A Barbarian or Thief? Introducing Kinuii, Kinuiii, Kinuiv … oh whoever!

I knew Kinux back in the day, albeit peripherally. My time in Guild of Thieves predates him by at least 2 Guildmasters as I was active in the era of Fademan and Dumaka as Thavius (clever huh?) which was slightly before Elisabet took over. Yet today I still think about his time as Guildmaster on a regular basis, normally when checking to see how Abelard is holding up. Good old Abe has passed through a few hands; I inherited him from Silet. Abe is not the oldest pfile on the game, obviously, but if he keeps going the way he is, he will be the first to find out if there is a bug with ages getting very high. At present he’s 63,079 years old … played 126,124 hours … that is almost 14.5 years continuously online!! I mention this because Kinux created Abelard before becoming an immortal on Realms of Despair so this gives you some feeling for just how long this particular “K” imm has been around.

Kinux was one of the first to reply to my request for stories and has been an avid supporter of this and other projects of mine and I want to take a moment to publicly thank him. So here’s what the geezer had to say!!! ūüôā

I came upon Realms at university in 1994. I had been a co-sysop of a BBS (yes¬†that is dating me) that ran a circle mud in the early 90’s and when it shut¬†down I heard about RoD through word of mouth and tried it out. I lasted about 6¬†months then got busy with other things. I’d return from time to time but¬†wasn’t very dedicated at that point.

In 1998 I decided to get back into things and started a new character named¬†Kinu. Kinu had 9 strength. Kinu did not get very far in life. Some ask where¬†the name ‘Kinux’ came from… was it version of ‘Canucks’, or possibly a¬†deritive of ‘Linux’? The truth is that it is Kinu(x). As in the 10th variant¬†of Kinu.

Kinux got involved with the Guild of Thieves at level 15, and quickly rose¬†up the levels. I ended up joining GoC, GoM, GoW, GoD, and GoV, and liked the¬†Guild system so I never felt the need to enter an Order. To this day, I’ve¬†never had an ordered alt either. While I was a Deity of a clan, my mortal¬†deadlies also never joined any clans either.

In 2000, Elisabet, the GoT Leader of the time, was Immortalized. I was¬†nominated and ran in an election and became the GoT #2. Losing Elisabet wasn’t¬†easy on the guild and within a couple months I was raised to Guild Leader¬†after the other leaders stepped down. Kinux was GoT leader from early 2000 to¬†the end of 2001. It was a great time for Guilds. I had weekly meetings where 20 members would show up and discuss various things, do a quest, run a mob,¬†pkill each other in the arena. Many who knew me then knew I ran Abelard, the¬†GoT Bot and current record holder for age online. It’s been great seeing him¬†continue on even after the Guild has transitioned from GoT to GoO. In addition¬†to my duties in GoT I was also co-leader of IGQC and was active with TS.

In mid-2001 I was sponsored to be an Immortal by Selina. I was turned down at¬†that time. Later that year I made the trip to Ontario for the 7th annual RoD¬†reunion. Still have the cup that says so. It was a great chance for me to meet¬†a lot of players and Imms and was probably the thing that made it possible for¬†Selina’s second nomination of me to be successful in November, 2001. When I was¬†put into the position as an Immortal with TS, who were charged with recruiting¬†new Immortals, it was nice to be able to tell them, honestly, that if at first¬†you don’t succeed it can still happen.

I came into Immortality at a great time. While I had absolutely no building or¬†coding experience to speak of, I was eager and jumped right in. For those that¬†recall, the ‘big port’ was on its way and I was able to dive into it,¬†providing a number of rebuilt and new areas. The village of Edo was actually¬†my first full area, though it came in later with the big port. My first area¬†to the game was the rewrite I did with Selina of Wyvern’s Tower. Knowing the¬†port was a while off, Selina and I were keen to get one of our areas in, but¬†because the code base between Smaug 1.8 and 2.0 was so different we had to¬†copy every mob, obj and room manually into the game for it to be able to come¬†over.

Selina and I were good friends in the game and made a great writing partnership. In addition to the many rewrites and original areas, there was also a number of areas we just jumped into at author request to help out. When she decided to leave the game, we lost a great Imm and area builder and I was never able to recreate the competitive push we had to finish new things and show them off to one another.

My favourite [quests to be involved with] were the Deity Death quests I did with Cersei to kill off¬†all the old Deities before the Shattering. I’ve been asked what my favourite area (that I built) is and while I’ll always¬†like them all, two stand out: Edo, as my first and The Mountain of Lost Souls¬†as the one I enjoyed writing the most. Some ask are there still puzzles in my¬†areas to be found and solved? Yep. Am I still adjusting current areas with new¬†quests and equipment? Yep.

Inclusion within the ranks of the CoE was no less stunning than my original¬†inclusion into the ranks of Immortality. We’ve done a number of things as a¬†council to make the process of working with ideas work better, not least of¬†which is having weekly meetings and including our higher level Immortals to¬†help provide further thoughts on the direction of the game.

The game has developed and continues to develop thanks to the ideas of Imms¬†and players alike. We have some exciting changes in the works and while change¬†doesn’t come fast and furious, it comes. I think that’s the part of the game¬†that keeps us going, 20 years later. We don’t allow any one person to direct¬†the way the game will be played. It’s a team effort.

Many of us have given a good chunk of our life to this game. While I’m sadly not as prolific as I once was at building, I still log daily and each day I¬†still learn something new. That I can say that 20 years later is a testament¬†to not only the longevity, but to the many layers that this game has. At the¬†end of the day, it’s the players who play, leave for a time, then come back¬†that keeps this game going. We have a game that is built on the power of the¬†mind’s eye. While text based games may be passe to some, I still find they are¬†more satisfying given the level of creativity that they allow compared to any¬†other graphic based world, past or present.

Ultimately, I believe I’ve gotten more out of this game than I’ve put in. I’ve¬†met fantastic people, learned to build and code and been given an opportunity to help with the direction of the game itself. It’s for others to decide¬†whether they’ve liked my areas and the choices that I’ve made along the way,¬†but I hope they recognize that it was always done with the best interest of the¬†game in mind.

The pros and cons of CON

Last week we saw a new effect come into play with CON now directly aiding in damage mitigation and surprisingly CON past your class maximum would still apply to this effect.

My initial, reserved reaction was that I didn’t know if I liked the idea of using stats beyond the class limits. ¬†This feeling was precipitated by the satisfaction I get from building a character and hitting the maximums in a particular build. ¬†Knowing that you can add beyond the limits means that there’s always some bonus that I’m neglecting to achieve. ¬†For me, and to others like me with a tip of the hat to Fight Club … this is like a cut on the roof of your mouth that would go away if you’d only stop tonguing it, but you can’t. ¬†Stat effects past the boundaries are the Marla Singer of video games.

Ok so that’s out of my system. ¬†That’s the initial reaction: knee-jerk and unqualified.

Of course the only way to qualify an opinion is to go out there and get beat up in some consistent manner and see how much of a reduction there is. ¬†Or wait for Gagnon of Dragonslayer to do some initial testing .. you know, one way or the other ūüôā ¬†I’ll note that the only qualified opinion I can give is about opdamage, though I rather suspect mpdamage or rpdamage would be identical. ¬†It’s difficult to quantify in a combat situation because of the number of variables not only from round to round but also from repop to repop (ever had a higher level repop of Danbala?).

I was pleased to find that the effect appears to have a fairly low floor where the player won’t feel more damage. ¬†I didn’t observe any increase in damage on my characters, but I didn’t put a great effort into seeing how low I could drive my con, though I may. ¬†It’s taken me a little while, but I am getting my head around the idea that penalties don’t have to be directly applied to players … as in the lack of con causing more damage than normal, that the lack of a benefit can be a penalty in and of itself.

On the upper end it appears that hitting class limits gives you a decent little reduction to your damage taken, certainly enough to consider adding CON where possible but not so much that I’d give up a radical amount of hit points to accommodate it. ¬†Gagnon managed to push a build to 47 con, which I applaud heartily but did so to the exclusion of every other stat. ¬†The character saw a continuous reduction in damage taken, though we did observe that beyond the class limits the effect does slow down, but by 47 con it was quite a nice reduction. ¬†Too bad you’d be a one-hit-wonder for anything better than a Darkhaven guard, but hey, you’d get your reduction! ¬†*grin*

So where does this fall into the worth the effort/not worth the effort spectrum? ¬†I think that it’s fairly clear that this should fall into the category of an optimization. ¬†New players don’t need to stress out about this, just take con into account when you’re making a new character. ¬†Ultimately I don’t think this mitigation is going to cause you to survive a fight that you otherwise couldn’t. ¬†You may survive a few close calls because of it but in the final analysis if you couldn’t quaff your way out of trouble before, you’re still in trouble. ¬†Where this does have a nice shine to it is that it may save you some equipment damage and gold in heals, which if you’re an active player is probably not insignificant. ¬†If you are on a tanking character where hit points, AC and damage evasion are far more important than DR, then trading DR for CON probably makes sense. ¬†Is it worth glorying extra CON on? ¬†That’s up to you. ¬†1 con will cost you the same as 7.5 hp … The numbers depend on where in the spectrum you are but I don’t think you’re going to save 7.5 hp per round unless there’s more than 1k of damage coming through sanc and protect per round. ¬†Straight mitigation doesn’t make the case here. ¬†On a long term basis there is an argument that more CON = less heals but that doesn’t translate directly into a gold/glory cost analysis since the days to glory trading came to an end. ¬†Were glory trading legal, you could probably save gold if you were an active enough runner by buying CON.

It remains to be seen if this will translate into lower equipment damage. ¬†This is the one spot where this could be a shining star. ¬†If tanks can stay in a fight longer because the damage is lessened and their equipment isn’t being so heavily hit then I would say every tank should load up all the free CON they can grab. ¬†Simultaneously it will reduce repair costs giving a second direct economic benefit to the player who doesn’t want to spend their time golding for repair bills.

All in all I think this is a good change. ¬†What changed my mind about pushing past the class limits was my experience building my character in Diablo 3. ¬†I can take things as far as I want to, starting thinking in terms of “effective health” instead of raw hit points. ¬†It goes against the grain of the Realms of Despair, but I think it’s worthwhile. ¬†I can see not eliminating the stat caps on characters because it would require a total review of everything that is dependent on those limits, but selectively breaking the cap seems a great compromise. ¬†As with saving throws the numbers are not directly read off the score screen (I won’t see myself with 27 con by typing score) so some element of mystery remains, even if many database programs (my own included) will count the actual totals.

From Guild Port to Dragon Raid, only 3 1/2 months behind on my posts! :)

So when last we talked I got about as far as the guilds being ported onto the game port (aka 4k). At the time they had appeared there many immortals had gone over them with a fine tooth comb and they had been approved by the CoE. We were all asked to go back through the areas and start looking for typos and spacing issues, things that were introduced as part of respacing or editing. I’m certain that some made it into the game on the night the guilds opened, because Destre was busier than heck fixing things, but back to that in a moment.

The hint that things were getting close to completion was the appearance of the first of the “guild member” quests. I imagine the idea was to stimulate people who were not logging in on their guild characters to do so and it was at least topically successful. For posterity’s sake the quest was to gather vials of dragon’s blood from the white dragons of the Realms of Despair. The difficulty of the dragon decided the number of vials that would pop. When you returned the vials to Sonoria she would award you 1 glory to a maximum of 15.

This was the first time I’d seen a repeatable, automated glory quest so I had to inquire of some higher ups as to whether it was ok to repeat the quest on other guilded characters as normally you would only go at these things ip1. Some people seriously farmed the dragons to add the 15 glory to each guilded character they had. I’m sure there was more than one headache over this … the more obvious the more problems … Dragon’s Pass and Dragon’s Tower were zoos but Icingdeath and Phenn were less so.

During the second “guild member” quest everyone was instructed to find dragon ore which could be smelted and eventually forged into weapons. The particualr weapon you received would award 1 (dagger), 2 (sword) or 3 (halberd) glory. Through a small bug you could earn up to 17 glory (instead of the maximum 15) by getting to 14 and turning in a halberd. The in theme story line was that we were preparing for a dragon attack, which a few us knew would be the guild port (many suspected).

On the evening of September 19, 2013 the attack hit around 10:30-11pm. Having waited all day I was just wrapping up a Shades of Light run led by Jaxxon of Arete when the echos started appearing. I was heading to bed when this run wrapped up and was quite ambivalent about participating … after all, who the hell knows how long it would take. Still, wanting to see what it was all about, I jumped over to Lareawan and by the time I got myself organized GoV had already fallen. I ran around Darkhaven killing white dragons along with many others and it was well after midnight when we all wrapped up.

A few points about this quest… though officially kill stealing was not allowed, because you could draw the white dragons just by throwing a punch (yes, you can start a fight with another mob while you’re tanking one) if you didn’t kill steal you didn’t get many kills. For most of the quest I didn’t kill steal but when I saw people tanking 6 of the damn things, you’re darn right I started kill stealing… and since the biggest kill stealer got the biggest award a few days later when Kinux started handing out glory and noting people in the news, I can’t say I’m sorry I did it … should have started much sooner. ūüėõ (Ok, that’s a little childish but when you pat people on the back for kill stealing you do ruffle the feathers of the people who tried to follow the rules … it’s fair to say though that it was chaotic and I am certain Kinux and the other immortals had their attention going in a dozen or more different directions).

The weapons that everyone made during the second quest were never distrubted to the guards in contradiction of the second quest storyline and no in story explanation was ever given for their non-appearance. Of course it’s probably just an oversight, but what the heck, I can pick nits if I notice them :-> I hope to make reference to this in an IGQC quest. The other thing to note is that Kilgharrath was not killable and thus was not killed. I hope to make some reference to him in future IGQC quests as well.

While the quest was running, unknown to many, Ceirana was going crazy behind the scenes clearing out the old guilds of people and unlinking the exits. I think she was loading up people and transing them to Harakiem and force quitting them, but you can well imagine just how many people log out in a guild, so it’s equally possible she just put a program in each room of the old guilds to do it as you logged in.

As the old guilds fell the new leaders were installed. Myself as Guildmaster, Hubris (former Guildmaster of Guild of Warriors) as First and Mooq (former Guildmaster of Guild of Thieves) as Second. Due to the brands not working correctly we had to sort of make things up on the fly and at one point some people were even using induct triggers to handle the flood of requests (at least 1 level 2 got inducted!! since fixed!!) I didn’t get to bed until well after 2:30am, which makes for a very early morning since I was back up at 6am with my little boy.

This seems as good a place as any to put a pin in things, lots of things run through my head as I’m recounting but we’re well on the way to getting my point of view on the mergers out … I look forward to getting current so that I can post Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and not feel like I’ve jumped ahead :->