Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another reason to use the 4144 client

I've mentioned some of the reasons why I like the 4144 client better than the "official" client. Now there's one more reason 4144 has included in the server list in the client. Despite being online 24/7 for over a year auldsbel hasn't seemed to have made it into the official client yet. It's been listed on the wiki for at least half that time, if not the whole time. And as many of you know I make nightly backups, so if there's corruption, there's not a huge amount of work players need to do to catch up.

Part of the reason I think auldsbel hasn't made it to main was that it wasn't different enough. It has a lot of content similar to the official English server with a few quest additions, and some stores to make it easier for warriors. Yes, there are plans to make it quite different, but it takes time and experimentation (on a dev server).

Anyway, enough ranting: the gist of this post is that I've been promoting 4144's client all along because it has a number of really nice features, and now it has one more nice aspect - auldsbel listed in the server list. (Note: if you already use 4144's client you might have to reload the server list to see the auldsbel listing).

Level XX

Funny I posted about the wolverns first today. I guess it upset me more than making level XX. So yes, tarq levelled this morning. I spent some time in the graveyard this morning and even getting 1% was a big job - even with archers picking off zombies with me. This next level is going to be a long road.

It snowed (for real) last night, but I think this might be the weekend not to play, a weekend to get out, maybe do a little reading (I want to read some books on sed and awk so I can better process the files on the auldsbel server), and spend time with friends and family.

Wolvern spawn rate appears to have changed

Why am I hunting squirrels in Nivalis? Because hunting wolverns just got a whole lot more boring. There was a spot in Nivalis where wolverns spawned almost one right after the other died - it was great hunting for warriors. I actually warped to Nivalis hoping to make a quest out of hunting the wolverns - something like trying to reach 10% exp hunting wolverns, but they spawn so slowly now that it's not realistic, and not fun - at all. What was fun is now quite boring. While others were running the new quest it was nice to be able to decimate a few dozen wolverns while watching the action above. Now all the action is above, one could sit, and wait, and wait, and wait for a wolvern to spawn. I think I understand why it happened, people were killing wolverns and getting enough animal bones to feed the wolf quicker than it might have been intended... but it's 1 lousy quest, and a bit of a ridiculous one that depends a lot on speed or group effort rather than time in. The wolvern area was fun because you didn't need to be really fast to get a lot of kills, the wolverns spawned fast enough that you could rack up a bunch of kills even if you were slow as molasses. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Concentration potion boost

Fighting 2 yetis at once is a pain on your own even at fairly high levels. One thing I noticed was that concentration potions helped a good deal when trying to cut down yetis. I still had some trouble and had to suck back a water for healing, but not as much as when a couple of yetis were attacking and I was just running around to separate them.

Because my agility stat is quite low (30 something) my attack delay is also quite high (456). Sucking back a concentration potion drops my attack delay to 313. Checking another character on the Auldsbel server I found that my normal attack delay on Tarq was actually lower than my other character, probably due in part to Tarq's focus on the speed skill. Basically the effect of the concentration potion is that it decreases attack delay.

This got me thinking about how else to drive down the attack delay. Naturally I first thought of increasing the agility statistic. I noticed increasing agility by 1 point, at least on the non-Tarq character on Auldsbel, decreases attack delay by 2 points. So you don't have to get to a certain amount of agility for it to have an effect, each point of agility is a decrease in attack delay. Agility also increases the % evade field. Whereas a concentration only effects attack delay, increasing agility effects both attack delay and % evade (making you harder to hit and faster).

I was trying to think what would be reasonable at my level, could I really punch down attack delay in a couple of levels or would it take forever. I'm close to levelling, but at my current level, even knowing some techniques to level fast without botting (one is to pay up and use a lot of concentration potions to kill things/zombies/yetis fast), there really isn't enough statistic points available to make it worth investing in agility much more. In fact I've considered restating and taking away from agility to pump it all into strength. But I like the delay right now, it's not terrible.

I'm wondering if perhaps I'm missing something with the speed skill. I have the speed skill at level 9, but perhaps there's another component of practising the speed skill that can only happen as an archer to lower the attack delay. What I've heard is that the speed skill isn't really effective until agility 60. But I'm not convinced that last statement is a true one since I can see some difference between the character on the Auldsbel server and Tarq who has speed 9, but low agility, and still has a lower attack delay for the same amount of points invested in agility.

Whatever the case we know concentration potions significantly decrease (146 points for me) attack delay for a short period of time.

One last detail I thought of and noticed. I tried removing metal armor thinking it might decrease attack delay, it didn't. So you might as well keep your warlord plate on warriors. Where I did notice a difference was when I unequipped my Setzer, attack delay went way up to 494, meaning the Setzer actually has a significant speed advantage. So if a weapon appears in the game similar to the Setzer but with an improved speed advantage it may improve warrior playability overall in the game.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Full Circle Magazine #57 - Setting up a The Mana World server

With help from o11c, Freeyorp, Frost, and the wiki I wrote an article for Full Circle Magazine issue #57 on setting up a The Mana World server. Thanks to the aforementioned folks, and of course thanks to all of The Mana World developers and players.

If you haven't checked out Full Circle Magazine (FCM) yet, you should. FCM is a free as in beer (and speech) Ubuntu Linux-oriented online magazine. Recent issues have become available in epub and mobi formats, but the most common format is pdf. On top of the regular issues a number of special issues have been published on topics like Scribus, server admin, and Python.

Pink flower power !!! Or not.

So I set myself up for another quest of my own making. The impetus for the quest was I noticed (finally) that Pink Flowers also drop Coin Bags. Coin Bags go for 500gp when sold, not a bad haul. I wondered if it would result in more gold than what I'd get killing red slimes... but I was pretty sure of the answer before.

Still I set out to kill 100 Pink Flowers without pausing too much (hard to do when my wonderful wife waved a nice fruit salad in front of me - thanks Love). Around 98 kills others saw what I was doing and figured something important was going on (e.g. some quest)... so I racked up my last 2 kills. The results:

  • 4 coin bags (2000gp)
  • 10 pink petals
  • 2 empty bottles
  • 2 red apples
It really wasn't much of a haul as you can see. I suspected as much. Red Slimes really are better, especially since they can drop rubies which are worth much more than anything else they drop. Still it was a fun to watch other people go crazy after I went to town on the flowers.