A Twilight Walkthrough

TwilightMMORL can be a pretty complex game, as the format to present information to the user on how to play the game is pretty limited; both by peoples’ attention spans, and how it must be presented (80×25 screen, and without occluding play). So, I’m kinda starting an initiative here to write a sentence or two about everything in the game that could be confusing, hard to discover, or otherwise notable.

First of all, when you first connect, you’ll be presented with a few options:

play (a)nonymously
(l)ogin
(r)egister
(h)elp registering
(q)uit
I (f)orgot my username!

Most people who’ve never played before will probably want to hit ‘a’ and play as an anonymous character account. This skips all of the character customization and gives you a basic warrior, and allows you to get in quickly and play the game right away, to decide whether you like the premise or not. Nothing you do as an anonymous player will be preserved, and there’s no way to log in to the same anonymous account again, but it gives you a good taste of the game.

Registration

Once you’ve decided that you like the game, and want to play it in a more permanent setting than an anonymous account, the next step would be to reconnect and press ‘r’ to begin the registration process. You’ll be prompted for a username, a password, and then a few parameters about the character you want to play. If you’re curious about whether a particular username is available, you can press ‘f’ at the main screen, and you’ll be shown a list of every username that has already been registered. The parameters that you will be asked to provide for your character are Race, Class, Gender, and Concentration. The first three should be pretty familiar to anyone who’s played any sort of an RPG before. Your selections here (except gender, it has no impact) influence what weapons your character is proficient with, what sorts of magics and combat skills he/she can perform, and the like. A detailed description of all these combinations would be very lengthy (and is provided in the “help registering” text), but to summarize:

  • Humans have no innate magical bent,  so their magical abilities are limited to what they have been trained in.
  • High Elves are particularly adept with “protective” magics such as healing
  • Dark Elves are especially trained in “aggressive” magics such as lightning
  • Dwarves, like humans, have no particular adeptness with magic, but are highly physical fighters (although there are certainly dwarven wizards and necromancers)
  • Warriors are not trained in magic of any form, relying instead upon melee combat with their foes. They often possess combat skills and maneuvers other classes do not, and can use magical scrolls to summon simple charms, despite their lack of magical training.
  • Wizards are mages who have been trained primarily in “light” magics such as healing and cold-based attacks.
  • Necromancers are mages who have been trained in “dark” magics such as fire and lightning-based attacks.
  • Archers are not trained in magic, and indeed are impaired from its use by the gods. Instead they engage in combat from a distance with powerful bows and sharp arrows.

The various concentrations you may select allow you to pick a particular skill or element that you wish for your character to have additional adeptness with. This can be useful to beef up a weak area in your race/class selection, or to give your character a needle-fine focus on a certain ability.

Playing your Character

Once you’ve registered your character, it’s time to log in and play the game! How you play the game is up to you, and to some degree determined by your class. Everyone has killing Moloch and freeing Kord as their overarching goal, but different classes take different routes to get to that point. Collecting better armor and weapons is a must, but while warriors achieve this by running around and bashing monsters up close and personal, wizards and necromancers try to maintain a little bit of breathing room while dishing out attack spells and healing themselves as necessary (using their melee weapons only when necessary), and archers keep a lot of distance between themselves and their prey while flinging arrows.

The very first thing you should do when you decide to start playing is to take a glance at the default keybindings. You can remap most of the keybindings by pressing the pipe character (shift-backslash), and then pressing ‘i’.

Skills

There’s more to being a warrior than just swinging a sword at monsters, though. Warriors have the ability to pull off advanced fighting maneuvers that give them an edge in combat. For a handful of gold coins, a warrior can walk into the Master Swordsman’s shop in the starting village, and be trained in these tactics. Likewise, wizards and necromancers can make visits to the Priest of Caladan (wizards), and the Tutor of Aether (necromancers) in the village temple, and learn new, more powerful spells.

When a character knows any spells or skills, a line is displayed just above the bottom of the screen that looks like:

-HL-I -BoF-I

This line tells you what skills your character knows, as well as some information about whether they’re currently available to use. Warriors have to “arm” a skill before it can be used (it’ll be used the next time that warrior attacks something). If a skill is armed, there will be a “+” in front of it, rather than a “-“. A “-” indicates that a skill is ready to use, but not currently armed. Since wizards and necromancers have access to their skills at any time, they do not need to arm them before use. If, rather than a “-“, a “o” is displayed, it means that that skill is not presently armed, but is not ready to be used at this time either. If a “O” appears instead, it means that the skill is armed, but not ready for use.

So in order to trigger (or in the case of a warrior, arm) a skill/spell, you have to press the appropriate shortcut key. By default these keys are Z, X, C, and V, but these can be reconfigured at any time by pressing the pipe character (shift-\) and then pressing ‘i’ to enter the keybinding configuration dialog. If your character is a warrior, the skill corresponding to the key you pressed will be armed, and will be triggered the next time you attack something. If you are a mage (wizard/necromancer) the spell will be instantly triggered, if it is ready. If it’s not ready, nothing happens.

Usually, if you’re playing a warrior, you’ll want to have auto-attack on during combat, so you don’t have to focus on that while also juggling your active skill.  If you’re a mage, on the other hand, having auto-attack on will interfere with your ability to cast spells.

Archers carry out their combat very differently from either mages or warriors, and have none of these special combat skills. Instead, they have the ability to load their enemies with arrows from range, before swapping weapons (with the ‘x’ key) and finishing the job in melee if necessary.

Getting Stronger

As in most RPGs, as you kill monsters you gain experience points and level up. Leveling up makes you a more powerful player in several ways. It increases your maximum hitpoints (MaxHP), makes your weapons do more damage, and gives you access to more powerful skills and spells. Much of your power, however, doesn’t come from gaining levels, particularly if you are a member of a non-mage class. Warriors and archers need the best weapons they can get, and every class needs a lot of armor to stay alive.

The items that monsters drop as you kill them are vitally important to your survival. By standing on them and pressing ‘p’ you can pick them up. Once they’re in your inventory you can inspect their descriptions and see how beneficial they might be to you.

Warriors

If you’re a warrior your primary concern will be wieldable weapons such as daggers, swords, or katanas:

i) Longsword of Lightning (80%, 43-46(+44,+8)) (Li)

A wieldable weapon presents several important statistics about its quality in your inventory. The example longsword above has a hit-rate of 80% (which means 20% of the time when you attack something, you miss). Its base damage with every attack is a number between 43 and 46. Within the parenthesis immediately after the base damage are two more numbers: your affinity bonus with this weapon, and its magical enchantment bonus. The affinity bonus is determined by a combination of your experience, your race and class, and your skill concentration. As you get more experienced this number typically gets larger, and it’s larger for weapons your race and class are familiar with than for unfamiliar weapons. The (Li) after all these descriptions signifies that the weapon has been magically enchanted with Lightning damage.

Archers

If you are an archer, you must pay attention to both your bow, and your arrows. A bow item is read in a fashion similar a warrior’s wielded weapons, but the only number that really matters is the hit rate. Bashing monsters over the head with a bow typically won’t inflict much damage. So while your bow item determines how often you hit with your attacks, it’s your arrows that determine how much damage you do. Again, arrow items are read in much the same way as a wielded weapon is.

Armor

No matter what class you are, having a high armor class is a necessity. There are six armor slots available:

  • Body armor
  • Helmet
  • Footwear/Boots
  • Rings
  • Amulets
  • Cloaks

Only one item of armor may be worn in any given slot at a time, and its armor class (AC) contributes to your overall AC. The higher your AC is, the less damage enemy attacks do to you when they hit.

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