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rangifer’s diary: pt. lxxxi

A guide to vicloc

As readers of this diary will know, I’ve been involved in a certain gameplay style of MapleStory referred to as “vicloc” (a.k.a. “viclock”, “Victoria-Island-locked”). I have two of my own vicloc characters on MapleLegends — d33r, a vicloc clericlet; and d34r, a vicloc dagger spearwoman — who are part of the Victoria guild, a member guild of the Suboptimal alliance that is dedicated to vicloc.

There are a number of vicloc-related resources at https://codeberg.org/Victoria/resources, and I recently worked to start & complete the guide associated with this repository, which you can find at:

A guide to vicloc

You can also find a lossy (as the forums cannot support some of the text and some of the formatting) version of this guide on the MapleLegends forums: https://forum.maplelegends.com/index.php?threads/a-guide-to-vicloc.44893/

Odd-jobbed new year’s photoshoot, 2022

To celebrate the new year (albeit slightly late), I put together a very similar event to the one that we did during MapleLegends’s X-mas/new year’s event last year. Regrettably, I forgot to include this in the previous diary entry. In any case, you can view the 31 images that I took during the photoshoot below:

https://codeberg.org/deer/gists/src/branch/master/odd-jobbed-new-years-photoshoot-2022

Victoria-Island-locked

Speaking of vicloc, I did some grinding at Wraiths — yes, BIG napkins, not smol napkins! — for the first time on my vicloc clericlet d33r. Big napkins are pretty strong, but d33r is strong enough now to take them on. I was joined by fellow clericlet (but outlander) AppleBasket (LawdHeComin) at Line 2 ⟨Area 3⟩:

Vicloc…

d33r & AppleBasket @ Wraiths

While we were duoing Wraiths together, I found some very valuable vicloc items!! A Mighty Bullet (the most powerful bullet in all of vicloc):

d33r finds a Mighty Bullet!

And the legendary Red Whip!:

d33r finds a Red Whip!!

Later, I was joined by a vicloc non-odd cleric by the name of Lanius (xXCrookXx, Lvl1Crook, Level1Crook). Lanius’s Heal wasn’t so high-level at the time, so we teamed up to take on Line 1 ⟨Area 2⟩ together, with Lanius focusing on the Stirges (annoying bats that like to fly around willy-nilly, unaffected by Heal…):

Lanius & d33r @ Jr. Wraiths

While we were there, d33r levelled up to level 57~!:

d33r hits level 57~!

Later on, when Lanius had a much higher level of Heal, we decided to duo Big Napkins together. But we wanted the real Big Napkin map, which means B3 ⟨Subway Depot⟩. The trouble is, getting to this map requires doing the entire B3 JQ… The B3 JQ is the third of the Kerning City JQs, and is required to complete “Shumi’s Lost Sack of Money”. Unfortunately, this JQ is actually pretty difficult… but we went for it anyways:

Lanius & d33r doing the B3 JQ

After Lanius levelled up, we took a break and hoe’d for the rest of the time left (you can only stay in the map for about ≈98 minutes before you get kicked out). Unfortunately, no Red Whips were found on this day…

Meanwhile, on my vicloc dagger spearwoman d34r, I was doing some APQing. For some reason, this involved new names for my & xXCrookXx’s buff macros:

New buff macros for d34r & xXCrookXx

Now that I’m jr barlog [sic], xXCrookXx has an excuse for his habit of randomly basic-attacking me…

During one APQ with STRginner extraordinaire Taima (deerhunter, Tacgnol, Numidium, Boymoder, Hanyou, Nyanners, pilk), one of our party members disconnected partway through the first stage, thus leaving our APQ doomed to fail. Stage 2 absolutely requires a party of six, so we instead activated plan B…:

Hoeing in APQ

rusa’s level 150 mini-party!!

As my darksterity knight rusa has approached the big level 150(!!), I decided — partly at the behest of the folks whom I surveyed about whether or not it’s a good idea — to hold a level 150 mini-party for her. The mini-party that I planned was pretty simple: level up at the West Domain of Perion, and then have a game of 21 trivia questions on a particularly relevant theme. I had modest prizes lined up for the top three contestants in the game of trivia. You can watch an edited video of the mini-party on the Oddjobs YouTube channel:

rusa’s level 150 mini-party

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Wdtmu0D5H4)

As mentioned in the video, I chose the West Domain of Perion as the location of the mini-party for a very specific reason: this map is the closest Perion map to Kerning City — indeed, this map has a portal to the Construction Site North of Kerning City. Going further around the rim of the island of Victoria takes you to Lith Harbor and then Henesys. There’s thus a sense in which DEX warriors (and LUK warriors) are “western warriors”; although they are ultimately from Perion (due to being warriors), their affinities lie with the thieves of Kerning City and, more distantly, the archers of Henesys.

Also, when writing the trivia questions for my mini-party, I wanted to write more interesting questions than the usual trivia questions based on rote memorisation — trivia questions that exploit, rather than eschew, the fact that we’re connected to the internet (and thus the WWW) the entire time anyways. I made the slight mistake of not making it extremely clear at the outset that this was intentional, which caused some initial confusion. In any case, I’ve reproduced all 21 questions here (although not in the order that I gave them at the mini-party; I shuffled them for that purpose):

21 questions
  1. Q: The prime factorisation of 150 is?

    A: 2 × 3 × 52.

  2. Q: What is the smallest 𝑘 for which 150 is 𝑘-smooth?

    A: 5.

  3. Q: The sum of 150’s proper divisors is?

    A: 1 + 2 + 3 + 5 + 6 + 10 + 15 + 25 + 30 + 50 + 75 = 222.

  4. Q: 150 DEX grants a warrior how much WACC?

    A: 150 × 0.8 = 120.

  5. Q: 150 DEX grants a warrior how much AVOID?

    A: 150 × 0.25 = 37.5.

  6. Q: Which of NPC Miki’s %-based potions don’t stack to 150 per slot?

    A: Ginseng Root & Ginger Ale (both stack up to 100 per slot). Mapleades stack up to 150 per slot, believe it or not.

  7. Q: 150 is often cited as the maximum number of people with whom a single human can maintain stable relationships. In this context, 150 is known as?

    A: Dunbar’s number.

  8. Q: 150 CE was how many years ago?

    A: 2022 − 150 = 1872.

  9. Q: 150 BCE was how many years ago?

    A: 150 + 2022 − 1 = 2171. There is no year 0.

  10. Q: What is the least residue of 31337, modulo 150?

    A: 137.

  11. Q: What is the name of the Unicode character with a codepoint value of 150 (decimal)?

    A: Start of guarded area (“start of protected area” is also acceptable).

  12. Q: What is the name of the Unicode character with a codepoint value of 150 (hexadecimal)?

    A: Latin capital letter O with double acute.

  13. Q: What sequence of two Unicode codepoints becomes the single codepoint U+0150 (hexadecimal) after normalisation?

    A: U+004f (Latin capital letter O), U+030b (combining double acute accent).

  14. Q: How is the number 150 spoken in English?

    A: One hundred and fifty (“one hundred fifty” is also acceptable).

  15. Q: How is the number 150 spoken in Spanish?

    A: Ciento cinquenta.

  16. Q: How is the number 150 spoken in Malay?

    A: Seratus lima puluh (“satu ratus lima puluh” is also acceptable).

  17. Q: What is the (Greek-derived) English name for a 150-sided polygon?

    A: Hectopentacontagon (also acceptable: “hecatontapentacontagon”, “hectopentecontagon”, “hecatontapentecontagon”, etc.).

  18. Q: An interval of 150 semitones (in 12-TET) is octave-equivalent to which non-compound interval?

    A: Tritone (also acceptable: “augmented fourth”, “diminished fifth”, “doubly augmented third”, etc.).

  19. Q: A musical interval of 150 cents is commonly referred to as?

    A: Neutral second.

  20. Q: What is the amount of EXP necessary to advance from level 1 to level 150?

    A: 2 681 167 427.

  21. Q: An interval of 150 savarts is most closely approximated by what named interval?

    A: Tritone (also acceptable: “augmented fourth”, “diminished fifth”, “doubly augmented third”, etc.).

Although they weren’t able to make it to the mini-party, Cortical came through on their promise to award a CFA30 to the first odd-jobber to (legitimately) achieve level 150…:

CFA30

The whole CFA30 thing was kind of a joke, but hey, I’ll take it! I donated it to Boymoder (Taima, deerhunter, Tacgnol, Numidium, Hanyou, pilk), who failed it on a Skanda :[ Oh well…

The adventures of cervine, the world’s stupidest I/L archmage

In the previous diary entry, my I/L magelet cervine advanced to the honourable rank of archmagelet. In this entry, we find her back at the ol’ CDs, using her long-hoarded Valentine’s Day basket from last year’s St. Valentine’s Day event, along with INTlaw Lvl1Crook (xXCrookXx, Macer, Lanius, Level1Crook) and hermit trishaa:

The adventures of cervine

cervine @ CDs on basket

My Blizzard took up so much room that, in order to share the map, trishaa and Lvl1Crook each took half of the bottom row… During this basket-grinding session, cervine hit level 121~!:

cervine hits level 121~!

Later, I wanted to do some more of cervine’s fourth-job quests…

In order to unlock Ice Demon, I had to get a Frozen Book of Ice from Blue Kentauruses. Thankfully, I already had one (I’ve had it for so long that I don’t even remember where I got it), so I gave it to Gritto, who ate it. To find a replacement, I had to go around and talk to a bunch of NPCs (including Jeff), asking how exactly to make another legendary artefact such as the Frozen Book of Ice. I found out that there is an Ancient Icy Stone amongst the El Nath Mountains, which can only be shattered by the strongest hammer in all the land. But, some powder from this ancient ice would suffice to make a nice (but perhaps imprecise) replacement for the book that Gritto ate. So I talked to Vogen, hoping that he would know something about hammers. Fortunately for me, he did, but he needed some materials to make such an Orihalcon Hammer:

I returned to Vogen with the aforementioned items, and Vogen followed through and crafted an Orihalcon Hammer for me. Hammer in hand, I headed back to see Jeff again at Ice Valley II. And Jeff led me to a secret special-sauce map called Ice Valley (notice the lack of numerals in the name)…:

cervine @ Ice Valley

…Within which, I quickly stumbled upon the Ancient Icy Stone of legend:

cervine vs. Ancient Icy Stone

So, I took a whack at it:

…your hammer breaks

With a bag of Ancient Ice Powder now in my palms, I suddenly felt the urge to foolishly repeat the same mistake that Gritto made. So I gobbled up the powder:

cervine learns Ice Demon

I have to say, it was delicious. And gave me brain freeze. But was also scrumptious. Oh, and it made me learn a new skill??:

cervine uses Ice Demon for the first time

Powerful stuff.

Finally, my last remaining quest was for Ifrit, the I/L summon (which deals fire damage). Although it may seem strange that the ice/lightning summon deals fire damage, Alcaster explains the significance of this to us:

Why don’t you have some copernican revolution?

Now that I’ve learned the second-job I/L skills, the third-job I/L skills, as well as Blizzard, CL, and Ice Demon, it would seem that I’ve mastered all that there is to possibly learn about the magic of ice & lightning. So what else is there to learn? Alcaster casually suggests that I “just” have a “[C]opernican revolution”. Now, I reckon that having a Copernican-style revolution is more easily said than done — but I’ll give it my best shot.

Actually, Alcaster seemed to have something specific in mind, as he immediately sent me off on a quest to gather some ingredients for an experiment that he wanted to perform. So I headed to Leafre to collect Kentaurus’s Flames from Red Kentauruses:

cervine hunting for Red Kentaurus ETCs

And to collect some Small Flaming Feathers from Blood Harps:

cervine vs. Harps

Note that Small Flaming Feathers do not drop nearly as often as Blood Harp’s Crowns, the other “leftover” ETC that Blood Harps drop.

Blood Harp card get!

And finally, I headed to a secret spa in Japan to hunt for Firebomb Flames from Firebombs:

cervine hunting Firebombs

I took these ingredients back to Alcaster, who promptly failed the experiment that he wanted to try. Having now run out of ideas, Alcaster referred me to Hughes the Fuse of the Orbis Tower, who had his own experiment in mind. Again, I needed to collect the ingredients, but this time they seemed to mostly be metals:

However, the only person who knew how to make a Soul Pouch was, again, Alcaster. So Alcaster needed ingredients, as well:

So I painstakingly farmed up some Free Spirits myself. MSTs only spawn at FPoT1, where they make up only about ⅓ of the map’s population. Yet, MSTs are immune to ice and strong against lightning, whereas the other species on the map (Soul Teddy) is strong against both ice and lightning. So I was F5’ing the whole time…:

cervine vs. MSTs

Eventually, I did get 50 Free Spirits, so I moved on to FPoT2, which has a similar situation with Dark Klocks only making up about ⅓ of the map’s population. Thankfully, however, both Klocks and Dark Klocks are neutral against ice and lightning. Along the way, I found a Klock card:

Klock card get!

…And the 50 Evil Spirits that I needed:

Evil Spirit get!

After some running around, I got Hughes all of the ingredients that he needed for his experiment. Thankfully, Hughes’s experiment was successful, so I returned to Alcaster with the good news. However, Alcaster said that there was still one thing missing to complete this new summoning magic: a Fire Soul Rock. Unfortunately, this special rock only drops from Elemental Thanatoses, so I had to figure out how to find some of those. Only Flo, at the Path of Time, knew how to go to this otherworldly elemental plane where the Elemental Thanatoses reside. Flo would take me there, but only if I had an invitation. So I harassed some Gatekeepers, seeking an invitation:

cervine vs. Gatekeeper

And lo, there it was; the Gatekeeper’s Invitation:

Gatekeeper’s Invitation

With the invitation in hand, I went to Flo. But actually, I needed just one more thing before Flo would allow me into the elemental plane: another archmage to accompany me. So I enlisted the company of Tacgnol (Taima, deerhunter, Boymoder, Numidium, Hanyou, pilk), the F/P archgishlet. And we ventured into this unknown realm…:

cervine & Tacgnol meet the abyss…

Here, we were made to fight twin Elemental Thanatoses:

cervine & Tacgnol vs. Elemental Thanatoses

Although they may look like identical twins, these two are not totally identical. I easily killed one of them, but I couldn’t seem to deal any damage at all (other than “1”s) to the other — not even with Magic Claw! So Tacgnol had a go at it, thwacking it with her staff:

Tacgnol smaccs the Thanatos

And with that one also dead, the Fire Soul Rock dropped before me:

cervine & Tacgnol killed the Elemental Thanatoses!

And, finally, Alcaster showed me how to put it all together to learn Ifrit:

cervine obtains Ifrit

Unfortunately, actually putting SP into Ifrit requires having level ≥5 Ice Demon, so I’ve no real access to it yet! But soon, hopefully!!

A new robe

I recently made an equipment upgrade to a very important equipment item that I use across several of my characters: my STR robe. This upgrade has a slight story behind it. Someone by the name of Stonedaf smega’d that they were selling a female bathrobe scrolled for STR. Unfortunately, I wasn’t online at the time, but Lv1Crook sent me a screenshot of the smega. So, I buddied them on one or two of my characters that I was playing frequently at the time, and was frequently typing /find Stonedaf to try to find them. I never found any trace of them, and eventually gave up.

Fast-forward some months, and as I was doing KPQ on my DEX page KPQ/SPQ mule kinds, I saw a smega from Stonedaf looking for offers on that same robe! I wasn’t sure what to offer on it, so I did some rough calculations based on the most recent OwlRepo p25 values at the time, in combination with scroll_strategist_cli, and found that at current market prices, it would take roughly ≈114M mesos (on average) to produce an item of this quality. This might seem like an obnoxiously high price for a STR bathrobe — an item that has no real use to non-odd characters beyond a low level — but makes sense, given the price of scrolls for overalls for STR, and given that the robe necessarily starts with 0 STR clean. Not wanting to bid so high right out of the gate, I decided to throw out a bid of 80M and see what happens…

New 22 STR bathrobe

Stonedaf was thrilled by the offer, at which point I immediately realised my mistake: looking only at the cost to produce such an item is unfortunately grossly misleading when trying to appraise it. Such items are speciality items that are not really worth much per se, even though they cost a lot to make. Female STR robes, in particular, have no real market whatsoever — male equivalents are not super popular either, but I’ve been able to find several of them with a single owl on multiple separate occasions.

In any case, Stonedaf was pleased to see that someone really wanted to robe, and agreed to sell it to me right then and there. In the trade window, they explained to me that they had made the robe themselves, that it had a long history, that they had been trying to sell it for a long time, and that they had just recently come back to the game after a hiatus. When I said that I had been on the lookout for any female STR robes for a long time, they assured me that the robe would serve me well.

Suboptimal bossing

And now, back to our regularly scheduled bossing activities

I had the pleasure of killing some BFs with not just Level1Crook (Lvl1Crook, xXCrookXx, Macer, Lanius), but also STRginner Taima (Tacgnol, Numidium, deerhunter)! I took my woodsmaster capreolina so that I could help to pin BF from a distance, using Hurricane and/or Strafe:

Suboptimal bossing

Taima, Level1Crook, and capreolina vs. Bigfoot

There were surprisingly few deaths from poor Taima, who had to face up toe-to-toe* with Bigfoot the entire time!

And with a similar crew (although with me on my darksterity knight rusa this time), we did some more Rāvaṇas!:

rusa, Taima, and Level1Crook vs. Ravana

rusa, Taima, and Level1Crook vs. Ravana!

Wowee! A coin pouch~!

And we even fought the Pepper Lattice; but this time, accompanied by dark knight DarkCookie (SolidState, LightCookie)! Now that I didn’t have to provide HB, I took capreolina this time:

capreolina, Taima, Level1Crook, and DarkCookie vs. Papulatus

On a different occasion, Level1Crook & I went hunting for Headless Horsemans, with me as my daggermit alces:

Level1Crook and alces vs. HH

We had a particularly crowded BFing party with not just me (capreolina) and Level1Crook, but also trishaa, Bipp (Cassandro, Copo, Fino, Sommer, Celim), and shadowban/2sus4u (uayua, tb303):

Level1Crook, trishaa, capreolina, Bipp, and Cecilia vs. BF

…During which, we had a bit of a toe moment:

toe moment

And, finally, on a separate occasion, we were joined by 2sus4u once again for a few trio BFs:

2sus4u, capreolina, and Level1Crook vs. BF

So long, & thx 4 all the toes (& EXP)!

Footnotes for “Suboptimal bossing”

*Pun intended.

A few Masteria quests, with alces the daggermit

I did some quests in and around New Leaf City (in Masteria) on my daggermit alces. The first order of business was actually Featherweights, a completely useless quest if it weren’t for the fact that it’s a prequest for Urban Warrior. This meant hunting for Boomer Cores at Jungle Valley:

Boomer card get!

During which, I stumbled across an Urban Fungus card or two:

Urban Fungus card get!

And also, I had to kill like 200 Gryphons, for this quest, and for Cleaning Up the Streets at the same time:

Gryphon card get!

Needless to say, daggers are not the most effective means of slaying Gryphons. Then again, it’s kind of a massive pain in the ass no matter how you do it.

I also went ahead and started the Subani’s Legacy questline, which meant — among other things — slaying some Fire Tusks:

Fire Tusk card get!

While I was in Big Ben, I killed some Wolf Spiders for Urban Jungle:

alces vs. Wolf Spiders

…And hunted some Electrophants for their Hyper Glyphs:

alces vs. Electrophants

To wrap up Subani’s Legacy, I hunted for the pieces of the MesoGears map from I.AM.ROBOTs:

alces finds a piece of the map…!

…During which, I found not an I.AM.ROBOT card, but rather, an Electrophant card…:

Electrophant card get!

And there it is: Subani’s Legacy! Now gimme those newly-buffed MesoGears Rings…

MesoGears Rings get!

Getting better at Jiaoceng

In the previous diary entry, I talked about my first experiences of running Jiaoceng (武林妖僧) for the first time. Again, for anyone not familiar, the salient feature of JC as a boss is the tight time limit: 10 minutes or less, no exceptions. However, for those capable of defeating JC within the time limit, you may be rewarded with EXP, card(s), and/or some valuable loot (including the occasional Mysterious Pouch 1). Given that one of the main perks is EXP, the need for HS naturally arises. So, xBowtjuhNL wanted to help me get my pure STR bishop cervid through the JC prequests so that she could provide HS for our runs. Because cervid is level <135, she’s not capable of leeching any of the EXP from the clones, much less JC itself. This would, in principle, make things pretty easy.

So we headed to 1-2 F and 3-4 F of the Sutra Depository to kill some metallic monks:

武林妖僧

Bronze Mini Martial Artist card get!

cervid and xBowtjuhNL @ 3-4F

The first time that I tried running JC on my darksterity knight rusa, with cervid there for HS, was a bit of a failure…

First JC w/ HS attempt failed…

cervid fell victim to pet autopot failure, caused by getting 1⧸1’d near the beginning of the fight. So I did the trick of binding Ginseng Root to both auto HP and auto MP, and that has actually worked quite well since then.

Now that xBowtjuhNL, Harlez (VigiI), and I have really gotten the hang of JCing, I’ve noticed that JC seems to be fairly generous with the cards:

Jiaoceng card get!

While I was training just outside of JC’s lair with Harlez, I finally finished one of the hardest card sets in the game: Golden Giant!!:

5⧸5 Gold Giant!!!

And that wasn’t all; the JCs that we did immediately after…

rusa, xBowtjuhNL, & Harlez vs. JC

Got me to 5⧸5 on both JC and its clones! That’s three tough sets completed, in one session!!

And, finally, here’s rusa in her INT pj’s, hitting level 151 :P

rusa hits level 151~!

Pee queues

I did a lot of KPQing on my DEX page KPQ/SPQ mule kinds, during which, I decided to occasionally take it easy on the whole “carrying” thing, letting my party members build character by doing things themselves…

Peek yous

deerhunter & Macer vs. KPQ Curse Eye

(Pictured above: deerhunter (Taima, Tacgnol, Numidium, Boymoder, Hanyou, pilk), the vicloc woodswoman; and Macer (Level1Crook, Lvl1Crook, xXCrookXx, Lanius), the vicloc gish cleric.)

Macer & deerhunter vs. King Slime

I also did some KPQing with vicloc page Mootage (Mootsama, Mootmage). You can see in the image below that I’ve gone back to popping the King Slime (PC)* myself…:

kinds, deerhunter, & Mootage vs. King Slime

I also came across a wild occurrence of staff-whacker Aphasia (Cortical, Medulla, GishGallop, SussyBaka, CokeZeroPill), who is a noob:

gatorade milk

And, who also suggested that we try getting a Pass from every party member during the first stage, so that we could actually clear the PQ without dealing damage to King Slime at all. Normally, the first stage asks for everyone, except for the leader, to collect Coupons from the Ligator (PC)s*, and then to turn in the appropriate number of Coupons in exchange for a Pass. The leader can then only proceed by giving the NPC n − 1 Passes, where n is the size of the party. But there is a well-known trick, often used when someone gets the “STR required to take first-job advancement to warrior” question (thus requiring the collection of 35 Coupons, more than any other question): you can pass the party leader to another person, and have the old party leader collect Coupons instead. The old party leader usually has a different question (as the question is randomly selected for each party member), thus decreasing the overall number of Coupons that need to be collected. If this is possible, then it seems like you could collect “all” n − 1 Passes, but then before clearing the stage, you pass the party leader position, and have the old leader collect & turn in Coupons themselves, thus bringing the total number of Passes up to n.

We tried it, and this does work — you get n Passes total. Of course, that didn’t necessarily mean that we could get to the next stage with an extra Pass. It could be that the NPC checks that you have at least n − 1 Passes, and then confiscates all of the Passes that you have before making the stage clear. But, as it turns out, this is not how it works; it does take n − 1 of your Passes, no matter what. So when we got to the final stage, Aphasia was excited to see that the Passes from this final stage do stack (read: share the same inventory slot) with the ones from the first stage (i.e. they have the same item ID). And this was how we achieved the “good” ending of KPQ, where we peacefully left King Slime alive & unharmed:

KPQ: The good ending

In another session, I did some KPQs in a party consisting of me, deerhunter, and a few random folks. This resulted in some confusion when the random folks insisted on referring to deerhunter as simply “deer”. Here, they rolled to see who gets the King Slime’s loot, and then magepig announces that “deer[hunter is the winner of the roll]”:

whats up

While I was writing the vicloc guide, I wanted to get some more concrete numbers on how much EXP one gets from a single run of HPQ — along with similar numbers for the various other vicloc PQs. I considered running three clients to do an HPQ or two by myself, but when I mentioned it in alliance chat, uayua (2sus4u, tb303, shadowban) and deerhunter came to the rescue. So, I ran an HPQ with them on my permarogue panolia:

uayua, deerhunter, and panolia @ HPQ

In other PQs, I did some EPQing on my DEX brawler EPQ/LPQ mule sorts. Here, you can see me, Furca (Gruzz) the clawslinger, and Numidium the STR cleric, all attacking BBRG (Big Bad Rock Guy) with an… unusual selection of weaponry:

sorts, Furca, & Numidium vs. BBRG

During these EPQs, I decided to try — for the first time — actually throwing hands at this BBRG, instead of standing back and letting my pew pew do the talking:

sorts throws hands at BBRG

This worked well enough. However, it was certainly slower, and furthermore, was a good bit more dangerous and potion-intensive…

Footnotes for “Pee queues”

*What does “PC” even stand for? Party Cuest?? And for that matter, “(JP)” is used for the LMPQ monsters (see, for example, the familiar Tauromacis(JP)) for seemingly the same purpose: to distinguish PQ-bound versions of the monster from other versions. But what does JP stand for??? Japan???? Just Party????? What about the “GL” of the APQ monsters like Curse Eye GL?????? Good Luck??????? Good luck figuring it out!

Killing Galloperas, with capreolina

Along with getting EXP from the occasional Bigtoe, Papa Lettuce, and Rav, I’ve been doing a little Gallopera-slaying on my woodsmaster capreolina. After levelling up to 131 just after a double Paper Lattice kill…

capreolina hits level 131~!

…I went to finally grind out another long-hoarded Valentine’s basket with sniper Level1Crook (xXCrookXx, Macer, Lanius, Lvl1Crook):

capre doing a V-day basket @ Gallos w/ Level1Crook

By the end of it, I was at roughly ≈93.5% EXP, so I came back to Gallos later — this time, alone — to grind out the last ≈6.5%. As it turned out, this took a li’l while — it takes me upwards of >7 hours of pure grind to churn out a full level at solo Gallos. In any case, I pushed through to level 132, INT pj’s & all~:

capreolina hits level 132~!

Now that I hit level 132, my Hurricane got to level 7, meaning that I could now try passing Hurricane 20s (although I wouldn’t strictly need to do so for another two levels). Luckily, Hurricane 20s drop from Petrifighters (“Petris”), and are thus worthless. I snagged two for 50k mesos each and passed the second one:

capre passes Hurricane 20

Cool! Unfortunately, as I said, I won’t actually be able to go above level 10 Hurricane for another two levels (level ≥134); this means that Strafe remains my primary means of dealing sustained single-target DPM with a bow until then.

rusa vs. even moar bosses

I killed quite a few Black Crows on my darksterity knight rusa, thanks to shadower Harlez (VigiI) diligently hunting for them at Encounter with the Buddha. Here I am, with Harlez and I/L archmage Gruzz (Furca), taking on this goofy-looking guy:

rusa vs. the world

Harlez, rusa, & Gruzz vs. Crow

Yeahh… it’s a little tough actually seeing anything, what with all the fog/mist in the map, the Dreamy Ghosts (“Himes”), and the flashy skill effects…

I had the privilege of doing two sleepytime tree runs with MM xBowtjuhNL and BM Odyssea, as well as fellow DK DrakeSworD, during which sleepytime tree got extra sleepy for some reason. Because the tree stopped even so much as attempting to harass us, we were forced to @gm for help turning comatime tree into sleepytime tree. So we were paid a visit by GM Nightzy:

Nightzy visits @ Krex

xBowtjuhNL was right. It won’t drop anything, anyways.

Later, I did a pair of Targa runs with Harlez, xBowtjuhNL, NL OverEasy, and helm buyer I/L archmage Mater, who joined us for the fight:

rusa, xBowtjuhNL, Harlez, OverEasy, & Mater vs. Targa

I’m still very much at that point where the third body of Targa (and even the third body of Scarlion) are a sweatfest for me, as rusa. Keeping my zerking consistent is nervewracking, made even worse by Targa’s (and to a lesser extent, Scarlion’s) insistence on moving around willy-nilly and casting control-reversal debuffs. But with more levels and more MAXHP, hopefully it will get a bit more relaxing!!

After partially scrolling one of the helms that he looted, Mater decided to give up the last helm that was remaining on the ground. I won the roll and looted it, only to find that it was an INT helm, and a 19 INT one at that…:

R.I.P. 19 INT helm

R.I.P.

In other Crow news, Harlez & I were so incredibly fortunate as to find a Stonetooth Sword‽:

Harlez & rusa find a Stonetooth Sword!

The stats weren’t amazing (100 WATK, which is one below average), but still an epic find.

Also lurking amongst the area bosses of Japan is Female Boss (perhaps better known as “Anego”*). Now, I’ve never so much as attempted to fight this boss, nor any of the bosses in the “hideout” region of Showa Town. Anego is incredibly tough: although she is “only” level 130, she has 75M HP, 3k WDEF, and is capable of slapping those who come too close for up to ≈19k damage!! Yikes!!! Needless to say, I wasn’t going to be zerking against Anego… but at least her KB is only 1k, so I can still knock back consistently :P

In any case, I had honestly never even been to the hideout in my entire Maple career. I never got nearly powerful enough to believe that I could survive a jaunt in such a place (even the Extra Ds, and so on, were quite scary to me at one point…), so this was my first experience seeing the interior:

rusa @ Parking Lot

I met up with Harlez and xBowtjuhNL, and we fought this Anego to the death:

rusa, Harlez, & xBowtjuhNL vs. Anego

As it turns out, perhaps the main thrust of fighting Anego is obtaining her comb (although she does also drop wand 30%s and cards, which is nice, I guess) — this special comb is actually worth quite a bit, as it can be used to summon Bodyguard A†.

I also did some Zakking on rusa — Zak and JC are probably my favourite two bosses that I’ve fought thus far. During one such Zak run with some members of the Funk guild (including xBowtjuhNL, shadower Soblet, and of course I/L archmage Nightz), xBowtjuhNL and I were the only ones during the arms stage that were up on the platforms and attacking the highest-positioned arms — everyone else was cleaving the arms from the bottom-centre of Zak’s body. So naturally, it was a race between me and xBowtjuhNL (Ramon) to see who could kill their arms first. With a little help from my friends, I managed to win B)…

deer vs. Ramon

Later (alongside NL BeMyRavebae, Harlez, and others), I sold non-AFK zhelms to fighter Sohda, who immediately recognised me, as they are also known as STRginner Duhm! Sohda looted two helms that were unfortunately quite under average, but had quite a resurgence of luck, as the final helm turned out to be 17⧸17⧸𝑥⧸𝑦 !:

Sohda gets a 17⧸17 helm!

In another run with a similar crew (although this time, joined by bishop Screed), we had the misfortune of xBowtjuhNL’s client process crashing at the beginning of the run :(

One of our NLs took this as a sign that they were not going to be finishing the run in time for their obligations, as we were now missing xBowtjuhNL’s damage, as well as the immense additional damage afforded to the NLs — and to a lesser extent, myself & Harlez — by SE. So here we were, desperately trying to finish as a quartet. BeMyRavebae even bought an Onyx Apple (the one (1) that I happened to have in my inventory) from me during the run…:

Screed, BeMyRavebae, Harlez, & rusa vs. Zakum

Then, things took an even worse turn, as Zakum grew wings and flew up to the top-left corner of the map without warning!:

Cya l8rs, Zak…

god damn it

One @gm ticket-filing later, and GM Oolong came to the rescue, repositioning Zak to… well, almost its original position:

Oolong repositions Zak

Unfortunately, after Oolong left, Zak was back on its old shit, this time suddenly breaking by stopping all attacks…

Oolong comes back…

In the end, this run was just botched — we got our arms EXP, and that was it.

In even more Japanese area boss news, though, Harlez & I managed to find another 100 WATK Stonetooth Sword‽‽:

rusa & Harlez find another Stonetooth Sword!!?

Now that we have two, we each get one! I have something special in mind for mine…

And along the hallways of the Ninja Castle, we found some Kacchuu Mushas (perhaps better known as “Samu”s‡), who gave us their tasty fragments:

rusa & Harlez vs. Samu

And, slowly but surely, I fill up my Black Crow card set :P

Black Crow card get!

At yet another pair of Zakum runs, I had the pleasure of running with I/L archmage extraordinaire Edann:

Meeting Edann @ Zakum

OPQ really was good times!! And, on an unrelated note, it’s humbling to see Edann casually hitting upwards of 130k–140k+ lines with Blizzard on Zak arms o_o

And finally, during the second of these two runs, I levelled up to level 152 at the end~!:

rusa hits level 152~!

:3

Footnotes for “rusa vs. even moar bosses”

*This name is the rōmaji of the Japanese 姉御, from 姉 — a neutral term meaning “elder sister” — and 御, here used as a suffix with an honorific sense. The intended sense is “boss’s wife”.

†I only just then learned that “Bodyguard A” was what people meant when they say BGA in smegas…

‡The name (or nickname?) Samu is, as far as I can tell, a clipping of the Japanese (rōmaji: samurai), derived from the fact that Kacchuu Musha is an undead samurai. Thus, in Japanese, this would presumably(?) be さむ (in katakana: サム; pronounced /samɯ/). This (particularly サム) could also, for example, be used to phonetically approximate e.g. an English name like Uncle Sam: アンクル・サム. So Samu may also be further shortened to simply Sam.

(…cnvpstdf…)

cnvpstdf

noob