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rangifer’s diary: pt. lxxxiii

It’s time… for the St. Valentine’s Day/Lunar New Year event!!

Comparing DEX warriors

As I’ve played on my darksterity knight rusa, I’ve ran into numerous people inquiring about my build, what a “DEX warrior” is exactly, how it compares to an ordinary STR warrior, and so on. And some of these people have even been interested in making a DEX warrior themselves, but don’t know where to start.

Fundamentally, the meaning of “DEX warrior” is as simple as it sounds: a warrior whose base stats look something like 35⧸𝑥⧸4⧸4. But knowing the bare definition doesn’t tell you how DEX warriors compare to their non-odd counterparts, and doesn’t tell you how the three main warrior paths (fighter/crusader/hero, page/white knight/paladin, spear(wo)man/dragon knight/dark knight) compare to each other when made to be pure DEX. Some of the basic characteristics of DEX warriors are already explained by the “DEX warrior” entry in the Introduction To Odd Jobs:

To this list of attributes, I would also add that DEX warriors are ancient enough, as a job, that I would consider them — in my own mind, at least — to be a “classic” odd job.

When it comes to the nitty-gritty details of DPM calculation, though, I usually just use my knowledge of MapleStory damage calculation to give a simplified overview:

I’ve gone into some detail to actually justify the assertions that I’m making with my “simplified overview”. The actual important assertions here are that rusa does about 3–4 times less damage than a non-odd DK of the same level, and that DEX DKs are clearly “the worst” in terms of sheer DPM, when compared to DEX heroes and DEX pallies — due in large part to considerations that are specific to DEX warriors.

This is some nice theory and all that, but I want to see the results! Show me the juicy numbers!! In a vain attempt to sate our (read: my) insatiable desire for “big number go boom!”, I want to use rusa as a theoretical model by which we can estimate how much sustained single-target DPM DEX warriors are capable of. But first, the usual disclaimer:

⚠️ BEGIN DISCLAIMER ⚠️

The figures discussed here relate only to theoretical, sustained, single-target DPM. Needless to say, this is not at all the same thing as evaluating each job as a whole. Entire topics of consideration, and untold amounts of nuance, have been discarded here in favour of a streamlined & simplistic theoretical comparison. Also, this comparison only considers mature fourth-jobbed characters.

⚠️ END DISCLAIMER ⚠️

With that out of the way, we need to get into the weeds about rusa’s exact build, in order to make her into a theoretical model. To make things easy and fairly realistic, I’m going to be using rusa’s exact equipment at the time of writing (including event equipment), and her exact character level at the time of writing.

Footnotes for “Comparing DEX warriors”

*Primary Stat Multiplier. This is the coefficient by which your primary stat (in our case, this is always STR, but in general, it could be another stat) is directly multiplied, for the purpose of damage calculation. This is effectively the only thing that distinguishes primary stats from secondary stats; your “SSM” (Secondary Stat Multiplier) is always unity, so we don’t actually need a name for it at all.

†This expectation assumes that the attack animates like a basic-attack. This is a detail that doesn’t matter for now; suffice it to say that you can’t actually do better than 4.60 here.

The original model (rusa, the DEX DK version)

AP (base)

Equipment

Irrelevant stats are not listed.

Relevant stats after equipment:

The other models (rusa, the DEX hero and DEXadin versions)

For obvious reasons, most of the skeletal model can stay the same for the hero and paladin versions, with one notable exception: what the model is holding. These models will not be using Sky Skis, but instead will be split out into five models:

Obviously, our six models (including the DK) are not all equally realistic. In particular, Hero 1 and Paladin 1 are using Lunch boxes, which technically exist in MapleLegends, but have not been available for a very long time, and are untradeable (and OoaK). But I want to see what these builds would look like if Lunch boxes were A Real Thing™, and I’ve constrained all weapons to be scrolled identically.

Axes are not represented, as the only two reasonable options are Maple Steel Axe and Maple Demon Axe, which are both level 64.

The shield that I actually have in-game is a 15 WATK, 8 STR Stolen Fence, but I figured that it’s more fair to make the shields beefier, to match the weapons.

Skills

DK

The DK will be spamming maxed Spear Crusher while Spear Booster and maxed Berserk are active. They will have maxed Spear Mastery and maxed Beholder.

Hero

The hero will be spamming maxed Brandish while maxed ACA is active with a combo counter of ten (ten orbs). They will have Sword Booster active. They will have maxed Sword Mastery.

Paladin

The paladin will mostly be spamming maxed Blast while their elemental charge of choice is active (and maxed). Whenever Heaven’s Hammer (which we assume that they have maxed as well) is off cooldown, they will use it.* They have the relevant booster (sword or BW) active, and the relevant mastery (sword or BW) maxed.

Footnotes for “Paladin”

*This will later turn out to not actually be true; see “Heaven’s Hammer” below.

Buffs

Besides the buffs that these models are already casting upon themselves naturally, we’ll consider a few different combinations of external buffs:

Enemy models

The enemies are all assumed to be the same level as the PCs, but differ in their WDEF values and in their elemental interactions.

The differences in elemental interactions only matters for the paladin models. For simplicity, we only consider two possibilities:

We consider the following possibilities for WDEF values:

There are certainly monsters (including bosses, which is mostly what we’re after here) with WDEF values in excess of 3 000; for example, Kacchuu Musha has 3 200, Bodyguard A has 3 600, The Boss has 5 000, etc. But we’re not going to go that far for the purpose of this analysis.

The calculations

As you can see, although I’ve kept things relatively simple and streamlined so far, this is going to be a lot of numbers. Even with something as simplistic and one-dimensional as this, there is still a lot of nuance left over. But hopefully, we can find some trends in the data that can further simplify things. But first… we need the data.

I’ll be using my damage calculator to help crunch this veritable mountain of numbers.

Heaven’s Hammer

First, we must address the elephant in the room: HH. HH makes things slightly more complicated here for two reasons:

  1. Because of HH, the paladin models are the only models that don’t just spam one skill over and over. This makes the damage calculation slightly more delicate.

  2. HH is, bizarrely, the only attacking skill in the game (that I know of) that doesn’t do any damage calculation on the client side (or at the very least, doesn’t show it visually). This means that it’s up to the server to do whatever it wants, and historically, no one seems to agree in the slightest about how HH should deal damage. The skill description suggests that its damage should scale up with skill level, culminating at 900% damage at max level. Thus, it may be a perfectly ordinary skill that happens to have a damage multiplier of 900%, a cooldown, and no client-side damage calculation.

    However, this is not how MapleLegends has interpreted it, and ML has itself made numerous changes to HH over the years. I will be using the current (at the time of writing) MapleLegends version of HH, which deals exactly 50k to bosses, and has a cooldown of 15 seconds at max level. I won’t be considering the amount of damage that it deals to non-boss monsters, as this is a theoretical comparison of sustained single-target DPM.

Blast has an attack period of 690 ms with a speed 3 weapon, and 630 ms with a speed 2 weapon. As a result, a paladin who spams Blast with the exception of using HH any time that it’s not on cooldown will be Blasting 22 times in a row after each HH when using a speed 3 weapon, and 24 times in a row when using a speed 2 weapon.

But after doing some Scientific Research™ (a.k.a. asking Linny how tf paladins work), it seems that the attack period of HH is about double the attack period of Blasting with a speed 3 weapon. This would put the attack period of (ML’s version of) HH at around ≈1 380 ms, and as it turns out, this means that 50k damage is not enough damage for the DEXadin to justify using HH against a single target (yes, even as a DEX warrior). So actually, our paladin models will simply be spamming Blast…

This should serve as yet another reminder of how limited this kind of analysis is.

The DK

buffsWDEFDPM
MW10 & Cider01 597 356
MW10 & Cider & SI01 834 002
MW10 & Cider & SE01 794 689
MW10 & Onyx Apple02 427 202
MW10 & Cider1 1501 181 130
MW10 & Cider & SI1 1501 356 113
MW10 & Cider & SE1 1501 327 047
MW10 & Onyx Apple1 1502 010 976
MW10 & Cider3 000511 550
MW10 & Cider & SI3 000587 335
MW10 & Cider & SE3 000574 753
MW10 & Onyx Apple3 0001 341 395

Wow, what a difference WDEF makes! The difference between a Cider and an Onyx Apple seems to be considerably less than the difference between 0 WDEF and 3k WDEF!

Hero 0 (Stonetooth)

buffsWDEFDPM
MW10 & Rage03 070 151
MW10 & Rage & SI03 362 546
MW10 & Rage & SE03 318 132
MW10 & Onyx Apple04 595 735
MW10 & Rage1 1502 784 151
MW10 & Rage & SI1 1503 049 308
MW10 & Rage & SE1 1503 009 032
MW10 & Onyx Apple1 1504 309 735
MW10 & Rage3 0002 324 064
MW10 & Rage & SI3 0002 545 403
MW10 & Rage & SE3 0002 511 784
MW10 & Onyx Apple3 0003 849 648

We can see how much of a difference pre-WDEF multipliers make already: the hero is suffering quite a bit less from WDEF increases.

Hero 1 (Lunch box)

buffsWDEFDPM
MW10 & Rage03 780 263
MW10 & Rage & SI03 780 263
MW10 & Rage & SE04 085 599
MW10 & Onyx Apple05 397 528
MW10 & Rage1 1503 467 024
MW10 & Rage & SI1 1503 467 024
MW10 & Rage & SE1 1503 747 061
MW10 & Onyx Apple1 1505 084 290
MW10 & Rage3 0002 963 120
MW10 & Rage & SI3 0002 963 120
MW10 & Rage & SE3 0003 202 456
MW10 & Onyx Apple3 0004 580 385

Paladin 0 (Stonetooth)

In the “charge” column, “holy” means using Holy Charge (or Divine Charge, respectively) against an enemy that is neutral to all elements, and “fire” means using Fire Charge (or Flame Charge, respectively) against an enemy that is weak to fire.

buffsWDEFchargeDPM
MW10 & Cider0holy3 242 847
MW10 & Cider & SI0holy3 551 690
MW10 & Cider & SE0holy3 356 348
MW10 & Onyx Apple0holy4 854 221
MW10 & Cider1 150holy2 912 847
MW10 & Cider & SI1 150holy3 190 261
MW10 & Cider & SE1 150holy3 014 798
MW10 & Onyx Apple1 150holy4 524 221
MW10 & Cider3 000holy2 381 977
MW10 & Cider & SI3 000holy2 608 832
MW10 & Cider & SE3 000holy2 465 348
MW10 & Onyx Apple3 000holy3 993 352
MW10 & Cider0fire5 873 040
MW10 & Cider & SI0fire6 432 377
MW10 & Cider & SE0fire6 078 598
MW10 & Onyx Apple0fire8 791 342
MW10 & Cider1 150fire5 543 040
MW10 & Cider & SI1 150fire6 070 948
MW10 & Cider & SE1 150fire5 737 048
MW10 & Onyx Apple1 150fire8 461 342
MW10 & Cider3 000fire5 012 170
MW10 & Cider & SI3 000fire5 489 520
MW10 & Cider & SE3 000fire5 187 598
MW10 & Onyx Apple3 000fire7 930 472

Oh my… Elemental weakness is a real huge deal…

Paladin 1 (Lunch box)

buffsWDEFchargeDPM
MW10 & Cider0holy3 991 472
MW10 & Cider & SI0holy3 991 472
MW10 & Cider & SE0holy4 131 175
MW10 & Onyx Apple0holy5 699 074
MW10 & Cider1 150holy3 630 044
MW10 & Cider & SI1 150holy3 630 044
MW10 & Cider & SE1 150holy3 757 097
MW10 & Onyx Apple1 150holy5 337 646
MW10 & Cider3 000holy3 048 615
MW10 & Cider & SI3 000holy3 048 615
MW10 & Cider & SE3 000holy3 155 318
MW10 & Onyx Apple3 000holy4 756 217
MW10 & Cider0fire7 227 568
MW10 & Cider & SI0fire7 227 568
MW10 & Cider & SE0fire7 480 534
MW10 & Onyx Apple0fire10 319 596
MW10 & Cider1 150fire6 866 139
MW10 & Cider & SI1 150fire6 866 139
MW10 & Cider & SE1 150fire7 106 456
MW10 & Onyx Apple1 150fire9 958 167
MW10 & Cider3 000fire6 284 711
MW10 & Cider & SI3 000fire6 284 711
MW10 & Cider & SE3 000fire6 504 677
MW10 & Onyx Apple3 000fire9 376 739

Sheeesh! Our lunchbox pally managed to break the 10M EPM threshold with an apple and a fire-weak opponent with low WDEF…!

Paladin 2 (Duck tube)

buffsWDEFchargeDPM
MW10 & Cider0holy3 214 951
MW10 & Cider & SI0holy3 521 137
MW10 & Cider & SE0holy3 327 476
MW10 & Onyx Apple0holy4 745 901
MW10 & Cider1 150holy2 884 951
MW10 & Cider & SI1 150holy3 159 708
MW10 & Cider & SE1 150holy2 985 926
MW10 & Onyx Apple1 150holy4 415 901
MW10 & Cider3 000holy2 354 081
MW10 & Cider & SI3 000holy2 578 280
MW10 & Cider & SE3 000holy2 436 476
MW10 & Onyx Apple3 000holy3 885 031
MW10 & Cider0fire5 773 846
MW10 & Cider & SI0fire6 323 736
MW10 & Cider & SE0fire5 975 932
MW10 & Onyx Apple0fire8 523 317
MW10 & Cider1 150fire5 443 846
MW10 & Cider & SI1 150fire5 962 308
MW10 & Cider & SE1 150fire5 634 382
MW10 & Onyx Apple1 150fire8 193 317
MW10 & Cider3 000fire4 912 976
MW10 & Cider & SI3 000fire5 380 879
MW10 & Cider & SE3 000fire5 084 932
MW10 & Onyx Apple3 000fire7 662 448

What did we learn?

I forgot to subtract 100 from the WDEF values (due to Threaten) in the calculations for the paladin models. Oops. Arguably, the way that I did it here is reasonable insofar as it doesn’t make the assumption that the heroes and DKs will never benefit from Threaten; obviously, this assumption could be violated if they happen to be partying with a page/WK/pally. But really, I just forgot, and can’t be arsed to fix it. The paladin already looks the strongest in this analysis anyways, so factoring Threaten in would only make them eclipse the other models even more!

The Lunch box is clearly completely broken (in a good way), so it makes sense that it’s a fantasy weapon here. Its sole real weakness is that it’s the only weapon considered here that does not benefit at all from SI. With a Lunch box, you really can have it all: more damage, and a place to put your lunch so that you can picnic on the battlefield.

The Duck tube is — perhaps surprisingly — ­very strong. In this analysis, it does trail behind the Stonetooth Sword, but only barely; and the Duck tube can make up for this by being cheaper to make (although that is somewhat offset by the price of a good WATK shield). Given this price advantage, and given the defensive superiority of the Duck tube (it comes with AVOID and lets you wear a shield), the Duck tube is perhaps the most practical choice for DEXadins (duckadins?). Do note, however, that the Stonetooth has a slight advantage with larger WATK buffs, as the Duck tube is mostly relying on higher WATK (due to the WATK shield) to compete with the Stonetooth. When comparing Cider to Onyx Apple in this analysis, the relative improvement of Onyx Apple over Cider is about ≈1.47% or so higher for Paladin 0 (Stonetooth) than it is for Paladin 2 (Duck tube).

Elemental weaknesses are very powerful for paladins, and probably even more ridiculously powerful for DEXadins. Against a foe that is weak to their elemental charge, the DEXadin’s pre-WDEF damage range is so large that the usual effect — wherein the DEX warrior is constantly fighting to get as much of their damage range “peeking out” above their foe’s WDEF as possible — all but disappears.

As expected, the DK model suffers horribly from WDEF, in a way that the other models simply do not. As noted above, the difference between a Cider and an Onyx Apple seems to be considerably less than the difference between 0 WDEF and 3k WDEF.

Also as expected (due to the same effect existing with non-odd fourth job warriors as well), the DK model benefits the most from SE, and also benefits the most from SI. The large benefit from SE is because the DK’s attacks most closely fit the pattern that benefits from SE the most: lots of lines, each with smaller damage multipliers (as opposed to fewer lines, each with larger damage multipliers). And as for SI, the DK model is the only one using a speed ≥6 weapon. The ≥6 threshold is significant because 2 is the smallest (read: fastest) possible speed value, and both booster and SI each subtract 2 from weapon speed values (and they stack with each other). For example, when comparing the DK model with Hero 0 (Stonetooth), the hero’s DPM increases by a factor of ≈1.095 due to SI, whereas the DK’s DPM increases by a factor of ≈1.148 under the same circumstances.

With respect to what this analysis is measuring (viz. theoretical sustained single-target DPM), the winners are clear: the paladin emerges victorious (even more so when taking into account elementally weak enemies), the hero comes in a respectably close second, and the DK is just painfully bad in comparison. Note that even talking still in terms of sustained DPM, the “single-target” specifier is very important; the attacks used here hit up to three monsters at once (whence “cleave”), with the exception of the paladin’s attack (Blast), which only hits up to one monster at a time. When cleaving, the hero looks even more favourable (benefiting from Brandish hitting up to three monsters at once), and the Paladin’s HH (benefiting from hitting up to 15 monsters at once, and from ignoring the DEXadin’s wonky stats) would become relevant (not to mention Charged Blow).

When it comes to purely focusing on shredding a single target as quickly as possible, most conventional MapleLegends players reach for nightlord or corsair. The results calculated here suggest that DEXadin is an extremely strong contender for this same position in the odd-jobbed world.

A personal note

I just want to be clear that, even though DKs come in dead last in this analysis, my intent is in no way to complain about my own DEX warrior (rusa), who is a DK. The single-target DPM of DEX DKs is still considerable, and this is not really their speciality anyways; DKs benefit from many powerful things that the other warrior paths do not.

Hunting for roses

One big part of the Valentine’s Day/Lunar New Year event (moreso the “Valentine’s Day” aspect) is hunting for roses to get the awesome Ring of Passion. For each ring, you need one of each of the rose colours:

Each one of these roses has its own set of monster species that it drops from, but it’s designed so that each rose is dropped by at least one monster species that exists on Maple Island; that way, basically anyone can farm all four colours (with some slight exceptions like campers, and possibly some exotic region-locked characters). So I started hunting…

Hunting for roses…!

Hunting for roses…

On my vicloc characters, I decided to farm White Valentine Roses at WKA. Although the map is named for its Wild Kargo population (and it is the best map to hunt Wild Kargos, in my opinion), its Cold Eye population is notable for being very dense and quick to respawn. Because Cold Eyes drop White Valentine Roses, and because WKA generally gives pretty good EPH to endgame viclockers, it seemed like the right place to farm. However, it was probably around about ≈5(!) or so hours of grinding WKA before I found my first white rose. Thankfully, the second one didn’t come too much later, but still. I was starting to really lose faith that Cold Eyes even dropped roses at all… By the end of it, I had a full 5⧸5 set of Wild Kargo cards (the most difficult set in Victoria Island, in my opinion (not counting Ergoth)), and around ≈600 or so Wild Kargo Eyes.

Outland, I benefited from having a few roses left over from last year’s V-day event. Nevertheless, I went on a rosehunting crusade on my darksterity knight rusa, turning it into an opportunity to do some card-hunting at the same time. As you can see in the image above, I went and did the Straw Target Dummy set (and got a yellow rose or two along the way), the Krip and Mask Fish sets (and got a red rose or two along the way), the Jr. Lioner set (and got a yellow rose along the way), the Red Kentaurus set (and got no roses along the way…), and the Reinforced Mithril Mutae set (and also got no roses along the way…). Once the game decided to stop giving me roses entirely, I gave up.

Raffles on raffles on raffles

As with basically any event, the V-day/LNY event also features a good ol’ raffle. However, this raffle is a little different from most other raffles: rather than using event points to raffle, you must complete a random quest that is assigned to you, each time that you do the raffle. The quest is then gated by a 20-hour cooldown, but is otherwise rather permissive; any level ≥30 character can obtain such a quest. This is a really cool design, in my opinion (at least, when compared to most raffles), but has the downside of sometimes assigning impossible tasks:

For today’s challenge, I want you to do the impossible.

Doing a new random quest every day is pretty fun, but as far as I know, there’s no such thing as Cheap Amplifiers on Victoria Island! Indeed, as of yet (and I have checked every single day), my vicloc dagger spearwoman d34r has not gotten any raffle quests that are possible to complete. On my other vicloc character, my vicloc clericlet d33r, the results have been more mixed; although usually I get something impossible, I occasionally will be assigned to kill 100 Fire Boars, at which point I can Teleport my giddy self to tBLIII and kill me some Fire Boars.

On my Maple Islander ozotoceros, I originally had no luck, as the raffle worked the same way on-island as off-island, and would thus always assign impossible tasks. However, thanks to a suggestion post on the MapleLegends forums by Snuggles, the Maple Island raffle was later changed to be different from the off-island raffle, so that it always gives possible tasks to Maple Islanders.

Here’s another collage, but this time of me doing some raffle quests!:

To be doing raffles, for great justice!

Raffling

For one of the raffle quests that I did on my darksterity knight rusa, I had to kill 100 Memory Monks. As it happened, my STRginner friend (and Maple wife) Taima (pilk, Nyanners, Boymoder, Hanyou, Tacgnol) also got the same task, so we went to ML1 to do it together! Unfortunately, there is another caveat to the quests given for this event’s raffle…:

Party pooper…

In addition to the fact that it’s unlikely for you to randomly get the same quest as your friend does, even if you do, you can’t really do the quest “together”; the kill credit is in no way shared between party members. This makes the raffle quests rather “SoloStory”-style, which is great for those who like questing alone, but those who like questing with friends will have to look elsewhere.

While we were at ML1, I was fortunate enough to turn up a Memory Monk card. I decided to give the card to Taima, especially considering that I don’t much want to card-hunt in ToT anyways:

i don’t ever expect to 5⧸5 that

As it turned out, I was so fortunate as to produce five entire Memory Monk cards in the time that it took for both of us to finish our quests! So much for ToT being a difficult card-hunting region!! And congratulations to Taima on the Memory Monk card set completion :P

The first or second raffle that I actually managed to complete on d33r awarded me with a few magical Prestigious Coins:

Vicloc pCoins

As it turns out, this is the first Mysterious Coin Pouch 1 that I’ve opened (out of many MCP1s that I’ve opened) that actually gave more than one coin! Vicloc luck FTW!! Unfortunately, the coins are borderline useless in vicloc, so I handed them off to an outlander.

Also amongst the raffle prizes were some new year’s tiger body parts, like this body (which is, contrary to what the name “New Year’s Tiger Body” suggests, not an overall; it’s a hat):

New Year’s Tiger Body

Fabulous.

And I’ve already come away from the raffle with two chairs, including this stylish Princess No Chair~:

cervine’s Princess No Chair

LF>Nintos

One day, when I went to do a raffle on my I/L archmagelet cervine, I got a task to kill 100 Nintos. Now, I don’t know my way around Ninja Castle all that well, so I tried using Hidden Street’s mapping of the castle to guide myself to the map with the most Nintos. In so doing, I ended up unexpectedly running into a jump quest (JQ) that was standing in my way!:

LF>sexy ninjas

cervine finds a JQ!

Now, I may be rubbish at JQs, but I was on a mission! To kill sexy ninjas!! Lemme in!!!

cervine falling into spikes

Ow.

Okay, eventually, I did finally get past that part. It’s pretty hard, and I’m not entirely sure how I beat it, other than by blindly running through it. Thankfully, this JQ has checkpoint thingies, so when I failed numerous times at the next section…:

cervine @ the second part of the Ninja Castle JQ

…I didn’t have to start completely from scratch. This next part was so difficult that I was really about to give up. So I looked to YouTube™ for guidance. And guidance is exactly what I found: “MapleStory – Ninja Castle Jump Quest”. This video depicts GMS IGN Sylvananna completing the entire JQ in roughly ≈38(!) seconds. Although I’m not exactly capable of doing the JQ quite that quickly, watching how Sylvananna does it helped me immensely to complete the JQ myself. With that, I was able to bypass the ninja star/blowgun hell, and proceed to the third and final section of the JQ:

cervine, ⅔ of the way through the Ninja Castle JQ

After copping Sylvananna’s style some more (at least, to the greatest extent that I was capable of…), I managed to bypass this last section as well, and finish this dreaded JQ!!!:

cervine finishes the Ninja Castle JQ!!!

Not gonna lie, I was pretty proud of myself at that point. And it felt good to be rewarded with…

The map immediately after the Ninja Castle JQ

Huh? Who is this guy? He wants a Kacchuu Musha Fragment? I’m afraid I don’t have any of those…

Oh well. Back to killing Nintos in the Kacchuu Musha map, I guess. -_-

Viclocked

Meanwhile, on Victoria Island, vicloc I/L mage Vicloc (Schiller, Cassandro, Copo, Bipp, Gets, Fino, Sommer, Celim) asked my vicloc clericlet d33r about some wand and staff scrolls. I had some scrolls that I had no use for, so I traded them to Vicloc. In exchange, I got a rare and valuable triplet of Rice Puffs!:

Meanwhile, on Victoria Island…

d33r and Vicloc trading

I also had the pleasure of doing a Chocolate Basket grind with vicloc assassin pilk (Taima, Boymoder, deerhunter, Naganohara, Hanyou, Nyanners, Tacgnol), also on d33r, where we decided to head to L2A1 to do some Jr. Wraith/Necki grind:

pilk and d33r grinding @ L2A1

I was getting quite good EPH on d33r, but for pilk, it was even more profitable: she levelled not once, not twice, but thrice in the duration of a simple basket (60 minutes)!!

After this excellent grind sesh, we decided that pilk deserves a claw upgrade in the meantime before she hits level 40 and can use the Adamantium Avarices that Jr. Napkins drop. So I helped her out with a few materials, and she was able to craft the almighty Meba!:

pilk crafts a Meba!

That’s a huge step up from the Garnier, especially when considering the speed category difference!*

Thanks to my rose-hunting efforts on Victoria Island, my vicloc dagger spearwoman d34r now has all four ring slots filled!!:

d34r, with four vicloc rings!!

I never thought that would ever happen, but there it is: a Monster Book Ring ⟨Tier 2⟩, a Moonstone Wedding Ring, a Zombie Army Ring, and a Ring of Passion!

And d33r gets a Ring of Passion as well, of course:

d33r’s Ring of Passion

Among the few raffles here & there that I’ve been able to do on d33r, I won a special pair of untradeable earrings~:

d33r’s Tangy Earrings

2 INT and 1 LUK clean! Very nice. Once everyone agreed that this was vicloc-legal, I began scrolling it with Earring INT 60%s. So far, I’ve passed two slots and failed one slot, so we shall see how the final two slots turn out once I can get my hands on some more scrolls! If I can pass at least one of the two remaining slots, these earrings would already be better than my current Leaf Earrings in terms of TMA. And the LUK certainly helps too!

I’ve also been doing a little bit of grinding on d34r. On the first day of the event, I did some FoG grinding with bandit chwis (Christopher, Chr1s, Reikan, Statless) of the Funk guild:

d34r and chwis duoing FoG

And later, while soloing a Chocolate Basket at FoG, d34r became the first viclocker to achieve the big level 80~!!!:

d34r hits the big level 80~!!!

d34r is a big girl now!! I did a quick @epm 5, and found that I was capable of achieving nearly 1.1M(!) EPH while soloing FoG on basket:

d34r, 1.1M solo EPH on basket

This meant that I was capable of achieving over 1.7M(!!) EPH while duoing FoG with vicloc bandit (and my vicloc husband) xXCrookXx (Macer, Lanius, Lvl1Crook, Level1Crook):

d34r and xXCrookXx duoing FoG on basket

During this session, I temporarily lost track of my EXP bar, and levelled in the middle of chatting in alliance chat…:

d34r hits level 81~!

And later, while farming for Lip Lock Keys at PWF1, I sneezed:

d34r hits level 82~!

d33r had her first encounter with ZMM, where I found out that it was possible to simply Heal her to death!:

d33r vs. ZMM

And later, while killing ZMMs on d34r, I found another Hwabi!:

d34r finds a Hwabi!

And, while hunting jrogs, I encountered my old frenemy, the Golden River…:

d34r finds another Golden River…

Of course, it was below-average WATK. Just to mock me!! 😤

Footnotes for “Viclocked”

*It appears to be a little-known fact that the Garnier actually blows ass. The Garnier is the only claw in MapleStory that has a speed category in excess of 4 (speed 4 is referred to in-game as “fast”, although speed 5 also has the same name, so the names are not that useful), as it has a speed category of 6 (speed 6 is referred to in-game as “normal”)! Technically, the Neva is speed 5, but it doesn’t exist in MapleLegends, and it’s still faster than the Garnier anyways (5 < 6). Most claws have a speed of 4, which means that they already hit the speed cap (2) with just Claw Booster active. Some claws are even speed 3, like the Meba, and the Mapleversary claws (levels 35, 43, and 64), but this only matters for boosterless claw-users like sindits and permarogues. Meanwhile, the claw that is just 5 levels higher than the Garnier, the Steel Titans (and other Titans, like the Gold Titans), is speed 4, which puts it not one, but two entire speed categories faster than the Garnier. This is considerable, especially for non-vicloc claw-users, who will have easy access to Steel Titans that can be purchased from NPCs (in Ludi, Mu Lung, Herb Town, Ariant, NLC, Orbis, Singapore, and Malaysia) just like the Garnier can be. So, next time that you’re thinking of scrolling a pog Garnier for low-level thieves, try a Titans instead!

Meanwhile, on Maple Island…

I’ve also been doing some event stuff on my Maple Islander, ozotoceros. I took this opportunity to farm a full set of roses:

ozotoceros completes her rose collection

And I did a Chocolate Basket duo grind at DF with LUKlander Schiller (Vicloc, Cassandro, Copo, Bipp, Gets, Fino, Sommer, Celim):

ozotoceros and Schiller duoing DF

During which, Schiller hit the big level 30~!:

Schiller hits level 30~!

Also, look at that @epm test! 97.4k EPH!! Pretty wild stuff. This was enough to propel ozotoceros the rest of the way to level 42~!:

ozotoceros hits level 42~!

And, I accidentally squandered my first set of Valentine’s ETCs that I farmed, by turning it in for a Love Letter (instead of for a Chocolate Basket) -_-

Turned in the Love Letter quest on accident…

On the raffling side of things, my raffles have unfortunately been quite poor. So far, the only item that I’ve managed to raffle (after many raffles) that has remotely any use on-island is a single CSS20. Now, that’s a pretty good item, and I look forward to trading it with another islander in exchange for something that I have a use for, but I admit to being a bit tired of getting Ssiws Cheeses, New Year Lunchboxes, Lunar New Year Merchants, Teleport Cokes, etc. But hey — at least some of that stuff can be usefully transferred to viclockers!

Suboptimal BOSSINGGGGG

This is the section where I kill lots of big bad bosses as my woodsmaster capreolina, alongside other members of the Suboptimal alliance! Starting with killing Boyfriend alongside sniper Level1Crook (Lvl1Crook, xXCrookXx, Macer, Lanius, Sangatsu, Ichigatsu) and F/P archmage 2sus4u (uayua, shadowban, tb303, deucer)!:

Level1Crook, capreolina, & 2sus4u vs. BF

I’ve been getting pretty good at pinning BF with Hurricane, so our BF runs ain’t too shabby now. And I do love me a good Boyfriend Toe.

We fought Rāvaṇa as well, with 2sus4u pinning Rav to the left-hand side, and with me and Level1Crook compulsively vomiting:

2sus4u, capreolina, & Level1Crook vs. Ravana

I did some more Ravving later, but this time with Level1Crook, STRginner Taima (pilk, Hanyou, Boymoder, Nyanners, Tacgnol, deerhunter), and STRginner Cortical (SussyBaka, CokeZeroPill, GishGallop, Medulla, xXcorticalXx, moonchild47):

Cortical, Taima, Level1Crook, & capreolina vs. Ravana

R.I.P. Qwertycal. What a noob.

And, finally, I did some more BFs that were surely terrifying for Taima, our squishy close-ranged combatant…:

Level1Crook, capreolina, & Taima vs. BF

Now you see why consistently pinning is so important!

Love letters~

One interesting feature of this V-day event is the introduction of Love Letters (a.k.a. “simp letters”). Love Letters can be crafted through a repeatable quest that asks for the same set of four ETCs that the Chocolate Basket quest asks for. Each Love Letter is a USE item with an expiry, tagged as being “made with love” by the IGN who completed the quest. The item cannot be dropped, but can be /trade’d, and the PC who uses the letter is awarded with a cash item (also with expiry, and tagged with the same IGN as the letter that it originated from) resembling a red, heart-shaped box of chocolates. Each one of these boxes of chocolates that a PC has in their inventory contributes to an animation of red hearts above their head; each box produces another floating red heart. The hearts actually work a bit like tally marks (but counting in tens, instead of the usual fives): for every ten boxes, you get a single large heart, and the excess 0〜9 boxes show up as the corresponding number of small hearts.

In any case, I accidentally used a set of V-day ETCs not just on my Maple Islander ozotoceros, but also on my vicloc dagger spearwoman d34r. So I found someone to give the letter to:

xXCrookXx × d34r — Love Letters

And I got a Love Letter back! How sweet.

Later, I got another Love Letter from Crook, but this time, on his sniper Level1Crook (who is a noob, as can be seen in the image below):

Love Letter from Level1Crook

So, yeah. This letter was actually made with my ETCs. SMH.

And, finally, I got a letter from xBowtjuhNL, just as we were about to go in and do a Zak run!:

Love Letter from Ramon

<3

Chillaxing

I helped outland staff-whacker Aphasia (Cortical, Medulla) and vicloc assassin pilk (deerhunter, Taima) with some KPQ runs, on my KPQ/SPQ mule DEX page kinds:

Aphasia, pilk, & kinds vs. King Slime

It seems that the King Slime is allergic to pickle milk.

And, I helped up-and-coming paladin BodyGuardP with their Rush skill quest, on my darksterity knight rusa. They were excited to learn that I was an odd-jobbed warrior:

Helping BodyGuardP with the Rush quest

And, also on rusa, I ran into the OPQ mule of a priest (now bishop) with whom I had done some Healrawr training at CDs and at Dreamy Ghosts~:

OpqFPMule

Grinderino

I’ve been trying to use this event — which hands out Chocolate Baskets — as a good opportunity to do some grinding on my I/L archmagelet cervine. The HS is obviously incredibly convenient, the +100 AVOID from GM Bless is a powerful boon, and of course, HB makes it so much easier for me to cast Blizzard. As a magelet who has access to not only a mage ultimate like Blizzard, but also to Element Amplification, the naturally impoverished MAXMP pool of magelets becomes a serious barrier to using my full skillset.

When I was nearing level 120 on cervine, I claimed that once I hit level 120 and got my fourth-job skills, I would never come back to CDs ever again! And I meant it!! Unfortunately, I seem to have lied!!! Now that I have Blizzard, my main skill appears to be “killing CDs even faster”, as I can barely one-shot the damn CDs, even with the almighty Blizzard. So I headed back to the dreaded Taiwanese shopping mall hell, to join STRginner Taima (pilk, deerhunter) and INTlaw Lvl1Crook (Level1Crook, xXCrookXx) in, ironically, the crusade against my favourite physical form of music distribution:

Taima, cervine, & Lvl1Crook @ CDs

During which, I was met with further confirmation that I do, in fact, have noob MAXMP…:

cervine & Lvl1Crook @ CDs

😔

I also did some basket grinding at CDs with dagger sader Medulla (Cortical, Aphasia). At the end of one of these sessions, after Medulla had already died and lost their basket buffs (R.I.P. noob), I hit level 123~!:

cervine hits level 123~!

(/"t_SI.kIn bVt/ is the X-SAMPA encoding of /ˈt͡ʃɪ.kɪn bʌt/, which is the pronunciation of the English phrase chicken butt.)

And, after the end of another basket grind with Medulla where they died again and lost their basket buffs, my daggermit alces hit da level 107~~~~~~~~

alces hits level 107~!

🤩

This was actually my first time training at CDs on alces — usually, I train at KMs. CDs unfortunately have much shorter hitboxes, and their incredible ability to proliferate (killing a Greatest Oldies spawns three Latest Hits Compilations) without retaining aggro makes CDs much more difficult to farm than KMs, for those who are stuck with single-target attacks.

However, now that SW is fixed, I actually have something that allows me to deal with CDs! And it’s honestly pretty frickin’ kewl; I took some video of alces training at CDs, to show it off:

A daggermit training at CDs (Star Avenue South Section) [YouTube]

woosers

This section documents the various things that I’ve done as my darksterity knight rusa in preparation for the ultimate challenge*: Horntail!!!

For starters, I was already nearly level 154, so I finished off level 153 with my INT pyjamas on, desperately Power Striking the 7F monks to death with agonising sluggishness… until I finally ding’d:

woosa~

rusa hits level 154~!

And, I got my T3 ring!:

rusa gets the tier 3 monster book ring!

As the planned date for killing Horntail loomed in the near future, I started to get a bit antsy about my goofed-up Mapling schedule leaving me with no one to train/boss with. So I started much more deliberately seeking out anyone who could duo Chocolate Baskets with me at 7F. I did one with paladin Tenuto:

rusa & Tenuto grinding 7F

And one with a hero by the name of MrBit, who had an SI mule in the FM. Although I’m not terribly good at getting the 7F monks off of my back so that I can warp to the FM, the +100 AVOID from GM Bless, plus the naturally somewhat high AVOID associated with being a DEX warrior, was enough to make it work:

rusa & MrBit duoing 7F

And I think ≈50.8M EPH is just about the highest EPH I’ve ever clocked!!

On the bossing side of things, I joined a random Krexel party that had an archer and a buccaneer, so I was treated with both SE and SI. I took this as an opportunity to do some @dpm tests…

This first @dpm 5 test was done versus the left eye:

Level 154 rusa, @dpm 5 at Krexel left eye

And this second @dpm 5 test, versus the right eye:

Level 154 rusa, @dpm 5 at Krexel right eye

These are both with MW20 and Cider, but with no Echo. The discrepancy in damage ranges is due to MW20 expiring towards the end of my first test.

And I joined a random Zakum party, as well. Throughout almost the entirety of one of the runs, nightlords NLKapach and pureluksinz, and bishop 3minem, were engrossed in a discussion about scrolling claws:

rusa, DitDit, NLKapach, 3minem, pureluksinz, & IamWen vs. Zak

And at long last, while training with Harlez (VigiI) at 7F, rusa hit the big 155~!!:

rusa hits the big level 155~!!

Now I am Technically Qualified™ to fight the Horned Tail! But let’s not stop there…

I did some Jiaocenging with Harlez and xBowtjuhNL:

xBowtjuhNL, rusa, & Harlez trioing Jiaoceng

I think that, out of the bosses that I’ve fought so far, Jiaoceng and Zakum are my personal favourites. Both feel compelling: Zakum’s four stages and many mechanics make for a dynamic fight that justifies many support skills (Heal, Dispel, Smokescreen, Holy Shield, Armour Crash, etc.), and Jiaoceng feels fast-paced with the tight timer (10 minutes or less to finish the fight), in addition to placing serious emphasis on both single-target DPM and multi-target DPM (cleave). And both are pretty rewarding, in terms of both EXP and items/mesos. Compare this to something like Krexel, which is more or less a glorified sack of EXP that you mindlessly whale on until it pops and gives you EXP, or until you fall asleep — whichever comes first.

In any case, I did some more 7Fing with whoever I could find, which happened to be a buccaneer by the name of Egrofan in this case:

rusa & Egrofan duoing 7F

I’m very used to taking the left-hand side when duoing 7F. The map is asymmetrical, and the left-hand side has a higher proportion of Wooden Fish to Giants (Silver and/or Golden), in addition to just generally having somewhat fewer monster spawns. This makes the left side easier to efficiently eliminate for me, as my damage is somewhat lower than most, as a result of being STRless, and my Dragon Fury is capable of hitting many of the monsters at once due to its relatively generous hitbox. I’ve gotten pretty adept at positioning myself around the bookshelves to maximise the number of monsters that I’m hitting at once. But Egrofan wanted to take the left side, so that’s why you see me struggling to do the right-hand side in the image above. :P

And I levelled up to 156 during another trio JC with Harlez and xBowtjuhNL, thus surpassing my goal for my first HT!:

rusa hits level 156~!

We also did some quartet JCs with bishop SweetJesus (f.k.a. ItsPav)…:

Quad JC with SweetJesus

…Although the second run ended in disaster when Harlez got disconnected as we were entering the fight. ;~;

I also did some Pianus hunting with Harlez:

rusa & Harlez vs. Pianus

And I’ve started collecting the Pianus card set!:

Pianus card get!

And finally, here’s a screenshot from one of the Zakum runs that I did with Harlez, bishop OmegaBS, and shadower Bipp (Schiller, Celim, Cassandro, Copo, Vicloc, Gets, Fino, Sommer, LvXV), where we all decided to show off our Zakum Chairs:

zakkers

Footnotes for “woosers”

*At least, “ultimate challenge” in the context of version 62 of GMS — never mind the fact that MapleLegends has added Neo Tokyo and Pink Bean

My very first Horntail runs!!!!!

xBowtjuhNL planned/organised & hosted an HT run to be my first HT! We invited basically anyone who I know and who was capable of HTing, and in the end, we were joined by Harlez (VigiI), Melokie (Skateboard, Alrightyo), SmallMight (SiriusPlaque), Soblet, and others!

This really was my first-ever HT, not just rusa’s first. I never really expected to get so far on, frankly, any of my characters — far enough to fight the almighty boss of fourth job land (a.k.a. Leafre)!! So I was pretty nervous, as you’d expect, but I think it went pretty well overall. You can watch edited footage of this first run on the Oddjobs YouTube™ channel:

rusa’s first Horntail!!! [YouTube™]

Of course, as you may have expected, I did die… Here’s a (rather low-quality) screenshot that xBowtjuhNL took of my death (which can also be seen in the above video):

rusa dies to HT

But that was my only death! At least, in the first run :P All in all, I actually did four runs (two on Saturday and two on Sunday), and I died once in each of the first three. But I did level up during my second run:

rusa hits level 157 during HT!!

But not without the death, of course…:

rusa dies again to HT…

My fourth run — the only one of the four where I didn’t die at all — probably resulted in my survival for two reasons. One was that, after looking back through some video footage, I figured out what was likely killing me every time. I was told to prepare for a maximum damage per hit of about ≈8k (due to having maxed Achilles), but as it turns out, the left head hits me for more like ≈12.5k. When I Rush the left & mid heads to get into position to cleave both of them at once…:

rusa cleaving left and mid heads

…There’s a chance (depending on what, I have no idea) that instead of stopping at the edge of the foothold like normal, I get yeeted off and likely hit the left head on the way down. This kills the rusa (sometimes). So I have to make sure to have >12.5k HP when Rushing this platform, and then I can damage myself after positioning, if necessary to engage Berserk. The other reason was that I was having some pretty serious client issues where I was hovering around probably like ≈8 frames per second throughout most of the run. This meant that I had to be pretty cautious anyways, as it’s already rather difficult to navigate around HT even with 60 FPS.

The next day, when I went to help 2sus4u (uayua, shadowban, tb303) with a Ravana kill for her raffle quest, we were joined by corsair milton of Funk, who also responded to 2sus4u’s smega:

the rusa who died

Great… Now I’m “the rusa who died”…… -_-

In any case, I was very grateful to have folks who actually wanted to HT with my stinky DEX DK! And HTing was a lot of fun!! Chaotic, but fun!! So thanks to everyone who signed up, and to xBowtjuhNL & Harlez, for organising/hosting!!! <3

(…cnvpstdf…)

cnvpstdf

VigiI offers milk…

Vomit fountain

2-hit green snail leech

die deer

FORBIDDEN PEECH

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