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Celestalia's Challenge - A Maple Journal

Discussion in 'MapleLegends Journeys' started by HouseAuburn, Oct 10, 2020.

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    PART CLXXIX. Lions and Bears Not Included

    For some reason Celestalia got the urge to start campaigning early, even before dinner. Not that she needed to eat back at the inn. So she packed it. Leftover pizza is pretty easy to carry around, especially when it doesn't take up a spot in the actual game inventory. The Flaming Feathers she has do well to keep it fresh and warm.

    And so the weekend begins at...20:10!
    [​IMG]

    Despite Celestalia being somewhat rusty (not sure why), Hodori #3 dropped within ten minutes.
    [​IMG]

    By 20:24 the entire set was done already. So that's three cards in what couldn't have been 300 seconds.
    [​IMG]

    Without a doubt it's time to face Hogul. Now there are two portals leading out from this map. The one to the right goes to a map with ~3 Hoguls. That's not great. But I wonder if...
    [​IMG]

    Ack! This close to greatness.

    Well, how does Celestalia get a few more points of Jump...

    As she thought about it for a very long time, only one option really stuck out to her, which was to grind Orange Mushroom for Shoe Jump 10%s. But even getting one of those to work would take a miracle. After all, most shoes only have five slots.

    And after all, she really didn't want to mess with such low drop rates.

    So...suck it up I guess...

    To be honest Celestalia tried one last thing...getting a boost from being hit by the mobs. But that wasn't working either. She just wasn't getting enough height on the hit.

    Anyway, she does after all settle on Tiger Ridge.
    [​IMG]

    Actually the layout of this map is a lot easier than the other one that was only a few points of Jump out of reach. It's just a back-and-forth two platforms...kind of like the cactus farm!

    Well, Hogul likes to roar after getting hit...all it seems to do is inflict Celestalia with slow though...not even that much range on it.

    After only a few passes though, Hogul began getting rarer and rarer. Again, it's a case where a really dumb grind was going to happen.

    You know well by now what happens when Celestalia encounters a dumb grind. She changes continents, of course.

    Where is she going to end up this time? Find out in the next installment. Stay tuned!
     
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    PART CLXXX. Eye of Tortie

    The biggest part of where to go next for Celestalia is taking into account that she has only four more card sets remaining until the next ring upgrade.

    Seeing as how she is one card set away from a new region, and with Arrow Rain now firmly established in her battle tactics, it's time to see just how effective she is against:
    [​IMG]

    Malady's touch damage is nearly identical to that of Hodori. Well, they have the same Weapon Attack (170). So that's to be expected I guess. The problem here of course is that Malady is the kind of mob that flies all over you when they get angry, and Arrow Rain being so limited range as it is, Celestalia is burning through Ice Cream Pops like nobody's business.

    But the grind here is a lot more fun, and at the end of the day that's what's important.
    [​IMG]

    It's also pretty high up there on the XP rate.

    Celestalia picks up an Olympus, and suddenly this message pops up on the Nav:
    [​IMG]

    This interesting opponent turns out to be a giant Monkey.
    [​IMG]

    ...which Celestalia killed in four hits. That was a bit weaker than I thought he would be. Fittingly, the only reward of note was a Knuckle ATT 10%.

    So at this point the Rangemaiden has killed every single area boss of Victoria Island, aside from the big guy down in the Dungeon which she won't be getting access to for a very long time still. That's cool, but...well, Malady's card drop rate is not good enough right now to justify sticking around. Celestalia is taking too much damage.

    Shifting focus a bit, she moves to another mob that's been on the VI checklist for a while.
    [​IMG]

    That card was the first of two to come up in the first pass. So in the twinkling of an eye Tortie has three cards registered.

    Actually make that four cards, as #4 popped up moments into the second pass.

    King Clang also made an appearance but he was easily disposed of, and then Celestalia finally locked Florina away.
    [​IMG]

    I am confident she will not be coming back here again.

    All of that action concluded at just about the stroke of midnight. So Celestalia was content to just go to the Nautilus and tuck in for the evening while she figures out where to try next. The decision may not be as difficult as she thinks it is. Stay tuned!
     
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    PART CLXXXI. The Icy Underground

    Victoria Island is a place of many secrets. This, ironically, isn't a secret. But one of the things that has bewildered adventurers for years has been this service:
    [​IMG]

    To this day, the VIP Cab traps unknowing travelers in the confines of the Ant Tunnel, unable to fight their way free. Celestalia has ignored these guys to this point for two reasons: 1. She didn't have enough prestige to be considered a VIP, and 2. She didn't yet have access to the Ant Tunnel Park. Both of those issues have been cleared up and so, she can save a bunch of time and get down there for only 10k.

    After a few more maps, she reaches the blue tunnels. Despite things being quite chilly, she was fairly comfortable in the warm cotton fibers of the Choro.
    [​IMG]

    Cold Eye is the weakest mob remaining to conquer in Victoria Island. Who knows what defeating it might unlock. But with Drake also here, the Dark Willow is in play as well. Hence why it wasn't a difficult decision to come here.

    Again, Arrow Rain is making things far too easy.
    [​IMG]

    Not that Cold Eye is that formidable to begin with. It has 2000 HP, and uh, that's not all that much these days.

    First drop of the afternoon is another old friend.
    [​IMG]

    After that, Celestalia had to go and buy another row of Use slots since the inventory was being bombarded with skinny potions, Drake Meat and Drake Blood. That is the last row she can buy from the Cash Shop.

    Two Drake cards followed, before Cold Eye provided a Gold Nordic Helm.
    [​IMG]

    And then finally the Rangemaiden nabbed Cold Eye #2.

    After a bit more fighting Celestalia realized something. She was really tired of climbing ropes and remembered that there is another batch of Cold Eye somewhere else in the Empire. A place that is slightly more accessible, and has weaker mobs. And with Arrow Rain, it is very much possible to remain viable.

    So she went there, but before going in she decided to take dinner.

    When she did go in, she wasn't disappointed.
    [​IMG]

    Well the first thing that happens is she gets a second Red Distinction.

    Then a Red Shadow.
    [​IMG]

    What is pretty neat here is the fact that you don't have to go across the entire tree to get the Cold Eyes to come back. 2-3 platforms of Curse Eye is enough. That means Celestalia is by far more efficient here.

    Well even with all of that, it still took, eh, I'll call it 15 minutes to get the third card.

    Give it another 15 or so for the last two. :cool:
    [​IMG]

    That unfortunately is all the time Celestalia had for this session. 118 card sets sorted, two more for Emerald. Those last two card sets could come from the exact same map...Celestalia has been meaning to check up on those two lads for a while. Although she did want a few more levels of Arrow Rain before she got back there. Oh well, what can you do.

    Coming up next Friday on Celestalia's Challenge, the single biggest test for the heroine's potion inventory in this campaign. Well, she has Elixirs in the four digits now. I doubt there will be much of an issue.

    See you then!
     
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    PART CLXXXII. Thighbone Thursday, or, Kneecap Recap

    Celestalia isn't exactly a stranger to playing on Thursday, but special goings-on prompted the early start. Except unlike last week, this time it wasn't gaming-related. What was I doing last week? Well, beating Astroneer, for one. Felt like I should keep going while I had the momentum.

    Alright so, back to the campaign! For this weekend, Celestalia decided to tackle these fine fellows in the catacombs.
    [​IMG]

    Arrow Rain works even better than advertised, even if Celestalia is taking a lot of damage. But honestly, the Watermelon stack has been holding up a lot better than I thought it would. What helps there is that once the skeleton at the top of the steps is defeated, the Rangemaiden can snipe from there with AR and all is comfy-cozy.

    The first card wasn't all that far behind.
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia actually had four cards from these guys within about seven minutes. That's absolutely insane, but, Arrow Rain has been absolutely insane. Sadly, only the Beige Patriot would have been of any utility to her from the drop table, had she not gotten it already! I hope Officer Skeleton isn't as stingy.

    Meanwhile she did find a few things. So first is an equip she's seen a few times already.
    [​IMG]

    Black Basile knows how to get around, it seems.

    Second drop was this sweet Overall, a Blue Tai.
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately a worldwide magical disruption prevented Celestalia from actually picking it up. Good thing it went away shortly though, as she was on a roll. Especially XP wise. Getting Level 73 was definitely on the table.

    Strange how the camera still works through a disruption. Man, it gets short-circuited by poison mist, but a giant rift in the magic-space-time continuum? Nahhhh.

    Alright anyway. Celestalia then gets a very special card!
    [​IMG]

    This is her first entry in the Aqua tier! How riveting! Knowing she has territory in the back half of the Monster Book really puts things into perspective as to how far she's come.

    In celebration of this feat, Skeleton Soldier decides to gift her the last card.
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia left at this point to do a quick survey, and maybe see if she could find a map with just Officer Skeleton. She actually made it pretty far:
    [​IMG]

    Well as it turns out they aren't the only skeleton on this map.
    [​IMG]

    Ah yes, the dreaded skeleton cavalry. As painful as they are to deal with in Minecraft, I should have expected they would have had some special abilities. First, they hit like a truck. Try in the 500s. The one time she got smacked, it was for 572. That's bad, but not perhaps as bad as this:
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia takes 200 damage every few ticks while in this poison cloud. Good thing she's a ranged character! Although...if she attempts to spam Arrow Rain in trying to hunt something from them later, that's not apt to end too well. Arrow Bomb absolutely will be the way forward there. Can't do poison if you have mushrooms floating around your head. :cool:

    [Editor's Note: Do you think maybe Strafe would be even SLIGHTLY better...]

    As you might anticipate she didn't stay here all that long, and went back to the Camp. Soon she had three more drops, along with another Officer Skeleton card. Only three more cards and the fourth tier MBR is hers!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    ...Wait a moment...what's that?
    [​IMG]

    Ohohohohohoh! A new glove has entered the tournament!!

    Okay, so it's not a very worthy glove by any means. But...
    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah, and I guess Celestalia still needs the Dark Willow. And a Garner. But hey, what's a couple points of DEX anyhow? Especially when she just got five more!
    [​IMG]

    Also of very high import, besides the fact that Celestalia is now indisputably my highest-leveled character of all time: Arrow Rain's damage went from 85% to 100%. Tonight's session is going to be quite enjoyable for that reason.

    In the next installment, Officer Skeleton guards the path to the Emerald ring. Will Celestalia emerge victorious once again? Stay tuned!
     
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    PART CLXXXIII. Emerald

    It is still very apparent that Celestalia's available mobs to conquer are slim. If not slim, at least wildly inefficient. Good thing she still has three equips to pick up, and none of them have been too keen to drop! But that's a story for another time. I believe the optimal path lies in trying to land Officer Skeleton, then Malady, then Mu Lung. So Celestalia has time. Quite a bit of it, especially today, as Minecraft discovered a severe security issue. As a precaution, I've decided not to touch that for the weekend and focus efforts here.

    Not that she wasn't already going to get first priority. MapleF17

    So first up, an Emerald Hildon Boots.
    [​IMG]
    Huh, these look familiar...wait a minute, doesn't Thief have a shoe exactly like this? Uh-oh, looks like someone reused their pixels...

    This was about 15 minutes in and Celestalia was already above 5%.

    Well it's a good thing the Hildon Boots were green, because Celestalia definitely didn't want to see another green iteration of this guy.
    [​IMG]

    Oh and fantastic news! Celestalia made up for that dastardly magic yesterday FoxXD
    [​IMG]

    Well with that settled, the Rangemaiden decided to take a break from the skeletons and go visit Malady for a while. And she had just reached 58 million, so decent place to stop for now I guess.

    Right now Celestalia is holding on to 48 Watermelons and 1,076 Elixirs o_o

    Before she could get started though, Celestalia had to wait for the drops to vanish. Seems a few other people have been looking for Faust. Seems strange that it didn't happen the last two times she came here.

    Anyway!
    [​IMG]

    With the improved Arrow Rain, results were quite speedy.
    [​IMG]

    But then Celestalia stopped for a snack break. Or perhaps it would be considered lunch? Eh, who knows.

    Coming back it was now 17:30, and after some more positioning Celestalia finds herself with an Olympus.
    [​IMG]
    She also got a Rower from Zombie Lupin :3

    Then a Black Jangoon Pants. Despite not looking terribly dark, they still require 20 Fame. Literally all they do is give 10 MP! Who would want that??

    Around the same time, Celestalia records a new Top Hit of 3438. By the way, her damage range has at last broken the four digits. Well...only if she doesn't use Soul Arrow. With Soul Arrow active the max damage is 998 :facepalm:

    OH LOOK LOOK!!
    [​IMG]

    The Crystal Flower Earrings!!! Ohhhhh man, that is a WICKED time save! Now she doesn't have to go to Grupin!

    Then Celestalia picks up the third card. Two to go for both Tier 4 and Mu Lung!

    But Malady had another spell up its sleeve:
    [​IMG]

    Did I preempt this with my comment back at skeletons? Sometimes I swear this game is sentient. Whatever. Moving on.

    Anyway you slice it, Celestalia is getting to see a lot of Malady's drop table before she even is able to.
    [​IMG]

    The Sapphire Slain is a mid-tier Level 50 Claw. Kaloichi recently got 50 and was able to equip his Dark Slain which he picked up in a very timely fashion from Master Chronos. Decent scrolling on it too! Don't remember the weapon attack but it was pretty high. Also significant because it was the claw owned by his grandfather, Tefiza, of whom he's trying to put together the final outfit. The fire extinguisher guys in Singapore drop both Level 60 Scorpio pieces. I doubt Celestalia will get there in time to help, but you never know.

    Celestalia did pick up the fourth Malady card right after this and while there isn't anything else she can pick up, it is notable that Malady drops the Asianic Bow. I don't think she would have switched over from Mossy Mushroom to try it though even if she knew about it.

    So she was really hoping for a timely last card, and believe it or not, it was almost immediate!
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia is going to Mu Lung! But first...
    [​IMG]

    An upgrade is in order.
    [​IMG]

    Oh Rino, you have no idea just how huge of a turning point this may turn out to be. Depending on how Mu Lung goes.

    This time, he needs an Emerald. So in the midst of selling her equips, she gets that refined and cabs over to Lith to get the goods.
    [​IMG]

    That's a magnificent bonus. 100 HP and 50 MP additional! Oh and - the extra stats puts Celestalia's damage with Soul Arrow at 1001! FoxF2

    When she finished unloading, Celestalia was over 59 million mesos, and surely the bounty of Mu Lung would push that even higher. She wasted no further time embarking on the ship to Orbis.

    In the next installment, Celestalia makes her first visit to the land of pandas, bellflowers, and animate training equipment. Stay tuned!
     
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    PART CLXXXIV. The Plunge Into Mu Lung

    [​IMG]

    The trip cost 6,000 mesos. Celestalia didn't really balk at the price, but still strangely expensive for what's usually considered a middling region. At least Singapore has a reason to charge exorbitantly.

    However, when she landed, the views were more than worth it.
    [​IMG]

    And what's more, Mu Lung had no qualms about letting Celestalia stay at the local inn, or at least what looked like one.
    [​IMG]

    So maybe 6k was reasonable after all. But the real test will come with the mobs. First up are the ones inside the temple, which Celestalia had already been briefed about some time ago.
    [​IMG]

    Card #1 was pretty much immediate.
    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah: The panda-looking one is a 'Master' dummy which was defeatable once Celestalia signed her name on the Practice Chart. It also dropped a card, but since it's a farm-prevention mob and has a 3h cooldown, it's technically considered a boss and won't be required to progress.

    As a completely flat map with weaker foes, it's fun to fight here, and Celestalia is landing tons of White and Blue Potions. Significant when she's down to her last 33 Watermelons.

    First drop of this session is the Level 50 Buck. Good sign!
    [​IMG]

    Then the second card drops, all the way on the right tip of the map.

    The next two cards were trivial. However, only seven equips get dropped by Straw, one of which is the Green Lumati which she already knew about.

    Either way, a pretty good start to this region! The set was cleared in less than half an hour.
    [​IMG]

    The next map could be skipped since the Wooden dummies don't appear on the bottom floor. Celestalia can sweep them instead at:
    [​IMG]

    Which also has a ton of rest platforms. That's pretty important, because despite being not much higher level than their Straw cousins, they have a surprising amount of Weapon Attack.

    Otherwise, not too tough.
    [​IMG]

    The second card was pretty prompt also. After that the rate fell off dramatically, and Celestalia ended up taking a medium break when she got 1/3 of the way through the level.

    She returned around 01:30 and landed all three remaining cards in like ten minutes.
    [​IMG]

    Awesome, truly awesome. Well, that's it for this side of the town. Just these two! And for doing that, Celestalia might have enough prestige to sell Etc. drops! To be sure though, she should get a few more maps conquered. Good thing the first few maps on the west side are quite easy. But before doing that, she decided to turn in for the evening.

    Oh, drop table? Uhhh. Can you even call it a drop table? The stuff ranges from 25 to 70, and the 70s are of very questionable value. The only thing Celestalia got off of them was the 25 (Silver Windshoes).

    Celestalia wasn't sure if she wanted to go out the next day. Ultimately she decided not to, as she was pretty exhausted from being hit around so much on Thursday and Friday.

    The forest is up next for the campaign. Will Celestalia's shock-and-awe conquest of Mu Lung fully get underway? Stay tuned! And/or have a great week! Preferably and.
     
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    PART CLXXXV. Let's Conquest! Mu Lung Edition

    Welcome back! Despite not having the energy to venture out on Saturday, Celestalia got a significant amount done last week. Besides landing the Tier 4 ring, which is big since she will soon be transferring to Elixirs full-time for her potion needs, the Rangemaiden managed to clear out the temple's measly two dummy card sets.

    West of Mu Lung is another story entirely. In that direction lie seemingly boundless forests and mountains, with countless flora and fauna to explore. Only one member of the crew has ever been out that way: Sirbeg. And that was an entire year ago without him actually having killed anything.

    In other words, Celestalia is going in completely blind. One thing she does know: The first mob to conquer is the weakest of the bunch, and sits neatly in the middle of the Lime tier.
    [​IMG]

    Not the toughest things around. Celestalia is easily capable of OHKO with Arrow Blow.

    Maybe two platforms in, the first card appeared. And a Blue Starlight to boot!
    [​IMG]

    Ah, you might be wondering why there's a different Etc. drop there. There are some red-tinted porcupines patrolling the map. Not that tough either.

    They also don't appear at the bottom, and so aren't necessary to move on.

    Actually, the whole map is a treat. There are three main platforms, and below them is a safe spot with a teleporter back up to the top. Good times for Celestalia. SlimeCool

    Celestalia got three Chipmunk cards, and then Red Porky decided to chip in.
    [​IMG]

    Then the last two dropped as a tandem.
    [​IMG]

    One map down already! Even better, Celestalia was free to pass the next one too, there was nothing at the bottom.

    Which takes her to...
    [​IMG]

    The aptly-named Black Porky soon found its way into the Monster Book too.
    [​IMG]

    Just to be doubly-sure, Celestalia went back to Sky Forest Train (the previous map) and did one circuit. There was still nothing at the bottom, so it looks like she's good to go.

    Black Porky then dropped a second card, so Red Porky might end up being the last of the three.

    The third one then...landed behind a tree. MapleF3

    So it looks like all of the Porkies' Etc. drops revolve around textiles. Understandable since they do have so many needles. Looks like it's Mu Lung's primary industry. Celestalia definitely can respect that.

    After a decent delay, Black Porky drops a fourth card. Nothing so far has had any notable equipment. Will they be different?

    Well, no. The Olympus and the Dark Piettra set are both there, so cool I guess. But, ya know, a bit late for that guys.

    So time to move on from that one.
    [​IMG]

    With having two card sets and three maps down on the left side, Celestalia did enough to be able to sell Etc. drops in Mu Lung. That was lucky timing, as her Etc. inventory was just about up to the brim.

    So is Red Porky actually a required set? Maybe not, but Celestalia wasn't going to pass up such easy pickings. So back to The Train for the final stretch of this opening period.
    [​IMG]
    Not terrific timing on the camera here. Can't win 'em all, I guess.

    Well, for not being a required mob, Red Porky is not being very easy to deal with! The second card took a good 10~12 minutes after Celestalia came back to the map.

    RNG being what it is of course, they have to prove me wrong and yield a third card in like 2 OnionPanicky

    Once Celestalia got into a decent platform pattern though, the rest of the card set was okay...HAHAHAHAA no. No it wasn't. Don't get me wrong, Red Porky was dropping a lot of green things! The problem was that they were all DEX crystal ore MapleF5

    So it took until 04:20 thereabouts for the cads to finally deliver.
    [​IMG]

    Actually that was only a smidge over two hours into the session. Back when Celestalia started she was regularly pulling 4-5 hours a night, sometimes more. But that's what you've gotta do when your best weapon is Level 15. Not to harp on the Composite Bow, it served her well for several months. It's just so good to have somewhat up-to-date weaponry.

    These lower card sets may not in themselves have a lot of value, but picking them up means Celestalia gets that much closer to one that is. Also: She's already 1/6 of the way to the Tier 5!

    In the next installment, the drive to Herb Town continues. Stay tuned!
     
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    PART CLXXXVI. Go West, Young Rangemaiden

    Considering that Mu Lung Garden is the easternmost region on the 'official' world map (China, Zipangu, Thailand, Masteria, Singapore/Malaysia, and Taiwan not being on there...Masteria though is probably west of Vic), the title of this entry could be read as incredibly ironic. But Celestalia's knowledge of geography works on basis of portal placement, not orientation on the world map. And there's a while to go before she rounds the bend on the way to Herb Town.

    Protip by the way, for anyone who doesn't know: On the region map that you get to by clicking 'World' on the minimap, right-clicking zooms out to the entire world map. Don't know if this works in Zipangu or any other area that isn't represented.

    The first map west of the boundary contains these serpentine creatures with funky vibes.
    [​IMG]

    One of the red ones dropped a card, and it was so fast that Celestalia didn't even get to take a photo. Now that's funky! Not in a good way.

    At least Blue was cordial enough to follow decorum.
    [​IMG]

    The second Red card dropped shortly after. I don't think their card set is required to advance though. Blue definitely is.

    20 minutes into the sesh, Blue tied it at 2.

    And then something pretty cool happened. Black Porky dropped a Bow ATT 60%! Did it work? Well, before I reveal that, a quick check-in elsewhere. So earlier today, Celestalia asked Aescalloss and company to sort out the storage a bit. They did that, and then Celestalia sent her Gach tickets to Aescavon. He has highest priority at the moment due to still needing the Level 70 Overall (Linnex). Obviously Celestalia didn't have that luxury for Athena, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't. Also, the Gross Jaeger he had was pretty poor (78 Weapon Attack).

    So to that effect, he did two things: First, he used a leftover Red Whip and did the Legendary Spirit quest. One of the places you need to go to get scrolls from that is Tulcus in the Kerning swamp. So...since he was in the area already, Aescavon decided to check for Dyle in the off-chance he could land a better Gross Jaeger.

    As a matter of fact, that's exactly what happened!
    [​IMG]

    So how much did he improve the Weapon Attack? One point. Woop.

    Well, good thing he had 19 Xbow 60%s on hand, because he decided to throw the lot at it. And this resulted:
    [​IMG]

    That went extremely well. I honestly thought the seventh could work too, but a 13% chance is good RNG enough. I'll gladly take it.

    Yeah, today seems to be a good day for 60%s.
    [​IMG]

    So the Bow of Magical Destruction is essentially max Weapon Attack now. Artificial, yeah, but the extra 2 points are the same either way.

    At 04:20 (~50 minutes in), Blue dropped #3 after a lengthy interlude.

    While Celestalia was waiting for a new Top Hit, which she believed was inevitable, she got her first drop of the evening. It's a Cat's Eye. Big yawn on that one.

    Red then came back to make it 3 all, and soon followed up with a fourth! They drop...five equips. None of which are Bowman. Okay, maybe the other side of the gulch will be more promising...
    [​IMG]

    ...on second thought, maybe not.

    Later on, Celestalia saw some guy with a scythe...jump into a pile of rocks. Well the region map does say there's a second path...maybe that's it? Once she finishes the Blue card set, she'll go check that out.

    Shortly thereafter she ran out of Etc. space once more and went to store some things and sell, and that put her above 60 million.

    It was another long delay until the next card, which was provided again by Red. So that set is finished.
    [​IMG]

    The set Celestalia didn't need to progress, naturally. Well thankfully, the fourth Blue card was right behind that. It was worth the wait - look at this!
    [​IMG]

    It took nearly two hundred posts, but Celestalia finally has access to a Cape!!! HUZZAH! Now to actually get one...?
    [​IMG]

    Oh, yeah, there you go.

    The Cape came at a fairly hefty cost, as Celestalia finally used up the last of her Watermelon. But that does free up a Use slot. Everything...okay, most things've got an upside.

    Stats on that guy are 9 Weapon Defense and 16 Magic Defense. Considering Celestalia will be needing the MDef more in the long run, it's not a big deal either way.

    Celestalia took the liberty of throwing a bunch of scrolls at it, because why not when she has kept some of the scrolls in question for a year plus. The ones that stuck were 2 DEX 100%s and an MP 60%. The bonus 10 MP increases the power of Red Bean Sundae by a smidge, so that's much appreciated by the Rangemaiden.

    At 06:15 - nearly three hours having elapsed, and still without the final Blue card, well, this is a pretty good indication of how long she's been waiting for it.
    [​IMG]

    Arrow Rain now deals 115% damage on a range maximum of 1046. Things are going to snowball pretty quickly...

    But not today. Celestalia was just about too tired to go on for very much longer. And the Etc. inventory was full again.

    Unfortunately, Blue Flower Serpent got away and will have to be taken care of next week.

    As this Friday is Christmas Eve, Celestalia will be going out early again. So I expect them to be very quickly wrapped up then.

    Take care and see you then! And don't forget to track Santa's journey through your local continental aerospace defense organization!
     
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    PART CLXXXVII. Tidings of Cards and Joy

    Ah, Christmas Eve. Often considered one of the longest days of the year, mostly because when something exciting is going to happen soon, time slows down dramatically. But that's actually perfect for Celestalia, it means she has that much more time to conquer for the Empire!

    Given the unusual nature of the day, Celestalia was up...extraordinarily early to get going. 11:30 was the rough starting time. That is definitely a first for the campaign.

    The first step is to deal with the last pesky Blue Fl-
    [​IMG]

    Well THAT WAS EASY.
    [​IMG]

    I'm not joking, this was the very first one she killed.

    So the first thing to do is check out the rock. There were bears behind it!
    [​IMG]

    They are certainly a step or two up from everything she's faced so far.
    [​IMG]

    When they get hit, they get mad and start running really fast. So they can scritchy-scratch the competition, of course.

    Going on the main path, Celestalia got stuck in the middle of a peach orchard with reindeer and monkeys prowling about.

    They were even tougher than the bears! So it was decided to stick with the Grizzlies.

    That turned out to be a pretty darn good decision.
    [​IMG]

    There are also a few sniping locations.
    [​IMG]

    It didn't help that much with mob throughput, but the card rate didn't really need the assistance anyway. By 12:00, she already had three cards.

    The fourth card didn't take long either. Unfortunately no drops of note for the Rangemaiden, but Kaloichi would love it here. There are three equips he could use, all three of which he either could wear immediately or needs to complete the 'Ancient Thief' outfit (i.e. what my sin from 2009 ended up with).

    Grizzly was ultimately put away at 12:13.
    [​IMG]

    To the next map! Celestalia's next opponent is...
    [​IMG]

    Panda. Yep, just Panda.

    The game continued to be generous.
    [​IMG]

    This second map has the bears divided into many small platforms, and then some gullies at the ground floor. It's interesting, I'll give it that.

    The map already being unfriendly to bowpeople, Grizzly still being more proliferate than Panda didn't help matters. But the card rate wasn't terrible.

    As for equips, well, the first one came down at 12:37, an hour in roughly. But Celestalia approved!
    [​IMG]

    Another cape?!!? Well, this one is Level 60, so she still needs to find a Justice Cape lying around somewhere. She checked the entire Green tier and some of Lime, and didn't locate one. But it turns out that Moon Bunny also drops the Blue Adventurer Cape...yeah I kind of missed that completely. >_<

    Welp, you're welcome Kaloichi.
    [​IMG]

    That's a really good Oaker Scorpio Pants too. Max LUK (3), Max Avoid (2), 2 off from max Def (41).

    At 13:00, Celestalia stopped to grab breakfast. Half an hour later, she nabs an Orange Tai straight out of the break.
    [​IMG]

    At 13:52, she gets the fourth Panda card. The frustration continues...Panda's only useful drop has already been obtained. They do have the 70 Pirate hat...but Erenell won't be getting to 70 for quite some time I reckon.

    Oh, and Steelies? Cool I guess?

    The set got finished right after that, and the fifth card dropped simultaneously with a Rare gacha. Nice!
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia surveyed the rest of the branch. Well, it's mostly Panda from there on out, but on the last map she got a bad vibe. A big bear probably lived there, but fortunately she didn't see it.

    In the next installment, Celestalia takes on the Peach Forest. Stay tuned!
     
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    [​IMG]
    PART CLXXXVIII. The Mu Lung Pay-ch-wall

    [​IMG]

    I thought Lupins were as annoying as monkeys were going to get in this game. Well, Lupins don't throw peaches at you that do over 250 damage a pop. Ugh. At least these are avoidable. Sometimes.

    Arrow Bomb helps a ton at keeping damage relatively low, but she is still taking more here than everywhere she's been, aside from maybe against Athena.

    The Reindeer actually have the worse attack, they summon an ice circle above that slams down for nearly 300 damage. Well, it could help if Celestalia had better earrings. Hint hint.

    She used about 12 Ice Cream Pops, which didn't take that long, before realizing that this is probably not a good area to be right now. Arrow Rain needs to get slightly more powerful before she can properly deal with things.

    So it was back to Orbis for the Rangemaiden. Now what to do? Well Victoria isn't very promising at the moment...so I guess it is in fact time to hunt the earrings again from Cellion. And this time, she's got a bit of an audience!
    [​IMG]

    Celestalia summoned her this time, not the other way around. Hikaria was weirded out as to why Celestalia was on the cloud without having actually died. But, Celestalia has a great many abilities no one can even fathom, like going into the Cash Shop and buying a dress.

    The golden thing on Hikaria's arm by the way is a Stellar Seraphim. That's her weapon. It's actually a paint brush. Well, that's LUKless mages for you. MapleF3 And definitely Celestalia has seen a few strange weapons from them in her time. But look who's talking, she was using the Gold Surfboard for much of that map. Times have changed for sure.

    While Celestalia stopped a few times to chat with the Cleric, overall it didn't take that long. The Earrings were the second equip she got!
    [​IMG]

    Hikaria also got a card out of it, so not entirely wasted time.

    Nice! One more equip to acquire...yes, you guessed it: the Dark Willow.

    On the way back to Victoria, Celestalia gives some sage advice to a Thief who was doing some quests. She seems to know a lot about that...despite not actually having done any quests really.
    [​IMG]

    As I said, the Rangemaiden has a great many secret skills.

    The sell-off put her fairly close to 62 million, and soon it was off to the Drake Hunting Ground.
    [​IMG]

    It's about time to see how much Arrow Rain speeds things up.

    The first drop here came pretty fast.
    [​IMG]

    Next, the Maroon Moon.
    [​IMG]

    And a Dark Avarice.
    [​IMG]

    I figure with as fast as these are coming, if Celestalia rolls the dice enough times she ought to get it shortly.

    Drop #4 was a second Umber Shouldermail, and #5 a second Maroon Moon. #6 was...another Maroon Moon! A little variety, Drake, if you please.

    Finally at #7 a new thing, Umber Shouldermail...Pants.
    [​IMG]

    Ooh, and this is entirely new.
    [​IMG]

    First Anakarune of the campaign! Celestalia picked up the Male version a page ago.

    Then Celestalia lands a Helmet INT 60%...a really good seven-figure scroll. Like, at-least-six-million good. Almost without question the single most valuable drop she's ever received.

    And then she gets another one.

    So...well, it's a 36% chance. But if Celestalia lands both on the Rudolph Hat right now, she'd have 20 INT. Here's the problem: That's including the Ring of Melodies, which expires in two weeks. Celestalia might not even level once by then. Which means the tangible benefits of landing both are extremely low, when she could use them as a bargaining chip with the Auburns for something more substantial.

    Thusly, instead of throwing them away on that, Celestalia picks up a Sai and then goes home for the day.
    [​IMG]

    No Dark Willow once again, but Celestalia isn't that mad, as Drake is a fairly good source of Elixirs. Her total at the end of this session is 1,151. Better yet, she'll be getting even more tomorrow.

    Well, enjoy the good tidings of Christmas, and presents if you were better at Maple than I am this year. In the next jolly installment, Celestalia attempts to get the only thing remaining on her wishlist.

    Stay tuned!
     
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    [​IMG]
    PART CLXXXIX. The Most Willowful Time of the Year

    Merry Christmas to you! For the second Yuletide in a row, Celestalia is off doing challenge-y things. Assuming this doesn't take forever and a day, which the Dark Willow has already done so far, she might even log off in time to have dinner with Erenell and crew at the Nautilus.

    Last year, the prize course of the feast was roasted boar. This year's main entry of choice is, naturally, Rotisserie Drake!
    [​IMG]

    So, today's roster of equips starts with...

    The Eagle Crow.
    [​IMG]

    Followed not terribly shortly after by another of these guys:
    [​IMG]
    "Behold! I am the Ghost of Christmas Very, Very Ancient Past..." -Drake

    And the second Anakarune of the campaign...
    [​IMG]

    A Sai...and then another thing she didn't get yesterday: the Vaulter 2000!
    [​IMG]

    At least all the equips so far are unique.
    [​IMG]

    Of the entire drop table, which is 18 equips...a significant amount, but I think Celestalia is missing only a couple. The Gold Moon Shoes, the Black Green-Lined Shoes, the Brown Moon, and naturally, the Dark Willow are all that haven't been seen yet.

    Celestalia then picks up a second Sabretooth, before deciding to take a fairly lengthy break, and/or a nap. For that reason she actually popped into the FM. Doesn't hurt anything, she was already on a safe platform and with full HP and MP. She only stayed a half an hour before deciding to just go back to the Nautilus and sleep there, at least before dinner was served.

    The Rangemaiden definitely underestimated how much food was going to be at this thing, because soon after she was out cold. She didn't actually wake up until 02:30. In other words, a fairly standard session time. Her stomach was a bit upset but she was otherwise okay, and she did end up going back to Drake one more time to get that friggin' Glove.

    Within five minutes of going back, she had a Dark Avarice.
    [​IMG]

    And a matching one for the other arm dropped soon after.

    Celestalia picked up her sixth weapon in a row (yes, really) by landing another Sai. Then her seventh!! - another Eagle Crow. Goodness gracious Drake, ease up on that! I say again, some variety, if you please.

    Well finally that streak broke at 03:30 when she got an Umber Shouldermail.
    [​IMG]

    ...OHO!
    [​IMG]

    Nah, sadly not the Willow. But I love to see two equips drop from the same enemy. And they were the two pants? Out of 18 equips...what's the chances of that!

    To counterbalance that very low odds, Drake gives Celestalia yet another Sabretooth.

    That was unfortunately the last equip of the weekend. Not the last drop though - Celestalia landed a third Helm INT 60%!!

    Combined, Celestalia didn't really hunt for much longer than usual. It just felt longer due to her being even slightly under the weather. These things happen though, and she was rewarded significantly for her discipline. She's approaching 65 million mesos, and while she can't sell the INT scrolls, even just having them makes her feel luxurious.

    So what's the big takeaway from today? Well, I guess the most important lesson is...eat your fruits and veggies.

    With Drake still not wanting to give up the Dark Willow, and Celestalia's options elsewhere being pretty slim, it'll be difficult deciding what to do next weekend. Fairly normal procedure for this time of year though, isn't it.

    On Friday, 2021 draws to a close. Will Celestalia end the year with a bang? Or will her efforts once again prove futile? Have a terrific week, and once again, Merry Christmas.
     
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    [​IMG]
    SPECIAL XVI. The Sands Have Shifted

    Celestalia usually doesn't pay much attention to her Empire's news publication, The Celestial Signet. It's written by a low-level staffer on the Nautilus, well, okay, a team of low-level staffers. They have a lot of heart, she'd admit, but there's not usually much in there that she doesn't already know.

    What is very much true, though, is that these guys are very good at geography. As all pirates must necessarily be; and so they occasionally dig up a beautiful gem of a story that happened to hit their ears before those of the Rangemaiden.

    And on very special occasions, they dig up the Maple equivalent of the Cullinan Diamond. This was one of them.


    THE CELESTIAL SIGNET.

    News From Around the Empire.

    - 27 December 2021 -
    50 mesos


    LARGE SANDSTORM OVER ARIANT NORTH.
    'Storm of a century' wrecks havoc on trail to Magatia.
    May dramatically impact trade and transportation.


    It is well known around our Empire the hardiness of the peoples of Nihal, but that reputation was sorely brought to the test yesterday evening, when a powerful gale wrought a path of destruction across much of the region's center.

    Thankfully, that area is not highly populated, but it still serves as a significant lifeline of trade in the Desert, particularly for the alchemists of Magatia, who have little other way to export to the outside world.

    The storm lasted nearly eight hours, and with its conclusion came sweeping changes to the landscape in what the Empire knows as 'Ariant North'. The changes were surveyed by a number of crews this morning, and by a few adventurous individuals later on in the day. One of our associates was the first to scope out the new scenery, Ms. Hikaria Aetherin, as she attempted to acquire some card sets from beyond the imperial boundaries.

    When asked on the location of the infamous 'Desert Giants', Ms. Aetherin claimed that she did not see any of the hulking silicon beasts along the newly-cleared route.

    [​IMG]
    CAPTION: The current imperial boundary is visible roughly four maps north of Ariant. The storm primarily affected areas on and north of the boundary.

    An official Imperial survey is yet to be conducted, but we at the Signet are confident that it will produce some profound results - and potentially allow our forces the ability to march straight into Magatia without much resistance.

    ~~~


    "Well well well. Hikaria did a thing!"

    Celestalia leaned back against the wall her bunk was situated on as she continued staring at the map of Nihal.

    "Why is she being so helpful as of late?"

    If there was one mystery she continued to rack her brain to solve in vain, it was the girl from above.

    If she really was from above. But in a way, this was some type of divine intervention.

    Celestalia decided that working out Hikaria's actual origin could wait for later. Until then, there was half a region to conquer.
     
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    PART CXC. The March to Magatia

    It's uncanny how many times Celestalia has been bailed out of a seemingly impossible situation along the course of this campaign. That's not the last time I'm going to say that, probably. But it begs the question: Where is Celestalia going to go after she gets done with this? That might be a while, naturally, but once Magatia gets wrapped up (or 'mostly' wrapped up - I'm unsure what the highest mob there is), she's right back where she started.

    What is true is that Nihal had to be taken off the checklist at some point. Now it can be!

    Of course Celestalia wasn't about to let the guys who previously blocked her path get off scot-free.
    [​IMG]

    Especially when she can OHKO them consistently.

    But they aren't just dropping sand...they also drop...snow?!
    [​IMG]

    Oh, it's just an Omok piece. Random but okay.

    Celestalia didn't get on the board as quickly as she would have liked, but it didn't take too long in any case.
    [​IMG]

    Her fears were assuaged when the second and third cards dropped back-to-back.

    And the fourth card also didn't take very long. No surprises in the drop table, but there was a cape, had she known about this earlier they might have been the ones to provide it. But she doesn't have any drops yet anyway.

    Not that there was much time to find anything, as the fifth card was right on top of her.
    [​IMG]

    Now she can move on. So what lay beyond the sunset?
    [​IMG]

    Uhhh...scorpions with bandanas. Alrighty.

    Before she could truly get started with this, an Assassin came into the map. She switched channels and things got properly underway, but she had to leave behind a Mithril Ore in the process. That hurts, almost as much as the time there was a White Potion in the middle of Henesys. Hey wait, that was the very first entry in the journal, wasn't it? Man, that feels like an entirely different character at this point.

    As Scorpion is in the Orange tier, there's not much really to say. Just spray arrows and see what RNG does. And RNG did quite a bit.
    [​IMG]

    Ah yes, the Christmas Points have returned. And since Celestalia is over Level 70, while she doesn't get anything from Santa, she can participate in the Winter Raffle! Every 100 points gives her a roll on what could be a splendid item. There's bound to be something in there she desperately needs.

    Hey, anyone ever play Pitfall, the original one? Jumping over Scorpions was something every skilled player had to master.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The timing windows seem to be very close to each other. Pitfall Harry just needs more HP!

    Anyway, as expected Scorpion didn't provide much resistance.
    [​IMG]

    Neither did these moles promise to provide any.
    [​IMG]

    Although with the presence of Scorpion things will be a bit slower than so far today.

    The Rangemaiden was growing a bit impatient, but then got a nice break with the first two cards popping up right after one another.
    [​IMG]

    The next three cards were also not terrible :cool:
    [​IMG]

    Now the map that this took place in actually has two offshoots. These dead-end maps have one final mob, that being Dark Sand Dwarf. Celestalia could easily take this guy out if she wanted, but decided instead to head into Magatia and see what she could find.

    But she was comfortable enough to leave that for even the next day, and as long as she got a room somewhere in town that would be sufficient.

    Then she remembered that her Etc. inventory was not going to last for very long if she tried that, and went back to Orbis. Luckily, unlocking Magatia also unlocked the Camel Taxi, so she didn't have to walk all the way back to Ariant.

    Celestalia didn't know whether she felt like going back out later. Maybe considering the year was changing, she wasn't really wanting to spend the celebrations mucking around in alchemy labs.

    Although there are worse uses of your time...maybe.

    In the first installment of 2022, Celestalia takes on the strange machinations of Magatia! Stay tuned.
     
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    PART CXCI. Let's Alchemy!

    Happy New Year everybody! Welp, Celestalia couldn't resist the temptation, and so here she is nary an hour after the calendar change (server time, anyway) to continue the path of conquest for the Celestial Empire.
    [​IMG]

    Such an unusual city nestled at the far end of civilization, Magatia is dominated, as it has always been, by the grand alchemist societies of Alcadno and Zenumia. So what is exactly the difference between the two? Well, from what I could gleam from this pile of sentences that seem to form some kind of exposition, the Alcadnians are attempting to create mechanical life forms, and the Zenumists are...not doing that, but instead just sticking to using modern science to do better alchemy.

    Celestalia likes the Zenumists more, because first off there are already tons of mechanical life forms out there...Robos in Ludibrium, Sentinels in Orbis, heck even the training dummies at Mu Lung Temple could be considered mechanical in a way of speaking. So are they actually doing anything useful over there? She wasn't sure. Second off though, Zenumia's research into creating better potions has great effects for everyone's quality of life. At least, she thinks they're doing potions.

    Not that it matters; eventually, both laboratories will be under full control of the Empire OnionMuha

    Well she didn't see anything that went against her theory when she walked in to one of their laboratory rooms.
    [​IMG]

    Those saplings in a bottle move, by the way. So I guess Zenumia managed to make life without needing large mechanical thingamajigs. Take note Alcadno.

    First card came after a few passes through the room.
    [​IMG]

    Progress was a bit slow, but steady, for a while, and then somewhere around 02:10 the card rate ramped up considerably. Soon, Celestalia had a total of five cards - four of which belonged to Cube Slime, and the last Rumo.
    [​IMG]

    But she doesn't have to stay in this room for Rumo. The one right next door is full of them.

    However the sixth card also belonged to Rumo. And it was only after that that Cube Slime finished up.
    [​IMG]

    So as I mentioned, Celestalia just went back out into the hallway and entered the next door down.
    [​IMG]

    Things got going here quickly with a third card, but the Rangemaiden's efforts completely stalled after that.

    I write that above passage and pretty much immediately the last two cards drop MapleF3
    [​IMG]

    After that Celestalia wasn't sure where to go, so she basically explored every room in the institute. The second floor is quite a bit more difficult, so she stuck to Room 103, which contains these racks of three Rumos.
    [​IMG]

    The room is filled with chalkboards just like those, filled with intricate details of the Zenumists' inner workings. Celestalia would have studied them a bit, but nothing on the boards made much sense to her.

    Instead, she focused on the combat, which was lackluster. Triple Rumo doesn't even hit as hard as a regular Rumo, and still gets OHKOd by regular arrows. Odd.

    So the first (and last) thing that happens in 103 is:
    [​IMG]

    And that puts Arrow Rain at 10. Any more would have raised its MP cost to 23, which is not good. Instead, the Rangemaiden puts the extra point into Mortal Blow. I reckon that gets maxed first, and then Strafe. Strafe obviously has a lot of potential, but it's a very long-term investment and right now it'd be a waste of SP. Celestalia's fighting style owes itself more to close-range abilities and area control, even against mobs with higher HP (where Strafe shines).

    With the level, she pulled out and went to the town's local inn, which was quite a substantial place! With two card sets in tow, she had no problem getting a spot.

    In the next installment, Celestalia tries to finish the Zenumist 1st Floor and perhaps will take a look at the other laboratory as well. Stay tuned!
     
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    PART CXCII. Racks and Rocks

    Now at Level 75, Celestalia is slowly turning into an unstoppable force. There are many high-powered mobs she will soon have to contend with, but I am slowly growing confident that she can handle them.

    I was maybe a bit hasty last time saying that Strafe would be delayed. There is definitely a possibility that she can use Strafe earlier than I'm anticipating. It all depends on how fast the card sets for Magatia/Shanghai/Zipangu (hint hint?) drop, and whether Drake finally lays down that Dark Willow.

    Prospects elsewhere remain understandably slim. Although I bet Eos Tower would be somewhat bearable now.

    First step in all of that though is handling Triple Rumo.
    [​IMG]

    And after just 1% and change, Celestalia was on the board.
    [​IMG]

    The second card took not nearly as long, but the third card put the average back at ~1.2%/card.

    Card #4 was at right before 6%. Around the same time, Celestalia posted a new Top Hit of 3489. She had a 3460 yesterday too, just forgot to mention it >_>

    Triple Rumo drops the Red Willow, which is neat, but it won't be dropping since there's only one card left. So I'll stick to Drake. :p

    Before the last card dropped, Celestalia did end up breaking the 3500 milestone! The hit was for I think 3514.

    All in all, not even 10% was spent getting this set.
    [​IMG]

    After exiting the institute, Celestalia was able to turn her Flasks and Gelatin over to the local clerk, Jerry, and having passed 100 Christmas points hopped over to Happyville to play the raffle.

    She wasn't disappointed with the result!
    [​IMG]

    The INT +5 is awesome, but by the time of Celestalia's next session, the Ring of Melodies will be just about up. So the max INT she'll have is 17.

    I'm still wondering whether to use the Helm INT 60%s. I don't think it's worth it for the moment. I'll at least wait until the raffle is over.

    So it was now time to head into the Alcadno Institute. Unlike Zenumia, Alcadno was pretty creepy. And the creatures within it? Also pretty strange.
    [​IMG]

    But this was Celestalia's favorite mob yet. Why? They drop Elixirs!

    And also cards.
    [​IMG]

    A second card soon dropped, and the Rangemaiden was growing very excited. What helped things was that Iron Mutae somehow had even worse defenses than Triple Rumo; Celestalia's Top Hit was constantly growing. By the time she got card #3, it was at 3587.

    The last two cards were fairly simple to acquire,
    [​IMG]

    But there was a problem. Celestalia's equip inventory was almost maxed out. I haven't been talking much about them at all because she's mostly been getting 30/35/40 stuff. Although Iron Mutae was much better - Celestalia got a Green Maro and Green Plasteer, both 50s, from them.

    So she went back to Victoria to offload. And she decided to stick around for the week as she figured out whether she wanted to continue with Magatia or switch to something else. In doing so, she got to 66 million mesos - and Erenell got a shiny new overall.

    That is probably it for this weekend. I feel like Celestalia is now fully primed to take on a few stronger mobs in Victoria and other areas. Can she continue her success? Find out in the next session! Until then, have a wonderful first week of the year!
     
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    Sprawl Orange Mushroom

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    7:52 AM
    Are you aware that on avarage, level 1 strafe does significantly more damage than level 20 arrow blow (because of how the critical hit mechanic works)?

    It might not have as much knockback capability, but basically, level one strafe is roughly (50% + 0.4*100%) * 4, while arrow blow is 250% + 0.4*100.
    that’s a potential 20% increase in average damage per cast. Might be worth putting in that one point.
     
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    HouseAuburn Capt. Latanica

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    This is very true. And in a normal setting, Strafe would absolutely be worth investing in as soon as possible. What makes the decision here a bit more difficult is that Strafe is 26/32 MP per cast, compared to Arrow Blow which stays at 14 for the remainder of the campaign. It being a 'cheap' skill which, when Arrow Bomb isn't efficient, can keep tougher enemies staggered has pretty immense value for Celestalia. That limits Strafe to being a situational skill, at least until it gets into the double digits when it consistently will do more damage than Arrow Blow, not just on average.

    Although, with her having something like 1,200 Elixirs, all of that is close to becoming a non-issue. And I most likely will start adding to Strafe anyway. Celestalia will need a fairly good Strafe if she's going to be regularly going against Aqua-tier+ mobs, which could be the case in the next couple levels.
     
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    HouseAuburn Capt. Latanica

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    [​IMG]
    PART CXCIII. A Surprise Assault!

    There's been something in the back of Celestalia's mind, constantly nagging her, ever since she left Magatia. It was the sense that...she was wasting her time lounging around! The Winter Raffle is one of the greatest opportunities she's ever had to increase her stocks in this adventure, and she will barely even get a piece of it.

    It didn't take long before she resolved to change that. And quickly.

    Celestalia started the evening at Drake, around 01:30. She didn't stay long, just until she got one drop (and Kumbis). The drop was a Sabretooth, which at 100k more than paid for the cab rides she had to take to get down there.

    She then decided to trek over to Ludibrium, thinking that she could use this 'off' time to try to clean up some of the walls that have been blocking the Imperial forces for some time.

    When she got on the boat, there were two friends! A Level 55 Bandit, Kohi, was taking her friend Annue, a new Assassin, to Ludibrium for the first time. How exciting! So the three had a lovely chat as they went on two rides together.
    [​IMG]
    Celestalia was entranced by the Harp Seal. He can talk! And he was adorable doing it SlimeGrin

    The Rangemaiden gave the Kumbis she had just received to Annue, and provided some big tips on where to get more Claws. The two soon found themselves at Teddies, which conveniently drop the Steel Avarice...well, hopefully they get better luck on the stats than Celestalia did when she was there.

    In the meantime, Celestalia went down to Master Robo.

    I don't think the mechanical misters were expecting her!
    [​IMG]

    That card dropped at 02:23, which was maybe ten minutes in? But get this...the cards didn't stop there.

    Master Robo #3? Four minutes later.

    Celestalia, naturally, kept going, and aside from getting a Red Amoria Skirt and a Jeweled Katar, wasn't finding much else to show for her efforts. That was until 03:02...when the fourth card dropped.

    She was positively stunned. Master Robo had been one of the biggest blockers for practically ever. Or at least it seemed that way. Actually, the first card was only obtained in late August. But she has been back like 2-3 times without having gained anything from it.

    And now she was just one card away from locking the entire upper half of the Clocktower away.

    Actually, Celestalia wasn't the only one with a surprise result today. Hikaria has also been storming her way through the Monster Book, and in maybe three days? She picked up 10+ card sets to vault all the way to the Tier 2 ring. At Level 46. That's remarkable. Consider that Celestalia leveled to 46 during the Battle of White Hat Run; Jr. Wraith, her opponent there, was her 34th card set. And I said way back in the beginning that Celestalia would get card sets faster than just about everyone.

    Hikaria must be destined for something truly grand. Whether Celestalia knows it or not, the two women are going to be intertwined for a very long time to come...

    So, did Celestalia actually clean up Master Robo? The answer...unbelievably, is yes. The last card was about 15 minutes later.
    [​IMG]

    Fairly lucky only one of those landed behind a pillar. ANYWAY! The Upper Clocktower is finished! And that means Deep Ludi is unlocked. Celestalia will be the first of my characters to challenge the difficult monsters that lurk within. But that won't be until this weekend. Until then, there's a bunch more she can do. Helly, Hogul perhaps? Maybe try Mossy Snail for its Dark Willow instead? Which one would get her the most Christmas points? Hmm.

    If something else notable happens between now and Friday evening, another entry will be in the works. Either way, don't touch that tab! The Celestial Empire is on the move, and it doesn't seem to be applying the brakes.

    Until next time!
     
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    HouseAuburn Capt. Latanica

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    [​IMG]
    PART CXCIV. Total Maplortion

    Celestalia has seen a great deal of strange things in the Maple World. There was not much, however, to prepare her for the dreamy, or perhaps twisted if you prefer, landscape that hung at the bottom of the Ludibrium Clocktower.
    [​IMG]
    I call it the 'Mystic Temporia'.

    She seems happy, but once she gets into it with the mobs down here, her expression will change in short order.

    Probably.

    So there are two ways to go, and each way has different mobs. Going right is a large chasm full of teddy bears with an ethereal thing coming out of them. The left way was slightly less insane, and Celestalia could snipe the first guy from the opening platform.
    [​IMG]

    So she picked here. You can probably tell from the HP bar that Buffy (and its purple brother, Lazy Buffy) are a mighty step up from upstairs. It giving 460 XP and 340+ mesos was another decent sign.

    Celestalia knew she had to take things very slowly if she was to eventually get out in one piece.

    The Buffys both carry a simple magic zap kind of thing that deals a bit over 300 damage. That's manageable. But there was a big problem. The map had just not enough mobs to make anything worthwhile. Arrow Rain suffers too much HP loss, and Arrow Bomb isn't efficient.

    Yeah, this is exactly the scenario I mentioned up above:
    So Deep Ludi will have to wait a bit. In the meantime, Celestalia is more than happy to try cleaning up the smaller enemies, like:
    [​IMG]

    Which is where she wanted to go in the next outing anyway.

    Once again, she made the right call!
    [​IMG]

    She celebrated the new listing by grabbing a snack, and was inside for a good 45 minutes. It was another 40 minutes until the second card dropped.

    But, in a strangely common twist of RNG, the third card wasn't even ten minutes behind.

    Celestalia stuck around for another 40 minutes, which put her at about 03:45. Not terribly late, and well, she didn't actually want to leave. But...well, she had little choice after this inventory resulted:
    [​IMG]

    Yeah! It turns out Chirppy and Helly are somewhat of an equip factory. And there are some quite good ones in there - Red Maro anyone?

    The Rangemaiden eventually made it back to Victoria Island, and when she got to Perion encountered a figure she thought she recognized from somewhere...
    [​IMG]

    Actually, after a lot of conversation it turns out the two have quite a lot in common! They're both very much vagabonds who didn't fit in with their motherland. The Metal Lord's 'mother dimension' being Earth of course. But actually, he's being very helpful and doing tons of quests! And as for Celestalia, she's found a whole new family too. So do either of them really not belong anymore?

    Who knows. But in any event, Celestalia gave him a bunch of equipment and her Sniper Potions. She ends the evening just shy of 67 million mesos...and a few words of wisdom courtesy of music's most mysterious genre.

    "Alright my dude, well good luck rocking."

    "The same."


    After Celestalia returned to the Nautilus, Aescalloss acquired her Gachapon tickets and landed a Clean Slate 20%. Actually, he got a 1% too...but the 20% is an eight-figure scroll. So that was pretty darn neat.

    In the next installment, Celestalia tries her hand at some of Victoria's fiercer enemies. Stay tuned!
     
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  20. OP
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    HouseAuburn Capt. Latanica

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    12:52 AM
    [​IMG]
    PART CXCV. Chaos Reigns

    Nestled in a small corner of the Perion southern valleys, a peculiar breed of walking dragon stalks the land.
    [​IMG]

    The attack is pretty unique among Drakes, in that it can be dodged. I don't think Ice/Dark Drake's can, but I haven't really worked with them close enough to confirm for sure.

    Still, it's the most devastating attack Celestalia has faced outside of Athena, dealing in the mid-300s.
    [​IMG]

    However the fireball moves slow, and doesn't have that much range to it. Plus, if the Red Drake dies before the fireball hits, it does no damage or disappears altogether.

    [Editor's Note: Yes I did mean an actual attack. I know Commander Skeleton's touch damage is way more.]

    Celestalia starts the evening by getting a Red Calas, from Copper Drake which is also here. Then she nails a Fire Boar for 3650, before activating the Drake boosts. In case you were in doubt as to how much time she's spent trying to get the Dark Willow, Celestalia started today with 57 Drake Bloods and 71 Drake Meat.

    Right after she did that, the first card popped up.
    [​IMG]

    So the first thing that Red Drake itself gave her is:
    [​IMG]

    Yeah, not impressive.

    Well the Metal Lord isn't the only one getting gifts from Celestalia. Erenell will have waiting for him a Red Barbay, again from Copper Drake, who is being very generous. The Christmas Points were also coming in spades. That was the Rangemaiden's other goal for the evening, to get to 100. I doubt she'll have much issue with that.

    Card #2 dropped right after the Barbay.

    If there was any equip to cancel the deal between Celestalia and the Auburns, this one ought to be it.
    [​IMG]

    The Dark Seraphis! Aescalloss spent absolute ages here searching for it. He didn't manage to get it, though, before one Narelion contacted him about getting it from Gachapon. Celestalia actually met him - the day she made her 2nd Job Advancement, he was hanging out at HHG. She hasn't seen him since though. Her camera appreciates that at least! I hope Commander Skeleton's poison attack doesn't end up doing the same thing. With the power of Strafe on her side though, that won't be much of a problem.

    Red Drake #3 got registered on the tail end of that, and then Celestalia finally hit 100 points. So she immediately withdrew to Perion to see what the raffle would get her. Not like it was far, DV2 is three maps removed from town.

    Okay anyway. So what I'm really hoping for in this raffle is one of the chairs...there are three of them or so, and - here's the kicker - all of them restore MP. That's actually not a big deal nowadays, it would just mean Celestalia doesn't have to farm anymore. But she hasn't had to ever since the Summer Event anyway. It's also nice to be able to sit down and have both HP and MP recharged!

    So of course, having a chair in her heart, Celestalia gets...
    [​IMG]

    Ahhhhh. Game, never change.

    Well it was pretty obvious that Celestalia wasn't going to roll on possibly reducing the stats of any equipment. So, she decided to trade in the scroll for Prestigious Coins. But that had to be done in Henesys, and there was other business afoot.

    What was the other business? Well, as Celestalia was reflecting on the amazing roll she just got (not that she was notified about it in chat, strangely enough), someone with a very similar name popped in.
    [​IMG]

    Celeste is a Crossbowman, but she's also a fan of the journal! That's a pass no matter what job ;) The two traded Fame, but not before Celeste congratulated the Rangemaiden on the CS.

    Right after, an aspiring Cleric entered the room and asked the two if they could fund a Plain Robe for him. Celestalia volunteered to buy it for him and had little trouble convincing Flora and Serabi to sell her one. She also took the opportunity to drop off her Calas and Seraphis, which was worth around 14x the price of the Robe. So that worked.

    The two met back up in the Free Market, again where Celestalia isn't really supposed to be, but again nobody seemed to care. She then got into a discussion with some nearby marketgoers about the advantages and disadvantages of LUK vs. LUKless. Since she knows one of each, she thought she could make a good argument. But there's no disputing the numbers. She'll really see when Hikaria gets to 3rd Job just how powerful LUKless really is.

    Going back to the battle site, Celestalia lands a...

    HUH?!!
    [​IMG]

    All the Bowman equips Red Drake could have had and they go with the exact same thing Skeleton Officer has?!?

    Well good news at least. This Blue Eyes has DEX +3. But Min Weapon Defense.

    It's even more disappointing too because Red Drake has a massive drop table.
    [​IMG]

    28 equips. Four scrolls, and Steelies. It's insane. YET, there's only one thing Celestalia can even get out of them at this point, the Red Gaia Cape (Level 65) which she can't even wear yet because of the stupid Justice cape not being on the radar.

    The Green Gore Boots are DEX-focused, at least.

    Needless to say, she wasn't sticking around any longer than she needed to.
    [​IMG]

    And that finishes the Green tier for Victoria Island!...Shade notwithstanding of course.

    With having gotten two Bowman equips (the other was a Heckler), Celestalia did make it to Henesys and turned in the scroll for a 'Mysterious Coin Pouch 5' which she threw in the storage. She then promptly went to the Auburn residence and talked with Sirbeg about the possibility of finally getting the Blue Potion Chair which was briefly mentioned in the original contract. That was bold. Very bold. But after placing a call to Aescalloss in Ellinia (why are either of these guys still awake at this hour?), the two thought the pouch was worth enough to let her buy one. And it wasn't like NX was much of a problem anymore for the Auburns. That seemed to be the main reason why she couldn't have it earlier.

    As the Assassin was the one who originally wrote the contract, Sirbeg tried to call Kaloichi's place too, but they didn't pick up. So, under his authority as head of the House of Auburn, he officially signed off on the chair.
    [​IMG]

    What a great way to end the page.
    [​IMG]

    That's a huge load off her shoulders. Again, it's not nearly as valuable as it might have been before, but it will be a huge time saver going forward. It means Celestalia can be slightly more aggressive and not have to worry at all about running out of pots. With 1,266 Elixirs though? Not going to happen for a long time anyway.

    AND she still has over a stack of Ice Cream Pops and Red Bean Sundaes. Each.

    She might only have picked up two card sets this week, but the future seems brighter than ever! What shenanigans will she come upon on Page 13? Find out this Friday, or possibly sooner, when Celestalia's Challenge resumes! Have a great week!
     
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