What makes Advent of the Mists different from other MUDs I’ve played?
The vast majority of MUDs use a system based around classes and levels to gauge player advancement. They also claim to be “roleplaying enforced”, while in reality their roleplaying revolves around little more than players of opposite alignments or opposing clans fighting each other in endless cycles. Often added to the mix is an incentive for players to spend countless hours mindlessly killing mobiles over and over for gold and equipment to make their character more powerful.
Advent was created with the founding principle that this model is not a good way to structure a true roleplaying game. It works very well if you want your players to charge around killing things and hoarding items to fight each other with, but we don’t really feel that can be called roleplaying. True roleplay is focused around telling stories, and the stories you can tell in a type of game like the one described above are very limited.
Advent of the Mists MUD is designed not just to be roleplay enforced, but roleplay intense – you will be challenged to roleplay no matter what your skill level. There will never be any reason for you to do a single thing your character would not do. Likewise, things like classes/guilds and alignments do not limit your character. In the absence of these limitations and artificial motivations, you can focus more energy on developing a character the way YOU envision. This, in turn, creates the possibility for telling deep and meaningful stories – true roleplaying.
Without classes or levels, how will players gain any skills to use?
Advancement on Advent is completely skill-based. Your character will not be limited by any type of class” or “guild” – after all, if a warrior wanted to learn to sing, why couldn’t he? To learn new skills, characters can seek our teachers, both PC and NPC, who know the skill well enough to teach it. Mastery of basic skills will allow players to learn more advanced related skills in turn (as the saying goes, you have to know how to crawl before you can walk).
Likewise, we feel that a “level” is better defined in In Character terms, rather than as an Out Of Character stat. An inexperienced adventurer attempting to learn magic is just that – an inexperienced magic user, rather than a “1st level” or “1st circle” mage.
We feel that by allowing the player to pick what skills their character would choose to learn, rather than choosing for you, and by eliminating the use of Out Of Character terms and limitations, we allow for more interesting and unique characters and in turn better quality of roleplaying.
But won’t it be possible for players to learn every skill in the game and become unrealistically powerful?
No. Questions on why your character would attempt to become a master of everything in the world aside, advancing and improving your skills will take time, just like in real life. To master a certain set of related skills would take a very long time indeed – one simply does not become a master swordsman in a week. It is unrealistic for any character to master, or even to learn, all of the available skills. In addition to this, characters will slowly forget skills that they have not used in a while. Thus mastering several unrelated groups of skills will not be feasible, making all-powerful characters who excel at everything impossible. A far better goal for the player is to master a single group of related skills, maintain a high level of skill in them, and become an authority in that discipline.
It will still be possible to learn and become proficient in skills that are unrelated to each other, of course. A soldier attempting to learn to sing will easily be able to do so. However, if the same soldier decided to become a noted thespian or performer, it would require a lengthy amount of time to practice his new trade, during which is fighting skills would undoubtedly erode due to lack of use.
How will my character raise their stats or skill proficiencies?
Just as in real life, your character will get better at the things he practices and does repeatedly. Thus, if you find yourself doing a good deal of physical labor, it is likely your character will gradually become stronger or hardier as a natural result of this. Likewise, Spending time regularly practicing a skill will result in your character slowly developing mastery over that skill, and possibly even gaining some understanding of other skills related to it as well.
Advent of the Mists has disposed of the “practices” and “trains” found on many stock MUDs. We see it as unrealistic to instantly become stronger or smarter as the result of one training session. Advancement happens gradually, for all characters, and is dependent on how often the skill or stat is called upon in your character’s everyday life, and is also affected in various ways by other factors.
This does not mean, however, that repeatedly and unrealistically attempting to boost a skill or stat by using it over and over – often known as “spamming” – will be tolerated or beneficial. Just as a student attempting to learn a semester’s worth of material the night before his final would fail, this method would fail as well. There is a certain limit on the amount of information a character’s brain can handle, and once that limit is reached, no further advancement will be possible. No one becomes an expert in their field overnight. Advancement will happen gradually over the course of your character’s life and actions. Play your character how you feel they would be played, while learning the skills you feel they would learn, and you will see yourself growing stronger and more skilled over time.
Will I be able to play a character that doesn’t know how to fight or doesn’t wish to fight?
Absolutely. There is nothing forcing everyone in the game to fight to gain experience or levels in Advent. Characters may certainly choose to learn combat skills, but there is no thing requiring that they do so. In Character status within the game is based on prestige and political position rather than strength alone. It is entirely possible for a character to reach a respected and powerful position without ever once touching a weapon or casting a spell, though they may want to consider hiring bodyguards or having some other method of self-defense. If you don’t feel that your character would learn or be interested in combat skills, then don’t learn them.
Without any sort of levels, what restricts inexperienced characters from wearing powerful equipment?
Nothing. Even if I don’t have the first clue how to fight with a sword, what would stop me from wielding it? Any character will be able to equip any weapon or armor they can find – how effective they will be with that item depends on their skills. A complete novice who comes across a master worked blade will still be able to fight with it; how long he keeps it may be a different story.
Will killing or stealing from NPCs be required to obtain powerful or prestigious equipment?
No. As stated above, combat skills are not a necessity for a character to have at all. The quality of what you wear will be determined more by your social status than your strength. Most of the equipment and clothing in the game will be created by players or bought in shops, rather than killed for or stolen. Thus, a rich character with higher status will be able to afford to be better clothed or equipped than a common character would be. This encourages characters to roleplay and seek In Character social advancement and recognition rather than simply killing NPCs to get the best items.
What about magical equipment that gives bonuses to my stats?
Equipment of this type will exist in the game, but it will be far more rare than on most MUDs. A bracelet that makes you stronger simply by wearing it should be a prized trophy, not a common trinket. Very few items in the game will have these sorts of effects, and the items that do will likely be one-of-a-kind artifacts with some kind of story behind them. You should not expect your character to come across such items in the course of everyday play.
How will I earn money to buy clothes and equipment?
Money can be earned in a variety of ways. Characters will be able to find jobs and complete quests to earn gold and silver. Many player-run organizations and governments will also pay salaries to their members. Your character could also learn a trade and peddle merchandise to other players, or even open up a shop to sell goods. Other characters might also hire your character to work for them as squires, bodyguards, artisans, or scribes.
What kind of player-run organizations will be available?
There are several organizations and governments planned for the start of the game. Characters will be able to join governments and enforce the laws of the land, become part of a royal court to achieve high social status, enter a union of merchant guilds, or join secret societies of characters with a common purpose. Player-run organizations will exist according to membership; thus some organizations may eventually die off and be replaced by others. Governments might split into separate states, or unite into one larger nation. The staff is open to adding new organizations if there is sufficient player interest and background development.
Are there In Character deities? Is there a church or religion system for worshipping them?
Advent will have an In Character religion system, but it will be a different type than that found on many other MUDs. Instead of characters choosing to follow and worship only a single deity, while not praying to or even showing respect to other deities, the entire pantheon in the game is designed to be worshipped together. Each deity will have his/her own sphere of influence on the world, and might be prayed to by a character at different times. A character might seek the blessing of the Goddess of Storms while crossing a sea, and later offer prayers to the Patron of Craftsmen before attempting to forge a sword. Characters seeking to become Prelates in the Church of Visola will be expected to worship all of the deities in some manner, though they may seek to primarily serve on specific deity if they choose.
The absence of alignments means that no deity’s teachings are necessarily “good” or “evil”, and thus direct conflicts between the teachings or followings of different deities are rare. This does not mean that the deities always get along, however. Visolan history offers many examples of the deities squabbling and competing with each other, and often mortals can find themselves caught in the middle.
What happens if my character dies?
Unlike so many other games where characters can pick themselves up and go along their way after being killed, death in Advent of the Mists is a very serious, and very harsh thing. If a character is killed, they are dead.
The administration realizes that this may seem unfair to the players, but it also adds a good deal of finality to death, and reinforces the fact that the characterâ€™s life and actions should be taken seriously. Roleplay opportunities also expand under this type of system as well – government leaders can actually be assassinated and their nation thrown into disarray, and hated criminals can be executed so that they will never plague the lands again.will be sent back to the world of Visola, but often may owe the deity who granted them new life a great debt. The gods’ tempers are short and their memories long, however, and it is unlikely that a soul who showed little respect to the pantheon will be granted new life.
If no deity chooses to grant mercy to the fallen character, the unlucky soul will remain dead. This means that for many characters, death will be permanent. The administration realizes that this may seem unfair to the players, but it also adds a good deal of finality to death, and reinforces the fact that the character’s life and actkions should be taken seriously. Roleplay opportunities also expand under this type of system as well – government leaders can actually be assassinated and their nation thrown into disarray, and hated criminals can be executed so that they will never plague the lands again.