Character actions control in Dark Swords is accomplished through operational keys system and menu. Action control and movement in the world panel are at the bottom of game main screen.
Control buttons and movement buttons can become inactive, if they can't be used in either situation, in this case control buttons aren't highlighted when mouse pointer is over them, but movement button will disappear from screen at all, if location exit in this direction is impossible.
Movement in the World
The movement in the world is accomplished with the help of movement panel in the left lower corner of the game main screen. Either movement buttons could be present or absent on panel depending on exits availability in the present location.
Pressing movement button makes the character move in the direction, which the button points. Buttons
on movement panel are used for moving «Up» and «Down». All movement buttons have «hot keys» – keyboard arrows for movement to the cardinal points and Page Up, Page Down for moving «Up» and «Down» correspondingly.
Action Target Choice
The majority of actions (attack, magic usage, item collection and transfer, character examination, joining groups etc.) in Dark Swords is accomplished by character and item - action objects - indication. The action object choice is made by clicking the target on panels which show the surrounding characters and items in location. The target is marked with green frame on informational panels. World inhabitants and other player characters, against which character fights at the present moment, are marked with red frames on informational panels. It will be recalled that character, monster or item name can be found out by moving the mouse pointer to their images on the panel.
Attacking and Fleeing
The attack on Dark Swords inhabitant or other player character is accomplished with the help of key «Attack» on action administration panel (this action hot key – A; the list of all hot keys are in game "Help" menu and in this manual section «Hot keys»). After selecting the target and pressing the button «Attack», character initiates or joins the fight against chosen target. After the fight starts in Dark Swords, it continues in automatic mode, but it could be influenced by, for example, using magic or elixirs during the fight. If it's necessary, it's possible to stop the fight by retreating; flight mode is activated by control button «Flight» on action control panel. Pressing this button makes the character look for possibility to flight from the current fight in accidental direction. Character doesn't hit the opponent in the turned on flight mode.
Dark Swords world nature allows using magical spells and rituals. As far as character studies in the mystical guilds, different spells will be available for player. Spells in Dark Swords are used with the help of user defined hot keys. It's possible to define those key in menu «Magic», available by pressing the corresponding control button on action panel.
Pressing the cell in menu «Magic», in the opened window, the certain spell could be bound to one of keys; attack spells could also be defined for «Automatic mode» (AUTO). Automatic mode provides chosen fighting spell utilization constantly during the fight.
If target is not selected, the attack spells use current opponent as a target; healing spells - chosen character or wizard himself, if target is not set. It's also possible to use magic from spell list in submenu «Spells» menu «Characteristics» (button «Stats» on action panel), which contains the list of all spells and rituals, known to player.
Interaction With Items. Trading Window
While playing Dark Swords, character collides with a great variety of items: weapons and equipment, elixirs and recipes, components, reagents and even with treasure - Dark Swords world is abounds in all that. Items, which character possesses, are displayed in the inventory window; items, which are in the location - on item information panel of the corresponding location; in shops - in special shop control windows (details about shops and other special locations in section
«Special Locations» ).
During 1st login after creation, character is provided with starting item kit, which consists of weapon, appropriate for character initial characteristics (see section «Weapon Choice»), some amount of healing potions - life elixirs, equipment items: armour, helmet and shield. Those items remarkable, because they can't be sold to shops or handed, they just disappear, when thrown away in location.
Item collection from killed opponents could be performed automatically or by hand («Auto collect» mode switch is performed in menu «Options», details in section «Options and Help»). It's enough to click on the image of corpse to examine it on panel, which shows all items in current location (button «Take», which is on action panel, acts similarly). Current location items could be picked up from the ground the same way. When picking up clothes, armour and weapons, the automatic check of utilization as equipment possibility is performed i.e. if character, which doesn't use helmet, receives one, the helmet will be put on automatically, if character characteristics correspond to its wearing conditions.
Player can use possessed items in 2 ways: directly from inventory window and with the help of defined hot keys (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). To put on, take off or throw away either items, it's enough to move them into cell or put them away from cell on player equipment schematic image on the left of inventory window; throwing away the item to the ground or floor is performed by item icon dragging into cell in the right lower corner.
Item, which player possesses (as well as which are sold in shops) detailed description and characteristics could be obtained by holding the mouse button on item image (detailed information about item characteristics are in section.
«Items and Equipment»).
Character equipment in Dark Swords consists of weapon and shield which he/she carries in hands; outer clothing or armour - on torso; pants or skirts - on legs, helmet - on head; gloves, belts, footwear, different kinds of necklaces, 2 rings and robe or cloak which are worn over other outfit. The whole outfit consists of 12 items. The equipment is limited with 25 items.
Keyboard 1 - 5 keys define the columns of inventory; pressing those keys or buttons "Use potion" in the inventory window will lead to healing potion and other item, which are in those columns, utilization.
The concept of the weight of items, storage of the items in inventory
The amount of equipment that character can carry on depends on his level and on the weight of items. The maximum weight, that character can pick up, depends on his level. On 0 level character can pick up 132 pounds, and the higher is the level of the character the bigger weight he can pick up. A degree of utilised capacity of the character is shown in the lower central part of inventory. The first number signifies the weight of all items, that are in possession of the character at the moment, but the number in brackets – maximum weight, that character can pick up.
Items, recipes, ingridients, weapon, parts of the bodies of the animals have its weight:
- Parts of the bodies of the animals (everything that is handed over to dump, for example- cheese), as well as any cans, weight 4 pounds;
- Helmets and magical caps weight 5 pounds;
- Chains, gloves, belts, jackboots - 3 pounds;
- Light rings weight only 2 pounds;
- Covers, trousers or leggings - 4 pounds each;
- Heavy armour weights 9 pounds;
- Shield - 8 pounds;
- Iron weapon is most heavy and weights 10 pounds.
Parts of the bodies of the animals, cans, recipes and runes can be put in piles, in order to occupy less space in the inventory. If when receiving (knocking out) such an item, the character already has at least one item of that kind, it is put in pile automatically, with this, the number of items is shown in higher left corner. Putting items in pile can be also made by hand. To do this it is necessary to place one item with mouse to identical one, either to the pile of identical items. To divide items in a heap of identical items the following special hot keys are used:
SHIFT - to pick up one item from a heap;
CONTROL - to pick up ten items from a heap;
SHIFT+CONTROL - to pick up five items from a heap;
In order to take one, five or ten items open the window of inventory, hold the forementioned key on a keyboard and with the help of mouse remove items from the heap.
The item or currency exchange or transmission could be made by use of Trade Window, enabled by action button «Trade» on game main screen action panel. Selecting the target of transmission in character, which are in location, information window, and pressing the button «Trade», player opens transmission window from his side, but for the deal conclusion the same action is necessary from the chosen player side. It's necessary to put items for transmission or enter transferring amount (Gold or Platinum) into the opened window cells and approve the transmission by pressing the button PUT. If both sides approve the deal by pressing buttons AGREE, the transmission will be successful.
Groups: Creation and Administration
Dark Swords multi-user aspect means, of course, possibility and sometimes necessity of playing in groups. Group creation and administration is accomplished with the help of menu, which is activated by pressing the key «Group» on the game main screen action panel. For characters, who are not members of a group at the present moment, 2 actions are available in menu - group creation and joining a group, if they satisfy joining conditions.
After creating a group, character becomes its leader and (with the use of menu, available pressing the button «Group») gains the possibility to set the requirements of joining his group: minimum (value FROM) and maximum (value TO) level for characters, which would like to join; allow or prohibit joining of the characters, which have different religious disposition, (switch MIX). It's necessary to approve character minimum and maximum level, which is required for joining the group, by pressing check-box on the right. It's impossible to set the limits more than 2 times higher or lower than character level. Group leader has also the right to expel either character from the group (by selecting character, member of the group, and pressing the button EXPEL) and dismiss the group (pressing the button DISMISS). The symbol on character image in window, which displays information about characters in the location, indicates that character is a group leader. Character images, which belong to one group, are displayed in the left part of this window, used for friendly characters.
The only button available in the administration menu for those group characters who are not its leaders is LEAVE group button.
Note should be taken to the fact, that leader controls the movement of the group over in the world.
Player, whose character is a group member, but is not a leader, can't himself control character movements.
Group can't move, while its members are in fight. Flight, death or character exit from the game automatically makes him go out of the group; if the character is a group leader - the group falls apart.
«Auto attack» mode (in options menu), which allows character, which group members are fighting, automatic joining the fight enabling, is available in the game. It's possible to learn more about group game play features in section «Group Play».