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September 5, 2011

Love, Hope, and Magic - Adventures at Asnor Mountains
by Mortalengine

I find myself once again at Asnor Mountains looking for adventures. The zone was de-popped and nobody is on where. I quickly get in to check the load. No scrolls, no wristband, no shields, no relic, only bracers and malediction component have loaded. Because the zone was de-popped and nobody is around, I decide to check for scales. I have run this zone hundreds of times before. I don't expect anything out of ordinary to happen, but these adventures will turn out to be special. They are all about love, hope, and magic.

--::~~::-- Love --::~~::--

I love running the first part of the zone up to the Spirit of Breedan. I can easily run this part solo because there are many mobs that can be charmed. All I need to do is kill a Troll Guard holding the key to the Skye Temple, destroy the High Priest and a Master of Arms to get to the Spectral Knight who blocks my way, and then ice the Spirit of Breedan to get the key to the latter part of the zone. It seems like a lot, but with the help of charmed mobs and a certain piece of equipment this part usually takes only 5 to 10 minutes. Yes, I love this part of the zone, but not too long ago it used to be much harder.

Sometimes, it took a few tries to charm some of the mobs. Then a few hero autoquest shops sprung up all over Medievia. In one of those shops, located somewhere in the Tower of Reclasta, Rhamsey will sell you a wreath of pure white leaves for a measly 15 hero autoquest tokens:

a wreath of pure white leaves: Lev(21) Loc(head) qprize qprizew hps(20) mana(20) SKL/SPL: Charm Person (proficiency +50%).

This is a worthy investment because it costs only a few hero autoquests to complete. Now charming mobs usually takes just one try - no more failures! Thanks to my wreath of pure white leaves, I finish this first part of Asnor Mountains in just 6 minutes. I love it!

--::~~::-- Hope --::~~::--

The next part of the zone is all about hope. First, I hope that blackscales load on a Rotting, Undead Dragon. Running blackscales is always a shot in the dark because the scales are - dark - and cannot be located. Then, I hope for a smooth run without enemies showing up on where. While, at this point I only need to kill two mobs to get blackscales, the last thing I want is for someone to show up and bank my run!

I check where and don't see anyone around - this is a good sign. I quickly unlock the rock leading to the caves with all the money mobs. I run up to a Guardian, shield room, and lure the knights out. I summon an elemental and give it some equipment to wear. I used to equip elementals with various items I collected from different zones. This makes your elemental very powerful, capable of viciously rending your enemies. However, finding the pieces and equipping the elemental, coupled with a possibility of losing your elemental set, can be troublesome and annoying.

But not all is lost for a lazy player like me. There is a seasonal shop somewhere around the Fortress of Elnissa that sells equipment unlike any other. It is a bit tricky to find. You need to survey to find the entrance, make your way through the maze, and say a magic word. Once inside, Thrungaar will part with the gloves of the golem maker for only 350 million gold coins:

the gloves of the golem maker - Lev(26) Loc(hands) AC-ap(8) noegg fragile hps(25) dex(-3) SKL/SPL: Conjure Elemental (manacost -33%)

This is steep price to pay, but it's worth every gold nugget if you use elementals a lot. The gloves, when used, make a set of stone full-body armor - one piece multi-slot elemental set: a set of stone full-body armor - Lev(26) Loc(body) AC-ap(22) MS nolocker dr(50) hps(-120) str(3) dex(-1)

I am about to hit Guardian when I see someone landing. I check where and breathe a sigh of relief. It is Sanford, a member of our town. We form up, kill Guardian, and rush to Rotting, Undead Dragon to check for scales. Quite some time ago, back when I used to run Asnor Mountains several times a week, I tracked the frequency at which the scales loaded. Based on my limited observations, I discovered that the scales load approximately 50% of the time when ancient scrolls pop on Dark Mages and only 25% of the time when there are no scrolls.

Today the odds are stacked against us. The scrolls did not load, but the zone was de-popped. I feel hopeful that we will end up with the scales. We get to the dragon and look in its inventory. Sigh, no load, we fail!

--::~~::-- Magic --::~~::--

I have played this game for so many years and I ran the zone so many times that I know it inside and out. Yet, I have never completed the explore. I ask Sanford if he would be up for it. He agrees. I like soloing this zone with equipped elementals, but it is no substitute for a great tank like Sanford. We decide to start with Caolabhuinn, the toughest mob in the zone. We take care of Rotting, Undead Dragon and Myrshia. Then one-pass, with the assistance of 3 elementals, Mad Warlock and Hooded Priests. Caolabhuinn proves to be a little more challenging. He is in a no-flee room and it takes us 3 passes. We port out and get back in the zone while keeping it from resetting. This zone does not reset as long as a player stays inside, so it is just a matter of proper timing. We loot a small orb encasing Caolabhuinn's fiery essence, malediction component, and get ready for the next part.

The rest of the zone goes very smoothly. We easily one-pass a Grumpy Old Man, a Small Baby Dragon, the Troll Warden, the Troll Lord, and Master-At-Arms. Kilnor is a little more difficult, but with a great tank like Sanford, we one-pass it as well.

I check the explore and see 4 missing objectives with 16 remaining minutes to complete it. We quickly kill Dark Mages and Knights for the explore. Next is an Elven Assassin - a super-hidden mob. Super-hidden mobs cannot be detected using the sense life spell, but it is not a problem if you can get hold of an eternal Phoebic flame:

an eternal Phoebic flame - Lev(25) Loc(light) noegg fragile hps(20) ss(-1) infspl(1)

The flame can be purchased in the seasonal shop by the Fortress of Elnissa, but expect a hefty price tag on this one - 370 million gold coins. The power of this little gem lies in its ability to see things that cannot be seen with any other light. The owner of this light can see hidden mobs as regular mobs and super-hidden mobs as hidden ones. Elven Assassin is no match for us, and we move onto the last explore objective. I need to vanquish the demon thirsty for blood, and I have only 4 minutes left. Piece of cake. We move to the cave entrance and engage Spectral Guards for the last objective. Then, what? I did not get the explore! There are 2 minutes left on the timer. "You have to ice Balor!" Sanford exclaims. Doh! We run up to the Balor by the waterfall only to find Daedric fighting it. A minute to go! "Daedric, please don't kill it!," I shout. I get Deadric into the form, summon 3 elementals, and together we hit the Balor. I know it is a waste of elementals, but at this point it is a matter of seconds to get the explore completed! After 3 rounds, the Balor is dead. Explore completed! Awesome. That was a magical ending to an epic battle.

--::~~::-- --::~~::--

As you can see there is love, hope, and magic all over Medievia. All you need to do is find it.  


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