(archived from durandus.com via the wayback machine)

Why Am I Here?

As I have been working with new players, the most common theme was “there’s so much to remember!” It occurred to me that the problem is contextual. I think that people are having trouble remembering because they’re on in the game.

At any given point in time, everybody is faced with “What do I do now?” The answer isn’t something that comes from outside, but needs to come from the game. While it seems intuitively obvious to me, some people don’t have a clue as to the point of Last Outpost, so here’s your moment of Zen:

The goal is to have fun.

I know, fighting and dying is not — usually — fun, but that’s the goal. There are several other goals.

Make 20th level in your class (warrior, cleric, mage, thief — not college)
Make 20×4 (highest in all four classes)

I realize that when you’re trying to work up thru the single digits, these goals seem a long way off, and if you’ve never mudded before, the experience can be daunting. Toward that end, here are some tips:

1. Food, water, light, armor, weapon. You need these. Make sure you have them. You can’t have too much armor, but don’t waste a lot of time (or coins) buying it. There’s more than enough around.

2. Use your bag. “Put” and “get” are your main commands. “put something bag” or “get something bag” .. if you don’t know if you have it in your bag, try “look in bag” — oh, and “look” can be abbreviated with a single letter so “l in bag” works. If you have more than one bag, “look in 2.bag” might be effective.

3. Corpses are there for you to loot, unless they’re fellow players. Be helpful. You wouldn’t want them to loot your corpse, so don’t loot theres. Also don’t loot the corpse that somebody else killed. That’s considered rude. Commands like “look in corpse” and “get all.coins corpse” are especially helpful. You can’t lift a corpse, but you can drag one. “Drag corpse” will tie you and the deader together. “Drag” as a command by itself will release it.

4. MUD Clients are very useful. They give your session structure so you’re not getting distracted everytime your screen jumps while you’re in the middle of something. There are a couple in the toolbox on blackboard, and some listed on the sidebar of this blog. If you need help, ask and I’ll be happy to help you set one up.

5. Your “next thing” is to make the next level. Sometimes that’s heading out to slay, and sometimes it’s to stay in and practice. Sometimes it’s stocking up on food. What ever you’re doing, remember that your avatar is your representative in the world. You manipulate it in the context of the world. “Why am I here?” should have a clear answer, and that answer should provide the context upon which you can hang your memories of the commands.

If you go to the guild, you are there to “gain” a level or “practice” a skill.

If you go to a shop, it should be to “buy” or “sell” or maybe just get a “list” of the items available.

If you’re hungry, you need to “eat” something — thirsty, “drink”

When it gets dark you need to “hold” a light.

You “wear” or “remove” armor to protect yourself.

You “wield” or “remove” weapons in order to fight.

When you need information you check your “score,” “inventory” your holdings, or check your “equipment”

Sometimes you just need to know how many points you need to get your next “level.”

Keep these in mind. Over time they will become automatic and you can expand on your command set with “kick” or “bash” or “cast”