A guide to being a successful newbie, by Sassafrass. Sass has been playing for decades, and is well-known as an elite player, with a style that is aggressive but effective. If you run with him, you'll have a lot of fun and get far between deaths.
Probably the most difficult aspect of any new MUD, is learning how the fighting style works. In the Last Outpost, you hit with varying degrees of difficulty, depending on which type of weapon you are using, what level of a warrior you are, and what kind of equipment you are using. First off, let’s break it down into weapons.
These are listed in order of which hits the hardest.
Now let’s expand this list. The slashing weapons are the most powerfully hitting ones in the game, and can do as much as 20 or 25 damage without any type of modification. These are excellent for warriors and non-warrior types alike, because they are the hardest hitting (and frequently, can be used by a class to help level a player up).
Now moving onto cleaving weapons, these are excellent weapons, but relatively difficult to come by. Cleaving weapons have a natural damage bonus assigned to them, so this means that if you are a warrior and have access to weapons (meaning you know someone who is high level and can help you), these are handy. I would not suggest however anyone except warriors and perhaps magi learning the cleave skill.
Moving onto pounding weapons. These weapons are useful for anyone who is high-level cleric, and has learned the “wrath hammer” spell. This skill can be used in conjunction with a pounding weapon to do huge amounts of damage, and sometimes can be used to do almost twice normal damage from a pounding weapon. This makes pounding weapons powerful for cleric types, and one might want to think about learning only pounding when they are making a cleric.
Last but not least is the piercing weapons. These weapons are mainly used by people who have interest in the backstab skill, which can be used to do large amounts of damage. Once you have achieved all of your thief (or at least 18), this skill can be used to gain up to three attacks in conjunction with the haste skill. This is an excellent combination for thieves who want to have a concentration in magery.
Like I said before, these weapons are listed in order of effectiveness, so most hard hitting would be slashing, then cleaving, then pounding, then piercing.
Another thing you might notice is that it’s difficult at low warrior levels to land your attacks. Do not think you are the only one this has happened to, it has gotten much more difficult for non-warriors to do well in combat. As you may have seen your skill is only at “poor” at low levels. Once you start doing better, this will move up towards average, then good, then very good, then supurb. This takes time, so do not try to rush it. This also takes warrior levels, and I’d say that you should be able to get your skill to supurb by about level 6 or 7 warrior.
Layout of the Land
Another difficult concept to grasp of any MUD is, WHERE IS STUFF TO KILL?
Well I’m going to lay it down to you as a level/class dependant system as to where you can massacre ☺.
As you may have noticed, you KICK ASS. You can start off in the grasslands like other characters, but quickly you will be able to make it to the manor and whoopin’ up on bound spirits. Shield block and kick are some useful skills, but shield block is by far one of the best warrior skills in the game. So here’s the level breakdown: (I’ll go into details of where these areas are later on in the document.)
- 1-3 – Grasslands! I know it sucks, but whoopin’ on up those goatherds/cowherds/shepherds will make you solid xps. What you need to do is kill the herder first, then go for all of their prey. Be careful when attacking the steers and rams though, because the other will jump into the fight.
- 3-7 – The Manor! This will be where you can gain about 300 xps per kill for the messenger boys, about 700 xps for the kitchen wenches, and between 700-1000 for all other big mobs. Don’t go after the Minor Death, Winterhart, the Wood Sprite, or Tess though. They will eat your lunch. Make sure you collect everything you come across in the manor and take it back to town for sell. The madame and monsieur have some really handy treasure that sells for good gold.
- 7-10 – Brown bears and the pine forests. I’ll give directions for brown bears and the pine forest (along with the scrub forest) later on in this document. Watch out for the badgers and t-wolves if they gang up though, they can be dangerous.
- 10-15 – The Hill Giant Village is the way to go. These guys are wussies, and give you about 5-6k experience per kill. Watch out for them in packs, and if you can grab a coon hound for extra assistance in tanking, will probably help out.
- 15-20 – Here comes the Steppes! Once you reach level 20, you can probably get the wyrm dog and kill Siren and the Collector, but until then, grab a couple of mutts (coon hounds) and take your time with the mammoth hunters. They are worth from 15-20k experience, and have ivory spears that are good money.
- After level 20, get with me and you are welcome in my group to run the tower. ☺
It is quite a bit difficult for mages to do as well in combat as warriors, so we will break you down into your advantages. It is best at low levels for a mage to take around several kittens, dogs, or whatever else you can afford at the Pet Shop. Get a high level to loan you some loot! These guys will be able to make the attacks that you are missing, and make them flee out of the room by using “order followers flee” before the mob dies, and you can gain all the experience by casting a magic missile and delivering the death blow. As you get higher levels there are more spells that you will be able to use, like chill touch, burning hands, etc. Vitality is also a good skill, it gives you [MAGE LEVEL] * 4 HPS. Here goes the breakdown:
- 1-5 – Sorry, you have to stay in the grasslands for a bit longer then warriors. Your attacking needs to be learning during this time, and you will thank the herds for helping you to land more attacks. I would suggest slashing during low levels, because like I said, it is the hardest hitting weapon type.
- 5-8/10 – This is when you will excel killing the brown bears and pine forest mobs. With your burning hands skill and other attacks, you will be able to safely kill brown bears, timberwolves, and badgers. Just watch out for packs of the wolves and badgers, because they will eat you alive. Also you should have no difficulty in taking out the manor around levels 8-10. Your attack spells will send all of the spirits whining!
- 8/10-15 – I find this to be the best time to kill the Hill Giant fort. The Hills are really easy, they miss attacks a lot, and are not invulnerable. This means that your chill touch and burning hands spells will do lots of damage to them. And, if you get in a pinch it is easy to cast invisibility on yourself so that they cannot see you. Watch out for the hill giant cook, priestess, and chief though. DO NOT attack the chief! He shouts and will have most all of the hill giants on your tail in a heartbeat.
- 14, 15, 16 – This is also a good time to try hunting the Desert. Most everything in the desert isn’t invulnerable, and you will find that you can charm the devout templar guards as soon as you learn the charm person skill. They are good tanks and wield swords, so they are also good muscle. For experience, you should kill the green slimes in the temples, boney skeletons, the sand worm, water weird, sheik, and the genie. The last three listed mobs cast spells, so make sure you have plenty of bashers. You should be able with two of them to kill these mobs, but make sure you flee them out of the room and kill them yourself for the full experience.
- 16-18 – This is where mages find their home. You can now use the gnomish nobles in Gnomes as pets, and they are sanced. This makes you able to kill mobs in gnomes, along with the steppes. Be careful though, because sometimes exploration at these levels can get you killed and you won’t be able to get back to where you were. You will still be able to run the pine forests and Hill Giants with excellence, and this is when the Desert will be particularly useful also.
- 18 & Above – This is when you will be able to just whoop some ass. Once you hit level 18, you should be able to charm fur clad women in the steppes, and kill the Collector. He is quite easy as long as you use invulnerability and a charmed pet which also has invulnerability. He will grant you about 150,000 experience also, which makes him a well worthwhile kill. If you get your hands on the wyrm dog, then you will also be able to take down mammoth hunters with ease. If you armor the wyrm dog, they won’t be able to hit him hardly at all! Once you get to level 20 you will able to use the most powerful of charmed mobs in the game, and probably the most popular, gnomish masters. Once you are able to charm them you will easily be able to kill almost everything in the steppes providing you have good enough equipment to do some damage yourself.
Clerics have recently been boosted up by the Gods, and have come across some much more powerful spells. As stated earlier, I would suggest that all clerics learn pound to start off with, due to the amount of damage they can do with the spell wrath hammer. They also have gotten a cheap new spell called “redemption”, where they can animate dead monsters that are in the room, and up to 3 of them! Clerics also have the obvious power skills of healing themselves, and I’d suggest working on cure critical and heal. These seem to be the most effective. The level breakdown for clerics goes much the same way as mages, however they don’t have the power to charm as well. So I suggest that clerics use their time finding coon dogs and the wyrm. This can provide up to 5 charmed pets for you at any given time!
- Levels 1-5: You know it, this is your time to shine in the grasslands. I’m sorry that is has to be this way, but you need to get that pounding skill going well as soon as possible. Don’t be hesitant to learn the armor spell either, because this can lessen your beating substantially.
- Levels 5-10: This is when you can move you way into the pine forest and manor areas. If you use the redemption spell on the badgers then put them into your group, you will notice that they are really good pets. Be careful that you learn how to use the 1. & 2. references for mobs, or else you might end up attacking one of your own!
- Levels 10-15: Around level 13 I’d suggest you trying your luck with the Hill Giant Village. You need to have invisibility learned so you can save yourself if you are in a bad spot, but otherwise this is a relatively un-dangerous place for you. Make sure to read the notes to mages about which mobs not to attack, and make sure to watch your hps overall. You can also run the pine forest and brown bears in conjunction with hill giants to get a lot of extra experience while the place repops.
- Levels 15-20: This is where leveling for a cleric gets difficult from what I’ve seen. You’ll need to learn to love the coon hounds and wyrm dog, and I believe you should be able to kill mammoth hunters with relative ease (and the use of the freeze spell). Depending on the reliability of your attack skill, you can throw on sanctuary on yourself and the wyrm dog and try your hand at Siren Falls in the steppes. Steppes is really the best place to run during these levels to gain your primary level to 20. You need to experiment with redemption during this time, because you will find that is it an extremely useful skill for recruiting some extra hard hitters.
Ah, the life of a thief. It is difficult for thieves, because they usually start out using daggers or other piercing weapons, and these just aren’t as strong as their counterparts’ slashers or pounders. It is most helpful for a thief to have a pet or other member that can tank for him, as he usually is not as high in hps as a warrior or mage. A thieves main weapon is his backstab, which can be used at high levels to do as much as 5x damage per stab (you get two at level 10). You will find that a lot of high level players use backstab in conjunction with rescue and a pet in order to attain multiple backstabs. This is used to maximize damage for a thief. Here’s the level breakdown for thieves.
- Levels 1-5: This could perhaps be the most difficult time for thieves, due to the difficulty involved with learning basic attacks. It is most effective to stay in the grasslands during this time, and you may even find that once you attain level 5 (and practice backstab), the low level mobs in the grasslands are good to practice your backstab on. You may want to try to move on to the Manor around level 4-5. Mobs like errand boys and slimey slugs (they flee) are excellent at this time.
- Levels 5-10: During this time you will find that brown bears are the way to go. Your backstab will put them near death, and they will not do a relatively large amount of damage to you. Once you have gained level 10 you have helped your position out quite a bit, because you will gain second backstab. This will be necessary in killing mobs in the pine forest, and once you get level 7-10 you might have enough hps to venture into the pines.
- Levels 10-15: After you get second backstab, there is a variety of zones that you can kill with relative ease. You may find the brown bears to be the best bang for the buck, because they are easy and quick to kill, and there are so many of them. Also the pine forest and area around the Hill Giant Village are still options, because there are a lot of mobs here, and if you get bored of killing browns and want something more adventurous, they are good relief. Once you get level 15 you will gain second attack which will help you out quite a bit, and you will be able to move on to more difficult areas, as well as pat a coon hound.
- Levels 15-20: Now that you have gained second attack, and the ability to pat a coon hound, you will find out how to do this process we call tagging. This occurs when you backstab something, have the coon hound rescue you, then backstab again. You can do this as long as you continue to rescue the coon hound and switching the tank. You can use this process to kill the Upper Treetops (Rocs and all other aggressive mobs, excluding the fearsome tangle tree), the Hill Giant Village (as long as you have invisibility), the Desert, and even castle mice in the castle in the clouds. Once you get to level 19 or 20, you will be able to pat the wyrm dog, and you will be able to expand this tactic to the wyrm (you will find that he is a much more effective tank). You can now kill mobs like sobakas, mammoth hunters (provided they are separated), and several other ones in Steppes. You will have to feel it out (it’s a good idea though to not use the wyrm dog when you are attacking a mob that casts damage spells).
Equipment of the Outpost serves a range of services. There is basic state
affecting equipment (such as +strength, +dexterity, +con, +wisdom, +intelligence), then there is equipment that affects raw scores (such as +accuracy, +damage roll, +mana, +movement, etc.). There is also equipment that makes it easier for you to take only partial damage against spells (-spellsave), makes you harder to hit in combat (armor class apply by -), changes your age (+/-). There are also limitations placed upon equipment to make it only usable by people fitting certain criteria. Certain criteria in this category include making it impossible for certain classes to wear equipment (it may be anti-thief, or anti-mage), or for it to only be wearable by people of a certain alignment (anti-good, or anti-evil). There is a standard equipment system, but it is important to know that all characters have maximum limitations for each stat. For example, an ogre warrior may only gain from +2 strength, so wearing any items that increase strength by more then 2 is unnecessary. You’ll see how this works, and it’s a relatively easy system to figure out.
If you are having a problem finding valuable equipment, it’s usually a good idea to ask a level 20 player, and he may be able to find you some common, good gear. All worn equipment has a base armor class that it adds to your character once it is worn. Unlike other stats, this does not have a maximum. Dexterity, along with this base armor class, along with any armor class apply effects calculate how difficult you are to hit in combat, how difficult you are to bash, kick, backstab, and other attack skills. So in other words, the higher the AC, the more dexterity, and the higher armor class apply (-) you have, the better you are off as far as tanking in combat.
There are several factors of each class that make that class more powerful then
others. For example, obviously warriors are more powerful fighters then perhaps a cleric, but at the same time the cleric has the ability to cast powerful spells that helps to even him out. I’m going to break down each class into strengths, pinpointing the most valuable skills.
Obviously since there are relatively few skills associated with warrior types through the levels, most every skill is valuable, and worth practicing. I would recommend practicing all attacking types, considering usually characters don’t have trouble learning knowledge of skills in their primary class. Rescue, charge, and shield block are also very important skills. Shield block can help to reduce damage done by every hit by more then 50%, and has become one of the more prominent skills on the Outpost. Bash is also a crucial skill, because this is the only skill in the game that can prevent casting mobs from using spells. You can use at your discretion whether you would like to practice the rest of the skills, but like I said, considering your primary class skills aren’t going to go down, there’s no reason not to.
Mages are very important to the game because they possess magical powers that typically other members of the group do not. Most every spell is worth researching, and considering most of the spells will never fall below good, it would not be a bad idea to learn most every spell you can with a mage. Depending on your wisdom and intelligence however, you may only be allowed so many practice sessions, so obviously you may want to filter which spells you use practice time on. Among the most important skills for the class are:
- Haste – gives you a second attack with your primary weapon (only works a percentage of the time, this percentage is based on the casters level)
- Fury – this improves damage done by any attacks by weapons from you. This also reduces your accuracy though, so be careful.
- Vitality – gives you a large number of hps. This number is calculated by [Your Mage Level] * 4.
- Locate object – this spell allows you to find objects that are on mobs in the game. This is what you will use at higher levels to find equipment.
- Farsee – allows you to see rooms in the distance. (one square away from the one you are at now)
- Invulnerability – makes you resistant to harmful spells. This will reduce damage done to you by an aggressive spell to around 30 hps.
- Energy drain – this skill is used to take mana, hps, and movement from a mob or player, and give the caster hps and mana. The more mana and hps the mob or player has yields more to the caster.
- Charm person – this is what high level mages use to control pets that can be used to kill large mobs.
- Teleimage – a usefull spell for finding players or mobs in the game. This allows you to see an exact location of them.
- Telemove – this takes you to the exact location of another player. This is useful, but at the same time, it creates a huge lag time when casted. This is dangerous because if you fail to hit your target, you will be teleported to a random (and potentially dangerous) part of the game.
- Teleport – takes you to a random place in the game.
- Strength – this improves your strength above maximum. The higher the mage level of the caster, the more your strength is improved.
- Dexterity – this improves your dexterity above maximum. The higher the mage level of the caster, the more your strength is improved.
- Stoneskin/Metalskin – these spells alter your armor class, but also decrease your dexterity in the process. This is good for some situations, but not good in all cases.
- Fireball – high level damage spell. This can do up to as much as 350 damage in one shot.
Clerics main ability is to heal players, and use various other light magic alternatives. They have a powerful spell sanctuary which reduces damage done to a player during combat. Here’s the spell breakdown for clerics:
- Cure critical – based on level, this spell gives 30-60hps back to whoever it is cast on
- Armor – this increases a player’s armor class by a number, determined by the cleric level of the caster.
- Faerie fire – this spell lowers the armor class of whatever the cleric casts it on, making the object easier to hit with attacks.
- Wrath hammer – used in conjunction with a pounding weapon, this spell makes a cleric hit almost twice as hard.
- Redemption – this spell allows a cleric to animate corpses in a room, and the corpses turns into pets. This spell is very powerful at high levels, however does not last as long as charm person (and when it wears away, the pet completely disappears).
- Freeze – a cheap, effective damage spell for clerics.
- Heal – this spell returns 100 – d4 hps from whoever it is cast upon.
- Bless – this increases accuracy to whoever it is cast on, based on the cleric level of the caster.
- Sanctuary – this spell reduces damage done by each attack from a weapon. It can decrease damage from to almost 50% of original.
- Vigorize critical – this spell gives movement in a level based percentage to whoever it is cast on. The total amount of V also has something to do with this.
Thieves are skilled in the art of stealth and craftyness. They find their most powerful weapons to be daggers, because they can use them to backstab and gain multiple attacks when fighting in combat. Thieves also have an easy way out of a fight in the skill escape plan, and can track players and mobs. We’ll break down the thieves’ skills for you.
- Sneak – this allows thieves to walk in or out of a room without mobs or players realizing they are there or have left. Helps when walking in areas with aggressive mobs, you can usually sneak right by them if necessary.
- Pick – this skill is used to pick locked doors (only some doors are able to be picked).
- Steal – obviously, this skill is used to steal equipment from mobs/players inventory. Very useful whenever you find a piece of equipment on a mob that you cannot easily kill.
- Backstab/second backstab – These skills are used to do as much as x5 damage with a single attack. In order to use second backstab, the thief must be holding a piercing weapon.
- Climb – this skill is very useful when walking in mountainous terrain. It greatly reduces the number of movement points to go from room to room.
- Track – this skill is used to follow the footprints of mobs/players.
- Escape plan – this skill is used to flee a fight without losing experience. If a high level aggressive mob were to try to attack you, and you were using escape plan at the time, you would flee the fight before any damage was ever done to you. This is a very useful skill for thieves.
- Double attack – this is the ability to hold a piercing weapon and gain one attack from each hand per round (without using the spell haste).
The main helpful hint I could give to any new player is, try to make friends with everyone you see at the Outpost. Any high level player will be more then willing to help you if you tell him/her that you are new, and will probably hook you up with some pretty sweet gear for your level. If you can get to level 15 in any class, you will become an asset to a group, so always be looking for people to run with. It may be necessary for you to have certain abilities (IE invulnerability) to run certain areas, but try to figure out where you most fit in. Players can most help you by telling you solid places to run, where to go to look for equipment, and helpful hints that the gurus have known for years. It’s just like trying to start any new MUD, it takes time to understand everything that is going on. Post any comments or questions you have to the board, and people will be more then happy to respond to you, or even help you out. If you need anything, you can always come to me for help (Druletheln / Benson / Sassafrass).