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Tibia is a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) created by CipSoft GmbH. It is one of the oldest MMORPGs and was considered most noteworthy in its early years; however, with the development of MMORPGs its popularity has grown much slower than others gaming communities. Its most unusual aspect is being in a 2D environment, which is expected to contribute to the slow growth of the game as the gaming community rapidly shifted to 3D. It was first released in January 1997. It is a free game which is open to the public, though players have the option to pay a fee in order to upgrade to a premium account, granting special in-game benefits, including additional areas to explore, access to vocation promotions, and extra spells.
In the early years of the game, CipSoft GmbH held player statistics, including amount of registered players; but these were removed with the growth of the game for performance reasons. For this reason, the amount of players cannot be accurately estimated, but the players totalled over 64,000 online on November 28, 2007. There are currently 77 game servers, 38 in Germany and 39 in the USA. Each server can actively hold 1,000 players; which is reached more and more often because of people with numerous accounts controlled by bots. CipSoft reports there are about 1.3 million registered accounts. According to polls conducted by CipSoft their customers come from a wide range of countries. The top three countries within the poll are Brazil with 26.56%, Poland with 24.38%, and Mexico with 8.65% representing their share of the aforementioned 1.4 million registered accounts.
Gameplay involves advancing levels while training to improve skill levels, hunting monsters using weapons and magical spells, gathering treasures, doing quests and exploring the Tibia world. Players interact with each other in character for conversation, trade and group battles and partake in guilds for more role-playing opportunities. On most of the game's servers, players are also allowed to attack and kill each other, although there is a system in place to keep hostile actions under control called the skull system. Some servers do not allow such player versus player combat at all, while others encourage it by rewarding experience for kills.
When creating a character, over 77 different worlds (servers) can be chosen from. While each world is exactly the same in appearance, players cannot communicate cross-server. There are 3 types of worlds:
- Open PvP: You can attack and kill anyone but you will get a "skull" for this, which means that anyone can kill you without getting that respective "skull" mark.
- Optional PvP: Player-versus-player combat is not permitted unless during guild wars (which must be accepted by both sides). No skull system.
- Hardcore PvP: Player-versus-player is encouraged - instead of penalties there are rewards (experience).
There is also a Premium world where only premium (paying) players can play. It is of the "Open Pvp" type.
Characters and vocations
In the game, there are four vocations, each with their advantages and disadvantages. All new characters start out without a vocation. Once a character reaches level eight, they can go to the Island of Destiny where they choose a vocation from four choices. Knights specialize in melee, paladins in distance, sorcerers in offensive magic, and druids in elemental/healing magic. Once a vocation is chosen, the choice cannot be reversed without a character reset. Premium players can purchase a promotion for their character's vocation once they have reached level 20 for a one-time fee of 20,000 gold pieces. The Promotion gives the character various in-game advantages. The game also has a large number of Non-Playable Characters, or NPCs. NPCs are there to buy/sell items and for quests and other roleplaying purposes. The Demonym of a Tibia player is called a Tibian.
All four vocations can use magic to some degree. Sorcerers and druids have a wide variety of magic spells available to them, while paladins and knights have a limited variety.
There are two types of magic
- Instant magic - Magical syntaxes that once cast will consume mana in order to produce the desired effect
- Rune magic - Magic that is cast by using a rune
Spells can be bought from the NPC guild leader of each vocation and runes can be bought from NPCs and other players. Guild leaders are located in most cites. The power of spells relate directly to the character's level and magic level, more so the latter. The damage of some spells, such as a knight's Berserk spell, also take into account the skill level of the character.
Magic wands (for Sorcerers) and rods (for Druids) are specially made for mages. With these weapons, they can use their mana points to attack creatures. These wands and rods need a certain level of experience for mages to handle them.
There are also special elemental types of magical damage that each vocation can use and creatures have a strength or weakness in. These are Earth (which includes Poison and nature spells), Fire, Energy, Ice, Holy, Death, and Physical damage. With regards to magic spells, paladins specialize in Holy, Sorcerers in Fire and Energy, Druids in Earth and Ice, and Knights in Physical.
Creatures are the inhabitants of Tibia aside from human players and NPCs. Every different type of creature has its own unique characteristics. Player characters hunt creatures to gain experience points and loot.
Experience Points are needed to gain levels. Most creatures give experience points for killing them. In most cases, the more difficult the creature is to kill, the more experience points gained.
The term "loot" refers to any item that can be looted from the bodies of dead creatures or players. Loot varies by creature, and some items are found more frequently than others. Loot often includes gold, weapons, shields, helmets, food, quest items, and armor. Usually the most valuable items are the most rare. Creatures can only drop items which the game producers have installed them to drop. For instance, an Orc can not drop Dragon hams, while Dragons can not drop a piece of meat. Most loot can be sold for gold to either other players or NPCs.
New creatures are usually added with each major game update.
Quests are in-game challenges where a player or group of players solve challenging riddles or puzzles or fight difficult creatures for a special reward. Rewards vary from gold to equipment to items needed for other quests. Some areas of Tibia can only be accessed once a certain quest is completed or started. For example, the Isle of the Kings can only be accessed once the White Raven Monastery Quest has been completed.
All characters start in Rookgaard, which is a small island. Rookgaard, created in December, 1999, is where players learn to play Tibia. Once a character has reached level 8, it can leave Rookgaard, through the Island of Destiny, for the mainland. Once a character leaves Rookgaard, it can never return, unless it is lowered to level 5. If this happens, characters are completely reset. After the summer update of 2008, two new areas were added to Rookgaard, a tutorial island and a vocation island. When Tibia started out in 1997, there was only one city and that one city was called Tibia. Since the addition of more cities, the city of Tibia was renamed "Thais" and the name "Tibia" has since come to refer to the name of the main continent.
With expansion to the game over the years, there are now two main continents, four bigger islands, several smaller islands, and 13 cities. The cities include - in order of appearance - Thais, Carlin, Kazordoon, Ab'Dendriel, Edron, Darashia, Venore, Ankrahmun, Port Hope, Liberty Bay, Svargrond, Yalahar and Farmine. The hunting areas are outside the city walls.
Major updates are released about every six months by CipSoft. Before game updates, test servers are run to find and repair bugs and glitches within the update. These servers are first available for testing to players that hold official positions such as Tutors, Senior Tutors, Gamemasters, Fansite representatives and Senators. Test servers are sometimes opened to the general Tibian public. The major updates usually involve the creation of new cities, hunting areas, spells, weapons, etc. Updates may also include graphic redesign, gameplay changes, and anti-cheating measures. In addition to the major updates, as needed, minor updates are done throughout the year to fix bugs and other minor problems.
Another area of gameplay that gets updated during many of the major updates is "Vocation Balancing". In Tibia, the idea is that all four vocations be equally appealing so that no one vocation is far superior to any other. If it appears that one vocation is far superior than another, changes are made to balance the vocations.
Support and rules
The Tibian support system is based on a hierarchy of ranks, from lowest to highest: Tutor, Senior Tutor, Gamemaster, and finally Customer Support. Retired gamemasters and long-term tutors may also - with prior invitation by CipSoft - choose to adopt the title of Senator.
The role of tutor encompasses a number of duties, including: Answering Questions from the in-game Help Channel and on the Help forum, checking the tutor forum and in-game channels regularly, and reporting bugs and bad names.
Following 3 months of active tutorship without a bad/false name/bug report, a tutor is automatically promoted to the position of senior tutor. In addition to the tasks of a tutor, this title brings with it a number of further duties: moderation of the public forums and ability to report inappropriate statements from the public in-game channels.
Eligibility for the tutor position is determined by the outcome of an online multiple-choice test on the official website. All subject matter for this test is game-related and can be found in the guide section of the official website. However this test is only available to players whose accounts fulfill certain conditions. Tutor Guide. Retrieved on 2008-07-03
Sharing accounts, selling accounts, using any and all non-official programs such as "bots", and taking advantage of game flaws, such as "teleporting", is considered as a game weakness and may result in harsh bans and instant account deletions for a second offense within six months. If an account has been banished or scheduled for deletion, CipSoft propagates that the only recourse is to either create a new character, or appeal to Customer Support directly.
The most frequent form of cheating is in the form of using "Cave-Bots", which hunt for players without any input. Another common form of cheating is called account sharing. In this case, two or more people share the same account and take turns hunting. This allows the character to gain experience and skill at a much higher rate. In an attempt to lessen account sharing, a "stamina" system was implemented so that if a character is hunting for an excess number of hours, that character would no longer gain any experience for killing creatures.
CipSoft has performed various polls on the official website, suggesting future implementations to lessen cheating. Screenshots and/or videos, called "TibiaCams", once were used as incentive to investigate cases of severe or otherwise game-altering cheating, though this practice has been unofficially stopped. The reason for this is that the screenshots or videos can be manipulated to show false information.
On 30 January 2009, Cipsoft announced that they banned 4959 characters for using illegal software while playing. A quote from Cipsoft at www.tibia.com states, "These accounts have been identified by an automatic tool with complete accuracy, therefore any complaints about these punishments are in vain. They are final and complaints will be ignored. We will neither reveal our criteria for these punishments, nor will we hand out any proofs." The article goes on to say that Cipsoft is not finished and will continue to work hard to eliminate cheating from the game. Since then, Cipsoft has used this automatic tool about once a month to ban tens of thousands of accounts.
References to popular culture
Tibia has been noted to include several References to J. R. R. Tolkien's three-part novel The Lord of the Rings and its legendarium, suggesting that Tibia's creators were heavily influenced by these works:
- Similarly to The Lord of the Rings, Tibia uses the theme of Norse mythology, including races of Elves, Dwarves, Giant Spiders, and Orcs. It also references names from Norse mythology, such as Durin, that Tolkien refers to.
- A non-player character quotes from The Fellowship of the Ring (the first part of The Lord of the Rings).
- In Tibia, the underground dwarven city of Kazordoon has a similar name to the dwarven city of Khazad-dûm in The Lord of the Rings.
- In the city of Thais, There is Frodo's pub and Sam's shop. Both of them are named after main characters in Tolkien's book.
- There are also many references to the Dragonlance book series. Some of these include Kinslayer, the hero of Edron.
Other references can be found throughout the game:
- Within the dwarven caves, there is a sleeping beauty locked in a room with seven dwarves, and a witch and an apple that cannot be grabbed. This is in relation to the fairy tale Snow White
- In King Tibianus' court, his guards are named Harsky and Stutch. These parody Starsky and Hutch.
- In the Jakundaf Desert, there is a complex cave system that contains a book that refers to the "Holy Hand Grenade" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
- The game also contains several references to human anatomy, starting with the title Tibia (the shin bone) itself. Fibula, Sternum, and Femur (Femor Hills in the game) are all places in the game as well as bones in the human body. The city of Thais used to be named Tibia (in the earlier days) and the Tibian world was built around it with other bones-of-the-leg-names for locations. When other cities and surrounding areas were created however, Cipsoft renamed Tibia, Thais, as to avoid confusion. Thais may also refer to the thighs of legs. ~ The Thais Parody theme was actually meant to be after Brazilian Footballer Thaís Helena da Silva or simply "Thais" as Cipsoft have always been influenced by their football and back when Tibia was first created had a large number of Brazilian fans.
- In a bar in one of the game cities, there is a sign which reads, "'Crossbows n' Tulips' will be playing soon in the bar." This is a parody of Guns N' Roses.
- Some of the gravestones in Tibia mention penguins and windows, referring to the Linux penguin, Tux, and the Microsoft Windows operating system.
- In a tomb, there is a floor that resembles the layout of Pacman.
- Numerous NPCs in the game talk about "Excalibug" being the ultimate weapon, similar to Excalibur in King Arthur stories.
- There's a place called "Hard Rock Tavern", a reference to Hard Rock Cafe.
- In the city of Liberty Bay, there is a small sewer and a locked room with 4 tortoises and a rat, along with weapons such as a katana and throwing stars, in reference to the comic, TV show and movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- In a swamp near the city of Venore, you can find a book with the text "Wyrd sisters by Terry P.", a reference to the book, Wyrd Sisters.[original research?]
- In Thais, there is an NPC wearing red and yellow clothes named Donald McRonald, a Ronald McDonald parody.
- The game is very similar to the Ultima series in many aspects.
- For more allusions visit: http://tibia.wikia.com/wiki/Allusions
- Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG)
- Tibia Micro Edition
- OpenTibia Server (OTS)
- ↑ Tibia Tibia
- ↑ Tibia Celebrates 10th Birthday. Multiplayer Online Games Directory (January 9, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-02-07
- ↑ , CipSoft Poll
- ↑ http://www.tibia.com/library/?subtopic=spells
- ↑ When can I leave Rookgaard and can I return there once I have entered the main continent?. Multiplayer Online Games Directory (unknown). Retrieved on 2010-03-06
- ↑ CipSoft Takes a Bite out of Crime. Gamers Daily News (February 3, 2009). Retrieved on 2009-02-09
- Official Tibia website
- List of supported fansites
- Official CipSoft website
- Tibia at MobyGames
- Tibia Account Market
- TibiaWiki, an external wikica:Tibia