Sunday, February 24, 2013

In-game courtesy and ethics

WTH Tarq the archer?
The Mana World has been around for a long time now. If memory serves me correctly I started playing (under a different nick) around 2004 when part of Tulimshar was all there was. Spiders had just come out and looked like archants, not spiders at all.

In any game worth its salt there inevitably ends up with a few players who like to take advantage of bugs/flaws or other players. This post really isn't about them, they'll always be around, and they often really seem to enjoy tormenting players for kicks. Before diving into the main part of the post I thought I'd relate a real life story about one such person, Phil (not his real name). Phil used to love to snidely tease people, call them names, loudly proclaim any rumours about people, even physically poke at people. One day Phil chose to bug the wrong person and ended up in tears and extreme embarrassment.

Jen (not her real name) was pretty much a normal person who happened to sit in front of Phil in class. Phil would often call her names and make snide comments just loud enough so a few people around could hear, typical Phil. One day during an exam Phil started poking at Jen. I guess Jen had enough of Phil's B.S. and she turned around with a book 1 1/2 inches thick and cracked Phil right across the face. The sound of the book connecting with Phil's face was so loud that everyone in the class turned. Everyone started laughing at Phil, including the teacher of the class. Now I can here people saying why wasn't Phil sent earlier to the principal, why was he allowed to continue torturing people. Earlier age where more was tolerated. Jen? Who would fault Jen for helping herself. I think more than half the people, including the teacher of the class, probably wanted to give Jen a hero badge at that moment. You really had to see Phil cry and the look on his face to understand the joy people felt seeing a bully brought to his emotional knees. Now of course we have anti-bullying everywhere (not that it helps all the time).

Enough of an aside, I just wanted to point out that people who bully don't always get away with it.

What I really wanted to talk about and put forth is kind of an in-game courtesy and ethics post. I've been mulling about this topic on and off for a long time and partially mentioned aspects of it before, but I want to set in digital stone what I consider good in-game courtesy.

  1. Warriors, if you're tanking for mages and archers don't abandon them to finish off that zombie. Catch whatever is closest to the mage or archer, the little bit of experience you'll get from the zombie isn't worth your allies dying. You may not think they're allies, but the speed of killing in groups will help your experience a whole lot more than solo killing.
  2. If you ask someone to help you do a quest where it costs that person to travel to where you are doing the quest, at the very least offer to pay their way to and from that place. Payment could be in the form of something to sell, but you should at least pay their way. Don't assume because they're higher level that they just have loads of cash and don't care, just pay it, it's the right thing to do.
  3. Power houses, share items if you're hunting in groups. This goes double if there's only a couple of you hunting and one of you is tanking for another. I've tanked for a lot of people in the graveyard and I've noticed a trend where people are extremely helpful lately asking if I wanted an item that dropped. Just because you can kill fast doesn't mean you're invincible. If someone is tanking for you, help them out a little too. (Not suggesting you give all your items up, but if 2 ears drop, what's the hurt in sharing 1?)
  4. Player killers... oh you know I was going to get to you... kill away, but don't kill someone in the middle of battle with a couple of terranites, at least wait for them to finish and kill one on one. It's kind of like not trying to kick someone when they're already down (remember Phil).
  5. More for you PKers. If you get something, like T-Ore from PKing someone and you don't really need it, give it back, you'll make the person feel less upset about being PKed (I think most people to pay the fee rather than travel the very long way to the PvP spot). If you really need the T-Ore give the player something else, a constellation prize is better than nothing.
  6. Life's too short to hold grudges. Remember some players don't give a damn about ethics or courtesy, they think of it as weak. Remember that at some point in life they'll have a weak moment, no need to crush them, it happens to everyone.

Just play folks. Be good to one another and help each other.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Republish: Monster kill statistics

This is an article I originally wrote and published on the server.

I spent a bit of time over the past few days compiling some statistics in the hope that it would help players advance a little faster. Part of this was to try to answer questions like: which monster is best to kill in order to level? which monster gives the most job experience (so skills advance faster)? which monsters give consistent experience?

I killed all these monsters at level 49. I was armed with a sword (I ran into the cave and managed to open the chest and get back out), shield, fairy hat, forest armor, jeans, fur boots, winter gloves, and wooden shield. My statistics were: 40,2,1,43+3=45, 29+3=32 (the +3s are from the forest equipment).
I died attacking a couple of monsters (I really would have survived one of the monsters, but accidentally attacked another and got swarmed) bringing you these statistics. I hope they help.

I have not included Black Scorpions, Grass Snakes, Fallens, Zombies, Skeletons, or any of the wisp, spectre family of monsters because I consider all of these are too difficult for a low level warrior (but may be okay for some archers).

Monster Name Kill 1 Kill 2 Kill 3 Kill 4 Kill 5 Average Job Exp
Angry Scorpion 37 37 37 37 37 37 5
Archant 91 88 72 87 89 85.4 14
Bandits 87 81 91 81 65 81 21
Bat 29 23 28 27 27 26.8 3
Butterfly 85 91 85 83 85 85.8 11
Cave Maggot 16 16 16 16 16 16 3
Evil Mushroom 233 231 236 233 230 232.6 35
Fire Goblin 34 38 45 41 45 40.6 4
Fluffy 81 80 100 103 101 93 7
Giant Maggot 136 136 136 140 136 136.8 14
Green Slime 302 302 305 302 307 303.6 96
Ice Goblin 85 64 73 74 75 74.2 10
Log Head 149 128 154 188 149 153.6 5
Maggot 6 6 6 6 6 6 1
Mouboo 491 497 499 497 497 496.2 16
Pink Flower 279 296 294 294
232.6 40
Pinkie 113 99 99 90 107 101.6 7
Red Scorpion 173 168 168 199 174 176.4 16
Red Slime 131 130 133 131 131 131.2 17
Reinboo 273 273 273 294 273 277.2 29
Rudolph Slime 101 106 114 101 104 105.2 8
Scorpion 13 13 13 13 13 13 2
Sea Slime 187 187 187 187 187 187 13
Slime Blast 20 22 20 20 20 20.4 8
Snail 177 182 205 180 181 185 18
Snake 371 361 361 402 371 373.2 56
Spiky Mushroom 54 45 54 42 54 49.8 5
Squirrel 34 34 34 34 34 34 5
White Slime 49 55 55 55 27 48.2 15
Wolvern 281 269 283 238 280 270.2 86
Yellow Slime 94 94 94 83 94 91.8 9

I guess I'm so used to killing cave snakes that I didn't include them for some reason. Averaging out 5 cave snake kills: 152, 148, 184, 148, and 122 we get 150.8 experience, less than the average for log heads, red scorpions, and sea slimes, but better than red slimes or pinkies.

Your best experience bet at low levels are green slimes, if you can suffer their damage. They're significantly tough at level 33, so it might be worth changing to an archer at this point if you've done the warrior thing.

The tipping point for hunting Cave Snakes

Hunting cave snakes
I like hunting cave snakes. Cave snakes give decent experience and can be killed at a relatively low level (20ish). With some decent armor or archery you can reduce the damage done to you to practically nothing.

But there comes a point where the experience gained from killing cave snakes diminishes significantly. That point seems to be level 33. Up to level 33 the amount of experience gained is at least 2% of the experience required to level. At level 33 the experience seems to drop to around 1.3% per snake. Don't get me wrong, this isn't terrible, but better prey await you at this point, and it might be better to restat for something like green slimes or reinboos.