OK. You just created your character and popped into your home town. What next? I hope you read the manual, because I'm not repeating any of that information. OK. First, press F10 and check out the view. Then, go to options and adjust your display to the largest setting your 3D card can handle. Check out the view again. Pretty amazing difference eh? Next go to the chat options and set ooc and shout to on so that you can hear all of the goofy things people are yelling in your zone. You can always turn them off later.
Getting ready to travel.
Equipment and spells
Before you go anywhere make sure you scribe your spells to your book and memorize them and equip any starting weapons or armor. Right click on the quest note you are given to read it and see who you are supposed to give it to and where to find him or her. Important - Do not give that note to anyone else since you will never get another one. If you never plan to go PK (player killer or PVP) just destroy the PK note now. If you may wish to PK someday, you should put the PK in the bank. One note on pvp. If you chose to go pvp, better learn to be self reliant, since you can't be healed, buffed or helped in any way by non pvp players.
In the lower left hand corner are your quick buttons. You have 6 sets of 6 buttons. Read the manual on how to program them. These are very important, since you don't want to travel in windowed mode, and you can't see most functions in the limited full screen mode. This is your chance to program in some basic functions. You may change it later as you learn more about what certain things do. I would suggest you assign the following functions to the first 6 spaces: melee, persona, spells (for a magic user) or special fighting attack (for a fighter), sit/stand, invite/join, and view. These are the buttons you tend to use most frequently. Some classes may want different buttons here. Just experiment as you play. I would then assign these to the second set of 6: run/walk, split, time, who, wave (because it's fun) and cheer (ditto). As you go up in levels and learn new skills and techniques, you may want to change your button layout. With these buttons assigned, most of the game can be played in partial full screen mode. You are now ready to walk around and see the world.
Your guild master.
Read your quest scroll again, and head out to find your future. Somewhere nearby should be the guy in the note, your beloved guild master. Try and find him on your own. It is a good excuse to explore your home town, since you will be spending a lot of time there from now on. If you get desperate, look for a member of your class on the street and ask the way, or if you have to, /shout for help. Once you find him, give him the note, and he will initiate you into his guild and give you a robe/armor to wear, along with a little experience.
You now have the option to train up to 5 points in your skills. See the discussion above on skills.
Food and Drink:
Food and drink are necessary to survive, Although you won't die if you run out, you will eventually stop regaining hit points and mana.
Beginning fighting strategies
Make your way out of the town gates to the nearest wilderness. This is often not easy to find. Explore the city on your way out, and remember where your guild is in relation to where you are going so that you can go back to train. Once you get to the gate, make note of where the guards are. They are your best friends. Go out and kill snakes or rats, but always keep within sight of the guards. When you get in trouble, run to the guards. When you get below ½ of your hit points, go back to the guards to sit and regenerate. If something other than a snake or a rat takes notice of you, run to the guards. If more than one snake or rat comes after you, run to the guards. Getting a picture here? At this point you are basically fodder for just about everything you meet.
Snakes are probably the best things to attack in the beginning, since the skins are worth decent money, and you often get several skins off a single snake. Bats and rats can also be worthwhile. Every zone has slightly different newbie monsters, and you just need to experiment. As soon as you are able to safely start killing them, attack the decaying skeletons, especially ones carrying a weapon. These are the best monsters for lower levels. They are worth decent experience and will get you good gold through selling their bones and the weapons they carry (which are also a slight upgrade from your newbie weapon).
If you are a magic user, cast your spells as often as possible. If you find yourself low on hit points, but with extra mana, stand around and cast the same spells over and over again while you heal. If you are a fighter, practice your fighting moves. Practice makes perfect, and you need to increase your skills. It is your increased skills more than your increased levels that make you more powerful.
Hoard your money. Magic users need all they can find to purchase spells, and fighters need more armor and better weapons. By all means, upgrade your stuff if you can afford to, but don't bankrupt yourself in the process. A good early purchase for all classes is a pouch (though there are several monsters around level 4 or 5 that drop pouches). Also, humans should buy a torch or lantern as soon as possible to help see in the dark.
At some point, probably pretty quickly after you start fighting, you are going to die. Even as you go up levels and get more confidence, one good rule of thumb is to always know where you are in relation to the city gates. If you die, you are transported to the newbie zone outside your home city without any of your possessions (at low levels you get a weapon and some food and water). You then have to find your corpse, and you really want to know where it was before venturing out again. The /loc command can help you here if properly used (see below in commands for a full description). I know people who have spent many futile hours looking for their corpse. Also the constant /shouts of have you seen my corpse can get annoying. Along these lines, at least prior to level 5 when you start to lose experience, if you are losing a fight and know exactly where you are, you are better off dropping dead on the spot than running away and dying somewhere unfamiliar. It's a tough world out there. You will be killed over and over again. You can make your life a lot easier if you always know about where your corpse is.
Before you attack anything, right click (/con) on it to see how tough it is. You will get one of several Consider Messages . Your best bet is to only take on monsters that con blue. Whites are sometimes possible, but often get the best of you. Yellows will almost always kill you and reds are instant death. Get into the habit of doing this before every battle. You should also start to make note of which monsters are more sociable than others. Some monsters seem to always have a bunch of friends around ready to bash in the head of someone who attacked their pal. Knowing this will save your life. For example, spiderlings always seem to attract help before they are killed, and your nice easy battle against a single blue spiderling can suddenly turn into a bloodbath with several spiders of different types all bashing on you at once. You don't want to be the one running back to the guards with 5 creatures in hot pursuit while all the players around shout train and scatter.
Change your view once the battle starts so that you can see if anything is sneaking up behind you. You may be able to handle one fire beetle, but add another plus a kobald runt or two and you're dead meat.