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.
- Aim: you will hit your opponent more accurately (more probability of hitting your opponent).
- Dodge: you will dodge your opponents attacks (less probability of your opponent hit you).
- Strength: when you hit your opponent, you will do more damage.
- Constitution: when you are hit by your opponent, you will take less damage. This skill also influences the weight you can carry.
- Aim: aim is not only a skill, but also a command a fighter should master. A player can aim at the opponent's “head”, “arms”, “legs” or “torso” (or “none”, to not aim at any particular body part). When not aiming at a specific body part, it is more probable to hit the torso, legs, arms and head (in this order). When you aim at a specific body part, you will have more chance to hit it, at expense of less probability of hitting any other body part.
- Dodge: like aim, dodge is also a command. You can set to dodge attacks against your “head”, “arms”, “legs” or “torso”, updating the odds of being hit.
- Style: a fighter can set his fighting style to “force” or “speed” (or “none”, for no bonus or penalization). If you are in force style, your attacks will take more time to happen but will do more damage. If you are in speed style, the opposite will happen (your attacks take less time to happen but will do less damage).
- Berserk: special command that make one go berserk for 5 turns, costing 45 EP. After a successful berserk, one must wait other 5 turns in order to repeat the command. While in berserk mode, the player will perform attacks more often and will have a slightly more chance to do a critical hit. In the other hand, will be easier to be hit and to receive critical hits.
- Your opponents probabilities to hit or get hit are related to their nature. You should expect that another man, be it PC or NPC, have the same probabilities of you and may react differently during a combat. A small animal might be harder to hit and a bigger animal (bull or cow, for instance) might be easier to hit in torso rather than other body part.
- Adapt your fighting technique and skills to your foes. When they are low on HP, it may be more productive to use a speed style or go berserk. If they are very superior when comparing to you, maybe it will be better if you aim head and set style force - remember that a critical hit in the head is deadly! Even though a skilled man is better than one not skilled, the first still have a chance to kill the second (like in reality).
- The first steps as fighter should be killing weak animals. The weaker ones should be the domestic animals (you can find them inside Nomantike houses, for instance) and then the weaker wild ones (like hares). When you get more skilled, unprotected families and army servants are the next step. When you are experienced enough, you can then kill NPC that carry equipment (armours and weapons), so you can kill faster and use your fighting skills plentifully. Once you master individual combat, search and kill the main NPC (like Retogenes or Gaius Laelius), or quest rare weapons, are a good challenge. Remember what was already stated before: even being extremely skilled, a very weak opponent still have a chance against you (and the opposite).
This is a specialization of the individual combat and has no dedicated skills or abilities, though this is probably the toughest and riskiest lifestyle to choose… considering the ammount of situations you face death.
Although you can get rich quickly if you are a good gladiator, you can also participate in this lifestyle in a moderate way, without YOU being the gladiator, by just being a gambler. Bets can be placed on all gladiator matches, betting on who will win. This is a safer alternative to intervening in a gladiatorial lifestyle, which is also, of course, less monetarily rewarding.
Remember that all information, skills, abilities and hints related to individual combat applies here.
The gladiatorial combats
To be a gladiator is to choose a blood and death way of living, always risking the live to be among the best of best and… to be rich! It is hard and you have a long way ahead before becoming a good gladiator, though it has its rewards.
If you are sure in this option, first thing you should do is to earn the Gladiator Armband (this armband is an auto loadable item that grants you access to all arenas in Iberia, and you can get it doing the appropriate quest).
After that, you will be able to do gladiatorial combats. Such combats happen either in a ludos (gladiator training school), town arena or any other suburb where an arena may exist, and they consist of 3 phases.
Phases of gladiatorial combat
- registration phase (5 minutes) - time during which gladiators register themselves for the next combat;
- bet phase (4 minutes) - at the beginning of this phase, the gladiators that will meet in the arena will be announced and everyone can now bet in which gladiator will win. Gladiators will be moved to an individual cell, to get ready for combat;
- combat phase (6 minutes) - both gladiators will be pushed into the arena and the combat will start! After that, when the arena is cleaned, dead bodies removed and when everything gets ready for the next combat.
With this said, you first need to find the NPC that is controlling the gladiatorial combats (such NPC have a [ludos] tag). He will be near the arena location.
Then, you need to register yourself, specifying the gladiator combat style you will use. You can only register yourself during the registration phase.
Gladiator combat styles
These are the available combat styles (they differ in the available equipment):
- barehanded - no weapons or armour!
- gallus - heavily armed, in a Gallic fashion (warriors from Gaul);
- murmillo - light armed, best opposition for retiarius style;
- retiarius - peculiar and light armed (uses a net and trident as weapon);
- samnite - heavily armed fighters;
- thracian - light armed, in Thracian fashion (warriors from Thracia).
At the end of the registration phase, begins the bet phase. If you were chosen to fight, you will be taken to an individual cell where all equipment you may use, corresponding to the combat style, will be in the ground. You have time to equip yourself and concentrate in the combat that will follow! If you were not chosen, or simply want to bet in any of the gladiators, you may use the “bet” command.
At the end of the bet phase, gladiators will be moved to the arena. During combat, everyone can see how is it going, by looking into the arena from the registration room. Also, the NPC that's controlling the gladiatorial combats will announce periodically the combat evolution and, finally, who's the victor and who's the defeated.
At the end of the combat, the winner will win a large sum of money, as will those who have bet on him. The defeated, if managed to escape with his life, can praise and thank the gods for having granted him yet another training received at the highest level…
Finally, at the end of the combat phase, a new register phase will begin and everything starts over.
Be sure to check the roster at the gladiatorial combat controller to see all information related to the combats, such as the list of who's registered or the time until the current combat phase ends (“help roster” for details).
- You should become a fairly good individual combatant prior to choose this lifestyle!
- You can also be rich by betting in combats! There's no need to spill your own blood to enrich in this wayy.
- If you have registered yourself for the combat, be sure to be in the registration room when the bet phase starts! Otherwise you won't be elligible for the combat and someone else will be chosen.
- The gladiators chosen to fight are chosen randomly between the registered ones, primacy given to player characters.
- Be sure you do not carry any equipment (except, obviously, any auto loadable items). All equipment to be used in the arena is provided right before the combat starts. If you do carry any equipment, it will be automatically dropped in the registration room at the end of the registration phase (and if you were chosen to fight).
- The equipment corresponding to the style you choose will be available in the room right before entering the arena. You will enter in that room at the beggining of the bet phase.
- In the combat phase, if after 1 minute none of the gladiators initiate combat, they will be forced to and it will start automatically.
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.
Introduction - types of armies
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.
Introduction - commanders of armies
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.
Introduction - armies values
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).
- Morale: how motivated the army is, from 1 to 100%. When your army suffers losses, the morale lowers. When killing foes, the morale will raise up. With high morale, an army does more damage and suffer less damage (leadership skill influences how much morale an army gains or looses on army events).
- Organization: how organized they are in a 1 to 10 scale; doing complex maneuvers degrades it whilst regrouping increases it. With high organization, an army will perform better the orders their commanders set to them (command skill influences how much organization is raised when an army regroups).
- Training level: an army can be inferior, ordinary or superior. This value reflects how well trained you men are. This value never changes over time. A better trained army will inflict more damage and suffer less damage.
- Experience level: an army can be “green”, if never entered in combat, or “veteran” if was already in combat. A veteran army inflicts more damage and suffer less casualties. If you have a green army, be sure to fight against a weaker enemy in order to gain “veteran” experience level easily.
Introduction - terrain, weather, daytime and season
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!
Introduction - battlefield
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.
- Big picture scenario - using “warscape” command at anytime: this command shows how the war is going between Roman Republic and the Barbarian peoples. The whole “known” world is divided into regions, each of one can be in Roman or Barbarian possession (if a region is in Roman possession means that that region has more Roman soldiers present than Barbarian ones).
- Battlefield scheme - using “status” command during battles: the battlefields of Iberia are simplified in 5 different areas. From left to right: western battlefield limit (L), western battlefield (W), center battlefield (C), eastern battlefield (E) and eastern battlefield limit(L). When 2 armies engage, one start in western battlefield and the opponent in the eastern battlefield. Each turn, armies maneuver in order to approach each other to enter in close combat (infantry or cavalry) or shoot from distance (archery). If an army advances or retreats, makes it move one area closer or further the opponent. Exceptions are cavalry armies that can advance 2 areas at a time (if it's leader is skilled enough in cavalry skill) and if an army flees in spite of retreat (retreat means that an army orderly leaves battlefield, while flee is not orderly, making it even more vulnerable to enemy attacks). If an army stays for 2 turns in the corresponding battlefield limit, means it leaves battle area. The following image shows the battlefield scheme got from typing “status” during an army combat:
Every army, in combat, executes one of the following 9 maneuvers (commanders must type “order [maneuver]” to send orders to the army).
- regroup: become more organized. Vulnerable to attack, though.
- flank: use part of your forces to flank the enemy. Best cavalry attack.
- mass attack: massive attack with all your troops against the enemy. Best infantry attack.
- advance: move your army one area further to enter in close combat. Cavalry armies may move two areas at once if their leader is skilled enough in cavalry tactics.
- retreat: retreat slowly and organized. Vulnerable movement against enemy attacks.
- flee: retreat faster, but being more vulnerable to enemy attacks.
- defend: set up a defense in place, minimizing casualties against enemy attacks.
- shoot: archers/psiloi will use their ranged weapons towards enemy. Best archery attack. Infantry and cavalry armies can only shoot from an adjacent battlefield (or in the same area) while archery armies can shoot 2 areas away.
- protect: raise shields against a ranged attack.
- Each maneuver reduces the armies organization at the end of the turn, except “regroup” that increases it. How much it reduces or increases depends on the maneuver, the command skill and the specific army skill (infantry, cavalry or archery skill).
- There's a difference between the “regroup” command and the “order regroup” order one can use during combat: the first one can be used while not in combat, so you can increase your army's organization even when not fighting. It will cost 50 EP, though. In the other hand, “order regroup” does not consume EP and can only be used during combat (hence, you must spend a whole turn to regroup and increase your army's organization)
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):
- 0-20s: commanders give orders to their armies.
- 20s: both commanders receive a message about the opponent's maneuver.
- 20-30s: time to eventually give another order to overlap first one, if the commander is skilled enough.
- 30s: commanders receive the outcome message of combat and the turn is over. The next turn starts immediately (or the combat ends).
These are the possible messages about opponent maneuver and the corresponding order:
- REGROUP: Contubernium has their commanders screaming organization orders.
- FLANK: Contubernium is detaching a small part of his force.
- MASS_ATTACK: Contubernium is forming a straight line and echoing battle chants.
- ADVANCE: Contubernium is orderly advancing to their enemy.
- RETREAT: Contubernium is orderly retreating from the battlefield.
- FLEE: Contubernium has some of their soldiers running away from the battlefield.
- DEFEND: Contubernium tightens their formation, pointing weapons to the enemy.
- SHOOT: Contubernium has their long range shooters moving to the front line.
- PROTECT: Contubernium tightens their formation, raising shields up.
Maneuvers and optimal counter maneuvers
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:
|Optimal counter maneuver
|Eventually flank or mass attack; more vulnerable to attack but perform extra damage
|Noone will die but your army increases organization while enemy decreases
|Noone will die but your army increases organization while enemy decreases
|Mass attack, flank or shoot
|Eventually regroup; anyway, enemy is very vulnerable
|Mass attack, flank or shoot
|Eventually regroup; anyway, enemy is VERY vulnerable
|Shoot, regroup or advance
|It depends if you have an archery army, want to raise organization or want to enter in close combat
|Mass attack, flank, shoot or regroup
|It depends if you want to do damage or raise organization
- Leadership: increases morale gains and decreases morale losses (when your army inflicts casualties, your army becomes more moralized; when your army suffers casualties, your army morale is decreased less than if you have low leadership)
- Command: the higher the skill, the better for army organization. This means that a leader with good command skill makes each maneuver decrease less organization points. Also, when “regrouping”, makes it increase more points than if you have low command points.
- Infantry tactics: increase damage and decrease casualties while commanding infantry armies (for instance, the most deadly attack in Iberia army combat is using an infantry army, doing a mass attack and commanded by someone with maxxed infantry tactics). “Bonus” for mass attack maneuver.
- Cavalry tactics: increase damage and decrease casualties while commanding cavalry armies. “Bonus” for flank maneuver.
- Archery tactics: increase damage and decrease casualties while commanding archery armies. “Bonus” for shoot maneuver.
- Deception tactics: this is a special skill that is used to eventually overlap the initial order a commander gives to the army and cost EP to perform. Recapping the army combat turn phases: in the 1st phase, army commanders send orders to their armies. Those orders are only “visible” to the opponent at the 2nd phase. Deception skill enters here: you can try to overlap your initial order in the 3rd phase of combat turn. Finally, in the 4th phase, the outcome is known. As an example, lets suppose you are in close combat with an opponent and in the 1st phase you order your army to “defend” because you expect your foe will “mass attack”. In the 2nd phase you will know, though, that the opponent ordered his army to “regroup”. This could be a great opportunity to inflict damage to your enemy, because an army is vulnerable while regrouping! Considering this, in the 3rd phase (that last 10 seconds), you can type “order mass attack” to change your initial order. This action can be successful or not, considering your deception skill value. Remember that each time you type a different order in this phase will cost you 25 EP!
Enlistment, lead and retire an army
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!).
Recruit an army
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”.
- Armies without leaders are very predictable. Once you get used to army combat, you will be able to find out to react properly in most situations.
- The easiest way to start this lifestyle is to command an archery army (it's slightly easy because you start doing damage at long distance and that makes a difference in low ranked armies; be warned, though, that an archery army in close combat always suffer a penalty).
- Enemy armies with a rank similar to yours will try to engage your army. This said, be sure you move around with your army ready for combat.
- This lifestyle is more enjoyable against armies commanded by other PC or NPC leaders (yes, there are very skilled NPC leaders that are TOUGH opponents as they apply all skills adequately).
- Army combat it's not only a 1 vs 1 combat: it can happen between many armies! The rule to keep in mind is that an army can only have one target. Be sure to often check your army' status and to observe enemy armies!
Augur / seer / priest
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).
- Sensing: increases the awareness of the augur (using “sense” command).
- Concentration: to look through gods' eyes, to peek at what others are doing (PC) or to find them (PC and NPC).
- Divination: to foresee events in the future (or better said, to bias future events)!
- Sense: increases the awareness of the augur for a short period of time, making him more watchful of the world. The more skilled the augur is, the more time and awareness is increased.
- Trance: when an augur enters in a trance state, he will be able to see through gods' eyes to a specific player character. While in trance, all actions done by it's target will be seen by the augur. The time the trance lasts depends on the augur concentration skill. Here is a screenshot of how players will notice their target inputs during trance:
- Find: the augur can also concentrate in order to hear from the gods where a given PC or NPC is in the world. If the target is a non player character, it will show where all NPC with that name are around the augur (in a short radius, like the map command). If used with the argument “details”, in spite of a map this command will return the textual coordinates of where the targets are. This usage only works in the wilderness and not inside cities or other special places. The success of this command depends on the concentration skill and the bigger it is, the larger the radius will be when looking for NPC.
- Foresee: an augur can predict future events. They are not always correct, they don't always get it right, but it ends up influencing these events. They can foresee (bias…) army combat and individual combat events of a specific target (PC or NPC) either positively or negatively. Basically, it will boost (positively or negatively!) one random skill of the target for a small period of time. The duration of this predicion on the target, the enhance or diminish instruction and how much the skills are increased/decreased are greatly affected by the divination skill of the augur.
- About sense: by increasing awareness through sense ability, whatever uses it will be greatly improved. For instance, an augur can see a HUGE map while using sensing (“map” size depends on awareness skill).
- About trance: while in trance, you will only see the commands sent by the character you choosed. This means if the target, during the trance, do not move or does anything, you will not see anything at all.
- About find: it's pretty useful, for instance, when trying to find an army to lead or an army to fight against!
- About foresee (1): a not so skilled augur can try to enhance the events of a target and end up with the opposite effects… the more skilled he is, the less this will happen.
- About foresee (2): the target will only notice the influence of the augur by checking his own skills (by typing “skills”, he will notice a specific skill increased or decreased).