10 Tips for NOT Sucking at CoM

by Drachnor Durkan on January 28, 2011

in Drachnor's Blog, Instructional

This is transcribed and edited from our old blog. Originally posted by Drachnor on Friday, January 28, 2011.

It has been a while since I have written a blog entry, so I will start 2011 blog season off with a short piece about tips for enjoying your time on Cities of M’dhoria.

1. Attributes matter, so take time rolling and training.

Game mechanics are an important part of MUDs in general, and COM is no exception. The attributes that you roll and train will help your character become stronger as you level, and will make playing the game easier for you in the long run.Advice for leveling characters:

  • HP gain is primarily determined by class and secondarily by your CON.
  • Mana gain is primarily determined by class and secondarily by your INT and WIS.
  • Movement gain is primarily determined by your STR and DEX and secondarily by your class.
  • You will not suffer tremendously from a few levels without maxed attributes, but it is in your best interest to max them out with equipment or trains if possible.
  • Each skill has a primary attribute which increases points gained from practicing the skill and your chance of improving the skill. Having a higher attribute in DEX, for example, will increase the skill points gained from practicing dodge, and you will have a higher chance of improving dodge.
  • Each combat stat (attack, damage, defense, speed, and critical hit) is affected by your attributes.  See HELP COMBAT STATS for the breakdown.

2. CoM is a team sport, so find new friends and allies.

The game is designed to be played by multiple people, so a large portion of the game is geared around groups. The game is easier and more rewarding when you are interacting with other players in the game. As a role-playing game, you will have more fun if you are interacting with other players.The game’s mechanics and world are geared towards groups as well. Adventuring in a group gives increased chances for skill gains as group members help each other learn skills. Groups are able to face tougher opponents since they have a wider range of skills.

3. What race and class is the best?

This is perhaps the most frequently asked question that new players have. It is also one that has no correct answer. Veteran players know that each class and race has its weaknesses and strengths. Part of the secret to game success is learning to recognize these weaknesses and strengths and adjusting to them. A character’s strength is a function of the player’s knowledge of these strengths and weaknesses and their knowledge of the world that allows them to overcome those weaknesses.

4. Learn to target appropriately.

A common mistake new players make is specifying targets when casting combat spells or skills while fighting. Combat skills and spells will automatically target whatever you are currently fighting. If you specify a target like cast “magic missile” ogre and another ogre walks into the room, you will find yourself fighting two ogres instead of one. Careless use of targeting can also draw in player characters based on their short descriptions. When in combat, only target when necessary so you do not start inadvertent combat.

5. Don’t rely solely on “compare” and “consider” commands.

The compare command will compare two similar pieces of equipment, and the consider command compares a mobile to yourself. These commands only compare very basic values, such as the armor class of the equipment or levels of mobiles. Equipment has all sorts of other special effects to consider, such as attributes, HP bonuses, and resistance bonuses, so the best thing to do is to try on the piece of armor and check score. High level mobs are meant to be fought as groups, so higher level mobs become more powerful than players of the same level as level increases. When challenging stronger mobs, be prepared to flee the area and think of new strategies.

6. The CoM leveling system and you.

Leveling in CoM is not based on experience, but increasing your skills through use. As a result, it is possible to level a character to level 50 without changing out of the gear you started with in the academy and without leaving low level areas such as the Goblin Village. On MUDs that use the traditional experience system, you must continue to fight tougher and tougher mobs to gain experience to level. On CoM, leveling quickly is simply a matter of using as many skills as you can as frequently as you can. Because of this, spells are slower to improve than skills due to mana and spell slot restrictions. For the fastest leveling, avoid reliance on spells until absolutely necessary. If you are leveling dodges or combat skills, the worst equipment in the game is best to use; by dealing less damage, you prolong your fights and gain more chances to dodge attacks or use your skills/spells. Not all skills are as easy to learn as others, so experiment and find out which ones are easy to level and concentrate on as many of those as you can.

7. Examine the world and pay attention for suggested actions.

The world of M’dhoria is constantly changing and there are still undiscovered quests and features. When exploring the world, examine objects and try on equipment you find. Pay attention to colored words and hints which may suggest either a extra description keyword or a programmed action that can be performed. The builders like to hide secrets into areas for observant players to discover, and occasionally areas that are older get revamped, so this advice also applies to veteran players.

8. Boring people are boring (and also probably bored).

Seriously, don’t be a bobblehead. There are so many tips that apply here. No one has fun talking to someone that just nods their head. Be exciting by creating a character with a personality. Make it fun for others to be around you and everyone will have a good time.

9. Don’t take things personally.

At some point, someone is going to do something that you did not plan or that hurts your character in some way, and chances are you are going to do something like this to someone else. This is a shared story that is being written in real time, not just the story you want to tell. In such an event, you will have to step back and take a look at this from your character’s perspective rather than your own perspective as a player. Adapt and respond to the change in the story. You may want you to believe that everyone is conspiring against you, but it usually is not the case.

10. What exactly does PAFO mean?

Sometimes we answer questions directly and other times the answer is PAFO. PAFO stands for Play And Find Out, and it is a term we use for information that we want players to discover on their own. This is part of the exploration aspect of the game; in fact most of the things I have talked about in this blog entry are best described as things to PAFO. If you are asking a question and you are told to read HELP PAFO or to PAFO then you should know that we consider the answer to be a “SPOILER” for the game.

If you’re unsure whether we’ll answer a question, take a moment and ask yourself, “Can I find the answer to this question myself by reading helpfiles and playing the game?” If the answer is “yes,” chances are we won’t answer it for you.

BONUS TIP: Read the HELP files in the game.

There is a wealth of information in the help files in the game. Many of the old ones have been rewritten to give more information on how skills, spells, and other commands work. You can search for terms in the text of the help files with the scour command. Each race, class, city, skill, and spell has help files, and many suggest related help files for further information.

Some suggested help files include:

HELP NEWBIE TIPS
HELP LEAVING THE ACADEMY
HELP RULES
HELP SPIRIT OF THE RULES
HELP ROLEPLAYING

HELP LEVELING

HELP PLAYERKILL
HELP HARASSMENT
HELP LOOTING
HELP <YOUR RACE>
HELP SERIA

HELP ONE CITY

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