How Your MUD Newbie Can Make a Splash in a Sea of Seasoned Players
Have you ever started playing a new game and felt totally lost? It is somewhat similar to being the new kid on the first day of school. You do not know anyone. All the instructions are hard! And it seems like everyone has a clique with snappy catchphrases that makes it seem as if they are speaking a foreign language.
Gaming versus Roleplay
This is especially true if you are familiar with playing video games, but not the act of interacting with other characters within a game. For example, if you are playing Call of Duty on Xbox Live the objective is simple. Go shoot the other team as much as possible so that your party has the most points by the end of each round so that you can win the match.
The only way to communicate with other players is to chat through your headset, and the game provides little in the way of customization. (Unless you have a custom class to get different types of weapons and such, but that is an article for a different gaming platform!)
When I began playing Imperian for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. My closest thing to a MUD experience up to that point was Zork. Despite using a variety of commands and reading everything on the screen, there was no mailbox in site. My only hope was to progress through the newbie tour and hope I could avoid being eaten by a grue.
Fortunately I managed to join a guild which led to finding a person who I consider the most helpful mentor within the game. As I gained footing within the game, she offered tips and advice that I still use to this day, regardless of what type of game I am playing. Here are some that I found most helpful. If you plan to start playing a text-based MUD, maybe they can help you, too!
Read the Instructions – If you want someone to sit around and hold your hand, leading you from quest to quest and prodding you about what to do at each location then you are not really gaining anything. In fact, you are missing out on the pride of knowing that you figured out things for yourself.
Probe Everything Here – I am fairly certain that the INFO HERE command is pretty common among all five of the Iron Realms games. Once you use IH or INFO HERE to know what is in the room with you, then you can PROBE things to learn more about them. Here’s a hint – if it is loyal to another player or an organization, do not kick it.
Don’t Wait for Handouts – People have gold and credits because they earned them through hunting, questing, or some other entrepreneurial venture. If you need help padding your bank account, then take up a hobby that helps you to earn gold. For example in Achaea you can sell off corpses of rats that you kill or catch butterflies for Vellis.
No Means No – If you ask someone to take you hunting, refill your vials, cook food for you or do some other chore and they say no, have enough respect for their time to not ask them again. Trust me when I say that you will not truly appreciate this until you reach a higher level and possess the means and abilities to help others who are just starting out in the game.
Using the Resources Available to You
Each Iron Realms game offers an introduction to those just starting out. After finishing the trial, newbies have the benefit of guides who can answer their questions and provide them with basic assistance until they reach level 21. Beyond that there is a plethora of resources both in and out of the game and as a last resort characters can use ISSUE ME to ask the Divine a question directly.
However the best way to submerge into a new game is through character interaction. Join a guild or a house, and a city. If it turns out that you totally hate it then you can usually quit and join another with little to no drama. And if it turns out to be a huge problem, then you can always roll up an alt!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Seth Grayson is a hard-working college student who enjoys playing all of his favorite Iron Realms MUDs from the comfort of his own dorm room. Even though his major has nothing to do with creative writing he enters all the Iron Realms’ bardic contests in hopes of winning the top prize. When Seth isn’t attending classes or gaming he works as a barista in a local café.