Living in a world of text requires a few basic skills, reading being foremost among them. The difficulty with this, however, comes when the action starts. The screen starts scrolling up at roughly the speed of light, blood is spilling, your curing and healing triggers are firing; it’s a truly chaotic experience. I’m Chris, better known as Raslazel from the Iron Realms Entertainment top MUD, Achaea, and I’m going to tell you how to read what you need to read and filter out the rest.
At best, the fast-moving world of text combat is nerve-wracking. At its worst, it can confuse some people enough to discourage them entirely. Obviously, no one wants this to happen. The trick is to focus on only the important things, those that affect you and, if you have them, your teammates. To do this, you should take advantage of highlighting. Most third-party clients support highlights and they’re easy enough to set up once you figure them out. Prioritise your highlights as follows:
1. Life-threatening conditions - Slow poisons, afflictions that can result in death or interruption of curing and insta-kill messages all fall into this category. Generally speaking, most prebuilt curing systems will include these.
2. Hindrances to normal combat – Anything that induces false lag, blocks your exits or otherwise prohibits normal function could go from inconvenient to fatal quickly. Make sure you know what’s going on.
3. Summoned creatures and other entities – This is pretty self-explanatory, but these things can easily lead to defeat. Keep an eye on them.
4. Defensive or otherwise harmful enemy-aligned item in a room – Be they sigils, runes, totems, whatever applies to your game, it’s handy to know that they’re there.
5. Names of known enemies – Even with just the names highlighted, you’ll be able to track them as they leave and enter a room or cause harm to you or your allies. Highlighting your current target’s name in a different colour is not a bad idea, either.
So, you see, while using highlights, you don’t need to read everything that scrolls across the screen. This may look like quite a few things, but it really isn’t considering how much actually goes on in a good melee. You’ll be notified every time someone sips a health potion, eats an herb, makes an attack, etc., so knowing what to read and what to ignore is important. Hope it helps, thanks for reading!