Goodbye Zach

Today Kali posted a note that saddened many of us.

(1033) Kali 03/24/15 Zach

Recently we have learned that the Realms of Despair has lost one of its young
bright stars. The family of Zach has contacted the immortal staff, as well as
some of his mortal friends who reached out, to let us know that Zach has
passed away. Zach has been a long and devoted player of the Realms.
He recently joined the immortal ranks and inspired us with his enthusiasm and
vigor for bringing positive changes to the game for his fellow players. We
are sad to have lost a vital player, but more importantly, we are
devastated to have lost a good friend and a good person.

As a tribute, we are promoting Zach to level 56, True Immortal, at which point
we will move him to retired status. As a lasting tribute, the pedagogic
spirit in the Umbrageous Ruins will be renamed to the pedagogic spirit of Zach
so that he may teach and train all those would follow his ways. In this way
his memory will live on.

I don’t have a lot to say.  It is always sad when we lose someone from our community.  Some of us have been through this before, I’ve written about losing Marie years ago.  Some of us keep a distance online, even me not that you’d know.  When people quit playing without a word I know that some of us used to worry a lot about what happened to them and I think because of that a lot of us put up that distance.  “Realms friends”.  When 9-11 happened we lost players, one of them was a long time Guild of Druid person who we all presumed died, she resurfaced a couple years ago, alive but needed to totally walk away from everything in their life for a long time before being curious about Realms still being online.

It’s a hard subject.  I think lots of us struggle with appropriate ways to deal with our feelings in the first place.  I encourage you to reach out to the people around you and let them know you appreciate them.  If they’re off game/on game, doesn’t matter.  In the age of Facebook a lot more of us are staying connected.

To my Realms comrades: to the people I adventure with, the people I share my evenings and stories with – thank you for being there.

Good bye Zach – our community is diminished by your loss.  The PK community has lost a stalwart advocate, a tireless recruiter and a valued teacher.

Around the Realms in Twenty Questions

A new Vast Horizon feature, for the regular readers of Ceirana’s Window to the World is a new noteboard for a game of 20 Questions.  For those not familiar with the game the basic idea is that the host will pick something and you have 20 questions to figure it out with your guesses at the answer counting towards the 20 questions.  For this incarnation the question has to be a yes/no question.

I managed to figure out the first mob (yay) was Weeping Willow in The Keep of Mahn-Tor by a process of elimination.  A couple hours of running around looking at mobs and maps.  All in all it was pretty fun, I encourage you to look for it the next time you’re out telescanning.

Some hints for players:

  • keep your questions simple… yeah you want to get the most out of it but if it doesn’t give you info in both the yes and no it’s not so good (example: is it a male? Good!  is it a male or a horse? Bad! a male dragon isn’t a horse, of course!)
  • try to use your question to narrow the field … we had every mob in Realms to pick from, narrowing it to non-male non-humanoids who wore no equipment and were aff sanc or who could cast it made the list so much more manageable
  • be specific: the question “Is it in the Forgotten Woods Geo?” could mean the area that when you type where you see the Forgotten Woods or it could mean any of the areas IN the Forgotten Woods
  • don’t be too specific: asking a question that applies only to a very narrow field of choices doesn’t help.  If you get a yes then you’re golden, but it’s more likely you’ll get a no.  “Does it have brown hair?” is perhaps not as good as “Does it have hair?”

Ok … happy adventuring.

Tip Toe, Through the Tulips …

Ahhh, spring is in the air … the smell of serious funk … wait what?  Someone parked an ogre east of Darkhaven and he stinks up the joint!  All the tulip scented fabreeze in the Realms won’t cover that up.  We’ll keep dumping boo-kays of flowers on him anyway until he goes away and makes up with his wife :>

This quest brought out my thinking cap a few times … how to obtain the tulips is one problem and which to hand in is another.  Finding them boils down to telescan until you’re sick of it then do mkill farming till you’re sick of that, then traffic for ones you’re missing and repeat.  Ok maybe not quite that bad but … well … ok.

So the pink, red and coral tulips can be found by telescanning.  As Akael noted, tulips also appear in areas that are non-teleportable, but beyond running through the areas a few times a day to check your mainstay is going to be the ones you can find by teleporting.  Gnarish is making out like a bandit, I’ve rotted the teeth out of a few characters eating zombie candies and scanning all over hell’s half acre.  In the process I’ve hit my totems on the right characters multiple times, hit Window to the World noteboard and also hit a new Twenty Questions noteboard – more on that in a minute.

So the twist with the pink, red and coral tulips is that they’re increasingly rare.  So by the time you’ve found enough corals it’s likely you’re overflowing with pink and reds. As much as I appreciate the idea of a sliding difficulty scale, I wonder if just having them closer in rarity wouldn’t have achieved the same… you still have a ton of randomness because of the teleporting aspect.  Oh well.

Next come the violets and silvers which you get from mkill.  The violet mobs are pretty soloable.  The son of a gun of it is that both the violet and silvers are pop items.  So you find the mob and kill it and maybe nothing.  For the violets, well, oh well.  For the silvers which are multi-av mobs … yeesh!  That’s mean!  Think about this, for a full turn in of 35 sets you needed 21 of each tulip on a multi-av mob which might not pop … how many kills do you think you’d need to get a group of 3-5 a full set?

Some of us noticed that 2 of the mobs were much more manageable … Dennis Moore is a good 2 man run and with the right set of characters Zyla can be soloed … when this is the more manageable …

The CM mage crew at Zyla
The CM mage crew at Zyla


So how do we leap to 35 sets means 21 of each flower?  Ahh this is where the maths comes in.  A quick visit to Math is Fun gives us the chance to set up a combination of pink, red, violet, coral and silver tulips.  Repetitions are allowed {silver, silver, red} is ok but order is not important {silver, silver, red}, {red, silver, silver} are the same.

Combinations with repetition (n=5, r=3)

List has 35 entries.
{pink,pink,pink} {pink,pink,red} {pink,pink,violet} {pink,pink,coral} {pink,pink,silver} {pink,red,red} {pink,red,violet} {pink,red,coral} {pink,red,silver} {pink,violet,violet} {pink,violet,coral} {pink,violet,silver} {pink,coral,coral} {pink,coral,silver} {pink,silver,silver} {red,red,red} {red,red,violet} {red,red,coral} {red,red,silver} {red,violet,violet} {red,violet,coral} {red,violet,silver} {red,coral,coral} {red,coral,silver} {red,silver,silver} {violet,violet,violet} {violet,violet,coral} {violet,violet,silver} {violet,coral,coral} {violet,coral,silver} {violet,silver,silver} {coral,coral,coral} {coral,coral,silver} {coral,silver,silver} {silver,silver,silver}

If you’ve done it right you got this list. For the die hards who started early and managed to get all 35 sets, my hat is off to you.  I got about 26 sets and I can’t even stand one more Zyla kill right now, even if you told me that in the final hours the pop rate goes to 100%.

A good quest overall, a bit long though.  4 types of flowers would have given 20 combinations, so all in all drop the 3rd telescan type, make red a tiny bit tougher to find and I think maybe it might not have felt so bad by the end.  Still as with many quests I got out and killed Zyla for the first time, never mind the first time by myself.  My scripts for telescanning and for CM mages got a great upgrade but now it’s time for a few days of something else 🙂