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Gamina's Newbie Helping Formula!!

I am only writing this as a guide for anyone who has trouble helping
newbies when they FIRST come on the game. I've had several people approach
me and ask how I help the new ones that are TOTALLY unfamiliar with any
mud. Here is how I do it:

First, I will telepath a level 1 or 2 something similar to: "Hello! How
are you? Do you need any help?"-If I get a response, I know that it's not
a new player, or at least is someone that is familiar with muds or
text-based games. If the person responding needs help, gear it by asking
questions to find out what they know and don't know. Ask them if they
have any specific questions first or if they need more help than
that. Throwing out commands in conversation to remind them is a good idea
too. Something like: "You know how to see your INVentory and what
EQuipment you are wearing, right?"-"You know how to move around and see
the EXITs?"-You can also start this using SAY if you are unable to
telepath a new player.

If I don't get a response, I will do something similar to looking at what
room they are in and popping into that room. Gamina says, 'Hi! How are you
<insert name>? Do you need any help? If so, type: say yes'. If the player
responds with 'yes', I will then congratulate them in some way, cheering,
a hug, or applauding are the most common, and say something to the effect
of "Woo! There's one of your first commands! You now know how to use the
SAY command to communicate with others!"-Sound excited and happy when they
get things right, and show them how much you WANT to help them. Encourage
them to figure out things for themselves, but not TOO much at first. They
are thrown into a world that has hundreds of commands that many of us
learned only as they were being implemented. If they have to struggle to
find all the commands, it may turn them away.

Anyway, after you have been able to get them to SAY they need help, I
normally will attempt to get them out fighting mobs ASAP. This puts
them in the playing atmosphere right from the start and they do not
need to spend 20 minutes learning the commands they would need to fight
and get around. The following is going to show what types of commands I go
over and I will use quite a bit of dialog for this part.

1. "Now that you know how to communicate using the SAY command, do you
   have any questions about the game itself before we go kill some MOBS
   and learn more commands?"-If so, BRIEFLY answer some questions here,
   but not too much. You'll get into a lot of these things later. The most
   popular I've had asked is how I can "hug" someone, or if there are
   others. I'll show them the social list and tell them to check it out
   later after I've left and they have the time to play. I won't just
   offer this command unless they ask. I also point out MANY help files
   and suggest that they look at them later, after I've gone.

2. "Good! Well, the problem we face is finding the exits to this room
   right? So we can get out of here and find mobs? Well, type EXIT and you
   will see a direction or 6."-"These will be either Up, Down, North,
   South, East or West. You can move in the direction you see there by
   typing the first letter of the direction."-"You can see that the exit
   to this room is only to the North right? Well! Then lets go hunt for
   mobs in that direction! I'll meet you in the next room!"-

   At this point I'd move a room and wait for them for a few moments, if
   they are stuck, I'll go back for them, but that's never happened. :) If
   the player was in their guild, there won't be any mobs in the next
   room, so I normally pout and/or stomp my foot ;)

   "Ick! There's no mobs here! Let's go to the next room! Remember, we
   just came from the south so we don't want to go back that way!"-"You go
   first this time and I'll follow?"-(with a tickle) If they take too
   long, I'll remind them about the EXIT command and repeat which
   direction we came from. That's only happened once so far.

3. *Cheer* "We found a mob! Now it's time to LEVEL you!!" "To level, you
   will have to kill mobs similar to this all across the land. Some will
   be good, some neutral and some evil. That's what's going to determine
   your alignment."-"But let's not worry about that right now, most of
   these mobs are neutral so your alignment won't change much at all."-
   "Read the help file ALIGNMENT for more information after you have
   leveled once or twice."

   "First thing is first, do you think you could do this mob?" (wait for
   an answer, normally, they have no clue.. but gets them thinking) "Well,
   type CONSIDER <mobname> and now do you think you could do it?"-If the
   answer is no, ask them what they saw and give your opinion.

   When they have a mob they can kill, tell them to kill it :) Most figure
   out the command to kill the mob themselves. "Ok, we both think that you
   can kill this mob, so kill it?"-IF-they ask how.. "How do you think you
   would kill a mob? Remember, many commands here are exactly what you
   think they would be. To move north, you type N or NORTH Same with
   killing the mobs. How do you think now?"-Using something similar to
   this works.

   Cheer, have fun, etc when it dies. At level 1, I don't even BOTHER
   getting into the CON WIS or INT right away unless I have equipment
   with me that I can give away. It's too confusing, they just want to get
   on and have fun. Some fun things to do is to taunt the mob when they
   are killing it. Cheer if they level. Sometimes I'll shout a Congratz
   out to them also. I also don't bother with skills/spells when they
   first kill. That's something to add LATER. Things they can try one at a

   Now it's time to explain how to EXAMINE the corpse and how to GET the
   equipment from the corpse. I normally explain the "get coins corpse"
   first as one item, then "get all corpse" if there is equipment in it.
   NOW is the part that I get into typing EQ and INV Showing them what
   they are wearing and what they have in inventory. I don't tell them
   much about it. I tell them level 10 clerics/mages can cast a spell, but
   thieves and warriors need to use scrolls. Sometimes I'll ask a
   thief/warrior if they want to see how to use a scroll, but tell them
   that they can worry about it more later. I'll load an id scroll and
   give it to them to try. Avatars can't do this, but they can stock up on
   id scrolls if they want to.

After EQ and INV I normally touch SCORE and SCORE L, but none of the
rest. Singles do not need MLRs, so I don't even bother explaining it.
I point them to help files OFTEN, especially "COMMON PROBLEMS" and
TALKINFO and the help file for each class. But rarely ask them to read
anything while they are with me. I'm there to answer the questions. With
spell casters, I'll take them through common problems and show them the
error messages for typing a spell wrong. Warriors or thieves I'll take
through some other help file. Many times the one about their class. I
WON'T touch the help files until at least level 2 though. I just want them
to be AWARE of how many help files we have and how many of their questions
are answered in them. Responding to a question with something like: "Well,
Help PRACTICE has the information in it, but since I'm here, I'll help you
through it. Just remember, if you forget next time, check that help file."-
I stress the help files BIG time, but don't make them  read much at all
while they are with me. Point is to get them out to PLAY. If they are too
bogged down by reading, it's not as much fun. I ALSO really stress the
newbie guide. It's short enough and complete enough to give them a good
idea of what's going on, including things like MLR's for when they multi.

After leveling them one or two times, I tell them about RECALL and ENTER
GUILD and how to PRACTICE at the guild. Tell them about the donation room
for more equipment and about how to use PULL on an item to identify it if
it's been donated.

THEN I ask if they would like any more help with anything or if they have
any more questions: "Do you need any more help or have any questions?
Would you like to just go explore?"-if they just want to explore, tell
them about the avatars and gods and also the NEWBIE clan along with the
TELEPATH command. If they have questions, answer them as simply as
possible, stress that the help files have MORE information, but that
you're telling them the basics of it.

*flops* And that's how I help newbies. *curtsy*  - Gammie