How do people like the video's I've been posting here? They're time consuming to make but in retrospect they tend to speak for themselves, and writing a umpteen page writeup is fun, sometimes video's give you more of an idea of what things really are like.
Anyways I made a few things the last week or so and they don't really fit into their own post, so I decided I'd group them together.
First up is the Endless Tower. My thief is poorly geared, level 52, and definitely not cut out for it, but I found out recently the level limit was only 50, so I decided to give it a go. This video may win an award for the most boring RO video of all time. Still, it gives you an idea of the process to get to the Misty Island where the tower resides, and shows how sign up is for the Memorial Dungeon system.
RO is an old game, so its no real surprise that a feature like Instanced Dungeons are a little clunky. Creation of instances aren't well, instant. Generally players are put in a queue and the server given a moment will create the maps for your instance on a random zone server. This process takes about a minute roughly, though if there are multiple people waiting for instances to be created, you may find yourself waiting several minutes or longer. Given RO's current population and the current instances available I doubt you'll ever run into much waiting other than on maybe opening week of the system.
About the dungeon itself, obviously my thief fails pretty hard, and the latency between Canada and Korea (through a proxy no less) generally meant I couldn't pot fast enough to clear room 2. Still, the video gives you an idea of what you're looking at. It shows you neat things like how the monsters won't spawn near the entrance portal (they seem to spawn only on the left side of the room), and it gives you a good idea how big the rooms really are. If nothing else, the video may just give you a better idea of what to expect.
Here's a rather distasteful playthrough with the new battleground "Krieger Von Midgard". KVM as they call it for short, is a 5 on 5 PVP match, designed for a quick head on head team battle. I of course participated in the under 60 level bracket. As with the other battlegrounds, you chose which side you wish to participate in. These guys weren't very happy with me because they can't really stop me from joining their team (Its the good old 'wait in an NPC chatroom until ready' system), which kept one of their other members from participating.
As you can see here what ended up happening wasn't a real PVP match at all though. What happened is that since not many people participate in the under 60 bracket, the one team simply threw 5 vend merchant characters into the opposing team, guarenteeing an easy victory and free KVM points to exchange for various rewards. I wonder if the GMs will have to police this for us when we get it on iRO... This isn't likely to be as big of an issue with the 20v20 matches with the other two battlegrounds, but then you get the very different issue of people AFK'ing.
Beyond that problem though the battleground system seems to work ok. Players are automatically assigned to teams, and players within the same team are basically considered partied (they aren't really but they can see others HP and cast party skills on them). Players on the same team show up on the minimap as a grey square, and enemy players always have a crossed swords emblem dislayed above their head in the same way emblems display in woe. For KVM, a score indicator in the top right shows how many players on either team are left alive. The indicator isn't used for Tierra Canyon, and in Flavius it's used to display the current score (best of 3). Overall its pretty good, though some issues such as AFK'ing the battlegrounds and padding the opposing team with useless characters are a problem that I haven't seen solved yet.
After our relatively rough Ifrit run last week, I wanted to get a better idea of why Earthquake was flooring us there but not with Randgris. In this short test I managed to reproduce the problem we faced: players dying caused earthquake damage to increase on the final hit.
So I investigated a little more into the issue. This little video might give you a better idea of what happens. If nothing else it has one of my favorite piano tunes, the Maple Leaf Rag.
Anyways in this video, the High Priest here has 7777 HP. What you'll see is that there's a delay, of about half a second from when you take damage from Earthquake to when it actually applies to your character. Earthquake itself seems to hit every 1/3 of a second. You'll see that while the first hit of EQ is higher than the priests max HP, the delay before the damage applies to the character means he's still alive for the second hit. When he does finally die, the third hit is applied to the living character with twice the damage. If the person survives just the first hit, he'll be alive to reduce the 3rd hit of EQ.
So my brief assessment of what happened at Ifrit was a bit incorrect. For the tank to survive, we just need to make sure players are surviving hit #1. This wasn't an issue with Randgris since most players were being hit for about 4k/hit, so no one died on hit 1. Ifrit's EQ was doing 7k-8k though, and with the low HP characters dead, the final hit became unbearably strong. I had hoped Kaupe would fix this, and indeed the one time we survived EQ (when the tank didn't use the ghostring), was when Kaupe blocked the first hit for the full party. Unfortunately an underplayed linker combined with the issue with meteors breaking kaupe effect meant that it didn't really go according to plan. But now we know we don't have to survive EQ to not wipe... we just need to survive the first hit.
One thing I do want to test is if the Sac sader lives the first hit, if sacrifice will absorb the second and third hits entirely. Would be worth testing I think!
This is it! I finally made it. Technically I made it a bit ago but I haven't posted about it yet. Whoops!
The new quests provided a decent chunk of the required experience. By hitting the ends of the quests on a single manual, I managed to get 10m exp out of them, and then another 20 mins or so of leveling. Talk about efficient!
Nameless soloing is pretty decent all around. Not happy with the ratio of Platinum Shotels I got compared to other valuables though!
Anubis in the end were probably the best soloing available for me on hunter. I think I could clock 3m-4m/hr there without manual... pretty decent!
Of course I ended up cheating! Randgris provides an unhealthy sum of experience, and my guildies were kind enough to let me have a shot at it.
Too sexy! In total I got about 14% from Randgris, about 14m total. Thats pretty hax.
The remainder of the way was up to Volcano Thor to do. At about 20%/hr, the whole leveling thing went by pretty fast. Props to everyone that helped me get there!
No fan-fair this time around, just level up on a regular kasa.
There it is, level 99 on hunter! Sexy~
It didn't take long to convince myself to go directly to the book to trans.
I always liked the process of transcending. Its simple, but it works well.
Waha~! High Novice at last.
Check out that time. I'll be using this later!
Did the mercenary catch your attention though?
You can indeed trans with a mercenary out. This makes the whole transing experience a whole lot easier. The level 6 bowman is decently strong, but its infinitely stronger than your level 1 high novice. I got to high archer in about 2 minutes just hitting the spores early on.
High orcs from level 15 on. It was probably a bit much to be honest, we could have stuck to orc lady's until they stopped giving me one base level per kill, but in the end this worked out pretty well. Normally with mercenaries you have to keep them safe but when doing high orcs I found myself much weaker. If I die too the mercenary is gone, so its a bit risky.
30 minutes after transing when my mercenary ended, this is where I ended up. Not bad eh?
The weight limit was bothering me so I hit Ripped back for my increased weight limit. I can't imagine playing an archer class without increased weight limit, the default limit is so... limiting. Thank goodness for kafra shop.
At level 42 high orcs were clearly too low experience for me, so we stepped it up a little bit: volcano thor. Thats right, Thor on a level 42 archer. It worked out fairly well... most of my old gear still worked. Damage on kasa's was roughly 5k in deluge. I needed to use some of my hit foods I stocked up on but hey, thats what they're for right?
A couple other guildies in Alpha pitched in to help me level back up to Sniper. A good bunch of guys, that Alpha crew. Thanks to everyone that helped out.
And finally, I became a Sniper.
2 hours 19 minutes from trans till hitting Job 50 on high archer. Is that a new record? Must be pretty close.
After hitting sniper I hit the usual leveling spots, and as you can tell by that kill count I hit them pretty hard.
I have a new pet I wanted to show off. The original plan was to simply run around and scare people on 3f of cursed abbey, but I didn't have a character that was really efficient on.
I can however cause confusion on our Beelzebub MVP runs. Which is the real Beelzebub?
As you can guess, the run didn't go too smoothly.
Apparently even as a sniper I can't do stupid things!
First MVP as my sniper! This MVP actually gave me TWO base levels. I was a bit surprised, usually the game won't let that happen, but I imagine that I got both the experience and the MVP reward separately, triggering two separate level ups. Level 76 -> 78!
Daaamn, nice exp. If you work that out, that means Randgris gave me a total of 19,270,575 experience. Almost a waste to get that on a 76 character isn't it?
And just as a note, the old card album actually gave a Requiem card.
My first solo MVP on sniper. I haven't actually tried it before and it could take some getting used to, but the whole run-and-gun style MVP'ing works pretty well on Atroce. I can keep ahead of him and DS him at a fairly constant rate. Since he won't power up until after a few attacks, even if he does catch up to me likely he can't hit me because I dodge most of his attacks. Enough to get out of range or flywing anyways.
I love being a sniper!
Leveling down in Anubis is pretty nice. These cards are still worth a decent sum!
More to come later.~
Episode 11.3 hit main servers last week and its been a fair deal of fun. I can't help but think it came prematurely; lots of bugs showed up on main servers and even more content remained unfixed. Still, the new content is a lot of fun, so I don't mind quite as much, but I can't help but think that they're not focusing on fixing the issues well enough.
Of course we had to do Beelzebub on opening day. It was rather embarrassing having to wait so long to get people into the dungeon, but we did get our chance.
Critical Wounds from the Hell Fly's proved to be more annoying than I expected. Being immune to all healing became a pretty substantial roadblock. During our first run we didn't have any counter beyond % healing items (Green Ale) and massive safety wall spamming, but optimally you need a sacrifice crusader to be able to tank them.
First Beelzebub down. It was tough, but we got him.
Here's a separate Beelzebub run (that I'm sure to get flack for posting). I like Beelzebub really, he's different from the other MVPs. Instead of giving him insane amounts of attack power like Randgris or Ifrit and giving him brokenly powerful skills like Earthquake, Beelzebub is considerably weaker physically. Instead, gravity gave him a twisted assortment of status attacks, various skills and a unique mob that requires not just a well gear party, but a well played party.
Its for this reason that I do hope they fix the MVP trapping exploit. Beelzebub is considerably harder than Randgris or Ifrit in terms of trapping due to his AI, his mob, and just the surroundings in general (fixed camera angle is a bit hard to work with sometimes), but killing an MVP boss monster without it being able to attack seems like its fairly broken. This video on youtube basically sums it up. I don't mind so much with Randgris or Ifrit because I think that the earthquake skill is broken and in serious need of change; it can't be effectively countered even with a full 12 man party without godly equipment. But Beelzebub, the feeling I get when fighting him is that its doable without such an exploit, you just have to be coordinated.
Its a bit hard to see it, but somewhere in there is the Fallen Bishop. Fallen Bishop basically plays out like a miniature Beelzebub. He has similar attacks and a similar strategy and player arrangement is needed to win. He's weaker than Beelzebub is though, and doesn't have the range of disabling attacks. His mob hurts, but it doesn't stand up to the challenge factor of the Hell Fly's. I'd like to try him in a 5 man team in the future, but haven't had the chance to try.
We got a Staff of Destruction from Beelzebub during one of our runs. The new staffs are interestingly bugged. Not sure why, but both the Staff of Destruction and Divine Cross have no attack delay, meaning that equipping it gives you maximum attack speed. Its a bit funny to see a wizard hitting at 190 attack speed. Its funny to watch, Dark Tychon broke an Emperium in 30 seconds on his high wizard with this staff. Divine Cross on a monk or battle priest on the other hand could be even more powerful. It will probably be fixed though before anyone makes any real use of it though.
Beyond MVPing, I've been leveling my hunter a fair bit. I've been making use of the mercenary system to do so. I like the mercenary system. The mercenaries are fairly easy to use, and they work efficiently at what they're designed to do. I think that for the most part the mercenaries are too weak physically though... even a 99 mercenary will fall to relatively weak monsters if attacked. Using the mercenary works great if you can keep your mercenary from taking damage, but as soon as they get targeted by monsters the problems become apparent. Regular characters in RO get anywhere from 20 to 40 armor defense (pure % reduction in damage), and wear additional equipment such as carded shields, garments, and elemental armors to reduce the damage further from 40% to 60%. They obviously didn't keep this point in mind, because even the highest level mercenaries only have 30-50 armor defense, and take considerably higher damage than any player. Homunculus can usually get away with this by obtaining abnormally high flee rate, recovering high amounts of HP from its master's aid potion, and generally being disposable (no penalty for death). Mercenary can be healed by use of the heal skill, but most players have to rely on expensive healing items, which actually seems ineffective on the stronger mercenaries because the HP recovered isn't scaled by VIT or Max HP. My bowman mercenary helps me level faster on maps where I can effectively shelter it from damage, but it really sucks that it dies the instant anything looks at it (Anubis tends to be able to 1shot my level 6 bowman).
Another thing that I dislike is the balance in terms of skills. Mercenaries have very high regeneration rate compared to players. For the most part, a mercenary can be constantly using skills and not have to worry a whole lot about SP. Still, a mercenaries physical attack is relatively low... like armor defense they don't make any correction for elemental weapons and customized gears that regular players use. As such, a mercenaries damage is only really good if it is using its skills to amplify its attack power. This works with their high SP Regen to attain a fairly decent DPS. Unfortunately, not all mercenaries are made equally. The level 5 swordsman mercenary is stronger offensively than the level 6 one because the level 5 one knows bash, where as level 6 has no offensive skills. The level 6 bowman mercenary is strong because of her Double Strafe attack... the sad truth is that the level 7 and level 8 bowman mercenaries are actually weaker because they do not have any similar comparative attack, even though they themselves are stronger in stats.
Still, I said I liked the mercenary system and thats because fighting along side with an AI of your own creation is fun. Its got its fair share of issues, and unfortunately I imagine gravity is unlikely to make any changes to the mercenary system as it exists from this point out. At least what does exist is fun to use, even if it is slightly flawed.
Nameless Island leveling has been all the rage as I push toward reaching level 99 on my hunter. The dungeon is a lot of fun, and I enjoy hunting there.
Lots of drops, lots of experience! The rares at nameless island is what really makes it worth leveling at... even though the market is a bit rough and makes them hard to sell.
So far I've gotten in various parties at nameless:
Also we got a Berserk Guitar and a Muscle Cutter from Volcano Thor.
I wish they would fix the item illustrations though... its a small (really small) fix, I could do it manually if I really wanted to in a few minutes. Its a shame, looking at what look like rehashes of old items when the client supports all the new illustrations seems like they're just being lazy. And don't get me started on the login screen.
WoESE has been a fair bit of fun, even though its been a bit flawed getting off the ground. Loki has had its share of issues in keeping the system running well, be it player based (massive dead branching) or server based (server crashes). The new god items are apparently unobtainable from the new castles though, which makes me wonder what we're really fighting over.
Did I mention I like the emblem? As I mentioned before I submitted it to Lupus (Alpha guild leader), and he changed its appearance a little bit and now uses it for the guild. Its a modified version of my old jRO guild emblem, and I'm proud to continue using it. That is, when Lupus stops changing the emblem every 5 minutes to random things.
I wonder how this slipped past the Sakray testing, even though several people reported it as a bug and the GM's responded.
This one is a bit funnier, all the new Daggers are called 'Dager' unidentified. Again I wonder how these stupid little things slip past testing.
Special Bonus: A new Bot strategy? I guess he gets money by constantly collecting the novice training grounds items and selling it to the merchant NPC. It might have been a good plan if he didn't run a train of bots so thick it looks like a solid line from the comodo kafra (and apparently it was also in Morroc for warps). Its sad how desperate botters are at finding new exploits... I think gravity has the pressure on the botters pretty high, and like last time they'll more on to easier, more exploitable games for their money. I hope its sooner rather than later though, I'm not a fan of all the zeny spamming bots. Heimdallr may be right though, the chat spamming bots probably aren't truly their to sell zeny, but to keep GM's from being able to allocate resources to finding real bot problems like this.
Thats all for today!
Damn those aggressive mushrooms! Can't turn your back on them.
I figured I'd get caught up with whats going on with main servers and not just Sakray. That means two posts in a week... unheard of!
Did I mention how much I hate Lady Tanee? This is a shot of her skill 'Defender', which reduces ranged damage by too much. 999 Acid Bomb! Luckily she doesn't use it much, but still too much for my liking.
At least in the end, revenge is mine.
I built a custom Lif AI that cuts down my tanee killing time considerably. Tanee tends to spend more time healing her minions and has an insanely long re-summon time on her slaves, so if one can kill or damage the slaves, she has a lower chance of teleporting, which gives more battle time before she teleports. Average Tanee kill time is down to about 20 minutes now!
I've been spending some time leveling my hunter at various locations. Party wise, Odin 2 and Thor 1 are great places to go, and solo, I tend to enjoy leveling in remote locations.
My damage on Kasa's isn't great but it's enough to do the job. Nice thing is that my hunter won't feel the Thor changes coming with 11.3, so that will be nice with the added drops.
Enchanted Peach Tree's aren't the greatest experience in the world, but what they are is decent money.
In 1h of hunting:
60k - 20 @ 3k Honey
280k - 40 @ 7k Royal Jelly
180k - 12 @ 15k Dead Branch
So roughly 520k zeny per hour of leveling. In todays economy on Loki, thats fairly big money. Not to mention that this is mostly casual leveling; if I really tried I think I could get much faster. Experience rate is only about 1.2m base per hour, which isn't really bad.
Leveling on Strouf's is pretty decent. Mainly I do it when I get low on Crystal Arrows to level in faster places, but its not bad by any stretch. And you can get cool things like this.
Level Up! My hunter is now level 95~. My favorite solo spot is the Ninetails/Dragontail map near Payon. Its efficient, 2m-3m base per hour (faster than Stroufs/Mermen), and I get a pretty stockpile of royal jelly, dead branches and old blue boxes while I'm at it. The money isn't quite as efficient as Kunlun and its a bit more work to do, but its still pretty solid leveling.
The nice thing about leveling on this map is that its fairly easy to find Eddga. I don't think he's really a profitable MVP, but he's pretty easy to kill on my hunter. Just kite him around and double strafe till it dies.
Of course you can trap kill him, which makes it even easier. I've noticed he has a tendency to teleport if you are hitting him when the trap expires, but its fairly easy to avoid doing since the traps have a set duration.
Interested in snare solo killing MVP's I went around looking for easy targets. Unfortunately the White Lady and her assumptio makes my damage pretty poor. Luckily she can't even heal while she's trapped, so its an easy victory.
It seems I'm not the only one who appreciates the value of traps either, it makes some MVPs such as Moonlight Flower with her set spawn stupidly easy.
It would be one thing if snaring MVPs was only restricted to low level ones but as mentioned before, its clearly not.
Of course the risks are higher when the boss is stronger!
We took our first steps to running box parties recently. While wizard spawn camping is highly efficient, its competitive business on Loki and only a few classes can really benefit from wizards. Box parties are fairly rare on Loki still... but we hope to get some good ones running.
It does surprise me that something as abusable as the instant wizard spawns is still in the game though.
Our attempts are fairly amateurish at the moment and we have a hard time at finding the required classes within Alpha or Insur that are willing to go. Still, hopefully at some point we want our parties to look something like [this], [this] or [this] (nicovideo links).
We ran into Egnigem Cenia on the way down... quite a joke with a party of that caliber though.
A fair trade, right? Right?
We've been working on perfecting our earthquake tanking abilities. The priest here doesn't have ghostring armor on. A bit more work I think and we can get earthquake down to manageable duo range. We're thinking with the addition of mercenaries, it will make it very easy to do.
Of course countering power up earthquake is a bit trickier... Clearly we need to make sure it never gets a chance to use earthquake while powered up. Poor Lif!
Here's a little bonus... Mi Gao farming in Juno!
Lots of gao's, lots of fun. Unfortunately our party was ruined by a few players who basically feel that it was free experience for the taking. In particular a gunslinger kept trying to kill them, which prevented us from continuing.