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A Magi Golem's Adventures

My blog will follow my adventures in various MMOs and talk about both modern and old school games.

Author: Golem_Pyramid

Playing in the MUD:

Posted by Golem_Pyramid Thursday June 25 2015 at 4:11AM
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Welcome back to the adventures of Garlnath, the Exploder of Eyeballs, and his journeys as a newbie in Achaea.

The Exploder of Eyeballs discovered today that city raids are a very real and dangerous thing to be around. Achaea has 6 factions that players can join, each with their city territory, and other factions can launch siege warfare and destroy parts of your city.

It all started when I'm standing around my faction's city, when someone alerted over the faction channel that there was a large group of enemies outside our gates. My faction formed a defense group, and went to engage the enemy group outside our walls, but apparently the group outside our walls was just a distraction. Someone had snuck into our city while we were distracted with the group outside, and suddenly, the entire group that was outside suddenly opened a portal and entered the heart of our city.

The enemies inside our city started killing NPCs, which was kind of funny because the NPCs would cry for help over our faction channel with things like "Noooo! Remember me, Eleusis...urrrggghhh". Our faction's defense group started discussing strategy, since the enemy group seemed fairly large and were entrenched, with lots of area-of-effect defenses put down around them. Rushing them headlong would be suicide, I gathered from our channel. So the decision was made to try and engage them from a range, and target them with our long-range attacks.

Our group positioned itself about 2 rooms away from the enemy force, and a countdown was started. "3..2..1...FIRE!!" someone announced over the group channel. At once, about 20 arrows went flying through the air, with bolts of lightning and fire accompanying them, to rain furious hell down on the enemy force. It seemed successful, killing about 4 of the enemies, but they responded with their own long-range attacks, killing some of our defenders.

Someone announced that the enemies had a tank in our city. A tank? In a fantasy game? Surely there wasn't a 500 ton military death machine steamrolling through our medieval time period. I was confused. Someone explained to me that a "tank" was a nickname for an elemental bomb that the enemies could detonate in our city, and destroy sections of our territory. If they detonated the "tank" inside our bank, for example, then we would be unable to use our bank until it was repaired, which takes a few real-life days. Well, that sounded terrifying, but not as terrifying as an M1 Abrams rolling down your city.

I'm happy to say that the enemy group was unsuccessful at detonating the tank, since after a few more volleys of long-range fire, our team decided to go for the suicide rush and miraculously came out alive. The coolest part, I kid you not, was that apparently the corpses of enemies could be decapited, and their heads could be stuck on pikes in the ground. So the entrance to our city now has a pathway of heads on pikes, to warn anyone else who tries to mess with the home territory of Garlnath, the Exploder of Eyeballs.

Playing in the MUD: I'm not ready for PvP >:O

Posted by Golem_Pyramid Tuesday June 16 2015 at 1:41AM
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Now that my newbie Mage in Achaea has spent the past couple days getting up to a decent level, I decided to finally give PvP a try. Achaea describes its PvP as "complex", and boy is that an understatement. When I think of "complex" PvP, I think of trying to min-max your stats and figure out the best combination of buttons to press. This brought complex to a whole new level, as I discovered that PvP revolves entirely around dozens of afflictions, each with their own cure. You need to not only keep the offense pressure on your opponent, but manage your own curing to prevent them from gaining the momentum on you. And things scroll by fast, super fast.

Luckily I discovered Achaea has a built-in curing system that will automatically cure your character of afflictions. Of course, these cures have their own cooldowns, so if your opponent is attacking you faster than you can cure, you're pretty screwed.



Enough about that, though. Lets get down to my pitiful attempt at making eyeballs explode. I jumped into the arena for a 1 versus 1 spar, against another player of the Serpent class. Serpents are like Rogues pretty much, using daggers to stab you really fast, bows to snipe you from a distance, and they can summon pet snakes that will bite you with poison effects.

I should also mention that apparently, Serpents are the fastest "affliction" class in the game. They can put venoms on their daggers and stab you twice per attack balance, stabbing twice every 2 seconds. At 2 venoms delivered per attack, at 2 seconds per attack, with their pet snake biting you every 4 seconds or so, that means they're delivering an average of 8 afflictions every 10 seconds. We had barely started the fight before I was paralysed, vomiting, asleep, dizzy, sensitive to pain, and god knows what else they afflicted me with.



So I wasn't ready for fighting affliction classes yet. I decided to fight someone from a more straight forward class, the Monk. Monks pretty much do Tekura, which is Achaea kung-fu, and they kick and punch you for lots of blunt damage. I managed to put up a little bit of offense, zapping the monk with lightning from my staff, and setting him on fire a few times with my firelash ability. However, I discovered that your limbs can be broken from enough damage, as the Monk broke both my legs and then broke my spine over their knee for an instant kill. Apparently I could've avoided this horrible way to die if I had been carrying the cures for broken limbs. But hey, success is failing over and over again, right? Right.

Despite getting absolutely massacred in my attempts at PvP, I'm not disheartened. Its actually quite fun, and I'm sure I'll get used to the text flying by at lightning speed. When that day comes, I'll be exploding eyeballs from their sockets so much, they'll call me The Exploder of Eyeballs. Not very original, but certainly menacing.

Playing in the MUD: Lightning Spells and Exploding Eyeballs

Posted by Golem_Pyramid Thursday June 11 2015 at 6:49PM
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In my last post, my brand new Mage character in the MUD "Achaea" had walked around a little bit, did a quest or two, and watched a group of players engaging in roleplayed theatre troupe performances. I promise this post will be a bit more action-packed, as I give my Mage skills a whirl and shoot lightning at ferocious beasts.

One thing I discovered is that I have 2 separate skill-sets for killing mobs. I have a range of Magi abilities in my Elementalism skillset, and a secondary skillset called Battlerage. My main attacks are in Elementalism, but as I attack mobs, I generate Battlerage, which opens up powerful skills to be used during battle.

Magi battlerage skills in a pretty window

The client for this MUD is pretty rad, and it had all my spells automatically assigned to a convenient action bar. I didn't have to configure anything, though it had the options to do so if I wanted.

So with my trust Mage staff, I set out to find things worth killing. I found a cavern full of manticores, which put up a fight, smacking me around with their wings and claws. They were no match for the utter destructive powers of my newbie Mage though, and I rained lightning upon their faces like the almighty Zeus, if Zeus were a level 10 newbie.

I want to highlight the combat messages. Since MUDs are text-based, they rely on descriptive narration to immerse your imagination into your characters actions. After killing a manticore with my lightning, I noticed this death message:

Let me zoom in on the tasty bit.

...

His eyeballs explode from their socket with the fury of the storm.

His eyeballs explode from their socket

His eyeballs explode

 

Dude.

Follow my blog, as next post I'll be jumping into the PvP combat and seeing if I can make the eyeballs of other players explode from their sockets too. Mwuhahaha!

Playing in the MUD: Wanna hold my magi staff?

Posted by Golem_Pyramid Sunday June 7 2015 at 9:30PM
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So following the theme of this blog, I decided to roll a new Magi character in the game Achaea, which was mentioned in Beau Hindman's article "Four of my Favorite MUDs". The animated intro was what decided to make me try this MUD first.

(animated intro: https://youtu.be/_v_GvFXceb0)

Creating a new character was easy and aided by the numerous graphical portraits of my selections. That really helped, since most MUDs give you a wall of options without any visual representation, but Achaea had artwork for every race and class, so I could more easily picture my character creation.

I decided to go with a Horkval Magi. Horkvals are a race of insectoids, with the racial benefits of having hardened skin for damage protection. I figured this would be useful, since Mages are typically strong in damage, yet weak in tanking, in nearly every game I've played.

The newbie intro was fairly interesting. You start out in a prison cell, when a stranger unlocks the door and tells you to run for it. A couple guards try to stop you, but you're able to punch and kick them into submission, with the help of your stranger friend.

After escaping, you're told to start venturing into the newbie area of Minia, to solve some of the quests in the area. This is where things got a little confusing, but the newbie channel was helpful in helping me figure out certain things. For instance, instead of using a map and clumsily navigating around the world, I could simply type "WALK TO MINIA" and my character would automatically navigate there. In fact, I could "WALK TO" nearly any area in the game, and save myself the headache of trying to find certain areas by myself.

During my travels, I stumbled across a large group of players, taking part in what appeared to be theatric performances. Now, this is the one thing I love about these sorts of games - the players take roleplay seriously. In this instance, this group of players were actually roleplaying a theatre troupe, and were "touring" the world, putting on shows in various cities.

I sat and watched them for a while and could tell that they worked hard on this, and the other players in attendance would clap and whistle at the end of a performance. The whole thing was certainly something you wouldn't expect to encounter in a graphical MMORPG.

 

This post is running a bit long, so I'll continue in a part two. Stay tuned as my Horkval Magi tries out some of hit mage abilities, and sets the world on fire.

Playing in the MUD: A Look at Beautiful MUD Clients

Posted by Golem_Pyramid Friday June 5 2015 at 12:32AM
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I like to follow MMO journalist Beau Hindman from time to time, especially when he writes about old school games. I recently read one of his articles here on MMORPG, titled "Four of my Favourite MUDs", and he listed some great ones.

When people think of MUDs or text-based games, they think of old ugly Telnet clients where you type "kill goblin" over and over. Popular "nerd" show Big Bang Theory even humorously touched on text-based games, in an episode where Sheldan was playing an old text game and couldn't figure out the commands.

Fortunately, MUDs have actually come a long way. Modern MUDs have some truly beautiful clients with graphical elements like maps, health and mana gauges, tab-targeting and action bars for your spells.

HTML5 client for a MUD

An example of a modern MUD client

 

Third party MUD clients are so player-script friendly, that players can even create their own gorgeous GUIs. I saw a player showing off their beautiful Diablo 3 inspired GUI, using the popular MUD client "Mudlet".

The whole thing is fully animated, with the health and mana orbs swirling just like they do in Diablo 3.

Amazing, right? Most MMO players will dismiss text-based games as being ugly and outdated, but stuff like this shows that these games can enjoy a bit of modern flavour while still being old school.

I'm not here to advertise any particular MUDs, you can find lots of them to play on sites like TopMudSites, MudConnect, and MudPortal. The ones in the Beau Hindman post I linked above are definitely worth checking out, and I'll probably do my own personal exploration of each of those games and detail my adventures here.

Stay tuned!