An Introduction to Mudding

"So yur lookin' for a bit o' fortune, eh?" The grizzled old dwarf looks over you like a rancher investing in a new horse, inspecting your features for any sign of weakness or defect. You feel a lump in your throat grow as he shakes his head slowly. "Thet's the trouble with you young'uns, always lookin' for thet kettle o' gold et th' bottom o' some ruin 'r other. I mean sure we c'n learn you fer swords an' counterin', but what's thet gonna save ya' when yur trapped behind some wizard's cage or a pack o' ghouls? Can't take up a nice trade like yur poppy and yur mama?"

We understand how most newcomers feel, having been at one time or another newcomers, or "newbies", ourselves. You get into the game, expecting maybe a few simple rules to follow, a few commands to know, a few obstacles to overcome, then come to find that the game is not nearly so simple as your friend or the advertisements led you to believe. You learn the basics of your race and profession, but quickly learn that knowing them and applying that knowledge are different things entirely, and that sometimes, no matter how much you know and how well you perform, you cannot overcome that one or several obstacles that slaps you down like an evil step-mother.

We are here to help.

Before entering Dawn of the Ages (DoA), you might take a few minutes to glance over the newbie helps we've written. We start off with some of the more basic questions below, like "What is a MUD?" and "How do I begin?", answering in some detail so you, the beginner, can learn what it's all about. Then we move on to more advanced topics, like "What happens when I die?", which we cover in separate documents like "The Adventurer's Guide to Ayreon", the same guide as found in the game itself, and the FAQ. If you think you are familiar enough with these discussions, you are then more than ready to jump into the world and begin play. The rest of this website offers details to the game you cannot get from these basic guides.

What is a MUD?

The word "MUD" is an acronym for the words "Multi-User Dungeon". A MUD is a software environment that allows players from all over the world to meet and greet in a setting created by the software's creators and/or implementors. Most MUDs also allow players to play in some way, both with each other and with the world. The play of the MUD depends largely on the theme of the mud. Some muds are strictly for roleplay, while others have monsters which players "hack-n-slash" to gain power. Dawn of the Ages (DoA) is a pk-mud, that is, it is a MUD focused on combat between players. Muds generally do not fall strictly into a single category, but oftentimes are a mix of two or more themes.

As mentioned earlier, DoA is one kind of MUD, a pk-mud, set in a fantasy world that resembles Medieval Europe. Dawn has a wide variety of races, many of which are taken from Greek myths, Irish folklore and so on. Magic also plays a major part in the world of DoA, for what would a fantasy world be without its alluring Gandalfs, Merlins or Raistlins? Out of character (OOC) communication is possible in the world using the ooc channels and tells to other players, but most regard ooc as bad roleplay and prefer to stick to in-game discussions and chats.

How Do I Begin Playing?

Dawn of the Ages, like most muds, start you off with characterization. If, however, you are asking how do you connect to DoA and begin playing, go to the connection page and read about the software you might need and the IP addresses you can connect to. The next several paragraphs deal with character creation.

When you first login to DoA, you will be asked what name you want your character to be known as. Try to pick an original name - lame names, copies of well-known names from literature or profanity will simply be deleted when caught. Consider well which name you choose, because it gives away a lot: a terrible warlord known as Joe will probably cause more laughter than chaos.

The game will then ask you to choose a race. Take the race which you think will be of most interest to you. Fun is important as you try to play the wimpy lizardman Tzzar-Krax. When your race is set, you will be given a certain "expmath" that reflects how common your chosen race is. Rarer races will have higher expmaths. We say more on expmath below.

Next you will be offered a list of professions. These include several skill-oriented fighting professions, some spell-oriented professions, and a mix of the two. After choosing a profession, your expmath is increased a second time, which then expresses the overall rarity of such characters. The higher the expmath, the harder it is to advance to higher levels. We state here that the power of a person does NOT correspond with his experience factor.

As your fame improves and the skills of your character rise there will be another option available in the game which will increase your power: a career. Careers enhance a profession both in expmath and in abilities, and they are needed as your character rises in level. We have a webpage devoted to the topic of careers.

Now all you have to do to complete the creation process is declare the person's alignment, as far as that is possible, and make some choices regarding your appearance. The last thing you will do is roll your character's statistics. These "stats" vary between 25% and 100%. Overall, you will ALWAYS have a stat average of 75%, not counting the appearance of your character - appearance has no effect on the game. Different professions require different abilities: A warrior might not need high intelligence and wisdom scores, unlike a wizard or cleric. However, ALL stats are important. As you advance to higher levels, they will rise. Just make sure that the stats you roll suit the class you intend to play.

Post Character Creation

Before you go adventuring you have to equip your character. This means you need to buy water, food and weapons to survive in the world. To better ensure your survival you should visit and complete the Tower of Training in New Midgaard, taking any of the equipment you find there. The Tower is found just east of the Temple, which is also the default location of recall in New Midgaard.

Also near the point of recall is a fountain, a bakery and a water store. You might also go to the general store to grab a container or two. A container is useful for storing items you might otherwise not want in your inventory. Once you are equipped, you are set to go into the world and explore. As a new player, learn first to explore the areas nearest your hometown, because these areas often are crafted with new players in mind. During your adventures you will meet other players who will either help or oppose you during your character's life. To guard against attack by others, learn to group with other adventurers also exploring the world. A group of up to three characters gets a slight bonus for grouping (in the form of increased experience), but it is entirely possible to explore the world alone and without friends.

Continuing Your Role

You will learn more about the world as you grow in power. You may take part in the clans wars that reach every corner of the world. You may best the strongest monsters the world has to offer. You may earn enough power and respect to challenge the area of reincarnation and become one of the legendary races that dominate the lands of Ayreon. With luck and work, you may even become immortal...

How Do I Create a Successful Character?

Choose a race which seems to fit your favorite profession. A good combination is worth a second swordarm. A minotaur, for example, will not excel at spellcraft as tenebrians or gnomes do. They, on the other hand, cannot expect to wield an axe as a minotaur does on the battlefield. You can try to play odd combinations of race and profession, but such play requires experience and long practice.

In rolling statistics, there is really only one important rule: Give your char what he needs most! A strong warrior might be better as a barbarian, and the noble's life may suit an intelligent warrior. You will NEVER maximize your stats, but you can often use magic and magical equipment to gain the power you need. All stats are variable, which means as a stat goes down, you will incur a loss, but as the stat goes up, you will regain what you lost or were held from.

Once you start playing, bring up your fighting skills first. As a mage, focus on ONE fighting spell quickly and learn it. It helps more to be GOOD in one thing, than BAD in many. Each race has certain resistances against special forms of attacks and likewise vulnerabilities against others. Advantages and drawbacks cancel each other out, giving the player a slight bonus at the end. Your character's race and stats add up to a certain bonus. This bonus is then added to certain skills. For example, a DEAL DAMAGE skill could rely twice on strength, once on dexterity and once on constitution. The statbonuses are added then divided by their number - (2xStr+Dex+Con)/4. Certain races have certain other abilities: dwarves have infravision, dark elves see in the dark, skaven have a poisonous bite and humans are VERY fast at learning.

The Adventurer's Guide to Ayreon

Now that you have plodded through the more basic questions concerning the MUD, you should be ready for the next guide, "The Adventurer's Guide to Ayreon". In it you will find details regarding professions, religions, alignments, quests, basic and advanced commands, and more. While the guide does answer a great many questions, however, only time, patience and experience will fill you in on all the details regarding Dawn of the Ages.

We hope you enjoy your stay!

The IMPs