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rangifer’s diary: pt. xcvii

The Oddjobs damage calculator gets a new feature

Wowza! Remember the damage calculator on the Oddjobs website? I’ve used it for this diary many times, crunching numbers… Well, I admit to not having actively developed it for like, I don’t know, almost two years now?? Sheesh. It was never “totally complete”, and continues to lack features to this day, but it has certainly been usable and served its purpose. Nevertheless, I always had things in mind to add to it or fix, and I never really got around to it.

Until now! I’ve gone back and added just one nifty feature that will hopefully make it easier & more productive to use: the ability to save, load, export, & import calculator configurations. The calculator has a lot of inputs, and fiddling around with them can take a while — especially because of the work necessary to even know what values should be put into the calculator in the first place. Furthermore, if you want to share your calculator usage with someone else, it used to be that the best way to do this was probably… screenshots. Ew. Well, no longer! You can export in a JSON format!! The interface visually looks a bit like this:

The save/load/export/import interface of the Oddjobs damage calculator

The “Save as” button will prompt you for a name, and save the current configuration with that name in localStorage. The “Save” button works similarly, but only works if there’s already a name associated with the current configuration (if there is one, you’ll see it in the “Save/load” interface), so that it doesn’t have to prompt for a name every time. The “Load” button can load configurations from localStorage, by name. The “Delete” button allows deleting configurations from localStorage, by name. The “Export” button allows exporting the current configuration to a local JSON file. And finally, the “Import” button allows importing a previously-exported configuration from a local JSON file.

The JSON that it emits looks something like this (this is just the default configuration):

{"stats":{"str":4,"dex":4,"int":4,"luk":4},"totalWatk":1,"totalMatk":4,"echo":0,"mastery":0.1,"skillDmgMulti":1,"skillBasicAtk":10,"skillLines":1,"critProb":0,"critDmg":0,"clazz":0,"level":30,"wepType":30,"goodAnimProb":0.6,"attack":0,"spell":0,"speed":6,"spellBooster":0,"eleAmp":1,"eleBoost":0,"eleWep":0,"eleChargeType":0,"eleChargeDmg":1,"eleChargeLevel":1,"caActive":false,"caDmg":104,"caLevel":1,"caOrbs":1,"zerkActive":false,"zerkDmg":1,"enemyWdef":0,"enemyMdef":0,"eleSus":1,"enemyLevel":1,"enemyCount":1,"hitOrd":1}

To make it more readable, we can run it through jq .:

{
  "stats": {
    "str": 4,
    "dex": 4,
    "int": 4,
    "luk": 4
  },
  "totalWatk": 1,
  "totalMatk": 4,
  "echo": 0,
  "mastery": 0.1,
  "skillDmgMulti": 1,
  "skillBasicAtk": 10,
  "skillLines": 1,
  "critProb": 0,
  "critDmg": 0,
  "clazz": 0,
  "level": 30,
  "wepType": 30,
  "goodAnimProb": 0.6,
  "attack": 0,
  "spell": 0,
  "speed": 6,
  "spellBooster": 0,
  "eleAmp": 1,
  "eleBoost": 0,
  "eleWep": 0,
  "eleChargeType": 0,
  "eleChargeDmg": 1,
  "eleChargeLevel": 1,
  "caActive": false,
  "caDmg": 104,
  "caLevel": 1,
  "caOrbs": 1,
  "zerkActive": false,
  "zerkDmg": 1,
  "enemyWdef": 0,
  "enemyMdef": 0,
  "eleSus": 1,
  "enemyLevel": 1,
  "enemyCount": 1,
  "hitOrd": 1
}

Cool, right? Have fun with it, and remember that you can find the code here, file issues here, and even submit pull/merge requests here! [:

palmolive

In the previous diary entry, my permarogue panolia did the Papulatus prequests. Because osslockers (Ossyria-locked characters of the Ossyrians guild, which is a member of the Suboptimal alliance) cannot party with 4th-jobbed characters, panolia makes a great choice of “osslock Pap mule” (LOL): even if she gets to an arbitrarily high level, she will always be able to party with osslockers, as she is permanently 1st-jobbed. Plus, being pure LUK means that I have decent enough WACC to hit Papulatus’s 1st body easily, and even enough to hit its 2nd body — albeit somewhat inconsistently, and with some trouble. I also have no real issue surviving: the only thing that threatens to slay me is its 2nd body touch-attacking me, for which I generally have dragon knight yeIlo’s (bak2monke, snakewave, VAPORWAVE) HB to keep me alive, and perhaps more importantly, I don’t have to touch it at all — I can just hit it from afar with my claw, and duck down (or more likely, Dark Sight) if it gets too close.

So, Pap I did, with yeIlo & osslock ranger Mekhane (Sunken)!:

panolia, yeIlo, & Mekhane vs. Papu first body

Here’s a screenshot from another such run, this time with yeIlo & outland chief dit ULTRAdragon7 (DRAGONWEAZLE):

panolia, ULTRAdragon7, & yeIlo vs. Papu second body

I had already been thinking about using some of my Neo Tokyo coins on my darksterity knight rusa to craft Magic Throwing Knife (MTK), so I gave it a go, so that panolia might have some fancy stars to hit Papu with!:

Crafting an MTK for the first time!

Yes, you read that right: one hundred million (100M) mesos. And a bunch of other shit. Yikes. I guess that’s just what it takes to make the most powerful stars in the game! The good news is, if I ever need to liquidate it, I can just sell the set of stars to a nightlord…

Viquloque

Speaking of osslock-friendly bossing, I also did some APQing with the osslock folx on my vicloc dagger spearwoman d34r~! Here, I’m fighting Grog alongside osslock ranger Mekhane (Sunken, MarshalNemo), osslock dragon knight yeIlo (bak2monke, snakewave, VAPORWAVE), outland chief dit ULTRAdragon7 (DRAGONWEAZLE), as well as stargobyebye and NickGG:

Mekhane, d34r, yeIlo, ULTRAdragon7, stargobyebye, & NickGG vs. Grog

And again, this time with STRginner Gumby (daggerknight, Jonathan) and osslock WK Buppoon (Bushroom, Buwwon, Buccon):

d34r, Gumby, Mekhane, yeIlo, & Buppoon vs. Grog

I also did a bit of FoGging with dagger sader inject (inhale, vvvv, Pitiful), to show him The Way Of The FoG™, including how it can be pretty good for mesos & NX!:

inject & d34r @ FoG

On my vicloc clericlet d33r, I attended a GM event that I had never seen before! It’s… a snowball race! Or something!:

d33r at the snowball GM event

The basic idea is simple. Attendees are split evenly into two teams: the “maple” team (which is on top), and the “story” team (which is on the bottom). These teams compete to see who can roll their snowball to the finish line first. You can basic-attack the snowball to make it roll further towards the finish line, although you have to be careful not to get too close to the snowball in doing so — touching it teleports you back to the beginning! On the left, each team gets their own snowman, and basic-attacking your snowman will sabotage the other team’s snowball, causing it to be unmovable (showing only “MISS”es) for a brief period any time that the snowman is “knocked over” by a sufficient number of basic-attacks.

At first, I kinda was just standing there and hitting the snowman to sabotage the other team. Then, someone pointed out that sabotaging really just makes the game slower, delaying the time until one of the teams wins. So I pulled out my trusty Aluminum Baseball Bat and started doing some snowball-whacking…:

d33r hitting the snowball

Aaaand we lost. Oh, well…

Back over at FoG, I also did some FoGging with my vicloc husband xXCrookXx (Lvl1Crook, Level1Crook) the bandit…:

d34r & xXCrookXx @ FoG

And, little did he know, I was preparing for something special: a surprise vicloc party, for d34r’s level 90 and d33r’s level 70!! I even recorded video of the party, and you can watch an edited version of it on the Oddjobs YouTube™ channel here!!:

d33r & d34r’s vicloc party (feat. VigiI)!! [YouTube™]

Here’s d34r at the first leg of the party, hitting level 90 at — you guessed it — FoG~!:

d34r hits level 90~!!!!!

I then made everyone do the Line 3 Construction Site B2 jump quest, so that I could level d33r at the map that she’s most intimately familiar with: B2 ⟨Subway Depot⟩!:

d33r hits level 70~!!!!!

I also had promised everyone party favours, so it was now that I laid out the party favour baskets :P

Party favours

(These are Victoria’s Amorian Baskets; scrumptious, and great for your health! For ten minutes, at least…)

I don’t remember exactly how, but the conversation drifted to vicloc marriage, including the long-anticipated — but never-materialised — marriage of d33r. I had offered vicloc I/L gish VigiI (Harlez, Murhata) my hand in marriage, but never following through on it ended up muddying the waters a bit. Maybe I wanted to marry vicloc assassin pilk (Taima, Hanyou, Nyanners, Boymoder) instead??? After all, I was already married to VigiI’s shadower Harlez on my darksterity knight rusa… and married to pilk’s STRginner Taima on my STR bishop cervid……

In any case, as it turned out, I already had the engagement ring crafted & in my inventory, waiting for the right moment! So, the moment was now!!:

d33r & VigiI get engaged

d33r × VigiI

The wedding cake

<3

Wait, so… d33r is married now. That means that she can APQ!! Let’s get it!!!:

d33r’s first APQ: stage 3

d33r’s first APQ was with Flow’s premier marksman Level1Crook, as well as fellow Flow member Duhm (Jexxler, Jhex, 13ow) the STRginner, as seen above. Oh, and here’s a little action from everyone’s favourite stage — stage 5:

d33r’s first APQ: stage 5

Anywho, speaking of my vicloc characters, I commissioned character art of d34r from PrismIridescent (PrismLychee, Prixmite) some time ago. I’m excited to show it to you now!!:

PrismIridescent — untitled portrait of d34r

PrismIridescent — untitled portrait of d34r

I specifically used d34r’s red scarf look as a reference, rather than her usual giant black wings look, as per xXCrookXx’s request. Naturally, her shield is quite prominent in the image, but you can also see the hilt of her dagger in the bottom-left! I really like how the gloves came out, because I think that the Armor Gloves that she wears are a big part of the look. :D

I also attended another wedding on my vicloc characters, grubbing for premium wedding rewards… 😈

Sunken × MarshalNemo

Congrats to our STR priest Sunken (Mekhane) on getting hitched… to themselves!

And finally, I was also there on d34r to see vicloc crossbowman Thinks (OmokTeacher, Slime) log in!! :O We did The Deep Forest of Patience steps 3 and 4 for a little JQing fun [:

Thinks & d34r get a pile of blue flowers

Torn hail

O YA BB IT’S TORN HAILIN’ HORN TAILIN’ TIME @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

I admit, I’ve not been doing much Horntail these days. Not by choice, really — I do love me some Horntail — but more due to situational factors. Horntail is still a very excellent source of EXP and moola (for me, at least…), so I signed up for another of Diggy’s impromptu HT runs on my darksterity knight rusa! Again as seduce target!! Oh boy!!!

Although I may have been the only sed target, I was far from being the only DK in attendance…:

DK party!

Oups! All DKs! Although I would ordinarily be annoyed by running with other DKs because I’m tryna see my own hit-markers, in this case it’s nice, because I don’t have to be so diligent about keeping HB/IW up on my party members whilst also being very careful for seduce.

Sedding first prehead

I’ve mentioned before that HT’s legs are a pain point for me when I’m sed target. Thankfully, the legs are the first to go down, and they “only” have 130M HP total, but the pain point is basically simple: the legs are capable of stunning me. On its own, that’s no big deal usually, but the problem arises when I get stunned, and then that left arm starts doing its naughty purple finger wag whilst I’m still stunned in place. Now I can’t move to a rope, and worst case scenario, I’m right-walk-seduced into the tail. That’s not great, and it probably kills me — probably. Of course, eventually I realised that if I’m quick enough, it’s not a big deal so long as my Hero’s Will is up (or I’m Holy Shielded, of course, but that much was obvious). So, here I am attacking (and hitting three targets, mind you!) whilst the legs are still alive…:

rusa attacking from the left as sed target

You can kinda see the watermelon hat of my bishop helloooo in the image above.

For these two runs, we did right side first, so here I am, seduced on the right side’s upper rope:

Seduced on right side, roped

My instinct has been to grab the rope here, because it’s conveniently right next to where I attack from. Unfortunately, this did get me killed once. I kinda should have known better, as I have died this way before: seduce, 1⧸1, my bishop has a hard time getting to me because I’m way up here stuck on this rope, and wings decide to flap and kill me with a touch attack. This time was especially brutal because the seduce & 1⧸1 were nearly at the same time, giving me almost no time to react, even assuming that I could pick out both animations simultaneously. In my defence, this was my only death, which is still fewer deaths than some other people in the run… [cough cough]

Anywho, it seems to me that grabbing rope is not really the move here, usually. Getting myself stuck in wing-slap range is just a poor prospect, when HT’s ranged/magical attacks do so much less damage to me (compared to touching any body part, wings or otherwise) thanks to Elemental Resistance. Instead, my current best strategy is simply to run to the right when I see the seduce animation:

Seduced on right side, not roped

This avoids the problem of wing-slapping, and avoids the problem of not being close to my bishop. It would seem that the worst-case scenario is getting right-seduced, simply because the right-side falling rocks are obviously much closer, and might threaten to kill me if I get 1⧸1’d early on, or I don’t manage to Will before a 1⧸1 (after getting hit by something else, presumably). But this is also the situation where my bishop has the easiest time saving my sorry ass: I’m just one Teleport away, at most. I’ve had good success with this so far, and I’ll be sure to write here if I manage to die when doing this!

Branches for Eternos

Some folx in my alliance — myself included — started noticing a few… interesting smegas from an individual by the name of Eternos. They were asking islanders for their Tree Branches. At first, after seeing just one short smega, I assumed that they were perhaps just getting a character through Maple Island, and wanted to complete one of Mai’s training quests, but had too much INT and not enough IRL INT to know that they could just use Three Snails[1] to kill stuff. After inject (inhale, vvvv, Pitiful) talked to them via whisper, however, it became clear that they needed way more Tree Branches than that. Like, way more. We’re talkin’ like 4k Tree Branches in total! So, perhaps they had some other quest(s) in mind, and/or some kind of crafting involving Processed Woods…? But no, they insisted that they needed these Tree Branches on Maple Island. Upon being pressed, Eternos refused to divulge any further details, simply claiming that it was “for an experiment”, and that said experiment was a secret that they could not share with anyone.

Well, I decided to help Eternos out with those branches after I saw a few smegas. After all, what am I gonna do with a bunch of Tree Branches sitting in my inventory?

ozotoceros & Eternos

I regret not pressing Eternos further, to be honest. I could have withheld my 1.4k Tree Branches, only giving them up on the condition that he spill the beans! Alas, I did not…:

ozotoceros & Eternos negotiate shady tree branch dealings

And so, Eternos remains an eternal mystery……

Footnotes for “Branches for Eternos”

  1. [↑] A vaguely recent update to MapleLegends changed the Three Snails skill so that it no longer requires snail shell ETC items. It now only consumes MP, making it far easier to make use of.

all says

In the previous diary entry, my daggermit alces advanced to the honourable rank of daggerlord!! And now she’s back, for even more stabby-stab stabbing!!!

But, before the stabby-stab stabbing, there’s some important business to take care of… Like getting a Horntail Necklace (HTP)!:

alces chillin’ inside HT legs

What. You’ve never chilled inside of Horntail’s legs, reclining on your Sky-blue Wooden Chair? You should really try it some time.

At the end of all of this ✨advanced relaxation✨, I was able to loot not one, not two, not three, but four HTPs. I actually relooted every time (except on the last one, of course), and this last one was — believe it or not — the best of the bunch:

alces’s HTP

It’s uhm… it’s okay! The stats are basically average, and the AVOID and WDEF are both really bad, but… I certainly ain’t gonna buy more AFK HTP runs just to fix that. 🙄 I’ll take it.

After sitting around and fiddling with a much-too-messy text file wherein I attempted to calculate my hypothetical base stats, total stats, and raw damage range with my 19⧸5⧸4⧸5 CHC versus my 8 WATK PGC, and then fiddling with a bunch of APRs, I was finally all set! I had made the transition from CHC to PGC, and was now proudly brandishing my HTP and my Flow’s Dragon Khanjar!! Time to see it in action at CDs with INTlaw Lvl1Crook (Level1Crook, xXCrookXx) & dagger dragon knight daggerknight (Gumby, Jonathan)…:

alces, Lvl1Crook, & daggerknight trio CDs on GM buffs

Oh, and of course, now that alces is 4th job, it’s time for some 4th job quests! I love doing the class-specific 4th job quests, as they’re often a lot of fun, and have some special ✨exclusivity✨ that comes with being class-specific. Somewhat unfortunately for alces, NLs are a bit lacking when it comes to these kinds of quests. Out of all NL skills that aren’t MW or Hero’s Will (as these two are universal to 4th-job classes), only the following four are not available by default (that is, immediately after job advancement):

Wow! Four quests?? Well… not so fast. The first two of the above list are dropped in ENPQ (see below) and Zakum, respectively. That leaves just two quests, of which, one gives me a skill that I can’t even use (viz. Ninja Storm). But hey — two quests is better than zero quests! So, it’s time to do the more important of the two: the Ninja Ambush questline.

For this questline, I was instructed to visit my 1st-job instructor, the Dark Lord, at the Thieves’ Hideout in Kerning City. There, the Dark Lord had me do something vaguely reminiscent of my own 3rd job advancement: go to a special map, and fight some clones of the Dark Lord:

The Night Warrior

These clones (called “Dark Lord’s Disciple”s) are not really that stronk. They’re on par with maybe… Snowman? But actually weaker in a few ways:

alces vs. Dark Lord’s Disciples

I only had to kill five of them, so once that was all finished up, I headed back to the Thieves’ Hideout and got Ninja Ambush from the Dark Lord!:

Ninja Ambush has pre-requisites‽

Wait a sec… It has pre-requisites? I need level ≥5 Shadow Shifter?? Alright, time to start levelling Shifter. I know that Ninja Ambush doesn’t do very much damage at all, but it is a multi-target attack (up to 6 targets at once), so it should at least be good for card-hunting, right? Worth it.

Well, that does leave the Ninja Storm questline. For that, I would have to travel to Ludibrium and find the Unknown Thief:

alces meets the Unknown Thief

Hmm… Unknown Thief? I dunno, he sure looks an awful lot like my 2nd-job instructor……

In any case, the Unknown Thief’s first task for me is simple: go to Top of the Hill just outside of the guild headquarters in Orbis, and touch the magical maple leaf at the tippy-top of the building. There’s just one challenge: I would need to Flash Jump with some level of precision in order to get up that high:

alces Flash Jumping at Top of the Hill

And there it is!:

The maple leaf at the top of Top of the Hill

After taking the magical maple leaf vibes back to the Unknown Thief, he had another task in mind for me: to acquire the Griffey Wind, the Thanatos’s Black Tornado, and the Boogie’s Cursed Whirlwind. For the black tornado, I simply headed down the clocktower to fight Thanatos face-to-face:

alces vs. Thanatos

For the Griffey Wind, of course, I would need to fight Griffey. I then realised that I had the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone — I mean, complete two quests with one Griffey. The Strong Will questline, which awards access to the Hero’s Will skill, also requires getting a special-sauce quest ETC item from Griffey — namely, the Ragged Wristband. So, I headed to Aqua Road to start that questline:

Shadow Shifter!

Oh, yes. Shifter is lots of fun! I’m really enjoying it so far, especially since I, you know, don’t have stance, but my only serious attack is Double Stab

In any case, before I go getting Ragged Wristbands, I would need to complete the first part of the Hero’s Will questline: collecting 40 Pieces of Courage in Warped Dimension:

alces in Warped Dimension

Entering the Warped Dimension map requires spending one Miniature Pianus, but it has a timer for just five minutes. The monsters here (which are Bone Fish, Sharks, and Bombing Fish Houses/Gobies) all drop Pieces of Courage, but the drop rate isn’t stellar. In the end, I think I used half a dozen Miniature Pianuses to get my 40 Pieces of Courage, for an average rate of about seven Pieces of Courage per entry.

With all 40 collected, it was time to talk to Eurek, since he’s the kind of nerd alchemist who would know how to forge a Mithril Wristband. Eurek was very reluctant to assist me, knowing that this wristband was for Carta. I accidentally declined to continue the quest once, which got me this dialogue from Eurek:

Good decision. Sea witch Carta is evil. She’s sinned. She says she has her reasons, but sin is sin. It’s not a good idea to deal with her.

But Eurek can be convinced, so long as I provide the Ragged Wristband, as well as the ten Mithril Plates to reinforce it with. So, it’s time to find a Griffey:

alces vs. Griffey

And just a few Double Stabs later, there’s the Ragged Wristband!:

alces got the Ragged Wristband!

But wait… where’s the Griffey Wind? Hmm… I guess I have to kill another Griffey? Unfortunately for me, someone was killing all the Griffeys, so I would have to come back later. In the meantime, though, I could use this wristband to get Hero’s Will!:

alces gets access to Hero’s Will

This will be really useful when I start fighting bosses that seduce. So, you know, never. But hey — it’s a fun quest, and I get to stare at the Hero’s Will icon in my “Skills” menu!

I did eventually find another Griffey, after camping one channel for an hour or so. And that one did drop the Griffey Wind, so I was now two for three on the Chaser of Darkness quest:

Chaser of Darkness

That just leaves the Boogie’s Cursed Whirlwind. Sounds easy, right? Just head to ZMM’s lair and kill some Jr. Boogies until it drops! Wait… no. It’s not Jr. Boogie’s Cursed Whirlwind, it’s Boogie’s Cursed Whirlwind. That’s Boogie Sr., to you! And there’s only one way to find a Sr. Boogie: fighting Zakum’s first body. Hummm. Well, I’m not exactly a Zak attacker, but maybe I can do something similar to how I bought a Zakum Certificate to get my CotDS. Unfortunately, there are a few issues with that:

All of that being said, getting a Boogie’s Cursed Whirlwind is not out of the question for alces. With enough instruction, I could feasibly get a Zakum party to cooperate with me, provided that I pay them accordingly. And certain skills can make it easier; like I said, Smokescreen would allow me to walk onto Zak’s body if it became necessary to do so. Furthermore, Monster Magnet is a great way to move mobs around without risking the possibility of dealing damage to them in doing so. However, I haven’t made any attempts yet, as it’s quite an exotic request: Ninja Storm is just not an important skill for NLs (yes, even for NLs that use claws and thus can actually make any use of this skill…), and any NL that is high-level enough to desire such a skill can probably get a Boogie’s Cursed Whirlwind by simply… running Zak as an ordinary attacker until they see one drop. Furthermore, as I said, the skill is useless to me because I don’t use claws. I do want to have it in my skillbook, though, and I’d also like the quest EXP, so I think I’ll get it some day! Just not today…

So… yeah. I did one NL quest, plus the Hero’s Will quest, and that’s about it for alces. 🫤 That’s okay, though, because alces has something even more important to do: card-hunting! You’re telling me every ring tier is +3 stats (STR, DEX, LUK) and a MAXHP boost?? Let’s get it!!

I like starting with Victoria Island, so let’s head to Mushroom Garden to get the Orange Mushroom set:

Orange Mushroom card get!

…Which took longer than you might think. Then again, I’m just Double Stabbing everything, so I suppose any set is slow…

And, of course, Damp Forest for the Octopus set…:

Octopus card get!

…And the Jr. Necki set:

Jr. Necki card get!

tDFUNVI makes for an easy Green Mushroom set:

Green Mushroom card get!

The Bubbling set was surprisingly easy!:

Bubbling cards get!

I was then joined by dagger sader inject (inhale, vvvv, Pitiful), who offered to help me card-hunt in exchange for any NX cards that dropped! We headed to the East Rocky Mountain region for Axe Stumps…:

Axe Stump card get!

…And Dark Stumps…:

Dark Stump card get!

…And Dark Axe Stumps:

Dark Axe Stump card get!

We then headed back into the Kerning City subways to the Transfer Area, for perhaps the single most obnoxious card set of Victoria Island — especially if you, god forbid, are using a dagger — namely, Stirges:

Stirge card get!

With that out of the way, we crawled into the Ant Tunnel for the Horny Mushroom set…:

Horny Mushroom card get!

…And the Evil Eye set:

Evil Eye card get!

And with the Evil Eye set all wrapped up, I was greeted by a very welcome lightbulb above my head!:

💡

Tier 2 for alces~!:

T2 ring get~!

With that, it’s time to head back to Perion for the Wild Boar set…:

Wild Boar card get!

…And the Fire Boar set…:

Fire Boar card get!

…And the Copper Drake set:

Copper Drake card get!

The Copper Drake set was more difficult than I remember it being on vicloc, but maybe we were just having a bit of poor luck. We took a break mid-hunt to play a lengthy game of “Name That Equip”:

inject & alces playing “Name That Equip”

A hint

Sounds a bit like a sturdy vertical post often used to control road traffic.

The correct answer

Brown Pollard. (“Prown Bollard”.)

one of the only cool lookin xbows

A hint

It is a “cross”bow, but to cross what? Perhaps a certain kind of terrain.

The correct answer

Mountain Crossbow.

HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

A hint

C’mon, you know this one. Why are you looking for hints?

The correct answer

Fan.

…And many more. Ahem, anyways — back to business. Over at TDFUNIX, I hunted the rest of the Curse Eye set:

Curse Eye card get!

Still in Ellinia, we both headed to Downstairs at the Forest to do the Lupin set:

Lupin card get!

Next up was Zombie Lupins, which are better hunted down in the sewers of Kerning City:

Zombie Lupin card get!

On the way to Mushmom, we hunted the Iron Hog set:

Iron Hog card get!

Iron Boars, however, can only be found in Perion:

Iron Boar card get!

Still hopping around Vic Island, I headed back into the Kerning City subway complex to get my last two Wraith cards:

Wraith card get!

And to the very bottom of the Ant Tunnel, for the Drake set:

Drake card get!

Back to the Kerning City swamps for the Croco set, in the Dyle map:

Croco card get!

Over in Ellinia, I actually finished the Malady set, if you can believe it:

Malady card get!

I only attempted the Malady set because I had 3⧸5 already. Although they at least have more favourable hitboxes than Jr. Neckis, these broom-mounted witches are often more trouble than they’re worth. At least, if you’re Double-Stabbing. In any case, I finished the last two cards quickly enough, which brought me to the Golem’s Temple region of Henesys to do the Stone Golem set:

Stone Golem card get!

For Dark Stone Golems & Mixed Golems, I thought it best to FoG:

Dark Stone Golem card get!

Mixed Golem card get!

Once I had finished these two sets, we arrived at an important decision. You see, normally I like to lump Red Drakes in with the “not-so-difficult” part of Vic Island, a.k.a. the first region that I like to clear when card-hunting on a character. The reason is not so much because of the actual difficulty of the Red Drake set; indeed, it’s kinda ass. Red Drakes only spawn in one (1) map in the entire game — viz. Dangerous Valley II — and that map is best described as “oh, you want a Flaming Feather on Victoria Island? FUCK you”. Seriously, this map (not to mention the Red Drake’s droptable…) absolutely blows chunks. Nevertheless, when outlining the “not-so-difficult” part of Vic Island, I like to do it based on hard geographical distinctions: all of Vic Island, minus the Deep Sleepywood & Excavation Site regions. Simple enough, right? Well, Dangerous Valley II is situated in what is essentially “just Perion”; it’s certainly not part of the Excavation Site region. Arguably, you could section off the southern region of Perion as the “Warning Street” or “Perion Dungeon” region, and geographically exclude Red Drakes by simply excluding that region. I’m not really opposed to this (hence the dilemma), and also it doesn’t really matter (who cares about the geography?), but one issue is that this excludes tBLIII and tBLV, which are both good Fire Boar maps. You might get Fire Boars anyways from doing Copper Drakes, though.

Anyways, the point is: we opted for pain. And suffering.

Red Drake card get!

Wow. A Red Drake card?!?!?

We raced to 5⧸5 (as we both arrived here with 0⧸5 each), and in the end, I found inject’s last card — the 10th card of this lengthy suffering campaign:

alces finds the last Red Drake card for inject

Alrighty, that’s about enough of that Vic Island shit. Actually, I still need to do the Florina Beach sets, but I forgot about that for now. I’ll get back to it soon. For now, I’ll start soloing the Nihal Desert card sets — starting with Cactus!:

Cactus card get!

Followed swiftly by diaper cactus!:

Jr. Cactus card get!

Then the snaky guys with the bells:

Bellamoa card get!

The scarf lizards:

Scarf Plead card get!

The earmuff lizards:

Earplug Plead card get!

You know, all this card-hunting isn’t getting me much EXP at all. But I wanna level up. Actually… I can do Jiaoceng prequests now, right? Just gotta be 4th job! I guess I’ll do that — I already killed plenty of Dutra Suppository monks to get to 4th job in the first place, anyways… Time to kill some of the bronze ones:

The Secret of the Sutra Depository

And them Silver Spearmens:

alces vs. Silver Spearmen

As you can see, I’ve started experimenting with a semi-NX look that shows off the Dark Pirate Blouse and Dark Pirate Skirt that I wear. I think it looks neato! But I really gotta ditch the glasses.

In any case, I grinded 5–6 F for a while to do the penultimate prequest, during which I hit level 121~!:

alces hits level 121~!

You know what that means — it’s Ninja Ambush time! I used a 4th-job SPR to reset the lone point of Venomous Star that I had, so that I could allocate my total of 6 SP into Shifter 5 (just enough to unlock Ambush), and Ambush 1. Time to test it out!!!:

alces trying out Ninja Ambush for the first time…

Okay, so, the damage is indeed not good, as I expected. 721 might look very underwhelming, but consider the fact that this is a damage-over-time attack, meaning that each affected target is actually taking multiple such hits. Plus, it ignores WDEF, and I have no disadvantage w.r.t. its damage when compared to a non-odd NL. There’s just… one… problem: it can’t last-hit. Indeed, it doesn’t affect boss monsters, either. Despite the fact that the damage does not scale with the target’s MAXHP (unlike e.g. Shadow Web), and despite the fact that it doesn’t debuff monsters (unlike e.g. Shadow Web, which stuns its target(s)), it inexplicably cannot lower monster HP below 1, and cannot affect boss monsters. So, you know, I thought that maybe I could use this for card-hunting? Or maybe last-hitting when SW training?? (Not that I desire any more SW training…) But nope. Totally, 100%, completely, entirely useless in every conceivable way. Fucking hell…

Well, back to card-hunting, I guess. I did the pants cactus set:

Royal Cactus card get!

And the mere cat set:

Meercat card get!

I was fortunate enough to interrupt this Nihal Desert card-hunting with some Papal Lettuce duos alongside shadower Harlez (VigiI, Murhata)!:

alces & Harlez vs. Papu first body

And I finally got the Papu chair on alces~!:

Papu chair get~!

Okay, okay, back to the card hunt. I did the combover bird set:

Kiyo card get!

Those guys with the buckteeth and giant conic hats:

Sand Dwarf card get!

And the reddish puffball set:

Dark Sand Dwarf card get!

I nabbed some GM buffs, and decided that it was time for more 5–6 F suffering to get that level 122~!:

alces hits level 122~!

Oh, and — spoiler alert! — a certain 4th-job warrior whose name may or may not have been daggerknight helped me do ENPQ (El Nath Party Quest) to get Taunt!!:

daggerknight & alces @ ENPQ

It was going a bit slowly, with both of us waving our daggers around in the general direction of these annoying flying Crogs, so I decided to bring in The Big Lucky Guns™ by spamming Blizzard on my I/L archmagelet cervine instead:

daggerknight & cervine @ ENPQ

This was much more efficient. And — much to my pleasant surprise — I realised that I didn’t have Infinity unlocked on cervine yet, so I got that too!!

Taunt acquired!:

alces unlocks Taunt~!

…Ah, yes. Of course. Why wouldn’t Taunt require level ≥10 Shifter? I guess I’ll be putting SP into Taunt later…

In any case, let’s head over to Magatia and keep on truckin’ with the card-huntin’… Here’s a Triple Rumo set:

Triple Rumo card get!

A quicksand guy set:

Desert Giant card get!

I went to Area B-3 of the Alcadno Research Institute to hunt Iron Mutæ, so whilst I was there, I finished off the Rurumo set:

Rurumo card get!

Iron Mutae card get!

And that’s all says for now. [:

Footnotes for “all says”

  1. [↑] The reason that I know that I have to attack the Boogies is because I distinctly recall running Zak before with a nightlord who was trying to get this same quest item. We cleared the entire first run without the item dropping, despite Zakum spawning numerous Boogies. However, the NL was able to get the item on our second run, and — if I recall correctly — the difference was that they made sure to attack the Boogies during round two, either by Avengering into Zak’s body when it summoned Boogies, or by going to the right side of the body when the Boogies randomly walked rightwards (where no one was standing).

    This makes a lot of sense, considering that some other quest items work identically. For example, if you buy Zakum Certificate service, you have to deal ≥1 damage to Zakum’s third body in order for the certs to drop. Furthermore, at the moment that the third body dies, you must be in the same party as the PC who whites Zak’s body (read: whichever PC deals more damage to Zak’s body than any other single PC). The same goes for the other two certificates, Pianus’s Scream, etc. The “being in the same party as the whiter” restriction is a little easier to satisfy, though, because no one is getting EXP at this point, so the party structure can be more fluid; even if it’s a 6-Mapler Zak run, they can just pick someone to kick out of the party so that I can temporarily join, just in case someone whites a Boogie that I would have otherwise gotten a Boogie’s Cursed Whirlwind from.

  2. [↑] If I recall correctly (do correct me if I’m mistaken here), this was not always the case in MapleLegends. At some point, Dark Sight was changed so that it now disables pet autoloot, whereas before, it only disabled manual looting.

MitoAdmita’s level 200 party

I was honoured to attend the level 200 party of bowmaster extraordinaire MitoAdmita of the SURRA guild. Mito has been on my buddylist on my darksterity knight rusa for a while now, and has featured in previous entries of this very diary, after I met him doing some Neo Tokyo bosses. Mito is a really sweet guy, so I was excited to see all of the people lined up at The Cursèd Sanctuary to witness him hitting the maximum level by killing a single Jrog!!:

MitoAdmita’s level 200 party

Pablo hits level 200~!!!!

Congrats again to Pablo on the huge achievement, and I wish you luck with your new character!!

Food of the sinful

I did a little bit of Zakking on my woodsmaster capreolina, including this pair of 4-Mapler Zak runs with nightlord Fury, axe-hero/corsair AndMyAxe/GetSmoked, & bishop popopopop:

capreolina 4-Mapler Zakking w/ Fury, GetSmoked, & popopopop

Huge EXPs…

And, I helped out this random Zakking party with their SE needs. We had a Zakum Certificate (Zak cert) buyer, and very luckily for us, they happened to be a level 120 bishop with level 1 Resurrection, because this happened:

Bishop & bucc: ded

Yes, both our bishop & our buccaneer died. Worse yet, our bishop died again, so we had to TL our buyer(!) so that they could resurrect our bishop again. Even worse yet, our host wasn’t aware of how certificates work (see the footnotes for the “all says” section above), and failed to invite the buyer to our party before Zak’s third body died, so our cert buyer got no cert… We did it right the second round, though, so that’s good, at least……

In any case, capre hit level 147~! Yey!!:

capreolina hits level 147~!

I took a look at my damage range with my PSB equipped, plus Cider, MW20, & Echo of Hero:

Level 147 capreolina, damage range w/ PSB & Cider+MW20+Echo

WHEW, that is just above 0.6k〜8.0k!!

I also did some Zakking on my darksterity knight rusa, like this one where I hit level 178 at the end!!:

rusa hits level 178~!!

I don’t usually like hosting (at least, not with randoms…), but I made an exception so that I could host a pair of Krex runs for marksman Level1Crook’s (xXCrookXx, Lvl1Crook) first time Krexing!:

rusa with Level1Crook @ his first-ever Krex run

Now Level1Crook knows the joys of standing there and holding Ctrl for half an hour at a time, staying awake only to reposition when knocked out of place…

In another Krex run on rusa, I did a sneaky li’l @dpm 5 test on Krex’s right eye, with Echo, MW20, SE, SI, & Cider:

Level 178 rusa, Krex right eye @dpm 5 w/ Echo+MW20+SE+SI+Cider

Cresting the 2M mark 😎

Speaking of >2M DPM, I did a @dpm 25 at Zakum with the same buffs, and got over 2.4M!!:

Level 178 rusa, Zakum @dpm 25 w/ Echo+SE+SI+Cider+MW20

During Zak, nightlord LuckyHunch thought it odd that I would come over to their side (the left side) of Zak body every so often to recast HB etc., but no one ever came over to my side (the right side). So he came over to visit:

always coming to visit our side

And, it wouldn’t be another episode of Bossing With rusa™ without people getting shocked by my HP being 1 inside of Smokescreen, would it?:

drk is ballsy clas XD

I’ve continued doing the Monster Magnet trick when there are ranged attackers in my party:[1]

as the dear [sic] pants for the water so my soul longs after thee

I also did a pair of Jiaoceng (JC) attempts with bowmaster xRook (misandrist) and nightlord Wazu:

Wazu, xRook, & rusa vs. Jiaoceng

The first attempt was a bit sad; I had Echo and popped a MMF at the beginning (meaning that I had it for the entire run, as it lasts for ten minutes), but we still ran out of time before slaying JC. For the second run, both xRook & I used Onyx Apples, and we still just barely didn’t clear. OUF! To this day, I still don’t know how that was even possible. I guess JC was just randomly super jumpy that run…? Oh well.

Oh, you thought I was done showing screenshots of people freaking out at me gigazerking? Well, think again:

yikes

can i lick your wounds

Speaking of paladin Fara (Muguet, Matsheshu), I did a pair of all-melee Nameless Magic Monster runs with her, as well as shadowers Tomoonz and Harlez (VigiI, Murhata):

Tomoonz, rusa, Harlez, & Fara all-melee NMM

With the same group, plus paladin Bomber123, I did Core Blaze Party Quest (CBPQ). During stage 1, we ended up with a bugged Royal Guard that simultaneously failed to consistently do its seduce animation when seducing, and also failed to have an actual cooldown on that seduce skill; as a result, it was sometimes able to seduce completely arbitrarily:

Bugged CBPQ stage 1, w/ rusa, Fara, Tomoonz, Bomber123, & Harlez

This is, needless to say, a pretty nasty bug. Nevertheless, we were able to clear this stage, but we lost Tomoonz! 🫤

In the second stage, I tried my hand at sneaking past the reddish-magenta lasers without them being turned off:

rusa sneaks past some CBPQ lasers~

Cool! I don’t have Teleport, so I suppose I’d have to get even further for this to actually be useful; there are invisible barriers in the above image that you have to Teleport past, if you want to get to the control terminal on the far right.

And, here we are, fighting Core Blaze itself:

rusa, Harlez, Fara, & Bomber123 vs. Core Blaze

I think we had one or two deaths and had to restart, though. So only one run. Still fun and a lot better than zero runs, though. :P

Over in the deep Mushroom Shrine regions of Zipangu, dagger sader inject (inhale, vvvv, Pitiful) and bishop MiIf (Dakota, Skug) inadvertently came across a Black Crow whilst hunting for Dreamy Ghosts:

We found a Black Crow…

I showed up on rusa, and dagger dragon knight daggerknight (Gumby, Kimberly, Jonathan, Mommy) also arrived on the scene. I sent an open invite to come fight the Black Crow into Suboptimal’s alliance chat, and DEX WK SwordFurbs (Yoshis, SwordFurb, Fabiennes) RSVP’d. So, we trioed it:

rusa, daggerknight, & SwordFurbs vs. Black Crow

Huzzah! And no drops, of course. 🙄

I also did some Scargaing (Scar and Targa at the same time), with marksman xBowtjuhNL (PriestjuhNL), markswoman stink3r, nightlord fuzzylotus, and shadower ZippyGoat:

rusa, stink3r, fuzzylotus, xBowtjuhNL, & ZippyGoat Scargaing

A little awkward to deal with Scar+Tar, when we have so many ranged attackers, and either, both, or neither of them may be weapon-cancelled at any given time. But we, you know, made it work:

Scargaing

I also did some duo Scar (not Scarga!) with xBowtjuhNL as well, furthering his search for a suitable Scarlion Hat. I offered to dual-client, taking not just rusa, but also my I/L archmagelet cervine — after all, what am I gonna do during weapon cancels? That’s right, attack on cervine!:

Dual-clienting Scar

Did it help that much? Eh, you know. Maybe not that much — I am a bit weaksauce, and my CL isn’t even maxed. But it was a bit of fun to try it out!

Over in Thailand, I took my STR bishop cervid to fight Rāvaṇa alongside Level1Crook:

cervid & Level1Crook vs. Rav

And, in another Rav fight — this time with Harlez — I hit level 131~!:

cervid hits level 131~!

That’s three more levels of HSh, baby! 😎😎😎

Footnotes for “Food of the sinful”

  1. [↑] misandrist (xRook) is quoting from some LModE translation of Psalm 42:1. Which translation, I’m not sure (there are quite a few), but the KJV (which is in EModE) reads:

    As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

    (In this context, O is the vocative particle.)

    The term hart /hɑ(ɹ)t/ (homophonic with heart) survives into LModE, but is somewhat dated and/or rare, hence the use of deer in later English translations. The term hart (at least, by LModE) refers specifically to male deer, and the female coordinate term is hind /haɪ̯nd/. It’s worth noting, however, that although both hart and deer can be traced directly back to PGmc and, ultimately, PIE, the etymology of hart is much more specific to cervids than deer’s is. Hart is from PGmc *herutaz “stag” (also the source of Dutch hert “deer, cervid; venison”), ultimately from PIE *ḱerh₂- “head; horn”. On the other hand, deer (or rather, dēor) meant “beast; wild animal, typically with four (or more) legs” in OldE, only starting to become associated with cervids by MidE, and finally becoming specialised to the meaning of “cervid” by ModE. The term deer (deere, dere, dier, deor, etc.) was still being used for e.g. ants and fish in EMidE. This is because it entered OldE from PGmc *deuzą “wild animal; beast”, which is probably from something like PIE *dʰewsóm “living creature”, ultimately from *dʰwes- “to breathe; breath”. The etymology of the English animal is similar — from Latin anima “breath; spirit”, also the source of animation, etc. — and indeed, it was exactly the Latinate animal that displaced the native Germanic deor.

    The term cervid is used in English, but only in technical zoological contexts, likely coming from the international scientific family name Cervidae, the taxonomic family of true deer. This is also the origin of my STR bishop cervid’s name. Cervidae is from the Latin cervus “deer, stag”, which has the same ultimate etymology as English hart; that is, PIE *ḱerh₂- “head; horn”. This same PIE root, in combination with PIE *weyk- “to separate; to bend”, is also the source of Latin cervīx “neck, nape” (from the notion of the neck being “where the head bends” or “what separates the head from the body”). This term was then borrowed into English in medical contexts, originally referring to a number of different neck-like structures of the human body. The neck-like structure connecting the uterus to the vagina, then, was the cervīx uterī (English cervix of the uterus), but as other uses of cervix in English fell into disuse, this was shortened to merely cervix, hence the meaning of cervix in English of the 20th century & onwards. So, you know, technically, the MapleLegends players who have mockingly referred to me as “cervix” are actually on to something. God damn it. Good thing they’re illiterate, so they can’t read this and feel vindicated.

TOP SECRET peepy queue

TOP SECRET — PPQ enjoyers only!!

I responded to a cry for assistance from cleric PriestjuhNL (xBowtjuhNL), who was looking for one or two more people to PPQ with. I don’t have a PPQ mule, really, and I didn’t have any characters at the time that I really wanted to complete PPQ on. So, the natural choice was to simply use my OPQ(/LMPQ…?) mule sets for the occasion:

sets helping PriestjuhNL w/ PPQ stage 2

And, here we are, fighting the Lord Pirate:

sets & PriestjuhNL vs. Lord Pirate

As you can see, that MTK that I crafted came in handy. 😅

tarantulus

And finally, it is now time for my girl tarandus to shine! Weaponless as ever…

I started my journey this time with the Eliminating King Sage Cat questline. I already had the 100 Cat Dolls from my previous Mu Lung escapades, so I headed towards the Goblin Forest

💡

💡! Let’s see what King Sage Cat Master Goblin has to say for himself…

tara meets with the King Sage Cat

Oh, no… Would you believe it? After all these times that I’ve saved Mu Lung from the treachery of King Sage Cat, he has the absolute nerve to trick us again? You know what they say: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on you again; fool me thrice, shame on you yet again; right…? Let’s kick his ass:

tara vs. King Sage Cat

Phewf. Hopefully, that’s the last that we see of that guy…

Unfortunately for Orbis, King Sage Cat Master Goblin is not the only oversized feline terrorising the land. It seems Eliza’s a bit cranky, and the Pixies are getting all riled up, too:

Eliza’s Rage

Time to knock some sense into this cat, too:

tara vs. Eliza

And with that, level 85 for me!:

tarandus hits level 85~!

It’s not all action & violence, though. Now that Eliza is back to her senses, it’s best to let her get some rest. Perhaps a classic English lullaby will do the trick:

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

As you can see, the in-game songbook provides us with the lyrics for the lullaby (written in black type), accompanied by the corresponding pitches of the melody (written in blue type). Eliza’s Garden (the same map where the Eliza NPC resides) then provides the harp-looking musical instrument that you see in the image above. The instrument is actually seven NPCs, each corresponding to one of the seven notes of a diatonic C major scale, starting on a low C and ascending to high B, for a total playing range of a major seventh. The NPCs are the orangish rock-looking things that are dangling from the chains that are attached to the yoke across the top, so you play the instrument by double-clicking those. Only by playing the tune a single time from front to back, without any mistakes, can the quest be completed.

The instrument itself is referred to internally as a “harp”, with each chain & rock pendulum(?) referred to as a “string”. Organologically, though, I have no idea what this thing is. Because it has the horizontal metal bar at the top serving as a kind of yoke (although note that the low C and high B are not actually attached to it), it looks vaguely like a yoke lute (H–S 321.2); perhaps some kind of lyre. If there’s any soundboard at all, it’s the crux of the horseshoe (Ʊ) shape, towards the bottom of the image. If the (presumably very heavy) rocks are there to hold the bottom ends of the strings in place, and the strings’ vibrations are the actual source of sound production, then this is indeed a chordophone (H–S 3); particularly, a zither (in the broad sense of “simple chordophone”; H–S 31). Such a zither is called a frame zither by H–S, given the classification 316; frame zithers are defined by their strings being stretched across an open frame. If the horseshoe-shaped bit serves as a resonator, then this would fall under H–S 316.2; otherwise, H–S 316.1. Note that harps are not zithers at all; harps are H–S 322, making them composite (as opposed to simple) chordophones. If the strings themselves are not the source of sound production, and instead, striking the rocks themselves is the source, then this instrument is not a chordophone at all — it’s an idiophone (H–S 1). Judging purely by the fact that you have to click on a rock to make it sound, and the click makes your game’s pointer do a little “poke” animation, it would probably be a percussion idiophone (H–S 111.2). If the rocks are indeed rocks, as they appear, then it’s a lithophone, particularly a set of “percussion plaques” (H–S 111.222). If this instrument actually works by ✨magic✨, then… well, I give up.

The lullaby itself uses all of the “strings” of the instrument, except for the high B. Because it’s a lullaby, the melodic contour of the piece is very simple. The entire ambitus is just a major sixth. The entire melody proceeds in stepwise motion, with the exception of a few leaps of either an ascending perfect fifth, or an ascending perfect fourth (which is inversionally equivalent to a descending perfect fifth). The perfect fifth is particularly relevant because it’s the mathematically simplest, or most “consonant”, interval that isn’t an octave or perfect unison — this comes from it being a frequency ratio of 3∶2,[1] the next-simplest (considering reciprocals to be equivalent, and considering octave equivalence) ratio after the octave’s 2∶1. The pitch material is similarly simple, taken entirely from a single diatonic scale, and starting & ending on the tonic of that scale.

Worth noting is that the lyrics shown in the songbook here, and that are commonly sung in English-language oral tradition, are just the first stanza. The full lyrics (due to Jane Taylor) are as follows:

Full lyrics of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the trav’ller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often thro’ my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

’Tis your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the trav’ller in the dark,
Tho’ I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

As you can see, there are not one, but five stanzas, and the entirety of the lyrics are written in rhyming couplets, giving a rhyme scheme of AABBCCDDEE…

The melody of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star is often repurposed as an alphabet song for the English alphabet (and, in French Canada, the French alphabet).

Going down the Orbis Tower, I went to El Nath to start the Monster Rumour Mill questline. The first part asked me for some Lazy Buffy Marbles — which I already had on hand — in exchange for… a single Elixir?:

This is all there is to it. Hmmm, I feel like I am the only one that got what I need from this. This may not be something great, but I’ll do this. Since you’re combating the monster, you may need this…

Since you’re combating the monster, you may need this…

Okay, thanks. I’m sure one (1) Elixir is going to cover my potion needs for farming up 50 Lycanthrope Toenails…:

tara vs. Lycanthropes

Lemme tell ya, getting 50 of these wolfy nails ain’t so easy. Besides the fact that Lycanthropes are annoying for me to fight, they only have three (3) spawn points. In each of the maps that they spawn in. Ouf. Eventually, though, I finished up those nails and headed to the Omega Sector, only to be awarded with a single shoe SPEED 100%. Thanks, I hate it.

Now that I was level 85, though, I could do The Soul Collector quest from Ghosthunter Bob in Deep Ludi. This quest just requires killing some Spirit Vikings until you get the eponymous Soul Collector from them:

The sole soul collector

Whilst I was in Deep Ludi, though, I had some other business to attend to, as well. I would need 50 Sealed Bottles for Youthful Mariwaka:

Farming for Youthful Mariwaka

Plus, 100 Sealed Teddy Bears for Sabitrama’s Life Work — and 50 more, for Free From Darkness at level ≥90:

tara farming Sealed Teddy Bears

For Umi’s Spiced Veggies, I would need 80 Deep Buffoon’s Rock Pieces (these are particularly annoying, as Deep Buffoons spawn only sparsely…):

Farming for Umi’s Spiced Veggies

80 Deep Buffoon’s Rock Pieces may have been a tad annoying, but Umi’s got our back with the sweet shoe AVOID 30% reward. Speaking of Umi, she has another quest for me: Veggies are Awesome. I agree with Umi’s assessment of veggies, but I do wonder what 200 Bain’s Spiked Collars have to do with vegetables…:

tara vs. Bains

This quest was really making me feel the burn. Here I am, just a little level 85 pugilist, hoping to slay hundreds of Bains in the WanWan Spa of Hell[2]. Not only are they five levels above me, but boy can these things take a beating. And so can I, judging by how many Honsters I used…

But, no matter. I know Umi has a fantastic reward in store for this hard work:

That was fast~! They were so strong that everyone had trouble with them. Thank you so much! Hope you like this as a reward!

Hope you like this as a reward!

Sorry, I don’t. Do you really think that I can farm two hundred(!) Bain collars with a measly fifty Watermelons?? 😓

Although I already had the Sealed Teddy Bears for Sabitrama’s Life Work, I still needed the Stone Golem Rubble…:

tara vs. Stone Golems

…And the Dark Stone Golem Rubble:

tara vs. Dark Stone Golems

And there we have it! Oh, and I levelled up, too!!:

tara hits level 86~!

For Eliminating Blue Mushmom, I… you know, eliminated Blue Mushmom:

tara vs. BMM

BMM has a notoriously high AVOID value of 64, and also was four levels above me at the time, so I was going to have some accuracy issues. Well, I was, except that I got GM buffs (including GM Bless, which gives +100 WACC, amongst other things) for it!

Still hopped up on GM buffs, I headed to the Mount Song TownShaolin Temple region of China to do Mayor’s Request:

Mayor’s Request

Similar to Veggies are Awesome, this quest posed some serious resistance, asking for 100 Black Bear Swordsman (level 80; 40.5k HP) kills & 50 White Tiger Swordsman (level 90(!); 63k HP) kills. The terrain here is rather mountainous, so I had somewhat of a tough time getting these monsters together so that I could efficiently SSK and/or Energy Blast them all. Plus, thanks to Energy Charge maxing out at level 40(!), Energy Blast was still a low level for me…

In any case, I did eventually vanquish the anthropomorphic tiger & bear swordsmen, so it was time to head to Leafre to do some of the quests there. I collected some Birk’s Chewed Grasses for Pam, for Recipe for the Medicine:

Recipe for the Medicine

Also by Pam’s Request, I collected Hankie’s Pan Flutes from unsuspecting Hankies. Why? So that Pam might be able to craft her own pan flute, to play a soothing goodnight song to her giant dragon egg that’s taking up half the space in her house:

tara vs. Hankies

By Yaku’s Request, I collected some ETCs from Harps & Blood Harps:

Yaku’s Request

The name of these avian creatures is somewhat confusing; at first, I thought that harp might actually be the name of some kind of bird. It seems, however, that the closest you can get is the use of harp as an abbreviation of harp seal. But these are not seals; they’re birbs. On second thought, it seems that these creatures get their name from a clipping of harpy, a Greek mythological bird–human hybrid. Although everyone seems to agree that harpies are women, they seem to disagree on exactly which parts are woman and which parts are bird, other than the head definitely being that of a woman. The Harps in MapleStory kinda just look like birb to me. I think Necksawn has trouble with the word harp, considering that they seem to think that Eliza’s musical instrument is a harp (it’s not), and also seem to think that a harp(y) is a bird (it’s not; at least, not half of it)…

Anywho, for The Sacred Barrier of the Forest, I had to play courier, and then collect just a smattering of ETCs from the three flavours of Kentaurus:

tara vs. Blue Kentauruses

tara vs. Dark Kentauruses

tara vs. Red Kentauruses

With those Leafre quests out of the way, I flew over to Malaysia to start the Scarga prequests: Away from Kampung. For part 1, I had to collect some Fucky Bus Tickets from Yabber Doos:

Lam Wants to See the World

Why “Fucky” Bus Tickets, you ask? Well, Yabber Doos only spawn in one map (Fantasy Theme Park 2), and within that map, they make up the minority of the spawns. So actually, I was mostly killing Booper Scarlions, for no other reason than to make more Yabber Doos spawn:

tara killing Booper Scarlions for the spawns

Whilst I was in Malaysia, I also took the time to finish up the Surprise Birthday Party questline, which — for reasons unknown to me — start at a lower level, and then suddenly require you to be level ≥85 for the final quest. In any case, for this purpose, I headed to Longest Ride on ByeBye Station to kill two or three hundred Jester Scarlions (and thus, also two or three hundred Froscolas…):

tara vs. Jester Scarlions

The next bits of the Scarga prequests were asking me to kill Vikerolas (Viks) and, ultimately, Galloperas (Gallos), so I decided to come back later for that.

Over on Victoria Island, I did The Committee Challenges by turning in some ETCs that I had previously collected. Next up from Sabitrama was then Open Sesame (typo’d in-game to “Open Sesami”), which simply asked for one million mes0rz. These mesos were required to open the mysterious box that Dr. Kim had provided in the previous questline. Unfortunately, it seems that this box is Pandora’s:

Wait, what??? WHy is the grass dying!!!  Noonononono!

Oups!

Anyways, although I still had a handful of quests left to complete, I was going to need more strength. It was finally time to truly accept my future as being no longer “purely a quester”, and that means accepting grinding (and more, as we shall see) as a fact of life, although of course I would continue to do all of my quests as well. I’m level 86 now, so you know what that means: we’re off to Taiwanese shopping mall hell!

Two TP101 maps were the obvious contenders here: KMs (City Plaza East Section), and CDs (Star Avenue South Section). KMs are friendly to melee attackers because of their auto-aggro mechanics; if you get close enough to them, they aggro you even if you don’t attack them. This is, for reasons that are perhaps obvious, great for melee attackers, and deeply unfortunate for ranged attackers. So, I gave KMs a fair (if perhaps quick & dirty) shake with a single @epm 5, after doing a bit of warming up:

@epm 5 at Kid Mannequins

Okay! That’s pretty dang good for level 86; nearly 1% EXP per minute! But I still haven’t tried CDs yet. CDs are much more annoying w.r.t. aggro & positioning, because not only do they lack the auto-aggro of KMs, but they also effectively “forget” their aggro when a Greatest Oldies is killed and spawns three Latest Hits Compilations in its place. The spawn-on-death thing is a little extra annoying because it takes some time to occur — like one or two seconds of nothing happening. So… it’s not clearly better, but at least SSK hits up to six monsters at a time, so my mobbing is decently strong. Let’s test it the same way:

tara hits level 87~!

Oh, oups. Levelled like 3 seconds before the @epm 5 ended:

@epm 5 at CDs

Oh. That’s better than KMs. Like, a lot better. Looks like CDs is my home now… As per usual……

I did some CDs with INTlaw Lvl1Crook (Level1Crook, xXCrookXx), and hit level 88:

tara hits level 88~!

Technically, you can do the entire Peppered Lattice questline (up to & including the quest that requires you to kill Papu itself) at just level 80 (or higher), so I decided to tag along when invited to an osslock-friendly (read: no-4th-jobbers) Papu run:

tara vs. Thanatos

That’s a big ol’ whifferino on that there Thanatos. Don’t worry, though, I can hit it… most of the time…… At least, often enough to get a Ludi Medal.

And here it is, the promised osslock Papu run! Starring outland STRginner Gumby (daggerknight, Jonathan, j0hnny, Mommy, Kimberly), INTlaw Lvl1Crook, osslock ranger Mekhane (Sunken), osslock dragon knight yeIlo (bak2monke, snakewave, VAPORWAVE), & ya girl tara:

Osslock Pap run, first body

Osslock Papu run, second body

Osslock Papu run, first body

Being level 88 (37(!) levels below Papu) and weaponless, I was not doing the big damage numbers here, and I also was not going to get very much EXP at all. Nevertheless, I still managed to feel rather strong due to having stance much of the time (courtesy of level 40 Energy Charge), allowing me to attack from the top-left platform with Energy Drain. Plus, CSB & BSB allowed me to bully Papu’s first body around, maintaining a pin to the left-hand side of the map. Plus, I got to complete the Papu questline and get my Ludi Cape!

And with that, it’s time to go back for more CDs, I guess…:

tara hits level 89~!

tara hits level 90~!

Whew. I even duo’d some CDs with dagger sader inject (inhale, vvvv, Pitiful):

tara hits level 91~!

Now that I had passed the level 90 mark, there were more quests in store for me. The Door To Bai Shan had me collecting ??some??? ETCs?????,?from around,???????Shaolin Temple???:

The Door to Bai Shan

I made the grievous mistake of discarding the ETCs that I had autolooted whilst completing Mayor’s Request. 😔 I know, tragic. You’d think I’d know better, considering that this isn’t even my first time completing The Door to Bai Shan, but unfortunately my brain is but a pile of mush.

I also had to kill Eagle Swordsmen this time:

tara vs. Eagle Swordsmen

Plus, Female Thieves & Male Thieves:

tara vs. thieves

That was a tough one, but I did it. Next up is a fun little quest by the name of Blocked Path of the Ocean, which had me hunting Cold Sharks for various tattered artefacts of explorers long since slain by these very sharks:

tara vs. Cold Sharks

And, of course, we have the excellent Snowman questline!:

tara vs. Snowman

Alrighty… Back to CDs…

tara hits level 92~!

tara hits level 93~!

tara hits level 94~!

Oh, yes! Level 94~! I must say, tara shreds these compact discs real good. Like, real good. Once you max out Energy Charge and Energy Blast, your mobbing abilities as a marauder really skyrocket. Of course, it’s still relatively short-reach, and hits up to four targets tops, but the damage is nothing to sneeze at — 420% at max level! Of course, there’s the problem that you have to have your Energy Charge actually charged in order to use it, like I lamented in pt. xciv of this diary:

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 […]. 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!

This is true, but the saving grace is that if you have Energy Charge maxed (level 40), and you tend to have a large number of targets to SSK at any given time (e.g. you’re grinding EXP), then the uptime of Energy Charge is actually very good. Because you get charge per hit (rather than per attack), hitting six monsters with a single SSK gets you a pretty big chunk of charge. Because the uptime is so good in this situation, and because Energy Charge gives +20 WATK when active[3] at max level, I’ve actually started using CZPs on tara when grinding. Most of the time, I have a +20 WATK buff from Energy Charge anyways, so CZP does a perfectly fine job of filling in the crannies!

Anywho, I’m level 94 now, so it’s time to wrap up those Scarga prequests. Off to the City with me…

Off to the City

And of course, even more Booper Scarlions

tara vs. Booper Scarlions

And finally, Galloperas. I ran into a priest by the name of Lorenzetti who was already looking for a Gallos grinding partner, so we had a go at it:

tara & Lorenzetti @ Gallos

HOLY moly. That is 7.3M EPH. Yes, you read that right:

tara hits level 95~!

Gallos was actually looking like a pretty good grinding spot for me, so I did even more Galloperas — after finishing the Scarga prequests — with daggerknight:

tara & daggerknight duoing Gallos

tara hits level 96~!

Whaddayaknow? I’m level 96, and I’ve already escaped from TP101 hell?? Well, not quite:

tara hits level 97~!

Oh, and now that I’m level ≥95, I get EXP from Capt. Latanica normally! Here I am, duoing ’Tanica with daggerknight:

daggerknight & tara vs. Capt. Lat

And again, with STRginner Taima (Boymoder, Hitodama, Hanyou, Tacgnol, Nyanners)!:

tara hits level 98~!

During a CDs grinding session with inject, we discovered the secret art of barrel combat:

Barrel combat

Oh, yeah; now that I’m level ≥96, I can get EXP normally from Headless Horseman, as well!:

inject & tara vs. HH

tara hits level 99~!

HH card get!

Back to the Gallos grind, this time with inject:

tara hits level 100~!

tara hits level 101~!

Oh, and even moar HHing:

tara hits level 102~!

You know, I’m getting pretty high level now, so I gotta start worrying about the holy trinity:

Scarlion is an obvious choice of hat (and I desperately need to replace the shitty Zhelm that I wasted all that money on…), the RBD is the highest-level pirate overall in the game besides timeless/reverse gear[4], and of course, a ≥5 WATK MoN is absolutely essential.

Why “absolutely essential”? Well, pugilists are essentially extremely WATK-starved. The reason is very obvious: they don’t use weapons! Not using weapons also comes with disadvantages on the other side — the stats side — of things, viz. lower PSM (4.2 < 4.8) and much lower mastery (10% < 60%). But a PSM of 4.2 ain’t too shabby, and although the lack of mastery certainly hurts (a lot), there’s at least nothing stopping me from dumping almost all of my AP into my primary stat (i.e. STR). Thus, the situation is essentially comparable to a polearm-wielding (polearms do not generally have a PSM of 4.2, but when basic attacking, their average PSM is indeed exactly 4.2) STRginner who has like… the shittiest polearm of all time. Much like the pugilist, this hypothetical STRginner benefits immensely from additional sources of WATK, e.g. WATK buffs, or a MoN.

Luckily for me, bowmaster Flai (Phister, Wavedashing, FIai, NotFlai, Flaislander) was kind enough to ask in Suboptimal alliance chat (as his osslock characters Phister & Wavedashing are in Ossyrians) if anyone was in need of a MoN, offering to let us tag along in CWKPQ for free! So, I acted as their second pirate sign:

tara enters CWKPQ for the first time

I even did the stage 2 JQ to get the pirate sigil there:

tara @ CWKPQ stage 2

…And the stage 3 JQ, to get the pirate sigil there:

tara @ CWKPQ stage 3

And certainly, the best part was getting to do the Pirate Mastery Room for the first time ever!:

tara enters the pirate room

Pretty cool, right? Don’t be deceived by the looks, though; there’s no actual water here. Movement proceeds just like in any air-filled map. The idea here is pretty simple: there’s one chest in the middle, one chest each in the upper-left and the upper-right, and one chest each in the centre-left and the centre-right, for a total of five chests. You have to go to the side, down, back towards the centre, and then up, to get to the centre-left and centre-right chests. The gun that you see in the image below…

tara finds the gun

…is what you’re looking for. It’s in a random one of the five chests, so you basically just walk/climb/jump around, hitting chests until you find the blasted thing.

Unfortunately, these first attempts yielded nothing good. I walked away with a ≤3 WATK MoN. Can’t win ’em all, but luckily for me, I just have to win one, and that 5 WATK MoN should last me a very long time…

The good news is that we’re back to questing! Sort of. I teamed up with inject to start the Temple of Time (ToT) questline, which is definitely a questline… but it’s also kinda grinding. You know, 999-kill quests & all that shit. Here we are, doing the first quest in the line: killing 999 Memory Monks:

tara & inject vs. Memory Monks

Then, on to 999 Memory Monk Trainees:

tara & inject vs. Memory Monk Trainees

During which, I found a nifty Blue Sun Boat Hat!:

tara finds a Blue Sun Boat Hat

Oh, and the EXP is actually pretty good! I mean, the quest EXP itself is okay, but the grinding EXP really adds up:

tara hits level 103~!

Whilst I was near Leafre, I took the opportunity to do Wyvern’s Sudden Attack:

Wyvern’s Sudden Attack

This quest just asks for 18 kills of each flavour of Wyvern, so it’s a short & sweet one.

The other Leafre quest that I was here to do, however, is not so short & sweet: Recovering the Black Spirit. Ironically, this one actually gives less EXP than Wyvern’s Sudden Attack, despite being much more difficult, and despite both quests awarding nothing other than EXP.

For Recovering the Black Spirit, I would have to… recover black spirits souls. In particular,

Since I was killing Wyverns anyways, I started with the Dark Wyvern one. After that, it was time for some pain & suffering at The Hidden Dragon Tomb II (which is only 59% Dark Cornians…):

tara vs. Cornians

I found a Busted Dagger, now a useless relic, ever since the Horntail prequests were overhauled:

tara finds a Busted Dagger…

After much suffering, I had my Black Soul of Dark Cornian, so it was time for ovine-flavoured suffering:

tara vs. Birks

Eventually, the Dual Birks yielded…:

tara finally finds the Black Soul of Dual Birk

And finally, off to the bizarrely-named Peach Monkey Forest (which does not contain any Peach Monkeys, nor any monkeys whatsoever… nor even peaches……) to hunt Dark Rashes for their Black Soul:

tara vs. Dark Rashes

Unfortunately, Dark Rashes were not willing to yield… for now…

So, it’s back to ToT. This time, 999 Memory Guardians:

tara vs. Memory Guardians

tara hits level 104~!

Chiquen but.

During a Gallo-grinding sesh with daggerknight, I hit level 105~!:

tara hits level 105~!

105 is actually a somewhat significant level, considering that it puts me in level range for both Pianus and Bigfoot

In other news, I did a lot of Scarlion runs on tara. Not as an attacker, of course, but to purchase those sweet, sweet goofy hats. Paladin Fara (Muguet, Matsheshu) was kind enough to take me on four(!) Scar runs, and at mates’ rates, too! She’s so pro that she just solos the damn thing. Unfortunately, the hat drops were no good — one of the runs even managed to drop zero (0) helms — but that’s just how it goes sometimes.

I bought from some other folx as well, and I’ll give another shoutout to MuscleUncle (XiWinieUncle, GuoYuUncle, JinpingUncle, PorhubUncle) for also selling at good rates, and getting me the helm that I decided to settle on!:

tara’s Scarlion Hat

15⧸33 ain’t amazing, thanks to an above-average-but-not-amazing clean hat, combined with some shoddy scrolling luck towards the end. But this was like… the first above-average (yes, just above average — not even necessarily perfect) clean hat that I even found after like eight runs… 😫 Gimme a break! (And, for the love of god, don’t talk to me about helm DEX scroll prices…) Still a great replacement for my Zhelm, though.

After mostly considering CDs and Gallos, I tried Himes in a duo with daggerknight:

tara tries Himes for the first time, with daggerknight

And honestly? Not amazingly better for me than its competitors, but probably the overall best grinding spot that I’ve tried yet. We managed to clock some pretty impressive EPH, but there’s just one issue: buffs. You see, I’ve developed a habit of parking my STR bishop cervid, my woodsmaster capreolina, and my darksterity knight rusa in the FM entrance to give myself HS/Bless, SE, & MW20/HB/IW, respectively. I’m not exactly new to FM buffs, but this particular combination is… very potent. With Himes, though, there are basically three options:

In any case, enough of that grind shit. I’m level 105 now, so it’s time to do some Big Girl Quests™. Including Storming The Castle, a quest that I desperately tried to do at like… level 73? With Harlez’s (VigiI, Murhata) assistance, too. And… yeah, that was a big fat no-go. Now that I’m level 105—

tara hits level 106~!

…I mean, level 106 — I can solo it, easy as pie!

Over on the Aqua Road, I also did Nanuke’s Ingredients, which had me farming 150 Ink Bottles from Squids:

tara farming Ink Bottles

Again, a little annoying because of the Risell Squids and Goby houses that are also in the map, and you know, the fact that it’s a water m—

[4th Job] Congratulations to daggerknight on becoming a Dark Knight!

Holy moly!! Huge congrats to daggerknight on ascending to the rank of dagger dark knight!!! And in what feels like the blink of an eye, to boot…!

Continuing with the collection of Nanuke’s Ingredients, I went to The Grave of a Wrecked Ship once again, to kill even moar Cold Sharks — this time for the Frozen Shark’s Fins:

tara farming Frozen Shark’s Fins

Whilst I was near the El Nath Mountains, I hiked on up — all the way up — to The Cave Within the Cave to do Destroying the Power of Evil:

tara @ The Cave Within the Cave

This quest is a little bit hidden, because it isn’t actually available until you have one or more Dark Tachions in your inventory. Many Pappers don’t even realise that this seemingly useless ETC that Pap drops is, in fact, not useless! Easy EXP!! Well, as long as you consider hiking to The Cave Within the Cave to be “easy”…

With both myself and daggerknight at level ≥105, Bigfoot was lookin’ reallllll juicy. Only problem is, you know, actually killing it. Besides the fact that I can only tank Bigfoot’s touch damage if I have HB, there’s also the slight issue of Bigfoot having 32M HP and 1.4k WDEF. Ouf. A few back-of-the-envelope calculations, and it looks like we can take Boyfriend Bigfoot down if we’re sufficiently determined and have a sufficient quantity of patience. So, we teamed up with Taima to make it happen… hopefully:

tara, daggerknight, & Taima trioing Bigfoot

Knowing how much I benefit from WATK buffs, and knowing that I may be contributing the plurality of the damage here, I used something like two MMFs, three MesoGears Rings, and two Onyx Apples. Actually, I only ate one of the two Onyx Apples, and gave the other to daggerknight. Here’s what my damage range looked like at the time, hopped up on Onyx Apple & MW20:

tara vs. BF, Onyx Apple damage range

Whew. In the end, I fucked up by accidentally forgetting to rebuy Safety Charms after dying, losing like ≈10% EXP from a negligent death. -_- I would have benefited a lot more from this if I could just remember to buy charms!! After like 80〜90 minutes of fighting, I did white[5], and still ended up getting like 20%〜21% EXP from the kill — but because of my lack of brainpower, that was a net gain of only like 10%〜11%. :X

Anyways, at least I was finally able to get a Black Soul of Dark Rash…:

tara finally gets the Black Soul of Dark Rash

Now that I’m higher level, I finally feel like soloing the Krexel prequests shouldn’t be too bad. Just to be sure, I started with the most painful bit of the first quest: killing Montrecers:

tara vs. Montrecers

Fun. Hey, that’s level 107, at least!:

tara hits level 107~!

I also went to Ulu Estate I (Ulu1) to take care of the Berserkies and the Veetrons:

tara @ Ulu Estate I

Moving on to the next quest in the line, it was time for the highly tanky Petrifighters (Petris):

tara vs. Petris

Actually… not too bad. Maybe I’ll give this map a go for EXP…

Hopping backwards to Ulu Estate II for the Slygies:

tara vs. Slygies

And, finally, Destroyed Park II for the stupid trees:

tara vs. stupid trees

All in all, not so bad! Feeling stronk!!

We were treated with GM buffs, so I headed to Deep Ludi to join daggerknight and yeIlo at Dual Ghost Pirates (DGPs; Unbalanced Time):

tara duoing DGPs w/ daggerknight, on GM buffs

It, uhm… ended up being a duo, when we realised that daggerknight had, you know, just advanced to 4th job. So that’s kinda a huge no-no for our osslocker friend…

For a while now, I had been occasionally checking Star Avenue West Section for our old friend Spirit of Rock (SoR), so that I might obtain its music score for The Missing Sheet Music. You know, to restore it to its rightful owner, our old friend Jerry Yan. Unfortunately for me (and for Jerry), SoR drops a chair, which means that you can’t actually find it, because someone already killed all of them. So, I sent out a desperate cry for help:

b>spirit of rock’s music score or a SoR timer plz

Thankfully, this worked, and someone sold me a Spirit of Rock’s Music Score. I’m still a little disappointed, because I actually wanted to fight SoR myself to complete the quest, but whatever. Can’t kill something that died long ago.

Speaking of quests that ask for tradeable items and nothing else, I was reminded that I’ve been collecting some of the “monster erasers” that I’ve got from gachapon for a while now — including Undine’s Cloth and the Hectagon Necklace[6]. Unfortunately for me, I got a weirdly nonuniform distribution of erasers, so I had to ask folx for help filling in the gaps. There are four eraser quests, meaning that I would need four full sets of monster erasers to complete them all (that’s 24 monster erasers in total), plus one Undine’s Cloth and one Hectagon Necklace. Note that all of these ETCs are gachapon-only. The “eraser quests” are technically quests insofar as they use the game’s quest mechanics, but they’re actually glorified crafting. You provide the materials, and get the crafted item as a result; the quests are all repeatable with no cooldown. But, you know, I did ’em anyways:

Blue Seal Cushion get!

Blue Seal Cushion! Yey!

Flaming Katana get!

Flaming Katana! Yey!

Glowing Whip get!

Glowing Whip! Yey! Unfortunately, it seems that the equipment items awarded by eraser quests are always exactly average stats… Still nice, though.

Unfortunately, I’ve run out of complete monster eraser sets for now. However, I did attend a certain GM event by the name of Physical Fitness, and nabbed a sneaky Scroll of Secrets (SoS) from that. Normally, I do GM events on my viclockers (d33r & d34r), but I made an exception just so that I could do the Deciphering the Scroll of Secrets[7] quest on tara:

tara finds a key…

Well, finding the key wasn’t so hard. Time to see what wonderful prize I get:

tara deciphers the Scroll of Secrets

Ah yes, bottom WDEF 60%, the one scroll that everyone is hoping to get from their SoS turn-in…

In other news, I hit level 108 whilst soloing HH!:

tara hits level 108~!

inject & I went back to ToT again, to continue the ToT questline grind. This time, 999 Chief Memory Guardians (CMGs):

tara vs. Chief Memory Guardians

These guys are starting to get a li’l beefy. CMGs have 59k HP a piece, plus 910 WDEF, to boot. Because inject & I are doing this questline more or less at level (which I imagine is actually quite unusual amongst MapleLegends players in general), this escalation did not go unnoticed:

dink dink dink

yes exactly.

That’s the spirit!

With the 999 CMG-kill quest completed, we got to the first bit of the questline that isn’t just another 999-kill quest: the quest to kill Dodo. Like the other ToT area bosses, Dodo teaches us a lesson about what the big bad boss of ToT — Pink Bean — can do. Dodo is capable of banishing PCs to the adjacent map, forcing you to take the portal back inside to continue fighting. I think it might also dispel, but I can’t be sure; I didn’t bother to test it, instead relying on just my self-buffs — a.k.a. no buffs, because Knuckler Booster doesn’t work without a knuckler equipped…

tara vs. Dodo

Dodo is a bit of a chunky boi, so without any additional buffs like e.g. MW20, soloing it took me a bit. It’s got 5.9M HP, 950 WDEF, 42 AVOID (fairly high), and is 13 levels above me. This was definitely a DEX robe moment.

tara emerges victorious over Dodo

Hey, I even got a snazzy helm DEX 60% out of it!

Oh, and I finally got together that last full set of monster erasers:

Frozen Tuna get!

Frozen Tuna! Yey! Huge thanks to all the folx who helped me fill out my monster eraser collection, including Harlez, Mekhane, & GTOPDEFENDER (rogueinvogue)!

Now that I had defeated Dodo, I had to talk to the Memory Keeper — our favourite floaty eyemasked old man with a prehensile beard:

tara meets the Memory Keeper

He told me to fly my ass back to Vic Island where I came from talk to my 1st-job instructor, Kyrin. Alright, if you say so…

In other news, I finally got that 5 WATK MoN!!:

tara loots the final MoN…!

Huge thanks to Flai, as this would have cost me a pretty penny otherwise, given my luck…!:

tara’s MoN

tara’s gettin’ pretty up there in levels now, so I started considering the possibility of doing a similar challenge to what I did with my daggerlord alces when she was still a daggermit: a kind of “daily grind quota”, if you will. In order for this to work, I definitely need to have at least one grinding spot/activity that I can do solo. As for solo grinding spots, tara actually has a few different choices, none of which appear clearly superior at first. So… it’s testing time!

I did a quick & dirty @epm 7 test at each of the following four grinding spots, after a two- or three-minute warm-up period. In all cases, I was keeping all of my buffs up by regularly going to the FM; by “all of my buffs”, I mean:

Because HS lasts for 120 seconds, that means visiting the FM every two minutes or so. The results from the various @epm 7 tests are as follows:

spotEPH
Gallos4.78M
Petris5.22M
CDs5.36M
Himes5.79M

The results are actually not too surprising, if you think about it. Gallos and Petris suffer from having map layouts that are difficult to exploit efficiently unless you’re grinding as a party, and/or you have attacks with usefully large reach (e.g. Blizzard, or even just Ice Strike, etc. in the case of Gallos). Although Petris seems like the more hostile of the two due to being split over essentially four(!) levels rather than two levels, and due to having awkwardly-placed splits in each level’s platform[8], the difference in the monster species themselves gives Petris the advantage. Whereas Petris are relatively well-behaved, Gallos move much more quickly, have the ability to completely change their hitbox with their shitty ranged attacks, and can even heal themselves in an area of effect. Yuck.

On the other hand, you might expect that CDs suffer from the same issues because of the map’s three-level design, but CDs has some other things going for it:

And finally, Himes emerges victorious because it combines the tankier monsters that allow more damage absorption, with the solo-friendly totally flat map structure. Ironically, Himes actually have the worst EXP∶HP ratio of the lot, but damage absorption is king here: it doesn’t matter if a monster species has an EXP∶HP ratio that’s twice as high, if its monsters can only absorb one third of the DPM in practice. A single Hime has HP nearly ninefold that of a single CD, and it’s hard to beat a dead-simple flat map for solo grinding when you’re a marauder, and thus have to be close enough to your enemies to smell their stanky-ass breath just to deal damage to them.

So, Himes it is:

tara hits level 109~!

I also headed back to ToT yet again with inject, to start the “blue” (read: Road of Regrets, or RoR) section of ToT. First up is killing 999 chunky thicc Qualm Monks:

tara vs. Qualm Monks

I’ve also been in need of a Pianus kill — not just for EXP, but also for two quests: a Pianus’s Scream for Carta the Sea Witch, and a Pianus Certificate for Badge of a Squad Member[9]. I ended up duoing a Pianus (R) (the more difficult of the two) with yeIlo:

tara & yeIlo duoing Pianus (R)

One neat thing that I learned to do was to charge up my Energy Charge whenever it’s weapon-cancelled:

I can charge when it’s weapon cancelled

When it weapon cancels, the strategy is basically this: right-click my Energy Charge to dispel it, and then charge up my energy meter to ≈95% or so. This is not too difficult to do, as the amount of charge that you gain scales with the number of hits that you connect with, totally ignoring how much damage those hits do (in this case, 1, because it’s weapon-cancelled). Dispelling the Energy Charge (if it’s active) is necessary so that my energy meter can be manipulated. Then, I just have to wait for it to end its weapon cancel, and i can quickly get the rest of the charge to become freshly bubbled again. This maximises the amount of time that both of the following are true: Pianus is not weapon-cancelled, and I have Energy Charge active.

Unfortunately, I ran into the same issue that I had with fighting Griffey on alces, so this Pianus kill only dropped the scream — no certs. I guess I’ll have to come back later…

Duoing Himes with inject, I hit the big level 110~!:

tara hits level 110~!

Wowie!! Now I can put on that sweet MoN. Looks like I’m officially in The Hell Levels™ now…

We tried to move over to ToT to continue the questline, but unfortunately, we found out the hard way that inject was not yet of a high enough level to start the next quest:

Running out of ToT quests, for now…

Humph. Well, it was bound to happen at some point — this questline goes all the way up to level 135. I guess that leaves more ToTing (ToTting…?) for next time. Stay tuned!!

Footnotes for “tarantulus”

  1. [↑] In 12-TET (used in most Western music, and virtually all popular music), the perfect fifth is — as a result of being equally-tempered to the octave — actually slightly flatter than 3∶2. But only by a little less than two cents.

  2. [↑] The “WanWan” in “WanWan Spa of Hell” is from the Japanese ワンワン (わんわん) ⟨wanwan⟩ /ɰᵝäN.ɰᵝäN/, an onomatopœic term for a dog barking (cf. English bow-wow). The term seems to convey some connotation of childishness, as it can also be used as an onomatopœia for loud crying, or as a childish metonymic term simply meaning “dog”.

  3. [↑] The buffs granted by Energy Charge when active are actually really nice, because they work how you’d actually expect buffs to work, if you were a reasonable person, and also had never played pre-Big-Bang MapleStory before. If I have maxed Energy Charge, but it’s not currently active, I might consider chugging a Cider (+20 WATK for 5 minutes) to make up for the missing +20 WATK buff from Energy Charge. Once my charge meter fills up, an experienced player of pre-Big-Bang MapleStory might naïvely expect the Energy Charge to cancel out the Cider’s buff. Even with MapleLegends’s so-called “smart buff” system, a +𝑥 WATK buff (I’m using WATK for concreteness; it could be some other stat like AVOID, for example) overrides a +𝑦 WATK buff, so long as 𝑥 ≥ 𝑦 (in this case, 20 ≥ 20). The “so long as 𝑥 ≥ 𝑦” bit is the “smart” in “smart buff system”. You’d think that the smart buff system would only save me here if I had used, for example, an Onyx Apple (+100 WATK for 10 minutes), because the system prevents a +20 WATK buff from overriding a +100 WATK buff. But actually, the smart buff system is totally unnecessary here; the game client already allows the Energy Charge buff to coexist with other simultaneously active buffs that have stats that overlap with it!

    Instead of the usual pre-BB MapleStory approach of “there can only be one — or zero — buffs to a given stat active at any given time”, Energy Charge is allowed to overlap with other buffs. How does it work, you ask? Why, it’s as simple as can be: between Energy Charge’s buff to a given stat, and another buff to that stat that is also active, whichever one is the largest is the one that actually affects the PC’s stats.

    It’s obvious, right? For example, it seems obvious (again, to the reasonable person who is not intimately familiar with pre-BB MapleStory) that I should be able to use a Cider, then one minute later, use a Heartstopper to get +60 WATK for one minute, and then go back to having three minutes of +20 WATK buff remaining from my Cider. Unfortunately, in their earlier years, Wizet seem to have failed to grasp basic numeracy, so we’re mostly stuck with crappy hacks & workarounds in an attempt to make the game playable. Mostly. Energy Charge is a shining exception here! I know, I know; it’s hard to find the maximum of a finite set of two or more integers — if only we had the technology…!

  4. [↑] Ah, but what about the Canopus Suit, you ask? Well, it apparently used to exist, but nowadays it is extinct. Even when it did briefly exist, it was gachapon-only anyways.

  5. [↑] Insert the Bleh emote here.

  6. [↑] The Hectagon Necklace is a misnomer. Hectagon means “100-sided polygon” (and is thus synonymous with 100-gon) — from the Ancient Greek ἑκατόν ⟨hekatón⟩ “hundred” — whereas the Hectagon Necklace only has six sides. Indeed, even the item’s description correctly describes it as “hexagon-shaped”. This makes it a great item for “name that item” games, because who’s gonna remember that shit?

  7. [↑] See also, but note that this is not reflective of the items awarded by MapleLegends’s version of the quest.

  8. [↑] Seriously, the split in the second-to-top level’s platform drives me nuts. What even is that shit? Why are there Petris spawning on the shitty little platform fragment?

  9. [↑] Note that MapleLegends overhauled this quest to only require the three certs, and thus it does not require HTPQing. Also, in MapleLegends, the CotDS from this quest is absolutely required to sign up for HT at all.

(…cnvpstdf…)

cnvpstdf

R> guild SURRA level 1+ no normies ODDJOBSSSSSS

this is the new me