Iberia is a classless and leveless MUD, based entirely on skills. Skills are grouped and, currently, there are 5 skill groups: general, language, combat, army and augur. Per skill group, each player has the corresponding experience points, that increase by practice (you can train skills with trainers in exchange for gold, but can only increase experience by practice).
3 restrictions are applied at any given time: a player can only have a maximum of 8 skills and a maximum of 4 skills per skill group. The third restriction is the skills are capped based on player experience. For instance, one can only train more than 70 points of a given skill if he has more than 67139 experience points in the corresponding skill group (check “train” help file either on Iberia website or logged in MUD).
As “last resort”, a player can “forget” a skill, allowing him to train another one of his choice. Be warned, though, that you are not reimbursed in any way after forgetting a skill.
Important note: general and language skills don't count towards the above restrictions.
The lifestyles rationale is a key aspect of Iberia: trying to be a true roleplay, each lifestyle can fullfill the needs of the different player types (based on Bartle's book “Designing Virtual Worlds”, these can be Killers, Achievers, Socializers or Explorers).
This is the typical hack and slash way of living but, in Iberia, it is not a beginner/newbie lifestyle. You can follow other paths (and darker ones…) but choose this lifestyle if you want to strive to be a gladiator. Do not ever forget that YOU CAN DIE while fighting. Meanwhile, though, until the permanent death system is not implemented, if your HP goes below 0 you become moribund and some of your fellows take you to a safe place and do bandage and heal you at the cost of some of your skills points penalization. Also, take into consideration that all equipment and gold you carry are dropped on ground where you fell.
An army commander is a leader, a commander of a military unit. While not being historically accurate, a commander cannot die in Iberia. Also, the spoils of battle can make you rich (the better leader you are, the more battles you win and the richer you become). These are two key aspects that make this lifestyle newbie friendly.
Armies, in Iberia, can be of one of 3 types: infantry, cavalry or archery. Infantry is best at close combat, cavalry is best at pursuing and flanking enemies and archery is very good hitting foes at long range. If you look at an army, you will be able to check it's type.
There are 6 different unit sizes and each one must be commanded by an officer of a specific rank (help army_ranks for details). Low ranked ones cannot command bigger armies and the opposite also applies. As example, a Decanus can only command Contubernium units.
Besides a type, every army also has a morale percentage value, an organization value, a training level and an experience level. If you look at an army, you will be able to check all these values (not numerically, but as a description).
The field where a battle takes place, like weather and year season, influences army combat. If you are leading an archery army, if you choose a clear battle field without obstacles (like trees!), you will inflict more damage with your arrows. The same applies to cavalry. Considering difficult terrains, like mountains and high vegetation, barbarians have advantage over roman armies (and the opposite is also true!).
The main effect of bad weather, night and winter season is that they prolong combat (they do less damage). Only good commanders can lead armies in such circumstances with success. It is always preferable to fight during day, summer and with good weather, specially when you do not master army command proficiently!
Related to army combat, there are two types of battlefield: the one where you can see the big picture scenario over the Roman world and the one specific to your battle against an opponent army.
Every army, in combat, executes one of the following 9 maneuvers (commanders must type “order [maneuver]” to send orders to the army).
Army combats happen in turns of 30 seconds, each of one consisting in 4 phases, as it follows (right after you engage an army, or are engaged by an enemy army, it starts counting):
These are the possible messages about opponent maneuver and the corresponding order:
There are many details that can change the course of a battle and one of the more important is the maneuver the army executes. For each maneuver, there's an optimal counter maneuver to maximize/minimize damage/casualties. Here is the relation between them:
|Maneuver||Optimal counter maneuver||Notes|
|Shoot||Protect||Eventually flank or mass attack; more vulnerable to attack but perform extra damage|
|Defend||Regroup||Noone will die but your army increases organization while enemy decreases|
|Protect||Regroup||Noone will die but your army increases organization while enemy decreases|
|Retreat||Mass attack, flank or shoot||Eventually regroup; anyway, enemy is very vulnerable|
|Flee||Mass attack, flank or shoot||Eventually regroup; anyway, enemy is VERY vulnerable|
|Advance||Shoot, regroup or advance||It depends if you have an archery army, want to raise organization or want to enter in close combat|
|Regroup||Mass attack, flank, shoot or regroup||It depends if you want to do damage or raise organization|
In order for you to become an army commander, you must enlist in an army. There are certain NPC in key areas (Romand Encampment has a Roman Officer Recruiter and Nomantike has Carus of Sekeida) that can “enlist” you in their armies, so you must move there and type “enlist”. The next step is to lead an army. Before doing so, and if you have some coins to spare, train command and leadership skills, as they are useful independent of the army type you are commanding. Then, you must find an army to lead. Remember that you can only lead armies that belong to your rank, so type “score” and see what's your rank and then “help army_ranks” to see what army unit size belongs to your rank. In the “wilderness” of Iberia Peninsula, there are several armies one can lead (you can only lead an army at a time, though), so search there for one that suits you. Don't forget as well to look at the army to be sure about it's type (infantry, cavalry or archery). A last tip is that archery armies are the best choice to start with, as they can start doing damage at long distances.
Once you find an army that suits you, you can type “leady [army]” and it starts to following you wherever you move (be aware that there are some rooms that are “small” for an army to enter, thus not following you - like inside a house). To engage an opponent, you should type “engage [army]”. Finally, before you log off, you should “retire” in order to release your army so others can lead it (it's always good to retire before you log off, because if the army enters in combat without you being present and is defeated, it will be recorded as a defeat for you!).
An alternative to command an army is to “recruit” one. In the same room of the NPC that can enlist persons in armies, you can use the command “recruit [infantry | cavalry | archery] [army name]” to create a new army. The [army name] argument lets you personalize your army with any name you want!
Recruiting an army costs money (1 gold per soldier) and you need to be trained in infantry, cavalry or archery tactics skills to recruit the corresponding army type. Finally, the the train level of the army also depends on such skill: a bigger skill increases the chance of recruiting a superior, ordinary or inferior (if very low skill or… bad luck when recruiting). Also, a superior unit needs you to have 150 EP, ordinary needs 100 EP and inferior needs 50 EP. This means that even if you are maxxed in infantry tactics skill, you will only be able to recruit a superior unit if you have 150 EP at the moment you use the command (if you don't put some effort recruiting your soldiers, the result is them bad trained…).
After each combat, some of your men will surely die and your army numbers will decrease. In order to return your army to the adequate numbers, you must reinforce it. To do so, you must go to the NPC that enlists in armies and type “reinforcements”. That costs 50 EP and will make your army return to it's initial numbers related to it's rank (you can never have more men than the ones corresponding to the army rank. Example: a Contubernium has 10 men. If in a combat 5 of them die, if you reinforce your army it will return to 10 men). A relevant information about reinforcements is that if your army has veteran status but more than 50% of them have died, when you reinforce your army they will return to green status!
To deserve a promotion, you must have a minimum experience points per given rank but also a minimum success rate (victories versus defeats). Typing “help army_promotion” will detail this information. To see how much experience points, victories and defeats you have, simply type “score” and you will find that information under “Army combat” section.
Once you are ready for a promotion to the next rank, go meet the NPC that enlisted you in the army and type “promotion”.
Religion plays an important role for both Roman and Barbarian peoples, played by men with special birth skills. You have heard about them for sure as augurs, priests or seers. They were pretty used, for instance, before army combats, where leaders tried to foresee the battle outcome by listening to the voice of gods.
Despite some were born with innate skills, one can can however learn how to be an augur.
This lifestyle is more useful for cooperating and interacting with other players and doesn't make you earn much money, so it may not fit to beginners/newbies. Used in combination with skills of other lifestyles, though, it can boost them in a RPish way (means that despite being shaped to interact with others, is still useful as solo).