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Gazette 1999-07-24
Articles | Archives | Gazette | 1999 Gazettes | Gazette 1999-07-24
     ___The Official AVATAR___________________________________
        ________                          __     __           
       /  _____/ _____   ________  ____ _/  |_ _/  |_   ____  
      /     ___ __    ____  /_/ __ \   __\   ___/ __  
          _   / __ _ /    /   ___/ |  |   |  |    ___/ 
       ______  /(____  //_____  ___  >|__|   |__|   ___  >
              /      /       /     /                   / 
     _______________________________________ 24 July, 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. Cor's How-To Guide to Tanking:
          3. Snikt Went Down To Georgia by Seminole and Aurelia
          4. An essay by Amadeus 
     ________________________________
     1. Editorial by Dizzy 
     ________________________________

I have a wonderful job. I've been fascinated with computing systems since
I bought my first Apple //C in 1982 ($1,700. Believe it.) Actually, the
reason I bought it was because I'd been learning microprocessors and
building computers for the Navy, and I L OVED what we were able to do with
them.  In those days, a PacMan clone running on Your Very Own Computer was
totally phat. Eventually, I became acclimated to the rarified air of
computer ownership and the shine started to wear off. I moved on to
newer/big ger/faster/more expensive computers to feed my habit, and turned
my fascination into a career.  Many of the folks that I've worked and
played with in the world of computing have moved on to other pursuits. 

Remember when you discovered Avatar? You may be an old timer who fondly
remembers when the MUD crashed frequently (ummm, every five minutes was
NOT uncommon); or perhaps you've just arrived on your magical
shores.....most likely, you're somewhere in betwe en, and have been a
citizen for a "while".  Avatar is magical in more than one way, isn't it? 
Spells and skills aside, the magic of Avatar is linked to the Fantasy and
Socialization aspect of the game. Think about how you felt before you
became acclimated and accustomed to your fellow players, the beautiful
room descriptions, the artful composition of the areas, the
eq/skills/spells. I know exactly how you felt the first time you died. I
remember precisely how my blood pressure and level of excitement ros e
when I realized how close to invincible a well balanced group was. Do you
recall the amazement and gratitude you felt for the IMP and his IMMortals
for such a PERFECT world to merge into anytime you wished? 

Okay. Now stop and think about how you feel about Avatar now. Has the
shine become a bit tarnished? There are a few players who aren't satisfied
with the symetry of the game, and they are frequently vocal about it.
Sometimes, a vocal minority of malconten ts and trouble makers (yes, we
have a few of those as well); give the player base a bad reputation. I
KNOW that most of our players love the game, love the IMP, and love the
IMMortals. Most of us appreciate the opportunity to come to Avatar any
time, and live out dreams that aren't possible (or convenient) in RL.

However, occasionally, those how can't be satisfied with a great game, and
are constitutionally wired to always demand more, begin to wear down those
who run the game. Sometime I'll do a piece on what its like to be an
IMMortal. I think you'll be surprise d. 

I'd like to suggest an exercise that I think you will find cathartic, and
the IMMortals will find refreshing. Please take a few moments to write a
note from within the game to ALL, with a subject of THANKS....and tell us
that you appreciate the game. It w ould be appropriate to mention other
players by name that are special to you, and especially IMMortals.
Alternately, you can send your thank-you note to dizzy@avatar.walrus.com,
and I'll forward them to all of the IMMortals.

Think about how little it costs to say "thank you".  This would be a
wonderful time to express your Attitude of Gratitude. 

Diz

     ________________________________
     2. Cor's How-To Guide to Tanking:
     ________________________________

I was sitting in sanctum tonight, and someone mentioned, "I sure wish
someone would hold classes about tanking." So this is as close as they'll
get. ;)  

Rule #1: Potions! Potions! POTIONS!
One of the most important things when you're tanking, is some sort of
healing. If you can't find a cleric, you can utilize the numerous healing
potions in AVATAR. For Low-morts and Low-Heroes, here's some suggestions:
fiery-red vials. 4500 gold at the Apothecary in Midgaard. North of Aelmon.
Heals roughly 80 hp blue potions. A few mobs have these. Ki-Rin,
Donjonkeeper, and some spiders in Wildwood. Heals roughly 100-120 hp.
Other good potions to have, incase you can't get a spellup, are:

shot of crimson fluid: At the Brewery in Midgaard. A few south and west of
Aelmon. 800 gold, gives shield and stoneskin. periwinkle potions: At
Kelsee the Dryad in the haunted forest. about 5000 gold, gives barkskin
and infravision. 

Rule #2: 
The most important thing when tanking, is your AC. Now, you can't see your
AC until you're level 25, but you can get a hint about how good your AC is
by typing 'help AC' in Avatar. The lower your number is, the better. 
There are many many many pieces of armor and even a few weapons that give
bonuses to AC. Your dexterity also helps lower it.

Rule #3: 
Skills. Everyone in Avatar gets at least some skills. Good tank skills to
use on mobs when you're tanking are bash, trip, and throw. These are good,
yet they can cause problems for your groupies. Bash: Bash is good. You
must be wearing a shield to use this skill (type help bash for more info).
One downside to bashing, if you fail bash you're knocked to the ground and
mobs tend to rip you up, so better have some potions handy or a cleric
ready. Trip: Trip is nice. No pre-reqs or items required for tripping, but
use caution. If you trip, and a castor casts an offensive spell before you
swing at the mob again, the mob turns to the caster and usually mutilates
it. So tell your casters to cast the r ound after you've tripped or not
cast at all. Throw: Throw can be a real nuisance, but also a great skill.
Same bonuses and negatives as trip (changing the target from the mob) but
it ALSO makes it so the mob loses an attack for a round. Get a few monks
throwing, and you won't get hit.

Rule #4: 
Watch your HP! Don't let yourself get too hurt, otherwise that next fight
will probably kill you, then the rest of the group. Make sure your clerics
are kept in line or you have plenty of potions handy.

Rule #5: 
Know the area you're running your group through. Know where the safe rooms
are, where the aggie mobs are, where the spellcasting mobs are, etc. Don't
lead a group full of sprites into an aggie dragon, cause they'll probably
get toasted.  Enjoy your tanking experience!

     ________________________________
     3. Snikt Went Down To Georgia by Seminole and Aurelia 
     ________________________________

It goes to the tune of "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" by Charlie
Daniel's Band.. 
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Snikt went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal, he was in
a bind, he had a blankie dragging behind, he was willing to make a deal. 
And he came across this woman making a blankie and sewing it hot, Snikt
jumped up upon a data dump and said "Girl let me tell ya what..."'

I guess you didn't know it, but I'm a fine immortal, too And if you care
to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you, Now you make some good cookies,
girl, but give an imp his due, I'll bet a blankie of gold against you're
soul to think I imp better than you.. 

The girl said 'My name's Darii, and it might be a sin, but I'll take your
bet, you're going to regret, I'm the best Imp there's ever been.'

Darii, rollin some dough and bakin some cookies hot, Cause Amok broke
loose in Avatar, and Nadreck brills his shards, And if you win, you'll get
this soft ol' blankie made of gold, But if you lose, Snikt gets your
dough... 

Well, Snikt pulled out his weapon and said I'll slay this horde, And
sparks flew from his whetstone as he sharpened up his sword, And he threw
fireballs here and there, and it made a sinister hiss, Then a band of
lords joined in and it sounded somethin like this.. 

When ol Snikt finished Darii said 'Well, you're pretty good, ol' man, but
sit down on that cloud right there, and let me show you how it's done. 

Fire in the flaming pants, run lords run.  New mods in the tiers of
lording, son.  Twinks popping up for spells galore, Darii does your dog
bite, no child no..'

Then ol' Snikt bowed his head because he knew that he'd been beat, And he
gave Darii that golden blankie, aknowledging his defeat, And Darii said,
'Snikt just come on back if you ever wanna try again, I done told you
once, you silly Daemon, I'm the best there's ever been.' She sang... 

'Fire in the flaming pants, run lords run.  New mods in the tiers of
lording, son.  Twinks poppin' up for spells galore, Darii does your dog
bite, no child no..'


     ________________________________
     4. An essay by Amadeus 
     ________________________________

Communication and Relationships within AVATAR's Muli-User, Multi-Caste
Environment

-- --

My sucess in life has always come from being an incredible observer. 
You'd be amazed at how different the world looks if you take a moment to
step back and look at the whole forest. I suppose I sometimes forget that
not everyone is able to see the whole forest, but yet only sees the trees
around them, and I apologize for that. However, one must continually
strive to rise above the trees and see AVATAR as it is, not as it appears
from one's perspective. Let us take a look into three issues that pertain
to AVATAR and see if we can come, together, into an understanding of the
whole forest.  First, there is the issue of relations and relationships.
One must understand that within AVATAR there are many different 'classes'
of people, and those are further divided into multiple arrays. For
example, we have players from different countries, players from different
sections of countries, players of different races, players with different
political beliefs and religious beliefs; therein, we have the first
stumbling block to communication. Also, within the mud environment we
further divide ourselves into low mortals, high mortals, HEROS, ANGELS,
LORDS, IMMORTALS, staff, and execs. Here we have to strive to make a caste
system work as fair as possible -- which has never happened in real life. 
So, how can we understand and communicate with each other? The only way I
can possibly conceive is to remove yourself from the system and look at it
as a whole. Now, granted, this is easier the further you are on the ladder
as you will have all the experiences of the other segments behind you;
however, this is what we must strive towards. Let's take an example:  I am
a level 400 hero with a serious problem, I am bored. As a hero, I know
what it's like to be a low level mortal, a high level mortal, and a hero,
that is all. Therefore, my first thought is "I am jealous because the
immortals look like they're having fun". I am wondering why nothing is
being done to help my situation, and why everytime I want to make the mud
more interesting, I get in trouble. 

Now, taking the concept that was mentioned previously, our goal is to look
at the whole forest, rather than the section of the forest called heroes.
The level 400 hero needs to ask themselves "How would I fix my problem if
I were in charge?" -- then mail the execs with the solutions you have. "If
I were in charge, how would I deal with me, as the troublesome hero?" --
then mail the execs with your answer. If the player continues in this line
of thinking, the answer should be resolved. Of course, a companion to this
method of logic is 'professionalism' -- always be professional in your
suggestions and conversations with anyone of authority. 

Another major concept on AVATAR that tends to lead us astray as far as
working together and understanding each other is authority. - Who has the
authority? - Who is in charge? - Who makes the rules? Although it seems
that the answer would be simple, it is not because of the nature of how
AVATAR works and operates.  AVATAR has a select few people that we call
the execs. They are in charge, and their word is final -- however, they do
possess checks and balances: the players. For example, Snikt can make a
rule and set it in stone; however, if all the players decide to leave
because of it -- then he has a problem and will have to change his mind,
essentually taking the authority from him and placing it back with the
players. Fortunately, throughout the years players at AVATAR have placed
their trust with the execs and although there are sometimes unpopular
decisions, 95% of AVATAR's population follows their guidance.  However,
going back to the concept mentioned beforehand, all players have to
attempt to see the whole forest that the execs see. By this, we mean that
although the execs work for the mud, they do not owe the mud anything.
Therefore, if a policy is set and a player abuses this policy, then they
have leeway to respond in whatever fashion they so choose. Always strive
to see the mud through the eyes of people who spend many hours looking at
what most people see as gibberish (C code) just to give everyone a good
place to play -- the 'forest' looks much different when you do. 

Lastly, we must touch upon another issue that further hopes to drive lines
through the communication of AVATAR: emotion. By emotion, I mean that we,
as humans, respond to certain stimuli in a particular way. For example, if
one player insults another player in malice, then the player being
insulted will probably respond aggressively. Now, it is very hard to avoid
this reaction and it is also very hard to know when this reaction is
warrented, especially in an environment where all we recieve is words
printed on a screen. 

Ultimately, the best policy for any player when it comes to conflict
and/or disagreement is to state the opinion without any emotive input. By
this, I mean that if someone says something or does something that bothers
you, the response should be to the point and without emotion.  However,
the catch 22 on this method is that most humans interpret non-emotion as
aggression and/or indifference. Let's take an example again of the level
400 hero we spoke of earlier: 

The hero's first intuition as a human is probably to send a mail to the
mailing lists with something like this: "I'm bored to tears and all of you
lazy immortals are just sitting around chatting instead of finding me
something to do. Please get off your lazy hineys and do something".
However, consider this, which should get the same message across without
the negative response: "As a hero I just wanted to report that we need to
add more things with which we can occupy our time. Perhaps an immortal
could inform me of how they spend their time online and that would help". 

So, through the second statment the hero has stated the same material in a
way that does not directly offend anyone; however, states the point in the
same tone in which the hero initially intended to state it. 


Communication within AVATAR is more complicated than almost any other
online mudding situation, and we must constantly strive to overcome any
obsticles that we face in this situation. AVATAR is like a small room with
hundreds of totally different people trying to get along and work together
for the mutual enjoyment of everyone. Keep up the good work. 


     -----------------------------------------------------------------
     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
     /pub/avatar/gazette.

     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:
     dizzy@walrus.com.

     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
 to: mailgod@avatar.walrus.com
 

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