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Gazette 1999-09-18
Articles | Archives | Gazette | 1999 Gazettes | Gazette 1999-09-18
     ___The Official AVATAR___________________________________
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      /     ___ __    ____  /_/ __ \   __\   ___/ __  
          _   / __ _ /    /   ___/ |  |   |  |    ___/ 
       ______  /(____  //_____  ___  >|__|   |__|   ___  >
              /      /       /     /                   / 
     ________________________________________ 18 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. Being a Better Groupie by Freya 
          3. On Leveling.. and other things
          4. Ahena's Awesome Adventure 
          5. Sprite Stew: Recipe by Aurelia 
     1. Editorial by Dizzy

I like wood. Oh yeah... everything about it is appealing to me. If I'm
handling a well sanded board, it's the delightful smell that brings a
smile to my face.  When I run my hands over the surface, and stand back to
admire God's pattern in the grain, I find new appreciation each time. 

Finished wood (stained, varnished, polished, etc) is equally appealing to
me.  I love Cherry, Walnut, Pine, and natural colors...not so much Oak or
Hickory.  For me, the density of hard woods like Oak and Hickory
eliminates much of the beauty of swirling grains like those which caper
across the top of my (unfinished) desk. 

Oh, I know, a structural engineer would argue that the narrow and evenly
spaced straight grain of an oak desktop is an order of magnitude stronger
than my pine desk.  The same engineer might sneer at the "imperfections" 
of my cherished knot holes. Might cringe at the uneven spacing of the
grain, and the bias at which it was cut.  Its not particularly strong. 
Its not uniform. It won't resist scratching, oxidation, or my grand
children's crayons. I love it. 

An Oak kind of MUDder is efficient and strong.  They tend to be power
levelers, and race through the pre-hero and hero levels. Its as though
they are driven to Achieve, and (sometimes) miss the richness of the
journey.  I've been this kind of MUDder. 

The Pine variety of MUDder is more likely to strip off all their eq, and
run naked through an aggie area that is 20 levels above them. Just for the
sheer fun of it.  They are quirky and unpredictable...their grains aren't
evenly spaced and knotholes abound. I've been this kind of MUDder too. 

Your typical IMMortal tends to be a pretty straight laced Oakster. Strong. 
Diode kinda players (there's ONE right way to do it).... And those are
desireable qualities for a job description that requires structure
(programming), and administration (rules).  They are absolutely vital to
the continued success of Avatar.

Your average group probably wants an Oakenheimer for that exciting sense
of accomplishment, but perhaps even more important is at least one free
spirited Pine-head. I know that you've gone through a phase where you tire
of the endless recipe of Find A Mob, Kill A Mob, Gain A Level, Do It All
Again. It's the Pineskis that keep us interested, and its that cracked
grain that makes playing fun.

Allow me to recommend that you set aside time to do something crazy. Then
write your experience up and send it to me at dizzy@avatar.walrus.com so
that I can share it with everyone.  Every group needs a rebel thinker...
why shouldn't that be you?


     2. Being a Better Groupie by Freya 

Be you low-mort, hero or lord, eventually you will find yourself seeking
the companionship of others on Avatar. If not for xp, but for camaraderie,
or just to beat boredom. Here are a few tips on Being the Better Groupie. 
Some of it is pretty basic, other parts may not be. See if you learn
anything new! 

Get gear for different purposes. Once your character heroes (and
frequently before then), you are going to need several different sets of
gear. Generally, you'll want mana gear, for regen purposes; and a good set
of hit gear, to make the most out of your hr/dr when you're out on a run.
If you expect to tank, you might also want to consider carrying around
tank gear, to improve your armor class.

That's a lot of gear, I know. Invest in a few bags to carry them all and
keep them separate. Write gear aliases. It's not too complicated, just
long. Myself, I have eight different gear aliases, one each for mana, hit,
ac, and soloing (mixed ac & hr/dr) g ear, along with different aliases to
put them back in their designated containers. Being able to switch quickly
between sets of gears is very helpful. 

Participate. If you're a cleric, heal; if you're a mage or psion, cast
spells; if you're a rogue or mar/monk, throw; if you're a warrior, smash
and bash. If you're a ranger ... well ... you're a ranger. You can do
EVERYTHING! (whois Freya.). Even if you'r e a caster out of mana, you can
still help the group by attempting the occasional bash. Even if you have a
supertank, who is dragging you along, and you FEEL like you might simply
be sponging up xp, group chat - it lets your tank know that you're there
an d appreciating the work he or she is doing. (Of course, some tanks
subscribe to the less is more rule, and want the uber-efficient power-xp
group) ... 

Plan and Communicate. While regenning, ask your tank if there's anything
special they want you do during the run; if you've done something or seen
another tank do something that seemed to work well on a past run, bring it
up during regen. There are few th ings tanks and other groupies hate more,
it's players who start a run, and then go afk for most of the rest of the
run (or into another window), only to glance at the game once every couple
of minutes. Stay. Watch. Learn. If you need to go for a minute or two to
go to the bathroom, or grab something to drink, ask. Most tanks won't have
a problem with it if you ask them. If you can only stay for some of the
run, tell the tank before the run starts. There are few things less
annoying than a groupie who stay s until they level, and then recalls,
saying sorry, gotta go (or not even that much), and logs off. 

Listen to your tank. Your tank is the one putting their hit points on the
line, while all the time, trying to sift through the battlespam to see if
a groupie's been aggied or has a question, and figuring out where to go to
kill the next mob to get you mor e xp. Some tanks have rules that they
like to list right out in front, others prefer a more free-form style. 
Generally accepted grouping rules include: Hitgear. If you're in a group,
no matter your class, every little bit of damage you and your fellow
groupies can do helps. If you have hitgear, wear it. Some tanks will
prefer spellcasters to stay in mana gear until they get down to "base
mana" (mana w/no gear on), and then switch to hit gear, others would
prefer you hit, and simply surge/augment your surplus mana off until
you're back down to your base. 

Move/Sneak. Sneaking is a skill that can be learned by all level 1 heroes
(if it wasn't already in-class). Move hidden can be learned by level 59,
and until then, there's always the displacer cloak. Move/Sneak is
important for both you and your tank. Snea king basically hides your
setmin/setmout - a group of five who is sneaking will create five fewer
lines of spam each room for your tank. Move hidden will keep you from
getting aggied in certain areas, where the mobs won't be able to see you.
NOTE: Move hi dden is NOT the same thing as invisibility! Careful not to
assume that you're fine if you cast invisible on yourself, then wonder why
the tank is muttering in your direction. 

Bash/Throw/Trip. A good way to do more damage to a mob, and to keep your
tank from having a lot of damage done to him or her include these three
maneuvers. Bashing requires a shield ... some players like to write an
alias that they switch back and forth b etween an offhand weapon and a
shield in order to bash. One a mob is bashed, it cannot flee, it cannot
cast spells, and it takes more damage when hit. Once a mob is thrown, it
cannot flee, but might switch who it's attacking to whomever hits it next
(it's a bad idea to throw if your group has people who are casting spells
on the mob, or warriors smashing), and it takes more damage when hit.
Finally when a mob is tripped (usually best done only by the tank in the
opening round, because it will change the t ank to the next person to hit
it), the mob cannot flee, and and it takes more damage when hit.

Remember, all tanks like to run their groups a little differently, ask to
know if they want you to do anything special, and do it! Word will get
around that you're a good groupie, and you'll be invited to participate
more and more frequently! 

     3. On Leveling.. and other things 


In this fair land, there was a man-
who we shall call, for Innocent's sake, "Zan".
Now Zan loved to level - and level he did! -
'cuz he heroed when he was just a wee little kid.
He had been a low mort for such a short time
that he did not even know how to steal one thin dime.
Zan know nothing except the "joy" in leveling he so hungrily sought;
but maybe even this leveling was bought?
for he paid for a tank and a sponge,
even for a bodyguard to save him with a lunge...
but it was all in vain, for he knew nothing.
The lonliness was all to which he could cling.


One day he "wised up" and made a Dragon.
He hitched a ride to Nom in a wagon,
stood there, and instead of going off and leveling, quietly said:
"I don't wish any of you to ever be dead
- Heaven forbid an Elf or Sprite to ever be tankless -"
and in THAT moment he understood Angelic bliss
for he had many new friends and learned to go
anywhere, and for the GOOD of helping little ones, beat any foe.


Where is Zan now, you ask?
Being a Lord and fighting Bask?
No, Last him -- "The mist of time hides the answer from you."
Whois him? An angel? Yes, one of the few.
His draggie? Teaches areas and tanking to newbies among other
Not many bring into this game what he brings.
Who is he ...really?
Why, you are so silly.
"He" is anyone who helps, angel or not, everyone
who takes the time to sit down with a level one;
those of us who put others first -
and into which the joy of plain helping we are so immersed.
You might think you are him,
You might think it's your friend Jim,
but know this and this alone, I tell you now,
if you know someone like Zan, thank them today with a curtsey or

     4. Ahena's Awesome Adventure 

 I. {On which a story was to be told}

 creak. The only sound heard at first. then:
 the running of little padded shoes. hurried.

 "GRANDMA! Grandma! Mamma let us come over and said that you would
tell us
a story!" the kids exclaimed, the plain joy evident upon their
 "Well, okay," the tiny, old lady quietly remarked. "But only if
you sit
down and be quiet, so that I may think of the perfect story..."
 "An aventure!" a chubby kid yelled.
 "A ro*man*tic love affair," a young teenage girl said, twisting
her lock
of hair in such a way that implied she was thinking of other things
then the
 "Darla," the old one laughed, "You had your romance last week.
Bobby's turn now." The chubby kid raised his fist and cheered with a
imitational war cry.

 "Back in my day...


 II. {On Which the Clever Prepared}

 Ahena raised her head defiantly and entered the gates of Igecsoz,
home of a fabled god she had only but heard rumors of. The wooden
were lined with youths with piercing black eyes that only suggested
trouble they wished to cause.
 Silently, she snuck up to Ajuu. Being a Sprite, a sneaky
caster - wanna
be rogue - she *knew* she would be able to steal anything quite
easily... It
only took practice and concentration for her nimble fingers to do
their job.
 While Ajuu was cautiously observing a Troglodyte youth, Ahena saw
chance. She nimbly climbed up Ajuu's robe, resting every once in a
while to
catch her breath (for a Sprite is much, much shorter than the
average mob.)
She cackled with glee (to which the ears of Ajuu could not even hear
the pitch was so high) at her new found fortune and deftly pulled
out the
flask of oil and jumped down with a "Whee!" onto Ajuu's
sleeping mat. In the same way, she stole things from the other mobs
in the
area, without incident.
 Chuckling to herself, for she was quite clever indeed, she flew
onward to
the Statue of Igecsoz's altar, for THIS was the reason she came. To
this Statue... If she could do it, maybe the UD wouldn't be so

 III. {On Which the Battle Began}

 The first thing she smelled was a sickly sweet odor. At first,
couldn't put her wing on it... but suddenly, *blood*. She inhaled
and cast a look around. "No doubt about it," she said quietly.
"There have
been sacrifices lately..."
 The greatest thing the young and knowledgable Sprite had in her
was, well, she was a Sprite. The small one could hide anywhere, and
not be
seen or heard. She smiled to herself and then laughed an
evil laugh. For her time had come to prove her worthiness.
 For some reason, she thought the statue to be breathing, but no,
that can
not be, it was just the clothes and realistic face and design that
made it
look so real... Right?
 She flew up with a *flutter* of her powdery blue wings and
rested on the shoulder of the metal monster, still unseen and
She knew her task would be hard, but she never knew it would be this

 IV. {On Which the Battle Ended}

 Sliently she flew over to where she thought the Statue's heart to
be (if
the Statue even HAD one) she thought to herself... Ahena raised her
Ciquala sword (grandfathered ..but some still being sold on the
Auction Market, grandmother said with a wink) and PLUNGED it into
mobbie's heart with a triumphant cry.
 Nothing. Nada. Zlich. A newbie woulda had more effect than she
 But then suddenly! the statue ROARED and swated at where it
thought the
nuisance to be. With a giagantic (for a Sprite anyways) OAF! Ahena
fell into
the sticky mass of blood on the altar, ...stuck.
 She struggled, but her beautiful wings became even more stuck.
"Oh," she
cried, hopelessly. "I'm doomed!"
 But then, to the Statue's dismay, it began to rain. Softly at
first, and
then harder, and harder, the blood seeping away and away from her,
She rose up and shook out her wings and lifted something from the
she brought from her friend Jim, in the meadow (only 16 gold coins!
grandmothered swooned).
 The Statue, being the curious type, leaned over to the Sprite,
*boomed* "WHATCHA GOT THERE, LITTLE ONE?" so loud Ahena thought her
>must now be worse then a goblin's!
 "Oh Nothing, nothing at all, you wouldn't want to see it." she
quietly, with just a hint of cleverness.
 "OH *REALLY*? LEMME SEE!" Ahena winced, and after a second pulled
out the
flask of oil from Ajuu. She flung it at the Statue's eyes.
 The statue screamed and screamed (sounded like a million Sprites
stomped by a Giant) until its voice was hoarse, for it hurt so much
to see.
And see it could not, which Ahena pressed to her advantage. Ahena
flew up
and whistled quite loudly.
 Her whistle brought - .. Youths. Everywhere in sight. Thongs of
them. (I
mean, who would try to beat a hard mob without backup? Not that they
this for nothing, as the Youths showed by greedily eyeing the
 "Youths! Hold the Statue down!" She climbed up the Statue's lower
lip and
peered in quietly. a void, a mass of blackness a while long.
she pulled out a bluish-purple potion and unscrewed the cap.
top of
her lungs - (which came out no more than a peep.) She dumped the
contents of the potion into its mouth.
 The effect was fast. The Statue withered and died loudly (for
only a
Sprite can die quietly) with a shriek and hiss, screaming "I'm
inside, meltinggggg....." and then, nothing. The heart of the evil
was torn out, and so Ahena stabbed her Ciquala into its heart and
rewarded with this!

The town crier congratulates Ahena on Hero Level 2!

 After it was all said and done, the purse gone (darn youths!)
Ahena stood
there, laughing at the irony of it all:
 She hadn't even cast.

 **** V. {On Conclusions and Loose Ends}

 "Nice story Grandma!" they all said. It had even aroused Darla
from her
daydreams some. (Very impressive.)
They all left (suppertime you know - tonight was fried mob), but
Buddy lingered behind. "Grandma, who was Ahena?" he iquired. She but
and got up, and beckoned for him to follow her.
She stopped at a display case (somewhat like the one in
Sarphyre's Court)
and said, "See that Ciquala sword? I haven't used it in ages, since
I got
Hero level 2."
And Buddy understand, and laughed a Spritely laugh, and ran to go
with a smile.
 Meanwhile, the grandmother starting to daydream about how she got
Level 3...

 But THAT, my little ones, is another story...
 another story indeed.

     5. Sprite Stew: Recipe by Aurelia 

1/2 to 3/4 pound Sprite (mages preferred)
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 pound small sprite wings
1 5-ounce can ogre blood
2 troll skin, diced
Lite Salt (optional)
1 teaspoon nectars
1/2 cup chopped wafer
6 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup red or white wine, or
beer (optional)

In a large pot with 3 quarts water, combine the sprite and garlic, cover, 
and simmer for 1 hour over very low heat. Remove any fat and skim to remove 
any foam that rises to the surface. Add the wings. Stir the ogre blood 
into a cup of water and add it with the troll skin, salt, nectar, 
parsley,and wine and simmer for 1 additional hour and 40 minutes covered. 
Add the flour, sifted or sprinkled on top, stirring to thicken. Cook for 
another 20 minutes. Adjust the seasoning. Serve hot to fellow sprite 

     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).

     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@walrus.com  (Snikt - Kevin Jagh)

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

     You can FTP back issues of the gazette from ftp.walrus.com in

     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 Dizzy via my e-mail address:

     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!

 Distributed on the Avatar Gazette list ,
 via Walrus, Internet without Limits. Comments and suggestions are
 welcome, use: gazette-owner@avatar.walrus.com. For help send a message
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