Instead of the experience points system of levelling used by most muds, Shattered World uses a skills system. Skills are an integral part of a player's development and progress automatically, simply by using them.
The only way to get better at something in the Shattered World is to practice your skills. If you want your skill level in offense to improve, then go out and slay some beasts. The only way to improve your offense is to be offensive (fighting, not being rude).
Every character that is 'born' into the Shattered World, regardless of sex and race, has 4 set skills given to them as well as their subsequent race skills. The 4 basic skills are elan, dodge, offense and defence. Offense is the basic skill used to kill things whilst defence and dodge are the two basic skills used to defend yourself. Elan is a special skill that enables you to talk to high level wizards and it improves over time (as well as decreasing every time it is used).
Each race has its own specific powers - there are many of them and they are quite diverse. Also, when you join guilds, you will be given even more skills which you should endeavour to advance. Some guilds will provide a limited amount of training (for a fee) which will help you gain skill levels but this varies from guild to guild. Have patience and practice hard and you will find that your skills will advance with time - don't expect them to go up overnight!
Skill levels rank can be found in the table below. Skills go up in that order and take quite a deal of time to progress from one level to the next. The rate at which skills go up also depends on your intelligence. If you are stupid then you will learn slowly and hence your skills will advance slowly. If you are well endowed with brains then your skills will advance rapidly. When you die you will lose some skill level from some, or all, of your skills. This may cause these skills to go back to the previous level or they may stay at the current level.
To see your skills just type "skills", this will list all your skills in table format. "skills <skillname>" (eg. "skills offense") will give more detailed information on that particular skill. Each level also has a finer description describing how you're going in relation to a particular skill level.
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