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rangifer’s diary: pt. cxiii

Erratum for “Shockwave vs. Energy Blast”

In the “Shockwave vs. Energy Blast” essay of pt. cx of this diary, I erroneously claimed that the values given for the attack period of Energy Blast (which it calls “Energy Blast (delay)”) by LazyBui’s Attack Speed Reference (archived) were off by 30⁢ ms relative to MapleLegends (which is based on v62 of GMS). Those figures are actually valid for the MapleLegends client, & only the “Energy Blast (spamming)” figure is invalid.

The error has been rectified.

The likely source of this error was that, for a long time, I held the incorrect belief that attacking with no weapon equipped was equivalent — for the purpose of weapon speed category — to using a knuckler with speed category 4. I got this “4” figure long ago as a result of tests that someone else in the Oddjobs Discord™ server performed, but the correct speed category is actually 3. Apologies for any confusion that this may’ve caused.

MapleStory job instructor tier list

I hear the whippersnappers these days love their tier lists. And by “these days”, I do mean like six years ago. I might be a little late to the party, but this diary is largely dedicated to playing an over-two-decade-old videogame, so I guess that’s just how we roll here.

But my idea was not really to make a tier list at all. I’m just obsessed with job instructors for some reason. What can I say? They taught me nigh on everything I know, & apart from Wiz the Librarian or perhaps Jay, I’m hard-pressed to find anyone wiser in all the Maple World.

This list does consider the 3rd & 4th grades, but because I don’t really have experience with post-pirate classes (released in GMS some time after v62, the version that e.g. MapleLegends is based upon), they either won’t show up here, or will be reviewed only superficially. Standard Mandarin names are those of CMS, not of TMS.

0th grade

Of course, strictō sēnsū, there are no “0th-job instructors” in MapleStory. Nevertheless, there are some NPCs that deserve to be in this category either because they are spiritually “0th-job instructors”, or because they aren’t really associated with a particular grade at all.

Mai | 마이Mai⟩ | マイMai⟩ | 麦加[1]Màijiā
Mai is spiritually our “beginner job instructor”. It’s pretty clear that Mai’s inclusion in this tier list will land her at a very high tier: she’s a classic, our very first — & for some, last — instructor, kind of a badass, & she has not one, but two ponytails. But she’s not a real job instructor (as evidenced by the fact that campers never meet her), & most of us never see her again — so I have to demote her to A-tier.
Neinheart, Nineheart | 나인하트Nainhateu⟩ | ナインハートNainhāto⟩ | 南哈特Nánhātè
My knowledge of Cygnus Knights is shaky, but I believe that Neinheart occupies a job-instructor-like role for all Cygnus Knights, noblesses included. He’s also involved in higher-grade advancements. Nonetheless, his position is similar to Mai’s in that roadies (the Cygnus version of campers) never meet him. His name is cool: nine hearts instead of nine tails. But I don’t really like his hairdo, & Cygnus Knights are stinky poseurs, thus making Neinheart a stinky poseur by association. Also, he has no arms, which doesn’t affect his ranking, but I just thought I’d point that out. D-tier.
Lilin | 리린Ririn⟩ | リリンRirin⟩ | 利琳Lìlín
My understanding is that Lilin is basically the Aran version of Neinheart[2]: she plays a job-instructor-like role for 0th-grade Arans, & is also involved in higher-grade advancements. I don’t really know anything about Lilin, but she has a little penguin friendo, & she’s associated with Aran, so she must be pretty cool at least. C-tier (⟨C⟩ stands for “cool, I guess”).
Mir | 미르Mireu⟩ | ミルMiru⟩ | 米乐Mǐlè
Mir is unique in that he’s basically an all-grade instructor: he’s Evan’s instructor for every advancement, of which Evan has ten! Unfortunately, Evan is a ripoff of Eragon (2002〜2003), which is itself a ripoff of The Lord of the Rings (1954〜1955). This would seem like the kind of thing that Wizet was fond of, except that calling Eragon “a ripoff of The Lord of the Rings” within that same sentence is giving Neccsaun™ too much credit: even trivial details of Eragon have been directly plagiarised by Neks0n™. Plus, modern English-language fantasy is pretty meh.[3] And the same job instructor for all advancements? Another class with a dragon theme?? Boooring. F-tier.

1st grade

Dances with Balrog | 주먹펴고 일어서Jumeokpyeogo Ireoseo⟩ “stands up with open fist(s)” | コブシを()いて()Kobushi-o Aite Tate⟩ “stands with open fist(s)” | 武术教练Wǔshù Jiàoliàn⟩ “martial arts instructor”
DwB has a cool headdress, wields a Gaea & shield, and he’s the instructor who really gives that “wise but cryptic old man trains young disciple” vibe. Plus, his name is Dances with Balrog! DwB! D-dubs! He’s there for us when we put too many AP into STR (the stat that makes you hit snails more harder!) & now the other job instructors don’t want us. Undoubtedly cool, but unfortunately I have no choice but to deduct points for being part of a seemingly inevitably racist portrayal of indigenous Northern Americans. Sorry for being a wet blanket. A-tier.
Grendel the Really Old | 하인즈[4]Hainjeu⟩ | ハインズHainzu⟩ | 汉斯Hànsī
Who needs legs when you’re levitating 24⧸7 anyway? He’s really old, he’s got a big grey beard, wooden staff, pointy magician hat, all that shit. He would be Gandalf, if it weren’t for the fact that they called him Grendel instead. I dunno, he doesn’t really look like a giant monstrous destroyer of mankind to me, but there you have it. B-tier.
Athena Pierce | 헬레나Hellena[5] | ヘレナHerena[5] | 赫丽娜Hèlìnà[5]
Now, we all know that archer equips tend to make you look like a dork. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true, but it’s also a generalisation. And Athena is living proof that it’s an overgeneralisation, because she is 🔪⁠absolutely slaying⁠🔪 with that shit. She’s even named after the best ancient Greek deity.[5] ✨⁠S⁠✨⁠-tier.[6] Obviously.
Dark Lord | 다크로드Dakeurodeu⟩ | ダークロードDākurōdo⟩ | 达克鲁Dákèlǔ
Well, he lives in the lavatory of a jazz fusion pub, which is kinda humorous, I guess. The fact that he’s always upside-down irks me, though. I guess he’s supposed to be a bat or whatever. His outfit really isn’t all that bad, but he would just as well have been named Edge Lord. C-tier.
Kyrin[7] | 카이린Kairin⟩ | カイリンKairin⟩ | 凯琳Kǎilín
Do you really need an explanation? ✨⁠S⁠✨⁠-tier. Super duh.
Mihile[8][9] | 미하일[9]Mihail⟩ | ミハエルMihaeru⟩ | 米哈尔Mǐhāěr
Warriors are great, & yet Mihile nevertheless manages to look like a complete dork. Like, I get that he’s the “Knight of Light” & all, but really he just looks like a Ken doll wearing goofy plastic armour, complete with ridiculous pauldrons. Still cute enough to get upgraded to D-tier, I guess.
Oz[8] | 오즈Ojeu⟩ | オズOzu⟩ | 奥兹Àozī
As it turns out, the “wizard of Oz” is not a conceited old man from Nebraska; she’s actually a blaze witch. From Ereve. Go figure. I don’t like blaze wizards, but Oz really makes the look work, although it’s a bit on the cutesy side if you ask me. I do want that hooded robe she’s wearing. B-tier.
Irena, Irina[8][10] | 이리나Irina⟩ | イリーナIrīna⟩ | 伊莉娜Yīlìnà
Her bow is cool, but I don’t much care for the rest of her look. Could learn a thing or two from Athena. D-tier.
Eckhart, Ickhart[11] | 이카르트Ikareuteu⟩ | イカルトIkaruto⟩ | 伊卡尔特Yīkǎěrtè
Eckhart unsurprisingly suffers from many of the same problems as the Dark Lord, who is probably his… cousin, or something. Once again, the outfit is not bad, but the bicolour black-&-white masquerade mask really screams Edgehart. C-tier.
Hawkeye | 호크아이Hokeuai⟩ | ホークアイHōkuai⟩ | 胡克Húkè
Honestly Hawkeye is super hot, and he’s a pirate. Regrettably, he’s also a Cygnus Knight, so the best I can do is A-tier. 🤷🏽‍♀️
Giant Polearm, Giant Pole Arm | ()()한 폴암Geodaehan Poram⟩ “immense polearm” | (きょ)(だい)(ほこ)Kyodai-na Hoko⟩ “immense halberd” | 巨大的战斧Jùdà de Zhànfǔ⟩ “immense battleaxe”
Aran’s 1st & 2nd job instructor is exactly what it sounds like: a gigantic polearm. Narratively, this has something to do with the fact that Aran is both a throughclass and an individual person. As much as I love Aran as a character, this is the one part that I don’t like. Classes are classes, not people!! Plus, how am I gonna go about talking to a steel blade? F-tier.

2nd grade


Warrior Job Instructor, Stands With Bulls | 돼지와 함께 일어서Dwaeji-wa Hamkke Ireoseo⟩ “stands up together with pig(s)” | (ぶた)(いっ)(しょ)()()がってButa-to Issho-ni Tachi Agatte⟩ “rises & stands together with pig(s)” | 朱易奇Zhūyìqí
Why did GMS go for this boring generic name? MapleSEA & EMS got it right! Well, regardless of nomenclature, the classical 2nd-grade instructors all tend to suffer from a similar problem: being cheap knockoffs of their respective 1st-grade instructors. 2nd job advancement is virtually a one-step process, so it makes sense that 2nd-grade instructors don’t get to shine. Still, SwB seems cool & has a good name (although I prefer the KMS/JMS version), so we’ll put him one tier below DwB at B-tier.
Magician Job Instructor
Boring name. Bargain bin Grendel. D-tier.
Bowman Job Instructor
Same boring name, & arguably a knockoff of Athena on account of her being in Athena uniform everywhere below the neck. However, she does have a cool hat, neon pink hair, & the glasses really sell the bubblegum hair. B-tier.
Thief Job Instructor
Surprisingly, the thief is the one least well-described as ersatz. With the bright red level 15〜20 rogue gear & the boyish hairdo, he looks a lot like a PC! I also like how the three blades in his right hand seem intentionally ambiguous: are they three dagger tips, or three throwing-knives? Believe it or not, with the release of the 4th grade, this character shows up again as Unknown Thief. He’s found only on Hidden Balcony, a balcony high up on Lūdibrium’s Clocktower — adjacent to Cloud Terrace⟨5⟩, as an alternate version of Cloud Balcony — which is only accessible via the relevant quest[12]. A-tier.

3rd grade

Tylus[13] | 타일러스Tailleoseu⟩ | タイラスTairasu⟩ | 泰勒斯Tàilèsī
All classical 3rd-grade instructors rock the same style of garb: large cloaks with gold square lacework along the outer seams, hood over the eyes. Tylus also rocks a two-handed sword across his back, & he’s the only 3rd-grade instructor worth saving from the Balrogs, as evidenced by the Power Stance questline (see: [12]). And also I kinda want Tylus to “Ty” me up, if you know what I mean. ✨⁠S⁠✨⁠-tier.
Robeira | 로베이라Robeira⟩ | ロベイラRobeira⟩ | 鲁碧Lǔbì
Much like Grendel, Robeira has no use for legs. She has little else to distinguish her, but the sidelong red curled hair is very pretty. B-tier.
Rene[14] | 레네Rene⟩ | レネRene⟩ | 蕾妮Lěinī
Like Robeira, Rene has some hair hanging from one side of her hood, but this time it’s all braided up into a neat pigtail. Very nice. The bow on her back is cool I guess, but really isn’t matching her colour scheme. B-tier.
Arec | 아레크Arekeu⟩ | アレクAreku⟩ | 艾瑞克Àiruìkè
Arec has virtually nothing to distinguish him from the other 3rd-grade instructors. But he is a classic, & has a spooky X-shaped scar on his face. C-tier.
Pedro, Fedro[15] | 페드로[15]Pedeuro⟩ | ペドロPedoro⟩ | 费德罗Fèidéluó[15]
Pedro! I see that cheeky half-smirk. And holding what looks like a Burning Hell. Good choice. Dark purple, I see…! B-tier.
Maha | 마하[16]Maha⟩ | マッハ[16]Mahha⟩ | 摩诃[16]Móhē
Maha is the Aran job instructor for grades 3 & 4. He’s, like, the spirit of the Giant Polearm or whatever. He’s definitely better than the Giant Polearm, but his almost complete monochromaticity, combined with his outfit making him look like a knockoff Aladdin from Disney®’s portrayal in Aladdin (1992), is gonna land him at D-tier.

4th grade

Harmonia | 하르모니아Hareumonia⟩ | ハルモニアHarumonia⟩ | 哈尔模尼亚Hāěrmóníyà
I really gotta hand it to the warriors. Cute androgynous look, wingèd crown that’s actually pretty (looking at you, Mihile…), & named after the ancient Greek goddess of harmony & concord, of all things. Usually when we think of warriors we think of, like, Ares or whatever. But anyone can run out into battle with a spatha & shield; not so simple is sowing concord with the same spade. A-tier.
Gritto | 그리토Geurito⟩ | グリトGurito⟩ | 格里特Gélǐtè
I am not impressed by Gritto’s blue ball. C-tier.
Legor | 레고르Regoreu⟩ | レゴルRegoru⟩ | 列高罗Liègāoluó
Looks like someone forgor the “-as” in “Legolas” (or *“Legoras”, if you insist). Can we quit sniffing Tolkien’s arse already? D-tier.
Hellin | 헬린Hellin⟩ | ヘリンHerin⟩ | 哈林Hālín
We already know what the thief/rogue æsthetic is, & Hellin is here to finally make it super fucken cool. I’m not sure what it is about her black shawl–facescarf, but between that, the boots, the crazy bangs, & the fact that she’s using one hand to hold two knives inexplicably by their tips of their blades, Hellin is the thief job instructor. ✨⁠S⁠✨⁠-tier.
Samuel | 새뮤엘Saemyuel⟩ | セミュオルSemyuoru⟩ | 邪魔尔Xiémóěr
Calm & collected Samuel. There’s something very cool simply about the way he’s holding his gun (which appears most similar to the Burning Hell, the same gun that Pedro’s holding): he might be the only character in the damned game who actually holds & operates the thing with both hands. Iconic. A-tier.

The final lineup

Job instructor tier list

The above image, in table form
✨⁠S⁠✨⁠-⁠tier Athena Pierce Kyrin Tylus Hellin
A⁠-⁠tier Mai Dances with Balrog Hawkeye Thief Job Instructor Harmonia Samuel
B⁠-⁠tier Grendel the Really Old Oz Stands with Bulls Bowman Job Instructor Robeira Rene Pedro
C⁠-⁠tier Lilin Dark Lord Eckhart Arec Gritto
D⁠-⁠tier Neinheart Mihile Irina Magician Job Instructor Maha Legor
F⁠-⁠tier Mir Giant Polearm

And there you have it! I’m really glad to’ve done this; like I said, I have an unhealthy obsession with job instructors, so this finally gets it off my chest. 😅

If you’ve some differing ideas about these job instructors, or you’ve spotted an error or omission, feel free to let me know about it! Unless you’ve something bad to say about Athena or Kyrin, in which case kindly forward your concerns to this address. Thank you. 🧡

Footnotes for “MapleStory job instructor tier list”

  1. [↑] 麦加 is more typically a phonetic borrowing of Arabic مَكَّة; ⟨Makkah⟩; MSA /⁠ˈmak.ka⁠/ (> English Mecca /⁠ˈmɛ.kə⁠/). Obviously this is a phonetic reading as well, but the -加 is probably mostly to avoid her name just being “wheat, barley”…
  2. [↑] In later versions of the game, they’re siblings, both with the surname von Rubistein (alternatively spelt ⟨von Rubinstein⟩).
  3. [↑] Still better than my MapleStory fanfiction, apparently — as evidenced by this diary. But at least I admit that my writing is rubbish. 🙂
  4. [↑] More likely to be encountered as a phonetic adaptation of Heinz®. Yes, the American ketchup company. Is Grendel a catsup wizard? Does he exercise absolute mastery over all 57 varieties? Does he moisturise with a thin application of Wattie’s® mayonnaise to stay young after all these years? Okay, I’ll stop.
  5. [↑] See the “capre getting in on some of that 4th-job goodness” section of pt. lv of this diary.
  6. [↑] Post-Big-Bang versions made her into a skinny bich, which is significantly less slay. Post-BB Athena is A-tier.
  7. [↑] Kyrin is unique in that pirates have no dedicated 2nd-job instructor, so she is both 1st & 2nd grade. Aran’s 1st & 2nd job instructor is also the same NPC, but in a very different context.
  8. [↑] Specialised Cygnus Knight job instructors are considered to correspond to all grades excepting the 0th.
  9. [↑] From Russian МихаилMixail/⁠mʲi.xaˈiɫ⁠/, corresponding to English Michael. Both from מִיכָאֵל; ⟨Mīk͟hāʾēl⟩; Biblical */⁠miːˈxäː.ʔe̞ːl⁠/. The ⟨e⟩–⟨i⟩ alternation is due to a similar phenomenon as in [10]. The GMS/MapleSEA/EMS spelling ⟨Mihile⟩ is under influence of the Great Vowel Shift’s /⁠iː⁠/ > /⁠aɪ̯⁠/, as in e.g. bite.
  10. [↑] So named for the ancient Greek goddess of peace: ΕἰρήνηEirḗnē/⁠eː.rɛ́ː.nɛː⁠/. The ⟨e⟩–⟨i⟩ alternation is due to /⁠ɛː⁠/ developing into /⁠i⁠/ by the 4th century AD or so in at least some dialects. English usually goes with ⟨e⟩, but pronounces it /⁠iː⁠/ anyway.
  11. [↑] High German surname Eckhart, Eckart, Eckert; SHG /⁠ˈɛk.hä(ː)ʁt, ˈɛk.ä(ː)ʁt, ˈɛk.ɐt⁠/.
  12. [↑] Part of the Ninja Storm questline, as described in Zancks’ 4th Job Skill/Mastery Book Guide (archived).
  13. [↑] Perhaps Polish surname Tylus /⁠ˈtɪ̞.lus⁠/, of native Polish origin. Or an obscure Ancient Greek mythological given name Τύλος, Τύλον; ⟨Týlos, Týlon⟩; /⁠tý.los, -n⁠/; apparently(?) meaning “knot; callus”.
  14. [↑] French Renée /⁠ʁə.ne⁠/.
  15. [↑] For the ambiguity/confusion between /⁠p⁠/ & /⁠f⁠/, see the “Blue in tooth & fin” section of the previous entry in this diary.
  16. [↑] The Korean & Japanese terms are more likely to be encountered as a borrowing of Mach /⁠mä(ː)x⁠/. The Korean & Mandarin terms are also borrowings of the Sanskrit honorific महा-mahā-/⁠ˈmɐ.ɦɑː⁠/ “great” for Buddhist use, but this is only used as a prefix.

Year of the wood dragon

This year, we got a combined Valentine’s Day + Chinese New Year event. It’s… an event. The most notable feature is that this event — aside from the usual nonspecific event “activities” & rewards — is just jump quests (JQs).

The Dragon Challenge

The centrepiece of the event is the Dragon Challenge, so named for this year being a wood dragon year. You see, it’s kinda like a Maple triathlon, except instead of swimming, cycling, & running, it’s JQing, JQing, & JQing. More specifically, it’s End of the Maze (“hat JQ”)[1], B3 ⟨Area 3⟩, & The Deep Forest of Patience ⟨Step 5⟩.

These three classic JQs have been reskinned to match the CNY theme, but are otherwise the same as always:

d34r in the first stage of the Dragon Challenge

d34r taking on stage 2 of the Dragon Challenge

d34r at the beginning of stage 3 of the Dragon Challenge

Completing the challenge awards five raffle tickets (known in this event as Hong Baos[2]), but the reward is only obtainable once per week per PC. The real attraction seems to be that this is the only JQ in the event with a timer:

d00r gets a time of 06:33.763 on the Dragon Challenge

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

[system message]: You completed the Dragon Challenge in [].

This was my best run, although I made no attempt to speedrun the JQ this time — unlike in the “Hinamatsuri” section of pt. cviii of this diary. The leaderboard times were something like ≈3 minutes faster than this, I think. 🙂

The actual event

Again excluding the usual generic eventstuffs, my participation in the event largely looked like this: pick a character to play, clear the Dragon Challenge once, spam “hard” JQs of my choosing until I make my way through all three “Moonlight Challenge” reward tiers, rinse & repeat.

The Moonlight Challenges could be other things like killing 888 level ≥90 monsters, killing five bosses, or whatever, but doing JQs is way faster, & way easier as well — especially if you choose easy JQs. Each day, a few JQs in “Easy”, “Medium”, & “Hard” categories are offered, & each one is just an already-existing JQ with an exit portal slapped onto it. Like The Deep Forest of Patience ⟨Step 7⟩, for instance:

d34r vs. the event version of The Deep Forest of Patience ⟨Step 7⟩

d34r at the exit!

You might know that Step 7 is pretty formidable, & indeed, it’s classified as a “Hard” JQ. This means that it can award a Hong Bao when you complete it, instead of always just awarding cosmetic currency.

I did quite a bit of Step 7 spam — easily dozens of clears. I even got kinda good at it?? Weird. But by far the JQ of choice was B2 ⟨Area 2⟩, which can be cleared by an expert speedrunner in roughly one minute. Think about that: just one or two minutes per clear, each one potentially awarding raffles, & each one counting towards half of a Moonlight Challenge clear (equivalent to 444 level ≥90 monster kills, or 2.5 boss kills).

With great power comes great responsibility

Transcription of the above image

d00r: i do not fking know how to do this jq
where u get hit by the lasors
i keep getting yote[3]

Skjal: aw its oki it took me like an hour with noam teaching me
i feel like ive been bestowed a gift from noam, who only used it for
and im the disciple who has begun to abuse it

d00r: ahahahaha

I did plenty of B2A2 spam, but the meditative version, where you simply wait for the lasers to disappear, before jumping to the next safe-spot that’s accessible within the timeframe of the lasers being off. I did, however, learn how to do the third column quickly.

B2A2 is split into three columns from left to right: the first one is trivial (you just fall down it), the second is the meat of the JQ (climbing up to the top of the map), & the third is similar to the second, having the exit portal at its peak. The third column is still a bit perilous, but it is shorter than the second. However, because you end the second column at the top of the map, it’s possible to just jump directly onto the exit portal.

Unfortunately, because the third column is significantly shorter, you always fall far enough to take fall damage. The naïve JQer will get knocked this way or that by the fall damage, causing them almost inevitably to tumble down to the bottom of the third column like a pachinko [パチンコ] ball.

I taught myself to hit the platform that the portal is on whilst facing leftward, which requires moving rightward in midair, & then tapping before landing. Then I would have to quickly jump up to a safe spot before my iframes ran out, wait for the lasers to turn off, & finally get to the exit portal.

This is a lot faster, but actually can be improved, believe it or not. By some careful positioning, tapping before landing, & ensuring that is held down (with no other keys touched) before & at the time of impact, it’s possible to go through the exit portal as soon as you land on it — in spite of the client also intending to calculate fall damage at the same time. This is a little fucky though, so roughly half the time, this strategy degenerates into the previous one — still fast, but requires waiting for a single laser cycle.

Fatigue & loathing in MapleLegends events: A savage journey to the heart of the treadmill

In the “Miscellaneous thoughts on event-exclusive PQs (‘A festive retrospective’)” section of pt. cxi of this diary, I wrote an essay exploring the fun factors, inclusivity, & game balance implications of event-exclusive activities — where something like e.g. “kill 888 level ≥90 monsters” is not considered “event-exclusive”, as this concrete (read: not abstracted by an event quest) generic activity is obviously done year-round.

“A festive retrospective” was written with a very specific individual in mind, although I’m not sure whether they’ve read it. The overall focus of that essay — not to imply that the essay is univocal — is a positive one, in multiple senses of the word positive: I focused on what makes event-exclusive content good, & on the inclusion of that content into the game, & of players into that content. Although I meant (& mean) everything that I said in “A festive retrospective”, my prevailing attitude towards MapleLegends’s seasonal event[4] system (henceforth simply events throughout this essay) is largely different, & exists along other dimensions.

Actually articulating everything that is wrong with events is difficult mostly on account of how many such things there are: where do I even begin? I will do my best to concisely articulate as many (albeit likely not all) of them as possible, so I hope that the reader can bear with me here. The major points are as follows:

The wickèd treadmill

The treadmill[5] is simple: we get an event that lasts some weeks, & then we don’t get any event for an indeterminate amount of time — usually weeks, even months. Rinse & repeat. The analogy to ambulation is simultaneously appropriate & inappropriate: to continue playing/hosting MapleLegends, the player/GM must keep pace with each event (step) or else risk being ejected from the treadmill’s surface[5]; but the movement of the surface is in fits & starts, far more unpredictable & erratic than that of an actual treadmill.

Part of the motivation to continue stepping is game-mechanical, to be sure: as we’ll see, events have lots of goodies that make your numbers more bigger — sometimes a lot more biggerer. But a yet greater part is social.

In islander terminology, someone who only logs on for events — & thus is nowhere to be found when there’s no event active — is an eventlander. But this phenomenon is by no means limited to Maple Island! It’s well-understood that the general population sags heavily when events are absent, & swells heavily when an event commences. This leads to a cycle that alternates between “eventlanding” on the one hand, & interevent drought on the other.

This cycle is a vicious one, & is the source of power[5] that drives the treadmill’s surface. The player has little incentive to so much as log in, if there’s no event to drip-feed them goodies, & there’s noöne online anyway. Now that they’ve not logged in, other players have yet lessened motivations to log in as well. This viciousness is an obvious one: the network effect. However, the network effect is present in any MMOG[6]. What the wickèd treadmill does here is make the phenomenon more violent, throwing off players in fits & starts, and producing a rift between the eventlander-type population & the persistent-player population.

But there’s also another viciousness: to keep the game population afloat & at least vaguely satisfied, the GM feels an obligation to continue the cycle, making it possible by releasing event after event. In addition to producing busy work for staff members, this produces a phenomenon of dependence, whereby the relationship between the server & its events is that between a substance abuser & their substance of choice: the “high” of an event fades, must be consigned to oblivion, & thus a new high is necessary to take its place.

The result is a grotesque inversion of the game itself: rather than the game standing on its own merits, & (optionally) occasionally adding events to spice it up, the game instead becomes defined by its events, such that the game’s “own merits” start to look more like a backdrop & mechanical basis for said events.

And so, the approximate (exaggerated) appearance of the treadmill is this: when there’s no event, noöne logs in; when there is, people log in to play the event; thus, noöne ever logs in to play MapleStory.

Temporary items

Although I’ve just defined the treadmill in a way that makes it sound inevitable for any event system that has seasonal events of sufficient extent & overpoweredness, we must also observe that MapleLegends’s implementation does some special things that actively further encourage the wickèd treadmill phenomenon. One of these is the profusion of temporary items — particularly equipment, but much of this also applies to certain USE & CASH items.

Some of these equips are exclusive cosmetics, & others are simply overpowered. The treadmilling is clear: these desirable items (yes, cosmetics do count — don’t @ me) are difficult to pass up, but when they expire, we’re left with little other than wanting more. And the cycle continues…

Of course, this is absurd. The supposèd justification for making the overpowered equips temporary is that they’re overpowered, & thus need something to limit them. But there are at least three reasons why this doesn’t actually make sense:

Temporary items, in the most general sense, do have some use-cases. But these use-cases are rather niche, & this is perhaps also evidenced by the fact that the implementation of the feature is underdeveloped & buggy — even after MapleLegends has put some work into mending Wizet’s/XiuzSource’s half-baked implementation.

The wasting of precious development time

Like most MapleStory private servers (MSPSs), MapleLegends has a development model based primarily upon fear, uncertainty, & doubt. Putting aside the manifold blights directly & indirectly inflicted by such a model, one implication is that there’s noöne left to actually do the work. As of this writing, MapleLegends has one (1) developer, & that’s including “developers” who hold that title dē jūre but are otherwise largely or entirely absent.

Imagine, if you will, that in a project so crippled, any significant amount of development time was allocated to stuff destined & intended to last for no more than a few weeks. That’d be crazy, right? Anyway…

Get rich quick

As we’ll see, events have quite a fraught relationship with game balance. One manifestation of this is the drive to “get rich quick”: part of the “high” of the event is the promise of filthy lucre. Yet, the implication of this promise is that “playing the event” is somehow more lucrative than the non-event game, & that players must eagerly take advantage of this dirty little income whilst they can.

One product of the get-rich-quick-scheme approach to event design is that it makes each event produce an associated glut. With only infrequent exceptions, each glut of resources produced by an event forcibly displaces the non-event resources with which it’s reasonably cross-elastic[7]. In addition to the problems outlined below, this has a direct effect on the phenomena described in “The wickèd treadmill” above: it cultivates a dependence of players’ resources (in general) upon event gluts, & in turn a centring of the game at large around the brute force of event gluts.

This brings us to another implication of the wickèd treadmill: because of the centring of the game around event gluts, there will inevitably be players — intently or otherwise — heavily exploiting whatever the event offers. This is not inherently bad, nor is it the fault of any player(s); playing the game is playing the game, no matter how one chooses to do it.[9]

But with events being designed from the get-go to be enticing & somewhat exploitative, and with each event naturally being underdeveloped & half-baked as a nigh inevitable consequence of being rapidly built & then shut down days or weeks later (being “disposable”, if you will), this is little more than a recipe for broken nonsense. The simple fact is that event content is not fully-fledged game content, & thus will never be well-developed nor mature (again: not that this itself is inherently bad). Yet, the justification for accepting this level of intentional defection is simple: the treadmill needs its fuel.

Overpowering the rest of the game

A related way in which the game at large is wrapped around the finger of the event treadmill is somewhat simpler: USE & EQUIP items from events displace organically-obtained items.

This concern is maybe less in-scope for this essay, as it’s really more indicative of a general failure of game balance broadly. Still, a very illustrative example of this & of the treadmill generally is given by my experiences with Vicloc.

I knew pretty much from the outset[10] that events were going to be a pain point for Vicloc, & would likely degrade it. I thus championed a fairly strict ruleset à propos events. The reader will be unsurprised to learn that this was an unpopular idea. Whatever would we do without our precious treadmill…? Not wanting to play Vicloc solo, I acquiesced, the rules were made not so strict, & they were even gradually weakened further over time. At this point, the current ruleset is pretty much a verbose & mildly dissuasive way of saying “just do whatever”.

The result is, regrettably, almost exactly as I envisioned: a huge portion of the natural resources of Vicloc are easily displaced by event equips & event gluts.

Non-locked PCs obviously have access to more & greater resources, so the likelihood that any given eventstuffs manage to overpower those resources is expected to be (& usually is) lower. Nonetheless, the phenomenon has largely the same nature, although once again this dips well into “general game balance” territory.

Spotty availability of standard equipment

One of the seemingly unambiguously good things about events is how they make certain crucial items available at all. Where would we be if we had no Mapleversary events to give us certain equips that conspicuously lack stat requirements? Where would we be without the events that give us access to claws that lack class requirements? And so on…

Unfortunately, this is really more like a cheap knockoff of Stockholm syndrome: there’s no particular reason why these crucial elements of the game need to be locked behind limited-time events, although we may enjoy it merely by virtue of being so accustomed to it.

Worse yet, with the events being so spotty & inconsistent, the availability of these standard items is by no means secure. How many times have I seen people wanting to make characters, only to be thwarted by “we haven’t had a Mapleversary event in a while, & who knows when we’ll get another?”, or “the Christmas events haven’t given out mittens in five years now…”?

Certain elements of events, like this one, can be “neutralised”. In this case, it’s as simple as making permanent event-only equips into just permanent equips, without the “event-only” part. This is generally pretty easy to do, but is outside the scope of this essay.

Accessibility of event-exclusive activities

One of the great things about MapleStory — indeed, what I would argue is easily one of its core strengths — is that it offers such a wide range of types of game content, playstyles, character builds — you name it. Events are simple, thoroughly temporary, & as I’ve already pointed out, inherently underdeveloped. Thus, it’s not necessarily the event’s duty to cater to absolutely every style of play & every type of game content; that’s the duty of MapleStory at large.

However, when events form the kind of wickèd treadmill that I’ve described here, the arrangement becomes more questionable. Now that the game seems to largely centre around the event system — “playing the event” rather than playing the game — we’re left to wonder where all those playstyles went.

Take these past two events (this event, & the Maplemas–Versalmas event as described in the “Yuletide” section of pt. cxi of this diary) as examples. Both of these events decidedly sported their own versions of “infinite money glitches”: JQ spam (generally of just one or two distinct JQs), & Snowmanning, respectively. Are both of these things perfectly valid game content that many people enjoyed? Absolutely. Is it fair that people who invested time, energy, & skill into these things got compensated for it? Undoubtedly. Is it fair that, realistically, only a small (albeit significant) minority of players actually got to meaningfully participate in any of these things?

I’m less certain about that last one. I’m not really one to talk, because I am part of that minority, as mediocre as my JQing skills may be. I know that I have observed people complain about this exact dynamic. Then again, maybe people just complain about any event, until they get the one that they want. I leave this one as an exercise for the reader.

Disrespecting the player’s time

In the previous section, I talked a lot about playstyles. One aspect of playstyle is that it’s subtly linked to playtime: how many minutes, which minutes & hours of the day, which days of the week, which weeks of the year, & so on. We often think of playtime linearly: how many minutes? More minutes means more progress, greater wealth, & so on.

That sounds peachy, except that it’s ignoring all those other aspects. With events, one such aspect is obvious: if, for instance, the player is particularly busy or absent during the course of a given event, then they’re going to miss out on it.

But events of this kind go quite further than this. To artificially inflate the apparent engagement of players with the event, time-manipulative tactics are employed. So-called dailies (which in this context may actually be weekly, semidaily, etc.) range from the trivial to the consequential. For example, this event allowed players to complete the scrolling of an event-only ring (the 8-Blessing Ring) by turning in roughly[11] 88 ⋅ 8 = 704 ETCs (No-Blessing Charms) that drop from all monsters. This is pretty bog-standard stuff, but the ✨⁠twist⁠✨ is that turn-ins of the ETCs could only be in batches of 88, & those turn-ins were (at most) daily.

This isn’t a horrible offence, but works well as a simple example. The problem is that we regularly overestimate the extent to which these wall-clock-time-based[12] tactics are actually necessary or desirable. In this simple example, it’s clearly unnecessary, & only meant that players who started “playing the event” too late were simply screwed — no matter how much time they dedicated.

The cause of this overestimation is presumably multifactorial, but I imagine that some more Stockholm syndrome is at play here. Players of MMOGs[6] — & especially of MMORPGs — are simply accustomed to this particular flavour of intentional defect, & are befuddled by the fact that it appears to be “just a time thing”, in the same way that more minutes invested implies (or should imply) more reward. But time is a tangled thing, & forcibly linearising it in this way does noöne any favours.

Other ways of disrespecting the player’s time can involve yet other mechanisms. Consider typical Valentine’s Day & Thanksgiving events, which also involve dailies that require hunting ETCs that drop from all monsters. This encounters some of the same problems, but also is designed so as to encourage the creation of event mules. The player is clearly incentivised to hold onto as-yet-unused ETCs, but because each individual one occupies a full inventory slot, this exerts great pressure on the PC’s ETC inventory. Partially, this is just a V2W thing: the inventory can be expanded by spending vote NX, which in turn is acquired by increasing the server’s ranking on GTop100[13]. However, if the inventory cannot be expanded — either because it hit the hard limit, or the player has insufficient NX — then they can either forfeit, or simply hand over the ETCs to a mule. Considering that fixing this problem is as simple as changing a handful of integral data values in a *.wz file, one wonders what’s so urgently necessary about incentivising mule creation & use.

Event fatigue

Are you tired? I am. Mostly of writing this harebrained essay, but also of events. And who can blame me? The interminable march of the wickèd treadmill is fatiguing for someone who enjoys — or wants to enjoy… — playing the game.

Most or all pitfalls observed throughout this essay, & many others, can be — favourably — neutralised or removed in one way or another. But it’s none of my business, & I don’t want to rain on anybody’s parade, & I’m also exhausted. It’s time for a break.


All this is not intended to argue that everything about events is bad: that’s obviously not true, evidenced not least by my “A festive retrospective” essay.

But let me put it these two ways: I personally cherish interevent periods, & harbour some dread for when the next event will come out of the blue & carry us all away; & moreover, of the handful of big reasons why I strongly hesitate to recommend to anyone — veteran Maplers, old-time former Maplers, & newbs alike — that they come play MapleLegends with me (“Pre-BB MapleStory is still alive! Come play!”), one of them is certainly the wickèd treadmill that would tumble-dry them out.

Footnotes for “Year of the wood dragon”

  1. [↑] This is the “hat JQ” of SGQ (a.k.a. GPQ), so called because it awards Sharen III’s Crown at the end. This is the JQ only accessible to level ≤30 PCs, & only so after slaying the 20 Devil Slimes of the Waterway Maze (MaID 990000640; one of four maps with this name). The map repurposed for the Dragon Challenge is called “End of the Maze” (MaID 990000641), but there are confusingly two other maps with this name. See the “Stage 4: Waterway Maze” section of Christopher Chance’s (LosAngeles, Hollywood, ChristopherC) ✯ HOLLYWOOD Presents: A Comprehensive Guide to Guild Party Quest (GPQ) (archived).
  2. [↑] From the Standard Mandarin reading of (ㄏㄨㄥˊ)(ㄅㄠ) (simplified红包⟩) as ⟨hóngbāo⟩; Standard Běijīng Mandarin /⁠xwəŋ˧˥ pau̯˥⁠/ [xʊŋ˨˥ pɐʊ̯˥]; “red envelope”. Many languages have instead borrowed from Hokkien, yielding âng-pau ㄤˊㄅㄠ /⁠aŋ˨˦ pau̯˥⁠/ > English ang pow, Malay angpau (Jawiاڠڤاو⟩), etc.
  3. [↑] Preterite form of yeet (/⁠jiːt⁠//⁠joʊ̯t⁠/), on the supposition that yeet is a class 1 strong verb, similar to e.g. writewrote, but somehow dodging the Great Vowel Shift (retaining ME /⁠iː⁠/ instead of becoming /⁠aɪ̯⁠/). This is obviously ahistorical, but you know. It’s funny. Leave me alone.
  4. [↑] Seasonal events contrast with GM events: the former lasts for many days or weeks & has a seasonal theme (CNY, Mapleversary, summer, etc.), whereas the latter is a one-time ad hoc “happening” that typically lasts only a number of minutes.
  5. [↑] Outside their metaphorical applications, treadmills are commonly used as exercise tools to maintain physical fitness. However, historically, they have also been used as a source of power for mechanical machines, & as a form of punishment (punitive labour) in prisons. In these latter contexts, they may be known as treadwheels.
  6. [↑] MMOGs (a.k.a. MMOs) contrast with MMORPGs, which are a particular type of MMOG. However, the two are confusingly conflated in some contexts, despite the fact that most MMOGs are not well-described as “roleplaying”, & are thus not MMORPGs at all. MapleStory is an MMORPG, & thus ā fortiōrī is also an MMOG.
  7. [↑] I use an economics phraseology here, but this effect doesn’t actually assume an economy. It’s just easier to phrase this way.
  8. [↑] You ever bust your ass for months to reach a MAXHP goal just to have it undone twofold by a random event item(s) expiring? Too real, I know.
  9. [↑] I believe the saying goes something like: don’t hate the player; hate the game.
  10. [↑] As something of an “historical” note, I do not take credit for the original conception of Vicloc-on-MapleLegends. Aside from the fact that it’s already an “obvious” way to play the game to begin with — on account of early versions of MapleStory being effectively “Viclocked” by design — it was originally Cortical’s (Medulla, GishGallop, Phoneme, BowerStrike, CokeZeroPill, Subcortical, NewCharacter) & Taima’s (Yunchang, Gelelp, Tacgnol, Boymoder, Hanyou, Nyanners, Numidium, Gambolpuddy, Hitodama, midorin, Inugami) idea, if anything. I just put in some work fleshing out the rules & various other things later on.
  11. [↑] I’ve simplified the mathematics only slightly here.
  12. [↑] Wall clock time being real-life time, in the ordinary sense, as contrasted with e.g. gameplay time.
  13. [↑] But also see the tangentially related “Are you a robot?” section of pt. cviii of this diary.

VVhen good manners, ſhall lie in one or tuuo mens hands, & they vnuuaſht too, ’tis a foule thing

All right, all right, all right. It’s MPQ time…?

I did a cheeky MPQ sesh with turbopriest Safety (Danger), on my dedicated MPQ mule potpan the stinky fart lady who taught me that I don’t particularly enjoy playing F/P mages[1]. You might reasonably wonder what a “turbopriest” is. Let’s put it this way: I was fortunate to even catch Safety in this extended MPQ sesh at all, given that he gained 107 levels in 27 days, or something positively ridiculous like that.

We were joined by Firebanger & Default — two more F/P mages! — for some all-mage (& nearly all-F/P) runs:

Firebanger, Safety, Default, & potpan in MPQ stage 3

It is green. My god, I cannot breathe.

Maybe you’re concerned that the final stage might not go so well for us. Well, think again!!

All-mage Angy Fanky fight

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image


I’m not so bad at protecting Romeo myself, you know. I have max-level Slow, & I can easily knock these diaper-wearing metalline bastards back with big Fire Arrow damage.

Later, it was looking pretty sparse, & we had no choice but to trio this PQ. Of course, MPQ requires a party of exactly(‽) four, so I drug along my HS/door mule d00r.

Trioing MPQ with Safety & JuicyGirl: The Angy Fanky fight

I don’t have the heart to tell JuicyGirl that a Maple Soul Spear ain’t gonna do much damage if she’s just Power Striking & Furying over her head with it. 🤭

Footnotes for “VVhen good manners, ſhall lie in one or tuuo mens hands, & they vnuuaſht too, ’tis a foule thing

  1. [↑] I probably would make her an I/L mage these days. Not that I especially like I/Ls either, but you know, I refuse to make an MPQ mule without Teleport. Then again, Fire Arrow is pretty nice for fighting Fanky

porcinus’s journal: 23 Hogeol 137 BHH

It’s unfortunate. If one is to be cast away & to wake up on an island, then it may as well be this one. But the misfortune rattles round my skull, & motivates me to write this for my own sake: I recall little more than my ability to speak & to write.

I feel the tincture of sadness within my breast, though I know not what I’ve lost. I shan’t dwell upon it any more than need be, for I’ve resolved myself to a simple plan: to write here each day my experiences, to keep in my pocket at all times, & therefrom to rediscover my old self, or to rebuild a new self — or if I should be so fortunate, both.

Now that I’ve my wits about me, I might hike inland. I bring my head downward, bowing beneath the boughs, branches narrowly missing my scalp; that is my name now: porcinus.[2]

Footnotes for “porcinus’s journal: 23 Hogeol 137 BHH”

  1. 호걸Hogeol월묘Wolmyo드레잌Deureik홍화사Honghwasa목마MongmaYang루팡Rupang처프Cheopeu헥터Hekteo돼지Dwaeji라츠Racheu쟁기소Jaenggiso⟩. ()(bun)()(hal) ()(hu).

  2. [↑] Axis porcinusIndian hog deer” from Latin porcus “pig”, but not for its appearance/morphology:

    Its name derives from the hog-like manner in which it runs through forests (with its head hung low), to ease ducking under obstacles instead of leaping over them, like most other deer.

tarawrndus xD


And now for a brief compilation of the many & various antics, shenanigans, & high-jinks of our favourite weaponless goofball: tarandus the pugilist! Starting with various EXPventures such as this 7 F sesh that I did with my Maple husband Lvl1Crook (xXCrookXx, Level1Crook, Macer) the course hair:

tarandus & Lvl1Crook 7 Fing with d00r

Oh yes! That is indeed a live d00r tagging along for her first session as a Real HS Mule™! ✨Wow✨~ They grow up so fast. 🥹

I also did a bit of Gregzelling with STRginner Taima (Gelelp, Tacgnol, Yunchang, Boymoder, Inugami) & shadow her Harlez (Gock):

Taima, Harlez, & tara vs. Kreckselle

And with her outlaw Gock, some Pep You Lotusing as well!:

Gock & tara duoing Paper Letters

Joined again by Taima, we paired the Poppy Loaders with some Ravananana; the beans to our rice; the peanut butter to our jelly:

Taima, tara, & Gock vs. Rāvaṇa

tara’s first HT!!

It’s actually kinda been a while since I hit the big level 155 — I’m 162 now, & still have yet to so much as boop an HT prehead on the nose! But that was all about to change. It was about to change in the least expected way possible, actually: tara’s first HT run was also my very first 6-Mapler run in my entire Maple career?!?!?

Yep! Am I scared? A little!! But I’ve got plenty of Gelt Chocolates, & I did some preparatory calculations back in the “Every day is leg day for Horntail” section of the previous entry in this diary. So I have a pretty good idea of how much damage HT can deal to me.

Prehead #1

It was a really blessed run. Not only was it somehow 6-Mapler, but I was getting my tushie absolutely swaddled by an epic lineup:

The lineup

Transcription of the above image
Party member online: 6⧸6
name job lv
Brokeen Night Lord 200
Harlez Shadower 200
MitoAdmita Bowmaster 200
ismimi Night Lord 200
misandrist Bishop 167
tarandus Buccaneer 162

When legs (and/or tail, of course) were still alive & my ST ran out, I jumped & climbed my arse up to hit heads instead:

My ST ran out…

No HB, no legs for me. 😅

Of course, with ST up, I’ve no issues gettin’ a li’l tail action:

A little tail action


Once the tail is down, I have to figure out how this whole “attacking heads” thing really works.

Demolishing mid head

I’m very much a single-target attacker. Yes, I do use DStrike sometimes, but that barely counts at all — not to mention how low-level mine is. Sounds simple, right? Hit the thing, do damage. Rinse & repeat.

Well… Let’s just say I had to figure out a few things, & I’m still struggling with the overall technique. Unlike a thief, stuff usually just hits me. My AVOID is comparable to that of an archer, albeit probably slightly lower. Unlike ranged attackers (NLs, archers, sairs), I’m not actually ranged; when Demoing, I’m like a fake ranged attacker, & otherwise I can’t even fake it. Although paladins can be thought of as “primarily-single-target melee attackers” like me, my stance is unlike theirs in that mine simply isn’t even active most of the time (not to mention that they can actually tank touch attacks…).

Can you see it now? Can you envision me falling down so many times, struggling to climb up into attacking position, & sometimes simply “whiffing” my attacks?

To make things even worse, getting into attacking position can be very dangerous when you’ve enough HP that an HT head so much as breathing on you might instantaneously yeet you into the grave. This mostly just applies to attacking mid head (from either side). Have you ever done a JQ where failing once makes you instantly die & grief the run? It’s “fun”…

Nought left unsaid

The upsides are that my stance does work sometimes, & my two main attacks (Demo & Barrage) give me some iframes to work with. When my EC is down, getting into position is a little embarrassing. I think there’s a trick that you can do on one side with CSB, but I’m not sure, & I haven’t tried it yet. I eventually figured out where to stand to hit right head — it’s not obvious where any of the hitboxes are, so it’s something of a miracle that Demolition can even hit the right head from atop the large platform.

When attacking mid head with Demo, I don’t let go of the Demo key unless I really have to move. Even if it means whiffing an attack because the mid head ducked, it’s probably better than getting knocked back! When attacking it with Barrage… Well, that’s not even possible from the right side of the map.

It’s worth noting what I mean by “fake ranged attacker”. Firstly, in spite of its distended hitbox, Demo is a melee attack. This means that, amongst other things, it always hits the monster with the smallest OID that’s within its reach. This makes its behaviour less evident & less predictable in comparison to a ranged attack, which simply hits whatever is in front of the attacker. Moreover, Demo has no proper “hitmarkers”; it does have a hit animation, but it doesn’t display where the attack actually connects. When Demoing any body part, my hit animation is always in the same place: the bottom of the map! I can’t even see down there, thank you very much!! And even if I could, it wouldn’t tell me what I’m hitting!!!

And last but not least, Demo has a colossal attack period of ≈2.34⁢ s, meaning that the only ranged attack to which it’s comparable is Snipe! If I whiff an attack, I have to wait a miniature eternity to try again!!

Arms instead

When we got to the arms part of the run, tara got her first taste of delicious, purply HT seduction. And she also got her first taste of attacking arms as a bucc sans ST:

Energy Draining the right arm

Right, so, if my EC is up, then I can spam ED in between the animations where the arm stretches out. When the arm does stretch out, I can actually Barrage it! Wow~!

If my EC is down, then it gets even more embarrassing. I have to alternate between DStrike & CSB — yes, CSBing just for the DPM — in between arm stretches. This is so sad. It is kinda fun tho.

HT dead

At long last, we slew the lizard…

The Last Hour of Horntail (Horntail: 1⧸1)

That’s right — this was an episode of Questin’ With tara™ this whole time! “The Last Hour of Horntail” indeed!!

But that’s not the only quest. Naturally, I looted a Horntail Necklace (HTP) & a Nine Spirit’s Egg. With these two items, I could complete The Missing Hero & also scroll my pendant!

Nine Spirit’s Baby Dragon

Whoa~ Baby dragone~

tara’s HTP

Transcription of the item in the above image

Horntail Necklace (+1)

One of a kind Item, Untradeable

  • Req lev: 120
  • Category: pendant
  • STR: +23
  • DEX: +21
  • INT: +21
  • LUK: +23
  • Weapon def.: 255
  • Magic def.: 245
  • Avoidability: +42
  • Number of upgrades available: 2

Well, hell! That’s a pretty joocy pendant! I probably won’t be wearing it much, but it could really come in handy when I want the AVOID!

Getting that bread

I need to be fed, & there’s more bread to be had alongside some of the same folx with whom I just HT’d. I invited Lvl1Crook along for the pair of Zax, & we both levelled up! At the same time!!:

tara hits level 163 & Lvl1Crook hits level 158~!

Wow, level 163~! I’m sure that number has no significance whatsoever…

The hunt

With the Valentine’sCNY event afoot, it was time to run around in search of roses (Rosa). Like any good roses, these Valentine’s flowers can only be found tuckt within the flesh of such mushies & beasties as match their own hues. I took this as an opportunity to do a little cardhunting concurrently, starting with hunting Jr. Yetis for their cards & their White Valentine Roses:

Jr. Yeti card get!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Next!

Bubble Fish for their cards & their Blue Valentine Roses:

Bubble Fish card get!

And the Flower Fish have cards too, I s’pose…:

Flower Fish card get!

1, 2, 1, 3, 2, 4, …


tara gets a Blue Valentine Rose! Finally!!

My first rose. How sweet. 5~! Next~!!

Pepes for their cards & their blue flowers as well:

Pepe card get!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Next!

Leatties for their cards & their White Valentine Roses, mayhap…?:

Leatty card get!


Sentinels also drop them:

Sentinel card get!

I, IJ, IIJ, IV, V. Proxima!

Grupins drop the blue ones…

Grupin card get!


Luster Pixies drop Yellow Valentine Roses…?:

Luster Pixie card get!

۱ ۲ ۳ ۴ ۵. بَعْدِی.

Jr. Lioners…

Jr. Lioner card get!

Oh, thank goodness. A yellow one.

Yellow Valentine Rose get!!

A brief diversion

Let’s take a break & do some Paw Pull Eighters?

The Hong Bao that lived

All this time, & my first Hong Bao is from a frickin’ Darkstar‽ Of course.

The hunt continues

Since I’m in Lūdi anyway, let’s check out that Toy Factory. I can at least get my No Blessing Charms here…

Toy Trojan card get!

Pink Teddy card get!

I learnt that Shockwave’s hitbox is tall enough to hit two (2) levels of the map simultaneously in Sky Terrace⟨3⟩![2]

tara using Shockwave at Sky Terrace ⟨3⟩


Aaaand ducc.

Roloduck card get! (tarandus: kwacc)

I’m starting to finish some card sets here, so it’s time to move to the Panda Teddies:


Oop. Wrong image — sorry about that.

Panda Teddy card get!

There we go.

Little Miss Bossy McBosspants

And finally, it’s time for a little bit (or a lot… bit…) of Bossin’ With tara™. Beginning with some Scarliarlionion duos with Harlez:

tara dies to Scarlion…

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

tarandus: sorry :/ i didnt know it can hit that hard LOL

Oh, dear. I seem to have… How do I put this lightly… Fucking died. That’s what I get for thinking I can get away with putting my auto-Honster threshold at only 65%…

But okay. You live & you learn. Let’s do it frfr this time…

Ok FRFR this time.

Whoa! Is that a genuine, non-counterfeit pair of ✨Shield Earrings✨?:

tara & Harlez duoed Scarlion & got Shield Earrings!

Pretty nice. Except the stats are the worst possible stats. But… nice.

I also joined coarse hair Danger for some Zakky-wakky runs where he also dual-cliented as turbopriest Safety (gotta get them certs & helms), alongside Bohm asters Shears & Mekhane (Sunken, CaptainNemo), pal-a-din Hawthorn (Confessor, Tarnished), & fellow book-in-ear notnotgroovy (notgroovy)!:

Shears, Mekhane, Hawthorn, Safety, Danger, notnotgroovy, & tarandus vs. Zaqqūm

Knee owe toke yo

Remember how, a while back, I hit level 163, & noted that the number 163 probably had no significance whatsoever?[3]:

Wow, level 163~! I’m sure that number has no significance whatsoever…

Well, I did say that, even if you don’t remember. But I think that I was wrong this whole time, because Nibelung is level mfing 163 + 5 = 168?? What a crazy coinkidink.

I did my first Nib runs with Harlez & DK SpearBae!:

SpearBae, Harlez, & tara vs. Nibelung

Pretty fuccing cool?? I hit the giant Japanese spaceship with my bare hands & it blew tf up!!

Of course, SpearBae was dutifully keeping me alive, particularly through that perilous third body. So when I wanted to duo Nibby-wibby with Mark’s man xBowtjuhNL (PriestjuhNL, BuccjuhNL), I had to drag rusa along…

xBowtjuhNL & tara duoing Nib

…Wait just one gosh heccin’ darned second. I now seem to recall that a certain Burger Moth is also level 163 + 5 = 168…

Dustinn, akiwi, Harlez, & tara vs. Burger Moth

O ya! I did some burger-flipping moth-exterminating partytimes alongside Harlez and pallies Dustinn & akiwi (SecretIy, Flurri)! Unlike Nib, however, Berga is no simple matter of just having HB. I mean, I do need HB, but the fight is a little trickier.

tara getting leftjump seduced during Bergamot’s third body

It took me a while (a handful of runs), but I eventually kinda started getting the hang of the timing. I want to be dodging those dispel lasers of the first two bodies, probably dodging the lasersplosion attack (which sometimes stuns) of third body, & of course dodging the latter body’s sed rockets.

Now, I’ve done a lot of Berga runs. Like a lot. But those were all on rusa! So I started out by pretty much just ducking () under every one of the above-mentioned attacks. But that’s because rusa has no good source of iframes. I would later learn that delaying my next Demo (or Barrage, if not in ST) by a little bit can be the most consistently effective — & still high-DPM — way of dodging these things. Of course, when it comes to 3rd body’s rockets, I’m a little more hesitant. The animation — actually multiple (2?) animations, because of course there are multiple… — is confusingly unclear about the exact window of time within which you can be struck.

Anyway, I gave @dpm 5 a go on the 1st body (2.2k WDEF!!), with Echo, MW20, & a Hot ’n’ Ready Dumpling (+22 WATK & +33 MATK for 15 minutes, from this CNY event):

Level 163 tara duoing Bergamot with Harlez: @dpm 5 on Dumpling, Echo, & MW20

Hmm…! 2.13M is more than I expected, to be honest!

But then, disaster struck. Harlez forgor to renew her subscription to the realm of the living (a pricey subscription these days), & was evicted from her mortal frame:

R.I.P. Harlez

Yet there were still Burger Moths to be vanquished. So I did what anyone would have done: shoved an Onyx Apple or two into my mouth, fought on, & then started crying when there were too many of the stupid bloody summons for me to handle.

Then I wiped my tears, painstakingly killed them (they love flying just a little too high for any of my attacks to reach them), & humbled the great moth of Hamburg:

tara finishes the Berga run~!

Wow, cool… It dropped a Flairgrave (Two-Handed Axe)……

The yellow bar disappears when it gets too big

Ok, ok, that’s enough of the big bad Japanese robots for now. He’s got a spear, he’s an old man, he has no fear, to defeat him we plan:

tara hits level 164 in a JC run!!

Wow! We did it! And I levelled up, too!! Take that, “Jiaoceng” — if that is your real name…![4]

The oversized squamate rears her heads again

And finally, I did a little itty bitty more Horntailing. This time, 12-Mapler runs hosted by Diggy! I was treated with the luxury of HB this time, so I actually got to Barrage the legs. 😎

tara in a Diggy-hosted HT run, Barraging legs

Big shoutout to LoveShuffle (Mothman), who kindly took rusa’s spot as sed target so that I could switch back to playing tara instead!

I did some Gelting the first run, but when it came time for that second run, I wanted to make full use of my HT buff. With this more consistent & not-so-special buff setup of HT buff, Echo, SE, & MW20, I trialled a sneaky @dpm 30:

Level 164 tara in HT main body: @dpm 30 with HT buff, Echo, SE, & MW20

I think the most interesting thing about getting 1.83M here is the comparison with what I’d expect from rusa. Although tara clearly shines when it comes to blasting down single-target chumps like e.g. Bigfoot or Krexel, rusa’s ability to cleave in HT really makes a big difference. I’m looking forward to refining my technique on tara to get a better comparison, & also looking forward to using more apples to artificially blow my damage out of proportion… 🙂

By my hands cleft

Speaking of cleaving, I’ve been pretty clear about tara’s single-target attacker status here. But you might think to yourself: “can’t buccs cleave too?”. The answer is: y—yes…? It depends on what you mean.

In particular, one of the shining pieces of content for any good cleaver is of course CWKPQ. That trio of disgusting, filthy floor bosses isn’t going to cleave itself, so if I ever want to CWKPQ on tara(…?), then I need to know how much damage I can actually deal there.

Important but technical info about timings

ℹ️ Not interested in the exact details of game time? This section elaborates my current most complete understanding, but can be skipped if you’ve no use for timing measurements in MapleStory.

Getting timing values for attack periods & delays & such is considerably more difficult than it sounds. Even sweatlords seem generally unwilling to uncover these sorts of things — other mechanics, like e.g. attack animation probabilities, included! LazyBui’s classic Attack Speed Reference (ASR; archived) is a fantastic resource, but it’s based on a version of GMS later than v62.

LazyBui’s methodology is based on the “tick counts” included in the packets sent to the server; the client uses the OS’s clock to record when an attack begins, & that information — with a nominal resolution of 1⁢ ms — is sent over the network.[5] As far as I can tell, this is effectively the most accurate possible methodology other than the direct introspection of the client’s code, because these “tick counts” solely represent the client’s own understanding of game time — which is what we want, as the PC’s ability to attack is fully client-sided.

In using this technique, LazyBui uncovered that the client appears to define 1⁢ tick = 30⁢ ms, hence why (almost) all of ASR’s timings are multiples of 30⁢ ms. This means that, unless you’re playing the game at a fixed & steady framerate that is an integer multiple of 1 000∕30 = (33⁤⅓)⁢ FPS (for example: 3 ⋅ (33⁤⅓) = 100⁢ FPS), you’re essentially guaranteed to see an inconsistent number of frames making up each attack period or delay, cēterīs pāribus.

Input queueing…?

LazyBui says this:

I noticed random increases of 30⁢ ms while holding down the attack button. There seems to be no specific trigger. It happens with all skills listed (with the only exception of Hurricane thus far) and across all weapon speeds.

I suspect that these “random increases” are merely an input issue. When holding down a key, the DE (often, but not always, Microsoft Windows⁠™’s DE) is responsible for auto-repeat: a certain amount of time after the key starts to be continuously held down, the auto-repeat kicks in, repeating the “key down” input (but not sending any “key up” inputs) at a certain frequency until the key is let up. If the auto-repeat frequency is sufficiently low, and/or is not given quite enough time to kick in, then this could potentially cause slightly inflated interval timings.

Moreover, the client has its own internal input-handling logic, including an input queue, as well as something called tubi[6] (& possibly other things). Clients modified with the tubi hack have a much higher limit on how quickly they’re allowed to loot items/mesos on the ground, amongst other things. It’s thus even more likely that there’s something input-related going on here.

And last but not least, the fact that Hurricane is the exception here lends even more credence to this theory. Hurricane is the only skill (other than RF, which LazyBui presumably had yet to test at the time they wrote this comment) that has this custom input handling, where the attacks fire absolutely continuously — with no inputs needed — until a “key up” is received.

Non-technical methods of measurement

On the bright side, however, the equation 1⁢ tick = 30⁢ ms also means that observed timings can be rounded to the nearest multiple of 30⁢ ms, greatly reducing the effective precision necessary to be confident in timing measurements. For example, setting a 60-second timer & then counting exactly how many attacks fit within that timer, is often — but not always — sufficient to be fairly confident in the result.

Although LazyBui’s method doesn’t necessarily require the experimentalist to perform any decompilation or similar, it does require them to either have enough control over the server to log packet contents, or to sniff the packets locally, decrypt them[7], parse them, etc. Easier is the method suggested in the previous paragraph, or recording video & analysing it frame-by-frame.

Analysing video frame-by-frame is more easily said than done. I’ve found people suggesting the use of mpv for this purpose, & since I already use it for video playback anyway, that’s what I went for. However, much like any video player of which I’m aware, mpv is not really designed to be used this way, but I made it work. I invoke mpv with the following command-line flag:[9]

--osd-status-msg='${playback-time/full} / ${duration} (${percent-pos}%)\nframe: ${estimated-frame-number} / ${estimated-frame-count}'

I can then press +o to have the current frame number displayed, along with the corresponding time in ms. It’s a teensy bit fucky, so I usually have to give it a second to “catch up”. Then . goes forward one frame, & , goes back.

The number of frames won’t always be the same, so I do this a handful of times for distinct instances of the same attack or combo, take the arithmetic mean, & then round to the nearest multiple of 30⁢ ms if appropriate.

Measurements used for the theoretical breakdown below

NOTE: None of these figures (here, or in ASR) involve animation cancelling.

EB has no delay (unlike in ASR), & its attack period is otherwise that given by ASR’s “Energy Blast (delay)” figures. Thus, 570⁢ ms (read: weapon speed category of 2) for this purpose.

Snatch also has no delay (unlike in ASR), but also seems to have an attack period of 810⁢ ms with all of weapon speed categories 2, 3, & 4. This is in contrast to ASR, which cites 750⁢ ms, 810⁢ ms, & 870⁢ ms, respectively.

Spamming DStrike (i.e. not comboing it with anything else) has a much lower total attack period than in ASR: not 2 250⁢ ms, but 1 440⁢ ms (regardless of weapon speed category). Testing the delay by using a ⟨DStrike, FF⟩ macro, I get values of 1 080⁢ ms, 1 170⁢ ms, & 1 260⁢ ms for speed categories 2, 3, & 4, respectively. These three figures match ASR.

Spamming Barrage also has a much lower total attack period than in ASR: not 3 240⁢ ms, but 2 640⁢ ms. The “Barrage delay” figures appear to be accurate, however.

Although ASR accurately characterises Demo as having no delay, its figures are otherwise useless. My testing reveals that Demo in MapleLegends has an attack period of 2 010⁢ ms, 2 190⁢ ms, 2 340⁢ ms, 2 520⁢ ms, & 2 670⁢ ms at speeds 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6, respectively.

ASR’s figures for Shockwave & Energy Orb appear to be correct.

ASR’s figures for SSK appear to be correct for our purposes, although the attack period for weapon speed category 6 appeared to be consistently 870⁢ ms (not 840⁢ ms) when I tested it with a gun & a spear.

Theoretical breakdown of bucc cleave strategies

Thankfully, the breakdown should be pretty simple. By couching DPM in terms of theoretical damage multi[8] per second (%⧸s), we get something like this:

state attack combo targets
EC ST 3 2 1
🌟 DStrike, Snatch 🫧⁠🌟 2 238.1 1 492.1 746.0
🫧 DStrike, EB 🫧 2 236.4 1 490.9 745.5
🌟 Snatch 2 222.2 1 481.5 740.7
🫧 EB 2 210.5 1 473.7 736.8
🫧 EO 2 043.0 🫧 1 612.9 967.7
🌟 Demo 1 830.8 🫧⁠🌟 1 830.8 🫧⁠🌟 1 830.8
Barr, DStrike  1 797.3  1 518.9  1 240.6
SW[10] 1 400.0 933.3 466.7
🫧 Barr, ED, ED 1 289.4 1 289.4 🫧 1 289.4
SSK 863.6 575.8 287.9

In the above table, “🫧⁠🌟” next to a %⧸s value indicates that, for the given target count, that combo is theoretically ideal for the bucc who is in both EC & ST. Thus, at a given target count, the “🫧⁠🌟” combo should ideally be used if possible. If not, then the “🫧” or “🌟” combos may be chosen depending on whether the bucc is in EC or ST, respectively. Otherwise, the “” combo is the theoretically best last resort (when EC is down & ST is on cooldown).

I’m somewhat surprised to see that DStrike is so powerful that alternating it with Snatch beats simply spamming Snatch. The difference is minor, but still; DStrike is doing a lot of work. Perhaps more surprising is how incredibly powerful EB is with a target count of 3〜4, given that it’s a 3rd-job skill! It’s “worse” than Snatch, but only barely.

EO has an interesting niche here: it only has a chance to shine when the target count is exactly 2, & even then, only when EC is up & ST is simultaneously on cooldown — or when you want to avoid single-target damage. We thus get some idea of why EO tends to be the last attack that the buccaneer invests into. Nevertheless, these kinds of calculations don’t express the fact that EO is actually a bouncy ball that bounces from target to target, potentially giving it some other niche uses as well (like in e.g. HT, IIRC).

The fact that Demo is theoretically ideal (again assuming that it’s acceptable to not cleave) for a target count of not just 1, but also 2, seems to hint towards something like “buccs aren’t ✨true✨ cleave”. Obviously cleave in this sense is not usually well-defined, & for that matter, it isn’t infrequently abused. But, you know…

Less interestingly, alternating between Barr & DStrike tends to be the right idea for ECless-&-STless DPM at all three target counts considered here. You’ll notice, however, that SSK is included in the table despite obviously having lacklustre DPM. This is because, at any target count other than 1, SSK is the fastest way to charge EC when both EC & ST are down.

And finally, who knew that the ⟨Barr, ED, ED⟩ combo was so good for single-target DPM‽ I kinda did, although I’ve mostly been using it on account of my DStrike not being max-level yet. 🙂

The future of Cleavin’ With tara

Even putting aside the fact that these theoretical calculations don’t take into account things like hitboxes, stance (& lack thereof), monstercontroller, etc., there’s still another problem: the above table assumes that all skills are at their maximum levels!

I’m currently in the process of maxing out DStrike. With six more levelups — meaning level 164 + 6 = 170 — it’ll finally get there. At that point, I can sorta-kinda cleave, with the caveat that if my target count is three or more, then I really need to keep my EC uptime as high as possible, so that I can alternate DStrike & EB.

But my cleaving arsenal won’t truly be complete until I’ve max-level Snatch & EO, yes? That would take another twenty levels… 164 + 6 + 20 = 190. Level… one hundred & ninety. Oh, my god. rusa is the highest-level character I’ve ever played, & she’s only 186!!! Hecc!!!! 😭

Footnotes for “tarawrndus xD”

  1. [↑] I’m aware that xD & especially rawr are now dated, & I’ve mostly seen rawr xD used ironically & even derisively these days. But make no mistake: I have never used these terms ironically, & never will. Every one of my rawr xDs is 100% genuine & unironic, guaranteed.
  2. [↑] See the “Shockwave vs. Energy Blast” section of pt. cx of this diary.
  3. [↑] Other than being the largest Heegner number (A003173), of course. Of course of course of course… Obviously……
  4. [↑] See footnote #1 of the “A grasp nullary” section of pt. cviii of this diary.
  5. [↑] I can’t find any code that actually confirms this client behaviour, although it’s very possible that server implementations simply ignore this part of the packet entirely, as they do seem to skip quite a few bytes.
  6. [↑] I know nothing of the etymology of tubi. If you know something about it, or about tubi in general, let me know!
  7. [↑] This decryption is “trivially easy” from a cryptographer’s point of view, because the encryption is not intended to be secure. But you still need the technical know-how.
  8. [↑] See the “Zerk + SE = ???” section of pt. ci of this diary, for more on damage multipliers/damage multis & related damage calculation mechanics.
  9. [↑] Yes, this is a single flag; you can also put it in your mpv.conf file instead, without the leading --. See:
  10. [↑] Shockwave does require the marauder/buccaneer to be in a transformed state, but because the type of transformation (Super or not) doesn’t matter, its uptime is effectively ≈100% in this case.

porcinus’s journal: 24 Hogeol 137 BHH

’Twas here where I met the twins Robin & Sam. A strange pair, but amiable enough.

porcinus meets the twins

Sam is here to pick mushrooms, which is understandable given how lush this island seems to be with the giant fungi. But his mushroom-hunting partner, Maria of Amherst, has yet to show up, ostensibly on account of her fear of snails. I helped Sam to clear some of the snails out of the way.

porcinus vs. (green) Snail

Maria was relieved.

porcinus meets Maria

By way of thanks, Maria offered me a recipe for nutritious juice that I could make myself: one Squishy Liquid & five Mushroom Spores. On my way to deliver a letter from Maria back home to her husband Lucas in Amherst, I encountered a strange critter: half woman, half rabbit.

porcinus meets Yoona

But I didn’t want to disturb her, hard at work plucking mushrooms & snails from the field. The ’shrooms aren’t as easy to pluck as they look.

porcinus vs. Shroom


Welcome! To notorious & widely-feared darksterity knight rusar rusa!! She’s the orange one, in case you forgot!!!

Thanks to the Valentine’s Day event, I was able to do two or three Chocolate Baskets (a.k.a. “portable GM buffs”) at the seventh floor of the Dutra Suppository with similarly notorious F/P archgishlet Tacgnol (Taima, Gelelp, Yunchang, Boymoder, Inugami)!:

rusa & Tacgnol duoing at the seventh floor of the Sutra Depository

My eyes are still burning as a result of this experience, but it’s all worth it for the joocy EXPs.

Mother of dragons

I also did quite a bit of HTing! Like this 12-Mapler run that I signed up for with the folx over in the Dream alliance:

rusa running HT with Dream

Wow — I’m not even the sed target! That’s crazy! Wanna know what’s even crazier?

No STR DKs here!

Transcription of the above image

Matsheshu: do we have a str dk here ?
we got luk and dex dk here

Yes… Dostoevsky is actually a level 200 DK who reset all of his STR into LUK after hitting the level cap. Real & true — I saw all the “MISS”es, especially when I was watching him “play” sed target (read: be an AFK Echo mule on a rope whilst actively playing bishop). The result was that we had two DKs in the run, & between the two of us, not a single point of STR! Let’s fking go!!

rusa running HT with Dream, main body fight

Naturally, I also did a bunch of runs as sed target. Particularly in Diggy’s runs such as this one, where my sed bish was iOSBishop:

whis sed?

Transcription of the above image

iOSBishop: whis sed?

jacksoffwang: rusa

iOSBishop: haha
i got u rusa

rusa: [:

iOSBishop: make sure u have charms
hold up
russ [sic] is sed fr fr?

rusa: im sed yes

iOSBishop: rusa is sed fr fr?

xQueenTT: yis

iOSBishop: rofl
im done

Diggy: hes [sic] great at it

iOSBishop: hahah

Yes, for real for real.

Don’t believe me? I know I’ve talked a lot about being a DEX DK sed target in this diary, & shown plenty of hopefully funny goofy wacky silly images & videos, but usually I’m trying to get to the meat of it. I don’t go around keeping count of how many runs I did, I just show the joocy bits! So please, if you would so kindly allow me to indulge in just a little bit of shameless secondhand self-endorsement (my apologies — I only recently figured out how to make OBS split apart audio tracks):

Transcription of the above audio

Ethan (DontAtMe): I’m protecting rusa with my life. On my momma.

Amy (Loquat): [laughs] rusa’s actually really easy to baby. She doesn’t need you.

Ethan: Yeah, that’s— that’s why. [laughing] That’s why.

Amy: [laughing] —why she doesn’t need you.

Ethan: When I saw rusa sign up, I was like “yo, I’m getting a free bonus on my splits”.

And indeed, I did a number of runs with DontAtMe as my sed bish. One of them in particular was not so smooth, but that was more on account of GlizzyGoblin (our buccaneer) having to go indefinitely AFK on account of someone randomly crashing into the backside of his car parked on a residential street with a big SMOOSH! Oof!! Oh, & then DontAtMe died…

GlizzyGoblin d/ced & DontAtMe is dead

But wait! There’s more! We’ve got car crashes, bishops meeting their makers, & we’ve even got early mass sed on the left arm! So we killed the mid head from the right side…

We… may have triggered left arm mass sed.

Thankfully, after all that, we did clear. And we were rewarded with MW40‽:



But you know what’s even more hugerer? rusa’s first ever 6-Mapler HT?? (And my second-ever 6-Mapler run???)

Yes, yes! I don’t exactly go seeking these things out, hence why it’s been approximately one bazillion years & I’m only just doing one now. But Davina (Abella, Andra, Corvina) was looking for a DK on short notice so that bowmaster SweatLord (ThirtyBirds) could use the HB to attend said 6-Mapler run. So I suddenly found myself in a party with Davina, SweatLord, bowmaster IcedWater, shadower ZeroShade (ZeroPulse, ZeroGravity), & bishop Verdict (Viewty)!:

rusa’s first six-Mapler HT run?!?

Regrettably, the first run didn’t pan out so well. You see, it seemed normal, until suddenly everyone stopped attacking…?:

W—why did they all stop attacking…?

As you can see, I’m crying in this image because I know what this means. It means that Kimmy is at it again pressing buttons in her secret lair. She sensed a disturbance in the force: the orange one? In a six-Mapler HT run? It cannot be.

Kimmy pressing the “d/c the orange bitch” button on her control panel

Verdict d/ced as well, so the run was pretty much instantly toast.

But that’s just run 1! Surely, Kimmy will take a really, really long poop break so that I can make it through this run undisturbed. Like in the first run, I was popping Gelt Chocolates into my mouth like they’re candies. They are, after all, literally candies…

Level 185 rusa, @dpm 45 on HT with Gelt Chocolate, MW30, & SE

Wowza wowzers wowie gee golly gosh! That’s some chunmqy damage. Unfortunately, Davina d/ced somewhat early on in the main body fight (R.I.P.), so I didn’t have SI for most of this @dpm 45 test; just Gelt, MW30, & SE. Still, 3.86M DPM feels pretty good!!

But it wasn’t an easy fight. At first — that is, soon after Davina tragically d/ced — we were feeling okay about still clearing within the timer. However, in addition to losing Davina’s DPM & SI, we also lost the sed mule Corvina, so ZeroShade was forced to lose DPM by eating seds.

Around the time that right head died, Verdict was getting worried. Her being our resident HT expert par excellence, we enacted her plan to use four Onyx Apples (two per archer). She also had me jump-cleaving the left head & wings (& some arm) any time that mid head was weapon-cancelled, to ensure victory within the precious time limit. This is not normally something I do, as I normally just maximise head damage. But in this case, especially with me being the sole cleave attacker, it made a difference…

Finished with four minutes to spare…!

Yep! Finished with hardly more than four (4) minutes on the clock! And got no fucking drops!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA​AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA⁠—

Le sigh. It happens.

ty for carry

Transcription of the above Discord™ chatlog

HV | Verdict: should’ve keep [sic] pickpocket for whole run for almost (or even more than) double split

ThirtyBirds | SweatLord: Always on these emergency clears no drops [laughing dog emote] was fun ty for bringing me~ ty @deer for carry

HV | Verdict: Ya deer has great player skill, you won’t worry at all for HB can just forget about it
+ LH/LA cleaving which usually don’t happen but we pushed today, made huge difference. w/o that, we would’ve used 3 appoes[1] per archer.

ThirtyBirds | SweatLord: Didn’t have to look or ask once I just assume its there :Prayge: great drk

Alright, it’s back to getting incessantly seduced in 12-Mapler runs! Like this run, where I hit level mfing level 186 when the first prehead died?!?!?:

rusa hits level 186~!!!

Holer moler guacamoler!! My annual levelup!!! 😊

There was lots of 1⧸1-dodging to be had. Like this little dance, where the first ≈half of the sed animation was invisible on account of being completely covered up (it happens sometimes), so I reacted quite abruptly:

Whew. That was a close one. I think that might be the hardest I’ve ever swerved in my Maple career. 😅

Or this sneaky one, where I was kinda stuck in between two 1⧸1 markers without knowing the direction in which I was gonna get seduced:

I was going to Will anyway, because the timing was so fucky, but instinctively grabbing the rope didn’t really help…

Speaking of dicey situations: remember kids, eat your veggies! The extra DEF really matters sometimes!!:

DEF matters!!

Haha… 128 HP…… 😅😅😅

And last but certainly not least, I did another pair of 12-Mapler runs with Dream, this time as HB provider for bowmaster Flai (FIai) & cosse erres Qubsane (Qub*)!:

rusa HTing w/ Flai & Qubsane

Nice!! 🧡


Aside from all that HTing, I also did just a little bit of IInas — a.k.a. “Dunas Two: The Sequel: The Prequel” on account of the rather confusing time travel — with my Maple wife Harlez (Gock).

Harlez & rusa duoing IInas again

Oh geez oh sheesh oh gosh rusa you don’t have any HP left! Don’t die!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAA​AAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Anyway, eventually this handsomely-clad cad lad was had. He focking died. But now it was our turn to feel bad, because IInas did not drop a single damned bit of loot:

Dunas 2 does not drop anything.

Transcription of the above image

rusa: wat.

[system message]: You have successfully defeated Dunas!

rusa: did it
drop nothing?

Harlez: i tried to clip

rusa: how is that even possible

Harlez: but it had it unmarked as game
so gg

Harlez [buddy chat]: my 2nas just dropped a singular nt coin
nothing else


Phaseolus rubellus

I also continued on my Pink Beanventures! In particular, I was part of one rather 🌶️⁠spicy⁠🌶️ run where one of our bux d/ced just before popping their TL at the beginning of stage 5. You might remember the so-called “right bird (Muninn[2]) first” strategy from the “Stage 4: both men & both birds” section of pt. cviii of this diary. Well, stage 5 is basically just stage 4 with Ariel added, so the beginning of the stage is the same (albeit made somewhat more dangerous by Ariel’s “Genesis” attacks).

Although that’s not our only buccaneer in the entire run, & not even our only buccaneer whose TL isn’t on cooldown, this is kind of a big problem. After d/cing, they had no good way to immediately inform everyone that they had done so, & because it was a crash (þͤ olde TL bug), the server was still waiting for the connexion to timeout, making it not obvious in-game that they were actually already completely d/ced.

Long story short, this meant that noöne got their Holy Shields in time for Muninn’s[2] first mass sed after the first HSh ran out, nor in time for the second mass sed…

Getting absolutely gooft upon by Muninn

Oh, dear.

I managed to nab a brief little 39-second video clip of this happening, which you can watch (including in-game audio & some VC audio) on the Oddjobs YouTube™ channel:

📺 “oh. we’re not shielded” the sequel [YouTube™]

It was pretty brutal. As usual, I managed to survive for slightly more than 29 seconds of the 30-second-long sed (see also: the “O, Pink Bean…!” section of pt. cxi of this diary). 🙄🙄 As a result, absolutely everyone in my party died, & so did most folx in other parties as well. Nonetheless, with some careful recuperation & a few extra appos[1], we did clear this run. Phewf!!

In less exciting news, I think this is the first time I ever attacked Ariel from the right side:

Hitting Ariel from the right side

Just give up now, Ariel! You’re completely surrounded!! On all two (2) sides!!!

At this point, I’m fairly used to PBing. Which is good, because at first, the sheer anxiety was really scraping away at my life expectancy. Still, my “dark knight survival instincts” have been difficult to push past, which might be a good thing, or maybe not. I’m constantly thoroughly aware of everything that I know & don’t know, what can possibly kill me — even the unlikely things.

For example, one thing that I know I don’t know is exactly how long the period of time will be between left bird (Huginn[2]) actually beginning its DR, & the beginning of the DR animation on my display. There’s networking latency involved here, so unless I know exactly how that packet is going to behave (including the possibility of TCP retries & such) — which I don’t — I’m kinda in the dark here. It’s mostly a matter of feeling out how my networking latency with the MapleLegends server happens to be doing at the moment.

The further you are from Montréal[3][4], the more of a problem these kinds of latency-sensitive things are. For PB runs in Southeast Asia, for example, it’s really best that noöne goes Hurricaning (or Rapid Firing, for that matter) any Huginns, because they’ll likely already be dead before the DR animation even starts!

Even putting DR aside, latency can also play a role when fighting the bean itself: if enough packets are lost or take their sweet time in travelling (i.e. are basically lost[5]), then the bean can appear to suddenly “jump” from one location to a very different location, instantly slingshotting its hitbox. Then again, slingshotting can happen just as a result of CSB (or BSB — or worse, Rush or Monster Magnet…), so taking touch damage — which can hit me for as much as 20k〜21k damage — is something that I’m almost constantly concerned about. And that’s not even to mention that knowing the bean’s position in the first place can be difficult or impossible! There’s like one (1) pixel, & I have only two (2) eyes to see it with!!

The monks. They haunt me

But that’s enough war flashbacks for now, I think. How about some peaceful monk-slapping at 7 F with DontAtMe?

rusa duoing 7 F with DontAtMe

It’s certainly not a bad way to use a PB buff. There’s just one problem: the monks of 7 Fs past have come to haunt me…:

The phantom monk…

The phantom monk walks the seventh floor of the Sutra Depository for evermore, invincible, curst with a lifetime of watching people relentlessly slaughter his brethren for EXP. 😔

Footnotes for “alfredi

  1. [↑] See footnote #1 of the “Dee thirty-four are” section of pt. cx of this diary.
  2. [↑] See footnote #11 of the « La dragonne sombre » section of pt. cviii of this diary for more on the spelling & etymology.
  3. [↑] Although this city’s name is usually spelt the same in French (the dominant language) & in English (the dominant language of some other regions of Canada), the pronunciations are not really similar at all: Québécois French /⁠mõ.ʁ⁠/ vs. Canadian English /⁠ˌmʌn.tɹiˈɒl⁠/ [ˌmɜn.t̠͡ɹ̠̊˔ʷɪi̯ˈɒ̝l]. Note that the ⟨t⟩ is not represented in the French pronunciation, & the ⟨n⟩ is not a consonant, but rather indicates nasalisation of the preceding vowel.
  4. [↑] As of this writing, the MapleLegends game server is run on a machine hosted by OVHcloud® in Montréal.
  5. [↑] This is more or less why realtime videogames played over a network tend to use UDP: less latency, more hand-tuneable bandwidth usage, & if a packet gets lost or arrives out of order, the info that it carries has already been replaced by now (or in slower contexts, can be repeatedly re-sent as necessary). But this means actually having to think (I mean really think) about your netcode, which is way too fucking hard, so MapleStory just uses TCP.

porcinus’s journal: 26 Hogeol 137 BHH

In Amherst, I met a craftsman named Pio who had a knack for recycling. Distressed by so much perfectly good material going to waste or being littered about, he promised me a brand-new chair for sitting if I could collect enough rubbish to be so reused.

I found plenty of discarded material around Amherst. A little trespassing never hurt anyone, right…?

porcinus breaks a wooden crate inside of someone’s mushroom home

With a little help from some hairdressers with startlingly large heads, I magically grew back quite a bit of hair.

porcinus meets Big Headward & Plastic Roy

As promised, I received from Pio a stylishly neon green portable chair for sitting.

porcinus gets The Relaxer from Pio

And, as a reward for playing courier, Maria bestowed upon me a hardy skullcap, perfect for keeping my head — & my newfound & delicately-barbered head of hair — safe.

porcinus dons the Red Skullcap

Bringing the Maple World into bed with me

In the “ makes waste” section of the previous entry in this diary, I slept a lot. And I did some “just being in bed”, too. Getting out of bed is a monumental achievement, & I ain’t one of those people capable of going around attaining monumental achievements every damned day. As we’ll see in the “Sleeping like the (un)dead” section below, this pattern has continued, try as I might…

Normally, I don’t fuck around with electrical thingymajigs when I’m embeddened. Embedded. Inbedified? Everything is off, & the only electrons that’re flowing are the ones in my nervous system. This means that I can sleep sometimes (good!), but perhaps leaves something to be desired.

You see, there are these ✨newfangled✨ computing devices that are so small that—

More seriously, although my handphone might not quite be worth its own weight in rice, I do have a laptop that I got as a gift in like ≈2012[1], & it might actually be worth something. Normally, I wouldn’t mention any of this in my diary at all — excepting perhaps a passing parenthetical — but I thought that it might be interesting to talk about getting Maple — & everything that it requires — working on a strange dozen-year-old portable beast. And I do mean “strange”. Plus, I’ve already talked about hardware a bit in the “Hardware!” section of pt. xciii, & the “Running MapleStory requires highly advanced technology” supersection speaks for itself.

Dusting off the machine

I was quickly reminded of how strange this beast was when I went to do the boring part: for one, it has a very buggy trackpad. Now, trackpads were invented by the Devil himself, so it makes sense. And at this stage, I can do everything with the keyboard anyway, so it’s not a big deal… right…? Wrong. Until I can fully disable the trackpad at the kernel driver level, it has a nasty habit of just emitting random inputs without me even interacting with it. Fun!!

What’s “the boring part”, you ask? Well, it’s basically just installing openSUSE Tumbleweed. Which reminds me… I do need to make something clear from the outset.

⚠️ This is an insufferable-nerd-free zone. You might think this to be ironic, or even contradictory, as I myself have been accused of being a “nerd” on occasion. But believe me when I say that there are nerds out there (probably trolling 🤮⁠Reddit™®🅪⁠🤮 as we speak) with truly insufferable attitudes towards technology. That’s not how we do it out here. This is an “if it works, it works” household, & if it doesn’t work, I’m not fiddling with that shit… Unless it’s a pre-BB MapleStory client, apparently.

As always, the distro doesn’t actually matter, so I pretty much picked one at random. The process of putting an OS onto this machine — so that I have something to boot into — was made more laborious by the trackpad fucking with me, but I got it done. Now I can disable the goddamned thing.

sudo zypper in xf86-input-synaptics
# ...restart...
synclient TouchpadOff=1

Much better. (Plus I gotta put synclient TouchpadOff=1 in ~/.profile or whatever, so that it stays like this.)

The hardware configuration that only a mother could love

The performance pain-point for running Maple is going to be CPU usage. This laptop actually has a GPU in it! Cool, right? So ideally, as much of the workload goes there as possible. There’s just one problem: NVIDIA Optimus™.

The basic idea of Optimus™ is simple: the CPU has an integrated graphics processor (IGPU) that doesn’t draw much power, so most of the time, we can save battery life by just using that. But sometimes you need the beefiness of a dedicated GPU (DGPU), so you want to switch to the DGPU on demand.

Unfortunately, this complication has historically not been well-supported by software. This is on top of any infuriation that may already occur as a result of using NVIDIA™’s products in general.

But I don’t have a usable battery anyway, so the laptop will always be plugged in, so switching to IGPU is not really necessary. This simplifies things, & so maybe I can just configure a hardware switch (actually a multiplexer) to use the DGPU always? On some Optimus™ setups, this is actually possible. My laptop, however, has the evilest setup of them all: only the CPU is connected to the display, & the DGPU is connected only to the CPU. This means that, even when fully utilising the DGPU, all graphics-processing-related data has to not only be sent from CPU to DGPU (that part is normal), but also from the DGPU back to the CPU(!!), & only then to the display (if it needs to be displayed).

Are you following? Do you know how much bandwidth is being wasted here‽ And as you can imagine, all of this has to be negotiated in software. Terrible, terrible software.

Or is it terrible? Looking at the openSUSE Wiki, there’s an article for installing NVIDIA™ graphics drivers, as well as one for something called SUSE Prime, which allows switching between IGPU & DGPU. I don’t see anything horrible yet, so let’s try it.

$ sudo zypper in openSUSE-repos-NVIDIA
'openSUSE-repos-Tumbleweed-NVIDIA' providing 'openSUSE-repos-NVIDIA' is already installed.
Resolving package dependencies...
Nothing to do.

Oh, okay. I guess the openSUSE installer did this part already.

$ sudo zypper install-new-recommends --repo NVIDIA:repo-non-free
Nothing to do.

Oh, yeah… Did I mention that the NVIDIA™ drivers are proprietary? Big oof. On the bright side, it looks like the installer must’ve gone & done this bit for me as well.

But I’ve still to worry about the Prime stuff. Right? I’m not sure. Let’s just do it anyway.

$ sudo zypper in suse-prime bbswitch-kmp-default

$ sudo prime-select boot nvidia
Default at system boot: nvidia

Time to see if that worked, after a restart…

$ xrandr --listproviders
Providers: number : 2
Provider 0: [] outputs: 0; associated providers: 1; name: NVIDIA-0
Provider 1: [] outputs: 2; associated providers: 1; name: modesetting

$ glxinfo | grep 'OpenGL renderer string'
OpenGL renderer string: NVIDIA GeForce []

Whoa! Very nice. It still feels janky, but that’s just because this laptop blows chunks, & no amount of software can fix that.

I will say this has been a shockingly smooth experience so far. I was fully expecting to have to fight the DGPU with my bear hands. 🐻

The perfect pairing of Wine with my mushrooms

The nitty-gritty details of getting a client like MapleLegends’s to run on Linux, through Wine, are already elaborated by my little MapleStory in the year 2999 tutorial. So I’m just gonna do that, report back if anything interesting and/or terrible happens, & then we can do a stress test.

Versions of a few relevant pieces of software used here

A little pain & suffering

Here we go! Something terrible did happen!!

X Error of failed request:  BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes)
  Major opcode of failed request:  156 (NV-GLX)
  Minor opcode of failed request:  43 ()

Which leads me to (archived), a bug filed against Bottles. I’m using Lutris, not Bottles, but this seems to nevertheless have relevant info:

But on Lutris, it can be solved by turning off NVIDIA Prime Render Offload and then in the VULKAN ICD LOADER settings choosing [the NVIDIA™ DGPU]. And now the game launches fine on Lutris, and also using the NVIDIA discrete GPU, which is exactly what i want. But there is no way to do this in Bottles.

Unfortunately for me, Lutris recently made some significant changes to their configuration GUI, & so the “NVIDIA™ Prime Render Offload” & “Vulkan ICD Loader” options no longer exist per se. Although this can be “solved” by downgrading Lutris, I decided to hop outside of Lutris in an attempt to see what’s really up.

Lutris’s new “System options ➡️ Display ➡️ GPU” option is explained in the version 0.5.17 release notes like so:

  • Torturous and sadistic options for multi-GPUs that were half broken and understood by no one have been replaced by a simple GPU selector.

It’s implemented like so:

A bit of Python code excerpted from the Lutris source code
if self.system_config.get("gpu") and len(GPUS) > 1:
    gpu = GPUS[self.system_config["gpu"]]
    if gpu.driver == "nvidia":
        env["DRI_PRIME"] = "1"
        env["__NV_PRIME_RENDER_OFFLOAD"] = "1"
        env["__GLX_VENDOR_LIBRARY_NAME"] = "nvidia"
        env["__VK_LAYER_NV_optimus"] = "NVIDIA_only"
        env["DRI_PRIME"] = gpu.pci_id
    env["VK_ICD_FILENAMES"] = gpu.icd_files  # Deprecated
    env["VK_DRIVER_FILES"] = gpu.icd_files  # Current form

Because I set the “GPU” option to my NVIDIA™ DGPU (seemingly the correct thing to do), Lutris was setting the environment variable (envvar) __NV_PRIME_RENDER_OFFLOAD to 1, setting the envvars VK_ICD_FILENAMES & VK_DRIVER_FILES to whatever the value of gpu.icd_files is, amongst other irrelevant things.

By toying around on the command line, I can see that setting __NV_PRIME_RENDER_OFFLOAD causes Wine to instantly shit the bed, even when doing something as simple as winecfg. I’m not sure why this is, & it indeed still occurs when using Lutris with DXVK turned off. But this appears to be a Wine-specific issue, because regardless of whether or not __NV_PRIME_RENDER_OFFLOAD is set, glxgears -info works like a charm & uses the DGPU, & so too does vkcube run flawlessly on the DGPU (vulkaninfo is also squeaky clean). Somewhat concerningly, I do get warning messages telling me that my IGPU’s Vulkan implementation is “incomplete”, but this shouldn’t be an issue, given that I’m trying to run everything on the DGPU anyway.

The problem is that, with __NV_PRIME_RENDER_OFFLOAD unset, although the “X Error of failed request […]” message does go away, the failure is just as bad. As it turns out, this is a problem with the VK_ICD_FILENAMES & VK_DRIVER_FILES envvars (both meaning the same thing). A commenter on that bug report named vertigo-red is running a similar setup to mine, especially in that they’re also using openSUSE Tumbleweed. They found that the relevant “ICD file” — nvidia_icd.json — is in the /etc/vulkan/icd.d/ directory, rather than the expected /usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/ directory where every other ICD file is. Although this would seem to be openSUSE’s fault, it’s actually entirely NVIDIA™’s, because they do all the packaging of their own proprietary drivers for openSUSE.

In any case, setting the relevant envvar(s) to simply /etc/vulkan/icd.d/nvidia_icd.json — & also ensuring that __NV_PRIME_RENDER_OFFLOAD is unset, of course — resolves this issue altogether.

A little more pain & suffering 😊

The key phrase being “this issue”, because it’s time for another cryptic error! Wow!!

0074:err:system:find_monitor_from_path Failed to find monitor with path "DISPLAY\\$MONITOR_NAME\\0000&0000"
0074:err:system:NtUserChangeDisplaySettings Changing (null) display settings returned -2.
0074:err:explorer:initialize_display_settings Failed to set primary display settings.

[2] It’s worth noting at this point that I’m on X11 (read: not Wayland). Unfortunately, although searching the WWW for NtUserChangeDisplaySettings Changing (null) display settings returned does yield results of people trying to fix their own bugs, none of them have anything relevant to me.

Given that the error in the find_monitor_from_path function is at the top of this Wine debug output, it would seem to be the deepest failure point. However, searching the WWW for "find_monitor_from_path" yields no results other than in the Wine source code itself! What the hecc??

So I guess this must be a relatively new function. If so, then perhaps downgrading Wine will fix this, or at least expose a more searchable error. Indeed, I used Lutris to download a Wine version — namely wine-ge-8-26-x86_64 — & tested that out to great success!

1366×768 is not real, but I’m using it anyway

Normally, I run MapleLegends on its highest resolution: 1366×768. Regrettably, 1366×768 is fake & a lie & most displays don’t even know it exists because it doesn’t. So I use Wine’s “virtual desktop” feature to make it work anyway.

However, Wine-GE-Proton is based on Proton, which stopped supporting the virtual desktop feature in version 8.𝑥 by ripping it out of the code entirely. The latest pre-8 version of Wine-GE-Proton that Lutris directly offers is 7.2, so I’ll use that. It looks like Proton version 9.𝑥 brings this feature back(?), but Wine-GE-Proton has still yet to be updated, so I’m just taking the easy way out here. Gotta run in maximum resolution for the stress test, right??

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…

With the envvar DXVK_HUD set to 1, I can confirm that the graphics processing is running on my DGPU, & I can see my FPS value in real time.

It’s not off to a great start, as one CPU core is already hovering around 80%〜98% utilisation just from being on the login screen! 😬 However, I can still log in just fine, & walking around El Nath seems A-okay at a solid 60⁢ FPS. Not bad.

But the real stress test is, of course, the Fantasy Theme Park in Malaysia. There are other maps in MapleLegends that behave similarly, but I like to use the Fantasy Theme Park as a benchmark. And guess what? After walking/jumping around three or four maps, my laptop didn’t catch on fire! It even maintained a solid 60⁢ FPS!! 😍

This is wonderful stuff, although I did not test multiclienting, mostly because I don’t enjoy multiclienting & would do it on my desktop computer if I do it at all. I suspect that dual-clienting would have acceptable performance that might get slightly bumpy in some situations, whereas ≥3 clients would practically be begging for pain & suffering. Even one client is enough to turn the underside of my laptop into an underpowered griddle.

So basically what I’m saying is that, if I play on my laptop, I’ll probably just go for the 1024×768 resolution (or even 800×600??), & stretch that shit out to a fullscreen height of 1080 (because my laptop’s display is 1920×1080). Yes, that does mean stretching out each pixel by a factor of either 1080∕768 = 45⁄32 = 1.40625 or 1080∕600 = 9⁄5 = 1.8 along both axes, which is pretty nasty given that neither of those are integers, but you know. The tiny pixels hurt my eyes, & I ain’t using the rest of my screen real-estate for anything else anyway. 😌


Even in bed, it might not be the comfiest way to play Maple. Still, it might prove useful when I’m stuck in bed, & it’s not like Maple is the only thing that I use computers for!

Maybe it’s pretty boring stuff, but this is my diary, so I thought I’d put something vaguely diaristic in it for a change. If you’ve any interest in me doing the same thing but for an even more vastly underpowered machine — a bargain bin laptop from ≈2007 that will likely burst into flames — then do let me know. 🙂

Footnotes for “Bringing the Maple World into bed with me”

  1. [↑] Remember 2012? Me neither. Glad we’re on the same page.
  2. [↑] Here, $MONITOR_NAME is a stand-in for the brand name of my laptop’s actual monitor.

porcinus’s journal: 28 Hogeol 137 BHH

I told Lucas that I was looking to sharpen my skills, or at least to acquire some skills aside from the few that I had remaining. So I was pointed to Mai, the most skilled martial artist in the land.

porcinus meets Mai

She gave me a small blade & set me to work.

porcinus vs. Stump

porcinus vs. Red Snails

porcinus vs. Slime

Not every creature of this island is gentle, but I do my best.

porcinus vs. Pigs

Mai was proud to see it, but moreso was I delighted to feel the strength of my sinews meet resistance, wald against wald.

I also did some lighter work for Lucas, fending off the rather overgrown snails from his otherwise helpless home garden.

porcinus helping out in Lucas’s garden

For my efforts as gardenwarden, Lucas had for me a very special & masterfully-crafted glove.

porcinus’s Red Work Gloves

The brilliant red hue is due to a local dye, sourced from the berries of a shrub peculiar only to this island. Lucas informed me that not only were its materials only to be found on “Maple Island”, but its craft was known only to the specialists of Amherst. Any glove like this that I might find elsewhere could be no more than a forgery; a pale imitation.

I keep it in my pocket, sui generis as it is, so that one day my hands might be worthy of bearing them.

Sleeping like the (un)dead

Honk shoo… Honk mimimimimi… Honk shoo… Honk mimimimimi… Honk—

I’m only jolking. I’m awake! For now…

Gock, Taima, & alces vs. Capitan Lataniel

Unfortunately, doing some Capitan Lataniel runs with outlaw Gock (Harlez) & STRginner Taima (Yunchang, Gelelp, Tacgnol, Boymoder, Hanyou, Inugami) really tuckered me out. It’s bedtime.

respectful respite.


alces napping in The Engine Room



🥱 Okay, I’m back for… now. 😪

I’m gonna want those Valentine Roses, & some No-Blessing Charms, too. Well, it’s another opportunity for cardhunting, then. Starting with the Pepes of The Crown-Flyer — one of my personal favourite maps in the game:

Pepe card get!

And I’m not kidding about how much I love this map. The Pepe has an unassuming, generic-sounding name, in light of the other Pepes that we see near this part of the continent: Scuba Pepes, Jr. Pepes, Dark Pepes, and of course the Yeti & Pepes and their dark counterparts. Yet, this most basic, unqualified Pepe is absolutely precinctive to The Crown-Flyer, a peculiarly-shaped map that earns its title of “Hidden Street” thanks to its not-so-obvious existence within an innocent-looking snow-covered bush of Cold Field II.

The Pepe set is thus a card set that I always look forward to completing. I do apologise in advance, but you see, I really do love this map’s name, & I cannot help myself:

Interlinear gloss of 히든스트리트: 왕관을휘날리다
original 히든 스트리트 : 왕관 날리다
RR hideun seuteuriteu : wanggwan -eul hwi nallida
pronunciation hi.tɯn sɯ.tʰɯ.ɾi.tʰɯ wɐŋ.kwɐn ɯɭ hɥi nɐɭ.ɭi.tɐ
phonetically hi.dɯn wɐŋ.gwɐn ɯɾ (ɦ)ɥi nɐʎ.ʎi.dɐ
Hanja-eo 王冠
gloss hidden street : crown(s) -ACC; -IRR whoosh [to] fly\CAUS
translation 1 Hidden Street: To flutter crowns
translation 2 That crowns would be fluttered

Here, hwi⟩ is exactly what it sounds like: a whooshing or swooshing noise. It combines with the verb 날리다nallida⟩ (the causative of 날다nalda⟩) to form the compound 휘날리다hwinallida⟩, which seems to typically be translated into English as “[to] flutter”.

Perhaps the most interesting bit is the -을-eul⟩, which has multiple possible interpretations. The most straightforward is that it simply marks the direct object, which is how we get translation 1: “To flutter crowns”. This could also be “Flutters crowns”, & is the origin of The Crown-Flyer, the localisation used by GMS, MapleSEA, & EMS.

However, -을 doubles as a marker of irrealis mood. Irrealis moods are a pretty broad class of grammatical moods, so the particular interpretation is contextual. This mood is not a future tense, & doesn’t necessarily have to do with the future at all. Nevertheless, there is a tangential relationship, as displayed also by e.g. the English verb will:

The first example is the closest thing that English has to a future tense. On the other hand, the notions of hypotheticals, wishes & hopes, conditionals (“if”s), what ought to be, commands & requests, etc., all fall within the irrealis umbrella: they all deal with things that aren’t already true (i.e. factual) at the time of utterance. This yields translation 2: “That crowns would be fluttered” (subjunctive or optative)[1], which could nearly as easily be “Crowns that’ll be fluttered” (futural or predictive), “Crowns that ought to get fluttered” (deontic), “When crowns get fluttered” (conditional), etc.

Considering that this is the name of a map, of course, most of these direct translations are awkward or out of place. I like Neccsaughn’s choice of The Crown-Flyer, although it’s funny to imagine this map being called Hidden Street: That Crowns Would Be Fluttered.

For what it’s worth, JMS calls this map (おう)(かん)をひるがえそう[2]Ōkan o Hirugae-sō⟩, where -そう-sō⟩ is taken to mean “seems, appears” — capturing the irrealis mood. Thus something like “The crowns seem like they’re about to flutter away”, “Crowns appear to be fluttering away”, etc.

And now it’s time for me to flutter away, ’cause I finished that set. For a change of pace whilst still hunting for Blue Valentine Roses, I headed to Leafre’s Sky Nest I to fight Harps (& to a lesser extent, their vewwy angy cousins):

alces cannot stab birb.

Oh, dear… It looks as if these birbs fly just a little too high to get a taste of my Double Stab. Not to worry; my SW & Taunt can still reach, & if I do a lot of jumping, I can stab them in their adorable birb faces just fine.

Harp cards get!

It’s not a particularly easy set, but with some luck, I finished it. Without some luck, I also still haven’t any roses. You know what else drops Blue Valentine Roses? Ice Drakes. To the Dungeon!

Here in the Cold Cradle, the Dark Drakes also live, so I nabbed their cards as well.

Dark Drake card get!

Ice Drake card get!

I know what you’re thinking: don’t you have to kill these things for the HP Challenges questline anyway? Yep.

So anyway, I finally got a rose…

Blue Valentine Rose get!!

The green mists of the sixth floor

Since it is the Valentine’s event after all, I did a Chocolate Basket duo with F/P archgish LawdHeComin (AppleBasket, pleLeg, JunkyardBat, Mushers, OrangeFungus, Snel) on the fifth & sixth floors of the Sutra Depository:

alces & LawdHeComin duoing 5–6 F

Gee whizz!! Nearly 20M EPH!!! Having Taunt these days really helps, too. Remember when I used to farm this map solo? Ah, the bad old days… 😌

In any event, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that I levelled up here!:

alces hits level 127~!

127~! My venom’s potency waxes!!

I am not kidding when I say that was quite a workout, though. I think my eyes are going to melt…



5–6 nap



😴 —Huh? …Oh… It’s time to do… stuff. Things. 😮‍💨 Mkay…

Well, I need to do — or rather, finish — the Omega Sector card sets. Let’s start with some Mateo—

Mateon card get! Ow!!

Ow! Sheesh.

I’ve spoken just a little on the subject of Omega Island already, particularly near the end of the “Lady Palmation” section of pt. ciii of this diary. Well, now I finally get to experience the island for myself. I’m not sure whether the alien technology & military equipment enhances or takes away from the natural beauty of the thing…

Plateon card get!

I guess Plateons are the same species as the Mateons — with their three eyes, bluish-purple flesh, & distinctive antennæ — but in a miniature personal spaceship. Must be nice.

The Mecateons prefer mecha suits with worryingly twiggy legs instead:

Mecateon card get!

Whilst I was here, I did Green Mesoranger’s “Eliminating Mateon”, “Eliminating Plateon”, “Eliminating Plateon & Mecateon” questline, for which I was awarded a highly valuable Gold Cleave (level 40 thief glub):

alces receives a Gold Cleave from the Green Mesoranger

Matches my dagger, I guess…

B2A2 étude

It’s time to take a break to do some event JQing at the ol’ B2A2 (a.k.a. pCoin sweatshop)…

alces yawning at B2 ⟨Area 2⟩

God, I am sofa king tyre’d. 🥱


I can keep going… Let’s keep doing the Omega sets. But the Grays, this time. Starting with the Zetas[3]:

Zeta Gray card get!

Oh, & I’ve still to finish off the Barnard Gray set:

Barnard Gray card get!

Ah, but there is just one Mateon-type creature for which I’ve not finished the set: MT-09. I killed some of these for Kay’s quests, but they’re being a bit stingy with the card drops…

MT-09 card get!

I’ll have to come back to Hidden Street: Defeat Monsters a few more times.

In the meantime, I need the Chief Gray set:

Chief Gray card get!

Well, whaddayaknow? They drop Star Rocks, too!:

alces finds a Star Rock…!

Indeed, other than “Sabitrama’s Anti-Aging Medicine” — & of course, crafting them — this is the only way to obtain Star Rocks.

Interrupted Journey

Okay, okay. I really ought to rest n—


Napping at the Barnard Field




You ever fall asleep in the Omega Sector & wake up in El Nath? Happens all the time.

Deerest me, it is cold af out here. Good thing I got my toasty jammies on.

Jr. Yeti card get!

A real head-scratcher indeed. Jr. Yeti is an underrated card set.

However, I already finished the Pepe set in the “resurrection.” section above, & I have the Hector, White Fang, & Snow Witch sets from when I did some ’Nath quests way back in the “Stab, stab.” section of pt. lxiv of this diary. Oh yes, way back! Back when I still wore my LPQ outfit (read: a face mask so that I don’t have to smell the LPQers — don’t get me wrong, I love ’em, but they really ought to take a shower before they start randomly hitting on me).

So that means I can already start heading up the mountains.

Yeti card get!

The Yeti set is not as good as its “Jr.” counterpart, but it ain’t half bad. It’s when the Pepes start riding on their backs that it starts to get annoying. When they die, they just turn into “Separated” Pepes & “Separated” Yetis, & the “Separated” bit means that they don’t drop any cards!! 😤

Yeti & Pepe card get!

On the other hand, the Dark Pepes were rather generous with their cards:

Dark Pepe card get!

One other problem with these sheerest cliffs of El Nath is that the species are all a bit jumbled up. I can’t hunt Dark Jr. Yetis on Dangerous Cliff without getting a faceful of Dark Yeti…:

Dark Yeti card get!

Dark Yeti & Pepe and their blasted “Separated” parts…:

Dark Yeti & Pepe card get!

…And perhaps even worse, the fake “Transforming” Dark Jr. Yetis. Stop putting qualifiers in their names! It makes them not drop cards!!


I was also joined here by dagger hero inject (eject, Skjal, vvvv, inhale, DexBlade, insist, Tetrin)!:

alces cardhunting with inject in the El Nath Mountains

Figure 1: Cardhunting with inject in the El Nath Mountains, at Dangerous Cliff. Many snowy conifers can be seen in the background.

The treeline here is really impenetrable. It’s almost dizzying seeing the snow-covered trees darkened by their own shadows.

These trees are, of course, conifers: their apical dominance, conical shape, & downward-angled branches are adapted to easily shed snow.

Conifers are the class Pinopsida, although their taxonomy is poorly understood. They’re definitely gymnosperms — which form a clade Gymnospermae — but beyond that, it’s not super clear. Until relatively quite recently (about the turn of the millennium), gymnosperms were split into the conifers & one (or two or three) other group(s); often the cycads. By 2009 (Chase & Reveal), the seed plants[4] (Spermatophytes) had been split into five divisions: the angiosperms, alongside the four gymnosperm divisions of the cycads, the ginkgoes (of which G. biloba is the only extant species!), the gnetophytes (Gnetophyta), & of course the conifers.

However, later molecular phylogenetic studies found that the gnetophytes were actually more likely to be somewhere within (i.e. fellow siblings of) the conifers, meaning that a conifer grouping that excludes them would be paraphyletic! That’s actually crazy, because gnetophytes don’t really look anything like conifers, are themselves not defined by many particular characteristics, & one of them is the notoriously 🤪⁠wacky⁠🤪 plant Welwitschia mirabilis![5] And things are even further complicated by the fossil record, which contains a great number of now-extinct gymnosperms, many of which are conifers.

So yeah, really noöne understands, & the Gymnosperm Phylogeny Group was only formed like five years ago (at the time of this writing)…

That’s okay, though, because we do know that all gymnosperms are united by their shared commitment to not having ovaries. Because fuck fruits. Who needs ’em? By the way, that means that gymnosperm & gym(nasium) are cognates from Ancient Greek γυμνόςgymnós⟩ “naked”: gymnosperms have naked ovules/seeds, & ancient Greek athletes trained in the nude.

Much like the Olympic Games, gymnosperms are ancient af. So the fact that such a huge portion of the planet’s surface is absolutely dominated by these bad bois is pretty cool. People love their angiosperms — & believe me, so do I — but maybe these conic bastards deserve a little more love. We don’t even know their most basic taxonomy!

Did I mention that a huge portion of the planet’s surface is dominated by conifers? Something like ≈11.5% of Earth’s land area is taiga (from Russian тайга́tajgá/⁠tajˈga⁠/, originally Turkic, not to be confused with tiger, which is a big cat)[6], a biome defined mostly by “it’s very cold & there are lots of conifers”. Sounds like El Nath to me.

There are plenty of mountainous taiga regions on Earth, so El Nath could plausibly be modelled after any number of them. Most notably, there’s the Transbaikal conifer forests of South Siberia & Northern Mongolia, the Okhotsk–Manchurian taiga in Russia north of Japan, the Sakhalin Island taiga separated from the Japanese island of Hokkaidō [(ほっ)(かい)(どう)] by the Sōya Strait ((そう)()(かい)(きょう); a.k.a. Lapérouse Strait), & even the taiga in the north of Hokkaidō. The most notable conifer species native to both the Russian Far East & northern Japan are Picea jezoensis “dark-bark spruce, Ezo [蝦夷(えぞ)] spruce”, P. glehnii “Sakhalin [Сахалин] spruce, Glehn’s spruce”, & Abies sachalinensis “Sakhalin fir”.

A. sachalinensis

Figure 2: Several Abies sachalinensis individuals, courtesy of iNaturalist user andrewbazdyrev.

But their habit isn’t the only adaptation that the conifers of the taiga have to the frequently freezing temperatures. Indeed, as a result of some amount of convergent evolution, many conifers have features like those of the cacti of the “Xeromorphy” section of the previous entry in this diary:

Closeup of P. jezoensis

Figure 3: A closeup of stem & leaves of a Picea jezoensis individual, courtesy of iNaturalist user oleg_kosterin.

But the conifers of the taiga are unlike those cacti in most other ways. Needle-like leaves can also help with shedding snow. These plants are wind-pollinated, creating huge amounts of pollen that can travel impressively long distances.

Like I said, fruits are overrated. Instead, conifers are true to their name: they have cones (more generally strobili, of which cones are a woody sort), with the large female ones bearing ovules that are fertilised by the pollen produced by small male cones. This fertilisation produces seeds, which are fused with whichever of the cone’s now-woody seed scales they formed on. The seed scale acts as kinda like a wing for the seed, so the seeds can be wind-dispersed as well! But also birbs can do a lot of the work, too. I don’t see any corvids around here, though…

Cones of P. jezoensis ssp. jezoensis

Figure 4: Cones of Picea jezoensis ssp. jezoensis, courtesy of iNaturalist user ninacourlee.

Fruits are kinda cool, though, so some yews (of the genus Taxus) make fake fruits (⚠️not real fruits!⚠️) called arils that are delicious & fleshy & entice birbs to disperse their seeds. But these are actually just a funny kind of seed scale…? F6 moment for sure.

This is what a fake froot looks like, if you really must know

Fake froot!!

Figure 5: The fake froot (aril) of a Taxus baccata individual. Yum. (Courtesy of Didier Descouens a.k.a. Archaeodontosaurus of Wikimedia Commons; part of the Muséum de Toulouse collection.)

But the conifers of the El Nath Mountains can’t even fake having fruits. Sad.

A little more rollicking in & around the permafrost

Did I mention that the Dark Jr. Yetis refused to drop cards? Well, after enough “convincing” from myself & inject, I finally got one:

Dark Jr. Yeti card get! (alces: omfg)

Piece of Ice get! (alces: oh. an ice piece)

Whoa! Dark Yetis are the only monsters that drop Pieces of Ice. I think the only other way to get these is from Arwen’s quests. An ice piece? More like a nice piece. 😎

After a lot of mountaineering & Yeti-slaying, I eventually finished these very silly card sets. But I still don’t have the Werewolf & Lycanthrope sets! Oh nooo…!

So anyway, I climbed to the mountains’ ridge to do the Forest of Dead Trees (FoDT) sets: Coolie Zombies, & of course Riche. Riche proved to be quite easy:

Riche card get!

Then again, so were the Coolie Zombies:

Coolie Zombie card get!

So it was time to head into the mines. Starting with the Miner Zombie &, believe it or not, all five Flyeye cards:

Flyeye card get!

Miner Zombie card get!

Cool. I love it when zombies breathe on me whilst I’m getting pelted by flying eyeballs.

Which brings me into the volcano itself, where’s pretty toasty! Not bad. I did the big doggy Cerebes set…:

Cerebes card get!

…Then “accidentally” fell into the deep end of the lava in The Cave of Trial II, where I finished the li’l baby demon-puppy Jr. Cerebes set at Cave Within the Cave:

Jr. Cerebes card get!

There’s also the big spicy doggy Bain set, but I’d rather do that at the WanWan Spa of Hell. Plus, I am positively pooped. I know my mum always told me not to sleep inside of volcanoes, but I don’t think I can stay upright much longer…

Intravulcanic naptime


alces napping in the Cave Within the Cave



Okay, okay, geez. I’m awake…

Time to give Shammos back his Contract of Darkness

alces & Shammos

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

[system message]: You have lost fame (−2)
You have lost an item (The Contract of Darkness)

Goddammit. How many times have I done this quest? And I still fall for it every time. 🤦🏽‍♀️

I think that’s enough El Nath, as much as I do love that place. There aren’t many people left to Lat it up with, so I’ll just do some solos…

alces hits level 128~!

Oh! Another level!! c:

Like the new fit? I finally had the energy to change out of my jammies. We can’t go forgetting that I’m undead. Like a vampire, or something. 🧛🏽‍♀️ Except instead of blood, I feed on monster cards, apparently.

To the kampung

Speaking of which, whilst I’m here in SEA, I s’pose I’ll get the Malaysia sets finished, yeah? Starting with Chlorotraps — so called presumably because they look like chlorophyll-bearing plants, but it’s really just a trap…?:

Chlorotrap card get!

In the “Hello, Anglophone!” section of pt. cv of this diary, I did a cursory overview of most of the languages of MapleStory, for my own benefit, & the benefit of any other MapleStory players who might not be speakers/experts in all of those languages. Although the overview was certainly cursory, & obviously had no intent to teach anyone to speak any language, it still ended up being a pretty sizeable essay on account of its motivation & on account of the sheer number of languages that had to be covered.

I don’t remember exactly why I didn’t cover Malay in that essay, but it probably had to do with the fact that no localisation of the game has used Malay, & an indirect result, it’s pretty uncommon to see Malay spoken in servers like MapleLegends, where English is the more obvious alternative.

Nonetheless, the statement that “no localisation of the game has used Malay” is not true strictō sēnsū, as evidenced by the above screenshot. Although MapleSEA is an English-language localisation overall, the in-game “Malaysia” World Tour[7] location makes use of Malay-language signage, as is to be expected.

So, let’s talk about it a little bit.

Bahasa Melayu

The Malay languages are Austronesian languages, making them distantly related to, most notably, Tagalog (of which the standardised lect is Filipino, spoken primarily in the Philippines) and Malagasy (spoken primarily in Madagascar). The internal classification of the Austronesian languages is difficult & somewhat controversial, & that of the Malayic languages in particular doesn’t fare much better. Nevertheless, we can at least say with some confidence that the Malay languages (or the “Malay language”) form a clade within the Malayic languages.

Malay is standardised as both Malaysian & as Indonesian; the former standard in Malaysia, Singapore, & Brunei, and the latter standard in Indonesia. The situation is vaguely similar to that of Arabic: people often natively speak some local Malay (or more broadly, Malayic) language, & then acquire the relevant standardised form as an L2, usually through education. However, unlike with MSA, the standardised forms are tied to country/nationality.

Still, the two standardised lects are not that far from one another, & have good mutual intelligibility. Non-standardised lects, on the other hand… not so much. The mutual intelligibility of Malay languages in general is questionable, so it’s perhaps better to think of them as closely related — but distinct — languages in their own rights. For the purpose of virtual signage in the “Malaysia” World Tour region, though, we can just assume standard Malaysian (henceforth simply “Malaysian”).


Excluding incompletely-assimilated loans, Malaysian has no consonant phonemes that aren’t also present in English, with two exceptions:

…For a total of 18 consonant phonemes (compare 24 in most standard lects of English).

The vowel system is symmetric, with six[8] phonemes: high /⁠i, u⁠/; mid /⁠, ə, ⁠/; & low /⁠ä⁠/. Compare English’s 14〜21[9] or so vowel phonemes.

Syllable structure is basically (C)V(C), most frequently CV.


Malaysian is generally written in the same Latin alphabet also used by English. Unlike English, however, it’s highly orthographically transparent (meaning that pronunciation is obvious based on the way in which words are spelled), with the main exception being that /⁠ə⁠/ has no dedicated spelling, so /⁠e̞, ə⁠/ are both ⟨e⟩[10].

The Malay languages — & some other related languages — may also be written in Jawi, which is an adaptation of the Arabic script. However, the Latin orthography dominates, & modern Jawi usage is mostly found in Brunei (where it’s coöfficial with the Latin orthography). Nonetheless, there are serious efforts to revitalise the usage of Jawi in Malaysia.[11]


Mkay, I think that’s about enough of that (where we’re going, we don’t need grammar!). Maybe now we can read this sign:


Musim Hujan
Awasi banjir

original Peng⟨umum⟩an Musim Hujan Awasi banjir
Jawi ڤڠعمومن موسيم هوجن اواسي بنجير
pronunciation pə.ŋän mu.sim hu.d͡ʒän ä.wä.si bän.d͡ʒir
gloss ⟨announce⟩NMZ season rain flood
translation Announcement: Rain season. Keep an eye out for floods.

Cool. I’ll keep an eye out. 👁️

But Chlorotraps aren’t the only card set that I need from this map. Also precinctive to Outskirts of Muddy Banks is the Emo Slime, so named presumably because it plays the rebab:

Emo Slime card get!

The rebab is a very old, typically bowed, string instrument (H–S 321.312) native to Islamic culture — pre-dating its import into Malaysia. The name is from Arabic رَبَابَة; ⟨rabābah⟩; MSA /⁠ra.baː.ba⁠/. Its in-game description correctly characterises it as a “Traditional musical instrument of Malaysia”. Maybe I’d listen to more emo music if it had more rebabs.

The Emo Slimes were being kind of an unbearable pain in the bum; by the time I got 5⧸5 Chlorotrap cards, I had like zero or one Emo Slime card. Ew. But eventually they coughed ’em up.

However, believe it or not, that’s about the last of the “Kampung Village” proper (read: excluding the Fantasy Theme Park subregion) that we’re going to be seeing here. I already did both Muddy Banks 1 sets (Dark Fission & Oly Oly), as well as the Rodeo & Charmer sets, back in the “alx” section of pt. civ of this diary, alongside inject. That’s a bit unfortunate, given that Malaysia is actually a really cool place with extremely high biodiversity & a tropical climate (mostly Köppen–Geiger Af, e.g. Kuala Lumpur is KGTC Arha[12]) otherwise underrepresented in the Maple World.

Before we embark upon the Fantasy Theme Park journey where my eyes hurt oh god the brightly-coloured rainbow tiles my eyes they burn, let’s take a look at that sign in the screenshot above:

Lal Barang

Here, barang is “item; commodity”, & perabot is “furniture”. I’m not sure what lal is, but it might be an alteration of jual “[to] sell”…?

Taman tema fantasi

The FTP region begins, somewhat confusingly, at Hibiscus Road 2, rather than at Fantasy Theme Park 1. It was here where I did the Ratatula…:

Ratatula card get!

…And Scaredy Scarlion sets:

Scaredy Scarlion card get!

I skipped over FTP1 for now, as I’ll be doing those sets (Froscola & Jester Scarlion) at Longest Ride on ByeBye Station. That brings me to FTP2 for the Booper Scarlions…

alces cannot stab the Booper Scarlions.

Oh boi. Another monster species that I can’t Double Stab whilst I’m on the ground‽ Le sigh.

This map is also the only map with Yabber Doos (I like the really short, really wide dark slime critter who holds up the back of the bus):

Yabber Doo card get!

The name of this species appears — as far as I can tell — to be an adaptation of yabba dabba doo!, the signature catchphrase of lead character Fred Flintstone (voiced by Alan Reed) of the U.S. animated sitcom The Flintstones (1960〜1966; Hanna-Barbera), a show that derives its æsthetic appeal from setting a postwar family sitcom in a fantasy version of the Stone Age, complete with “Stone-Age versions” of modern technology like e.g. the “automobiles” of Yabber Doos.

Although more of a pain in the tushie to kill, the Booper Scarlions were actually more generous with their cards:

Booper Scarlion card get!

A brief excursion

Since I was here in the Malaysia–Singapore region anyway, I did some more ’Tanica. Mostly solo, but also a number of runs with Gock!:

alces & Gock vs. ’Tanica ✨

Also, remember back at the very beginning of the “ makes waste” section of the previous entry in this diary? Like, approximately five thousand years ago? When I did Clock Tower Monster Wipe-Out? Right, well, you might also recall that I never actually finished it, on account of Timer being extinct. Lucky for me, I was both alive & awake when MapleLegends did a li’l server restarterino

alces vs. Timer

A-ha! So you were real all this time, weren’t you, Timer?!? For thine insolence, thou shalt paye the price of all thy cardes extracted!!:

Timer card get!

A return to Malaysia

Okay, bacc 2 business. Moving on to FTP3, it was time to do the Vikerola set:

Vikerola card get!

These plastic Vikings are a perennially popular leeching spot, but there will be no leeching here. Gathering 200 of their ETCs would be enough to complete “Off to the City”, the second part of Away from Kampung, a.k.a. the Scarlion/Targa prequestline.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of doing the FTP card sets in order — that is, as they occur geographically from west to east — meaning that I now have to go back to Booper Scarlions to potentially farm useless cards, just so that I can get the 200 kills (I already have the ETCs, of course) for “Gift for Brother”. Ugh.

A lot of jump-stabbing later, & I can now start “Merry-go-round in Kampung”, the final quest in the line. For this one, I need to hunt Galloperas, so I did that set — the most difficult one in Malaysia, Scarlion & Targa notwithstanding:

Gallopera card get!

However, I was greeted with a little surprise upon completing this set…:


Wowowow! Okay, okay, but I have to really finish the Scarga prequests before I leave for a bit, right? That means completing “Off to the Fantasy Theme Park” by collecting ten adorable Rodeo’s Masters from the Rodeos:

alces vs. Rodeos

And there they are, my Spirits of Fantasy Theme Park!:

alces gets a pair of Spirits of Fantasy Theme Park

Not that I could ever run Scarlion, & not that I really want to replace my already-very-good Zhelm, but, you know…

Alright, time to take the plane back to Victoria!

alces gets the T9 ring!!

Transcription of the item in the above image

Monster Book Ring ⟨Tier 9⟩

One of a kind Item, Untradeable

  • Category: ring
  • STR: +9
  • DEX: +9
  • INT: +9
  • LUK: +9
  • HP: +850
  • MP: +425

Collected 270 Monster Book Card Sets! The power of the Black Crystal jewel is now inside the ring.

Whoa~! It’s the coolest-looking ring of them all!! Gonna be sad when I have to replace this one with the T10… 😉

And check it out — I can finally be STRless & DEXless for once!:

Level 128 alces with 4 base STR & 25 base DEX!

Transcription of the stats in the above image
STR 93 (4+ 89)
DEX 150 (25+125)
INT 66 (4+ 62)
LUK 744 (637+107)

Although, naturally, this only lasted for a few days before temporary event equipment started expiring, it’s neat to see — if only briefly.


Naptime at the Lith Harbour Department Store


Footnotes for “Sleeping like the (un)dead”

  1. [↑] PIE had the subjunctive & the optative as two distinct moods, but most IE languages merged the two in one way or another.

    As one particular example of such an IE language, ME is now — as a result of many centuries of development — almost completely analytic, & so scarcely can be said to have grammatical moods at all. ME nevertheless has something vaguely like a subjunctive, as in e.g. It’s necessary that she arrive before noon. (not *she arrives, although this is acceptable in some lects), which can be restated without the subjunctive — via the use of an additional modal auxiliary verb must — as She must arrive before noon. Note that although both instances of arrive are syncretic, the former is subjunctive, whilst the latter is just the bare infinitive.

  2. [↑] ひるがえ = .

  3. [↑] Which see footnote #47 of the “Down the rabbit-hole” section of pt. cvii of this diary.

  4. [↑] But also see footnote #14 of the “ makes waste” section of the previous entry in this diary for the taxonomy of “plants” per sē.

  5. [↑] Notably, however, conifers & gnetophytes differ from other gymnosperms in that their sperm cells are not motile; instead, they’re transported via a pollen tube. It’s always in the reproduction!!

  6. [↑] Sometimes boreal forest is distinguished from taiga, but here I treat them as equivalent.

  7. [↑] MapleStory’s World Tour locations are those directly & explicitly (i.e. nominally) modelled after real-life locations. However, because these are often accessed via Spinel — whose title is, after all, “World Tour Guide” — there is a sēnsū strictissimō in which World Tour indicates only those regions accessible through Spinel. This would exclude both Singapore & Malaysia. Moreover, there are slightly sticky cases; for example, is KFT a World Tour location, in spite of being emphatically part of the connexion between Lūdus Lake & the Aqua Road?

    Here, I use World Tour in perhaps the most usual sense (not sēnsū strictissimō), thus including Singapore & Malaysia (& probably not including KFT, although it doesn’t matter here).

  8. [↑] Eight, in some analyses.

  9. [↑] Do not ask me how many vowel phonemes English has. I will not hesitate to block & report you.

  10. [↑] /⁠ə⁠/ may be written ⟨ĕ⟩ or ⟨ê⟩ for clarity.

  11. [↑] Albeit not without political implications.

  12. [↑] The KGTC’s A group is variously termed “tropical humid”, “tropical rainy”, or “killing frost absent”. Ar is variously “tropical wet”, “tropical rainforest”, or “equatorial”.

porcinus’s journal: 1 Wolmyo 137 BHH

Lucas also had something else in mind: a recommendation letter. The island of Maple is but a modest one, & Lucas’s voice took on a knowing tone as he explained that my potential could only be realised on the greater island: that of Victoria. A sailor by the name of Shanks could take me there, but with little more to my name than the shirt on my back, Lucas wrote the letter so that I might take passage free of charge.

So I headed east towards Southperry, the port town.

porcinus heading towards Southperry

My last duty for this island was given to me by Bari. Simple: to prove myself by bringing back a single cap of the Orange Mushroom. The orange ones are the deadliest of them all.

porcinus vs. an Orange Mushroom

porcinus brings a Mushroom Cap to Bari

A dockworker by the name of Biggs sent me off, telling me that I should speak with “Olaf”, should I arrive at Victoria in one piece. With Olaf’s help, I might find something to do with myself, & a way to find more apples. I have been running out of the red ones, which have done the larger share of keeping me alive & fed thus far.

Oh, & there’s the “nutritional juice” that Maria had me deliver to Shanks. Tied to the bottle’s cork was a small lightly-folded note. I had no intention to pry, but judging by the hand-drawn hearts, I’ve a feeling that the handsome sailor Shanks might be something of a… cicisbeo. Although that would imply that Lucas knows about the relationship…

It’s none of my business, anyway.

porcinus meets Shanks

I was not born here — at least, not that I remember. But it was here that I was reborn. And a worthy place, at that. I met the small handful of locals, who were largely very kind to me; & so too did I meet the flora & the fauna, something wonderful, a quaint island, humble, but teeming with its own verdancy, a beauty both inward & outward, concentrated in every mushroom cap & in every mossy slope.

In a way, it’s sad that so few will ever come here to witness it for themselves. Maple Island is quiet. It will be my little secret. I know that I will find myself on this island again in the future, some day, some how, some why.

porcinus arrives at Victoria Island (Lith Harbour)



Transcription of the above audio

Jess (LlanaMii) [in-game chat]: hes a 10 but only poops in the shower

Ethan (DontAtMe): Wait, Jess, don’t you hate it when you poop in the shower &, like, it just doesn’t go down the drain, so you gotta stomp it down? [suppressing laughter]

Jeesoo: Bro, no. The worst part is, like, when you poop in the shower, & you poop into your hand, & you try to throw it into the toilet bowl, but it misses,

Ethan: [laughing]

Jeesoo: so you have to get out of the shower.

Frank (Diggy): I hate that! Man, I hate that…

Jeesoo: And the floor’s all wet, & you have to pick it up, & put it in, & you wipe the floor, [unintelligible]

Frank: Hate it when that happens.

Jeesoo: Yeah, I hate it when that happens.

Amy (Loquat): I — [unintelligible]

Ethan: And it’s not a clean wipe off the floor, either.

Jeesoo: Yeah, ex[actly.]