How to get yourself to level 5 without dying too much
When you start playing, you will first enter a tutorial area. Use it to become familiar with the game. As I never explored the tutorial area, I can't tell you if you gain something from it other than knowledge... Anyway, you will end up at Kobra Central Control.
First steps (needs to be done only once)
First you need to make sure the game gives you info when you need it most (so when fighting), and make sure it will help you try to survive. The following commands are vital in this:
Now you will need some equipment. The easiest way is to get free stuff, but of course this will not be the best equipment. Being level 1 means you can't fight very well yet, so you'll have to make do with it for a while.
You should always have armour, a weapon and something to carry stuff in. As a new player you have the advantage of access to playgrounds. Here are low level monsters, and often low level equipment as well. Some playgrounds contain really good bags (anything that can hold stuff, like bags, buckets, sacks, etc).
From Central Control, go north and east to the New Player Information Room. Here you'll find a torch lying on the floor. As some places are dark, a torch will come in handy. Get the torch, and 'tag torch'. This will put an asterisk in front of the item when you look at your inventory. This asterisk means that when you're in a shop and 'sell all', you will not sell the torch by accident. Tagged items will not be sold, unless you specifically sell it ('sell torch') or when you use the override ('sell ALL').
There is also a button here that will give you a starter kit. so press it.
You will receive a satchel, which contains some items ('exa bag').
Get all from the satchel, wear the jacket and wield the knife.
Walking around on Kobra station can yield some cash and another free weapon.
Other places where you can find free equipment
Zone 2 (Zone's playground)
Avenger's playground (Hoth solar)
A bit about weapons and armour
All items weigh something, ranging from 0 to 300.
Your carrying capacity is limited, and depends on your strength attribute. As a new player, your strength is quite low, meaning you can't carry everything you find. This is where bags come into play. You can put stuff in them, and you will only have to carry the weight of the bag. (So it's actually a measure of bulkiness, not weight, but who's complaining) The best bag have the best carry/weight ratio.
You have 8 slots for armour. You can wear 1 of each type at a time. Armour has a second property: Class (often called 'AC'). This determines how much protection the armour offers in a fight. There are armour items that offer extras, like an extra attack, or healing, or space to store weapons. Some armour items may require energy to offer maximum protection. There are also armour sets, which will provide something extra when the complete set is worn (extra protection, healing, tools)
You can wield one weapon at a time. There are four types of weapon: melee, blaster, projectile and explosive. (This is not completely true; there are also force type weapons like the lightsabers, but they are not meant for low level players) Weapons also have a 'class' property (called 'WC') which determines whether you can use it, and how good the weapon is. You can wield any weapon with a WC that is lower than your level + 6 (so the best WC for a level 1 player will be WC6)
There are some weapons that have an apparent WC3. (lightsabers for example). These weapons have a hidden weapon class that depends on your skills. As with armour, weapons can have extras, like also providing protection, or doing extra damage, or healing you. Some weapons require energy to function (blasters), some require ammunition (projectile), and some require force points.
Things that heal
When not doing something that costs HP/FP you will recover them slowly. To quickly recover from a fight, you need to use heals.
There are 4 types of items that heal you (restore HP/FP).
Food will fill you up, so you can't eat unlimited amounts. Some food is more filling than other. Besides not being able to eat anything for a while when full, it also prevents using most types of sobering methods. This makes food not the primary means of regaining HP/FP, although the low heal/low fill types are good for topping up
This is the main source of healing. Like food you can't ingest unlimited amounts of drinks, because you will get too drunk to find your mouth... You will instantly recover HP/FP when drinking something, and while you're drunk you will have accelated healing. There are devices/items that will sober you up. The best places to heal quickly have both drinks and sobers close to each other.
Most sobers fill you up though, so be careful with your food intake if you plan on using sobers to heal. Another side effect is that you will sometimes drop money when drunk! So either pay attention to your screen, or set a trigger in your mud client to pick your money up when you drop it.
Drugs will make you stoned, and this might interfere with some equipment. There are some drugs that you can OD on, so be careful with that.
There are medkits and bandages, force techniques, equipment with healing powers, special items and even special places that heal HP, FP or both. Most of these things are out of reach for new players, but there are some exceptions.
You can use the force technique 'revive' (see 'ff info revive').
You can buy bandages at certain places.
There is an armour set for low level players that offers accelerated healing (The Shark skin set)
You can go to the sauna on Baku.
On with the game
To advance in the game, you need to gain Experience points (XP). You also have atttribues and skills that need to improve in order to be able to use equipment and weapons efficiently. Money will come in handy too, to buy equipment, skills & atts and heals. And lastly, you will need Mission points (MP) to advance beyond level 10.
You gain XP by:
You will gain 10 extra HP/FP for each level (up to L20, after that it will be just 1 HP/FP per level) you advance.
The higher your level, the more force techniques and weapons become availabe. The best level to learn the ropes of the mud is L5. This will allow you to still enter all playgrounds (although some check your average skills/atttributes to make sure you're really a new(ish) player), but you can wield some decent equipment and kill some decent monsters to earn cash & XP.
Search for free stuff and sell it to a shop. This will give you enough money to advance to L3 (if you don't have enough XP to reach the next level, you can pay credits when leveling up). There is one problem though: You need to have an average attribute level of 25 (you start with an average of 20).
Increase your strength attribute first (to 30 or 40). This means you can carry more stuff, and you will hit harder with melee weapons. Increase your melee skill. This will make you better with melee weapons.
When you reach level 3, you will be able to use your first force technique. Depending on your alignment, you will be able to use 'wound' or 'shove' to deal extra damage to your enemy. This will cost FP, like all force techniques, so you finally have a use for those FP :-)
Your success depends on your intelligence attribute and your alter skill. The sum of these two should be higher than 60 to be able to have a 100% success rate. For the healing force technique 'revive' you need to have your medical, alter and control skills higher than 60. So get them all to at least 30.