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Library: Anaconda's Survival Guide

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Author: Shadowjack
Date:Nov 2 1995

[ Shadowjack's note:  _Anaconda's Survival Guide_ was written,
  obviously, by Anaconda.  This is *not* written by me.  Anaconda
  wrote this guide shortly after the third BatMUD conversion, but
  much earlier than Bat-4's "no save" conversion (which introduced the
  "battle formation" combat system). ]

Date: Tue May 24 02:06:36 1994

Well Anaconda's Survival guide has been rewritten/revised for this new
and somewhat crazy system we're using now.  I've divided it up into 
sections to help with readability as well as organize it a bit.  The
guide includes sections on:  Newbie areas and general info, To party
or not to party?, How to get in a party, How to run/organize a party,
A few bits of knowledge on partying in general, Responsibilities of a
tank, Responsibilities of the other party members, and last but not 
least the keys to success on Batmud.  The sections on running and organizing
a party would benefit old and new players alike.  And there are many 
older players out there that might learn from the responsibilities sections.
But overall the rest of the guide is aimed at new players and newbies
trying to learn how to play Batmud.  This is a very complex and varied mud
but that in itself is some of its charm.  In the beginning I had a friend 
show me the mud and answer my questions or I would have likely gotten
frustrated and quit.  Thats why I wrote this...to help you as a fellow
player muddle through things and learn how and what to do.  I learned 
by trial and error and many times the hard way like you will too, but
I can only hope the info contained in the guide will save you some 
headaches.  If you ever have questions about the mud...first ask on
bat channel.  (with so many people on there's bound to be someone that
knows the answer.)  If that dont work...ask a higher level player.  If
I'm not busy, fighting, or just miss your tell I'll do what I can to 
help.  

++++++++++++++++++++

     The info contained herein many may not agree with however most of
it comes from much actual playing experience of my own and others.  If
you dont agree with part or all of it, thats your perogative.  I only hope
that some will benefit from what is contained herein.

                       Anaconda's Survival Guide

     Well first of all fill out the first 15 levels of your background.
This background gives you some base skills/spells that you'll need to
get a start in Batmud without making choices and spending exp foolishly.
During these first 15 levels you can not join any other guilds so all
of your exp will go into levels.  Save all cash you can during this time
for the skills/spells you'll need to train/study after 15th level.  Another
wise thing to do with cash is to save $ for your own castle.  Personally
I advise buying a castle jointly with another player you know well or
frequently party with.  You can also buy a chest or safe and then keep it
in a friend's castle until you can afford your own.

                         Newbie areas
I would give directions to these areas but with the implementation of
the new wilderness the directions might change so directions will be 
given only if within city.  (instead wizard realms will be used)

Digga's newbie area...2e of church, read sign and it explains.  You can
get some free armour and weapon once per boot.

Tonze's mines (you'll need a torch or see in dark naturally)  The flies
are great for levels 1-8 players.  The baby black puddings are more of a
challenge but give some eq, money and good exp...for level 8-15th players.
I'd advise leaving big black puddings alone as well as orc captains and
skeleton dwarves.

Sarku's dusty fields.  The Mantis' are weak and have a weapon and carrots
for food.  There are trolls and barbarians with weapons and equipment as
well.  If you look around you'll find an orc cave with easy orcs to kill.
Dont worry about the monsters being aggressive they are not tough.

Sarku's temple.  The initiate priests, temple guards and worshippers are good
targets for newbies.

The cemetary.  from church its 1e,1n and keep going west.  The monsters are
aggressive but very wimpy.

At the central square (cs on city map)  is a clock.  You can enter the
clock for a newbie area.

Ladies carrying umbrellas, cats, and dogs and a few other town folk in
the main city are wimpy enough for newbies to try to kill as well.

In general most monsters that are aggressive will beat the crap out
of you.  So unless you know its weak avoid aggressive monsters.  Use
consider...thats what it is for!

++++++++++++++++++++

               What do I need as a Newbie?
     Your background should have provided you with some base skills/spells
needed for survival.  Well there are certain skills/spells you should
train or get as soon as possible.  The Crimson Brigade requires members
train the skill consider.  This is very smart.  Consider will help
prevent you from attacking a monster that might kill you in one or two
hits.  Spellcasters as well as fighter types would benefit from getting
this skill.  The skill attack is of utmost importance to fighter type
guilds.  Attack affects how often you hit in combat.  Next in importance
for fighter type guilds are weapon proficiencies.  I advise specializing
in a few weapons if possible and only raise the others to the %'s required
by your guilds.  Good choices are sword, ancient, axe, and bludgeon.
For fighter types a skill usable in combat really helps.  For newbies
push, kick, and bash are good choices.  Personally I recommend push
for a combat skill.  Two important skills are doublehit and left wield
in that order.  Parry for newbies also really helps newbie tanks be able
to party and take on tougher monsters.  Remember using parry reduces the
damage you take but also lowers your attack %.  Magic missile makes a
good beginning offensive spell for those capable of studying it.  You'll
need about 50-65% of it to cast it with good reliability.  With spellcasting
the skill cast generic is EXTREMELY important.  Cast generic and the actual
% studied of the spell are most critical to the actual calculated chance 
of the spell going off.  Cast generic is so important because it affects
the % that every spell will be cast successfully.  Later raise your
specific cast skills to help increase the success of spells. (cast magic,
fire, cold, etc...)  As a spellcaster I suggest getting the skill that
saves sp's as soon as you can because you will fail spells often and
it really really helps.


++++++++++++++++++++

                To Party or not to Party?

     I solo frequently and I party a lot also but I do each for 
different reasons.  (note:  I prefer to party myself)  A player
usually can do very well money grubbing alone but poor exp wise.
In a party you usually can get decent equipment easier and exp faster.
The bigger monsters usually have the better equipment thus making 
partying a necessity.  Batmud has been set up so one can solo but 
you will not accomplish a whole lot in gaining exp.  This is a 
partying type mud so if you're used to the traditional LPmuds 
where one can solo exclusively better quit now and look elsewhere.
Part of Batmud's charm lies in the fact partying is necessary.  When
you party you interact with other players and thats what makes it
fun.  You learn to organize, conserve sp's whenever possible, deal
with the unexpected (esp when in Zonni's swamp), and many other 
useful things working in a party.  A well organized and 'run' party
is for the most part unstoppable. (unless the monster cheats. ->
ie. the monster can cast spells but players can not or the like.)
A party can if not organized and 'run' right be less productive
than soloing and also give you an incredible headache.  With 
partying you usually make mistakes but hopefully nobody will die and
most importantly you learn from your boo-boo's.

++++++++++++++++++++

              So How do I get in a Party?
    There are numerous ways to get into a party or create one.  I've
seen many players using channels/shouting to try to get in a party.
In my opinion unless you are infamous in terms of players this method
is the least preferred and least successful.  Shouting I NEED EXP 
will only serve to annoy those who might want to party with you.
(Ignore 19 usually is turned on thereafter.)  Using bat channel usually
also is not too effective because the better players tend not to party
with people who advertise on alert, bat, or shout about it.  If I had
to sum it up the key to getting in parties is your reputation as a
player and esp in a party.  Other players who party with me know at
times I can be an absolute bitch/asshole; however, in a party I know
what I'm doing.  More than once I've had to get ole' Yari's nasty
smelling butt out some situation.  To build yourself a reputation
start gathering knowledge about the mud, monsters, and treasures.
Try not to make big blunders in a party and if you do apologize and
learn from the screw-up.  Another method I've seen used is sending the
ole' multi-tells to a bunch of players asking to party.  Sometimes
this works but the trouble with this, using channels, and shouting
is that it annoys people and players always assume someone else either
already has or will answer.  The method that seems to work pretty well
is to directly ask another player to party. (using tell)  Ask if
they want to create a party of if you can join their current one.
If you get a 'so and so' is not accepting tells it usually means they
have ignore turned up so they can concentrate on something they are
doing.  The other possibility is that you've somehow annoyed them
and they are ignoring just you.  This method works well because you
are personalizing your request.  You are MUCH MUCH more likely to 
at least get a 'yes or no'.  If the answer is no dont get frustrated
and keep trying.  Also if you ever get a 'person name' (combat) or
'person name' (BUSY) its best to not bother them at the time.  Just
try again awhile later with that person.  Now about begging...
Begging for exp or a party via tell or otherwise usually gets one
nowhere and gets you labelled as a whiner.  As a higher level player
I'm more inclined to help someone out if they ask concisely and
politely.  Higher level players really do have a responsibility to do
'charity' work as I call it from time to time.  Basically partying with
or helping out lower level players.  So if Yari, myself, or some
other higher level player party invites you for no reason, join and
then ask questions later.  Usually it just means they feel like helping
out.

++++++++++++++++++++

                  How to organize/run a party.

     This is one of the more critical aspects of partying.  If its 
done inproperly people will earn little exp, get frustrated, and often
die.  There are many ways to organize and run a party but I've seen a
couple very successful methods and its those I'll discuss here.  First
off everyone knows its the party leader that takes the hits directly
>from the monster.  Normally the other party members wont get hurt unless
the monster casts area spells or does some other nifty special attacks.
Before the new guild system one organize a party by the tank (one with
the most hp's and best armour) in front with the weakest (hp wise)
spellcaster next behind the tank in party order.  The spellcaster or 
player next in party order (#3) should have the second to lowest hp's.
The last person in the party should have the 2nd to highest hp's in
the party.  The reason for this is area spells.  Area spells divide
out damage in this manner: 1/1, 1/2, 1/3 to third target, 1/4 to fourth,
etc...you get the point.  Well the tank gets hit for 1/1 or full damage.
The LAST person in the party gets hit with 1/2 damage.  The second to
the last person should get hit with 1/3 damage.  This will proceed in
such a manner moving from rear to front excluding the tank who already
took the brunt of the damage. (NOTE:  The use of area spells on groups
of monsters produces the same results.  So monster #2 in a group of 
monsters will not be getting hurt as badly.)  Well the arch wizard
realizing this is in fact what happens with area spells intended on
fixing it.  He intends on making damage from area spells going from
the front of the party to rear in straight order.  I dont think its
been fixed as such yet but stay alert because it might change.  If so
just put your party members in descending hp order from highest to the
lowest in the back.
     In general in a party you usually need someone with a lot of hp's,
someone who can heal, someone who can cast defense spells, and someone
who can cast offense spells.  Sometimes you dont need all of those but
a well balanced party will have players capable of these different areas.
So when trying to get a party organized try to get people who can 
cover these different areas.
     Now for the down and dirty.  Here are 2 effective methods of 
'running' a party I use and have seen frequently used.  One I'd call
the one boss method and the other I'd call the joint leadership method.
The biggest problem I frequently see in parties is that you have
too many chiefs and not enough indians.  You have one or more players
who argue with or try to lead the party besides the actual party 
leader.  This usually results in chaos and multiple deaths.  In the
one boss method the party leader is the one in charge.  He/she
will make final decisions, let the party know where they are going or
are, give name of next target, specify what spells he/she wants cast
them and by whom, and in some cases what spells to use on the monster.
This might seem a bit dictatorial for many but its works quite 
effectively.  The party members still supply ideas or advice as always
but its the leader's call.  This is useful for often the tank has a 
feeling what kind of beating they can take and survive through.
The leader using a countdown before entering combat usually works
quite well as it allows everyone to time skills/spells accordingly.
The one boss method I described names the party leader as the 
'boss', but really it can work just as well with someone else
assuming this leadership role.  As long as its one person and the
other party members can agree on it.
     I prefer the joint leadership method myself.  The joint method
has 2 people in charge of the party's well-being.  One of the two in
charge is the tank or actual party leader.  The other person in charge
is the most experienced spellcaster in the party.  The tank will 
organize and control all of the fighter-like aspects of the party
including any other fighter-like party members.  The head spellcaster
will coordinate and be in charge of all spellcasters in the party.
This method if done properly works extremely well with little wasted
time or sp's.  Often the tank/fighter types have expertise in fighter
type things and not spellcasting.  The reverse is true of course and
is why this is such an effective method of party leadership.  The
head spellcaster should via tells communicate with the other spellcasters
planing exactly who casts what both in combat and prior to combat.
This way Sandar automatically knows he casts the blurred image on Yari,
while Waldon does one displacement, and I do the final one.  In combat
then all healing and attack spells would already be organized so the 
tank can concentrate on doing his job.  The spellcasters can all give
a ready (indicating all prep-combat spells are cast.) and the tank gives
the countdown to actual combat.  With this method the tank can moreve the
party about from place to place while the head spellcaster teleports to
the city and gets all items the rest of the party might need.  The best
strategies seem to develop when you have planning by these 2 leaders
openly with other party members supplying ideas.  The final strategy
used then is decided on by the 2 experts in their respctive fields.
The other extreme I've seen is where nobody is the actual leader or
makes the final decisions.  This leads to 20 minutes of Gee, I dunno
George which monster do you think we should kill??  What is important
is that someone leads.

++++++++++++++++++++

             A final word on Partying

     Players often party with other players they know or have played
with before.  The reason for this is because they know what they are
like.  I like to party with Yari or Waldon or Sandar because I know
how they think.  (too frequently Yari and I get in one another's heads :)
In a good party little actually has to be said because members each
know their jobs in the party and do them.  Unfortunately not all 
parties work this way.  Frequently there is an idiot or two in a party.
These people either try to lead when they should just listen or follow
along and just downright STUPID things.  A spellcaster who decides
to create food while his tank is getting the crap pounded out of him
qualifies as an idiot.  (No joke I've seen this actually happen.)
Tanks who start combat without defense spells when they need them
qualify also.  These are people who you want to avoid mainly because
they hurt the party cohesion or get people killed needlessly.  You'll
find the players that try to disrupt leadership need to be told to
chill out and shut up or hit the road.  The true 'idiots' often
were idiots at 20th level and still remain as such at 50th level.
The only way you'll know for sure is to try them out once and 
if they are idiots you make a mental note not to party with them in 
the future.  NOTE:  Idiots are those that make mistakes...stupid ones
and dont ever seem to learn from them.

++++++++++++++++++++

                       Responsibilities of the Tank

     In my book the tank has certain responsibilities to make things
run smoothly as do the other party members.  Thats why I included
this section in the survival guide.  The tank is responsible for 
keeping alive each and EVERY member of his party.  If worst comes
to worst the tank should die if it means the other party members
could escape. (the word sacrificial lamb comes to mind)  The tank
doesnt leave his party standing with the monster alone with their
pants down just because he didnt want to lose some exp.  For some
ungodly reason tanks dont seem to notice spells cast at them 
by a monster.  (Unless its dest armour or weapon then they amazingly
seem to take notice.)  The reason for this is that the tank has many
more hp's and wont often notice a few of their many hp's gone from
an area spell.  Spellcasters who have few hp's to begin with really
get pissed when they lose 3/4 of their total hp's from one area spell.
The tank needs to pay attention to what a monster casts.  If its an
area spell and the tank has party members with low hp's, after one
area spell he needs to run out and let members get healed quickly
and then go back in. (or revise tactics.)  Its not cool to let your
party members get area spelled to death.  Also you let your party
members get too hurt you'll be fighting said monster alone because
the rest of your party will have word of recalled out or already died.
If a monster throws an area spell do a quick party status and check
the conditions of your party members. (heck clerics have to do this
all the time for their tanks hp's)  Before leaving a room after
regrouping up or before entering combat the tank should do a party
status to be certain all members are following.  If for some reason
your party members get separated from you unexpectedly try to find 
them quickly.  You have the most hp's so you should be able to run
around in a potentially dangerous area to find them easier than
they can.  Make sure before you actually enter combat everyone is
ready and understands what they are supposed to do as well as the target's
name.  Since you're the tank you need decent armour in 'most' cases.
Your spellcasters cant do much with defensive spells if you're wearing
heavy junk armour.  Dont carry excessive amounts of money as it will
weight you down.

++++++++++++++++++++

                 The role of the other Party members

     More often than not the other party members consist of spellcasters.
It is your job to keep your tank alive at all costs. (esp since the tank's
survival usually ensures yours also.)  Pay attention to what your tank's
hp's are during a fight esp if you are doing the healing or with a new
or unexperienced tank.  If your tank suddenly stops hitting and the monster
is still hitting your tank is stunned.  That means he's losing hp's really
fast in most cases and you need to either kill the monster VERY fast or
heal him quickly.  Except in special cases your tank should never have
to ask for healing during combat.  The person healing will be 
monitoring the tank's hp's so it shouldnt be needed too much.  Make sure
the necessary defense spells are on your tank before he takes the whole
party into combat.  Let the tank verbally know what you're going to cast so he
doesnt run into combat prematurely.
Also since the tank will be busy with his combat skills you should
be doing the scanning of the monster and giving reports during the fight
of the monster's health or lack thereof.  Whenever you flee in combat
and end up in a room alone with monsters nearby in an area you dont
know real well you are better off staying put.  Let your tank run
around and regroup the party.  Always make sure you are following the
tank unless the tank says specifically not to.  Nothing is more 
annoying and wasteful than running back 30 rooms to pick up some
party member because they didnt party follow.  The party members are 
the pack rats of the party.  Your tank needs to have his equipment
feather weighted (in most cases).  It is critical that the tank carry
as little weight as possible.  Weight affects your tank's defense
factor.  The more he carries the more the monster is going to pound
him.  Food for the party should be suppolied by normally the 
spellcasters.  A feather weighted tinning kit or create food will 
suffice to meet most needs.  All money and treasure gathered should
be carried by the other party members and NOT the tank.  (thats why
the other party members need to have their eq already feather 
weighted.)  Except under extreme circumstances never turn your
word of recall off.  (even if your tank insists on it, just adjust
your wimpy setting instead.)  Your tank doesnt have 250hp's and 
no armour on.  Just like your tank should come with some decent
armour to the party you need certain equipment as well.  + con
equipment will help you remain in combat longer than without them.
+ int or wis eq will help add some more sp's.  But most important
for partying is regen gear.  There no reason a spellcaster shouldnt
have at least 2 sewer rings.  (unless you absolutely cant afford it
but you can always go make them.)

++++++++++++++++++++

             The Keys to Success on Batmud

     The key to success in Batmud is twofold, teamwork and knowledge.
>From the time that I've spent on Batmud I've realized many players
have to rely on the former because they lack the latter.  Let me
explain what I mean exactly by these 2 terms.  Knowledge consists of
knowing the mud in general.  Know where different areas are as well as
what wizards created them.  By knowing the areas you'll know where to 
go and how to get the equipment you need and want.  Be an expert in 
your field.  What I mean by this is whether you're a fighter or a
spellcaster know how to use your skills/spells to their best advantage.
To become an expert you'll learn by trial and error as well as 
asking the 'elders' of your guild.  Know what you're going to fight.
Know what spells/skills a monster uses as well as special attacks
if applicable.  It's not too much fun getting hit by lava storm as
spellcaster when previously you thought the monster only cast flame
arrow.  READ THE NEWS GROUPS!!!!!!!!!!  By doing this you can keep
current on changes the arch wizards make.  (some possibly major)
You can also keep up with smaller changes as they come.  Ideas,
complaints, and various assundry things can be aired in the news groups.
Now the second part of the key is teamwork.  By teamwork I mean
helping one another out.  By helping others you in turn help 
yourself.  Because maybe not today or tomorrow but someday they'll 
repay you or help you out.  The sections concerning partying
are also part of teamwork.  A good and well organized party can
deal with almost anything thrown at them.  A group with Yari, Osir,
Waldon, and Sandar with the acquired experience and knowledge as
well as teamwork shows exactly what success is.  The concept of
teamwork would also apply to a guild.  Members of a guild ought
to support one another, discuss problems and solutions (pertaining
to the guild), as well as keep others in the guild informed.  Well,
I've explained the keys to success in Batmud.  And if used properly
no matter what the forces of evil (or Zonni) throw at you, you'll
still come out on top.  Knowledge and teamwork are your weapons so
sharpen and hone them to use in the fight.

               That's all folks......
                   Anaconda *


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