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rangifer’s diary: pt. xciv

A quick update on “Running MapleStory requires highly advanced technology”

(If you haven’t already read “Running MapleStory requires highly advanced technology”, check out the previous diary entry!)

I have started work on Maple in the year 2999 (mirror), but not enough to be worth publishing yet. I have, however, already realised two things:

Footnotes for “A quick update on ‘Running MapleStory requires highly advanced technology’”

  1. [↑] For those not already familiar, CrossOver™ is just Wine that has had some proprietary patches applied. It is oriented towards macOS™ users, although it supports Linux as well. The main thing that I believe(?) it does for macOS™ users is allow them to run Wine with IA-32 apps even on versions of macOS™ that have completely dropped support for IA-32 code of any kind, viz. Catalina or later. Somewhat amusingly, the macOS™ users that I’ve run into have all been unaware of CrossOver™ just being a patched version of upstream Wine, mistakenly believing that CrossOver™ and Wine are two separate things.


It is time! For another episode of Questing With tara™!! With yr grl tarandus the pugilist!!!

I started this time with some Golden Temple quests: Mischievous little monkeys & The Invasion of the Wild Animals[1]. Mischievous little monkeys is pretty straightforward, just asking for some Mama Monkey and Wild Monkey kills:

Mischievous Monkeys and The Invasion of the Wild Animals

The Invasion of the Wild Animals is similar, but asks for two bespoke quest items: a Tourist’s Camera and a Tourist’s Phone.

Could you help me? I heard that recently those monkeys stole the tourists’ cameras and handphones.

So I had to kill quite a few Mama Monkeys until they finally gave up the pesky ETCs… I always forget which monkey species actually drop the damn quest items, so I always end up hunting at Monkey Temple 3. I think(??) it’s the Mama Monkeys that drop the camera, and the Wild Monkeys that drop the handphone? Anyways…

There’s also Helping the Tourist 2, but I would have to head to Taiwan for that, so, because the only way to get to Taiwan (barring magical teleportation) is via Victoria Island (specifically Kerning City), I did some other Victoria-Island-adjacent quests first. Including in Masteria!

For Smores No More, I collected Smores from Nightmares[2] in the Vanity Room, which only spawns Nightmares:

tara vs. Nightmares

Well, I say that it “only spawns Nightmares”, but that’s not strictly true. There’s also the not-so-friendly Mirror Ghost:

The ghost in the mirror

It’s invincible, though, so you just have to tolerate it swiping at you occasionally.

The Smores quest has a nice reward though, giving you three Edmund’s Special Brews — that’s a whole 30 minutes’ worth of +30 MATK!:

Edmund’s Special Brew

I also did the quest to unlock Mo’s store by running around and punching random trees:

tara farming Phantom Seeds

Back over in Kerning City, I kinda… duoed Dyle with myself so that I could get Dyle kill credit for the corresponding quest on both tara, and on my vicloc clericlet d33r:

tara vs. Dyle

And that got tara to the funny number level! Yay!!:

tara hits level 69 (nice)!

Going back to Masteria, I started the Subani’s Legacy questline, with Subani’s Legacy: Discovery:

Subani’s Legacy: Discovery

For Subani’s Legacy: Transgression, I had to farm Hyper Glyphs from Electrophants:

tara farming Hyper Glyphs

And finally, for Subani’s Legacy: Deliverance, I had to run around kicking goofy robot-lookin’ things from the 1950s until they gave me 50 MesoGears Map Pieces:

Subani’s Legacy: Deliverance

And of course, I couldn’t forget Cleaning Up the Streets, which regrettably requires killing two hundred of these red flying lion-bird monsters:

tara vs. Gryphons

Ow. (That’s from the fall damage.)

And, for Maple Balrog Elpam Gorlab’s quests, I decided to just rock back & forth between Masteria and Lūdus Lake so that I could get those silly ETCs:


With both the Subani’s Legacy questline and Elpam Gorlab’s questline completed, John Barricade was having some trouble texting corresponding via handwritten letter with his adventurous brother Jack, whom he now considered to be missing. Knowing that his brother always gets out of sticky situations, John was not terribly worried that his brother had perhaps died, but nevertheless asked me to find him and act as courier. For that, it was time to head towards the same place that Jack intended to investigate: The Crimsonwood Keep.

tara finds Jack

Oh boy. Jack had been captured by the highwaymen of the Crimsonwood Mountain: Windraiders, Stormbreakers, and the like. Thankfully he escaped, but neither of us were surprised that he had been unable to get a letter sent from the middle of Crimsonwood Mountain all the way to New Leaf City below…

Unfortunately, the remaining Masteria quests were mostly too high-level for me, so it was time to head to another Kerning-City-adjacent locale: Singapore. To do what, you ask? Well, you may remember from pt. xci of this diary that I attempted soloing Capt. Latanica as soon as I got the quest for it (level 63), but ultimately decided that it may be a waste of Onyx Apples (and of my patience…). Now that I was looking forward to 3rd job advancement, I knew that it was time to prove myself. No, not by doing the job advancement tests — I would have to do those anyways if I wanted to advance, and they’re really not very difficult. Instead, I solo’d Capt. Latanica to prove that I was ready to be level 70:

tara hits level 70~!!

You can watch the full video of tarandus’s 3rd job advancement (to marauder) — including the Capt. Latanica fight — on the Oddjobs YouTube™ channel!:

tarandus’s 3rd job advancement [YouTube™]

Although it doesn’t exactly put me very close to 4th job, this is nevertheless a big milestone for tara on her journey to the ultimate goal: to reach level 120 and become a weaponless buccaneer! With Speed Infusion! And Time Leap!! And Demolition!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

Ahem. But of course, tara’s not there yet; I instead have 3rd job skills to look forward to. Somewhat regrettably, 3rd job is what I like to call the “slump” job for brawlers/marauders/buccaneers: 2nd job had all of the cool stuff (brawlers are really strong and have lots of active skills to make use of), and now we get… bubble? I mean, don’t get me wrong; bubble (Energy Charge) is fantastic because it gives stance (similar to Power Stance). Plus, it does give access to new attacks, particularly Energy Drain — effectively a more powerful version of FF that also heals you — and Energy Blast, which serves as a much more powerful alternative to SSK for multi-target damage, but which nevertheless hits up to 4 targets at best. There’s just one problem: none of these things matter if you aren’t currently charged up. The bubble only lasts for so long, and for the entire rest of the time… you’re still 2nd job! To make things worse, it’s clear that Necksawn were keenly aware of the lack of things going on for marauders in comparison to brawlers or buccaneers, and so they made bubble max out at a skill level of 40. Yes, you have to sink a full 40 SP into this single passive skill, only for it to not actually consistently work at… any level of the skill. Most of the time, you’re bubbleless anyways…

Anyways, now that I was level 70, it was high time to get me a Hog. So, I did what any reasonable person would do: protect a hog from the inexplicable underwater invasion of numerous highly aggressive flying Grey aliens:

tara rescuing the hog

Now that I had saved the hog, it was time to get my own hog, in KFT (after paying an exorbitant sum of mesos to Chief Tatamo…):


YEET~ Hog acquired:

Hog acquired!!

Of course, no hoggo is complete without a mount cover. So I selected one very wisely…:



And don’t worry, I remembered to get some food for my bufaloe guy:

bufaloe: level up!

Level 2!! So stronk.

Anyways, staying around in KFT, I was now just high level enough for the Legends of Hometown questline. So, I hunted for a Small Clue from the nearby Samihos:

tara looking for a Small Clue

It took a while, but eventually I managed to find one. The God of Mountains told me that the three goblins at the peak of the Black Mountain might know a thing or two about the Old Fox and the spirit possession that seemed to have taken over Chil Nam, so I gave them a visit:

Three goblins

The first one seemed oddly concerned about “loud, human females” shouting:

Don’t shout! I’m scared of humans shouting! Especially loud, human females! I just can’t stand them! …what? You want to know about the Old Fox? Of course I know about the Old Fox… but why would a human like you want to know about the Old Fox?

At first, I was a bit confused, until I remembered what I was doing just ≈30 seconds ago…:


Oups. Sorry, sometimes I just can’t help myself. Anyway…

Now that I knew what the Old Fox was, and where I could find it, it was time to lay it to rest:

tara vs. the Old Fox

You’re very welcome, Korean Folk Town.

Up atop the Helios Tower, I found a Ludibrium quest whose existence I was actually unaware of, until now: The Messenger of the Toy Palace (parts 1 & 2). Oddly enough, this quest(line) is not recorded within the BBB (Before Big Bang) version of Hidden Street, and although it is recorded within the Before Chaos version of Hidden Street, it has a reduced level requirement (level ≥50 instead of ≥70) in that version of GMS. In any case, this quest appears to be mutually exclusive with The Messenger of the Fairy Forest, which has you playing the role of ambassador to Leafre for Ellinia, instead of Ludibrium. Oddly enough, unlike the Ellinia version, The Messenger of the Toy Palace actually requires you to fight stuff:

tara is The Messenger of the Toy Palace

Just ten (10) of each rat species, though.

Now that I was all ready to be Ludi’s ambassador to Leafre, I headed down the Eos Tower and went back to Victoria Island via the Omega Sector. There, I did Eliminate the Tauromacis:

Eliminate the Tauromacis

Which got me to level 71~!:

tara hits level 71~!

And now, I could finish The Messenger of the Toy Palace by simply heading to Leafre via Ellinia. Whilst I was at Leafre, I did Ito’s Request, which had me hunting for furballs from the nearby Rashes & Dark Rashes:

tara collecting furballs

I headed back to Vic Island to start the first two parts of An Old Code, a mysterious level ≥69 quest that actually starts in Zipangu, with Kino Konoko. However, to get my first clue to deciphering the old code, I would need to talk to the Mysterious Statue in Sleepywood:

I’m here as your savior.
Chosen out of millions of possibilities, and
have been silently with you from then on out.
Take the fit body of mine, and engrave your mark on my chest.
 If you blow on me while standing still.
 People want you, and gather up in front of me, and they’ll just have to pray…

Who am I?

Hmmm. A puzzling riddle, indeed. I’m afraid that “If you blow on me while standing still.” isn’t even a complete sentence, and just kinda uhm… stops. But that’s okay, I’m sure we can figure it out, right?

Just kidding, I have no idea, so I just checked the BBB Hidden Street entry. :] Looks like I’ll be continuing this quest the next time that I’m in El Nath

El Nath is a ways away, so I headed to Kerning City instead, to hop on the plane to Malaysia. There, I started the Surprise Birthday Party questline, which had me gathering supplies to prepare a surprise birthday party for Hurliza’s father:

Gift for Dear Daddy

Daddy’s Birthday Party

tara collecting Froscolas’ Lucky Hats

Lemme tell ya, these Froscola guys… I really had to try my best to take touch damage as often as possible, so that I could use the iframes[3] to avoid their YEET attacks that stun & send me flying across the map.

Unfortunately for me, the final quest in the Surprise Birthday Party questline has an increased level requirement relative to the previous quests, so I’ll have to come back later. That brings us — at long last — to Taiwan, where I could collect the starch spheres necessary to help our tourist friend in Thailand…

Helping the Tourist 2

Back in Thailand, though, my work in helping the tourist was not complete. Although I may have brought them the ingredients for several servings of boba tea, they were not satisfied. The only drink suitable to quench Nitaya’s thirst would be fresh lemonade, so for that, I would need Fresh Lemons. Where could I get Fresh Lemons? Why, from lemon trees, of course!

Just kidding, I have to slay even more Mama Monkeys to get them…:

tara farming for Fresh Lemons

And I do mean more. Like, a lot more. Not only did I inexplicably need 50(!) entire lemons to make a glass of lemonade for this woman, but the Mama Monkeys are not exactly generous when it comes to dropping said lemons. Nevertheless, after a while of grinding Monkey Temple 2, I had finally obtained the Fresh Lemons required to placate our dear tourist Nitaya.

So… off to El Nath, I guess? Let’s find that tomb…

tara finds a Small Tomb

There it is. We figured it out, folx! That’s… the old code…! It’s a little tomb up in the El Nath Mountains……! Or something……… You know, I really still don’t get it. The tomb says…:

(The tombstone has something engraved on it, but thanks to the years of weathering, it’s barely legible.)

(This code seems to imply the presence of the person that is laid to rest here, but… now it’s impossible to even find out exactly who that is.)

…It says nothing. Or, rather, it said something, but whatever it was, it’s now unrecoverable. Well… maybe Kino Konoko has some insight into it…?:

I see… I see! It’s hard to fathom, in the middle of a mountain covered in snow lays a small grave. It’s hard to find out what the code means, but I’m sure it means something…

But you know, it feels good to finally have the puzzling code solved, because it had been nagging me for quite some time. Great job there. Thanks. Hope to see you around.

Nope. Alrighty then…

In other news, I headed over to MLG[4] to do some quests there, including the Tae Roon questline: The Forgotten Master! To prepare Do Gong’s spell, I needed a few more ETC items, so I hunted some Peach Monkeys at Peach Farm1 [sic]:

Do Gong’s Spell

And, naturally, I fought the big bad bear himself: Tae Roon:

tara vs. Tae Roon

With that, plus starting a quest at Herb Town, tara hit level 72~!:

tara hits level 72~!

Starting which quest, you ask? Operation Eliminate Red-Nosed Pirates, which had me killing lots of Captains to get their Hooks:

tara collecting Hooks

And with twenty (20) Hooks all gathered up, I think that that’s enough taran’ it up for this entry :P

Stay tuned for moar Questing With tara™! Although, I do admit that the quests are running a little bit dry at this point, but I do still have some left. Some of them are quite difficult for their level, so I may have to transfer some ETCs from other characters to make some of those doable — like the Rāvaṇa prequests, for example.

Footnotes for “तारा”

  1. [↑] Whilst looking up this quest, I stumbled upon another quest that I didn’t even know existed: Independence Day : Alien Invasion. I assume that this quest is a GMS (Global MapleStory) exclusive — on the understanding that Nekksawn America is headquartered in the U.S. — because it seems to be an event-only quest that awards The Stars and Stripes. The Stars and Stripes is a one-handed sword with absolutely no requirements to equip, which appears as a smol U.S. flag on a stick. The quest itself is, apparently, just a brief pastiche of the 1996 film Independence Day, which takes place within the mainland U.S. on — you guessed it — the U.S.’s Independence Day. The film — like the GMS quest — also features people fighting back against an alien attack on the planet, as its plot. I don’t mean to be harshly critical of the originality of what was presumably a one-off event quest, but… at least don’t name the quest literally after the film that it’s pastiching…? A little on the nose there, Necksyn.
  2. [↑] The fact that Nightmares look like dark horses (not to be confused with dark horses) is a visual pun; the two senses of mare /mɛə(ɹ)/ in English — “adult female horse” vs. “evil spirit that attempts to suffocate sleeping people” — are completely etymologically unrelated, as you’d expect: PGmc *marhijō “female horse” vs. *marǭ “(suc/in)cubus” (ultimately PIE *mor(a)- “feminine evil spirit; incubus”, possibly an alteration of *mer- “to die”). The latter sense survives only in the English nightmare, but survives intact in some other Germanic languages (cf. Dutch mare).
  3. [↑] Not to be confused with <iframe>, iframe in this context is a clipped compound of invincibility + frame. When a PC is attacked (regardless of whether the attack hits or “MISS”es), for a fixed number of frames after that attack, the PC is effectively “invincible” insofar as they cannot be attacked again. Of course, there are caveats to the “invincibility” here; for example, an ongoing poison effect will still damage the player normally, even on an iframe.
  4. [↑] Mu Lung Garden, which is the region encompassing exactly the entirely of both the Mu Lung & Herb Town regions.

The alces challenge

As readers of this diary will already know, I have been slowly — but surely — working my daggermit alces up towards the big level 120, where she’ll be able to get a Horntail Necklace (HTP), wear the almighty Dragon Khanjar, and of course advance to the honourable rank of daggerlord!!

But I’m not yet satisfied with how slowly, and how surely, I am trudging through these so-called “hell levels”. So, that’s where the “alces challenge” comes in. The basic idea of the challenge is very simple: to grind EXP on alces for exactly 60 minutes (i.e. one hour) each & every day, until at least level 120.

Why “exactly”? Why 60 minutes in particular? Why every single day? Well, the idea is to enforce both consistency and moderation upon myself, at the same time: consistency in continuing to get EXP over time (i.e. no slackin’!), but also moderation — no need to burn myself out by over-grinding! So 60 minutes seemed reasonable: it’s enough time to get a good chunk of EXP, but not so much time that I’ll burn myself out, or have significant troubles in scheduling it every day.

The actual “rules” (if they can be called that…) of the challenge are a little more convoluted, because we have to define what “exactly 60 minutes of EXP” actually means, and also leave some wiggle room:

Sound good? Alrighty then, let’s do it…

I started my first day of the challenge by duoing Kid Mannequins (KMs) with STRginner extraordinaire (& my Maple wife) Taima (Boymoder, Hanyou, Nyanners, pilk, Tacgnol, Gambolpuddy) for 60 minutes:

alces & Taima vs. Kid Mannequins

By the second day, I had already made an exception: I solo’d KMs for 60 minutes (getting roughly ≈3.1M EPH without HS), but also took the liberty of finishing up the Papulatus prequests, which I had already started at some point in the past. Why Papulatus prequests? Well, some of the folx of Ossyrians — the Ossyria-locked (osslock) guild & one of the member guilds of Suboptimal — were getting together for a pair of Papulatus runs! But because osslock lacks 4th job, I couldn’t attend on any of the characters that I’d normally go to Papu with, like cervid, rusa, capreolina, or cervine. The next best thing was, of course, my daggermit, who is not even of a high enough level to be a 4th-jobber anyways. So it was time to hunt for some more Tachions[1]:

alces hunting for Tachions

Oh, and also some Mysterious Powders, of course…:

alces collecting Mysterious Powders

My Shadow Web was really helping me here, as the MDTs are pretty chunky. And if SW was helping me there, then it was really helping me when looking for pieces of crack:

alces hunting for crack

With the pieces of crack in my backpack, it was time to rack the black god of death Thanatos with a double smack to the back, to get the Ludibrium Plaque Medal:

alces gets a Ludibrium Medal from Thanatos

Now that I had my Ludi Medal, ’twas time to fight!!:

alces, Buppoon, yeIlo, Gumby, & Mekhane vs. Papu

The fight consisted of Papulatus (duh) versus myself, osslockers Buppoon the white knight, yeIlo the dragon knight, & Mekhane the ranger, and outland STRginner Gumby!:

alces, Buppoon, yeIlo, Gumby, & Mekhane vs. Papu!

alces, Buppoon, yeIlo, Gumby, & Mekhane vs. Papu 2nd body

On the third day, I trioed KMs with Taima & Gumby, on GM buffs (getting roughly ≈3.7M EPH):

alces, Taima, & Gumby trioing Kid Mannequins with GM buffs

And it was then that I hit level 112~!:

alces hits level 112~!

So far, it has mostly been KMs. But I had some other things that I wanted to try. In particular, I wanted to try doing some bosses like Capt. Lat & HH, and I also wanted to experiment with something that — as far as I know — no one has ever tried before: SW training. What is “SW training”, you ask? The idea is simple: make SW do all of the damage for you, and then just last-hit the monsters with ordinary attacks (e.g. Double Stab). Shadow Web deals damage in a way that is very similar to poison effects from skills like Poison Breath & Poison Mist. Like poison, SW damage cannot kill a monster directly; in cases where the monster would die, the SW damage is instead reduced so that it leaves the monster with exactly 1 HP remaining. Also like poison, each damage instance is calculated as follows:

𝑀𝐴𝑋𝐻𝑃∕(𝑐 − 𝑠𝑘𝑖𝑙𝑙𝐿𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑙)

…Where “𝑀𝐴𝑋𝐻𝑃” is the MAXHP of the victim, “𝑠𝑘𝑖𝑙𝑙𝐿𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑙” is the level of the skill (whether it be Poison Breath, Poison Mist, SW, Fire Demon, or Ice Demon), and “𝑐” is a magic constant that only depends on whether or not the skill is SW. For SW, 𝑐 ≔ 50, and for the others, 𝑐 ≔ 70. So far, it looks like SW is actually really powerful; after all, its value of 𝑐 is clearly more favourable.

Unfortunately for alces, SW only produces a damage instance every 3 seconds (⅓ Hz), rather than every second (1 Hz). Furthermore, whereas the other skills max out at 𝑠𝑘𝑖𝑙𝑙𝐿𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑙 = 30, SW only goes up to 𝑠𝑘𝑖𝑙𝑙𝐿𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑙 = 20. This means that the sustained DPM of SW is only 4⁄9 (44.444…%) of that of the other skills. To make things even slightly worse, SW also doesn’t do any initial damage apart from this “poison-like” damage-over-time, unlike the other skills.

But that’s okay, right…? I mean, a mere ≈44% damage is pretty crippled if you really want to use SW as your main source of damage, but considering how incredibly fast Poison Mist training is at my level (112), it just might be better than sitting at KMs all day. So… I’ll give it a go? For science…? To 5–6 F!:

alces trying 5–6 F Shadow Web training

Right, so, this is the part where I make it abundantly clear how crippled SW training is in comparison to Poison Mist training. Apart from the theoretical sustained DPM disadvantage that SW has (as outlined above), there are also some additional issues:

So basically, it sucks, right? R—right…?

alces’s first 5–6 F @epm test

Oh. Oh no. That’s better than what I get at Taipei 101, even in a party with HS… Maybe that was just a fluke, though. Let’s try that again:

alces’s second 5–6 F @epm test

Le sigh. It is, in many ways, the worst of both worlds: painfully difficult to do, but justified by the extra EPH; and yet, the extra EPH is only just high enough to warrant the trouble, making it feel disappointingly low…

If you want to see what SW training looks like, check out this video on the Oddjobs YouTube™ channel!:

Daggermit solo Shadow Web training at 5–6 F [YouTube™]

At the end of the above video, my @epm 10 results come back as follows:

alces’s third 5–6 F @epm test

Wowza. 5.53M EPH…!

Swashbuckler extraordinaire Yoshis (SwordFurb, SwordFurbs, Furbs, Fabienne) was training at 1–2 F at the same time that I was at 5–6 F, so she offered to meet in the middle, at 3–4 F! So that we could duo!! We decided to try it out…:

alces & Yoshis try duo 3–4 F…

Oups. Right, ahem. Kinda forgot about the part where EXP splitting is super-duper weird, and I have to be at least level 𝑥 − 5, where 𝑥 is the level of the highest-level monster on the map, just to share EXP normally… Oh, well. Maybe we can try 1–2 F together once I hit level ≥115~!

On another day, I came back to 5–6 F to use a GM buff on alces:

alces’s 5–6 F @epm test on GM buffs

7.04M EPH?? Now that’s a spicy meatball!! Spicy enough for alces to hit level 113…!:

alces hits level 113~!


As of yet, I’ve only had to make an exception to the “no less than 60 minutes” rule once: on the 7th day, I didn’t grind alces at all. I know, tragic. I was rlly fkn tired, alright? Sheesh.

Footnotes for “The alces challenge”

  1. [↑] Sic. This is a misspelling of tachyon; I can’t find any non-MapleStory sources that spell it this way, which is unsurprising given that the word is ultimately from the Ancient Greek τᾰχῠ́ς “swift”. So the relevant Greek letter is υ (“upsilon”; uppercase: Υ), which is consistently romanised as ⟨y⟩ outside of diphthongs, with two exceptions: Beta Code uses U, and the BGN & PCGN use ⟨i⟩. However, the BGN/PCGN scheme is used specifically for geographic names (and modern Greek ones, at that — not ancient ones), and confusingly uses ⟨i⟩ to transcribe not one, not two, but six (6) different distinct Greek letter sequences… 🙄

Captain Lataniel

And it wouldn’t be another entry of rangifer’s diary without some Captain Latanica, would it? I trioed some Lats with STRginners Taima and Gumby, on my pure STR bishop cervid:

Gumby, cervid, & Taima vs. Capt. Lat

And, I brought along my darksterity knight rusa for HB muling purposes, so that I could trio with Taima and STRginner Jestterz[1]!:

Jestterz, cervid, & Taima vs. Capt. Lat

Hmmm… How many more Lats before cervid is level 135, I wonder…… 🤔🤔🤔

Footnotes for “Captain Lataniel”

  1. [↑] FKA LoneW0lf1600.

Viccy loccy

Over on Victoria Island, I did a little o’ that good good vicloc shit. On my vicloc clericlet d33r, I attended a GM event by the name of Russian roulette (RR):

d33r @ RR event

(“Attack: odds of 6 agian [sic] is insane ⧸ Venekathas: Gambler’s falacy. [sic] ⧸ LarRayBird: moist”)

I’ve done this one before; see pt. lxxxvii of this diary. This time, however, was a little different: I actually won! Sort of! I tied for 3rd place in the 2nd round!:

My very first game cash

Indeed. Such is the nature of Russian roulette: you kinda just stand on a platform and wait to see if you die. And I got lucky in this particular round, delaying — by sheer dumb luck alone — my death, until almost everyone else had already been eliminated.

In fact, this is the very first time that I’ve ever won game cash! Hooray!! For those who don’t know what game cash is, it’s like the NX that you get from voting and from monster/PQ drops (which is called vote cash), except that:

So, that’s pretty nifty! I’ve no idea what I’ll use it on, though… Especially considering that 5 000 NX is simply not very much.

Also on d33r, I did a little questingg~ With some GM buffs cast upon me, it was time to finally do a level 60 quest that I had started, but never actually finished: Notice from the Excavation Team. Killing the requisite Skeleton Soldiers and Officer Skeletons proved to be short work for d33r, but the Commander Skeletons… well… I didn’t feel up to the task of killing these guys when I was just level 60, undead as they may be; they’re level 73(!) and have a not-so-trivial 15.3k HP and 300 MDEF a piece. Now that I was level 68 and had GM buffs, though, I thought I’d give it a go:

d33r vs. Commander Skeles

Not too terrible! Thankfully, I only had to kill ≈40〜50 or so for the quest, so I was able to finish well within the duration of my GM buffs.

I also worked on another quest that I had procrastinated on (albeit to a lesser extent, as this one is level 65): the Dyle questline! Starting out with JM’s Request, I had to wade into the Kerning City swamps to take on some crocs & gators:

d33r doing JM’s Request

This part is… actually more painful than you might expect, since d33r is, let’s say, “not so good” at killing anything that isn’t undead. Magic Claw is not so ideal when you’re a magelet

In any case, after gathering up the croc & gator ETCs, it was time to fight the big bad croc — king of the swamp — Dyle!:

d33r vs. Dyle

Ouf. Yeah, I’m gonna need a little help with this one… Thankfully I was able to do a makeshift duo with myself on my pugilist tarandus (see “तारा” above), so it all worked out in the end.

And finally for d33r in this entry, I also farmed some EXPs with fellow viclocker — & fellow odd mage — VigiI (Harlez) the I/L gish, at þͤ olde CoEEII:

d33r & VigiI @ CoEEII

In other vicloc news, I did an osslock APQ on my vicloc dagger spearwoman d34r, alongside Gumby, yeIlo, & Buppoon!:

Gumby, d34r, yeIlo, & Buppoon fighting Grog in an osslock APQ

This APQ took quite a while to fill, as we had the added requirement that none of our party members be 4th-jobbers. But it was worth it; we had a glorious Grog fight!

On another day, with Level1Crook (xXCrookXx, Lvl1Crook) as my witness, I tossed some random APQ cape 30% scrolls onto some random APQ capes that I had gotten in the APQ that we just did. For some god forsaken reason, all four of the cape DEX 30%s that I threw on a random clean Amos’s Royal Cape passed. At this point, I was reminded that I didn’t actually have a DEX cape for accuracy purposes, so I was very tempted to use a 100% — or, if I could find one, a 60%. However, Level1Crook goaded me rather persistently into slamming a fifth and final 30% scroll, for great glory. And, believe it or not… it passed???:

I… beat vicloc…?

Is that… a ✨perfect✨ zero-slot Amos’s Royal Cape?? Why, yes. Yes it is…:

I beat vicloc!!

Add this one to the list of legendary items that I’ve made in vicloc and hold very d34r dear to my heart! 🥹


My darksterity knight rusa is back at it again, with the Horntailing!!! I joined a run hosted by Matty (Renshaw, AHotCow) of Funk as my first time back in the Cave of Life. Here’s a screenshot of the 2nd prehead fight during round 1, where the prehead decided to weapon cancel at the last second…:


(Don’t worry, I fed unicolor immediately after taking this screenshot.)

Phewf. Thank goodness the mages were able to finish it off for us.

Ready… seddy… go!

I got to solo Horntail’s Right Hand[1] when I was the only one left with Hero’s Will not on cooldown…:

rusa soloing HT’s right arm

During another run, we had so much cleaving power — including three mages, two shads, three warriors, and a bucc — that our host xBowtjuhNL decided that it would actually be safer to do an “arms first” run. Now, this isn’t meant to be taken literally; we did kill the legs & tail first. But after that point, we focused the arms (& wings) much more than usual, finishing off the wings & both arms before either the MH or RH went down!:

Arms first!

Naturally, the reason why this isn’t normal to do is because it invites not only the LA’s dispels quite early on, but also invites mass seduce from both arms whilst there are still heads alive. But we made it fairly smooth, with very little death (partly thanks to having 12 runners, and thus the luxury of getting Heals during mass sed), and finished the run with everyone intact…

rusa hits level 176~!

Woohoo! Level 176!!!

I also did a fun pair of CBPQs with marksman xBowtjuhNL, shadower Soblet, & buccaneer ABuckAnEar. This was the first CBPQ experience for both xBowtjuhNL and Soblet, so they got to learn the ropes alongside ABuckAnEar & myself, who were both more experienced:

ABuckAnEar, xBowtjuhNL, Soblet, & rusa @ CBPQ stage 1

I tried a @dpm 15 test during the third & final stage of the PQ, with SE, SI, MW20, Echo, & Cider, as my first-ever CBPQ @dpm test:

rusa, CBPQ stage 3, @dpm 15 test w/ SE, SI, Echo, Cider, & MW20

2.9M DPM ain’t half bad! Of course, a lot of that is cleave damage from hitting the Imperial Guards, but still pretty good, especially considering that we had neither Armour Crash nor Dispel to get rid of Core Blaze’s WDEF-up buffs.

I also tried a @dpm 25 test in a Zakum run, this time with just SE, MW20, Echo, & Cider:

rusa @dpm 25 @ Zak w/ SE, Echo, Cider, & MW20

Just cresting the 2.0M DPM mark! I’m fairly satisfied with that for a very realistic & lengthy DPM test.

And of course, there’s the Neo Tokyo shit!! Like our main guy, the NT boss to begin all NT bosses, Bergamot! We love a Bergamot, because it gives an amount of EXP that is comparable to Zakum — about ≈80% of a Zakum — and yet:

Of course, there are downsides too: it’s less accessible than Zakum in terms of pre-quests, in terms of sheer level required to get EXP, & in terms of defences needed to survive the boss’s attacks — plus, it’s probably worse (although certainly not terrible) than Zakum for pCoin generation. Nevertheless, I enjoy being able to do Bergamot due to my level, quest progress, and defensive capabilities, so here’s a screenshot of one of many duo Bergamots that I’ve been doing with shadower (and my Maple wife) Harlez (VigiI):

rusa & Harlez vs. Bergamot

You know, a crane vessel. A giant evil futuristic Japanese robot. All that shit.

I, along with nightlord CoffeeSan and bowmaster Flurri (SecretIy), also got to help out markswoman Paragax with their first Bergamot run ever!:

Helping Paragax w/ their first time Bergamotting

A first Bergamot run is always a big event, thanks to Berga more-or-less constantly threatening to dispel and/or slay the player should they neglect to pay enough attention or to dodge its attacks…

In another Bergamot run, with Harlez, bowmaster xRook (misandrist), nightlord Masachan, and shadower Tomoonz (BubbaBoii)[3], I witnessed Bergamot drop its chair for the first time:

Witnessing my first Bergamot chair drop…

Wowie~! Unfortunately for me, I lost the roll ;~;

And finally, after that particular pair of Bergamots, I also did a pair of NMMs with Masachan, Tomoonz, & bowmaster DeepWood:

Masachan, Tomoonz, DeepWood, & rusa vs. NMM

You’d be surprised; especially with Hamstring, Rush makes for a perfectly good pin here. Between that, buffing everyone with HB/IW (not to mention my own self-buffs), and trying to zerk without dying to that damn red claw attack, NMM is quite the intense babysitting session for me. x)

Footnotes for “Wooza”

  1. [↑] Although this monster is called Horntail's Right Hand in the game data (read: String.wz), the game doesn’t actually expose this information, because boss monsters don’t get nametags in-game. Thus, it’s commonly known as right arm, or simply RA for short. Using arm instead of hand also helps prevent conflict with Horntail's Head C, commonly known as right head, or RH for short.

  2. [↑] This is worth expounding upon. The situation — at least, in MapleLegends in particular — is very simple: there are a lot of bishops, and yet, almost none of them intend to do bosses. It seems surprising that such a vast segment of MapleLegends’s PC population is comprised of bishops, and yet it’s so damn hard to get one to come do [insert boss here] with you, but it’s less surprising than it seems at first blush. The vast segment of that very bishop population is dedicated to bare reproduction, in the economic sense.

    I’ve just used the word “economic”, so the first thing that comes to mind is, naturally, meso-generation — regardless of how inflationary (e.g. farming raw mesos and/or assets that can be liquidated into mesos via NPCs) or not-as-inflationary (e.g. selling leech) it is. However, other activities are similarly reproductive, like levelling up PCs via leech (whether or not it’s self-leech), card-hunting for Monster Book Rings, using the bishop to help complete quests for another character, and so on. This is an example of what I mean by “bare reproduction”: the bishop is reduced to virtually a “mule”, as the soul of the bishop is divested from its material form — the PC is no longer “played” for its own sake, but rather, merely “used” to reproduce the playing of other PCs. Most gameplay activity in MapleStory is reproductive to at least some extent, but we like to think that the “better part” of what we do is, at its core, a kind of role-playing: we play as a character, and our goals & aspirations are oriented around that character — reproduction is self-reproduction (in the narrow sense of the PC reproducing itself), and to some extent, the reproduction of our immediate friends & allies with whom we party (unless you’re playing ironman or something).

    I’m in no way attempting to say that this is how all bishops are played, of course. The point is simply that bishop “mains” (those who play bishop as their main character) are difficult to come by, despite there being so many bishops, simply because most of those bishops are too busy performing bare reproductive tasks. Fighting bosses as a bishop is thus not typically desirable, largely because it’s considered economically inefficient for bare reproductive purposes, but also likely because of some stigma around the role of the bishop in boss settings. The simple fact is that bishops are never able to dispense truly impressive damage outputs, even if some very high-level, experienced, and well-geared bishops can do some pretty impressive stuff. If all there is to life (in MapleStory bosses) is damage, then this is inevitably disappointing.

    Nevertheless, as somewhat of a bishop main myself (although a STR bishop at that, which is just a bit different…), my view is more optimistic in its seriousness. If the attackers are the sword in the hands of the party, then the bishop forms the internal organs — the soma — of the party. Without the bishop, the party is nothing more than brute mechanism, with immense destructive potential, but also with no way to realise it. The task of what I only half-jokingly like to call “babysitting” is, in many cases, immensely important, and it is — in my opinion — a shame that it isn’t glorified to nearly the extent that @dpm tests are. So, you know, the next time that you see someone joining adventuring parties as an active bishop, maybe spare ’em a fame or two.

  3. [↑] Don’t get it twisted: Tomoonz & Masachan, similar as they may appear to the eye, are not the same person — they’re brothers.



My woodsmaster capreolina back @ it again w/ the Zak @ it again


methpipe: All you need are the two Ms : Meth and Maple

Okayama: hot sexual steamy neti pots. snnnrrt