November 24th, 2002
Newbie Guide to Following in the Combs - By Alethia
Imagine this all too familiar situation - a kind hero-type person has
graciously let you tag along when they go combing so you can get your
egg points for your multi level requirements (MLR). The odds are you
need the help, because you can't sneak which means that you will get
attacked by all the aggressive mobs who can detect invisibility. While
there isn't much you can do about this, by following the guidelines below,
you can do your part to make the whole process go much smoother, and
will help minimize the amount of hair your kind hero-type person tears
out of their head in frustration.
1. When your hero-type person tells you that the combs have just
moved, and that they are ready to take you combing right now, don't make
them wait for ten minute while you say a passionate and prolonged farewell
to your mudlove. Don't make them wait while you walk to the zone
because, "dragons are too expensive". Don't disappear afk to fix a
delicious snack. The trick to getting a lot of eggs in a newly repopped
catacombs is to be one of the first to arrive. This means getting there by
the quickest way possible, which usually means flying! Making your kind
hero wait at the entrance for minutes, as they watch person after
person enter the combs, tends to put them into an unfortunate frame of mind
if they are an avid comber.
2. Make sure you are completely spelled up all the time. For the
combs, this means having all the usual spells like detect invisibility and
sense life cast upon yourself as well as spells such as breathe water
and levitate. If you can't cast levitate or breathe water, you can
always ask your kind hero to cast them on you. After all, the kind hero
person will have no idea what spells you need unless you ask! Levitate
is particularly important, because if you are fighting a mob on a lake
(and there are many lakes in the combs) and levitate runs out (and
Murphy's Law says it will), you won't be able to flee. If levitation runs
out, you could also be left behind if the form moves over a lake.
3. Under the setphase options, have "setphase any" turned off. This
will stop people trying to phase to you at the combs entrance. While it
may seem mean to stop people getting to the combs, the fewer people in
the combs, the more eggs for you. The more eggs for you, the faster
you can get your egg points and the happier the kind hero person will be.
Also remember that phasing in the combs is a really bad idea and some
naughty person will sooner or later try to phase to you without asking
and will very possibly bring death upon you in the form of a mist
4. Moving around quickly can be frustrating in the combs. Try to make
it go as smoothly as possible by being alert, and standing as soon as
you see any stalactite pound you to the ground. These stalactites can
do a bit of damage, so if it is your kind hero who gets struck, throw
them a couple of heals if you can.
5. Follow all the usual rules for forming. Don't use room spells
unless you have been told to or have seen the leader use them. Don't even
think about going afk if you are being dragged around for egg points,
since you have to loot the eggs to get the points and the leader can't
move until you've done that.
6. Flee when you are told to and fight the urge to take the opportunity to
discuss the merits of fleeing in that particular situation. Don't
wander around by yourself if you are in a safe room, i.e. a room with
no mobs. Your kind hero can summon you to wherever they are as soon as
they are safe. It's rather hard (even impossible one could say) to
summon a dead person. And if they don't know where you are, they will
need to phase to resurrect you and they then run the risk of dying to a
mist mephit, which will usually appear and back stab the person who
7. It's just common sense to keep your tank alive when you are little,
so remember to keep your kind hero healed so they can resurrect you
when you get backstabbed dead by a passing sludge mephit. Always expect
to get backstabbed dead by a passing sludge mephit.
8. After each mob is killed, loot the eggs as soon as you can. You
never know what can go wrong in the combs, and by looting straight away,
you run less risk of missing out on those egg points because you were
swept away by a water reaper, transported suddenly to a holosection or
killed by an inconsiderate mob that walked in on you most inconveniently.
Don't be one of those people who have to be prompted to loot after
every single fight by the leader. This holds up the whole form and can
lead, in time, to "Combing Rage" in the leader. Combing Rage tends to
manifest itself most frequently in the sudden, inexplicable death of
the aforementioned newbie in circumstances where the hero is "unable" to
9. After you loot, pack the eggs up straight away. Most people have
better things to do than watch a newbie spend ten minutes shuffling
around in their inventory, moving their vast collection of green potions
and obscure pieces of equipment around to make room for eggs. You could
even be ultra-prepared and sort out your inventory before you go to the
10. If you see anything about wind rumbling through the combs, be
ready to sit. If the wind catches you, it will break a percentage of your
eggs, and only sitting will protect you and your eggs. It can be
tricky to flee from a fight and sit safely when you are little so expect to
be caught by wind sooner or later. Happily, you will not lose egg
points because of smashed eggs, but will just have fewer to turn in to the
wizard when you get back to the War Room. If you are carrying quite a
few eggs and are worried, you can always give some to the leader to
11. There are two room types to look out for in the combs - coral
rooms and thought slug rooms. Eating a repaerdnim root will protect you
from both these dangers, but it is possible that your kind hero doesn't
have enough roots on them to keep everyone in the form safe all the
time. Even if this is the case, there are things you can do to protect
yourself. If you are holding a light and go into a coral room, the coral
is drawn to the light and will attack and kill you rather rapidly. If
you are not holding a light, you will be quite safe. When you see huge
slugs in a room, be very careful not to spam commands. Thought slugs
will harm you whenever you type anything that isn't a movement direction.
If you die in a thought slug room or in a coral room, resurrecting
becomes a tricky business and it almost always means the form is over.
12. Don't assume that everything that goes wrong is your fault.
Leading a form with a non-sneaker in it takes different techniques and a
special kind of patience, and the leader may very well not be used to it.
It can be a learning process for everyone, and it is an excellent
chance for you to watch what the leader does so you have some ideas for when
you start combing by yourself.
13. And finally, remember to thank that kind hero for dragging you
around the combs. A little thanks can go a long way and make the whole
exercise seem worthwhile.
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