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Have mercy on a less-than-beginner? I need to know where to start.

I am about 99% newb when it comes to this. I'm not asking anyone to spoon feed me, but I [italic]do[/italic] need someone to hand me the spoon. I am [italic]extremely[/italic] interested in creating an online game in the style of [link=http://www.starkingdoms.com]Star Kingdoms[/link], or [link=http://www.zelderex.com]Zelder Ex[/link], or [link=http://www.theninja-rpg.com][/link], etc... But have no idea what to do or where to start. I am willing to spend the necassary time to learn and create the website, and in my limited research I have heard that it can take hundreds of hours (especially when done by yourself). I have my own website which I have owned/run for 9 years now, but it is a WYSIWYG editor, and while I can use it to it fullest, it is simply not able to perform the functions I want. It's a simple website builder for "dummies" and I certainly fall into that category.

I have heard that the best direction I should go in would be to use Perl with a MySQL database. Ok... Well I can find and read Perl guides (I read the beginner's guide off of this site) but, well, what do I do with that knowledge? I can use Notepad to write the language, right? So I read some guides, get a better knowledge of the language, and then I paste it into this program? What do I do from there? Is that where the MySQL database comes in?

As far as those are concerned, well, [italic]what[/italic] are they? I've looked them up and I don't ever get a clear answer, just companies that want to sell one to me for whatever price.

So, from my limited research, I believe I need to learn Perl and get a database. Well then what? This is where I came to a [italic]complete[/italic] dead end. Embarrasingly enough, I do not even know how to get a website outside of the one I have (when I first got this website it was a free sitebuilder, so no risk was involved).

Aside from all this, if I were to go the route of paying someone to do/take care of all this for me, where would be a respectable place to find and hire a person, and what would be a reasonable price to pay?

Any help, at all, will be greatly appreciated!
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