PlaneShift General Gameplay Guide
PlaneShift General Gameplay Guide by Eliseth
What this is: This is a general guide for everyone on how we should play the game in order to get the most out of it.
What this isn’t: This is not a guide to explain the working of the game mechanics.
1) Starting Notes
2) For New Players
3) For All Players
4) For Developers
5) Ending Points
Hello PlaneShifters! I am writing this guide in response to almost everything I have encountered up to now. Our current community has a good side and unfortunately a bad side, my hope is that this guide will help everyone, new and old, to appreciate each other more, and to encourage the growth of both the community and the game itself. Before I begin, there are certain crucial facts that have to be borne in mind if you want to enjoy this game at the maximum level.
– First, PlaneShift is in it’s ALPHA stage of development, this has certain dramatic implications that most new players don’t get. The game is going to improve, it’s always being developed.
– Second, the Planeshift Community consists of real PEOPLE, with real feelings and most importantly, real lives.
– Third, PlaneShift is an RP oriented game, this means that a player is meant to roleplay a character as though he or she actually lived in the world within the game (Namely Yliakum).
– Forth, and most importantly, negativity of any kind does nothing good, and has no place in your forum posts.
I’ll be elaborating on these points throughout the guide, and I encourage you to read everything
In the following sections of this guide I will attempt to convey my person opinion on how one can improve their in game experience right from the start. So without further a due.
A Guide for New Players
First let me welcome you to our community. You are about to embark on a journey that will take you deep into your own imagination, where you will meet someone you more than likely never knew existed. If you are still wondering whether or not to start the said journey, let me try and explain why you should.
What makes PlaneShift different, and indeed special, from any other online game out there? Why should you take the time to play THIS game as opposed to the more popular games? Quite simply, PlaneShift has a uniqueness in almost all aspects that makes it both enjoyable and worthwhile to play.
As I mentioned earlier, PlaneShift is an RP orientated game, and although it is not actively enforced in game, the community as a whole strongly encourages it. The quality of your in game experience will be improved greatly if you interact positively with the other players. Our community will be friendly to you if you are friendly to us.
* This brings me to a point that I feel I must bring up before you start your journey. Complaining about first impressions will not get you anywhere, it will simply make other players annoyed, make you annoyed and generally make everyone unhappy. Be prepared to experience the game for a while before you decide to voice you opinions.
With that said, let us begin at the beginning.
Starting a new character
This is with out a doubt the most important step you will go through. You character is what other people will see, and therefore it will be the first thing they judge you on. I have already written a guide to creating a new character in the guides and tutorials section, please take the time to read it, I’m certain it will make character creation a lot less painful.
If this is your first character, you will be faced with the tutorial world. Before I start let me point out that the NPC’s speak out of character in the tutorial. This is mainly to benefit the new players who are not yet familiar with roleplaying. The tutorial is the only OOC aspect of the game, when you complete it and you enter Yliakum, you will be in character.
This tutorial has long been the object of complaint since it was first introduced. Let me try and explain the purpose of this tutorial before you climb on your warhorse about it being useless. The purpose of the tutorial is to try and introduce characters to the BASIC workings of PlaneShift as a whole, including aspects like Crafting, Magick, Combat and RP. This tutorial is NOT meant to be a complete guide to everything. You will still be required to actively explore the world and discover all it has to offer.
The most important thing to remember if you want to get through the tutorial, and indeed if you want to do ANY of the in game quests, is to read NPC speech carefully. If you’re kicked off the server or somehow miss what an NPC said and you can’t get further in a specific quest, read your log files, everything anyone else says to you is recorded in there.
Now I know there is a lot in the tutorial that can be improved, so once again I refer you to my first point in the starting notes; PlaneShift is in it’s ALPHA stage of development, things will improve and change with time.
Once you successfully complete the tutorial you will be teleported to Yliakum, and you in character journey will begin. When your character first spawns you may feel a bit lost and disorientated. Do not panic. Your first two hours (at the very least) in game will be used for exploring your surroundings and getting to know how to navigate and interact with the world.
There will be times of course when you’ll need help, you’ll have questions. For this there are two options, depending on the type of question.
If your question in settings related (Example: if you wanted to know where a town is, or where you buy something, or train something) your best bet is to ask fellow players. If you are polite and roleplay correctly, they will generally respond in kind. Do not get upset if a player does not respond, they could be afk or busy with a private chat.
* A lot of new comers complain that they are ignored in game, and the players aren’t friendly. This is true sometimes but the big problem is that they complain about it too quickly, sometimes its just a misunderstanding. Bare in mind some people roleplay their characters as being unfriendly. If you are faced with this situation, simply ask someone else. Patience is key. Do not expect to learn everything in one day. I’ve been playing for two years and still don’t know everything about the game.
If your question is related to game mechanics (like is you need to know how to use the furnace or something), you can use the help tab in your communications window. Do not be upset if you don’t get an answer right away, the people who answer your questions there are players who volunteered to be advisors. It is possible that there aren’t any online. If you really can’t find your answer in game, make a post in the newbie help section of the forum.
I think what confuses new players most is the fact that there is no clear place to start when you enter Yliakum. In all the other mmos I’ve played, there’s a starting NPC to get you going, your leveling experience is guided seamlessly from one NPC to the next. PlaneShift is NOT like that. Your character development depends entirely on your own initiative, there is no one to hold your hand here. No one except the players, who, as I mentioned earlier, are usually more than happy to help you on your way.
Here are a few things that you should know about the game when you first play the game.
– The NPC dialog system is NOT perfect. Everyone knows that. New players also like to complain about it, but please believe me when I say that it will improve. (See point number 1 in starting notes again)
– There are times when we have trouble with the NPC server, which makes monsters impervious to attack. This is annoying I know but there is nothing to be done about it at the moment, and once again complaining will not help.
– The NPCs move sometimes. If you find that an NPC is not in its place, don’t panic and scream bloody murder. The current system allows for NPCs to have lives too, which means they don’t always stay in one place.
– The magic and combat systems are still being developed, as is stands, warriors are usually more powerful than any mage. Eventually these two aspects will balance out.
– The in game graphics can be a bit… weird, sometimes. A common complaint about it is that everything is too dark and it’s hard to see anything in game. This is a known issue with mainly CRT moniters. Adjust your monitors gamma settings and you should be ok. As for anything else about the graphics… see point number 1 in the starting notes.
– Lastly, the server crashes relatively frequently. If you’re kicked off the server it may be a good idea to check the IRC channel, the people there are generally helpful.
I think that’s about all you need to know if you want to survive your first in game experience. Don’t be afraid to explore and discover new things.
Living in Yliakum
Once you are comfortable with the way things are done in this game, you can then really start to have fun. As the game is at the moment, the game mechanics aren’t always a pleasure to use, and as is the trend, new players will start moaning here on the forums about it. I say again, do not. Complaining has never done any good.
It is true however that new players do have certain suggestions which could potentially improve the game. For this we have a wish list here on the forums. It is important though that you do a bit of searching and browsing to make sure it wasn’t suggested before. If it has, and you still feel you have something to add, go ahead and make a wish. Contrary to popular belief, the developers do take your suggestions into account.
* This brings up another point I feel should be raised. Players in general have an attitude like “There’s no point in suggesting anything to the developers, they don’t listen anyway.” and indeed this is how it appears. But you must realise that the developers are in a difficult position. Although what you’re suggesting may be a good idea, half the players in the community probably don’t like it. So who are they supposed to listen to? And very often your ideas do not fit in with the general plan that they have for the game. Do not be hard on our developers, complaining about them only discourages them. What would happen if they all decided to just leave it? There would be no PlaneShift. All the developers have as reward for the countless hours they put in is the game itself, and the players responses. Bare that in mind before you decide to complain.
If a developer or anyone replies or makes a comment about your wish and doesn’t take to your suggestion, it’s generally not a good idea to pursue the point too aggressively. If you feel they don’t fully understand your point, by all mean elaborate, but if your idea is rejected, don’t take it personally.
Dealing with other players
Remember, if you speak to another character in game, or if you’re posting in the forums about anything, be it a suggestion or a simple comment, you’re dealing with other people. Do not be negative towards anyone else, even if they’re negative towards you. Do not fight fire with fire. If you have opinions about someone or something and feel you need to air them publicly, remember to be respectful. It may just be the Internet, but even comments on the Internet affect people personally, whether you want to believe it or not. (After all, your comment may be the final straw before someone commits suicide. Be careful what you say to others.)
As you long you stay pleasant and respectful, your life in Yliakum will be an entertaining and fulfilling one. You will find that people are more welcoming if you behave.
Dealing with GMs
Game Masters are there to make sure Yliakum life runs smoothly, and to help if you’re having trouble. If you need help from a GM all you need to do is fill out a petition in game. If your request is reasonable, they will act, and if they don’t, they’ll tell you why. It is also possible to /tell a GM if they are online at the time, and if they help you, remember to say thank you, it’s only right.
Game Masters also host RP events from time to time. Let me start by telling you that it really isn’t an easy task for them. Although they have a general outline for how the RP is going to run, they have no way of predicting how the players will react in a given situation, so very often they have to improvise and make up as they go a long. Yet players still find it necessary to complain if something isn’t to their liking. If you do not like a certain RP event, then just don’t take part. There is no need to shout “THIS EVENT SUCKS I’M LEAVING” and there is certainly no need to send GMs negative /tells. They are doing this for YOUR benefit, and they deserve your gratitude.
If however you truly believe a GM is being unfair towards you, you may raise it with the GM team leader, Kerol, and if you’re complaining about Kerol go to Talad. But remember to stay polite, aggression in a complaint only makes it worse.
You’re a player at last
Ok, once you have learned how the game works and you’re interacting with players and NPCs alike, you become part of the community. Now the challenge is to maintain the same quality of in game experiences as the game develops, and as you gain and lose in game friends.
A Guide for All Players
Because PlaneShift is constantly developing, it is sometimes difficult for a player to maintain a certain RP. What I mean is that as new features and maps are added, players need to adapt their characters story to fit in with the changing environment.
* For example my character Sarine. I started Sarine before any sort of cooking was implemented. She is supposed to be the best baker in Hydlaa, and until recently, it was easy to roleplay her as such, and people accepted it. Now, however, cooking has been implemented and there are other characters who are taking the time to learn the skill and to physically use it. Can Sarine still be considered the best baker? No. I will have to now take the time to learn how the cooking system works and to train that skill.
I’m now going to try and explain the way in which I’ve been adapting to changes in the last two years.
Adapting to Change
The most important thing to keep in mind whenever something is added to the game, is that your character is not static, you do not HAVE to stick to your original story exactly as you first thought it. Making changes to your characters history and personality is completely acceptable.
Lets say for example that when you started, your character grew up in the slummy area of Hydlaa. Later on information about the settings is expanded and you discover Hydlaa doesn’t HAVE a slummy area, what do you do now? Simple, adapt and move on. Change your history slightly, for example you could say you grew up in a run down house in Hydlaa, or something.
Also do not be afraid to ADD to your characters story as new things are added to the game. Lets say a new part of Ojaveda is added, you see something there that you like. There is nothing stopping you from adding it to your characters story.
Although I do have to warn you. If your changes are TOO big, you run the risk of damaging your characters image. As I said in my character creation guide, inconsistencies only weaken your character.
The basic principal behind life in Yliakum can be summed up in two words: make do. Be prepared for things to change, expect your character to transform over time. Adapt and move on, make do with what you have in game.
Dealing with new players
It has been suggested lately that our current style of RP and the way we react to new players is causing our player base to stay small. I therefore feel it is appropriate for me to try and explain how we as a community can attract and deal with new players.
When a player enters Yliakum, they will be lost and confused, and they very seldom have a positive first experience in game. It is therefore up to us as a community to guide new players into the game, by being supportive and positive. Points 2 and 4 in my starting notes apply here.
I agree it can be frustrating when a new player talks to you and he or she does not yet fully grasp how RP works. But now instead of ignoring them and dismissing them as “noobs”, we should politely /tell them where they are going wrong. If they do not respond or simply ignore your efforts to help them, just walk away and leave them to their own suffering, complaining about it will not help.
If they start making a nuisance of themselves, you can ask a GM to step in. Being aggressive towards a new player will only encourage them to be aggressive back.
Interacting with other players
This is by far the best part of the game, playing with other people. I find that I have the best fun when I actively go up to people and start a conversation. As long as you stay in character, it is interesting to see how your own character reacts to other characters. Remember this is like living a whole different life, anything can happen. I find the whole concept very exciting.
When you start talking to another character, try to react in a way that you would react if you were the character physically meeting and talking to that person. It’s also important to read people’s character descriptions, because it sometimes gives valuable clues as to how you should react.
And remember, have fun! That’s what it’s all about. Personally I have no idea why people have the need to complain about anything in PlaneShift, they should instead use that energy to make use of what they have and to have as much fun as possible. If you don’t get on with another player, don’t stress! Your world will not end (unless the server crashes).
* It is interesting to note that your emotions are never caused by anything outside your own body. You are in complete control of yourself. If more people in the world realised this, the need for violence and negativity would simply vanish. You play PlaneShift in order to have fun, so why let anything spoil that for you? If you’re not having fun, stop playing or try something else.
Increasing our numbers
Invite other people to play! Tell your friends about the game! Believe me PlaneShift is heaps more fun when you have friends playing with you. Character plots become more in-depth, intricate, complex and generally more entertaining when more people are involved with it.
PlaneShift has the potential to be so much more, and yet we have so few active players. Stop worrying about what other think and enjoy the game for what it is. It can only benefit you if you get friends to play the game with you.
We are a community, this means we are here to support and encourage one another. A community is supposed to build itself, not destroy itself. It all comes down to basic human decency and respect. There is no need for us to judge or insult one another. Instead we should respect and appreciate each other and continue to do what a gaming community is meant to do; have fun.
A Guide for Developers (I am no developer so please, if there is something the devs don’t agree with here, let me know)
Being a PlaneShift developer is a hard job. You’re not paid, and you only do what you do for the love of that which you do. And yet still you are required to follow strict deadlines and to produce work of only the best quality. It is often hard to imagine why the developers haven’t given up yet.
I’ll tell you why though, because they see something in PlaneShift, something worth working towards, something worth fighting for. There is no doubt that PlaneShift is one of a kind, no where else will you find a game with such a unique history and setting, while being completely free to play and enjoy. Not to mention our undying love for quality roleplaying.
In the end being a developer is an extremely rewarding task, because you get to see your own creations develop and turn into something that will be enjoyed by so many people. Also they have muffins. Muffins are always good.
But, the road to becoming a developer is hard. If you’re heading that way now, you may feel the need to give it up, which many people do. Let me try and explain what you need to do in order to become a developer.
This is where your journey starts… you’ve played the game for quite a while and now you feel you’re able to contribute positively towards the game development. You fill out the application form from the developers and you wait. And you wait.
And you wait.
Yes, it does sometimes take a long time before the developers accept you as a prospect. Do not get discouraged. Trust me when I say being impatient will not help you. If there is one virtue that is absolutely required in a developer, it’s patience. This means you mustn’t PM or email the developers asking them whether or not they have seen your application. If it has been a couple of weeks to a month or more, and nothing has happened, I would say it would be safe to give them a gentle *poke* in the IRC channel or something. The big thing is you mustn’t make a nuisance of yourself.
Eventually you will be accepted or rejected as a prospect. If you’re rejected you will be told the reason why, and maybe you could work on the reason and try again later. If you’re accepted your life as a prospect beings.
Being a Prospect
Prospects are low on the developer’s food chain, and generally do not have a lot of say as to what is being developed, they are only there to create content. Two things are important when being a prospect.
First, your deadlines. It is extremely important to complete your assignments within the time given. Being late will only do you harm. If you want to become a full developer you’re going to have to show extreme dedication. Give each assignment your best effort and do your utmost to complete it as quickly as you can.
If for some reason you cannot complete a task on time, let your task giver know well before the time so that they can extend the due date.
The second most important thing is keeping making sure you don’t discuss your prospect work with non developers. The PlaneShift dev team likes to keep all new developments a secret until they are released. So when you start as a prospect you will be sworn to secrecy.
Follow those two simple guidelines and you should be fine. Keep your nose down and work as best you can. If the developers like what they see, they may promote you to Associate Developer.
As an Associate Developer you will be given even more responsibilities that will require even more of your time and effort. Needless to say when you get to this stage you’ll look back on how easy you had it as a prospect
The next step after and Associate is of course full developer, but let me warn you that getting there is no easy task, and it’s possible that it won’t happen. Don’t let that put you off though, just do your best, no one expects more (or less!).
There is not much I can say about the developers, but there are one or two points I would like to raise, and that has to do with the way in which developers react to the players.
Once again I ask you to keep points 2 and 4 of my starting notes in mind. The only reason a player will ever suggest anything for the game is if they truly believe it will contribute positively towards the game. I believe even a small word of gratitude to them will go a long way to making them feel as though the developers care about them. As I mentioned earlier I believe that players in general believe that the developers don’t REALLY listen to their ideas and as I said I know it can be difficult to try and please everyone. The key to dealing with players is also respect. If you respect them, they will respect you.
And lastly, just do your best. I can’t speak for everyone but I’m sure the majority of the player base respects the dev team greatly. We appreciate all that you do for us with regards to the game and we are truly thankful to have a such a wonderful group of people who are willing to give up their free time for our benefit.
I thank you for reading my humble guide and hope that you have learned something. Hopefully we will all be able to live in harmony here in the PlaneShift community, and hopefully we will be able to support and encourage each other so that our community can grow.
Let me try and sum up the basic points that were raised in this guide.
– Respect other people, no matter who you are, or who they are. We are all people and we all deserve to be treated with decency by everyone else. Sure we may disagree on things, but being negative about it will only damage the community.
– Stay positive. I know the game can be frustrating at times, and people will piss you off, but in the end it IS just a game. The sole purpose of playing this game is to have fun. So don’t let anyone or anything spoil that for you.
– Don’t complain. Our developers do their best to improve game qualities. PlaneShift is in it’s ALPHA stage of development, which means everything is going to change a lot before the final product is released. And in fact because the game is free we really do not have any right to complain about it
– Roleplay ^^
That’s it from me. I must point out that this guide is not complete, and I would like to hear what others have to say so that I can add to the guide as needed. It’s quite possible that I’ve overlooked certain things and if you feel there is something to be added, please post it here.
Thanks for listening everyone. Have fun!