Getting Started In-Game

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Contents

Introduction

Jumping into a game like this when it is so early in development may not be the easiest thing to do, and while there are resources like the Player Guide available, sometimes you may want something a little more compressed and reader-friendly. For a “guide” that is condensed further still, you may want to take a look at the Gameplay FAQ.

You Are A Tester

PlaneShift is at version 0.4.03 and is in Alpha development - which translates to it being under heavy development. Things are changing, breaking, being fixed and being added almost every day.

There are lots of bugs, and the system is largely unbalanced at this time. Everyone who wants to try this game should know this – you're becoming a tester, not a player of a fully-developed commercial game produced by a million-dollar company. ;)

PlaneShift is fully and permanently open source and free. It is run by a very small team of volunteers, constantly evolving, who are working with no funding. The game will be considered complete only at 1.0, and even then, the development will continue. As to when the game will come out of development, there are no dates; this is a hobby project.

As a tester of an early alpha game, it's your job to try out as many of the things currently implemented as you can. But this doesn't mean that you can't have fun while testing. Meet with other characters, form friendships, form or join guilds, explore, go hunting, do quests run by NPCs and GM (Game Master) team members alike, and build your character a personality, traits, and behaviours.

Skills

You will find that not all skills are trainable, or if trainable, not all of them can be actively used yet. For an updated list of what can and cannot be used, see Players Guide/Skills.

PlaneShift is also a game without classes - no matter what race you are, you can choose to do whatever you want. No race is better than another in terms of gameplay. You should pick a race that you like the look and feel of, rather than what you think will 'pwn' the most ;) The races each have their own starting stats, but any race can be trained for any specialization, and stats are half of what make your character unique in his, her, or kras own way. The other half, of course, is his, her, or kras personality.

Remember, PlaneShift is a roleplaying game.

PlaneShift is a Role-Play Game

Please remember to act in character when talking to others. We are all working towards an RP atmosphere in PlaneShift, regardless of the current client version. OOC (Out Of Character) text should be designated with parentheses or brackets- (), {}, or [] -as regular text comes from the mouth of your character, who knows nothing about computers, video games, the internet, or Picasso. Read the Setting for official information about the world your character belongs to, and while your character can certainly come from another "plane" outside of it, try not to do something outrageous like try to bring in "RP" guns. Keep within the medieval fantasy atmosphere as much as you can.

For those of you unfamiliar with or new to roleplay in general, it is highly recommended that you take a look at the Guide to Roleplay whenever you have time. It will introduce you to the concept, and some really useful Do's and Don'ts.

PlaneShift is a game meant for in-character interactions, and no matter what happens, whether bugs that should be reported on the PS Bugtracker or wipes, your character's personality and relationships to other characters cannot be erased - they will only grow. Your imagination can provide the richest backstory to your character, to give him purpose and meaning in his own life, or you can start him off with a case of amnesia and let your in-game interaction help you build him up. Even if your character isn't a fighter, miner, crafter, or overall just wouldn't use the skills currently available for training, you can make him a colourful and interesting being that will draw others and start adventures of your own.

When interacting with others, please be a nice player even though you may have an evil character.

Roleplay is vital here, so let your imagination run free (within reason, of course) and have fun with your alter ego!

Quests And NPCs

There is quite an amount of in-game quests available so far through NPCs – you can get started on some tasks by asking an NPC, “Do you have a job for me?” But not all quests have the "give me quest" trigger. Some NPCs may require you to ask them something else, usually related to what the NPC does. Quests may give you experience, money, or items, some of which are not available through any other method.

However, seeing as how the quest and NPC systems are in the early stages, you may run into some problems with their dialogue. For example, NPCs sometimes may only understand really simplified phrases – maybe down to two or three words of the most basic point you are trying to convey. This system will most assuredly be changed, and quests (along with general NPC interaction) are being worked on all the time. There are many quests that are quite simple to understand and finish regardless of the current NPC limitations, too, so don't let this prevent you from trying at all.

Some helpful NPC phrases to use include:

Do you have ___? / Give me ____. / I need ____.
What do you do? / Who are you? / How are you? / Tell me about you.
Tell me about ___. 
Do you have a job for me? / Do you have a quest? / Can I help you?
Where is/are ____?
about ___

You can ask other players in-game for help with quests, but please try to keep all quest information confined to the game – don't ask for nor share spoilers on the public PlaneShift forums. If you think you are experiencing a technical problem with a quest that shouldn't be happening, contact a Game Master and you will be assisted to the best of our abilities. There is no public Quest List where you can easily find NPCs that give out tasks to players, but pretty soon you will notice which are the most popular and prominent, and they will be a good start.

Remember that NPCs are supposed to be regular people in Yliakum, just like your character. So when you roleplay, and particularly when you ask other people for help with quest material, don't treat them like machines – you can consider them haughty or distracted, easily forgetful, or even mute, but regular people nonetheless. With time, they will act more and more realistically.

You may also from time to time come upon quests or events run by Game Masters. Usually you will be able to tell if an event is special by the colour of the person's name label – dark green, yellow, or pink. If you find that someone requires assistance, keep in mind that it may be a great opportunity for you to roleplay, adventure with others, and win rewards all at once. The frequency of GM-run events may fluctuate (as they too are volunteers and may not always have enough free time), but events are a big priority for GMs, so don't miss out if you see one happening!

Combat And Monsters

You've read the Player Guide, right? Refer to the Combat section for a basic explanation of the system.

Whether travelling through risky hills or the back alleys of Akkaio, picking up some skills with a blade or fists may be useful. For now a blade may last a lifetime, but you may find yourself needing to repair it in the future of PlaneShift. Hunting is also a good way to earn tria, as you can sell the parts of animals to merchants willing to buy them.

You'll discover several different animals sharing Yliakum with your character – this is not the final number, and the flora and fauna of PlaneShift will always grow and evolve. For now, you may want to tackle them one by one until you feel comfortable in your skills to move onto the next. A suggested progression is rats, clackers, Consumers, Tefusang, Trepors, and Ulbernauts. (more information on the creatures of Yliakum found here)

However, you may also encounter shifty figures likes rogues, bandits, brigands, mercenaries, and gladiators, who all have varying strengths. Approach combat with caution – and if you find yourself overwhelmed, it is always a good idea to carry a few restorative potions in your pack. Or group with a healer, or even learn some magic on your own.

There are three basic weapon types available at the moment – swords, axes, and daggers. Swords and axes can be bought from NPC merchants, but daggers are carried only by the more notorious beings, like Rogues and similar – so you may have to win them in a fight, or if you have the funds, buy them from another player who was able to defeat the previous owner in combat. There are two basic qualities people look for in weapons: the speed, and the slash. The lower the number for speed, the faster you can hit, and the higher the slash, the more damage you can do. Most weapons you will find will have a slash value of 2-3, and though the highest possible is 10, you will have to fight you way to acquire them, as they are quite rare.

Currently, shields do not protect you in combat, so you are better off with two weapons so that you can hit with both hands – but if you would like some defence as well, you may wish to train Light Armour, which will help you dodge attacks.

The more Intelligence you have, the better you will be at determining the strength of your opponent (through /examine). Your character will start to understand the level of someone's strength once Intelligence is over 50, and the perception extends even further once it is over 100. Although something may be of the same strength as your character, it is skill that mostly determines how much damage you will do. Thus training weapon or melee skills will make the fight easier.

When you are fighting, consider why your character is fighting – does he or she desire to be an accomplished hunter and provider of goods? Is he or she simply enjoying the chase, or even crave the aftermath? Be sure to give your character reasons for every action they take – remember, roleplay can make your time here a lot more exciting, and take away the monotony of training.

Magic

If your character is more of someone who prefers the arcane arts to steel, the path of a mage is available. In this section of the Player Guide you can learn about PlaneShift's magic system and background, including the six different “ways” or schools of magic, and what you need to do to cast spells – primarily, obtain and purify glyphs.

The basic starter set of glyphs are Air, Armour, Arrow, Cold, Darkness, Energy, Fire, and Weakness. Remember that quests are the biggest source of glyphs: spell casters, don't wait anymore!

  • Azure - Air
  • Blue - Cold
  • Brown - Armour, Rock,
  • Crystal - Arrow, Energy
  • Dark - Darkness, Weakness
  • Red - Fire

Glyphs can be used alone, or they can be combined with others to form different spells. Each spell has a certain glyph combination and none other, so play around in your spellbook and see what comes up. Be sure that you some knowledge of the associated way of the glyph before you attempt to use it – the Magic Shop, outside of Hydlaa, will be a very good first resource.

The magic system still needs to be largely balanced, so it is not of equal force with other skills. Currently magic is more or less in the support category. But it's not ignored, and work is being done in that department as well :)

Mining

As an alternative to combat, you can try mining to earn tria. You will need a rock pick, and a skill in Mining of at least 1 (Harnquist is your man for training) – equip the pick in your left hand, find the right spot to mine and type "/dig [mineral]" where [mineral] can be gold, silver, iron, tin, copper, coal, diamond, emerald, ruby and many more. You may find a group of miners around the Magic Shop, in the Laanx Dungeon, and out on the Ojaveda Road or the Bronze Doors Road. Ask around for further mine locations in-game, and avoid posting details on the locations in the forums.

Currently mines have no tell-tale signs that hint at their existence, thus asking for directions and locations is quite the necessity.

There are four factors in mining:

  • Player skill
  • Tool quality
  • Distance from centre of the resource
  • Probability of getting the resource

Platinum has a lower probability than iron, for example - it's like rarity. So even though you may have a high mining skill, platinum is still pretty rare for you to get it significantly faster than at a lower mining skill. You can try changing your spot a bit to see if you will have better luck, but that rarity still comes into play with various ores.

Crafting

The newest addition to PlaneShift is the crafting system. It is in its very infancy, and many changes will be made to it through time to allow a wider ranger of player-made content.

We have a separate large crafting guide for you to read on the forum. It will explain in detail the crafting process in PlaneShift with an example.

Interacting With Other Players

The more polite and thoughtful you are when requesting help of fellow community members, the more likely you are to receive that help. Try to keep the following in mind:

  • Please introduce yourself and try to roleplay it. Avoid just coming up and interrupting a conversation with "how do I get experience?" or, even worse, "give me a weapon". It's plain rude and probably won't get you the help you need.
  • If you ask a question, please wait for an answer before walking away.
  • Yes, you can get lucky and someone might help you out a lot, giving you not only information but equipment and money. This isn't the rule, so you should not expect that from anybody and, most importantly, you should appreciate what they are doing for you. Yes, you might need all that stuff so asking for it sounds reasonable, but unless your character was actually born to beg, don't go asking people to give you items. There are many other ways to get things from other players.

People help new players more when new players:

  1. Are polite.
  2. Talk in character and are willing to roleplay.
  3. Don't barge in but check descriptions first and choose a good time to engage in conversation. (If you have to interrupt a group in the middle of roleplay because nobody else is around when you need help, try saying "Excuse me" or "I do not mean to interrupt" before dropping your questions. Greeting might also work. Generally those who roleplay more are those more willing to offer help.)
  4. Appreciate the help given, pay attention to what is being said and offer thanks for the advice. Saying "OK" is not the same as saying "Thank you".

Conclusion

You have a great opportunity here not only to have fun and make friends and accomplishments, but also to help the PlaneShift team through making useful bug reports, suggestions, and maybe even submitting content and fixes if you are able. Your contributions to a game in this stage of development could very well influence it for all the future. In order to be helpful, your contributions don't have to be large, nor directly to the team – help foster the community through events, organizations, maybe even contests. Involve yourself, give yourself a voice, become a community leader. All of your efforts to help in some form will be welcome.

All you really need in PlaneShift is an active imagination and love of fantasy – and with time, you will be able to see the team's goals realized: to make the game great and enthralling.

So get in, and get adventuring! :)

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