EOTL has only two rules:
1) Do whatever you want
2) Don't anger anyone bigger than you
The first gives players a tremendous amount of freedom to do whatever
you would like. The second is a direct result of the first, frequently
resulting in death for the smaller character.
There is an almost constant background noise due to the many public
and private chat channels and the verbose nature of many of the
players and staff. Much of it is not suitable for younger and/or
more sensitive people.
The gaming itself is very complex. The game spans many dozens of large
areas (cabals). These areas are grouped in a haphazard manner based
upon theme (roughly). The cabals are divided into specific areas which
have little or no continuity because each was coded by a different
person. This adds a lot of flavor to the game, in my opinion.
There is likewise a large variety of gear to chose from. Once you have
learned your way around (no easy task given the last paragraph), you
have access (if you are big enough to survive) to an overwhelming
variety of armor, weapons, special powers and generally goofy stuff
that does nothing useful, but is fun and cool anyhow.
In general, most of the useful skills are gained through participation
in one of the many guilds and sub-guilds. You can advance without
joining a guild, however it will be much harder and not as much fun.
The main mode of advancement is thorugh combat. You gain experience
(xp) primarily through killing the non-player denizens. They can and
do provide a challenge for nearly every level of player and are the
main source of more advanced gear. They can be quite easy to kill and
employ only rudimentary comabt skills, or they can be huge and have
a wide variety of the same skills available to players. On a side note
to this: Many things are either harder or easier than they may at
first seem. Be VERY careful in judging you opponents.
There are many ways to educate yourself about pretty much any aspect
of the game. You can go out and experience things first hand(high
death quotient until you learn a bit), you can ask about things on
the public channels (or in person through 'say' and 'tell') but be
wary! The general playerbase can be a prickly bunch. Some will try to
help honestly, while others may take every opportunity to send you to
your immediate death(many times by their own hand). The rule of trust
which will keep you mostly safe is, if you don't know the person is
trustworthy, DON'T TRUST THEM. It is the main form or entertainment
for a small number of players to taunt, ridicule, berate, insult, and
otherwise verbally assault you and thereby cause your demise in some
manner. And if you want the very best method for self-education, look
at EVERYTHING. Read signs, search rooms, examine descriptions of rooms
and gear. The people that coded EOTL took a lot of time and went to
some great effort(with no pay, I might add) to make this place fun,
interesting, challenging and creative. You'll find little details,
some useful some not, in every item you can interact with.
Which brings us to death. Death can happen pretty much any time, any
place, and with little or no warning. You can die a lot, frequently.
In most cases, especially when you are small, this is not a big deal
because you don't lose much (gear on hand, xp on hand, and 5% of your
size). You simply go get resurrected, grab that extra set of gear
you've been storing(you DID save a set, right?) and go right back to
playing, hopefully a wee bit wiser.
EOTL is not for beginners who are faint of heart, easily insulted,
slow typers, slow thinkers or of limited personality. It's the super
size of acting out. Roleplaying is not obvious, nor will it help you
in the classic sense. Some encourage it, others will kill you because
of it. It can be amazingly challenging and rewarding. You'll meet a
wide variety of ego-maniacs. If you can hack it, you'll love it.
My closing statement about EOTL is this:
'EOTL is a drug, and real life is rehab'
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