Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Arcanes Quest

For the last couple of months I've been toying around in my head with the idea of a quest to run for the Order of Arcanes. I've been wanting to do something that is:
  1.  Accessible to everyone regardless of how many avatar characters they had.
  2. Would encourage people to go out and kill mobs they haven't killed before or for a long time.
  3. Not too difficult, too easy or long.
  4. Would promote teamwork with other members.
I had been thinking of doing some sort of quest that focused on killing mobs but didn't want to just have a "go kill mob X" sort of thing. My first idea was to give the description of a mob with the name removed and have people figure out what the mob was, kill it and bring back an item from the mob. The problems with this idea were:
  1. It got very spammy on the notes.
  2. Some mobs didn't have a proper description.
  3. Most of the mobs had their descriptions fully covered on Rodpedia.
In the end I decided to place 30 item names into a wordsearch using a website I sometimes use for my remedial classes who struggle with basic literacy (using MUDS to improve basic reading and writing skills... interesting idea)  to make worksheets for. I also needed to find some decent prizes to use as an incentive. After searching around my storage spaces I'm offering up the following as prizes for the first three placegetters: Maniacal Tendencies, the dagger of metaphysical deliverance and the Breastplate of the Ravager and various gold prizes to other participants.

The notes I posted on the Arcanes noteboard for the quest are shown below:

Hopefully this quest will be a success and get people working together to kill some stuff plus maybe even get some people interested in joining us.

And finally Happy New Year to anyone reading this. I hope 2015 is a good one.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Shooting and the Banshees

With the new warrior I've been needing a couple of easy to get evil items from the Scourge of Time - the first being Shifting black flames and the second Godskull shinguards. To get both of those you need to kill Rez, Lord of the Banshees. He isn't too hard of a mob to kill solo especially if you take advantage of his location and some undervalued ranger skills to kill him off with arrows.

First you need a bow and around 200 arrows. The best bow in the game that I know of is a supple longbow that can be bought from Midway of Despair on the occasions when the area is open. The main advantage with this bow is that it can fire further than other bows. For arrows to be successful at killing something you need the following:
  1. The mob needs to be able to move rooms.
  2. You want a way to stop it from moving into your room.
Both of the above conditions are met for killing Rez. Once ready you need to head to the Sands of Time maze in Scourge of time with 3 other characters. The trick here is that most of the rooms in this maze are tunnelled to 4 characters. This was if your ranger is there with 3 other characters you can shoot away at Rez safely as he can not enter your room. Doing this you need to watch out for the following:
  1. The trans room at the end of the maze. This room is tunnelled to 2 characters. If you end up in here your group will separated and jumped on by Rez.
  2. Disappearing into the void - if any of your group voids out this will clear some space for Rez to enter.
  3. Repop. This area has a fast repop time. If you kill Rez or any of the other banshees you need to watch out for them repopping in your room.
  4. Looting - once Rez is dead you need to have a character run in to the room with his corpse and loot it quick before you get jumped on or the corpse decomposes.
Once you've fired away enough arrows here's the result:
>fire w rez
You fire an arrow of the forest west.
You hear something's death cry.

The Sands of Time
Grains of sand whiz about, driven by a mighty, vicious windstorm. You cannot see further than about 10 feet in any given direction. The sand that remains beneath your boots scorches you from the bottom up. Each direction that you travel in appears to take you to the same place... nowhere.
Exits: north east south west
A deadly looking arrow lies here on the ground. (8)
The remnants of Shifting black flames are strewn about. (3)
The corpse of Rez, lord of the fate banshees lies here.
A pool of spilled blood lies here.

>g all rez
You get 646800 gold coins from the corpse of Rez, lord of the fate banshees.
You get a shadowy, coiled cobra from the corpse of Rez, lord of the fate banshees.
You get a shadowy, coiled cobra from the corpse of Rez, lord of the fate banshees.
You get a Fate key from the corpse of Rez, lord of the fate banshees.
You get a fate banshee's pouch from the corpse of Rez, lord of the fate banshees.
You get Shifting black flames from the corpse of Rez, lord of the fate banshees.
After finishing off Rez I used his key to enter the next part of the area. The Demonspawn Hellknight isn't too hard a fight - you just need to keep hitting him until he's dead. The tricky part is after he dies...
Your shieldbash wounds A Demonspawn hellknight!
A Demonspawn hellknight is DEAD!!
A Demonspawn hellknight splatters blood on your armor.
The corpse of A Demonspawn hellknight falls far below...
The spilled blood falls far below...
You see no corpse here.
You do not see that here.
To loot the corpse you need to head down to the room where it falls. This room also contains Countess Sindroad and Lord Olsen the Archdemon. These two are beyond my skills to kill solo with both hitting quite hard. Looting the hellknight is just a case of heading down and getting all from the corpse as fast as possible and then getting out. I just supplicated a recall out to leave quickly with my fate banshee pouch full of loot.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Something Must Break Now

After the failure of the Festivus Raffle I had a go at another luck of the draw event in the Realms of Despair - an attempt on a sliver of glass for the drow warrior. This puzzle involves walking out to the Glacier Temple and breaking a mirror. If you're lucky you will get the sliver of glass - if not after 4 attempts your character is never allowed to return to the area. My directions to the temple are:
6n; 3nw; w; n; 4e; s; w; sw; s; sw; 2s; 2sw; 2s; 2ne; n; nw; w; 2nw; w; 3nw; 3w; se; w; sw; w; u; nw; 3w; 3nw; 3w; sw; 3s; w; s; se; s; sw; s; d; e; s; enter; s 
Once here just choose a direction and break it...
 Floating in Blue Light
The whole world is coloured in an unearthly glow within this unusual portal. As the dull blue light shines, direction and time seem lost, as though the inside of this portal was somehow not part of the material world. Within the blue haze a pair of large oval shaped doorways lead out towards two very different areas. To the south, ice and snow crash up against what appears to be an ethereal door which holds strong despite the strength of the wintery winds. To the north, the strong winds and blowing sand of a beach blow on a similar ethereal entrance.
Exits: none
Your vision is bombarded by the colour blue, as the portal surrounds you and holds you within its grasp.
The intensity of the colours within the portal leaves you momentarily light headed.

Within a Glacier Temple
The outside walls of the temple have been carved from an enormous block of ice. Inside the temple, eight mirrors each face a different direction to create an octagon shape. Gazing into one of them reflects back on the others giving the illusion of endless hallways. There is no apparent exit from this horrid maze of reflections. Only in shattering one of the mirrors may some form of escape be found. Letters have been carved into the ice on the floor by some ancient hand.
Exits: north east south west northeast northwest southeast southwest

> break nw
Your choice has been made.
A magical force pushes you through the mirror shattering the glass.
You have solved the mysteries of the mirror!
A sharp pain shoots up your arm as you find a sliver of glass.
For once a lucky break for me! This is what it looks like:
> exam sliver
You take a closer look at a sliver of glass in inventory...
This small sliver of glass comes to a sharp point at one end so that it can fit through the earlobe, usually with great pain and blood loss. The magic of the mirror maze still resides in this piece, giving it great powers.
As you look more closely, you notice that it is in superb condition.
It appears to be within or below your level range.
And identifies as:
> rec tab sliver
You recite a magical tablet of disclosure.
Object 'a sliver of glass' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 40 armor, weight 2.
Locations it can be worn:  ears
Special properties:  glow
This armor has a gold value of 15000.
Owner:  Skold
Armor class is 12 of 12.
Affects damage roll by 3.
Affects mana by 30.
Affects hp by 30.

True I'd much rather a cube of wonders from the Festivus raffle but a small win is better than nothing.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Festivus Trolled

Every year around this time of year the immortals of the Realms of Despair host the Festivus Raffle. Prizes include decent pieces of equipment, rare things like rename scrolls, big gold prizes and the super special rare prizes. Usually it is on around a time I can't manage to make but for once I was able to be on around the time of the drawing. To buy tickets you had to visit the Festivus Troll at Darkhaven Square:
>look troll
The troll stands around handing out tickets and wishing you a Merry Festivus.
He also encourages you to read the sign before making any purchases.

A Festivus Raffle Troll is in perfect health.

You peek at his inventory:

>exam sign
You take a closer look at an important raffle sign on the ground...

To purchase a ticket:
  give 1000000 coins troll  (1 ticket)
  give 10000000 coins troll (10 tickets)

Do NOT log out with your tickets, or they will be lost!

Do NOT give any amount of gold other than 1 mil or 10 mil at a time.  If you
do, that amount will be lost!

You may purchase as many tickets as you like, but you will be limited by inventory space.  You may store the tickets anywhere you wish.
The tickets are not tagged to individual characters.

Read the Archives for more information.

>give 1m coins troll
You give 1,000,000 coins to a Festivus Raffle Troll.
A Festivus Raffle Troll gives you Festivus ticket number 612481.

>exam ticket
You take a closer look at Festivus ticket
number 612481 in inventory...
You see nothing special.
I do wish that they would make the tickets save so that players not able to be on at the time of the drawing could be in with a chance to win something. In the end I decided to gamble 75,000,000 gold coins on the raffle. I thought that would be enough to give me a chance of winning something without going overboard on the draw. Just before the start of the draw Gonnil announced the following:
Gonnil quests 'a total of 13,161,000,000 gold was spent in this year's raffle'
If you add in however many tickets were given away as prizes to minor quests beforehand I realised my odds of winning on any particular draw are about 75 in 13,300 or slightly better than 1 in 200... But hey there's plenty of prizes? Surely I was in with a chance?

In the end the following identification of a ticket shows it all:
>c id ticket
Object 'Festivus ticket number 612481' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 51 trash, weight 1.
Special properties:  none
This trash has a gold value of 0.
The part where it says "trash" sums it up for me - not a single winner. The closest I got was when the ticket that won the Echoes of Damnation was just 5 more than one of my tickets. I guess there is always next year and next time I'll have to invest more than 75 million on the draw, but hey it's always good to be a part of the event. Thanks to Gonnil for running the event and congratulations to all the winners.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Avatarhood and The Window

I finished levelling my drow warrior a couple of days ago:
Your slash cuts a templar!
You have now obtained experience level 50!
You suddenly feel a strange surge of power flow through your veins!

You have mastered yourself as far as mortally possible, and now
see immortality within your grasp...

Along with your new position you receive a new channel, to use this
channel type ': <message>' or 'imm <message>'.
These new commands/abilities are now available to you:

New Commands: Avtalk

New Abilities: Don't lose experience on death
               No longer see hunger or thirst messages

SEE ALSO: help avtalk

Your gain is: 15/1222 hp, 0/342 mana, 10/655 mv 3/97 prac.
I realised that this was the first character I had actually had reach level 50 in 2014. My levelling rate really has slowed down this year. The drow ended up with a base of 872 hit points - pretty average for a warrior. Overall I found the drow quite easy to level.

After reaching level 50 one of my aims with this warrior is to figure out where the new garments of the Ilythiiri set comes from. To do this I had no idea where to begin as there are so few clues as to where to begin. The best place to begin with as for finding hints is in Vast Horizons in particular the board in Ceirana's Window to the World:
This noteboard is interesting in that can only be reached by teleporting has several hints from the immortals to puzzles around the Realms of Despair. I didn't find any clues on the new sets but I did find the following notes interesting:
[195] Gonnil: Rumors
Sun Oct 20 07:39:18 2013
To: All
They say that the clover Starre seeks grows best upon a large mountain in
Camelot, and that a warm breeze in the right location may be a clue toward
finding it.

They say Jimmy doesn't actually have anything hidden among his shop items.
And even older notes such as:
 [ 89] Gonnil: A Hint
Fri May 28 21:43:47 2010
To: Explorers
It is actually possible to do something at the altar in the Lair of Dread.
But it requires having another object...

And I'm still sad nobody has killed the black pudding.
[141] Gonnil: Rumors
Sun Sep 11 19:08:57 2011
To: All
Seems as though a few of the infamous Cubes of Wonders are still held in the
clutches of certain denizens of the Realms...

For one of them, the carrier lies waiting in the water.

For one of them, the carrier is surrounded by a cloud of acidic vapour. 
I was a little disappointed that there were no clues as to the new sets but maybe Gonnil will feel generous sometime soon with the clues. In the meantime I guess I'm just going to have to finish getting the warrior dressed and then start killing anything and everything I can in the hopes of a pop.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Calm Your Farm and More...

I've been slow on the updates lately. I haven't done any one major thing in the Realms of Despair of late but several little things so this post will be a bunch of snippets of things that are happening.

Levelling and McFarming
The little drow warrior I posted about levelling earlier is ticking along nicely and got up to level 45 quite quickly. I slowed down a bit as I wanted to use him to explore a couple of lower level areas, one of which is MacMillan Family Farm. This area has puzzles and some nice equipment only accessible to characters under level 45. The first puzzle I came across was with the well. This one has similarities to spaces in the Barren Wastes in particular around the horned beast you need to kill for the facestompers. Here's what I've figured out:
Fork in the Road
The roadway comes to an intersection here, splitting around a simple well that supplies the farm with water. The chalky pebbled path leads off to the northwest, where a pair of large wooden barns can be seen. To the northeast a dirt road continues off towards a small farmhouse, and more orchards. To the north, large canyons can faintly be seen in the distance, making passage into the mountain near impossible from the farm.
Exits: south northeast northwest
An old stone well is here, shaded by a small cedar roof.

> exam well
You take a closer look at an old, stone well on the ground...
Created ages ago, this well is constructed from very large river rocks, plucked from the canyon beds below, held together with mortar. Once clean and polished, it is now all but covered with a thick green moss. The well is capped with a cedar roof, resting a few feet above the opening. The roof is supported by two large spruce posts, attached to the peaks of both sides. This well has supplied the farm with fresh water since its inception. There is a rope tied to one of the spruce posts, it trails off and coils into the grass behind the well.

> drop rope well
You grab the coil of rope and let it down to the darkness of the well below.

> climb down rope
You carefully climb over the well's ledge, and climb the rope down into the darkness below.

Deep Within the Well
Not very much is visible from the few strands of dust-filled light that filter down from the well entrance high up above. The smooth block walls spiral down to meet the shin high water of this underground river well beneath the earth's surface. Small ripples form around the few small slippery rocks that crest the surface of the otherwise calm water. The remains of the well's bucket can be seen strewn about just beneath the water's surface, torn into many pieces by some unknown force.
Exits: none

> exam rocks
Four larger rocks crest the waters surface, creating tiny islands. Many smaller rocks and pebbles blanket the spaces between the main four. Three of the larger rocks look quite secured, but one of them looks as though you could look under it.

> look under rock
As you go to look under the rock, an armored baloth jumps out at you, snapping!
Again leave no stone unturned. The fight against the armored baloth is on the tough side for a character under level 45 but when killed it has a chance of popping a piece of a better item.

Questing for Glory
I was lucky enough to be on when an immortal ran quest was on. This one involved finding snow shovels to help a stuck buffalo free. I found my first one on the Valley of the Elves as follows:
A Trail Less Travelled
Exits: down northeast southeast
A deluxe snow shovel lies here.
An antelope is here, peacefully munching on grass.

An antelope leaves southeast.

>g shovel
You get a deluxe snow shovel.

>c id shovel
Object 'a deluxe snow shovel 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.

>exam shovel
You take a closer look at a deluxe snow shovel found by Jessyl in inventory...
You see nothing special.

>Darkhaven Square
You are standing within the expanse of the famous Darkhaven Square. An immense stone statue of Duke Luther sits in the center of the square, surrounded by fountains of shimmering crystal water.  Gardens and shrubbery enhance the air of serenity and peace here in the center of the great city. A plaque set into the base of the fountain attracts your eye.  Cobblestone roads lead away in the four cardinal directions, while to the northeast
and northwest are forested paths.  The cathedral spires of Notre Dame de Sioux rise with majesty above the treetops to the northwest.
Exits: north east south west up northeast northwest
A large sundial lies here, useless during the night hours.
Torrents of flame flow a river of fire through the night sky above the square.
Stone fountains containing crystal clear water surround the Duke's statue.
(Fade) An enormous pile of snow seems to be slowly moving.
A snow covered buffalo is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.
(Hide) (Translucent) Rentuke StarSword-Belforte is hovering here.
(Hide) Lareawan Dawnbreaker is the voice inside your head [NC-ON] is hovering here.
Only a deluxe snow shovel will help dig out the snow.

>give shovel buffalo
You give a deluxe snow shovel found by Jessyl to a snow covered buffalo.
A snow covered buffalo thanks you heartily.
I went on to then find two more shovels in The Mire, one in Ocean Keep and another in the Desert of Despair. With 2 glory per shovel the prize 'm now only 7 glory short of an extra damage roll.

Barbarian Adventures
A couple of fellow members of Arcanes have recently finished levelling barbarians and needed to get the dressed up so I've helped people kill a couple of mobs with barbarian items. The first was the yeti - this mob is frustrating with it's low pop rates and the timing needed to kill it so you have a chance of getting a claw.

After this we've also been killing the enormous manticore. This mob has been strange in that it does not appear every reboot and I'm not even sure what area it is officially in as when you use the where command in his room it gives you a message about not knowing where you are. In the end we had few problems killing the manticore. Of all the barbarian equipment mobs this is the easiest where the good old choke, flee, quit, relog, repeat... method works well. End result being:
You choke the life out of an enormous manticore as he struggles to break your grasp!
You injure an enormous manticore!
An enormous manticore is DEAD!!
You lose your death-grip on your victim's neck.
An enormous manticore lets out a horrendous cry that rises high into the air before disappating. A portion of an enormous manticore's head is ripped off as it falls to the ground. An enormous manticore catches his guts in his hands as they pour through his fatal wound!
You get 1054000 gold coins from the corpse of an enormous manticore.
The corpse of an enormous manticore holds:
     the horned helm of the plains wanderer

Underworld Grinding
All this week I've been setting myself up in The Underworld grinding away at making some Maniacal Tendencies. The strategy for this is simple - kill Eylops with a warrior using non-magic weapons and an immobilizing mage immobilizing away. Once down grab the keys, switch the warrior to wielding a Nasr and then have the warrior/mage team kill Rage and Fury and fingers crossed pop an essence off each. Repeating this for a week I managed to pop 8 of each. Connecting these and then sacrificing them using an augurer with 22 luck resulted in the following 7 times:
>g rage birch; g fury birch; connect rage fury; drop unfettered;sac unf
You get the essence of rage from a small birch chest.

You get the essence of fury from a small birch chest.

You cobble the pieces together...
 ...suddenly they snap into place, creating Unfettered Delirium!

You drop Unfettered Delirium.

A'enari gives you one gold coin for your sacrifice of Unfettered Delirium.
On the 6th attempt out of 8 however...
>g rage birch; g fury birch; connect rage fury; drop unfettered;sac unf
You get the essence of rage from a small birch chest.

You get the essence of fury from a small birch chest.

You cobble the pieces together...
 ...suddenly they snap into place, creating Unfettered Delirium!

You drop Unfettered Delirium.

A'enari gives you one gold coin for your sacrifice of Unfettered Delirium.
Strange sounds rise up from the ground echoing in a chorus of insane laughter. A twirling mist forms about the ground, bringing an immediate chill to the air. As you look down you spy a strange looking helmet which has appeared by arcane means.
You get Maniacal Tendencies.
I'm hoping to continue grinding away for another week or two in the hopes of making three Maniacal   Tendencies - one for my drow warrior, one to use a prize for an Arcanes quest and one to sell/trade for other items.

More Reading
I've also been reading a couple of blogs by other players. Firstly Graham's blog at Its still kind of new but it shows a different point of view of happenings around the Realms.

Secondly Syldir's Corner of Despair at A very different blog to mine and well worth checking out.