Medievia Mudslinger

August 6th, 2001

How To Avoid Or Tolerate Death - By Lyna

Everybody has been told to form up with other people to give them a better chance of success - clanleaders, clanmembers and even the hint channel will often give this advice. Sometimes, however, you cannot manage to get someone to form with, so you just have to go it alone.

I've given the matter some thought and come up with a guide to avoid death as a solo and single class character. Several of these considerations should be used when in a formation as well. Nothing is foolproof, but to reduce the risks take a look at the Does and Don'ts of death.

DOES

Although I cannot claim to be as experienced as some players in the game, and I certainly canít claim to be a hero, Iíve run across a few things in my many deaths as various characters. Here are some things that certainly would have decreased the number if only I had known them.

1. DO buy potions. Although you donít get a whole lot of gold to start with, they are not very expensive and they can give you enormous benefits. Although for the first few levels it may be too difficult to actually visit the Labyrinth and find the Apothecary to buy green potions, you can find them on corpses of mobs you kill on a random basis. These are very important as they have the effect of a Level 20 Cure Critical spell. They are also available for sale in New Ashton in the potion shop in the north west section of town.

If you donít want to travel so far, visit the mageís quarter of the city and the "Shop of the Ritualist" where you can buy a potion called the "Vial of clear liquid". These are nearly as good as a green, with a level 19 Cure Critical spell, and they will do fine for the first few levels. You can also buy Golden Seal Potions at the Chemist in Riverton - these heal twice as much as a green, but weigh twice as much as well. Magenta Potions, available from the same place, will give you a very small amount of healing compared to the others, but also the armor spell.

Besides healing, there are miscellaneous effects that can be achieved through the use of potions. For defense, the "potion of godlike protection" found in the Medievia City Marketplace will give you a bless spell and an armor spell. This can help you immensely, by raising your hitroll and lowering your armor class and saving spell. The more you hit the mob, the quicker it dies, and the less time it has to hit you!

Misty potions, probably the second most commonly known after green potions, will allow you to detect invisibility, detect magic, and detect evil. They will load randomly on corpses in a similar fashion to green potions, but you can buy them in New Ashton. If you really need the detect invisibility, "Sparkling Yellow" potions will give you this, and they can be easily purchased at "The Ordained" in the Clericís quarter of the City of Medievia.

Orange potions will give you the effects of a sense life spell - this detects mobs and players that are hidden as well as invisible (if you do not have detect invisibility currently in effect. If you can see them then you have a chance of avoiding them. These can be bought in "The Ordained" and the Riverton Chemist.

Menthol Potions and swirling potions can both be useful in getting you out of a zone - menthol potions cast teleport on you, and swirling potions cast word of recall. Both of these potions can be used in combat so if you are in trouble you can just quaff them to make a hasty exit. While teleport is obviously random (read the help file on the spell), there is also the problem that if you havenít stepped into a nearby recall point (read the help file for the word of recall spell) recently, a swirling blue potion will be wasted. Taking this into consideration it is safest to have both types on you.

2. DO use your potions! This is a biggie. For some of you it may be obvious, but I know that on my first character, I was painfully unaware of the fact that I could actually get more potions. I had about three greens on me, and I never used them. I had 36 deaths by level ten. In contrast, I now buy clears and greens, as well as the other potions mentioned above, and I had nine or ten deaths at level fifteen. Do the math.

3. DO, if you are a cleric, use your mana! I donít mean that you should throw it away, but when you take everything into account mana regenerates much faster than hitpoints.

4. DO set your wimpy! If you donít know, the wimpy is the number of hitpoints you automatically flee at, precluding any other actions - try the help file. This can be a lifesaver - if you have just been spamming kick, for example, which has a lag of one or two rounds, and then type flee all of a sudden, you will be very dead. This is especially important as you begin to fight harder mobs, which can do more damage per round, and need to flee earlier to get out of combat. You should move it up a little every level or two. Be warned, there are situations in which you may not want your wimpy on at all - being attacked by a demonlord, for one. Of course, reducing the amount of spammed commands you use always helps, but wimpy can help you survive those unexpected visitors.

5. DO remember to consider! Consider is a great command, and if you are in an unfamiliar zone it can really help to be able to guess how hard something is going to hit you. This will save your life many times.

6. DO flee when you need to. I know you have now developed an everlasting bond with your wimpy number, but this is not the be-all and end-all. You might want to flee for the reason listed in #5, or perhaps you had your wimpy set too low. Donít just sit there like you donít know the abbreviation "fl".

7. DO buy other charged magical items. Defensive items are those that heal, or cast defensive spells on you (not just potions). There are many charged items that will cast heal, or various curative spells on you - however, these can be difficult to obtain, and as a newbie, your only way to get them may be over the auction channel. If you do decide to go looking for them, some of the more common ones are the "Red and White Staff" and "Rod of Healing".

A very popular item is, of course, the sanctuary orb. Orbs come in two types, green and blue. Blue orbs hold 10 charges of sanctuary and Green orbs hold 4 (read the help files on Sanctuary if you are not conversant with the spell). They can be found in mob corpses, won in various quests (Rockyís Token Hunt comes to mind) and bought on auction. Be warned, they are no-rent (meaning that they disappear once you log off), and so if you pay for a green one on auction and then log off you have wasted your money.

Be careful with orbs, though. When held and used they will cast sanctuary on everyone in the room including mobs. Do not make the error of casting sanctuary on a mob you are intending to fight, and make sure you don't accidentally use it in a room where someone is fighting a mob - you can be frozen for it.

Occasionally, you will see confetti or other similar items raining from the sky - these are presents from the gods, having the same effect, and also being no-rent. You can only have one of these at any given time in your inventory. Checking rooms in link when you have run out of charges is a rather useful way of replenishing your supplies.

More miscellaneous items handle something that for thieves and warriors are needed in particular: the spells remove curse, cure blind, and remove poison (although mages also cannot cast these spells, they have a better saving spell so they are less likely to be caught by some of them). Some of the items that do this are very obscure, and some are quite common - I suggest you try the monks in the Cathedral in the Graveyard. Yrani roots, found once again in the City of Medievia marketplace, will remove poison. Cure blind items are a bit more obscure - look for the "Staff of Sight" or carry a cleric with you.

For warriors and clerics who can neither sneak nor become invisible, there are items that cast invisibility. One, a piece of equipment from the Refuge (see the next section and read HELP REFUGE), is called the "pouch of disappearing dust" - since it is from the Refuge, you may get it very early in the game. It holds three charges of invisibility. Wands of Invisibility have the same spell and number of charges, and they can be bought in the City of Medievia and the "Mageís Workshop" - they are very common, and can even be found in the donation room occasionally.

8. DO get good eq. For your first stuff, you may want to run the refuge, which is below the new adventurers guild (go to the exit labeled "In the Infirmary"). Some stuff you wonít be able to use depending on your class and level, but it is all nice low-level equipment, and it can do you much good. Also, you can get some charged magical items there (as mentioned above). Afterwards, remember to visit the donation room and, when you have some money, watch the auction channel. Later on, you can get more stuff from zones.

As a warrior or thief, you should probably head for both defensive and offensive EQ. In terms of defensive equipment, your first goal should probably be your saving spell. If you are unaware of it, the saving spell is a number which gives you a chance to avoid any spells that are cast against you - obviously, this will help you avoid nasty things like poison, blind, and curse. Also, look out for your armor class - the lower your AC the more you are going to see all those nice little messages that say, "(insert name of mob) misses you." There are two ways that this can happen. The first is called "AC-apply". The AC-apply is only found on armor, and it is a number that is multiplied by another, between one and three, depending on which slot it goes in. Thus, if you find a piece of eq that has an AC-apply of 6, and it goes in the body slot (which has the multiplier of three), you will probably have 18 subtracted from your armor class. If "+/- xx to AC" is listed in the effects of the item on identify, only that amount of AC is changed. Remember, the lower your AC, the better!

As a cleric or mage, probably one of the things to do is up your mana. Mana equipment is not all that hard to find, and the more mana you have, the easier it will be to kill things, and thus the less time you get dealt damage (not to mention more mana to cast defensive and healing spells). The refuge does have decent mana eq, and it can nearly always be found in the donation room. Keep an eye out for the little --> symbol next to a piece of eq in your inventory or in the donation room- it means that the game believes you would benefit from wearing it. Be warned, you should go through all the equipment that you can, identifying it, as the game weighs the arrows towards HR and DR, and neither of these will help you very much as a spellcaster. HP also should not be ignored - both of these classes have fewer than the thief or warrior, and so it will help to have more HP to go on.

Also, if you feel like you will be fleeing a lot, you may want to find some +stamina or +movement equipment - "You are too exhausted to flee" is not a good sign. And lastly, there is the equipment that does miscellaneous things - often you can identify this by the "other" sign instead of wielded, worn, or armor tags on identify. One of the most common types of this equipment is the shadow cloak. They are a favorite among many characters who can neither sneak nor cast invisibility - be warned, though, they are regenerative, which means that they have one charge of their spell which comes back over time. Once you use one of these, you cannot remove it until the charge has regenerated. You will have to weigh up whether a piece on invisibility equipment will do you more use than another piece of equipment in the same location coupled with invisibility wands and the like.

9. DO remember invisibility and sneak! These save you from so many things, I cannot emphasize this enough. sneak - cast invisibility! If you canít sneak, there is nothing you can do about it. However, there are other ways to make yourself invisible - many pieces of equipment and some charged magical items will do this for you. See the above sections for details - you would do well as a warrior or cleric to find something that will handle this.

10. DO remember your stats. Watch your hitroll, damroll, AC, and saving spell. All of these should be as good as you can get them. Often the outcome of a combat can be guessed by how much time is spent on it - if your statistics are good then you are more likely to survive.

DON'TS

Now that weíve gone through all the positive stuff, I have to admonish you about all the things that new players tend to forget and cause grisly deaths. Please, please, please remember these.

1. DONíT forget to check and recast (where necessary) spells before you go into combat. Use your items if you donít cast. You can use the command "sc a" or "aff" to check what spells you have cast, and how many ticks they will last.

2. DONíT forget to get out your items that you will need. Nothing is more annoying than to waste time in combat spamming to "quaff green" when you suddenly realize you have to get them out of your pack.

3. DONíT forget your level! Although you may not have played for very long, and perhaps donít know much about the zones, if you type "zoneinfo name (name of zone)" there will be a description, and a list of what levels you will be able to handle it soloing, in a small form, and in a large form. Also, you may wish to check the clantowns using SHOWTOWN, often you will find one that is perfectly suited to you. Also, check HELP SUGGESTED ZONES and Areas in the Game on Medweb.

4. DONíT go into NPK unless you know you are ready. The first NPK zone youíd be entering is probably Xezadha Cathedral. Donít go there until you are at least level 10, probably level 12, unless you love the message "[CLAN] (READER) has been NPKED by (pker)!". You will be picked off by higher level players very easily, and it will totally disrupt your xp session. Just because it doesnít properly kill you doesnít mean itís not annoying.

5. DONíT go into CPK at all! Donít even think about this. CPK will lose you all your gold that you are carrying and half of the experience that you have gained so far for your next level. You will also lose whatever equipment that your killer wants to take out of your corpse, and if you are killed by a mob in CPK, the same thing can happen.

6. DONíT leave the Med City area solo until around level ten (this includes the City of Medievia, the Forbidden Forest, the Graveyard, the Great Tree, and the surrounding wilderness), except to go to a clantown. This will also really help a lot.

7. DONíT panic if you are getting beaten. Flee, cast invisibility or hide, and heal up. Then go back to the fray. Panicking is bad.

8. DONíT forget to spam movement if you are on a trade run. You can pass mobs before they can react and auto-attack, and lessens the amount of time the game is going to have to spawn a mob faction for you. Spamming movement is your friend. Even mobs that can see through your invisibility, such as banelars, or fat ogres (definitely not as harmless as they sound) may not be able to attack before you leave. This is best on a mount, since they automatically stand up when you run them out of breath. These can also be useful if running through a difficult zone or wilderness area.

9. DONíT forget to check the weather when in the wilderness. A tornado can totally ruin your day - they will kill you instantly and throw you somewhere away from where you were. A hurricane will deal you an amount of damage each round, and you cannot link to avoid them as you can the tornado. You can cast shield room to take less damage, though. Wasp storms, like hurricanes, deal you damage each round - however, you can avoid these through medlink. Fire storms prevent all casting of spells - as a spellcasting character, these can be your doom, but as a non-spellcaster, you will still be able to use items, and no spellcasting mobs will be able to do anything. Magic storms do exactly the opposite - mana regenerates much faster, and spells cost less to cast.

10. DONíT forget to ask for help on shout and clanchat. You may well get it.

TACTICS, TACTICS, TACTICS

Ok, youíve now been very good and memorized those, right? Great. However, there are some other things you might want to think about. As whatever class you are, there are tactics that you can use with your classís skills that will help you. Some are universal, as well. Do think about these, and put them into play when needed. Many of these are offensive, as well as defensive, because, contrary to popular belief, the best defense is a good offense- more damage means less time for the mob to hit you.
Thief Tactics
As a current-class thief, I can verify that these tactics work well. The most important, of course, is the bs-flee-hide-bs.... combination. If fighting a mob that is getting the better of you, your best shot is to spam a flee and a hide (removing your light as well, if you have one). The mob will usually follow you, and if so, backstab them when they come into the room. Youíll usually have enough time to quaff a few greens while youíre waiting, as well. This is a good chance to get rid of a mob, but be careful - higher level mobs may heal before they enter the room, and then you are in a bit of trouble. If the mob doesnít seem to be following you (tends to happen with named mobs or important mobs in a zone) sneak back in and backstab.

Another good thief tactic, though a bit obvious, is to trip spellcasting mobs. Like bash, it keeps them from casting spells until they stand. If a spellcasting mob cannot cast, they will not hurt as much - many casting mobs have bad melee, like spellcasting characters. Disarm is another good one, but not a lot of mobs in lower-level zones are wielding anything, and it is not really worth the practice points in comparison to other skills. However, if you have looked at a mob and see that they are wielding a weapon, it can be helpful to disarm them - without a weapon, they will do a lot less damage. Just be aware that they may re-wield their weapon soon.

Trapping mobs is good, but traps are very heavy and thus frustrating. I would say only to use this when you feel hiding or sneaking is not enough, or if you want to gloat as you backstab a helpless mob. This can also be useful, as you might have gathered if you read the Tour, if you want to be able to handle pre-damaged mobs. Simply trap, and you can kill them much more easily. Be warned, you can only carry a few at any time- they weigh 75 stones each, although if you have a handy mage in your formation with the minor creation spell then you can trap with reckless abandon.

Always remember to scan around the area... if you are in an aggressive zone, this could also be a lifesaver. And lastly, though this is a bit obvious, remember to sneak each time you kill or flee. Your sneak disappears when you attack or backstab. If you sneak, you can avoid any aggro mobs or ones that you already attacked and fled from.
Warrior Tactics
Now, we come to those of you who play the big person with a sword types. Many warriors rely on meditate which can certainly help you heal up fast. However, it does lag you, and eats into your movement heavily. Thus, donít use this if you are going to have to run really soon.

Always use bash when fighting a spellcaster. Besides the nominal amount of damage it does, they cannot cast at all. This will probably take out enough of their abilities that you can handle one that is at your level. Be warned, though, occasionally if you miss bash you may fall down. You might not want to use this one if youíre on an area with a down exit.

Since you have no spellcasting or healing abilities (excepting meditate, which has drawbacks as listed above), and a worse saving spell, you probably will need to buy more potions and find more charged magical items. You are looking for things that will cure blind, get rid of poison, and even remove curse. All the other basic stuff goes for you and the thieves, as well. Look for things that will cast invisibility on you, as well - you donít have sneak like a thief, and you canít cast it. Amethyst bands or shadow cloaks will do this.
Mage Tactics
Mage tactics can be difficult - with no healing spells it is difficult to come up with defensive tactics. However, your offensive spells can really help you survive.

Donít forget to cast invisibility! I simply cannot stress this enough. Aside from the obvious (being invisible) you do get the rather nice armor class bonus of -40 for the round or so of combat until it wears off. This will save you from the aggressive little stuff that you donít want to bother with, or from the big stuff that you just want to slowly edge past. On the same note, cast detect invisibility on yourself. Apart from the obvious defensive benefits of being able to see whatís following you around, you never know when you might find a dragon crystal. Farsight is also a good out-of-combat spell. Like the thiefís scan, it will help you avoid mobs or find them, not to mention that you will be able to see rooms away. This is a good one to practice when you can learn it. Use it when you are scouting out a zone, or when you have just left combat and need to find out where your mob is.

You have some defensive spells which are good. Your first order of business is to compensate for your awful combat stats, and this is how you do it. Once youíve attained level thirteen, shield will help you greatly, especially as it lasts for a while like the armor spell. Be careful to check how many more ticks it will last for - if there isn't much time left, it may be worth your while to recast it so that you can get through combat with it still on. Although a bit further off, stone skin will be very nice at level eighteen. Do learn these spells, and donít forget your armor class - your HPs will not be able to take any major form of abuse. Energy drain is nice, as an offensive and defensive spell, allowing you to replenish your mana shield and damage the mob all at once.

Fireshield is useful since you canít cast sanctuary, but it wonít deter aggressive mobs from attacking. PK'ers wanting to backstab you, though, may be put off. Mana shield will help you at higher levels - mages have the highest base mana of all the classes, and if you can take damage upon it, you will be able to survive for longer. This, however, is another spell that you may also want to be wary of: if you take out your entire mana shield, you will not have a whole lot of mana left to kill the mob with.

Color spray and chill touch are at the same time both offensive and defensive spells - color spray has a chance of blinding mobs, and chilling touch can weaken them. Weaken and plague will also weaken mobs, and if you cast these in conjunction with chilling touch then the effects will become cumulative. These are important effects - blinded mobs cannot attack as effectively, and weakened ones will not deal as much damage. These are a good idea to cast towards the beginning of a fight - if you are caught by surprise by a harder mob, you can sometimes blind it and have a chance to run away.

Like the above classes, you will need healing potions. However, you donít need as many others as the other classes at higher levels - your mana shield will handle most things. Remember to recast your spells every now and then, and invisibility every time you fight. Lastly, shield room can be used when resting to prevent aggressive mobs from entering - with luck, you can avoid combat entirely while you are low on hitpoints and mana.
Cleric Tactics
Lastly, the cleric. As a cleric, you should concentrate on your healing spells being at superb, unless you can hardly ever get a formation to join.

Always remember to blind mobs - this can really help you, just as it does the mage. Poison can only be cast as the first spell in your fight - this can, like chill touch, weaken the mob.

Armor is very nice as a defensive spell- cast it on yourself in normal combat situations. Bless is a nice spell, just as useful for clerics as for classes such as warriors and thieves. The cure spells are good to have at lower levels, before you get the heal spell.

If in a form with another cleric do not heal yourself, but cast your heals on each other. This is one of the best things to do in a form - you will cure more hitpoints of damage this way.

Lastly, the fleeing tactics listed above in the other sections are nice as a cleric, but only if you have something to give you invisibility. You will usually have the time to get a couple of heals in and to get ready to smash your opponent!

DEALING WITH THE INEVITABLE

Even if you are an expert at everything in the above, let's face it, we all die. However, you can make the dead and undead time go a little faster.

As a last resort, if you have died and not yet corpsed, but there are other players in the room, it is possible to talk to them after a fashion - if you emote what you intended to say, instead of speaking it, it will get through, and you will thus manage to let them know of anything you need to. If you must, this is a way of asking for a resurrection, though you may well not get it if you pester everyone.

Once youíve corpsed, or become undead, you have ten minutes before you can pray and become alive again. This time, as no-one can hurt you, is the best time to spy out the road ahead. You can walk through rooms and memorize the layout of a zone to get used to where you need to be ready for combat, and you can figure out where that mob faction is waiting for you on a trade route. Also, when you are undead, no mob factions can hurt your freight. Once I was actually glad for my death, because a demon lord was sending dogs at me, and I couldnít have handled them with my formmates, let alone solo. It saved my trade run.

Hopefully, youíll have learned a little about surviving combats and dying happy. Good luck xping and trading, and have fun!

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