One of the biggest drags of any game is downtime. In traditional board games this comes as people look up rules, count money, or go get snacks. In traditional role playing games this usually happens when people look up rules, do random Monty Python bits, and get snacks. In a MUD environment, these downtimes most often come during regen periods - time when you need to rest to heal or recharge your mana.
You could of course go get snacks when this happens, but there are other things
that might be more useful. The following will hopefully help new players
make the most of their regen time. Most of the following are Alter Aeon specific
tips, but many of them can be adapted or used for other kinds of games.
Downtime is a great time to find out about the game. On Alter Aeon the help
pages are a good start. Although they are not always complete or lack extensive
examples, they do provide a starting point. Simply use the
'help' command to look up keywords that you might find
interesting, or try looking up commands you don't know.
If you're a more chaos-oriented soul, you might want to try
'help -r' or 'help -random'.
This command brings up random help pages. It sometimes brings up humor hidden in
the help system, and it often brings up little used or historic, but no longer,
implemented commands that might be of interest. However, the primary reason for
looking at random help pages is to learn the breadth and scope of the spells, skills,
and commands available.
To see a list of commands available to you, use the 'commands'
command, or see the Alter Aeon web pages at
up commands you've never seen before (or even trying them by experiment) can reveal
some surprising things about the game.
For socials, you can see the strings for any given social using the
'social' command with the name of the social. For example,
try the command 'social bear hug'. There are over 250
socials in the game at the present writing and so hours of entertainment are
A second thing that one can put their valuable regen time to is finding and using
public channels. If you find other people, your mudding experience will likely improve.
The newbie channel is a great resource, as it provides a forum for questions that are
usually listened to and answered by more experienced players and developers. The newbie
channel is primarily used for answering new player questions, so to find other players
you may wish to search for other channels.
The gossip channel is one such possibility, and there are a number of other prominent
channels used often by players. There are also a number of special use channels, such
as the pk channel (for player versus player arena battles) and the
(It may be easier to find other newbies or players using the 'who'
commands. The 'groups' command shows a list of groups and players looking for
groups, while the 'who' command can be used to find players of a similar level to
yourself. As an example, the command
'who 5 10' will show you all players between level 5
and level 10.)
Still another useful way to spend your regen time is to look at the area and deed lists.
At first, many of these will mean little or nothing to you; it does little good to know
that there is an ice worm of the Ash Mountains if you've never been to the Ash
Mountains. However if you one day inadvertently find the Ash Mountain range, you may
think twice before charging blindly ahead. Checking the
'area' and 'deed' commands can
help to give you a frame of reference when exploring.
The suggested level recommendations on areas, although sometimes inaccurate and open
to interpretation, can give you another guide to use when deciding where to explore.
Using both the deed and area lists can give focus to your questions. If you wish to
accomplish a deed, finding out which area it is in and checking through the area lists
and descriptions can often help, with everything from directions to the area to what
dangers or interesting things to look for once you get there.
(A note here: deeds are not normally explained in detail by most players of the game.
If you wish to learn how to complete a deed, it is strongly encouraged that you try
your hand at it first, before seeking any help. When seeking help, it is a good idea
to only ask for hints on a particular piece of the quest, for example,
'I am stuck on the box part of the MouseSlayer quest, can someone
give me a hint on what I should do with the box?'. It's a bad idea to ask
someone to tell you how to do the whole deed or to do the deed for you; both of these
things are considered bad manners.)
Finally, the best use of regen time is to make friends. Even if you're not a social
person, run with as many people as possible and use regen time to find other players
with similar playing interests, similar RL interests, etc. Alter Aeon has a varied
and extremely diverse player base, and most of the players enjoy a good conversation.
Waiting on regen is a perfect time to get to know other players better.