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Quickstart Guide for GS4

 

Many thanks to Emilan from Plat and Godyva, Ellistra and Illarea from Prime for helping provide me with questions and answers.

I’m sure everyone has felt that panic that comes with GS4 at one point or another, that feeling that you have been thrown in a shark pool and told to swim. You know you don’t want to mess up your character, but you have no idea where to begin, because you have so many questions. Here, I will attempt to answer some of the more common questions and concerns about GS4.

Training, Stats and Experience

 1. I was level X and now I’m level Y?  What gives?

In the transition to GS4, the level a character can train to is moved from 160 to 100. In addition, the experience required to train to the next level has been revised. It requires less experience to train while young, but more to train as a character gets older. All characters retain their experience in moving from GemStone III to GS4, but they are converted to the new level model. As such, nearly all characters will experience a change in level.

When the character enters GS4 for the first time, he or she will be given 2 free levels of experience, along with the training points the character would gain from those levels. These levels are calculated after a character has been converted to their GS4 level.

You can find more information on the experience model on the experience page.

 2. Hang on, why do I have so long to go before I train?

In moving to GS4, all characters have been moved into a new experience model. As a character gains more levels, it costs more to gain another. No longer is there a set plateau of experience requirements once you title.

You can find more information on the experience model on the experience page.

 3. What’s with all the different stats?

Information on the new stats and how they’re used is on the stats page.

 4. How do I train?

Training is much more free-form in GS4. Instead of checking into the inn to level up and train, you will gain training points throughout your level and will level up automatically when you gain enough experience. These training points can be used as soon as you receive them, not just when you level up. To use your training points, type GOALS anywhere in the game or click “skill goals” above the command entry line in the new StormFront front end to launch the graphical skills manager. You can also check into the inn to use the textual skills manager.

In the skills manager, you can set goals for your skills, whether to increase or decrease. The manager will automatically add, subtract and convert the training points according to the skills you choose (Conversion still goes by the rate of 2:1.). Of course, you are limited by the number of points you have and how many skill ranks you are permitted per level. Because you can train in skills as you gain experience, and not just when you level up, you can train in skills up to your level +2.

Once you have chosen your skill goals and exit the skills manager, your skills will increase or decrease over time, according to your choices. These changes, however, are not instantaneous, but will take place over a period of time. If you have just entered GS4, the time for your skills to change, or migrate, is much less than it will be later on.

 5. How do I use the graphic skills manager?

The skills manager might look very confusing, but it’s really very simple.

When using the graphical skills manager, your name, race, profession and level can be found in the left hand column, as well as how many training points you have remaining that are available to use. Each skill on the right hand side of the screen shows you how many ranks you have, how much it would cost to gain a rank, how much you would recover if you chose to lose a rank and how many ranks you are limited to.

To gain a rank in a skill, click on the plus sign in the row that corresponds to the skill you wish to train in. The skills manager will automatically deduct the points necessary and convert points, if you let it and it’s necessary. To lose a rank, click on the minus sign. There is a small check box on the left hand side of the screen that says “Always Convert.” By checking that, you won’t be asked whether you want to convert training points over and over again.

Once you have finished choosing your skills click on the “Apply Changes” button on the left hand side of the screen, and your skill goals will be uploaded to your character.

 6. How do you I use the textual skills manager?

Using the textual skills manager is much like the graphical skills manager. To access the textual skills manager, check into the inn and select “Adjust skill goals.” There, you will see a menu of skills available to train in. For each skill, you will see the skill’s name, how many ranks you currently have, how much training in that skill costs and how many ranks are available to you. To increase a skill, type <skill#> +<number of ranks>. To decrease a skill, type <skill#> -<number of ranks>.

Like the graphical skills manager, the textual skills manager will automatically add, deduct and convert points for you. Once you are satisfied with your choices, type DONE to exit. Your choices will be applied to your character.

 7. What is skill X?

A number of new skills have been added to GS4. Information on these skills can be found on the new skills page. Check the professions page to see if a certain profession may benefit from a certain skill, as well as the cost to train in it.

 8. How did I gain these TPs?

Instead of checking into the inn when you level up to train, you now will gain training points as you gain experience throughout your level. For information on how to train, see question 4 in this section.

 9. Why can I train more times than I’m supposed to in skills?

In GS4, you will receive training points as you gain experience, not just when you level up. You can use these training points immediately, as well. As such, you can train in your skills up to your level +2, not +1 as before.

 10. What does typing GOALS do?

The GOALS verb will launch the graphical skills manager, where you can train or adjust your skills. See question 4 in this section for more information on how to train.

 11. What happened to my health, spirit, skills, AS, CS, DS, TD, spells?

Upon entering into GS4 for the first time, a character is converted to his or her new GS4 level and is assigned generic stats. They will be given skills as close to their GemStone III skills as possible, but not exact. Because of the changes in stats, skills and levels, as well as other factors, all characters will experience a change in almost all areas.

If you don’t like how your character was trained, you may reallocate their stats and skills more to your liking. Each character has a limited amount of time and chances to reallocate their character, however, so planning ahead is highly recommended.

Information on how each profession is changed in GS4 can be found on the professions page. Details on reallocation can be found on the reallocation methods page.

 10. What skills should I train in?

Deciding what skills to train in is your choice. If you’re looking for suggestions on skills to consider, check the professions pages.

 11. Why can’t I skin with all my training in first aid?

In addition to First Aid, a new skill, Survival, is factored in to determine skinning success. Both skills are weighted equally in skinning success, and it appears that two trains has the same amount of effect as one in GemStone III.

 12. How did I miss that trap when my wisdom has a huge bonus?

Wisdom has been removed from figuring into locksmithing. The stats that will now affect lockpicking are:

Dexterity is the primary stat, affecting both traps and locks.

Intuition plays a part in finding traps, but not disarming them.

Agility plays a part in traplore.

Discipline plays a part in traplore.

 13. I’ve heard about experience penalties to death. What’s with that?

There were experience penalties to death with the transition to GS4. Those experience penalties have been replaced with Death’s Sting, which impacts your stats and health, spirit, stamina and mana recovery rates. You can read the documentation here, as well as the in character announcement here.

 14. So what’s this Death’s Sting I heard about?

Death’s Sting was implemented in 2004 as a replacement for experience penalties for death. Instead, it penalizes your stats and health, spirit, stamina and mana recovery rates. You can read the documentation here, as well as the in character announcement here.

Magic

 1. Why don’t I have any mana?

You will no longer gain mana automatically as you gain levels. To increase your mana, you must train in the new Harness Power skill. For every rank numbering equal your level or less, you will gain 3 mana. Every rank above that will give you 1 mana.

You will have a certain amount of mana to begin with, however. Starting mana is calculated to be the average mana stat bonus/2. Each profession’s mana stats can be found on their respective profession’s page.

 2. Wait, now that I don’t have any mana, how will I be able to hunt the Rift?

A new method for the more physical professions has been implemented to gain access to Koar’s shrine. As posted by GM Uska:

“Koar’s Shrine at the Top of the World on Mt. Aenatumgana now provides solace and a welcome place to rest for those of the physical professions as it has done for many a year for those following the route of magics. Just as the magical professions expressed their power and are allowed entry into the quiet respite of the Shrine, the martial professions may now, through a touching moment before Koar’s Crown, gain entry as well. One must have the endurance and forebearance to make it through the moment though to enter.”

 3. What happened to the mana share skill?

Mana has been split into three spheres in GS4, the Elemental sphere, the Spiritual sphere and the Mental sphere. To share mana effectively, the sender and receiver must train in the same Mana Control type. There will always be some amount of mana lost, however, and the receiver can only hold their maximum amount of mana, regardless of how much is sent.

To raise a body, Mana Control, Spirit is factored in to determine raising success.

 4. Why can’t I send the same amount of mana to my wizard friends as I can my empath friends?

To share mana effectively, both the sender and receiver must train in the same Mana Control type, be it Elemental, Spiritual or Mental.

 5. I heard about casters being able to use staves. What do they do?

Staves, also known as runestaves, use a caster’s training in magic skills to generate defense. Instead of having to carry a sword and shield, a pure can use a staff. In addition to normal defense, a runestaff can parry bolts (See the combat factors page for information on parrying.). More information on staves is found on the Runestaves page in the combat section.

 6. How do I train right to use a staff for defense?

Defense for a staff is linked to your training in magic skills. The more you train in magic skills, the better your defense. A minimum of eight ranks in skills per level is required to gain the benefit of a rune staff, while training more will provide more benefit. Ten ranks in the magic skills per level has been recommended by players testing the system.

The skills taken into account for staff training are: Arcane Symbols. Elemental Lores, Elemental Mana Control, Harness Power, Magic Item Use, Mental Lores, Mental Mana Control, Sorcerous Lores, Spell Aiming, Spell Research, Spiritual Lores and Spiritual Mana Control. Each rank in the skill counts equally, regardless of the cost.

More information on staff defense can be found on the Runestaves page.

 7. Can I use a wand with a magical staff?

Yes. While using a runestaff, holding a wand or other magical artifact in the left hand will not give put a penalty on your defense. You still need a free hand while invoking from scrolls, however.

 8. What’s a lore and why should I get it?

Lores are some of the new skills being introduced in GS4. These skills work to improve the effectiveness of certain spells, but are designed to be bonuses only. Most spells will work as normal even without training in the lore that affects it. The spells that do require lores to work correctly, however, are very few.

Training in lores works much like training in spells. You select the type of lore you wish to train in (Elemental, Mental, Sorcerous or Spiritual), then select the specific lore within that category. All lore ranks in that type, however, are counted together in determining the costs of training again and how many ranks you may train in that lore type.

For example, training three times in Spiritual Lore: Blessings and five times in Spiritual Lore: Summoning counts as having eight ranks in Spiritual Lore. Training four times in Spiritual Lore: Summoning and two times in Sorcerous Lore: Necromancy, however, counts as having four ranks in Spiritual Lore and two ranks in Sorcerous Lore.

More information on the specific lores can be found on the New Skills page, and information on the spells they affect can be found on the Magic page.

 9. What’s this new spell?

With the introduction of GS4, many new spells have been released. Information on these spells can be found either on the magic page or on each profession’s page.

 10. What happened to the bonus for open hand casting?

The bonus for open-handed casting (OHC) is still there, but there is a different verb you must use to get the bonus. The CHANNEL verb has been implemented to give the caster the benefits of OHC and stance bonuses for spells 702, 302, 312 and 1106. Using CHANNEL will impose a 3 second hard RT as well as the 3 second casting RT. Being under the influence of the Haste spell will reduce the hard RT.

The bonuses for stance and OHC, while both linked to CHANNEL, are independent. You can use CHANNEL to gain the bonuses of OHC while still in a guarded stance, you can use it to gain the bonuses of stancing while having your hands full, or you can use it for both.

CHANNEL is also available for use with spell 705, but there is no bonus to OHC, only stance.

Use of the CHANNEL verb is completely optional, however; CAST is still available.

 11. I was able to prep a spell with no prep RT. Is this a bug?

No. Prep RT has been removed from spells in GS4.

Combat

 1. Where did that creature I used to hunt all the time go?

In the change to GS4, many creatures were changed in their level. Some creatures, such as wolverines, were changed so drastically that leaving them in the same hunting area would either make them too dangerous or too easy for the people hunting there. As such, they have been moved to other areas. You can use Tsoran’s maps, now updated for GS4, and the creature list organized by GS4 level to reference the creature level changes.

 2. Why am I being killed by what I used to hunt safely?

In changing to GS4, many creatures were changed in level. Some creatures went up in level, others went down. To find the level of the creature, you can use the creature list on this site or Tsoran’s maps, updated for GS4.

 3. Why can’t I learn from that creature now?

In changing to GS4, many creatures were changed in level. Some creatures went up in level, others went down. To find the level of the creature, you can use the creature list on this site or Tsoran’s maps, updated for GS4.

 4. What’s this combat maneuver list I heard about?

Combat Maneuvers is a new system released in GS4. Combat Maneuvers is a series of skills that can be used in combat, obviously. Training in the Combat Maneuvers skill will allow you to earn ranks in certain maneuvers. Some skills are open only to certain professions, while others can be used by all professions, including pures. Like spells, Combat Maneuvers are limited by a character’s power, mana in the case of spells, stamina in the case of Combat Maneuvers.

More information on the new Combat Maneuvers system can be found on the Combat Maneuvers page on this site.

 5. What’s this stamina thing?

Stamina is linked to the new Combat Maneuvers system and works much like mana for spells. You must have the amount of stamina required by the skill you wish to use in order to be able to use it. Guild skills that don’t have a factor limiting use, such as voice strain with warcries, also use stamina.

More information on the new Combat Maneuvers system can be found on the Combat Maneuvers page on this site.

 6. What is evade, block, and parry?

Evade, Block and Parry, or EBP, is a new system implemented in GS4. EBP allows a character, if successful, to avoid an attack entirely. Evade allows a character to dodge a blow, Block allows a character to block a blow with his or her shield and Parry allows a character to use the weapon in their hand to deflect the attack. EBP is an automatic system; there is no verb to type to use it, and there is no Evade, Block or Parry skill to train in.

More information on the Evade, Block and Parry system can be found on the Combat Factors page on this site.

 7. Why doesn’t my archer get to block or parry?

Blocking an attack in the EBP system requires a character to have a shield in the left hand. Parrying requires the character to have a weapon in the right hand. Archers have their bow or crossbow in their left hands, and the missile in their right hands is considered to be too fragile to use in parrying.

More information on the Evade, Block and Parry system can be found on the Combat Factors page on this site.

 8. Why did my DS get so low when I picked up that 40 pound box?

It’s a good time to make friends with a wizard. In GS4, your encumbrance will directly affect your DS. The more encumbered you are, the lower your DS will go. The rate of the DS pushdown is right now undetermined.

Roleplaying Features

 1. Why don’t I get as much as I used to selling gems/furs/etc in town?

A few new systems are in place that will affect how much you will get for selling items in town. Many towns will take the seller’s race into account in determining a bonus or disadvantage to the seller. For example, a dark elf won’t get nearly as much for selling a gem in Ta’Illistim as an Elf would. Shops also take the seller’s Trading skill and Influence into account.

Another system new to GS4 that will affect how much a seller will get for selling items is the Citizenship system. In the Citizenship system, a character, by performing tasks in a town such as selling items, interacting with NPCs, etc, might be able to become a citizen of that town. As a citizen, merchants in that town may be more likely to give that character a discount when buying items, or they may be willing to pay more for items the citizen wishes to sell.

More information on the Citizenship system can be found on the Citizenship page.

 2. I saw that thief pull a wand from someone’s pocket. How did he do that?

Stealing is becoming more intricate and fluid in GS4. Thieves will be able to steal more types of items and even specify which container to steal from, but anyone who sees a thief stealing from someone will be able to accuse the thief to the authorities. Environmental factors of the location will affect stealing success, as well as the number of people in the room.

More information on the new stealing system can be found on the Rogues page.

 3. I saw this guy who was daydreaming. What’s that?

DAYDREAM is a new verb to use to signal to people that you are going to be unresponsive for a while. This verb can be used instead of telling people that you are going to be “sleeping” for a while. Premium account holders will also show another person that the character is daydreaming if that person LOOKs at the character.

 4. With all these changes, will I be able to change my race or profession, too?

At this time, no. It’s been stated clearly that there will be no racial changes. However, with the introduction of three new professions, there may be a limited professional reallocation. It has been suggested that Clerics and Warriors can reallocate into the new Paladin profession and that characters who have sufficient train in brawling can become Monks.

 5. Hang on. Someone mentioned new races. What are they?

There are five new races that will be available as characters in GS4. They are:  Forest Gnomes, Burghal Gnomes, Aelotoi, Erithians and Half-Krolvin. Each of the new races’ documentation, as far as is possible, has been collected and is available on the races page.

Miscellaneous

 1. Will I lose all my alters/box founds/unique stuff?

No. Everything you have will be transferred into GS4.

 2. Do I need to download a new front end?

No. GS4 will work through both the Wizard and eScape as it does with GemStone III. If you want, you can download and try the new StormFront front end, but it’s not required.

 3. I saw someone with something made from orase. He said it’s a magic wood. What’s that?

Magic woods work much like magic metals do. Certain woods provide bonuses to your AS or DS. Magic woods can be used in ranged weapons, shields and runestaves. More information on the magic woods can be found on the Magic Woods page.

 4. That’s odd. I’m seeing this guy, but the room description says he’s hiding. Am I going nuts or something?

Nope. If you’ve searched the area and found someone, or if you see someone hide, they will appear in the room description as hiding for 30 seconds. After that, you won’t be able to see them.