Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Playing styles, courtesy or hunting...

Maybe it's because I've been playing The Mana World off and on since 2004 but I've grown a bit jaded in my TMW play. I try to adhere to some general principles. I won't hunt an area someone else is hunting (for example: red slimes in the Hurnscald mines) unless they're cool with it. Ditto for the Mogguns, actually especially for the Mogguns because I know how difficult it can be for low (40-55ish) level characters to kill enough to get coal.

Others don't seem to share the same principles, they don't care if you're hunting somewhere, it's an open season in all areas type of attitude. It's also one of the reasons I get frustrated with the unbalanced nature of Rangers versus Warriors. Rangers can do much more damage at a lower level than Warriors... and it doesn't make much sense in reality.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Stacking with ChefChelios

Chef Chelios and I stacked in the Hurnscald mines this evening killing a slew of spiders and black scorpions, enough to increase my experience by 25% over a period of about 15 minutes - less time than I'd spent to get 5% experience by myself - stacking really helps!

I also finally got magic working correctly on my own server: auldsbel.dyndns.org. Now the last thing I have to correct is changing the updates from the main server to my own updates. I've kept them for the moment while I work on other things.

I've set up another development server locally to test scripts out on. The "Captain Easton" NPC in Tulimshar on my server is the result of this. I'm continuing to develop the Captain, swatting bugs on the development server before pushing them to the main server.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

falloutboy, tema, leveling and other things

Big thanks to falloutboy for all the iron potions. I spent some time hunting spiky mushrooms and managed to gather up around 70 iron potions when fallout boy gave me over 160 more. I ended up spending a bunch of time killing mogguns (using the potions to help) and finally got enough coal to create 4 ingots. fallout also gave me a couple of jacko souls, so I'm one up on my post about getting one from a yellow slime (which I lost in the server crash). I gave him a few halloween treats, nothing compared to what he was giving me, but I suppose everything helps in the end (we'll see when Gak finally releases the prizes). So all I need now is about 20 more coal and I should be able to make the steel shield. The patch should be pretty easy, I know where Patchua is and I'm pretty sure I have a couple more snake skins (monster points).

Tema helped me out while I was raiding the mines north of Hurnscald. Players tend to coagulate off to the right where all the red slimes are, avoiding the left area where there are actually more slimes, but also black scorpions and spiders. I ventured off to the left because there were already 3 people on the right. Luckily the red slimes seemed to be alone for awhile and I managed to collect a few items for resale (a couple of miner's gloves, some hats and boots, lots of knives). One of the items I was actually looking for and got were the red apples. Red Apples heal 50 damage, not a lot when mogguns do about 39 damage to me each shot, but enough to help when running away. I spent enough time that I leveled one more level. Just as the scorpions and spiders came out tema gave me a protection spell. It helped quite a bit because I started getting swarmed by black scorpions, spiders, and red slimes. At this point another player (with better equipment) came in and got their butt kicked... protection spells make the weak quite a bit more resistant. I was still cautious, but could take quite a few more monsters on at once. Anyway it was Tema's spell that helped me level, so I dropped an ore for him (not sure if he thought it was the slimes, but tema if you're reading this it was my thanks for the protection spell).

A couple of days ago I resolved an issue with my TMW server, auldsbel.dyndns.org. No one should have any more problems connecting to it. For those wondering why there isn't an "Online" status it's because the web server is hosted on a different machine from the game server. I'm still looking for the best way to either symbolically link the file or scp the file over without creating too much traffic/slowdown on either server.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

More Mogguns, quests, and red scorpions.

The freshness of the halloween party has already worn off and the event hasn't even finished yet. I got tired of hunting strictly for sweets and decided to keep aiming towards some of the quests, and in the process completed a couple. The Letter Quest, which I'd inadvertently overlooked, but managed to do quite easily. I think even a level 20 might be able to do it. I also collected 25 red scorpion stingers and maggot slimes for Auldsbel (the snake tongues is next and I have all but the mountain snake tongues). In fact I got a bit obsessed with the fact that red scorpions also drop jackolanturns that I decided to keep killing scorpions until I had a few more (7 I think). I also picked up a Perl in the process.

The Setzer Quest seems like it could be in range. 14 more coal for the ingots + 6 coal portion, but I've yet been able to activate the monster oil portion. I'm thinking a requirement of having bought a steel shield may be first. I already have the short sword, so Nicholas should be allowing me to ask how to make my short sword better.

I figured out a strategy for killing Mogguns. I mentioned hit and miss in the past, but I missed something in that strategy. At this point I'm going to hold off mentioning more until I've tested the strategy more fully. The little bit I have tested so far has been successful, though the Mogguns don't seem to be dropping a lot of coal for me this evening: 2.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gak, Gak, Gak, Sweets

So if you read my last post you'll know the Halloween event is on and Gak is the skeleton begging for parts. In the last post I alluded to the fact that Gak needs a tongue and a bunch of bones. How many bones Gak needs is random, but talking with other players it seems to range between 10 to 30 bones. Gak punished me by taking 22 bones before he started yapping about how hungry he was for sweets. I'm not the highest bone count by any stretch, but I ended up spending a lot of money on bones that was going to go towards coal for a steel shield. After the Halloween quest I think this is my quest.

To my knowledge no one yet has given Gak enough sweets that he's given up any goods. Gak keeps a running total of all sweets given to him. I spoke with Natibe, whom I remember played 11 months ago, and Natibe had already given Gak over 1500 treats to my 350 or so.

It seems that the event will probably end and players present for the ending will get a reward based on the amount of treats given to Gak. This makes me wonder what the rubber bats are for? If rubber bats are not treats then what purpose do they serve, or will they become a component for spells later?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gak the skeleton, 2010 Halloween Quest in November

*** Spoiler Alert ***
Looking at the picture at the bottom of this post may tip you off to the location of Gak the skeleton, and reading the rest of this post will definitely tip you off to tiny initial parts of the 2010 Halloween Quest. We've been waiting for a Halloween quest for a few weeks and it's finally here...

Signing on you'll see an update something to the effect that candies are littered all around the woodland of Hurnscald. This is quite accurate, you need to kill monsters to get the candies. They range in types from: marshmellows to a rubber bat's wings (obviously not a candy).

You don't need to find Gak the skeleton first, just start collecting candies and items. But one of the items you'll need right away is a tongue, so make sure you have one before you talk to Gak. And like other NPCs, you may need to talk to him multiple times.

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, you will need bones for Gak's next request. That means heading to the graveyard and killing some skeletons and lady skeletons. At level 53 I think I lasted all of about 4 minutes running around. I might have been able to kill one lady skeleton, but I got swarmed pretty bad and ended up being resurrected in Hurnscald. That means this quest might be out of reach of lower levels unless you can get someone bones through trading items.

The Halloween quest won't last forever, so play now.

Some speculation: it seems no one has completed the quest at this particular moment. I have a creepy feeling from Gak's words when he requested the bones that he may end up becoming the reaper and cutting a swath through people... just a thought.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monster points, monster points, monster points

I've harped about monster points in the past, but I thought I'd reinforce it with an example. Above is a screen shot from Uwebe, a player I play on the auldsbel.dyndns.org server. Notice level 16, fairly low, and in the inventory a snake skin obtained by trading away monster points. By level 50 I had enough points when I replayed Tarq to get the jean chaps (the jean shorts I got by killing cave snakes, which by the way isn't a bad thing to kill before that level for experience and for monster points).

Just make sure to register with Aidan early in your character's life - you don't want to register at level 60 and find out you've missed on 60 levels of monster points you could have traded for items.

Most of the items don't make a huge difference in game play, but some like the cherry cake are used in quests and are helpful early on for healing. Beer is another good example of a quest item that's a monster point reward. The demon mask quest is another quest that uses a lot of items that could be obtained by monster points.

Some items like snake skins and flower petals are tough to obtain if you're a low level warrior.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Main Server crash, levels, and items...

Everyone on the server is talking about the main server crash. Tonight much of the server was restored, but I still ended up losing 2 levels, some coal, a diamond, a pirate's striped bandana, and the Infantry helm Zoix gave me the other day.

Ah... but the TMW community is wonderful, Sugar helped me out again with an Infantry helm. Thanks Sugar!

I made up one of the levels tonight. I also collected a lot of roots, so I might be able to buy back some of the coal.

This time I'm keeping the items I want to keep on my person. Freeyorp had a backup of the server minus the items in the stash. My thought is that if the server crashes again someone may have a backup (again minus the stash).

Just to set the record straight the server didn't "crash," though I keep saying it did. The story as I understand it is that someone at the hosting centre accidentally reboot the wrong server (the tmw server) and when they did that there was a write error with the database.

It's a good lesson for backups...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Zoix, Stacking, and the Infantry Helm

Big thanks to Zoix for stacking with me in the Hurnscald mines and for the Infantry Helm (+15 defense). Previously I was using the silk bandana (+10 defense). We fought off spiders, black scorpions, and red slimes for a significant amount of time, enough to get me within 12% of leveling. Garnah and another player whose name begins with T, but I forget (sorry) helped me to the next level (we killed yellow slimes and various skulls). I actually hit the skulls a few times and both players would heal me.

After I spent quite a bit of time in the Moggun mines securing only 3 Coals despite killing something like 50 Mogguns, and that was with one player giving me a coal (again I've forgotten the name, but I promise to edit next time we meet). This is the second time the player (wearing a skirt) has helped me with Mogguns and Coal. So Thanks to everyone!

The value of getting "slimed"

This morning I was hunting yellow slimes in the mines north of Hurnscald when one dropped a Jack'o soul. Normally Jack'o souls are only dropped by Jack'o, and killing Jack'o at level 52 is virtually impossible, so it's a nice find. The nice thing about slimes is that they pick up items that get left around by other players, you never know what you're going to pick up.

In a comment on a previous post I mentioned that I'm still working on my steel shield. In storage I have quite a few Iron Ore (over 50), and a bit of coal, but not nearly enough for the shield. My strategy is to buy the coal. I managed to get 6 coal for around 1000gp, 5 roots for every coal, not a bad price, but Tradebot is now asking 3,500gp each. At this point I'm almost tempted to go back in and try to divide and conquer the mogguns.

I think one of the things that makes TMW so much fun is that some things require patience. True, you can buy/beg for things (though begging is not recommended, it can get you banned, and it's annoying), but sometimes it's just good old fashioned leg work (killing monsters) that gets you what you need.

In the comment follow up I also mentioned "stacking," something I talk about in much earlier 2009 posts. Stacking is the fastest way I know to level, but you need to group up with characters that are more powerful, but still low enough that you get a hit or two in.

A common place to stack is in the spider area of the Hurnscald mines (where people stack to get Infantry Helmets and keys).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Advice for New Players of The Mana World

The following hints are gathered from my own experience playing The Mana World off and on for a number of years. These are kind of first steps players might want to take playing the game:

  • Learn the keys to move, target, attack, and talk. I personally like to remap my target key from a to alt (or ctrl) so that my target and attack are closer together. This if course means having to remap what alt/ctrl did before to something else (a is good).
  • Talk to Aidan the monster guide and register as a quest participant right away. If you don't register right away you lose any monster points you might have gained from killing monsters. Monster points can later be traded for items (monster points are not experience, but are very useful nonetheless).
  • Equip your cotton shirt before you start killing monsters, it gives you a little added extra protection and is not equipped by default, but is in your stash.
  • Talk to different people in Tulimshar and go on the quests they send you on. There is an order that needs to be followed. Some Non-Player Characters (NPCs) will not give their quest until you've completed another quest.
  • After you've killed a bunch of maggots and scorpions visit Ishi the rewards master. She will ask if you want to trade your monster points for items. You can get some significant items that will help you both now and later in the game: (for example: the Fancy Hat gives a good boost to basic defence at the start of the game and Snake Skins come in handy later in the game for chaps, currently the most durable lower body item in the game).
  • If you get duplicates of items like the Fancy Hat don't give them away initially (you can do that when you're level 50), sell them for gold and buy a Leather Shield. This will further add to your defence.
  • When you've done most of the quests (I didn't finish the mine quest until after I'd finished some of the Hurnscald Quests) head north and to the right. Look for the Ferry Man and pay 1000 GP to get to Hurnscald. In Hurnscald you'll be able to complete a number of other quests. I recommend you go north and do the Pinkie quest which will result in a prize of a powerful +75 to attack Scythe.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mogguns with Knight

This evening I had some big help from a player named Knight who joined me hunting Mogguns -- though it was more like I was joining him, he was much more powerful. Knight dropped 3 Coal for me, which was the same amount I managed to get on my own. He was using lightning, which requires ore. I have lots of iron ore, but only had 3 ore on me. I dropped 3 ore for him. Ore isn't quite as valuable since it's easier to get, yellow slimes are easy to kill, even for me (level 52 now).

Earlier in the day I mentioning being inches from getting chaps. I sold enough from my stash and got the chaps.

Shortly after a player named Mistakes held off spiders, snakes and other monsters so I could visit the chest to the north and obtain the short sword for the future Setzer quest.

Thanks Mistakes and Knight!

Just about ready for chaps

I've now accumulated 10 snake skins, enough for the Patchua chaps quest. The next step is coming up with the 10,000 GP. I do have quite a few daggers and hats in stash, so I'll probably make a few thousand, but I doubt it's quite enough. This means a few more log head kills to make up the rest. Going to keep the post short today and the screenshot irrelevant to the topic, I'd prefer just to show who was hanging around Hurnscald the moment I got back.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gems in a row and other quests

Last night Tarq spent some time in the mines north of Hurnscald. Still a little too weak to take on Mogguns without aide, I figured it would be good to collect up on the Iron Ore for ingots. TMW has gotten a little loopy since I left and the demands for the Blacksmith quest are extremely high. Lets take the warlord helmet for example: it requires 9 iron ingots and 18 coal. Since each ingot consists of 10 coal, 5 iron ore, and 1,000gp the ingot cost alone is: 90 coal, 45 iron ore, and 9,000gp. Add the other 10 coal and 10,000 to make the helmet and the cost is: 100 coal, 45 iron ore, and 19,000 gp. For warlord plate you're looking at 15 ingots, 30 coal, and 100,000 gp or an ingot cost of 75 iron ore, 150 coal, 15,000gp for a final tally of: 180 coal, 75 iron ore, 115,000 gp. At level 51 I've managed to draw out enough mogguns to get 1 coal, but I took an awful beating.

The problem is that at level 51 I seem to be stalled. I've completed most of the lower level quests, except for the expensive and annoying noh mask quest (which involves going back and forth between Hunrscald and Tulimshar). I had decided to stick to the northern mines looking for iron ore. The problem was that it appears other people had the same idea and the mines were crowded with people looking for ore.

I remembered that iron ore is also dropped by the yellow slimes in the mines south of Tulimshar. So I ventured to Tulimshar and started mining for ore in those mines. There I found both Kinichi and Moody (at separate times) also doing the same. It occurred to me that at this point it's almost a better thing to do, here's why:

The monster points master Ishi is located in Tulimshar. Black Scorpions, Giant Maggots, and Snakes all give a fair amount of monster points. Some of those monster points can potentially translate into snake skins.  This means potentially not having to tackle mountain snakes later for the jean chaps quest. As a matter of fact I'm now 1 skin shy of that quest...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Client side bugs?

This morning the TMW client crashed in Ubuntu 10.04. This is to be expected of software once in awhile and it crashed gracefully, not bringing anything down with it. But one thing I noticed is that while I retained the items in my inventory my shortcuts had changed. Just after logging in I rearranged my shortcuts so that I'd have a number of healing items in the shortcuts (and Iron Ore because it makes it easier to track when you're yellow slime/ore hunting). After the crash happened, in Hurnscald thank goodness, the client showed the shortcuts exactly as they were before I rearranged them. This seems to indicate a couple of things:
  1. Items are stored server-side (good, I don't want to lose them to a crash).
  2. Shortcuts are stored client-side.
It's a bit of a minor annoyance, but I'd prefer to lose shortcuts than items.

I also noticed that over the years I've taken a lot of screenshots of my stash and statistics, which is pretty boring. I really notice this now trying to remember old friends and wish I had taken more screenshots of group events. In the future I'm going to make a concentrated effort to have more group shots. There's a lot of interesting players out there.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Server is working!

So I set up a TMW server and it's working/facing the Internet. I had quite a bit of help from meway getting it going and more help from him getting ladmin working. Thanks to Kage for the hint regarding I.P. addresses and managing certain users.

The screenshot above shows when I first set up my server. I ran into some user problems as I mentioned above, but they're fixed now, at least for the time being.

I'm getting game updates from meway, who also runs a tmw server: meway.dyndns.org.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Setting up an eAthena Server

So the past couple of days I've spent my time building a server to run an eAthena TMW server on. The hardware is as follows:

IBM eServer 220 1.1GHz Pentium III Xeon CPU, 256MB Registered ECC RAM, 2 x 18GB 15,000 RPM UW-SCSI Hard Drives.

I chose Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 for the operating system because it seemed to run best on the hardware.

After a number of bumps and false starts I finally managed to get eAthena on the system and all the servers compiled (including the mapserver).

Unfortunately,I still cannot connect to the server. I can registered new accounts, but not connect to the character server after. I tracked the problem down in the log files and the account.txt file.

What appears to be happening is that the account.txt file is being overwritten so the server account and password can never connect to the character server. Here's an example of the overwritten accounts.txt file. Previously I'd set account 0 with the server connect user name and password. It's been overwritten by this.

2000000 myname  !=5auo$e243bacb2e422cd08b8df957 2010-11-03 03:22:30.934 M       1       0       a@a.com -       0        !       0
2000001 myname2 !5[tVd$cca6049992e2c72a225f5fe8 2010-11-03 03:24:47.929 M       1       0       a@a.com -       0        !       0
2000002 myname3 !Yt:x}$9051c4dbc4f7201e45a06445 2010-11-03 03:25:58.725 M       1       0       a@a.com -       0        !       0
2000003 abc123  !KhRF3$e9244bbe8d67528ff0ec6a7d 2010-11-03 12:10:18.941 M       1       0       a@a.com -       0        !       0
2000004 Test    !qv5sK$57523301b6851cc1fbbf7a19 2010-11-03 12:38:01.694 M       1       0       a@a.com -       0        !       0
2000005 %newid%

Monday, November 1, 2010

Making The Fluffy Quest More Fun

When I played The Mana World over a year ago one thing I didn't notice was how much effort killing fluffies was (maybe I just don't remember). When it took 47 fluffy furs to get the winter mitts (Agostine quest) I thought I'd check to see if anyone else had such bad luck, and it turned out that some of you had much worse luck! In some cases the number of fluffy furs needed for the mitts approached 100.

The wiki is responsible for spreading the rumour that it takes around 30 furs to satisfy Agostine for each quest. But what Agostine accepts is based on a random event, and as one player noted, subject to a Gambler's Fallacy.

So I played more and it occurred to me that part of the reason it seemed so frustrating was that Fluffies don't seem to drop White Furs very often. So I decided to count the next 32 furs (in the screen shot 2 went to another quest leaving me with 30). The following is the amount of kills it took to get a White Fur:

21, 17, 3, 58, 18, 2, 28, 6, 19, 17, 2, 1, 5, 21, 8, 5
20, 1, 6, 14, 17, 29, 17, 4, 8, 1, 14, 18, 15, 34, 15, 1

Yes, at one point it took 58 Fluffy kills to get a white fur. But if you average all these numbers out it comes to 14.625 Fluffies per white fur. It still feels like a long process, so I decided to make a game of it. I noticed that I was about half way to my next level. Knowing I'd also need cash and that roots from Log Heads generate about 200gp each I decided to alternate between killing Fluffies and Log Heads. First I'd kill about 10% experience of Fluffies, then 10% experience of Log Heads. Log Heads give more experience than Fluffies, so what I did was make sure that I ended my Fluffy kills around 10% by only ending when I picked up a white fur. In one case this worked out to about 13% of Fluffies, but I leveled up.

As I write this I haven't yet gone back to Tulimshar. The stakes are higher than they were a year ago when you could just walk to Tulimshar. I'm quite sure I'm shy of the 15k Agostine will ask for and not sure 30 furs will satiate his lust for fur, so I'm thinking it won't hurt to try this technique for one more level, perhaps making log heads 20% of experience so the process goes quicker.