Oh hello there, I didn’t see you come in …

It’s been a busy few months and excluding Symposium meetings I have not been around regularly, in what is a continuing refrain.  I could say it’s been busy at work and at home which is true, but it’s also true that Season 5 of Diablo 3 sucked up my recreational time.  The season journey they introduced with rewards for completing different tiers absolutely plays into my OCD 🙂  I had previously suggested some sort of achievement system on Realms as well, one of the things I think I’ll wind up doing here on the website eventually or perhaps that’ll be my first attempt at coding in SMAUG, we’ll see.

Other things I’m working at:

  • I continue to work on the Mr. Dressup mode item database … it’s slowly progressing, I just haven’t tuned my brain back into it.  The rough draft version of it is at  http://realmsofdespair.info/itemdb/mrdressup.php
  • I’ve revisited my map idea, that was partly working on a local copy of the site.  My goal is to make the Herne map navigable so that you can zoom in and see rooms.  To this end I’ve figured out how to read cMud map files locally.  I don’t believe it will be possible to algorithmically  generate the Realms of Despair map just by reading rooms and exits (eg drawing the map from an area file) because there is no fixed room size or distance between rooms but I’m going to investigate it a bit before I give up.  At one point I had Darkhaven and surrounding forests on a single zone which was very difficult to manage, however with this change I can now put them into zones for use in cMud but ignore the zones when I render them on my overall map.  Work in progress lots to think about.
  • The main site still needs content… I have got literally gigabytes of Realms info from old sites, game logs etc, and the site looks like it was made by a child (not fair, children actually are more creative) so I would like to get some of that content posted and shared.
  • I want to go back and get the time line built for the information I gathered some time ago.  Right now it’s presented as a table and I think a visual representation might inspire some more contributions.  The idea that the game doesn’t acknowledge it’s own history except in very rare spots is something that strikes me as a bit of a travesty.  Thousands of people have played the game and left their mark on it, I’d like to try and bring that history to life.
  • Speaking of which, I was contacted by Haus who has prepared a bit of an article for you, which I will post up shortly.

Thanks for visiting, I’m still alive and well, the Guild of Origin is still here and I’m still looking for ways to contribute, feel free to drop a line in game and say hi.

Until next time,


Riding a coil of flame into the heavens, Edmond returns to the realm of the gods.

When I think about all the people whose hands have crafted the Realms of Despair I inevitably think about Edmond’s contributions, most of which I’m blithely unaware of.  Edmond has been involved with coding SMAUG for more than 10 years, probably close to 15 now, and has also been on many of the game’s councils over the years as well.

I remember that it was Edmond who took some notice of me on The Symposium many years ago.  One of the proposals I had put forward was for more elemental shields, not all of which would be user castable or quaffable.  It was voted down but it’s one of those ideas that someone picked up or thought of independently years later that made it’s way into the game.  I’d still like to see more of that but I suppose there’s not a lot of appetite for that kind of variety … to me Lord Seth should have unholy-shield and iceshield.  For a character to get unholy-shield they’d have to do some side quest ala shockstones or jade cameos or what have you.  Sure it’s one more step but it makes him a little more unique, a little more “different, but I digress.

Edmond also gave me my shot at being an immortal, to see how the other half lives.  I know now that I was ill-suited at the time; too much ego and insecurity, not enough real ability.  Hey Eddy, if you read this, sorry I let ya down.

I also recall meeting Edmond at one of the Renfest reunions and telling him I had heard that the Visionary Consortium had been threatened with dissolution.  I can remember him looking at me like I had 2 heads and laughing.

Edmond’s also the person who is commonly identified with the decision to close source SMAUG after version 1.8.  While I’m certain there are many good reasons at least one of them seems to be that the Realms of Despair code team puts in countless hours of work to improve the game and then people set up half-ass SMAUG muds and try to siphon away players from the Realms.  At the same time these people come onto Realms and try to get their ideas put into the code, using Realms coders, that they really want implemented on their mud.  Finally, every so often some of these other SMUAG muds may develop a new feature that really may be interesting to include in the distribution yet they’re unwilling to share the fruits of their labours back.  All of this is speculation based on second hand information.  Lots of players say it’s just because “the imms” don’t want players to be able to “min/max” the formulas and ruin the game, but I really don’t buy it.  Good players can do a remarkable amount of analysis JUST using something only mortally visible and still get to shooting distance of the real formulas.  This is the sort of thing I’m going to be including in my new college course that I’m working on.  I don’t think there is any way to hide that without becoming very restrictive in the feedback you give players, and I don’t think there’s any effort being made to be that restrictive.  I think that it has a lot more to do with the first set of reasons; if you’re going to ask Realms to be open with it’s updates, what are you doing to contribute back?

Anyway, as I say, most of this is speculative.  One day if Edmond wants to set the record straight I’d love to talk with him about it.  For now I’m going to leave you with a worrying closing line “Edmond thinks every generation deserves a shattering”.

A rope entwined with brightly colored ribbons hangs here, suspended in mid-air.

A while back I posted about exploring the Midway while it was open.  During that adventure I even posted up a small map to help get people started.  It’s back and I’ve been enjoying playing there and thought I’d talk a little more about the adventure.

There are a number of prizes to be won, not only the ones that can be exchanged for tickets but many other objects.  The haunted house has a superb supply of spellup candies that if we could ever get a regular supply would become run staples.  Given that they cast 3 different spell ups they would reduce the number of potions that storage rooms around the realms stock up on.

The well known prizes are:
3 Marble – Tic Tac Toe Board – Tic Please
3 Marble – Mini-Roulette Wheel – Wheel Please
2 Marble – Goldfish in a Bowl – Fish Please
2 Marble – Cuddly Stuffed Dragon – Dragon Please
1 Marble – Ugly Little Green Troll – Troll Please
1 Marble – Cheezy Stuffed Toy – Cheezy Please
4 Silver – Toy Marionette – Puppet Please
3 Silver – A Piece of Jewelry – Jewel Please
2 Silver – A Midway Coffee Mug – Mug Please
2 Silver – A Silk Scarf – Scarf Please
1 Silver – A Temporary Tattoo – Tattoo Please
4 Copper – A Souvenir Quill – Quill Please
3 Copper – A Colourful Balloon – Balloon Please
2 Copper – An Embroidered Hanky – Hanky Please
1 Copper – A Large Gold Coin – Coin Please

The top 2, like the dicing cup found elsewhere seem to be just for fun, though people use them for sorting out bets and run loot and the like.  I can’t keep the Goldfish alive for more than a few minutes, I didn’t buy one, I won it at the Duck Pond.  I have never gone for the Jewelry or the Coffee Mug but I can say that the silk scarf is perhaps the best low level mana item in game.  My usual complaint with mana users is that they run out of mana so quickly while levelling and low level mana gear is touch and go with stats.  These scarves are the bomb for low level mana if you can afford the con that you sacrifice by not wearing traveling cloaks/amulets.

Let’s look at how you earn tokens.  It does get a bit repetitive but each game will push you onward to the rest, so that you end up doing a circuit.  Getting 3 marbles either requires a fair bit of “stick to it”iveness or a bit of luck.  I found a marble token on its own in the Dunk Tank so sometimes a bit of luck can save you a lot of grind.

On the main strip you’ll find many games.  Let’s take a quick tour:

A White Tent
This white tent is the home of a large pegboard, with an array of
balloons lined up on one side and a bucket full of metal tipped
darts positioned several feet away. A gnome stands by the bucket of
darts, retrieving them after they are thrown. Bits of torn balloon
and metal dart tips litter the ground.
Exits: northwest
A young gnome offers you a chance to throw some darts.
A young gnome says ‘Hey mister. Want to try to hit a balloon? Just takes 100 gold.’

You give 100 coins to a young gnome.
A young gnome pockets the gold.
A young gnome says ‘Thanks mister. All you gotta do is throw a dart at the balloons.’
A young gnome says ‘The prize depends on what color balloon you hit.’

You reach into the bucket and grab a dart.
You aim carefully at the rows of balloons and throw your dart.
It pops a yellow balloon with a loud BANG!
A young gnome gives you 100 coins.

Eventually you’ll throw for a copper token.  I’ve never seen higher but for 100 coins what do you want?

After darts you’ll see face painting, which seems to be cosmetic (though could affect some puzzle elsewhere like the animal fighting or something).

A Purple Tent
The sheer purple walls of this tent let in light from outside but effectively
keep the dust from Faire Way out. The air smells of fresh cut flowers and
sweetly scented incense. A very small desk covered with a rainbow of colored
paints occupies one corner and a stool has been placed in the very center of
the tent. To the west lies the din and dust of the Faire.
Exits: west
A dainty pixie with pink wings flutters from one customer to the next painting faces.
Jumbo the face painter giggles at you. Hope it’s not contagious!
Jumbo the face painter tells you ‘Hello Tharius! Welcome to my li’l tent. Face painting is 15,000.’

You give 15,000 coins to Jumbo the face painter.
Jumbo the face painter rubs brightly colored face paint onto you.
Your face is blessed with elven features as you grow more attractive.
Jumbo the face painter giggles as she paints your face.
With great force, you strip the mask from your face.
Countless small wounds remain festering in your skin.
Jumbo the face painter flutters up and down and claps wildly.
Jumbo the face painter says ‘All done, Tharius!’

So far I’ve seen panda, dragon, mouse face paint and a few others.  Could just be for fun or as I say, have some meaning elsewhere in the midway.  On the other side of the road you find a challenge.

Before a Pit of Hot Coals
The rocky ground between the roadway and the dark blue tent has been cleared,
and flattened out by the pressure of visitors to the faire. To the west is a
long row of brightly glowing coals, shimmering with heat, while to the
northeast is the main roadway.
Exits: west northeast
A mystic shaman regards you with a look of superiority.
The shaman bows before you.
The shaman says ‘Welcome, Tharius, to a great test of courage and control.’
The shaman points towards a long row of glowing hot coals, laid out to the west.
The shaman says ‘To test yourself, simply give me 50,000 coins…and prepare your heart and soul for the task.’

Remove your shoes, give him 50k and see if you can walk across the coals AND BACK.  If you accomplish this you’ll get a fiery coal that works much like a shockstone for fireshield.  It’s too bad that this thing isn’t permanent like the shockstone, because it would be an awesome reason to try this challenge.  Scrapping one would make you cry but you’d be well on your way to self-sufficiency.

Before moving along you might visit the Dark Blue Tent.

A Dark Blue Tent
The dark blue fabric of this large tent ruffles in the breeze. Aside from
that small noise it is strangely quiet inside, as if cut off from the clamor
of the surrounding faire. The tent is crowded with wooden chairs, arranged in
a half-circle around a carved, wooden dais. An odd glow surrounds the raised
platform, seemingly enhanced by magical means. Exits north and east lead back
to the dust and noise of the midway.
Exits: east northeast
Waving her arms dramatically in the air, a magician is here lost in her arcane art.
Adriana the magician glows with an aura of divine radiance.
Adriana the magician is surrounded by a mix of ice-shards and sparking flames.
Adriana the magician says ‘Welcome to my tent, Lareawan! Prepare to be amazed.’
Adriana the magician grins at you.

I was amazed and pleased when Adriana teleported me to the entrance to the Haunted House.  If you’ve been wondering where you go to start on those puzzles, now you know 🙂

Moving along, I haven’t found much of interest in the animal betting, fortune telling or the 3 card monte game.  They seem like straight gambling or just atmosphere but there’s always the real possibility I miss things 🙂

Within the Arena Wall
A small area has been carved out of the arena wall here to accommodate betting
on various battles. Torches are attached to the walls periodically, flooding
the room with their flickering light. Animal brokers, trainers and tenders
fill the room, discussing in raised voices the various attributes of their
stock. Pieces of paper litter the ground, as patrons throw away losing bets
in disgust. An archway to the southwest leads back to the midway.
Exits: southwest
The broker of the animal arena battles is here, shouting out the odds on various beasts.
Rafur exclaims ‘Hello Tharius, and welcome to the betting cages!’
Rafur says ‘Here we offer for your entertainment a battle between
animals where you bet on the one you think will win. If you’d like
to take part, give me 250000 coins and I’ll escort you to the
animal cages.’

You give 250,000 coins to Rafur.
Rafur says ‘Thank you for your bet Tharius.’
Rafur opens a door and escorts you into the animal holding area.
Rafur says ‘Hey there Werinn, our next better is Tharius.’
Werinn says ‘Hi! Today we’ve got two fine animals to choose from, take
a few minutes to look them over and then point to the one you like
best. I will then begin the fight and we’ll see who wins!’

The Animal Holding Area
The northern wall of this room is lined with enormous cages each with a door
facing outward into the battling area. The noise and stench of so many animals
kept in close proximity makes the atmosphere in this room uncomfortable at
best. A long desk blocks any approach to the cages and the battling area, but
the gore spattered battle zone can be seen by looking northward.
Exits: none
The keeper of the battling animals is here tending his charges.
A tiger of epic proportions is inside a cage growling at you defiantly.
A gargantuan bear is within a cage baring its huge teeth in your direction.

>look tiger

This tiger is enormous! It is the single largest cat that you have ever
seen, period. Its teeth and claws look incredibly sharp, but it’s probably
not a good idea to test them first hand. This is a truly remarkable beast.

An enormous tiger is in perfect health ~(100%~).

>look bear

This bear is as large as it is ferocious. Its claws and teeth are
definitely not something that anyone would want to be on the wrong
end of. All in all, this is a truly remarkable beast.

A gargantuan bear is in perfect health ~(100%~).

>point bear
You point at it accusingly.
Werinn exclaims ‘What a fine choice Tharius!’
Werinn gives you a bear token.
Werinn says ‘Hang on to that Tharius, give it to me at the end of the battle.’
Werinn pushes a lever and the animal cages open onto a common area.
Werinn prods each of the animals in turn, forcing them into battle.
You watch filled with excitement as the animals begin their battle!

a gargantuan bear pushes an enormous tiger across the arena into the wall.
an enormous tiger leaps atop a gargantuan bear and digs in its claws.

a gargantuan bear swipes at an enormous tiger with its claws causing blood to flow.

an enormous tiger bites a gargantuan bear on the neck, tearing open its throat.

a gargantuan bear pushes an enormous tiger across the arena into the wall.
an enormous tiger pounces on a gargantuan bear ripping into it with its claws.

a gargantuan bear swipes at an enormous tiger with its claws causing blood to flow.
an enormous tiger bites a gargantuan bear on the neck, tearing open its throat.

a gargantuan bear bites an enormous tiger savagely, tearing off a piece of flesh.
an enormous tiger bites a gargantuan bear on the neck, tearing open its throat.

an enormous tiger leaps atop a gargantuan bear and digs in its claws.

a gargantuan bear bites an enormous tiger savagely, tearing off a piece of flesh.

a gargantuan bear bites an enormous tiger savagely, tearing off a piece of flesh.

After a long battle a gargantuan bear falls to the ground defeated!
An enormous tiger exclaims ‘I won!’
Werinn wipes his brow with obvious relief.
Werinn says ‘That was an exciting battle! Alright, give me your token please.’

You give a bear token to Werinn.
Werinn sighs loudly.
Werinn says ‘Sorry Tharius, you lost, better luck next time.’
Werinn waves goodbye to you. Have a good journey.

A Silver Tent
This tent is illuminated with soft lighting from gold candelabra located to
either side of a wooden table that occupies the center of the interior. A few
interested people passing by peek their heads inside the flap to observe what
is going on inside. The atmosphere inside the tent is quiet, unlike the bustle
of the midway just outside. The walls are close, but rather than
claustrophobic, the tent is comfortable.
Exits: west
A stout, wooden table stands in the center of the tent.
An old halfling stands here, completely engrossed in a trio of cups that sits before him.
Aldanor says ‘Welcome to my tent Tharius! I wish you the best of luck.
To play this game you have to give me 100,000 coins and I will set
up three cups on the table with a ball underneath one of them.
Say the color of the correct cup and you win 200,000 coins!’

You give 100,000 coins to Aldanor, Master of Cups.
Aldanor, Master of Cups says ‘Good luck Tharius, you’ll need it.’
Aldanor, Master of Cups grins at you.
Aldanor, Master of Cups shows you the ball and places it on the table.
Aldanor, Master of Cups begins to shuffle the gold, silver, and platinum cups around at a blurring speed.
After a few seconds of mixing the gold, silver, and platinum cups Aldanor slows and stops.
Aldanor, Master of Cups says ‘Please say the color of the cup that you choose, Tharius.’

You say ‘silver’
Aldanor, Master of Cups picks up the silver cup and reveals a small ball hidden beneath.
Aldanor, Master of Cups exclaims ‘Congratulations Tharius! Thank you for playing!’
Aldanor, Master of Cups gives you 200,000 coins.

A Dark Tent
The entrance to this shadowy tent is barred with several curtains of grey
silk, which must be pulled aside. The curtains block out most of the light
from outside the tent and ensure the privacy of it as well. The only source
of light is a strange ball which pulsates with an odd magical light. An
empty chair sits beside a wooden table in the center of the tent. The way
east returns to the midway.
Exits: east
A stout, wooden table stands in the center of the tent.
A mysterious gypsy sits here, her face illuminated by the crystal ball before her.
Madame Srella glows with an aura of divine radiance.
Madame Srella says ‘Welcome to my humble tent, Tharius.’
Madame Srella tells you ‘I can look into your soul and tell you your
fortune… If you wish me to do so, all you need do is give me 1000

You give 1,000 coins to Madame Srella.
Madame Srella says ‘Ahh..you wish me to look into your soul and tell
you what I see? Very well then Tharius, I shall…’

Madame Srella leans her head toward you and whispers.
Madame Srella says ‘The aura of your goodness lights up those around
you. Your conscious is clear.’

Madame Srella appraises you, squinting as she examines your face.

Madame Srella says ‘You must try harder to please your deity, good things will come.’

Madame Srella peers down into the crystal ball thoughtfully.

Madame Srella says ‘Many times your destiny carries you, when else you would fail.’

Madame Srella gazes into the ball once more, and hums to herself softly.

Madame Srella says ‘Now, for your reading…’
Madame Srella draws a deck of colorful cards from beneath her robe.

Madame Srella closes her eyes and slowly shuffles and cuts the cards.

Madame Srella places the deck of cards in the center of the table.

Madame Srella says ‘The first card is the central issue in your life…’

Madame Srella reaches forward and turns the top card over onto the table.

Looking down at the card, you see that it is The Hanged Man.
Madame Srella says ‘This card represents spritual awareness and the assuredness that it brings. You wonder if you should sacrifice something of yourself for this noble purpose.’

Madame Srella says ‘The second card is the challenge in your life…’

Madame Srella turns the top card of the deck over and places it on the table above the first card.

Looking down at the card, you see that it is The Wheel of Fortune.
Madame Srella says ‘This card represents fate and destiny. Your future depends upon that which has been done before.’

Madame Srella says ‘The third card is the present…’

Madame Srella turns the top card of the deck over and places it on the table below the first card.

Looking down at the card, you see that it is The Hierophant.
Madame Srella says ‘This card represents religious influence and conformity, An inspirational teacher will reveal signs of spiritual importance leading to higher consciousness.’

Madame Srella says ‘The fourth card is the past…’

Madame Srella turns the top card of the deck over and places it on the table to the right of the first card.

Looking down at the card, you see that it is The Lovers.
Madame Srella says ‘This card represents true love and equality. In the past you have made decisions based on intuition rather than intellect.’

Madame Srella says ‘The fifth card is the potential outcome…’

Madame Srella turns the top card of the deck over and places it on the table to the left of the first card.

Looking down at the card, you see that it is The Magician.
Madame Srella says ‘This card represents concentration and control. You should exert your will and determination to see a project or idea through to its completion.’
Madame Srella says ‘We are done now. I hope that this has helped you.’

I would have to find last year’s logs to see how this varies but you get the idea.  Whenever a mob uses the word sacrifice my radar pings, though it could just be atmospheric text.

Continuing along we have 4 challenges preseneted to us.  3 are games of luck, 1 is a game of Realms knowledge.  The first is the Ancient History challenge which are questions focusing in on deities.  I won’t list all the answers I found but I’ll leave it to you to figure i tout.

An Azure Tent
Books are littered throughout this tent, in stacks of various sizes and in
boxes scattered on the floor, making the tent itself seem comparatively small.
Any avid book-collector would not have much room in a tent of this size. An
opening in the southeast portion of the tent leads back to the main path
and the hustle and bustle of the Faire.
Exits: southeast
A wizened old gnome peers at you from behind a stack of books.
Varkaus says ‘Welcome to my little corner of the universe, Tharius.’
Varkaus says ‘And what a wide, wide universe it is…’
Varkaus grins as if its thoughts are mischievous.
Varkaus says ‘Would you like to prove your knowledge of ancient history to me? Just give me 50,000 coins to play.’

You give 50,000 coins to Varkaus.
Varkaus says ‘Here’s the question. Please respond by saying “the answer is (answer)”.’
Varkaus says ‘Which deity’s home is deep within the frozen wastelands?’

You say ‘the answer is tirebaen’
Varkaus exclaims ‘Correct!’
Varkaus congratulates you with a big slap on your back!
Varkaus says ‘You could try another question, if you feel up for the challenge.’

The spear throw and the axe throw are very similar, if you hit the bullseye you get a voucher to have Gordon carve you a figurine with your name on it.  I had so many at one point that I was handing them out to any mob I saw.  More on Gordon later.  You occasionally also get tokens.

A Yellow Tent
The interior of this bright yellow tent is well lit and extremely clean. Game
participants are lined up behind a low counter and throwing spears across a
distance of approximately twelve yards. At the opposite end of the tent,
three hoops are suspended from the ceiling. The smallest, inner hoop is the
target of the spear throw. Large, thin pieces of wood are placed against the
tent walls to prevent poorly thrown spears from going through.
Exits: east
A stocky man is perched on a tall stool next to the throw line.
Maynard says ”Ello Tharius, this ‘ere is a game of skill. If yer wantin’ to play give me 5,000 coins.’

You give 5,000 coins to Maynard.
Maynard says ‘Aye, a fine choice, Tharius. I’ll be telling ye the rules. While yer havin’ the spear in yer inventory ‘throw spear’. If yer spear goes through the outer ring, I’ll give ye 5,000 coins. The middle ring, she’s worth 7,500 coins. The inner ring’ll get ye a prize.’
Maynard pulls a spear out of the container standing at his feet.
Maynard gives you a throwing spear.
Maynard says ‘Best of luck to ye, Tharius.’

You grab the spear in your strong hand and aim at the inner hoop.
Your spear wobbles and shimmies slightly as it flies through the air.
Your spear clangs noisily on the inner hoop as it passes through it.
Maynard says ‘That was a near one, you’ve got a bit ‘o luck.’
The watching crowd cheers as the spear flies through the inner hoop!
Maynard says ‘Here’s a token for the prize booth…lots of nice things there.’

You give 5,000 coins to Maynard.


You grab the spear in your strong hand and aim at the inner hoop.
Your spear flies through the air with perfect speed and direction.
Your spear sails easily through the inner hoop.
Maynard exclaims ‘Well done, Tharius!’
The watching crowd cheers as the spear flies through the inner hoop!
Maynard gives you a spear throwing prize voucher.
Maynard says ‘Give that to Gordon in the market, he’ll hook ye up.’

Axe throwing is the same idea, give coins throw thing and maybe you get coins, tokens or a voucher back.

An Orange Tent
The flap of this orange tent is tied wide open, allowing the noise and light
from the midway to pour in. A long strip of wood lies on the ground and is
designated the throwing line by a sign that hangs from the ceiling of the
tent. Ten yards from the throwing line there stands a large piece of wood,
with several bull’s eyes painted on its surface in white and black paint.
A crowd of onlookers is lined up along the wall of the tent, trying to stay
as far back from the throwing line as possible.
Exits: west
A powerfully built orc watches axes flying past him.
Brannox says ‘Hello Tharius, would you like to try your hand at throwing an axe? Give me 5,000 coins to play.’

You give 5,000 coins to Brannox.
Brannox says ‘Very good Tharius, let me explain the rules. Simply ‘throw axe’ while you have an axe in your inventory. If you hit the target on the outer ring I will give you 5,000 coins. A hit to the inner ring gets you 7,500 coins. If you should hit a bullseye, you win a prize.’
Brannox unslings a throwing axe from his leather jerkin.
Brannox gives you a throwing axe.
Brannox says ‘Good luck, Tharius.’

You hold the axe in your strong hand and
Your axe flies toward the target but veers to the side slightly.
Your axe lands just to the left of the target, in the inner circle.
Brannox says ‘Nicely done, Tharius.’
Brannox gives you 7,500 coins.

Finally we come to the Realms distributor of pet rocks:

The Duck Pond
A small pond has been dug out of the dirt behind a yellow tent, and filled
with murky water and yellow rubber duckies. A large sign behind the pond says
“DUCK POND”. The path northeast to the main road seems well traveled, but
muddy, and it’s hard to tell if this is an official game of the Midway or not.
Exits: northeast
A slightly swampy pond of water contains a slew of soggy rubber duckies.
A grubby looking elf keeps an eye out for anyone ready to try their luck.
Xarex says ‘Welcome, friend! Easiest game on the Midway…pick a duck, win a prize!
The skinny elf grins hopefully.
Xarex says ‘If you play, you win! Just 50,000 coins!’

You give 50,000 coins to Xarex.
Xarex grins broadly.
Xarex says ‘Fabulous! Now just PICK DUCK. Red spot wins a big prize, black spot for a small!
Xarex grins evilly.
Xarex says ‘Good luck, Tharius!’

You plunge your hand into the grimy pond and pull out a duck.
You turn over the duck…to find a black spot on the bottom.
Xarex smiles.
Xarex says ‘Ah well, good try, good try.’
Xarex says ‘Of course, every duck IS a winner. Here you go!’
Xarex rummages beneath the pond sign for a moment.
Xarex hands you a pet rock.
Xarex chuckles nastily.
Xarex looks for another customer ready to pluck a duck.

I have gotten a few other prizes here but nothing startling.

You turn over the duck…and find a red spot on the bottom!
Xarex looks rather surprised.
Xarex says ‘Oh…um, congratulations!’
Xarex frowns at the ducks in the pond for a moment, then gathers his composure.
Xarex says ‘Uh…of course, of course, a prize. Um, here you are. Take care of it.’
Xarex grabs a glass bowl and scoops something out of the pond.
Xarex hands you a small goldfish in a bowl.
Xarex snatches back the winning duck, pushing it deeply into his pocket.

Before leaving I needed to divest myself of the pets I had aquired:

You drop a pet rock.
You tell your rock to shake. It ignores you.
Xarex kicks the small rock back under the sign.


Moving along we’re nearing the end of the road but there’s still many things to see.  Indeed, one useless but funny item is just ahead.  For log rolling you’ll need to bring a friend with you.

Log Rolling
A few wooden boards have been set down for participants to wait on, while they
watch the log rolling to the west. The pool there looks dark, murky, and above
all, cold. To the southeast, cheering and laughter erupts from the bright,
warm Faire.
Exits: southeast
A burly lumberjack grins merrily at spectators and participants alike.
Kurc says ‘Welcome, Tharius! Care to try your hand…er, your feet…at log rolling?’
Kurc laughs merrily.
Kurc says ‘Just 50,000 per person to test your skill against a friend!’

You give 50,000 coins to Kurc.
Kurc says ‘Ah, fabulous! We’ll just have to wait for an opponent for you, Tharius.’
Reana gives Kurc some gold.
Kurc says ‘Ah, good! You’ll be rolling against Tharius here.’
Kurc shakes Reana’s hand. Reana winces.
Kurc escorts you and Reana into the pond, helping you get up on the logs.

You get up on the log. It teeters perilously beneath your feet.
It begins to slip, and your feet rush to catch up.

Next thing you know, the log is rolling!
Reana concentrates on the slippery log, trying to keep her footing.
The log slips and slides beneath your feet! Be careful!
Reana stumbles, nearly toppling off the log!
Your feet move deftly, running over the log!
You grin triumphantly at Reana.
Reana concentrates on the slippery log, trying to keep her footing.
The log slips and slides beneath your feet! Be careful!
Suddenly, Reana slips!

Grinning, you hop off the log and return to Kurc’s side.
Kurc comforts Reana.
Kurc exclaims ‘Tough break, Reana. Go dry off, then come on back to give it another try!’
Kurc grins at you.
Kurc exclaims ‘Congratulations, Tharius! Impressive footwork!’
Kurc gives you a hearty slap on the back.
Kurc gives you a copper token.
Kurc exclaims ‘Let’s see, here’s a little something to remember the occasion by!’
Kurc hums a little tune as he grabs a small heap of cloth from his personal stash.
Kurc gives you suspendies and a bra.

I did lose this a few times before finally dunking Reana, but this isn’t her blog, so you only get to see when I win.

Wearing this layerable body item:

You fit suspendies and a bra on your body.
He’s a lumberjack and he’s okaaaaay….
He sleeps all night, and he works all day!

If you track Bob you’ll find something that looks a lot like Plinko 🙂

A Beige Tent
A long, colorful board filled with pegs is the centerpiece of this large tent,
but the tent is also decorated with an assortment of flashing lights. Leading
up to the top of the playing board is a row of stairs, each step a different
color. Rows and rows of seats fill up the other side of the tent, where an
audience of onlookers sits and watches each contestant enviously.
Exits: east
A long, upright board contains an assortment of pegs and slots.
An elderly man in a black suit stands here, smiling.
An elderly man is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.

Here you need to put a coin into the board.  These gold coins, which are used elsewhere in Midway can be purchased from Maia. Once you have one, and the board is ready:

You put a large gold coin in the playing board.
The coin falls into the slot marked ‘5000’.
An elderly man says ‘Here you go, Tharius.’
An elderly man gives you 5,000 coins.

In general this is a money losing board, though you will occasionally get a silver ticket.  It used to be that you got one of the parts for the storage bin here.  Once finished with Plunko you might want to visit the dunk tank, which also uses gold coins.

The Dunking Tank
Inside a large white tent, a large tank of water has been set up. A large
ladder rises up one side of it, while over the top a mesh of fine wire has
been placed. The water inside the tank is very murky and still. Small piles
of bags, armor and various other items lie around on the ground waiting
for their owners to return for them. A water-stained sign hangs from a nail.
Exits: west
A thin woman stands here manning the dunking tank.
Saril is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.
Saril says ‘Ready to take a chance in the tanks eh?’
Saril says ‘Ask Maia for a coin, if you don’t have one already.’
Saril says ‘then we’ll play!’

You cannot play this with aqua breath on, something about an unfair advantage 🙂

Saril tells you ‘I’m sorry, but you would have an unfair’
Saril tells you ‘advantage in this game. I can not let you’
Saril tells you ‘play this game, Tharius.’

When you get rid of aqua breath:

You give a large gold coin to Saril.
Saril pulls a lever and Tharius fall into a tank of slimy water!

You cough and choke as you try to breathe water!

The Tank
Inside the dunking tank, the water is cold and very murky from the blood
of countless would-be dunking champions. It is impossible to see very far
in any direction. Thick slime covers the walls and floor of the tank. Small
fish swim around unaware of the fact they are living in a game. Somewhere
in this slime and murkiness, the token has been hidden.
Exits: none

From here you search until you find something, I have found copper, silver and marble tokens here or you drown.  You can also say ‘give up’ to get out without dying.  I’ve found it on the first few searches or on my last few hitpoints.

Your search reveals a silver token!
You get a silver token.
Saril hauls you from the tanks, smiling broadly.
Saril says ‘Congratulations, Tharius. Now you can keep the token for the prize booth, or give it to me for an instant prize.’

I tend to turn in the coppers, I have no clue if the prizes get better if you turn in better tokens, but I’d guess there’s probably a chance at better stuff.

After you dry off you can enter the tent that is the #1 reason many people come to the Midway (now that you’re not getting a storage bin).  The famous midway bow which can fire 3 rooms away but seems to scrap if anyone even walks past you!  They are nearly useless for damage but all you’re really trying to do is lure the mob towards your trap and then you swap to a forest bow or something else.

An Archer’s Tent
You walk into a long, thin, white tent, and stare down the way to two
targets set side by side. Behind that are set several hay bales to catch
the stray arrows of bad marksmanship. Closer to you is a weapons rack
filled with bows of every type, size, and make. Coils of spare strings are
stacked next to bundles of arrows, along with several bullseye targets.
Exits: northeast
An archer stands here, looking over his assortment of bows and arrows.
Caspian the archer looks you up and down, grinning.
Caspian the archer says ‘Care to try your luck with a bow, Tharius?’
Caspian the archer gestures west to the targets.
Caspian the archer says ‘Easy enough to hit that, don’t you think?’
Caspian the archer gestures to the sign on the wall.
Caspian the archer says ‘Those are the prices Tharius, reasonable of course.’

Caspian will suck you dry 300 or 700 coins at a time, the fee for the berating trash talk I assume.

You fire a caspian arrow west.
Your arrow injures the target!
Caspian the archer snarls at you, for some reason.
Caspian the archer says ‘You barbarian, Tharius!
You broke the target!’
Caspian the archer tells you ‘You’ll pay me 300 coins to fix this…’
Caspian the archer tells you ‘..or I’ll not set up another, Tharius.’
You give 300 coins to Caspian the archer.

You fire a caspian arrow west.
Your arrow wounds the target!
WhoooOOooshhhH SnnnNaaaAppP!
Caspian the archer yells ‘Arrrgh! Tharius is a savage!’
Caspian the archer tells you ‘This is not the strong arm tent, Tharius!’
Caspian the archer tells you ‘Get out! Out! Out! Out!’
A bellow of rage comes from inside the archer’s tent.

You fire a caspian arrow west.
Caspian the archer says ‘The moon will bleed before you…’
Caspian the archer says ‘hit that!’

You fire a caspian arrow west.
Caspian the archer says ‘You hit that tent  pole dead on!’

You fire a caspian arrow west.
Your arrow brushes the target.
Caspian the archer says ‘Looked like that arrow was made of rubber! It bounced right off!
Caspian the archer snickers softly.

After all this abuse I did walk away with a couple of winning shots:

You fire a caspian arrow west.
Your arrow hits the target!
A sharp thwack echoes through the tent.
Caspian the archer says ‘Enjoy your prize Tharius!’
Caspian the archer gives you a toy marionette.
Caspian the archer pats you on your back.

You fire a caspian arrow west.
Your arrow hits the target!
A solid thump sounds as the arrow hits home.
Caspian the archer says, ‘ooOOooOOooOOoo.’
Caspian the archer says ‘Damn good shot! Bullseye!’
Caspian the archer reaches under the counter for a prize.
Caspian the archer gives you a cuddly stuffed dragon.
Caspian the archer says ‘Enjoy, Tharius. It’s a rare item!’
A cry of victory rises from the archer’s tent as Tharius wins!

A few more stops and we’ll have covered the main stretch, including the attainable container for this area.  I’ll leave out the solution in case publishing the solve causes these to become instantly rare too.  If you do it wrong you take damage or get slayed, but it doesn’t take too many tries to figure it out.

A Motley Tent
The interior of this tent is almost painful to the eyes. A riot of different
colored pieces of canvas makes up the walls in randomly sewn patterns. The
tent is lit by a single glowing orb that floats near the roof and casts an
eerie blue light. The silence here is almost perfect, just a few feet away
from the cacophony of the midway, hinting that there is magic at work.
Exits: west
A strange looking box is resting here.
An elderly mage sits here, floating several inches above the ground.
Duran smiles at you.
Duran says ‘Hello there, Lareawan. I’m afraid that all I can offer you
right now is a puzzle. If you’d like to try give me 25,000 coins.’

You give 25,000 coins to Duran.
Duran cackles gleefully at you.
Duran says ‘Don’t worry if you can’t solve it, not many people can.’
Duran says ‘Oh, by the way, I can’t be held accountable for anything the box does…’
A strange looking box sits upon the ground. It has panels covered in
intricate runes on all sides that look as if they can be pressed. A
different rune is located on each side: front, back, right, left and top.
Duran says ‘To use the box, press a panel location. For example, press right.’

As you press the X panel of the puzzle box your fingers feel warm.
Duran says, ‘ooOOooOOooOOoo.’
Duran says ‘Clicking is good.’

*Click* *Click*
As you press the X of the puzzle box your hand feels warm.

*Click* *Click* *Click*
As you press the X panel of the puzzle box your arm feels warm.
Duran thinks, ‘Hmmmm.’

*Click* *Click* *Click* *Click*
As you press the X panel of the puzzle box your chest feels warm.
Duran says ‘I believe you might have it, Lareawan.’

*Click* *Click* *Click* *Click* *Click*
The panels of the puzzle box slowly slide open.
Duran exclaims ‘Wonderful Lareawan! Quite impressive!’
Duran rumages around in his satchel for a moment.
Duran exclaims ‘Well, all I’ve got is this old hat, I hope you like it!’
Duran gives you a magician’s hat.
Duran waves goodbye to you. Have a good journey.

From here on out, have some fun arm wrestling and stopping into the pub.

A Brown Tent
Plain wooden benches filled with an eager crowd line the walls of this simple
brown tent. Bits of paper and food clutter the ground under and around the
stands, but the central area is kept well swept. A wooden table and two
chairs occupy the very center of the tent with torches attached to wooden
posts arranged in a circle around them. Dirt from the ground and the pungent
odor of physical exertion hang in the still air.
Exits: east
A huge ogre lounges here, flexing his massive muscles.
Grolm the strongman says ‘Welcome to my tent Tharius, you appear to be strong.’
Grolm tells you ‘Would you care to test your strength
with me? If you give me 500 coins, I will arm-wrestle
you. Simply beat me and I will give you 1,000 coins.’

You give 500 coins to Grolm the strongman.
Grolm the strongman exclaims ‘Come then, let us battle with the arms!’
Grolm the strongman leads you over to the table and sits down, flexing his fingers.
You grasp Grolm the strongman’s hand in yours and signal your readiness.

Grolm the strongman exclaims ‘Begin!’
You strain with all of your might against Grolm the strongman.
You overpower Grolm the strongman!!
Grolm the strongman says ‘Seems you have bested me this time Tharius.’
Grolm the strongman gives you 1,000 coins.

Cliff’s Down and Dirty Bar & Grill
This area is off to the side of the Midway. It is sheltered by a roof of
branches and bits of cloth. Rickety looking tables with battered chairs are
set about the area, covered with dirty glasses and plates. Boisterous
discussions are taking place all around and occasionally a burst of loud,
infectious laughter is heard. Torches that line the drinking tent make it
bright and cheerful, encouraging visitors to stay and enjoy the beverages.
Exits: north
A few well-used stools are lined up next to the bar.
A brawny man in liquor stained leather, pours drinks from behind the counter.
Cliff says ‘What’ll ya be havin’, Tharius?’

[Lv Price] Item
[ 0 274] A delicate gypsy liqueur.
[ 0 687] A flagon of ale.
[ 0 343] A mug of warm apple cider.
[ 0 9624] Grog of the gargoyle.

If you ride the Wheel of Wonders ferris wheel don’t just sit there like a lump like Zistrosk did, scry around and see the views from around the Realms.

There are certainly puzzles left unsolved here.  I didn’t figure out how to get a giant stuffed YOURNAME doll though I have a few ideas and I didn’t talk about the hall of mirrors.

A Dusty Tent
The air within this huge, multi-colored tent is thick with dust from the bustle
of many people entering and leaving. The ground here is littered with bits of
confetti, suggestive of a celebration. A tasseled rope hangs from the center
pole of the tent, swaying slightly. From the outside, a huge number of noises
can be heard, making it difficult to isolate any one sound or voice. A wooden
sign is hanging from the southern wall of the tent painted in garishly colored
lettering. To your east is a tent flap that leads to whatever all this noise
must be about…
Exits: east
A tasseled rope hangs from the center of the tent.
A colorful poster can be seen on the tent wall.
An overstuffed sofa sits before a television playing old reruns.
A large pine tree, covered in colourful ornaments, stands here for all to enjoy.

look poster
A unique dragon has been patiently waiting in the Hall of Mirrors for all of
you avatars. (Non-avatars, best to stay away from her.) If you’ve never been
to the Hall of Mirrors, seek out Claralinde in the Midway.

If a player manages to find and kill the dragon, they will be credited with a
Midway lottery ticket that will be saved for them in another room. Players
can win multiple tickets. This will be tracked over reboot. The dragon
could be hoarding some other goodies too.

When Midway closes on Sunday, the lottery will be held, with a few prizes
awarded, including a unique large storage bin to one lucky player!
You do not need to be present to win.

Reminder… as Claralinde’s sign warns you, killstealing is allowed in the
Hall of Mirrors.

To my knowledge only 1 kill has been done, and it took 5 players to do it.  It costs 1 million gold coins to get into the mirror maze and anything you kill will cause you to exit.  Expect to go in, kill the Hall of Mirrors guardians and to have to re-enter.  Until you clear them all it’s going to be quite hard to find the pit that the dragon is in.

Good luck!

Here and back again

Hi everyone, I’ve been very inactive as regards Realms over the last 6 months or so, I’ve been locked away working on my Master’s thesis which is thankfully complete and accepted.  I still have the defense ahead but that’s like giving a presentation compared to writing an essay and so the end is near.

Sylphain approached me about trying to get activity going again, small runs for new players and it reminded me that there are actually new people around.  It’s easy to forget it when we focus in on “what’s wrong” instead of just enjoying what is right.  I am often guilty of exactly this, I see a problem and I want to fix it and my problem solving brain focuses on it.  Then I get very frustrated when I don’t feel supported, I start feeling like my efforts are not welcome and I check out, throw my hands up in the air and walk away.

This is how I felt when I left The Symposium some months ago.  Sunday night I asked to rejoin because I’m ready to try to contribute again, except this time I am going to try to come at it from the point of view that “maybe I don’t know what’s best, I only have ideas”.  You know … stop being intellectually arrogant and try to accept the input of the whole team.  I know.  Really obvious right?  Yet it is so easy to fall into patterns and doubly so online, at least for me.

Another thing I’m going to try to do is follow a little piece of advice I saw floating around that encapsulates some thinking I’ve been doing anyway:

It is better to create something that others criticise than to create nothing and criticise -- Ricky Gervais



I recognize that a lot of what I have been doing is criticizing without creating.  I do generate some ideas but it’s time to start DOING and stop THINKING.  So, if I think we need some items to help flesh out itemization, then I should try building an area.  If I think that we need some resource then go ahead and make it.  If  I think that there’s a code idea that will work, I guess I should feel free to work with the public code.

To avoid being disappointed maybe I should ask other people if these ideas have a bit of support … you know figure out if anyone else thinks it’s a good idea 🙂  Oh well, I keep trying.  Hope this helps others thinking about how to help this game.  Realms has the awesome thing that players actually can contribute positively to the game.  With the small player base everyone can make an impact, leading runs or being grumbly.


August already and some other stuff

Well August is upon us and I realize that for most of July I haven’t had the time to get back into the Realms the way I enjoy being present.

I did do a little bit of contract levelling, though I must admit thieves are starting to annoy me due to their real damage capabilities not showing up until the 40s, the XP cap on circle and backstab and well … I guess it’s mostly that they should be done and I’m annoyed they’re not 🙂

I have participated in a couple of quests and managed to finish colourizing the rooms in my house but I haven’t had the chance to go ahead and do any doodling.

So just a note to say I haven’t disappeared.  Work’s been busy and final exams are prepared but mostly it’s been trying to finish my thesis that’s been dragging on and on and on.  Once that’s done it’s time for some runs, who’s up? 😀

Be good to yourself

I received word this morning that a golden oldy player of Realms attempted
suicide last week. I feel free to share with you because he went public with
it himself. He’s the funny, sarcastic happy go lucky recreational drug user
that seems to be a staple of many game communities.

His outward nature obviously masks a deep pain that he didn’t feel he could
handle any more. Thankfully someone in his RL was there to catch him

Life can be hard, bleak. It can always get better. Lots of people have been
there and came back from it.

Please get help if you think you need it.


Who watches the Watchdog?

Woof!  Woof woof woof! *pant pant pant pant* You hear someone’s death cry!

These words can only mean Gorog’s Watchdog is out … or in this case a Watchpuppy!  What’s the difference you ask?  The number of avatars required to kill the critter is the main thing and correspondingly the rewards are not as large.  For those who aren’t familiar with the rewards there is a reason the word “goroggles” enters into every conversation about top of the line characters.  The “doggy ear” is a nice devout piece and an ok all around piece with aff fly being maybe the most interesting thing about it.  Somewhere along the lines the “dewclaw” got added, a nicely statted ankle piece and finally making a debut not too long ago was the muzzle, a statted face piece which is decent but gives thieves an interesting dilemma.

Now, no one is saying you can’t get goggles off the puppy but no one has seen a pair off a puppy yet.  There have only been a handful of puppy kills so there’s no way to even really speculate about possibilities … oh and since they could be changed at any time without warning, it’s pointless to bother.

Aleq did a great job of being the cheerleader, with others like Mephie contributing to help get mass established.  For my part Arca and Ravith came and got a hold of me and I almost didn’t bother.  These things can drag on for hours and hours before we get mass and even when we have mass it can be a mess 20 different ways to Sunday.  Still, I figure if you don’t log in and help out you have no reason to bitch when you want other people’s help getting mass.

We made a few kicks at it and wiped a few times.  Mass came and went.  Someone commented that if we didn’t get a few more people that it would take a little imm pity (downing the doggie) to get a kill in.  Around midnight we said “one more try”.

Whether the stars aligned or whether we got some pity or a bit of both we managed to get a dead puppy.  I had joked earlier in the night that it was a nice birthday gift and when I saw that I had a kill blow it sure felt like a gift wrapped present.  Prior to this the closest I’ve been was 2 spirals from the kb.

I almost didn’t log in.  Instead I logged out with a dewclaw.

Goes to show that you have to keep in touch and just keep trying even if you think you have no chance.

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.

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 🙂


Zap! Poof! It’s gone! and other tales from GoO

Over the last while a few things have been going on in the Guild of Origin and during the runs a number of comments have come out that I thought I’d share since I think they’re worthwhile.

First … one of our members needed help replacing a jade strand.  Turns out he had been doing something in Shattered Refuge and a firebat aggressively attacked him and caused him to zap.  The hobgoblin miner thought he’d won the jackpot and started picking up equipment.  Our guildie killed the miner for such affrontery and promptly autosac’d him.  Autoloot doesn’t help you much when your hands are full.  Another reason to have autosac off when adventuring, it’s handy for favoring but it sure can go horribly wrong.

Next, we’ve been talking a bit on guildchat about what can be killed and where people like or don’t like to adventure.  Some people have expressed they won’t adventure in no supplicate areas.  Some think that using double heals is a sloppy way to get a kill on a tough mob.  Some like green potions, some like ambrosia.  Yet others like apples.

I’m going to say that the most challenging and rewarding parts of the game continue to be added with no supplicate flags.  You can argue that you’ll just buy the equipment by running lesser challenges or by amassing gold.  It’s possible.  Or you can get 20 glory and go adventure yourself.  20 glory comes pretty easily and isn’t a great investment in effort… I doubt you could trade 2 hitpoints worth of glory for a Seth set for example, yet that 2 hp can give you a safety margin if you wanted to actually try to adventure for that Seth set.

I generally dislike farming and apples have been farmed to the point that people felt it necessary to put anti farming programs.  Ambrosias won’t work for everyone, worshippers of Kardis don’t abound and farming triple heals takes a very long time.  I would like the idea of finding a recipe that you take to a mob which would allow you to buy them.  I rather imagine the program to be a fake brew … you buy them but then you have to wait for them, maybe even 100 at a time or whatever.  More interesting than straight farming.  Any which way, if you need to use doubles to make something happen, especially while learning, I say go for it, but tend to agree that they shouldn’t be needed to make a run work.

Oh well, that’s the news at this hour! 🙂