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Playing in the MUD!

I am Lianca, this is my blog. I am an avid player of Achaea, but I'd not call myself a gamer. The internet kind of scares me. Learn from my adventures, my mistakes and triumphs, perhaps even roll a newbie and join me in Achaea!

Author: Lianca

Roleplaying a Successful Virtual Romance: How to Avoid Awkwardness

Posted by Lianca Tuesday July 31 2012 at 10:59PM
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Virtual love is always in the air in our favourite MUDs and free to play MMORPGs! Break out the make-up, find that bead of musky, pulse pounding perfume or cologne, and put on the stockings or that nice tie. But before you jump into text matrimony and that blissfully private bed, we have a few things for you to consider. So, cool off, Romeo and Juliet, and take your hands off your prospective text significant other long enough to consider the following advice.

- Communication is key. Make sure that you and your text partner have the same expectations out of character, so you don’t end up in a messy situation where one of you believes that you’re in an out of game relationship, while the other thinks it’s only roleplay. It may be advisable to speak OOCly on this matter so that your text partner doesn’t show up on your real-life doorstep with a riding crop and a suitcase, or start stalking you if your textlationship breaks up. This doesn’t mean that you need to plan out your whole text future, as spontaneity and fun are essential, but some discussion goes a long way to ensuring a smooth, pothole free path between you and the player of your character’s partner.

- Establish boundaries and limitations. If you’re not comfortable with certain types of roleplay, let the other party know! Remember, not everything has to be emoted out -- assumptions can be made if you just don’t want to write out the intimate details. Additionally, ask your partner before jumping into controversial forms of roleplay such as pregnancy, which many people may find distasteful.

- Keep in-character feelings in-character. Remember, it’s perfectly possible to have a falling out in-game while retaining respect and like on an out of character level between you and your text partner’s player. If you’re not involved OOCly, don’t take those hurt feelings OOC! Remember that separation between your character’s feelings and your own is essential to good roleplay. It’s also totally possible for you to have an OOC relationship with the person who happens to play your text partner, and if so, great! But for the sake of the game, and your personal lives, keep your lives and your characters lives separate. Breaking up with in-game doesn’t mean breaking up OOCly. In fact, it’s completely possible to actually enjoy roleplaying conflict in the relationship.

Remember, this article is not a guide to smooth in-character relationships, but more a way to ensure that your roleplayed virtual relationship is enjoyable for you, as a player. Remain safe and comfortable and remember that the top MUDs are for your enjoyment!

Creating a character background: The Dos

Posted by Lianca Tuesday July 31 2012 at 12:13AM
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In the previous post, “Creating Your Character, the Don’ts”, we discussed things to avoid when establishing a character’s history in your favourite text game. In this article, we’ll look at what you can rather than can’t do! Research and flesh out your new player in one of the top MUDs based on these suggestions as you see fit!

DO:

- Research the area you want your character to come from. What are some potential customs? How would culture affect his or her personality or habits? Are there any traits that are particular to his or her race?

- Actively incorporate elements of your background into your current roleplay. Your past isn’t just your past -- it’s a part of you as you are now. For example, a character growing up in a poor fishing village with no education wouldn’t suddenly be dazzling others with his or her silver-tongued eloquence and knowledge of court politics. Similarly, a youth from an isolated desert tribe might have trouble adjusting to bustling city life.

- Embrace your character’s shortcomings. Be flawed! Allow yourself to not only lose or fail, but also recognise traits or personality ‘faults’. Be careful, however, to avoid beating others over the head with your character’s failings. Please don’t make the centre of your roleplay, “I couldn’t save my mother as a child from the terrible mage, LOOK AT HOW TRAGIC AND BITTER I AM NOW”.

- If you’re considering being bloodlined, make sure you consider all implications and possibilities beforehand. Be confident in the parents selected before going through with it to save future heartache, in case things don’t work out. Probe around and maybe even ask the opinions of others to ensure that you don’t end up with people you’ll hate. It might feel wrong to doubt, but it’s better for you to do your secondguessing now rather than later, when it can’t be undone.

- Spend some time in the game, getting used to the general canon, your class, and any organisations you might belong to. Find what feels comfortable for you before creating a background. Don’t be afraid to change things if your initial preconceptions of your character don’t work out!

Background is an essential part of one’s character. Although it’s certainly not the end-all and be-all, a solid base helps in establishing motivations and personality. Make it solid, believable, and if you are in doubt, ask for advice! If you've gone through these and thing you have something in mind, why not try one of the top MUDs from Iron Realms Entertainment, they're free to play and right at your fingertips!

Creating A Character, the Don’ts

Posted by Lianca Sunday July 29 2012 at 10:15PM
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Whether you’re starting your first in a brand new world or rolling an alternative in an already familiar one, you’ll need to come up with eighteen years of background and characterisation for this shiny new adventurer. While you’re considering how to fill the blank slate, here are some suggestions on how to avoid common pitfalls!

DON’T:

- Be afraid to be ordinary. You don’t have to have an extraordinary background, or have faced hardship as a child and slain a thousand warriors to avenge the death of your family. As an eighteen year old, your life as an adventurer is just beginning -- you can save the excitement for what’s to come!

- Pigeonhole yourself into a closed story. Be open to changing things if you find out certain elements don’t work, and don’t be afraid to adapt. Roleplay should be fluid, not fixed and preplanned every step of the way.

- Incorporate others into your background without their consent. This can be blatant, as in claiming interaction or history that the other party doesn’t acknowledge, or manifest in more subtle ways: it’s a good idea to wait for the people involved to show interest rather than pressuring them. For example, it’s a bad idea to tell others about how you were molested by the Caliph of Shallam in Achaea as a child without actually asking said character at the time if this is acceptable. Similarly, don’t just show up and tell someone that you think you’re his or her long lost child if you’re not sure what they think!

- Be ridiculous. Make sure your history fits the established canon of your chosen IRE game. The HELP files and the history are all available both in-game and on the respective website of each game. You wouldn’t want to roleplay having a unicorn as a pet as a child if there are no unicorns in your game world! Similarly, don’t refer to previous lives if reincarnation (in that manner) and ‘old souls’ don’t exist!

- Insist on being unique and distinctive. You are not a special snowflake. Please do not tell everyone about how your mother was impregnated by a powerful demon and has thus granted you magical powers, or about how you bested the leader of a city in a duel when you were just a wee lad of thirteen with nothing more than a sharp spoon and a ball of twine. He might ask you to repeat the feat!

Now that you know what to avoid, we hope to see you in your favourite text MUD, dazzling us all with a well thought out and not too special background! Check out the second part of this article, “Creating Your Character Background, the Dos” for a list of things to explore if you need further help!

Playing the bad guy, being the person people love to hate!

Posted by Lianca Wednesday July 18 2012 at 1:32PM
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Enter the cape swirling, moustache twirling villain. The person wives dream of being accosted by, and the person men would kill to be invited to drink with. In the top MUDs and games that we play, there’s always one, if you’re lucky maybe two or three of these characters around. They’re usually charming, roguish and no matter your affiliation you’d probably sell your in-game sister to have a chance to roleplay with them.

This role seems romantic and daring, but it can be a hard and lonely path to tread. What I’m going to expand a bit upon is some tips for playing this kind of character, do’s, don’t’s and some warning of the difficulties you might expect.

Being the bad guy is to walk a fine line. Many people hate the thief, think someone has no right to their hard-earned game loot, and are very focussed on the opinion that you are a troll and merely out to ruin their day/Christmas/Hanukah/Solstice.  While you’ll not be able to change everyone’s mind, you can at least make a losing interaction into something of a win for them, some meaningful roleplay, witty banter, give them a story to take away as you lighten their pockets.

The troll bad guys are the ones who consistently take it too far, hiding behind paid for perks that almost guarantee they can never face repercussion,. The ones who don’t care who their marks are, and take everything anyone has and have no desire to barter or offer things back. Stealing vials from new players without a word just isn’t great villain roleplay, but lifting sentimental trinkets from the competent and wealthy with some flirtatious reparte is a chance to make some good gold when you sell them back and ensures your target isn’t a helpless know-nothing.

Beyond the normal thief, another aspect of the bad guy could be a spy of some sort. This carries all sorts of stigma, as you are seen to be taking advantage of others, and possibly ruining their standings in their organisations, perhaps even jeopardising their homes and lives. Many cannot roleplay on from a loss, and you will be accused of ‘ruining their lives’ this is overdramatic and tends to point to a person who is too personally invested in their character, it is something you should expect. For more involved plots you could contact the other parties out of character to discuss the possibilities and repercussions, to make sure all are aware of the risks involved. While this can take the spontaneity out of an interaction we must remember that our games are great because of the other people we play with, and ruining the game for them is not the goal.
 
Eventually you may well find yourself playing a lonely character, untrusted with anything of meaning, uninvited to personal functions. This is an unfortunate side-effect, but one that might be expected. Perhaps you have a chance to operate within a guild or House of like-minded individuals, and through such a loyalty you can form relationships and bonds with a group that will offer support. However expecting to make meaningful friends of the populous you target might be asking a bit much.

The life of the villain can be a lonely and reviled one, but it takes characters of all types to round out the worlds we love to play in. Thieves, assassins, spies and general ne’er do wells are encouraged and fostered in the free to play games from Iron Realms Entertainment, so if you fancy the hard life of the bad guy, why not come and join us and give it a try?