Things I Wish Someone had Told Me When I was a Newbie

"You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack.
You may find yourself in another part of the world.
You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile.
You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
You may ask yourself - Well... How did I get here?"
- Talking Heads, 'Once in a Lifetime'


...And, I may add, you may find yourself running a level 15 character on Medievia, and still not be quite sure how you got there: Am I missing anything? Could I have done things better? Can I go back and improve?

Despite the many help sources available on Medievia, there are still some things that are easy to miss when you're new here. I know I missed quite a few of them, even when running my 2nd newbie character (though I had not progressed past level 20 with my first char, at that time). I know I'll do things differently with my next newbie - but I sure wish I'd known all these things much earlier!

So unless you're planning to create character after character until you 'get it right' - if you want to 'get it right the first time' - the information in this article could prove helpful.


Getting Help

Medievia is a complicated environment, especially when viewed by a new player. It can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are several useful ways to get help and information on the game. Use them, and use them early! Whatever you learn now will probably save you time and effort later.

The two largest bodies of information are the help files and the Medievia web site. The help files cover almost any topic you can think of. Want to find out what the heck those 'trade runs' everyone's talking about are? Type HELP TRADE. Want to know how to ride a dragon? See HELP DRAGON, or HELP FLYING... generally, if it's a Medievia-related term, you will find help for it.

For more extensive, not topic-specific, information, point your web browser to: http://www.medievia.com/playerinfo.html This will take you to the informational pages of the Medievia web site. There is a 'Help & hints' page, a page about most of the zones in the game, an archive of old Mudslinger articles, maps, and much more.

When you start playing Medievia, you are tuned in to the HINTS communication channel. This is the source of all those brief notes, reminders and hints which you receive occasionally while playing. Personally, even though I'm already past level 24, I have not turned this channel off. It still reminds me of stuff I might otherwise forget, from time to time.

But even with all this plethora of information and help files, you might just not find what you want. In this case, don't be shy - ask! At any given hour, there are many knowledgeable people on-game who are willing to help. The easiest to approach would be your fellow newbies, and the Avatars:
  • To talk to the other newbies on the game, you need to be in the Newbie Guild. That is the easiest thing - if you're not already in the Newbie Guild, just type NEWBIE and you will become a member. Then you will be able to communicate with all other newbies using the CLANTALK command (CL for short), and use TELL to talk directly to other newbies.
  • Avatars are heros, very experienced players, who dedicate some of their time to helping new players - type WHO -A and you'll see a list of Avatars online. You may use TELL to talk to an Avatar directly.

Some new players tend to shout their questions to the world at large. Try to avoid this: Newbie CLANTALK, or asking an Avatar, will generate less noise. Shouting merely creates more screen scroll for everyone, and as you've probably noticed by now, the scroll rate when playing Medievia can be astounding...


Seeing the Unseen

So, you think you've got the idea, and you've started playing. Killing janitors and helpless little boys, taking stuff from corpses (known as 'looting')... but wait! Are you sure you're not missing something?

Type SCORE A... if you don't see "detect invisibility" there, you probably are missing things. You see, quite a few of the players, and some items in the game, are invisible. You will need to be able to 'detect invisibility' to see them. And since you may run into these items, and players, almost anywhere, make it a rule to NEVER go without 'detect invis' on. If you can't cast the 'detect invis' spell yet, get misty potions, and never be without one. You can ask around for misty potions if you can't find them, they are relatively easy to obtain. 'quaff misty' and there you have it, at least until it wears off...

The most important item you will be able to see now are the coveted invisible dragon crystals. A dragon crystal (or DC for short) will bring you valuable practice points. They are extremely rare - it may be weeks or more before you find one, if ever - but also extremely valuable. And they may appear in the corpse of ANY mobile you kill (except in the wilderness), so you do NOT want to tap or sac corpses until you have looked inside them, with 'detect invis' on, and made sure there isn't a DC inside. (See also HELP DC).


Getting Equipment

When you first set foot in Medievia, you were given some basic newbie equipment. You will want to improve on that basic kit whenever you can... But how do you do that?

One useful place to visit is the Donations Room. It is located southeast of the fountain (or N,E from New Adventurers' Guild). Players donate spare equipment from time to time, and it shows up in this room. Unlike items lying around in other rooms (but like items you see when you 'look in' containers), items in this room have the --> and X signs in front of them, to indicate that they are better than your currently-used equipment (-->) or currently unusable by you (X).

There is also a nifty little box in the Donations Room, called the id-a-tron. When you are carrying a donated item, you may type PULL ITEM and the id-a-tron will identify it for you.

You will want to identify as many of your possessions as you can. Those items which are not donated can be identified by reciting a scroll of identify, or by casting the (Cleric) identify spell on them. (I keep an offline list of my possessions, so that I don't have to re-identify them over and over.) If you can't cast the identify spell, always carry several scrolls of identify with you.

If you see stuff in the identify results which you don't understand, try the HELP for that word, or ask someone. Most id fields are meaningful and important to understand!

As you wander around Medievia City, and later around the entire world of Medievia, you may find corpses which have been left behind by other players. Remember that the killer has first rights to the corpse and everything in it! However, if the killer is not around, you may loot the corpse. You might find a few potions and coins this way. And if you don't need the items you loot, you can sometimes sell them at the Armory or Weapon Shop. You won't get lots of money this way, but it's enough for buying some basic necessities such as food or potions. (The Armory and Weapon Shop are on Aramingo Avenue, south and then several rooms east of the fountain square. Their entrance is to the north.)

At slightly higher levels, and when you have more money, you should be aware of the Medievia auction system, whereby equipment is traded between players. Initially you do not see auction messages. Type SETAUC SOME to receive a message when items go on auction. HELP AUCTION will tell you much more about this complex system.

If you find yourself with too many items in your inventory, or too much weight to carry anything new, it is time to start using containers! Items stored inside a container do not figure in the total number of items you're carrying - only the container itself does. MORE importantly, items stored inside a container which you are wearing or holding do not add extra weight! However, it is not wise to walk around holding a container when you could be holding a stats-increasing item. The solution is to wear/hold your containers only when you need to pick up something new. Oh, and don't go around carrying loads of stuff you don't need: auction it off, donate it, give it away - no point in hoarding old junk!


Conserve your Resources

When you gain levels, you gain stats: your hitpoints and mana total go up, and you receive more practice points. It is important to remember: YOU ONLY LEVEL SO MANY TIMES. That is, if you don't maximize your stats and practice gain each time you level, you have lost hp, mana or prac - irretrievably. (Well, practice points can be obtained from DCs or catacomb eggs, but you probably don't want to rely on luck or wait till you are high enough to go combing.)

Make sure you have equipment with you that can bring your Wisdom and Constitution up to 18. Keep an eye on your STAT, and when you are close to leveling, equip yourself to maximize these two stats. This is known as 'leveling eq(uipment)', and you can ask around for it if you can't find it. The Satyr's Flute is a rather popular 'hold' item that increases your Wis and Con simultaneously.

Once you have gained those precious practice points, you will probably want to go to your guild hall and practice. Not so fast, though! There are two important things to know about practicing:
  • Firstly, you want to raise your Intelligence to 18 before you start practicing. Other stats don't matter here, only Int. If your Int is lower, you will use up more practice points in learning each skill or spell.
  • Secondly, if you are a Cleric or a Mage, you do not necessarily want to practice every spell. And some spells you don't need to practice to 'Superb' ability - 'Average' will do just as well, at least for starters. For example, nothing terrible will happen if you fumble 'create water' several times before you get it right. Or 'create food', or a few other non-combat spells. On the other hand, you probably don't want to fumble on the curing spells, or the damage-causing spells. As for which spells are useful to know, try other, higher-level players. They can tell you, from their experience, which spells they use more often and which they have found unnecessary.


Going Places

Medievia is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to Medievia. Oops, my apologies to Douglas Adams. That was Space I was thinking of.

However, Medievia *is* big. And it is easy to get lost. But you don't necessarily have to. There are maps available to you: especially important is the map of Medievia City, which you can find in the room west and south of the fountain (or D,S from the New Adventurers' Guild). Print it, or copy it, anything - but learn it and remember it. You will be traveling around Med City quite a lot. There is also a map of the area around Medievia City in the same room.

When you start moving around, you may find you are running out of breath quickly. Want to move faster? Get a horse! Horses can be easily obtained. No, you can't mount those horses which you see standing around tethered. That's why they're tethered, you know. Get one of your own! The stables in Medievia City are located north of the fountain (N,N,N,W). If you have trouble finding them, type GUIDE STABLES, and an imp will tell you where to go. Horses are free of charge, and can move around faster than you can. See HELP MOUNT for more information on riding.

Several zones are reachable on foot (or horseback) from Medievia City, most notably through the Great Tree which stands east of Medievia: climb all the way to the top of the tree and go west, you will find a magic cloud above you. This cloud can take you to several zones.

Other zones are more easily reachable on dragon-back. But dragons are expensive, and you, as a newbie, probably don't have too much gold to throw around. The Bad News is you almost can't avoid using dragons to get to some zones. The Good News, on the other hand, is that you can probably get *back* without calling a dragon.

The 'word of recall' spell returns you to the last city or town you were in. This will usually be Medievia City itself. If you can't cast this spell, don't despair! There are useful potions, swirling blue-white potions, which cast this spell on you when quaffed. These potions may be bought from the mage who resides at the top of Castle Medievia. You can either climb to his room from the castle (but it's a twisty walk) or climb the Great Tree and find the exit to his room off the Magic Cloud. Buy some swirling potions - make sure to always carry at least one with you - and walk back down to the castle square, or (if you're lazy and have spare cash) buy an extra potion and quaff it for the easy way down. :) You'll have to leave his room first, though - the mage's powerful aura prevents the casting of spells.

Now, when you want to get back to Medievia from wherever you are, just quaff a swirling potion and you will be transported back! It's that simple... but not always. The 'word of recall' spell can only focus across a finite distance. Any further than that and you will fail. This is where knowing the map of the World of Medievia comes in handy. You see, clan towns are scattered all over our world. All you have to do is begin your journey at the clantown that is nearest to your destination zone, and then 'word of recall' will take you back to that clan town. In my experience, there is almost always a clan town within 'recall distance' of a zone.

"Oh, great, that's a lot of help... I still have to fly to the clan town itself, don't I?" No, you don't. That's what the portals are there for. Medievia City and all clan towns have a room with a portal in it. In Med City, for example, it is the room east of the fountain. Look at the map to determine which CT (short for clantown) you want to go to, use SHOWTOWN to find out that clantown's portal number, and use the portal to ENTER that town! You can ENTER MED to go back to Medievia City from any other portal. Beware, though, when trying to travel great distances using the portal system: sometimes the portal misfires and you find yourself staggering out in a strange place you never meant to go to. After you get over your initial disorientation, try entering the portal again and pray that this time the world will not spin madly around you!


Other Tips

While at first it's neat to observe the bustling dragon traffic coming and going to and from Medievia City, after some time you will find you have enough scroll on your screen even without seeing every dragon's smallest motion. Try SETCOMM DRAGON to turn off this 'dragon channel' and reduce the amount of information you receive by just a bit.

One final important thing to remember is the weather. Vryce has recently erected a force shield over Medievia City itself, so that even if a tornado hits the city head-on, its devastating power is deflected. Once you are out of the safety of Med City, however, you may be subject to weather woes. Check the WEATHER often!! Hurricanes, wasp storms and especially tornadoes may kill you if you are outdoors.

And above all ...have fun!

~ Valleigh


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