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rangifer’s diary: pt. lxxxvi

Victorious Island

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

Victorious Island

Stucc in the APQ entrance…

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

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

The actual worst possible Fitness event

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

this is the worst thing i’ve ever done

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

The winners of the actual worst possible Fitness event

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

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

d34r hits level 84~!!

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

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

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

d33r @ Ola Ola

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

d33r pulls a cape STR 30% from SoS

Meh.

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

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

d33r vs. Lorangs & Clangs

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

Tortie card get!

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

d33r finished the King Clang prequests!

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

d33r vs. King Clang

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

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

trishaa & d34r vs. Grog

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

Pre-celebrating 131

Ouf.

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

d34r & Vicloc @ MM’s house

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

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

d33r vs. Ice Drakes

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

Ice Drake card get!

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

d33r hits level 65~!

Yay!!! :3

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

d34r finally finishes her shield…

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

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

rusa busca tarjetas

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

I started by finishing up the classic Ratz:

Ratz card get!

…And Black Ratz sets:

Black Ratz card get!

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

Tweeter card get!

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

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

Block Golem card get!

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

Rombot card get!

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

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

King Bloctopus card get!

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

Planey card get!

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

Bloctopus card get!

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

Propelly card get!

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

Footnotes for “rusa busca tarjetas”

*Not to be confused with Twitter™.

Woodsmastering

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

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

capreolina, 2sus4u, & Level1Crook vs. Evil Dead HH

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

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

capreolina hits level 135~!!

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

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

2sus4u & capreolina vs. Bigfoot, @dpm 5

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

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

capre & Harlez vs. Ravana

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

Toement

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

trishaa, Level1Crook, & capre vs. BF

We tried BFing at The Evil Dead…

Evil Dead setup fail…

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

Evil Dead BF set up!

:3

le Temple du Temps

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

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

rusa & Harlez doing the first ToT quest

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

rusa & Harlez doing the second ToT quest

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

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

Empy queue

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

potpan helping uayua w/ MPQ

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

fart machine IGN potpan

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

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

ChestPoop, uayua, & potpan vs. Angy Fanky

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

Crashing JoeWick’s level 200 party

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

Crashing JoeWick’s level 200 party~

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

トウキョウ(未来)

Now that my darksterity knight rusa is high enough level to get EXP from some of the Neo Tokyo (NT)* bosses, I have started making progress through the questline! In a previous entry, I was assisted by I/L archmage Gruzz (Furca) in doing the first batch of quests in 2100 Odaiba. These are the Bergamot† prequests, so by the time I was done, I had nothing left to do — I was not yet prepared to fight a boss as strong as Berga! However, that has now changed… So I joined forces with shadowers Sagie and Harlez (VigiI) to fight this big bad Japanese robot!:

トウキョウ(未来)

rusa, Harlez, & Sagie sign for Bergamot

To summon the beast, one must first kill this annoying flying robot thingy:

Summoning Berga

And there it is, in all of its ugly glory!!:

rusa, Harlez, & Sagie vs. Berga

Berga has three bodies; as it transitions from one body to the next, it loses some part of its structure. From body one to body two, it loses its rotary autocannon. From body two to body three, it loses its laser weapon. Although this suggests that its third body may be the weakest, it doesn’t quite pan out that way. Although the first body is definitely the “strongest” in terms of how much punishment it can take, the first body also doesn’t try that hard to kill you (although it definitely still can kill you…). The real punishment comes with the third and final body, where Berga loses its laser weaponry, but gains a new cannon on the front of its body that hits quite hard (≈14k damage to an unarmed & unarmoured target) and stuns. What’s worse, you now have no choice but to dodge the missiles that Berga has been shooting this whole time, because not only do they hit harder now (≈12k damage to an unarmed & unarmoured target), but they seduce you!!! The seduce appears to always be a jump sed is always a left-jump sed (forcing the victim to walk leftwards, jump repeatedly, and do nothing else, not even eat potions/food!), and thus tends to cause PCs to jump at the top-left corner of the map. This is because the attack also knocks back, thus naturally imparting a leftward momentum on the victim, and because the bottom of the map (where you can actually attack Berga) is actually water, so a few jumps yeets you high up into the air:

Jump sed @ Bergamot

Berga also has the ability to stun, and even to briefly stun sed! Stun sed is a bit unusual, as it sort of works like other types of seduce, except that you don’t move at all, and it’s invisible as well! That’s right: no seduce icon above your head, and not even a chat message saying “You have been seduced, […]”. Getting stunned or stun sed can be pretty deadly, as it prevents your ability to dodge the falling explosive missiles that do the left-jump sed. Of course, the knockback from the missile attack can be thwarted by For reasons that I only poorly understand, Power Stance which causes the seduce victim to remain in range of Berga’s attacks while they are seduced is a bad idea for the third body of Berga, as it appears to interact dangerously with Berga. Worse is if you get seduced and stunned at the same time…

So, needless to say, I died.

rusa dies to Berga…

Owie.

We tried again, aided by corsair danicuwu and buccaneer KaLin:

Running Berga, now bolstered by danicuwu & KaLin

…Aaaand I still died:

Aaaand I still died.

As you can see, I died while in the middle of Smokescreen. Obviously, this should not be possible, as Berga cannot damage reflect (DR; although we will see a certain boss that can DR later on…). Rather, this is just a result of Berga cheating and sometimes instakilling players for no reason. What’re ya gonna do. 🤷🏽‍♀️

In any case, for the next run, I decided to keep eating the Onyx Apples that Harlez gave me so that I could pretend to almost be like a normal DK… And I took a look at my raw damage range:

Appling @ Berga

That’s a crisp 3k〜4k range right there! Holy moly!!

And with that, I finally survived a Berga run… 😌

Great Berga success!!

Next time, I got the distinct privilege of dying to the same bug again, but this time alongside Sagie:

Berga is buggy…

However, that one clear I got was enough to continue the questline! So I started on the NTPQ prequests at 2095 Park. While I was there, I finished the very easy Prototype Lord‡ card set!:

Prototype Lord card get!

And, after a while of grinding here (and some help from Harlez, Sagie, and danicuwu), I managed to nab the Twisted Radar that I needed!:

Twisted Radar get!

Now it was time to try the aforementioned NTPQ (Neo Tokyo Party Quest). I had heard about “NTPQ” many times in the past, and always wondered what it was really like. SmallMight (SiriusPlaque) told me that it’s “like PPQ, but for grown-ups”, so I was kinda excited to see it. As it turns out, it’s more like a cross between HPQ (without the planting seeds stage) and ENPQ. It takes place in this strangely pristine and cheery-looking children’s park that has been rather rudely invaded by giant terrifying flying robots with high-tech guns, wherein you must protect Dida & Marr, two small children who are understandably upset by the sudden robot invasion.

This amounts to a neverending swarm of high-powered robots that you have to hack your way through until you finally collect all ten of the Energy Transmitters that drop from the Maverick Bs here:

NTPQ

With all ten transmitters, you can turn them into Dida to clear the PQ:

Finishing NTPQ for the first time

Besides giving some nifty coins, and giving me a nifty card set or two(!), finishing NTPQ for the first time unlocks the next area of the NT questline: Akihabara (秋葉原).

Akihabara

Akihabara means access to Iruwatas⸸, the monster that drops SSBs!!! But really, I just need their laser guns and one of their transmitters. The NT guide on the MapleLegends forums says that this quest item (the “Eruwater Transmitter”) is actually quite easy to get, and that I should have it before even getting the 300 laser guns…

rusa @ Iruwatas

While I was there hunting Iruwatas with Harlez and Sagie, we found out that a certain spot in the map is a tad bit buggy, trapping PCs who get too close:

Getting stuck in the Iruwatas map

The only way to get out is to change channels, or use the FM button, etc. And its prey is not limited to PCs; pets can get stuck too! As my poor Monkey found out the hard way…

Monke gets stuck in the Iruwatas map

R.I.P. Monkey, 2021–2022 😔

As it turned out, I did not get so lucky with the Iruwata Transmitter. I had well over 300 Iruwata Laser Guns before I finally found the damn thing! Luckily for me, Sagie stayed and kept helping me farm even after Harlez had to sleep!:

Iruwata Transmitter get!

On the way back to the Akihabara command centre, I noticed something about the 2102 Akihabara map…:

Ye olde Kerning City MRT car, in Neo Tokyo

Oh, it is an MRT car that I know all too well. This is the same exact MRT car found in B3 ⟨Subway Depot⟩, B2 ⟨Subway Depot⟩, and B1 ⟨Subway Depot⟩ — the former two being my vicloc clericlet d33r’s favourite places to train :')

In any case, this marked the end of the Dunas¶ prequests. Dunas prequests? More like DONE-ASS PREQUESTS!!!

So I joined a party with Sagie, Harlez, and corsair ToasTea to take on Dunas for the first time!:

ToasTea, Sagie, Harlez, & rusa, ready to Dunas!

Here’s a pretty good shot of what a Dunas fight looks like:

ToasTea, Sagie, Harlez, & rusa vs. Dunas

Dunas’s main gimmick is that they’re capable of DRing (damage reflecting). Nominally, this ability does what it says on the tin: if you attack a monster that is DR’d, you don’t damage the monster, but rather get the damage that you would have done to the monster reflected back at yourself. This kills the PC. We will later see why this isn’t an accurate characterisation of DR, but for now it’s good enough. You do get some warning: when Dunas casts DR, they appear to merely be weapon-cancelled at first: all physical attacks deal damage lines that are either “1”s or “MISS”es, but the actual damage reflection isn’t active for another ≈1 second or so. Without this grace period, DR would certainly be unfair; besides the obvious reaction time necessary, it still remains that many attacking animations in the game commit the PC to attacking long after the player has actually given input. In any case, what this effectively amounts to is: “if you start seeing ‘1’s, stop attacking”.

While I was doing my first Dunas run, I was on voice chat with my other three party members. ToasTea instructed me that the purple circular “pop” animation (which ends in a kind of purple crescent, with the crescent’s opening facing upwards) is something that Dunas always does immediately before DRing. This turns out to be correct. However, ToasTea also added that Dunas DRs after every fifth “pop” animation (even counting the pink — i.e. not purple — ones). This turns out to be not so correct…:

Dying to Dunas…

In the end, we actually all died. Well, except for Harlez. So we got to watch Harlez solo the rest of Dunas on a live stream:

Harlez streaming a solo Dunas run…

Eventually, Harlez successfully finished the solo Dunas run! And got the chair!!!!!:

Harlez’s solo Dunas drops

Grats!!

Still, this wasn’t enough to get me a Dunas clear, so we tried again later, but this time as a duo with just me and Harlez:

rusa & Harlez vs. Dunas

And I died again. So we went for round two. But it didn’t work out…

R.I.P. Harl ;~;

There is this weird visual bug where, every time that Dunas does a purple “pop” animation, I see a “1” damage number, even if it’s not actually DRing at all. This turned out to be super confusing and must be some weird client-side thing, because other people don’t report seeing it. In any case, I eventually got used to it and learned to spot DRs more accurately in spite of this dumb bug.

So, on another day, we tried again!

Harlez & rusa vs. Dunas, again

But it didn’t work out… and Harlez had to go to sleep…

Harlez dies when Dunas is at 30% HP

But you will notice something: Dunas is already down to like ≈30% HP, right? And I’ve still got three hours left on the clock, right?? So I can just solo it, right???

rusa soloing Dunas

One major mistake that I made was bringing very few ACPs with me. I forgot to restock, but I probably would have had enough ACPs between me & Harlez (assuming that Harlez had some extras) to finish the run, if we had been duoing the whole time. Alas, while soloing Dunas I very quickly ran out of ACPs and had no way to dispel Darkness when Dunas cast it on me…:

rusa cowering with no ACPs

At first, I was not very good at soloing Dunas. I still didn’t quite understand all of Dunas’s animations and how their spells work, so I effectively wasted a lot of DPS by doing other things that aren’t attacking. The first thing that I learned was that the bottom-left corner of the map is essentially a safe spot. This came in handy when I had to take a trip to the little Maplers’ room. Furthermore, you can usually go a bit to the right without getting so close as to be attacked by Dunas, depending on Dunas’s behaviour at the moment — this can shave off a few fractions of a second here and there. So usually, when Dunas was DR’d (or I was Darkness’d lol), I would go towards the bottom left and rebuff there. Then I can sit in my mount until I’m ready to attack, and use the mount’s jump to yeet myself out of the water (yes, the bottom of the map is water) and directly onto the platform that Dunas occupies.

I later learned to avoid getting Darkness’d altogether; when Dunas does their annoying “teleport” thing, you have to be either horizontally further left than, or further right than, the horizontal positions that Dunas starts and ends at when teleporting. Otherwise you get Darkness. Also, for some reason, Dunas is weirdly invincible (or maybe its hitbox is just somewhere else) about half of the time that it teleports. The other half of the time, their hitbox actually follows their visual position as you’d expect. I also learned how to hug Dunas to get invincibility frames and dodge some of Dunas’s other nasty tricks, like the stun-and-knockback, and the dispel. When I did get dispelled, I learned to only re-cast three of my buffs (which is like half of the buffs I that would normally re-cast): HB, Spear Booster, and Power Stance. Notably, I did not re-cast MW, as its cast time is too lengthy to justify. I am basically forfeiting like two attacks just to cast MW (so that it can get DP’d later…).

I also learned that DR appears not to work as naïvely explained. As far as I can tell, when attacking a DR’d Dunas, it does not matter what attacking skill (or non-skill) you use. In particular, it was tempting to me to try to probe Dunas for being DR’d by basic-attacking it. I learned that my basic-attacks against Dunas tend to deal (with ordinary buffs like Cider, MW, etc.) roughly ≈4k at absolute best, meaning that I could easily test Dunas for DR status by giving them a little poke (you could also consider crouch-poking), with very little repercussion if Dunas does happen to be DR’d. It might seem like a weird thing to do, but the fact is that Dunas waits a really long time to actually show the DR icon above their head, so if you’ve just seen a purple “pop” animation, and you haven’t attacked recently, it can be really concerning not to know whether or not Dunas is currently DR’d. The “haven’t attacked recently” part may also seem strange, but fighting Dunas just really sucks hard if you are a melee attacker. I mean, it blows. So when fighting in a party of only melee attackers (like me & Harlez duoing, or me soloing…), it’s not uncommon to have significant periods of time where no one attacks Dunas, even when they aren’t DR’d! But this turns out to be the wrong idea; as far as I can tell, the amount of damage that you take for striking a DR’d Dunas appears to only depend on your raw damage range and some bespoke formula, or something like that. Maybe it’s like, uniformly selecting a value from within your raw damage range, and then multiplying it by some constant? I don’t know. The point is that, unlike what you would naïvely expect, using weaker attacks does not appear to save you when it comes to Dunas’s DR.

In any case, I learned all of these things too slowly, and I took too few ACPs with me. I am confident that with better preparation, I would have killed Dunas myself. In the end, I had even used two or three Onyx Apples, but still to no avail. It was starting to look pretty close for time, as it was hard for me to gauge how long it might take me to kill the rest of Dunas at the now-accelerated rate due to my improved strategy.

And then, it did not matter. Because I accidentally killed myself.

My soul physically leaving my body……

Pictured above: My soul physically leaving my body after 3.5 hours of largely continuous Dunas-fighting. I will never recover. 🪦

Although my soul may no longer inhabit my body, I still trudged on, another day, to fight Dunas alongside Harlez and corsair Dabulator:

Dabulator, Harlez, & rusa vs. Dunas

Now that we had a ranged attacker in our party, I did my fair share of “fake pinning” (Dunas has a KB of 50k(!!) so actually pinning it is more for like, paladins and stuff…) by Rushing Dunas into the left side of their platform:

Rushing Dunas

And finally, at long last, a Dunas clear!!:

Harlez, Dabulator, & rusa kill the Dunas!!

Clearing Dunas unlocks the Nibelung※ prequests, which consists of hunting an apparently very rare quest drop — the Portable Laser Guidance (PLG) — from Mavericks Y. The new area associated with Nibelung is 2102 Old Fox Flagship Deck:

2102 Old Fox Flagship Deck

On this map, we can see a more mature Dida, some ≈7 years later, but still the same Dida that we saw at 2095 Park and NTPQ:

Dida is all grown up now ✜

Speaking of NTPQ, it was time to go back 7 years to do that PQ some more, until I can get a PLG >.< Below, you can see me NTPQing with Harlez and paladin ItzLeo:

NTPQ w/ Harlez & ItzLeo

After that, I did just one or two more NTPQs with Harlez, and managed to get the elusive PLG!!!:

Got the PLG!!!

I guess it’s time to fight the ol’ Nib now… Tune in next time for more NTing!!!

Footnotes for “トウキョウ(未来)”

*Talking about Neo Tokyo is a bit confusing because of how many names and different versions there are associated with it. “Neo Tokyo” is also referred to as simply “NT” (not to be confused with the Windows™ kernel), as well as “Tokyo (Future)”; the Japanese name for it is トウキョウ(未来) or 東京(未来) (rōmaji: Tōkyō (mirai), lit. “Tokyo (future)”). To make things more confusing, many of the names used internally in NT (e.g. monster names) have been inconsistently romanised by implementations like EMS and MapleSEA which needed to romanise the originally Japanese names. To make things even more confusing, NT was implemented in several MapleStory versions (notably including JMS, MapleSEA, and EMS), but was not implemented in GMS. Instead, GMS got a watered-down version of NT called Neo City, which retained almost all of the substance of NT (maps, monsters, NPCs, reactors, etc.), but was designed for lower-level characters, and notably was not part of Japan (Zipangu) at all! Instead, Neo City (note that it is just “a city” instead of specifically Tokyo) was part of the Minar Forest (read: Leafre & its associated Dragon Nest region). To make things even even more confusing, NT (& Neo City) has been removed from all current versions of MapleStory (although JMS is supposedly getting it back soon), making information difficult to find. To make things even even even more confusing, in recent versions of MapleStory, there is a different high-level area of Zipangu simply called “Tokyo”, which is supposed to be the present-day version of NT. To make things even even even even more confusing, I don’t actually know which version developmentally came first: the JMS one, or the KMS one. Because NT is obviously in Japan, it’s tempting to think of all of the names as being “originally” Japanese (and that is what I’m going to do here), but it’s also possible that the KMS version instead came first, and used names of Korean origin(??) sometimes? Or always? I don’t know, I’m so confused at this point.

†Japanese lacks the voiced labiodental fricative (IPA: ⟨v⟩, e.g. the first segment of the English vest), which is unsurprising, as this phone is crosslinguistically somewhat rare. However, Japanese most definitely possesses the voiced bilabial plosive (IPA: ⟨b⟩, e.g. the first segment of the English best), and uses this phoneme to approximate /v/ in loanwords and transliterations. As a result, some minimal pairs that rely on a contrast between /v/ and /b/ in another language (e.g. English vestbest) will be indistinguishable when imported into Japanese. As a result, implementations have been very inconsistent with naming this boss: both ⟨Bergamot⟩ and ⟨Vergamot⟩ can be seen. For the aforementioned reasons, ⟨Bergamot⟩ would seem to be the more “correct” spelling, so that is the one that I use here. So maybe something like ベラガモ (rōmaji: beragamo; /be̞ɾagamo̞/) in katakana…? I’ve no clue. (Consider also ベーガモ.) However, this assumes a French pronunciation; if we’re talking about the fruit (Citrus bergamia), then the ⟨t⟩ is not “silent”…! So 벨가뫁 (RR: belgamot; /peɭkɐmot̚/) maybe? LMAOOO

‡MapleSEA localised the name of this monster species as ⟨Protoroad⟩, but other implementations give the English name as ⟨Prototype Lord⟩, the term that I use here. MapleLegends historically used ⟨Protoroad⟩, as its NT implementation is based on that of MapleSEA.

⸸Again, MapleSEA romanised this monster species name as ⟨Eruwater⟩, but other implementations disagree, instead calling it ⟨Iruvata⟩. One concerning aspect of the MapleSEA romanisation is the word-final ⟨r⟩; as far as I know, /ɾ/ cannot phonotactically end a syllable in Japanese. Given that both romanisations have the same number of vowels, the word-final ⟨r⟩ in ⟨Eruwater⟩ is probably just confusing an ordinary vowel with an r-coloured vowel, or something like that. On the other hand, the ⟨Iruvata⟩ romanisation confusingly uses a ⟨v⟩. The original (if written in katakana) is thus probably イルワタ (rōmaji: iruwata; /iɾuwata/), which is what I use here.

¶Ah, finally a romanisation that we can all agree on. The original is presumably, if written in katakana, ヅナス (rōmaji: dunasu; /d͡zunasŭ/). Also, while we’re talking about Dunas, I don’t know what gender Dunas is supposed to be (or not be), but they a real cutie pie. Just sayin’. 😳

※So I really have no idea what is going on here. I will be using ⟨Nibelung⟩, but other implementations (including MapleLegends in the past, and also present, to some extent) use ⟨Nibergen⟩. The only way that I can seem to plausibly explain this is that ⟨Nibergen⟩ really was some “beta” name (as suggested here) that was used before the game was fully localised & released (i.e. prior to the gamma release). So ⟨Nibergen⟩ was idiosyncratically adopted into MapleSEA, but not into other implementations, because during the development process, it was decided that the name should be changed to reflect the German Nibelung! I don’t know enough about Germanic mythology to comment on why Neckson may have chosen to name this futuristic Japanese spaceship after “[a] member of a supernatural underground race that guarded treasures and gold searched for and eventually seized by Siegfried” (Siegfried being the hero of the epic poem), but there you have it. If we keep trying to reverse-engineer some katakana out of this (surely inadvisable, as this name is probably German!), we’d get something like ニーベルン (rōmaji: nīberun; /niːbe̞ɾuŋ/). For ⟨Nibergen⟩, maybe something like ニベーゲン (rōmaji: nibēgen; /nibe̞ːge̞n/)?? More like 니벨겐 lololol… I give up. 🫠

紅葉狩

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

ozotoceros duoing DF w/ jung1e

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

ozotoceros hits level 45~!!

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

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

Trying out the Friendship Shirt

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

Two friendship effects at once

Two friendship effects at once. Cool…!

Scarlion.tar.ga

On my darksterity knight rusa, I also did some Scarlion/Targa runs with marksman xBowtjuhNL and shadower Harlez (VigiI). Below, you can see us struggling to hit Targa’s godforsaken hitbox as it inexorably hops forward:

Harlez, rusa, & xBowtjuhNL vs. Targa

During such a Targa run, Harlez had an unfortunately-timed keyboard malfunction, and had to go find a new keyboard in the middle of combat. Although we tried to take good care of her (and the helm buyer, at the same time!) whilst she was AFK and/or unable to control her PC, it was only so long before the inevitable:

Harlez has a keyboard malfunction

Luckily, our buyer was a low-level bishop who had level one Resurrection, so we still made it through the run just fine 😊

During a Scarga (fighting Scarlion & Targa at the same time!) run with nightlord DexlessLinh and hero MadScythe, xBowtjuhNL fell asleep IRL…

xBowtjuhNL falls asleep during Scarga…

Luckily, he eventually woke up, and we were only missing SE for like three minutes! And, lo & behold, an array of helmets for our buyer, and a Mysterious Coin Pouch for us!:

Scarga loot!

Unfortunately for Harlez, buyers have a bad habit of accidentally stealing the Targa cards… 😒

The ballad of the level one crook

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

Level1Crook hits level 120~!!!

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

Manon defeated by Level1Crook krew

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

Level1Crook & rusa kill the Ravana!

Level1Crook & rusa kill the Pepper Lattice!

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

R. tarandus

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

tara vs. Coke™ seals

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

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

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

tara smaccin’ some oyster

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

tara breaking open random cargo on an airship…

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

tara vs. smol kitties

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

Siricidae

Oh, you’d better bet it is time for mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooar hornytailing!! With your host: rusa the darksterity knight!!! (Actually xBowtjuhNL was the host for most or all of these runs lol :) tyyy~)

We sold an AFK HTP to Nyotaimori. During the first prehead, our sed shadower Sagie accidentally took a wrong turn and ended up next to the buyer >w<

The horned tail of legend

Selling AFK pendant to Nyotaimori

It was alright though, we had enough Resurrections :P In fact, I levelled to this prehead!!:

rusa hits level 164~!

Level 164, woo hoo! :3

And we were blessed by the skillbook gods! Horntail drops are very much a feast-or-famine affair, and this one was a feast, with a MW20 and a Gen30!!!:

Is that a MW20?

During another run, our regular (read: not sed) bishop idoybh2, whose first-ever HT run was our previous run, got a sudden “promotion” when sed bishop Flamous’s client unexpectedly crashed:

idoybh2 gets an unexpected promotion

Apparently, the skillbook gods once again gazed with pity upon our suffering, as we got not a MW20, but a MW40‽‽‽:

Is that a MW40???

F5

And, not to continue picking on Sagie (I love her, I swear), but she did die again as the sed target LMFAO

R.I.P. sed target Sagie D:

Two rather strange places to die, I must say. But it seems that Horntail simply requires blood sacrifice in order to give up its hoard:

Is that a MW40??? Again?!?!?

WTF??? AGAIN?????? 🤑🤑🤑

I did a quick & dirty lil @dpm 10 while hopped up on Energizer, MW20, SE, and SI, and cleaving from the left side:

rusa does a @dpm 10 while cleaving left side of HT

Not bad for a pretty optimal situation, I guess :P

And not too long after, I hit level 165~!:

rusa hits level 165~!

Unfortunately, the middle head of this HT was giving us a real hard time, seemingly perma-weapon-cancelling while it had very little health…

ht moms a hoe

😴

I mean, I will give HT some credit: if you’re low on HP and don’t wanna die, repeatedly weapon cancelling is a pretty damn good strategy.

But lo & behold, we were once again(!) rewarded with feast!!:

Is that a MW20??? Again again?!?!?!?!?!?

On another day, we also sold a non-AFK HTP to buccaneer oatmetal of the Chroma guild. Although you can see nothing but a sliver of her HP bar in this image, you can see that she’s in our ranged party so that I can keep her HB’d most of the time:

HBing oatmetal

This run turned out nicely, which is always extra nice when you have a buyer LMFAO. It is rather embarrassing to have buyers watching your scuffed run, or worse, dying/disconnecting because you scuffed too hard 🤦🏽‍♀️

In the next run, buccaneer Yescando was a little too excited to enter the second prehead map, and accidentally found himself as the sed target (instead of shadower Harlez (VigiI), the intended sed target)…:

Yescando was a little too quick on the draw

Luckily, buccaneers ain’t too shabby at being sed targets themselves, and they even get their own version of Dark Sight! Plus, getting sed during preheads isn’t too difficult :P

Oh, and did I mention that we got MW20 AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN???:

Is that a MW20??? Again again again…?

I also helped xBowtjuhNL sell some HTPQ! Always good for a quick buck if you have a buyer and are already caved* :P

rusa helping with selling HTPQ

We sold yet another AFK HTP service, this time to bishop MiguelQc:

Selling AFK HTP to MiguelQc

Extremely unexpectedly, upon killing the first prehead, the buyer went into the second prehead map, walked to the left, and jumped down, thus triggering the second prehead to spawn:

buyer jumped down

Deeply unfortunately for everybody involved, not everyone in the expedition had entered the map by that point, including dee (IGN sukker, a bishop) — so the run was kind of botched, as a result. Bizarrely, the buyer immediately left the map by “crystalling out” (asking the Crystal of Roots to send you out to safety) without saying anything, and was unresponsive for some time. This turned out to be very confusing, as we couldn’t be certain whether or not they were intentionally griefing! And if it was an honest mistake, why did they immediately leave without making any communication? Because we were only planning on doing one run anyways, we left this botched run before even advancing to Horntail’s Cave.

In the end, it seemed that it was indeed an honest mistake, and the lack of communication was probably due to a combination of embarrassment and a lack of command over English. We managed to negotiate another run with the buyer, which went much more smoothly! And I even levelled!!:

rusa hits level 166~!

:D

I’ve been doing a lot of Horntail lately, and in lieu of an explanation for this, here are a few reasons why:

  • xBowtjuhNL is addicted to HT (LOL), so I get the chance to run reasonably often by signing up for the Funk (xBowtjuhNL’s guild, as led by Palladino) HT runs.
  • Signing up for HT runs means that I don’t have to figure out what to do when I log into MapleLegends :]
  • HT is really fun. There’s a lot of coordination and teamwork that has to go into a run — particularly a scuffed one! And although each run does take quite a while and can be tiring, at least you aren’t just doing the same thing for the entire run. Horntail’s multi-part nature means that you have to be attentive and move around a lot, mixing up your strategies to fit the circumstances. Plus, if you get 10 or 12 people together to do a difficult boss, there’s bound to be some chat & voice chat shenanigans c:
  • HT is pretty nice EXP (I was getting ≈10% EXP per run at level 165), and when the splits are good, they are real good. As seen above :P
  • HT is offensively strong enough that HB becomes a very serious asset. The effects of HP washing are often decried as devaluing skills like HB that form (or would form, as the case may be…) a core part of job identity & party composition. So as a spear(wo)man/DK, it’s nice to do something where people are fighting over you :P

FIGHT OVER THE HB

Footnotes for “Siricidae

*I’ve noticed people using cave to mean something like “to enter the Cave of Life”, particularly in “caved”, meaning that the PC in question is already inside of the CoL.

Seed ubble euch ayyy peak you

During one of the HT runs shown above, I was recruited (on my darksterity knight rusa) to CWKPQ by buccaneer Bucannon of the Chroma guild. I couldn’t say “no” to that, so I headed to Masteria after leaving the CoL to embark on a CWKventure.

The third stage (The Test of Agility; it feels like the first stage, as the first two stages are not much at all) of CWKPQ consists of a kind of maze with the various archetype sigils (warrior, mage, archer, thief, pirate) at fixed positions throughout the maze. Each sigil must be activated by someone of an appropriate job (e.g. a buccaneer could activate the pirate sigil, but couldn’t activate any others), and once all five are active, the stage is cleared. The twist is that this maze is guarded by giant pillars that, if a PC gets too close, deal enough damage to kill the PC unless they are at full HP. Furthermore, activating sigils also activates motors that drive these deadly pillars to move, making the maze increasingly dangerous. Knowledgeable players who coordinate their actions can avoid making the pillars unnecessarily dangerous/annoying by strategically activating sigils.

However, I’ve… never actually gotten the chance to really participate in this stage. I was always a little frustrated by this, as I do love PQs, and so I like to learn well how they work and how to do them myself. This particular CWKPQ run was the first time that I got to at least fulfil my duty as a warrior! Namely, walking to the right and hitting the warrior sigil…

rusa does the first stage of CWKPQ

Necksawn really seems to believe that warriors are somehow naturally incompetent in comparison to those playing other jobs… If this first stage wasn’t evidence enough, here is rusa soloing the warrior room in about 10% of the time that it takes a very powerful non-odd archer to solo the archer room:

rusa soloing the warrior room

I guess I can’t really complain about the warrior room. If it were much more difficult, I wouldn’t make a very good CWKPQ warrior… 😅

CWKPQ is pretty cool; I like the visuals, and I enjoy being able to play a few CWKPQs from time to time. Admittedly, the music is kind of terrible (don’t @ me), but my real gripe with CWKPQ is with its gameplay structure.

It’s clear that, to a great degree, CWKPQ is fashioned in the image of the “classic PQs” like LPQ, OPQ, etc. The first five stages make this evident, with their classic PQ design oriented around jump questing, team coordination, and job-based specialities that attempt to give every job a role. Heck, The Test of Unity map is basically just a ripoff of Tower of Goddess ⟨Center Tower⟩! The sixth and final stage is the boss fight, as is customary for the final stage of a PQ. And after that, you get an SPQ/LPQ/OPQ/APQ-style bonus stage. So CWKPQ is basically just “OPQ for grownups”, right?

Well, not exactly. The way that this actually pans out is that you spend a relatively trivial amount of time on the first five stages, and then the rest of the time is spent slamming bosses into the wall like a rather violent broken record for 45 minutes.

Cleaving CWKPQ

The boss fight isn’t bad; the fact that there are five bosses — again one for each archetype, to fit the theme of the PQ — is pretty cool and makes it significantly less one-dimensional than e.g. the OPQ boss fight. Each one of the five bosses has its own strengths, weaknesses, and special abilities. But the strength of the OPQ boss fight is that it’s not the focal point of OPQ as a whole — not even close! Heck, even the boss fight stage alone is only like 60% boss fight; the rest is killing & replanting these guys until you find the dark one and the “fake” pot that doesn’t accept seeds. OPQ takes each & every one of the rooms of the Tower of Goddess seriously, testing the party who dares to challenge it in a way that is comprehensive, full of variety, but also balanced & judicious. On the other hand, CWKPQ inherits this formula from OPQ (& LPQ, etc., etc.), but turns it on its head: the boss fight of CWKPQ is so inflated that even a party with extremely high damage output will still spend more time in the boss fight than in all of the other stages combined. It’s no mistake that during the 2021 Mapleversary event in MapleLegends, the MapleLegends staff decided to place CWKPQ in the group of bosses rather than the group of PQs, in spite of the obvious irony that results.

None of this is necessarily “bad” per se, but because this thing is called “CWKPQ”, it does leave something to be desired. CWKPQ gives the players a taste of what “OPQ for grownups” could look like, but — perhaps regrettably — never actually lets us have it.

With that said, here is a quick & dirty @dpm 10 test that I did while cleaving in this boss stage while on an Onyx Apple:

rusa on Onyx Apple, CWKPQ cleave @dpm 10 test

Y E E T ~ Big fatty 318.1M DPH F55555

Unfortunately, I am a noob, so some of the people killing the ranged bosses (read: the bosses that aren’t on the floor) had to come and split some of the three cleave bosses (read: the bosses that are on the floor) with us. Here’s a screenshot of us killing the archer boss, but unusually against the left wall (instead of the right), because the ranged folks took this one for themselves:

this guy sucks

Indeed, this guy sucks. Have fun being permastunned, ranged attackers!

Chaos theory

And finally, for those of you who saw all of the MW20 & MW40 screenshots above (in “Siricidae”) and are wondering “what in the damn hell is deer going to do with all of that filthy Horntail lucre?”…

Are you sure you want a Chaos Scroll 60%?

Oh yes. That is a Chaos Scroll. Don’t believe me? I’m about to use the first CS that I’ve ever used in my entire MapleStory career.

But first, I need a worthy subject. A cape of the highest calibre: a Pink Gaia Cape, with 4 WATK and all 5 slots remaining. Well… turns out that part’s real expensive too. So, uhm, here goes nothing, I guess…

455m meso moment

F4. 💸 Well, it could be worse. At least it didn’t lose any WATK!

Welp, it’s time to ragescroll my darksterity knight rusa a new overall!:

rusa’s new chainmail!!

Oh, it actually worked. Well hot damn, that’s an extra 3 STR — and some healthy WDEF/MDEF, to boot!! Too bad I can’t get that 10 SPEED back… I always held out on scrolling rusa a Fitted Mail, despite the fact that she has had the STR necessary to wear it for a while now. I figured that it wasn’t worth the pain & mesos, because it’s an item that I can only use on one character, as opposed to a STR bathrobe that I can share between many characters. But now, rusa is really trying to squeeze every last bit out of her gear, and it seems that the next logical avenue is upgrading her overall. So a 25 STR Fitted Mail is a good start, but we strive for better!

Now that I’m calm again, it’s time to unnerve myself once more, and CS the cape again! Because I got one from Gachapon!!

The cape is 7 WATK o_o

WOWIEEEEE~ That’s a mighty fine cape right there if I do say so myself. :]

Now that I had some real success with my CSventures, I started double thinking my strategy of “CS until it has <4 WATK and/or 0 slots”. Jexxler (Duhm) suggested trying to trade up, by offering my cape in combination with some of my own mesos, in exchange for a cape with more WATK (maybe a 0 slot cape with ≥9 WATK, or something like that). So that is exactly what I tried. I got two offers, and after some consulting with People Who Know Things About Mesos™, I determined that I was being ripped off… So I gave up LOL

You know what, fuck it. I will finish it myself. Half the point of using a CS anyways was to prove that I ain’t no coward!!! F5555555555555555

The third CSing

WAAAH… 😭 I will CS… again…… when I have the strength~ 🪦

(…cnvpstdf…)

cnvpstdf

food pix

ElonMusk

no you don’t, celo

careboo

google how do i find faust