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rangifer’s diary: pt. xcii

Moar character art!

In pt. xc of this diary (see “I like digital art (very much)”), I talked about digital art, and showed off some art of my characters — both commissioned, and an original piece that I made myself. Well, this time I’ve got two more!!

Slime — untitled portrait of ozotoceros

Slime (OmokTeacher, Thinks, Ginner, Slimu) did a portrait of another one of my characters!! This time, of my islander ozotoceros, in her Valentine’s outfit :]

Slime — untitled portrait of ozotoceros

Slime — untitled portrait of ozotoceros

And at a cool angle, too! Plus, you can even prominently see my Stolen Fence. :P I’m really liking the sketchy pen-/pencil-looking outline look, with the splotchy paint colouration that often disobeys the outline of the sketch.

Knarf — untitled portrait of cervid

I also came up on Knarf’s waitlist, and I commissioned a portrait of the new look (see “Habyte maketh no monke, ne vvearynge of gylte ſpurres maketh no knyght” in the previous diary entry) for my STR bishop cervid!:

Knarf — untitled portrait of cervid

Knarf — untitled portrait of cervid

This one is just a bust portrait, and wow is the colouration dazzling!! There’s some crazy blending going on here that I don’t claim to understand. I really like Knarf’s interpretation of the Balayage haircut, and I’m glad that they decided to include the Crimson Arcglaive as I requested! :3

Cleaning up rangifer’s diary

So, I’ve been writing this diary for what I would characterise as “kind of a long-ass time” now, and my style has shifted considerably over time. Furthermore, the way that I’ve published my diary has also shifted. I have, in the past, had a lot of issues posting my diary to the MapleLegends forums, as well as posting it to the Oddjobs forum (which I stopped doing a long time ago). There are a lot of weird technical details involved here, and I’m not super proud of the way that my old diary entries are formatted. Shifts in my opinions have resulted from a variety of factors, including:

As a result, I’ve started finally putting some effort into fixing issues that fall into one or more of the above categories. Naturally, because I’ve already been writing this diary for “kind of a long-ass time”, there’s an absolute boatload of material to sift through. Because there’s just… so much garbage, I do not expect to fix all, nor even the majority of, the problems that fall into these categories. Nevertheless, I have already made at least some progress.

To give a little taste of just some of the issues that I’ve targeted so far, I’ll give a short list of a few of them.


Incorrect use of <b>/<strong> and <i>/<em>

We have basically two pairs of HTML elements here: <b> & <strong>; and <i> & <em>. The exact semantics of these elements are a bit tricky, and they have a confused history.

Originally, <b> was the boldface element, and <i> was the italics element. However, this proved to be problematic, as web standardisers quickly decided on enforcing the separation of content and presentation[1] in the way that web specifications were written. This left the old functions of <b> and <i> obsolete, as markup[5] was not intended to convey visual/typographical information, but rather, semantics (content) — for the visual information, you are supposed to use CSS[6]. Not only was this separation between HTML (content) and CSS (presentation) supposed to be clean, but if you try to use <b> just to make things boldfaced, you might be surprised if your HTML is presented with CSS that contains a rule like e.g.:

b {
    font-weight: normal;


So then, we later have the <strong> and <em> elements, with non-typographical (no more “bold”, “italic”, etc.) names that sounded more semantic: “strong importance” and “emphasis”. This maybe sounds like a step in the right direction, but there are still some lingering issues.

We can’t simply banish <b> and <i> out of existence just because they don’t fit the HTML/CSS model; we really really want backwards compatibility! We should be able to parse and render — in whatever suitable way that the user requests — webpages from the first webpage ever[7] and onwards! No use letting webpages rot just because we updated a standard, right? So <b> and <i> both remain standard, but under clever new names: “bring attention to” and “idiomatic text”.

Nevertheless, distinguishing between <b> and <strong> remains difficult: <b> claims to be for “bringing attention to” its contents, and <strong> claims to be for granting “strong importance” to its contents. Those might not be exactly the same thing, but they sure do coincide, like, a lot of the time! Furthermore, distinguishing between <strong> and <em> can also be difficult, despite the fact that these were added to the specification with more semantics in mind: both are used for emphasis! The distinction is that <em> is supposed to be for linguistic stress[8], whereas <strong> is for highlighting importance. Nevertheless, prosodic stress[8] is often used to highlight importance, so again we have a problem of overlap.

Although the distinction between <i> and <em> is (in my opinion) by far the easiest distinction to be made here, both the <i><em> distinction and the <b><strong> distinction can nevertheless be confusing for visual display users. <i> and <em> are nearly universally displayed in the same way (font-style: italic; and nothing else), and likewise with <b> and <strong> (font-weight: bold; and nothing else). So, for purely visual users, neither of these two distinctions can effectively be made.

Oh, but don’t you worry — it gets even worse. Markdown provides the ** (alternatively __) syntax and the _ (alternatively *) syntax for… uhm… bolding and italicising text, respectively. Sort of. You see, Markdown doesn’t really have any “semantics” of its own per se; it mostly just defines a way to translate Markdown into HTML, at which point HTML must do the dirty work of “having semantics”. In this case, all Markdown implementations agree (and importantly, Commonmark also agrees) that ** is translated to <strong> and _ is translated to <em>. This means that, concerningly for our purposes, not all Markdown implementations will even have a way to insert <b> and/or <i> elements. This is because, although Markdown was originally intended to fill in its own gaps by allowing the writer to insert raw HTML directly into their Markdown text, and although Commonmark even specifies exactly how this is done, many implementations don’t bother to allow raw HTML, perhaps due to implementation and/or security difficulties. Furthermore, some implementations selectively allow raw HTML, e.g. allowing <del> but not <b>. As a result, I targeted the lowest common denominator for a long time, using ** when I really meant <b> or </b>, and _ when I really meant <i> or </i>. The Oddjobs forum, for example, uses Flarum, and Flarum’s Markdown support will mangle e.g. <b>text</b> into &lt;b&gt;text&lt;/b&gt;. This is, as they say, Not Good™.

So, I’ve tried to go back and fix most of these nasty <i><em> mix-ups and <b><strong> mix-ups. Common cases include…

Some examples

Proper names that represent IGNs/artists/authors/natural persons:


**Slime** (**OmokTeacher**, **Thinks**, **Ginner**, **Slimu**) did a portrait
of another one of my characters!!


<b>Slime</b> (<b>OmokTeacher</b>, <b>Thinks</b>, <b>Ginner</b>, <b>Slimu</b>)
did a portrait of another one of my characters!!

There’s also foreign language text/borrowings that are given markup to distinguish them from surrounding text:


You see, Markdown doesn’t really have any “semantics” of its own _per se_; it
mostly just defines a way to translate Markdown into HTML, at which point HTML
must do the dirty work of “having semantics”.


You see, Markdown doesn’t really have any “semantics” of its own <i>per se</i>;
it mostly just defines a way to translate Markdown into HTML, at which point
HTML must do the dirty work of “having semantics”.

Similarly, in linguistics contexts, we need <i> elements to enquote words (and foreign text that is written with the same script as the surrounding text), so that we can reserve “quotes” for meanings/definitions, ⟨angle brackets⟩ for orthographic quotation (including transliterations), /forward slashes/ for phonemic/broad transcriptions, [square brackets] for phone-level/narrow transcriptions, and « guillemets » for other forms of quotation:


Some languages, like [Spanish](,
feel like a kind of hybrid; the word-level stress of Spanish words is much more
predictable than in, say, English, but the stress is nevertheless not totally
predictable, and is indeed lexical (compare _papa_ “potato” vs. _papá_ “dad,
daddy, papa, etc.”).


Some languages, like [Spanish](,
feel like a kind of hybrid; the word-level stress of Spanish words is much more
predictable than in, say, English, but the stress is nevertheless not totally
predictable, and is indeed lexical (compare <i>papa</i> “potato” vs.
<i>papá</i> “dad, daddy, papa, etc.”).


You can find a recording of _cervine’s Theme_ &mdash; which you can download,
_gratis_, in e\.g. [FLAC]( &mdash; [here, on my
bandcamp page](

Good (<i> is used for the title of a full work, and quotation marks “ ” for the title of a smaller work, or piece/section of a larger work):

You can find a recording of <i>cervine’s Theme</i> &mdash; which you can download,
<i>gratis</i>, in e\.g. [FLAC]( &mdash; [here, on
my bandcamp page](

Other cases may not even involve replacing ** with <b>, nor _ with <i>. For example, I used to sometimes use _ for mathematical variables:


If the highest grade attainable in the game is _g_, then a throughclass is a
set of classes, which consists of a class _c_ that is of grade _g_, along with
all other classes _b_ s\.t. a level ∞ character of class _b_ who takes all
class advancements available to them will _necessarily_ be of class _c_.


If the highest grade attainable in the game is 𝑔, then a throughclass is a set
of classes, which consists of a class 𝑐 that is of grade 𝑔, along with all
other classes 𝑏 s\.t. a level ∞ character of class 𝑏 who takes all class
advancements available to them will _necessarily_ be of class 𝑐.

Inappropriate whitespace usage

Unicode has very many whitespace characters (at least, probably a lot more than you’d naïvely expect), and they all largely have different intended use-cases, as well as different de facto use-cases. Inappropriately using whitespace generally falls into two categories:

Some examples

Putting random-ass whitespace characters literally into the Markdown is a pretty self-explanatory no-no:

Bad (using to represent a literal ɴᴏ-ʙʀᴇᴀᴋ ꜱᴘᴀᴄᴇ (U+00a0)):




I used to use &numsp; (ꜰɪɢᴜʀᴇ ꜱᴘᴀᴄᴇ; U+2007) as a digit separator because of its suggestive entity reference name (“number space”), but I later realised that this was actually a stupid poopy dumb-brain move, and it’s really just called that because the space is defined to be the same width as a digit (e.g. ⟨ ⟩ vs. ⟨5⟩). The result is that using it as a digit separator makes numbers harder to read because their digit groups are so far apart. I also occasionally used &nbsp;, which has the same issue. I eventually settled on ɴᴀʀʀᴏᴡ ɴᴏ-ʙʀᴇᴀᴋ ꜱᴘᴀᴄᴇ (U+202f):


Oh, right. We were asking what the 45<sup>th</sup> ordered Bell number is.
Well, it’s this:



Oh, right. We were asking what the 45<sup>th</sup> ordered Bell number is.
Well, it’s this:


It’s also tempting to use U+0020 a lot with mathematical stuff, but this can often result in shoddy typography when the layout engine treats every single U+0020 as a break opportunity, and mangles your mathematical phrase over the course of two (or more) lines. In these cases, U+0020 can simply be replaced with &nbsp;:


… these mannequins may not be weak to ice, but they have a bit less MDEF (430
\< 495) and, more importantly, _a whole lot less HP_ (8\.5k \< 37\.0k).


… these mannequins may not be weak to ice, but they have a bit less MDEF
(430&nbsp;\<&nbsp;495) and, more importantly, _a whole lot less HP_

Another similar example, but in prose, rather than in mathematical text:


> « Meta » is problematic \[because it’s\] too ambiguous : typically, take [the
  Tarskian definition of
  : it is currently assumed that <i>and</i> exists before
  [&#x2227;]( …


> «&#x202f;Meta&#x202f;» is problematic \[because it’s\] too ambiguous&#x202f;:
  typically, take [the Tarskian definition of
  it is currently assumed that <i>and</i> exists before
  [&#x2227;]( …

Improperly escaping special characters/sequences

Markdown is a computer language, so it needs some special characters and character sequences that aren’t just interpreted literally. Naturally, the same applies to HTML as well. Markdown is a “lightweight” markup language (LML), so it tries to be charitable to the writer, and only interpret things non-literally when it’s really necessary to do so. Nevertheless, I find that it’s better for code quality, consistency, and compatibility (including the potential for Markdown translators to have subtle bugs) to consistently escape certain character sequences in a specified way. This makes things clearer to humans (as you’re being very explicit about when you want something to be interpreted literally), and to computers (which are just trying to follow a specification). There’s little room for error on either side of the human–computer interface, as you explicitly and unambiguously escape things when you want them to be literal, and fail to do so when you don’t want them to be literal.

Like I said, Markdown tries to be charitable to the writer, so actual errors (in which the output is definitely not what the writer intended) are unlikely, especially if the writer is familiar with the syntax of Markdown. As a result, I put this as “low” (🤷🏽‍♀️) impact for both typography and semantics.

Some examples


Core Blaze is, as you’d expect, pretty beefy: it has 300M HP, and 2k of both


Core Blaze is, as you’d expect, pretty beefy: it has 300M HP, and 2k of both
WDEF &amp; MDEF.


The WATK was good (53 is better than the average of 52), but the part that
actually matters to me, the MATK, was quite below average (49&nbsp;<&nbsp;52)…


The WATK was good (53 is better than the average of 52), but the part that
actually matters to me, the MATK, was quite below average (49&nbsp;\<&nbsp;52)…


Hughes’ desire for beating the shit out of adorable sea creatures is
insatiable, so for [Hughes’ Weird
I needed some 50 [Snorkle](


Hughes’ desire for beating the shit out of adorable sea creatures is
insatiable, so for [Hughes’ Weird
I needed some 50 [Snorkle](

This one might seem a bit weird, but I’m a tad bit paranoid about Markdown translators trying to identify bare URLs:


I met up with my friend <b>CreepyTimmy</b> (<b>Timpossible</b>,
<b>SillyTimmy</b>) in [the FM](,
and met his friend <b>atsumoo</b>, who was discussing card set completion of
the [EPQ]( boss, Poison Golem
(a.k.a. Big Bad Rock Man, or BBRM).


I met up with my friend <b>CreepyTimmy</b> (<b>Timpossible</b>,
<b>SillyTimmy</b>) in [the FM](,
and met his friend <b>atsumoo</b>, who was discussing card set completion of
the [EPQ]( boss, Poison Golem
(a\.k\.a. Big Bad Rock Man, or BBRM).

Failing to use <sup>/<sub>

The <sup> and <sub> elements are exactly what they sound like: superscript and subscript, respectively. I use them for various purposes:

The problem is essentially that it can be tempting to omit these elements entirely, and just use the literal text instead, or to use Unicode’s superscripted and subscripted characters, which are not typically preferred over markup:

When used in mathematical context (MathML) it is recommended to consistently use style markup for superscripts and subscripts.[10]

…Although this same document also goes on to say:

However, when super and sub-scripts are to reflect semantic distinctions, it is easier to work with these meanings encoded in text rather than markup, for example, in phonetic or phonemic transcription.

…But also:

On the other hand, some user agent may support certain superscripted or subscripted characters only when used as marked up text for example, because of lack of font support for them.

So, yeah, anyways, it’s confusing. I figure that it’s best to just be consistent and use the elements that HTML has blessed us with, rather than “flattening” out the hypertext into just plain text when it’s not actually necessary to do so. Plus, font support blah blah blah. Many of the superscripts and subscripts that I use can’t be emulated with just Unicode text anyways (e.g. the square brackets in footnote markers, and a lot of the mathematical stuff), so there’s that too. Also, using the HTML elements improves code quality by avoiding either exotic characters being literally in the Markdown, or difficult-to-read numerical entity references that could replace them. And even when there is font support for the Unicode versions, it tends to look considerably worse than the <sup>/<sub> version.

Some examples


However, 𝐻ₖ denotes the 𝑘th [harmonic
number](, …


However, 𝐻<sub>𝑘</sub> denotes the 𝑘<sup>th</sup> [harmonic
number](, …


CBPQ is a true party quest\[2\]; you enter as a party of size 1&#x301c;6, and
it proceeds in a series of stages that culminates in a boss fight at the end.


CBPQ is a true party quest<sup><a href="#fn-1-2">\[2\]</a></sup>; you enter as a party of size
1&#x301c;6, and it proceeds in a series of stages that culminates in a boss
fight at the end.

Failing to use format characters appropriately

Here, I particularly have in mind codepoints in the range [U+2061, U+2069]. The ones that I use particularly often are:

These characters aren’t “visible” insofar as they are not “printable characters” (in the ASCII sense), but they also are not whitespace. They are format characters that control how the text around them is interpreted. As such, they can have visible effects, but are not themselves detectable to the reader. With the directionality format characters like ʀɪɢʜᴛ-ᴛᴏ-ʟᴇꜰᴛ ɪsᴏʟᴀᴛᴇ, the effect is to render the text to the user in the correct order, instead of a jumbled order that often occurs when people naïvely smash text of differing directionalities together. With a format character like ɪɴᴠɪsɪʙʟᴇ ᴛɪᴍᴇs, there may be a difference in how line breaking occurs, and there may also be a difference in how a user who is using, say, a screen reader, will receive the text — not to mention the obvious semantic differences. As a result, these characters can have a moderate typographical impact.

Some examples


𝑔(𝑥) = 𝐿&#x2215;(1&nbsp;+&nbsp;𝖾𝗑𝗉(&minus;𝑘(𝑥&nbsp;&minus;&nbsp;𝑥<sub>0</sub>)))


𝑔&af;(𝑥) =


In the language of tolerance relations, when
𝑐<sub>1</sub>𝑅<sub>𝑘</sub>𝑐<sub>2</sub> holds, we say that “𝑐<sub>1</sub> is
indiscernible from 𝑐<sub>2</sub>”.


In the language of tolerance relations, when
𝑐<sub>1</sub>&af;𝑅<sub>𝑘</sub>&af;𝑐<sub>2</sub> holds, we say that
“𝑐<sub>1</sub> is indiscernible from 𝑐<sub>2</sub>”.






Possibly from [Persian](
[Western Persian](
“seedling, sapling, shoot”.


Possibly from [Persian](
[Western Persian](
“seedling, sapling, shoot”.

And more…

That’s just a little taste of the Fun Stuff™ that’s in store for you if you want to meticulously & correctly format your stinky diary that no one reads anyways! Here’s a few bonus ones just for funsies:


Footnotes for “Cleaning up rangifer’s diary”

  1. [↑] See also: “Semantic HTML”, “Semantics”, “Separation of content and presentation”, “Semantics”.

  2. [↑] See also: “Software incompatibility”.

  3. [↑] See also: “Lint (software)”, “Software maintenance”.

  4. [↑] See also: “Machine-readable document”, “Data model”.

  5. [↑] Note that HTML stands for “Hypertext Markup Language”.

  6. [↑] Note that the second ⟨S⟩ in CSS stands for “Style”.

  7. [↑] Please, do take a moment to appreciate this webpage. This webpage first went live on 1991-08-06. Yes, 1991. Look at how absolutely precious this is:

    The WorldWideWeb (W3) is a wide-area hypermedia information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents.


  8. [↑] Consider the following two sentences:

    • I hate that guy.
    • I hate that guy.

    In the first sentence, the emphasis is on how much I hate that guy. By contrast, in the second sentence, the emphasis is on which particular guy my hatred is directed towards (« I hate that guy[, not some other guy]. »). This is known as prosodic stress.

    There’s also word-level stress, which puts stress on a particular syllable (or particular syllables, as the case may be). Some languages put word-level stress on a deterministic syllable of every word (e.g. the penultimate syllable), with few or no exceptions. Other languages (e.g. English) have lexical stress, where the word-level stress of a particular word is not so predictable, but is nevertheless “lexical” in the sense that the stress is part of the word itself. Consider the following two sentences:

    • I suspect that Alice did it.
    • Alice is the primary suspect.

    Each of these sentences contains exactly one occurrence of ⟨suspect⟩, but although they are spelled identically, and although they are pronounced as the same sequence of phonemes, they are actually two different words with not only different meanings (indeed, they are entirely different parts of speech), but different pronunciations. This might seem weird, considering that I just claimed that “they are pronounced as the same sequence of phonemes”, but their pronunciations differ in lexical stress: the former has the stress on the final syllable (suspect), and the latter has the stress on the first syllable (suspect).

    Some languages, like Spanish, feel like a kind of hybrid; the word-level stress of Spanish words is much more predictable than in, say, English, but the stress is nevertheless not totally predictable, and is indeed lexical (compare papa “potato” vs. papá “dad, daddy, papa, etc.”, esta “this.PROX.F.SG” vs. estáis”).

    Yet other languages — e.g. French — may make no particular linguistic distinctions on the basis of word-level stress at all.

  9. [↑] This is a footnote. Welcome to footnotes!! This is where I write half of my diary!!!

  10. [↑]

  11. [↑] See also: “Apply”, “Function (mathematics)”.

  12. [↑] 😭

My website

Oh, and did I mention that I have a website now?:

Yep. You can find the source code here. It’s built on top of Zola, although I had to do a fair bit of finagling to get it to do everything that I wanted, including working with the already existing git repository that contains my entire diary.

Speaking of which, ⚠️⚠️⚠️ my website is now the preferred way to read my diary ⚠️⚠️⚠️ (see: It used to be that the preferred way was to read directly from Codeberg’s rendering (or from the GitHub™ mirror’s rendering), and that is still a good option, so you can keep doing that. But, you know, you should use my website instead. It’s cool. It’s fun. All of the cool kids are reading my diary on my website. Trust.

Marooned on the island of Victoria, with nothing but a janitor’s mop

Anyone who has played an outland permabeginner on MapleLegends is keenly aware that, unlike the version of MapleStory that MapleLegends is based off of (viz. GMS v62), MapleLegends does not have the Sake Bottle nor the Maroon Mop. But — wait a second… I just linked to their entries on the MapleLegends Library, right? So they’re in the game’s data but simply unobtainable in-game?[1] Why?

To answer this question, we have to take a look at what these two items actually are. If you’ve played an outland permabeginner before, or you’re just into weird equipment items and shit, then you already know the drill. For the rest of you, here’s a little rundown.

Both the Sake Bottle and the Maroon Mop are weapons: a two-handed blunt weapon and a polearm, respectively. The main twist is that both of these weapons can only be equipped by beginners. Furthermore, for their levels (≥30 and ≥36, respectively), they are extremely powerful:

This level of extreme power is the main reason why MapleLegends has decided not to put them into the game.

I can already hear you objecting:

But they’re both beginner-only, right? Why are we so worried about permabeginners being too powerful, of all things? Even a 220 WATK clean polearm isn’t going to make permabeginners somehow more powerful than, say, a STR paladin!

Right, well, that’s surely true; nevertheless, we are still left with two glaring issues:

This second issue is clearly what’s at stake here. As it stands at the time of this writing, outland permabeginners have a wide, nuanced, & interesting array of powerful weapons to choose from, even at “endgame”. I have often been asked about endgame outland ’ginner[3] weaponry, and I am consistently pleased to report that there simply is no “best” endgame weapon — you’ll just have to consider your options. Of course, this is frustrating for a lot of people, as they typically ask loaded and wildly ill-defined questions, somehow expecting definite answers in return; usually in the form “what is the best […]?”. Well, there is no “best”, unless you care to actually define what you’re optimising for!

Naturally enough, just throwing the Sake Bottle and the Maroon Mop into the mix without modifying them from their original GMS versions is probably going to disrupt this fun dynamic. Of course, this only applies to specifically outland STRginners (i.e. not to other basic-attackers like outland DEXginners, islanders, campers, STR mages, gishes, woods(wo)men, brigands, LUKless hermits, etc.), so maybe it’s not so bad. However, the enduring popularity and the absolutely classic nature of the STRginner makes this still an important issue — leaving the STRginners with only Maroon Mops to defend themselves with would be a little sad, yeah?

But whoever said that we have to throw them into the game as-is? Half of the other stuff in MapleLegends has already seen balance changes, so why not apply that logic to our beloved STRginner weapons?

In order to apply this kind of game-balance logic to our two weapons, we have to consider what niche we would want each one to fill. The niche for the Maroon Mop is, in my opinion, obvious: its strength is its massive WATK value, and its weakness is its extremely high speed category of 9[2]. Thus, much like the Frozen Tuna[4], the Maroon Mop hits real slow-like, but when it does hit, it hits like a truck. The Sake Bottle is a little more difficult; it also has a relatively slow attack speed — identical to that of the Toy of 101 — but not particularly slow, and ignoring the fact that it’s a level 30 weapon, its WATK isn’t hugely impressive either (unlike the Maroon Mop’s). So, as far as I can tell, there are basically two niches that the Sake Bottle has to choose between:

I will consider both of these niches here.

So, by now, you probably know where this is going: damage calculations! It just wouldn’t be another entry in rangifer’s diary without some inane damage calculations, would it…?

The weapons

Obviously, we are considering the Sake Bottle and the Maroon Mop. But we also need the weapons that we’re comparing them against — both endgame, and mid-game.

When listing speed categories (“speed cat”), the first number is the actual (i.e. nominal) speed category, and the following parenthesised number is the effective speed category. Spears & polearms have an effective speed category that is one lower than their nominal speed category, whereas there is no difference between effective and nominal speed categories for other weapon types. This is a good heuristic that only begins to break down when you start considering polearms with nominal speed categories below 4.


weaponleveltypespeed catWATKSTRDEXother stats
Sake Bottle [vanilla]302H BW6 (6)10000
Maroon Mop [vanilla]36polearm9 (8)22000
Japanese Map502H sword4 (4)6822
Fan65dagger3 (3)7800100 MAXHP
Toy of 101852H sword6 (6)9233
Purple Surfboard95polearm5 (4)99005 SPEED
Crimson Arcglaive100polearm6 (5)1022089 MATK, 5 SPEED


weaponleveltypespeed catWATKSTRDEXother stats
Glowing Whip401H sword4 (4)700015 SPEED
Japanese Map502H sword4 (4)6822
Super Snowboard50polearm5 (4)750075 MATK, 8 SPEED
Liu Bei Dagger53dagger3 (3)69002 LUK, 2 AVOID
Blood Snowboard60polearm6 (5)7800
Maple Glory Sword641H sword5 (5)811020 WACC
White Mop65polearm6 (5)8400

Notice that we’re considering the Japanese Map to be both mid-game and endgame, for reasons that will hopefully become clear.

The model

Our endgame STRginner will be level 110, and our mid-game STRginner will be level 65 (just high enough level to equip any of the mid-game weapons listed above). The endgame STRginner will have generally better armour than the mid-game STRginner for realism purposes, and for simplicity (and again, also realism), we won’t give them access to Onyx Apples nor SI; they will have to do with just Ciders/Rage.

All models will be pure STR, so the endgame base stats will be:

…And the mid-game base stats will be:

Endgame armour

Scarlion Hat (STR)hat01931
Rat Mouthface006
Spectrum Goggleseye022
Single Earringearring0012
Mark of Naricainpendant555
Pink Gaia Capecape506
Yellow Markerglove1400
Navy Christmas Sockshoe0210
Ellin Savior’s Ringring011
Monster Book Ring ⟨Tier 10⟩ring01010
Maple Shieldshield18100

Naturally, the shield will only be used for one-handed weapons.

Endgame weapons

Known limitation: Not all weapons have equal in-game availability (nor are their respective scrolls of equal availability either), so scrolling them all identically is “unrealistic” in this sense. However, partly because it’s “fair” in some sense to scroll all of them identically, and partly because there’s no good way to “adjust for availability”, all weapons will be scrolled identically whenever they are compared against one another.

We’ll start with a perfect clean version of the weapon, and then pass two 30% scrolls and five 70% scrolls on it. This gives us the following weapons:

Sake Bottle [vanilla]125110
Maroon Mop [vanilla]245110
Japanese Map93143
Toy of 101117154
Purple Surfboard124110
Crimson Arcglaive127140

Mid-game armour

Zakum Helmethat01529
Rat Mouthface006
Broken Glasseseye011
Single Earringearring0010
Silver Deputy Starpendant055
Pink Adventurer Capecape306
Goddess Wristbandglove1100
Navy Christmas Sockshoe028
Ellin Savior’s Ringring011
Monster Book Ring ⟨Tier 5⟩ring055
Stolen Fenceshield1370

Naturally, the shield will only be used for one-handed weapons.

Mid-game weapons

Known limitation: Not all weapons have equal in-game availability (nor are their respective scrolls of equal availability either), so scrolling them all identically is “unrealistic” in this sense. However, partly because it’s “fair” in some sense to scroll all of them identically, and partly because there’s no good way to “adjust for availability”, all weapons will be scrolled identically whenever they are compared against one another.

We’ll start with an average clean version of the weapon, and then pass two 30% scrolls and five 70% scrolls on it. This gives us the following weapons:

Glowing Whip90110
Japanese Map88132
Super Snowboard95110
Liu Bei Dagger8900
Blood Snowboard98110
Maple Glory Sword101120
White Mop104110

The enemy

Our endgame STRginner will be attacking Capt. Latanica (level 100; 700 WDEF), and our mid-game STRginner will be attacking Voodoos (level 60; 240 WDEF).

The juicy numbers

I’ve used my damage calculator for all of the figures that you see below. “PHD” stands for “per-hit damage”. “APM” stands for “attacks per minute”. “CV” denotes the per-hit coefficient of variation, i.e. a larger value indicates lower damage stability. For each category (e.g. “CV with just Cider”), I have bolded the strongest value in that category, and underscored the second-strongest.


The Sake Bottle & Maroon Mop used here are the vanilla GMS v62 versions, i.e. without any balance changes applied.

Cider/Rage only
Sake Bottle168 052+ 3.25%2 268.7+ 16.16%74.1+11.11%0.576 8+ 6.98%large
Maroon Mop274 193+68.47%4 112.9+110.58%66.7+ 0.00%0.569 3+ 5.59%large
Japanese Map162 759+ 0.00%1 953.1+  0.00%83.3+25.00%0.557 1+ 3.32%large
Fan187 612+15.27%2 063.7+  5.66%90.9+36.36%0.548 3+ 1.69%small
Toy of 101175 440+ 7.79%2 368.4+ 21.26%74.1+11.11%0.539 2+ 0.00%large
Purple Surfboard185 790+14.15%2 229.5+ 14.15%83.3+25.00%0.613 9+13.86%large
Crimson Arcglaive183 034+12.46%2 287.9+ 17.14%80.0+20.00%0.611 6+13.43%large
Onyx Apple only
Sake Bottle261 121+ 0.00%3 525.1+ 8.42%74.1+11.11%0.544 4+ 6.98%large
Maroon Mop357 208+36.80%5 358.1+64.80%66.7+ 0.00%0.557 1+ 9.48%large
Japanese Map276 560+ 5.91%3 318.7+ 2.08%83.3+25.00%0.515 7+ 1.35%large
Fan295 566+13.19%3 251.2+ 0.00%90.9+36.36%0.513 8+ 0.97%small
Toy of 101276 804+ 6.01%3 736.9+14.94%74.1+11.11%0.508 8+ 0.00%large
Purple Surfboard289 560+10.89%3 474.7+ 6.87%83.3+25.00%0.579 0+13.79%large
Crimson Arcglaive283 092+ 8.41%3 538.6+ 8.84%80.0+20.00%0.578 0+13.60%large
Cider & SI
Sake Bottle189 058+ 0.00%2 268.7+ 16.16% 83.3+12.50%0.576 8+ 6.98%large
Maroon Mop304 659+61.15%4 112.9+110.58% 74.1+ 0.00%0.569 3+ 5.59%large
Japanese Map195 311+ 3.31%1 953.1+  0.00%100.0+35.00%0.557 1+ 3.32%large
Fan206 373+ 9.16%2 063.7+  5.66%100.0+35.00%0.548 3+ 1.69%small
Toy of 101197 370+ 4.40%2 368.4+ 21.26% 83.3+12.50%0.539 2+ 0.00%large
Purple Surfboard212 332+12.31%2 229.5+ 14.15%95.2+28.57%0.613 9+13.86%large
Crimson Arcglaive207 993+10.02%2 287.9+ 17.14% 90.9+22.73%0.611 6+13.43%large

Mid-game (Cider/Rage only)

Glowing Whip96 576+ 5.17%1 158.9+ 3.76%83.3+ 4.17%0.500 4+ 0.95%small
Japanese Map96 954+ 5.58%1 163.4+ 4.16%83.3+ 4.17%0.503 9+ 1.67%large
Super Snowboard93 233+ 1.53%1 118.8+ 0.17%83.3+ 4.17%0.570 1+15.02%large
Liu Bei Dagger101 534+10.56%1 116.9+ 0.00%90.9+13.64%0.501 4+ 1.15%small
Blood Snowboard91 832+ 0.00%1 147.9+ 2.78%80.0+ 0.00%0.568 5+14.69%large
Maple Glory Sword101 267+10.27%1 265.8+13.33%80.0+ 0.00%0.495 7+ 0.00%small
White Mop96 488+ 5.07%1 206.1+ 7.99%80.0+ 0.00%0.565 4+14.07%large

A bit of context for the numbers above

⚠️ Please do remember that if you’re tempted to use the calculations above to help you choose a weapon for your outland STR-based basic-attacker, the actual practical reality for you is certainly significantly different; not all weapons are exactly perfect clean (nor are all weapons exactly average clean), not all weapons have identical scrolling outcomes, not everyone wears the exact same armour, not everyone is the exact same level, not everyone allocates their base stats in the same way, not everyone is fighting the same enemy, etc.! You should do calculations of your own, if you are actually interested in optimising the details of your damage output. ⚠️

You might be wondering why I include so many categories: DPM, PHD, APM, per-hit CV, and reach. The reasons are essentially twofold:

What does all of this mean for the Sake Bottle & Maroon Mop?

All of these numbers are great, but the real task at hand here is balancing the Sake Bottle & the Maroon Mop so that they can reasonably be added into the game.

Balancing the Maroon Mop

As can be seen in the figures above, the Maroon Mop is overpowered, as expected. Its only real weakness is its low APM and its unstable damage, but even then, its large WATK value means that its damage stability fares better than other polearms like the PSB and the Crimson Arcglaive. So we have basically two things that need to be done:

First things first, we need to consider how much to lower the Maroon Mop’s WATK. We want the Maroon Mop’s niche to be its high PHD, so we don’t want to lower the WATK so much that its PHD is no longer in first place (nor tied for first place) in at least the Cider categories. At the same time, we do not want its Cider-only DPM to exceed that of the Fan, as the Fan is weak in terms of both PHD and reach. It’s okay to have the two still be close in terms of Cider-only DPM, as the Maroon Mop is clearly at a disadvantage with larger WATK buffs[5] like e.g. the Onyx Apple.

I fiddled around a bit, and I found that a clean average WATK of ≈136 or so basically gets what I’m asking for here. This is shaving off ≈84(!) WATK from the vanilla v62 GMS version. Here’s what the Maroon Mop’s entries in the above tables would look like, if 136 were the average clean WATK for Maroon Mops:

Cider187 027+14.91%2 805.4+43.64%66.7+ 0.00%0.593 9+10.15%
Apple270 042+ 3.42%4 050.6+24.59%66.7+ 0.00%0.570 2+12.06%
Cider & SI207 808+ 9.92%2 805.4+43.64%74.1+ 0.00%0.593 9+10.15%

Notice that I wrote “136” above — you can reasonably tweak the value up or down by a bit, depending on exactly how you want the weapon to fit into the game. 136 has the neat little property that, when represented in decimal, it looks like the original level of the Maroon Mop (viz. 36), with an extra “1” slapped onto the left-hand side.

Speaking of which, the Maroon Mop’s level requirement needs to increased, as stated above. This bit is more subjective, but I personally think that it should have a strictly higher level requirement than the Toy of 101, putting the minimum possible value at 86. One good choice is 96, which is exactly 60 levels higher than the original, and puts it somewhere between the PSB and the Crimson Arcglaive. 106 — that is, exactly 70 levels above the original — is also a good choice. And, of course, there’s always level 120.

Balancing the Sake Bottle

Previously, I laid out basically two possibilities for incorporating the Sake Bottle into the game: either as an endgame weapon, or as a mid-game weapon. As you can see above, the vanilla Sake Bottle (ignoring its level requirement) doesn’t actually compete very well with the other endgame weapons. It’s not particularly good at anything. I previously suggested positioning it as an alternative to the Toy of 101, as the two weapons are similar in some respects. Nevertheless, the Sake Bottle can never have the damage stability of the Toy of 101, as it’s a two-handed blunt weapon. If you want to go this route, I think that the best that you can do is:

If we try increasing the Sake Bottle’s average clean WATK from 100 to 107, its entries in the above endgame tables look more like:

Cider176 196+8.26%2 378.6+21.79%74.1+11.11%0.572 6+6.19%
Apple269 264+3.12%3 635.1+11.81%74.1+11.11%0.542 6+6.65%
Cider & SI198 220+4.85%2 378.6+21.79%83.3+12.50%0.572 6+6.19%


But what if we want to make it a mid-game weapon? Well, when compared to the mid-game weapons that I did calculations on above, the Sake Bottle has a lower APM than all of them. Thus, it makes sense to position it in an analogous way to how we positioned the Maroon Mop w.r.t. the endgame weapons.

If we decreased the Sake Bottle’s average clean WATK by just 4, from 100 to 96, its entry in the mid-game comparison table above would look like:

98 910+7.71%1 335.3+19.55%74.1+11.11%0.526 9+6.30%

(95 average clean WATK is also a good option.)

Then, we would simply adjust the Sake Bottle’s level to something in the 50〜65 range, and there you have it! A new mid-game weapon for outland STRginners! :]

Footnotes for “Marooned on the island of Victoria, with nothing but a janitor’s mop”

  1. [↑] Well, unless you’re a gamemaster, in which case you can simply !item 1442023
  2. [↑] A speed category of 6 is referred to in-game as “normal”. A speed category of 9 is referred to in-game as “slower”, although other speed categories are (confusingly) also referred to as “slower”, so the names are poor indicators.
  3. [↑] And also, about endgame weaponry for non-permabeginner basic-attacker jobs, as the choices are essentially the same — barring jobs with weapon restrictions, e.g. brigands cannot use the Fan.
  4. [↑] The Frozen Tuna (the level 20 one) is notable for being the only one of GMS’s three beginner-only weapons that actually exists in MapleLegends as of this writing. There’s also the other Frozen Tuna, which can be equipped by any level ≥10 character (even non-beginners).
  5. [↑] And/or, equivalently, more WATK from armour and/or shield and/or weapon scrolls.

Vicky Island

I had many a vickylocky adventure, with fellow viclockers pilk (Taima, deerhunter, Tacgnol, Boymoder, Girlmoder) the assassin, and VigiI (Harlez) the I/L gish!

To start things off, on my vicloc clericlet d33r, I levelled up to 67 whilst solo grinding at L1A4 on GM buffs~!:

d33r hits level 67~!

Then, I joined pilk & VigiI at Wild Boars, where I did a whole lot of Magic Clawing:

pilk, VigiI, & d33r @ Wild Boars

Later, pilk & I moved to Monke Forest, where I was able to at least Heal the Zombie Lupins — although I still had to Magic Claw the regular Lupins:

pilk & d33r @ Monke Forest

As a lowish-level assassin (or other ranged job) like pilk, Monke Forest is the place to be. pilk aptly described it as “a literal Lupin shooting range”, because it gives you platforms that are nicely spaced so that you can kinda just stand there and snipe monkeys all damn day (at least, until you run over to pick up your loot). It was at this shooting range that I hit level 68~!:

d33r hits level 68~! (chickie tush~)

I also ground at CoEEII with VigiI and pilk, both on d33r, and on my vicloc dagger spearwoman d34r:

VigiI & d34r @ CoEEII

We also fought some green Evil Eyes (a.k.a. “Curse Eyes”) at TDFUNIX:

d33r, pilk, & VigiI @ TDFUNIX

If only lizards were… somehow… weak to Magic Claw……

Oh, and I did some GM buffs duoing FoG with outland F/P gish Battlesage (Permanovice, Dreamscapes, Rowera, illadvised) on d34r:

d34r & Battlesage duo FoG

That’s… certainly an interesting duo.

And, later on, d34r hit level 87 whilst doing FoG with my viclock hubby xXCrookXx (Level1Crook, Lvl1Crook)~!!:

d34r hits level 87~!



In the previous diary entry (see: “A squamate appears”), I talked about the technical issues that I’ve been having, particularly around Horntailing on my darksterity knight rusa (but also around some other things, as well). For a while, I honestly thought that my HT career would be, you know, suspended indefinitely. However, xBowtjuhNL gave me the chances that I needed to try some shitty workarounds, when he hosted a single impromptu 12-Mapler HT run. The run wasn’t successful (we killed the left head and then crystal’d out, as our bishop had just died), but I was at least able to make it through what part of the run we did do, without crashing!

More or less, my strategy has been:

Yup. So far, it has been fairly effective! I’ll take it!!

One day, xBowtjuhNL was having issues finding shadowers for a 12-Mapler run. You know what that means — everyone’s favourite time: warrior sed target time!! Oh, wait, that’s me…

We couldn’t find any shads, so…

You can see someone with a blue mohawk in the screenshot above; that’s Mikhael, my sed bishop. Although xBowtjuhNL was a bit worried at first due to Mikhael’s lack of experience as a sed bishop, he did a really good job, and I didn’t die even once! :P I have ascended to the honourable rank of ✨rope-hugger extraordinaire✨~!

That being said, I was playing it pretty safe. I didn’t feel terribly confident in my ability to do much damage as a sed target, plus the fact that Mikhael was somewhat worried about his own ability to play the role of sed bishop. Later, however, on another set of HT runs, I ended up as the sed target when our shadower sed target crashed (relatable…) at the beginning of the second prehead. This time, xBowtjuhNL asked me to try attacking normally whenever I wasn’t actively seduced.

So I tried just that! I had my 21 AVOID shoes on (which I normally do during the main body fight anyways, even if I’m not sed target), but not much else in the way of proper AVOID gear. This meant that I was attacking at essentially full damage the entire time — barring, of course, the time during which I’m seduced. In honesty, I think that I did a pretty good job of it. I was able to attack in virtually the same way that you’d expect a typical shadower sed target to attack during the main body fight — or rather, the DK version of that, which meant occasionally running around to give people HB/IW, and also meant crying just a little bit because Crusher doesn’t have nearly the kind of reach that Boomerang Step does. But, you know, I was still generally hitting 2〜3 targets at all times. :P

I lasted for some ≈45 minutes or so during the main body fight like this, and then… I dyed……

Dead sed is dead…


It happened pretty quickly. I got seduced, and I thought that I was doing okay just chilling on the rope that’s conveniently located above the platform that I attack from on the right half of the map. I had 30k HP, and all that. Then, I was hit by a 1⧸1 (already not terribly likely, as they tend to “MISS” me a lot), and before I knew it, I was deceased. I took, at the absolute least, ≥4.5k damage in a single attack immediately after being 1⧸1’d, so I’m pretty sure that it was just a wing slap, as a wing slap can do that much damage to me even when the wings aren’t empowered. Certainly, the magical attacks couldn’t have killed me (see pt. xc of this diary, where I did an in-depth analysis of being a DEX DK sed target). Mikhael did a good job sed bishoping again, in my opinion — although I did die in the end, there was virtually no way that he could have saved me, unless he saw me get 1⧸1’d and immediately responded by doing a jump-Heal, or something like that (which further assumes that he wasn’t mid-Genesis, which is not so likely). I was just too high up on the map to be saved within a sufficiently short period of time.

With all of that said, I did have quite a fun time doing these HTs. Even though I did die at the end of my last sed target run, it was definitely something that I can easily learn from, for the next time that I wind up as sed target! If I ever get that chance!! Bring a warrior sed target to your HT run, today: they’re not as good as shadowers, but they’re cute!™ Please, I come with HB and IW out of the box, at no additional cost!! Okay, fine, I’ll just be a normal attacker… F3

Footnotes for “’Tail”

  1. [↑] I get Wine directly from WineHQ’s official deb repositories, and use whatever the latest “staging” version is. At the time of this writing:

    $ wine --version
    wine-7.18 (Staging)

As the event ends

The 2022 Anniversary–Summer event has come to a close. During its final days, I did some BRPQing, including this pair of trio BRPQs that I did with shadower Soblet and nightlord Zo0py, on my darksterity knight rusa:

Zo0py, Soblet, & rusa trioing BRPQ

We were initially looking for a full party of six, but after a long time of not finding anyone — much less finding the SE that Zo0py desperately craved — we decided to just go as three. They were actually still pretty fast clears!

I also did a lot of BRPQing on my woodsmaster capreolina, where my many Pianuses’ worth of experience fighting this big bad orange fishy alongside Harlez (VigiI) came in very handy. I regularly did BRPQs like this one, where everyone kept dying all over the place…:

capreolina is still alive @ BRPQ Pianus

…Or this one…:

capreolina looks onward as even more people die @ BRPQ Pianus

…Etc. But I never died in any of them! Hooray for knowing animations!! Being the one archer that actually doesn’t die is really useful, when your party wants SE…

With all of those Anniversary Points, I bought capreolina a Maple Leaf, and some Maple Syrup to go with it…

capreolina fails a Maple Syrup…

Ah, yes. Failing a 90% scroll! As you can see, I am not amused!! Don’t worry, though; I was eventually able to make a 2⧸7⧸𝑥⧸𝑦 one. :P

Over on Maple Island, I got the occasional nifty item here & there on my islander ozotoceros, including my favourite chair of this event: the Enchanting Aria Chair!!

ozotoceros gets an Enchanting Aria Chair!!

I also got a pair of Maple Earrings, which I upgraded to the level 40 version for the extra swag points~ 😎

Wǔlín Yāosēng

Wǔlín Yāosēng! Jiaoceng! 武林妖僧! Everyone’s favourite jumpy old man!! Why won’t he stop jumping ten metres straight into the air, so that I can actually bloody hit him!!!

Oh, well, at least he levelled me up:

rusa hits level 174~! (& Flurrie hits level 167~)

Nice. 😎 And grats to Flurrie, as well!

In an interesting turn of events, I attempted some duo JC runs with marksman xBowtjuhNL! Because xBowtjuhNL is an archer, the strategy was to get the clones out of the damn way, so that we can both attack JC himself the entire time. After all, the clones just give EXP, and not very much EXP, at that…

xBowtjuhNL & rusa duoing JC, first attempt

Ah, well, it was a good first try. As you can see, I was using Cream Shortcake (+40 WATK for 10 minutes), and I also had Echo of Hero, but not much else. Between the two of us, this proved to not be quite enough, so we said “fuck it” and just threw an apple at it:

Level 173 rusa, Onyx Apple + Echo stats

With that, we finished with plenty of time to spare! During which, we tried to kill some of the clones that we, you know, didn’t attack until then…:

i doubt we will kill these

I also did some duo JC runs with shadower Harlez (VigiI), where my strategy was to split an Onyx Apple over the course of two runs, by using it about halfway through the first run, and then hiding in the Cash Shop afterwards until I could door myself back to 7F to do the second run. This worked out pretty well, although for reasons unknown to me, we just barely didn’t finish the second run. In any case, the first run — which was successful — was enough to level rusa up to level 175~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I unfortunately do not have a screenshot of this, as I was too laser-focused on killing JC to remember that I had recently removed a certain keycap from my keyboard… 🙄

This is, to be clear, a very huge deal for me. Level 175 has been my goal on rusa for a long time now, because it unlocks the last bits of content in the game that I have yet to experience. I guess, at some point, someone decided to make 175 The Big Level™, and so here I am, 134 levels higher than I frankly expected to get on this character when I first made her! I really want to thank all of the people who have played alongside rusa — all the way from her humble beginnings as “some random KPQ bitch”, to her adventures doing crazy-ass bosses like Horntail & Bergamot — for making it not merely possible, but a ton of fun the whole way!! ❤️❤️❤️

My main goal on rusa now (besides continuing to level up, of course :]) is to acquire the Monster Book Ring ⟨Tier 10⟩, which is going to be a really big step in pushing rusa to her full potential: not only is the increase to my raw damage output considerable, but the extra AVOID is crucial, and so are the MAXHP and MAXMP. This last part might seem weird; surely, I have enough MAXHP already? And who needs stinky MAXMP? MAXMP is for mages!! Well, apparently, if I ever want to set foot near Aufheben (B>non-AFK Aufheben Circlet, name your price LOOL[1]), I’m going to want like ≥23k MAXHP clean, or something crazy like that? I don’t know how it works, I just know that Aufheben dispels a lot, so I can’t always rely on HB. 🙄 And, you know, having ≥3 040 MAXMP would be really good as a sed target in HT, for mana drain reasons…

Footnotes for “Wǔlín Yāosēng”

  1. [↑] No, but for real doe, how do I get me one of these overpowered hats?? T>my immortal soul for this goofy-looking hat…? Please???

A soulless pilot; a stolen clock; a stubborn fish; a Sanskrit villain; a stone edifice.

As usual, I did some Lattin’ wif da krew, on my pure STR bishop cervid — this time, with not just my Maple wife Taima (Tacgnol, pilk, deerhunter, Boymoder, Hanyou, Girlmoder, midorin) the (THE) STRginner, but also fellow STRginner Gumby (Kimberly) and swashbuckler (now a corsair, holy moly!!) Yoshis (Furbs, SwordFurb, PoultryWoman, Fabienne)!:

cervid, Gumby, Taima, & Yoshis vs. Capt. Latanica

And again, this time with blood fighter HPTsu~

HPTsu, Gumby, Taima, & cervid, ready 2 Lat it up

During which, Gumby hit level 106~!:

Gumby hits level 106~!


And, I also got to do a pair of Lats with F/P gish Battlesage (Permanovice, Rowera, illadvised, Dreamscapes), as he was taking a vacation away from smelly ol’ 5–6 F…:

Battlesage, cervid, & Taima vs. Capt. Lat

Over in Loodibrium, I also did some Papal Lattice wif da krew, including marksman Level1Crook (Lvl1Crook, xXCrookXx) — this time, as my darksterity knight rusa~:

rusa, Taima, & Level1Crook vs. Papulatus

And also, some Peppered Lettuce — again with Taima & Gumby & Yoshis — but this time also starring Harlez (VigiI):

Harlez, Taima, Gumby, rusa, & Yoshis vs. Papu

The same crew (although without Gumby) took down a Peeanus or two…:

Taima, rusa, Yoshis, & Harlez vs. Pianus

And naturally, Rāvaṇa!:

rusa, Gumby, Yoshis, & Taima vs. Rav

As you can see, Harlez was not there for these two Ravanas, so I popped an Onyx Apple so that I could at least consistently pin Rav to the left side… Being able to pin Ravana feels really powerful! But without SI, I just barely attack fast enough to offset how far Ravana can manage to waddle in the space between two consecutive attacks of mine…

In another Rav with Taima — this time, with Harlez, and with me as my woodswoman capreolina — we stumbled upon a fun little bug with Smokescreen. The bug is very simple: sometimes, Smokescreen just doesn’t work for a certain character!:

Smokescreen fail‽

As it turned out, this didn’t seem to have anything to do with Taima being a beginner, as we originally suspected (every other Smokescreen has seemed to work on her). This is just a bug that happens sometimes, I guess. 🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️

It was then— Well, okay, it wasn’t actually during a Ravana run, but rather, whilst hunting for ETCs for Ravana’s repeatable quest. But anyways, it was then that capreolina hit level 144~!:

capreolina hits level 144~!

Yeah, Taima’s F/P gishlet Tacgnol basically mist-trained some Blue Goblins into submission to get me the 0.02% EXP that I needed to level. Maybe not the weirdest way I’ve ever levelled, but it’s up there somewhere.

Tacgnol also got the chance to do a Rav run with rusa and marksman xBowtjuhNL, which was certainly an interesting trio…

rusa, Tacgnol, & xBowtjuhNL vs. Ravana

Over in ⁧النَّطْح⁩, I sold another AFK zhelm on cervid!:

cervid selling another AFK zhelm

Resurrecting the buyer

Our dark knight, Glackum (Bomber123), was a big fan of my not-so-powerful Heals…:

If only we had a mage…

(In this context, WC stands for “weapon cancel”.)

Oh, and I got a Zakum Chair~!:

Zakum Chair get!

I sold yet another AFK zhelm, but this time, on capreolina. The good news there is that I’m no longer responsible for what goes on, so long as I’m attacking and keeping SE up. It’s a lot easier this way, trust me.

Nevertheless, things managed to go very nearly very wrong, when Zakum decided to kinda just non-stop weapon cancel:

this fucker

After a whole lot of blankly staring at the weapon cancel icon, it started to become quite concerning for our buyer, who was relying on our ability to Resurrect them throughout the run, and to Resurrect them once again at the end (so that they could loot a helmet). We desperately resorted to smoking[1] our buyer:

Smoking the buyer…

Naturally enough, that didn’t last for long enough, so our bishop was tasked with briefly keeping them alive via constant Healing. Zakum thought that this would be a funny time to do yet another weapon cancel…:

Oh, fuck off, Zak…

Cool!! Thanx Zak!!! In the end though, it worked out. 😌

I also tried to do a really realistic @dpm 25 test in Zakum, on rusa, to get a really crisp idea of the kind of baseline DPM that I can expect over the course of a Zakum run:

Level 174 rusa, realistic @dpm 25 at Zakum

As you can see, I had no particularly special buffs. The only one of the bunch that I don’t necessarily always have is SE, but it’s pretty rare that I’m ever doing Zak without SE, so the SE just adds to the realism. Plus, there was a reasonably large number of weapon cancels, which I thought was pretty average as well. Sooo, yeah! 1.93M DPM ain’t half bad, all things considered! Naturally, this figure can be increased with additional buffs like SI, Echo of Hero, The Breath of Nine Spirit, etc.

Footnotes for “A soulless pilot; a stolen clock; a stubborn fish; a Sanskrit villain; a stone edifice.”

  1. [↑] Not to be confused with the slang sense of [to] smoke meaning “to murder (esp. with a firearm); to defeat heavily in competition”. We didn’t kill her. She survived. Don’t worry.


It is a (very) long-running theme of my diary that my characters are regularly stuck at CDs. On occasion, it’s other Taipei 101 grinding spots like Kid Mannequins or Fancy Amps, but, you know, that’s not much of an improvement… The simple fact is that TP101 monsters are nice and squishy, and they give lots of EXP when you kill them, so if you’re kinda weaksauce, they tend to yield the most EXP per hour (EPH).

In an attempt to get the damn hell away from Taiwanese shopping mall hell for at least a little bit — and also to get a few cards along the way — Taima, Lvl1Crook, and I (as my daggermit alces) headed to Encounter with the Buddha, the Dreamy Ghosts map!:

alces tries Himes for the 1st time

That’s right: Shadow Web’s (SW’s) damage scales directly with the MAXHP of its victims, so the 68k MAXHP of Dreamy Ghosts — much higher than even that of the more powerful of the two CDs, Greatest Oldies, which only have 8.5k MAXHP — is very favourable, actually. Plus, there’s the fact that SW stops them from floating around willy-nilly, and stops them from using their ranged attacks, which really helps me to stab the shit out of them more effectively.

Taima, alces, & Lvl1Crook @ Himes

I did a small handful of @epm tests (usually @epm 6, @epm 7, or @epm 9) whilst we were trio grinding this spot, and got pretty consistent results. The results were, perhaps predictably, not as good as CDs. Womp, womp. I was getting ≈4.2M EPH at Encounter with the Buddha, versus… what, like ≈6M EPH or something like that, at CDs? Sheesh. In any case, it was still good enough for alces to hit level 111~! :D

Oh, and there’s one other slight complication:[1]

guys. i died

Dreamy Ghosts hit pretty hard, and pretty aggressively…

we died


As you can see in the screenshot above, I had my STR bishop cervid positioned on the far right-hand side of the Vanished Village map, which is the only map connected to Encounter with the Buddha, for HS/Bless/MW purposes. This worked reasonably well, although I did spend a significant number of potions on cervid (via pet autopot) just to keep her alive, as Vanished Village is home to both Samihos and Water Goblins.

Similarly to Dreamy Ghosts often being referred to as Himes[2], Water Goblins are often referred to as Kappas. This is from the Japanese ()(っぱ)kappa⟩ /käp.pä/, which is from (かわ)kawa⟩ /kä.ɰᵝä/ “river” + (わらわ)warawa⟩ /ɰᵝä.ɾä.ɰᵝä/ (→ ⟨wappa /ɰᵝäp.pä/) “child, adolescent”. These “river children” are folkloric water-dwelling imps that are virtually yōkai[1], although English Wikipedia describes them as kami ((かみ); /kä.mi/). Kappa are reptilian, often being compared to turtles due to the carapace on their back. If not properly appeased, kappa are known to assault humans who get too close. Besides being known for their love of sumō, kappa are very strongly associated with cucumbers; it is said that the cucumber is the kappa’s favourite meal, and so cucumbers make good offerings to appease them. The connection is so strong that 河童 is also used to mean “cucumber; sushi with cucumber inside”. This explains why these so-called « Water Goblins », when slain, drop the Cucumbers that you see above.

However, Taima noticed something peculiar about the in-game item description for the Cucumber:

A delicious[-]looking cucumber that Hadong [d]ropped.

What in the got damn hell is a Hadong‽ Doing a WWW search for "hadong" gets you “Hadong County”, the English Wikipedia article for a county (gun⟩ /kun/) called 하동군 /hɐ.to̞ŋ.kun/. Hmmm… that doesn’t make any sense.

A little more digging around, and I found this article on Korean Wikipedia about an island in Hadong-gun called 마도 ⟨Mado⟩ /mɐ.to̞/, which is a 특정도서 ⟨Teukjeongdoseo⟩ /tʰɯk.t͡ɕʌ̹ŋ.to̞.sʰʌ̹/ “Specific Island”, basically meaning that no one lives there, and it’s protected by law for bioenvironmental reasons. Although this might seem unrelated, I did a search for 마도 and found that it is also (separately from the 특정도서 sense) a Sino-Korean borrowing from the Chinese 魔道 (modern Mandarinmódào⟩), meaning “the world of evil, the world of demons, the dark side; evil/wicked path”, in the Buddhist sense. Although this derivation may seem like a bit of a stretch — how did we accidentally get from 마도 to 하동, especially if the two senses of 마도 are unrelated? — this is the most plausible explanation that I have. Conveniently, it fits very well with the obviously Buddhist nature of Encounter with the Buddha, and with the evil demon/spirit vibes of the Water Goblins and the Dreamy Ghosts (and of Black Crow[3], for that matter).

Footnotes for “Hime

  1. [↑] Youkai is the wāpuro rōmaji rendering of (よう)(かい)yōkai⟩ /jo̞ː.kä.i/. Yōkai is a Sino-Japanese borrowing from the Middle Chinese 妖怪 (modern Mandarinyāoguài⟩), and Japanese has retained its meaning. Yōkai refers to a relatively broad class of folkloric supernatural entities, similar to those found in many (probably most) of the world’s cultures, including the Chinese culture that the term was originally borrowed from.

    Although some yōkai are evil beings, many of them are simply mischievous or even benevolent; as such, the term is not usually translated into English as monster nor demon, both of which have evil connotations. Instead, yōkai are simply mythological spirits & apparitions that can vary considerably in nature.

  2. [↑] Hime is the rōmaji rendering of (ひめ) (also , 比売, 毘売) /̞/, literally meaning “princess”, but more typically used figuratively (as there are other words for the literal meaning of “princess”) as “daughter of a high-ranking individual; beautiful woman”, and is used as an affix as well.

    Japanese lacks grammatical number entirely, but because English does have number (singular and plural — & previously, the dual, as evidenced by words like both, either, neither, latter, etc.), the plural of Hime is almost always rendered in English as Hime + -s = Himes /ˈhiˌmeɪ̯z/ (or possibly, unetymologically */haɪ̯mz/, by false analogy with words like dime, lime, etc.).

  3. [↑] Black Crow is an ()(てん)()utengu⟩ /ɯ̟ᵝ.te̞N.gɯ̟ᵝ/, which is basically the crow version of a tengu. If you guessed that tengu were a kind of yōkai, you would be very correct! Tengu are known for their long red noses, like the aptly-named Tengu Nose ETC item that drops from Black Crow when it is killed.

    Tengu were originally considered to be aggressively evil demons, but over time, the image of tengu has softened, making them protective (but still fierce) spirit creatures that protect natural areas like forests, as well as places of Buddhist worship — some tengu are even the subject of worship themselves! There’s even a tengu emoji: ⟨👺⟩ (U+1f47a), although the Unicode name for it is the slightly more generic JAPANESE GOBLIN.

    The 烏 in 烏天狗 can mean “crow” or “black, dark” when used as a prefix, as it is here, hence the name Black Crow.

Tokyo (NEW!)

I’ve been doing some more Neo Tokyo (NT) stuffs on my darksterity knight rusa! To start things off, I helped out some folx whomst were new to Bergamot (or whomst had not done Berga in a long time), including Obby, Jasmira, and Theodora:

Jasmira, LinusSosa, Obby, rusa, & Theodora vs. Bergamot

“Outch” indeed! Bergamot hurts!!

I also did a Nibelung with marksman xBowtjuhNL and bowmaster xJingx, wherein xJingx confessed a sad tale of Nib:

i cried that night

And I had the distinct pleasure of getting to do some Core Blaze runs!! Here I am, manning the bottom floor of stage 1 with ASSM, 3minem, MrSanta, OliverQueen, & Harlez (VigiI):

ASSM, 3minem, OliverQueen, rusa, Harlez, & MrSanta @ Core Blaze stage 1

And I got my first-ever Royal Card from this run~!:

Royal Card get!

I was also invited to a Dunas 1 (D’una) run by Brokeen (Dazho), who had never done this boss before. We were joined by Qu33nBee & JoelPorras (JoeIPorras):

Qu33nBee, JoelPorras, rusa, & Brokeen vs. D’una

Brokeen died in the first run, which is generally to be expected of anyone who hasn’t done D’una before. Even if you know that it can damage reflect (DR), it’s quite another matter to learn quickly enough to avoid it every time.

I usually try to make an effort to speak to folx in Spanish when I know that it’s their L1 — especially if they don’t also know much English. There are plenty of Hispanophone folx in the MapleStory community, and those whom I meet in MapleLegends — which is a largely (but not entirely, of course) English-speaking server, partly as a result of being based on an English translation of MapleStory, viz. GMS — usually have at least some grasp of English, but the actual amount can easily vary from “basically none” to “completely fluent”.

That being said, my Spanish is — to use a highly technical term — “basically rubbish”, so the actual results can be kind of a crapshoot. This occasionally gets me into trouble when I accidentally do a decent job of saying things in Spanish, and then people mistakenly believe that I Actually Speak™ Spanish. That may or may not have been what happened here… Here’s a conversation I had with JoelPorras mid-D’una:

no te recomiendo

This is a little more non-English text than I feel comfortable putting here untranslated, so here is my shoddy translation:

English translation of the screenshot above

JoelPorras: rusa, are you going to CWK[PQ] yet?
rusa: no
JoelPorras: why?
rusa: oh
rusa: [you] mean I’ve not gone to CWK[PQ]
rusa: today?
JoelPorras: aya
JoelPorras: there you get a WATK cape
rusa: blackfist?
JoelPorras: yeah
rusa: I know
rusa: I use the Crimsonheart Cloak because
rusa: I need STR
JoelPorras: yes but [the Blackfist Cloak] gives WATK
JoelPorras: 5 WATK is perfect [clean]
rusa: I’m pure DEX
JoelPorras: you can even chaos it
rusa: yes of course
JoelPorras: you get DEX from earrings
JoelPorras: and helmet
JoelPorras: I don’t recommend that you use the Crimsonheart Cloak
rusa: yeah but
rusa: I’m a DEX warrior
rusa: I don’t have any STR
JoelPorras: oh
rusa: it’s an odd job
JoelPorras: and why’s that?
rusa: AVOID and lots & lots of WACC
rusa: and very stable damage[1]
JoelPorras: with STR
JoelPorras: you’d hit like a truck[2]
rusa: yeah hahah I know
JoelPorras: aya what other jobs do you have?
JoelPorras: or is this your only account?
rusa: many LOL
rusa: like 12, more or less >w<
JoelPorras: 12 accounts?
rusa: 12 characters
JoelPorras: what other jobs do you have?
JoelPorras: [you’re] playing on this DK tons
rusa: STR bishop
rusa: STR BM
rusa: pure LUK I/L
rusa: islander
rusa: etc.
JoelPorras: and how’s STR bishop?
rusa: dagger hermit
rusa: ooo very fun!
rusa: [she’s] my first character
JoelPorras: I see

In any case, I met two kewl people who did some NT content with me on a semi-regular basis: bowmasters MitoAdmita and Flurri (SecretIy)! Here we are, fighting Core Blaze itself (stage 3 of the PQ), with Harlez and corsair BoatyMcBoat (Awrien):

MitoAdmita, Flurri, Harlez, BoatyMcBoat, & rusa vs. CB

And again, at Nameless Magic Monster (NMM), where I was on pin duty as usual:

rusa, Harlez, MitoAdmita, & Flurri vs. NMM

We did some Bergas together, too, here with shadower DancinPig:

Flurri, MitoAdmita, DancinPig, & rusa vs. Berga

And again with the NMMs (this time featuring corsair xJums)… I am — slowly — getting used to running NMM:

xJums, MitoAdmita, rusa, & Flurri vs. NMM

Of course I’ve done NMM a number of times now, several of which I’ve included in my diary before, but it’s honestly a pretty nervewracking boss for me. I have to constantly be vigilant for its ranged red claw attack, because although it doesn’t use that attack often, when it does use it, it’s unpredictable (you just have to see the wind-up animation to know that it’s about to occur in like 1 s), and can deal just about ≈16k damage to me. I have serious issues keeping all of my buffs up when doing NMM, as NMM is in the far bottom-left corner of my screen, and my buffs are… in the far top-right corner… 😢 Maybe if I just switched my client to 800×600 resolution when doing NMM, it wouldn’t be so bad…? But I swear, looking over at my buffs is a serious threat to my life unless I sacrifice my damage to heal up first. >w< NMM is a certified butt-clenching experience for me, so I admit to being a bit envious of the ranged attackers perched just out of reach of NMM, sittin’ pretty with their 100% HP, whilst I have to be all up in NMM’s grill, babysitting it and also trying to put out DPM!!

Speaking of DPM, I tried a @dpm 15 in this run. It was far from perfect, but I did have Echo & SI, so there’s that…:

Level 174 rusa, @dpm 15 at NMM

1.35M DPM? Frankly not even bad babysitting DPM, if you ask me. :P

Here we are, again at CB, but this time with BoatyMcBoat also dual-clienting with their shadower Awrien, attacking on both characters at once! Pro!!:

rusa, Awrien, BoatyMcBoat, & Flurri vs. CB

On another day, we tried another CB, but this time we had no shadowers. We also didn’t have any warriors except for myself, which is somewhat problematic party-composition-wise simply because dark knights don’t get any “crowd control” abilities other than, you know, Rush & Monster Magnet (which all fourth-job warriors get anyways).

That’s certainly not to say that I’m useless in stage 3; not only can I still Rush, but the combination of HB/IW and Power Crash, I go a long way towards keeping people alive. Keeping CB Power-Crashed (i.e. not empowered) means shaving off a huge amount of CB’s damage, taking it from ≈31k or so tops to like ≈24k(?) or so tops. Combined with HB/IW, this means that a lot of people can actually survive being yeeted into CB’s body by shitty flying robots with YEET guns 🔫, when they otherwise could not.

That being said, largely as a result of our party composition, we had a really tough time dealing with the Imperial Guards that spawn up there where we’re attacking:

Struggle CB

Before our party had fully formed, I suggested that having a bishop would help, as they can use Doom to turn the Imperial Guards into Blue Snails. And gladly, we did end up recruiting a bishop: Mageor. Unfortunately, at this point, I was still just a bit unsure of the exact mechanics of the stage 3 CB fight. As a result, when I suggested that our corsair use their Battleship Torpedo to help clear the Imperial Guards, and our nightlord responded by saying that the Imperial Guards would “just respawn anyways”, I didn’t protest. Similarly, you can see Mageor’s Genesis hitting the Imperial Guards that are along the bottom floor in the screenshot above. Mageor did use Doom a few times, but seemed to be new to the skill, and was surprised that it only lasts for 20 s. Of course, it’s possible to just Doom as needed (e.g. when the previous Doom wears off), but there were two problems with that:

This latter point has to do with the fact that Genesis’ing (or indeed, attacking at all) the Imperial Guards that are on the bottom floor is a waste of time. Actually, that’s putting it mildly; if you actually manage to kill the Imperial Guards on the bottom floor, it’s worse than a waste of time, because now there are more spawns left for the Imperial Guards that spawn on top (where the attackers are). There is a fixed limit (not that I know the exact number) to how many monsters can be in the map at once, so once CB spawns enough of the Imperial Guards, it can’t actually spawn any more. If you kill the ones on top, but not the ones on bottom, the bottom eventually gets saturated, so that there are zero Imperial Guards on top, and yet CB cannot spawn any more Imperial Guards (unless you kill the ones on bottom…).

Note that this does not mean that mage ultimates (Genesis, Blizzard, Meteor Shower) are useless or should not be used in stage 3 CB; rather, they should be used selectively for particular purposes — like quickly finishing off a Maverick Y, for example! Mages make for excellent CB party members, but we have to remember that the ultimate maketh not the mage.

We did clear this CB, eventually. However, the nightlord’s warning proved to be incorrect: in the end, we killed all of the Imperial Guards on top anyways.

I also did another fun struggle CB with Harlez, MitoAdmita, and Cexy (Romilles, NobIe, Amaging). It was Cexy’s first-ever CB run, so they were having some troubles with the jump quest (or rather, swim quest) of stage 2, and Harlez was hanging out helping them with stage 2 for a while, whilst MitoAdmita and myself continued to stage 3:

Harlez, rusa, & MitoAdmita trying to subdue the Imperial Guards

Yeah, uhh, we weren’t super good at controlling the Imperial Guards. But as you can see, Harlez eventually came to stage 3 to help us. After a little while, we had the Imperial Guards mostly under control:

The Imperial Guards are mostly under control now

We were waiting for Cexy to say in party chat that they had passed the middle section of stage 2, so that Harlez could go back to stage 2 to help them with the top section. It took a while, and although Cexy did eventually make it through to stage 3, it was just slightly too late for me…

At long last, I fail pot

Yeahh… Not really proud of this one — I was doing a lot of Rushing, and eventually there was that one Rush where I got a bit unlucky and my ⇧ Shift key press just didn’t make it through, and I was too negligent to realise it in time. I did just fine the second run, though :P

I was also persuaded to do a pair of 2nas runs:

My Monster Magnet is a little better now…

Pretty cool, right? I’ve been really enjoying levelling up my Monster Magnet and making it actually useful. I also get a lot of use out of it in stage 1 of CB, although that’s not pictured above.

Here I am, in the No Buffs Zone™, Crushing 2nas:

PascalieBoy, Camazotz, MitoAdmita, rusa, & Harlez vs. 2nas

This first run didn’t go so well; our marksman Camazotz died, and for various reasons, I unexpectedly ended up being on lure duty:

Chillin’ w/ my Imperial Guard homie…

Yep. Just me and my Imperial Guard homie, chillin’ on the left side of the 2nas map… Chattin’ it up… We…… don’t have much in common. But, I was able to make enough small talk to keep the Imperial Guards from sabotaging the 2nas-killing operation that was going on in the right-hand side of the map.

Camazotz had died because their HB was dispelled. Naturally, I have a hard time keeping track of who’s got HB or not, as a result of 2nas dispelling anyone who is sufficiently close to him just about every two seconds or so. So, for the second round of 2nas, I made sure to always keep up my buffs, even if it meant a whole lot more buff-spamming and a lot less attacking… It worked, though! That run was a heck of a lot smoother LOL

Footnotes for “Tokyo (NEW!)”

  1. [↑] I fucked up this sentence by mashing con mucho estabilidad and muy estable together. 🙄
  2. [↑] Literally: “you’d hit monstrous[ly]”.


Over in the Fantasy Theme Park region of Malaysia, I duoed a Scarga on my darksterity knight rusa, with Harlez (VigiI)! Yes, you heard that right: duo Scarga! For the uninitiated, Scarga is a portmanteau of Scarlion + Targa, and refers to the boss fight where you summon both of these bosses at the same time, and then have to kill both of them before you run out of time! Fighting just one of them at a time is already kind of a pain in the ass, what with the weapon cancels, and the third bodies doing chunky damage a little too frequently for comfort, and Targa yeeting its hitbox all over the damn place, and all that… So Scarga is quite the challenge.

Naturally, we were not going to be powerful enough to do an entire Scarga in the allotted time as just two characters. Well… Harlez was really desperate for some Scarlion/Targa Hats, so she decided (after being repeatedly frustrated by the seeming impossibility of recruiting people for Scarga) to just chow down on some Gelt Chocolates/Onyx Apples for the duration of the run!:

rusa & Harlez duoing Scarga

Although I wasn’t able to micromanage these two bosses’ positions perfectly (more easily said than done, especially when you’re confused[1] half the time, and have to deal with hitboxes randomly moving away from the actual position of the boss, plus monstercontroller[2] issues… 😫), I think that I did a pretty decent job, and our run was reasonably smooth, I think. That being said, although we managed to slay Targa, we ran out of time just before we could finish off Scarlion >.< Although this wasn’t a huge deal for me personally, it was a pretty big loss for Harlez, as she had used a lot of very special buffs to get to that point, and she was the one who needed the hats to begin with. :[

But we also did an ordinary Scarlion run, joined by marksman xBowtjuhNL and STRginner extraordinaire Taima (Tacgnol, pilk, Nyanners, Boymoder, Girlmoder, Hanyou)!:

xBowtjuhNL, rusa, Taima, & Harlez vs. Scarlion

During this run, Taima showed us the power of the beginner~:

’Ginner power

40 whole damage when Scarlion is weapon cancelled? In one attack?? That’s more damage than 13 of my attacks combined!! F5

Also related to Scarlion & Targa, I did their prequests on my I/L archmagelet cervine. I’ve been meaning to scroll myself a real nice Targa Hat (INT), so the first step is, you know, to do the prequests so that I can actually buy hats! I already had some Lucky Bus Tickets on hand, so I started by killing some Vikerolas:

cervine vs. Vikerolas

With that done, it was time to refrigerate some Booper Scarlions:

cervine vs. Booper Scarlions

And then, of course, I headed to Entrance to the Spooky World to kill Galloperas (“Gallos”):

cervine vs. Galloperas

Not too bad! All that was left at that point was to collect the ten adorable-looking Rodeo’s Masters from the Rodeos at Muddy Banks 2~:

cervine finds some Rodeo’s Masters

Very nice! B>Targa Hat!! 💰👒💰

Footnotes for “Targlion”

  1. [↑] “Confusion” is one term for the status effect otherwise known as “reversed controls”. This is the one where you have that green-glowing skull icon on top of your head that is constantly gnashing its teeth and swirling its eyes around. It is — as its name implies — very confusing, as it causes your arrow keys to be reversed in their function (left exchanged with right, and up exchanged with down), with the exception that downjumping unexpectedly does not require holding the key — merely jumping with no arrow keys pressed will cause a downjump. Other bosses that like to cast this debuff include NMM, the EPQ boss (Poison Golem), Leviathan, etc.
  2. [↑] monstercontroller (“mc”; not to be confused with “magic cancel”) is a technical detail of MapleStory’s implementation. Rush very(!) frequently seems to “just not work”, and this is because the warrior who is Rushing does not have monstercontroller at the time, and the game fails to bestow it upon them (for whatever reason). I’ve seen people refer to this as the warrior not having “aggro”, but in actuality, aggro and monstercontroller are distinct (albeit related) notions.


Above, I mentioned that my darksterity knight rusa hit level 175, which meant opening up a lot of new content that I had never experienced before. Well, one part of that is Castellan Toad, a level 180 boss (meaning that you have to be level ≥175 to get EXP normally) found in Ninja Castle. Ninja Castle is a region of Japan (Zipangu) that is loosely based on Japan during somewhere between the late mediæval[1] period and the Edo period (()()()(だい)Edo jida⟩). The “mediæval” bit here is relevant, because castellan is a Mediæval European term for the governor (head official) of a castle — in this case, Ninja Castle. Also note that ninja ((にん)(じゃ))[2] were themselves a product of mediæval Japan.

In any case, that makes the castellan the Big Bad Guy™ of Ninja Castle, so we’d better take care of him.

Well, if I can even find him, that is…

rusa doing Ninja Castle JQ

Oh, yes, that’s right! Ninja Castle JQ, baby! In pt. lxxxiii of this diary (see: “LF>Nintos”), I actually did this JQ in an attempt to find more sexy ninjas, and was quite disappointed to find out that, well, that was the wrong place to look, lmfao. But now I know that this is the way to the castellan’s quarters, so here we go again…

After a lot of falling and impaling myself on large quantities of metal spikes, I did manage to pass the JQ. What I found after that, however, was something that I had never seen before:

3 doors


So, apparently, you can kinda just keep taking the leftmost of the three doors, and it keeps spawning you on the left-hand side of the map. Then, when it spawns you closer to the centre of the map, you take the middle door, and you keep taking the middle door until you magically pop out the other side. Not too hard to remember, I guess.

Here, you can see me fighting Castellan — who is just this little guy with a goofy hat and a barely-moustache — alongside Flurri, MitoAdmita, Harlez, and nightlord Atradius:

Trying Toad for the first time…

So, here’s the deal: Castellan — and the giant purple Castellan Toad form that it transforms into when you kill this first body — doesn’t have many tricks up its sleeve. It kinda just sits there and spams magic attacks. The second body spawns these cute little Toads, but the little Toads only have 98k HP each. However, Castellan does have two things:

This last part came as quite the disappointment to me. You can see in the above screenshot that I was doing… eh, okay damage. I usually do significantly more DPM than this to most bosses, but I’m not going to cry & complain about 1.01M DPM. Unfortunately for me, however, that is the DPM that I was doing with an Onyx Apple active. This kind of WDEF absolutely obliterates my damage, and there is realistically nothing that I can do about it other than gathering up five Gelt Chocolates for every time that I want to run Castellan Toad once.

The magic attacks don’t do quite as much as 14.7k〜14.8k damage to me; realistically, the most that they can do is probably around the ≈12.6k mark, thanks to Achilles. Sadly, although someone claimed that these attacks are magical elemental attacks that are affected by Elemental Resistance, I found this to not be the case. So, although ≈12.6k isn’t too bad (it certainly looks like it would be more favourable than the ≈16k of NMM’s red claw attack), it can be tough to deal with when it’s getting spammed far, far more frequently than NMM’s attacks, and I’m tryna zerk out here!!

In the end, I did die (but only once, and thankfully we did have Resurrection), thanks to the classic gag where I look like I’m inside of the Smokescreen, but I really ain’t. Admittedly, I was having some nasty performance issues with my client[3] — which didn’t exactly surprise me, but I had never run Castellan before, so I didn’t know what to expect — so I cranked my in-game graphics settings all the way down to the point that I could barely even discern the Smokescreen against the now deep-fried background of the map. 🙄 I don’t even know how long the Smokescreen had been up before I noticed that it had been cast at some point…

But here’s the slight twist at the end: because Castellan is regularly capable of dealing up to ≈14.7k〜14.8k damage to those who have nothing in particular to defend themselves with (in effect: archers, pirates, & nightlords), HB is kind of a huge deal. Castellan gives a big fatty EXP reward, so it’s not unreasonable for level 175〜199 characters of these jobs to want to do Castellan runs frequently. If HB is the limiting factor, then that alone is enough to make rusa’s presence valuable. That being said, it’s difficult — for me personally — to justify my presence, when Castellan’s WDEF kinda just says “no thank you” to my damage, and I have not much else to do other than attack.

Footnotes for “Toadeating”

  1. [↑] Mediæval Japan and feudal Japan are commonly used synonymously.
  2. [↑] Ninja are also referred to as shinobi ((しの)), although I’ve no idea whether or not there’s any difference in connotation, or anything like that.
  3. [↑] Plus some fun, but unrelated, networking latency. It feels so good to really have it all. 😌


I did some scrolling. I’ve talked about plenty of my past scrolling attempts within this very diary, and I think y’all already kinda know how it goes by now: deer tries scrolling a bunch of things, gets vaguely lucky occasionally, but ends up screwing things up at the end by failing a bunch of scrolls. What can I say — I’m just not good at scrolling, so 60% scrolls only work 40% of the time for me. 🤷🏽‍♀️

But we can’t give up hope, right? I’ve made some pretty decent equipment items in the past… heck, I recently made a 27 STR Fitted Mail for my darksterity knight rusa, right? Maybe it is possible for the PRNG gods & goddesses to smile upon me…!

Behold, for I have made epic PSB (special thanks to Mater, who — after already starting the scrolling — sold the unfinished PSB to me at mates’ rates ❤️)!:

The greatest PSB of all time

And behold, for I have made epic DEX robe!!:

New DEX robe!!!

And behold, for I have made 8 WATK, 4 slot PGC!!!:

Watching Grasp CS my cape

Okay, so, technically I wasn’t the one scrolling it, because I bought Chaos Scroll (CS) service from Radiologist[1] (Grasp), but hey…:

Here we go again…!

…That’s a real good start towards my goal of a PGC with double-digit WATK!! I can’t wait to CS it again and make it 3 WATK :']

And a huge thanks to Harlez (VigiI) for providing the original clean cape & helping pay for the CS service!! <333

Footnotes for “Χάος”

  1. [↑] You can see in the screenshot that they seem to also have a character (I assume that it’s the same person) named Urogram. Looks like someone’s really into their job!

    Do note that radiologists and radiographers should not be confused; radiologists are full-blown physicians with M.D.s (or equivalent), whereas radiographers are highly specialised in the operation of medical imaging technology. Although this means that the radiographer does need to share a lot of the same knowledge of medical science with the radiologist, this also means that the radiographer is not a physician and does not have the training necessary to practice medicine.



the daily deer battering

*eats deer meat*

thats why all DKs have seconds showing on their system clocks

Bouncy chairs