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Gazette 1999-09-25
Articles | Archives | Gazette | 1999 Gazettes | Gazette 1999-09-25
     ___The Official AVATAR___________________________________
        ________                          __     __           
       /  _____/ _____   ________  ____ _/  |_ _/  |_   ____  
      /     ___ __    ____  /_/ __ \   __\   ___/ __  
          _   / __ _ /    /   ___/ |  |   |  |    ___/ 
       ______  /(____  //_____  ___  >|__|   |__|   ___  >
              /      /       /     /                   / 
     ________________________________________ 25 Sep, 1999 ___

         _    |
         `~-._|    
          `   ~ )Telnet to Avatar at: avatar.walrus.com 3000   
            -  //         Visit the Avatar web page at:
       ,,.--(_ ("""'^.     http://www.walrus.com/~avatar
      ;;( ,___, ,/~`;   
     ;' )/>/  '--,      
        | `   |"       
        "   "  "
     __________________________________________________________
     Table of Contents
     __________________________________________________________

          1. Editorial by Dizzy 
          2. The Alt by Gup 
          3. A Look Looks at the Past By Atreana 
          4. How To Kill Off Your Group by Jessica 


     ________________________________
     1. Editorial by Dizzy 
     ________________________________

An unusual issue this week. First, you'll note that there are only four
articles (including this editorial) which is slightly off the normal
number of five articles per issue.  The three player articles here are
some of the highest quality that we've ever published, and their combined
length caused me to limit the number of articles this time around.

Lets talk a second about our submissions this week:

- Gup's "The Alt" fired my imagination, and is an excellent example of
first person fiction. I loved it. 

- Lord history as related by Atreana is a retread, and for a good reason,
it's the best timeline I've seen on how the Lord game got to where it is
(while retaining the air of mystery about this awesome class of mortals). 

- I chuckled throughout Jessica's article on killing off your groupies. 
To enjoy the irony and subtle inferences (Pine Head, for instance), you'll
need to read last week's editorial

Diz

     ________________________________
     2. The Alt by Gup
     ________________________________

I considered myself a borg at one point in my life. My body, my blood, and
my sword were used for the services of a drow psionicist. When the
immortals decreed that no one person would have the power to control
another, I was left in the void for one, maybe two years. When I awoke, I
felt a surge of knowledge that I had never known before. I had the
knowledge of mana, the vulnerability of mobiles, and most importantly, the
knowledge of my existence and purpose. 

In comparison to my master, I was by far his inferior. Whereas he had full
command of his mind and body, a vast resource of the coveted mana, and
with it the ability to take on hoards of mobiles on his own, I was limited
to my sword and armor. I was limited in seeking the help of others like
myself, who needed others to gain more power. 

During my early stages, I would wake and in front of me would be a
masterfully crafted armor or sword. When I decided to venture forth (or my
master might have forced me onward), I would feel strange whispers behind
me. These whispers would course through my veins and charge my blood with
power longer and more powerful than the ones that I would cast. Yet, I
knew, or my master planted in my mind, that this wasn't power. No. Power
was elsewhere. 

As the days passed, I became more and more familiar with my body and its
capabilities. Deftly, I began to slaughter the mobiles in a rapid pace as
my master had done before me. Yet, whereas my master's style was
definitely more planned in accordance to his magical resources, my tactics
were plainly hack and slash. Kill after kill, I screamed as my sword
ripped through a mobiles body, sucking their breath and converting it to a
part of my essence. I wanted to be more than he was. My ambition began to
grow. Soon, the whispers left me. I no longer wanted them, nor did I need
them. A comrade who would accompany me in my slaughters would offer to
"spell" me up, but I'd refuse. No, I didn't need anyone's help. 

****

Five letters . . . five simple letters that I had uttered, took me to
another world of existence. Physically, I had never stepped foot into this
land. Yet it was strangely familiar. The voices that had whispered strange
incantations in the past were now commending me on my retransformation.
Even the almighty Snikt exclaimed "Gup? Who the heck is Gup? Wasn't he
level 23 yesterday!?" 

Suddenly I was taken into the void and when I awoke in front of me was a
bag. I immediately grabbed the bag and peered inside. I could feel my
master's power and I could smell his blood on the armor within that bag. I
stripped off my former equipment which no longer fit me and donned on this
new gear. Magic pulsed from every part of my body. This gear was obtained
through the blood of my master. I could feel his voice behind me urging me
down. His psionic being was now imbued in me. His knowledge of the world
known as AVATAR resided in me. I took a step down to a glorious spectacle
of beings that brimmed with energy. A curiously looking bald kzinti
beckoned me and I followed. I put on my helm and a voice whispered "you
feel safe, master." Master. . . Yes. He and I were one now. 
 

     ________________________________
     3. A Look Looks at the Past By Atreana 
     ________________________________

Hi Dizzy 
Only reason I thought of resubmitting it is because the newer lords have
no recollection of the past history of the lord game, like who the first
lord was or how hard the game was back then. Also, Snikt liked this
article very much he told me, so I figured it might be worth resubmitting.

________________________________

As the Lords embark on a new era ushered in by the rebuild, I take you on
a nostalgic excursion into past eras of the Lord class as experienced by
this old Lord.

EARLY ERA 
Darksword was the very first Lord of Avatar. There were many who morphed
before me. When I was a new Lord, I enjoyed listening to their exciting
adventures of danger in an era before my time. For you see, it was
literally impossible to level until around Feb 97 but some of these brave
Lords still grouped occasionally and tried their best to explore and kill
mobs in the foreboding area known as Outland. I remember watching the
Lords planeshift on INFO channel as I led my hero groups. I anxiously
awaited the day it would be my turn to join them. Names I remember on INFO
channel, some of whom are no longer on help lordlist were Ganymede, Leah,
Vampyre, Darksword, Luigi, Wraithchilde, Rimbaud, McNamara, Delphy, Molly,
Gadzooks, Macros and Zenoran. Lord life was tough with not much to do but
shift and die. Snikt eventually bestowed on the old Lords 75 levels and
tweaked up their stats in return for their patience. I was honored to be
included in that list of old Lords.

PIONEER ERA 
Atreana (Hum War) morphed on Dec. 17, l996 with 18K HP and 3900 M, the
third highest morph gain on Avatar at the time after Skurge and Leah.
Synergy (Hum Mar) morphed at the same moment I did. Tarzan (Trog War) and
Mierin (Dgn Cle) followed a few weeks later. We were thrilled with our new
stats, skills and rank and couldn't wait to embark on awaiting adventures.

We had no idea what to expect or how to prepare for these first Lord
groups. Back then, there weren't that many of us and even fewer who
actually grouped. We were the pioneers and it was an exciting time! So we
shifted from Sanctum 1E 1D clad in hero hit/dam gear. There was no Lord
gear to speak of except the daggers and the rumors of ungettable silver
gear we had only heard about from the older Lords. 

Vampyre was the leader of my earliest groups. I remember going to Outland
loaded down with bags full of vosh in groups of 10-12 Lords and getting
pummeled at shift point. If someone called for help, we would create
incredible spam by typing get all.vosh body and dropping it all on the
ground for whomever needed it in a desperate attempt to save their life.
It was crazy fun. If we were lucky enough to survive, we would try a
second mage and maybe a third, although we were usually out of HP, mana
and vosh by then, so we would recall back to Midgaardia to regen for 45
minutes. 

I was in awe of whom I consider the greats: Synergy, Tarzan, Drakken and
Mierin. These Lords were highly skilled players with an incredible spirit
of adventure. They taught me how to lead groups, how fun it is to take
risks and how to "be a Lord". When their innovative strategies proved to
work too well and we started leveling too quickly, the Immortals would
change things on us and we would be back talking new strategy during our
long regens. I loved the changes and the challenges and I never had so
much fun!

It was Tarzan who came up with this crazy idea that the whole group should
wear AC gear. Leary of his plan, I begrudgingly enchanted a set of hero AC
gear at his ethusiastic insistance. Well it turns out his "crazy idea"
revolutionized Lord play. Heh, I remember Tarzan leading seven of us into
a room in Tarterus with 14 mobs just to see how his AC would hold up. I
give Tarzan credit also for being the first to discover the advantages of
throw, another revolutionary strategy that brought a higher level of
teamwork into the game.

Heh, I remember Synergy dragging me kicking and screaming into a breath
mob's room in, the then unplayable area, Tarterus in a group of six at
10tnl. I died right after I got breathed, losing 6 items worn and a body
bag, but at least we got a look at Anthraxus to see what equipment he was
wearing. I was pouting over my loss at my recall when Synergy and the
group showed up, giving me the gear off their backs to help me out. It was
the lust for risk and adventure, the selflessness, and the comeraderie
that made Lord play so gratifying . 


LORD ARMY ERA
Getting enough Lords to group has always plagued the Lord class. Many
Lords who played with us regularly stopped completely after call lightning
damage was reduced, so it was hard once again mustering up a group.
Begging was raised to an art form by those of us who craved the game. Some
of us stayed logged on all day waiting. Then we got the idea of playing
our hero alts while we waited for a Lord group and before you know it we
had created several Lords each. Hence the Era of the Lord Armies began. 

Drakken & Co., as we fondly called him, had the first, the oldest, and the
biggest Lord army, consisting of 7 and later 8 lords. The lord channel
always brightened when he arrived for we knew it meant an instant group
and a big adventure was in store. Tarzan, Synergy and Alomar followed with
their armies and Mierin with her three alts and we were back in business
being able to play again. My team became Atreana/Darkhorse or
Atreana/Atlanta, since I preferred multiplaying with only one other alt.
Now always assured of a group, we were able to play as often and as long
as we wanted, only requiring one or two friends to log on.

I remember my obssession with being the first to explore Hell and
searching for Tiamat in order to learn what treasures lay hidden there. We
couldn't convince anyone else to follow us into the clutches of multiple
breathing dragons, so three of us shifted with two alts, five total, and
explored Hell all day, exploring and dying over and over again until we
completed our quest. Eleven of our Lords alts took on Tiamat that evening
and we were able to defeat one before a few of us died and the rest fled.
We still considered this a successful event. 

Because with multiplay you needed only to convince one or two people to do
something wild and crazy, this era was one of risk and adventure. The "no
multiplay rule" in Feb 98 put an abrupt end to the Lord army era but not
the fond memories. 


LORD FAMILY ERA
Unable to rely on our alts any longer, we entered a whole new era, that of
the Lord family. Lord grouping came to a standstill for quite awhile as we
waited for enough heroes to morph to increase our chances of a group.  The
Lord class became very conservative during this time as we struggled to
mold the many different comfort levels and playing styles into a workable
group. Leading 6-20 individuals with different playing styles became the
new major challenge for group leaders.

Some of us actively worked to develop a close-knit community and for a
number of glorious months, I dare say it was the most rewarding time I've
ever had on Avatar. This era was characterized by the ideals of a very
chivalrous class of fighters who possessed qualities akin to the medieval
knights. I could not get enough of the game or the roleplay. I led any
group I could scrape together, large or small-- two of my most exciting
and memorable runs were leading the very first exploration adventures
against King Adrial and the Astral Dragon who dwelt in the recently new
Lord areas. 

This era was short-lived but again will always bring fond memories. The
Lord class was growing by leaps and bounds now and becoming far too
diverse in attitude and game philosophy to hold on to a family and a
close-knit community concept, something that was hard for this Lord to let
go of. 

A NEW ERA UNFOLDING
The Lord class continues to grow. The reduction of damage after throw, the
introduction of hero style play, the rebuild, and sheer number of Lords
now has launched the class into yet another era and another chapter of
Lord history. It's too soon to fairly judge this era and give it a title,
so I will refrain. Lots of its history remains still to be made. It will
be interesting to see how the story of the Lords will unfold from here. 

 
     ________________________________
     4. How To Kill Off Your Group by Jessica
     ________________________________

Confessions of a pine-head...
or, 101 ways to kill your groupies!
by Jessica

Dizzy's recent editorial inspired me to write an article on my personal
flavor of quirky MUD behavior, groupie killing! Yes, you heard right. 
Groupie killing is a wonderful way of eliminating the boredom of constant
leveling. Sometimes it's easy (sprite mages), sometimes it's hard (giant
warriors), but it's always a fun thing to do. 

Well, first off, a few etiquette points: it's usually bad form to get
someone killed at a corpse eater, and try not to take them to det mobs. 
Also, I try to get my entire group killed AFTER I've at least gotten
everyone a level. Remember, getting your groupies killed should not
degenerate into something spiteful, it should be done in the spirit of
fun! 

For groupies with low hit points, it's really easy. Just take them to
aggie areas, and you'll be getting dead groupies in no time. However, this
lacks finesse. They'll soon be complaining to you "Please don't take me to
aggie areas, I'll just die!". Silly whiners. Well, there is an alternative
to aggie mobs, and that is mobs that cast spells. Since they can randomly
target your groupies, and sometimes even area spell, they are a Groupie
Killers' Best Friend (tm). Some popular ones are the Mashan mage, Weyr
dragonmounts, the ever reliable du(st) de(mon), and most mobs in
Kriegstadt. Kriegstadt is a wonderful place for killing your small
groupies, since they rarely expect to get whacked vs. single, non-aggie
mobs. As an added bonus, wild boars and tiers also assist :) 

The real challenge for me is to either kill off the big groupies (who have
tons of hitpoints), or killing off the entire group in one stroke. For big
groupies, you need tricks to get their exp all sopped away, even though
you are tanking. Typically, the standard way to do this is to go to areas
where the mobs are aggie, and will swarm. If you get lucky, the mobs will
wander in and attack your groupies; then, just don't rescue them and
pretend that you didn't see them getting attacked through the spam (or,
you could always pretend rescue failed :). Your typical groupie will be
wearing hitgear, which implies thay their AC will be low; if you're REALLY
lucky, then they will be warriors in offensive stance, which makes their
AC even worse :)  this is an excellent way to kill off the sponge groupies
who go AFK on runs, since they don't even realize they are getting
pounded. 

To try and kill your entire group in one grand blow, you need to find
REALLY tough mobs, and preferably more than one mob at once. A major plus
is if these mobs are behind a door; if you're REALLY lucky, the door will
be locked, so that your groupies can't even open the door and flee (most
groupies will panic and forget that they can open doors anyway). Simply
walk in, and enjoy the show. My personal favorite rooms for this are the
Weyr war room, the merchant lord Denbosai's room,
Bensai/Senjisama/Maichi's room (attack Senjisama first for maximum effect
:), and last but certainly not least are the good ol' trog brothers, Rusla
and Nussa (fleeing from these bad boys will usually lead you to jump right
into the arms of Mama trog Aruna :) 

Finally, as a general rule of thumb, killing off groupies is just a simple
matter of having less regard for your own life than your groupies have.
The concientious groupie will rescue you when your hit points are low; use
it to your advantage (You tell the group 'hmm, let's see. Sanc just
dropped, I've got 200 hp left, the cleric has no more mana, and I see 4
trog lieutenants next door. What to do? I know, let's attack!'). I'm sure
there are many more creative ways to kill your groupies, send me personal
notes if you have any better ideas. 

 
-----------------------------------------------------------------
     The Avatar Gazette is what you've just been reading, and it is the 
     official newsletter of Avatar, it is published weekly by Dizzy, in 
     conjunction with The Avatar Staff.(Original concept by Asamaro).

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     You can also view the latest issue of the Gazette while playing
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     -----------------------------------------------------------------

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TMS is still not counting votes, damn them! Somehow they count Outbound clicks better then Inbound which you would think would indicate to them there is an obvious error, but apparently not.

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