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Overheard in the Market

An Arcane Asylum Publication Volume 1, Issue 1


Hello, guildies! Any of you that know ZsaZsa know that she spends inordinate amounts of time in the Freeport Market. The day you get experience for sitting on your ass in Freeport, I'll be soloing Wuoshi. The good news here, other than her nutty AC, is that it gives her lots of time to catch up on the goings on of Norrath; what is the guild up to, what are other guilds up to, and in general what is going on in this crazy game we call home. This bulletin should be a place you can hopefully gain from this colossal waste of my time. If not, heaven help me...

Faril Speaks Out on Loot

Several issues have arisen recently in the guild, most or all of which revolve around the almighty phat l00t. Faril wrote a post about this in the Asylum Discussion Hall that addresses several of the recent incidents.

Since all of you asked, here is my view . When I heard that Last Regiment was probably merging with Arcane Asylum, a guild with a much higher level requirement than ours, I was concerned. The reason I was concerned was that most of my exposure to the world of the uber-guild was not very favorable; a bunch of people who had lost perspective on the game, and were solely interested in getting more shit. Anyone that couldn't help them do so wasn't worth giving the time of day. While I admire what guilds like Conquest, Fires of Heaven, and even our own Cats in Hats have been able to do, and I believe they have all acquired an incredible knowledge of the game, browsing each of their web sites led me to believe it isn't necessarily a place I'd want to be. Because while they have shweet gear, and they see amazing things, I'm left wondering if they are people I'd have fun being with. Don't get me wrong; I'm sure all these guilds have some great people, and I've certainly met some of them. But the overall tone and mindset isn't one I would be comfortable in, and I get the feeling that is also true for many of our members. Nothing demonstrates this more than the Conquest web site these days; they've quit Everquest over the whole Sleeper's Tomb incident, and much of their page is devoted to whining and complaining about Verant and Primal Drops.

Faril has set an excellent tone for this guild. The fears I had at the time of the merger have been quieted. I've been amazed and pleased at the selflessness and friendship normally exhibited by this guild and its members. I think the way Everquest works, it is natural for folks to get caught up in the l00t frenzy. At some point, you cannot level any more even if you want to. If you are the kind of person who is gratified by concrete measurements, and you can't gain experience, there is little else to do except pile up gear and check your stats. But the alternative, which we should all keep in mind, is to keep the concrete measurements in perspective: there are other things to do that are not so easily measured, but are equally valuable. Meet some new people. See something new and amazing in the world of Norrath that you haven't seen before. Make the guild a more enjoyable group to be in.

Almost every guild I've seen starts with some vague charter that say, "We want to help people and have fun." These are both noble goals, but all too often these become hollow sentiments. I saw something really refreshing recently, in the charter of a new Drinal guild called Soldiers of Blood. More than just saying they will do good things, they actually have hard requirements for their members. If you are curious, go here and read the section on Guard Duty. Interesting, eh? Will this guild grow and survive? I have no idea. But I kinda hope they do. Should we formalize such a policy? I'm gonna say no. Administering it is more work than most of us have time for, and I don't think we need to give Faril more headaches. But take a read and keep it in mind. Read Aenene's thread here, which is a great reminder of how much there is to appreciate in this game beyond just the Hella Sword of PhatLootitude. It's a game. A pretty amazing one, despite whatever bugs and frustrations any of us may have. We usually do a good job keeping this in mind, which makes this a great guild. Just remind yourself every once in a while...

Another Epic Falls!

Yet another AA member has completed their Epic Quest. On August 19th, Faydedar was beaten senseless by a mob of primarily AA adventurers, allowing our very own Kvasir to complete his epic quest. With a bunch more members well on their way, keep an eye out for upcoming raids. Rumor is that we will soon be so uber, Verant will nerf us. Keep an ear out...

AA Epic Quests
What's Up With the Pally Epic?

Anyone who has been online recently has probably heard something or another about the plight of our esteemed Paladin Palantis and his quest for the epic weapon. There has been a fair amount of confusion regarding the Paladin epic, and being a Paladin myself, it seemed time to clear this up so everyone can see what our buddy here is up against.

It isn't pretty.

The pally epic is a subtle blend of difficulty and tedium. It is a good thing we pally's are so giving and selfless, or you'd see a bunch of pally's going postal and running through Freeport with Soulfires hacking off merchants heads. Hey, at least they would be using their Soulfire's for something. I'll skip over all the running around and such; noone expects an epic quest to be easy. But here is the crux of it:

  • You need to get a Ghoulbane. Were it all so simple. These days this means 500pp in the marketplace if you managed somehow not to already own one.
  • You need to get a Soulfire. This involved various errand running, culminating in killing Sir Lucan, the head of the Freeport Militia. You've probably all seen this zoo at one point or another, with every guard and his grandmother in all of West Freeport pouring out the gates to protect Lucan. This takes a raid-sized group, many of which are willing to burn their Freeport faction. If you manage to assemble such a crew and succeed, you get Soulfire, which is a weapon most Paladins have no use for these days at the level you can obtain it. But it sure does look neat.
  • This is where it gets fun. You need to get a book drop from Vox, and a book drop from Naggy. It gets better: the books are rare drops. Some reports have them dropping as seldom as 1 in 20 kills. So let's say you are the ONLY paladin who goes on dragon raids. On average, you might still need to kill each of Vox and Naggy 20 times to get the half of the book you want. But you won't be the only paladin; you'll probably be in line, or rolling against other paladins. Wonder why many of the people leading dragon raids are paladins? Wonder no more. Once you have the two parts, some barkeep will put them together for you for only 1000pp. Such a deal. Where do I get a job like that?
  • So you got both halves! You're done, right! Wrongo. Not even close. You lug these around, trade them to various folks, who eventually give you some artifact to be given to Miragul. This guy is a Lich who lives under the ice in Everfrost. You need to give him this artifact, but alas, he is a Lich and not too big on paladins. He's likely KoS. So get creative! You charm him, calm him down, and give him the artifact. Doing so causes the "true Miragul" to spawn. This guy is a necromancer in the mid-50's that Allakhazam describes as being as hard to kill as a dragon. So hope you brought another party of 30 or so folks under the ice with you.
  • So now you must be done! No. All this gets you the Fiery Avenger, which is not your epic. To be fair, this is a pretty nice weapon. 2hs, 33/44 STR15 WIS15 CHA10 All Resists 5 HP25 MANA25 Procs Flame Shock. I didn't mention that the quest giver for this sword is up in the Plane of Air. I guess that seemed like cake compared to some of this other stuff.
  • Hang in there - the Fiery Avenger is a key step towards your real epic! First, you need to get a breastplate which is a drop off a Thought Corruptor in the Plane of Hate.
  • Then you need to get a sword from the Keeper of Tombs in The Hole.
  • Then you need to get a shield from Kirak Vil. This guy is a level 56 in Nektulos.
  • There are lots of wanderings, trading items, and so on, which can be summed up as turning in the shield you got, the sword you got, the breastplate you got, and the Fiery Avenger, giving the result of all this to a wandering NPC zombie in the Plane of Hate, who then gives you the Fiery Defender. Again, a nice weapon: 2hs, 35/40 AC15 STR20 STA10 WIS15 HP70 MANA30 All Saves 10 Procs Holy Shock, weighs 0.1.

    So there is a lot of ugliness here. Lots of very tough mobs in lots of inconvenient places. But if that was the issue, you probably wouldn't hear most paladins complain. Noble sorts that we are, we'd nut it up, be nice to our friends, and get it done. The dragon books are the truly brutal part. It isn't enough to kill Vox and Nagafen. They need to be killed many, many times, or you need to be very lucky. The dragon scales have been a problem for other epic quests, and at least to some degree that problem has been lessened; the dragon scales now drop from other high level mobs throughout Norrath. I believe the same is now true of the books; they can be dropped by Severillous, Gorenaire, Talander, and Faydedar (as long as Faydedar wasn't triggered for the Druid epic, in which case he doesn't drop books). But these dragons are no joke and are supposedly permacamped by CiH, KC, and CS.

    Bottom line? Palantis has a long road to walk, as will I someday, and Malikor, and Hinaf, and any other Paladins we have. The trick is getting Palantis in a position to win a book on as many dragon rolls as possible. The other stuff can be done with the usual guild teamwork; build up a big group and go kill some stuff. But the dragon books are a limited resource, and we need to figure out what to do about it. Any feel for what it would take to battle the Kunark dragons, perhaps in tandem with Bushido? Even if we had to share with Thorgrym and their paladins, it could greatly increase the number of dragon rolls.

    Hang in there, Palantis!

  • What Do We Have to Look Forward To?
    As AA pushes deeper into the most dangerous corners of Norrath, there are only a few zones we haven't yet attacked. To give you some idea where we may be headed, I tracked down a video of the fabled Conquest raid on the Sleeper's Tomb. The video can be found here. It requires a fairly up-to-date Windows Media Player. I actually am playing around with a new video board now that would allow me/us to capture similar video. Not sure if it is going to work out, though. The quality isn't great, and I'm pretty sure the editing software that came with the board was written by a bunch of monkeys. Rather than spring for real editing software, I may just decide this project wasn't meant to be and return the board. But if anyone wants a mind numbing video of my level 14 bard kiting a kodiak around WC for 20 minutes, just shoot me a message...
    Pasketti Rules!
    So here's a cool thing a lot of you may not know about. At some point, because I wasn't obsessed enough with this game, I started playing around with log parsers when I wasn't playing. For those that aren't familiar with these beasts, the basic idea is that you turn on logging in-game (/log), then use some program to run through the log of your Everquest session and tell you cool statistics and such about what happened. I initially used it to track my skill advances, but a good log parser tells you lots more. The one I've settled on is written by a cat named Pasketti, and can be found here. He has written a couple of really well done utilities, and his log parser in particular I think puts out a ton of interesting info. Play with it a bit. Lots of fun.

    One thing I used such a tool for in the waning days of Last Regiment was for guild recruitment. With judicious use of the /who command, you can build up quite an interesting database of players in your log file. It can them sort them by level, guild, class, etc. So if we know we are short on bards from 50 to 55 for example, or just want to look for unaffiliated players over 50, you can use it for queries like that.











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