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    Wyvern, the 2D fantasy MMORPG

    I originally posted this thread on the Ubuntu forums at Wyvern, the 2D Fantasy MMORPG - Ubuntu Forums. If you have any questions please ask in that thread as I will be checking it more often.

    Further note: This thread is just a rough guide to Wyvern. It is by no means complete. Please refer to the Player Manual at the official website for more details.

    Official website: Wyvern


    Wyvern is a free (with no advertising) 2D fantasy MMORPG which draws inspiration from DnD and NetHack. The games contains many features including character development via skills, exploration of (quite literally) 1000s and maps and questing.

    The game is owned and developed (along with others) by Steve Yegge (known in-game as the Arch Wizard Rhialto, R for short). His blog can be found at (

    Another notable feature of Wyvern is that, although it is not Open Source (for understandable security reasons). Anyone can contribute to the game by becoming a wizard (game developer). Wizards can contribute to the game by making maps, moderating player chat, making art and doing some minor coding (see the wizards section later for more details).

    It should be noted that non-wizards can also contribute to the game, although this is rarely done due to debugging concerns.

    Wyvern is built using Java and Jython. XML is used for storing details about some of the features such as items.

    A large amount of the processing is done server side (for security reasons), with the server being based in the United States. The exact game mechanics are (as far as I know) a secret known only to the Arch Wizards.


    The feature list of Wyvern is immense, with many wizards contributing to the game over the years, here is a small selection of the most significant I have picked out:

    1) Leveling.

    A character levels in Wyvern by gaining experience from killing monsters. Every level the amount of experience gained by leveling increases. However, if you die you lose 10% of your total experience (unless you train the spirit travelling skill).

    Upon leveling a character will gain 3 or 4 skill points (see the skills system), HP (health) and SP (mana - for spell casting). This makes a character gradually stronger.

    As a character grows in levels monsters gradually give less experience, and the experience required to level goes up, meaning that stronger monsters need to be killed in order to level.

    If you reach level 25 you are adopted into the Hall of Fame. You will automatically receive the title Hall of Famer when you next log in. If you complete a certain quest and gain a certain number of quest points (gained by completing quests) you can build your own customized image and ask a wizard to upload it for you.

    The highest level attained in Wyvern is currently 33. The record is currently jointly held by Slowlight a level 33 Halfling (Hobbit) Mage and Betty a level 33 Frost Giant Cavewoman.

    2) The skills system.

    Character development in Wyvern is very open, at each level you gain a certain amount of skill points that can be used to train skills.

    There are many types of skills but they can be roughly divided into four categories: melee skills, trade skills, magic skills and ranged skills.

    For more information please visit Wyvern and click on the Player Manual.

    3) The guild system.

    Upon reaching the 10th level players can opt to solve a guild quest (see quests section).

    If a player manages to complete his/her chosen guild quest (depends on the guild) they can join they can join the guild for a fee of 100,000 gold.

    Guilds give many advantages (in terms of skills, equipment, SP and HP) and some disadvantages depending on the class the guild is aimed at.

    Guilds include the Caveman's Guild (clubs and some unarmed), the Paladin's Guild (swords!), the Rogue's Guild (daggers and stealth), the Mage's Guild (magic!), the Ranger's Guild (whips and summoning), the Axeman's Guild (Axes and Smithing), the Monk's Guild (unarmed) and the Archer's Guild (archery).

    You do not have to join a guild if you do not want to, and there is no problem with doing that, however most people tend to end up in a guild because of the advantages.

    4) Quests

    There are many quests that can be done in Wyvern. There are strict rules governing these quests that disallow players from sharing knowledge of these quests with each other (read the player manual at the official site for more details). This means that the solving of quests is truly an achievement.

    Upon solving a quest a player gain quest points, used on the highscores and for gaining a custom image, and sometimes a unique item.

    Certain quests are also required to be completed for entrance into the guilds.

    Mini quests are small quests that are separate from normal quests. Rather than being listed on the website they are found via exploration. Mini quests do not give quest points, however they generally reward you with a unique item.

    Live quests are live events that are either activated by a wizard or automatically by the server. Automatic live quests generally happen twice a week. Wizard activated live quests happen less often, in no specific pattern. In live quests players compete against each other to win (generally by dealing most damage to a very powerful monster), the winner will sometimes be awarded with a very rare desirable item.

    5) Family game and social aspect

    Wyvern is a family game and there are very strict rules in place to keep it so. Foul language is strictly punished swiftly and effectively.

    Overall, this leads to a very relaxed friendly atmosphere that I would comfortable letting even a pre-teen play.

    Shout channels, which offer you to the ability to communicate to all other people in Wyvern, regardless of location are offered. This is the primary method of communication in Wyvern and also the most strictly monitored and controlled.

    Tells offer you the ability to say what you want privately to your friends, provided it complies to the rules and is in reason (i.e. insulting people is not allowed).

    Wyvern players are generally polite and friendly. This game has the best social aspect of any I have seen in my 7 years of playing MMORPGs.

    6) Races

    There are many races to choose in Wyvern. Each has their own specific advantages and disadvantages which make each good at certain things.

    Races include giants, dwarves, pixies, humans and many more. Consult the create character page of the official website for a full list.


    Wizards are the game developers/moderators that administer Wyvern. They enforce the rules and add content to the game.

    Wizards come in two basic categories: Arch Wizards and normal Wizards.

    Normal Wizards are just the average-joe developers. They can add the majority of content, however they cannot access the game core (which contains things like the skills system).

    Arch Wizards are the highest level of Wizard. Steve Yegge (the game creator), is himself the Arch Wizard Rhialto. Under Rhialto the other Arch Wizards are the highest authority in Wyvern (although you rarely see any of them these days). Arch Wizards can manipulate the game core. However, Arch Wizards must know Rhialto (Steve) personally.

    Wizards come in various levels which, they gain by making game content. The various levels of wizard have different administrative and development powers. A normal Wizard starts at Junior Wizard, and ends at Senior Wizard.

    Like players Wizards have strict rules that they must obey. For example, a Wizard cannot play the game like a normal player can, and a Wizard cannot help his/her other characters or reveal to players who there other characters are.

    It should be noted that non-Wizards can also contribute content, although this a rare occurrence as there are generally issues over who should fix bugs should they occur.

    Normal wizards become wizards generally by completing a 40ish map area with some customized objects/NPCs/monsters/terrain.


    Wyvern has very strict and sometimes strange rules. Please consult the Player Manual at the official website Wyvern before playing. This will result in you having a quality experience in-game, rather than running into trouble with wizard.

    It should also be noted that the Wyvern rules are a bit like laws, they can be interpreted in several ways that might not always be clear. If you are unsure ask players in the help channel (help <message>). If, after asking players, you are still unsure you should ask a wizard as the final word on this rests with them.


    Here are two screen shots. The first is one of me fighting a Demon Lord. One of the most powerful monsters that you commonly see all over Wyvern. The second is one of me getting killed in Blackrose Mage Arena by Grohl the archer, another player.

    Screenshot One

    Screenshot Two

    Game Client

    Wyvern is played using a Java based client. The main part of the screen is occupied by the graphical view of the game, below that is a description of your character and his/her notable attribute such as HP(health).

    On the top right side of the screen is a split pane, the right side of which contains a list of the items in your inventory, while the left side contains a list of the items lying under your feet.

    Below the split pane is a the chat box. All chats with players go here, along with communications from NPCs.

    Below the chat box is another box that shows your actions and the actions of things around you. Many things appear in this box, including combat messages and emotes.

    Finally, below the chat box is a command box that you can use to type in commands. However, the majority of players use the alias command to set the keyboard buttons to specific commands.

    The mouse can also be used to move around Wyvern.

    If you want to see the client I just described please consult the screen shots.


    To install it type the following in the terminal:

    Note: If you are not as Ubuntu/Ubuntu derivative user please type su and enter your password before doing this process. You should also remove the sudo from any commands where I have typed it.

    sudo java -jar install.jar
    This initiates the install GUI, I recommend installing it in the default location /wyvern/client as you get funny bugs installing it in other places

    After the install:

    Wyvern tries to read and write settings from its directory, which is owned by root, so if you try and run it as a normal user then you get some very annoying GUI bugs and the client will refuse to save your settings. Here is the solution:

    -- Note donkyhotay has pointed out that my original solution solution to the root problem was flawed. Here is his/her solution:

    In the terminal type:

    sudo chmod 744 -R /wyvern/client

    if you only want to use Wyvern on one account, otherwise type:

    sudo chmod 777 -R /wyvern/client

    -- End solution

    Now the game is installed you can go to Wyvern and create a character using the create character page in order to play (I recommend making a Giant, Dwarf or Rakshasa to start off with as they are the easiest races).
    Last edited by jaminux; 01-28-2009 at 01:27 AM. Reason: Updated the installer

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