This came up in conversation today on globals, and I had already been thinking about posting it.
Lot of people dying of late to very basic tactical errors in this zone. So I'll throw this out as something to consider. I've run this zone ever since I've been here, and know it (and it's occupants) pretty well.
Sorry if it's a bit rambling, disjointed or I screw up something - it's late, and I'm on auto-pilot.
1) Scan and Sneak are your best friends. Before hitting the Plains, I've always worked on sneak beforehand (in fact, Lugard Road itself is a great place to work on raising it).
It will stop most aggro mobs from hitting you the second you walk into a room, and you can stand there and admire the scenery for a while, deciding what you're going to do.
I do not know for certain if sneak functions while fleeing into a room, but my impression is that it does as long as it didn't toggle off with previous movement.
Scan without a directional argument allows you to see adjacent room mob occupants. This doesn't need much explaining as to how it helps.
Scan with a directional argument lets you see in that one direction a great deal further.
Closely tied to this is where (mob), eg: where bear - but for this to be of use, you need to have a good idea of where room names are located.
2) Don't just wander around blundering into stuff and hoping for the best. Using scan as mentioned above, go around and clear the smaller aggro mobs in the immediate area before going after the big ones. Then you're not going to get bounced by things like jaguars, bear cubs, etc while engaged on lions, tigers and plains bears.
3) Have Hide trained. This will save your life a lot. Inevitably, there are those times when you will have to flee - with hit points and moves dangerously low. Flee and hit hide almost on top of each other. With some luck, this will give you time to consider your position accordingly.
Also, don't spam flee (wimpy can be a problem with this), as once you hit exhausted, you're stuck and committed to whatever you flee into, or comes in afterwards (except as noted for hide above).
4) Survival. The less often you have to eat and drink the better. Don't just sit back and passively rely on it though, eat and drink BEFORE you're told you need to. and keep in mind there's only two water sources in that whole massive zone. Don't get to a point where you'll hagg out long before reaching one. Always be carrying your own source of water and a shortblade. Not to do so is just asking for trouble. Ditto for light. If you're running out of light/oil, go back up to the road and do where peddler.
5) Deliberately fleeing as a tactic. A lot of this area has limited paths a mob can follow. If you come into a room with too many to handle, flee and wait. Sooner or later, they drift out one at a time. Beats four plus at a time.
6) When you're on a mob (or two) and another enters, don't go: "I'm only a few hits of killing this thing, I'll ignore it." Kick the newcomer to rear immediately. A few rounds can make all the difference - in particular with those of you who insist on setting high wimpy's.
7) Led-mobs/mercs may seem like a good idea for long-term xp'ing, but in my experience they're probably not for most people - in particular in a zone with as many wandering aggros. Time taken to give orders to them, and have them execute those orders can drag.
Add in some MUD lag, and you have what we call a "cluster !$@#"
Also with led-mobs, they have a tendency to rip at their lower tiers, and you're stuck carrying their gear if you put stuff of your own on them. They're better used for more 'short burst activities' like SMOB'ing where other people in your group can pick up the slack.
8) If you happen to be a wolf brother, hunting at night rather than day will make life so much easier - but keep an eye on the weather as things like lightning seem to change normal night light values in a room.
9) The far southeastern corner of the zone is a real hot spot. If you get in difficulties, go for the river. On the western side of the zone, the abandoned shack is a no-mob room.
10) Don't go afk in this zone....not even for a minute. If you do, coming back to find yourself dead shouldn't be a surprise. Then you have the fun task of tracking down the EQ of yours the killing mob ran off with.
If you're in this zone while at work, on the phone, during a RL thunderstorm whatever - well, you're just simply not very bright.
We're usually pretty good about looting players so they can straight back to playing, but in all honesty, I'm going to start cracking down on this. Potentially losing your gear is part of what makes xp'ing in this zone (or any other) a bit more nerve-wracking, and a little less grinding for grind's sake. And it's probably what's led to the plethora of RIPs to begin with. Hard to care when you don't think it'll cost you.
So there you go - taming the Plains the easy way. You don't need forms, weaves, equipment, buffing bonuses, led-mobs, gear, *insert usual 'must have' complaint here*. You can even start hitting it in the low 20's, or for the adventurous - a bit lower.
For all questions regarding game-play.
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