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rangifer’s diary: pt. lii

Taxonomising odd jobs, pt. i: What even is an odd job, tho? §3

So, in the previous diary entry (in §2 of this part), I came up with a list of some things that I wanted to say about my conception of what an “odd job” is:

  • Defining a particular odd job (e.g. permawarrior) is simple.
  • Insofar as an odd job is “odd”, it is pure in its “odd” aspect.
  • Each particular odd job satisfies some intuitive notion of natural.
  • The name that we are choosing to use here, “odd job”, is simultaneously fortunate and unfortunate. The “simplicity”, “purity”, and “naturalness” of odd jobs (as listed previously) justifies the use of the word “job” in the phrase “odd job”.
  • Odd jobs are, to the extent possible, atemporal. I’m leaving the use of this word intentionally vague, for now.

And, I elaborated on the first two items of this list. I want to elaborate on the rest of the items now; but first, I want to point out some things and clarify some terminology.

A note on “power”

First, I want to make the simple observation that none of the items in the above list make statements about the overall “power” levels of odd jobs. Exactly what “power” even means in this case is dreadfully unclear. I want to mention that the list of odd jobs which I curate contains a kind of “power level” associated with each entry, which ranges from one apple (the lowest power) to three apples (the highest power), and is always an integer number of apples, so there are only three distinct possibilities. And, even with this rather loose and impressionistic rule of thumb (which I intended to help people get an idea for whether or not they might like playing a particular odd job), there are many cases in the list where I had a hard time picking how many apples the odd job should get. The overall “power” of a character — or worse yet, of a build — is complex, and has many factors which are apparently unrelated to one another. So if a character is good at one thing but not at another, and another character is bad at the former but good at the latter, it can be difficult or impossible to judge which character is more “powerful”.

Someone who wants to include this notion of “power” in their definition of what an “odd job” is, is already frustrated by the inherent difficulty of defining one-dimensional “power”. That’s bad enough as it is, but to make matters worse, there is something intuitively less natural about such a definition. We like to think of the “power” (whatever that may be) of a character as being incidental to the way that their build is defined. For optimal builds, this is pretty straightforward: you just pick a throughclass, and the rest just kind of falls out of that choice (when combined with the game mechanics). Each throughclass has its own skills, abilities, access to equipment, etc., and as a result, they are thus stronger or weaker in different ways. To give an odd-jobbed example, consider the dagger warrior and the daggerlord. These two odd jobs are defined very similarly: you take a nonempty set of throughclasses, and then add the restriction that they can only use daggers. In the case of dagger warriors, the set is {{fighter, crusader, hero}, {page, WK, paladin}, {spear(wo)man, dragon knight, dark knight}}, and in the case of daggerlord, the set is {{assassin, hermit, nightlord}}. And yet, these two odd jobs differ considerably in their “power” in different areas. We generally expect that a dagger crusader does an incredible amount of DPS (for an odd job, at least), something like twice as much as the daggerlord of the same level. On the other hand, the daggerlord has their own tricks up their sleeve: Haste, Flash Jump, MU, Dark Sight, very high AVOID, more stable damage, etc. The complexity and nuance of the differences between these two odd jobs — including whatever their “power(s)” is/are — comes not from their definitions (as their definitions are both very simple, and both nearly identical), but rather are incidental.

To make things even slightly worse, odd jobs are apparently not very clustered together in terms of “power”, whatever that is. Consider the besinner, who lacks the ability to fight very well (no actual range, because they lack KE, but at the same time, in melee they can only claw-punch for roughly 1 damage per hit), lacks any serious single-target DPS (the rule of thumb that I often tout is “roughly ⅓ of the DPS of a STRginner of the same level”), and lacks any skills beyond 0th job. If we are to compare besinners to other odd — but apparently more robust — jobs like DEX warrior, our image of “what the power of ‘an odd-jobbed character’ is like”, must be blurry beyond comprehension.

All of that being said, we will come back to questions of “power” later on, and we will see how to resolve some of the ambiguity between a build which is “odd” versus a build which is “merely suboptimal”.

A smol clarification of terminology

In §1 of this part, we defined terms like build, job, and subjob. When I’m making statements here like “defining a particular odd job is simple”, the use of the term “job” (as in “odd job”) is crucial. An odd job is the most abstract, and within it, there are zero or more possible subjobs that could possibly be defined. The statements that I make about odd jobs (e.g. that they are defined in a way that is simple) don’t necessarily apply to odd subjobs. And odd builds are neither jobs nor subjobs; they are, by definition (because they are odd builds), associated with (at least) one odd job, and also with zero or more subjobs. The idea of a build being “associated with” a job (or subjob) can be thought of as a set membership relation (a job/subjob being thought of as an effectively-infinite set of builds that share common traits, the traits being what define the job/subjob). To make this a little more concrete, I will use my undead daggermit alces as an example:

The ellipsis at the end of the “Subjob(s)” entry indicates that we could, maybe (at least, in principle), concoct more subjobs that alces fits the definition for. This would be in addition to “DEXless stab sin”, which I think is a reasonably well-defined subjob that alces does in fact qualify as (for now!). If I were to start adding base DEX, I would no longer be DEXless, and thus the set of subjobs that alces qualifies as would probably just be the empty set, at least in common parlance.

Also note that while all characters are associated with some class and some grade, a character whose grade is strictly less than 2 is not associated with any particular throughclass.

Each particular odd job satisfies some intuitive notion of “natural”

The first thing to note here is that this assertion is closely related to the assertion that “defining a particular odd job is simple”. Simplicity and naturalness are, in this case, related, although the addition of a “naturalness” requirement (on top of the simplicity requirement) does a little bit of cleanup, helping to further clarify exactly what sets of builds fit our platonic conception of an “odd job” (including separating out strictly-subjobs from proper jobs).

And, again like in the case of “simplicity”, “naturalness” is a nebulous term that is almost always relative — and in some cases, subjective. This time, I think that some more examples are what we need:

Okay, okay, I didn’t get as far as I thought I would before this started getting too wordy (and taking way too damn long to write), so I’ll stop here for now. :)

Some more odd MPQs

Some guildmates and I (GishGallop/Cortical, xX17Xx, Boymoder) were back at it again with the MPQQQQQQQs!!

It was our mission to get Cortical (the STRginner of the group) a brand spankin’ new Horus’ Eye, and to get Boymoder (the STRmit of the group) an even more brand spankin’ new Horus’ Eye — poor Boymoder completed (and indeed, perfected, passing all 3 slots) her Horus’ Eye just before the maintenance that would buff the Horus’ Eye tremendously. And in this, we were successful!

Here I am, messing around with my single solitary SP that I spent on Shadow Partner for vanity:

Quadruple stab(?)

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

alces: boooo
only 2 [damage] lines
wheres my 4 lines

GishGallop: quadruple stab *bites my lips in the sexy way*

alces: ikr

And here we are, absolutely laying waste to Angery Franky:

MOAR Oddjobs MPQ

Now Franky truly knows the pain of being assailed by three odd-jobbed rogues at once!!

Welcome LawdHeComin to Oddjobs!

We actually stopped MPQing for a bit because we saw LawdHeComin item smega a STR mage/gish robe that he’d made. I was actually aware of LawdHeComin’s character, around when my STR bishop cervid was but a wee baby, someone (I forget who) told me that LawdHeComin was the highest-level STR mage on MapleLegends. But it appeared he was inactive, having reached level 120 and stopped there. So I was (and so were the rest) surprised to see him online, and I decided to head to the FM to say hi! I asked about his build, and later asked if he was interested in joining Oddjobs (as he was guildless at the time), and he said yes!

LawdHeComin joins Oddjobs

The first thing I asked LawdHeComin was whether he was a STR mage or not. He said yes, and so I said that I was as well. But we found out slightly later that LawdHeComin is actually an F/P gish, with some 200 or so base INT. This is a common point of confusion, as we often think of STR mages as being both INTless and LUKless (which is how I define them in the list of odd jobs that I curate), but historically, “STR mage” has been an umbrella term for any mage builds who add base STR. The development of more modern terms to distinguish different types of odd mage builds, like “mixed attacker”, “gish(let)”, etc., is a recent development (relatively speaking).

capre contends with rusa for the title of “ever-gaping maw into which all CDs must go”

It just isn’t another diary entry without some more ruthless and tireless CD annihilation. In my quest to ascend capreolina to the honourable rank of woodsmaster, I have once again deleted many a braincell in the pursuit of mass CDstruction.

I was joined by Tacgnol (Taima, Boymoder, Numidium, Hanyou, Gambolpuddy, Nyanners, Inugami, Yotsubachan), the F/P archgishlet! It was truly a strong CDs duo, with capreolina covering the top platform, and Tacgnol commanding the bottom two platforms with the almighty Meteor Shower:

capre getting Meteor Showered

I did a quick @epm test, with some very nice results:

capre & Tacgnol, @epm test

Transcription of the above image

[system message]: capreolina — Lv.117 Ranger — Total EXP: 459,269 (1.81%)
EXP Per Hour: 6,889,020 — EXP Per Minute: 114,817

capreolina: omg
i just clocked 6.9m eph
O_O

Tacgnol: woooah :D

And now capre is level 117!

capreolina hits level 117~!

Wait, no; not pictured is capre hitting level 118!! Getting closer…! :P

PQing for pointz

With the anniversary event allowing us to purchase boxes full of random Maple equipment goodies (and, in many cases, not-so-good-ies, but oh well), I have been spending every last point on the damned things. And as my thirst for Maple equipment is unquenchable, so is my thirst for points. And a fun and efficient way to rack up the points is PQing! I did some OPQs with my pure LUK assassin OPQ mule, sets, and also got her her first Goddess Wristband. The wristband used to be awarded for 40 full OPQ completions, but was just tweaked to a much more reasonable number of 20 completions; and, its stats were buffed, including making every clean wristband give exactly 3 WATK! So there was a chance for me to turn this thing into a glove better than the 12 WATK Green Mittens that I usually share between my characters. Because the wristband is untradeable anyways, and because GFA60s are not terribly expensive, I tried my hand at passing every slot (to attain, ideally, a 13 WATK glove). And, uhm, somehow it worked:

sets’s Goddess Wristband

Transcription of the above image

Goddess Wristband (+5)

Untradeable

  • Req lev: 50
  • Category: glove
  • INT: +4
  • Weapon attack: 13
  • Magic attack: 1
  • Weapon def.: 20
  • Magic def.: 11
  • Number of upgrades available: 0

Wow. If only I had this glove on, you know, a character that I actually cared about (sorry, sets)! Even so, I was very pleased to make this amazing glove, and hopefully sets can make good use of it in the future. And, in any case, I did use it well in the OPQ runs that I did for a couple points.

I have, as readers of this diary will know, an LPQ mule by the name of sorts; sorts is a pure DEX brawler who is very capable of fulfilling both the range and thief-portal duties of LPQ, just like a sin or sindit. So I did some LPQs!

Here I am, fighting nippled whale boss alongside pure STR cleric Numidium:

LPQ w/ Numidium & sorts

And later, I did some guild-only trio LPQ runs with the fine folks of Pals (in this case, jule and Pasta)! In the first run, I made the grave mistake of doing what I usually do in stage 7: killing the three rats, and then coming down to help kill the Rombots (which, due to what I can only imagine is a typo, are internally referred to as “Rombads”). This left us rather, uhm, paralyzed, as my gun was not much use in a sea of bots, and I didn’t have a real knuckler to use, and jule and Pasta were washing just a little too hard to take care of it for me:

oopsies…

So, needless to say, we killed the Rombads individually in future runs. Oh, and we were also joined for 2 or 3 runs by Numidium!

Bossing with ducklings, Gruzz, xBowtjuhNL, Eoka

It is time for more bossing and anni event goodies with rusa’s MPQ gang!

First, I helped out xBowtjuhNL with forming a PBPQ party, and we slayed the Pink Bea(n)st together:

capre & Bow vs. PB

And then it was time for some Capt. Lat, with me playing my pure STR bishop cervid:

cervid, Bow, & Gruzz vs. Capt. Lat

And later, we were joined by ducklings (Joyce), STRginner of DuckNation, who has learned the art of staying alive in Capt. Lat by staying inside of the boss as often as possible:

ducklings attends a Capt. Latanica run

The really deadly bit of Capt. Lat’s arsenal is not his touch attacks, but rather, his magic attacks (in which he sends a boat zooming towards the players). With each magic attack dealing roughly four thousand damage, even HB was not going to be enough to let ducklings take a magic hit. So, by constantly taking touch damage, the magic attacks can (ideally) be completely avoided. But, of course, this is not an infallible process… Luckily, cervid has the power to reverse death, and so I would be able to bring her back if she did die. Unfortunately, having never actually used the Resurrection skill yet, I had a bit of trouble figuring it out when I first had the chance to use it. As a result, rather than bringing ducklings back to life, I only managed to keep her company in the afterlife:

Keeping ducklings company in the afterlife…

Oops.

While waiting for reset to come so that we could try again, I tried out the anniversary event JQ (the one with the gingerbread peoples walking around looking menacing). I was pitted against ducklings and Gruzz in a race to the finish, but with the knowledge that I just had to be patient, and with RNGsus on my side, I emerged victorious:

Gingerbread JQ

Transcription of the above image

cervid: how do you uhm
complete the jq
im at the top

ducklings: OMG
WINNE#R WINENR CHCIKEN [sic] DINNER
hit the candle

The JQ actually yields a very high points/hour ratio; each completion seems to take roughly 3〜6 minutes if you’re patient, and a completion is worth 15 points. So I can see why the JQ is limited to 5 completions per week. That being said, I don’t really find it all that entertaining, so I think I’d rather just PQ anyways. :P

And with that, reset had come, and we tried again; this time, ducklings did manage to survive, and to get those joocy points:

ducklings survives Capt. Lat!

Another day, I did a few PPQs with Gruzz and ducklings, playing my swashbuckler hydropotina:

PPQ with hydropotina, Gruzz, and ducklings

And we later left PPQ to do some Ravana runs! I had the idea of taking not just my darksterity knight rusa, who could provide HB and help control Ravana with Rush, but also cervid, who could provide the Resurrection necessary for ducklings in the event of an untimely death. This proved to be rather difficult, as I had some 10 or so buffs that I had to keep up, between my two characters combined, and in our first run, ducklings was AFK and forgot to turn on pet autopot, so I was forced to make use of my somewhat underwhelming STR bishop Heals. All this while attacking Ravana, and corraling Ravana with Rush…

Taking ducklings through a Ravana run

This first run did not work. ducklings died, but so did cervid, thanks to a pet autopot failure (or maybe my inability to keep all of buffs up consistently; I’m not sure). And the deaths were mostly because I accidentally tapped my left arrow key before Rushing, and Rushed Ravana towards ducklings and cervid…

But the next run was much better! ducklings still died, but I was able to successfully Resurrect her mid-battle, and then she survived all the way to the end!:

ducklings survives Ravana!

And with that, ducklings was able to get a Ravana Helmet (although a fake one, at that), so we all had Ravana Helmets and could form SCARY GANG:

SCARY GANG

Terrifying to behold.

rusa does some more fourth-job skill quests

I did some more fourth-job skill quests on my darksterity knight rusa! First and foremost was to obtain Berserk, so that I could spend the last of my three job advancement SP. So I headed to the bottom of the Helios Tower to meet with Wiz the Librarian:

Retz card get!

Wiz told me of an ancient and most powerful warrior named Sayram. Sayram is said to have mastered all three paths of the warrior: hero, paladin, and dark knight. Although this is clearly a legendary figure, it is commonly believed that Sayram was indeed a real historical figure… Although Sayram’s historicity could be called into question just due to the lack of knowledge about them. So, this was my quest: to investigate the artefacts left behind (and hopefully, still intact in one form or another) by the near-mythical Sayram.

I was told to head to Leafre, where I was told by the chieftain that Griffey was Sayram’s favourite creature; a creature that, in fact, Sayram used to ride, and who permanently bore Sayram’s necklace. My task was to recover this necklace:

rusa vs. Griffey

Transcription of the NPC dialogue in the above image

Chief Tatamo: His legacy… a singing shield? Hmmm. Did his shield sing? I’m not sure. I know something else he really loved. Do you know Griffey? It’s a horse with horns and wings on his back. Sayram rode Griffey and loved Griffey so much. He gave it a special necklace.

With the necklace successfully recovered, I went back to the chieftain. Wiz had mentioned to me a singing shield (apparently, the shield of Sayram), but the chieftain knew nothing of this shield — however, he knew someone who might.

So I headed into the deepest parts of Sleepywood…

Evil Eye card get!

…To meet the Insignificant Being, who I think is perhaps a bit too hard on himself:

Don’t be so hard on yourself…

Transcription of the above image

Insignificant Being: I looked at the necklace you gave me. Though it was old, there are no spells casted on it. It is painted in details and not damaged at all. It must be valuable. Even a small necklace has value… Unlike me… Oh Well…

Luckily for me, the Insignificant Being had, in fact, some knowledge of this legendary shield. Apparently, if the shield were somewhere, it would be inside of a long-forgotten and abandoned shrine buried in the extremal reaches of Sleepywood’s sanctuary. This sounded just fine to me — but of course, there was a catch: the shrine is locked to outsiders. The only way to gain entry into the shrine is to obtain a special key… unfortunately for me, this special key is guarded by none other than the Jr. Balrog. Now, be it due to sheer juniority, or perhaps due to some other reasons, Jr. Balrog is kind of a chump. This balrog has a mere 50k HP, but, the real challenge is not killing one, but rather finding one to kill in the first place. So I headed to the sanctuary where Jr. Balrog resides:

Cold Eye card get!

Taurospear card get!

And luckily, I was able to track one down after not too long:

rusa vs. Jr. Balrog

And lo, there the key was!:

Jr. Balrog key get!

Armed with this strange-looking and cumbersome key, I was able to gain entry into The Forgotten Shrine:

rusa enters The Forgotten Shrine

I was rather shocked to discover a veritable swarm of Jr. Balrogs inside of this forgotten shrine, but after killing them (and realising that they do not, in fact, drop the shield), I headed through the next portal into the upper region of the shrine. And there was a shield — actually, multiple shields, it seemed — encased in a thick layer of blue rock characteristic of Deep Sleepywood. With a couple of well-placed whacks, I freed the shield from its petrification:

Shield get!

And with the shield (and key) in hand, I headed back to the Helios Tower (through the Nautilus → Omega warp portal, to quickly get me from Victoria Island to Lūdus Lake):

Ratz card get!

And with this singing shield, a strange key to a long-forgotten shrine, and a necklace that once belonged to Sayram (or rather, to Griffey…), I reported back to Wiz. As a reward for my efforts, and because Wiz apparently judged me a mighty warrior (debatable), Wiz bestowed upon me the teachings of one of Sayram’s most fearsome moves: Berserk.

rusa obtains Berserk

Transcription of the above image

Wiz the Librarian: I see! This is Sayram’s technique! I’m surprise [sic] to see it in the shield itself. The great warrior left this technique behind. It must be a great one. You deserve to use this technique as you helped a lot to study Sayram’s legacy. Please learn this technique and show me what Sayram did.

REWARD!!: Berserk
800000 EXP

And, in parting, Wiz hoped that I would live up to the legend of Sayram (a bit of a high bar to set, but I’ll try my best), and that one day, he may be able to read of my adventures in the library…

Someday…

Transcription of the above image

Wiz the Librarian: I hope you live up to the legend of Sayram. Someday, I wish to read a book about your adventures in the library.

With my single remaining SP now spent in Berserk, I went to try it out for the first time:

rusa goes berserk

rusa zerking for the 1st time

Wow… it may not be super usable yet (the Zerk threshold for me, at this point, is roughly 3 240 HP), and it may not give nearly as much extra damage at level 1 as it does at level 30, but that is still downright impressive. The damage boost is absolutely massive; at this rate, I almost feel like a normal warrior…

And with Berserk acquired, I went to unlock the Hex of the Beholder and Aura of the Beholder skills. This brought me to the underbelly of the Ludibrium Clocktower, where I was told by Mr. Bouffon (and likewise, by Flo) of the former evils of the Beholder. The Beholder who, I might remind you, is now my pet:

Blue is the colour of EVIL

Transcription of the above image

Mr. Bouffon: The Beholder? That is so unexpected! Do you know that he used to be really BAD. He still looks blue even after he was purified. Now, that’s the evidence of evil!

Apparently, blue is the colour of evil! And apparently, I just need some special scrolls with the right words to unlock the inner powers of the Beholder. These scrolls are dropped by Thanatos and Gatekeeper, so off I went:

Hex & Aura quests ✜

Transcription of the NPC dialogues in the above image

REWARD!!: Hex of the Beholder
300000 EXP


REWARD!!: Aura of the Beholder
300000 EXP

Hooray for unlocking skills that I will never have enough SP to actually put points into[1]! But that’s not all; by collecting hundreds of Binding Bridles from MDTs, and hundreds of Viking Sails from Spirit Vikings, I could increase the caps on the levels of these skills. Now, with these skills being effectively unattainable for me[1], the cap doesn’t actually matter, but I did start working on one of the quests, just to see if it gives some EXP as well:

rusa zerking vs. MDTs

Zzzzzzerk!

Footnotes for “rusa does some more fourth-job skill quests”

  1. [↑] Editor’s note: Little did I know…

Behold, these tripartite knives forged in the image of the Shadowknights’ ancient recipe: the Balanced Fury

So, I’ve been collecting Black Crystal Ores for a long time now, in the hopes of crafting my own set of Balanced Fury. I get most of these ores, as you would expect, from CDs, although I’ve also got some from other monster drops, as well as from PQ rewards. With the sudden changes to throwing stars in the anniversary patch, Balanced Furies are considerably more expensive now, including the Taos necessary to craft them. This was a bit unfortunate for me, but I was determined to follow through and finish the craft, so I refined the ores that I had:

Only the numbers lower than 100 are allowed

Transcription of the above image

Muhamad: So, you want me to make some Black Crystal? In that case, how many do you want me to make?

[user input]: 112


[modal window]: Only the numbers lower than 100 are allowed

And I hunted for 30(!) Typhon Feathers, which is really more annoying than could possibly be warranted. But I did get all 30 myself, and with a Tao of Shadows gifted to me from Noam (OmokTeacher, Slime), plus one of each of the other Taos (Tao of Sight, Tao of Harmony) purchased on the FM, I forged the stars myself:

Crafting the Balanced Fury

Transcription of the above image

[system message]: You have lost an item (Tao of Shadows)
You have lost an item (Tao of Sight)
You have lost an item (Tao of Harmony)
You have lost items (100 Black Crystal)
You have lost items (30 Typhon Feather)
You have gained items (800 Balanced Fury)
You have lost mesos (−150000)

:O

Now, that being crafted, I must say that I don’t have any characters who can really use it yet, besides my I/L magelet cervine (who is now in possession of a Sweet Fork Cake, yay!!). The Balanced Fury has a minimum level requirement of 70, but I can nearly promise that I will be seriously using these stars in the future! And, in any case, these are stars worth sharing; both mae (as her permarogue, xX17Xx) and Kelsey (as her STRmit, Boymoder) can make very good use of these things already!