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rangifer’s diary: pt. lxxvi

Taxonomising odd jobs, pt. vi: Forestry. §2

In the previous section (§1) of this part (pt. vi), the idea was to construct (by hand) a weak ordering on our odd job universe, ordering by some suitable notion of “primitiveness”. The result of that effort can be found at ../072/weak_ordering.ron. Now, we can use this weak ordering to constrain the construction (again, by hand) of a rooted forest that imitates a phylogenetic tree — or disjoint union of phylogenetic trees, as the case may be. I also want to explore the use of a slightly different structure (different from this rooted forest model), but that can come later.

In order to construct tree(s) by hand, we need some format to represent trees in! We’re going to use perhaps the most common format for representing trees for generic phylogenetic purposes: the Newick format (a simpler introduction can be found here (archived)). Newick format is really very simple, which is nice. It basically just uses nested round brackets to represent the hierarchy of the tree — each pair of brackets represents an array of children that share a common parent. The length/distance/weight of any given edge can optionally be specified by using the colon notation (e.g. :4.2 for an edge with a length of 4.2). A tree ends in a semicolon. Newick format trees are stored in files with filenames that end in .tree (or sometimes, .tre).

Newick format is great for representing the tree data themselves, but not all that pretty to look at. For visuals, we need some kind of plotting library that is accustomed to handling tree data. I’m going to go with toytree, because it aims to be minimalist and provide a relatively simple Python interface (hence the “toy” in “toytree”).

To warm myself up and get myself used to all of these tools, I’m going to make a quite simple tree that is labelled, but is not weighted, and excludes all non-permabeginners. This sample tree can be found at sample.tree, but I’ve also reproduced it here, for convenience:

(((LUKginner, DEXginner, wandginner), STRginner), ((((magelander, LUKlander, hybridlander), DEXlander), STRlander), camper));

To give a basic rendering of this, we can do something like:

import toytree
import toyplot.svg

tree = toytree.tree("./sample.tree")
canvas, _, _ = tree.draw(ts="n", tip_labels_align=False)
toyplot.svg.render(canvas, "./sample.svg")

(The above listing can be found as sample.py.)

Which gets us this SVG:

Sample tree

As you can see, it’s pretty basic; we just label the leaf nodes, and all edges are displayed with the same length. I’ve intentionally configured it to not align the labels along a vertical axis; if we change to tip_labels_align=True, we get:

Sample tree with aligned tip labels

This latter style is somewhat more typical of phylogenetic tree diagrams, but I prefer the former here, because in our case, having the more “primitive” (read: basal) jobs show up further to the left is visually nice (in my opinion).

We’re not assigning weights to the edges, because we don’t really have a sense of time scale here. In principle, we could have a timescale based on the first genuine appearance of the odd job in question, but… that would imply actually having such information. Which, we don’t. As far as the graph structure itself goes, I want to quickly justify the sample tree that I showed above.

The tree starts by bifurcating into outland permabeginners and inland permabeginners. We then bifurcate the inlanders into campers and islanders. Of the outlanders, we consider STRginners to be the most basal. And of the islanders, we consider STRlanders to be the most basal. This is mostly pretty self-explanatory, except that you might ask why STRlanders in particular have been chosen as the sole most-basal islander job. My reasoning is that, at lower levels, STR tends to help islanders train faster. And putting into STR is just more obvious, much like it is for STRginners — after all, STR increases your expected damage output the most, out of all four main stats. DEXlander naturally pops out immediately after, as we realise that DEX is effectively the “main stat” for most islanders. And then we have the other islanders — magelander, LUKlander, and hybridlander — in no particular order. Similarly, the LUKginners, DEXginners, and wandginners are in no particular order, other than being less basal than STRginners.

In this kind of structure (as shown above, and the only kind of structure handled by toytree), the “inner nodes” (non-leaf vertices) are opaque. They don’t get names, but instead act merely as splitting points, with a presumed — but anonymous/opaque — MRCA. This is characteristic of phylogenetic trees, but not exactly what I had in mind when I wrote §5 of pt. iii of this series:

Let 𝑂 be our set of odd jobs, and let (𝑂, ≲) be our weak ordering of odd jobs by “primitiveness” (or whatever), where 𝑜 ≲ 𝑝 (𝑜, 𝑝  𝑂) is interpreted as “𝑜 is more ‘primitive’ than 𝑝”. Suppose that we produce a single rooted tree 𝑇 = (𝑂, 𝐸), which has a tree-order (𝑂, ≤). Then we want to maintain the following invariant: 𝑜 ≤ 𝑝  𝑜 ≲ 𝑝. I should stress that this is a one-way implication, not an iff.

If all of the inner nodes are opaque, and only the leaves actually represent our odd jobs, then “𝑜 ≤ 𝑝” never actually holds when 𝑜 ≠ 𝑝, making the implication above always vacuously true. “𝑜 ≤ 𝑝” never actually holds because the tree-order is defined as: 𝑜 ≤ 𝑝 iff the unique path from the root to 𝑝 contains 𝑜. But all 𝑜 and all 𝑝 are leaves, so this is only true when 𝑜 = 𝑝. In our true phylogenetic tree case, tree-order is just not going to cut it. Instead, we need “≤” to be defined as something like: 𝑜 ≤ 𝑝 iff the unique path from the root to 𝑜 is not longer than the unique path from the root to 𝑝. Then, defining “length” here requires that we actually assign a weight to each edge, or else consider each edge to have a weight of 1.

Note that “≤” is technically a weak ordering now, not so much a partial one. Two distinct leaves might have the same distance from the root. And, every leaf has a distance from the root, so they are all comparable. So, we no longer want to phrase our constraint as “𝑜 ≤ 𝑝 → 𝑜 ≲ 𝑝” — the whole point of insisting on a one-way implication before was because “≤” was not connected, but “≲” was. So making the implication two-way would force “≤” to be not so partial anymore, and our rooted forest would be very boring indeed. Now, however, we have something very different going on. Let’s name the new version of “≤” as “≾” to reflect the fact that it’s now (technically) a weak ordering, and write our hand-constructed weak ordering in terms of its strict weak ordering “≺”. Then we want to maintain the following invariant: 𝑜 ≺ 𝑝 → 𝑜 ≾ 𝑝. Again, this is a one-way implication, so that “≺” can remain truly partial (as in, unconnected).

So, let’s try doing something very similar to the sample trees above, but weight the edges this time, and then ensure that our new constraint of “𝑜 ≺ 𝑝 → 𝑜 ≾ 𝑝” holds. You can find this weighted tree at sample_weighted.tree, and I’ve also reproduced it below, for convenience:

(((LUKginner:1, DEXginner:1, wandginner:1):5, STRginner:0.5):1, (((((magelander:1, LUKlander:2):2, DEXlander:0.5):1, hybridlander:1):0.5, STRlander:1):0.5, camper:3):1);

I’ve actually changed the structure of the tree here, not just the weights. It’s just slightly more complicated now, with hybridlander being split off from the LUKlander and magelander, and actually put in a more basal position than the DEXlander. The reasoning is basically just to consider hybridlanders as possibly STR/DEX hybrids (in addition to their more general, experimental nature: any combination of two or more of STR, DEX, and/or LUK), which justifies their position at the very beginning of our hand-constructed weak ordering. Then, pure-DEX or close-to-pure-DEX islanders (a.k.a DEXlanders) can come just a bit later than the STRlanders and STR/DEX hybrids.

Running sample_weighted.py gets us the following diagram:

Sample tree with edge weights

As you can see, we’ve had to distend the edge onto which the camper is directly connected, and the edge onto which the LUKginner/DEXginner/wandginner clade is directly connected. This is a result of our 𝑜 ≺ 𝑝 → 𝑜 ≾ 𝑝 constraint. Campers come strictly later than STRlanders, DEXlanders, and hybridlanders in our hand-constructed weak ordering.

Okay, I think that’s about enough of that stuff. For funsies, let’s use the sample_weighted.tree graph data to mess around with just a few of toytree’s settings:

Just goofin’…

Emphasising the geometry

Curvy edges

Label colouring, leaf icons

Circular!

All-odd bossing!

We’ve managed to put together a few spontaneous all-odd boss runs, featuring mostly members of the Suboptimal alliance, but also of our wider Suboptimal-Dream meta-alliance, and even level 151 permabeginner Without of Spirit!

First up was #glaivegang — featuring OmokTeacher (Slime), Taima (Nyanners, Tacgnol, Boymoder, Hanyou), Gumby (Kimberly; actually the only one not using a Crimson Arcglaive, but you can’t tell because of the NX weapon cover), LawdHeComin (Snel), and my STR bishop cervid — taking on Captain Latanica!

All-odd-jobbed bossing~

#glaivegang

Glaive Gang vs. Capt. Lat

During our second run, all three of the ’ginners in our party met an unfortunate demise. Dying to Capt. Latanica is a comfortable classic, as Capt. Lat is capable of dishing up as much as 4k damage with a single magic attack. The strategy here was essentially to hug Capt. Lat and try to only take touch damage from him and from the smaller monsters that he spawns. When that failed, and I had already used my Resurrection during the previous run (pesky 57-minute cooldown…), only the goofy-AP mages (LawdHeComin is an F/P gish) remained:

R.I.P. #glaivegang ’ginners

A card dropped from this second run, and unfortunately Gumby couldn’t be alive to loot it — he’s been 4⧸5 Capt. Lat for a while now, and could really use the set. But cervid was also 4⧸5, so it was time to finish that set!:

Finished cervid’s Capt. Lat card set!

Later, I set up a Headless Horseman (HH) run with STRginners Daddyo (Dexual) and Without (Contagion). Without is somewhat of a “leechginner” (levelled via leech, usually high base INT for washing purposes), but only has 175 base INT (not that much for a level 151 character), so they were able to fight competently alongside Daddyo and I:

cervid, Daddyo, & Without vs. HH

Notice Without’s unusual choice of weaponry here: the Sky Ski. I asked Without if they used it for aesthetic purposes, and they said yes. For those not aware, spears and polearms have a 60% chance of swinging (and thus 40% chance of stabbing) when basic-attacking (or using any attack that animates like a basic-attack, e.g. Power Strike or Slash Blast), so spears have a pretty clear disadvantage that makes them practically unusable for permabeginners (and for some other jobs as well).

cervid, Daddyo, & Without vs. HH~

And, down goes the horse with their horseman…

HH is dead!

We killed not one, but two HHs, both at Hollowed [sic] Ground! Each fight took us somewhere around 22–25 minutes.

Not too long afterwards, I ran into permapirate Copo, who actually went hunting for a HH as well, in search of… you know, somethin’ to shoot at. Unfortunately, HH is level 101, which was like 37 levels higher than Copo. So accuracy was a real issue (even being pure DEX), and the −37% damage penalty doesn’t exactly help either… But I helped Copo calculate exactly how much WACC was necessary for him to hit HH 100% of the time, and gave him some of the Maple Pops that I had on hand. And, in order to ensure Copo’s survival (as he didn’t have enough MAXHP to actually handle a magic attack from HH), I took my darksterity knight rusa to duo with him:

Copo & rusa vs. HH

rusa kills HH pretty quickly now, so these fights (we killed two HHs) probably only took around ≈3 minutes each. Because Copo was not in level range (i.e. not even close to being level ≥96), the EXP that he got was purely from the damage that he actually did on his own. But, still pretty decent experience at such a low level!

alces tries out Kid Mannequins

My daggermit alces has mostly been questin’ it up — although I do quite enjoy doing various quests on my various characters, alces has been my dedicated “quester” character ever since she was level ≈56 or so. Of course, I took some breaks from doing quests in order to get some much-needed PQs in (read: OPQs and very many MPQs), but the point is that I’ve not really been grinding other than the occasional Fancy Amplifier (FA) grind sesh with permarogue xX17Xx. Well, that recently changed a bit.

I tried some duo grinding with STRginner Permanovice (Battlesage, Dreamscapes, Paean, Hanger), and we decided to go to Kid Mannequins (KMs) for that purpose:

alces & Permanovice @ KMs

It’s commonly understood (amongst those who play odd jobs where this actually matters) that Taipei 101 is the go-to place — essentially the “endgame spot” — for grinding amongst those who never get access to multi-target attacking skills (and also no access to special attacks like Meso Explosion). The EXP/HP ratios, and the map layouts, are just too favourable to be beaten out by anything else in the game. Of course, other locations still make sense for other reasons — particularly, training at TP101 can be quite expensive due to the sheer amount of damage that TP101 monsters deal. So other locations, like e.g. GS2, Voodoos, and TfoG, still have their uses. But TP101 is the place to go for EPH…

alces hits level 93~!

Woohoo~! I went back and did some solo grinding in the same location, after Permanovice and I finished duoing. A little @epm 3 test revealed about how much EXP I was capable of churning out here on my own:

Solo KMs @epm 3 test

3.1M EPH… Very solid!! The auto-aggro that KMs have is quite useful for short-ranged attackers like permabeginners and daggermits.

Later, I had the pleasure of duoing KMs with fellow daggermit Keppet (Rapskal)! With this, we were getting quite impressive EPH numbers o_o:

Keppet & alces @ KMs

4M EPH!! And with that, alces is now level 94… :)

alces hits level 94~!

Avenging myself against Krexel

In the previous diary entry, I talked about how I suffered multiple deaths at the hands of (at the branches of…?) Krexel while dual-clienting there with my darksterity knight rusa (doing the attacking) and my pure STR bishop cervid (AFKing at the bottom and casting HS because she’s not high enough level to get EXP :( ). Well, ’tis time to enact avengement…

rusa, Harlez, xBowtjuhNL, and xFaith vs. Krexel

I did something very similar this time, running Krex with Harlez, xBowtjuhNL, and xFaith! And this time, I actually lived through it!! Here we are, killing the second eye, which conveniently has a kind of “pocket” of footholds that you can sit in and attack from, without getting pushed out of the pocket by Krex’s attacks:

Killing the second Krexel eye~

Somewhat annoyingly, you still suffer from the effect wherein repeated attacks without moving stop producing actual attacks after 60–90 seconds or so. And moving enough to actually count as “moving” for the purpose of this effect is somewhat tricky while you’re in the pocket.

Our second run (which I survived as well, by the way!!) featured a level 200(!) buccaneer by the name of TTKirnk! With all of the buffs that I was getting, and my newfound love for The Pocket™, I tried a @dpm test to see how my damage was doing:

@dpm test during second eye

85.3M DPH… Y I K E S .

Savior of Ulu City!

Cool-looking card! And I’m now the saviour of Ulu City!! Very nice. I’m sure they have a very nice reward in store for me…

Untradeable Power Elixirs…?

Twenty (20) untradeable Power Elixirs that don’t even stack with normal Power Elixirs? Okay… I see how it is… It’s because I died the first time, isn’t it?

Doing my first-ever couples-only APQ!

I got together with my usual APQ partner xXCrookXx (Lvl1Crook, Level1Crook, Sangatsu, Ichigatsu), as well as TerakadoTsuu & FatherSteaks, and kookiechan (kookietann, kurisuwu) & Permanovice (Dreamscapes, Battlesage, Paean, Hanger)… for an all-couples APQ!! That’s right… the all-couples APQ party that we have collectively been dreaming of, as viclockers, since day one. The dream, of course, is winning one of those fancy seven-slotted capes! So many slots with which to boom it!!

Anyways, the APQ went great. The Grog fight was a bit interesting, as none of us were particularly good at boss-fighting…

Beginning the couples-only Grog fight

xXCrookXx popped an apple or two…

During the all-couples Grog fight…

And, after a thoroughly satisfying Grog fight, we were very excited to try out the couples-only bonus stage of APQ. Not sure what to expect, I started the bonus stage, causing each couple to be teleported to their own JQ:

Couples-only APQ bonus stage~

These “JQ”s are a little strange; none of them really require much “jumping” skill per se, but there are a number of bizarrely-placed teleporters that you just kind of have to stumble upon by… hitting a certain corner of a rock at the right angle, or whatever. Along the way, we broke some boxes, which didn’t immediately appear to do anything when broken. Once we got to the top of our JQs, we confirmed that all boxes in all of the JQs had been broken… but Amos was still looking for some code pieces?

Turns out, the all-couples bonus stage of APQ is just broken ._.

The all-couples APQ bonus stage is broken… :(

We researched it afterwards, and found out that the boxes are supposed to spawn monsters when broken (instead of, you know, doing nothing). I reported this bug on the MapleLegends forums, and Kimmy confirmed that the bug is known, and was a regression caused by some rework of the scripts used by APQ.

Soooo… R.I.P. the dream. ;~; Maybe someday…!

sorts @ LPQ

I’ve been doing the odd LPQ here and there on my DEX brawler LPQ mule sorts, to help out some of my guildies! I did a handful of LPQs with the honourable steelwoman* permawarrior Nyanners (Taima, Boymoder, Tacgnol, Hanyou, Gambolpuddy, Numidium), and clerish tb303 (2sus4u)!:

Nyanners, sorts, & tb303 LPQing

During our LPQscapades, a curious party member asked Nyanners why she was still a first-job warrior:

Nyan can’t handle another job

It’s understandable, really. One person can only take so much punishment.

Later, I joined clericlet Cassandro in some LPQing, as well!:

sorts helping Cassandro w/ LPQ

We had some good “fun” with stage 8 with this party… :))

Footnotes for “sorts @ LPQ”

*Steel(wo)man is a variation on iron(wo)man that lifts the restriction on partying. Unlike iron(wo)men, steel(wo)men can be in parties of size greater than one; but like iron(wo)men, steel(wo)men cannot trade with, nor receive any items/mesos from, other characters. Steel(wo)men are so called because steels are the most common alloys that are derived from iron. In Nyanners’s case, the purpose of adding the carbon is to allow PQing, especially for those PQ boss cards, and those PQ-only equipment items!

Zakum~

In the previous diary entry, my darksterity knight rusa fought big bad lava rock guy for the first time (you can even watch a video of it here)! Well, I’ve been doing a little more igneous rock stabbing, to hone my skills…

Zaqqum…

rusa vs. Zakum arms

And when I say “hone my skills”, I don’t just mean gaining EXP so that I can gain more SP (although that is a big part of it); I also mean actually zerking, without dying by getting bodychecked by a crumbly Mayan statue…

Bravery Mode™: activated

I call this “Bravery Mode™” (or “Hubris Mode™”, if I die…), in which I turn to the bishop(s) and declare that I don’t need their filthy green Healing, because I prefer to die alone. On the right-hand side of Zakum. Thank you very much.

Thankfully, I didn’t actually do any dying. This was particularly good, because I had the distinct honour of selling my very first handful of zhelms!! That’s right; not buying them, but actually being one of the “sellers”. All of my experiences with Zakum in the past have been, well, mostly just letting Zakum murder me repeatedly, so that People Who Are Very Strong™ could resurrect me at the end, so that I could (hopefully) loot some zhelm(s). Once or twice, I actually fearpotted* my way through a Zakum, while People Who Are Very Strong™ killed it, so that I could (hopefully) loot some zhelm(s) when they were finished. Well, this time I got to be (or pretend to be‽) a Person Who Is Very Strong™!!!!:

Successfully selling my first zhelms!!

:D

Oh, and I did a @dpm test during that run…

@dpm test during AFK Zakum run

OOOF — 89.9M DPH, wot da hecc… SI+SE is too powerful…

We did another AFK Zakum run after that, but it didn’t go quite so well… >.< Harlez’s (Hucc, VigiI) internet went out before we were even done with the arms, which was a terrible start. Then, one of our bishops had some ’net issues too, and the lag caused them to die. The run took longer to start, and longer to finish, than expected, so CtrlNoble (NobIe, xNoble, Romilles, 1122) was unexpectedly forced to AFK during a chunk of the fight. With all of this, it got to the point where we were seriously running low on resurrections, and we had no choice but to put me into the buyers’ party so that I could furiously spam HB as we used our final resurrection to bring the buyers back from the grave. We instructed the buyers that they would have to fearpot, for the remainder of the fight (aided by some Healing), in order to survive. But, by that point, it was all falling apart anyways. The same bishop was still having massive lag spike issues, and died again to another spike. And the buyers fared no better. So CtrlNoble, xBowtjuhNL, and myself finished off the run by ourselves… and went to apologise to the buyers. We even chatted with one of the buyers and answered some of their questions about the Zakum-fighting process. Hopefully they did get their helm that next day, as promised (I wasn’t there)!

In the meantime, I did a little sadsadgrinding at ye olde CDs

rusa hits level 137~!

137~ Wowie~!!

And I got a new poky sticc for rusa and my swashbuckler hydropotina!!!:

new poky sticc!!!!!

That’s a mighty fine pokin’ sticc. Farewell, mesos~

And I did some more “SLAP, SLAP, SLAP, SLAP, SLAP, …” at 7F to get to level 138!!! o_o:

rusa SLAMS level 138~!!

Little did I know, I was going to need more than just a levelup to handle this next Zakum fight. As xBowtjuhNL was recruiting for another fight, he was having a real hard time finding any bishops. But technically, all we really needed was some HS… soooo… xBowtjuhNL asked me to bring my pure STR bishop cervid along >.o

Dual clienting in Zak… ^^;

EXP wouldn’t be an issue; because cervid was level <135, she wouldn’t be able to get any shared EXP anyways. Of course, I still had to survive on both characters! This proved to be a bit tricky when Zakum started 1⧸1ing, and cervid’s auto-HP failed to trigger at all after a 1⧸1, more often than not. Luckily, I was quick enough to catch this, and prevent any deaths, by manually potting for a bit, until xBowtjuhNL dropped me some Ginger Ales. I was taught (in the middle of battle) of a technique wherein you bind a potion that heals some HP and some MP to both your auto-HP and your auto-MP pouches. Assuming no autopot failures, this would cause the potion to be consumed twice any time that you get 1⧸1’d. And it’s obviously more resistant to autopot failures, due to the potion being consumed at least once per 1⧸1, unless both autopot pouches simultaneously fail (possible, I guess, but very unlikely). Unfortunately, this meant that I was draining xBowtjuhNL of his Ginger Ales, because I didn’t have any HP-and-MP potions of my own… But we had just barely enough to make it work. If I ever have to do this again, I’ll be more prepared, armed with this knowledge… But hopefully, I don’t have to do this again LMAO

Footnotes for “Zakum~”

*fearpot

Pronunciation:

/ˈfɪəpɒt/, /ˈfɪɹpɑt/

Etymology:

From fear + pot (verb; orthographic clipping of “[to use a] potion”).

Verb:

fearpot (third-person singular simple present fearpots, present participle fearpotting, simple past & past participle fearpotted)

  1. (intransitive, colloquial, MapleStory) To attempt to survive in dire combat — particularly, wherein the player could be killed by any two incoming attacks not separated by some form of healing — by the excruciatingly precise or aggressive consumption of HP (and possibly also MP) potions.

Chillin’ w/ panolia

I was invited to a certain Ninja Castle Hallway (there are, confusingly, many maps with that same name) by INTlaw Lvl1Crook (xXCrookXx, Level1Crook, Sangatsu, Ichigatsu), who was card-hunting in Japan and assured me that this was a quite good map to train on. This map is populated by Kunoichi (notable for dropping Diamond Dagger, Daiwa Sword, Aluminum Bat, face AVOID 70%, and shield WATK 60%) and Chunin (notable for dropping Thermometer, Dark Snowboard, shield WATK 30%, and face HP 60%). The map can be easily duoed by having one party member go back & forth along the top of the map, while the other member goes back & forth along the bottom. We were able to scrape some pretty decent EPH out of it, so it’s likely a pretty good grinding map for those in the 55–70 level range or so.

Oh, and the cards:

Chilled pan oiling

Kunoichi card get!

Chunin card get!

We were joined by Taima (Hanyou, Nyanners, Boymoder, Tacgnol, Gambolpuddy, Numidium), with whom we casually trioed the map:

we are just casually killing these guys

After a while, we were lucky enough to find some Aluminum Bats, so I tried my hand at scrolling one with a 30%. It failed but didn’t blow the thing up. Then, I tried again with another clean bat that was even better:

Passing a 30% on the first slot of an Aluminum Bat!

Nice!! Because of my past misfortune with Aluminum Bats (see pt. lv of this diary), and because none of us were aware of any other actually good Aluminum Bats out there, we decided that this bat was deserving of just some 60%s. And it turned out very well!!:

The Bat

We had Hanyou, our resident DEX WK, test the thing out:

Hanyou wields The Bat

And we stopped our Ninja Castle romp in order to attend the wedding of trishaa (ex-Flow) and TheUnholy (of Flow)! As is typical of the unnecessarily confusing MapleStory implementation of weddings, the first wedding attempt was unintentionally prematurely ended. But, during this first attempt, those of us in the audience were goading the couple to give a wedding speech, which they had not actually prepared. So, starting the wedding over gave TheUnholy some time to prepare one. So we were all glad to have started over:

Trish & Cyril’s wedding speech

The speech was very sweet, and I think there were a few “I’m not crying, you’re crying”s from the audience. :')

And then, we had cake…:

Trish & Cyril’s wedding cake

And we all got our respective single Elixirs from the Onyx Chests! Fantastic.

Quests, wif woosa

I had a few quests lying around that I wanted to do on my darksterity knight rusa, including the Badge of a Squad Member and Savior Of Ulu City quests, both of which I had essentially already finished. As detailed above, I managed to kill Krexel for the first time, which was all that I needed to finish up Savior Of Ulu City.

But I also had the ETCs required for Badge of a Squad Member! This quest requires all three Marks of the Squad, which can only be obtained from the various stages of HTPQ (Horntail Party Quest). I did HTPQ already (see pt. lxix of this diary), and got the Marks from there. The Certificates, on the other hand, must be obtained from three different bosses: Pianus (see pt. lxix of this diary), Papulatus, and Zakum (see the previous diary entry):

rusa w/ all Marks & Certificates

Killing Zakum was the last piece of the puzzle, and with that, Moira was happy to present to me the Certificate of the Dragon Squad!:

Certificate of the Dragon Squad

Incredible EXP reward. Oh, and while I’m in Leafre, I should finally just do the Silver Mane quest! This quest requires 400 Wooden Shoulder Pads, 400 Skull Shoulder Pads, and 600 Rexton Leathers! That’s right: a combined total of 1.4k ETCs from high-level Leafre monsters. To start out, I headed to The Hidden Dragon Tomb II to collect some shoulder pads:

Dark Cornian card get!

Green Cornian card get!

I actually ended up finishing the Green Cornian set here! I was here grinding Cornians for a while, and I started to get hungry as I ran out of my Satay supply. But, while I was at Ninja Castle on my permarogue panolia, I noticed that the local grocer, Ishirasu, sells some handy-dandy Triangular Sushi (plum)s that heal 20% HP and 20% MP for the price of 3k mesos a pop. Because rusa had just hit the 15k MAXHP mark, these sushis would actually be worth the price now, even if only used for their HP. So, rusa is a sushi addict now…:

rusa is a sushi addict now

I’ve been informed that these “sushi”, so called by GMS (Global MapleStory), are actually not sushi at all — they’re onigiri. English Wikipedia makes the distinction like so:

Despite common misconceptions, onigiri is not a form of sushi and should not be confused with the type of sushi called nigirizushi or simply nigiri. Onigiri is made with plain rice (sometimes lightly salted), while sushi is made of rice with vinegar, sugar and salt. Onigiri makes rice portable and easy to eat as well as preserving it, while sushi originated as a way of preserving fish.

Indeed, many forms of onigiri look nothing like sushi. Just another l10n failure from Necksawn/Wizet…

Anyways, once I got to 400 Skull Shoulder Pads, I headed to Dragon Forest II, the only map in the game that spawns Rextons. Conveniently, this map also spawns Green Cornians, so I could finish up my 400 Wooden Shoulder Pads as well:

Rexton card get!

And, eventually, after many Leafre monsters slain, I finally got my very first Silver Mane!!!:

rusa gets the Silver Mane!!!

rusa riding her Silver Mane for the first time~

Z O O O O O M ~ !

cervine ventures forth, to do something that isn’t staring at CDs

As readers of this diary may already know, I have mostly been playing my I/L magelet in the capacity of repeatedly Ice Striking CDs, grinding my way slowly but surely to the big 120. I wanted to take a break from the compact disc grind, and look at something that isn’t a brightly-coloured Taipei 101 background. So, I ventured forth to the Omega Sector to do the Zeno quest:

Questing with cervine!

cervine vs. Grays

This quest is somewhat unusual, because gathering up the materials required to make a Wave Translator doesn’t necessarily progress you through the quest. Every time that you make a Wave Translator, there is a random chance that it will be a nonfunctional, or “false” Wave Translator. So you actually have to repeat that portion of the quest over and over, until you get a good one:

Ultra Gray card get!

Zeta Gray card get!

Luckily for me, the second Wave Translator that I made was a good one. So now, all I had to do was find a Zeno, and fight it to the death!! So I headed to Gray’s Prairie

Chief Gray’s Cell get~?

Hmmm. It was being camped, so I had no luck finding any Zenos. But, as you can see above, I did a few quests from around the Omega Sector region in the meantime. The Chief Gray’s Cell that you see above is part of The History of Zeta Lenticulan. I also did Trading with Alien Gray, which also involves Alien Gray, but unfortunately does not award any Alien Sacks on completion. BBB Hidden Street says that it does, but it seems that MapleLegends has removed that quest reward. I also did Eliminating Grays and Eliminating Chief Gray.

Unfortunately, I still had no luck with Zeno spawns, so I took a trip to the Aqua Road, in search of some more interesting quests to do. Two of these quests, The Blocked Path of the Ocean and Nanuke’s Ingredients, required me to kill Cold Sharks. Unfortunately, in addition to obviously being strong to ice, Cold Sharks are particularly a pain in the ass for cervine because they frequently dispel. Without MG, these vicious beasts can basically just instantly shred me. So, you know, I used like three or four Safety Charms attempting to kill these things…

cervine vs. Cold Sharks

I realised there were one or two safe-ish spots around the map, where I could (slowly) kill the sharks without fear of death:

Shark safe spot

The Blocked Path of the Ocean is a cute little quest that I enjoy doing. Nanuke’s Ingredients is grindier, and unfortunately requires more Frozen Shark’s Fins than I was willing to farm alone. So I finished The Blocked Path of the Ocean, and went over the Mu Lung Garden (MLG) to do some quests there.

I really like the MLG quests, except for two of the PPQ/MLGPQ quests: Eliminating the Pirates and Finding the Ingredients for Tae Sang. The former requires killing a total of 400 Devoted Kru and Devoted Captain, which is seriously a massive pain in the ass that you have to drag your PPQ party through many times, if you ever want to complete the quest. And the latter is at least a little better, because the Concentrates are tradeable items, which is nice. But I still don’t like it, and gathering the Bellflower Concentrates in the first place again requires dragging down your PPQ party. Other than those two quests, the MLG quests are pretty cool, in my opinion, so I just decided to do all of them. Well, except the PPQ ones. I actually never PPQ’d on cervine, and now I’m too high of a level to ever try…

For starters, I hunted down 16 Snake Leathers from the Flower Serpents in the Snake Area, for use in Making Mastery Medicine and Making the Body and Physics Medicine:

Blue Flower Serpent card get!

Red Flower Serpent card get!

For The Forgotten Master and Protecting the Peach Farm, I had to kill some Peach Monkeys and collect some of their Peach Seeds:

Peach Monkey card get!

To hunt for The Legendary Being’s Scroll <Advanced>, some The Book Ghost’s Sheets of Paper for Do Gong’s Teaching, and some Old Papers for The Forgotten Master, I took a detour to the Foggy Forest for some The Book Ghost kills:

Book Ghost card get!

I then headed towards Herb Town to hunt for some 100-Year-Old Bellflowers from Sr. Bellflower Roots for Making Mastery Medicine:

Sr. Bellflower Root card get!

Also for Making Mastery Medicine, I would need some Ginseng-Boiled Water from Ginseng Jars:

Ginseng Jar card get!

And, for Intruder — The Herb Farm, I needed 100 Bellflower Root kills. Naturally, I pretty much instantly got 5⧸5 on this set:

Bellflower Root card get!

For The Forgotten Master (and for Making Mastery Medicine), I would need some Broken Deer Horns…

Reindeer card get…

…and a Tae Roon kill!:

cervine vs. Tae Roon

For Eliminating King Sage Cat and Eliminating the Spirited Cats, I headed to Goblin Forest 2 to fight some Sage Cats:

Sage Cat card get!

And, to finish off the Forgotten Master, a special bench in Wild Bear Area 1 would turn a peach into a paper note for me:

Peach → note

While I was in the Wild Bear Area, I hunted 14 Bear Feet for Making Mind and Heart Medicine and Making Mastery Medicine.

I went to 10-Year-Old Herb Garden to kill 400 Jars for Eliminating the Escaped Pot:

Jar card get!

And, for part II of Intruder — The Herb Farm and for Operation Eliminate Red-Nosed Pirates, I went to Red-Nose Pirate Den 2 and Red-Nose Pirate Den 3 to kill some Captain and Kru:

Kru card get!

Captain card get!

I went back to Gray’s Prairie in the Omega Sector once again, to check if Zeno was back, and indeed he was!:

cervine vs. Zeno

That concludes that questline!

While I was on my way back to MLG, I stopped around KFT to do the only quest that I had remaining in that region: Mr. Shim’s Request (and its associated Wiz the Librarian quest):

cervine vs. Retz

I headed back to MLG and checked again for the King Sage Cat. I ran into Helene, who was hunting for King Sage Cats, and kindly let me kill one so long as I gave her the card (if one dropped)!:

cervine vs. King Sage Cat

This got me the Antidote Marble that I needed to conclude the Eliminating King Sage Cat questline. I also did the entire Do Gong Searching for the Swallow/Do Gong Seeking Swallow questline, which meant that I had to go back and kill some more Red Flower Serpents for their flowers, and some Chipmunks for their Acorns. I ended up getting a Red Porky card in the process…

Red Porky card get!

I also did the No Gong’s Teaching questline, and with that, I was done in MLG. So I went off to Magatia to do the quests there! Magatia is another favourite of mine; the quests there are great, and most of them are part of “the Magatia questline”, which is perhaps my favourite questline in the entire game.

To start off the real questing, I did Helping Out Bedin (part of the main questline) and The Importance of Life Alchemy (not part of the main questline):

cervine vs. Dark Sand Dwarves

Woohoo for Dark Sand Dwarves being weak to ice! And, The Problems with Life Alchemy, another quest from Bedin:

Sand Rat card get!

For the Alcadno side, I did Russellon’s Items for Experiment:

cervine vs. Rumos & Triple Rumos

And again for Bedin, Getting in the Way of Alcadno had me kill 200 Reinforced Mithril Mutaes:

Reinforced Mithril Mutae card get!

For Russellon, I Destroyed the Roid:

Roid card get!

And when I went back to turn in Getting in the Way of Alcadno, I levelled up to 114~!!:

cervine hits level 114~!!

When was the last time I levelled up outside of Star Avenue South Section…?

For Zenumist and the Missing Alchemist, I was banished to the Closed Lab to search for the Magic Device:

Magic Device get!

…so that I could make it Lightless

Making the Magic Device lightless

For Alcadno and the Missing Alchemist, I had to kill 100 Homunculuses, and I was very fortunate to get one of their cards, and a Magic Stone of Honesty (which I’ll need later on in the questline) from the same kill!:

Homunculus card & Magic Stone of Honesty get!

For Humanoid Just Wants to be Human (not part of the main questline), I started gathering up some Gelatin from the Cube Slimes in Unit 101 of the Zenumist Laboratories:

Cube Slime card get!

And I figured that that’s enough questing for the time being. :P More later~!

kinds levels up one last time

I did some more KPQing on my DEX warrior KPQ/SPQ mule kinds… and got to level 30~! :)

That’s the last levelup kinds will ever get, and also time for her to take the second job advancement~

kinds doing second job advancement

Naturally, I would only ever get a single second-job SP to use, so masteries are the only second-job skills that are actually usable. With that in mind, I thought that page would be the natural choice, as they get access to both Sword Mastery and BW Mastery. I mostly want the sword mastery (as kinds uses the level 20 Gladius), but BW is just a single second-job SP reset away, in case I want to use something like a Red Flowery Tube (for the SPEED), a Monkey Wrench (for the swag), or a Frying Pan (for the memes). And so it is:

kinds is a page!

kinds is looking forward to some SPQing now!! :3

[bloopers]

[bloopers]

words of encouragement…