Greetings all! Hope you are well.
I'd like to share my experience as a completely fresh no-nothing player who discovered this game yesterday. Apologies for the length of the post.
I started my first Aetolia character (consanguine) and after excitedly completing the tutorial (omg theres MUSIC??? omg theres a badass UI??? awesome!) I find myself completing the 3rd intro task, which was "Find a mentor". Makes sense, I think to myself. I have been playing for 30 minutes at this point. I ask on newbie for anyone willing to mentor a young vamp and get tells from Rijetta and Neoma, both fellow vamps. Both offer help, Neoma in the form of some useful help files about the Vamp houses and some info about the perks of joining house Brouchard and that they have available Sires. Rijetta offered to meet up with me. Great!
I replied to both; Neoma seemed to have gone inattentive, while Rijetta met up with me, took me to the Vamp HQ, and give me some history and background on the houses. Seemed logical as a new vamp. This was the first I'd learned of vamp houses, sires, and a few other things. After proceeding to read the help files recommended by Neoma on the houses and after upwards of an hour of RP with Rijetta (where she explained all 5 houses, what they're about, and answered many of my questions) I had joined house D'Baen and gained a mentor, Huzzah! All was going very well. Little did I know that my actions in these dawning hours of my Aetolia experience apparently angered Neoma and would have OOC consequences on my attempts to learn and understand the game.
After my first session, I spent numerous hours reading forum posts (new an old alike) on mobile whilst I could not play, excited to learn more about the meta and general info about the game. After finding a 2017 thread called "Vampire Theoretical" and reading it in it's entirety, I had a few questions.
I logged in on day 2, with many academy quests and intro tasks still to complete. Still quite green. I /tell Neoma, the only person I've actually interacted with who's online, and ask for a quick OOC conversation before I dive in to the game.
She agrees, and I tell her that before I excitedly and happily invest a good bit of time (and some $ for lessons to support the game ) into my character I have a few general Meta questions. (The fact that'd I've played the game for a total 3-4 hours at this point is mentioned.) Such as:
1. I read there were a bunch of vamp changes being made- are those finished, or should I wait to try vamp (whos lore really excites me) until the newest wave of changes are complete.
2. I asked for confirmation that 'bashing' was simply 'hunting mobs'. I assumed that from the post's context but wasn't 100% on that
3. I read that many vamps switch to other classes (Carnifex, Teradrim) for bashing and im some cases feel "stuck" having to bash as a vampire when they class-switch. Since I plan to spend a majorty of my time 'bashing' I asked if she thought vamps were weaker in that regard.
4. Mentioned PK is something I'd like to do many moons from now and I heard vamps were good at that, asked if she could give her opinion or simply confirm/deny.
5. Lastly, what are some good zones to explore/clear once I finish the intro stuff to get my feet wet?
That was it, relatively straightforward questions or so I believed. Was simply excited to get some answers and get to working on my character. I /tell these questions to Neoma in a few short paragraphs after she agrees to speak with me.
Here is a paraphrase of ensuing conversation:
[Her]: Most of the vamp changes are in, but not all of them are quite done yet. Why haven't you asked any of these questions to Rijetta or people from your own house?
[Me]: Cool... Uhhh well I just logged on to play for the few allotted hours I have today away from the family, and you're the only other person online I've interacted with. No one from D'Baen is online and neither is Rijetta.
[Her]: well I am IC mad at you for not taking time to really read up about all the houses as I recommended, and for just choosing on a whim to join Rijetta's house. (She also made a comment about how Rijetta probably just sniped me up into her house without a second thought and without properly telling me about the houses. These are 2 completely false assumptions on her part)
I tell her this directly. No one else is online from my house or that I have met. I am 3-4 hours old in this game still doing the intro tasks such as: LOOK AT YOURSELF and "put stuff in your bag and remove it again". I remind her that I'm a super greenhorn and just trying to find my way forward and to make sure I'm not taking the wrong path for my OOC time investment into this game. I, as a human being, was asking questions so that my enjoyment and love of this game you all adore would be maximized. I was being sincere, genuine, and my excitement was palpable.
She then says "my next tell will be in character" and proceeds to answer my OOC series of questions with a single IC statement in which that she refuses be helpful any longer. She states that in her house they are helpful, but since I joined another house, too bad. SOL. That I should've done all of the reading she suggested on the various houses (Which I did). She states I shouldn't have rushed my decision. (does an hour of RP before joining a House count as rushed?) And that If I want any of my questions answered it will need to come from Rijetta or my own housemates.
I had asked for a quick OOC conversation. As a new player I still have the option to change my class and that was the subject of my query. Classes in a game. Overarching game questions that would help a new AETOLIA PLAYER decide his path. How does that subject have anything to do with the hour of nice introductory RP I had yesterday with someone else? Why does my Vampire House matter when I'm a brand new player asking you questions about the game that could cause me to change my class altogether and not even be in a Vampire House? At that point I'm a new Aetolia player asking you about Aetolia. Not a new vampire asking you about vampire things.
I'm sure that most of you, like me, have a hell of a lot less time to play than when you first started playing MUDs. And now, it's seemingly always less than you would like, right? I had a few measly hours to sit down and play a game that has me feeling super nostalgic, but I want to make sure I'm working towards the right things from day 1. (I recently tried another MUD and found out 3 days in that all my progress was essentially wasted and I'd mostly have to start over, due in part to the website being very outdated. I'd hoped to not let history repeat itself here)
I simply was hoping to have a couple questions answered so I could turn loose on Aetolia and start diving in with confidence that I was on the path I wanted to be on. I had a great first day, and within the first few hours I had a lengthy and meaningful RP with Rijetta.
To then have a veteran player who offered to help the day before refuse to answer a few very important questions about the overall game meta because they are making false assumptions about what you did or didn't do in your first hour or two of RP'ing and playing the game is just petty. Beyond petty. To have that veteran throw shade on another player who immediately dropped everything to come RP with me and engage with me, just because I joined their house right away, is shameful. And seemingly predicated based entirely on false assumptions.
Personally, I don't mind one iota if your character is IC mad at mine. Quite the opposite in fact. I'd quite enjoy an RP a situation where old vamp is pissed at a young vamp for making hasty (or so she THINKS) decisions. Fantastic! RP drama is fun!
But if you're taking IC emotions and then applying them to your OOC personality and using that as justification for treating other new players (not their CHARACTERS, but the HUMAN at the computer screen) with disdain is just senseless.
Disdain felt like too strong word so I looked it up: "the feeling that someone or something is unworthy of one's consideration or respect." And I absolutely was treated with disdain. Would you have treated a player who's playing their first MUD ever this way? Maybe a 13 year old kid like I was when I started playing decades ago? How would you know the difference or do you just assume everyone must be 40 and have played MUDs their whole life? What the eff
This should not have bothered me as much as it did. I should not have spent so much damn time writing this horrible novel of a post. I should not have let this consume my thoughts today because I have so many things in life that I should be thinking about instead.
..But damnit.. I sat down to play a game with my very special few hours of free time with a giddiness not felt in a long time. Just needed a couple questions answered that I'd written down the night prior so I could come at the game with a head full of steam. Instead, I spent 11 minutes in Aetolia today before I X'd the window feeling annoyed to say the least.
Apologies for the length of this post but I just felt this was imperative to share.
I'm still wicked excited about Aetolia- It's like the old MUD I miss but so much better in so many ways. So much more modern. I'll definitely be back. But I wouldn't blame a first-timer, coming here from reddit or some other place, from being turned off to the whole idea because of behavior like this. An attitude that has no doubt hurt the cause of Multi User Dungeons over the years.
We must please remember to do everything in our power to grow the community of MUD players and not let our IC interacts affect our OOC treatment of other human beings who are spending their free time enjoying the same niche hobby as you. We're all on the same team, after all.
I'm quite looking forward to joining you all in the realms here soon, as an entirely new character.
May the wind be always at your back. Peace.