Welcome to Astaria, new player! Astaria is a MUD, or Multi-user Domain/Dungeon. This guide will operate under the assumption that you are new to MUDs in general, and Astaria in particular. Astaria is set in a unique, original high fantasy setting, with a number of different races to try out.
Getting Started: Your name
First things first, you will need a name for your character! In general, names should be kept reasonably within what could be considered a fantasy theme. It is probably inadvisable to use your real name, but feel free to do so if it is not already taken. Also, it's also not recommended to take a name that is offensive. Astaria does have two further restrictions on names:
- Your name cannot exceed 12 characters in length (No longer than "Salithirieni"), for example.
- Your name cannot have "special characters" in it, including spaces and apostrophes. (e. g. your name cannot be "Drizzt Do'Urden", nor can it be "Fëanor".)
If you cannot think of a name to use, there are a number of random name generators over the Internet, including the one at this website.
After selecting a name, you are presented with a screen to select your species. This selection will determine what guilds you are able to join, so keep that in mind when making your selection. Your dwarven mage ideal will be cut short when you realize that dwarves do not have the capacity to cast spells. There are 15 races to choose from, but for the most part there are two ways to play them:
- High strength races, which usually involve hitting things with your wielded weapon and less use of your spells.
- High spell point races, which usually involve burning your spell points away with whatever combat spells you have.
Eventually, the game turns into the latter for everybody, but that is usually against hard-to-kill "treasure server" monsters. Keep in mind all races regain lost health and spell points at differing rates, so your dwarf spellpoint-burner isn't going to be much fun at low levels without some means of artificially speeding spell point regeneration.
So you've selected your name and race, and now are presented with a screen to choose your heritage. There are few differences in heritages for the moment:
- Nomads will gain more endurance points than the others, thus they will be able to move through more rooms. This stops being an issue in late-game, though.
- Scholars will gain more spell points than the others, thus they will be able to cast more spells. This is probably one of the two still-useful choices.
- Nobles gain access to the lordship insignia item, sold for 5 tricrown at the Westkeep store in Altheon. Although not freely available to new players, this item modifies the "sell value" of all items you sell to stores by 10%, thus you make 10% more money when selling items you do not need. By the time you can afford this, you are usually big enough to make up for the cost within the next week.
But beyond this, heritage selection has not had much real difference in many years, thus it is a matter of roleplay or "decoration" for your character. After choosing your heritage you are presented with an optional room where you can choose some basic decorative features for your character such as hair and eye color.
Welcome to the game
When you leave the decoration room, you are sent to the "map room", and shown how to use the helpline. As the text states, type 'who helper' to make sure someone's listening, and type 'helpline <message>' to talk on that line.
East of this starting room there is an npc named "Wormy." Go east and 'ask wormy about equipment,' and he will give you a full set of gear to use. Type 'ready' to equip all your armor and wield your weapons. Go west, then north, then go east twice (shorthand: w, n, 2e - when you ask for directions somewhere in game, the response will usually be in this format). You should be in a room called "Starkeep Grand Hall." This is the center of Starkeep, the center of the city of Astaria, and the natural place to center yourself on. Grand Hall is commonly referred to as "GH."
A good starting point for the newbie's adventures to read 'help newuser' and then 'help newbieareas' - try your hand at killing things in the areas listed there. In general, you will always have more experience points than needed to level, and be short on money. This is going to be the case for a long, long time (you can ask Palmir for his notes), but you can alleviate this process by remembering to 'search' the rooms where you killed things to hopefully find something to sell. If you're running low on health or spell points, in-game food can heal you and restore lost spell points, as can some potions. If you don't have any of these, just go get a cup of coffee, water, or surf the web for a minute or two to allow your character to regenerate. Not all areas are safe to simply allow you to leave your keyboard, though. Be on the lookout for things that hurt you seemingly at random. Do remember, however, that death is not final, and at low levels the effects of death are fairly mild (you know, relatively speaking).