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Odd Jobs Community Thread

Discussion in 'Community' started by deer, Jan 7, 2021.

  1. Slime
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    Slime Pixel Artist Retired Staff

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    Slime / OmokTeacher
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    Flow
    Shorter entry this time around, jam packed with interesting stuff though!
     
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  2. OP
    OP
    deer
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    deer Pac Pinky

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    Oddjobs
    I was surprised to see that this entry was shorter than usual! It felt pretty long to me, so just as a sanity check I went to find out exactly how long it is. The actual raw text itself (i.e. the Markdown) is around 79KiB, according to ls. To see exactly how this compares to other entries, I wanted to see the size of the other entries, in order, so I ran:

    Code:
    find . -name "README.md" | xargs ls -lh | awk '{print $5}' | sort -h
    …At the root directory of the rangifer’s diary repo. This gets 86 results (85 diary entries, plus the very short /README.md that describes the repo as a whole), and the end of the output looks like:

    Code:
    45K
    45K
    45K
    46K
    48K
    49K
    50K
    50K
    52K
    56K
    58K
    58K
    59K
    62K
    62K
    65K
    69K
    70K
    75K
    77K
    79K
    360K
    
    As you can see, this latest diary entry is actually the second-longest one yet! And the 360KiB behemoth at the end there is, of course, the diary entry with the “cervine’s Theme” section!

    So if this diary entry seems short, you probably just missed most of it :p
     
  3. Slime
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    Slime Pixel Artist Retired Staff

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    10:28 AM
    Slime / OmokTeacher
    Beginner
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    Flow
    Damn no idea why it felt shorter, glancing through again it doesn't seem like I missed anything.
    Oh unless you mean the sections that weren't posted on here. That's probably it.
     
  4. lv1crook
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    lv1crook Capt. Latanica

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    1
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    Yeah there are a lot of long sections that are only on codeberg for this entry
     
  5. Charles
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    Charles Pink Teddy

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    Feb 2, 2015
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    Ga
    3:28 AM
    I'm back with a new odd job, and to my knowledge the first of his kind.

    I give you... Tubes. The Pure Dex Page that's weapon locked to tubes.
    Screen Shot 2022-05-07 at 12.09.47 PM.png

    It was weird swapping to a lower attack weapon at level 10 than my Maple Island weapon. Alas, had to stay true to the name and legend.

    Screen Shot 2022-05-14 at 8.21.53 AM.png

    Made it to 30 and advanced with a decent gacha pull on the way back from collecting marbles which was great since besides a couple items I'm not giving this character any mesos.

    Stay tuned for my tubular very Odd adventure.
     
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  6. Charles
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    Charles Pink Teddy

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    Feb 2, 2015
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    Ga
    3:28 AM
    New beachy tube-like nx, level 40, start of a new shield, new weapon <3. Week 1 has been a success.

    Also, lend me your useless items: tubes, 1h BW scrolls, shield str scrolls cape str scrolls! (jk, I will obviously pay)

    1.png 2.png
     
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  7. OP
    OP
    deer
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    deer Pac Pinky

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    Oddjobs
    (You can also read the original diary entry here (mirror). If odd-jobbed characters interest you, you should know that Oddjobs is recruiting!!)

    rangifer’s diary: pt. lxxxvi

    Victorious Island

    To date, I have never been a victim of accidentally getting stucc in the APQ entrance…! Well, until now, on my vicloc dagger spearwoman d34r >w<

    [​IMG]

    Talk to Amos one too many times, and poof! Sticked!! Eventually, HolyJuice and I were able to put together an APQ party and get on with it, but still… ’Twas embarrassing…

    Meanwhile, on my vicloc clericlet d33r, I joined a very special Fitness event! It was very special because it was the actual worst possible Fitness event. With the addition of invincible Stirges to each map, it became effectively impossible to know where your character was, due to all of the people falling down, due to the Stirges’ extreme bullying:

    [​IMG]

    A participant by the name of GenjiDeflect aptly summed up the experience:

    [​IMG]

    Eventually, the GM who hosted the event took mercy upon us and killed all of the Stirges. It was after this point that people started actually finishing the event at all:

    [​IMG]

    I’ve no clue how Holidays managed to do this Fitness in only 11:20, but I also wouldn’t be too surprised if Winterein was the last person to finish… So, no SoS after all of that effort >.<

    In other news, I did some sadgrinding at FoG on d34r… And hit da big level 84~!:

    [​IMG]

    My OPQ mule sets is really enjoying the free leech :]

    Oh, yes — another GM event. But this time: Ola Ola! I had never done Ola Ola before (that I can remember), but I had Harlez (VigiI) on voice chat explaining to me how it works and trying to give hints. Ola Ola is largely a game of luck. It proceeds in a series of stages, each one larger than the last. Each stage is a JQ map (so no mobility funny business; everyone is stuck at 100% SPEED & 100% JUMP), and furthermore, does not allow jumping. The only things that you can do are walking left & right, and climbing ladders that you are directly beneath/above. Walking left versus walking right, and choosing to climb one ladder rather than another, constitutes choices made to navigate this labyrinth; at the top of each stage is a row of many portals, but only one of those portals leads to the next stage! The rest only lead to the bottom of the current stage, forcing you to start the stage over.

    As a result, because the labyrinth is to a great degree randomly determined, Ola Ola ends up being largely a game of luck, as I mentioned before. However, some strategy can be employed: collusion helps in solving the maze more quickly, as getting hints from your fellow conspirators (e.g. “the second-from-the-left portal in stage 2 is fake”) helps narrow down the possibilities. Furthermore, you can use /find to try to track fellow competitors and check whether or not the portal that they just went in is fake.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, Harlez actually managed to place in the top three, and claim a game cash prize! I was not so fortunate, but with info from him, I finished not so far behind. So I still got an SoS!:

    [​IMG]

    Meh.

    d33r also did some HOT VICTORIA ISLAND QUESTING, including the King Clang questline. The first three quests just ask for 50 kills of each of the main three Florina Beach species: Lorang, Clang, and Tortie. Sounds easy, right? Well, maybe not so easy for a vicloc clericlet…

    I donned some physical attacking gear and my trusty Sweet Fork Cake, so that I could throw Ilbis at these annoyingly sturdy little crustaceans (and reptiles):

    [​IMG]

    Along the way, I even managed to get one card! Impressive, considering how long it takes me to kill just one of these little shits:

    [​IMG]

    Eventually, after many stars thrown (and a fair number of Magic Claws slashed), I finished the requisite 150 kills…!:

    [​IMG]

    Now it was time for the big finale: actually killing the King Clang. I fully expected this fight to be miserable for d33r, but with a Wizard Potion or two, it wasn’t so bad!:

    [​IMG]

    Get absolutely REKT, King Clang!! >:)))))

    As usual, I did even moar APQing on d34r… Including with hermit trishaa (MatchaLattes)! We did one such PQ where everyone was crying about having no “attackers”, so I politely informed them that anyone can be an attacker! Just press the attack button!! So we killed the Grog anyways:

    [​IMG]

    In another run with trishaa, we were being led by Timbaland, who guessed (incorrectly) during the second stage that the combination would be 131 (read: [1, 3, 1]), and sent out a map effect to pre-celebrate:

    [​IMG]

    Ouf.

    When vicloc I/L mage Vicloc (Cassandro, Copo, Celim, Sommer, Fino, Gets, Schiller) went to Someone Else’s House to farm some Fairy cards, he was surprised to see a Mushmom actually spawn! He called me to come help kill it, so I got a sweet MM kill out of it B)

    [​IMG]

    …Plus a few more that I found when scanning the other channels :p

    d33r continued her EPIC VICLOC QUESTING journey by doing the next quest in Muirhat’s questline: Eliminate the Drakes! I knew that this one was going to be super difficult for d33r, so I waited until I got GM buffs to do this one…:

    [​IMG]

    And again, to my surprise, I actually managed to produce a card, even at the rate that I was killing these things o_o

    [​IMG]

    This quest only requires 50 Ice Drake and 50 Drake kills, but it took up the first 45 or 50 minutes of my GM buff! Still, the EXP is joocy~

    [​IMG]

    Yay!!! :3

    And finally, I have a very special announcement to make. After quite literally months of obsessively checking for Fausts every day, I have finally accumulated enough to finish d34r’s shield! And what’s more — it’s perfect!!!!!!!!:

    [​IMG]

    F55555555555555555555555 I AM THE MOST EPICEST @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    The shield pictured above now stands as my single favourite item in all of MapleStory.

    rusa busca tarjetas

    I may not be the fastest card-hunter in all the land, but the card-hunting never stops with me until all of my characters have a T10 ring!! In other words, roughly the year 2200!!!! And so, my darksterity knight rusa is back at the Eos Tower once again, to hunt some more clockwork critters.

    I started by finishing up the classic Ratz:

    [​IMG]

    …And Black Ratz sets:

    [​IMG]

    Then, I headed a bit further up the tower to the sixth floor, to hunt the Tweeter* set as well:

    [​IMG]

    Normally, hunting these cards from flying monsters can be pretty damn annoying. But I allowed myself to spend a few Honsters here and there so that I could rawr my way to victory. :]

    I headed two floors up to enter the Hidden Tower and fight some oversized LEGO™ golems for their sets. Not pictured: the King Block Golem set:

    [​IMG]

    While I was there finishing the Block Golem and King Block Golem sets, I ended up with one Rombot card, as well…:

    [​IMG]

    But the Rombot will not fool me this time! I learned my lesson last time, on my woodsmaster capreolina!! rusa will remain at 1/5 Rombot cards forever!!!

    Yet further up the Eos Tower, on the 22nd floor, I hunted the rather exotic King Bloctopus for its set:

    [​IMG]

    Three floors further up, I hunted the Planey set as well:

    [​IMG]

    And, while I was at it, I went further up to the 41st floor to finish the Bloctopus set that I started when hunting the King Bloctopus set:

    [​IMG]

    And finally, I stopped my Eos Tower card-hunting journey — for now! — at the 58th floor, hunting all five Propelly cards in this godforsaken map where you cannot actually see anything:

    [​IMG]

    It was only on the fifth card that one actually dropped in a place that I could screenshot! F3

    *Not to be confused with Twitter™.

    Woodsmastering

    I did a lot of woodsmastering in the Crimson woods on my woodsmaster capreolina, hunting such creatures of the forest as the Headless Horseman and, especially, Bigfoot (a.k.a. BF, a.k.a. Boyfriend).

    Here, we can see capre in the middle of clearing all eight channels of The Evil Dead — all of which had live HHs — with F/P archmage 2sus4u (uayua, shadowban, tb303), and sniper Level1Crook (Lvl1Crook, xXCrookXx, Macer):

    [​IMG]

    At our level, a single HH doesn’t offer much. But clearing eight of them in quick succession ain’t half bad EXP!

    After a while, and after some grinding at Gallos, capreolina finally hit the big level 135~!!!:

    [​IMG]

    LET’S GET IT @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ IT’S TIME TO GRIEF SOME ZAK/KREX/SCAR/TAR runs!!!!! :p

    I did some duo BFs with 2sus4u, and tried out a quick & dirty @dpm 5 test:

    [​IMG]

    Alright, 66.3M DPH, not bad. At that rate, I could solo a BF in just half an hour! ;]

    And I did some Rāvaṇaing/Pepper Latticing with pog shadower Harlez (VigiI) for even moar EXPs:

    [​IMG]

    Back at the Crimsonwood Forest, I had some toements with Level1Crook…:

    [​IMG]

    …And got to fight BF with hermit trishaa (MatchaLattes) for the first time!:

    [​IMG]

    We tried BFing at The Evil Dead…

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, this is pretty typical in setting up for an Evil Dead BF kill. After some Safety Charms later, we did manage to get a stable pin. As you can see in the image below, Level1Crook’s duty is to keep the Elderwraiths at bay, maintaining the integrity of our pin:

    [​IMG]

    :3

    le Temple du Temps

    Meanwhile, my darksterity knight rusa has only just started the Temple of Time questline. Eventually (and I do mean eventually…), rusa may one day fight the pink legume… but not if I don’t even have the ToT quests done!!

    So I was assisted by shadower Harlez (VigiI) in completing these quests; first, I had to finish up the Memory Monk kills that I didn’t already have from the previous event’s raffling system:

    [​IMG]

    With those 999 kills done, we headed to ML2 for 999 Memory Monk Trainee kills!:

    [​IMG]

    And with those 999 kills done, I will be moving on to ML3 to fight gassy armour guys next time!

    Along the way, I’ve so far gotten one free card set, which is nifty! Hopefully we will see rusa getting further along in this questline in the future……

    Empy queue

    I did a handful of MPQs on my F/P MPQ mule potpan, mostly to help out STRginner uayua (2sus4u, shadowban, tb303), although I did some MPQs still after they had to leave:

    [​IMG]

    I must say, although I don’t regret making potpan what she is (a non-odd F/P mage), I do just feel like a fart machine sometimes…

    [​IMG]

    Oh, well. potpan is the only F/P I’ve ever played, so it’s nice to at least get some taste for the class!

    We were joined in our MPQventures by hermit ChestPoop, who you can see in the image below, in which I actually got to fight Angy Fanky instead of just protecting Romeo/Juliet:

    [​IMG]

    Good luck to uayua on getting that pendant! It really is a huge deal for permabeginners!!

    Crashing JoeWick’s level 200 party

    I crashed the level 200 party of a certain JoeWick, now level 200 corsair, whom I only knew from doing a Horntail run or two with, at the request of my Moople spouse Harlez (VigiI)…

    [​IMG]

    Unbeknownst to me, this was a costume party. You can see above that Wyman is dressed as some kind of English detective, hotdogbao is dressed as a blue-haired version of JoeWick, Troop is dressed as a postwar footsoldier, Cerealb4milk is dressed as a JoeWick clone, Propeller is dressed as a Mesoranger, and iRBG (SmallMight, SiriusPlaque) is dressed as Ruth Bader Ginsburg. There were also a number of other costumes not caught in the screenshot above. Unfortunately for me, I came dressed as some kind of ridiculous version of Mary Poppins or something, so I didn’t participate in the costume contest :p

    トウキョウ(未来)

    Read the original here.

    紅葉狩

    Meanwhile, on Maple Island, I did some duo DF with fellow islander jung1e (Plucks) on my islander ozotoceros and her trusty caribou sidekick, bezoarticus:

    [​IMG]

    After a few GM buffs/baskets, ozo hit the big level 45~!!:

    [​IMG]

    Oh hello there, Wonky. Fancy seeing you here… Thanks for the free EXP!! I’m afraid I won’t be going to the Time Control Room, though…

    While I was there, I tested out the brand-new “Friendship Shirt” with jung1e, who gifted me one:

    [​IMG]

    Why does it show a glowing red pentagram? Who knows! But in any case, we also got a fancy friendship ring that shows big ol’ crossed swords above our heads as well:

    [​IMG]

    Two friendship effects at once. Cool…!

    Scarlion.tar.ga

    Read the original here.

    The ballad of the level one crook

    In the “Woodsmastering” section above, I went over some of the Crimsonwood Forest hunting that I did with sniper Level1Crook (Lvl1Crook, xXCrookXx, Macer, Lanius). It was during this hunting that the fabled day finally came for our intrepid level one crook: the opportunity to level up to a level 120 crook!!!!!:

    [​IMG]

    You know what that means: it’s time to go from an honourable sniper to the almighty marksman! I — along with F/P archmage 2sus4u (uayua, shadowban, tb303) — helped Level1Crook with killing the Manon necessary for job advancement:

    [​IMG]

    And, after doing some fourth-job quests on his own, Level120Crook was prepared to SE and Snipe alllll up in some bosses!:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Faster Rav/Pap runs! Cool!! :3 Grats again~!

    R. tarandus

    I also did a lil bit more questin’ on my shield pugilist tarandus. As I went over in the previous diary entry, tara is doing the Coke™ Town questline, so I went back over to Small Alley for some seal-smackin’ fun…:

    [​IMG]

    With enough ETCs collected from these two Coke™-flavoured seal species, I had actually finished all Coke™ Town quests that were available to me at that point. So I will have to shelf Coke™ Town for now.

    My next plan was to tackle some more Victoria Island quests, but I decided to avoid those for now, so that I would have something cool to do with vicloc I/L gish VigiI (Harlez). Instead, I took a look at some nominally Victoria Island quests (i.e. quests that show up under the “Victoria Island” tab in the quest journal) that are actually not vicloc-completable.

    For example, I did The Large Pearl, which is vicloc-uncompletable as a result of having Sea Firefly as a pre-requisite; Sea Firefly requires travelling to the Aquarium. But really, this quest is just… smaccin’ some oyster:

    [​IMG]

    So, with that quest done, I set out to start every vicloc-uncompletable quest that starts in Victoria Island, and then take the fateful ship ride from Ellinia to Orbis. With all of those quests accepted, the first order of business was Find the Maple History Book, so I started breaking random cargo below deck in this airship flight, looking for the first volume of Maple History

    [​IMG]

    When I landed in Orbis, I immediately got distracted and started doing random Orbis quests. These low-level Orbis quests really want you to punch a lot of smol kitties and take their horns!:

    [​IMG]

    Tune in next time for the following episode of Questing With tara™, in which I probably punch even more miniature kittens in the face!

    Siricidae

    Read the original here.

    Seed ubble euch ayyy peak you

    Read the original here.

    Chaos theory

    Read the original here.

    (…cnvpstdf…)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. OP
    OP
    deer
    Offline

    deer Pac Pinky

    195
    398
    191
    Oct 27, 2020
    Female
    Oddville
    7:28 AM
    cervid
    Bishop
    130
    Oddjobs
    (You can also read the original diary entry here (mirror). If odd-jobbed characters interest you, you should know that Oddjobs is recruiting!!)

    rangifer’s diary: pt. lxxxvii

    Русская рулетка

    I got the chance to participate in a GM event that I’d never seen before: Russian roulette! The event is, well, basically what it sounds like. There are a handful of platforms, and the game proceeds in a series of rounds. For each round, a platform is selected at random, and all PCs on that platform are killed — representing that platform being the “loaded chamber” of the “gun”. This event takes place on the same map as the very different Bomberman event, which I have shown in a previous diary entry. I attended this particular event on my vicloc clericlet d33r:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, we’ve all been stunned, so that we cannot change our minds about what platform we want, after a losing platform has already been picked… But in between rounds, players are allowed to move freely, in case they want to choose a different platform than the one that they are already on.

    Choosing a winner is simple: whoever is last standing wins. Once the group starts to thin out, the GM(s) who are administrating the game can choose to eliminate platforms at will, so that players cannot pick those platforms at all. This allows the game to accelerate towards the end, where eventually there are only two platforms to choose from, and ultimately just one player is left standing.

    Although I just mentioned that players are allowed to move freely in between rounds, you might reasonably wonder whether or not this can possibly confer an advantage. The answer, of course, is “no” (and still “no”, even if we phrase the question in terms of disadvantage). The only way that such an advantage is even possible (as far as I can tell) would be if MapleLegends’s implementation of the RollRoll command were implemented naïvely enough as to be nonuniform. You could try to argue that it would suffice if the PRNG that the implementation uses merely fails a (reasonably insensitive) next-bit test (regardless of whether or not the ultimate output is uniform w.r.t. this less-than-perfect entropy source), but I’m just going to call such a strategy impractical. The PRNG would almost certainly be shared in a way that makes introspection into its state — which would allow some level of nontrivial prediction about the next value(s) that it’s going to produce — practically impossible. See, for example, java.lang.Math.random(), which persistently shares a single PRNG instance across all threads in the runtime, using it to provide the result of any call to said function. Any time that Math.random() is called — whether it’s because someone somewhere else in a map that you are unaware of used the RollRoll command, or any(!) number of other possible things (RollRoll is very unlikely to be the only use of this PRNG within the server’s codebase) — you would be missing unknown lengths and unknown positions of substrings of the PRNG’s bitwise output. So, I expect such a strategy to have negligible impact at best. On the other hand, if the output of RollRoll is improperly distributed (read: nonuniform), then knowing something about the true distribution (other than the obvious fact that it reasonably approximates a discrete uniform distribution) could confer an actual (although still likely very slight) advantage. However, even then, the most reasonable strategy would involve never moving in between rounds! — although it would at least be true that such movements, in general, have the possibility of conferring (dis)advantage.

    Unfortunately for us, there appears (as far as I can tell — please do email me your sophisticated hypothetical attacks on this game of roulette that require in-depth knowledge of numerical analysis so that I can fail to understand them) to be no such practical exploits. OpenJDK’s standard, default implementation of a PRNG appears to be an LCG with a modulus of 2[sup]48[/sup] (i.e. 48-bit arithmetic), a multiplier of 5DEECE66D[sub]16[/sub] (25 214 903 917[sub]10[/sub]), an increment of 11[sub]10[/sub], and an output that takes only the most significant 32 bits of the result (which largely eliminates the issue that LCGs have with the less-significant bits having rather small periods). Although obviously LCGs are totally unsuitable for cryptographic purposes (please, for the love of god, use a widely-accepted CSPRNG in such a case!), this is a pretty good LCG algorithm from what I can tell. POSIX uses it too. And OpenJDK’s API for generating random numbers appears to be well-designed enough to prevent programmers from making those dumb old mistakes, e.g. using rand() as rand() % n to get a “random” integer in [0, n)…

    So really, this game consists of picking a platform (any platform will do) and AFKing until you die (or conversely, until you win!). There’s no other strategy that wins more often, so fuck it. Definitely my least favourite GM event that I’ve participated in, but it is what it is.

    Anyways, I died.

    [​IMG]

    To be more clear, I died not once, not twice, but thrice. Once for each game of roulette played! At least I got a SoS out of it!!

    Maple Warrior level twenty

    Any readers who are familiar with playing a dark knight (that is, the fourth job warrior class that comes after dragon knight) will know that dark knights don’t really have that many skills. They definitely have skills, but, you know, they aren’t super important. They are basically permanently third job. Which is really cool if you ask me, and the main attraction is obviously Berserk, which allows the dark knight to deal two(!) times as much damage, provided that they kill themselves carefully balance the bright red bar at the bottom of their screen. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Achilles for its passive defence (which notably “stacks” with everything else in the game and works on a multiplicative basis instead of a subtractive one), but it’s not really the first thing that most people think of; it’s not unique to dark knights (all fourth-job warrior classes get access to it), and as a passive ability with no readily apparent effects from the third person viewpoint, it doesn’t often come to mind. So, now that my darksterity knight rusa has maxed zerk, Achilles, Beholder, and Aura of the Beholder, and has a point in Rush and Hero’s Will… Well… I think we all know what time it is.

    Maple Warrior time!! And not just any Maple Warrior, but the twentieth level of it. Of course, obtaining the book to take MW beyond level ten is no small feat. The only source of such “MW20” books is — you guessed it — the horned tail. As Maple Warrior is generally very useful (all fourth-job classes have access to it, and the buff benefits anyone), and killing Horntail is a difficult task in itself, is time-consuming, and only rarely yields any actual MW20 books, these books are highly prized. An individual MW20 book costs so much that it’s very common for players to bypass purchasing the books altogether, in favour of purchasing a MW20 “100% service”, effectively lifting all economic risk off of the buyer and placing it onto the seller. In exchange, the seller charges more than the expected cost, at current market prices, to deliver the service of “I will keep giving you MW20 books until you pass one”. As you’d intuitively expect, this expected cost (assuming that the market price of a single book is ) is ⧸ (as the expected value of a geometric distribution is 1⧸). In the case of MW20, = 0.7.

    I really kinda thought that I would end up using individual books until I passed one. I’ve seen other people have their Maple careers destroyed in this way, by failing one too many MW20 books. It is a sad thing: to pay your life savings only to pray that you don’t merely lose it all. Hence, the existence of MW20 services. But I had a lot of mesos lying around because I’m a compulsive hoarder (my brain is perpetually in poor person mode, where any expenditure that I make is surrounded by irrational fear that I may actually need that money later — yes, even though it’s just a videogame -_-), and I came to realise that I just need to start spending at some point. On average, buying individual books is cheaper than buying a 100% service, so fuck it :p

    But STRginner Cortical (GishGallop, Medulla, Subcortical, SussyBaka, CokeZeroPill) has had a dream of selling MW20 100% service for a while now, and only recently saved up the money to buy a few books when the market prices took a dip. I was aware of the market dipping, as I was in the habit of doing HT runs myself and profiting from the occasional MW20 drop, so I figured that it was a good time to buy MW20 book(s) or MW20 100% service for myself. Thus, it was only natural for me to be the one to help fulfil Cort’s dream:

    [​IMG]

    Congrats Cort :] And congrats to me for now having MW20!! :D

    Poverty dragon

    Speaking of MW20, it’s time for the obligatory “horny lizard time, with rusa” :]

    One such HT run that I did had not two, but three mages. We had on our side Baboom of the Funk guild, a fire/poison archmage. At one point, two of our mages died simultaneously, but thankfully, one of them was Baboom, so we still had a live bishop (Pebbytan) to Resurrect them :p

    [​IMG]

    With two bishops and a F/P archmage, you might reasonably be worried about triggering mass seduce early. Well… As prophesied…

    [​IMG]

    GG indeed. Thankfully, we were able to identify which arm was in mass seduce range, and finish the run without too many additional issues :p

    After that run, I was recruited by marksman xBowtjuhNL to help sell HTPQ (Horntail Party Quest) services to a neophyte bishop by the name of micaheldum, who needed Life Roots for their Genesis quest. Unfortunately for everyone involved, this particular HTPQ run was somehow bugged. Typically, it only takes around ≈2 minutes (or less) to farm a Life Roots out of the Skelegons in the Cave of Light, thus achieving the goal of going into HTPQ in the first place. However, even after grinding in this map as a party of about three PCs for upwards of 15 minutes, there were no Life Roots to be found. It’s tempting to think that something was done wrong; maybe micaheldum wasn’t actually on the appropriate quest to make the Life Roots drop (as Life Roots is a quest-only item). But I made pretty damn sure (including confirming the exact text displayed by micaheldum’s Quest Helper) that we didn’t do anything wrong, so we tried @gming in the desperate hope of having this bugged HTPQ fixed for us. Unfortunately, this was done to no avail, so we ultimately had to leave, and hope that our buyer would find another seller that was capable of not bugging the damn PQ!!:

    [​IMG]

    Readers who have played MapleLegends before may recall a certain MapleTip: “Bad luck is not a bug”. So you might reasonably wonder if perhaps this HTPQ was not bugged at all, and we merely had extremely poor luck. We can sensibly ask the question: how unlucky would you have to be to get a failed HTPQ of this kind? We can model Life Roots drops using a simple Poisson* distribution; we know that the mean time taken to produce a single Life Roots drop is roughly two minutes, and we can very reasonably assume (assuming that the MapleLegends server doesn’t have some horrible bug in their monster drop implementation) that item drops are independent events — i.e., one item drop does not influence how long it will take for the next item drop to occur.

    We’ll say that we only spent about 15 minutes farming Skelegons. The parameter λ of our Poisson distribution is the mean number of drops produced in such a 15-minute interval. Because we estimate the mean time to produce one drop to be about 2 minutes, λ = 15⧸2 = 7.5. The Poisson distribution describes how likely it is for the number of drops that occur during some 15-minute interval to be a given value ( ). In the case of a failure, obviously = 0 (no Life Roots are dropped at all). The PMF of a Poisson distribution as described here is λ[sup][/sup]⁢[sup]−λ[/sup]⧸(!). So, for our particular case, we have λ[sup][/sup]⁢[sup]−λ[/sup]⧸(!) = 7.5[sup]0[/sup]⁢[sup]−7.5[/sup]⧸(0!) = [sup]−7.5[/sup] ≈ 0.05531% ≈ 1⧸1808. It is left to the reader to decide whether “one in two thousand” seems like enough for an @gm :]

    In any case, during another HT run, woosa hit level 167~! :3

    [​IMG]

    Missing out on having HS when an HT body part dies always makes me a lil sad, but hey — I still levelled up :p

    I also got my first taste of being a sed target! Shadower Harlez (VigiI) let me go into the second prehead map first so that I could try it out:

    [​IMG]

    It went pretty well, although being a sed target during preheads is really not very difficult. I did have one incident where I accidentally touched the head; but I didn’t die, thanks to Pebbytan’s expert sed bish skills:

    [​IMG]

    I hope that in the future, I might have the privilege of trying out the sed target role for real! I’ll have to try my hand at making some high-AVOID gear, like a Sauna Robe and some Yellow Strap Shoes!!

    I also experienced an unnaturally cleave-heavy HT run, wherein HT got down nearly as low as ⅓ of its total HP, without any of the three heads dying!!

    [​IMG]

    O_O;

    I also did a pair of HT runs with bishop beegoratto, who brought some Christmastime letters to entertain us with:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Apparently, Horntail was rather offended by the holiday season graffiti, and took it out on poor Pebbytan — our only other bishop — by disconnecting her from the run :[ Now it was up to beegoratto to take care of the Dark Wyverns — amongst many other bishop duties, including switching between parties to provide/receive buffs — with far less assistance:

    [​IMG]

    (“BB” in this context refers to the Big Bang skill, which can be used by HT bishops to effectively one-shot Wyverns as they spawn, by using Genesis immediately after BB goes off.)

    Although being a solo bishop in a two-party HT run is certainly gruelling and stressful, we were able to make it through the rest of the run relatively smoothly!

    We also sold a Horntail Necklace (HTP) to a bishop by the name of FinalHealth. Although this might seem perfectly normal, the catch was that FinalHealth is level 200~! She originally came to us trying to buy an AFK run, but we convinced her that an AFK run surely must not be necessary for a character of two hundred levels:

    [​IMG]

    Indeed, FinalHealth was simply unfamiliar with Horntail! We had to explain some of the basic mechanics involved, like the fact that HT can dispel (DP), and that the Dark Wyverns that spawn are capable of doing the same thing via their ranged attacks. Several of the other runners were confused as to how a level 200 bishop had simply never gone anywhere near HT, although I was less surprised, myself. Give enough leech, and you eventually hit level 200, right? Leeching oneself (and/or others) at 5–6 F is quite typical — particularly as a mage duo, as I understand it. And that’s no small quantity of EPH for the one(s) giving the leech! Of course, that doesn’t quite explain how they’ve never gone near HT on any of their other character(s) either, but it’s plausible that they just didn’t want to participate in such activities until reaching a very high level (presumably via leech) — or that they are just not interested at all! After all, many MapleStory players — perhaps understandably, given the structure of the game — are really there for the grinding!

    In any case, I died.

    [​IMG]

    Oops. This is my first time dying by touching the right head, and this death really was my fault. An unfortunately-timed Weakness debuff prevented me from jumping when I thought that I would be able to, causing my left arrow key presses to push me further to the left than I expected…

    And, finally, I did another HT run that got… well… a little bit scuffed. Just a little.

    [​IMG]

    Ouf, that’s two deaths right there. But it’s okay, right? We have two bishops and two buccaneers; that’s the potential for six Resurrections in rapid succession!

    [​IMG]

    As it turned out, these were indeed last words, in some sense. We seemed to have lost both of our bishops at once…

    [​IMG]

    We seriously considered crystalling out after finishing off the left head, but we estimated that it would be possible to at least finish the run and get some EXP (albeit without the benefit of HS, of course ) and the loot.

    And then markswoman bweee died…

    [​IMG]

    And then dark knight Erick died…

    [​IMG]

    At this point, I think a buccaneer(?) had disconnected, and we were down to like seven characters remaining >w< Some number of Onyx Apples later, though (including two that I sold during the fight to a nightlord in my party), and we were at least able to clear the damn thing! For no impressive drops… Oh well.

    And then, in the next run, we were similarly unlucky! We lost a bishop & a buccaneer again!! :[

    [​IMG]

    Not so great runs that day…

    Later on in the run, nightlord MeandU had a poopmergency:

    [​IMG]

    They survived the poopmergency (thanks to Pebbytan’s Healing), but shortly after coming back from the little Maplers’ room, they got disconnected :[ Eventually, we got to the point where we actually merged both parties into a single six-Mapler party:

    [​IMG]

    This only lasted as long as it took for Pebbytan’s Resurrection to come off of its cooldown so that she could resurrect SmallMight (SiriusPlaque), at which point we split back into a party of three and a party of four. Again, after much struggling and Onyx Appling, we were eventually able to finish this cursed HT run and get our meagre drops :p

    */pwasɔ̃/. Roughly(!) like “pwah-song” in English.

    Caribou

    It’s time for another installation of Questing With tara™!!!! With your host, my shield pugilist tarandus :]

    As foretold, I had to do some more smol kitty punching, including punching for the purpose of farming Silk Feathers…

    [​IMG]

    …For The Sakura Garden. Plus, I had to kill even more kittycats for Orbis In Danger. Also as part of Orbis In Danger, I had to collect some Cloud Pieces from the pixies that inhabit the Cloud Park. I found out the hard way that most pixies are pretty tough opponents for a level 36 tara. So I farmed them from Star Pixies, the weakest of the pixie species:

    [​IMG]

    While farming the Cloud Pieces, was getting really close to hitting level 37, so I needed to put on my intelligent pyjamas. Unfortunately, none of the Orbis monsters are really very trivial to kill (Jr. Sentinels are probably the weakest), so I took a trip to Japan to find monsters that I was capable of killing with Three Snails:

    [​IMG]

    I also collected some magic ingredients for Huckle, which meant killing three of the four sentinel species in the Orbis Tower: Ice Sentinels…

    [​IMG]

    Fire Sentinels…

    [​IMG]

    And the aforementioned Jr. Sentinels…

    [​IMG]

    For Hughes’ Hobby, I needed just a handful of Toy Baby Seals, so I took a quick trip to Ocean I.C to make punching bags out of some petite seals:

    [​IMG]

    Hughes’ desire for beating the shit out of adorable sea creatures is insatiable, so for Hughes’ Weird Invention, I needed some 50 Snorkles [sic]. For this, I headed to floor B2 of the Orbis Tower to hunt me some Scuba Pepes:

    [​IMG]

    And, again, for Hughes’ Research Material, I needed some Seal Skins and some Seal Teeth, so I went to Forked Road: West Sea to kill some Freezers* and Sparkers:

    [​IMG]

    With the Oxygen Tank in my backpack, I did the first of the Food-Hunting for Moppie quests, and hit level 38~!:

    [​IMG]

    Of course, the first part of said questline only requires you to collect 100 Jr. Pepe’s Fish. This is 100⧸750, because the questline requires 600 in total, in addition to 100 for Maya’s Concern and 50 for Master Sergeant Fox’s Secret! So I was stuck on the first floor of the Orbis Tower for a while…

    [​IMG]

    Heyo, 291k EPH at level 38 is actually really good!! I won’t complain :p

    With that kind of EPH, I had to put on the ol’ smartypants and find some Jr. Sentinels to throw some Red Snail Shells at…

    [​IMG]

    :3

    For The View of the Ocean, I had to hunt 100 very special Snow Crystals so that Alcaster could forge me a Snow Crystal Sphere. These crystals are only dropped by Leatties:

    [​IMG]

    I then moved on to some more Aqua-Road-oriented quests, including Kenta’s Research. Kenta’s Research is a questline that proceeds in the form of three quests; in turn, each quest requires three distinct DNA samples. Each of the nine DNA samples is dropped from a distinct monster species, starting with Cico & Seacle (both hippocampee)…

    [​IMG]

    And the crowd favourite Pinbooms…

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The second quest in the line then asks for some DNA from Bubble Fish

    [​IMG]

    Flower Fish

    [​IMG]

    And Mask Fish

    [​IMG]

    While I was killing Mask Fish at The Seaweed Tower, I collected a score of Shrimp Meats from the Krips there as well, for use in Tae Gong’s Love for His Wife:

    [​IMG]

    And, I stumbled upon a Seruf while I was there :p

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Take that, you oversized oyster!!!

    *Not to be confused with Freezer, nor with Freezer.

    19521 Chaos

    In the previous diary entry, I had a hell of a wild ride trying to CS myself a cape. With the determination to finish what I started, I bought CS service from none other than STRginner uayua (shadowban, tb303)! Because of the way that CSs (and WSs) are currently implemented in MapleLegends, it makes sense to sell these scrolls as a service (unless you actually plan on using them yourself), if you’re lucky enough to get them from Gachapon or similar. The scrolls themselves are untradeable, so selling them directly is not an option. On the other hand, you could use the Prestige Shop to trade one CS/WS in for a MCP5. But the expected number of pCoins that a MCP5 contains is only 90, whereas making a CS/WS yourself would cost 100 pCoins and an additional 10M mesos! As a result, you can effectively sell the scroll itself as a service (only as a service because, again, CSs/WSs are untradeable) for somewhat more than 90 pCoins — because the MCP5 is only worth 90 pCoins, selling service for >90 pCoins represents a better deal for the seller. If the price of a service is, furthermore, ≤100 pCoins, it represents a better deal for the buyer as well, because it would “normally” cost 100 pCoins + 10M mesos for the buyer if they did things the “normal” way. This straightforward economic situation makes scams more likely, or puts additional technological burden on the process of selling CSs/WSs due to the necessity of livestreaming video of the scroll usage in order to give reasonable proof of good faith. Somewhat ironically, this additional technological burden makes the CS/WS mechanics somewhat more pay-to-win (P2W), but oh well.

    uayua tried to sell the service to me for 90 pCoins. She insisted that this was still a win for her, as it means that I am effectively couching the economic risk of her opening the MCP5 herself and possibly getting <90 pCoins as a result. But I didn’t want her to just break even, and furthermore, she could sell the MCP5 herself (without opening it) and break even (albeit in terms of mesos, rather than pCoins) that way too. So I took the price that she was trying to sell service for in the FM: 92 pCoins.

    [​IMG]

    Aaaaand it failed :]]]]]]

    [​IMG]

    Oh, well. R.I.P. my cape dreams… At least uayua has 92 pCoins to work with now :p

    A modest collection of compact discs, with your host, alces

    I’ve begun training at CDs on my daggermit alces, alongside fellow CDs prisoner Lvl1Crook (Level1Crook, xXCrookXx, Macer, Lanius, Sangatsu, Ichigatsu, SuperLuck) the INTlaw:

    [​IMG]

    You can see what alces looks like when training on CDs in this video; it’s a little awkward, but Shadow Web helps a lot. The benefit is that I can train with Lvl1Crook, who unfortunately cannot jump over Kid Mannequins due to their tall hitboxes. Hopefully, in the future, after many soul-crushing hours of CD grind, we can escape CDs together!!

    Well, alces probably won’t ever truly grow out of KMs/CDs, unless maybe she gets really good gear and a whole lot of SP in Venomous Star (which works with any weapon, despite its name & in-game description)… Then maybe she could 7 F…? LOLLL

    The Zakkening

    You already know who it is: everyone’s favourite Qur’anic hell tree / crumbly stone Mayan monument hybrid, Zakum~

    I did a pair of Zakum runs with a rather unusual party composition on my darksterity knight rusa; we had two bishops!

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, one of the bishops (idoybh2) came over to my lonely side of the Zakum body where I usually hide, cowering from the deadly Heals of the party’s bishop. But because we already had a bishop (Pebbytan) on the left side, idoybh2 was free to pamper me as my own personal bishop :p It’s pretty nice. Used a lot fewer ACPs and got stunned a lot less!

    More importantly, however, my woodsmaster capreolina got to do her very first Zakum runs!!! :D

    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah, you know I had to bust out my PSB (and STR bathrobe) for the arms stage.

    [​IMG]

    On the second run, I even did a quick @dpm 5 test to see how I was doing with my PSB and birdie:

    [​IMG]

    And another test — this time @dpm 15 — during the body stage while using my bow to Hurricane:

    [​IMG]

    I got the Zakum Chair!!:

    [​IMG]

    Looking good. B)

    [​IMG]

    In another run, we found out that Speed Infusion (SI) is epic, even for bowmasters (BMs)!:

    [​IMG]

    During another run with buccaneer Buccon (who also has a woodsman, by the name of Buwwon!), I died during the arms stage. ‍♀️ Despite the fact that I had Ginger Ales (heals 75% HP & 75% MP) bound to both my pet autoHP and autoMP, at an HP threshold of 65%(!), I was nevertheless getting multiple autopot fails per minute. One such autopot fail was quickly noticed by me, and I immediately pressed <kbd>Shift</kbd> (to which I had Honsters bound, each of which heals 60% HP) at least thrice, before I ended up croaking anyways :[ Thankfully, bishop Alectra was able to Resurrect me, so I finished the run :]

    And finishing the run meant level 137 for capre!!:

    [​IMG]

    I also did one run where I tried using my bow during the arms stage:

    [​IMG]

    Again, even with a bow, the lack of Power Stance is annoying, especially for an archer with basically no AVOID like capre

    Now that capre was level 137, she finally had level ≥20 Hurricane, so I tried another @dpm 15 test during the body fight:

    [​IMG]

    Better!!

    And finally, I had some fun Zak runs as rusa, in which we did incredibly chaotic — but speedy — two-party (12-Mapler) runs:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ever finished a Zakum run in 15 minutes flat? I have!

    [​IMG]

    :]

    L’édifice chronologique

    Picking up where I left off, within the previous diary entry, in the Temple of Time (ToT), I did some Memory Guardian slaying on my darksterity knight rusa. I was accompanied & assisted by shadower Harlez (VigiI)!:

    [​IMG]

    Harlez noticed that the party member indicators that show up on the in-game world map have special behaviour for married couples!:

    [​IMG]

    The map that Harlez is in shows up with a pink* heart ❤ icon above the arrow. Cute :']

    With a thousand of those Memory Guardians slain, we moved on to Chief Memory Guardians:

    [​IMG]

    Somehow, I actually managed to get a full card set out of these damn things:

    [​IMG]

    And now, to cap off this region of ToT, a boss fight with our giant flying whale friend:

    [​IMG]

    Somewhat bizarrely, Dodo has the ability to teleport PCs back to the previous map (Resting Spot of Memory 4), similarly to Franken Lloyd o.o

    With that, it was time to transition to the next region of ToT, which meant going back to Victoria Island and talking to my first job instructor, D-Dubs†:

    [​IMG]

    Now I could go to the icy parts of ToT, and fight the blue Qualm Monks!:

    [​IMG]

    Later, I came back to ToT on my own and solo’d the 999 Qualm Monk Trainee quest~:

    [​IMG]

    *I was going to use the Pink Heart emoji (potentially U+1fa77) here, but it’s currently only a proposal and won’t be subject to approval (or, less likely, disapproval) until later this year (2022). Would be a bit unfortunate to try to use it here, only to lack actual user agent support for a while, and possibly have to go back & change it when the draft is potentially not approved…

    Dances With BalrogDWB → “Dee Double-you Bee” → D-Dubs.

    Gently embossed

    If you thought that this diary entry was all done with bossing, I’ve some bossy news for you…

    I had the pleasure of clearing a bunch of Pianuses (Piani? Pianoi? :]) with shadower Harlez (VigiI), on my darksterity knight rusa:

    [​IMG]

    Plus, I did some Jiaocengs (JCs)! Here’s one that I trioed with Harlez and bowmaster kwychan (helloooo):

    [​IMG]

    And another, with Harlez and markswoman bweee!:

    [​IMG]

    When a plan to do CWKPQ fell through, I did a few casual Boyfriend murders with Harlez, during which, we both levelled up at the same time!!:

    [​IMG]

    WHEW that is the big 190, holy moly guacamole. Alright, fine. I won’t smega… This time. :p

    And, now that rusa hit level 168, she finally has that sweet, sweet 30k MAXHP (with HB) F55555555:

    [​IMG]

    Feels good. Now my zerk threshold will be 16 500 forevermore, instead of changing every time I level up or change gear!! :D

    And, finally, equipped with my new shiny 30k MAXHP, I set out to help Harlez, marksman xBowtjuhNL, hero Mightyboosh, and corsair Dabulator with a pair of Berga runs:

    [​IMG]

    I’ve gotten a bit better at surviving Berga runs, although I admit that I continue to be mildly terrified by Berga — particularly the third body, for obvious reasons. I’ve found out that it does help to dodge the big front laser(?) burst-of-red-light attack during the third body fight, even though people seem to mostly ignore it. Dodging it appears to be pretty easy and only require crouching for a very short amount of time, and a successful dodge means that you definitely won’t get stunned, stun seduced, nor hit by the attack’s damage. It seems that the attack is a bit selective (just because you fail to dodge it does not mean that it will even target you at all), so that probably is why so many people choose to ignore it.

    In any case, one of the neat things about Neo Tokyo (NT) bosses is that they can give some juicy and interesting drops, in addition to their EXP. Check it out…:

    [​IMG]

    Oh. Well, you know, you win some, you lose some… ‍♀️

    (…cnvpstdf…)

    [​IMG]

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    deer Pac Pinky

    195
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    Oct 27, 2020
    Female
    Oddville
    7:28 AM
    cervid
    Bishop
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    Oddjobs
    (You can also read the original diary entry here (mirror). If odd-jobbed characters interest you, you should know that Oddjobs is recruiting!!)

    rangifer’s diary: pt. lxxxviii

    bulletindown

    Have you ever wondered how I post my diary entries to the MapleLegends forum? After all, my diary is written in Markdown, a format not accepted by the MapleLegends forum’s software (XenForo).

    The simple answer is: I don’t, really! When I do post my diary entries to the MapleLegends forum, I am always posting a crippled version, with many things (some more visible than others) removed. This is largely due to technical limitations of the XenForo software used by the MapleLegends forum. As a result, readers who want to read the full version of a given entry are obliged to retrieve it from Codeberg (or from the GitHub mirror); both Codeberg and GitHub natively offer HTML renderings of the Markdown content in their web interfaces, and/or you can even clone* the content and render it yourself!†

    That being said, I do of course post some approximations of my diary entries on the MapleLegends forum, and I most certainly am not doing the Markdown → BBCode conversion by hand every single time! So, meet bulletindown:

    https://codeberg.org/deer/bulletindown (mirror)

    bulletindown is the handy-dandy tool that I use to massage giant balls of Markdown into horrible BBCode monstrosities that (hopefully) will be accepted by the MapleLegends forum! Of course, it’s not quite so simple as “just throwing bulletindown at it”, but bulletindown really makes things feasible by cutting out a huge amount of work. Maybe, in a future diary entry, I will talk in depth about what goes into the diary-entry-production process :p

    You may notice that perhaps the most “fun” feature of bulletindown is the -e/--encoding-warnings flag, which causes bulletindown to emit warnings any time that the output contains characters that aren’t valid UCS-2 characters (basically, any codepoints of U+fffe or greater). I added this feature because XenForo (at least, the version utilised by the MapleLegends forum) systematically and silently discards(!) these characters, leading to broken output that has mysteriously missing text! If you look back through my posts on the MapleLegends forum, you will see that many are plagued by this bug… A simple example of a character that is affected by this bug is U+1f614 “PENSIVE FACE”: . Incidentally, this is an accurate representation of my face every time that the MapleLegends forum botches another one of my diary entries.

    Note that bulletindown was written by me for my own personal use, and I just decided recently that I may as well open-source it, in case someone else can benefit from it. As a result, it is not designed to be super-duper robust; in particular, if you try to give it input that contains HTML with block-level elements, expect it to baulk at you (and possibly even produce undesirable output) unless you format that input very properly.

    As always, bulletindown is 100% free software.‡

    *Because the single repository contains all of my diary entries and their content (including images!), it’s fairly hefty. If you’re strapped for bandwidth/space, though, you needn’t worry. There are ways to sparsely clone only the director(y/ies) that you want: see [1], [2]. If you do end up doing a full git clone though, you get the advantage of effortlessly updating with a single git pull.

    Pandoc is the usual suspect here, although of course there are plenty of other options out there.

    ‡Unlike a certain forum software that I know of…



    I was going through some of the items on my rather overflowing Suboptimal “cache” mule Superoptimal, and wound up accidentally scrolling an unusually glowy level 55 polearm…:

    [​IMG]

    To my great satisfaction, this board is ever so slightly superior to the “pog Bullseye Board” owned by STRginner Cortical (GishGallop, CokeZeroPill, SussyBaka, Medulla) :p

    As always, Superoptimal’s items are part of the Suboptimal alliance cache, which may be taken from, donated to, and/or borrowed from by any members of the alliance.

    Kompakt disx

    As dedicated readers of my diary will already be familiar, one thing that I have learned in my time writing MapleStory diaries is simple: the CDs never end. You would think that the CDs would finally be vanquished one day, but you would also be wrong. Oh, so, so wrong.

    I did some CD grinding on my daggermit alces* with INTlaw Lvl1Crook (Level1Crook, xXCrookXx, SuperLuck)…:

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    During which, alces hit level 108~!!:

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    That’s right; one level closer to flame decal Khanjar and accidentally F2ing!!

    And, I also happened to have a Chocolate Basket on my I/L archmagelet cervine, so, you know…

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    The curse of assuming that I’m always in a party with everyone all the time strikes again!! Luckily, Lvl1Crook caught this one for me rather early on!!!

    If you’re wondering why cervine is still hanging around at CDs after all these years, consider the fact that my level 10 Blizzard costs enough MP per cast that I can hardly even use it, and even still, I only just barely one-shot the CDs… Thankfully, this time I was equipped with the HB from my Chocolate Basket:

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    Nearly 14.3M EPH really ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at, although admittedly, this was under rather ideal conditions.

    In any case, it was during this session that cervine hit level 125 :D

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    Bird but!!! It is now, at level 125, that I have finally decided what to spend cervine’s SP on. It’s a little strategy that I like to call “fuck everything else, CL 4 lyfe”. Bzzzt. ️

    *How exactly is alces’s name pronounced? Please do leave for me your opinions, by email, by issue, and/or by pigeon post.

    Chief amongst them were

    I did a few boss-’em-ups with SUBOPTIMAL GANG, including this pair of Peppered Ladles runs that I did on my darksterity knight rusa:

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    As you can see above, Level1Crook is employing the sacred “ah shit fuckfuckfuck it’s flying right at me” technique, passed down from generation to generation, which has saved countless lives from being snuffed out by the Papulatus 2nd body’s fearsome touch attacks. In this case, though, it’s not actually totally necessary; my HB is sufficient to allow Level1Crook to survive a single touch attack from full HP.

    Oh, and I did some Latting with STRginners Cortical (GishGallop) and uayua (shadowban, tb303, deucer), on my pure STR bishop cervid:

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    In order to keep everyone alive, I had rusa tag along as an HB mule. Plus, I had one Resurrection in my pocket in case it came in handy…

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    Yep, it happens. Lat is brutal and takes no prisoners, preferring instead to overwhelm his enemies by throwing entire ships(!) at them. Unfortunately, what’s not pictured here is me previously using my Resurrection, so poor uayua had to sit out this run :/ On the bright side, she did make it through the other one, and both runs were driven to completion :]

    On rusa, I also did a pair of ~*spicy*~ JCs alongside heroine LunaS2, bishop Pebbytan, and marksman xBowtjuhNL, hot off the heels of a pair of Horned Tail runs:

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    As you can see, the timer isn’t terrible, but also isn’t looking amazing at this point; during this first run, xBowtjuhNL used a handful of stoppers to make sure that we pulled through. Our second run, however, was rather speedy thanks to LunaS2 using an apple o_o!

    I also fought this big-nosed bastard over in Buddha territory, alongside shadower extraordinaire Harlez (VigiI):

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    Unfortunately, no Stoneteeth… But, on the other hand, I did get a shoe SPEED 70% — and it PASSED @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    We also went comb browsing, this time with me on my woodsmaster capreolina:

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    Female Boss — perhaps better known as Anego [姉御] — can only barely be seen in the image above, owing to a bunch of numbers and skill effects strewn all over the place. The ostensive mechanical design of Anego is that she has a very low knockback threshold (a mere 1k) and relatively underpowered long-ranged attacks, thus making her an easy target for ranged attackers. On the other hand, getting too close to her is going to sting quite a bit; not only are her touch attacks rather powerful at around ≈11.5k damage per touch (against a typical PC), but her short-ranged physical “slap” attack is absolutely devastating, at around ≈19k damage per slap (again, against a typical PC)!!

    Unfortunately for our ranged attacker, however, Anego is one quick-ass motherfucker on her feet. And, her long-ranged pistol attacks — while not typically fatal — still hurt (upwards of ≈5k damage, depending on MDEF), and more importantly, go a long way towards jostling the cowardly ranged attacker’s position. With the rest of the Leaders B, Leaders A, and Extras D running wild (and often taking hits on Anego’s behalf), I personally found it rather difficult to keep the nimble Anego at bay…

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    Once we finally got Anego down to rather low HP, it was time to discover a fun race condition whereby it’s possible for a game client to register incoming damage from a monster attack before receiving & processing packets from the server that would indicate the presence of Smokescreen, despite the Smokescreen having been set off several seconds before the client even attempted to enter the map…

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    Oh, well.

    Speaking of Japanese baddies that I can’t get too close to lest they murder me, I also helped Harlez with a Kacchuu Musha [甲冑武者]…

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    This time around, I probably only died zero (or so…) times :] You can see in the image above that I’m standing roughly on the missing floorboard; it seems that this missing floorboard is an intentional(?) visual cue for where you more or less need to stand — assuming that the Musha is pinned to the right-hand boundary of the map — to hit Kacchuu Musha from range, without being close enough to get lightning’d into oblivion.

    tara taran’ it up

    And now, back to our regularly scheduled questing with pugilist tarandus!!

    I started by wrapping up the third & final leg of Kenta’s Research, hunting for DNA samples from Sparkers…

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    Freezers…

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    …And, of course, Poopers. Actually, the game itself seems to disagree on what these aquatic creatures are called, between Pooper’s DNA Sample and Poopa. Apparently, this confused me so much that I simply confused Poopers with Poison Poopers…:

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    I… I hesitate to admit exactly how long I was farming Poison Poopers before I realised that the reason my quest item wasn’t dropping had more to do with the monster species that I was farming than with my luck…

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    Yeah, okay, I killed like half a dozen Poopers and it dropped. Go figure.

    ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

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    40 levels
    40 winks
    20-by-four more, methinks.

    10 coupons
    10 CLOSENESS
    5 papers
    5 clos’d chests
    .

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    ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

    I hiked the El Nath Mountains in search of members of the Alpha Platoon, a military platoon who — whilst they were on a mysterious mission — suffered an aeroboat (not to be confused with airboat, which is just a watercraft; aeroboats are literally magical flying boat-like vessels, e.g. the boat that flies between Ellinia & Orbis) failure that left their members scattered across the El Nath mountain range, in unknown conditions. Thankfully, it seems that all or most of their platoon parachuted their way to a safe landing, but it was up to me to find them.

    On my way to find Sergeant Bravo, I narrowly escaped the wrath of the Snow Witch:

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    While I was in the Cloud Park looking for Corporal Easy, I took the opportunity to kill some pixies to get started on The Chaos Behind Alfonse Green and the Nependeath Juice:

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    And, finally, for my hard work, I was rewarded by Master Sergeant Fox with a Shoe JUMP 60%!:

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    I found out that the Dolphin Taxi Coupons from Kenta’s Research are automatically used any time that you use the Dolphin taxi service to warp to The Sharp Unknown, which is a feature that I use a lot:

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    The funny part about the coupons is that you get exactly ten from completing the quest, but they are untradeable and cannot be replenished — the quest isn’t repeatable, and there’s no way to buy more coupons. Furthermore, without any coupons, this taxi service costs 1k mesos, so getting ten coupons from the quest completion is actually just… 10k mesos’ worth of coupons. Thanx, Nekksyn.

    After using one of my ✨sacred✨ Dolphin Taxi Coupons to head to The Sharp Unknown, I was now at KFT, where I could start quests like Brotherly Love, which is basically just “walk back & forth across the KFT map a couple times”. Plus, there was Kong Ji’s Request, which required me to farm Artemisia from around the village:

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    Plus, I briefly headed back to the eastern regions of Aqua Road in search of Slippery Oil from Cicos for “The Kids That Became the Sun and the Moon”. The Kids That Became the Sun and the Moon tells a kind of origin myth of how the Sun and the Moon came to be. Well… not quite, actually. In the story itself, the Sun already exists, but whatever. This story is the story of Haenim [해님] and his sister; his sister is not named in-game, but her name is presumably Dalnim* [달님]. 해님 literally means “Mr. Sun”; thus, 달님 “Ms. Moon”. One day, their mother went to the market, as she does every day, to sell rice cakes — but she never came back. Instead, a few days later, a tiger came to their house, dressed in their mother’s clothing, asking to be let inside. Fortunately for Haenim, he noticed that the hand reaching for the door was not that of his mother, but was the furry paw of a tiger. Terrified of the tiger, Haenim & Dalnim tried to stall the tiger for as long as possible, by asking them endless questions before letting them inside. Eventually, the tiger realised that they were being stalled. But, by this point, so many hours had passed that the tiger grew fatigued and left — but not before giving up on their disguise, and promising to come back later to eat Haenim & Dalnim for dinner! Mortally terrified, Haenim & Dalnim understandably had troubles with their own attempts to sleep, but eventually passed out. While asleep, Haenim & Dalnim were visited in their dreams by a deity that provided them with a plan to save their own lives. But for the plan to work, they would need a lot of Tough Rope and some Slippery Oil.

    Whilst hunting for oil, tara hit level 41 :]

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    And for the rope, I would have to kill Hodoris, which proved to be somewhat difficult due to being nine levels below them (Hodoris are level 50), and due to their not-insignificant AVOID of 28…

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    In any case, I did eventually collect the 20 Tough Ropes and the Slippery Oil that Haenim & Dalnim needed for their escape. With the rope, the siblings climbed all the way into the sky, and with the oil, they left the rope behind them slick, so that the tiger could not follow them. Having escaped all the way into the sky, Haenim & Dalnim became the Sun & the Moon, respectively.

    I also killed some Moon Bunnies, hunting for the Swallow’s Lost Seed for The Lost Seed quest. This quest leads into one of two followup quests: Opening Nolbu’s Gourd or Opening Hongbu’s Gourd. These quests are mutually exclusive, but I always do Nolbu’s quest because he is closer to the Swallow, and the quest rewards aren’t meaningfully different :p

    If you plant the seed on Nolbu’s roof, this bulb pops out:

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    It has 10k HP, and once you defeat it, out comes a scroll:

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    Apparently, this scroll is a legal document indicating that the possessor of the scroll has the legal right to all of Nolbu’s belongings. I hardly see how legally overbearing gourd papers are remotely enforceable, but it was at least enough to scare Nolbu into giving me some Brown Double Boots

    I headed to the second floor of the Helios Tower to hunt Retzes for Mr. Shim’s Request:

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    I noticed that these rice-filled gunny sacks were called “State-held Rice”, and I began to vaguely wonder what Necksawn were trying to represent here. Obviously, Korean Folk Town is intended to represent rural Korea — at least, some fairytale version of it from an ambiguous time period. So I wondered about the significance of this item’s name, and of its description, which is as follows:
    Looking at the name and description from the KMS version, the item’s name is 정부미 ⟨jeongbumi⟩* “government rice”†, and the description is as follows:
    Searching the WWW for 정부미, the Korean Wikipedia has an article on the subject: 정부미 (대한민국). I don’t know Korean, so I can’t read it, but I used a machine translation to write an English version below:

    Government rice (정부미 ⟨jeongbumi⟩; 政府米) is rice provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, & Rural Affairs (MAFRA) of the Republic of Korea to welfare recipients, disaster relief, and national/public facilities. It is also referred to as government grain (정부양곡jeongbuyanggok⟩) or narami (나라미). Government rice is state property of the South Korean government, and commercial sale of it is prohibited by law.

    The government of the Republic of Korea provides government rice, free of charge, to welfare recipients, i.e. Korean citizens of the lowest income bracket. It also provides government rice — again, free of charge — for the purpose of disaster relief due to national emergencies, as well as for the purpose of supplying national/public facilities and military bases. MAFRA is obliged by the Grain Management Act (양곡관리법 ⟨Yanggokgwallibeop⟩) and the Agricultural Products Management Act (농산물관리법에 ⟨Nongsanmulgwallibeobe⟩) to provide basic subsistence for all of the aforementioned recipients.

    The sale of government rice for commercial purposes is entirely prohibited by the Grain Management Act, the Agricultural Products Management Act, and the Administrative Act (행정법 ⟨Haengjeongbeop⟩).

    Basically, government rice is white rice that is provided by the government, and it is mainly sourced from farm-owned rice, stockpiled rice, and rice that was grown in the previous year.

    Objectives
    • This programme should provide a basic food supply for those of low income, the poor, elderly citizens who live alone, and child-headed families.
    • Citizens wishing to be recipients must apply at the city (시 ⟨si⟩)/county (군 ⟨gun⟩)/district (구 ⟨gu⟩) offices, and at the town (읍 ⟨eup⟩)/township (면 ⟨myeon⟩)/neighbourhood (동 ⟨dong⟩) offices. Those of low income, the poor, elderly citizens who live alone, and child-headed families are given priority/preference over others.
    • Citizens who wish to apply must explain to the administration their circumstances and their reasons for applying, and must declare how many people will be recipients.
    • Citizens who wish to apply are given priority when it is difficult to buy ordinary rice sold on the market, due to difficult family circumstances and/or poverty, or because they cannot make a living due to difficulties in their livelihood.
    • According to the Grain Management Act, government rice is prohibited from general distribution in the market, and must not be taken out of the country without the approval & permission of MAFRA.
    • In the case of disaster relief efforts, due to natural disasters and/or wartime events within the country, it is possible to urgently supply victims with government rice, given MAFRA’s approval.
    • Government rice may also be distributed for the purpose of supplying national/public facilities, and supplying soldiers of South Korean military bases.
    Okay, well, I guess that makes sense. Well, it would make more sense if the point of the quest was to help feed someone(s). But here is a snippet of the actual quest dialogue:
    Maybe I’m reading this too literally, but this quest seems to portray the State-held Rices as a kind of currency, or at least as a typical medium of exchange, or token for barter. 정부미, stricto sensu, is illegal to trade commercially — not to say that that necessarily stops people, but, you know… that still makes things less plausible. Never mind the fact that Retzes are inexplicably a good source of State-held Rice??

    Whatever. It seems likely that this quest’s premise was just a bit of sloppy (if you can call it that) work on Necksawn’s part, as usual. That being said, it’s worth noting some of the historical background here. Now, I’m not exactly qualified to give an “Economics of the Korean Peninsula 101” lecture, but here’s a bit of background that I was able to glean from the WWW.

    Much like with the case of China, tracing back the history of the Korean Peninsula gets you a picture of multiple states and even multiple cultures, as exemplified by the Three Kingdoms era, the Northern and Southern States period, and the Later Three Kingdoms period. But by the early-to-mid 10th century, the Korean Peninsula came to be ruled by dynasties, including the five-century-long(!) Joseon dynastic kingdom, notable for beginning the establishment of the Korean culture & identity that persists into the present day, for inventing Hangul (created in 1443 by Sejong the Great), among many other things.

    It’s hard to casually find details of Korean economies that are pre-capitalist, as Korea was not given much attention in this respect until the miracle on the Han River (in the aftermath of the Korean War of 1950–1953). And this economic period for South Korea (controlled by the Republic of Korea, or ROK) is certainly not called a “miracle” for no reason! However, as noted by ‡:
    One thing that might surprise the reader is that, for the first six(!) or so decades of the 20th century, the southern part of the Korean Peninsula was considered to be more “economically backwards” than its northern counterpart — leaving the south seemingly doomed to be the economic basket case of East Asia for the foreseeable future. During the Japanese rule/annexation of Korea, the northern regions became significantly more industrialised, leaving the southern parts to be the rice bowl.⸸

    With the aftermath of the Korean War resulting in the seemingly permanent division between North and South, much recovery & reconstruction was necessary in the wake of, you know, Japanese occupation followed by three years of extremely deadly(!) internecine warfare. Note that, although I use the word “internecine” here — somewhat implying that it was a civil war — I really mean internecine in the sense of “mutually destructive”; the Korean War was very much a part of the Cold War. The PRC sent many reinforcements and troops to aid North Korea (and the USSR lent considerable assistance as well), and the United States did similar for South Korea, making it effectively a proxy war. Later, the rule of Park Chung-hee (1961–1979) saw the establishment of chaebols and many of the other economic staples of the South Korea that we know today. Eventually (1987), South Korea democratised and took on its modern form.

    On the other hand, in the ≈8 years or so following the end of the Korean War, North Korea (now the DPRK) still had greater economic growth than South Korea, despite suffering greater losses as a result of the U.S.A. & UNC’s extremely aggressive bombings and scorched-earth policies.¶ Nevertheless, the effect of these wartime policies was deep-seated and long-lasting:
    With this in mind, and with the political backing & alliance with the PRC and the USSR — both of which nominally adhered to some variation of Stalinism, thus encouraging state capitalism — it’s perhaps less than surprising that the DPRK continued to adhere to Juche [주체사상] (purportedly a variation on Stalinism), as a justification of something like an autarkic dictatorship, and all that (not to imply that the ROK didn’t also “enjoy” its fair share of dictatorship in the years after the Korean War… it did). You know the drill. As it turns out, this is not a recipe for worldwide economic success.

    Okay, I’ve gone too far. What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, states and their rices. One thing that I find striking about the history of Korea is that the kingdoms and peoples of the Korean Peninsula were, for most of Korean history, oriented much more towards their Chinese neighbours than their Japanese ones.‡ Korean folks often thought of Japan as just being generally culturally inferior, and they were understandably very upset by the Imjin War‡ (1592–1598; note that the Ming supported the Joseon in this war), which was started by Japan invading Korea — not once, but twice — with the hopes of conquering it. It wasn’t until Some Stuff Happened™※ during the 20th century that many Koreans (specifically elites, businessmen, professionals — i.e. the upper class☟) learned to speak Japanese☟, and South Korea’s socioeconomic development started to be modelled on Japan’s — with the aid of lots of foreign investment from Japan, of course!‡

    If we instead look to the economic history of China…⁂ (emphasis mine)
    (emphasis mine)

    Now, we’re talking about the Ming and Qing dynasties here, which is like 1368–1912 CE; a huge date range! But also, certainly pre-capitalist, and hopefully representative enough of pre-industrial mainland East Asian economies for our purposes. The main takeaways here are:
    • Subsistence farming.
    • Paying taxes in kind (rather than with something that is a “true currency”).
    • Agricultural (and other peasant product) surpluses that aren’t eaten up by the above-mentioned taxes can be taken to the nearest market (鎮) in exchange for other goods (e.g. eyeglasses).
    What does all of this have to do with State-held Rice?? What does this have to do with Mr. Shim??? How much EXP am I going to get from this???? Well, another looser — but hopefully somewhat more sensical — interpretation is that these gunny sacks of government-approved rice could be used to pay taxes here in our fairytale rural Korean folk town. Thus, farming for rice of this kind, and then trading it for some other good (e.g. eyeglasses), would be a reasonable way for someone like Mr. Shim to get a pair of eyeglasses. The government may not accept a pair of eyeglasses as a tax payment, but a bunch of rice just might do the trick.

    Anyways, three hundred State-held Rices was enough to push tara into the 42nd level!:

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    I then headed up the Helios Tower to Ludibrium, for some more Loodi quests. I talked to Olson the Toy Soldier for the Dollhouse quest, and he took me to Doll’s House, a very tall map full of (Green) Super Tricksters (Super Tricksters, not Super Trixters!) and plastic dollhouses:

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    My task is then to find the “real” dollhouse, and break it open to retrieve a Pendulum. Luckily for me, the real dollhouse is the one that you see at the top of the image above. The fake dollhouses look very similar to the real one, but the handles on top of the fake ones look more flat. You can see that the middle of the handle is embossed, and on the fake dollhouses, the embossed region has flat-looking sides instead of looking round all the way around.

    For Cleaning Up the Inner Parts of Eos Tower, Marcel had me slaying Black Ratzes…

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    And slaying Trixters…

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    I collected some Worn-Out Goggles and some Propellers for The Lost Guard quest, which is just a repeatable quest that you can do for Eos Rock Scrolls:

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    Oh, right. And there’s that quest from Tigun the Advisor which has you donating a single Sapphire to him so that… he can donate it to a monarch…?

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    Sounds like bootlicking to me F3…

    I also did another one of Tigun’s quests, hunting some Green Trixters for Spider’s Out at Eos Tower:

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    The sequel to the Dollhouse quest is A Delivery to a Lost Time, which had me killing Tick-Tocks in search of the All-purpose Clock Spring:

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    While I was there along the Path of Time, I hunted some Chronoses for the Maple History Book III, and for their Cogs for Rocky’s Parts, Assembling a Toy, Assembling the Alarm Clock — and later, Today’s Schedule:

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    While I was killing Chronoses, I was blessed with a 2(!) INT Mystic Shield!:

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    Continuing the A Delivery to a Lost Time questline, I did The Clocktower Headache, which had me punching wee lil Ticks in their tiny lil clockfaces:

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    I needed some ≈220 or so Cheap Batteries for The Clock Worker’s Batteries and Assembling a Toy (plus some Mechanical Hearts from Master Robos), so I went to the Toy Factory region of the Ludi clocktower to kick some shiny metal Robo butt:

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    While I was beating up toy robots, I hit level 43~!:

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    Also in the Toy Factory region, I went to see Mac the Mechanic for the Mac the Mechanic’s Maintenance Manual (nice alliteration ) quest, which sent me to a place called the “Secret Factory” o_o:

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    Breaking the boxes spawns special Toy Trojans, and defeating these Trojans yields the Maintenance Manual that Mac the Mechanic was missing:

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    Continuing Marcel’s quests, I did Cleaning Up the Outer Parts of Eos Tower by slaying some Propellies and Tweeters:

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    It was at this point that I was joined by assassin SuperLuck (Level1Crook, Lvl1Crook, xXCrookXx)! We farmed Mateons at Off-Limits:

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    And when I say that we “farmed Mateons”, I mean that we farmed a lot of Mateons. Like, a lot a lot. The “The Antidote” questline, from Rice the Medic, has you collect 1 500 (yes, 1.5k) Mateon’s Tentacles.

    We were briefly joined in our efforts to slay All Of The Mateons™ by an I/L magician by the name of bluedreamy:

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    This questline is so damn long, and requires killing so many damn Mateons, that I levelled not once, but twice:

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    The level 45 one I unfortunately had to do myself, with a lot of Three Snailing and sweat and tears…

    Now that I have collected 1.5k(!) Mateon’s Tentacles, it is time to receive THE ULTIMATE PRIZE from Rice the Medic:

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    Thx, Rice. ’Preciate it.

    Since I was now in the Omega Sector, I took the opportunity to do some Omega quests, including Dr. Kim’s Comments, which had me hunting for space burgers from Barnard Grays, and Eliminating Grays, which — as the name implies — was having me murder those same Grays. It was at this time that I found out that pride month is indeed celebrated in the Omega Sector:

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    ️‍\/️‍⚧️

    I headed over to the Boswell Field II to kill some Plateons for Eliminating Plateon:

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    And then 200 moar Plateons, plus 150 Mecateon’s Laser Guns from Mecateons, for Eliminating Plateon and Mecateon:

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    For Trading with Alien Gray, I headed over to the Omega Sector’s Silo, where I started breaking random shit to find Secret Documents™:

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    This was enough to propel me to level 46~!:

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    While I was there in the Silo, I talked to Chury, who sent me on a mission to determine Where is Dogon’s HQ?

    Well, I found it. The Entrance to Dogon’s HQ is tucked away in Kulan Field V, and I made my way to Dogon’s HQ proper:

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    As is well-known, the best way to secure your super-secret HQ from intruders is to make it float in the sky, and then require anyone who wants to get up there to teleport around a bunch of little grassy platforms until they make their way up. Effectively, the HQ is protected by a password consisting of a string of eight trits, which is — in and of itself — [sub]2[/sub](3[sup]8[/sup]) ≈ 12.68 bits of information (more specifically, entropy). This is somewhat comparable to (albeit less than) the amount of entropy in a (randomly & uniformly selected) four-decimal-digit PIN, which would be [sub]2[/sub](10[sup]4[/sup]) ≈ 13.29 bits. Compare this to a MapleLegends account password: I think(?) that MapleLegends passwords allow all — and only — printable ASCII characters, which means that each character has 7e[sub]16[/sub] − 20[sub]16[/sub] + 1 = 95 possibilities. Assuming that every password is of maximum length (which is 12, for MapleLegends passwords), and assuming that passwords are selected uniformly, this is [sub]2[/sub](95[sup]12[/sup]) ≈ 78.84 bits of entropy in a single password, which makes 12.68 bits look super weaksauce. And that’s saying something, considering that 78.84 bits is not really amazing for a password (I would usually shoot for ≥96 bits◊); but, you know, we do the best with what Necksawn’s old game client allows us, I guess. Good enough.

    If you didn’t know the password to Dogon’s HQ (which can be found on Hidden Street, but we’ll ignore that for now), though, brute-forcing it is not even as difficult as you might fear, given the bare “12.68 bits of entropy” figure. On average, brute-forcing such a string of eight trits would take (3[sup]8[/sup] + 1) ÷ 2 = 3 281 attempts, which seems like kinda a lot, since we gotta actually move our PC around and stuff! But the actual way that brute-forcing works is not by guessing an entire string at a time. Instead, we guess the first trit, and immediately know whether or not it’s correct; then, if it is correct, we can guess the next trit; and so on. Getting a trit incorrect means starting over from the first one, which does slow things down a bit, but overall this is a rather swift process. In fact, it’s not all that difficult to calculate the expected number of trit-attempts (a trit-attempt involves using a single portal; it may or may not be a guess, because you may or may not already know the value of that trit) necessary to brute-force the password of Dogon’s HQ, given no information to start with…

    It’s obvious that we expect to take two “guesses” to go beyond a given trit: we could get it right the first time (one guess), or we could get it right the second time, or we could get it right on our third and final try; the midpoint of 1 and 3 is (1 + 3) ÷ 2 = 2. If we already know the first ( − 1) trits, then it would seem that guessing the th trit takes, on average, 2⁢ trit-attempts; this is because each guess requires trit-attempts, as you have to re-input the first ( − 1) already-known trits before making your actual guess. But actually, we don’t even need 2⁢ trit-attempts! Once we’ve successfully guessed the value of an unknown trit, we are immediately allowed to guess the value of the next trit by only expending a single trit-attempt. This gives us a head-start of ( − 1) trit-attempts, meaning that we actually only need 2⁢ − ( − 1) = + 1 trit-attempts, on average, to go beyond the th trit.

    We want to go beyond the 8th trit, as this exactly represents successfully entering the password. Note that we don’t just want to know the password, we want to enter it; it’s possible to incorrectly guess the final trit twice, and thus know the entire password without having entered it yet. To calculate the expected number of trit-attempts required to get to this point, we have to perform a summation⧆ of the expected number of trit-attempts required for going beyond each of the 8 trits: ∑( + 1), for ≔ 1 up to ≔ 8. This summation looks a lot like a triangular number, except that we are skipping 1; we have ∑, for ≔ 2 up to ≔ 9. Because we aren’t starting at 1, this is sometimes called a trapezoidal number, which can be expressed as the difference between two triangular numbers. In particular, if [sub][/sub] is the th triangular number, then:

    + ( + 1) + ⋯ + ( − 1) + = [sub][/sub] − [sub]−1[/sub].

    In our particular case, = 2 and = 9, so we have:

    [sub]9[/sub] − [sub]1[/sub] = ½ ⋅ 9⁢(9 + 1) − ½ ⋅ 1⁢(1 + 1) = 45 − 1 = 44.

    Or, you know, you can open up a Python REPL and enter sum(range(2, 10)), and get the same result. Whatever works.

    As you can see, 44 is a lot more optimistic than the expected 3 281 full-password attempts that would be required if this were a conventional password input. An expectation of 44 “attempts” — if we pretend like these are the “attempts” of a conventional password input, which they aren’t — equates to ✨effectively✨ [sub]2[/sub](44 ⋅ 2 − 1) ≈ 6.44 bits of “““entropy”””. Sad. Whoever this “Dogon” guy is needs a visit from a cybersecurity expert or something…

    Needless to say, I cracked the password, and stole Dogon’s precious secrets:

    [​IMG]

    Both Eliminating Chief Gray and Chief Gray’s Sign would have me beating up the elderly Roswell aliens of the population, so I went to find myself some mustachioed Chief Grays…:

    [​IMG]

    And, lo & behold, the Chief Gray’s Signs and Notes that I sought:

    [​IMG]

    Now that I had killed a bunch of Chief Grays, I was tasked with The History of Zeta Leticulan (see also: ζ Reticuli, ζ Reticuli in fiction), which had me collecting these weirdly giant cell-looking thingies from the Grays of the Kulan Field:

    [​IMG]

    Gross. I’ll take four of them.

    For The Effort to Make-Up, Yellow Mesoranger had me slaying 120 of the Ultra Grays, for which I headed to KFV:

    [​IMG]

    The Revolutionary Plan for Constructing Defensive Walls is, unusually, a timed quest. From the moment that you accept the quest, you have 30 minutes to turn it in, after which the quest is failed and must be restarted if you want to complete it. What is particularly strange about this timed quest is that it asks for only one thing, and that one thing is a handful of completely ordinary ETC items. Yellow Toy Blocks are not quest items; they are frequently dropped by ordinary Block Golems as their usual leftover ETC drop. Thus, it’s very likely that the PC will simply instantly finish the quest, having already gathered ≥20 Yellow Toy Blocks beforehand. I decided to do it the apparently intended way, though:

    [​IMG]

    And… yeah. I could have done it easily, even if the time limit were only 10 minutes. No biggie.

    For General Maestro’s quests, I had to kill some Drumming Bunnies for their Dull Crystals. The first quest in the questline, The Ore of Dark Crystal, simply asks for 20 of them:

    [​IMG]

    As I was already quite far up the Eos Tower in search of Drumming Bunnies, I headed back to Ludibrium. In the Toy Factory region, I talked to Assistant Cheng for The Missing Mechanical Parts quest. This quest is perhaps better known as simply “the Ludi JQ”:

    [​IMG]

    Oh boy… Unfortunately, I am not known for my JQ prowess. But, I tried it anyways:

    [​IMG]

    As it turns out, this JQ is, regrettably, beyond my skill level. Rather than spending days trying to do it anyways, I decided to move on to more interesting and less infuriating bits of the Toy Factory…

    For Assembling the Alarm Clock, I needed a pair of Special Batteries, which are quest items that can only be obtained from Master Robos:

    [​IMG]

    For my efforts, I was awarded with 50 Fat Sausages. Yummy.

    Oh, and we can’t forget Nemi’s quests, can we? These quests are actually quite low level (28), but I forgot to go out to the Ludibrium Village to find her. Nemi’s First Ingredient had me killing Ratz for their Savory Cheeses:

    [​IMG]

    One of the Nemi quests, Nemi’s Lunchbox Delivery, had me delivering lunch to Nemi’s father, Manager Karl, who — as his title implies — occupies a managerial position at the Toy Factory. This seemingly innocuous delivery quest leads to another quest by the name of Just Another Day At Work:
    Equipped with Manager Karl’s Camera, my task was then to photograph each & every one of the Roly-Poly NPCs (yes, all ten of them), in order, so that… their manager will know that they’re working hard? It’s not at all clear to me that this will have the simple effect that Karl apparently wants. Even if I were somehow able to take surprise candid photographs of the Roly-Proleys✤, a single photograph is just not a lot of information in this context; a single snapshot seems fairly likely to be misleading, or at least to be less than useful.

    But I suppose that’s kind of beside the point, isn’t it? Karl notes that, ordinarily, the Roly-Proleys would be working at the Toy Factory, allowing Karl the benefit of “watching over them”. The Roly-Proley’s work environment is conditioned on this level of discipline (note that « discipline » in the context of said book is translated from the French surveiller “to monitor; to survey; to [keep] watch [over]”, cognate with the English surveil), and so Karl intends to produce — or rather, instil — this kind of discipline to the extent possible, given his technological limitations and his inability to personally visit his workers. The content, per se, of the photographs that I take is immaterial; it suffices for Karl to merely see that I have brought the ten photographs back to him, to know that I’ve done what he requested. The effect on the Roly-Proleys need only be social-psychological

    Now, in the year 2022, workplace surveillance (also referred to in English as employee monitoring) is not only extremely common, but also enjoys much more advanced technological penetration. Techniques that may already have been familiar even to turn-of-the-millennium workers include routine drug testing, email snooping/surveillance, and CCTV.➿ Other common techniques now include keylogging, webcam snooping, and “algorithmic surveillance” systems that aggregate huge quantities of detail about employee behaviour & performance, and shove them through machine learning software to generate predictions of future job performance and identify places where more efficiency can be squeezed out (the tendency here is generally to labour intensification, which is not to be confused with labour productivity; the result is — again, generally — an increase in absolute surplus-value☛). Even bioinformative devices such as Alphabet’s fitbit™➿, or RFID microchip implants✍, are now used for workplace surveillance. From 2020 onwards, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a clear increase in remote work (WFH) prevalence, and along with that, a clear increase in computational employee monitoring:❄
    In cases where employment is more gig-like (i.e. “independent contractor”, gig work, temp work, “crowdwork”, etc.) — and thus, workers have sparse, if any, legal protection — the computerisation of workplace surveillance can even extend to automated wage deductions and/or dismissal.〽❄

    All of this would seem to make Manager Karl’s Camera look quaint — almost cute. The cheery dialogue, toy block aesthetic, and seemingly harmless workplace photography surreptitiously conceal a kind of « discipline » that underlies, dans l’horreur, the everyday reality of workers since at least as far back as the early 20th century. “Just Another Day At Work”, indeed.

    What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, I also had some more blocky golems to dismantle, for another Marcel quest by the name of Eos Tower Threatened!, plus a Just Another Day At Work follow-up quest called Fixing Eos Tower:

    [​IMG]

    Oh, and one last quest for our guy Marcel: Peace at Eos Tower, which simply asks to kill a single Rombot:

    [​IMG]

    Somewhat amusingly, Marcel has this to say about Rombot:
    Describing Rombot as “[a]stonishingly powerful” and suggesting that the player should take on the Rombot alongside their guild might seem laughable; Rombot has a measly 11k HP, mediocre WDEF/MDEF, a level of 47 (somewhat high, given that the quest is level 40, but really not very impressive in general), and not-so-fearsome WATK/MATK. I doubt that one could take an amount of damage from a single Rombot attack in excess of ≈300 or so, although maybe its magical attacks are stronger than its base 185 MATK would imply. With all of that being said, this is Ludibrium that we’re talking about. It’s likely that, given the state of the game at the time that this quest was designed, Rombot really was astonishingly powerful! It also suggests that area bosses (read: bosses that spawn in ordinary maps, like non-boss monsters — albeit usually on a timer) were not originally intended to be cute little treasure chests that anyone can quickly pop open, the subjects of “camping” behaviours by players as a result of their winner-take-all timer mechanism prizing the player’s ability to simply “have time”, nothing better to do, and a way to (secretly!) keep track of respawn times, above all else. Rombot, like many other early area bosses (e.g. Mushmom, Jr. Balrog, etc.), was supposed to live up to the name: it was a boss.

    Now that I was near the bottom of the Eos Tower, I returned to the Omega Sector and turned in the first General Maestro quest, which elevated me to the level of 47:

    [​IMG]

    If you thought that my Mateon-slaying days were over already, think again. Korin’s Memory (again, another low-level quest that I forgot to do because it’s in the Ludi Village) would have me killing even moar Mateons, this time in search of the lost memories of our amnesiac friend Korin. Korin’s story appears at first like a typical MIB encounter: ten months(!) of missing memories, being interrogated by mysterious men in black suits, and all that jazz. Although, at first, it seems suspiciously like the MIB may have been wholly or partly responsible for Korin’s distressing amnesia — after all, part of the “MIB” trope is that MIB are government agents who are tasked with covering up the existence of UFOs, extraterrestrial life, etc. — Agent Marco seems cooperative, and correctly identifies Mateons as those possessing the missing pieces of Korin’s memory:

    [​IMG]

    With five of these pieces, Marco is able to reconstruct Korin’s Memory (which just so happens to look exactly like an Aquamarine…), and returning the gem to Korin restores her rather traumatic alien abduction memories.

    I also did some Retrieving the Robotic Parts at Dr. Kim’s behest:

    [​IMG]

    And, continuing General Maestro’s questline, Where’s the Power of Origin? had me looking for Gray’s Document, hopefully a hint that may help to reveal the power source — or rather, former power source, as the crystals are now dull and lifeless — of the Dull Crystals that I collected earlier:

    [​IMG]

    Dr. Kim also had me doin’ some good ol’ fashioned alien slayin’, but this time, slaying the fearsome MT-09s, which can only be found at the somewhat oddly-named “Defeat Monsters”:

    [​IMG]

    These things are actually pretty tuff, but I only had to kill five of them, so it wasn’t an incredible chore.

    To cap off General Maestro’s questline, I was tasked with Terminating the Dark Force, which had me killing even more Drumming Bunnies for their Dull Crystals, but also for their Dark Crystal Ores! But that’s not all — another Roly-Proley questline, including both The Drumming Bunny and Eliminating the Drumming Bunny, would have me collecting not 50, not 100, but 1 100 Toy Drums!! It’s those Mateon Tentacles all over again…

    So, needless to say, I was at the Drummer Bunny’s Lair minidungeon for quite a while… I did a little @epm test while I was there, and also ended up with some neato equipment drops like Panlids (both of which are perfect clean!) and an Aluminium Baseball Bat:

    [​IMG]

    After personally seeing to the utter destruction of countless pink bunnies and their marching bass drums, I did eventually get the approximately ≈7.3 gazillion ETC items that I sought…

    I was motivated to revisit the Ludi JQ by Slime (OmokTeacher, DamagePer, Thinks, JumpQuest), known JQ master who graciously offered to help me out with completing this terrible quest. At first, we found out that once you complete the quest, you can no longer gain entry into the JQ, so he had to relog to another character by the IGN of DamagePer. Unfortunately for both of us, however, it turns out that this JQ map is instanced on a per-PC basis. We even tried entering as a party…:

    [​IMG]

    …But to no avail. Game indeed sux. There is at least some excuse for this behaviour: the JQ is completed by having all ten Machine Parts in one’s inventory, but only ten are dropped throughout the JQ, and the Machine Parts are untradeable (and destroyed upon leaving the JQ map). So, if more than one PC were allowed into the JQ map at once, then the JQ would instantly be failed for both PCs as soon as both PCs had >0 Machine Parts in their inventories. Of course, in our case, this was fine; DamagePer wouldn’t be looting any Machine Parts, so it would work out normally. Unfortunately, however, we had no way to explain this to the game…

    Anywho, turning in my 1.1k Toy Drums brought me up to level 48:

    [​IMG]

    And, I did another Roly-Proley quest by the name of Roly-Poly 6’s Tool, which had me killing Bloctopuses in search of a missing Screwdriver:

    [​IMG]

    And, while I was in the habit of slaying bloctos, I did yet another Roly-Proley quest called Helping Fix Eos Tower, which had me killing King Bloctopuses on the 22nd floor:

    [​IMG]

    After so long in Ludus Lake, I took a trip back to þᵉ olde Victoria Island, to do some questing with vicloc I/L gish VigiI (Harlez)! We both needed Curse Eye Tails for quests like Strange Dish and Mr. Wetbottom’s Secret Book, plus upwards of 1k Curse Eye kills for the POLLUTED! ⧼2 – Curse Eye⧽ questline, so we headed to Tree Dungeon, Forest Up North IX to grind some green monocular reptilian bozos:

    [​IMG]

    After the slaying of countless bipedal lizards, I turned in my Curse Eye quests, and hit level 49~!:

    [​IMG]

    While I was at Victoria Island, I tried to tie up some loose ends with my quests, including getting the one Maple History Book that I forgot: Maple History Book II (ironically, the easiest one to get…):

    [​IMG]

    And, I went to Pet-Walking Road to obtain Follow the Lead, which I may want to use quite soon:

    [​IMG]

    Plus some other stuff, e.g. giving 100 Cogs to Betty.

    By way of Nautilus Harbour, I went to Aqua Road to do Hughes’ New Research, which meant farming some Pooper Eggs:

    [​IMG]

    I went on up to Orbis and started wandering around in search of those wooden crates that are inexplicable scattered around the town, trying to find Empty Potion Bottles for To the New World:

    [​IMG]

    As I was wandering around Orbis, I was reminded of the signs that you can see scattered around Orbis, as well as around the Ellinia Station (whose flights lead to Orbis).

    Orbis appears to be modelled on… Greece(?), albeit from an ambiguous time period, attempting to evoke “Ancient Greece” whilst remaining cartoonish and fantasy-like:
    I mentioned the “To the New World” quest; this quest is, as its name implies, intended to be the “linking” (if you will) quest between Victoria Island and Ossyria, in much the same way that MapleStory Basic Knowledge links newly Lith Harbour’d players to Japan. This quest would have been an important part of the addition of Orbis/Ossyria to MapleStory (as you may remember, Ossyria originally did not exist in MapleStory), and it begins by asking the PC to transport Tears of Kelvelos from Ellinia to Kriel the Fairy (who resides in the Orbis Department Store). I wondered if there is, perhaps, some significance to the name « Kelvelos » — the name doesn’t immediately ring a bell, at least not to me. After a few fruitless WWW searches, I came across a doctoral thesis on the subject of elementary education during the Hellenistic & Roman Greek periods♆, which contains the following passage (the original is in Italian):
    (emphasis mine)

    The erroneous spelling « Κελβελος » ⟨Kelbelos⟩, as mentioned in the quotation above, is a misspelling of Κέρβερος ⟨Kérberos⟩, commonly referred to in English as “Cerberus” (or as the “hound of Hades”). Modern Greek would romanise this as ⟨Kérveros⟩, and pronounce it as /ˈke̞ɾve̞ɾo̞s̠/. Although this is already considerably different from how Cerberus is pronounced in English — /ˈsɝbəɹəs/ — Necksawn took the liberty of deviating even further (apparently forgetting what order the ‘r’s and ‘b’s occur in…), getting us (Jr.) Cerebes, which is probably(??) pronounced /ˈsɛɹəbiːz/? /ˈsɛɹəbɛs/?? /ˈsɛɹəbəs/, I guess…? I don’t know, my brain hurts.

    Anyways, the Tears of Kelvelos are, apparently, the tears of the hound of Hades, as spoken by someone with a lallation…

    Don’t get it twisted, though. There’s definitely some Ancient Roman shit going on here, too. Orbis itself is totally Latin in origin (meaning “circle, ring; circular motion; disc; the Earth, the world, the globe”), and has nothing to do with Greek. Neither ορμπις ⟨ormpis⟩ nor ορβις ⟨orvis⟩ mean anything. That brings us to the signage that I was talking about:

    [​IMG]

    Wat.

    « ορβισ στατιον », you say? I’m going to ignore the fact that it should be « ορβις στατιον », because whatever. In any case, that’s ⟨orvis station⟩, but… English is certainly misleading us here. That’s actually /o̞ɾvis̠ ˈs̠tɐtio̞n/, which is a big ol’ “wat?” as far as I’m concerned. For reference, the English station is pronounced /ˈsteɪʃən/. That’s /ʃ/, not /ti/!! Wizet PLZ!!!

    Ok, obviously you’re just supposed to pronounce it in English, and this is just a (shitty) transliteration of English text into the Standard Modern Greek alphabet — barely more than a simple substitution cipher. In this particular case, we have:
    ciphertextGreek romanisationGreek pronunciationplaintextEnglish pronunciation
    ορβισ στατιονorvis station/o̞ɾvis̠ ˈs̠tɐtio̞n/orbis station/ˈɔːɹbɪs ˈsteɪʃən/
    [​IMG]
    ciphertextGreek romanisationGreek pronunciationplaintextEnglish pronunciation
    ΓΥΙΛΔGUILD/ɣilð/GUILD/ɡɪld/
    [​IMG]

    Okay, this one legitimately confuses me. Is that really « ςΙΧΤΟΡΙΑ »?? Not only is ‘ς’ the only lowercase letter in the bunch, but ‘ς’ only occurs word-finally? Hello?? Okay, I don’t know how else to read it, so…
    ciphertextGreek romanisationGreek pronunciationplaintextEnglish pronunciation
    ςΙΧΤΟΡΙΑsICHTORIA/s̠ixˈto̞ɾiɐ/sICHTORIA(??)lmfao.
    If we’re generous and assume that the plaintext was supposed to be « VICTORIA » (I donno what else it would be):
    ciphertextGreek romanisationGreek pronunciationplaintextEnglish pronunciation
    ΒΙΚΤΟΡΙΑVIKTORIA/vikˈto̞ɾiɐ/VICTORIA/vɪkˈtɔːɹiə/
    All better.

    [​IMG]
    ciphertextGreek romanisationGreek pronunciationplaintextEnglish pronunciation
    ΠΛΑΤΦΟΡΜPLATFORM/plɐtfo̞ɾm/PLATFORM/ˈplætfɔː(ɹ)m/
    ΗΕΝΕΣΙΣĒENESIS/ˈie̞ne̞s̠is̠/HENESYS/ˈhɛnəsɪs/? You tell me.
    ΠΕΡΙΟΝPERION/ˈpe̞ɾio̞n/PERION/ˈpɛɹiːɒn/? :)
    ΕΛΛΙΝΙΑELLINIA/e̞ˈliniɐ/ELLINIA/ɛˈlɪniə/
    ΚΥΝΝΙΒΓKYNNIVG/kinivɣ/(??)KERNING(?)/ˈkɜː(ɹ)nɪŋ/
    Doing pretty well here. “Henesys” is tough when you realise that Modern Greek has no such thing as /h/, but I think that they made a reasonable choice. On the other hand, the “Kerning”(?) one is questionable at best. I’m really not sure what’s going on there; I guess they got tired and gave up. I would maybe do something like…
    ciphertextGreek romanisationGreek pronunciationplaintextEnglish pronunciation
    ΚΕΡΝΙΓΓKERNING/ke̞ɾniŋg/KERNING/ˈkɜː(ɹ)nɪŋ/
    …What was I doing again? Oh right, Orbis.

    I needed to collect some items from Nependeaths and Dark Nependeaths for To the New World, as well as for The Chaos [χάος] Behind Alfonse Green and the Nependeath Juice, so I headed to a ✨hidden street✨ by the name of Disposed Flower Garden to do some flower vanquishing:

    [​IMG]

    Fighting these is honestly kinda annoying because they can’t move, and are planted just far enough away from one another that it’s impossible for me to hit more than one of them at the same time. Luckily, these flowers only have 2.1k or 2.7k HP, so it’s not incredibly painful.

    If you thought that I was done talking about Greek, though, I must inform you — for better or for worse — that you would be wrong. “Nependeath” is, ultimately, from the Ancient Greek νηπενθές ⟨nēpenthés⟩, which is from νη- ⟨nē-⟩ “not, no; negation of; without” + πένθος ⟨pénthos⟩ “grief, sorrow, misery”. Plus, you know, the English word death (which is Germanic in origin, from *dauþuz). Νηπενθές is mentioned by Homer [Ὅμηρος] in the classic Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια]; I’ve reproduced four versions of the relevant passage (from book IV) here:
    (emphasis mine)

    The first version is the original, the second version is a romanised version of the first, the third version is an English translation due to Samuel Butler (1900), and the fourth version is an English translation due to William Cowper (1791).

    It should be noted that Homer depicts this drug as being somewhat exotic; it was given to Helen by an Egyptian woman, and Homer notes that this particular people of Egypt are all physicians, sons & daughters of Paieon [Παιήων], the physician of the gods. English speakers will notice the term φάρμακον ⟨phármakon⟩, which does indeed mean what it sounds like: “drug”. Apparently, in the 19th century, it was widely believed that νηπενθές referred to C. sativa, a.k.a. the 420 plant. So basically, Helen was out here putting weed in everyone’s wine so that they could get cross-faded.

    In 1737, Carl Linnaeus referenced this passage by naming a genus of carnivorous plantsNepenthes”. Kind of a weird name to call a bunch of carnivorous plants, but Linnaeus explains:
    As you can see, Carl was really excited about carnivorous plants.

    Nepenthes are found mostly across Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. They can also be found in the southern Chinese provinces/regions of Hǎinán [海南], Guǎngxī [广西], and Guǎngdōng [广东] (and Hong Kong [香港] — not sure about Macau [澳門]), as well as Śrī Laṅkā [ශ්‍රී ලංකාව], the Australian state of Queensland, New Caledonia, Seychelles, and even the eastern regions of Madagascar [Madagasikara].

    Also, you can find them in Orbis:

    [​IMG]

    *All Korean romanisations here use Revised Romanisation (RR).

    †Although 정부jeongbu⟩ straightforwardly means “government”, machine translations tend to translate 미 ⟨mi⟩ — erroneously, in this context — as “beauty” (its usual meaning). This is because 미 (and also 정부, for that matter) is used here as a Sino-Korean term; the hanja form is mi⟩, which is from the Sinitic word written in the same way (pinyin: ), meaning “rice”.

    ‡Carter J. Eckert, Ki-baik Lee, Young Ick Lew, Michael Robinson, & Edward W. Wagner; Korea Old and New: A History; Ilchokak Publishers; 1990.

    ⸸Marcus Noland; “The Korean Economy: Past, Present, and Future: An Interview with Marcus Noland”; Education About Asia, vol. 18:3; 2013.

    ¶Charles K. Armstrong; “The Destruction and Reconstruction of North Korea, 1950–1960”; The Asia-Pacific Journal, vol. 7; 2009.

    ※Don’t ask me. It’s still controversial. A lot of the Stuff That Happened™ was… how do I say this delicately… not good.

    ❦Philip Huang; The Peasant Family and Rural Development in the Yangzi Delta, 1350–1988; Stanford University Press; 1990.

    ⁂Chuǎng [闯]; “Sorghum & Steel: The Socialist Developmental Regime and the Forging of China”; Chuǎng, iss. 1 (Dead Generations); 2016.

    ☟Keep in mind that the Korean Peninsula was a colony of (i.e. was annexed by) Japan at this point, so Japanese elites largely controlled/dominated the urban sector of the economy, and almost all native Koreans who lived in urban areas (which would be nearly ≈20% of Koreans at this point) worked for wages in factories. Eckert et al.‡ use the phrase “political safety valve” to describe the process whereby the Japanese allowed a small number of Koreans to hold white-collar/elite positions within the economy, which meant being highly educated, including education in the Japanese language (amongst other things).

    ◊Speaking of which, PSA: Use a password manager, for the love of all that is holy!! I personally recommend Bitwarden (it is FLOSS), but you know, just use one. Please. You’d better believe that I’m not memorising a hundred 24-character-long randomly-generated passwords, and you shouldn’t have to, either…!

    ⧆Note that we are only allowed to do a simple summation here because expectation is a linear operator.

    ✤Please forgive me. ’Twas too easy.

    ➿Alex Rosenblat, Tamara Kneese, & danah boyd; Workplace Surveillance; Data & Society Research Institute; Oct. 2014; https://www.datasociety.net/pubs/fow/WorkplaceSurveillance.pdf (archived).

    ☛Deepankar Basu, Cameron Haas, & Athanasios Moraitis; “What is the Impact of an Intensification of Labour on the Rate and Form of Exploitation?”; Economics Department Working Paper Series, no. 298; Feb. 2021; https://doi.org/10.7275/21613819.

    ✍Padraig Belton; “How does it feel to be watched at work all the time?”; BBC News (Business); Apr. 2019; https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47879798 (archived).

    ❄Lindsay Clark; “Workplace surveillance booming during pandemic, destroying trust in employers”; The Register; Nov. 2021; https://www.theregister.com/2021/11/12/workplace_monitoring_report/ (archived).

    〽Katyanna Quach; “Amazon delivery staff ‘denied bonus’ pay by AI cameras misjudging their driving”; The Register; Sep. 2021; https://www.theregister.com/2021/09/27/in_brief_ai/ (archived).

    ♆Lucia Degiovanni; Leggere, scrivere e far di conto: L’istruzione elementare nell’età ellenistico-romana; doctoral thesis, Università degli Studi di Bergamo; Mar. 2016; https://dx.doi.org/10.13122/degiovanni-lucia_phd2016-03-04 (archived)

    ⚵All Greek romanisations here use ALA-LC romanisation. The text quoted from ♆ is all Ancient Greek (or close enough), so Ancient Greek standards are used there.

    Carmine timber donjon

    I noticed marksman xBowtjuhNL asking in buddy chat if anyone could help with a thief sign for CWKPQ, so I offered to sign on my daggermit alces. After all, the only requirement for such a thing is being level ≥90 and being a thief, so alces easily fits the bill :p

    As it turned out, I was able to help with more than just signing. At first, I asked if I could be allowed to loot a MoN, as alces has been approaching level 110 without a MoN yet — although she would only be using it for about ten levels, as I prefer a Horntail Necklace, and her Horus’ Eye is moderately defensively superior to a MoN. No one else really needed a MoN, so they agreed to let me loot. Since I would have to go inside of the PQ anyways to be able to loot a MoN, I ended up helping with the moving pillars stage*:

    [​IMG]

    This was my first time actually doing this stage. Previously, I would “do” this stage when CWKPQing on my darksterity knight rusa, but because rusa is a warrior, this more or less consisted of walking a few paces to the right and activating the Warrior Sigil. This time, I actually had to do some jumping around and finding the Thief Sigil, as you can see above. Of course, activating a Thief Sigil requires using one of the following skills:
    The first three are right out the window, as they are only available to chief bandits (CBs) and shadowers, but alces is a hermit. I do have Avenger, but only because it’s a pre-requisite for Flash Jump (FJ); I can’t actually use it, as it’s unusable with a dagger equipped. So, thankfully, I had some Summoning Rocks with me, plus a single (1) vanity skillpoint in Shadow Partner for shits & gigs…

    I also helped do the Thief Sigil in the fire–bat stage:

    [​IMG]

    And, the coolest part was being the one to do the thief room!:

    [​IMG]

    Of course, I’d never been in this room before in my life! You may have noticed that alces has been holding a Christmas Tree; this is because I didn’t expect that I’d be fighting anything, so I didn’t bother transferring alces’s gear to her. So the X-mas tree was the only dagger I had on-hand that I could actually equip :p

    I did actually need the tree, as the floating horned eyeball thingy that you see above must be basic-attacked until it disappears. These floating eyeballs are reactors that can only be broken with melee basic-attacks, and there’s a few of them scattered across the thief room; clearing the stage consists in clearing the map of all eyeballs. You can see that there are a bunch of Master Guardians all over the map, but you don’t have to kill them or anything. As far as I can tell, they are mostly there to allow CBs and shadowers to clear the room; the main difficulty of the room is that you need special mobility skills to get close enough to the eyeballs to hit ’em:

    [​IMG]

    I’m using FJ here because it’s the only way for me to make this jump, even with max SPEED & max JUMP; a CB/shadower would have to use Assaulter on a nearby Master Guardian to make their way up.

    After getting briefly confused by a floating eyeball that I couldn’t see (it was covered up by a crowd of Master Guardians), I proved my power and demonstrated my status as a master thief :]

    [​IMG]

    With the Primal Claw in hand, I went back to restore the claw to its rightful owner:

    [​IMG]

    And I did get to loot MoNs! I was satisfied to walk away with a 4 WATK MoN, to be used in a level or two :]

    For xBowtjuhNL’s second CWKPQ run, he needed a cleaver to fill in, so I joined him on rusa:

    [​IMG]

    As usual, because I am stinky cleave (P U!!), some of the ranged folks came over to help us with the cleave bosses…

    [​IMG]

    *I’m tempted to call it “the first stage”, because it basically is, but it’s technically not, so calling it “the first stage” is unfortunately too confusing.

    시간의 신전

    I’ve been continuing along the Temple of Time (ToT) questline on my darksterity knight rusa! Assisted by pog shadower & Maple husband Harlez (VigiI), I started with the 999 Qualm Guardian kill quest:

    [​IMG]

    Indeed, Qualm Guardians seem to really enjoy a good hip-thrust or two.

    By the time I had accumulated 999 kills, I was so close to levelling up that completing the quest pushed me over the line!:

    [​IMG]

    Big yert for level 169~! Level 169 is actually a significant milestone, as it’s the lowest level at which you can get EXP normally from level 174 bosses like Dunas and Nameless Magic Monster (NMM; Nameless). So, it looks like I’ll be doing more Neo Tokyo (NT) in the future :p

    Next up was 999 Chief Qualm Guardians:

    [​IMG]

    Chief Qualm Guardians are notable for their ability to offensively shoot these cone-shaped, slow-moving, metal projectiles:

    [​IMG]

    It’s kinda funny to watch them, as they look super heavy, but move quite slowly (it takes maybe an entire second for one to traverse a distance equal to its own length), and always in a completely straight line.

    With those 999 kills out of the way, it was time to face another ToT boss: Lilynouch! Besides looking really cool — basically like the giant icy unicorn version of a knight ♞ in chess — Lilynouch would seem a bit scary due to its ability to use damage reflection (DR):

    [​IMG]

    However, although Lilynouch does DR, it’s not actually that scary. Lilynouch appears to be designed — like almost all of ToT, with the exception of Pink Bean (PB; not to be confused with PB) — with þᵉ olde MapleStory (read: washing isn’t a Real Thing That You Can Actually Do™… unless you’re a whale, I guess) in mind. So for each time that you hit a DR’d Lilynouch, you only take like 2k damage, or something like that. This is potentially life-threatening for an unwashed ranged/thief character of this level (this quest is level 120), but not an issue for our intrepid darksterity knight.

    I also really like Lilynouch’s name, so I wondered if perhaps it meant anything. As far as I can tell, it… probably doesn’t, but it’s worth noting that nouch is indeed an English word, albeit an obsolete one. The more common form of the word appears to be ouche, but nouch is somewhat more etymological, as ouche is a rebracketing of a nouchean ouche (the term is of Germanic origin). Wiktionary defines ouche as:
    So it’s possible that the -nouche in Lilynouch is in reference to the chained headpiece that it wears, which appears to be made of gold (and painted with something of a dark blue colour). And of course, lily just means “flower, particularly of the genus Lilium”, ultimately of Egyptian origin (q.v. ϩⲗⲏⲣⲓhlēri⟩ “flower”).

    With Lilynouch vanquished, I had a meeting with Sorcerer, who sold me a single (1) potion for the rather steep price of one million mes0rz. Confident that “you get what you pay for”, I quaffed it immediately:

    [​IMG]

    Never trust a sorcerer.

    On the bright side, I could now enter the Road to Oblivion (RtO), a region that I’ve never actually been to before in my Maple career! I made it far enough to get to the Road of Regrets (RoR) when I was doing the ToT quests on my pure STR bishop cervid, but this is my first time in the lava zone of ToT:

    [​IMG]

    999 Oblivion Monks on the Road
    999 Monks of Oblivion
    Take one down, loot all its stuff
    998 Oblivion Monks on the Road………

    Nuptials

    I was thrilled to attend not one, but two beautiful oddball weddings recently.

    The first was a marriage between vicloc STRginner illadvised (Permanovice, Battlesage, Dreamscapes) and vicloc gunslinger Kewpew (kookiechan, kookietann, kurisuwu). As always, their wedding was full of loving, but also highly questionable, vows…:

    [​IMG]

    Once illadvised had said their piece, it was time for Kewpew’s vows…

    [​IMG]

    They tried for a “vows v2.0”, with limited success…:

    [​IMG]

    On another day, I very nearly missed an important wedding between two Oddjobs members, STRginner uayua and I/L gish GishGallop:

    [​IMG]

    As you’d expect, the above screenshot was not taken by me (it is due to VigiI/Harlez), as I was offline at the time. Thankfully, I did make it online in time to attend the wedding:

    [​IMG]

    Definitely the most “vroom vroom” wedding that I’ve ever attended.

    And, once again with the questionable vows…

    [​IMG]

    For better or for worse, it seems that this marriage has some questionable dynamics right out of the gate:

    [​IMG]

    In any case, congrats again to both couples :p

    La reine des rennes, sans rênes

    I’ve been doing some more Zakkin’ on my woodsmaster capreolina

    [​IMG]

    (Not pictured: me. But you can see my three pets, and my obnoxiously large Hurricane animation.)

    As always, Zakum (particularly the arms stage) is a great place to get confused reactions from my fellow Maplers:

    [​IMG]

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    For reasons that are still not entirely clear to me, I ended up being the host of a pair of Zak runs:

    [​IMG]

    This was definitely my first time hosting Zak, and probably my first time hosting any boss, tbh… I can’t say that I really enjoy it; it kinda just makes the whole experience more nervewracking. But hey, I guess someone’s gotta do it. ‍♀️

    Along the way, I went out into the icy fields of El Nath to level myself up to level 138 :p

    [​IMG]

    I figured that I gotta at least try Krecksell at some point, so I headed to Singapore and started killing Berserkies & Veetrons:

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, this also meant coming up against my old nemesis: the treacherous French cars known only as Montrecers…:

    [​IMG]

    Thankfully, I had the assistance of Harlez (VigiI), which made it a lot faster, and thus meant less time being stun-locked by these godforsaken ramshackle automobiles.

    At Ulu Estate II, we collected some Slygie Tails:

    [​IMG]

    For these Krecks prequests, I also had to farm at Petris (Ulu City Centre). As usual, I was mostly just trying not to die. I can’t go wasting even more Safety Charms on this blasted map…

    [​IMG]

    These fellas are real chunky. Who knew that massive slabs of concrete would take so many hits to destroy?

    Speaking of chunky, we wrapped up the Krex prequests by heading to Destroyed Park II to kill some Dukus (a.k.a. baby krexies!):

    [​IMG]

    Very shortly afterwards, I found myself in the middle of my first-ever Krex run on this character, alongside Harlez, paladin ItzLeo, fellow bowmaster Flai, and corsair Alik:

    [​IMG]

    Oops. As it turns out, not only do Krex’s magical attacks two-shot me from full HP, but binding Ginger Ales to both my auto HP and auto MP and then cranking up my auto HP threshold to 75% isn’t enough to stop constant autopot failures! Fun!!

    Krex is kind of a big dumb tree, so unless you’re very squishy like me, it’s unlikely that you die while fighting Krex, assuming that you have some idea of what you’re doing (pro tip: don’t touch the eyes!). With that being said, on another day, Krex decided to prove me wrong on this particular point, by killing two of my party members:

    [​IMG]

    As a result, the second eye of this run ended up being almost entirely duo’d by me and nightlord Johannes. It was pretty brutal, but by the end of it, we found ourselves rewarded:

    [​IMG]

    Wait, what? I’m level 139 now‽ But I even checked my EXP to make sure I wouldn’t lev— Oh, right. Dead party members take no EXP. Well, I may have levelled without literally any of my INT gear, but at least the pouch had eight pCoins in it!

    Speaking of miscalculating my EXP, I thought that I wasn’t going to level up from the arms stage of this Zak run…

    [​IMG]

    Ok, well, at least I had like half of my INT pyjamas on this time. Better than nothing, I guess. And hey: level 140~!! :D

    One of the great joys of not wearing a zhelm (besides the fact that you don’t smacc yr cranium into solid rock every time that you get hit) is that you can loot a zhelm to sell at an NPC shop for 500k mesos, just about every time you do a Zak run! Unless you have a buyer, but then you get even more money anyways. This one in particular, I had to take a screenshot of before I NPC’s it:

    [​IMG]

    It feels kinda bad to NPC such a thing of beauty, but my head is rock-free forevermore, tyvm!

    Victoria Island (not to be confused with the island of Tasmania, which merely happens to be off the coast of Victoria)

    Over on Victoria Island, on my vicloc dagger spearwoman d34r, I did a very cozy APQ with a party consisting entirely of DreamOptimal members: Dream members Sagie (Movements), GuildMaster (Robb, Guilded, Rubb, Alliantie), and Nimkish (TerakadoTsuu), and Suboptimal members xXCrookXx (Lvl1Crook, Level1Crook, SuperLuck) and… me. Oh, and Andrinor, who is in Galaxy… just ignore that. He was personally invited by Sagie, so he can be an honorary DreamOptimal member. :]

    [​IMG]

    In another APQ — specifically, vicloc STRginner illadvised’s first APQ — I actually levelled up! To level 85~!!:

    [​IMG]

    I’m trying to remember whether or not this is the first time that I’ve levelled up inside of APQ…

    During the boss fight, we found out that illadvised straight-up doesn’t have enough HP to survive even a single magic attack from Grog’s third body :X

    [​IMG]

    Luckily we had a bishop in our party, so illadvised’s first APQ was not ruined.

    I tried to help illadvised with A Spell That Seals Up a Critical Danger II, which is notoriously difficult for its level (level 50). The truly brutal part is hunting for 18 Tauromacis’s Spirit Rock and 18 Taurospear’s Spirit Rock, from Tauromacis and Taurospears, respectively. We headed to SEIV and tried farming these rather elusive marbles:

    [​IMG]

    illadvised ended up dying…

    [​IMG]

    …once or twice… And it was just overall quite slow, so we decided that this really was not a quest for level 50-something characters — certainly not level 50-something vicloc permabeginners…

    One day, though :]

    Oh, and I’ve tried commissioning artwork of some of my characters, including d34r!!

    I reached out to Baboom (bebelina) — whose thread on the MapleLegends forum you can find here — for a commission of d34r, and she was very quick to respond! In the end, she said that she didn’t feel quite confident enough in her skills to finish the drawing, which is understandable given how visually complicated d34r’s look is. She was, however, kind enough to give me the progress that she did make (just the line art) for free, as consolation!:

    [​IMG]

    And I have to say, the lineart already looks great!! It’s definitely not how I would picture/portray d34r, but that’s the magic of commissioning someone else to do it :p I do get some Tinker Bell vibes, and this d34r is certainly more lithe than I would imagine. She really is adorable, though. It’s unfortunate to not be able to have the completed work, but I must thank Baboom again for letting me have the lineart!! <3

    Neuromancien

    It is time for some more En Teeing with ya girl rusa the darksterity knight! :]

    I helped out marksman xBowtjuhNL with a Berga run, which is pretty crucial, as I believe that he still needed HB to survive the third body:

    [​IMG]

    And I didn’t even die! Wow! Cool!

    I did trio Berga alongside nightlord CoffeeSan (Starbaacks) and bowmaster OliverQueen:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, CoffeeSan’s bishop, Starbaacks, is busy impersonating a Red Snail in the bottom-left corner of the map. This goofy-looking tactic is actually relatively common, as it allows players to effectively AFK, freeing them up to control another character. If you’re not as short as a snail, the narrow yellowish laser that Berga shoots will damage you and dispel your buffs, so it’s difficult to keep ≥2 PCs alive at the same time if you’re just one player. Thus, it is common (for better or for worse lol) to see high-level players farming little ol’ Mano for his Rainbow-coloured Snail Shells.

    Unfortunately, partway through the run, CoffeeSan bit it :[

    [​IMG]

    And then, a few minutes later, so did Starbaacks ;o;

    [​IMG]

    So, the rest of the run was down to just OliverQueen and I…

    [​IMG]

    It took a while, but we did eventually make it:

    [​IMG]

    The loot looks really unimpressive, but we were at least somewhat relieved to find out that the 60% scroll is a ShFMA60, which is worth a pretty penny!

    For our second run, even more disaster struck, when Starbaacks got glitched. Apparently, sometimes Berga does this bug where players appear dead in the sense of “0 HP” (their HP bar is completely black), but they… don’t actually die? They are just zombies or something? Anywho, Nightzy (Nightz) came to our rescue:

    [​IMG]

    Wow. Somehow, I still haven’t died to Berga even onc—

    [​IMG]

    Ahh. There we go.

    I also did a few Nibelungen, including this one, where a single Silver Coin somehow got stuck in the very top-left corner of the map…

    [​IMG]

    Karn tried to rescue it, but to no avail. Gubi, coin…

    And, finally, I had the privilege of doing my first-ever Nameless Magic Monster (NMM; Nameless) run!!

    NMM is a simple boss fight, in some ways. It only has one body, the map is basically flat, and you can bully it around with skills like Rush and CSB. However, if you want to bully it by KB’ing it with damage, you’re (probably) gonna have a bad time. This big chonker’s got a KB threshold of a whopping 50k! So those who can actually consistently KB a monster with such a high threshold are prized here; particularly, paladins.

    Keeping NMM under tight control might not seem that important, until you realise that NMM has One Weird Trick™ up its sleeve: a ranged attack that can deal as much as 19k(!) damage in a single attack. Yes, nineteen. Thousand. Yes, really. This attack is ranged, but its reach is short enough that you can dodge it by simply being far enough away when the attack itself actually executes. Now you can see why keeping NMM stationary is such a big deal.

    Of course, as a purely melee attacker, I have no real choice but to let NMM claw me right in the mug with 19k godforsaken damage. Well, not quite 19k, actually; Achilles takes it down to a cool ≈16k or so, which means that there is actually a very narrow HP range (which is like 300 or 400 HP wide) within which I can take a hit from the big claw attack, but I am also still zerking. Of course, in general, I have to always be watching out for NMM telegraphing its big claw attack, so that I can pot up once or twice if necessary to survive. With someone pinning NMM in place, however, it’s actually surprisingly infrequent that I take any damage at all, making the fight somewhat less nervewracking than it sounds:

    [​IMG]

    Oh yes, and I should also mention that the NMM fight appears to take place in Kamuna itself! Kinda neato.

    NMM is kinda the “last” Neo Tokyo boss; the final quest of NT part 1 is simply called Asia (not to be confused with the NPC who gives this quest, who is also known as Asia), and requires the PC to defeat a single NMM:

    [​IMG]

    Notice that I said “NT part 1”, though! Apparently, this thing has multiple parts, and the folx on MapleLegends staff are working on the second part :eek: I can’t wait to repeatedly die to even more bosses! Wowee!!

    Makin’ maple treacle

    Over on Maple Island, I did a lil bit o’ grindin’ on my islander ozotoceros. Along the way, I happened across another Top WDEF 10% from the Stumps in the Dangerous Forest, and I decided it was time to scroll my (+1) 6-slot perfect Red-Striped T-Shirt

    [​IMG]

    O boy, that is a very stronk shirt indeed. Passing three out of seven 10% scrolls is tuff. Landing three or more out of seven trials has a probability of only around ≈2.569%!!* Plus, it’s my very first purple (or yellow) glowing item on the island!!! :3

    *See binomial cumulative distribution function. In a Python (version ≥3.8) REPL:
    Code:
    >>> from math import comb
    >>> binom_cdf = lambda k, n, p: sum(comb(n, i) * p**i * (1 - p)**(n - i) for i in range(0, k + 1))
    >>> 1 - binom_cdf(2, 7, 0.1)
    0.025691499999999756
    

    Lézard terrible

    It’s time for some good ol’ Hornytailin’, with my darksterity knight rusa~!

    I’ve previously shown a screenshot or two of Horntail’s heads just not fkn dying because we out here cleaving too hard, but this one just really impressed me:

    [​IMG]

    Horntail has 11.5% HP left (yes, I counted the pixels), and there’s still two heads alive? Hello?? Someone help???

    In more tragic news, I did one HT run that was particularly unfortunate for our poor bishops. First, idoybh2 died not too long after Pebbytan had already used her Resurrection, so we had no way to bring him back :/

    [​IMG]

    And then, at the least likely moment, when the only body part left alive was the right arm, Pebbytan died as well D:

    [​IMG]

    ;o; It just happens sometimes. Certainly not the first time that I’ve seen HT “just kill” someone with full HP who is in a relatively safe spot — I’ve even been victim to it once myself.

    In another run, I tried my hand at a full @dpm 45 test!:

    [​IMG]

    For this test, I had MW20, Echo◑, The Breath of Nine Spirit◑, Rage◑, SE◑, and SI. I even posted to the “HT DPM45 Flex Thread” :p

    (◑Partial buff; I only had this buff for some of the duration of the @dpm 45 test.)

    I even got the chance to sell an AFK Horntail Necklace service to a bowmaster by the name of CutiePewPew:

    [​IMG]

    Before I was actually in the business of running HT myself, I always thought it was rather implausible to sell a truly AFK service for something like HT. As it turns out, anything is possible if you have enough buccaneers LMFAO

    While doing some more HT, I had a chat with Celo (CelosPunch, CeloRox) about DEX DKs and Pink Bean :p

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hmm, mayhaps there will be some Pink Bean flicking in my future…

    (…cnvpstdf…)

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  10. lv1crook
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    lv1crook Capt. Latanica

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    Can’t believe I missed both weddings OnionCrushed
     
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  11. Slime
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    Slime Pixel Artist Retired Staff

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    Flow
    In my head when I see your char I read it like /ɑːlsɛz/ but idk maybe /ɑːlsiːz/
    I never heard the word before your character so beats me.
    I guess this isn't an email, issue or pigeon mail.
     
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  12. Rapskal
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    Rapskal Chronos

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    /ælkez/ cus i was taught that there was no soft c in latin
    also sent a pigeon but not entirely sure how well it understood me
     
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  13. Chris
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    Chris Zakum Retired Staff

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    Screen Shot 2022-07-12 at 9.04.11 PM.png
     
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  14. OP
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    deer Pac Pinky

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    Oddjobs
    (You can also read the original diary entry here (mirror). If odd-jobbed characters interest you, you should know that Oddjobs is recruiting!!)

    rangifer’s diary: pt. lxxxix

    roll, or die trying

    Slime (OmokTeacher, Thinks) posted in the Suboptimal Discord™ server about a game jam by the name of GMTK Game Jam 2022 that was about to be held on two weeks or so, asking if anyone wanted to collaborate on an entry into the jam! For those not familiar with the concept of a “game jam”, the basic idea is that a theme is presented, and participants in the game jam are tasked with making a game from scratch, inspired by said theme, over the course of the event (which has a strict time limit). You can read more about game jams on Wikipedia. This particular game jam is all about making videogames that are playable on a PC with nothing more than a typical keyboard and computer mouse. Like MapleStory! But, you know, something that you can actually make over the course of just <50 hours :p This jam was advertised has having a 48-hour duration, but it was extended to 50 hours with the caveat that any late entries (even late by just one second!) could not be retroactively accepted.

    Creating an entire videogame from scratch in <50 hours is no mean feat! Of course, what exactly “scratch” means here must be defined by the game jam itself. For example, is it okay to reuse existing software libraries? Surely at least some libraries must be acceptable to reuse, whether it be a game engine (e.g. Godot*, Pygame, Irrlicht†, LÖVE‡, Panda3D, etc.), cross-platform libraries for interfacing with multimedia hardware (e.g. GLFW, SDL, SFML, etc.), the standard library of the language that you’re using (e.g. glibc, musl, the Python standard library, etc.), the language implementation itself (including not just translators, but also runtime libraries, e.g. crt0, an HTML5/CSS3/ECMAScript runtime as provided by a web browser, etc.), the OS itself(!), firmware(!!), or what have you. So, this game jam only requires that your application logic be created from scratch, allowing the reuse of game engines like those listed previously, plus any libraries/software that the game engines depend on. Plus, of course, any assets (images, audio, etc.) would have to be created from scratch as well.

    Although I didn’t have any experience making games myself, I thought that this might be an interesting & fun challenge to participate in, so I agreed to join Slime’s team. We were also joined by Tab (Outside) and Monc, putting our team size at four. Although my main speciality is more in the realm of audio (particularly music), it turned out that I was the only one on our team familiar with computer programming, so it was going to be my job to write all of the code!

    Due to my lack of experience with making videogames, the first order of business was to prepare for the game jam by familiarising myself with a game engine that I could use for the jam. There are a lot of game engines out there (no, really, I was overwhelmed), and I very seriously considered using a number of them, including Godot (as mentioned above). However, I decided that using a highly robust, mature, and fully-featured (“all batteries included”) game engine with GUI tooling, etc. — like Godot — was going to be too much for me to handle. Because I wasn’t used to this kind of tooling, I instead wanted a development experience similar to what I’m more used to, where the “engine” would merely be a software library that exposes an API in the language that I’m using, just like any other library. Then, the application could just be a few files’ worth of code in my language of choice, paired with the assets provided by my teammates. These days, I’ve been using Rust for a lot of stuff, and it seemed like a fitting language for the task, so I set out to look for a library (“crate”) in Rust that could fulfil the role of “game engine”. I was very close to choosing macroquad, as it takes a very simple & elegant approach to its API and to its underlying cross-platform implementation. However, I ended up choosing Bevy, partly because it looked like it had a larger community and workforce behind it, and partly for stupid reasons like “ECS? What is that?? I need to know!!”. :]

    The result of my attempts to learn how to use Bevy can be found here. It’s just a little game demo that you can run in your browser, which is controlled exclusively by moving the mouse (no buttons/keys required). In the course of adding audio to this demo (particularly SFX), I uncovered some… unfortunate performance characteristics of running Bevy applications in the browser, which I could not fix for the life of me. So don’t be surprised if it’s a bit choppy sometimes when you run it >.< You can find the code for this demo here. I used bevy_rapier2d to provide a physics engine (who doesn’t like physics??). In the end, I also tried manually decoding Ogg Vorbis into uncompressed WAVE (in-memory) using lewton (Vorbis decoding) and hound (WAVE encoding), in a failed attempt to alleviate the performance problems. On the bright side, Slime was kind enough to provide some assets to me in the form of wooden crate & metal crate sprites so that I could get used to incorporating images into the game, as well as a really neat sparks animation for when the metal crate hits stuff!

    Because part of the demo was learning how to incorporate audio (including not just SFX, but also music), I wrote a little musical piece for the purpose of this dumb little demo LOL: bevy_test.ogg. This piece features the somewhat unlikely sextet⸸ of a steel-string acoustic guitar, a synthesizer, a celesta, a violoncello, a bass clarinet, and a drumkit.

    In any case, even if Bevy had weird performance issues in the browser, I didn’t really have time to reconsider my game engine choice at this point. So when the time came, I buckled down for a two-day-long grind…

    The theme was announced at the beginning of the jam: “roll of the dice”. That’s it. The point is that there are a lot of possible ways to interpret the theme: on the more figurative side, dice are commonly associated with gambling and randomness; on the more literal side, literally incorporating dice into the game is a real possibility as well. Slime gave some suggestions along the more literal side, suggesting perhaps something like a platformer or puzzle game in which the player controls a die (or set of dice). I came along a few hours later (I need my beauty sleep SMH don’t @ me) and suggested something along 2D platformer lines, in which the PC is a die, and they can roll away from, or towards, the camera to change the only side of their die that is visible (assuming an orthogonal projection). Then, we can change how the player interacts with the world based on which side is facing the camera.

    Because no other suggestions were forthcoming, and this was the most concrete idea that we had so far, I didn’t have much choice but to start making a demo based on this idea; the clock was already ticking (or rather, had been ticking for five hours or so). Long story short, after over 40 hours of straight-up grinding (basically just eating, sleeping, and writing code — emphasis on the latter lmfao), with artistic input from Slime (images/animations), Tab (SFX), and Monc (music), the result was a game that we called roll, or die trying (this was a working title that I came up with, but I couldn’t get anyone to suggest another title so it just stuck LMAO).

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    You can play the game (in the exact unfinished state that it was submitted to the game jam) here, on itch.io. The code & assets can be found here. We submitted a bit early because I was pretty much about to pass tf out, and in any case, 50 hours is just not enough to make this kind of game from scratch in a relatively “finished” state. For example, side six (the side of the die with six pips showing) is completely unimplemented, among many other fun bugs and generally poor designs that were forced by the time constraints.

    That being said, I’m incredibly proud of what we were able to do, from nothing other than a relatively lightweight game engine, and some ≈41 hours or so in real time. A surprisingly (even — or especially — to me) large amount of the game is implemented, Tab’s sound effects fit the game very nicely (and make side four of the die quite special), Monc’s music gave it the kind of BGM that it needed (Monc asked about possibly adding an intro and/or outro to the music, but I insisted that it would actually be desirable to not have these structural features), and Slime’s visual art is stunning and gives the game much of its appeal. If you’re able to try out the game yourself, I hope you enjoy!!

    */ˈɡɒdoʊ/.

    †/ˈɪʁlɪçt/.

    ‡/ˈløːvə/. Also known as “Love2D”.

    ⸸Think Pierrot ensemble, except completely different.

    Sixty nine? More like… uhh… schmixty mine… am I right…?

    Anyone in the SuboptimalDream meta-alliance (a.k.a. Subdream, a.k.a. Dreamoptimal) is already aware of this, but just in case any readers of my diary are wondering what happened to FM 6-9 (channel 6, free market room 9), I’m reproducing an announcement that I made in several Discord™ servers here:

    TL;DR: The Suboptimal–Dream HQ is now located at 4-2 (channel 4, FM room 2).

    Þͤ byſhop vvades in-to battel

    I’ve been doing some fun Capt. Latanica runs on my pure STR bishop cervid, alongside fellow Ctrl-presser (and my Maple wife), STRginner Taima:

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    As my time permits, I’ve been striving to saturate (i.e. run twice per day) the ability to do Capt. Lat runs, with Taima. However, it hasn’t just been Taima & I. On two of our runs, we were joined by swashbuckler extraordinaire Yoshis (Furbs):

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    It’s really cool to see someone playing swashbuckler, a favourite odd job of mine, and Yoshis has been doing a great job of it — already on her way to a T10 ring and level 100 as we speak!!

    We also did a pair of runs with INTlaw Lvl1Crook (Level1Crook, Sangatsu, xXCrookXx), who was impressed by our damage :p

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    It’s been a long time that I’ve wanted to do Zakum on this character. The main thing that attracted me to STR mages — particularly, STR clerics/priests/bishops — so long ago was a kind of “best of both worlds” scenario. In the past (not on MapleLegends, but on a different server that may or may not still exist…?), I tried playing clerics/priests at least once or twice, convinced that their skillset was one of my favourite, if not my single favourite, in the game. I really wanted to be able to “support” my parties, even if I had only a dim idea of what I would actually be doing, so the cleric/priest/bishop route seemed like the obvious pick. Unfortunately, by observing & emulating the best practices of other players of the same classes, I found myself getting burnt out very quickly, bored to tears by spamming Heal in GS2 or whatever. I wanted to use Heal to support my party, not to roleplay as a undead-grinding bot! Plus, what about my other skills??

    After getting frustrated by my initial impressions of clerics & priests, I soon realised that I could make use of age-old character builds to combine my love of the priest skillset with my love of playing permabeginners! It would become the best of both worlds, retaining the interesting parts of the cleric/priest/bishop skillset, whilst seamlessly integrating the simple joy of bopping my enemies on the head.

    Well, Zakum represents a genuine exercise of the bishop skillset; I have paid close attention to the bishops in the Zakum runs that I’ve done on my darksterity knight rusa and my woodsmaster capreolina, and I have really wanted to try it myself. Unfortunately, Zakum is level 140, so the usual minimum level for Zakum runners tends to be 135, as that is the lowest level that you can be whilst still getting EXP normally (lower level characters will have their EXP leeched from them by their level ≥135 party members). But getting to level 135 is proving difficult for cervid; in honesty, I don’t really feel like grinding 12 straight hours of CDs for every level.

    But who cares? I don’t need to be level ≥135!! I can do whatever tf I want!!! I don’t need fkn EXP!!!! Try & fkn stop me!!!!!

    So, I did Zak anyways.

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    This shit is a real workout, let me tell you. Here, you can see me DHing (DH = “dispel head”, i.e. get rid of the buffs on Zak’s body that are cast by the arms):

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    Besides being on the lookout for buffs that you can Dispel during arms stage, there’s also the attacking (for which I gotta get nice & cozy right next to Zakum), the keeping HS up during the entire arms stage (more easily said than done, considering its puny area of effect, short duration, and seemingly unending animation time), keeping other buffs up (that’s like five or six more buffs), HShing when appropriate (again, more easily said than done, as it has a cooldown, and is used more efficiently when Zakum is not weapon-cancelled and the stun pillars are just about to land on your party members’ heads), Healing yourself & your party members, Dispelling your party members as soon as they get Seal’d (regardless of whether or not you yourself get Seal’d), trying to dodge stun pillars whenever HSh is inactive, and also not fkn dying??

    Well, I made it through my first run! And got a card for it!!:

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    Here I am, attacking Zak’s body:

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    And here I am, dying on Zak’s body…:

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    -_- I couldn’t figure out where my character was… I can tank a hit from Zak’s body (even third body), but I was not expecting to be taking quite so much damage at this point in time

    Oh well, still fun! And now that I have taken the road of Zakum, it is time to say goodbye to an old friend…

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    I use my fancy Scar hat now, so the only economical thing for me to do is to NPC this old zhelm so that I can loot zhelms and NPC them when I do Zakum runs (they sell for 0.5M mesos a pop). Rest in peace, my epic 13 STR (lol) zhelm that I worked so hard for…

    Oh, and it looks like it’s time to give up MR (for now) in favour of HSh. To that end, I used a whole pile of fourth-job SP resets, and passed an HSh20 book (worthless on the market)…

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    …and an HSh30 book (not so worthless, I think I paid like 25M mesos for a single book)…

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    …Thankfully, I passed the HSh30 on the first try. WHEW (s/o to our ʟᴏʀᴅ & saviour Uwu Jweswus, and uayua, for helping me out on this one).

    Grounden

    I’ve been tryna get my grind on, on my daggermit alces. Level 120 won’t achieve itself, you know. I did some CD grindin’ alongside INTlaw Lvl1Crook (Level1Crook, Sangatsu, xXCrookXx) and STRginner Taima:

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    After Lvl1Crook had to leave, Taima & I continued grinding for a while, at least until Taima was almost ready to level! For the actual levelling, we headed to Masteria in search of Headless Horsemen…:

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    Upon defeating one of which, Taima hit level 124~!!!:

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    Grats again :3

    Hopefully, I can get some more grind in… in the future…! I’m comin’ for that MoN

    A marble, statues, & marble statues

    Speaking of grind, it’s time to get back on that ToT quest grind with my darksterity knight rusa~

    This is the part where I kill 999 (nine hundred & ninety-nine) of each of various Temple of Time species. Are you ready? R— ready? Okay, let’s do it.

    First up this time was 999 Oblivion Monk Trainees, which is kinda like killing 999 Oblivion Monks, except that you feel extra bad because you have to kill the little baby ones too:

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    Then, 999 Oblivion Guardians, for whose elimination I feel no remorse, because they are just floating metal armour:

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    Then, 999 Chief Oblivion Guardians, which are kinda the same thing, except more annoying, because they have more HP, and RtO4 spawns a few Oblivion Guardians (which I don’t need at this point), as well:

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    I felt bad for killing these ones because I learned that I, too, am a Chief Oblivion Guardian:

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    I really am a monster.

    In any case, this was enough to propel rusa to the big level 170~!!:

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    Now, my task was to fight the final area boss of le temple du Temps: Lyka! If the name sounds Slavic to you, you might be thinking of ЛайкаLajka⟩†, the Soviet space dog who became the first animal to fly into orbit around the Earth, aboard Спутник-2Sputnik-2⟩ on 1957-11-03. But ⟨Lykawould be Лыка (or, in Ukrainian, Лика), not Лайка. (917) Лика, or (917) Lyka, is the name of an asteroid in the Asteroid belt, named after a woman named Лика. More interpretations mostly get you words related to bast, like Polish, Upper Sorbian, & Lower Sorbian łyka “bast”, Slovak lykaphloem; bast”, Russian лы́ка ⟨lýka⟩ “bast; rope made of bast”, Czech lýka “phloem; bast”, all ultimately from Proto-Slavic *lỳko “bast”. There’s also Polish łyka, which, apart from meaning “bast”, can also be the third-person singular present tense of łykać “to swallow; to eat/drink quickly; to easily absorb [information]”, apparently from Proto-Slavic *lykati, and ultimately PIE *(s)leug- or *(s)lug-, which is also the source of Dutch slokken “to swallow/gulp gluttonously” and thus slok “a gulp”, and probably also dialectal English slock “a gulp”. Nothing that looks particularly related to our bullish friend enemy here…

    In any case, it was tough even finding a Lyka. I scanned the channels… AFK’d some… scanned the channels again… and so on, until I did finally find one. The fight took roughly 17 minutes and 40 seconds from start to finish, which I’m just going to consider impressive (just let me have this one) because I had never fought Lyka before and I didn’t even know it left-jump seds you? I didn’t die tho! Pretty good, right‽

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    (Apologies for the poor quality of the image above; it’s actually cropped out of a frame from video that I took of the fight.)

    After I declared victory and ran off with Lyka’s horn, Temple Keeper once again patted me on the back and told me to do something else. So I tried. Now that I had made my way through nearly the entire temple, I found myself (mistakenly, it seems) in the Broken Corridor:

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    What I really needed to do was talk with the Record Keeper, who is, naturally enough, an old man with a prehensile beard:

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    And now for one final quest, to collect ten Smiley Masks, ten Neutral Masks, ten Frowny Masks, a Whale’s Helmet (from Dodo), a Knight’s Mask (from Lilynouch), and a Guardian’s Horn (which I had just got from Lyka), for “Barrier”. I went and collected the masks, and hunted down another Lilynouch (as the one that I killed for the corresponding quest didn’t drop any items whatsoever…), and lo & behold, the Marble of Chaos!:

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    Time for this marble to sit in my inventory, gathering dust forever

    †More commonly romanised as ⟨Laika⟩, transliterations here instead use Scientific transliteration.

    Πρός τὸν Ἴκαρον

    Speaking of rusa, I have set out to create a set of AVOID gear for her so that she can make good use of the AVOID that she naturally gets from being pure DEX. Amongst other things, I hope that this can be useful for playing the role of sed target during Horntail runs.

    In particular, the equipment items that I need to get my hands on are some Yellow Strap Shoes scrolled for AVOID, a Sauna Robe scrolled for LUK, and an Icarus Cape (1) scrolled for LUK (plus a helmet, but we’re not gonna get into that). Anything else, I can provide from the equipment that I have already at my disposal.

    As for the YSS, I managed to find a good (21 AVOID) pre-scrolled pair for sale at a good price:

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    As for the Sauna Robe, I did the Sauna Robe questline nine (9) times over, and started scrolling the results. I had a pretty spectacularly bad time trying to get 30%s to pass, booming and just generally ruining almost every single one. I even bought one or two more Sauna Robes on the FM to try to continue my Sauna-Robe-ruining addiction. I need another (+0) Sauna Robe with 9 slots for my collection!! But, okay, I kept scrolling and did manage to turn one of my own Sauna Robes into a pretty decent 21 LUK (32.5 tAVOID) one :p

    [​IMG]

    That just leaves the Icarus Cape (1). Unfortunately for me, Icarus Capes (1) don’t exist. At least, not on the market. So I was going to have to make my own. Icarus Capes are awarded by Icarus and the Flying Pill, which is the final quest in a questline that starts with I’m Bored (and I Need Help On My Homework!). None of the quests in this line are repeatable, so for each completion, I would need to do it on a new character that hadn’t already completed the questline. Furthermore, the requirements for each completion of the questline are as follows:
    The items marked with a “✨” are quest-only, i.e. I cannot collect them beforehand and cannot trade them, and thus must collect them on each character as that character completes the questline.

    This is a pretty tall order, especially considering that I only have a ⅓ chance of getting the item that I want upon completing the questline! Or do I?? You’d think that it would be ⅓, considering that there are exactly three possibilities: Icarus Cape (1), Icarus Cape (2), and Icarus Cape (3). But, as Icarus would have it, my actual chances were considerably slimmer than ⅓.

    In any case, I was going to need a lot of ETCs. Including those Medicines With Weird Vibes. So I hopped on to my vicloc clericlet d33r to farm some of those (and some Tablecloths as well):

    [​IMG]

    Oh, nice!! Once step closer to the big 70, I guess LOL

    I was able to accumulate most of the ETCs from my various characters, and from farming the (Jr.) Wraith ETCs on d33r. But I still needed more Stirge Wings and Stiff Feathers in particular. In the end, I was actually able to get away with just using the Stirge Wings that I could find by owling. I owled for Stiff Feathers as well, and used some of those (the rest were egregiously expensive), but I was mostly doing this to offset the number of stiffies that I drained from my vicloc storage mule’s inventory (which were farmed by my islander, ozotoceros).

    Of course, then I had to farm the Alligator Skin Pouches and Witchgrass Leaves…

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    [​IMG]

    While farming Witchgrass Leaves in The Swamp of Despair I, I found that this map has one or two rather… unusual spawnpoints:

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    The above image shows me spawning into the map. Yes, there is actually a spawn point just deadass in the middle of the air. Somewhat comically, there are no footholds anywhere near its direct underside, so if you just so happen to spawn there (the spawn points are chosen at random), you fall down almost the entire height of the map(!) before finally (and painfully) hitting the floor.

    Hunting for Witchgrass Leaves is definitely the worst part. Obviously, it’s not very difficult, but they are annoying to find and break (there are often a bunch of gators in the way, and for some reason, Witchgrass can only be struck from the right-hand side), and the droprate for the grass is annoyingly low.

    Having finished the questline on rusa, I moved on to my I/L archmagelet cervine

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    …And my pugilist tarandus

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    …And my permarogue panolia

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    …And my besinner hashishi

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    …And in the end, I did this questline a few times. Not one time, not two times, not three times, but thirteen (13) times. That is 5 720 ETC items, including 130 Alligator Skin Pouches and 260 (please kill me) Witchgrass Leaves.

    You’ll be delighted to know that I got zero Icarus Capes (1) within the first ten completions. 0⧸10. I really was about to cry — how could Kimmy do this to me? For reference, the probability of failing all trials out of a series of ten trials, with a success probability of ⅓, is one in 3¹⁰ = one in 59 049. One in fifty-nine thousand. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    It’s okay, though; my luck picked up. Within those last three attempts, I had two successes, and walked away with two Icarus Capes (1) of my very own. That’s an overall success rate of 2 ÷ 13 = one in 6.5 ≈ 15.38%. That’s worse than half of the expected success rate >.< In the end, I got:
    itemcount
    Icarus Cape (1)2
    Icarus Cape (2)8
    Icarus Cape (3)3
    I boomed one of ’em (lol), and with the other one, I made this fairly nice specimen:

    [​IMG]

    I’ll take it! Full-AVOID rusa is shaping up nicely!!

    Afforestation

    Although I didn’t do very much Zakking or Krexing on my woodsmaster capreolina of late, I did still do a lil bossin’, including some Female Bosses (姉御) with shadower extraordinaire Harlez (VigiI):

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    And, Purple Ladles with marksman Level1Crook (Lvl1Crook, Sangatsu, xXCrookXx) and nightlord (they grow up so fast ) trishaa (MatchaLattes):

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    O…… R.I.P. Level1Crook, level 1 marksman 2021–2022.

    Luckily, I had my pure STR bishop cervid tagging along, so I was able to spare a Resurrection.

    Here’s a second body screenshot, chaotic as ever, with Level1Crook ducking for dear life (no more Resurrections to save ya now!!):

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    After those two Pumpkin Let Us runs, we tried our hands at some Rāvaṇa runs. This time, we were going to need HB, so I came along as my darksterity knight rusa, instead:

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    And, finally, another Female Boss kill or two was enough to get capre to level 141~!:

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    The saga of the Red Sign

    Red Sign?? You know what that means: it’s time for some LPQ!!

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    I hopped onto my DEX brawler LPQ mule sorts to join fellow LPQ mule, I/L magician Sangatsu (Level1Crook, Lvl1Crook, xXCrookXx), in ridding the 101st floor of the Eos Tower of its freakish whale clock infestation.

    We assembled a party, and I unsuccessfully attempted to murder all of them offer them some delicious candy:

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    As usual, stage 8 was a hoot:

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    Why are LPQers so horny? Beside what you see in the image above, I feel like I’ve been hit on far more often in LPQ than anywhere else in the Maple world, and I have yet to figure out why…

    In any case, it wasn’t long before our ragtag band of LPQers suffered the obligatory Alishar death:

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    On another occasion, I responded to a smega from PERC10 looking for someone who could do the thief portal:

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    We didn’t have very many Alishar deaths, but we did have LiLBenzene, who claimed to be a rapper who only raps about organic chemistry:

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    Good times.

    Τάρανδος

    And now, for our regularly scheduled Questing With tara™! As always, with your host, tarandus the pugilist.

    The first order of business is just finishing what I started with the damn (Dark) Nependeaths in the Disposed Flower Garden:

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    Yeah, unfortunately I couldn’t really get this strategy to work, so I caved and started fighting normally again. After like 500 carnivorous plant kills or something, I went to Aqua Road to meet up with Richard the Sailor again, because I found out the hard way that his letter expires! After just 24 hours!! What the hecc?? And furthermore, he won’t give me a replacement??? Rood AF:

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    Oh well, maybe I can figure out a way to still do this quest…

    In any case, I realised that I was now level 49 and still had yet to do even a single quest in all of the Nihal* Desert (including both Ariant and Magatia), so I took the ship from Orbis to Ariant and started punching some round bunnies in the hot desert sun:

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    I had to hunt some Bellamoas, so I made my way to the super secret Bellamoa-only map…

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    Oh. Well, that’s not so secret anymore, is it? The overhaul to the Nihal Desert maps is not exactly “new” anymore, but I am still so used to the original pre-Big-Bang version that I continue to be confused, and to wonder why all of the maps are inexplicably outsized…

    In any case, the Bellamoa map is as effective as ever:

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    And then, time to punch some Cacti (owie, my hands :[ ):

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    My hands now thoroughly riddled with cactus spines, I still had baby cacti to kill…

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    Who knew that cacti wore diapers?

    And, that was enough to propel tarandus to to big level 50~!!:

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    As previously discussed, tarandus is a bit of a germophobe, so she has to wash constantly. And, as is well known, washing just isn’t as effective if you don’t have your smort pj’s on nice & cozy. And the cosiest pj of them all is the giant full-head helmet made of rock that is the Zakum Helmet. Now that I’ve hit level 50, ’tis time to acquire such a stony skull prison:

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    Part I of the Zakum prequests is easily done. Solo’d it in like… two minutes (don’t ask me for proof, just trust):

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    Part II? Also easily done. Did the JQ in like… two minutes (again, don’t ask me for proof, just trust — I promise that I didn’t take any crying breaks in the process):

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    Part III?? Child’s play. I can just buy the gold teefs on the Free Mar— a quarter million mesos each??

    Just gotta get these Miner Zombies to cough up their gold teefs…

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    Ok, so, in the end, I decided to buy like 8 of the 30 that I needed on the Free Market, because tara was about to level up and I didn’t want to waste my EXP, alright? Sue me.

    Anyhow, now I just gotta find someone who will sell me a non-AFK zhelm run…

    [​IMG]

    Oh dear. Well, no use surviving the Zakum run if it doesn’t drop any helmets!! That being said, I did notice that, with Melting Cheese bound to my autoHP and my autoHP threshold set to 95%, I never had any autopot failures… Maybe I can dual-client! Time to host Zak!!

    I don’t really like hosting, but I’m tryna get tara that helm, so I asked my party nicely if I could loot the zhelms on my “noob character”:

    [​IMG]

    I’m controlling my darksterity knight rusa here on the right-hand side, but you can see tara peeking out from the left-hand extreme of the map.

    Well, I did succeed in getting tara a helmet. A helmet…

    [​IMG]

    This is… well, honestly it’s pretty spectacularly bad. The 17 STR (the maximum possible STR) makes it look almost worth something, but the DEX and INT being their minimum values (13), the WDEF and MDEF being their minimum values (140), and the WACC being its minimum value (18; as I’m sure you’ll remember, pugilists are more WACC-starved than their non-odd counterparts), kinda ruins it. Do I just accept my fate?

    Apparently, no, I am too greedy for that…

    [​IMG]

    This pair of runs went a bit south (although of course we still cleared both) when we had some deaths…

    [​IMG]

    Oh boy. I mean, I get that a leech dispenser has no use for Resurrection, but… not even 1 SP? One?? It’s fine, I guess. Just don’t die?

    [​IMG]

    Oh dear. Well, now we’re missing our bowmaster and our nightlord…

    In any case, I did end up with a… decent (basically just completely average overall, which was still lightyears better than the other ten or so helms that I had looted previously) helm, so I decided to suck it up and just scroll the damn thing so that I could get the full benefit right away:

    [​IMG]

    FML

    Well, water ya gonna dew? It’s time to move on. To the Ellin Forest! Nihal Desert can wait, I’ve got a ring to acquire!!

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    Just these first few quests (nothing more than fighting a couple of Mossy Snails and talking to some NPCs) were enough to get tara to 51:

    [​IMG]

    Then it was time to kill some Tree Rods in Western Region of Mossy Tree Forest 2 for Shadrion (& for Tess):

    [​IMG]

    Wait a sec… Shadrion? What is going on? I think I’m seeing double…

    [​IMG]

    Fata Shadriona aside, I had some more Ellin Forest critters to exterminate. Including Mossy Mushrooms (whose leftovers are used for the questline IIRC, but you end up with a bunch of them anyways, so I never pay attention):

    [​IMG]

    Stone Bugs (and their Rubble)…

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    Primitive Boars (not to be confused with Violent Primitive Boars! Yike!)…

    [​IMG]

    And now tara was level 52~!:

    [​IMG]

    Oh, right. And then the part where you gotta collect a bunch of ETCs from all over the Maple world. Well, I already had like half of them, so it’s tara’s duty to farm up the rest, including some Firebomb Flames in everyone’s favourite hellish spa:

    [​IMG]

    …Going back to the Nihal Desert again anyways, for the Hardened Pieces of Steel:

    [​IMG]

    On my way back to Ludus Lake from Nihal, I passed through Victoria Island, so I figured that I may as well wrap this one up and get my Chief Stan Hat:

    [​IMG]

    Aaaand there it is! The Ellin Savior’s Ring!!:

    [​IMG]

    Since I was already in Ludus Lake anyways, I took the time to do a quest that I had been putting off, in anticipation of getting a zhelm — which I now had:

    [​IMG]

    As anyone familiar with KFT already knows, there are three repeatable quests available from three different NPCs in KFT:
    Each one of these quests takes a trivial number of leftover ETCs (from Hodoris, Moon Bunnies, and Samihoes, respectively) in exchange for special potions (Buckwheat paste, Roasted pork, and Rice Wine, respectively) that can be used to appease and/or summon King Goblins (Green, Yellow, and Blue, respectively) — or, you can eat them to heal HP and/or MP, but… don’t do that.

    The problem is that all of these three repeatable quests have prequests (Brotherly Love, Brotherly Love, and Kong Ji’s Request, respectively), which are all level 37 quests. One of the two — Brotherly Love — is completely trivial, requiring nothing from the player other than walking back and forth across the KFT map a few times and talking to some NPCs. Kong Ji’s Request, however, is much more substantial, having not only a prequest of its own (Tae Gong’s Love for His Wife), but also requiring the player to hunt Blins! Blins are level 60 (keep in mind that the quest is level 37) and have 38 AVOID, meaning that a PC at the level of the quest would need 2 ⋅ ((1.84 + 0.07 ⋅ (60 − 37)) ⋅ 38) = 262.2 WACC (or more) to hit Blins 100% of the time!! Yikers!!!

    You can see in the image above that even now, at level 52 & with a zhelm, tara still sometimes misses the damn things. But finding a Steel Hoe wasn’t too difficult.

    I then headed to Victoria Island to tie up some loose ends there, without really doing many of the Victoria-Island-exclusive quests. For The Chaos Behind Alfonse Green and the Nependeath Juice, I talked to Estelle and asked how to make Sweet Syrup, and she said that I needed 60 Lupin’s Bananas, ten Pig’s Heads, and, naturally, 30 Saps of Ancient Tree. Needing that many Saps is… unfortunate, so I decided to just buy like 21 of them on the FM (more expensive than you might think…) and hunt the bananas myself:

    [​IMG]

    I also hunted Sakura Cellions…

    [​IMG]

    …for their Cherry Blossom Seeds:

    [​IMG]

    …for The Sakura Garden. This led me to The Sakura Garden 2, which would require going to Ludibrium to fight Pink Teddies.

    As I had already gotten my Chief Stan Hat earlier, it was time to do Jay’s Curiosity (a.k.a. “the Bob quest”). If you’ve never done this quest before, you should know that Bob is a level 2 monster with 777(!) HP that spawns exclusively in a Deep Sleepywood map called Drake’s Meal Table, on a half-hour respawn timer. Bob looks completely identical to a Snail (a.k.a. “Green Snail”; basically the weakest monster in the game), except that he can jump! Quite impressively high, too! Bob is — according to the Maple History Books, at least — the first creature ever to inhabit the Maple World, from back before Maple Island, Victoria Island, and Ossyria were separate continents. Jay wants to know who this “Bob Snale” person is, unaware that he is actually a green snail (rather than a human or humanoid). So I set out to the dungeons of Sleepywood, where Jay said that Bob was most recently spotted:

    [​IMG]

    If you’re wondering why I’m crying, it’s because I already know what I must do: slay Bob.

    [​IMG]

    I’M SORrY, OKAY?? But h—he’s not really dead, right? I just scared him into his shell. Yeah, that’s it. Take a good look at Bob’s Snail Shell!!

    The Rememberer is really gonna want to see this, too. He remembers everything, and collects every monster in the Maple world!…

    [​IMG]

    What the fuck?!? He stole Bob from me! And stole five of my fame!! F55555

    Luckily for me, it seems that Bob really did just hide in his shell, because at some point, he took leave of The Rememberer (I would too — clearly The Rememberer is a bully!!) and headed back to his usual stomping ground of Drake’s Meal Table. So I set out to find Bob agai—

    [​IMG]

    JOGHALIURHBGESRAGAOWRIHJWRJIHadwsgf how did I level. I wasn’t paying attention! I forgot to put on my cozy smort pj’s!! -_- Game sux.

    Well, at least I found Bob. Lord 4give me 4 what I am about 2 do… again…

    [​IMG]

    Oh. He didn’t drop his shell. I guess I will find another Bob…?

    [​IMG]

    Still no shell. I am just a Bob murderer. I really am a monster…

    [​IMG]

    Ok, ok, that one did drop a shell. We’re all g. Time to complete this godforsaken questline…

    I noticed when completing this quest (I guess I never noticed this before) that the quest abruptly ends, indicating that there are further quests in the questline, but as far as I know, there are not:
    …And that’s it. ‍♀️ Mysterious. I wish this questline had been finished! It would (probably) be cool!!

    Anyways, now with my eye again towards The Chaos Behind Alfonse Green and the Nependeath Juice, I needed 20 Coconuts. So I headed to Florina Beach:

    [​IMG]

    I’m not really a fan of the Special Taste of Florina Beach questline, but since I was going to Florina Beach anyways, you know, I may as well get it over with…

    [​IMG]

    I still have yet to finish the questline, because boy, that is a lot of Coconuts to whacc, and a lot of crabby bois to smacc…

    *Possibly from Farsi ؜نهال‎ ⟨nehāl⟩ /nehɒːl/ “seedling, sapling, shoot”. Nihal — which may be one of a variety of different romanisations e.g. Nehal, Nehaal, Nihaal, Nahal, Nahaal, etc. — appears to be a (relatively) common given name in parts of India, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Egypt. Several internet sources claim that, apart from the Farsi origin meaning “seedling”, there is a separate (but very similarly pronounced & written) Arabic origin meaning “joyous; exalted”, which might(?) be ؜نيهال‎ ⟨nīhāl⟩ /niːhaːl/, but I can’t seem to find any good evidence that this even means anything in Arabic (other than being a given name). Some sources claim that the Hindu usage of the name is from Hindi निहाल ⟨nihāl⟩ /nɪɦaːl/, but this appears(?) to be borrowed from the (distantly) related Farsi.

    Horntail et plūs ultra

    I did a handful of Hornytail runs on my darksterity knight rusa, including this pair of runs hosted by marksman xBowtjuhNL and also joined by bowmaster OliverQueen, nightlord illadeIph, shadower Soblet, et al.:

    [​IMG]

    Here’s one where I had MW30(!) courtesy of corsair Celo, plus The Breath of Nine Spirit (a.k.a. “HT buff”; +25 WATK, +200 WDEF, +200 MDEF), Echo of Hero, and a Victoria’s Amorian Basket!:

    [​IMG]

    That kinda range with 373 AVOID… Whew~

    I was joined, in another pair of xBowtjuhNL’s HT runs, by MainSan, an I/L archmage who was not quite high level enough for HT yet (level ≈145 at the time), but was just a bit bored and in search of something — anything — to do. Unfortunately, changing keyboards & computers from his usual setup proved fatal:

    [​IMG]

    …A number of times…:

    [​IMG]

    (We only had one buyer, a non-AFK HTP buyer, hence the joke.)

    But it worked out. We had a ton of Res anyways, and the run was perfectly successful.

    Over in Neo Tokyo, I did a pair of Berga runs with buccaneer Yescando*, nightlord illadeIph, buccaneer morningkaren, and bowmaster Aruna (who also graciously brought HS, and without even using Mano shells!):

    [​IMG]

    Notice that everyone here (except for Yescando & I) is in Solar, the alliance that is home to both the Caffeine and Ours guilds. I would later be invited to my first HT run with this alliance, after being recruited by host morningkaren:

    [​IMG]

    Oups! It happens. Sometimes the call of the tail is too strong. We only lost our sed target and one of our bishops… but we’ve got another bishop!!

    Later, the call of… something was too strong, and Horntail’s right head peaced tf out for good:

    [​IMG]

    “??”, indeed. At least we got the chance to kill it before it mysteriously vanished.

    Oh, and mayhaps some moar Berga…? This time, with some of the folx from the krew that I had just HT’d with, xBowtjuhNL, bishop Pebbytan, OliverQueen, and hero LunaS2:

    [​IMG]

    Drops plz!!!

    [​IMG]

    Oh. Well, sometimes you just get poverty. It happens.

    Later, I was invited by xBowtjuhNL to CWKPQ:

    [​IMG]

    After some time recruiting, we were able to pull together a ragtag band of adventurers capable of defeating… whatever the hell is going on in this image:

    [​IMG]

    I decided to try my hand at some @dpm 10 tests. First, with an Onyx Apple (ooo… spicy†…):

    [​IMG]

    6.37M DPM! Not bad!!

    And again, with just some Rage (grrr… raaarrr…):

    [​IMG]

    3.3M, I’ll take it! I think that’s a personal best.

    Oh, and in one of the runs, I got to try fighting the mage boss (Margana) for the first time:

    [​IMG]

    I didn’t really get to see much of what was going on, but hey — beats being glued to the far bottom-right corner of the map for the entire time.

    *This is rendered as /jɛs kʰæn duː/ (ENG yes can do), not */jesˈkando/ (SPA *yescando).

    †I know what you’re thinking: “An Onyx Apple? ‘Spicy’? Ah, you must mean in the figurative sense of ‘vigorous; stimulating’”. Wrong. Onyx Apples are actually quite spicy, measuring in at about ≈100 kSHU. Eating an Onyx Apple is like biting into a brittle, glassy chile that tastes like aluminium foil and sets your mouth on fire. They are truly awful, but I’ll be damned if they don’t make me do twice as much damage.

    Níkē Island

    I did some KPQing, on my DEX page KPQ/SPQ mule kinds, alongside allies Eleftheria, an I/L magician of Victoria; and Dargos, a dagger fighter of Oddjobs:

    [​IMG]

    Although they are of course well beyond KPQ level now, it’s still a ton of fun to be able to do alliance PQs!

    And, also on Vic Island, I hopped onto my vicloc clericlet d33r to help out vicloc STRginner illadvised with their card-hunting journey on the way to the big T2 ring — the biggest and most powerful ring of them all! So I went to RTIII, where we were farming Mummydog cards alongside F/P archgish LawdHeComin:

    [​IMG]

    With that set polished off, we moved to Camp 2 to farm Skeleton cards — both Soldier and Officer:

    [​IMG]

    Being able to do this made me quite happy that I’ve been able to essentially fulfil my dream that I had when I made d33r — to at least be able to roam the island of Victoria and Heal to death its various undeads — even though, as readers of this diary may remember, it looked for a while like this dream was impractical to achieve. Plus, I really like the “Excavation Site” region of Perion, even if its apparent main purpose is to house SPQ. In the future, I plan on revisiting the Excavation Site for fun and profit.

    (…cnvpstdf…)

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  15. Slime
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    Slime Pixel Artist Retired Staff

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    Game jam was so fun!!!! We should do this again some other time in a more organized fashion ahaha, Ludum Dare 51 maybe? :^)
     
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    deer Pac Pinky

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  17. OP
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  19. Taima
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    Taima Mushmom

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    Wow, rangifer's diary looks very pleasant on the eyes on the new website!

    Interesting breakdown of the Beginner (and similar single target/basic attacker) weapons meta. I think it's great to see the Maroon Mop and Sake Bottle's DPM alongside the rest of the "endgame" and "midgame" weapon selection to see just how broken they are (before adjusting the level/Watk values). The Mop and Sake Bottle have been a sore point for this beginner community for a long time, as we value our weapon variety greatly. Perhaps we have all just been waiting for someone to actually calculate out a reasonable watk/level req? Other Beginners should look at this post, given the re-re-re-revival of the Maroon Mop/Sake debate. Seems like the "around 136 watt" Maroon Mop fits in well with the current meta, adding to the overall weapon variety and preserving these legendary weapons as a part of Beginner culture, whatever that is. Good work deer, sorry about eating your flesh!
     
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  20. Taima
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    Taima Mushmom

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    15 months later and no word on the Maroon Mop or Sake Bottle... MapleF18

    Oddjobs is still here, still odd, and looking for new odd players as always. Join up and try out a different way to Maple! Please! We're not begging or anything!

    Now for post thing. :poop:

    Krexel in 2024

    Watch MapleStory collapse in real time as Taima the Permabeginner tries to boss (with a party)! Featuring Harlez and tarandus! Taimazone video download speeds seem to be really, really slow at the moment. Our best technicians are working to fix it. For now, just let it buffer in the background, like in the good old days.

    Krexel in 2024
    I'm not allowed to embed videos from my website here, so uh, click this link to watch it if you want. I'm not gonna upload this stuff to YouTube, even if that would make everything about a billion times easier. Just umm... click it! It's not a virus, or a keylogger, it's a video!

    Big Tree gave us big Pee Coin gains. Still saving up until I can Chaos Scroll my Mark of Naricain. I haven't really publicly posted any of Taima's goals, so it's time to start doing that.

    The Beginner Endgame: Part I

    [​IMG]
    The Pendant Awaiting Chaos

    It takes 100 Pee Coins + 10 million mesos to purchase a Chaos Scroll. Easy enough, right?

    Chaos Scrolls only have a 60% chance of even passing, and they can affect each stat value by -5 to +5. I'm looking to gain weapon attack, and exactly +5 of it, or else I need to repeat this process again eventually. The scroll is more likely to be a failure than a winner. That's fine... I've only been collecting these coins since they first released...

    [​IMG]
    The Prestigious Coin Stack and the Collection of Sack

    • 79 Prestigious Coins
    • 16 Mysterious Pouch 1 (Rewards 1 to 3 Pee Coins)
    • 2 Mysterious Pouch 2 (Rewards 4 to 8 Pee Coins)
    • 1 Mysterious Pouch 3 (Rewards 10 to 20 Pee Coins)

    If I were to open every pouch now, assuming average rewards, Taima would receive 59 more coins. Easily enough to pass 100 coins, but I don't wish to open them quite yet.

    The pouches were almost all gained from solo permanent Beginner content, or were my full portion of boss splits! I'm not opening these pouches until Oddjobs does something amazing. Like an all-oddjob Zakum, or whatever. Or if Taima hits level 160 before that happens. I guess.

    Only 3,087,238,776 exp left until level 160, when I can probably stop HP washing, and regain my full STRength. That's about 352 Krexel runs with this party. And 37,215,117,140 exp until level 200. I don't want to calculate how many Krexel runs that is.

    Maybe next time I'll explain the HP wash goals? Yeah, maybe.
     
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