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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

Achaean combat, I'm the newb, watch me fumble! Part 4, I got a WIN!

Posted by Lianca Friday September 28 2012 at 1:46AM
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Hello everyone!

Great news from the noob combatant in IRE's Achaea. I WON!!

I was lucky, and it turns out unprepared, but in the end I crossed my fingers (metaphorically, that would be terrible for a text game) and went for it.

An almost unbearable feeling of emptiness heralds the arrival of a cloaked and hooded figure carrying a blood-stained sickle. Darklyre gasps in terror as a skeletal hand emerges from the sleeve and points at him. He bows his head to the inevitable as the manifestation of Death swings its sickle at his neck. You watch in fascinated horror as he is gathered to Death's cold bosom.
You have slain Darklyre.
Defeated, Darklyre is cast out of the Arena.
You have been victorious and leave the Arena in triumph!

With one spar down, I have to beat someone else, who is much smarter to the ins and outs of 1v1 pk. We sparred and damn, he has serious hindering and can put out quite a bit of damage. It was all I could do to prep my own setup and run away to heal back up! In the end he was too smart for my working and the prep went to waste as he tumbled out of my trap.

Unfortunately the second opponent feels like he doesn't know what he's doing and is refusing to spar again until he gets some training in, so I'm going to have to beg for a second opponent. But I'm halfway there at least and feeling a lot better about things now that I've seen some success in my work.

In the meantime, I'm going to work on refining my aliases and reflexes, making sure I have everything I need to be fully prepared for a fight and practice at making the process more fluid. There's nothing work than getting one step done and thinking "Oh crap, what next?!" Which happened a time or two and that any good opponent would capitalise upon.

That's all for me in this round, I hope to report in with another success soon. As always, if any of this has interested you, why not give PK in your favourite MMORPG a try, or roll a character and join us in one of the top MUDS from IRE!

Achaean combat, I'm the newb, watch me fumble! Part 3!

Posted by Lianca Thursday September 27 2012 at 9:51PM
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Hello again!

For those of you who don't know what this is, I'm a pk noob attempting to learn how to fight in Achaea, a free to play MUD from Iron Realms Entertainment and I'm documenting my trials, failures, hopes and crushing defeats here. It stops me getting so stressed about it when I can share it with others and laugh. This is also a handy record for me of what works, how I set things up, and it might just pique your interest enough to come and join us!

It's been a frustrating week of thinking up tricks and finding that they don't work. Also learning that I can't just outdamage a smart or levelled opponent is a little disheartening, time to find another option!

I've spoken to a few people and they sort of admit that Occultist combat, (what I'm trying to get a handle on) relies a lot on luck and the other persons mistakes. There's a lot of having to hide your actions in blackout as the common curing systems easily deal with our heavy afflicting. I've been trying to find some options that I can force an opponent to do which will throw them offbalance for a time to give me some breathing room.

With that in mind I'm now looking to focus an offence around the dreaded Death Tarot, this is a killing tarot (obviously) but it requires preparation. First I have to get out a death tarot and charge it up, then it needs to be rubbed on the opponent seven times. Once that is achieved I have to find a way of pinning my opponent in a location for about ten seconds, which is how long it takes for the Tarot summon to go through.

A couple of things I have to bear in mind, is while it is 'going through' I cannot move or do anything, no healing, no other offence. My little character has to be stock still. And the opponent has to stay in the location for the duration of the death. If I can lay enough hindrance, perhaps close a door, maybe hide the death throw in the blackout from a dust bomb, I might -MIGHT- just be able to pull this off.

So I'm sparring in an attempt to remember all of this, to get everything ready, stay alive long enough to pull all of this off. Fingers crossed this turns out to be a tactic that I can use, as I'm running out of ideas!

Hopefully my next entry will have a triumphant picture of my winning! If not, well, we'll be back to the drawing board for another method. Why not join me in my struggle and start an Occultist character in Achaea? Or if you, like me are a pvp newb jump on in and try out the combat waters! It's a struggle, but it gets you thinking and it can be a lot of fun! (When you aren't beating your head on your desk in frustration)

Achaean combat, I'm the newb, watch me fumble! Part 2!

Posted by Lianca Friday September 21 2012 at 4:36PM
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Welcome back to another recap of my fumbling through combat as an Occultist in IRE's Achaea!

It's really very frustrating, but I'm sticking with it. I've had some discussion on strategy with a couple of people, and the general consensus is that if you cannot damage them out (which isn't viable for most opponents) then you're going to be relying a great deal on tricks or lucky Tarot card throws.

The above was my first attempt at setting up bomb throwing, you can throw them at the ground in your room or you can lob them into an adjacent location. Each bomb has a different effect. It toook me a few minutes to work out why that wasn't working, and then it hit me....

If you look closely and compare the above picture with the first, you'll see I'd tried to throw my bomb AT the direction. The AT is only application when I want to throw the bomb at the ground in my location, not when I just want to throw one west, or north, or in this case, up.

A couple of things that I'm now working on, are making my offence more fluid, rather than wasting time pondering my next move or trying to remember my aliases, with much practice I'm trying to familiarise myself with things and making the process of knowing what to do next become more innate.

Not only am I thinking about what my next attack is, but Occultists have a couple of abilities known as Devilmark and the Devil tarot. Both used in conjunction allow my next three tarot throws to add a double card, (herein lies one of the luck aspects of Occultist combat) but after three throws it wears off and you have to remark yourself with the devil and refling the tarot. Keeping track of this, along with my offence and watching my own afflictions is proving to be a little overwhelming. While I could be looking into nifty tricks, bombs and things I'm spending my current spars working on watching my devil's and hopefully, once that comes easier to me I'll be able to move along to some more fun things!

A couple of useful Achaean coding tips I've been given that I'll share with you now.

Before all offensive aliases I've added in concentrate and stand. If I'm disrupted, or prone, my curing may not pick it up until the first symptoms, and this will lose me precious time concentrating to regain my mental state so that I can act, or realising I'm prone and having to stand before continuing to fight. Luckily both concentrate and stand don't cost me anything if they fail, so I can spam them to my heart's delight and they'll save me from time to time.

Another thing I've been getting into with my coding is cleaning up my logs. Gagging and highlighting in Mudlet has been a huge boon. I've made bright bold highlights for the things my target does, like smoking a pipe, sipping from a vial or applying a salve. These mean I should be able to get a better idea of the afflictions and state of health of my opponent. I've also added big bright marks at crucial moments, prompting me with my next moves, to help me with my continuity of offence.

Phew! Quite a lot has gone on, I'm grumpy and frustrated, but I'm keeping at it. While this may only be of idle interest to some, and the specifics of no use to most, perhaps my general lessons will give you some idea when deciding to go into pvp in other games. Perhaps you want to prove me an idiot and we'll see you in Achaea, in the arena, kicking my text behind. It's free to play and there's no download, so why not?

Combat isn't for everyone, it's frustrating at the early stages, but it can be such a rush when things start to go right and you get that first kill. It is a lot of work, but don't let that put you off. Until next time.

Achaean combat, I'm the newb, watch me fumble!

Posted by Lianca Thursday September 20 2012 at 1:11AM
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Hello, everyone!

Slightly different take on the articles for the next few installments. I'm mpostly known as a more roleplay centric player, my character gets involved with teaching, research, ritual, religion and other cultural aspects of Achaea, my favourite MUD from Iron Realms Entertainment.

But, I really do enjoy combat, and in Achaea that is a huge mess of intricate balances to learn. I'm not very good, luckily I've bashed up to level 102 (I'll see 101 again if I die a bit more) so I have my big fat, tanky dragonform to lean on in group combat. But it is high time I learned how to use my skills as an Occultist, for duels, arena events and other small scale fighting activities.

This is going to take a few weeks if I'm lucky, but I thought I'd bring you all along for the ride. not sure if I'll get anywhere as of yet, but I'm certainly going to try.

I started out today with this in mind, and after having played Achaea for a couple of years my triggers, aliases and other bits of code that I rely on have gotten all kinds of messy and haphazard. So, with a fair bit of cursing, a headache or six and some walking away from in disgust to take a break, I've managed to clean up the basics that I already had setup and bring some sort of order to things to work from.

A few things I've made a start on that will make my fighting life easier are:

Aliases for my Tarot abilities.
Tarot cards can do all kinds of things for an Occultist, but to use them each has to be removed from the deck (OUTD'd), charged up and then flung. This is an awful lot to type out each time, so I use Mudlet, a MUD client that allows me a lot of scripting leeway, and means I can shorten all of this up for ease of use.

From the above you can see an example of this, it's my hangedman alias and whenever I type han it'll execute the rest for me.

Another thing Occultist newbs like me can have trouble with is managing the number of entities or loyals we can summon, eighteen in total and that can be a lot to keep track of! I've got a couple of nifty scripts that allow me to summon them all swiftly, order them around, to attack someone, to follow someone, or to move and a way to keep track of which one's I'm missing so I can resummon with ease.

I also learned to use a handaxe today, by spending a few lessons on the proficiency and some time flinging it at someone. I can add a bit of venom to this and throw it at my opponent in order to add a bit more oomph to my offence. (At least, that's the theory!)

This was today's installment, and not without its headaches. I'll update again soon with my haphazard attempts at gagging stuff I don't need cluttering up my screen, my first lesson in tactics and maybe even a few beginner spars!

Maybe you'll learn something from my fumbling around as I try to run with the big boys, maybe it'll just be a laugh, or I might see you in the arena. If any of this is of interest to you, why not roll a character in Achaea, it's free to play, so come and spar with me and others.

Achaean classes and factions part 4, Chaos.

Posted by Lianca Sunday September 16 2012 at 10:25PM
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The last of the major factions and heavily aligned classes in Achaea, a top MUD from Iron Realms Entertainment is the one I'll be discussing a bit today, that of Chaos and the Occultist class.

The Chaos faction has undergone plenty of changes over the years, with different Divine acting as Patron and bringing with it their own spin on things. First with Eris we had this rather convoluted, deceptive and frivolous Chaos, that brough apple green puppies, animated treekin and a pyramid temple with tiers of Confusia and Bureaucracy to name a few. But eventually Eris left to better things and a group known as the Revolutionaries of Chaos fought and battled to restore the canonical original God of Chaos, Babel who now oversees Ashtan and many of the Huses within. His take on Chaos is a different one, being the God of Oblivion his ethos states that Creation is a mortal thing with an end date, that all will fall into the Void and so people can live as they wish unbound by morality/duty/honour because it's irrelevant anyway! This can be a hard line to walk and play, but it is a rich and rewarding one.

While the Occultist class is mostly based in Ashtan the current City of Freedom, Occultists subscribe to a life without moral constraint, they can live where they choose so long as the individual can live with the consequences of their actions, only one Oath matters to them and that is the one made to the House. From this bastion of excellence they have produced some of Achaea's most eminent scholars, debators, combatants, ritualists, thieves and more. Playing a member of the Occultists House is often considered to be one of the harder paths for a new character, they are demanding, unflinching in the quest for quality and don't offer much in the way of second chances, but it promotes an atmosphere of close family, trust and great achievement. Many go onto be religious figures, city leaders and characters of influence with the lessons taught.

From a past of tribulation, persecution and torture, the Occultists have developed a culture of high secrecy, this extends not only to their business, but their skills also. Rogue characters, people who practice Occultism outside of the House, are looked upon with disgust and derision.

By utilising the skills of Occultism, Domination and Tarot, a player can warp the very fabric of Creation, manipulate the aura of others to cause harm and bargain with karma or gold with the Chaos Lords for entities to assist them.

Much like a Priests Devotion, or a Necromancers Essence, karma is a commodity which must be gathered, and it powers a great deal of Occultism and all of the Domination abilities. Flouting these powers to oppose those who seek to further the goals of Chaos can result in loss of access to karmic abilities, so should you consider starting a 'Good' Occultist, be aware!

Hopefully this has given you a bit of insight into the world of Achaea and maybe even piqued your interest. If you want to join the Templars in Shallam in their Holy crusade against the unholy Occultists then join us and play! If you want to be a secretive, cowled ritualist, possibly ensuring the eventual downfall of everything we're waiting to meet you. Achaea, like all of IRE's MUDs is free to play and requires no download. What's stopping you?

Achaean classes and factions part 3, Nature

Posted by Lianca Sunday September 16 2012 at 9:45PM
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In the previous couple of articles I've given a little background to and a taste of Good and Evil classes and factions in IRE's Achaea, the top MUD that I spend a great deal of my free time playing. In this installment to the series I'll take a look at another conflict, religious and roleplay heavy faction, that of the Forestals and one of the hallmark classes, the Druid.

Based mostly in the treetop village of Eleusis, or in one of the forestal Houses, the Sentinels, the Sylvans or the Druids, players of forestal alignment spend their days revering, protecting and promoting Nature. With an overarching governing body known as the Council of Oakstone, they protect from naturally occurring fires which can destroy plantlife and act as guardians for the forests of Achaea, attacking and defending against exterminating Mhaldorians who seek to bring harm to that which the forestals treasure.

We'll have a look at the Druid class now, similar in ways to both the Sentinel and the Sylvan classes that make up the forestal aligned professions they utilise the animal powers of Metamorphosis, the reclusive bond with nature through the skillset Groves, and the money making, curative providing Concoctions.

It has never been a secret that a tradeskill is handy to have, with a bit of time you can provide a precious commodity that others need, price your offerings competitively and you can be well on the way to having a healthy bank account through the wonders of harvesting plants and concocting curatives for sale or personal use.

Through the Druid's innate bond with the animal spirits and some training, a character can morph into a variety of animal forms, and enjoy the specific powers each one brings. Whether you forage for food in the wilderness as the chittering squirrel, burrow and dig underground as the savage wolverine, soar through the skies as the noble eagle, or incinerate enemies with your stored flame through your link with the mighty wyvern.

A shared skill with the Sylvan class, Druids can choose a forest location and imprint it as their grove. This can become a defensible position, a comfortable retreat with many benefits given to its Druid.
-Hanging a dream catcher and employing a grove rain will drastically increase the regeneration of willpower and endurance, great for the aspiring dragon or for the heavy basher.
-Grove summon will bring a target in the forest to your location.
-Vigour, Remedy and Panacea offer a variety of healing to your person
-Resurrection. While you can resurrect others from their corpses your grove allows you to resurrect yourself!

If you're looking for a new game to try, or just for something a bit different perhaps the role of Nature's guardian, lover of the forests is for you. Achaea and the other great MUDs from IRE are free to play, and you don't even need to download anything to start, so come and play!

Achaean classes and factions part 2, Evil

Posted by Lianca Saturday September 15 2012 at 7:10PM
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In the previous article I started a small series that focuses on the four main factions of influence in Achaea, Dreams of Divine Lands, a top MUD from Iron Realms Entertainment. I spoke briefly of the ethos of Good, the Divine that oversee it and gave a small spotlight to one of the classes that is rooted in the faction. This article seeks to do the same thing but for the faction of Evil and one of it's Necromancy based classes, the Infernal.

One of the newer cities in terms of Achaea's canon, Mhaldor Isle grew into being after Lord Sartan the Malevolent and His Infernal Knights were thrown out of Ashtan. Sartan attempted a ritual upon the Goddess of Sleep and Dreams which failed and in a fit of temper He raped the Goddess and took Her eyes, consequently he was imprisoned beneath a mountain far out to sea. Upon the mountain a stalagmite formed and followers of the God started to sacrifice themselves, impaling their forms upon it. Eventually their offering allowed Sartan to reform, and the Baelgrim fortress was raised atop the island, now known as Mhaldor Isle.

Now characters serve the city of Evil under three Gods, Shaitan, Apollyon and Keresis and following the Seven Truths of Evil. Through application of suffering and oppression they seek dominion over the realm and work to purge weakness in all its forms from sentient life.

Originally known as Sartan's Deathknights, and later housed by the Infernal's guild, Mhaldor;s Infernal knights are a horrifying breed, whilst they retain the skills of Chivalry and Forging that mark them as a "Knight" profession they add an Evil twist with the application of Necromancy.ti

A Necromancer's Essence (rather akin to the Priest's Devotion) is a commodity of sorts. Although the Infernal's source does not regenerate naturally, they can replenish their reserves by consuming the hearts of slain foes. Those who use Necromancy against the cause of Mhaldor and Evil can have their ability to regain Essence sealed away, by the Dread Ecclesiarch of Transvital Corrupon, the person is then said to be anathema.

Necromancy has many interesting skills:
-The ability to take and eat the heart of another through Cannibalism.
-Urging the hands of the dead to rise through the floor to hinder all who pass via Gravehands. -The skill of Extermination which destroys all plant life in a location and drains the very life from the earth.
-Drawing the soul from a slain mortal and shaping it into a formidable physical weapon via the Soulspear.
-The Soulcage, where a necromancer can protect themself from death itself, granting a free, instantaneous resurrection.

The above are just some of the acts a Necromancer can perform, and they culminate in the vivisection, with appropriate preparation and skill the Infernal can tear open the chest of their victim and pin them to the ground with their own sternum, the subsequent death leaves a pile of bones to mark the location for a few days afterwards.

So, perhaps you fancy being a bit more religious evil than the stereotypical psychopath? Maybe you dearly want to try out the vivisect for yourself or fancy yourself playing a crusader against these terrifying zealots? If you do, why not join us? Achaea is always welcoming to new players and it's even free to play.

Achaean classes and factions part 1, Good.

Posted by Lianca Saturday September 15 2012 at 4:04PM
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This post is the start of a four part look into the mechanics of the classes or professions which represent the four main factions in Achaea. This is a rather simplistic approach aimed at offering you a taste of what you might experience, but the top MUD from IRE has many more factions and allegiances that one may choose to bind their character beyond these main four.

We'll look at the Good faction in this article, and the hallmark class of the Priest.

Based in Shallam, the Jewel of the East, the characters belonging to the Good faction are mostly housed in southeast Sapience. The city is ruled by the Te'Serra, a Divine alliance that champions the ideals of Good, Light and Order. They seek to purify all within Creation and protect them from those who would bring harm.

Predominantly seen as the "Good" class, we'll take a look at the angel protected, Devotion using Priests that fight for this particular cause.

Whilst seen in many games as a healing role, the Priests of Achaea can be formidable foes, with the skills of Spirituality, Devotion, and Healing they can offer protective blessings, heal others with the laying on of hands, and even resurrect a fallen friend. Of course this all plays right into the traditional healer aspect, so how do they differ?

Firstly, rites. At a cost of a small amount of Devotion a Priest can lay religious rites in a locations, each with differing effects.
-The force of Piety prevents others from leaving the room with ease, often hindering repeated efforts to flee.
-The rite of Cleansing will passively strip defences from the priests enemies, removing their protections without any warning to the person it acts upon.

Secondly, a Priest can summon a guardian angel, but beware those who oppose this creature. It is not a harp wielding, well-being wishing young man, with golden hair and smiling eyes. The crowning glory of the guardian angel is when it sears the soul from the Unholy, granting final absolution to the opponent and instant death.

The commodity Devotion has been mentioned here a time or two, and I'll give a brief word and warning about it for those whose interest I may have piqued. Devotion is used for many abilities, it regenerates naturally over time, and can be gained by Immolating a corpse (a form of resurrection.) Do be aware though, the Te'Serra and the Caliph have the power to 'ex-communicate' a rogue priest from the power of Devotion, so should you choose to roleplay a rogue Priest, or go against the ideals of Good it is a risk you will take.

I hope this has been of interest for those of you considering playing a MUD, or maybe it has inspired you to try a new game. Part two of this series will be looking at Mhaldor, the home of Evil and the feared Infernal.

Reinvigorating your game

Posted by Lianca Monday September 3 2012 at 8:41PM
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In a previous article, I discussed some ideas on making a faction change when things aren’t quite what the player wants. How to go through it without destroying your character, and making a natural transition. However, switching sides isn’t an option for everyone. For some people, the real life years of work put into a city or other organisation can be too much to give up, or perhaps the faith and oaths involved are just not in-character for you to break.

So if your organisation isn’t working out for you, what are the options? This is the question I may not answer, but seek at least to give some guidance with, and perhaps a stagnant character can be brought back to life.

-Step back from some responsibilities.
If you find yourself stuck in a rut of administering training to the noobs or constantly gathering items to stock in a shop and you find you are hating it apologise to people and pass the work onto someone else, free up your time to do something you enjoy when you log in.

-Work to distance yourself from people that bring you down.
After some time of playing any game you fall into friendship cliques and invariably these can lead to OOC attachments. If you wrry about logging in because drama-queen-sue has had another personal crisis and just cannot get through the next hour without your cliques advice and you're sick of it. Tell them, move away from the veiled-OOC friendships and perhaps persue a fully IC experience. Your OOC group might get pissy but if it's what you need to do, do it.

-Find something you enjoy doing and do it!
Maybe you've wanted to get into combat, but never found the time to spar, perhaps there is a convoluted quest that you've been itching to try, maybe there is a level you want to reach or something you want to buy but have never been able to realy bash to attain it.

Now is your chance! Cast off the obligations, enjoy some peace and do something for yourself! If your old game is too far gone, why not keep these points in mind and join us in Achaea, one of the top MUDs from Iron Realms Entertainment. Not only are they immersive, in depth and engaging, but they don't require any download and are free to play too.

A question for budding developers, should creativity be limited?

Posted by Lianca Sunday September 2 2012 at 12:27AM
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I ask this question with a particular train of thought in mind. Many of us play MMORPGs and MUDs because they allow us to use our imagination and affect change in a world where so many games do not. While a game like Skyrim has a rich lore and many possible paths one can take to the endgame stage, you are always walking along that path, a predetermined route with a static ending. In the best roleplaying outlets, whether forum, MUD or graphically based the real joy comes from the player feeling like they can make a difference, there is an unspoken agreement of social responsibility.

I'm an avid player of Achaea, the Iron Realms flagship MUD, and I feel everyday that the choices I make with my character affect the lives of other characters, with some work and willingness change can and is effected, whether from assisting with city development to rebuild locations, or from plotting, conniving and overthrowing a government, it is possible!

In Achaea, at the attainment of experience level 99, you are gifted with the ability to take on the form of a dragon, you choose your colour, have a public ceremony if you wish and unless you lose level 99, you can transform into a dragon at yuor whim.

The greater dragons in Achaean lore played a huge role, and it is this soul that the worthy player is given. There is a small range of colour choices for the new dragon and the descriptions for each are static. Very occasionally an auction will run whereby someone can bid and win the right to a customisation of their dragon looks, but it is a rare thing.

I'm an advocate of this sort of control in this instance. While the majority of a roleplaying population are reasonable and intelligent folks, you will always get the one or two who very much want to be the fur-covered, purple, psychic, mini-dragon with fairy wings. This sort of alteration flies directly in the face of the established canon, and so regulation is used to enforce the roleplaying standards of the realm.

With this sort of regulation in mind we also have the opportunity to design and craft foodstuffs, clothing and jewellery. Again though the designs and ideas are submitted for approval to what is known as the Crafter's Guild, and only if a proposal passes canonical and grammatical muster will it be granted to be made.

I approve of and enjoy the immersion that this sort of regulation brings to my favourite, free to play MUD. Perhaps if you are looking to play a new game, or considering creating a game of your own, these considerations will give you something to think about too.