As mentioned earlier, some treasures (those of class 'trinket') are only worth points to low-ranking players. If you have gone up a level since you last valued them, they might not be worth the same - in fact, they'll be worth a NEGATIVE number of points! So this is one way that treasures can be worth less sometimes.

A more common reason, though, is because the value of all treasures is scaled. Except for a select few items, all treasure has a 'minimum value' and a 'maximum value'. The more (visible) players there are in the game at the time, the closer to its maximum it will be. This reflects the increased difficulty in finding treasures when there are many people competing for them. So an object will be worth more if there are more people playing.

That's not the end of the story, though! There is a second type of scaling involved. Every 105 minutes or so, MUD 'resets', which entails throwing all the players off for a few moments while objects and puzzles are replaced in their starting configurations. It stands to reason, then, that treasure will be easier to find immediately after a reset than later on when a lot has been found. To account for this, the value of treasure is scaled by a factor which increases as more treasure is dropped in the swamp.

The VALUE command combines both these scaling factors where appropriate.

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Nothing special except you can't see! You will therefore perform less well in fights and so on, but you won't fall into any pits and break every bone in your body, if that's what was worrying you. Players with good maps often don't bother with a light when they enter areas they know well, they just walk around typing G T at the appropriate points!

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Well, you have to get a light! The commonest way is to find a stick (they lie around in forests), go to a fire (all the main buildings have one or more) and LIGHT STICK FROM FIRE. You will then be able to see in the dark. Sticks are called 'brands' by most people (although to be pedantic they only become that when they're alight!). WARNING: entering the swamp carrying a lit brand is fatal! DOUSE BRAND before you go in, or just DROP BRAND nearby. You can use lit brands to burn down most doors, but the brand is also consumed in the ensuing blaze in such cases.

The second way to see in the dark is by having someone cast a GLOW spell on you. You will often hear people shouting asking for a glow, because they can't cast the spells themselves. Magic-users can, however, and since it is a "cheap" spell to cast, will often oblige if you ask politely. If you are obviously a complete novice, stumbling around lost in the dark, you may even be given an unsolicited glow by a wizard or witch who has noticed your plight. It's always polite to shout thanks if that happens.

You can get to glow yourself if you find the circle in the attic of the inn, and drop some treasure in it. It will then 'tingle with magic', and you can ENTER CIRCLE to start glowing. Certain objects glow in the dark, eg. some swords, but if you do find such an object, always keep a check on your stamina...

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Well it will certainly help! To get an idea of the general geography of The Land (as MUD's domain is called), go to the study in the cottage. There, you will quite often find a map. Read it, and see if you can reproduce it yourself. This will give some indication of where the main areas of the game are situated, at least for the rooms above ground.

To get an impression of what the particular room you're in looks like, you can either read the room description (which will tell you where the main exits are situated), or use a "mapping" command. There are two of these, EXITS (or just X) and MAP. X provides you with a list of all the exits from a room, and where they lead to (assuming you can see in there). The MAP command gives a visual representation, which is handy if you're looking for a particular kind of room, or want to know what is blocking your way in a particular direction (eg. door or wall). To find out what the symbols on the MAP command mean, there's a KEY command that explains them. You can AUTO MAP to get a map every time you move; likewise AUTO X. Use UNAUTO MAP or UNAUTO X to stop it.

You should certainly make a map, it will make things far easier to find in the long run. Ideally, log all your screen output to a disc somewhere, and explore The Land with gay abandon. Then take time to make a map later, "off-line" when you're not playing.

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