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Wallowing in the MUDs with Raslazel

A series of articles about MUDs and gaming in general, involving strategy and commentary on role-play and having fun.

Author: Raslazel

The Importance of Newbies in Gaming

Posted by Raslazel Tuesday July 31 2012 at 5:42PM
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Often criticized and sometimes irritating, newbies --n00bs, newbs, nubs, etc.-- often cause problems for more experienced gamers. In a first-person shooter, for instance, they may feed the enemy team numerous kills. In an MMORPG, they’ll often be unfamiliar with their skills and the game’s controls and be the first to perish, causing the rest of the party to have to pick up the slack. But in a MUD, like the top MUD Achaea by Iron Realms Entertainment, they’re especially problematic.

In MUDs, which generally have roleplay-heavy environments, newbies can be the enemy of in-character gaming. Indeed, their immersion-breaking antics leave us veteran players with little to do but palm our faces and shake our heads. Not only that, but MUDs come with a steep learning curve for those unused to the genre. Creating macros for your movement controls and simple triggers and aliases for common tasks is second-nature to some of us, but can be completely overwhelming for a new player.

It’s important to bear in mind that we were all newbies at some point. That’s been said again and again and it’s still true. No matter your game, someone taught you a thing or two about it in the past. If this isn’t the case and you’re just naturally talented, then where’s the harm in sharing what you’ve learned instead of throwing insults around?

Newbies keep a game fresh and give us old players something to do when things get boring. They’re important to keeping your favourite game in business (and it often is a business).  Besides that, every newbie is a new friend waiting to be made. Embrace your noobs.

In Iron Realms Entertainment’s best MUDs, there is an extensive system for assisting new players already set in place. Between the newbie channels and vast libraries of help scrolls, it’s hard to go wrong. Try a free MMORPG from Iron Realms today and get your newbie on with no download required!

Types of Roleplaying Games

Posted by Raslazel Monday July 30 2012 at 6:12PM
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Roleplaying games or RPGs have been around for a while and have become increasingly popular. Often, they involve taking control of a character of your creation and guiding him through various challenges with your friends. Remaining in-character, or speaking and acting as if you were your character, is vital to the experience. In Achaea, the top MUD I play by Iron Realms Entertainment, I play Raslazel – a six-foot cat that can transform into animals.

Their popularity has led to the development of several sub-types that I’ll discuss here.

Pen-and-paper (tabletop) RPGs (Dungeons and Dragons, Shadowrun) rely on a master set of rules, character sheets, dice and a game master who controls the scenario as it unfolds. Bestiaries and various other supplementary guides are available for the popular titles to enhance the experience. These are, by far, the most social experiences you can have because you can look your friends in the eye while playing your characters.

Console RPGs (Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest) are video games in which you take control of, usually, a party of characters and guide them through one or more predetermined storylines. They’re generally single-player, require a large time investment to finish and require a lot of grinding. Many have great replayability, however. I’m looking at you, Final Fantasy VI.

MMORPG (World of Warcraft, Warhammer) is a bit of a misnomer. In many cases, these massively-multiplayer online games involve little to no roleplay, merely hack-and-slash combat and out-of-character chat. For that, though, they’re fun and there are generally roleplaying guilds that welcome new members.

LARPing is fun. For the uninitiated, a LARP is a live-action roleplaying game. Often, these involve several minor storylines played out among the characters that culminate in a massive battle fought with specially-made pvc and foam swords and coloured paper for magic spells. It’s a real blast if you can find a group.

MUDs (multi-user dungeons) are the predecessors of modern MMORPGs. These text-based worlds provide rich environments and lore, bashing and PvP and often have enforced roleplaying. You roll your character, describe him and live his life surrounded by others who are there to do the same with their toons. These are my favourites and I’m very biased.

So if you haven’t had your RP fix lately, why not try an Iron Realms Entertainment free MMORPG? They’re free-to-play, require no download and can be played as browser games!

Character Development: Conflict v. Trolling

Posted by Raslazel Sunday July 22 2012 at 10:37PM
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Hello, I’m Chris, better known as Raslazel from the top MUD, Achaea by Iron Realms Entertainment. I’m a veteran roleplayer and I’m here to share my knowledge. This is my third and final post about character development. It’s on a more obscure subject this time, but I feel it belongs in this series because it’s about personal relationships and growing both as a character and a player.

In any game that involves a large number of people, it’s easy to stir up some trouble, and often fun at that. But at what point does it cross the line from entertaining conflict to outright trolling? Here’s a handy list of questions to ask yourself:

Is almost everyone involved having a good time (i.e. sticking around to see how it ends rather than complaining and leaving – there will always be the jerks; I’m talking about the majority)?

Does the conflict make sense in terms of the events that led to it?

Is everything about the situation being kept in-character (i.e. no personal insults are being thrown at anyone about things that don’t have to do with the game)?

Do you get the feeling that group or person you’re having the disagreement with is taking it personally?

Yes to more than one of those means it’s more than likely that your conflict, no matter how well-intentioned, has escalated beyond what you originally envisioned. Consider taking it a new direction before you end it entirely. Let the losing side get in a few shots, whatever you have to do. Remember, it’s a game and everyone should be enjoying it, not just you and your friends. Be a considerate player and you’ll get a reputation as such.

If you haven’t tried an Iron Realms Entertainment game, what are you waiting for? They’re free to play and require no download at all. Join the free MMORPG community Iron Realms has built and play some of the best MUDs out there!

Character Development: A Little Racism is a Good Thing

Posted by Raslazel Saturday July 21 2012 at 8:23AM
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Hello, I’m Chris, better known as Raslazel of the Iron Realms Entertainment MUD, Achaea. This post is all about embracing a character’s flaws and how it stands to make him more interesting. If you’ve no idea what I’m on about, check out some of my previous posts and play one of the free MMORPGs from Iron Realms and find out for yourself!
A character’s flaws are what make him a deep, believable character as opposed to an archetype. Be it a virtuous knight with a drinking problem, a shrewd accountant that likes to gamble or a brutal overlord with a weakness for women, character flaws just make them more interesting.
Consider adding a bad habit or annoying feature to your character, something that others will have to put up with to get along with you. Don’t add anything too obnoxious, maybe just a small nervous tick or finger-tapping here and there. When you feel comfortable doing these things, add something a bit bigger. Two or three flaws is enough for most characters, don’t go overboard.
I hope this helped to show that imperfection helps a character be more interesting. These small things can add a lot of depth to your gameplay. Roll a character in your favourite no-download, free MMORPG from Iron Realms and try it out! Most importantly, have fun!

Character Development: Staying Consistent

Posted by Raslazel Friday July 20 2012 at 2:33PM
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Hello, I’m Chris, better known as Raslazel from the top MUD Achaea by Iron Realms Entertainment. Welcome to the first of a series of articles on character development. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, try one of the free-to-play MUDs from Iron Realms Entertainment and find out!

In this post, I’ll be discussing the importance of staying consistent in your character’s personality when roleplaying and tips for doing so. When you’re new to the roleplay scene, don’t sweat it. No one expects miracles from newbies, just stick with it. But after a while, if you follow the advice I gave in a previous post, your character’s personality will start to show itself as something more than just a reflection of your own.

Remaining consistent, that is, reacting to something the same way each time, is important to building credibility with other players. The easiest way to do this is to simply fall into character, as the actors say. It’s possible to develop a character well enough to get to the point where you don’t even have to think about what he’s going to do. That’s what you’re aiming for. The only way to get there is to play often and play well.

The best-played characters all have consistency in common. Unless the person is a mercurial time bomb, then unpredictability factors in. Of course, even then, they’re consistently unpredictable. See what I mean?

The only exception to this is when it’s among friends. For example, if someone he didn’t know called Raslazel (who is of the cat-like rajamala race) “kitty” or “cat,” he wouldn’t react favourably. If a friend did it, it would just be laughed away. Just like you are with your friends, so should your character be with his.

Another way to build consistency is to have a phrase that’s unique to that character. I’m not talking about a cheesy catch phrase like an old sitcom star, but rather something more mundane that he says all the time. This also applies to physical actions like wringing his hands or walking a coin over the back of his hand.

Here's an example of what I mean. It's just Raslazel being Raslazel.

There’s really not much else to say. The only way to get to the point with your character that I mentioned above is to get your hands dirty and start roleplaying. Iron Realms Entertainment has some of the best MUDs around and they’re all roleplay-friendly, so check them out! Take care.

RP Adventures: Going Outside Your Comfort Zone

Posted by Raslazel Friday July 20 2012 at 1:07AM
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Welcome to my third and final article in the RP Adventures series! In this one, I’ll discuss why and how to move outside your comfortable little group and into the unknown, the possible benefits of doing this and the fun you can have.

If you haven’t been reading my previous posts, let me introduce myself: I’m Chris, better known as Raslazel in the top MUD Achaea from Iron Realms Entertainment. I’m a long-time roleplayer with loads of experience and I like to help new players get into the swing of things.

Going outside your group can be daunting, especially if the people you’re about to play with are completely unfamiliar to you. Just relax and do as you normally would. Stick to your style of play and don’t try to be a big shot. You can make a good impression without trying to show them up.

It’s good to have some practise at this because chances are, you’ll be forced into it sooner or later. That means you might as well do it voluntarily first, right? Find an excuse to bring your group to another group and have them interact. It’s a lot of fun and you can expand your roleplaying network.

The importance of meeting new people from different cultures is undeniable and will lead to character development and changes that might surprise even you. If you’re new to roleplay and want to find out what I’m talking about for yourself, you should try one of the best MUDs around – those from Iron Realms Entertainment. They’re all free-to-play and require no download.

RP Adventures: Establishing Your Group

Posted by Raslazel Thursday July 19 2012 at 1:28PM
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Hello, and welcome to my second RP Adventures article. In this one, I’ll discuss how to establish your group as well as warn you what types of people to avoid. But first, a brief introduction: I’m Chris, otherwise known as Raslazel in the best MUD around – Achaea from Iron Realms Entertainment. I’m a veteran roleplayer and know a thing or two about the subject.

In establishing your group, it’s important to be selective. Pick people that you know you can trust and fall back on in an instance when your character needs some serious development. Even if you’re just in a dry spell, these people are lifesavers. Additionally, from this core group of friends, you can leech… err… befriend more solid players.

Watch out for lolplayers and people like that. They’re fun at first, but they will ruin some of your greatest opportunities for good RP by saying or doing something completely OOC.

Another group to avoid is the clingers. It’s fine if your character has a girlfriend/boyfriend/other, but when that person gets too attached, he becomes a clinger. A good sign that you’ve got a clinger is if he ever suggests that he loves you OOCly. It happens. Be careful. Unless the love is mutual, then congratulations! Be aware that a clinger not to be confused with a Klinger. If you got a Klinger, you’re probably watching M*A*S*H re-runs.

Scene-stealers are the worst, however. These attention-seekers will turn every situation, including worldwide events, into something selfish. No matter what you call them (attention-wh***s is pretty common), they will always try to pull the spotlight onto themselves. This can stunt character development and seriously ruin your enjoyment of the game. Avoid them at all cost.

Now, if someone is does not fall into the above categories, but simply lacks RP skill and is really trying, do not exclude them. It’s often worth your time to teach this person by your own good example. Strong bonds of friendship can be formed this way.

A good player will share a scene and give as good as he gets. He’ll help others develop and in doing so, develop himself. Always a good sport, he never takes the game personally. Above all, a good player will have fun whether he’s in the spotlight or not.

If you have no idea, what I’m on about, you should try playing a MUD. MUDs, especially top MUDs by Iron Realms Entertainment, are a great source for finding fellow roleplayers and having a lot of fun. Completely free MMORPGs are few and far between, but IRE offers multiple opportunities to earn credits (in-game currency that can be used to buy powerful artefacts and quickly master class skills) without spending even a penny. Have a look, you can even play them as browser games.

RP Adventures: Getting Into Character

Posted by Raslazel Wednesday July 18 2012 at 6:58PM
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Roleplaying is not just a hobby for me, it’s a passion. It’s a bit of an art form, developing deep and complex characters that are believable and fun for others as well. That’s not even mentioning developing the skills it takes to properly play out a scene on the fly.

In Achaea, the top MUD from Iron Realms Entertainment, I play Raslazel – a fun-loving, mischievous free spirit. I’ve had an alt or three, both before and after Ras, but I keep coming back to him. Why is that, you don’t have to ask? I like him and who he is.

The best advice I can give about getting into character is that it should be a character. You should be playing a role, not yourself. You’re less apt to take things personally that way and much more likely to have fun.

Let your character develop freely, organically with only the slightest pushes from you to get him through situations. Allow his thoughts to override yours so he can make his own decisions. It’s important to just let things happen. That way, you won’t be angry if they don’t go your way.

Once your character is established, find a group to play with on a regular basis. I have several go-to people that I know I’ll have fun with no matter what. This is because they know me, they know my character and vice-versa. When you’ve found those people, you’ll know it. I’ll write more on this in the next post.

In conclusion, it’s important to remember that a game is not a substitute for a healthy social life and playing it as such can ruin your fun. A game is a form of entertainment, and in the case of the best MUDs on the internet, those from Iron Realms Entertainment, something to help you express your creativity in new and exciting ways. If you’ve never tried a MUD from Iron Realms, why not give one a shot? There’s nothing to be lost in trying a free MMORPG that can be played with no download required.

Elegant Solutions for Dealing with Morons

Posted by Raslazel Wednesday July 18 2012 at 9:45AM
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We all know that person, the one that thinks it’s funny to disrupt your roleplaying with immersion-breaking nonsense. He’s the one that will walk into a room and scream something about genitals before running away. He’s the guy that does it for the lulz. Many free MMORPGs and pay-to-play games alike suffer the wrath of these inconsiderate (and likely sexually-frustrated) jerks, otherwise known as trolls.

So what can you do about it? Well, there’s not much by way of instant gratification with trolls. It takes a few incidents reported over time to get satisfaction. But that’s just it, it has to be reported. Copy the incident in question into a notepad file and go through whatever your chosen game’s process is to report that person.

Some people just let it go as general idiocy, which is fine to a point. Generally speaking, if no one reacts (do not feed the trolls) the moron will get bored with the game and go away. But for those persistent enough to stick around, feel free to report them.

This is very important!


This is very important!

Trolls feed off the negative attention they cause, don’t give them satisfaction. Keep a cool head and just report them without saying a word. Don’t get mad, get even, as the old saying goes. Encourage your friends to do the same.

That’s all for this one. It’s a bit short, but it’s solid advice for dealing with idiots. Be patient; keep a cool head and report. All free MMORPGs especially get hit by these morons and it can ruin a community for people. The top MUD I play is carefully moderated by people who care about your in-game experience, so I’m lucky in this way.

If you haven’t tried an Iron Realms game, what’s stopping you? They’re free to play and can be played as browser games as well as with third-party client software.

Party Etiquette - Group Bashing for Dummies

Posted by Raslazel Tuesday July 17 2012 at 9:31PM
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A party bash or group hunt - killing NPCs cooperatively with a group - is a great way to pass an evening, build character bonds and gain experience in the process. Many top MUDs even offer bonuses for this. But, time and again, I encounter people that just are not familiar with what I like to call party etiquette. Here, I will list several basic rules that span these games, including Iron Realms Entertainment’s line of free MMORPGs.
Deciding a Party Leader - A party leader's role is to navigate the hunting ground, designate party targets and issue the commands to retreat or attack as needed. It follows that this person should have a decent knowledge of the hunting ground before the hunt itself and be able to decide when a situation is too dangerous their party. This will often be the most experienced person in the group. Relax and trust your party leader.
Know Your Role - Many classes in MUDs and MMORPGs are better suited to support roles. Whether this is healing, buffing (granting a boon to an ally, statistical or otherwise) or crippling the enemies in non-damaging ways, it is important that you fulfil this role as best you can for the sake of your party. Let your party leader know what you can do and they will decide what's best.
Be Rested and Fed - This seems obvious, but before you head out, the entire party should sleep until fully rested and eat until stuffed. This prevents having to make everyone stop for the sake of one member's needs and makes everyone happier overall.
Carry Enough Provisions to Last - When the long hunts come around, they are always fun. It's an excuse to hang out with everyone for several hours and bash like crazy. But, you'll want to keep enough food, water, elixirs, potions, herbs and whatever else you need on hand to last the entire trip. No one wants to stop and go back home to grab supplies for one person.
Power-Levelling – What if one of your friends is hunting out of his league? Well, with party experience gains, which are present in most MMORPGs, he will benefit much more from his cut of the experience than people of higher levels. This is what’s known as power-levelling. He will catch up to his friends much faster than he would hunting on his own because he is passively gaining large amounts of experience.
Know Your Enemy – Often, you’ll find enemies in place specifically to disrupt power-levelling and group hunts in general. These enemies (often notoriously) will deliberately lash out at anyone following the party leader instead of the leader himself. If you’re heading to a new area, it never hurts to ask someone more experienced if any creatures like that exist.
And that’s pretty much all there is to it. Group bashing is an entertaining and profitable social experience that should be encouraged even more than it already is. Don’t forget to make a little time for roleplay while you’re at it and you’re good to go. In the best MUD around, Achaea by Iron Realms Entertainment, my character is quite fond of leading these hunts. As long as you’re not an enemy of his organisations, feel free to find an in-character excuse to speak to him if you’re interested in a hunt!

Chicken Soup for the Weary Roleplayer

Posted by Raslazel Monday July 9 2012 at 8:55AM
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Hello there, and welcome to another roleplay-related article. My favourite RP fix is the top MUD, Achaea by Iron Realms Entertainment where I play a character called Raslazel. I'm not a major player in the game, but I have my fun.

Raslazel is a womanising jerk, a sly and seductive manipulator and all-around chaotic miscreant. He's quick to anger, slow to forgive and just as devious as you'd expect. At least, he used to be. He slowly became a new man, realising the error of his ways. Currently, he's climbing the ranks of the Sentinels and trying his best to become a productive member of society.

Why am I telling you this? Because it illustrates my point: there's no point in keeping a character rigidly-aligned if you're not having fun with it any more. I put Ras in a position to change himself and then just let it happen organically.

The beauty of true roleplaying (I'm nothing like Ras) is that you can just let your toon do as he pleases. Some people play their characters as extensions of their own personalities. That's fine when there's no conflict, but if something happens that impacts your character negatively, you're much more likely to take it personally.

I mentioned this in a previous post, but it's important that you keep your character and yourself seperate. Things will happen that you don't like and if you get upset with it or bored with the game, there's no room to change and have fun again. Having fun is what a game is about, after all.

If you're a bit too attached to your character, maybe play an alt for a while and make sure to keep distance between yourself and that alt. When you're ready, just come back to your old character with a new perspective.

If you don't have a character to get obsessed over and stressed about, Iron Realms Entertainment can help! They offer some of the best MUDs around. There are a lot of free-to-play MMORPGs around, but most of them limit you in some way. In their MUDs, with a bit of sweat, you don't have to pay anything to max out your character's skills, buy powerful artefacts or achieve the highest level.

Character Descriptions: Spit and Polish

Posted by Raslazel Saturday July 7 2012 at 2:41PM
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Don't worry, there's no actual spitting involved. What I aim to do in this article is give advice on adding lustre to your character's description and making it stand out. I'll also guide you away from certain pitfalls that trap many new players.

If you don't know by now, I play Raslazel in the best MUD around, Achaea from Iron Realms Entertainment. I'm a long-time roleplayer, both in real life and in video games, and I like to think I know a thing or two about good gaming habits.

1. For serious female characters, avoid describing breasts, buttocks, hips and the like. It's not necessary and most experienced roleplayers will frown on it. She can have a shapely figure, sure. We don't need to know about her enormous, perky boobs. It's degrading, immature and offensive. More importantly, I'm just sick of reading descriptions straight out of trashy novels or adult magazines.

2. By all means, embellish. This is something I get picky about. There are a lot of descriptions with lines like, "his broad shoulders give the impression of strength." While that's fine, it could be a lot better: "his muscular shoulders broaden his powerful frame, adding a sense of strength and stability to his appearance." Less is not always more.

3. Use strong, descriptive words. Is your character tall and strong? Try using hulking, massive and powerful instead of more passive words. If your character is extremely skinny, use words like scrawny, gaunt and undernourished. Go for impact, you want to make an impression on people.

4. Unique is good. If your character has any flaws or physical quirks, feel free to include them. As long as they don't violate any of the basic rules from the previous article, of course.

5. Strike a good balance. You want to be descriptive enough to give a good mental picture, but brief enough that people will actually finish reading your work. A lot of things are better left to the individual to figure out for himself, anyway.

As an example, I've included a screenshot of Raslazel's description. You'll see it at the bottom of the image.

I hope that this short guide has helped with your description-writing adventures. You don't have to be an exceptional writer with a massive vocabulary to write a description, but a little thought and care go a long way to making your character special.

If you've never tried playing in a text world, you should definitely look at the free-to-play games Iron Realms Entertainment offers. They have the best free MMORPGs you can play with no download required.

Character Descriptions: A Short Guide to the Basics

Posted by Raslazel Thursday July 5 2012 at 12:04PM
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Ah, character descriptions, many are the days I have spent looking at you in wonder. It's a favourite hobby of mine, looking at descriptions and correcting them in my head. I generally don't offer my edits unless specifically asked, but I do enjoy it so. I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly in the best MUD I've ever played, Achaea by Iron Realms Entertainment.

Here are some basic rules to follow:

1. There's no need to describe everything in excruciating detail. Many things are better left to the imagination.

2. Long does not equal good. I'm more apt to read a well-written short description than I am a thesaurus-beating mess. The fact is that most people aren't interested in reading a page just to look at you.

3. No more than two adjectives per noun, please. Your character's bright, shining, sea-green eyes with coal-black, shimmering, light-sucking flecks in them might be interesting to you, but they just look amateur to me.

4. Playing off of rule 3, be certain the feature you're describing doesn't have contradictory details. You do not have skinny arms with bulging muscles. It doesn't work that way.

5. Do not describe actions or anything that forces another person to do something. The word "you" should appear nowhere in the description. "You look at him and feel instantly frightened." Really, a combat-hardened necromancer-dragon is afraid of your level 20 novice? Fat chance.

6. Describe only what people can see just by looking. What do you see when you look at another person? You see their posture and various other physical features. You'll also see their current expression, but we'll save that for number 7. You can't tell much about a person's past, their hopes and dreams or things of that nature just by looking, so why should your character be any different?

7. If you've written "she always wears a smile," for instance, stop and think. Is she going to be wearing that smile when she gets ripped apart in a raid? What about when her boyfriend leaves her? Most people do not wear the same expression in every situation and neither does you character.

There you are, seven basic rules for writing a description. In the article that follows, Character Descriptions: Spit and Polish, I'll show you how to make your description even better.

If you've ever thought to yourself, "what game should I play?" why aren't you checking out one or all of the top MUDs Iron Realms Entertainment has to offer? You'll find in-depth roleplay, expansive worlds and player-driven events in each one. They're free-to-play, so there's nothing to lose. I play Achaea, so feel free to send me a message in-game. See you there!

Design and Description: How to Not Abuse a Thesaurus

Posted by Raslazel Wednesday July 4 2012 at 4:55PM
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In a text-based world, like that of the top MUD Achaea, it's important for your enjoyment and that of those around you that things are well-written. From clothing to player descriptions, there are some excellent models to work from and several poor examples, too.

This is a guide to making whatever it is you're writing look its best without breaking the spine of your thesaurus.

Rule 1. Do not, I repeat, do not use the most obscure synonym possible. For the love of context, please avoid this. Using extremely uncommon words is a bad idea for two reasons: (a) unless you know the word in question, you'll probably use it incorrectly and (b) no one else will know what it means.

Rule 2. Repeat after me, a thesaurus is a tool, not a substitute for a good vocabulary.

Rule 3. If you've seen a word, but don't know exactly what it means, you should probably look it up before you use it. Several words have dual meanings that can have comical or tragic effects on whatever you're describing. This goes hand-in-hand with rule 4.

Rule 4. Do not use your thesaurus without also using your dictionary. These two books are two sides of the same coin.

Rule 5. Common language is fine. Many of my favourite designs and descriptions are simple and sweet.

Rule 6. There are only so many words for something. If you run out of synonyms, you're trying too hard.

I hope this sentence has abetted in adducing my condition. I mean helped in illustrating my point. Used correctly, a thesaurus is an excellent tool and can help add flair and polish to anything. Used incorrectly, it can wreck an otherwise great description.

If you have no idea what it is I'm on about, why not check out the creators of the best MUDs around? Iron Realms Entertainment has been running free MMORPGs for years. Join the community that was free-to-play before free-to-play was cool.

Newbies and Factions

Posted by Raslazel Tuesday July 3 2012 at 8:42AM
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It's frustrating to be a newbie. Conquering the learning curve, finding your way around and fitting into the established world around you can be difficult and daunting. This can often be enough to stop new players from even trying. Of those that do try, many will give up and lose interest. Do not lose hope, though, there exist people willing to help you!

In Achaea, my favourite MUD from Iron Realms Entertainment, your character goes through a process called rebirth that offers a tutorial. Other MUDs have similar mechanics. Whatever the case, they will generally offer to place your character within a faction after a short time. Whether it's a guild, a house, a city or an entire country, the other members will almost always be happy to help you in any way they can.

Factions offer advice for newbies on how to get started, where to shop for essential goods and, most importantly, a purpose. You'll have a set of goals to complete to advance in rank and a larger, overall set to achieve as a whole.

If you're getting the help you need and but not quite the social interaction you desire, stick with it. Work hard in your faction; show that you're serious about becoming one of them. In time, they'll see this and accept you into the fold.

You'll also find advice on roleplay and etiquette for your particular game within your chosen faction. There's a lot to learn when you're new and learning these things, in particular, can be the difference between fitting in and being labelled a fun-killing lolplayer.

In short, if you have the opportunity to join a faction, you really should. New players have much to gain and little to lose. Besides, there's plenty of time for the lone wanderer routine later. This has been a short one compared to my previous entries, but it's important to me. I constantly see rogue newbies struggling with things that could easily be taught to them by a faction.

A place to make friends, learn about your chosen class and grow your character, that's a faction. If you have no clue what I'm on about, why not try something new? Iron Realms Entertainment offers a variety of top MUDs.

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