(I composed this over a period of about a week and changed my stance and understanding of a thing or two in that time, so please forgive the disjointed nature of this post.)
I've been playing Achaea for about a month now and I love it. I love the depth of history and culture the game sports. I, the player, actually have to study to advance in my house ranks. My inner bookworm (okay, so it's not that inner actually) is in love.
I am somewhat new to MUDs: I played on a MUD around '95 and enjoyed it, though it had nowhere near the depth present here. I have played on MUSHes and other RP-centric games for the last ten years or so, and my concept of RP is different to what I see here. I'm used to sending a short paragraph of my own words (perhaps a bit longer than the one above) and waiting five minutes for the other person to write a response. I find it strange to use pre-written emotes. In my MUSHing experience, scenes are usually pre-arranged or at least agreed-upon by players in a particular location, so there's no such thing as a surprise attack OOCly: we know we're going to do a scene where such-and-such attacks the other guys or what-have-you. It's quite different here, where there are people busy doing this or that in-game and not willing or able to RP. But how to tell, aside from insanely asking?
When I first began playing I had no desire to get into PvP. I'm starting to come around to the idea, though I'm very nervous. I would also like to take part in other offensive activities such as shrine attacks, but I don't want to wind up unable to walk the world without being randomly ganked. I've walked away from games where I'm 'farmed' -- I don't find that fun. I'm willing to take the consequences of my actions, but I'm not sure how much I can get involved in without winding up with a character who steps out onto the highway and is instantly atomised by an adventurer. I once blundered into the under-construction Targossas when a member of the Ivory Mark was there, and I was sure he was just going to hand me my heart. My own OOC heart was pounding as I tried to get away from him before he killed me. I don't find that terribly fun either. How true is it that if I stick my little toe over the wrong line the world will descend to annihilate me? HELP PK seems to indicate there needs to be a cause, but that doesn't inherently preclude anybody from just nuking you 'cos you're there. If there's IC reason for someone/group to be antagonistic toward me, I should at least hope there might be some IC interaction of the spoken kind before I visit Thoth.
Many of my questions can be answered in-character by my betters and those I'll direct that way, in due time (so as not to be the 'oh no, here she comes with another twelve thousand questions' one). A few I thought I'd toss out here as well.
I'm starting to learn Runelore now and I'm starting to want to stock up on inks. The biggest batches I've seen are tens. I'd love to buy 50s or 100s (provided I can scare up the cash required). Is it possible for a Mhaldorian to shop outside Mhaldor or Delos? From an RP standpoint I expect my Mhaldorian betters would frown on such a thing: I should support Mhaldor with my coin, not its foes.
Speaking of RP, it's quiet in Mhaldor much of the time, to my experience. I'm shy and low-ranking and the IC culture of 'speak when spoken to' and general harshness (which I like, by the way: it's very Klingon) makes me nervous about trying to start anything up with anybody. When my character was first enslaved I had the opportunity to chat with a few other Malefics in the tavern, and that was wonderful. I learned a few things and got to RP as well. I haven't had much RP beyond that I've had with my mentor since then. Maybe it's just me, but I get the sense that folks are too busy to RP, especially the high-rankers in Mhaldor. I don't want to be a pest, but I would love to discuss the Seven Truths or Sartan or whatever with people IC, beginning in a safe place (i.e. Mhaldor).