Monday, July 28, 2014

Quests, Midway and Other Challenges

Been a little slow on the updates lately. Besides being out of town for a week I've been up to a lot of little things in the Realms of Despair lately including:

Completing more quests.
The following was posted on the main Realms of Despair website:
This quest was fun. It involved running around Coral Depths searching for treasure. I quested on my lizardman since being imbued with aqua breath is always handy when underwater. I was successful and managed to find myself five treasures as follows:
Traveling the North Road
As you continue your tour through the village, you enjoy the varied colors of the coral walls to the east. A pastel green house has an exit to the west. The door a slightly darker green then the house front. To the northwest is a dark purple house and farther north is one made of bright yellow.
Exits: north west southwest
A mermaid floats about here, enjoying the view.

You begin your search...

Your search reveals a buried treasure!

>get treasure
You get a buried treasure.

>c id treasure
Object 'a buried treasure found by Jessyl' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 51 treasure, weight 1.
Special properties:  none
This treasure has a gold value of 0.
All up it was a nice easy quest, accessible to all and well publicised with the use of the twitter account.

Midway of Despair
The immortals have chosen to open up the Midway of Despair area. This area has some great fun items like dicing cups and the best missile weapon in the game - the supple longbow. On top of these was a new surprise:
The three retro areas were the old Village of Edo, Two Rivers and Arachnos. I have fond memories of both Two Rivers and Arachnos as back when my first character was around level 20 my first quest to  join a guild involved getting items from these areas. The first was a set of multicolored juggling balls and the second was the black knight's visor. The black knight's visor was from one of the first dragons I remember coming across in the game - Yevaud the usurper. The first time I tried killing him I remember struggling. It took me a few goes and I learnt about how gas breath attacks could scrap containers. This time though it was a lot easier:
Yevaud's Lair
Yevaud, the Usurper of Darkhaven, resides here.  A voice cries out, "BEWARE, the Usurper of Darkhaven lives here!  FLEE while you can!"
But even Yevaud has his master...or so you deduce.
Exits: east
(Red Aura) Yevaud, the Usurper of Darkhaven, grins with malice at you.

>l yevaud
Old, scaly, but still with a lot of bite in him left.

Yevaud is in perfect health.

>k yevaud
Your slash GUTS Yevaud!
Yevaud's blast of gas brushes you.
Yevaud's slash scratches you.
Your slash GUTS Yevaud!
Yevaud is DEAD!!
Yevaud screams furiously as he falls to the ground in a heap!
You get 2695 gold coins from the corpse of Yevaud.
The corpse of Yevaud holds:
     (Invis) a black knight's visor

>g all corpse
You get a black knight's visor from the corpse of Yevaud.
It was great to go back to this old area and the latest news update hinted to possible future updates to old areas.

Restocking and Arcanes Contest
After losing all my equipment on one of my back up vampires I've been trying to re-equip it slowly. At the same time Arcanes is running a contest to donate as much different equipment for the order. I've been killing different mobs and making sure I kill once for myself and once for the order. I'll post more on how I go about killing mobs in another post. Its funny how a bad card from the deck has led to me having enjoying the challenge of killing mobs solo that I haven't hit in ages. So far I've killed Rez, Dracula, Set, Manticore, Shimmergloom and Edo stuff. If I get time would like to hit some mobs in Tower of Despair plus Julajimus or maybe even Abattoir.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dragon Killing and Kissing

Over the last few days I've been lucky enough to run into a couple of immortal ran quests involving dragons. The first one involved hunting them down and killing them while the second involved mounting a ride, finding them and then kissing them.
For the first quest I had to track down a different red, white or blue dragon and then kill them. I managed to find one in the Valley of the Elves. It took me a while and a lot of heals on my ranger but my main strategy of attack, flee, quit and relog when needed worked to eventually kill it.
Wandering a Small Valley
The grassy woodland gives way to a small garden here behind a cottage which
is just south of it.  More than likely, this is someone's kitchen garden,
planted to provide fresh vegetables for the cottage owner perhaps.  As you
look it over, you note neat rows of beans, corn, squash and several other
types of commonly grown vegetables, even some herbs grow here in a neat
corner off by themselves.  There appears to be no door into the cottage
from this side, although there is a window but it's too high up off the
ground for you to look through.  The forest and grassland continues in all
directions around you, save where the cottage stands.
Exits: north east west
A mystical spring flows majestically from a glowing circle of blue.
(Fade) Glistening shards of ice cover the dragon.
A white dragon is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.
A white dragon is ensphered by shards of glistening ice.

Your spell wounds a white dragon!
A white dragon's hail of ice injures you!
Your slash rips a white dragon!
A white dragon is DEAD!!
A white dragon catches his guts in his hands as they pour through his fatal wound!
You get 542000 gold coins from the corpse of a white dragon.
The corpse of a white dragon holds:
     a white dragon scale won by Jessyl
>exam scale
You take a closer look at a white dragon scale won by Jessyl in inventory...
You see nothing special.

>c id scale
Object 'a white dragon scale won by Jessyl' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 51 trash, weight 1.
Special properties:  none
This trash has a gold value of 0.
For the second quest I ran around to every different area I could think of with dragons in - Dragon Pass, Dragon Tower, Ocean Keep, Shadowport, Blasted Lands, Great Eastern Desert, New Ofcol, Antall, Morgul Vale, Coral Depths... The trick to get the prize from them was to kiss them:
At the Crack in the Cliff Face
You are at a spot where forest ends and cliff begins, or perhaps it is
the other way round.  No matter, the point is that to the east is a
thick and lush forest, and to the west is a tall black cliff with a
crack that looks large enough to enter on horseback.
Exits: east west
(Invis) (Fade) (Hide) A trail of chocolate footprints ends here.
A chocolate dragon is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.
(Mount) A strong and proud horse whinnies at your approach.

>kiss dragon
You kiss it.
A chocolate dragon gives you a chocolate ocean keep dragon given to Jessyl.

>c id chocolate
Object 'a chocolate ocean keep dragon given to Jessyl' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 51 trash, weight 1.
Special properties:  none
This trash has a gold value of 0.
I do find the items being level 51 a nuisance as it does make any strategy of killing mobs involving fleeing and quitting such as chokehold on a barbarian useless. Either way though I managed to get a total of 13 glory from the two quests which gets me up to a total of 113 glory on my ranger. Not sure what to do with it but getting some ideas.

Thanks again to Destre and Romani for running the quests.

Monday, July 7, 2014


Recently one of my characters – Jessyl the lizardman ranger was appointed as the number 2 of The Order of Arcanes. Having never been a leader of any organisations it has had me thinking about leadership and what one should be aiming to do. Around the same time I found this article about leadership in MMORPG’s on Massively in their Guild Counsel that got me thinking as well. It breaks down the different qualities the author believes are needed for successful leadership into being visionary, motivating, coordinating, arbitrating, fairness, listening and prepared to make mistakes. My thoughts on each point are as follows:

I agree that having a vision in mind of what you want your organisation to be is needed to make it better. Having goals, plans on how to achieve them and celebrating when accomplished will help any group. For Arcanes my vision includes having the best knowledge in the game, allowing new and experienced players to develop their own skills, a sense of belonging and community for members, the ability to take on the biggest mobs in the game and having a reputation for these things through out the Realms of Despair.

Already Arcanes has many of these aspects of my vision but there is always room for improvement. our forums have a lot of information on them and many of our members including myself are trying hard to add to them. We are welcoming to new players and help each other out with equipment, gold and other items. Lately there have been more activity killer some of the newer and multi-avatar mobs in the game. There is an opportunity for us in the latest incarnation of the Cry of Despair to help promote ourselves and our ideals in.

As for the sense of community and belonging it is definitely there.

Motivating myself let alone others can be a challenge. There are different type of motivation – intrinsic/extrinsic and positive/negative motivators which can be represented on a two dimensional continuum as shown below:

Intrinsic and positive motivators are the most succesfful – things like wanting to figure out some puzzle or kill some new mob so that you feel good about yourself. An extrinsic/negative motivator would be being told to lead X runs or log in every day or you will be removed from the order.  In short doing things that make you feel good and give you a reward work best – threatening with punishments is least successful.

One of the most common responses I get from people who read this blog is promotes interest in parts of the game they may not have seen before. The motto of the game is “Endless medieval adventure” – just sometimes people need a point in the direction of an adventure they haven’t yet seen.

Coordinating a group of players is another challenge. Between in game note boards, ordertalk, tells and mudmails plus out of game forum boards and emails this is doable but does require constant monitoring. One of the big complaints with some organisations at times are when leaders don't log often enough to monitor all communications. Arcanes has got leaders who are on regularly.

Being able to settle disputes is at times necessary for a leader though this issue doesn't concern me much. Last week in real life I had to deal with two 15 year old girls who wanted to beat each other up because the first one's boyfriend had like and posted a flirty comment on the second girls facebook page. I'm not saying that Realms of Despair players are like angry, catty hormonal teenage girls but, well, maybe sometimes. Still I'd rather them than any real life issues as in a game you can use the ignore command.

A good leader does need to be prepared to listen to other members. There's few things worse than when the people running an organisation will not listen to the members and think they have all the answers, or worse will not listen as they feel it is personal if people don't like their direction.

People are always most unhappy if they think that a situation is not fair to them. In an organisation like Arcanes people will complain about fairness of equipment loot and access to running bigger mobs. We have systems in place to make this as fair as possible and sometimes as a leader you do need to put members and the organisation ahead of your own particular wants.

Making mistakes
Finally it states that a leader needs to be prepared to make mistakes, learn from them and move on. Risks do need to be taken and things will go wrong. For the members I believe it can mean a lot for people in power to admit to mistakes and fix them when they do occur.

Those are my thoughts on leadership. Feel free to send me a tell or post a comment, and if you are interested in joining the Order of Arcanes.