When you first enter the game, take some time to become familiar with the screen layout, which consists of several key elements: the Control Bar, the Chat Window, the System Window, the Quick Bar, and the Target Window, as well as a Tip Window with useful starter information. Additional windows are available, but will be closed by default.
The Control Bar displays six icons in the upper right hand corner. Information on the Control Bar can be found in the DAoC Manual section entitled "Control Bar Panels?"
Text Window: Chat and System
The incoming text window serves two purposes. The chat window on the bottom displays all of the incoming text, such as messages from other players (whether public or private), broadcast messages, certain dialogue from NPCs such as shopkeepers, etc. The top part of the window (refered to as the System window or Effects window) displays messages from the server related to combat, spell casting, etc.
You can customize the incoming chat and message colors. For a complete description of chat options, see the "Chat?" section of the DAoC Manual.
The Quick Bar is used to engage abilities, spells, combat styles, macros and other things. For example, a Minstrel can use the Quick Bar to switch quickly between holding an instrument or a weapon, and an assassin can use it to envenom his weapons without having to drop the poison on the weapon. You can create a Quick Bar macro by typing /macro name followed by the command you wish to perform. For example, you could make a macro that assists Grond by typing /macro Grond /assist Grond.
Each Quick Bar has ten slots on it, which correspond to the numbers on your keyboard (the 10th slot is activated by using the 0 button). To use the Quick Bar, drag a skill, spell, combat style or item onto one of the slots, then press the corresponding number on your keyboard, or click on the icon on your Quick Bar with the mouse. The skill, style or spell may require certain circumstances to activate. For example, if you have no enemy targeted, you will not be able to activate a combat style or cast a targeted combat spell.
There are ten Quick Bars, for a total of 100 available hotkeys. To switch between Quick Bars quickly, hold down Shift and press the number corresponding to the Quick Bar you want to move to. You can switch between Quick Bars manually by clicking on the arrow keys to the right and left of the Quick Bar number. You can also create a macro to switch between quickbars by using the /qbar command. For example, if you want to move from Quick Bar 1 to Quick Bar 3, and back again, you can create a macro on Quick Bar 1 with this command: /macro Qbar3 /qbar 3, then a macro on Quick Bar 3 with this command: /macro Qbar1 /qbar 1. Place both of these macros on the same hotkey on each Quick Bar, and you'll have a fast, efficient way to switch between the two quickbars.
You can drag the Quick Bar to any position on the screen by clicking on the upper left hand corner and dragging it. You can alter it's orientation between horizontal and vertical by clicking on the circle on the upper right hand corner of the Quick Bar number display.
To remove a hotkey placed on the Quick Bar, hold down Shift and right-click on the hotkey you want removed.
The Target window displays information about your current target, as well as information about your current status. It will show your character's name, followed by three bars: health (red), power (yellow) and endurance (green). Beneath that will be displayed your current XP, then the name of the object or creature you have targeted, color-coded by it's relative difficulty to you.