July 28, 2000
He opens his eyes, and looks at his unfamiliar surroundings. He seems to be in a room of sorts.
He appears to be at the Chair of an awesome-looking figure. This Master towers over him and the others that share this room with him. These others all seem concentrated on their training : one is practising his thrusts and jabs on a battered training dummy in one corner, another is sitting on a mat, in a meditational trance.
One of these, a burly yet friendly-looking mountain of a man, steps up to him, gives him a big pat on the back and bids him a hearty welcome to Medievia.
He tells him that he hasn't much time to help him out right now, as he has "clannies" waiting for him for something called a "form", and he must join them shortly.
He tells him nonetheless to read a book that he apparently has in his inventory, called the "Newbie Guide", by typing "read newbie". This, he is told, will teach him all the basics. The warrior waves, then disappears in a flash of light.
Reading this unsuspected possession of his teaches him much. He learns that he is currently in the "City of Medievia", the capital of a vast and wild realm. He surmises that the city must be heavily populated, for he can hear many people shouting out incomprehensible messages to each other, from all around him.
Furthermore, he is told how to access the "Help Menu" (he is told to type "help newbie" in particular), which he does, spending a few minutes reading what this treasure trove of information has to teach him.
He learns how to move from room to room, using the exits (North, South, East, West, Up and Down, easily enough), as well as how to communicate with his fellow adventurers when they are in the same room as he (by typing "say (message)").
Using his newly acquired knowledge, he discovers a long corridor (by typing "exit"), the sole exit to his room, which he takes, venturing boldly into the wide world.
The sights and sounds of the busy city assault his senses. People of all kinds scurry here and there, passing him by, on some obscure personal errand.
No one notices the poor newbie who is just standing there, lost and lonely. No one stops to give him a hand.
Just as he is about to give up, a shimmering rift appears before him, and someone, or something, steps out of it. The invisible apparition bows before him, and welcomes him to the lands of Medievia.
Our poor newbie, taken aback by this sudden arrival, musters up his courage and says : - Thank you sir, but I cannot see you.
The invisible entity gives itself a vigourous whap on the head, then chants out a magical-sounding chain of words, breaking the invisibility spell it had woven over itself. A powerful-looking man appears before him.
The newbie, humbled by this unvoluntary display of power, whispers :
- Are you... a God?
The man, far too honest and good-natured to take advantage of such a situation, simply laughs a little, then answers :
- No, that I am not.
He introduces himself as an Avatar, a regular player, albeit a high-level one, who dedicates some of his or her time to helping out newbies, such as himself. There are apparently many Avatars online at any given time. To obtain a list of these, says the Avatar, one must type "who -a". If he ever needs to speak with an Avatar, or ask for help, all he needs to do is choose an Avatar from this list, then type "t (avatar name) (message)".
He simply does not beleive his good fortune !
The first thing the Avatar teaches him is that typing "abbrev" once turns the abbreviation mode on, allowing him to interact with objects, players and computer controlled entities (he calls them "Mobs", or "Mobiles") without having to type out their full names.
He then shows him how to check his equipment (by typing "eq") and his inventory (with the "inv" command). He tells him that typing "sc" will give him information on his "stats" : STR (strength) , INT (intelligence), CON (constitution), WIS (wisdom), DEX (dexterity) and STA (stamina), among others.
He gives him a "Satyr's flute" to hold whenever he "levels". He types "hold flute", as the Avatar tells him, and notices with "sc" that his WIS and CON have gone up.
- If your WIS and CON are not at 18 when you level, says the Avatar, then you will not get as many hitpoints, or "HP", mana points, or "MP", and practice points, or "pracs". NEVER level without your WIS and CON at 18, he emphatically adds. Any points lost are lost PERMANENTLY, there's no way of getting them back; until you multi, that is.
- These pracs are what allow you to hone your skills, to become stronger. This can be done only at your class' Guildhall. That is where you start, the first time you play. To get to your Guildhall, type "recall", which will transport you to the Main Courtyard of the City, where there is a portal. From there, just type "enter guild" to be transported to your Guildhall. Practise what needs to be practised, by typing "practise (skill)", then type "recall" again to return to the Main Courtyard.
- Be warned though! , he says, NEVER practise unless your INT is at 18! If it isn't, you will be wasting pracs, because each time you practise it will cost more pracs than it should.
The newbie nods, storing all this information for later use.
- You shall be needing a Golden Ring from the Graveyard to reach an INT level of 18. Start following me and I will take you to get one.
- Um... How do I follow you?
- Oh, how inconsiderate of me. You have to type "fol (player)" to ask someone if you can follow them, and if they accept, you and he (or her) will become a "form", or formation. To speak to the members of your form, type "f (message)". Got it?
- Got it.
He promptly starts following the Avatar, who takes him to the East for a while, towards the Gate which lies in that direction. The newbie would never have dared to go through the City Gates, but the Avatar passes them fearlessly.
A whole world of wilderness opens itself before the newbie's astonished eyes, but, although the newbie feels an urge to go out and explore, the two of them stay on the road, still heading eastwards, then take a small path to the North, which takes them to the foreboding gates of what could only be a cemetary.
- This is the Graveyard, says the Avatar. Come back here and explore it when you are a bit stronger.
The newbie gulps nervously as the Avatar takes him deep into the Graveyard. He is mortified by what he sees there. Rotting corpses, stumbling around, seeking to appease their hatred for the living by forcing them to join their ranks, vicious-looking bats drawn by the scent of warm blood, ghouls staring at him hungrily, wraiths peering at him with a gaze full of evil intentions.
But these are not close to being a match for the might of the Avatar : no sooner do the creatures start thinking about attacking them that they have already been sent back to meet their creator.
After dispatching an "Undead Zombie", the Avatar quickly frisks its corpse ( almost making the newbie lose his lunch), retrieves some sort of belt from it, chants out some words, then hands it to the newbie.
- Use this "tarnished copper belt" with your satyr's flute, when you level. With both of them on, you will have no trouble reaching a WIS and CON of 18.
Heading to the South-West corner of the Graveyard (straight to the West from the entrance, says the Avatar), lies the Caretaker's hut. Predictably, the Caretaker lies inside. He has just enough time to stand up with an outraged scowl on his face at the sight of these two strangers entering his home before the Avatar plunges a sharp dagger into his back, killing him on the spot. The newbie gains a little experience for the fight, but nothing compared to what the Avatar's share is, because of their level difference.
- Well, that was fast, says the newbie.
- Maybe so, replies the Avatar, but don't you dare try that on your own. If you ever need to get another Golden Ring, try to bring some friends along. Speaking of which...
He reaches down, searches around in the corpse's pockets and finds what he was looking for, the Golden Ring that they had in search of. He chants out the same words as when he had gotten the belt (The newbie guesses correctly that he is in fact "id'ing" the object, checking out its stats), then hands it over.
- You're in luck, my friend, he says. That ring has a good tweak on it.
- An object's "tweak" means its stats. It's not because two objects are the same that they will have the same effects. Some objects are more powerful than others of their kind. They are said to have a good "tweak". That ring of yours, for example, gives more INT points than the average Golden Ring does.
- Great! Thanks a lot!
- No problem! That's what we Avatars do.
- Now that that is done, let's get you a few levels ! , cheerfully says the Avatar. Head to "recall", and I'll meet you there so that you can get some XP. The newbie obeys, and, just as he is about to ask what the Avatar means by " level", a "Janitor" strolls into the room.
- Okay then, says the Avatar. He casts a quick spell and a white aura surrounds the newbie.
- Go get him! Type "k jan" to attack!
He complies, and soon finds himself waging battle, on his own, for the very first time! In a flash, the battle is resolved, and our newbie is the victor. He is pleased to see that the kill gave him "experience". The Avatar tells him that is this "xp" that, when accumulated, will allow him to level, then proceeds to heal the few scratches sustained by the newbie during the battle. The newbie is thrilled, and is even more so when, after another kill or two, he receives a message telling him that he has LEVELED!!! A few more kills this way, and he is soon a level 3 Warrior.
- Now, says the Avatar, you need to pray to the Gods to have your name authorized.
He politely prays "May I please have my name authorized?" and, not a moment later, he hears the Town Crier tell everyone to welcome him, as he has just become a member of Medievia.
When he hears all those people welcoming him, his heart fills up with pride at having become one of them.
- Well, says the Avatar, my job here is done. When you want to stop playing, type "guide hotel", follow the directions and rent a room there. Just type " rent". See ya later man, and best of luck!
The newbie thanks him wholeheartedly, waves to him as he leaves through another of those portals, and only then realizes how very tired he is.
Following the Avatar's last instructions, he calls up a dirty little imp, who gives him the directions he had asked for. Following them leads him up a broad road to the North, then into the "Hotel Medievia".
He heads Up to the desk, plops a sack of gold coins on the counter, enters his room, lies down on the bed and drifts off into peaceful sleep, his head full of images of this, his first day spent in Medievia as well as of his many adventures yet left to come.
Be on the lookout for The Second and Third Days in the Life of a Newbie to be published soon!