A look back with … JADE!

Some of you will recall a time when a trip into Seth’s Fortress included a run to Emerald.  The reason for this rename is the author of today’s retrospective piece.  Having to type tell 0.Jade must have gotten to be a bother early on and the mob had to give up it’s name so that the immortal could get her tells :).  Many will recall Jade as one of the driving forces behind the creation of Nephandi along with many behind the scenes projects over the years.  Without further ado, I give you, Jade!


Realms of Despair spawned in me a lifelong love of video games and gamers.  I stumbled across Realms of Despair in the early 90’s and  joined the ranks of the Immortals to be alongside Haus, Blodkai, Elcid, Thoric, Darrek and  others to join later [like] Dria and so many others that worked tirelessly to make the community a wonderful escape.  For years, without ever speaking to any of these folks via voice (way before skype, ventrilo etc) … we bonded.  Some of my fondest memories involved meeting Elcid in real life (sorry I got us lost driving and we ended up on some nasa restricted grounds!), then Darrek (who introduced me to Timothy Horton’s coffee!)  and finally Thoric.   I still remember knocking on Thoric’s hotel door to hash out some crazy ideas we had about making graphic muds, and honestly expecting him to appear with a halo around his head and for him to hover feet above the ground.   I was quite amazed that he seemed so much like a normal human when I was sure he was a GOD.

Haus, one of my heroes, told us the ideas of color in a mud and graphics was insane. “Color in a mud?? That’s like ketchup on a lobster!”  Undaunted, I spent hours creating ASCII MOTDs and a way to have colored pictures appear when someone typed ../who jade etc.  It was a labor of love.

While I have a lifetime of memories from that era, one that stands out was around Halloween.  I believe I had recently ascended to the Council of Elders and had this great ability—to rename characters.  So, I set about changing everyone I could find online into more festive names … everything from Scooby Doo to The Hulk…whatever people requested.    The players all had a great time and it was all good, until we realized we really had a difficult time tracking down all and reverting their names to the normal ones. I was in trouble for that one for days … but I still think it was worth it 😉

Despite the growth of graphical MMOs , nothing has ever been so immersive to me as Realms of Despair. The game, and others, are not often credited for being the forefathers of modern games, but the newest MMOS have a lot to learn from these ancestors.  Death Traps, Balzhurs … oh those were the days!

Congratulations to Realms and thank you to Thoric and the community that made all these memories for thousands of people possible.   Sidenote —  I recall one birthday of Thoric’s … he was in his mid 20’s and confided that he felt he hadn’t accomplished anything . I was stunned … how could one who had created such an amazing world and provided entertainment to so many … not feel he had accomplished anything!?   Of course he went on to accomplish much more, but I hope all will give him credit for one of the most amazing worlds created.  Congrats on the anniversary.

With love,

Terri aka Jade

Seth’s Fortress and the Chaos Maze (or … My Adventures in Imm CR’ing)

I’ve very recently developed a desire to relearn how to map the Chaos Maze.  This is something I used to know back in the day but as a matter of course it’s been changed over the years.  I used to take the Guild of Druids to Magus of Evil (the equipment works well on an evil druid) and to Jade (who doesn’t need a couple of strands?).  As I’ve become the Second of the Guild of Thieves getting out to Jade seems more imperative.  After all, thieves need strands to make Falcon sets, in addition to their general usefulness on their own.

So I sat down last night, thinking myself well prepared.  I had some help and notes to guide me and I set out.  I share this litany of mistakes with you in part to remind myself any time I get thinking I’m good at this game of where I’ve been and also so that you can learn from my mistakes.  Had I been a little more careful, there would have been no need for an imm to CR 3 of my characters (thanks again Romani!!).

Did you know there’s no obvious way to get a Paladin to hide?  Me either!  The chaos hound just before the maze reminded me about it.  Ok, into the maze … you know … if you forget to hide someone and switch to another window, sooner or later you’re going to have to CR the first guy right?  Off with the weathered boots and on with the moccasins.

When I’ve seen people map the maze in the past I see them come back with a bunch of charmed chaos creatures in tow, put them all to sleep and away we go.  I’d love to know how they do it because every second or third creature my dominate would fail and I’d be fighting.  Sure, just relog … oops, there goes the charm on the other mobs.  Kill it off!!  Ok, not bad but you’ve got to watch that your alignment doesn’t drift too far or zapski!  Not only that, but if you kill them, you’ll be dealing with them next repop.  Not the end of the world, but one more thing right?  Why deal with them?  Well … false fires, pick up coins and finally a private room that will stop you from spamming in the directions once you have them.

Oh and since you’re on a vampire, keep an eye on that blood 🙂

Ok so they’re dealt with at last (you got the rats too right??) so now it’s time to try and figure out the path.  There’s a lot of room at this point to spin your wheels and get nowhere.  Especially if your clues about how to solve the maze are wrong.  Over the years the solution to the maze has changed but the overall idea has stayed the same.  It’s a testament to creativity in how this maze can be tweaked and re-tweaked and yet stay so similar.

So … after 3 or so hours of using the wrong directions, assuming that I was messing something up, I found out I was using the wrong method.  Seems my notes are at least a generation too told 🙂  Oops.  Oh well.  With a different method I was at the divine protector in short order.  Bitty boppity boo and the whole crew is through.  Down the hallway, past the slavering beast (thanks hide!!) and I’m parked outside the door of the Magus of Evil.  Ok, 1 am on a work night?  I’m told it was well past time to get to bed (thanks mom … hun!  No seriously… I’d just stay up and have to drag all day long, I can be bad that way…)

Ok fresh morning, and ready to go… hey .. log in and do a quick kill, catch a repop and then I’ll have an hour to map the maze.  Let me stop you right here.  This is the first BIG mistake.  No matter how good you think you are, no matter how fast you’ve mapped the maze in the past … this is a no supplicate area with lots of multi-avatar mobs.  MAP THE MAZE FIRST!!  If you’ve successfully mapped the maze twice in the last 10 years … read this whole paragraph one more time!

Magus of Evil is not a tough kill.  I’ve racked up lots of kills here, but never multi-solo.  Not to mention my auto-quaff triggers and such aren’t set up on all my characters.  Mistake number 2, take the time to prep properly.  Being over-eager to jump in and kill will usually end badly.  When my thief, paladin and warrior all dropped I really realized this.  I was of sound enough mind to flee my remaining thief and move back into the hallway with my mage and cleric.

Ok time to CR.  Well … I have a surviving thief, so I’ll relog him so Magus will not be aggressive and then I’ll loot the corpses.  Quit … oh wait!  Do you see it?  When you quit you break your group.  This rookie move is what put me behind the 8 ball.  I had a mage and cleric standing around doing nothing and who were not in combat.  Walk them in and cr, redistribute the weight as much as possible, drop potions if need be and recall… a nice calm response.  Remap the maze, pick up the potions and start over.  Quit… damn.

Well that tears it, I’ve got to get the maze mapped post-haste.  No time for charming, if I can get a char back through grouped I can dump stuff on the floor if I have to.  I almost made it too.  With 5 ticks remaining I had the maze mapped, now I still had to get re-grouped and get back to Magus’ room without another incident.  I might have made it… 5 minutes or so… 3 corpses…  If it had been 1 corpse I would have gone for it.  If I lost it … ok.  3?  Chickened out!  Now I had already checked if anyone was around in the order who could help out and when that failed I gave Romani a heads up just in case she was thinking of going for a relaxing coffee and coming back to the keyboard in 20 minutes 🙂  I’m grateful she hung around 🙂

The cost of the cr was a maddening voices and two essences of the kundalini … a bit pricey but much better than the alternative.  Given the Nasrs, Justices, rings of the ancient gods and other goodies in the corpses it could have been worse.  Some people were commenting on how expensive it was … immortal cr’s are not a right, they’re not hard coded like supplicating is … you rolls the dice you takes your chances.  If you don’t like it, there’s still 5 ticks …  I just wish it hadn’t been the same wearloc on two dev chars … my storage can re-equip one, but I had to loot one off another character.  That’s my only beef, two of the same item can be a bother.

So that’s it.  I did get two kills in on Magus bringing home a couple of sets of low cost gear.  I gained a ton of experience, learned a lot and it only cost me a moderate amount … a lot better than the dt’s I used to hit while learning!

Rediscovering the Realms

Over the last few days I’ve been reading a lot of websites; RoDpedia, Nelkum‘s, Tokai‘s, GoV and Silverwolf sites all get a shout out here.

I saw that set items have come into the Realms and being a collector of such things in Diablo 2 and 3, this immediately caught my attention.  The Guise of the Falcon set in particular, with a piece of useful face equipment seemed like a reasonable goal to chase; designed to be handled solo and a not bad reward for the effort; the downside, coughing up 5 million gold coins and a jade strand!!

I’ve been getting to know some people over at Arete, one of them, Raja, was up for a run so I suggested we go hit Jade.  In short order Raja, Feitt and I schlepped over to Seth’s Fortress to layeth the smack down.  I managed to forget to switch styles and start quaffing heals when she switched the tank to me and I died on the 2nd kill, but c’est la vie.  Jade took a real shine to Feitt and loved on him for most of the 3 kills but kudos to him for staying alive on his first “big” mob run 🙂

Thanks guys!  Looking forward to doing it again soon.