Tips and Advice
Avlis is a roleplaying (RP) server. As such, it is vastly different from the single-player NWN. It's also a lot more difficult – your PC may die, and die often. To try to ease you into the game, here are some tips and advice given by experienced Avlis players as well as the team who design and manage the game world.
- Look around where you have started, get an idea of where you are and the layout, but don't venture far until you know it's safe.
- Make a map and take notes. Even though NWN may have mapped an area for you during a session, that map does not stay in your PC's memory. The only exception is city maps, which can be bought in certain places. As long as you have that map in your possession your NWN automap will always display that city's map.
- Talk to as many PCs and NPCs as possible. Some NPCs may have little or nothing to say but many will offer you short quests to perform in exchange for money, an item, or experience points (XP). And talking to PCs is the best way to make friends and allies as well as learn about the game world. Most PCs will be very helpful and friendly - don't forget they were in your position once.
- Look at signs. They tell you where you are. Glancing at them will give you a general idea of what area you are in and what area you are headed to. Examining them will give you a detailed idea of where you are, where you are headed, and where you may be headed if you keep going.
- If you really want to hunt or kill monsters, do so in groups. Avlis has been designed to be a group experience. There are places where you can survive solo, but they are few.
- Avlis has its share of magic, but it's not overflowing with it like single player NWN. If you want a good magic item, you'll probably have to work for it. That may entail a live quest (run by a DM), or in rare cases an automated one.
- Read the Avlis Forums (www.avlis.org). But keep OOC chatter in the IC forums to a minimum. If you need to make an OOC comment, either send the person a private message (PM) directly, or make a mirrored post in a discussion forum, linking to the IC post.
- Use the quickslots at the bottom of the NWN interface. Not only can you quickslot spells and weapons to equip but you can also quickslot feats and special abilities. For example, you can quickslot the "Examine" feature. This will allow you to examine yourself as well as items in certain windows.
- Quickslots can also be used to store macros, such as PC speech. You can quickslot your character's self-introduction, or perhaps a prayer or catchphrase that he or she often says. This allows you to just press the proper quickslot button instead of typing in the same words time after time.
- When creating a character, alter the description that people will see when they Examine you. Instead of the generic description type in a description of what your character looks like, so that people can read it if they Examine you. It is advised that you not include a character background or biography, as this is information that people would not be able to know just by looking at you.
- Things You Might Not Have Found Out in Game: While Avlis emphasises on finding In-Character (IC) information In-Game (IG), there are a few minor tips made avaliable for Out-Of-Character (OOC) consumption.
- If you start off in Mikona, the fire beetle quest is your best bet to meet some people and gain some XP. It can be found in the Marketplace, which is located two areas south of the City Gate District where you come out of the tavern. You can use it to earn money to equip yourself fairly quickly. You may also be able to enter Mikona's slums and kill gang members there, but it is highly recommended that you do so in groups. Once you have gained a few levels you may be able to survive outside the city, and even face the undead that sometimes roam in the graveyard. After you've gained a few more levels you might be able to survive the beasts that prowl the Mikona sewers. It is still advised to be in a group when you do so.
- If you start off in Elysia, you can gain XP by helping farmers outside the city walls or by performing FedEx quests (explained below). The areas immediately around the city walls are also safe for the new character, and the upper sewers in Elysia are accessible to lower level players. If you find yourself in the Forest of Midnight outside Elysia as a new player, run! Elysia also has a very well developed crafting community and is the best place to start if you want to develop your character this way.
- Main Article: Experience System
The gaining of experience points deserves its own advice section. Avlis is not designed for hack and slash, or quick experience from monsters. In fact, it will probably take months of dedicated play for you to advance a PC to the maximum level (as of this writing the maximum level is 40th).
As of this writing, there are five ways to gain XP in Avlis:
- Killing monsters
- Scripted quests
- XP awards from DMs
Avlis implements the "token XP" or "minimum XP" award. If the character did not use more than 1000 XP of their last week's cap, automatically give them 500 XP for that week as rollover XP. This creates an automatic "floor" for character advancement and also gives some incentive for players who do not get the opportunity to log in very often to continue at least try to play.
Being 1st level can be extremely difficult if you try to advance through combat. There are definitely some small monsters around that a 1st level PC can kill, but they will have a hard time. If there were two or more 1st level characters together, they will have an easier time with it. Avlis has been purposefully designed this way to encourage group play. The main point here is that advancing to 2nd level through combat is not recommended if you are playing alone. You will probably die often.
The best way to get to 2nd level is to do quests. Many quests involve shuttling items back and forth or collecting some kind of item and bringing it to an NPC. These quests are known as "FedEx quests." Each time you complete one of these tasks you'll get anywhere from twenty to forty XP. Luckily, all of these quests can be done over and over. Many named NPCs (those that have an actual name instead of a description like 'bartender' or 'nobleman') hand out these quests, so be on the lookout for them. FedEx quests are numerous in Elysia, but there are a few in Mikona as well.
On top of these there are also some normal scripted quests that actually have a story behind them that you can participate in. These quests take a bit longer to do, and in fact they can all be done indefinitely because most of them require an extended mission that can keep giving you returns. For example, Jerto in Mikona's marketplace will ask you to help him by giving him a steady supply of fire beetle bellies. And Fanos in the Artisans District in Elysia will ask you to find various ingredients for him so that he can make potions.
Experience can also be gained by crafting items. To do this your PC must gather ingredients, take them to the proper place to work on them, and then create an item from those ingredients. More information of crafting can be found under "Crafting System".
Finally, when DMs are online they will hand out experience rewards to PCs. The most common reward is the DM "cookie", a small XP reward handed out for good RP. You never know when a DM could be watching, so it is suggested that you remain in character at all times, even when it seems like no one else is around. DMs also hand out substantial XP rewards for participating in or completing a quest or adventure that they run live. You probably will not find these quests – rather, they will find you.