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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 Mentor-Protege Relationships: Mentors

Posted by Lianca Monday August 20 2012 at 2:19AM
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In many top MUDs like Achaea and other IRE games, you might have the option to get a protege or get mentored! This is a great opportunity for you to have some interesting roleplay. Being a mentor or a protege opens up avenues you might not have had before. In this article, we're going to talk about how you can have fun with this!

What kind of mentor-protege relationship you have will largely depend on the personalities of the characters involved, as well as how much of an age/experience gap there is. There are many options, from a Gandalf-to-Frodo type relationship to a cheery, family-like dad-son relationship.

Ideas for Mentors:

If you're more classically inclined, you can try the age-old 'wise sage' type of mentor. This kind of mentor usually works best with a relationship where the mentor is significantly more experienced than the protege, and tends to be more solemn and serious. These mentors are often more studious, though warrior-like characters can play this as well. Sage mentors are compassionate but firm, and a little distant. For a small twist, you could make your mentor more absent-minded and bumbling with every day affairs.

The other type of serious mentor is a more harsh one! These kind of mentors push their proteges and have a hard exterior. There are two types of these mentors: loudmouthed, verbally abusive 'drill sergeant' types, or more aloof, grim reticent mentors who rule with just a few words.

There are many other mentor types, but in line with our earlier archetype post, we've offered the most basic, common kinds. Feel free to play with this as you want! Keep an eye out for the next article covering proteges and join us on Achaea, a great free to play, no download RPG in the mean time!

Giving back to our favourite games

Posted by Lianca Monday August 6 2012 at 9:06PM
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Most of us are here because we have an interest in gaming, perhaps a particular MMORPG has our attention and drinks our hours. Maybe you want this for yourself and are looking for a new place to call virtual home.

Many of my previous articles have discussed character creation, dealing with in character things as a player, this one I'd like to discuss something we rarely think about, and that is giving back. I play a rare type of game and love it, a free to play text MUD. There are of course perks that can be paid for but monetary investment is not required to succeed in Achaea.

After a year or two of playing I sat back and realised that I wanted to give something back, a small token of thanks for the days and weeks of engagement and fun. I looked into the volunteering opportunities, and Achaea has a few methods one can use to help out.

Firstly and the most common are what we know as the Guides. These are volunteeer players who have proven to be stable people, who know the ins and outs of the game, and who have patience in great abundance as players.

They take on the role of semi-Divine characters (known as Romeo and Juliet in Achaea) and are responsible for assisting all the new players as they find their feet during the first 20 levels of experience. It's not glamorous, I imagine it can be pretty damn frustrating at times, but these people help to give the best first impression to a new-player, are the frontline of player retention and ensure that a standard of behaviour is set from the word go.

Requiring more technical skill are a group called Mortal Builders. These are players with an eye for detail and sticklers for spelling, punctuation and grammar. While the actual Divine staff isn't a huge group this bunch of volunteers helps with design and creation of new areas, new denizens (NPCs) and come up with inspiration for quests and items.

Both Guides and Builders are volunteer positions where (in Achaea) one gets to keep their player character. For those who really wish to get into the details and working of the game there is one more route to take, it's a big step and a hard path to succeed at. Every once in a while the Divine in Achaea annoucne a Celani call. The Celani are demigods, players who have left their mortal character's behind in the hopes of training to pick up a Divine role. These are our future administrators, moderators of forums, judgers of issue, art and writing contests, creators of events, overseers of the game, coders and the Divine whom many of our characters serve as followers of.

If you play a game and decide you want to give a little something back, why not ask and see what options are there for you? If you don't yet have a game that makes you want to invest back into it, why not give one of the great MMORPGs from Iron Realms a try. Many of us have and we are hooked.

Using Psychology for Character Building

Posted by Lianca Sunday August 5 2012 at 1:05PM
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In our last article, we looked at how to build characters for our favourite games from existing archetypes. In today’s, we’ll offer an alternative character building exercise, using the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator.

What is the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator? Some of you psychology types might know about this already. For those who don’t, the MBTI is a questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people make decisions and perceive the world, evaluating someone along four scales: introversion/extroversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judgment/perception.

Is your character an Extrovert or an Introvert? Do they thrive in groups of people, perhaps as a charming politician or a sociable warrior, or are they more comfortable alone pondering over archaic scrolls with a hot cup of tea?

Is your character more focused on Sensing or Intuition? Is your assassin or scholar good with hunches, or does he or she prefer to have solid, tangible evidence? In dealing with a report of suspected treason in his or her Guild, a sensory type might be meticulous and careful before leaping to conclusions, while an intuitive character might just know that Sir Grumpkins was always up to no good, and hunt down evidence to prove it.

Is your charter a Thinker or a Feeler? This one isn’t as obvious as you might think! Obviously, all characters think and feel. However, which one does he or she rely on when making decisions? A thinker relies on logic and truth, while a feeler comes to decisions by empathizing with the situation.

Is your character a Judging or Perceiving character? This last preference pair describes how your character lives his or her outer life, whether he or she focuses on taking in information (perceiving)  or making decisions (judging). A character who’s more of the former might delay on declaring war, deliberating and always leaving the final decision up to change, while a judging character prefers to have future choices finalized.

As you develop your MMORPG character, think of how he or she fits into these four categories! Everyone has traits from every type, but most people are stronger in one than the other.  Keeping their personalities consistent will make them seem much more real than otherwise. Does this mean that your character can't suddenly change or act inconsistently? Of course not! However, what it does mean is that if you have your quiet, shy farmboy suddenly become a charismatic war leader, you better have a good reason!

Have fun as you use the Myers-Briggs to help you develop your character for a top MUD or IRE roleplay game!

Character Tropes: Using Stereotypes for Good!

Posted by Lianca Friday August 3 2012 at 12:58PM
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Stuck on an idea for a character in a new MMORPG, or trying to give direction to an older one? Sometimes, when fleshing out the personality of a character, it’s a good idea to work on tried-and-true bases. Although following stereotypes to the letter isn’t very original, archetypes provide a base to build powerful characters from.

Many of you may have studied about character archetypes in relation to stories, such as in novels or movies. What is an archetype? An archetype is basically the ‘pattern’ or ‘structure’ for a character, often associated with a trait or a concept; some examples are hermits, warriors, guardians, tricksters, sages, etcetera. More genre specific would be characters like a comedic, drunkard dwarf, an arrogant assassin, a wise but weary mage, and so on and so forth.

Sound generic? You’re not wrong. Remember, archetypes themselves are not complex! They can be made complex by adding depth to them; if you stick with the surface, though, you will end up playing a fairly bland character. However, borrowing general elements from archetypes can provide a great base for a character as long as you flesh them out convincingly.

How do we do this? As with any other character, when selecting an archetype, justify why your character behaves the way he or she does. Don’t be content with simply accepting the state of your character as-is based on what’s expected, and think about the consequences these stereotypical traits and history might bring. Start out with a base, then expand on those traits. For example, if you’re playing a young man new to the city from his father’s farm, where he’s lived all his life, think about how exactly his rural upbringing would have affected him instead of taking for granted that he might be naive and innocent. What kind of life experiences would he have had that those in the city might not have? How is he adjusting?  It’s important to think of your characters as people, not just stereotypes. Additionally, think about throwing in small, unexpected things that might jive with the rest. Don’t draw huge attention to it; you want to add spice, not make a huge deal out of what makes your character a special snowflake.

Want to try this method on a new character? Come and join us with your archetype in one of the Top MUDs from IRE!

Grinding: Making That Repetition Fun

Posted by Lianca Thursday August 2 2012 at 1:26PM
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Are you too low a level? Need gold, credits, tokens, or whatever your favourite MMORPG uses for currency? Sometimes, you just have to put your head down and subject yourself to that almost unavoidable of gamer afflictions, the GRIND.

This is something we all deal with, and no one wants their relaxation time in their top game to be a chore, so how can you make this fun for yourself? We are here to help with some tips and tricks that got us mounds of gold, high levels and sought after perks.

1. Don’t stress.
Pressure is not always conducive to getting things done, sleep and eating however are. It is not the end of the world if you do not make your goal, and if you continuously fail to reach it, set it lower! Your progression is yours alone so don’t burden yourself unnecessarily.

2. Set goals.
So, you want that mythical level 100, or a million silver pieces? Clearly it’s not going to happen overnight, you could try but you’d be disappointed and tired. Set yourself a daily goal to achieve, 10% gain on that level, 100,000 coins. Something realistically manageable will keep you gaining, keep you playing and help to avoid falling into the pitfall of point one.

3. Distract yourself!
We all have our game friends, our other fun things to do, but you have a goal here, focus soldier! Set aside time to make your daily goal, you may need to let people know that you will be unavailable until the target is reached, or put yourself in a place where you cannot be pestered. As a player you may need distraction during this conversationally empty period, Always On Top is a great feature of some media players. Perhaps watch a movie, listen to some music, maybe an audio book can stave off the mind-numbing boredom.

Automation can be your friend, but beware. Many games have rules regarding the automation of activities that can earn you virtual loot, this can be seen as abusing the metagame to gain an unfair advantage over others. Be sure of the terms and conditions of your particular obsession so you don’t end up banned! As a rule of thumb, if you can get up and cook a meal or pickup the mail whilst your character keeps earning, you’ve gone too far.

Every game has goals, perks, levels and things to achieve. Why not take on some of these points, join us in one of the free to play Iron Realms MUDs and become a greater dragon like me!

Styles of Roleplay. Is it always planned versus unplanned?

Posted by Lianca Wednesday August 1 2012 at 1:33PM
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When you roleplay in your favourite MMORPG or top MUD, do you plan out what’s going to happen, or do you play it by ear? While most roleplay falls somewhere in between spontaneous and scripted, there are some distinctions between the two that can make a big difference in your roleplay style.

Although ‘planned versus unplanned’ might seem like opposites, it’s actually quite possible to have one within the other. You might have the overall structure of an event all written out, but within that framework, anything could happen. For example, you might have decided that the trolls are going to rise up against their dark elf overlords and overthrow them to form a rebel faction, but exactly how this happens can be left up in the air. Similarly, you could decide that you’re going to adopt another player’s character, but the relationship between them would develop through the actual roleplay.

Even though we’ve just explored how the two types can coexist, some approaches work better for certain situations. Generally, smaller, more personal situations involving fewer characters work best with a more organic approach, allowing for personality development and more legitimate, genuine relationship-building. Some examples of this are interactions between lovers, friends, mentors and proteges, and enemies or rivals. Planned roleplay is generally required for roleplay that follows ‘story arcs’, often involving a larger cast of characters and spanning across a longer period of time. An example of this kind of roleplay would be roleplay that affects things on an organizational or ‘game’ level, such as characters changing sides or conflict between two factions.

Remember, you don’t have to strictly fall into either camp. Planned roleplay doesn’t have to mean that every single thing is defined, and spontaneous roleplay doesn’t mean that you can’t have a general idea of where things are going. It’s important to strike a balance to maximize your roleplaying fun!

If any of the points in this post have interested you, perhaps you want to explore the spontaneous roleplay of the mentor protege bond or perhaps you want to get involved with planning a major event, all of these are possible in one of the top MUDs from Iron realms. Why not sign in and play for free today?!