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Newbie recommendations (race/class/align thoughts)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:09 pm    Post subject: Newbie recommendations (race/class/align thoughts)

Due to having this thought for a while, I thought I would make some "recommendations" for newcomers. Keep in mind, this is just some personal thoughts... Any of our veterans can feel free to pitch in.

While you can pick any race when starting out, humans are never a particularly bad choice (though they can't be druids). They might be considered a default or vanilla option, and if you're playing a new class (though I would not recommend a human berserker!) their lack of xp penalty is nice.

Gnomes are pretty gimp, and with the blunt vulnerability any mob which punches is going to hurt you more than it would an average person. I wouldn't consider a gnome a great choice for newbies.

Half-elves... Mediocre stats, but enhanced learning, and can choose to learn skills in one session realistically. Also tends to have racial legacies depending on the class, and some classes have mastered skills. Not a bad option, probably not my first recommendation for a newbie.

Illithids have three reasons I would avoid them for a newbie: only the illusionist class is available to them, they are evil, and their slashing vulnerability is hard to deal with.

Werebeasts are potentially newbie friendly. Probe can allow a newbie to explore more safely, and the transformed werebeast has strong stats. As a ranger, this is a solid option.

Dwarves are solid warriors or healers, though when people try to PK you they will attempt to make full use of your drowning vulnerability (which may be a good introduction to the concept). Magic/afflictive resistance is also nice to have. Not a bad option anyway.

Duergars are like dwarves, only evil and with additional vulnerabilities as well as lower constitution. Unlike dwarves, this is not a race I would recommend.

Avians have flight, and a maledictive vulnerability. This is a good option in general.

Pixies are weak and of smaller size so I would avoid them. Same goes for halflings and quasits.

Jotuns have a piercing vulnerability and unfortunately only have paladin and dark-knight as options, so I would say this is not a good choice.

Sliths are interesting, especially with recent buffs. Shed skin can prove useful for getting away from a bad situation, and swallowing corpses means you don't have to worry about food so much. Not sure how viable they are, but with 100% spear I would consider them a possibility as a warrior.

Giants are not on my recommended list. Although storm giants can get skills/spells to 75% in two sessions, the low int and wis make improvements very slow. A minotaur is a similar quandary, though if you're playing a berserker they're not a bad choice.

Elves and drow may have autosneak and learn skills/spells in one session (and drow have faerie fire mastered), but with their exploitable material vulnerabilities, high xp cost, and frail constitution make them a more advanced choice.

Finally, I've not really played a treant, so cannot advise on them.

As for classes:

Warriors are basic, if boring. It's not hard to play them, though they don't have any detects, any way of concealing themselves, or really any protective buffs. You do need to learn about combat style to properly play one, however. You can't go wrong with a warrior, anyway.

Thieves can be a bit tricky to learn, but they can hide from view and at that point, the only people who can see them directly (unless brought out of hiding in various ways) are other thieves or shadows. Most people HATE thieves, so this may not be the best way to learn the realms. If you choose to play a thief, just remember: your blackjack is your best friend.

Illusionists typically require a lot of knowledge of the game, so I wouldn't recommend them to a newbie. On the flip side, many people desire somebody who can haste and slow them at will...

Necromancers are also a knowledge-intensive class. I would also not recommend this class to a newcomer. Add in the fact that you're evil (I'll get to the bit about alignments later), and your experience might prove to not be very enjoyable.

Healers are awesome, though religion may feel daunting at first. I'd recommend following an active Immortal like Phostan or Ceridwel. You'll have a lot of friends on the goody side, but chances are you'll make enemies among the evils in AR. This is definitely a solid pick.

Shamans are the evil equivalent of healers only with more emphasis on the offensive. (Again, I will explain evil later.) Not necessarily a bad choice, but it makes things more difficult than they need to be.

Druids are a complex class. Putting aside the complexity and necessity of acquiring a druidic staff, they at least can be a neutral cleric type, so you don't have to pick sides necessarily. I would not generally recommend this as a first pick; maybe you might try it after getting a handle for the healer.

Rangers are another excellent class. They focus on physical combat like the warriors, but can also do neat stuff with their bows, and summon pets to fight alongside them in the wilderness. Also, camouflage is a great way to avoid fights (except against other rangers). I would say that the ranger would be one of my top recommendations for a newbie.

Berserkers... I will admit, they can be fun to play, but until you have played a warrior I would put off trying this class, since their fighting style is literally like a warrior's initially. However, once they get badly wounded, they will RAGE, and when you're raging and fail to relax you can't flee from a losing fight. Approach this class with caution.

Shadows seem to me like they could go two ways: a potentially good newbie class, and a potentially frustrating class for a newbie. Their detection and hiding abilities are unparalleled, but the chii meter can be a frustration. Also, ninjutsu use is important and a newbie might not know about that. Finally, it is not necessarily clear at first that you want to MEDITATE to regain mana.

The dark-knight is not a great choice for a newbie I would say. Although they are relatively simple to play, the evil alignment puts them in my category of "not recommended".

I don't know much about how to play monks, but they seem like a relatively easy and forgiving class. Perhaps someone else can fill in here?

Bards are an interesting choice... If you go neutral you're unlikely to have many enemies. I would say they're an acceptable choice, but not my first or second pick.

Finally, paladins are probably a bit too restrictive to be a good newbie choice. In addition to the good alignment, their general conduct is more strict than most classes.

Now, as for alignments... Evil is generally a poor choice due to the potential for backstabbing groupmates, and the extra headache of the oath from the Knights of Valour (you can't take the oath AND buy protection from Legion at the same time... Buy protection while oathed and you become anathema... I believe taking the oath while you have protection revokes it and even puts a contract on your head). Good can be troublesome due to accidentally killing Lightwalkers and getting damnation. In other words, neutral alignment is generally what I would recommend initially. As for ethos... Lawful ethos is a double-edged sword. If you don't plan on fighting in town (or at all!), it can prove an advantage due to the hiring of constables to deter a fight. As for neutral or chaotic ethos, it does not tend to matter too much aside from getting orderly/wild equipment.

In parting, I welcome our other veterans to chime in on this and I am also willing to answer any questions anyone has about any of the contents herein.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:30 pm    Post subject:

Human healer- Yeah you can't kill anything, but you're not supposed to. Flying, recall, sanctuary, healing, identify, and locate. Everything you need to help learn the game. PK range is favorable when you get to that point.
“The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.”
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 6:33 pm    Post subject:

This is an interesting thread, thanks Widow. There are a couple of points I want to make here as far as newbie oriented.

Sanctuary- Any class that has this spell is a great starting class, as they will help newbies out very well, the same thing for detect invisible.

You mentioned Paladin as being a difficult first choice, I think it's a great choice. Difficult rp restrictions should never be a reason not to play a class.

Invoker is probably the best newbie-friendly class there is, it has all the above, huge survivability, and is just overall great.

Finally, Monk the unsung hero. Sure they don't get detect or sanctuary, but hell Monk can tank a lot of things WITHOUT sanc. A great first-time class, if a little complicated.

At the end of the day, the onus is on us to help make newbies feel welcome, teach them about the game, etc. Take Eowug for instance. I killed Eowug once. Then, I lead him to his corpse and spent some time talking to him, educating him, and I was the bully who murdered him. Did I loot him? Absolutely not, would I of if he had things I could have used? Sure, I have no need to make people feel like that, but let me tell you something else. I still remember my first pk death. I was playing an elf ranger, or paladin for my first class because it sounded cool. Maybe werebeast ranger, it's all a blur from so long ago but this was back before crusader got changed, back when it was one-handed. I was requesting the crusader sword and a necromancer came in and chuckled at me. He was invisible and I had let I detects fail, but he had invisible zombies that lumbered in with him. I remember he walked in and snickered at me before casting sleep on me. Then he spelled me up and murdered me. I was so shocked when I ran back to Sorrow and had no corpse, no items left. I didn't know what happened. Then I saw him wearing my soul. Did he explain it to me? Of course not, and I set out to begin refitting feeling very frustrated.

You were so scary and such a good killer. I never would have guessed you were female.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:17 am    Post subject:

I think human paladin is perfect. They are tough enough to have survivability, totally self sufficient for food/water/sanc/healing, they highlight one of the cool options like choosing a class spec, and they get all the benefits of being good aligned (lots of automatic allies/few enemies, requesting, able to get in on end game stuff, and lots of RP opportunities). I assume identify and word were given to Paladins simply to make them even more newbie-friendly (both critical for noobs).

Ultimately I’d say a newbie should play whatever they are passionate about (ie if reading about Wulfgar and Drizzt brought you to muds then you go ahead and be that human berserker or drow warrior). The paladin has more noob-friendly tools but if you play something you are passionate about you will probably have a lot of fun.

After human paladin the next most newbie friendly things are probably healer (anything but elf), and shaman (human/duergar) for the self-sufficiency aspect.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:25 am    Post subject:

Play whatever you feel like playing and don't regret attacking players.
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