Q: What is a "MUD"?
A: Briefly, a MUD stands (usually) for Multi-User Dungeon, and is basically a text based game on the internet that you login to and interact with other people who have also connected.
Q: What is The Sea of Storms?
A: The Sea of Storms (TSoS), is a MUD with a specific theme. We are based off the Wheel of Time books, written by Robert Jordan. We are based only loosely off of these books however. We currently are entertaining our own 'timeline' so to speak. That allows for our players to have more creativity, as they aren't locked into the excellent story that is still unfolding in the books. We place a large focus on Role Playing, though we also try to make the game fun for those who might not always be interested in that.
Q: Where can I learn about this Role Play thing?
A: We tend to take Role Play fairly seriously, though we recognize the need to just unwind and be yourself sometimes. To that end we have a section of the website devoted to Role Play, but you could also just ask any player or staff member, they are all usually quite helpful.
Q: What are Events?
A: Events are special RP sessions that are run by various members of the Immortal Staff. They might be as simple as a special merchant visiting the area, or a gleeman entertaining in the square, or as complex as a massive battle or a royal ball. They are almost always well worth participating in, and players tend to get rewarded well if they do take part.
Q: Wait, where are all your levels?
A: To make TSoS a better RP enviornment, we've stripped out all of the level code. There is no emphasis on going out and killing x monsters to gain y experience so you can attain level z. We have ability levels instead--how good you are in a specific weapon, or how strong a channeler you are. Given our current code, it would take you a very long time to "max out" any one character. In fact, it has never been done.
Q: What about classes?
A: While in the strictest sense, we aren't totally classless, we've gone a long ways towards that. We have instead a talent based system. What that means is that in creation, you pick a few talents for your character. These talents determine things like what skills you can get (though there are many, many skills that require no specific talent), how strong a fighter you can eventually become, etc. They basically represent inherent traits built into your character from birth.
Q: How does combat work?
A: We have tried to come up with a system that is right in the middle with regards to complexity vs. functionality. Combat is done automatically when you attempt to fight with something. If there are no weapons involved, then it proceeds via hand to hand combat techniques. This draws from whatever grappling skills you have, and uses them automatically. If weapons are involved, it gets a little more complicated. You can choose your basic stance (aggressive, defensive, etc.), and that will help determine which weapon forms you use during the combat.
Q: Can you explain forms?
A: Forms start out as things like slashes, stabs, etc, but progress through (currently) 9 levels, to things like Black Pebbles on Snow, or Anvil of the Sun. Sure they have fancy names, and there are a lot of them. Every weapon has seven specific levels of forms, usually around 8 per level, which are unique to that weapon. You start off knowing the first two levels (zero and one), which are common to all weapons. Beyond that you have to have another player teach you the advanced forms. Once you advance enough in the level you are working on, you are able to learn the next level. Then you work on those, and repeat.. The knowledge that you have of a form is based on a rating of 1-1000, and you have to get forms to ever higher ratings before you can advance to the next level. With so many forms, and so far to go in each, it would take a person literally years of playing to master them all. In fact, nobody has ever done it--yet.
Q: What is your magic system like?
A: Since we are based off of the WoT books, we take our magic system from them. It is complicated, but here is a brief synopsis. Men and women draw power from two separate halves of the same thing. There is a limit to how much they are able to hold at once, usually men can hold more. Once they've grasped this power, they can then do things with it. They weave together the different elements (flows) that comprise the power (fire, water, earth, air, spirit) into different patterns to come up with their spells (weaves). Different weaves require different amounts of each of these flows.
One thing to take note of is that there are differences between the men and the women. The male half of the power is tainted, and over time men who channel the power will likewise become tainted. There is code in place reflecting this. Eventually, this taint can lead to madness.
Q: Do you have guilds/clans/etc?
A: Absolutely! We have a number of guilds which come both from the books (The White Tower, The Children of the Light, etc.), as well as the ability for players to get together and form their own guild (e.g. The Army of the Hawk). To join a guild you must have a character background that the guild will accept, as well as have done some RP with the guild members. Usually they prefer to see people seek them out In Character. Joining a guild is a very worthwhile experience, and can lead to some great RP.
Q: Is Player Killing allowed?
A: Yes, to an extent. Since we are based off RP, any PK that takes place must take place in that context. Thus, it has to arise via RP. In general there is not very much death that takes place at TSoS because people get attached to their characters, and the penalties for dying are fairly steep.
Q: What do I get for RPing?
A: Besides the fun of actually doing it, we have a number of systems in place to reward people for RP, and to reward them even more for good RP. Most RP takes place using the emote or pose commands. We have code in place called the Role Play Counter that keeps track of emotes and poses that you do with other people. It will slowly rise from 0 up to 10 while you are RPing. Once every couple minutes you'll receive some experience based on how high the counter is. It will also make your forms go up faster, as well as some skills.
Q: What are Character Points?
A: Character Points (CP) are one of the other rewards for RP. Here's how the system works: you RP with people, log the RPs, and submit them for review. Good RP will earn you CP that can be exchanged for skills, experience, item modifications, and lots of other things.
Q: How do your skills work?
A: You learn new skills from other players first of all. There are no NPC trainers. Your knowledge of a skill increases through using them, on a scale of 1-100. As with forms, the closer you get to mastering a skill, the slower it will increase. There are skills that let you use bows, track other players or mobs, link together with other channelers, enter the dream world, catch projectiles hurled/shot at you, ride horses, and many many other things. There are some skills that require you to have a specific talent, though most do not. Also, there are in general two main types of skills. There are ones that work passively, where just having them is enough. There are also skills that actively require you to type a command to make them work.
Q: What is experience used for?
A: Since we don't have levels, experience is spent on a variety of other things. It can be used to raise your physical attributes (agility, perception, etc.), your skills, forms, flowskills, etc.
Q: How do I get out of this intro area?
A: While for the most part we don't restrict what type of character a person can have (there are some exceptions), we are particular with what names people can have. Names from the books are obviously not allowed for just anyone. To that end, until you have an acceptable name, you won't be allowed to leave the intro area. You can rename yourself at any time until you have been authorized by using the name command. One simply types name, and then the desired new name. E.g. name bob would change one's name to bob.
Q: How do I get out of this first city?
A: At TSoS, we have over 2,500 completely original rooms based off of the WoT books. Thus there are several cities. To go between cities we have coded an overworld map that one navigates through, thus eliminating the need for endless road rooms. It is a quick and easy way to go between areas. For more information, see the help file 'help worldtravel'
Q: What is this SSet thing I've heard about?
A: SSets characters, or "SkillSet" characters are special application-only characters. They include, but are not limited to, nobles, wolfkin, and aiel. In general, an SSet is the "quick road" to power. You can apply for forms, skills, special backgrounds, IC positions of power, etc. You do not need an SSet to play, they are only meant for experienced players who want to try something new and help the MUD.
Q: Where can I get help?
A: There are a number of players who have been denoted "Newbie Helper" who are there to help new people. They are around to help anyone who needs it, by telling them about the MUD, helping teach them to RP, and most other things. You can see them on the who list by typing who. There is also the Immortal Staff. They are the people who run TSoS, and are there to guide players, and perform the other administrative tasks. Guild Imms help guide the guilds, Event Imms are there to stimulate and run RP, Builders add new areas to the MUD and are rarely seen in the game port, Policy Imms enforce the rules, Coders add new functionality, and Implementors oversee everything.