his primer is an informal introduction of the basic concepts and terminologies of computer role playing games (CRPGs). If you're a veteran player of other CRPGs, feel free to skip this section and proceed to the walkthrough.

t its core, a CRPG is an interactive story where the player assumes the role of a character used to accomplish a series of challenging in-game objectives, often called quests. The completion of quests advances the storyline. A series of quests can be linked together into a quest chain. Quest chains help weave story elements together.

In WTF?! guests are obtained from quest givers. Quest givers are non-player characters (NPCs) with an exclamation mark or a question mark over their heads. When the player talks to the quest givers, their responses to the player character differs depending on the player's overall progress. Note that quest givers are not the only means to obtain a quest; some items inside the game may also have special attributes that initiate quests.

CRPG is often governed by a game system, a set of rules that determines the outcome of various player character and NPC actions. The player character is often defined by a set of numbers known as character attributes, a subset of which defines the current "player state."

For example, health points (HP) indicate the player character's general health condition. A high number signifies good health, and a low number signifies poor health, or injury. Zero health indicates death. Mana points (MP), are a common device used for game systems that incorporate the notion of magic and sorcery. Mana indicates the player character's reserve of an essence that allows execution of magical or other supernatural abilities. Depletion of mana points generally does not result in death, but it severely limits the player character's ability to use powerful abilities in the face of increasingly difficult challenges.

These two numbers are highly volatile and are often prominently displayed on the user interface, such as the player info window (shown below) used inside WTF?!.

haracter statistics or "stats" as they're commonly referred to, are a subset of character attributes that define a character's capabilities in various general categories. WTF?! utilizes the following character stats:

  • Stamina: The character's resilience against pain and injury. It dictates the maximum amount of HP a character has.
  • Intelligence: The character's general facility with the arcane. It dictates the maximum amount of MP a character has.
  • Spirit: The character's spiritual mastery. It dictates the rate with which health and mana are restored over time.
  • Strength: The character's physical prowess. It dictates melee damage.
During the course of a CRPG, the player character will recieve additional stat points as an indication of character advancement. A character's progress is statistically tracked by the notion of experience points, which accumulate in relation to activity, and increase a character's level, and influence a character's overall combat capabilities when facing other characters.

In WTF?!, a small number underneath the character portrait (see picture above) displays the character's current level. Experience points are tracked by a bar at the bottom of the game screen. As player characters acquire experience points, they gradually advance toward the next level. A player character automatically "levels up" (increases in level by one), when enough experience points are acquired. The player character can accumulate experience points in two ways: by defeating other NPCs, and by completing quests.

uring the course of a player's adventure, the player character will either find or be rewarded items both mundane and extraordinary. These items are automatically stored inside the player character's inventory signified by a backpack icon.

A subset of these items, called equipment, can be physically worn or wielded by a character. Items are often magical in nature. Equipping such items often dramatically improve a character's stats, or provide special abilities.

Each piece of equipment is assigned to an equipment slot. Each equipment slot can only contain one piece of equipment at a time. Players equip items one of two ways: double clicking on the item in their inventory, or opening their character window and dragging the item to the appropriate slot.

onsumables are items that activate special effects as they're being consumed, hence the name. Most consumables are restorative items - items that instantly (or gradually) restore depleted character attributes such as health points or mana points. These come in very handy!

A special type of consumables inside WTF?! are thrown weapons that damage oponents on contact. Knives and bombs are good examples of thrown weapons.

there are three general methods for the player to acquire items: by buying or selling, by looting fallen enemies, or by completing quests.

Buying and selling items involves interacting with a vendor, where in-game currency is exchanged for various goods through a trade interface. Items that are no longer useful can be sold back to a vendor in exchange for in-game currency, usually at a significantly reduced rate. Vendors often sell consumables that a player character can purchase in bulk, and keep ready for contingencies such as critical injuries received during the course of combat.

n a CRPG, the player will often run into combat encounters that require defeat of hostile enemies in order to advance and/or complete quest objectives. During a combat situation, the player's goal is to reduce the health points of all hostile NPCs to zero while keeping their health points as high as possible.

The most direct method of reducing a hostile NPC's health is to perform melee attacks. As indicated in the character statistics section, melee attack damage is determined by the player's level and equipment. The player character, as well as certain NPC characters, can take advantage of restorative consumables and abilities to increase their odds during conflict.

layers can perform powerful special abilities, such as casting magical spells, in exchange for mana points. In WTF?!, spells and abilities that are triggered on demand are associated with one type of equipment: ability trinkets. Once acquired, ability trinkets can be re-activated as long as the player has enough mana points to fuel the trinket's activation cost.

As a side note, there are a subset of quest related items in WTF?! that can be activated like an ability trinket. These quest items are reusable like ability trinkets, but do not cost mana to use. Such items are often used to accomplish specific quest objectives, and therefore rarely stay in the player's possesssion after quest completion.

character is declared dead when his or her health points are reduced to zero. In many CRPGs death is semi-permenant: when the player character dies, the game session is over, and the player loses all progress up to that point and must continue from a previously saved game state.

To reduce player frustration, WTF?! incorporates the concept of respawning, commonly used for competitive multiplayer video games such as first person shooters. When the player character dies in WTF?!, an option is offered for the player to resurrect (respawn) at a specific spawn point. Thus the player can continue questing without any major penalty or loss of significant progress.

That's it for the primer! When you are ready, continue on to the game walkthrough to learn about how to control your player character and complete quests in WTF?!.

Note: This software is not officially sponsored by or directly associated with either the World of Warcraft developers at Blizzard Entertainment or their publisher and parent company Vivendi Universal.