Guide:Novel's Newbie Guide

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The Newbie's Guide to SlothMUD as written by Nick Long (Novel)

Welcome to Sloth! This is a text-based online multiplayer roleplaying game with a fantasy theme. The pace of the game is rather fast and quite involved, which gives it a depth unmatched anywhere else. Sloth can and will keep you interested and busy for years or even decades.

Here's a quick summary of this guide's contents:

Contents


Picking an Initial Class

There are eight classes on Sloth, plus a special ninth avatar class. The eight classes available for selection immediately are: warrior, monk, thief, bard, druid, necromancer, cleric, and mage. Each offers a set of spells and/or skills. The avatar class opens up after you get 4 classes to level 40, allowing you to level five (5) avatar levels for each 40 therefore after (and then the final avatar levels become available after you level your 8th and final "mortal" class).

As SlothMUD is a multi-classed system, you don't have to worry about picking a single class. You'll eventually get all available skills and spells with enough levels in time - except for these special prime skills/spells that are reserved for those that have chosen that class as their primary class. Certain skills and spells are also "capped" relative to where they are in your class order, which means the further down you pick that specific class, that skill/spell will have certain features or effectiveness limited to your choices.

Your class order also affects several other things, such as maximum bonus caps (such as enhanced healing, improved damage from your spells, and other related items), maximum statistics, statistic orders, and innate bonuses to aptitude across a broad spectrum of things.

Each class has its advantages and disadvantages. Being a true newbie to a MUD puts you at a disadvantage as there is already a steep learning curve to playing a MUD, but in most cases - you won't know what sort of playing style you'll enjoy - which greatly affects your class order choices. Some people simply pick their prime classes due to wanting the prime skills/spells available for their chosen preference, or to access certain skills/spells faster, or they might want to maximize their favorite skill/spell. There's a variety of reasons why people make the choices they do.

But what should matter the most to you is if it'll be fun for you. That's the entire point of the MUD - to have fun. Don't listen to what other people tell you if you want to do it and it'll be fun for you. That's all that should matter to you.

There are already some classic combinations out there that are well known to many people, things such as a thief/mage - where the primary focus is on stabbing a monster and then blasting it to death with offensive spells after it's been greatly weakened (if not outright killed - (also known as splorked) by the stab itself). That's a play style in itself, and in my view, it doesn't matter very much what classes you pick after thief prime and mage secondary for this play style - just apply what you want and think would help you most. For example, since you plan to use a lot of mana casting spells, you may decide that it's a good idea to pick druid tertiary to give you better mana regeneration so that you can get back to casting spells faster.

Prime skills/spells can change without notice - but this is usually done to improve the game for everybody as a whole. For example, restoration (the most powerful healing spell) used to be for primary clerics only - but was later changed to allow everybody access to this spell, since it was so essential. It was replaced by a new prime spell known as circle of healing (a spell that allows the cleric to heal everybody in the same group as the cleric, with one spell). As such, the lists I'll set forth may change in time. Each class also has some certain innate benefits.

You will only pick your primary class when you create your character - and there is no description in the creation process that tells you what each class does. You will be able to pick your other classes ingame, only the first class is picked at creation. These primary skills/spells are not innate nor will they be immediately available.

Warriors get the primary skills of parry (allows them to deflect an attack with their weapon), second wind (allows them to shake off lag), riposte (allows them to redirect the mob's attack back onto itself when parried - this is a boost of the parry skill - only works when parry is enabled), and massive critical hit (deals even more damage to a monster than a regular critical hit does). Their primary statistic is Strength, they get the most innate +hitroll and +damroll, most hps per level, and have no armor class (AC) cap. Everybody else is capped at -11 AC with heavy armor proficiency, but warrior primes are not bound by this restriction and can reach any level possible, given the correct equipment.

Monks get the primary skills of focus (allows the monk to focus for a period of time before using a skill, allowing them to add more +hit and +dam or special effects to their skills - the longer they wait, the more is added, but up to a limit), presage (allows the monk a brief window of time to take aggressive combat action or to flee prior to being attacked by an aggressive monster), wraithtouch (allows the monk to deathgrip an ether mob with his spiritual hands), kensai (innate skill that halves the focus time), and deathtouch (compresses all the time and damage of a deathgrip into a single touch). Their primary statistic is Constitution, but monks require great Strength for most of their skills to function as well. They have natural damage reduction and the highest possible reduction available. Monks do not use a weapon (but can choose to, although most of their skills only function barehanded and after a certain level, their bare fists do more damage, especially with more +handdam equipment).

Thieves get the primary skills of circle (battle skill that requires moves, allows them to stab a monster in the side for damage), apply poison (allows the thief to apply vials of poison that they either acquire or brew to their weapon, which have a variety of effects, depending on the poison that is used, but the vials of poison will get depleted and disappear, and the poison that is on the weapon will dry up if not used), and sleight of hand (speeds up apply poison). Their primary statistic is Dexterity and also require Strength for their backstabs to deal the most damage. They have innate backstab multipliers (those multipliers come every few levels or so, but other classes can get some multipliers too, just not as many). Thieves rely on their backstab to an almost exclusive level, and generally go for +hitroll, +strength, and +damroll for the most part.

Bards get the primary skills & spells of adaptation to circumstances (allows the bard to play a song and keep it going while casting spells at the same time), dance with the dead (allows the bard to escape a deathblow from a monster and allows them time to escape but this skill has a very low rate of occurring and if you die, it is worthless), song of the mist (song with the effect of allowing the bard and possibly another person the ability to melee with an ether monster using normal attacks and skills), knight's blessing (song with the effect of raising the bard's ac cap by -1, but does not add the ac, simply removes -1 of cap, so if you had -12 worth of eq, the innate cap would limit your ac to being -10 but when singing this song, the ac apply would be -11, and if heavy armor proficiency was learned, a bard would be able to reach -12 ac, -1 ac higher than any other class except warrior primes), knight's prayer (longer lasting knight's blessing), call of the sidhe (a special song that allows you to summon an otherworldly creature that will fashion a wand for you that will cast a spell that you know), and dance of the seven luck gods (a song that you can sing before a monster appears and it boosts the odds that the monster will pop treasure, equipment, or other items). The primary statistic for a Bard is Dexterity and they have great natural Charisma, get song bonuses, an unique extra equipment slot for special instruments, affect more players with their songs, and are a strange hybrid class unlike any other. They're not quite a non-caster, but also not quite a caster either. As a result, the bard class is one of the more difficult classes to play.

Druids get the primary skills & spells of shapeshift form to form (allows the druid to shift from a shapeshifted form to another form directly without having to shift back to human and then shifting to another form as everybody else has to), canopied arbor (creates an outdoor safe regeneration room for the druid and friends to sleep in), and shield of thorns (special buffing spell that creates thorns surrounding the druid that can damage a monster when they hit the thorns). A druid prime (as of right now) is the only one that can access the top shapeshifted form (Piasa). Druids get a mana regeneration bonus while outdoors and this bonus is the greatest for primes. Druids rely on their shapeshifted animal forms and those forms have innate skills/spells (a druid cannot access his human form's skills or spells while shifted). Equipment does not transfer to the shapeshifted form unless it's a special shapeshiftable piece of equipment. Druids mainly need mana, mana regeneration, and not much else, as shapeshifting takes mana and also costs mana to maintain the form. Skills and spells typically use mana while shifted as well. Druids roll the Wisdom statistic first and several of the high-end shapeshift equipment items are for primes only. Recently, shapeshift forms have been redone with new forms being added - accessing forms now relies on where druid falls into your class order.

Necromancers get the primary skills & spells of ritual of resurrection (summons a juju zombie, a very large undead pet that you can order around), death pact (a spell that lasts some time which gives you a chance of automatically raising yourself from the dead when you die), and wraithform (a spell that allows you to turn your body mostly ether (ghost-like). Necromancers summon a horde of undead followers and animate dead corpses into animated followers - which they can order around. Undead Control items allow their pets to get buffed and bigger. Necromancers have a great deal of mana and have the biggest Undead Control cap of all of the classes. The creatures available (both undead and dead) are capped according to the placement of Necromancer within your class order. Necromancers roll the Intelligence statistic first.

Clerics get the primary skills & spells of dark mace (a spell that creates a special mace that has mana regeneration and a few protective effects), aerial servant (a spell that calls down an aerial servant from the clouds that will stand in front of some attacks from monsters), circle of healing (spell that allows the cleric to heal everybody in the same group as the cleric with one spell), and kylas delight (a spell that removes disease from everybody in the group). Clerics have natural healing abilities, get experience every time they raise dead players (using the raise dead spell), and have the highest healbonus cap (there are healbonus items that boost healing spells). Clerics will be able to access the best supplicants and supplicated creatures are capped based on cleric in your class order. Clerics roll the Wisdom statistic first and have the best mana regeneration of the classes apart from Druids.

Mages get the primary skills & spells of mirror image (a spell that creates a fake copy of yourself that the monster will hit instead of you - but the images disappear once hit - you can have up to 4 copies normally), reflection (a spell that allows the mage to name a spell that will be reflected from them should it be cast upon them - this only affects the named spell), and frostbolt (an ice-elemental based firewind spell - it is the most powerful cold spell available). Mages have a natural aptitude to everything magical and have the highest spell bonus cap (spellbonus items are items that boost the damage of your offensive spells) and have the most mana of any class. They roll the Intelligence statistic first.

Creating a Character

When you connect to Sloth for the first time at slothmud.org:6101, you'll be greeted with an ASCII art entry screen and a prompt that asks you - "By what name do you wish to be known?" This is your first challenge. You'll have to come up with an unique name that you would be happy to be known as that makes sense in a fantasy-themed world (there's a lot of leeway here) but isn't offensive. There are several fantasy name generators out on the Internet available for use if you're unable to come up with one of your own. Got a name?

Okay, so let's see what happens if you input a name that someone else has taken - let's use my name, "Novel".

The next line will be "Password:". That means that the character already exists and you'll have to try another name. The bad part is that you'll have to disconnect and reconnect to try a new name.

If you've succeeded in finding a name that's available, the game will say "I don't know of NAME. Do you wish to create a new character (Y/N) ?" Reply "y" to this and the game will give you a new prompt of "Give me a password for NAME:". Input your password and then confirm it again by inputting your password again.

Now comes the fun part - the game asks, "What is your sex (M/F) ?". Generally this doesn't matter much but there are some gender-restricted equipment items in the game but for the most part, sex doesn't matter. Pick the sex you want (m/f).

Now you must select your hometown (where you'll start playing the MUD at and where your levels will be the cheapest - you can change hometowns later) - it is highly recommended that you pick "1" - Newbatia. A choice of anything other than "1" will result in the MUD asking for confirmation to ensure you really want to be based elsewhere.

"You now must select your primary class. There are eight classes in total." Just read my brief overview of the classes above and pick whichever one of the eight that appeals to you the most. This is the only class you are locked into. You cannot change your primary class. You can remake or make a new character if it turns out you don't like the class you picked. Once you've selected your class, hit return a few times and then enter the game by selecting Option 1.

Once you enter the game, you'll be spammed with several lines that happen to be rather important to know, so I've reproduced it in its entirety here:

    Welcome!  This is now your character in Sloth Mud.
    Please remember the help command. Try typing help level, help combat, and help 
    newbie

    Autoloot mode is now on.
    Color mode ON.
    Your client does not support MXP, sorry...
    Ok
    Turning newbie channel on...
    You newbie-- 'Hello everyone!  I am brand new here.'
    This game is about gaining experience points and leveling your character.
    You do this by killing creatures throughout the world. This gains you experience 
    points.

    Loot their corpses to get their equipment and gold.

    The two most important commands are help and advice; simply type "help newbie".
    Newly created characters have HINTs enabled, these are extra messages to help you 
    learn the game

    If you wish to turn these off, type isnewbie   You can see if this setting is on 
    or off by typing settings

    You wield a short sword.
    You crawl into a studded leather jacket.
    You start using a shield as a shield.

    Welcome to the land of SlothMUD. May your visit here be... Interesting.

    The South Gate of Newbatia
       A rutted dirt roadway leads north between a pair of squat square towers
    that mark the southern limit of the thriving community of Newbatia.  Heavy
    traffic moves between the town and the aerial docks to the south.  The
    road is lit by regularly spaced lanterns hanging from brass poles.  Mountains
    are visible on the southwestern horizon.
    Exits: North  South  Up  
    A large sign with info for newbies has been placed here.
    A large note dispenser, with a button on the top, is here against the wall.
    A large bulletin board is mounted on a wall here.
    Sir Virdo the Mayor of Newbatia walks about his city.
    The Mayor Sir Virdo glows with a bright light!
    Newbatia's town guide stands here offering his many tours.
    Newbatia's town guide glows with a bright light!

    <27hp 70ma 129mv>

A lot of things have happened at once - you've been given brief instructions on how to play the game, let your presence been known to the rest of the MUD, worn whatever meager equipment you were given (based on your primary class), told about the help system, and thrown into the game at the recall point of whatever hometown you selected (Newbatia is the one shown here). Welcome to Sloth! Your character has been created now.

How to Play the MUD

This MUD is a cooperative MUD - there is no pkilling here (other players killing you). The MUD grants the most experience to groups of players and as such, it's a group-based MUD. Most of the largest monsters that pop equipment you want are nigh unkillable solo. And taking down a large monster (mob) means a large pool of experience that is divvyed up amongst the group according to their levels. This allows everybody to participate in groups for the most part - the very low levels, such as level 1 until around probably level 15 should only group with other players of the same level as they will usually die in larger groups.

When you start out on the game, it automatically shifts the "IS_NEWBIE" mode on, where hints will be given on certain triggers - when you get hungry or thirsty, the game will give you instructions on how to eat or drink. This can be shifted off later on - but if you are new, it is best to keep this mode shifted on.

All skills and spells in the game require reading a spellbook or manual to learn the skill or spell. The maximum that you can normally learn a spell to is 95% and the maximum for a skill is typically 85%. The books for the first 3 levels worth of spells/skills can be found in the guilds, although you may need to travel a bit to find them. Some spells require higher levels in another class but will be found in the guild with the lowest level requirement. Every other book will have to be popped off of a mob (and they don't always load).

Your equipment does not disappear (except for temporary items and holy items), nor will a piece of equipment or an item always be loaded on a mob. Some items are very rare and can take hundreds of kills before you see it load onto the mob.

You will get hungry and thirsty - eat and drink to relieve these issues! You won't die of starvation or thirst, but you'll lose regeneration of your hit points (hps), mana, and moves. You'll eventually hit 1 of each if you suffer long enough.

You can create aliases on the server (and inside your client) that make typing certain commands much easier - here's a sample alias: alias wi cast 'firewind' - this creates an alias called 'wi' that would allow you to cast 'firewind' instead of having to type it all out. You can then type out "wi Smaug" instead of "cast 'firewind' Smaug". This saves you time!

You will have to kill mobs in order to gain experience and gold (coins). You cannot progress in the game without killing pretty much everything possible. Your levels cost both experience points and gold and increase accordingly with both levels and where the class you are levelling falls into your class order.

Deposit extra gold into the bank so that mobs can't steal gold from you. It's also helpful to store gold in the bank since it can't be lost or stolen or accidentally sacrificed away. Levels cost double the gold if you are not a citizen of that continent (where you picked your hometown to be is where your citizenship starts at - you can change citizenship later, but if you picked Valkyre, do not level somewhere else unless you have plenty of gold that you don't mind wasting). If you die, your corpse will remain where you died (and the equipment with it) - but some mobs will loot your corpse and wear the equipment - so try to get back and loot your corpse as fast as you can if you die

Target mobs using a NONCOMMON name - for example in Tiger Glen on Valkyre, target the tigers by their second identifier (ie: "kill hunting" instead of "kill tiger"). This is important as you can end up hitting the wrong mob and dying rather quickly. Especially useful to know if you try to "charge tiger" and end up charging into the bathing tiger not on purpose.

The best thing you can do as a newbie is to find a temple (Splork's, Blaster's, or Juggleblood's on Valkyre, or one of the other temples off of Valkyre). Sacrifice a corpse at the altar to worship the deity; this allows you to pray for special equipment once you're level 5 or above. If you can, pray for the Holy Sword - it will allow you to kill mobs you normally can't with its sheer damage. The Holy Dagger is a good second option. You should also find or buy and wear equipment in all the slots that you don't have something worn.

Do not start collecting spellbooks that crumble if you do not have equipment that gives you +intelligence - with 18 int, you only need 2 copies. With less intelligence, it takes you multiple readings to fully learn a skill or spell. Before level 8 prime, you do not have statistics (and they are considered to be 12 12 12 12 12). You also need intelligence in order for someone else to teach you the book fully with just 1 book. Also, it's not a good idea in general to collect spellbooks early on if you're a new player since they typically cost an outrageous amount to be stored when you rent out.

You will always have to "rent" at an Innkeeper in order to leave the game and keep all your equipment/health. It costs gold to rent out for everything that you are not wearing. Anything you wear does not get rent charged on it. It's also a very good idea to use the "save" command frequently, so that if the MUD crashes by accident, you still get all the gold and experience you gathered - as it is only stored up to when you last "saved". Levels and renting out forces an automatic "save". It's probably the best idea to "save" after you kill a large mob or pop an equipment item or get a great deal of gold off of something.

Early on - there are only 2 statistics that matter: Strength and Dexterity. This is making it rather simple - do your best to max these 2 out when you are weaker. Later on, you can set up your equipment in other alignments, but 18 Dexterity is pretty much needed for everybody. Strength is not needed as much when you are a mage prime in later levels, or for other reasons with more levels. If you can maximize both STR and DEX easily, go after +HIT and +DAM equipment - these always help! There's a wealth of newbie-only items that specifically give you +HIT (such as the sloth-shaped brooches). All newbies have rather poor +HIT and this is why you keep missing mobs during fights. Increasing your STR to 18 gets your base +HIT and +DAM up to +4/+4

With that out of the way, welcome to Sloth! It's rather addictive and once you get past the learning curve, this MUD has the ability to retain entertainment value for years or even decades (as can be proven by the playerbase's personal testimonals).

Cost of Actions

As with real life, every action has a cost on Sloth. Spells have limited duration. Skills usually cost moves each time you perform it. Moving across the MUD costs moves for each room - also depending on terrain. City areas usually only take 1 move per room, while extreme terrains can take 4 moves per room if not more. Spells cost mana. When you fight, if you get hit, you lose hit points (hp). Once your HP hits 0, you are stunned (and will recover). -1 and -2 are mortally wounded but will recover (both of these assume you don't get hit again). -3 HP means you are mortally wounded and will NOT recover - just slowly fade away towards death. -10 HP begins the process of death. You have 5 minutes for some other player to find you and raise you from the dead, or you are dead and will have to log back in naked and go grab your corpse to loot it before the mob steals you of your hard-fought riches/equipment.

Levels take gold and experience points. Forged pieces of equipment require gold and components. Brewed potions have the same requirements. And in Sloth, there is always a chance for failure at everything. There's no 100% success rate with anything except possibly dying when you want to. That isn't recommended though, as once you hit level 20 in something - even dying has its cost. You'll lose a percentage of experience and/or possibly a level.

Some actions such as backstab require movement points. Each class has its own set of skills and their hps/mana/moves are maximized to benefit the costs of those skills. Thieves get the most movement points of any class due to its reliance on backstab as a primary skill.

Advice on Classes

When you create your character - you only choose your primary class (go back and read about the classes if you need to). The other seven classes are available to you in the game - you simply decide the order you want to have them in (this is your class order). Please note that your secondary class directly impacts your stat rolling - and in general, your first two classes are usually the most important classes you have - your enjoyment of the game can be found within the first two classes! If you stick around, the rest of the classes will improve your experience, but for most people, pick your favorite two classes (especially if they work together).

My personal method of selecting the first additional class of a new character is to think about what I want to do with the character and what will best support that (I also take a look at the statistic rolling table for the class orders so that I get a better idea of what works the best together): Prime Warrior Bard Thief Cleric Druid Mage Necromancer Monk Warrior Strength D/S/I/C/W D/S/C/I/W W/S/I/D/C W/S/D/I/C I/S/W/D/C I/S/C/W/D C/S/D/W/I Bard S/D/C/W/I Dexterity D/I/S/C/W W/I/S/D/C W/D/I/C/S I/D/W/S/C I/D/C/W/S C/D/S/W/I Thief S/D/C/W/I D/S/I/C/W Dexterity W/D/I/SC W/D/I/C/S I/D/W/S/C I/D/C/W/S C/D/S/W/I Cleric S/W/D/C/I D/W/I/C/S D/W/S/C/I Wisdom W/I/D/C/S I/W/D/S/C I/W/C/D/S C/W/D/S/I Druid S/W/D/C/I D/W/I/C/S D/W/S/C/I W/D/I/S/C Wisdom I/W/D/S/C I/W/C/D/S C/W/D/S/I Mage S/I/D/C/W D/I/C/W/S D/I/S/C/W W/I/S/D/C W/I/D/C/S Intelligence I/W/C/D/S C/I/D/S/W Necromancer S/I/D/C/W D/I/C/W/S D/I/S/C/W W/I/S/D/C W/I/D/C/S I/D/W/S/C Intelligence C/I/D/S/W Monk S/C/D/W/I D/C/I/W/S D/C/S/W/I W/C/I/S/D W/C/D/I/S I/C/W/S/D I/C/W/D/S Constitution

For example - let's say that I began a Monk prime character - knowing that Monks need strength for their melee and gripping variants, it'd be a good idea to have Strength roll at least third so we would ensure ourselves of a high enough Strength to maximize all the Monk skills. For that reason, I could select Warrior secondary, Bard secondary, or Thief secondary. Warriors offer me a wealth of combat skills and boosted +hit / +dam, rolling Strength second, and a maximum possible strength (very far down the road) of 24. Thieves offer me their stealthy arts and some hit/damage as well. They roll Dexterity second but Strength will roll third - which is acceptable. Bards offer songs, some mana, spells, and the same statistic roll as Thieves but also offer nearly comparable hit points to a warrior. It's a hard decision to make and I couldn't go much wrong with either one of these three. But knowing that I'll end up with low mana (due to picking two non-caster classes first) - I don't want to have to use a lot of mana but would like to have some mana available, so I decided to select Bard secondary. I'll have hps, boosted hitroll/damroll from songs that I sing, and slightly more mana than warrior or thief would have offered me. I can then flesh out the character by selecting caster classes to maximize my mana and regeneration to be able to cast powerful spells later on down the road.

But there's also another concern. Many powerful skills/spells are capped according to where they fall in your class order.

There are several caps in place - and it'll make more sense if we have some examples available. For example, let's say you want to know about the summon undead creature caps. The summon undead spell is a Necromancer spell that summons an undead creature to do your bidding:

help summon undead creatures "SUMMON UNDEAD CREATURES" "SUMMONED CREATURES"

See Also: SUMMON UNDEAD DISMISS ORDER CALL FOLLOWERS

Here are the various extra undead that can be conjured up.

Form Necromancer Mana Level Cost


----------- ----

Ghost 10 5 Spectre 20 10 Poltergeist 40 20 Wraith 2x40 30 Banshee 4x40 40 Phantom 6x40 50 Swordwraith 8x40 60

This spell only calls undead spirits that can flock to the caster through the constraining walls of the earth. To generate the walking dead (such fell beings as liches, zombies, etc.) the 'animate dead' spell must be cast instead, and a corpse must be available to animate.

Currently, a prime Necromancer will be able to access all of those pets when they meet the required levels (ie: Ghost when they hit level 10, Wraith when they hit prime 40 and secondary 40). Non-prime Necromancers have to count from where Necromancer falls in their class order. If you were a secondary Necromancer, you'd be able to access Wraith undeads when you hit triple 40 (2nd 40 after Necromancer 40). Swordwraiths would be available at full 9x40. Tertiary Necromancers will never be able to access a Swordwraith (they would max out at 7x40). Quad Necros will be able to access 6x40 pets, but a 5th Necro will not be able to access the 6x40 pets. These tradeoffs are present with every capped spell/skill that exists (supplication, animate dead, shapeshift forms, summon undead, and the like).

Here are the major caps that you want to worry about:

Warriors - ac cap (primes, uncapped, bards can get -12 with a song, everybody else, -11 (although piasa form for druid primes will have -12 ac))

Thieves - backstab multipliers (primes get more multipliers - they get reduced the further down in the order thief is)

Monks - damage reduction cap (points of damage reduction available - you get 1 point naturally for monk 40 and every 40 after that grants an additional point - also larger cap for equipment dam reduce)

Bards - charisma cap

Necromancer - animate dead creatures cap, summon undead creatures (UC) cap, undead control cap (you get fractional UC for necro 40 and every 40 after)

Mage - spelldam cap

Cleric - healbonus cap (possibly sysshock cap too), supplication creatures cap

Druid - shapeshift forms cap

There are a variety of things to think about but it'd probably be more fun to play a hybrid character - by which you try not to maximize one end of the spectrum (like taking all non-caster classes in a row - leaving you with very poor mana and a very hard life at the start, or same for taking all caster characters, but both can be quite powerful.... years from now). To keep from going insane, I'd highly recommend that you select either a non-caster (NC) prime and then select either a caster (CA) or non-caster (NC) secondary, but after that, take CA classes unless you have a specific reason for taking a NC class before a CA class. Or take a CA prime and then select a NC or a CA secondary (but if you go CA/CA, you will need a NC class either tert or quad to not go crazy).

Some sample class orders using the above rules: wa/ne/cl/ma, wa/ba/cl/ne, wa/mo/cl/ma, th/dr/ma/cl, cl/wa/ma/ne, cl/dr/ba/ma, cl/dr/ma/wa, and the like.

If you'd like to see what some other Sloth players think about class orders, an abridged summary is - taking cleric early is good - you always want to heal yourself and having cleric later on in your class order will make life VERY hard. For the prime class selections - Thieves like to stab things, Monks like to grip things, Warriors like to get killed and to melee, Bards are primarily group characters / strange to play, Mages level very easy, Clerics are always loved, Necromancers can solo huge stuff but takes a lot of work/mana, and Druids don't need equipment and can solo using shapeshift.)

Reading Maps & Speedwalks

Above is a section of the Valkyre City (Newbatia) map. Now, if you picked Valkyre as your home city - when you create a character, you will arrive at South Gate (the black dot on the bottom left part of the map). If you want to go to the Bank, that would be a movement of north and then west.

Speedwalks are a feature of mud clients that allow you to input directions in a greatly summarized way that will let you remember and input directions much easier than you would be doing with raw telnet itself. If you wanted to go to the Bank from South Gate, using telnet, you would have to input "n", hit return, and then "w" and hit return.

With a speedwalk, all you would have to do is input "nw" and hit return.

Now the fun part begins when you want to go somewhere a bit further than just 1 room in each direction. Let's say you want to go to the Inn to rent, to save and quit out the game properly. Find the Inn on the map - you'll see that it's near the Bank. But the Inn isn't connected to the Bank (no line connecting the 2 rooms). It would be two norths and then a west.

With a speedwalk, the run to the Inn from South Gate would be 2nw (whenever a number is entered in a speedwalk, the direction after the number is the direction that the number corresponds to).

From the South Gate, you could run to the Auction House by: 3n4e. And to run back, it would be 4w3s.

Another feature of some maps are that special mobs that don't wander around but remain at the same spot are usually noted in that room, as are special rooms (like this town map). A big oaf is always found at the South Gate and will always be there unless something happened (such as a player killing him).

Most directions are given from the recall spot of a specific continent - so to run to a specific area on Valkyre, the directions would be given from South Gate - as that is where everybody recalls to on Valkyre. You can pull up a map from the website for another area on Valkyre but to get there, the directions are given from the recall point.

Here's a simple example. To enter the Adventurer's School (MUD School) on Valkyre, the run would be as follows: u, en portal.

That means that to reach the area, from South Gate - all you have to do is go up and then enter the portal that's there. Getting back from the area requires one of three things - a gate spell, a recall spell or scroll or stave or like item, or knowing how to walk back from the area. Some areas are nogate, some are norecall, and some have no limitations. An easy way to demonstrate this would be from the above example of the Adventurer's School. Once you enter the portal to the School, you might decide that you want to return to town. All you need to do is enter the portal again and then go down and you'll have walked back to South Gate.

Exploring and Death

Death is a huge part of any MUD. On SlothMUD, you can expect to die once in a while (or rather frequently if you are a tank-type character). On Sloth, you'll die once your hit points reach into the negatives (0 hp means you are stunned until you regenerate 1 hp). -1 and -2 hp usually means you are stunned but would recover in time. -3 hp is the slowest death, as you'll be mortally wounded, slipping away into death very slowly. Once you reach -10 hp, you are considered DEAD! And this begins a timer (I believe it's around 5 minutes) before you eventually corpse (and cannot be brought back to life). Until level 20 in any class, you do not lose experience for dying. After you reach level 20 in any class, you will begin to lose a percentage of your experience on death (and a possible level loss as well - but this is rare in any case).

When you are mortally wounded/dead, you cannot speak, take any action, and most commands are locked to you. You do have 3 commands available (who, where, and quit!). Quit! means that you proceed directly to corpsing by choice and who lets you know who's online. The where command allows you to know if someone has reached the area you died in, so you can tell if someone is coming for you or is nearby you.

In the old days, you were disconnected from the MUD when you died and you would have to re-log in. With a recent code change, you remain connected to SlothMUD but you will appear at the log-in screen and you have to log-in from there. You'll come back at the recall point of the continent you died on with 10 hp and whatever mana/moves you had left. You will not have gold or equipment - those remain with your corpse. Now, you'll have to retrieve your corpse in order to get your gold and equipment back (and do it fast if the mob loots, so you can get most of your equipment back and then finish the mob off later to get the rest of your equipment back). Once you've reached your corpse, you have a series of options - get all corpse, get corpse, or carve corpse several times before getting the corpse.

Exploring is also very important on any MUD and with exploring usually comes death if you bumble into a mob that's aggressive and doesn't take kindly to you entering its lair (especially if you're wandering around on the non-Valkyre continents). With that in mind, it's very important to know two commands: flee and recite recall. Flee is not 100% successful and you can fail on flees. You can also try to flee in a specific direction by specifying it, such as "flee e" to flee eastwards if possible. Recite recall is oftentimes the first alias that a player makes on the MUD as "alias rr recite recall". It recites a recall scroll, but if you don't have one in your inventory, it does nothing. Recall scrolls crumble and disappear once used, so you'll have to buy more recall scrolls at the scribe shops scattered around the mud's primary recall towns and some mobs.

Mobs are generally not aggressive to you until you reach level 4 or so. The more levels you gain, the less protection you get from being a new player. Mobs will eventually start remembering you and will attack you again when you enter the room if you had previously fought them and then left the fight via flee or another method. For extra fun, this is usually what happens when you die at a mob and try to get your corpse again (the mob will attack you, while you are naked). So it's generally a good idea to be very very fast in looting your corpse and fleeing back out. Or you could use the druid shapeshift skill to shift into the ferret form which most mobs will not attack, in order to loot your corpse.

Perhaps the most important part about retrieving your corpse is actually knowing/remembering where you died! You'll have to remember where you went.

Also, a majority of the MUD has been explored by others and documented with maps that have been posted online. But most maps won't tell you how hard the mobs are or if they're aggressive, so you'll still have to learn about a lot of the MUD the hard way or by asking other players.

On Equipment and Other Items

One of the most annoying things in this MUD is that you don't know the exact levels required to wear an item - rather, what you know is the range of levels that the equipment falls in for that specific class requirement. First, here's how to read equipment information: Levels Abbreviation 1-5 Newbie (N) 6-13 Apprentice (Ap) 14-20 Adept (Ad) 21-30 Experienced (E) 31-39 Most Experienced (M) 40 Supreme (S)

You don't know the statistics of an equipment item without identifying it, which can be done in two ways if you already have the item - casting the identify spell on it, or reciting a scroll of identify on the item. Here's some samples of what you see when you recite a scroll on an item:

a gold chain (with a sloth-shaped brooch attached to it)

You recite a scroll of identify which dissolves. You feel informed: Object 'gold chain', Item type: FLOOR Item is: MAGIC Weight: 1, Value: 6000gold, Worn in: TAKE NECK Can affect you as: Affects: STR by 1 Affects: ARMOR by -3 Affects: HITROLL by 1 Affects: HITPOINT by 5 Only those who are at least novice magic users, clerics, thieves, warriors, druids, necromancers, bards, or monks may use this item.

The item (gold chain) has had the sloth-shaped brooch's additional statistics added to its own stats, which means that it will display both as a combined identify.

The statistics for this gold chain with the brooch attached to it would translate to: worn on neck, -.3 +Str +Hit +5 HP

ARMOR by -3 translates to -.3 Armor Class (AC).

The restricts on this is essentially, Novice of any class (but what this means is it is somewhere between level 1 and 5 for that specific class). It could be set to Mage 3, Warrior 1, Monk 5, etc... and since it has the word "OR" in there, it means you only need to meet one of the requirements in order to wear this item.

The "MAGIC" tag means that when you have the spell "detect magic" - the item will have a "..glows violet!" flag that shows up.

a small gold bird pendant..It glows violet!

You recite a scroll of identify which dissolves. You feel informed: Object 'bird gold pendant', Item type: ARMOR Item is: MAGIC Weight: 2, Value: 26000gold, Worn in: TAKE NECK AC-apply is -0.0 Can affect you as: Affects: STR by 1 Affects: INT by 1

There are no restrictions involved with wearing this item - so it is essentially an item that anybody can use, even at level 1 and no other levels or classes.

It's worn on the neck slot - no AC, +str and +int

Another item - using the "query shopkeeper itemname" command that gives you the identify results for an item that the shopkeeper is selling:

query barol about link Barol the blacksmith tells you 'Ahh yes, I have Scorched Link Mail of the Sun...Here is a little bit of information for you:'

Object 'mail armor link scorched', Item type: ARMOR Item is: GLOW Weight: 4, Value: 85000gold, Worn in: TAKE BODY AC-apply is -1.5 Can affect you as: Affects: DEX by 2 Affects: RESIST_COLD by 10 Only those who are at least novice in at least one of the starting classes may use this item.

The names in the "Object" description are the keywords for this item. The Value is around what it would retail for at the shop if someone sold it there (price varies and fluctates). This is body armor with an AC of -1.5 and +2 DEX and a permanent Resist Cold effect of 10 (you can buff resist cold up with more items or by casting multiple spells of resist cold on yourself).

The restriction is same as the gold chain - except it takes less words to say so. You don't know what the exact level required is.

Object 'charm breathing', Item type: CLASP Item is: NOBITS Weight: 2, Value: 18000gold, Worn in: TAKE Clasp can only be attached to: helmets, hats, and the like WRIST 3x40-ITEM

This one is a harder item to identify. It's actually a clasp (a special type of equipment) - and cannot be worn on its own. It attaches to only headgear and possibly wrists. It also has a restrict of 3x40, whcih means you need to be triple 40 in any series of classes in order to be able to wear this item. But right now - it doesn't have any stats - so it doesn't really offer any value at the moment (but it used to grant a permanent water-breathing effect). The NOBITS means that there are no flags (hums, glows, magic, etc on this item).

Object 'necklace teeth', Item type: ARMOR Item is: GLOW Weight: 1, Value: 3400gold, Worn in: TAKE NECK AC-apply is -0.0 Can affect you as: Affects: MANA by 10 Affects: REGEN_MANA by 1 Only those who are at least experienced necromancers may use this item.

This item is another neck item - but it's got effects of +10 mana and +1 mana regen (mr). You have to be EN to wear this item though - which is anywhere between 21 and 30. No other class qualifies to wear this item - so it's strictly based on necromancer level. AC Apply is -0.0 though.

Object 'stiletto silver short', Item type: WEAPON Item is: BLESS Weight: 2, Value: 6550gold, Worn in: TAKE WIELD THROW Damage Dice is '2D4' Only those who are at least adept thieves, warriors, bards, or monks may use this item.

This is a weapon - it's got 2d4 as its damage dice (rolls 2 dice with 4 sides, so average damage would be 4 - minimum damage is 2, maximum is 8). You have to be an adept noncaster (bard, monk, warrior, or thief) in order to wield this weapon. It can also be thrown (with the thief level 20 skill - throw) as indicated by the "THROW" in the "Worn In:" zone.

a blackened blade..It has a soft glowing aura!

Object 'blade blackened', Item type: WEAPON Item is: GLOW Weight: 2, Value: 27000gold, Worn in: TAKE WIELD Damage Dice is '3D3' Can affect you as: Affects: DAMROLL by 1 Only those who are at least adept magic users, clerics, thieves, warriors, druids, necromancers, bards, or monks may use this item.

Another weapon - this one cannot be thrown. It has dice of 3d3, plus an extra affect of +1 dam. You must be adept in one of the classes (it restricts to them all) with the OR.

Reading the EQ List (or summary given by other players)

Amethyst Amulet - Vizier {Grmylyns} - -0.1 +hp regen NM NC NT NW NDr NNe NBa NMo [OR]

This is a neck item that pops on the mob named Vizier in the area Grmylyns (which is on Settlestone) - the restricts are Newbie Any (with the OR tag).

Ring of the Elements - Undead Queen {Tomb} - -0.1 +8 mana +8 hp EC EW [AND]

This is a finger item that pops on the mob named Undead Queen in the area Tomb (which is on Bal Harbor) - the restricts are Experienced Cleric AND Experienced Warrior - you must be BOTH.

Crimson Rapier - Weary Elf {Matterhorn} 2d6 +1 +0 Fireball Proc, Resist Cold ET EBa [OR]

This is a weapon (nonstab) that pops on the mob named Weary Elf in the area Matterhorn. It's got damage dice of 2d6 and an extra +1 Hit (hitroll is always listed first - damroll is always listed second) and has a fireball protection (which means that it randomly shoots a fireball at the monster you are fighting) and also has permanent Resist Cold. Restricts are experienced thief OR bard.

Paper Ribbon - Hamadryad {Jungle} +0.1 +5 mana Detect Invis AdDr

This item is worn on the wrist - pops on Hamadryad in the Jungle with an AC-Apply of +0.1, which means it actually RAISES your AC by .1, instead of lowering it or having no effect. But it also has +5 mana points on it and a permanent Detect Invisible spell as well, so it's up to you to see if that tradeoff is worth it. Restricted to adept Druids.

Hopefully, you should be able to understand restricts and be able to read the eqlist / descriptions from other players. You should also be able to identify your equipment if you so like (go buy identify scrolls from the scribe and "recite identify itemname"). Or if it's in a shop - prior to buying it, you can use "query shopkeepername itemname". But after about level 10, the query command ceases being free and the shopkeepers will begin charging you 2000 gold for each query command used.

There are also other items ingame that cannot be worn, but can be used in other ways, and even some items that are completely useless. Some of the useful items include potions (which are used by the quaff command, eg: quaff red, which would attempt to drink a red potion in your inventory, if one exists), scrolls (which are used by the recite command, such as recall scrolls, in which you would issue "recite recall"), and other objects which may have their own special triggers, like use, press, or something else. For potions and scrolls, the item disappears after use, even if the effect doesn't have its intended effect. Grouping and Soloing

Sloth is primarily a group MUD as there are several huge mobs that no player can take down by themselves. The best equipment is usually found on those huge monsters and as such, you'll oftentimes have to join a group to slay those monsters. The best experience is also found in grouping, since a large group can kill several large mobs that will yield greater experience than killing several smaller monsters would yield solo in most cases. This is not to say that you can't solo on Sloth - just that they will oftentimes be much smaller mobs, several more kills, or if you prefer - multiple runs to kill a single mob.

The classes available on SlothMUD all have their uses in a group, but some classes are better for soloing than others. The best primary class for soloing with the focus on killing multiple small mobs would probably be thief primes with their massive backstab damage allowing them to splork (kill the mob with a single, double, or triple stab). But any class can solo certain mobs with the right blend of skills, spells, equipment, and most importantly, knowledge.

At the lower levels - it's much better to solo in order to gain experience and knowledge. When you're in a group, you're being dragged around by the leader and in most cases can't even see where you're going - until the leader reaches his intended destination. Also - the experience in groups is doled out on a percentage-based system, where those with more levels get a greater percentage of the experience and those with fewer levels get a smaller percentage. Gold is split equally. At the extremely low levels (before you get stats) - it's almost worthless to group.

In general, until you have at least a decent armor class and some hit points to soak up some damage without dying, I wouldn't group for the most part. If it's a honor mob or a quest group though, feel free to join up and try your best not to die.

A few very important notes about grouping - there are several things to know:

   * The tank is the only one that should have his autoreporter on - to make it easier for everybody in the group
   * gag fight and gag eq along with possibly, concise are almost required just to cut down on the massive spam that will happen with a large group - they suppress lines that you don't really need to see
   * DO NOT JOIN A GROUP WITHOUT TACTICS LEARNED!  The group structure is a 2-line system, with the large beefy people with higher armor class being in the front line (man up) and the smaller & crunchy people stay in the back line (man back).  Sometimes chaos hits your group and everybody in the back line gets moved up to the front line - you will have to immediately man back or risk death.  The message that will be given is this: Your front line collapses! Your group is thrown into chaos!
   * If the tank yells something prior to battle, that is actually a warrior skill (one of the oaths) - everybody in the group should warcry the exact same message that the tank yells.  Here's a sample - if the tank is Badden and his warcry is this: Badden yells 'SILENCE! I KEEL YOU!!!' then your reply needs to be warcry SILENCE! I KEEL YOU!!!  Each warrior has his own unique message - most people simply make a trigger within their mud client that allows them to automatically reply to the warcries of various warriors.  The good news though, is that there's only one warcry used prior to each fight and it's the same one used by the tank.  If the tank dies, or a new tank begins tanking, the warcry will be different.
   * If you solo for the most part at first, you don't have to worry about these things - they usually only apply to high level groups.
   * Most groups would like the lower level players to use certain debuff spells (which will be discussed later, but the most general one is the blindness spell) - the blindness spell only works if you are not actively taking part in the melee fighting - so if you don't take a part in meleeing, you can stay out of the fight and keep casting the blindness spell on the monster until one of the spells finally hits and blinds the monster.
   * To take part in the melee fighting, it's best to assist playername where the player's name is the tank's name.  Using Badden again as an example - if he is tanking, it'd be assist Badden
   * The leader sets the target - pay attention to this target as several monsters can be in the same room at the same time, with the same names!  If the leader targets 2.dragon then you should be casting your spells targeting 2.dragon not dragon, as 2.dragon specifies the second dragon in the room.  It's also a beneficial thing for you when you solo to target the last mob in a room to start killing something, since some mobs can leave or enter the room.  If you hit the first dragon when everybody is hitting the second dragon, the first dragon will eat you alive and then begin eating the rest of the group - the group ends up fighting 2 dragons at the same time, which is never good.
   * Once you have begun melee fighting with a monster, you don't have to target most skills or spells anymore - they will automatically hit the monster you are fighting with at the moment - so you can cast 'firewind' instead of cast 'firewind' target.

Monsters can have multiple attacks, cast spells, or have unique protections that players do not get - an example would be a fire whip that hits everybody in the room. In most cases, if you have double attack, you get one hit on the monster then take all of the monster's hits, then if your second hit will be successful, it'll land after that - then a special protection would occur at the end. But that's not a hard and fast rule by any means.

Useful Early Skills and Spells

As you go throughout the game, you'll be able to access nearly every spell and skill available (assuming that they aren't restricted to prime classes that you didn't choose as your prime class). But there are some truly essential skills and spells that every player should want to immediately acquire as soon as possible (depending on your class orders) These are for new players (level 10 and below) For further details, take a look at the helpfiles inside the MUD itself (help double attack), (help kick), etc...

Please note some very important notes about learning skills/spells

   * spells are learnable up to 95% and skills up to 85%
   * some books crumble (meaning you will need multiple copies - or have a high level player teach you a book)
   * Your Intelligence stat determines how many times you need to read a book.  You can get extra Intelligence from equipment and only wear that equipment to read books - if your Intelligence is at or below 12, it will take you 4 reads (at 25% each).  At 15, it will take you 3 reads (at 33% each).  At 18, it will take you 2 reads (50% and then 35 or 45% depending on if it's a skill or spell).
   * This means you have to read the books multiple times in order to fully learn something!

Skill or Spell Effects Level to Acquire At Where To Get / Read Spellbook At Double Attack Adds another melee attack Wa 1, Ba 3, Mo 6, Th 10 rapidly read manual {warrior guild - VK} Kick Extra melee attack that deals damage if it hits (counts as your extra maneuver in combat - no cost) Wa 1, Ba 1, Mo 1 abused book with footprints {warrior guild - VK} Tactics Learn how to fight with others in a group Wa 1, Ba 4, Mo 1, Th 1 bold looking tome {warrior guild - VK} Swordsmanship Extra +hitroll Wa 5 Ibrahim's guide to mastering the spatha {purchased at VK library} Bash Attempts to knock down monster / stun monster Wa 8, Ba 7 demolished book missing its cover {purchased at VK library} Improved Attack Essential skill for monk primes - you must read this book before even trying to kill anything - allows your barehand attacks to resemble a weapon, otherwise you're just slapping monsters Mo 1 notes on sparring {VK monk guild} Strike Extra melee attack that deals damage if it hits (barehand only, counts as your extra maneuver in combat - no cost) Mo 8 a manual with a faint palm print {icy peasant boy - City of Ice - Aisholm} Backstab Special combat maneuver that initiates battle (cannot be used if mob is hurt) - costs mvs and uses thief level multiplers / dex / dam / hitroll to generate massive damage - also gets weaker the further down thief is in your class order Th 1 traitorous tome {VK thief guild} Pick Locks Unlocks locked doors if they are pickable Th 1, Ba 1 instructions for a thief's toolkit {VK thief guild} Search Searches the room for hidden treasure after a monster has died if there was nothing on the corpse Th 1, Ba 7, Dr 22 a fortune hunter's guide to all things hidden {VK thief guild} Trip More effective than bash, attempts to trips the monster rather than just charging and bashing into it Th 8, Mo 30 the story of Molly Droit {pops on BH but mobs are all too mean for typical newbie - Red Sash - BH Town, Temple Monks - Balrog's - BH} Shapeshift Essential base skill for druid primes - very useful skill for everybody else - special animal forms that you can shift into (requires mana to shift and requires mana to maintain form) Dr 1 a script of druidic arts {VK druid guild} Spellcraft Imbues spells with extra potency at times (masterfully cast spells that for certain spells adds a special effect that the normal base spell doesn't normally have) Ma 1, Cl 5, Dr 10, Ne 5, Ba 15 mysteries of magic {VK mage guild} Detect Invisible Allows you to see invisible objects and players when you have the spell cast on yourself Ma 2, Cl 5, Ne 7, Ba 10 translucent blue {VK mage guild} Chill Touch Ice-based weak direct damage spell Ma 3, Ba 11 worn ice blue {VK mage guild} Invisibility Allows you to turn invisible or turn objects invisible when cast on the target Ma 4, Ba 12 transparent {sold at BH High Powered Magic Shop - Orkhis} Web Allows you to cast a binding spell that fixes the monster in the room and tries to prevent it from fleeing - also reduces monster's armor class by at least -0.3 Ma 4, Ba 12, Cl 18 sticky {sold at SS Magic Shop} Armor Reduces your armor class by -2.0 for duration of the spell Cl 1, Ma 5, Ba 13 leather bound {VK cleric guild} Burning Hands Fire-based weak direct damage spell Ma 5, Ba 13 pale red book {sold at BH High Powered Magic Shop - Orkhis} Dispel Magic Undoes spells cast on you (both good and bad) - but can only dispel spells cast by a magician of the same level as you or lower - cannot dispel spells cast by a higher level magician Cl 6, Ma 6, Ne 6, Dr 12, Ba 14 bright white {sold at VK Library} Blindness Attempts to blind the target (gives about +4.0 to their armor class and reduces their +hit) - duration is usually around 2 minutes Cl 6, Ma 8 opaque {sold at BH High Powered Magic Shop - Orkhis and sold at VK Library} Fly Allows target to fly for duration of the spell - access rooms in the air where you have to be flying. Ma 9, Cl 17, Dr 19 floating {gold bird - Penguin Tower AH} Lightning Bolt Thunder-based direct damage spell Ma 9, Ba 17 cobalt blue {sold at VK Library} Cure Light Weakest healing spell available Cl 1, Dr 5 mint green {VK cleric guild} Create Water Allows you to fill your water container with water with magic Cl 2, Ba 10 damp {VK cleric guild} Create Food Allows you to create food magically Cl 3, Ba 11 moldy {VK cleric guild} Spiritual Hammer Creates a temporary hammer weapon for you (must be barehanded for hammer to form - hammer can hit ether mobs and if you have spellcraft learned, a masterful cast of the hammer spell gives you a bigger hammer that shocks monsters once in a while) Cl 4 Thor's {old grymlyn - Grymlyns - SS} Cure Minor Weaker healing spell Cl 4, Dr 8 moss green {sold at VK Library} Bless Gives target +1 hitroll Cl 5 religious {sold at VK Library} Shield of Faith Reduces damage you receive as long as the shield lasts Cl 6 book of faith {sold at VK Library} Earthquake Earth based mass damage spell - damages everything in the room at the same time - which causes all the monsters to fight you at the same time Cl 7 cracked {weasel - Asylum area - BH} Water Breathing Allows you to breathe underwater Cl 9, Dr 12, Ma 16 aqua {noble penguin - penguin tower AH} Remove Poison Cures you of poison's effects Dr 5, Cl 9 tan {fat merchant - BH town BH} Cure Normal Cures about 25 HP on average Cl 10, Dr 14 sea green {druid - Greek Forest BH} Supplication Summons either a good or an evil servant upon sacrificing a corpse to your god - you can order servant to assist you in battle Cl 10 spellbook of divinity and holiness {Black or White Bishop - Chessboard - VK} Freshwater Creates a water spring in the room (can only be used outdoors) Dr 4 freshly soaked pages {marble fish - Garden BH} Goodberry Creates a magical goodberry food item that cures you slightly when eaten - at druid 10 you get 2 berries, at druid 20 - you get 3 berries per casting - can only be used outdoors Dr 6 elderberry stained scripts {cleric - Newbatia VK} Animate Dead Raises the dead (requires a corpse) to produce an undead servant that you can order to assist you in battle Ne 6 maggot book, or undertake the quest at Iglavius in {Newbatia Attics - VK} - warning, must kill zombies to get to Iglavius Summon Undead Summons spiritual servant that you can order to assist you in battle Ne 10 book of the dead {crimson adept - near VK necro guild} Lion Chorus Improved damage for duration of song (damage and duration along with lower mana cost comes with bard levels up to bard 12) Ba 1 book embossed with a lion's head {bard guild - Newbatia VK}

The Gameplay Experience

Playing Sloth takes a lot of dedication, memory, skills, and yet, it can be immensely rewarding if you embrace the social aspect of the game. Meeting new online friends from all over the world tends to occur on Sloth, and those friendships are what keep a lot of us playing! The MUD has been stable for years, and only recently had a player wipe after years of play, just to open up all eight classes to a single player (previously, all players were limited to four classes). There's more than enough to do in the MUD to keep somebody busy for well over a decade!

At the core of Sloth is the group. Talented and experienced players can do well while solo, but to truly take advantage of all the benefits of Sloth, one has to plan on grouping for a large chunk of their time on Sloth, especially if you want some of the best equipment available. Unlike some MUDs, there is a heavy focus on equipment here as it can take a very long time to acquire a piece of equipment - they don't disappear on you for the most part (except temporary and holy items). Your character is pretty weak without equipment - it really helps make the character, especially for warrior primes.

So, learn how to group, enjoy it, and start reading & reacting faster! You'll eventually have to develop aliases at some point, but many players write custom scripts for their MUD GUI interfaces (such as WinTin or zMUD). Aliases and scripting makes life a lot easier, since you can type a long command faster than you could without those tools. And groups do get several lines of spam every fight round (a round is usually 1 to 3 seconds long, which affords you some time to type in your next command). Don't get discouraged - you'll certainly be typing and reading faster after just a few weeks of this addictive game! Immortals and Holy Equipment

Immortals are game administrators - they help build and maintain the game, which includes its atomsphere. Often, immortals cannot be seen by mortal players, being online but "invisible". If an Immortal is visible, he may or may not be available to assist you with any questions - but questions are typically only related to game bugs, code issues, or server issues. In-game help can be acquired through the other players by asking questions either on the newbie channel or gossip channel or direct tells.

Most immortals have written an area or several areas. The ones that have contributed the most to the MUD over the years are permitted to have a holy temple placed in the game somewhere, which allows players to 'worship' there. Once a player worships a God, they must be within approximately the top 150 or 50% of the worshippers in sacrifice points in order to acquire holy equipment. Holy equipment is a special category of equipment that the player cannot keep - once removed, it vanishes but can be reacquired, unless another worshipper with more sacrifice points than you do has the item.

Sacrifice points are acquired by sacrificing the corpses of the monsters you've killed (but be sure that you loot the corpses first), by using the command sacrifice corpse. The sacrifice points you get from the corpse is the level of the corpse itself. A level 1 corpse adds 1 sacrifice point, level 18 adds 18 sacrifice points, and so forth. Bear in mind, that if you decide to switch to another God, you lose all your sacrifice points and have to start over again from zero. You can't switch back to the old God and have your old total either. You'll be starting from ground zero again.

To acquire a holy item, go to the temple's sacrifical tablet and type list to see a list of all the holy items you can pray for. Decide on an item, then pray itemname, such as pray sword for the Holy Sword. Equip the item (you will need to remove your old item worn in that slot, first). If someone else has the item and ranks above you on the sacrifice list, the God will tell you that "sorry, the item is in use someplace else". If you don't have enough sacrifices to qualify for an item, you'll get a message saying that you aren't advanced enough for that reward. It does not require separate sacrifice quotas to reach a item's level, either you can access all the holy items or none of them.

Questing and Drachma

Gold isn't the only currency within the game. Drachma is a rare form of currency that can only be acquired through in-game quests or immortal-run quests (including drachma token scatters). There's a limited amount available from in-game quests, and most quests can only be done once. Drachma is used for special drachma equipment, drachma items, or drachma spellbooks. Some of the most useful skills and spells come from drachma spellbooks, such as reign of the spider (which removes webs cast on you, without removing your other spell effects). Normally, without reign of the spider, you would need to squirm (which is a skill), wait for the webs to wear off, attempt to break the webs (which generates artifical lag), or dispel magic yourself and if your caster level is higher than the web level, the webs will be dispelled (along with all your other spell effects).

So, how do you get some drachma fast? You do some autoquests - go find a monster that provides a quest (you'll have to issue the command ask mobname about quests, although some quests have specific keywords. Valkyre has some drachma available from autoquests, so it's a really good idea to get all the drachma you can possibly get from Valkyre before you level off of Valkyre, as you can't go back and get the drachma after you've left. Ask the Valkyre Innkeeper (Shelda) about quests, and that should get you started. After Shelda gives you a list of quests, ask Shelda about quest_name as it is provided in her list. For every other ingame quest from another mob, you will need to issue the command undertake quest_name which will trigger the mob's memory of you attempting the quest, and they will tell you all the details they know that you need to complete the quest. Some quests require you to get a special item and return it to the mob. Something to bear in mind is that there can be several items that have the same name (and mortals may not be able to tell which is which). After you have gotten the item you feel is correct for the quest, return to the same room, and give itemname mobname.

Drachma will show up in your score. Apart from questing, you can find drachma tokens after an immortal scatters them. There are also slivers of drachma that may be placed onto epic mobs that award drachma to everybody in the group when the sliver is picked up off of the ground.

Valkyre, Your New Home

Welcome to Valkyre - the floating island. The town is called Newbatia and it's restricted to players with level 20 or less in all of their classes. Once you reach level 21 in any class, you will not be able to return to Valkyre (VK). Therefore, make sure you finish all the things you want to do on Valkyre before you leave! There are some quests on Valkyre that if you level off of Valkyre prior to completing those quests - you forfeit the right to complete these quests forever. (You can make another character to get equipment on Valkyre, but quests are specific to characters)

There are currently (as of February of 2010) 20 distinct areas on Valkyre:

  1. Newbatia (Town, VK)
  2. Adventurer's School
  3. Attics of Newbatia
  4. Folkner Forest (some guilds within Newbatia but not inside the town itself)
  5. Thug Hideout
  6. Daar Tempest (Daar)
  7. Shadow Playground
  8. Newbatia Downside
  9. Downside Mines
 10. Star City
 11. Circus
 12. Fraternal Order of Clowns (FOC)
 13. Mystical Fens (Fens)
 14. Wyrmlings (part of Fens)
 15. Waterfalls
 16. Blaster's Temple
 17. Chessboard
 18. Carnival
 19. Tiger Glen
 20. Autumnal Forest (AF)

A level 20 in any class will be able to kill at least one mob in each of these areas assuming you have collected enough good equipment and learned your way around the game. However, Autumnal Forest (AF) is probably the hardest overall area on Valkyre to solo in - it's for higher level VKers.

Some notable differences with Valkyre from the other continents (Bal Harbor (BH), Settlestone (SS), Aisholm (AH), Island, and Lyme) is that items are oftentimes cheaper on Valkyre than they are elsewhere, such as recall scrolls (cost on Valkyre: 600 - cost elsewhere, 2000 and up). Also, the mobs are tailored to lower level players where there are huge monsters on the other continents that can eat a huge group of adventurers alive.

A level 1 player can kill the mobs in Newbatia (in town itself) and Adventurer's School - I highly recommend that you take the tour at the Adventurer's School if you have never mudded before. The best mobs to begin killing would be the small animals and whatever is in the Adventurer's School. After you've gotten some levels, you can try the harder mobs in town (elderly men and the like). But be sure to learn the essential skills/spells if you want to do better!

Valkyre is rather small compared to the other continents and you can't really get lost in Valkyre once you learn it. It's a great way to practice your mudding, map skills, and building your character up - but there's only so much you can do on Valkyre itself. Don't feel afraid to venture off Valkyre and return - just don't level past level 20 off of Valkyre if you want to return.

You cannot level past 20 on Valkyre, so don't worry about levelling past 20 on Valkyre.

Valkyre only has transportation services to BH, AH, and SS. If you want to reach Lyme or the Island, you will have to use the traditional mass transit that everybody else uses. The ships between Valkyre and BH/AH/SS are much faster than the normal boats for everybody else!

Valkyre currently has three holy temples (Splork - in the Adventurer's School, Blaster - in Blaster's Temple, and Juggleblood - near town, on a bend in the path towards the Circus). There are several temples on the other continents - so you could sail to one of the other temples, get a holy item and return to Valkyre.

Welcome to Sloth and hope you enjoy your time!

Special Bonus: Areas and Mobs for New Players (On Valkyre)

Here's a short list of mobs on Valkyre that you should not attempt to kill (without a LOT of good equipment and levels!) Or "top causes of death on Valkyre":

   * Autumnal Forest mobs
   * Bathing Tiger {Tiger Glen}
   * Rock Leviathan {Tiger Glen}
   * Huge Spider {Tiger Glen}
   * Ersa {Carnival}
   * Roach {Carnival}
   * Laimiod {Carnival}
   * King Svernik {Carnival}
   * Claw Beast {Carnival}
   * Queen {Carnival}
   * Amack {Carnival}
   * Thug Hideout mobs, especially the Grandmaster Thug
   * Xiamond {Blaster's Temple}
   * Star City mobs, especially Orion and the forge master
   * Ancient Stag {Fens} - if you attempt this one I will point and laugh
   * Swimming Dragon {Fens}
   * Orange Dragon {Fens}
   * Raging Earth Elemental {Newbatia Mines} - I would be impressed if you even managed to get into his room - but this is probably the 1st or 2nd hardest mob on all of Valkyre
   * Spirits outside of Newbatia (1n of North Gate and sw of South Gate) - they are ether and easily kill you in 3-4 rounds if not less
   * Mean Troll {Star City}
   * Sexy Troll {Star City}
   * Strong Man {Circus}

Some good areas you would like to run at low levels (there are mobs in other areas and this is meant as general suggestions):

   * Newbatia itself, Daar Tempest, Adventurer's School - (levels 1-8)
   * Blaster's Temple, Attics of Newbatia, Chessboard, Circus (lanky customers) - (levels 8-15)
   * Waterfalls, Tiger Glen, Downside & Downside Mines, FOC - (levels 15-20)
   * Everything else after level 20
   * Shadow Playground is the only mostly ether mob area on Valkyre - you NEED a spiritual hammer and/or blasting to kill ether mobs in there

Short Tips

   * Deposit your gold periodically. Some mobs steal gold!
   * Use the Holy Sword (even as a monk prime) until at least level 15, if possible.
         o Monks can switch to barehand after about level 12 after learning strike
         o Druids pretty much stay weak until you get to the asp form - don't shift much until then
   * You can flee from mobs midfight, and then come back to finish them off
   * If you pick a God to worship, you get a free restore when you level (up to your previous maximum hp/ma/mv, not the new set
   * At the lower levels, it's often a good idea to start fighting a slightly bigger mob if you can level, so you can flee near death, go level and get restored, then go back and finish off the bigger mob for a bigger experience kill than usual
   * All spells and skills require reading a spellbook to learn the spell or skill
         o Some skills or spells require you knowing a previous spell or skill first
         o Some skills or spells require you to wear, hold, or do something special with another special item in order for the spellbook to be read
         o Spellbooks are very expensive, so don't hold onto them unless it's a rare book that you can learn soon. Most spellbooks can be held in the "held low" equipment slot, although some cannot be
   * Your equipment does not disappear nor will a piece of equipment always be loaded onto a mob
   * You can create aliases (both on the server and with your client) that make typing certain commands much easier - here's a sample:
         o alias wi cast 'firewind' - this creates an alias called "wi" that would be the same thing as "cast 'firewind'" -  You can then type "wi Smaug" instead of "cast 'firewind' Smaug"
   * You will have to kill mobs in order to gain experience and gold
   * Levels cost both experience and gold - and increase accordingly with both levels and where the class is in your class order
   * Deposit extra gold into the bank so that mobs can't steal gold from you
   * Levels cost double the gold if you try to level somewhere that you are not a citizen (where you picked your hometown to be is where your citizenship starts at - you can change citizenship later, but if you picked Valkyre, do not level somewhere else unless you have plenty of gold that you don't mind wasting)
   * If you die, your corpse will remain where you died (and the equipment with it) - but some mobs will loot your corpse and wear the equipment - so try to get back and loot your corpse as fast as you can if you die
   * Target mobs using the NONCOMMON name - for example in Tiger Glen, target the tigers by their second identifier (ie: "kill hunting" instead of "kill tiger").  This is important as you can end up hitting the wrong mob and dying rather quickly.  Especially useful to know if you try to "charge tiger" and end up charging into the bathing tiger not on purpose.
   * The best thing you can do as a newbie is to find a temple (Splork's, Blaster's, or Juggleblood's on Valkyre, or one of the other temples off of Valkyre).  Get the Holy Sword - it will allow you to kill mobs you normally can't with its sheer damage.  The Holy Dagger is a good second option.
   * Do not start collecting spellbooks that crumble if you do not have equipment that gives you +intelligence - with 18 int, you only need 2 copies.  You also need intelligence in order for someone else to teach you the book fully with just 1 book.
   * Early on - there are only 2 statistics that matter: Strength and Dexterity.  This is making it rather simple - do your best to max these 2 out when you are weaker.  Later on, you can set up your equipment in other alignments, but 18 Dexterity is pretty much needed for everybody.  Strength is not needed as much when you are a mage prime in later levels, or for other reasons with more levels.
   * If you can maximize both STR and DEX easily, go after +HIT and +DAM equipment - these always help!  There's a wealth of newbie-only items that specifically give you +HIT (such as the sloth-shaped brooches).
   * Try to gather a set of intelligence equipment as you can.
   * If you are a caster prime, you may want to start collecting some mana/mana regen items (or +WIS and +INT items as needed).
   * Rent is charged on everything you don't wear, even items in a robe
   * It's really useful to acquire 2 large containers (or robes) that have different names, so you can store equipment modes in them

Frequently Asked Questions

   * When do you start actually dying?
         o When you reach -10 hp or lower. It typically takes about 5 full minutes to corpse (you can be raised before then)
   * What is a wild magic room?
         o Wild magic rooms are unique rooms that affect all spells cast. The effects on the spells vary from giving you a lump of coal, a chocolate bunny, having your spell fizzle, having the affects weakened, having the affects doubled, having mana cost for the spell dramatically reduced, having the mana cost for the spell drain more mana, or having the spell actually warp into another spell entirely.
   * The Holy Sword of Splork crumbles to dust!?
         o Someone else higher than you got the Sword or you removed it.
   * You have been idle, and are pulled into a void.
         o The void allows you to not be attacked by aggressive monsters while you are linkdead. You'll be returned to the recall point on the continent you last saved at with 1 hp, 1 mana, and 1 move if you don't return in a timely manner (couple of hours)
   * How do I use tri/hex/oct tokens to reroll?
         o Go to a Meditation Chamber in a town such as Bal Harbor, Valkyre, or Settlestone with the token in your inventory and type use token. Warning: This is irrevocable and you cannot decide to keep your old statistics. You will see a message saying, "You feel different!" - type score to see your new statistics.
   * The magic is absorbed?
         o In a room, it means that it is a nocast room. In an item, it means you cannot identify or magically tinker with it.
   * The room is dark.
         o Have a light held high (the torches and lanterns sold in the stores do burn out eventually, and need to be removed and dropped & replaced with a fresh one). Magical items do a much better job acting as a permanent light - even a tri token suffices. Otherwise, it's a really good idea to learn one of the low level light spells such as magic lantern or will o the wisp.
   * The forger tells you, 'You don't have all the elements needed.'
         o Make sure you have enough gold carried on you and that all the items needed are in your inventory. Recall that some items have the same names as other items but they are not the same items.
   * Which peri matches which shard?
         o Opalescent = Enhancement
         o Metallic = Channelling
         o Veined = Shaping
         o Luminescent = Summoning
         o Clear = Mental
         o Black = Necromancy
         o Milky = Healing
   * How do I get attuned?
         o You'll need three (3) shards of the strata you want to be attuned to, the peri spot for that strata must be found by someone possessing that talent, and someone must know the attunement spell. Have the shards in your inventory and no other spells (dispel them all first) up on you. If successful, you will be bathed in a strong red light and your score will have a new message in it (eg: You are strongly attuned to the necromancy stratum.)
   * The world rejoices as everyone is healed!
         o An immortal has done a world restore - usually occurs before a shutdown or when certain immortals log into the MUD.
   * I don't understand the spell names other people are casting
         o This is actually a bit of thematic styling - you only see the actual spell names of players whose prime classes are the same as yours. If you are a mage prime, you see spell names being cast by other mage primes and will get garbled names from everybody else.
         o If interested, Blastem developed the garble decoder:
               Here is a list of the spell garble code for spellbook names:
               A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P |
               A | B | Q | E | Z| Y | O | P | U |Y | T | R | W | I | A | S |
               Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
               D | F | G | H | J | Z | X | N | L | K |
               thats the straight letter cipher now for the fun part if these letters are together in the spell name they get a diff garble.
               ar = abra -------- au = kada
               bless =fido ---- blind =nose
               en = unso ------- re = candus
               de = oculo ---- light = dies
               lo=hi ----------- mor = zak
               move = sido -- ness = lacri
               ning = illa ------ per = duda
               ra = gru -------- son = sabru
               tect = infra ------ tri = cula
               ven = nofo ------ cu = judi
               bur = mosa
               Example : Restiveness
               RE | S | T | I | V | EN | E | S | S
               CANDUS | G| H |U | Z | UNSO | Z | G |G = CANDUSGHUZUNSOZGG