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Gazette 2003-07-02
Articles | Archives | Gazette | 2003 Gazettes | Gazette 2003-07-02
___The New Official AVATAR___________________________________
    ________                          __     __
   /  _____/ _____   ________  ____ _/  |_ _/  |_   ____
  /     ___ __    ____  /_/ __ \   __\   ___/ __ 
      _   / __ _ /    /   ___/ |  |   |  |    ___/
   ______  /(____  //_____  ___  >|__|   |__|   ___  >
          /      /       /     /                   /
_______________________________________July 2, 2003__________

              /.--.              The Avatar Gazette
              |====|              For subscription info,
              |`::`|              read HELP GAZETTE
   /\   /  |...::..|`  | |  `|   Produced by Angel Kenji
   |:' |   /'''::''|   | |   |   With assistance from
  @| /;-,/   ::  |=========|   Fernando (Lord alt) -
  `|| <` >  >._::_.|=========|     New Hero/Lord stats
   || `""`  /   ^^  |   | |   |   Lady Mirana
   ||       |          | |   /     Story writer
                                  Mystery guest interviewer
A bit of a new look for the Gazette, as I try to make it more
ASCII friendly. I currently produce another newsletter for my
RL job, but with that, I have fewer restrictions as I use MS
Word to produce it. Here, I have to keep margins, fixed-font
and e-mail limitations in mind. And, as always, if you have
any suggestions or submissions, please let me know!

Here is what you can look forward to in this packed edition:

The Flight (a short story) by Angel Kenji

An interview with Immortal Crom

Gaming Tips: A World Map

My life as a low mortal by Immortal Kariya

Spotlight on Immortal Riviat

New Hero & Lord Stats by Fernando (Lord Alt)

News and Events

Over The Bridge - A Series by Lady Mirana


The Flight - by Angel Kenji

My lungs are burning. The running is taking its
toll on my body. This flight has strained my
legs, my arms, my very soul. I have never felt
so tired. So pained.

Ahead, I see an alley. This must be a better
place for me than this street. I slow from my
sprint and turn the corner. I'm not even sure
where I am at now. I know I am in the northwest
part of the city. Somewhere near the temple, with
its jewelled escarpments and golden statues to
gods I've never even heard of. Some say the
statues are animated, enchanted with some magical
soul. I know nothing of a soul.

I stop behind the corner of some small building.
A store perhaps. Selling small trinkets of far
away lands. Who knows. I have no need of trinkets
unless they can whisk me away from this city,
where it seems that everyone is hunting me. It
feels like I have fled for hours, running from
street to street, building to building, alley to

How do they all know? How does every guard of this
city know of me already? Surely a dispatched runner
could not have alerted every guardpost of my crime
so quickly. It must be the work of some magician.
Some foul incantation that alerts the guards to my

Mages. Psions. Any of those wicked spell-weavers. I
have never trusted any of them. I know nothing of
spells or powers of the mind. I don't care for
magic of any sort. I know my craft. I would trade
all the magicks of the world for a good dagger and
the tools I have learned.

A noise! What is this? A heavy footstep. The clang of
metal armor. Hark! Slow the breathing, yes. Do not make
a sound. With care, I peer around the corner, looking
down the alley to the street I left. Tor! A guardsman.
I had hoped that my sudden feint down this alley would
make them lose my trail, but this one was not fooled.
Or was he? He does not seem to be alert to my presence.

Carefully, I hide myself in the shadows of this building.
A skill that I have learned and used over countless years.
I draw my dagger from its sheath at my side. Not a sound
escapes. Glancing around the corner of the shanty again,
I study my pursuer. He is completely unaware of me. Good.
I begin my approach. Carefully. Foot over foot. Do not step.
Glide. Each foot tests the ground before setting down.
Toe, ball, heel. Just as I have done a thousand times before.
Each footstep carefully placed to avoid a sound. Each stride
is slow and deliberate. A minute passes. I have advanced a
foot perhaps. Perhaps more. No matter. Time and distance do
not matter. Silence is not a skill. It is a state of being.

I imagine seeing me through his eyes. Or at least, looking
for me. He does not see me. I blend with the shadows. I
BECOME the shadows. Movement. Movement is my enemy right
now. He is the hunter, with eyes trained from birth to
seek out movement. I must not move at all. And yet, I am
closer to him now than he would like.

Almost there. He still does not know. He does not know
that this is the pivotal moment in his life. I must
decide. Do I try to flee, or do I strike? He is large.
And athletic. If I tried to flee, he could catch me. Or
worse, alert others to my presence. No, I must strike.

My dagger flashes. I bury my blade to the hilt in the soft
side of his chest, where the armor fails in its vital
mission. He grunts. I feel the warmth of his blood on my
hand. It is not the first.

I catch his falling body with my free hand. I brace for the
sudden weight with my legs, and gently lower him to the
ground. This is a skill that many of my trade forget. Too
often, the younger, impatient ones allow their prey to
slam to the ground noisily. Armor makes noise. It is why
I choose to wear none.

I quickly search my victim. Pockets turned inside out reveal
a ruby. This could well provide a few meals. A key. A
scrap of paper. I quickly place all of these items in the
hidden pocket of my waistband. Gathering up my strength, I
grasp the body of the guard by the collar, and prepare to
move him to a more hidden spot. If he were to be quickly
found, it could reveal my location more easily. As it were,
I must now leave this place immediately. I bend over to draw
my dagger from his side where I left it.

The sudden pain cripples me. The decision not to wear armor
was always a tough one for me. Now I regret it. I look to
my side for the source of the sudden pain. A crossbow bolt
is lodged in my side, penetrating my ribs. A shout. A call
to comrades. Another guard.

I try to stand. To run. To flee. But I can not. The pain is
overwhelming. Disorientation. And a drowning sensation. I
cough, trying to clear my head, but feel it come up. Blood.
Not the bright red blood of my earlier foe, but the deep,
dark blood that comes from deep within.

I am sinking. I feel the ground come up to meet me. I am
beaten. It seems my skills were not enough.


An Interview with Immortal Crom

(The Gazette) 'Hi Crom'

(TG) 'Thanks for letting me interview you for the Gazette'

(TG) 'First I'd like to get a little bit of background, if I
may.  How long have you been playing at AVATAR, and when did
you become an IMM?'

(Crom) 'I started playing Farside in February of 1993. I was
made an Immortal in August of 1993.'

(Crom) 'do you want me to elaborate or no? :)'

(TG) 'if you'd like'

(Crom) 'A friend of mine came back to the dorm one day while
I was in college and was talking about a game in the
computer lab.'

(Crom) 'I heard "like dungeons and dragons" and I was in the
lab within an hour.'

(Crom) 'I had never used the internet before then.'

(Crom) 'I learned how to use Gopher so I could log in'

(Crom) 'I didn't know you could telnet directly to the mud.'

(Crom) 'I went through West Point, I believe. :P'

(Crom) 'they had a connection'

(Crom) 'I learned how to FTP in July just so I could submit
an area.'

(Crom) 'Cimmeria, in fact.'

(Crom) 'once my area was accepted...that qualified me to be
an IMM. Standards were low back then.'

(TG) 'They seem to have done well on their selection'

(Crom) 'A week after I was made an IMM, an ex-IMM who started
a rival mud logged in and force everyone to delete.'

(Crom) 'Snikt didn't believe I was an IMM when I came back

(Crom) 'and here I am.'

(TG) 'What is your primary function these days?'

(Crom) 'currently I can do whatever I want. That's a tad too
vague, however, so let me narrow it down to what I really

(Crom) 'due to time constraints, I'm in charge of approving
and guiding the direction of the codebase such that we
maintain the direction we're heading as far as development.'

(Crom) 'When I have more time on my hands, I also code and
I've been known to write an area or two if pressed.'

(Crom) 'I'm also in charge of a new team of people whose
only job is to document and help coders. This is the Design

(Crom) 'shameless plug: www.outland.org/design'

(TG) 'sounds like a lot of responsibility'

(Crom) 'my wife says it is a lot but it's fun. :)'

(TG) 'She must be a very patient woman'

(TG) 'does she play?'

(Crom) 'she doesn't play...this is considered too "boy-game"
for her taste'

(Crom) 'although she'd probably enjoy the social part'

(TG) 'Other than working on the mud, you are also the creator
of the Mud Comic.  They are a pretty amusing reflection of
MUD life. How long have you been doing that type of work?'

(Crom) 'I used to write comic strips in college actually.
I was published in the Daily Texan down in the University
of Texas at Austin for about a year. (Although

(Crom) 'so I had the background in me. '

(Crom) 'then just for kicks, I started sketching them every
now and then and they piled up.'

(Crom) 'i had about a month's worth before I decided to make
a website out of them.'

(Crom) 'people now know how infrequently they're made due to
the huge dry spell in new material'

(Crom) 'on a day I have the time, I can create 2-3 an hour'

(Crom) 'the beauty of garbage comics :P'

(TG) 'We've touched on AVATAR and the Mud Comic..  Do you
have any other hobbies you care to share with us?  How does
*Crom* relax?'

(Crom) 'this isn't relaxing? hmm.'

(TG) 'not sure how much time IMM's really get to relax here'

(Crom) 'Kevin (Snikt) got me interested in his UberCon Gaming
Convention project last year'

(Crom) 'so you could say I relax from here by working on

(Crom) 'I coach high school volleyball during the fall'

(Crom) 'that's sort of relaxing'

(Crom) 'in a stressful intense sort of way 8)'

(Crom) 'so in a nutshell...i relax by sleeping :P'

(TG) 'sounds like that's the only time you have'

(TG) 'You are the one that approves ideas sent to the mud via
the ideas command.  What sort of criteria do you use when
deciding to approve an idea?'

(Crom) 'Excellent question.'

(Crom) 'really excellent, actually. The criteria is sort of
questionable, isn't it. Sometimes'

(Crom) 'it looks like there isn't any rhyme or reason to why
I approve or disapprove stuff'

(Crom) 'and I've actually been caught once or twice approving
something then changing my mind 6 months later on the same

(Crom) 'but there is a criteria'

(Crom) '1. originality - no regurgitated stuff with another

(Crom) '2. doability - asking for a graphical interface is

(Crom) '3. continuity - if it doesn't match with how we're
headed with the game, I turn it down.'

(Crom) '4. opinion - Snikt's opinion mostly but my opinion is
definitely there.'

(Crom) 'it's #4 which causes the discrepancies.'

(Crom) 'it is typically a factor when something is borderline

(Crom) 'i don't care if something isn't useful, honestly'

(Crom) 'demonic advice isn't really useful'

(Crom) 'it's fun, though, and entertaining'

(Crom) 'and it adds to the experience. that's part of the
originality and opinion stuff I'm talking about.'

(Crom) 'playerinfo is sort of silly if you think about it...
but some people love it'

(Crom) 'hope that makes sense'

(TG) 'yes..  '

(TG) 'It's good to hear what the criteria is..'

(TG) 'You mentioned earlier, about the Design team..  Can you
explain a bit about the new Design and Builder tiers and why
they were created?'

(Crom) 'sure'

(Crom) 'we fluctuate quite a bit on having enough Immortals

(Crom) 'we fluctuate in development and we fluctuate in
progress as a result'

(Crom) 'part of that is simply not having qualified people
around when you need them'

(Crom) 'about 5 years ago, when all of the current Execs had
the time'

(Crom) 'we had mentors and weekly check-ins and a continuing
stream of staff'

(Crom) 'time isn't so free any longer but we don't want to
see stagnation'

(Crom) 'so the ideas of Tracks was discussed and approved.
Actually, we already had a track which functions already
and has been quite successful - Angels.'

(Crom) 'they are staff members, they are not IMMs, they have
a focused role and they do their job perfectly.'

(Crom) 'so using Angel as a basis of success, we're slowly
going to expand it to other areas'

(Crom) 'potentially quests, potentially coding, potentially
web, but right now we've only started with Areas and Design.'

(Crom) 'The Builder Track is invite only, just like being an
Immortal, but with more limitations and Devastant is the Head
of that 'department'.'

(Crom) 'the organizational structure and how people join/work
is entirely up to him.'

(Crom) 'that's part of the beauty of tracks. Devastant
doesn't have to worry about having enough help around him
because he'll have the ability to 'hire' as many people as
he needs.'

(Crom) 'the other active track is Design, which I'm in charge

(Crom) '(for better or worse)'

(Crom) 'The Design Track, if you look at it, seems more like
a documentation track'

(Crom) 'we deal with keeping records of ideas, bugs, and as
we gain in maturity'

(Crom) 'we'll even document those ideas further to help
coders do their jobs easier and quicker.'

(Crom) 'I wasn't quite sure what kind of niche Design would

(Crom) 'since I used to just be it'

(Crom) 'having this track has enabled me to expand what I'd
like to do by giving me the opportunity to finding qualified
individuals to help me out'

(Crom) 'at a later date, other tracks will also appear'

(Crom) 'as the heads of each type find the time to set them
up and get them initiated'

(Crom) 'obviously a coder track will be the trickiest of them
all since it will involve'

(Crom) 'lots of management, security of code, and potentially
host access. That's all being discussed still.'

(TG) 'Those that belong to the Design and Builder tracks are
staff.. not IMM.. correct?'

(Crom) 'right'

(Crom) 'that was an important distinction'

(Crom) 'it's hard to come up with an analogy'

(Crom) 'but let me give it a try'

(Crom) 'Consider a Teacher at a school. They can teach, they
can go to the copy machine and make copies, and they can
coach sports.'

(Crom) 'Those are like Immortals. They do many things, the
position is pretty open ended and gives them lots of freedom
and responsibility'

(Crom) 'part of the reason why we don't gain new Immortals
very often is because it's hard to find the special kind of
person who is appropriate for that kind of freedom.'

(Crom) 'Now let's go back to the analogy. If there is a copy
lady, or a teacher's aide, or a janitor, those are specific
jobs and people in those jobs don't typically deviate.'

(Crom) 'you won't see a custodian in a classroom helping a
teacher with a lesson, but you may see a teacher cleaning
their room up'

(Crom) 'Staff are like that. They have focused jobs'

(Crom) 'and do not deviate from that focus...they don't have
as much freedom.'

(Crom) 'in fact, one of the biggest things that differs from
Immortals and Trackies'

(Crom) 'is that Trackies are invisible and do not interact
directly with players.'

(Crom) 'Public Relations is not part of design and is not
part of building.'

(Crom) 'the only track currently which is public relations is

(Crom) 'and that's all that they are. They don't deal with
design and write areas.'

(TG) Yes, our wonderful Angels.

(Crom) '(unless they've joined the other teams.)'

(Crom) 'So Staff are focused and task specific. They allow
more people to help run the mud without'

(Crom) 'potentially compromising our standards as far as

(Crom) 'hmm'

(Crom) 'let me rephrase'

(Crom) 'I'm sure all of the current Design and Builder staff
are great...we just don't have the time to manage them to the
degree new Imms require'

(Crom) 'I'm very wordy today. blah.'

(TG) 'this next question will give you plenty more
opportunity for that, I hope'

(TG) 'how different is Avatar from the mud you would run if
it were your own?'

(TG) 'I'll admit someone slipped that question to me, just
before the interview'

(Crom) 'I think sublevels were a mistake.'

(Crom) 'I've taken way too many psychology classes over the
years and I've had the opportunity to watch human behavior
for 10 years in this game.'

(Crom) 'and what sublevels have created is a game dynamic
which just isn't what I enjoy in a game.'

(Crom) 'it is tedious, mind-numbing, and the amount of time
focused on equipment boggles my mind.'

(Crom) 'if sublevels did not exist, for example, then those
items which people work so hard on would be worthless in 5

(Crom) 'there wouldn't be people sitting around blowing up 50
swords just to make that triple brill masterpiece they've
always wanted.'

(Crom) 'because they wouldn't be able to use it for 999

(Crom) 'I think the tiers, on the other hand, were a great
idea and I'd expand on that'

(Crom) 'create a bigger gap between level 50 and hero'

(Crom) 'have real levels (maybe 1-200 instead of 999) for
each tier'

(Crom) 'and watch the progress that way'

(Crom) 'i think it'd be vast improvement'

(Crom) 'but improvement is an opinion'

(Crom) 'that's my #1 complaint over the game'

(Crom) 'smaller problems involving psions who use mana being

(Crom) 'or giving every class every skill/spell at hero, are
smaller complaints'

(Crom) 'you may have noticed, if you played the mud for the
past 5 years, that we have been slowly going towards CD's'

(Crom) 'that's more of a Crom idea than a Snikt idea.'

(Crom) 'I like diversity and I hate to see it ruined once you
get to level 51.'

(Crom) 'having heal give different quality for different

(Crom) 'surge'

(Crom) 'all that stuff'

(Crom) 'is more where I'd like us to head'

(Crom) 'the tiers may change one day to how I envision them,
but I don't see it happening any year soon.'

(TG) 'I've seen the slow change in CD's just in the three
years I've been here'

(Crom) 'what's great about CD's is that people want more of
them, not less.'

(TG) 'One last question..  What is the single most important
piece of advice you would give the players of AVATAR?'

(Crom) 'there's this whole thing about freedom of expression'

(Crom) 'which I respect greatly and I think that you can and
should play the game'

(Crom) 'how you want to play it'

(Crom) 'roleplay or don't roleplay'

(Crom) 'wear whatever equipment you want and ignore other
people's complaints over what you're wearing'

(Crom) 'what people sometimes forget is that the idea of
freedom of expression has to have limitations'

(Crom) 'you don't have the freedom to take advantage of

(Crom) 'nor to make others uncomfortable'

(Crom) 'it's a game'

(Crom) 'I play and coach sports'

(Crom) 'and in sports it is called Sportsmanship'

(Crom) 'it's an idea of having a good time while not
ruining the fun for anybody else'

(Crom) 'that's why we have so many dumb rules'

(Crom) 'those rules are the constraints we believe are
necessary to make sure everyone has a good time'

(Crom) 'as far as other advice'

(Crom) 'I got involved in this mud because I wanted to
make a difference in other people's lives.'

(Crom) 'I thought it would be exciting to institute changes
and create stuff for the game'

(Crom) 'and bring smiles to people's faces.'

(Crom) 'if a player is interested in becoming a staff
member or an Immortal'

(Crom) 'that is the biggest characteristic we're looking
for in a person'

(Crom) 'when you see a player going out of their way to run
quests with their own gold'

(Crom) 'they have the right mentality'

(Crom) 'when you see them creating websites, or doing
tutorials, or inventing new ways to play the game,'

(Crom) 'that's the kind of people who make a difference'

(Crom) 'so if you want to get involved, think about if that
is the kind of person you are'

(Crom) 'it isn't about being able to sic people or create
cool spells so your alts can gain exp faster.'

(Crom) 'and that's it'

(Crom) 'and i've got to go. :P'

(TG) 'thank you so much'


Gaming Tips: Build a World Map

I'll admit it. When I first expressed interest in becoming an
Angel, I barely had a clue about how our Avatar world was
configured. As a portal-hopping mage, I didn't know that
Wildwood was east of Midgaard, or that the Kzinti Outpost
was just north past the Githzerai Tower. I knew portal
points. Aejase-o-matic, baby! Seriously, my epitath should
have read:

Kenjialt> anyone know the pp to 

And of course, most responses went along the line of:

hero1> du de

hero2> look it up at www.walkyourselfthere.com

hero3> I'm not sure. Lemme look at my "notes"

hero1> seriously.. portal to 'du de'

hero4> I need a group!

Sound familiar? That was my entire low mortal and low hero

One of the best pieces of advice I received, and for the life
of me, I wish I could remember who told me this, was to build
a large 'map board.' There are tons of in-game maps all over
the game. Buy a copy of each one. (Seriously, they're not that
expensive. You won't have to hawk your lowmort Troll Rogue alt
to buy them.)

The maps in the game are great. Granted, some of them haven't
been updated too recently. I mean, my map still has Warg
Alley and *sigh* Cimmeria. (Contrary to Crom's statement, I
love Cimmeria. You'll often find me hanging out with Conan the
Librarian in New Thalos fondly reminiscing.)

And, the maps may need a slight bit of alteration. Certain
areas don't line perfectly up from one map to the other. It's
okay though, because these maps are just 'guidelines'.
General reference.

Take these maps and line them up as best you can. Then, glue
them to the back of a large piece of cardboard. I went to
the local craft store and bought a 20" x 30" piece of sturdy
cardboard. I then glued my maps (trimmed to remove the extra
side space) onto the board. A little bit of highlighter work
to help me find key areas better, and Voila!

To give people a bit of an idea what I'm talking about, I've
asked Cuendillar to post a couple photos of my mapboard on
the Avatar website.


My life on Avatar - By Kariya

The background:
In the early months in 1994 I was studying to become an
English teacher in The Netherlands. We had two hours of
computer classes a week, and sometimes we would play around
on them.

They had a Gopher connection to some big Dutch academic site
and from there one day we ventured Onto the Internet. This
was my first introduction to the net ever and I thought it
was cool (Yeah! Great! B&W links to various other schools
and servers!)

This guy showed me how to check the weather in Seattle
and I begged him to show me some games.. He remembered
once playing something called a MUD and we found a long
list. We picked one that he seemed to recall was allright..
It was called Farside.

The early days:
As this friend (his character was Queridus) played and I
looked along over his shoulder, asking him what was so
fun about all this?

After I sat down and logged in myself I was sold.
Now in those days we didn't have a huge mudschool. You went
through about 10 rooms and landed in an arena with lots of
boar, bunnies and snails to slay.

Queridus said I didn't need no school if I would follow him.
Yet the first moment I strayed away I ran into this old
captain. I remembered to type 'CONSIDER' and saw that Death
would thank me for my gift..

Great! Death would be happy if I slew this loser! Nah-ah. A
few seconds later I was dead. Great! After that hard lesson
to go through mudschool and study some helps I did a lot
better. At level 7 I surpassed Queridus and soon I reached
those awesome double digits..

I had invited a friend of mine and together we preyed on
everything in sight. He was Clem and I was Manson.
Yes indeed, named after Charlie Manson, the notorious cult
killer. (Clem btw was one of  Manson's followers)
Though I thought the name was fine *blink * , RoX (the then
ruling IMP) didn't think so and personally deleted me one
night, just when I was about to hit level thirteen!! The

Dizzy felt sorry and said I should start another character,
and he would set me back to lvl 12. Reflection gave me some
new gear as well.

Of course I had to pick another name..and then the legend, the
myth, the dark one was errr, misspelled?
I actually misspelled the name Kariya and I started afresh as
Karya. I noticed only after I was promoted and got some gear
back. Doh..

Anyways, I kept the gear on the Karya character and went back
at it with my newly created Kariya character. (Human Martial
Artist FYI)

Pretty soon I was soaring through the levels again, picking
up my great lvl 12 gear and then on to new heights.
One of the memories I will never forget (back when I was
Manson still)  was when new hero Micky RENAMED (yes, heroes
could do Immortal like renames) his gear to some S&M cross
dressing attire and he charmed about a dozen of mobs and
march around Midgaard and the player arena (back then it was
connected to Midgaard and you could walk in/out of it)

And I will never forget when a young Hero named Mega invited
everybody who was lvl 30+ to come group with him and take on
Mel and Dizzy's secretary in Dizzy's office area. I was a lvl
28 at that point, but tagged along as I was grouped with some
others already. What happened was mass death and the only two
or three surviving (and getting loads of exp) were two lvl
30/31's and myself.

One thing that stands out that on the final day of school
(which I spent in the computer lab) I just had to reach level
14, but my train was leaving in 5 minutes..So there I stood,
jacket on, bag on my back, ready to go..as soon as I killed
the gnome scientists! I finally did it, made the train with
seconds to spare and went on my summer break feeling happy
knowing I had conquered the gnome village.

I couldn't wait to get back and take over the rest of the
realm, and reach that milestone level 51.


(I have to apologize in advance.  I would prefer to do all of
the interviews from my point of view, however, my client
software decided to go kablooey on me, and didn't save the
log. Fortunately, Riviat did keep a copy, which is what I
give you here. Enjoy.)

Riviat's Rest
Delicious aromas waft under your nose and tantalise your
taste buds. You find yourself in a HUGE larder.  You are
surrounded by shelves and a clear space is in the middle
of the room.  A beautifully carved table sits in the exact
center surrounded by chairs on all sides. Along one wall
is a glass fronted bookcase.

Kenji appears in the middle of the room from a mist!

Kenji exclaims 'okay.. I know you're pressed for time, so
lets start right away!'

Kenji turns his tape recorder on.

You say 'How many times can I say "No comment" before you
get annoyed? :P'

Kenji grins.

You throw back your head and cackle with insane glee!

You exclaim 'Name rank and serial number is all you'll get
from me!'

You grin.

You say 'Come on start :)'

Kenji says 'Thanks for agreeing to meet with me, Riviat.'

You say 'You're welcome'

Kenji asks 'so what brought you to Avatar originally?'

You say 'At my then current job I was allowed to access the
internet at lunchtimes. I did a search for MUDs and Avatar
was near the top of the list.'

Kenji asks 'had you any previous experience mudding?'

You say 'No, Avatar was my first MUD, I've tried others but
always came back here.'

Kenji nods his head solemnly.

Kenji asks 'how were you introduced to mudding, then? Or were
you just looking for an online pasttime?'

You say 'Well I've roleplayed for years and I wanted to try a
MUD to see what it was like.'

Kenji nods his head solemnly.

Kenji asks 'With life as it must be now, finding time to
continue to log on must be tough. What keeps you coming back

You say 'The people here.'

Kenji asks 'what specifically about them?'

You say 'I have made a lot of friends here and I come on to
see them.'

Kenji nods his head solemnly.

Kenji asks 'Why did you join the staff?'

You say 'I was asked to :P'

Kenji grins.

You say 'Seriously, I wanted to give something back.'

Kenji asks 'What do you do for the staff specifically?'

You say 'I was already running trivias with my alts and
answering questions and helping people out. Becoming staff
made it official'

Kenji nods his head solemnly.

You say 'My duties include resolving disputes, answering
questions, helping people out.'

You say 'I also enforce rules as needed, offer a listening
ear if required. Basically I try to make sure that Avatar
remains a pleasant place for people to come to.'

You say 'I am essentially support staff with a social
interaction focus, doing whatever needs to be done if I
can do it'

You say 'Not taken from my helpfile at all :P'

You say 'I'm currently helping Cuendillar with the updated
Avatar website at www.outland.org'

Kenji asks 'I've seen the site. It looks great. What kind
of feedback have you received on it so far from the players?'

You say 'Sadly I haven't been running as many trivias as
I used to due to real life commitments but I do run other
quests occasionally, time permitting.'

Kenji nods in agreement with you.

You say 'Thank you. Overall I think that people like the
change. There is still work to be done with transferral of
data from the old website.'

You say 'But work is progressing. People are starting to
submit links etc'

You patiently twiddle your thumbs.

Kenji asks 'So let me ask you this.. what would you say is
your favorite race/class combination to play?'

You say 'I don't have a particular favourite race but my
favourite class is Cleric. I don't play to have the biggest
or best or most optimum comination, I play for fun so it's
irrelevant to me what I play.'

Kenji nods in agreement with you.

You say 'I do play other classes'

Kenji asks 'what would you say is your favorite area or
feature of Avatar, and why?'

You say 'That's a hard one to answer :)'

Kenji smiles happily.

You ask 'What do you mean by feature?'

Kenji says 'well, a feature in the game. Like Lockers. Or
Buddychannel. etc.'

You say 'I would say the Mudschool'

Kenji nods in agreement with you.

Kenji smiles happily.

You say 'One of my Immortal duties is to promote level 1
players if there are no Angels on'

Kenji smiles happily.

You say 'I get to meet new players, some of whom have never
mudded before.'

Kenji says 'you definitely do help us out quite a bit. '

You say 'I don't have the breadth of knowledge about the
game that Angels do but I know enough to get people started.'

Kenji asks 'ready for the next question?'

You nod solemnly.

Kenji asks 'If you could change or incorporate any idea of
yours, what would it be?'

You say 'Another difficult one :)'

Kenji smiles happily.

Kenji says 'that's good. I don't want them to be TOO easy ;)'

You start to twitch.

You say 'I can't think of anything offhand, I tend to go
with the flow as regards game mechanics.'

Kenji nods his head solemnly.

You say 'Sorry that's not a specific answer :)'

Kenji says 'it's okay. Not every question can be answered

Kenji asks 'what do you think of the changes that have
been going in lately?
Which one would you say is your favorite?'

You say 'I think that the changes are a positive thing as
it helpd demonstrate that we are not stagnant and that we
are constantly striving to improve. Even if the changes
adversely affect my non-immortal alts, which some people
tend to forget that I and the majority of the other
Immortals tend to forget we have.'

Kenji grins at you.

You say 'As to which change that I like'

Kenji nods his head solemnly.

Kenji smiles happily.

You say 'Even though it wasn't universally popular, I
personally liked the recent changes to races such as
the introduction of brand new races i.e. High Elf,
Demonseed, Minotaur etc and that some of the more magical
races became rarer as they are now only available by
remorting. People who were brand new to mudding often
tried Dragons, Sprites etc as their first character and
gave up because it was too hard. Also it makes the
supposedly rarer races actually rarer, it makes
people appreciate them more and it gives our more
experienced players something to aim for, plus we lose
less newer players.'

Kenji says 'very true.. I like that. I mean, I regret not
getting a troll in time, but the idea itself made alot of

Kenji says 'okay.. just a few more questions.'

You say 'No problem, keep them coming :)'

Kenji says 'Finish this sentence: The best kind of player
is ...'

You say 'The best kind of player is someone who enjoys the
game without taking it too seriously, enriches the game by
their presence and doesn't detract from other's enjoyment
by doing so.'

Kenji smiles happily.

Kenji says 'I like that answer'

Kenji asks 'that's about all the questions I have. Is
there anything else you would like to say to the readers
of the Avatar Gazette?'

You exclaim 'You'll never take me alive!!!'

Kenji grins at you.

You say 'Seriously, enjoy the game and thank you all for
making Avatar the fun place it is to be.'

Kenji nods his head solemnly.

Kenji smiles at you.

Kenji says 'Thanks for your time. I hope to have this in
the next edition of the Gazette.'

You say 'You're welcome'

You exclaim 'I should charge pot pies!'

You nod at yourself.  Are you getting senile?

Kenji says 'and just an FYI, I had to look up the word
Larder ;)'

You grin.

You roll on the floor, laughing!

Kenji points at your room descriptin.

You throw back your head and cackle with insane glee!

You say 'Kitchen was taken'

Kenji snickers softly.

You grin.

Kenji grins.

Kenji says 'Thanks again, Riv'

Kenji hugs you.

Kenji waves goodbye to everyone.

Kenji summons a mist, steps in, and disappears!


New Hero & Lord Stats - From Fernando (Lord Alt)

This is the top ten levelers at the hero and lord tiers
during the last two weeks. Perhaps in two weeks, your name
will show up here too. Good luck, and level a lot the next
two weeks.

Top 10ish lord levelers          Top 10ish hero levelers

Myrl         42                  Segallion   273
Soulblighter 40                  Regret      259
Aela         33                  Booster     247
Mimi         33                  Tammo       244
Squirtle     27                  Mistopholes 242
Yank         26                  Magdha      200
BiGgy        25                  Natale      178
Ryoga        24                  Radiax      169
Starry       23                  Rapid       161
Sekhem       22                  Bash        149


15 heroes morphed in the last two weeks. Please
congratulate the following on their success.

Amanara, Glazier, Hrand, Inaminute, JClammer, Jetplane,
Knoor, Kosmo, Melody, Ormist, Paxon, Sandwiz, Tesio,
Tholk, and Troylus

Lord remorts or rebuilds

REMORTS: Celea became a high elf, Jaeger became a demonseed,
Neilsen became a sprite, and Tiati and Tuvor became

REBUILDS: Severon and Strider became sorcerors

There were 5 lord deletions in the last two weeks.
Take a few moments to mourn the following:

Brynna, Ilysa, Lirella, Nyki, and Solidfox

Nyki and Solidfox have since rejoined the realm and wander as
lowbies, but may the others all find what they seek outside
the realm.


Please congratulate 58 characters who reached hero 9+

Acrien, Attern, AzukA, Blackbox, Blazier, Cadori, Cardamon,
Chrois, Deceit, Decross, Denethor, Deth, Did, Fenghir,
Fundelmorf, Greyman, Hailey, Hannibal, Haruka, Hawkwind,
Hogue, Ignatious, Jaeger, KaiserSoze, Kernes, Keryst,
Knifer, Lilone, Lokmar, Meldurelen, Mimbly, Mira, Morthas,
Narnero, Neo, Nightwraith, Olam, Pechorin, Rasak, Riott,
Rizlin, Samah, Septimus, Seralyn, Severon, Sophi, Spriteinacan,
Tain, Thalion, Tikum, Tymber, Wembley, Xanor, Xantippa,
Xharnah, Yawgmoth, Yrael, and Zithel.

May you all have continued success and happiness at the hero

20 characters departed the realm. Take a moment to mourn
the following:

Alna, Amys, Anton, Bloodmoon, Cambozola, Clinger, Egil, Eknar,
EyGoN, Froyst, Klein, Kyra, Malace, Obadiah, Sebek, Shardineth,
uther, Vile, Zephaniah, and Zomak

Uther has since rejoined the realm and wanders as a lowbie,
but may the others all find what they seek outside the realm.

News and Events:

Oh, there is so much going on in the world right now! Lockers
have been fully implemented, and the dreaded crashes seem to
have been resolved.  We still had the occasional problem with
ComCast.  And, I have been unsuccessful in getting an all-
tier quest together to slay the dreaded ComCast demon.

On other news, planning for UberCon II is cruising along. If
you haven't heard the details, check out www.ubercon.com for
more info. And, as always, don't forget to take a moment and
visit www.outland.org  Some of the latest news is posted
there, along with the link to vote for your favorite mud on

Website Review

This has got to be my favorite fan-built site out there. Both
as a player and as an Angel.  (What, you thought we knew
EVERYTHING about the game?)  I'm talking about Lady Sheba's
'Another Avatar Site' (or AAS for short).  What an awesome
site. Check it out at

AAS has so many cool toys, bells and whistles, it boggles the
mind. First off, the layout is awesome. Lady Sheba really
knows how to build a website. There are links for almost
every other fan-built website out there, and like I said,
there are cool toys. I mean, where else can you find
'Demonic Intent" on the web?

She has such utilities as a race/class comparison database,
a gemstone to gold converter, tips on the gods of Avatar,
and a hero & lowmort gear helpfile.  Each area is listed
on Sheba's site, but not with the 'spoilers' that some
sites have become known for.

Sheba also has one of the best sites for help with ZMud
triggers out there. Everything from a simple experience
counter to a nifty rescue trigger.

All in all, after the official Avatar site, this is the
second site I have bookmarked in my Avatar favorites
folder. It is a 'must have' for all players, and Sheba
deserves more than a few magic cookies for it.

Over The Bridge - Lady Mirana

Bazane almost rolled his eyes in frustration at the gathering
they had at the Dragon's Bane. For being the leader of this
motley collection of his best mercenaries, he didn't command
much of their attention. Meer, a delightful female deep
gnome, seemed to be the only one paying any attention to him
at all.  That was to be expected, he supposed, and he didn't
really need their attention yet; they were still waiting for
the last two of their party.

Sighing deeply he mentally tallied the group already present
up in his head.  There were two casters more likely to kill
each other than anyone else. Two people focused on their own
gain to the exclusion of everything else, and a group of
three that he was certain would try and defy him if he looked
at them cross-wise. That only left those two fool Kzinti to

His gaze slid around the table at each of his companions.
Norfok, the centaur mage, and his endless bickering with
Malfina, the elven psionicist, would give him the biggest
headache. Those two were at each other's throats constantly.
With and without knives.  The centaur was currently amusing
himself with a small ball of light while standing next to the
table. Human chairs weren't very useful for centaurs. Malfina
was just finishing a mug of ale and was gazing up at the
fascinating border around the ceiling.

Glancing up himself, Bazane shuddered as he saw the green
scales marching around the walls of the tavern.  He had known
that Jake had slain Thorn all those many years ago, but this
proof was still impressive. He hunched his shoulders and
glanced slightly at the barkeep in question; Jake had also
been staring at the group the entire night. Of course, Bazane
couldn't blame the man, had he been him, he'd stare at their
group too. Most of them had a look of being rather dangerous
and none-too-trustworthy, it came with the job of being a
mercenary. Using his uneasiness at being watched as an excuse,
he continued to look over the rest.

Moleen, the centaur monk, was discussing things with his
little group.  That group consisted of Zopelen, a sinuous
female lizard psionicist, and Qele, a brutish Orc warrior.
Those three he hadn't wanted to trust them and it had been a
last resort to ask the three to come, but he could probably
trust them more than the sprite sitting on one of the edges of
the table fingering his dagger.  The little rogue looked at
him with a glitter in his eyes. Sifte, even being a rogue,
seemed the least of his worries compared to Mozrin. The only
other human in the party, he was probably the least
trustworthy. Sorcerers didn't usually surprise anyone by
being very helpful or open.

Meer tapped him on the shoulder and he almost jumped out of
his chair.  As it was he had his sword halfway out of its
sheath before he realized it was a woman's face peering at
him. She pointed silently at the door and waited for him to
turn to look. Grasping at dignity while sliding his sword
back into the scabbard, he spared a glance and sighed in
relief as he recognized the furry faces of the last two
he'd been waiting for.  Lopahkin was a monk and Artemina
was an archeress.  A stranger couple there couldn't have
been.  As it was they flowed towards the table with their
tails almost touching.  Artemina slid into her seat with
full feline grace and Lopahkin stood behind her like a
protective tiger.  The monk gazed at his mate with an odd
look in his eyes and flicked his tail, unapologetic for
keeping the rest waiting.

Shaking his head at their entrance and swallowing a curse, he
didn't want to know what they'd been up to that made them
late. Bazane coughed lightly to get everyone's attention.
When the entire group whipped their head around like they'd
been struck, Bazane almost chuckled. Perhaps he was a bit
more their leader than he'd thought.  Spreading his hands
on the table he whistled through his teeth, letting the
others crowd in so that they wouldn't have as much trouble
hearing his soft speech.

"I, and the rest of you, have been hired for a considerable
sum." It was always best to be concise, "And you will each
receive your share if you decided to accompany me." When he
named the sum the others widened their eyes in appreciation
and leaned in closer. "I have a map, a name, and directives
to find the one who can give us our final orders. And at the
end of this job, we will all have double the sum I have given
in addition." He scratched at his scruffy beard as he watched
the others discuss between themselves. There was no doubt
they'd all come with him. Mercenary work had been hard to
find in the past couple months and this was more money than
they'd seen in quite some time. Then came the question he'd
been dreading although it was the most obvious. He'd been
hoping that those he'd be bringing with him would just
assume it was like every other job.

"Who hired us?" Mozrin hissed suspiciously. It was his job
to be suspicious, but at that moment Bazane wished he was
as gullible as the rest.

"I don't know" Bazane replied slowly and a gasp slipped
from the elf before Malafina spoke, "What do you mean you
don't know! You're the one who accepted the job for us."
She glared at him with her cold blue eyes.  He simply
watched her mildly for a moment before she settled back
in her chair. Bazane almost sighed in relief when she
relented - keeping his face that mild had been a true effort.

"As I said before, ma'am, I do not know. The meeting was
set up in the dark, and the man was cloaked, hooded, and
danced quite a pretty jig around any question he thought
too probing." He didn't mention that he himself had been
slightly drunk, but that didn't really matter.  He glanced
around and noticed Moleen frowning and flicking his tail,
stamping his food idily.  The monk's small group was tucked
behind his haunches. The orc was staring blankly at the
walls, but Bazane was pretty sure that he was listening
with much more intensity, and intelligence, than it
appeared. Just because the fellow looked like a brick,
didn't mean he had the brain of one.  The lizard was
flicking her tail, seeming to be lost in contemplation,
oblivious.  Unless she was reading his mind. Now that
was a disturbing thought that was only made worse when
she suddenly flicked her tongue out at him and smiled.

With another suppressed shudder, Bazane turned back to
the others as Norfok stamped his hoof and spoke, "Well,
it's a better deal that some we've had in the past.
We can't discriminate against employers that don't w
ant their business known.  At least we've been paid
before we do the job this time." Bazane sighed in
relief at Norfok's acceptance and waited for the
next words he was sure that would come from Malfina.

"If the Waste-Blasted mage will go, then you can count
me in." She glared at the centaur, as if agreeing to
go first had put him ahead in their private competition.
The two Kzinti agreed to follow him immediately. They
would do anything together, but at the moment they were
just desperate enough for work that they'd follow him.

The orc, Qele, glared at Bazane around his tusks, and
Zopelen just flicked her tongue out at Bazane in
amusment again before they both looked at the centaur
who was leading them. They would only agree to follow
Bazane if Moleen agreed. Bazane's mind was practically
shouting at him that those three were much too
dangerous to trust and he sent a quick prayer to
Snikt that they'd find something wrong with the job.

When Moleen nodded to them in assent, though, all
three voiced their agreements to accompany him and
Bazane muttered an oath under his breath.

All eyes were now resting on the sprite and the sorcerer.
The rogue darted up to Bazanes neck, pricking him with his
tiny dagger, "Sifte agrees." He hissed, the dangerous
sound almost startling coming from the childlike face.
That was odd, Sifte never flouted how dangerous he was
around Bazane before. Perhaps it was just the tension
around the table.

The last, as always, to agree was Morzin, who Bazane would
have dearly loved to leave behind, along with Maleen and
his posse, but a curt nod from the man was all it took to
dash Bazane's hopes to shards, even with Meer's friendly
hand on his arm.

"Now, that's settled." That wasn't so much a question as
a statement. They had to follow him, now. "Then we're on
our way". Bazane sighed, taking in the murderous glances
cast between the different members of his party. It was
ignoring the eyes of Moleen on him as they all exited
the Dragon's Bane that was difficult. Bazane only hoped
that all of this animosity was worth the reward they
would get at the end.

This is the new Avatar Gazette. It is published with the
permission and cooperation of the Avatar staff by
Angel Kenji. (Original concept by Asamaro and

The Gazette is written in plain vanilla ASCII text to ensure
that everyone can enjoy it regardless of computer type.

To subscribe to the Gazette, send internet e-mail to
gazette-request@avatar.walrus.com. In the body of your
email put:

subscribe username@hostname (MudName - RealName)
eg subscribe snikt@avatar.org  (Snikt - Kevin Jagh)

Your real name is optional for the Gazette list.
eg subscribe snikt@avatar.org (Snikt)

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, criticisms,
compliments, or (best of all) articles that you've written
for the gazette, please send them to Kenji via my e-mail
address: Angel_Kenji1@yahoo.com. Please use 'Gazette' as your

You can also view the latest issue of the Gazette while
playing Avatar by typing 'help newgaz' anywhere in the game,
or by surfing our web site at www.outland.org!

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Aug 16 2022 03:24

Aug 02 2022 22:13
Daeron is running Push Your Luck now. Mini-HoG just ended!

Jun 30 2022 04:23
It is!

Jun 28 2022 23:55
Testing. Testing. This thing on?

Aug 17 2021 05:50
Halfway through August and so many events yet to go! Log in now to join our newest event.

Shoutbox Archive
Game Updates
Mar 02 2024 18:27
Gulvruz has remorted into a Ignatur Fusilier.
Mar 02 2024 16:25
Garnin successfully morphs from Hero 592 to become Lord Garnin.
Mar 02 2024 00:13
There is a disturbance in the realm as Georgey fails to become a Lord at sublevel 358.
Mar 01 2024 18:38
There is a disturbance in the realm as Sorator fails to become a Lord at sublevel 549.
Feb 29 2024 17:59
The HOGathon has ENDED. HOG is no longer a valid command.