavior accordingly.

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25 Aug 2004 03:33 #7980 by Absent
Replied by Absent on topic Re: Advice for Newbies
-Ask Not What Your Mud Can Do For You-

-Are you ready for the next level?  Do you have a lot you want to contribute to the mud?  Become a creator!  As I’m not a creator, I don’t have a lot of personal advice for this, but “help creatorship” and “help application” will give you the information you need. Keep in mind you generally have to have played for at least six months to be hired.
  Really, don’t be offended if you don’t get an interview right away!  Creators are very busy people.  Good luck and happy mudding.

-Like being a player? There's a lot of things you can do to help make and keep AL the best mud out there. Invite your friends to play. It's bad form to advertise on other muds, but you are certainly encouraged to tell good rpers about AL. Now, I know that AL is the best thing since opium, but it's certainly not for everyone. Don't disparage other muds in your invitation.

-Have you found typos and gramatical mistakes? Something dosen't work like it should? Let the creators know about it. Help note will give you the syntax and correct board for your information.

-If you've got a new idea for AL, put it on the idea board! Creators make many player ideas into reality. It's like being a creator without having to code. Check out the idea board in the OOC lounge to see what your peers are thinking.

-Do you have too much money laying around the house? You can donate to AL through a link on the homepage. AL costs money to host and maintain, and every donation, no matter how small, helps in the effort.

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25 Aug 2004 12:10 #7981 by Luc
Replied by Luc on topic Re: Advice for Newbies
We seem to have gotten a lot of threads on the subject of general advice for new players. In the interest of encouraging a comprehensive source of information instead of several incomplete ones, I'm stickying this thread and locking the others.

If your thread was locked, please don't take it as a personal attack; this thread was chosen somewhat arbitrarily, but mostly because it covered a wide range of topics reasonably well.

Addenda are valid and even encouraged; just don't start any more threads on the subject. Consolidation, people.

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04 Nov 2004 11:51 #7982 by Rastamon
Replied by Rastamon on topic Re: Advice for Newbies
Would you like to know more about your characters interests and hobbies? Do you feel IC knowledge is hampered by OOC ignorance? The following links should help. None of these sites have any affiliation with Accursed Lands, but you may (as I have) find them informative and inspiring.

Weaponry
http://www21.brinkster.com/annascrafts/weapons.htm
http://www.panix.com/~sos/rpg/fudweap.html

Clothing and Armor
http://www.costumes.org/history/100pages/militaryuniforms.htm

Herb Lore
http://www.realhealth.co.uk/herb.htm
http://www.goodcooking.com/jjvherb.htm

Don't stop with these. The Internet is a vast font of information. Take a drink.

Speaking of information, if you are not yet familiar with the whatis command then let me make introductions. Type whatis <anyword> to access the best online dictionary/encyclopedia I have ever seen all right there in our little MUD. So the next time your lying there recovering from a rabbit-induced concussion, do a little reading (Though you'd better read the help files on combat, styles, and death first. ;) ).

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02 Apr 2005 21:24 #7983 by Gabocha
Replied by Gabocha on topic Re: Advice for Newbies
There are a few good lists of ethnic names that I got from Luc that can be a good starting point for names. Here they are:

www.mybirthcare.com/favorites/pg1/Polynesian-names.asp
www.behindthename.com/nmc/cze.html
www.vikinganswerlady.com/ONNames.htm
www.behindthename.com/nmc/ara.html

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