Tuesday, March 2, 2021

When the Summer Ends

With the introduction of prestige classes I've found myself needing more glory. The minimum requirement of 300 glory is a little more than any of my characters currently have. As a result of this I've been attempting as many quests as I can with the goal of achieving this 300 glory mark, mostly using my ranger and vampire since they are the characters closest to the 300 glory mark. Fortunately there has been several quests run over the last two months. Some have been the sort of quick quests that pop up with little warning while others have ran over a longer period of time. The biggest was the "Thoth's World" challenge which I'll write about at a later date. Now that the Summer is over here's my short summary of the other quests I've joined in:

Eisengrim's Orb of Winter

This quest ran over the month of January and involved finding Eisengrim's orbs of winter. These orbs were scattered over the whole of the Realms of Despair by Eisengrim on a regular basis. Trying to find these orbs was like finding the Deck of Many Things in that you had to travel to as many areas as possible and scan through all the rooms along the way. I managed to find three orbs all up with having success in Transylvania, Edo and Cursed Lands. This is what it looked like when you found one:

Upon the Village Dock
Planks squeak and boards bend under the weight of hundreds of years of sea air and crashing waves. Small weather worn holes are visible all over the dock and all those who traverse its rotting timbers are warned to be very careful. The sea mist, caused by the crashing waves, makes it difficult to see more then a few feet out into the gloom, though this doesn't stop the masses of people who who congregate on this lonely outlook in search of loved ones taken by the sea.
Exits: east south northeast northwest
A small glowing white sphere lies here, shimmering waves of mist emanating from its core.
A village elder looks to the sea to find his lost son.
Master Kosuke glows with an aura of divine radiance.
Boards creak and shake under the weight of the sea.
The villager looks up at you momentarily, then back to the sea.
Master Kosuke says 'I've lost more than I can bear to this sea..'
Master Kosuke says 'If interested, ask me about it.'
The sphere's glare intensifies as you near it.

>g orb
You get Eisengrim's Orb of Winter.
The orb flares, rays of white energy illuminating the area.
The cold arctic winds flare up, throwing powerful gusts around you.
Flakes of pure white snow begin to fall, covering the ground.
At that moment the realization strikes: winter has arrived.
Your score has been recorded.
You have found 2 of 15 possible orbs.

In this quest each orb was worth 2 glory giving me a total of 6 glory all up. 

An Ace or Two

The second quest I participated in was a fun quest involving finding cards across the Realms and then hoping you hold a better card than the hand-in mob Tristram the traveling gambler. I only managed to find two cards - one in New Darkhaven and the other in The Barren Wastes. Once you had the cards you had to hand them in, cross your fingers and hope for a lucky deal.

The Dancing Pony Inn
Exits: north south west up
A long rough hewn bench stretches out before an obviously well used table.
A small wooden table stands here, a painted wooden sign attached to it's base.
A middle aged woman bustles briskly about the room, taking orders.
A drunken fisherman lightly dozes, one armed curled protectively around his beer.
(Creator) (Translucent) (Red Aura) Incendi is shrouded in a demonic aura.
(Exalted God) (Red Aura) Gonnil is shrouded in a demonic aura.
(Lesser God) Eisengrim radiates with a godly light.
An older gnome man stands here, dressed in an overcoat and top-hat.
(Creator) Sarakin radiates with a godly light.
Tristram the traveling gambler looks up as you enter, sizing you up.
Tristram the traveling gambler says 'Well hello there!'
Tristram the traveling gambler says 'If you be here to play some cards, I suggest ya look at the sign there.'
Tristram the traveling gambler points towards the crudely painted wooden sign.
Alsandra says 'C'mon in and have a seat! I'll be with you in just a minute.'
Alsandra smiles at you.

You wag your tail. Feeling happy?

Eisengrim smiles at you.

>say I found 2 cards
You say 'I found 2 cards'

>eat card
You try to nibble on a lost playing card found by Jessyl (2)...

Eisengrim says 'give all cards to tristram to begin'

Eisengrim says 'and dont forget to l sign'

Incendi cheers you on like it's going out of style.

>look sign

crudely printed letters on a wooden backing say:
*                  1 card means 1 play.                   *
*                                                         *
*         Playcount- check how many plays you have.       *
*         Draw card- you and me draw, kiddo.              *
*         Cashout- You wants to get paid.                 *
*                                                         *
*         3 pts for a win, 1 for a loss, 2 for a tie.     *
*         Unplayed cards worth 2 pts.                     *
*                                                         *

Sarakin cheers you on like it's going out of style.

>give card trist
You give a lost playing card found by Jessyl to Tristram the traveling gambler.
Tristram the traveling gambler says 'Excellent, This will buy you one play.'

>give card trist
You give a lost playing card found by Jessyl to Tristram the traveling gambler.
Tristram the traveling gambler says 'Excellent, This will buy you one play.'

>draw card
You draw a card and place it on the table face up...
Tristram the traveling gambler draws a card and places it on the table face up...
You Win!

Sarakin grins and shouts 'WooHoo!!!'.

Eisengrim says, 'ooOOooOOooOOoo.'

>draw card
You draw a card and place it on the table face up...
Tristram the traveling gambler draws a card and places it on the table face up...
You Win!

Sarakin grins and shouts 'WooHoo!!!'.

Eisengrim says, 'ooOOooOOooOOoo.'

Eisengrim says 'please 'cashout' when done'

Tristram the traveling gambler tells you 'Your request to cashout has been made.'

Your glory has been increased by 6.

I was rather impressed with this quest. It was obvious that a lot of time and effort had gone into putting together this quest with the extra twist of a little uncertainty of how much you'll win.

Bean Crushing

The third quest I participated in involved killing coffee beans. I used my vampire for this one and found it a rather straight forward kill.

DYING>A coffee bean's deathrattle fills the air as you drain his life...
Your suspiric grasp hits a coffee bean!
A coffee bean is DEAD!!
A coffee bean screams furiously as he falls to the ground in a heap!
You get 916200 gold coins from the corpse of a coffee bean.
The corpse of a coffee bean holds:
     Vilexur's coffee bean

The maximum number of kills for this quest was two which earnt me 10 glory in total for the challenge.

To be honest I'm not sure how the immortals manage to put together original quests so frequently. I would find it rather daunting to find the time, inspiration and energy required to create quests like the Quest Council does on a consistent basis.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Returning to the Realms of Despair

Ever since I've started playing Realms of Despair two months ago I've been amazed at how much the game has grown over the three years since I last played. While it seems like other muds are struggling and dying the Realms of Despair has been going through a renaissance of late with a steady number of players, new content and other changes being implemented. As a returning player what has struck me is that the changes that have been made over the last few years have all been improvements. This post will cover the changes since I've been away and my thoughts about them.

  • Prestige and Multi-classes: This has been the biggest change that has impacted upon gameplay over the last few years. It is now possible to upgrade level 50 characters to either the new more powerful prestige classes of dread vampire, hunter, harbinger, knight, infernalist & buccaneer or to multiclasses such as mage-thief and so on. These classes have opened up new parts of the game bringing new strategies and options to killing bigger mobs. While there is a significant barrier to unlocking these new classes in glory, gold and experience points the benefits outweigh the price. It just means I need to work on getting glory anyway I can so I can join the fun.
  • Discord Server: Zistrosk has set up a discord server for the game. This has been a fantastic way to connect and communicate with players outside of the game. Announcements about new changes and events are broadcast to the players on the server while also allowing for feedback to be given. It's been useful for me when I'm not online but I get a notification on my phone through discord saying that a quest is about to start. I can just log on and start questing. I also love that on discord Zistrosk, the proud druid chose to use this picture for his avatar:
    It's from the old game Druid. I used to play this game 30 years ago on a commodore 64. I loved playing this game and remember having nightmares about the demon skulls spitting fireballs at me. The music in the introduction was one of the catchiest tunes ever made in 8 bit music. I asked Zist about this game and he said that in his mind this is how he pictured druids in Realms of Despair, which funnily enough is exactly how I envisioned them too.
  • New Immortals: Since I stopped playing Sarakin, Lilith and Incendi have all been promoted to immortality. The Council of Elders have shown excellent judgement in elevating these three to their group. Each of these individuals are skilled players, have demonstrated knowledge of the game and contributed to game's community. On top of this they are all good people who have earned their position.
  • Training: We can now train the stats for new characters in pre-auth. This beats the old systems of having to reroll a heap of characters overnight until you get the stats you wanted or the older method of making unpronounceable statnames that you had to cross your fingers would get authed. The no more rerolling means that no longer new players will see a screen full of spam names of people trying to roll that perfect thief.
  • New Areas: I haven't had a close look at these new areas as yet, but from what little I've seen and heard they will be worth a look at. Honestly the more recently built areas have all been made to a high standard in writing, puzzles and challenges.
  • New Races: There are two new races available now - dragonborn and tiefling. While I am less excited about this change and would have preferred a return of the lizardmen, however, it does allow other options for race and class combinations.
  • Top MUD site voting: Ok this is the one change of the last few years that annoys me.

    Everytime I want to vote for the game now I have to prove "I am not a robot". From the sound of things there was some controversy with other muds playing the system to get higher rankings. I guess that this is why we can't have good things...

I'm sure that there are other changes over the time I've been away that have slipped past me. One thing that hasn't changed has been the community. Everyone has been very supportive and encouraging of me despite leaving without a trace. I'll write more about me at a later date, but thanks everyone who has sent me a tell, written an email or been in touch other ways.

Thank You.