September 28, 2012

Alphabet Soup: Part 2

The entire week of farming was fairly simple for the most part, though it seems the longer this event draws on the more drama the spikes up from it and malicious gameplay arises. People first complained of spinelles and bms, and later reports of pkers has arisen since then. Given Orpesia is a non-baron server pk isn't something often seen unless it is between warring clans (previously, before the feature was removed) or now between the factions of Sahasrha and Dronarati. Unfortunately, squadding with an opposing faction will make you red, even against your own faction. Not something I was particularly thrilled with at all, but, eh, if someone wants to kill you/your faction/clan/whatever for whatever reason or purpose, they will find ways to do it.

..Anyway, I'll leave that topic for another time.

Over the week the afk farming netted near 500 boxes resulting in juuust eeking by to acquire 30 tokens just in time to buy Punisher from the token shop before Maint began. (Much thanks to a dear friend for helping me with those last three Rs!). The purchase was none-too soon as post-maint Punisher was increased in price from 30 to 40 tokens, and all UPCs' prices rose from 10 to 15 tokens each. In addition, the original words were rotated out in favor of new ones, Orion, Stars, and Queen. I was pretty excited about this move as I had enough letters from the previous week to buy 10 tokens as soon as I could access the shop, and did so with relish.

An additional change was to the Alphabet Basket which I had ignored/skipped over in my previous post. With the Alphabet Basket a player can put in 1 letter (doesn't matter what one) and get back a random item. Previously they weren't of much interest, as half of the prize list consisted of Lollipops. The other items were Elite Treasure Boxes, Swampangler Spinelles, Amrita, AMs Boost, and Teleport Scrolls. Pretty mediocre stuff, well, maybe sans the boxes. Over maint this received an uber boost to also drop every Raiden's Angel series box from I to X. Previously cash shop boxes that have been since removed, they are known for having a chance to drop Angel Series (33 AR) and Draconic Series (32 AR) weapons. A complete list of what box drops what item is available here.

Currently the Raiden's Angel VII box is bugged and refuses to drop anything when opened, so it's generally advised people hang onto them until they can be fixed.

Another little perk added after maint was the addition of an absolute ton of Parasols dotted across Gigante Beach.

Sit back and relax for a nice buff...

If you move your characters beneath and use the 'Sit on the floor' pose, the posing characters will all gain a buff that grants 50% exp for two hours. It makes for an excellent boost to any vesping expedition, for similar powerleveling task.

Utilizing the new words after maint, I traded in enough tokens for Emilia the Sage, Pose Guide Book 11, and a Black Dragon Pet. In addition to a Master Explorer Pack I snagged last week to help with farming (and for SA access) this brings the total to 52 words turned in thus far, and as of writing this nearly 1.1k boxes farmed. Oh, that was another thing over last maint - box drop rate was increased 50%, however due to my now casual farming endeavors, I still gain boxes about the same rate per hour this week as I did last week. (5-6/hr)

Should my more favored maps ever open up at some point, it would be interesting to try farming there once more and seeing how effective the 50% boost is. While some players have reported an increase in drops, some still complain that their drop rates are mediocre to pathetic at best. Personally, I'm of the opinion it's due to area set-up/team composition, but I'm sure it makes things no less frustrating for the affected parties. Currently I'm leveling my Vets and maxing their stances as I farm, which means I have to use different teams than I prefer. I'll keep track of how different team combinations affects my box farming, and post on it later. Until then..


September 21, 2012

Alphabet Soup: Part 1

So after months of very little of anything going on, an unexpected custom-made event for the Sword 2 servers was added this last Maint consisting of a very delectable Alphabet Event. In short tradable Alphabet Boxes drop at random from all mobs in-game. When opened, the boxes drop a random non-tradable letter. These letters in form of three pre-determined five-letter words can be traded in for prizes to a designated NPC. Depending on how completed the word is at time being traded in, dictates the tier of rewards the player can pick from.

Prizes of Note: A minimum of # correct letters to any one word will grant some of the following prizes.

  • Two Correct Letters: AA passes, Ti/Te runes, 1 day 80% combat manuals, 7-day crystal wings, and a smattering of lesser interesting items.
  • Three Correct Letters: Letizi boxes, Const boxes, Expert chips, Lv 32 weapon crystals, and other misc.
  • Four Correct Letters: HQ Spod and HQ Obs items, Aries Symbol, DH, Red Tiger Box, 30 Day Exp Explorer Pack, and Magic Earring Rec.
  • Five Correct Letters: 30 Day Master Explorer Pack, Princ pot, Rose Wing coupon, Sage Necklace, Capitaine Costume for Fighter, Pose Guide 11, and Diamond Tokens.

The last two, in my opinion, are the most exciting items of this event. Pose Guide 11 has thus far never been released in our version, though it was been requested and sought for ages. Diamond Tokens can be spent in a shop (avaliable at the same UPC) for a myraid of extremely valuable items.

Diamond Token Shop: Sage Necklace, Black Dragon Pet Box, AtP, EtS, BSI, StF, ICP, Ralph, Asoka, three different never before released 33 AR Mechanical Series Weapons (Sword, Pistol, Bayonet, and Fire Brace), and the ever elusive, coveted, and drooled over Punisher Manual.

Personally, I'd absolutely love if they'd add Innocento if they're going to be so brazen as to include a stance as elusive as Punisher.

Even if the boxes decide to just be bishes and not give everything at all - you can trade in random letters for basically crap items. Hey, at least at the end we can empty our inventories of these letters when the event finally closes! Oh - did I mention Raiden gave no end date to this event? It's going to run at least for several months. Theories speculate until we get our patch update which - thus far - we have had virtually no news of whatsoever.

Now, gleeful news aside. Nothing would quite be right in Orpesia or it's sister servers anymore these days without a bit of drama. Now something to note is that the player presence on the forums has been incredibly restless and increasingly disgrunted of late due to lack of information updates and general visual absence of most everyone G1-affiliated. Frankly, I haven't seen the player base this frustrated/up in arms in.. well.. ever.

Anyway during the first 18 or so hours of the event, Alphabet Boxes dropped like absolute rain. It was definitely possible to farm 18-20 an hour in high spawn areas, if not a tad more in others. Considering it would then be possible for a single family to farm upwards of 400+ in a day (in semi-ideal situations), the 35 diamond tokens it would require for a single Punisher manual in the Token Shop would be laughable, let alone the other rewards.

There is little doubt in my mind it would have been possible to complete the entire shop within a week. It really was no secret this was broken, something more or less the entire player base could agree on. Fortunately (or unfortunately) G1 agreed on this as well and in a brief dc, they adjusted the rate.

Currently I theorize the drop rate was reduced to 1/4 or so of what it was previously, based upon my own farming experience. For me, this is still okay as in some areas one can still farm an avg of 5-6 boxes an hour, which still isn't too shabby. The great downside to this is this requires afking in an area with a very high spawn rate. The number of said type of locations in Sword is incredibly limited to just a few maps. ie:

In short, unless you can secure yourself an ideal location in 2-3 maps, most of the player base is somewhat screwed in more normal/slower spawning maps. As it is, I've heard from several people of only collecting a handful of boxes over many hours, some, collecting only a couple if any at all. Though a nerf was needed, I do believe it's currently a bit too rough. Given as the event is still very new (and not even a full 2-days old yet) I'm sure there will be more tweaks in the future. I just hope they're the best ones.