Thursday, November 21, 2013

Seafarer's Research - part 1

Recently released was a new quest for fathomers. I have a fathomer which I don't use very much and is only moderately well dressed. When I first saw it mentioned as a news report I thought I'd better finish getting my fathomer a basic enough equipment set up to try out this new quest. The first thing I had to do was the rogue equipment set quest. The first part of this quest is meant to be easy - go to the Falcon's Nest Tavern in the Western Trade Route and talk to Matinah. The problem I had was I walked into the tavern without knowing that there was an inter-guild quest being run which involved multi-av mobs in the tavern as follows:
At the Bar of the Wild Boar
Considered the focal point of the Tavern by frequent patrons, to the dismay of a few of the wandering bards who stop to play music for donations, the bar and its bartender have become part of the local 'scene'. More than just a place to get drunk, the Falcon's Nest is considered by many to be a gem in the rough. A local tradition has it that anyone who rings the bell gets to buy everyone who is at the bar a drink. It has been said to be sure you have enough to cover the tab as well, or Marech does not take kindly to you. Behind the bar is a sliding wall partition that seldom sees the light of day. The bar itself is made up of a dark, well polished wood and has seen its fair share of sleeping drunks.
Exits: north east south northeast southeast
A long, well polished table acts as the tavern's main focal point.
A shining, golden bell hangs from atop the bar.
(Magical) A perfectly calm and clear pool of water is here.
(Magical) A mystical spring flows majestically from a glowing circle of blue.
The corpse of Harvey lies here.
A pool of spilled blood lies here.
The tavern's owner and bartender stands near the bar, serving drinks.
Marech is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.
Laheon Silzarou (Nx-Gn) is hovering here.
Laheon glows with an aura of divine radiance.
(Hide) Kily the Titled is hovering here.
Kily shimmers beneath an aura of dark energy.
(Translucent) Jutsanna the consummate Druid is hovering here.
Jutsanna glows with an aura of divine radiance.
Zanikr Bloodbane is hovering here.
Zanikr shimmers beneath an aura of dark energy.
(Invis) (Hide) (Translucent) Joandaxjimli is the sum of your fears is hovering here.
Joandaxjimli is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.
An enormous rabbit lounges at the bar, wearing a plaid vest of Celtic colors and a drunk look.
Harvey is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.
Harvey stands up form the bar and begins to yell at someone on the far side of it before realizing you have arived.
Harvey wonders 'What you be looking at? You never seen a big rabbit before?'
Harvey says 'I'm the real Harvey, I am I swear'
Harvey gets a nervous look on his face.
Laheon nods solemnly.

Oops... As I was multi-ing at the time I think I managed to totally mess up that kill for them. Oh well - not much I could do about that. In the end I completed the easy parts of the rogue set and now my fathomer is dressed as follows:
You are using:
<used as light>      Aura of the Righteous
<worn on finger>     (Magical) the ring of the dragons
<worn on finger>     (Magical) the ring of the dragons
<worn around neck>   (Magical) (Glowing) (Humming) scales of alpha & omega
<worn around neck>   (Magical) (Glowing) (Humming) scales of alpha & omega
<worn on body>       the Spoils of Thievery
<worn on head>       the shade helm
<worn on legs>       the black ring mail greaves of the Falcon
<worn on feet>       the black leather boots of the Falcon
<worn on hands>      (Magical) (Glowing) Blessed gauntlets of the Templar
<worn on arms>       the black ring mail spaulders of the Falcon
<worn about body>    (Magical) (Glowing) the Cloak of Royalty
<worn about waist>   [nothing]
<worn around wrist>  dance of the dolphin
<worn around wrist>  dance of the dolphin
<wielded>            (Magical) the black hilted sword "Shieldbreaker"
<dual wielded>       (Magical) the black hilted sword "Shieldbreaker"
<worn on ears>       (Magical) a crystalline teardrop
<worn on eyes>       the shades
<worn on back>       a thick piece of lizard hide
<worn over face>     [nothing]
<worn around ankle>  a turqoise anklet
<worn around ankle>  a blue, glassy chain 

It is all fairly basic equipment but is enough to make my fathomer usable enough to try out this new quest. After trying out a few different shipwrights in the realms I found out it was Noah the shipwright in  Camden I needed to see:
Camden Boatyards
Rolls of rainbow hued sailcloth lie stacked in the corner, partially covered by a dark green tarpaulin. Towering overhead, piles of lumber from the forests of the north stretch to the ceiling. Wood shavings litter the floor, centered around the skeletal frame of a boat that sits at the upper end of a stone slide that slopes gently towards two large doors at the back of the shoppe.
Exits: north
A heavily muscled man works solemnly at his chosen craft.
Noah the Shipwright glows with an aura of divine radiance.
Noah the Shipwright looks up from his work as you enter, a thin smile creeping over his weathered face.
Noah the Shipwright says 'Hello there Zenth, it is nice to see another such as myself, so in love with the sea.'
Noah the Shipwright exclaims 'Have I told you yet, of mah idea? It would change our craft for ever, I'm sure of it!'
Noah the Shipwright wonders 'I would need help though, would you be willing to help me?'
Noah the Shipwright says 'Nod at me if so.'
> nod noa
You nod in agreement to him.
Noah the Shipwright's face breaks into an enormous, toothy grin.
Noah the Shipwright exclaims 'That is most excellent!'
Noah the Shipwright says 'I have had this idea for a device, which would use the stars and the sun to direct a person around.'
Noah the Shipwright says 'However, it is too intricate of a design for me to create myself.'
Noah the Shipwright says 'I have, however, made these schematics of it.'
Noah the Shipwright takes a piece of paper out from his pocket, and waves them about with his grubby hands.
Noah the Shipwright says 'If you would be willing to find someone to build it for me, I would gladly teach you how to use it.'
Noah the Shipwright asks you, 'Will you help me?'
Noah the Shipwright looks up at you, expectantly.
You say 'I will help you'
Noah the Shipwright nods his head in excitement.
Noah the Shipwright says 'Wonderful. Here are the plans.'
Noah the Shipwright gives you a set of astrolabe schematics.
Noah the Shipwright says 'I would bet a blacksmith who lives by the sea may be able to construct it for you.'

The next stop was then in Eurion. This area is a little tricky to get to in that the way most people travel to it is via the ship Meridia . This involves paying a fee and then waiting until the ship gets to its destination. Once at Eurion the blacksmith there says the following:
Eurion Smithy
The heat from the forge fills the room. Immediately after entering, sweat begins to bead on the arms and brow of everyone that enters. The fishermen bring in parts for their ships for repairs and orders for parts to be replaced. The walls are decked with some of the finest of metals. A well-learned smithy indeed is one that has created such a collection. It's amazing the island doesn't give the appearance of a bit more sturdiness with such fine craftsmen around. A few of the villagers wander up and down the stairs that lead to the second story of this hut.
Exits: south up
Erneth stands over an anvil, pounding away at his work.
Erneth stops pounding on the anvil momentarily.
Erneth wonders 'Were you the one interested in the astrolabe?'
Erneth says 'All I need to see are the astrolabe schematics...'
> give schem ern
You give a set of astrolabe schematics to Erneth.
Erneth says 'Well, isn't this interestin'.'
Erneth takes the set of astrolabe schematics into his hands, and looks them over.
Erneth says 'These are quite the drawings here.'
Erneth says 'I could probably build this for you, but I would require some special skarn deposits.'
Erneth nods to himself, seemingly happy with his request.
Erneth says 'You would best look for those in the mines around Juargan.'
Erneth exclaims 'Those dwarves sure can dig a mine!'
Erneth says 'Bring me the ore, and I will see what I can do.'
Erneth continues his endless pounding at the anvil.

So next stop was the Kingdom of Juargan looking for some skarn deposits. This didn't take too long:
Dwarven mines
This section of the small shafts is a intersection of three separate tunnels. They lead north, east, and west.  A faint glow is within the walls of this small intersection.
Exits: north east west
> dig
You begin digging...
Your dig uncovered a rock containing skarn deposits!
> g ska
You get a rock containing skarn deposits. 

From here it was back to Erneth with the skarn:
You give a rock containing skarn deposits to Erneth.
Erneth looks intently at the skarn deposits, holding it up in the light to eye out the glint.
Erneth says 'I think this will do nicely, yes.'
Erneth says 'I will need some time to work on this. In the meantime I have another task for ya.'
Erneth says 'To complete the astrolabe, I will need a sea captain's dial.'
Erneth says 'I don't think I would have to tell you where to find one of those.'
Erneth grins as he begins working on the ore.
Erneth says 'I would try a sea captain.'
Erneth focuses his attention away to the task at hand. 

This is as far as I have gotten with this little quest. I think the sea captain's dial may be somewhere in Raven Tor but I need to do some more looking around there. Since I got this far in the quest I have been a little busy dealing with problems in real life and just haven't had the time/energy to give it a good look around but finishing off this little quest is one of my next aims.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Realms of Despair Blogs and Links

I started writing this blog for a variety of different reasons. These reasons included the following:
  • To give publicity to the Realms of Despair. They always want more publicity and every extra site with information helps to add to the community.
  • To record my experiences. This includes setting goals, sharing lucky breaks and information I find. It also includes adding to the history or muds in general as to what it feels like.
  • To let others know what I get up to on the game and give them ideas of things they can try.
  • To give a few pointers to newer players.
Today I wanted to share some links to a few of my favourite lesser well known sites with Realms of Despair content on them.

Satan's Haven
This blog is the personal blog of Damon's. I used to chat to him at all hours of the night. It seemed like it was always late for one of us when we chatted together. While there are a number of posts on this player's life outside of the game there are number of posts about realms related topics including Danbala, dog ears, various equipment, glory, leaving a guild, random logs, new area releases, helter skelter, Gorog's Watchdog, Ravenhill, and guild tension. This blog always made me think that I should start my own blog and I could make it how I wanted it.

Shadowflaymes Repertoire of Knowledge
The Shadowflayme Repertoire of Knowledge was put together by a fellow vampire. Some useful information on here though only a handful of posts.

Tharius' Blog of Despair | Adventures of a Disheveled Ranger
This is a blog that is updated on a regular basis. I like how it is written as telling the story of Tharius and his thoughts on various happenings in the game. Well written and provides inspiration for this blog to be regularly updated.

New Darkhaven - Community
The Realms of Despair community page on Google+ is added to on a regular basis as well with news and interesting links to relevant sites.

Realms of Despair brought teens together
Not so much as a site about Realms of Despair but a story about a couple of players. I do wonder whatever happened to them afterwards. Read it yourself to see what I mean.

Mari's Realms of Despair Site
Some of the information is a little outdated but I like the design and style of this site.

My life in the Realms of Despair
A flickr site with some screenshots of some rare items.

Zistrosk's zMud Page
I personally don't use zMud but this site has some samples of scripts and triggers that can be used with it to make the game easier. Scripts/triggers/aliases are one of the more complicated areas of the game. Being able to write some great scripts can make some of your characters into quite advanced bots. One reason I included this site is I love that he used a picture from the old commodore 64 game Druid on his page. Druids are the only class in Realms of Despair that I do not have an avatar of. I really should make one.

Mud on a Boat
A weird video. Maybe too much time on their hands but you can't question their enthusiasm. In retrospect not sure if I should have included it in here as a favourite link.

Again thanks for reading. Hope you get something out of this.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Statue of Ha'rach

In my previous post I wrote about the entrance to the hidden tomb of Ha'rach. The challenge of Ha'rach is much deeper. Once inside the temple you are greeted with the following room:
The Temple
The majestic temple glows from the majestic golden statue at its center. The statue stands about two times the height of a good sized half-troll. The gold is soft and warm to the touch. The statue is surrounded on all sides by golden columns stretching to the ceiling, though falling well short of their mark. The statue looks down on its visitors with a grim face. Its eyes are a hollow darkness. Its hands extend out, palms facing the sky, shaped as cups.  Looking high above, the gigantic cavern lets the smallest amounts of light through, a small speck barely visible.
Exits: east northeast southeast
(Trap) A vacant space in the statue's forehead awaits its piece.
(Trap) The right eye of the statue gazes with an empty stare.
(Trap) The left eye of the statue gazes with an empty stare.
(Trap) The right hand of the statue stretches out.
(Trap) The left hand of the statue stretches out.
This is the final puzzle before you can fight the Statue of Ha'rach. To start off with you need to get rid of the traps using either the detrap skill or remove traps spell. Even doing this you need to be careful as being unsuccessful results in:
>detrap eye
You are sliced by a razor sharp blade!
That really did HURT!
You wish that your wounds would stop BLEEDING so much!
Unlike most traps in the Realms of Despair which are mere nuisance these ones do some serious damage and can kill if you have low amount of hit points and no sanctuary spell. After successfully removing all five traps comes the puzzle. The five parts of the statue contain a container. They look as follows (before removing the traps):
You take a closer look at the forehead on the ground...
The empty spot in the statue's forehead is perfectly round.  It has a small lip around the edge that makes it look like a small compartment.
The forehead appears to be nearly empty.
The forehead contains:
     a trap
What you need to do here is place a gem in the containers. There are five different mobs throughout the area that have them when you kill them. Each mob drops five different coloured gems. The result is you need the right coloured gem from the right mob and to place it in the right statue part in the right order. One of the mobs with the gems is Kaerell - it always gives me a little laugh when I see his rodpedia entrance advising not to kill him. What this all means though is that there are (5!)³ possible combinations of gems/mobs/conatiners/orders for the gems which all up adds to 1,728,000 possibilities. Fortunately there are two things that can make this puzzle easier:
  1. When you place a gem correctly there is a message in the room to say so
  2. There is one mob in the area which gives clues to the puzzle.
This mob is the rich leader's wife found in the oasis part of the area. Bribe her with some gold coins and she will give you hints like:
A rich woman tells you 'A stone from a shopkeeper is affixed first, but let it not be red.'
 After putting the hints together I made myself a tree diagram on four pieces of A4 paper to help narrow down the possibilities. When exploring and trying to solve puzzles in RoD I often write pages of notes. A scan of them can be seen below:
While the above shows that my handwriting is rather messy and my scanner is cheap it also shows how I go about solving some puzzles. The end result was it narrowed down the number of combinations for the first gem from 125 to 12. Luckily for me I managed to get the right gem the first time I did this. After solving the puzzle you place the final gem and this happens:

You put a red gem in the left hand.
The statue's left hand grips the gem mightily and rises up!
The statue awakens from it's slumber and let's out a mighty yell!
The Statue of Ha'rach utters the words, 'zabrahpdjatz'.
The Statue of Ha'rach makes the earth tremble and shiver.
You yell 'Help!  I am being attacked by the Statue of Ha'rach!'
The Statue of Ha'rach's slice rips you!
While there is a sense of achievement in figuring out the puzzle there is also the sudden realisation that you are fighting an end of area boss mob. There are easier ways of killing the statue but the first time I led a group to it we used 3 barbarians rending and a paladin tanking. We didn't have too much trouble and finished off the statue:
Your slash tears the Statue of Ha'rach!
Your slash tears the Statue of Ha'rach!
The Statue of Ha'rach is DEAD!!
The Statue of Ha'rach's arm is sliced from its dead body.
You see nothing like that in the corpse of the Statue of Ha'rach.
The corpse of the Statue of Ha'rach holds:
     (Flaming White) (Magical) (Glowing) (Humming) sword of magic
     a pair of golden bracers
     (Flaming White) (Magical) a pair of golden leggings
The sword of magic and golden leggings are kind of junky items but the golden bracers are some of the nicest wrist equipment in the game.

Overall figuring out all the puzzles in the Desert of Despair and leading a group to successfully kill the Statue of Ha'rach is one of my proudest achievements in the game and gives an amazing buzz.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

No Stone Unturned!

When I completed the Bartle test and had my results say that the motto I live by in the Realms of Despair is "No stone unturned!" it straight away made me think of the Desert of Despair, in particular the fifth marker stone. I have briefly mentioned it in passing before but this stone is important to the whole area for three different reasons. You need to have a character with 25 strength and a lot of free weight to lift it up. If you're lucky you'll find a golden dagger underneath. It's a weird once per reboot area pop item. The dagger identifies as follows:
Object 'a golden dagger' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 50 treasure, weight 1.
Locations it can be worn:  wield
Special properties:  none
This treasure has a gold value of 100000.
This dagger is the key to the whole desert area, not to be confused with the golden dagger from Dragon Tower. Within the Desert of Despair there is a "Travelling the Sands" maze. Besides being lots of crap buried in this maze it also leads to the Barren Wastes area, a small oasis and hidden away (without being mentioned on the Rodpedia map) is the tomb of Ha'rach. To find this tomb the entrance is near the Barren Wastes and is nw from a room that starts its description with "Clear and cold". The entrance to the nw opens and closes on a timer. Be patient until it opens up and you find yourself here:
A bold monument
Here, in the center of the desert, a large monolith stands tall. Reaching for
the sky, the monolith reaches above a large troll and his steed. Set slightly
off to the south of the monolith, a half-circled rock has managed to remain
clear of the sand that has piled on everything else around. It is undoubtedly a
door that makes up the carved square that marks the center of the rock.
However, there doesn't appear to be any way to open it.
Exits: southeast
 Dig down and you will sucked into this room:
>dig d
You begin digging...
You dig open a passageway!
You are sucked into a swirling vortex of colors! 
Beneath the monument
The small chamber beneath the monument is a roughly hewn cave. The walls are almost too hot to touch. The geologic oven is marked by two glowing orbs on the walls. Beautifully etched golden rods are strapped across the eastern wall, protecting a heavy stone door. A distant sound of heavy gears working resound through thin slots in the wall above the door.
Exits: none
A pair of orbs flank the gold-bound door.
After waiting around for a while in this room and have a golden dagger on you will see the following message:
A small keyhole catches your eye above the bars.
Then put your dagger in the keyhole...
You put a golden dagger in a keyhole.
The golden dagger slides smoothly into the keyhole, creating an audible *click*.
You get a golden dagger from a keyhole.
The golden rods are slowly pushed out of the wall, eventually dropping to the ground.
As the bars strike the ground, the vault opens slightly. 
This opens the door to the Room of Death maze - a maze where if you make one wrong move and you've hit a death trap. Do not enter this place unless you know what you're doing - even then I use naked characters. There are clues to the maze hidden around the rest of the Desert of Despair. If you manage to get through the maze you will end up at this room:
Treasure Awaits
This room is very different from the rest.  One entire wall is covered with a
golden statue. The room glows with the light from the statue, drowning out any
other light brought in.  The ceiling here stretches much further as well.  It
seems it would be taller than the surface of the ground above. With such a
large statue in such a small room, the only place to put people is to stack
them on top of each other, otherwise any more than three would be very cramped.
Exits: west
(Glowing) An enormous statue rests in front of one wall.
 This is not the Statue of Ha'rach - but it is close. When you examine it you the following:
The brilliant gold of this statue is different than any you've seen before. It
almost looks like a fluid, the way it shimmers.  The statue depicts a large
man, a ruler or god perhaps. He sits in his magnificent seat, his hands resting
on his knees, palms facing the ceiling above, as if waiting to catch something.
 Drop your golden dagger here and if you have failed to do other parts of the area correctly then the following will happen:
You drop a golden dagger.
As the dagger drops into the statue's hands, the room begins to
glow with a vibrant light.
And then, a flash...!
The entire statue begins to change shape...
The hands begin to rise up and take the form of a serpent head!
The statue arches its back and the golden serpent comes after you!
You yell 'Help!  I am being attacked by the Golden Serpent!'
The Golden Serpent _demolishes_ you!
This  serpent is impossible to kill since the room it is in a non magic room which if you flee from it back into the Room of Death maze you will either die or the Golden Serpent will disappear. If however you have done the other parts of the area correctly first then the following will happen:
You drop a golden dagger.
As the dagger drops into the statue's hands, it quickly morphs and
is absorbed by the rest of the gold.
A brilliant flash of light consumes the room!
> look
Thoth's Rune on Vertic Avenue
Walking down the cobbled roads of Vertic Avenue, you come to a section
of road which widens into a square.  A massive rune of teleportation has
been engraved deep into the ground here, symbol of the scriber's might.
Walls surrounding the castle and church are to the east and west,
while Vertic Avenue ranges to the north and south.
Exits: north south
A large man, scarred in battle, strides boldly and hefts a large axe.
Harakiem is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.
Harakiem is surrounded by a mix of ice-shards and sparking flames.
Meanwhile your other characters who were waiting Beneath the Monument will be transed through to here:
A ledge above the temple
Standing on the edge of an underground canyon, the floor drops away to the
front. Some distance below the ledge, the glow of gold illuminates the
brilliant stalactites that take careful aim at their victims below.  A small
temple is the source of the light.  From this height, the temple does not
appear to be very large.
Exits: down 
From here it's a short run past the albino goblins, through no supplicate rooms, one tricky puzzle and you'll be at the Statue of Ha'rach... More about that some other time, but to me the fun part is there is a lot to find in a big area like the Desert of Despair. There are hidden clues and secrets - much of the most important information is missing from Rodpedia. Don't be scared to explore - but be careful to avoid unnecessary risks. Most of all leave no stone unturned.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Goodbye Guild of Vampires

Two days ago I logged on to see the following:

Welcome to Realms of Despair, Vilexur...
You were last online on: Thu Sep 19 20:10:36 2013
Thoth's Rune on Vertic Avenue
Walking down the cobbled roads of Vertic Avenue, you come to a section of road which widens into a square.  A massive rune of teleportation has been engraved deep into the ground here, symbol of the scriber's might. Walls surrounding the castle and church are to the east and west, while Vertic Avenue ranges to the north and south.
Exits: north south
A large man, scarred in battle, strides boldly and hefts a large axe.
Harakiem is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.
Harakiem is surrounded by a mix of ice-shards and sparking flames.
There have been 3 news items posted since you last logged on.

A change in the Realms has affected you personally:
Warning:  the organization Guild of Vampires no longer exists, and therefore you no longer belong to that organization.
Following this I found the new Guild of Spirit to join with the other vampires, paladins, nephandi and clerics in our new guild. So far everyone has been great to meet and worked well together. I will miss the Guild of Vampires but change will hopefully lead to a new and improved era for the Realms of Despair.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

If I was Supreme Entity...

I genuinely believe that the immortals of the Realms of Despair do a pretty good job of administrating the game. Some of the recent changes such as pre-authed names and questlines have been great. Overal the immortals have shown a commitment towards the game and the community of players/builders/smaug developers which is appreciated. However there are certain areas of the game I would like to see changed. Some of these I am sure that the immortals would like to change too but haven't got the resources or time to have done themselves. So in no particular order here is the list of things I would do if I was Supreme Entity of the Realms of Despair.

1. Change pre-auth.
What I hate about pre-auth is when I make a new character and see the following:

Path of Sages                                                   
A tunnel beneath the Sunless Sea leads directly to the far side of the distant mountain. Here there is no distraction from the goal ahead. While the tests of identity and of life choices yet remain, the test of ability is bypassed. Those who walk this path are confident in their ability and know their own destiny.
Exits: up
Dblojqgaazya the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Sbhysvpgmhmo the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Iiheksnhovmx the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Jvvufqgqnmow the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Jyninhhojffr the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Ymawvduepllh the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Ccmxlkrxmoka the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Corsyysvbcus the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Qaimtwmjmcfv the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Edbbxurncfox the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Cqhewurmoahp the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Irjtcenyhezg the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Ikwcnbjnuhwe the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Rzetwmpdfxac the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Ybuzsyhpmqtf the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Rjzjrvlxwajy the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Offotyidwupp the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Gmfngsypmwox the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Beygxmerqiqe the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Arxwddwggzqr the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Oezzlkvigpsx the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
Xlunxrcpjgsp the Fledgling of Blood is standing here.
You hold a glowing beacon as your light.
A burlap sack filled with equipment materializes in your inventory....

A whole screens worth of spam from people rolling new characters. I have no problem with people logging a heap of characters and rerolling them in the hopes of getting the perfect base statistics for a thief or vampire. What I don't like are the gibberish names filling up a whole screen. I then think if I don't like this then what does it say to new players for whom this is one of the first rooms they see? I believe it would be better if people could go to one particular room to reroll where their names do not show up to others or the reroll process is done in the new character section before they get into the pre-auth rooms.

2. Rerolling
The above room filled with rerolling characters could be avoided by making it easier to get the statistics you want. If they could make the reroll command accept an argument of which statistics you want most.
i.e. for a thief: "reroll dex str luck" that would only generate characters with those 3 statistics higher than the other statistics.

3. Bring back the lizardmen.
I've already posted enough about this but please bring them back.

4. Housing/apartments
There have hardly been any houses or apartments for sale this year. Apartments are a lot less expensive than houses due to the reason that items in apartments do not save over reboots. This is crazy to me. Houses will always cost more due to them having extra rooms in them which is how it should be but still...

5. Some banners to advertise with
On the Realms of Despair promote page it talks about "Coming Soon - Sample banners for promoting us on your blog or webpage". I've got a blog here and am trying to promote the game. I understand making these things takes time but if it could be done soon, I'd appreciate it.

6. Tank potions
One area of the game I find unenjoyable is having to organise tank potions. Sorting out empty flasks, setting up brew scripts and then waiting around is not fun. One of the best moves made in recent years was the lowering of the price of heal potions. This removed the problem of having to brew heals yourself. What I'd like to see are some cheap tank potions sold in Darkhaven. For 100k if you could buy a single potion that cast all of the longer tank potions and another potion that cast all of the shorter ones it would remove a less enjoyable part of the game and speed up the fun.

7. More quests
The recent addition of the questnews command that advertises quests that run over several days and add to the storyline of the game are great. Would love to see more of them.

8. More class differences
Sometimes it can feel like the classes are too similar. I would like to see the magic classes especially have more of a focus on different areas of magic - fire, cold, electricity, draining etc. If more mobs were made with particular weaknesses i.e. some new dragon was susceptible to cold then that would make that class more useful against it. Scatter some hidden clues to what weakens what mob would go well with it.

9. A better trade system
I don't like the idea of having to make trading bots to sell equipment. If there was some easy system where we could get a mob to hold an item until it sold at a price set by the seller and list all items to be sold it could save people problems with unreliable bots, connection, problems, etc.

10. More solo challenges
It can be hard to get together a group big enough to kill some mobs. Having an area that needs people to be able to solo mobs without help from other players/alts would be a fun challenge.

11. Bring back Tagertale
One of my favourite mobs in the old days was Tagertale. He could transport characters below level 20 to suitable areas for levelling after answering a riddle. I found it great as a new player to get me started in exploring new areas that were appropriate for my character's level. Now all he does is transport people to their racial nations.

Eleven ideas on how to improve the game. Feel free to agree or disagree but hopefully at least if anyone reads this it will get them thinking.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Dragon Ore

It seems as though the movement towards the guild mergers is speeding up. This has been shown in the last week by quests exclusively for members of the various guilds with a storyline around first a plague needing dragon blood to create a cure followed by one now where the dragons are getting angry in turn seeking revenge. To counter this the aim is for the guild members to find dragon ore to create different weapons with. The quest starts at Duke Luther:

The Throne Room
Castle Darkhawk's glorious Throne Room is an immense hall, reminiscent of Notre Dame de Sioux design.  A high ceiling of stained glass depicting Odin's might allows the sun's light and warmth to filter into the room.  A host of small, brilliant balls of light float about at the commands of the Duke, aiding numerous peasants to read their declaration or request.  A dozen rows of wooden pews allow the citizens of Darkhaven to sit as they wait patiently for their turn to speak.  A throne of solid gold, adorned with rubies and jewels, is where the smiling, seemingly trustworthy Duke normally sits.
Exits: north south
Duke Luther is sitting here, cloaked in a majestic cape.
Duke Luther welcomes you.
Duke Luther says 'I have a task for you guild member... please ask me about the quest if you are up for it. The future our Darkhaven is at risk...'
>say quest
You say 'quest'
Duke Luther exclaims 'Welcome my valorous Guild member, It is time that we begin to put together our forces... it appears the dragon's are angry!'
Duke Luther sighs loudly.
Duke Luther says 'So, to that end I've requested Farrar, my faithful armorer, to gather ore and smelt it to make weapons to fight these beasts. The metal is a special one, made from dragons themselves...'
Duke Luther grins.
Duke Luther says 'Go see Farrar for more information.'

It's good to see Duke Luther doing some leadership. Farrar then says to you:
The Castle Darkhawn Forge
This small hut has been hastily put together to allow the Duke's personal armorer to smelt ore into metal. Located just outside the castle, due to the fumes, a simple foundry, anvil and table and chairs are the only things within the room of note.
Exits: southeast
The Castle Darkhawk foundry burns brightly as it converts ore to metal.
Farrar, the Duke's personal blacksmith, aids in the defense of New Darkhaven.
Farrar looks up as you enter.
Farrar says 'Well met Guildmember. Are you here about the Duke's request?'
>say quest
You say 'quest'
Farrar nods solemnly.
Farrar says 'Yes, the duke has requested that I stop everything and begin smelting ore into metal so that we may make more weapons to fight a possible dragon attack.'
Farrar looks at you.
Farrar says 'I am told that the Duke is only trusting Guild Members to aid in the collection of metals for me to smelt. I see you are a member, so if you would like further information, please ask about 'smelting ore'.' 
>say smelting ore
You say 'smelting ore'
Farrar says 'The dragon ore is all over the Realm. Just dig it up! Once you find some ore, put it in my foundry and it will create bars of metal that we can utilize to forge dragon weapons.'
Farrar says 'As I've taken on the duty of smelting the raw ore, Irdrak in New Darkhaven has taken on the task of forging the weapons. You will need 3 bars of dragon metal to get him to forge an appropriate blade.'
Farrar says 'Depending on the quality of the dragon metal bars, she may be able to make lesser or better weapons for our use. Once you get the weapon, come back and see me for your reward.' 
So I first went and found myself a shovel item to improve my chances at digging. My personal favourite is the small pick axe from the Desert of Despair. It is hidden in a crate within that area. I like it because it has a weight of 1. After picking up this it was time to go digging in the dragon packed areas. My first success was in this room in Dragon Pass:
Nearing the End
The trail you follow has widened significantly and you feel the tension draining from your shoulders. The signs of other travellers fills your heart with joy knowing that safety should be close at hand.  Your pace quickens when your eyes catch a glimpse of a tall stone wall far to the north.
Exits: east northwest
You begin digging...
Your dig uncovered a large rock filled with dragon ore!
>g ore
You get a large rock filled with dragon ore.
>exam ore
You take a closer look at a large rock filled with dragon ore in inventory...
This large rock appears to have dragon ore throughout it. This would be ideal to smelt down and make into dragon metal bars.
>c id ore
Object 'a large rock filled with dragon ore' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 2 ore, weight 5.
Special properties:  none
This ore has a gold value of 1000.
After looking around I found five more pieces of ore between Dragon Pass, the Village of Edo and Ocean Keep. Once I had 6 pieces of ore I started smelting in the foundry back at Farrar's room:
 >p ore foundry
You put a large rock filled with dragon ore in the Castle Darkhawk foundry.
Heat radiates around the Castle Darkhawk foundry as the ore is smelted into its base metal.
The Castle Darkhawk foundry launches a bar of dragon metal out onto the floor.
You get a bar of dragon metal.
Once I had my six bars of metal I took them to New Darkhaven's weapon seller Irdrak in the Daring Attack:
The Daring Attack
Racks line the walls of this tent, each filled to the brim with weapons. You grin evilly at the items of destruction, and try out a couple on the practice dummies hung from the ceiling.  A counter in the center of the room is where the keeper of this shop does business.  To the west is the Solid Parry, while an opening in the tent to the north leads back out onto Market Street.
Exits: north west
An important looking scroll hangs from a wooden board.
A man hammers at a steel blade here, cursing under his breath.
Irdrak looks at you.
Irdrak says 'Welcome Guild member... if you're needing to turn in some dragon-metal simply say 'I am here with dragon metal for you to forge'. 
>say I am here with dragon metal for you to forge
You say 'I am here with dragon metal for you to forge'
Irdrak says 'Welcome Guild member, let me have a look at the dragon metal you've had crafted.'
You give a bar of dragon metal to Irdrak.
You give a bar of dragon metal to Irdrak.
You give a bar of dragon metal to Irdrak.
Irdrak says 'Ah, yes... these will do nicely. Let me see what I can make with them.'
Irdrak begins to heat up the dragon metal.
Irdrak hammers the dragon metal and sparks fly off in many directions.
Irdrak looks upon his work, a satisfied grin upon his face.
Irdrak says 'This metal will work nicely and I'll be able to create a sturdy blade with it.'
Irdrak gives you a dragon metal sword.
Irdrak says 'There you go... now take it back to Farrar for a reward.' 
Once I had the sword (and a dagger too) I took them back to Farrar and for the reward:
You give a dragon metal sword to Farrar.
Farrar exclaims 'Ah, Vilexur, I'm glad to see you back. I see Irdrak was able to make a nice sword for you. This will come in handy in the coming fight!'
Farrar smiles at you.
Farrar puts the weapon safely away.
Farrar exclaims 'Your first weapon returned... well done. This sword will be a good addition to our armory. Please bring more!'
Your glory has been increased by 2. 

It  was great to see a quest like this and to earn a small amount of glory too. A big thank you to whichever immortal made this quest.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bartle Test

One of the best parts of the Realms of Despair community is the production of the Cry of Despair. Basically this is a newspaper/magazine produced in game by the players on a semi-regular basis. The most recent edition discusses the Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology. This test divides a game like the Realms of Despair into 4 different areas - exploring, achieving, killing and socializing and asks the player which order their prioritise them. My results were as follows:

I'm not surprised that I came up mostly as an explorer. Finding hidden little secrets that no-one knows is a great feeling. I have been a little too busy on the achieving side to do any exploring of late - finishing off levelling characters and equipping them takes up time. Hopefully I'll be able to get back onto exploring more soon. I was however surprised that I came up as more of a killer than a socializer. But with the new guild restructures I'll be able to have opportunities to do a lot more socializing soon.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Deck of Many Things

One of the most mysterious items in the game is The Deck of Many Things. This item can bring all sorts of unpredictable results - some positive and others negative. If you're the first person to find it following a reboot there will be a key and card in it. I've had a handful of run ins with the deck, but today while wandering around the Village of Edo I foundd it with a key in it. When this happens you have to make two decisions - "Do I pull the card or not?" and "If I pull what character do I pull it with?" My decision today was to pull it with my vampire alt Viledri... The results were:
A Path in the Rice Fields of Edo
Exits: north south southeast southwest
The Deck of Many Things lies in wait for a brave soul.
The Deck of Many Things says 'If you can find a card within me, you might be lucky enough to draw something of value.
However, once you submit to chance, you put yourself at the mercy of the cards.
The Deck of Many Things winks suggestively.
>g key deck
You get the Key to the Deck of Many Things from the Deck of Many Things.
The Key to the Deck shudders menacingly.
You drop the Key to the Deck of Many Things.
Vl'aresch gives you one gold coin for your sacrifice of the Key to the Deck of Many Things.
Be Forewarned : You could lose all that you own.
Viledri has been given the chance to draw from the Deck of Many Things. 
>exam deck
You take a closer look at the Deck of Many Things on the ground...
The deck takes the appearance of a very finely wrought and veneered wooden card case, yet the strong magical aura surrounding it offers proof that this artifact is not simply what it appears to be.
The Deck of Many Things appears to be full.
The Deck of Many Things contains:
     a card 
 >g card deck
You get a card from the Deck of Many Things.
A mystical being appears and points at you. Your senses reel as you are flung through the void to another place.
The card twists and wriggles in your hands.
A great flash of light envelopes the room, blinding you momentarily.
When your vision returns, you see that the Deck of Many Things lies before you once more.
It is highly recommended that you examine the deck before drawing from it. When you are ready, simply take the card.
>exam deck
You take a closer look at The Deck of Many Things on the ground...
The deck takes the appearance of a very finely wrought and veneered wooden card case, yet the strong magical aura surrounding it offers proof that this artifact is not simply what it appears to be.
The Deck of Many Things appears to be full.
The Deck of Many Things contains:
     a card
The card contained within the deck can bring you great joy and happiness, or ultimate peril and despair. Either way, having already placed yourself in the power of the Deck, the only option would seem to be to draw the card and face your fate. 
>g card deck
You get a card from The Deck of Many Things.
You see that you have drawn the Wheel of Fortune.
The card holds your gaze and try as you might you cannot look away.
As the wheel moves inexorably towards its final position, you realise that the tiny figure depicted clinging to it is a perfectly drawn illustration of yourself.
The wheel stops, leaving you sitting securely atop its highest point.
You are filled with elation as you realise Fortune favours you this day.
A large bag of gold appears in your hands.
The cold winds of never rush through the void, whipping the card from your grasp and returning you to the mortal realm.
The end result was I got given 20 million gold coins from the deck. I'm not totally sure if that is how much I made as I don't know how much I had before I took the card. While 20 million (or was it 30?) is not a huge amount of gold, I'm happy with that results as I have had negative pulls before or had to sit and wait an hour for an immortal about level 57 to log on and take the next step without any success.

Overall I enjoy finding the Deck. It's something you can search for on your own with a chance of getting some real positives out of it. Plus it certainly adds some excitement to the game.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dragon Tower and more Pop Rates

Over the last couple of weeks the main project I've been working on is finishing off levelling my newest thief. I chose to make this thief a dwarf as I wanted a good aligned thief and I had a couple of pieces of equipment sitting around on storage doing not much that would be perfect for a good thief - an iron hand of kargoth and a cloak of the eternal wanderer. Before hitting level 50 I chose to stock up on a pair of ring of the dragons from Dragon Tower.

My earliest memories of Dragon Tower was as a level 20 being sent for a guild quest to get a pair of leggings of dark dragonscale. Very nice leggings for a level 20 character but difficult to get on your own without any avatar characters to help. From memory it took me seven attempts and my first ever run in with a death trap. Since then it has been modified to include the rings. These rings are not that hard to make but rather time consuming to get all of the parts. I tried killing Tiamat 12 times before I figured out that my thief only had 10 luck. I changed around some equipment and got it up to 17 then managed to pop 2 settings in the next 3 kills. Coincidence or the affect of the enigmatic luck statistic? It's always exciting making items. To make the rings you need to hand them to the wizard in the tower as follows:
You give an empty ring setting to a powerful mage.
A powerful mage gasps in astonishment.
A powerful mage tells you 'I made this once long ago for the great dragon Tiamat.'
A powerful mage tells you 'If you have the five stones, I can make the ring once again.'
You give a snow-white opal to a powerful mage.
You give a radiant-red ruby to a powerful mage.
You give a blazing-blue sapphire to a powerful mage.
You give a pitch-black onyx gemstone to a powerful mage.
You give a gleaming-jade gemstone to a powerful mage.
A powerful mage carefully fits each stone into one of the claws in the setting.
A powerful mage drops the ring of the dragons.
You get the ring of the dragons.
The ring is nice for pretty much any character. There are alternative rings for a good thief which I will work on later but for now these will do. After making the two rings I finished the final level and ended up with a hit point base of 745 - my best thief by far.

Next on the list of equipment needed is more good scales of alpha & omega... More grinding... I always seem to need more of this. I've done another 10 kills since my last post and interestingly I ended up with the exact same results from 10 kills - 2 good scales, 2 evil and 6 neutral.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Valley of Crucifixion and Myratana (take 1)

Over the last week I have been practising the maze at the start of the Valley of Crucifixion. This maze is split into two parts - one starts in the west and the other the south of the first room in VoC after entering the portal. There are instant death rooms in these mazes that can be used as markers to map where you haven't been yet until you find the arm in each part. Just pull/push the arm and it lights a candle in the rooms to the east of the start as follows:
Within the Pale
Nippy and moist is the haze, granting but an arm's length of bleary vision.A deceitful surrounding it is, where the hand reaches for shadows but catches nothing, and the foot trips over unseen obstacles. A peaceful stroll through a calm winter, or a treacherous tightrope over a bottomless abyss - within the pale, there is no way of telling. However, to picture anything but a perilous setting would be unwarranted optimism in this Otherlandian realm.
Exits: north east south west
A woman's arm sticks up from the snow, pale and stiff.
You take a closer look at the pale arm of a woman on the ground...
Sticking up from the snow, a pale arm and hand eerily hails passer-bys. Angel or human is impossible to tell, but distinctly female. Although frozen and dead since an eternity ago, her hand still stretches out in despair, begging for mercy. Evidently, none was shown.
You notice that it is in the down position.
Her hand is cold and hard like porcelain. It moves but a little as you push it.
You have lit a memorial candle. God bless your soul, Vilexur.
After lighting both candles head east from the entrance and follow the trail of the candles and you end up in a room with a girl and a bell...
The End of False Prophecy
From this, the highest point of the Valley of Crucifixion, one can gaze right into the cold eyes of the end of false prophecy. At the summit of the height of heathens, a thousand dead believers hail from below in every direction but the north. A perfectly vertical mountain wall ends the valley there, towering through the clouds above and beyond. To it, the height clings like an unwanted child to her mother, seeking refuge where none can be found from a nightmare all too real. A scaffold has been raised against the mountain wall, rickety but still climbable. The snow is red under it from a steady trickle of blood.
Exits: east south west up
(Glowing) The bell of mourning hangs from the scaffold, lamenting the dead when struck.
A weak, young girl struggles with a large mallet as she compulsively strikes the bell.
Zephaniah is shrouded in flowing shadow and light. 
 This girl strikes the bell every couple of minutes and says something like the following:
Zephaniah strikes the bell of mourning, falling over under the weight of the mallet...
The bell of mourning tolls, wailing for the here crucified and those reduced to dust in the Ziggurat.
Zephaniah says 'Fire... The demon becomes a god...'
Zephaniah struggles to lift the large mallet, her thin arms nearly breaking from the effort...
Zephaniah says 'Kneel in respect for the dead... Show your empathy and kneel...'
 When you kneel in front of her she says something cryptic:
You kneel down.
Visions of senseless killing and unnecessary death flash before your eyes.
Zephaniah tells you '....Servant....'
You kneel down.
Visions of senseless killing and unnecessary death flash before your eyes.
Zephaniah tells you '....Sight....' 
What these mean I have no idea. The next part of the area is one of the more interesting rooms and mobs of the game. When you make a new character one of the earliest messages you receive is the following disclaimer:
(2)  conversation and situations may arise during the course of play that may not be suitable for young children. 
I've always wondered about this disclaimer and what situations may arise that are unsuitable for young children other than the odd bit of bit language. That was until I first entered the following room, read it's description (after getting beaten, battered and bruised) and saw Myratana in the flesh as follows:

Reign in Blood
At the top of the scaffold, various planks and leftovers from the construction of the great display below have been put to use. As old as the humanhangers indeed, withstanding the test of time does not seem to be much of challenge for material found useful by divine will. It has built a container, in shape rectangular, and perhaps best described as a bath. Poorly, one might add, as it is leaking freely. While nothing is peculiar about a leaking container, what steadily trickles from this one is quite interesting indeed. Bodies lie jampacked inside it, cut open or in half in the most fascinating places.
These men must be several hundred years old, yet still their bodies pump out fresh blood to refill the everleaking bath. Under the deep red surface they can be seen screaming in excruciating pain, but the blood mutes their cries immediately. Drowning in blood must be quite stimulating when one is not allowed to die.
Exits: down
A scantily clad angel moans as she bathes in the blood of humans.
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant shimmers beneath an aura of dark energy.
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant is surrounded by cascading torrents of electric fire.
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant caresses her body with bloody hands, pervertedly smearing herself with brains and guts.
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant yells 'Come to me, heroes of Despair. Those denied by heaven I welcome here.' 
Ambition and ruthlessness was what Golgonooza saw in Myratana when he promoted her to lieutenant of the divine army of the Left. Unlike Golgonooza himself and Melfice, she lacked both honour and respect for her enemy. Her hatred for the mortal races of the Realms blinded her completely to the real purpose of the conflict. She even despised her superior Golgonooza and often refused to follow his orders. However, his lust for her as he watched her naked body bathe in the blood of humans easily defeated his ratiocination. Veiled but a little by torn white robes stained by the blood, brains and guts of those dead by her whip, she stands here in a seductive pose. With freely exposed breasts, long red hair and a blood-drooling mouth she radiates a nauseating sexuality.
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant is in perfect health.
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant is using:
<worn on body>       the blood-stained robes of the vitiated
<wielded>            a whip of ritualistic flagellation 
 This evening though I thought I'd try something crazy - taking on Myratana solo. There are strategies for groups to do on Myratana but solo was to be a different challenge. I tanked it on my paladin which worked quite well in the sense that I was staying alive. The problem however was that I just couldn't do enough damage meanwhile my equipment was being damaged again and again. Myratana has a lot of damage programs and interesting messages with them. Well interesting when the fighting is over.
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant stares lustfully into your eyes.
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant says to you, 'My body is fire. In your thoughts I burn.'
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant utters the words, 'gqafqpuio gjfoz'.
A fiery current lashes through your body!
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant stretches out her wings to their full length.
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant closes her eyes and starts to glow with a humming, bright light.
The light fades and for a moment everything is silent.
As Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant opens her eyes, they glow with the power of the dark heavens.
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant utters the words, 'akutenshi'.
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant's Angel Ray grazes you! 
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant pulls you close to her and places her hands on your breasts.
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant says to you, 'Men of these Realms can not please you. Come, let me teach you divine pleasure.'
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant kisses you.
Her saliva burns in your mouth, and the pain spreads like fire through your body!
(the Breastplate of the Ravager gets damaged)
Myratana, the Angel Lieutenant laughs and pushes you away from her. 
 Ouch. I'll have to rethink my strategy - either get a group together to try next time or equip an army of alts and do a tag team attack one after another. But end result is Myratana wins this round...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Why (and how) the Lizards Should Return

In my last post I wrote about how I have one of the few remaining lizardman characters. What this post is about is why it was wrong for them to be taken out of the game, why they should be brought back and how to make them more popular.

Lizardmen disappeared in early 2001. I still remember logging on and trying to make a new lizardman warrior only to find it couldn't be done. After asking around I heard that they'd been removed because they weren't popular enough. This bothered me as there was no official announcement, no warnings, no attempts to make them more popular and no mention of any ways for them to return. Even when they have the occasional raffle where the prize is to be able to make a character of any race/class combination there is always an except lizardman clause. Generally I respect the decisions the Council of Elders makes and believe they are in the best interests of the game. This decision I did not because afterall what harm were the lizards doing to the game?

I can understand why lizardmen weren't very popular. They could only be warriors or rangers and the base stats for them were generally terrible. The base stats for my lizardman ranger are:
Your base stats:    18 str 9  int 9  wis 11 dex 17 con 12 cha 9  lck.
Your current stats: 25 str 12 int 10 wis 20 dex 17 con 12 cha 12 lck.
Tyring to maximise strength, dexterity and wisdom for a ranger with those stats is tough. The funny thing is this problem has been fixed. When they removed statnames from the game they replaced it with a system where all new characters had their statistics add up to 100. This has been tweaked so that now new characters  have their statistics add to 95. The above stats only add up to 85.

The second problem of only having two classes for lizardmen has also been fixed. Since lizards have gone they have added barbarians, bladesingers and fathomers which I think would all be perfect for lizardmen.

The next problem with lizardmen was the lack of special equipment. Half-orcs, half-trolls and half-ogres were always more popular due the racial equipment they had available. Recently there have been racial sets available for dwarves, halflings and gnomes as well as several other minor pieces of racial equipment. Bringing in a lizardman set of equipment would make the race more popular and could be used to develop a series of quests or a storyline for the race.

I believe there is a lot of potential for the lizardman race in the game and I know people would like to play a lizardman character if they could. I was once asked by an immortal how I would feel if they brought back lizards and mine was no longer rare. My response was that I would be happy because I'd love to make a few new lizards myself.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Last of the Lizards

I am lucky to be one of the few people to have a lizardman character left in the Realms of Despair. Sadly someone made a decision 12 and a half years ago to remove the race from the game. Since then the number of lizards left have slowly autodeleted away until the last I heard there were only 37 lizards left. What it has allowed for is a story that about the struggle for existence and futility of attempting to survive to develop for the handful of lizards left that few players get to see. Themes of survivalism, anger and camaraderie are present throughout the realms for the lizardmen.

Not far from the entrance to the lizardman hometown is an egg. When examined most characters see this:
You take a closer look at A dried out egg shell on the ground...
Several things are immediately clear about this egg. It has been cracked
straight across the centre - surely no lizardman hatched from this egg.
In spite of its age, it is apparent this egg was licked thoroughly clean.
Surely, the lizardman bias is justified. This was the dinner for some egg-
thieving mammal.
When a lizardman examines it they see this extra bit:
Pausing a moment to reflect on the life that never was, the blood within you stirs ...
Grrrrrrrrrr ...
This running theme of the loss of lizardman eggs is also seen in Ockwater Fens when a non-lizardman character enters the room with the traveller in it you get this message:
The traveller sneers at you in contempt.
The lizardman growls at you 'Away with you, egg thieving mammal!'
The traveller growls.
 For the lizardman entering the same room you get this message:
The traveller nods in agreement with you.
 Throughout the whole area the lizardman mobs treat lizard characters differently. Instead of glaring at you the lizardman warriors peer at you quizzically. Anger towards the situation can also be seen when wearing a lizard hide from Salburg. When a non-lizard character wears one it says:
You sling a thick piece of lizard hide on your back.
You marvel at the strength and warmth of a thick piece of lizard hide.
While when the lizards wear it you get:
You sling a thick piece of lizard hide on your back.
You grimace in disgust as you feel a thick piece of lizard hide slide upon your back.
The strength of the hide combines with your own and makes you more powerful.
To me though the most interesting lizardman only message is the one you get from the lizardman totem in Vast Horizons. The lizardman totem is the crocodile and it's message is:

The crocodile spirit totem says 'Be strong. Gain strength from overcoming all things.'
You find yourself somewhere else, contemplating the vision your totem has shared.
Was it only a dream?
Surviving. Anger. Camaraderie.

I do wish they'd bring back the lizards. There is so much potential for it to be done and tied in with a storyline through quests and possibly new areas.

Here's hoping.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pop rates

For the last couple of weeks I've been working on equipping some of my underdressed character I use less. Part of this has been something that most people have done plenty of times - killing Justice in the Tower of Enlightenment. I usually kill Justice using just one of my thieves. It takes around 100 heals and a couple of true sights per kill. Fairly straight forward just need to watch the circle lag. Eventually the result is this:
Your pierce tears Justice!
Justice is DEAD!!
As the final blow is struck, a necklace of shimmering scales falls from
Justice's neck.
Justice splatters blood on your armor.
You get a gold coin from the corpse of Justice.
The corpse of Justice holds:
     (Humming) the Blindfold of Clarity
     (Glowing) (Humming) sword of equilibrium
     (Glowing) (Humming) scales of alpha & omega
The big mystery is once you've killed Justice what alignment the scales of alpha and omega are. Good aligned ones are the most useful and the most rare. In my experience I find that out of every 6 kills I get 3 neutral align, 2 evil and 1 good. In the last two weeks I've done 10 kills resulting in 6 neutral, 2 evil and 2 good aligned scales. I was wondering how likely this result was so started thinking about killing Justice as a Bernoulli trial. In a Bernoulli trial we have an event which has probability of occurring and can be repeated. In this case the event is getting a good aligned scale or not and can be repeated as in each kill. Looking at an individual binomial distribution table using a probability of 0.15 (roughly 1 in 6) for each kill the number of good align scales being popped in 10 kills is:
  • 0 good scale - 0.272
  • 1 good scale - 0.385
  • 2 good scales - 0.238
  • 3 good scales - 0.084
  • 4 good scales - 0.018
  • 5 good scales - 0.003
  • 6 good scales - 0.000
Looking at the above getting 2 good scales out of 10 kills is quite lucky - but this is making the assumption that the pop rates are 1 in 6 each kill.

Earlier this year I donated 20 Unfettered Deliriums to the Guild of Vampires. The aim was to see how many Maniacal Tendencies we could make from them and use them as prizes for guild quests. The pop rate for them is lower than for good aligned scales. In the end we managed to get 2 MT's out of 20. My guess for the pop rate from experience would be either 1 in 20 or 1 in 10. Again using an individual binomial distribution table to guess how many Maniacal Tendencies we should have popped gives different probabilities.

Using 1 in 20 gives:
  • 0 MT's - 0.358
  • 1 MT's - 0.377
  • 2 MT's - 0.189
  • 3 MT's - 0.060
  • 4 MT's - 0.013
  • 5 MT's - 0.002
While 1 in 10 gives:
  • 0 MT's - 0.122
  • 1 MT's - 0.270
  • 2 MT's - 0.285
  • 3 MT's - 0.190
  • 4 MT's - 0.090
  • 5 MT's - 0.032
The question is which is more likely to result in popping 2 MT's out of 20 attempts? Hard to tell - might need to try and make some more.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Vampire Equipment

One of the things I like about vampires as a class more than other classes is that they are relatively easy to equip for a simple set up that is usable. By this I mean maximise the important stats of strength, dexterity and intelligence and have hit points and damage roll at a decent level. On the other hand you can spend a lot of time and money dressing a vampire up to a high level of hit points and damage roll while still maximising stats. I currently have three level 50 vampires of which one is very well equipped and two have a basic set up.

My best vampire is dressed is Vilexur the half-troll. He has 131 damage roll and stats below:
You report: 1752/1752 hp 59/60 blood 666/666 mv 176592194 xp.
Your base stats:    17 str 17 int 10 wis 18 dex 16 con 9  cha 13 lck.
Your current stats: 20 str 22 int 8  wis 24 dex 16 con 3  cha 18 lck.
Equipment used is as follows:
You are using:
<used as light>      (Red Aura) Shifting black flames
<worn on finger>     (Red Aura) (Humming) Set's ring of Power
<worn on finger>     (Red Aura) (Humming) Set's ring of Power
<worn around neck>   (Red Aura) Collar of Abyssal Servitude
<worn around neck>   (Red Aura) Collar of Abyssal Servitude
<worn on body>       (Red Aura) Spiral of Daeva
<worn on head>       (Red Aura) Maniacal Tendencies
<worn on legs>       hellfire leggings
<worn on feet>       (Red Aura) Malignant Boots of the Hellion
<worn on hands>      the Inquisitor's Grasp
<worn on arms>       (Red Aura) a strand of polished jade
<worn about body>    (Humming) the cloak of Death
<worn about body>    (Red Aura) A shroud of darkness
<worn about waist>   a girth of mangled hide
<worn around wrist>  (Red Aura) (Humming) the wristlet of the hellborne
<worn around wrist>  (Red Aura) (Humming) the wristlet of the hellborne
<wielded>            (Red Aura) Lifebane
<dual wielded>       (Red Aura) Lifebane
<worn on ears>       (Red Aura) Demonic Whispers
<worn on eyes>       the Eye of the Beholder
<worn on back>       a thick piece of lizard hide
<worn over face>     [nothing]
<worn around ankle>  (Humming) Blackened Spurs of the Nazgul Lord
<worn around ankle>  (Humming) Blackened Spurs of the Nazgul Lord

A much cheaper set up with a half-orc vampire and 108 damage roll and stats below:
You report: 1549/1564 hp 51/60 blood 595/595 mv 176474704 xp.
Your base stats:    16 str 16 int 10 wis 18 dex 13 con 9  cha 13 lck.
Your current stats: 20 str 21 int 9  wis 25 dex 15 con 8  cha 15 lck.
Equipment used is:
You are using:
<used as light>      (Red Aura) Shifting black flames
<worn on finger>     (Red Aura) (Humming) Set's ring of Power
<worn on finger>     (Red Aura) (Humming) Set's ring of Power
<worn around neck>   (Red Aura) (Glowing) Cloak of Bloodlust
<worn around neck>   (Red Aura) (Glowing) Cloak of Bloodlust
<worn on body>       (Red Aura) Demonspawn Stormcloud
<worn on head>       a black, brimmed hat
<worn on legs>       (Red Aura) godskull shinguards
<worn on feet>       (Glowing) demonscale Boots
<worn on hands>      (Red Aura) Sin
<worn on arms>       (Red Aura) a shadowy pair of dragonscale arm guards
<worn about body>    (Red Aura) (Humming) a Cloak of Demons
<worn about waist>   circle of mists
<worn around wrist>  a solid bracer of Cold Blue
<worn around wrist>  a solid bracer of Cold Blue
<wielded>            (Red Aura) Black Dragonskull Ax
<dual wielded>       (Red Aura) Black Dragonskull Ax
<worn on ears>       (Glowing) a sliver of glass
<worn on eyes>       (Red Aura) (Glowing) Visage of Bloodlust
<worn on back>       [nothing]
<worn over face>     [nothing]
<worn around ankle>  a demonskin ankle bracer
<worn around ankle>  a demonskin ankle bracer

My third vampire is a Halfling. I have it wearing some Halfling only equipment which works quite well for cheaply equipped vampire. This vampire has 107 damage roll.
You report: 1568/1568 hp 13/60 blood 743/743 mv 176473688 xp.
Your base stats:    14 str 15 int 10 wis 17 dex 13 con 12 cha 14 lck.
Your current stats: 20 str 22 int 11 wis 25 dex 13 con 12 cha 15 lck.
Equipment used is:
You are using:
<used as light>      (Red Aura) Shifting black flames
<worn on finger>     (Red Aura) (Humming) Set's ring of Power
<worn on finger>     (Red Aura) (Humming) Set's ring of Power
<worn around neck>   (Red Aura) (Glowing) Cloak of Bloodlust
<worn around neck>   (Red Aura) (Glowing) Cloak of Bloodlust
<worn on body>       (Red Aura) (Humming) Golden Plate
<worn on head>       a fallohide's leather cap
<worn on legs>       a fallohide's leather breeches
<worn on feet>       (Glowing) demonscale Boots
<worn on hands>      (Red Aura) Sin
<worn on arms>       (Red Aura) a shadowy pair of dragonscale arm guards
<worn about body>    a fallohide's cloak
<worn about waist>   a fallohide's pipeweed pouch
<worn about waist>   a fallohide's waist sash
<worn around wrist>  (Glowing) a crystal dragon bracer
<worn around wrist>  (Glowing) a crystal dragon bracer
<wielded>            (Red Aura) (Glowing) darkness
<dual wielded>       (Red Aura) (Glowing) darkness
<worn on ears>       ears of the fox
<worn on eyes>       (Red Aura) (Glowing) Visage of Bloodlust
<worn on back>       a simple pilgrim's cloak
<worn over face>     [nothing]
<worn around ankle>  a turqoise anklet
<worn around ankle>  a blue, glassy chain

You can see that the difference between the well equipped vampire and the second two vampires is 200 hit points and 23/24 damage roll. As for the difference in the value of equipment... The second two vampires you could buy their total equipment for less than 100 million gold coins each while the first has 11 pieces of equipment worth over 100 million each.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tree of Life

In my last post I mentioned that one of my favourite levelling areas is the Tree of Life. Almost every player has levelled at least one character in that area but not many know about the Helm of Lightning that can be made in that area. One of the first mobs that you come across in the area is the Lightning Dragon.
Before the lightning gate
A giant gate formed entirely of electricity blocks the cavern's mouth,
filling the cave with an unholy blue light. Bright white fingers of
lightning grope about the cave hungrily, searching for those who have
encroached unduly into this unnatural room. A chill wind rips the air
through the gaps in the bars of light, gusting the burnt smell of ozone
about the crevasse.
Exits: [north] south
A huge dragon-shaped field of energy stands watch over the gate.
The Lightning Dragon is surrounded by cascading torrents of energy.
The Lightning Dragon sneers at you in contempt.
The Lightning Dragon exclaims 'Halt Vilexur!  Thou hast no business in the domain of the gods!'
The Lightning Dragon says 'Thou shalt not pass these gates uncontested...'
The Lightning Dragon looms menacingly, better run for cover!
When killed like most mobs in the game it sometimes pop body parts. These can be cooked to eat or used in some nephandi spells. The difference with this mob is that when it pops a head it looks like any other mob's head but they do not decay like most parts do. Since these heads do not decay it is sometimes possible just before reboot time to see a dozen lightning dragon heads on the floor of this room. To make the Helm of Lightning you will need one head of the lightning dragon and 15 million gold coins.

Once you have both of these make your way to the top of the tree. Once here you will need to kill the rainbow dragon followed by the essence of magic. For both of these you will want sanctuary and shockshield spells on. You will have to kill both of these using only one character as the kill blow transports the character through. After killing the essence of magic you end up in a little part of the tree called Rain's house. At first there are 3 rooms but a secret room can be found below the first one. To get here you will need some sort of pass door spell. From here be careful as to the south there is a death trap but you will want to go north to get to this room:
Northern end of the cellar
Faint light from a hooded lantern fills the room, revealing a simple table
with a tattered leather bound journal upon it and a single often-mended
chair. Although the floor and the cobwebs which are festooned from the
ceiling are covered in dust, the table and chair are not, showing recent
signs of use.
Exits: south
A twisted and disfigured man cowers in the corner
A disfigured man is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.
A disfigured man cowers in the corner at the sight of you.
A disfigured man exclaims 'Don't hurt me please!  Please don't hurt me!'
A disfigured man bursts into tears.
A disfigured man tells you 'You won't hurt me will you?'
A disfigured man cowers in the corner from claustrophobia.
 When you look at the disfigured man you will see this:
His twisted body covered in rags, his tortured eyes stare back blankly from
under a tangle of matted hair. Running his hands over his filthy hair, he
wanders about the room, muttering to himself under his breath.
A disfigured man is in perfect health.
You peek at his inventory:

All you have to do then is give this man the head of the lightning dragon with 15 million gold coins on you:
 You give the head of the lightning dragon to a disfigured man.
A disfigured man says, 'ooOOooOOooOOoo.'
A disfigured man says 'Ahh, I see, you want one of those....'
A disfigured man winks suggestively at you.
A disfigured man says 'It's going to cost you though, I only did free work for my master...'
You give 15,000,000 coins to a disfigured man.
A disfigured man gives you Helm of Lightning.
 The helm probably isn't worth the 15 million gold as shown below:
Object 'Helm of Lightning' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 45 armor, weight 5.
Locations it can be worn:  head
Special properties:  glow hum metal
Genres allowed:  rogue fighter aberrant shaman
Alignments allowed:  evil good
This armor has a gold value of 250000.
Armor class is 16 of 16.
Affects hp by 50.
Affects damage roll by 5.
Affects strength by -1.

On the plus side it has 50hp's which is good for a vampire or fighter. 5 damage roll is pretty standard for head equipment for an avatar. Being level 45 it isn't bad for the last few levels before level 50. The -1 strength isn't nice however.

 I've used this helm on evil fighter types before the Edo helm came into the game. For an evil vampire it's not too bad but there are other pieces of headwear that are gettable without too much effort. As for a good vampire - I've never had one of these before but may be an option. Either way it's an item not many people know about - it isn't even mentioned on Rodpedia. It does leave me with one question though - "Who is the disfigured man's master?"

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I haven't posted on here for a few months due to not actually being on Realms of Despair lately. This has been due to the usual business of reality and frustratingly when I have had the time to play the game has had problems with its server. This is quite unusual in the history of the game as over the last 20 years there has rarely been as much downtime as of late. Thankfully the busy immortals of the realms have restored the sever.

In the mean time when I have been on I've been working on levelling a new thief. I already have 2 level 50 thieves - one a neutral aligned half-troll and the other a neutral aligned pixie. Thieves are handy classes that can do damage and dodge hits well. The aim of the new thief though is to have a devout dwarf since I have gained some decent devout thief equipment I can't use.

Overall I have levelled about 30 characters up to level 50. One of the most commonly asked questions by new players (and experienced players) is "Where is a good place to level?" This all depends on how well equipped you are, what you are levelling and what characters do you have to back up with. I level with a devout cleric and a path of balance mage nearby to do heals, spell ups and to immobilize the necessary mobs. Before I had these characters it could still be done with a lot more purple potions from New Darkhaven. My personal favourite areas to level in are:

1 - 5: Academy
5 - 15: Shattered Refuge, Land of the Fire Newts
15 - 25: Darkhaven Art Gallery, Coral Depths
25 - 35: Tower of Enlightenment
35 - 45: Revelation City, Tree of Life, Cursed Lands
45 - 50: Kings Castle

I often level my characters with an evil alignment though not many other people do this. I still find it easy enough to equip them evilly. Others also often use other areas but the above are usually empty so as to make it less competitive.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Over the Easter break I've been playing around in the Valley of Crucifixion. This is an area that gets little attention with very few people running mobs in there - why I'm not sure. I haven't been to this place in a long time and was trying to refresh my memory on it. The entrance to the area is one of the scariest parts as seen below:
The Monument of Remembrance
Not far from where scholars uncovered the mysterious monoliths of the Ziggurat,they found a monument of considerable age. At first thought to be contemporary with them, closer examination found it was made far later, by an artist who could not have been alive to witness the actual events but still knew them well enough to depict them in stone. The events in question are those that followed in the wake of the striking of the tower of sin. In striking detail, it shows the mythical Valley of Crucifixion, where the enemies of the divine will were punished for their lack of faith. The location of this monument, according to information available in Darkhaven, should be here. But perhaps the Shattering did render the old map obsolete, for here it is nowhere to be found.
Exits: west
(Glowing) Sinister green energy swirls ominously where stood the monument for the crucified.
Sickening green engulfs you, and your senses panic as you rush towards certain death...
...Everything begins to fade to black.

You feel yourself leaving your body... rising up into the air, you feel
more free than you have ever felt before...

However, before your deity comes to collect your soul, you feel the chilling grasp of skeletal hands, carrying you to another plane of existence... 
There's nothing like making you feel like you've just ran straight into a death trap to get your pulse going and let you know this is a dangerous area. Once inside there are two options of what to do first - solve the maze that leads to later parts of the area or kill the first mob - Angra. Today I tried to take on Angra.

To get to Angra you need to head in a northern direction from the start of the area. There area couple of rooms with a cross in them to mark the way. Once you get to Angra she's an aggressive mob so be prepared. My method of killing uses a thief. Angra looks like this:
Within the Pale
Nippy and moist is the haze, granting but an arm's length of bleary vision.
A deceitful surrounding it is, where the hand reaches for shadows but catches
nothing, and the foot trips over unseen obstacles. A peaceful stroll through
a calm winter, or a treacherous tightrope over a bottomless abyss - within the
pale, there is no way of telling. However, to picture anything but a perilous
setting would be unwarranted optimism in this Otherlandian realm.
Exits: north east south west
(Translucent) A shameful existence is crying tears of radiant silver.
Angra, the denigrated spectre glows with an aura of divine radiance.
Angra, the denigrated spectre is ensphered by shards of glistening ice.
Angra, the denigrated spectre jars you!
>look angra
In the haze exists a phantom sentinel, shapeless and vague yet strong in
its presence. A shameful spirit, stirred into violent anger by hopelessness
and sorrow. Within it something is held captive, hidden under a thick mass of
tentacles. Denigration they are, impenetrable and strong. Peace of mind shall
remain their prisoner, for none there are who care for freeing her.
Angra, the denigrated spectre is in perfect health. 

Angra can hit quite hard, is tunnelled to 1 character, can't be fled/recalled from and can't be circled at the start. The one trick with her is if you go link-dead and then reconnect it takes you back to the start of the area. This way you can heal up, recall and repair if needed but the big advantage is when you get back to her room you can start circling her which does hit her hard. The actual fight I find similar to trying to kill Justice in the Tower of Enlightenment solo including the gouge attacks. After a while you eventually get the kill as follows:
Angra, the denigrated spectre's blast of frost scratches you.
Your pierce rips Angra, the denigrated spectre!
Your pierce tears Angra, the denigrated spectre!
Angra, the denigrated spectre is DEAD!!
The spectre dissolves into nothing, leaving the woman inside naked in the cold.
A few last tears fall from Ahania's face before she too fades into nothingness.
Ahania says 'Farval, min alskade ...'
One tear turns into an orb of silver before softly landing in the snow ...
You see no corpse here.
 I did a search to find out what "Farval, min alskade..." translated to English and found it means "Farewell my beloved" in Swedish. It adds to the feeling of the area as a sad story (it gets a lot worse later on in the area...) The item you get from killing her is:
You take a closer look at a silver orb of remembrance in inventory...
The silver tears of the denigrated froze into orbs of remembrance, floating
effortlessly back and forth through history, imbued with the wisdom of the
ages. To carry one is to be beyond this life, outside the range of alpha and
omega. Even death, they say, is a mere inconvenience.
Object 'a silver orb of remembrance' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 50 light, weight 3.
Special properties:  glow
This light has a gold value of 10000.
Affects hp by 10.
Affects strength by -1.
Affects mana by 25.
Affects wisdom by 2.
As a light it is nothing special but the item is needed for later in the area...

Overall I find VoC an interesting area. There is more to it that this and I'll have more to post about it in the future.