How to Play
 Welcome to Desolation!
So, you're new to the MUD, and want to know how to get started.
Make sure you've read most of the help files on the wiki. It's important to read the Rules, as well.
 Getting Connected
Now that you're familiar with the world at large, you'll want to get connected.
- First, download a MUD Client. We recommend GMud, it's a good client, and it's free.
- Alternatively, you could use Telnet. It comes with Windows, but is not as user friendly or functional as a proper MUD client.
- Alternatively, log in from the webpage using the java client. This is the easiest way to try out Desolation, and is recommended for connecting from computers where you are not allowed to install programs.
- You can also connect from flash client which is pretty similar to the java client.
Once you have a client downloaded, it's time to connect. The address is desolation.org, the port is 7878. Enter these when prompted. Once connected you should see something like this:
 Character Creation
You'll be asked for a user name at this point. Try to come up with something unique and in-theme. "DragonMaster" wouldn't really be in theme. Remember, that you can't put a space in your name. After picking a name, you'll be asked for a password. You're on your own, as far as coming up with a password. However, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to read Venato's naming guide to choose your character's name.
Now it's onto character creation. Simply answer the questions: Are you male or female? Use ansi color (recommended yes)? Censor inappropriate language? Use the mapping feature (recommended yes)?
After that, you will be presented with a stat table. You are given 7 points to distribute among your stats, and each stat can be set to either +4 or -4. Pick whatever you want for stats, but be warned that you cannot alter them past this stage.
It is likely after this you will be asked what your beginning STEM would be. This is sort of like picking a skill focus. An explanation to the STEM system is contained in the STEM helpfile. It is recommended that beginners start off with a Soldier STEM.
After that, select your race, nationality, and starting location. It doesn't matter where you start from, it's just a place to drop you in the game when you get started.
 Starting out
If you've made it this far, congratulations, you're in the game. To see who else is online, type 'who'
Depending on what starting location you chose to start from, you should see something like this:
....[.].... .....|..... [.]-[@].... .....|..... ....[.].... Ranger Center - Foyer [south, north, west] You step into the beginning of a long hallway, and can vaguely see through the dimly lit overhead lighting fixtures what looks to be a large chain of offices to the south. Alongside of you is a panel of glass set into the wall, with a small room behind it which once used to have a guard posted at all times in case of a revolt, or to allow civilians access through the now-jammed open door that rests to the north of here. The room it displays seems to be filled with a collection of old security equipment and other discarded items, but, as you look around, you see that there doesn't appear to be a way inside of the room from here. As you ponder all of your surroundings, you suddenly take notice of a slight harsh, heat-ridden draft filling the corridor, and spot another branching hallway, besides the one expanding towards the south, that you determine to be the source of the air. A Ranger Sergeant guards the entrance, blocking any unwelcome visitors from proceeding deeper into the building.
To see the room again, type 'look'. If you want to look at anything closer, like the Sarge, type 'look sarge'.
As you can see, there is a lot in this room. If you have the mapping feature turned on, then you will see the square of text at the top of every room. That is the map. The map is very helpful in figuring out where you are, once you learn how to use it. Below the map, is the room name, in this case the "Ranger Center - Foyer."
Next to the room name is the list of exits from this room. Movement is easy in Desolation, simply type the first letter of the direction you would like to go. 'n' for north, 'e' for east, 'w' for west, 'u' for up, and so forth. Some exits don't work with just one letter, however. Let's say you are outside Ground Zero on the world map, you would then type 'ground zero' to enter.
Next, you'll probably want to join a faction. While you can stay a civilian, and not join any faction, it is recommended that you do join one. It's easier to get started when you join a faction, and you get free equipment. No faction is necessarily better or worse than the others, it all depends upon your character and personal preference.
To join a faction, you'll want to locate the faction's recruiting officer. For the Desert Rangers, this is the Administrative Officer. For the Badland Originals, it is Joykill. For Association of Irradiated Mercenaries, it's Andrew Shar. If you can't find the recruiting officer for the guild you want to join, ask someone and they'll help you. Once you've found the recruiting officer, 'talk to ___' to join the guild.
Once in the faction, you will be given two things. One of them is a tag item, an item that cannot be dropped, sold, or removed. It shows that you are in that faction. The other thing you are given is a starter kit. You should 'open kit' to see what is inside, and then 'take all' to get everything from the kit. You now have a basic set of clothes, a melee weapon, a gun, and ammo.
 Skills and Equipment
First, 'wear all' to equip your clothes. Clothes do nothing for your protection, they're just for looks. 'load gun' and 'wield gun' to equip your weapon. Now that you're in a guild, and have a weapon, you'll want to learn some skills.
Skills can be learned in your faction's library, or any town library. To find out more about skills, go here. In the Rangers, talk to the training robot. The Badlanders talk to Renton. The Tribals talk to Wolf. For AIM, 'use computer' in the Library. Then work your way through the menu, picking the skills you want. Trainers are not guild-restricted.
 Killing, Dying, and Leveling Up
Now that you have equipment, and skills, you should be well adjusted to the way the game works. You're ready to venture out into the world, and start exploring. If you're looking to level up, head to Highpool, or the Ag Center. Remember to 'consider' things before you jump into combat. To attack something, type 'kill _____'
If you die, don't worry about it, you'll respawn in your guild's HQ. However, depending on how you died you may be slapped with an experience penalty.
One last thing you should know about, before you set out into the world. Desolation encourages Role Playing, so you may want to start building your character, if you're going to Role Play. You may, or may not know what RP is. If not, please check out the Role Playing section, and read all the guides there.
That's it. You're done. All you need to know to get started in Desolation. If you have any other questions, use the gossip channel, by typing 'gossip whatever.' Gossip is a global channel, like a chat room. You can also post to our Message Boards, if you have questions. Have fun, and good luck!