Byakushin's Journal

Updates to this journal are now primarily posted on

Byakushin's journal is an experiment at reporting contemporary events at The Mana World. If I get totally hooked on writing again, maybe there'll be a Tulimshar Times at some point (let me know if you'd be interested in being a reporter and e.g. do interviews / read the forums for social news). For now, it's just the adventures of Byakushin, fighter-mage of level 61ish level whose nemesis is the mountain snake.

Update 4 July 2010: Sweet, MrDudle has set up The TMW Times in blog format. Update 30 July 2010: Drats, he has fled the scene and left the site unmaintained.

11 September 2010

Dear diary,

Long time no write, and much has happened in the meanwhile. How to put this... I talked to a patch of glimmering lights in the graveyard, and it somehow convinced me to give it all my money. Well, not all, just to leave enough for a ferry trip home. And that was just the first peculiar thing that happened to me!

Next, I got a job cleaning shelves for a talking marsupial in his shop of wonders! That was great fun, although I wonder what happened to all the goblins who drank so much ice tea they're sure to have suffered more than a brain freeze.

Then I heard a rumour that miners up in the woodlands had struck gold! I dug out my hardest hat from the storage and was all ready for some serious pickin'... but even while fighting the most grievous scourge of hunchbacked blue and white fluffy muffins with sunglasses I've ever seen, all I could find was black stuff that got my hands all sooty! Speaking of picking, I honestly have no idea how the soot got into my nose too!

Quite dejected, I decided to battle my pastries in the Tulimshar bakery in the future. However, after spending so much time in the caves I got sunstroked in the desertlands, and in my confusion wandered into the workshop instead. There, I talked to interesting people and in the end was told that I had probably misheard a critical word in the rumour about the mining rush.

Then one of the GMs, sorry, I cannot remember for certain if it was Tiana this time or not, turned their key to the Evil Obelisk a teeny bit too much to the right, and out poured more monsters than you could dream up in a month-long Cherry Cake binge. I'm starting to suspect the GM workhour tracking device should NOT be installed as a part of a potentially dangerous obelisk; when they turn their blip keys a little too far, out come rock zombies who make your head feel like it had taken in too much heavy metal. This is not optimal governance, I tell you!

In the end, I was one mysterious ring richer, had an empty bank account, and a need for a million or two more. Then I went to participate in mrgrey's trivia and managed to prove that I'm an egghead. With this nice hat, see?

So, how was your day, dear diary?

26 August 2010

Dear diary,

Oooh, after much wooing and cooing, Lieutenant Dausen hired me for a job! I'm in heaven! He's so handsome, I could just stare at him all day long... what? You needed me to get something urgently? Oh, yeah, right!

He's so cute when he's rolling his eyes too!

After performing many a daring feat to make my beloved happy, I wandered to a nearby building take a break... only to discover many more people who needed to get various things done. And they needed my money, too! Lots of it! Oh dear, I'm going to have to start planting my gold and hope that money-bearing trees emerge soon!

23 August 2010

Dear diary,

I can definitely feel the evil that has arrived in our world! It makes me feel all empty inside.

To combat the feeling of emptiness, I had two options: eat lots of chocolate, or go help someone. I was out of chocolate, so I wandered around Tulimshar looking for someone to help.

Luckily, I found quite a few people in need of assistance, and even some I thought I had already helped out earlier!

I also bumped into the cutest city guard I've ever seen. Only it seems he's not just any guard, but a lieutenant even! I'm in love!

13 August 2010

Dear diary,

Pinkie hat, pinkie hat, how I adore you, pinkie hat!

To demonstrate that Fridays the 13th are only effective for coffee-bound lawsuits between giants, I finally managed to acquire a pinkie hat in the authentic and traditional method of asking some 1500 pinkies very nicely for one. They rejoice with me, I'm sure!

PS. Ok, I lied a little bit, there were some other minor unfortunate incidents (such as a forgetting of sunglasses on the brightest day of the week) as well, but they are all cancelled out by my fabulous and totally fashionable pinkie hat! Pinkie hat, pinkie hat, how I adore you, pinkie hat!

PPS. Also, Ishi's lottery just dealt me 2 Grass snake tongues and one Mountain snake tongue. Oh lucky day!

11 August 2010

Dear diary,

Today, AlOns negotiated a mass discount with the Evil Obelisk. Much chaos, hilarity and dying ensued.

He also won the first price in the yearly Hurnscald Gardening Contest with getting all those herbs and Pink Flowers growing in the obelisk cave.

PS. WildX's ponytail seems to be larger than mine. This calls for immediate and decisive action!

10 August 2010

Dear diary,

Last night, I dreamt up Outfit Wars, a collector game not entirely unlike many other collector games. The basic idea is that since our world is filled with ways to dress up in more or less challenging collections of equipment, i.e. outfits, we can use those as a basis of soft player-versus-player battles and have some fun in the process. Different outfits defeat different other outfits, for example dressing up as a Pinkie will defeat an opponent dressed up as old Farmer Hinnak (or vice versa).

Are you thinking of Pokemon yet? I'm trying very hard not to think of Pokemon.

Outfits come in three different categories of difficulty: basic ones, like the Poor Newbie getup (just wearing the shirt you start with), challenging ones, like the Pinkie and Farmer Hinnak (as they involve rare drops), and rare outfits, like Santa Claus, which involve equipment that is either not acquirable, is only possible to get through periodical quests or buyable for outrageous prices (typically from other players). You can haul around as many outfits as fits in your inventory; this limits the "deck" size naturally, while the quality is limited by the time the players have invested in acquiring e.g. clothing of different colours and the rare and very rare drops.

I also noted down some 30-odd outfits, but it will take forever and a day to get them recorded and the defeating rules set in a reasonably balanced way. Of course, in my opinion any outfit that the wearer can entertainingly justify to defeat the opponent's should work, but I fear not everyone shares my wild tendencies towards crazy theatrical improvisation. It would be interesting to see if there are others theoretically interested in playing this for fun and general amusement.

9 August 2010

Dear diary,

I recall I promised to tell you more about Candor.

It starts like this: there is a person with 20 000 gp, a minimum of 4 friends and a great big death wish shared among all. The more the merrier of course. Friends, that is, not death wishes. Although those help too.

The person with the cash goes and starts the game by talking to Parua and convincing him that the fellowship will not just end up as a messy stain on the floor. Parua, luckily, is easy to convince with just numbers, and off you go: now monsters start crawling from every nook and cranny. Whenever you have cleared most of them or enough time has passed more and ickier monsters appear. With tough enough a party, this will be the most JackOs you see gathered in one place ever.

A mage or few will run around the central circle trying to kill off the worst cases of undead with lightning while the fighters coop up in the middle dealing with the types they can actually hit. Once the last mage dies, the fighter(s) collectively go "uh oh" and try to fight off the growing number of nasties until they have to give up and start running.

I've witnessed multiple cases of 4144, also known as The Meat Tank, fending off the Fallen until Mistakes (the mage type who has a strange tendency to stay alive until he dies by... mistake ;)) ends up dead on the floor, at which point 4144 enters The Zookeeper mode and starts running in circles, collecting a cavalcade of monsters behind him.

There are levels/rounds to this all, and typically 4144 has been running for some 200 rounds worth before a few dozen Jack Os finally manage to catch up with him in an odd turn. The highest level I've seen is 1127; Mistakes says he's beaten Candor at level 1600 multiple times, but Kage, the source of all the blood on Candor soil, says the max level is now 3000, which would imply a reset of bragging rights and more challenge to come!

For me, of course, the aim is to survive for a few hundred rounds and then watch from a comfortable lying down position as the rest of the troupe struggle against insurmountable odds. And comment away like a sports reporter, of course.

8 August 2010

Dear diary,

Yesternight, I managed to brew Monster Oil. That was positively crazy! I even had Malivox perform a little but rather pricey operation on me that made me feel like the greatest scientist of all time for a moment.

Oh TradeBot, how I love you! I do love you too, AuctionBot, for you have brought me much joy in the past, but TradeBot brings with it such instant gratification that one anxiously searching for ways to avoid skinning mountain snakes is primarily going to prefer dealing with him. 4 skins at 5000 each, and I was ready for some serious brewing! (I even got me 4 extras in case my brewings would blow up in my face. Luckily, they did not!)

As a result, I now have a new weapon! It strikes faster, it strikes truer, it is sharper, and it even cures heartburn! It is called the Setzer, as in Alka Setzer! ;)

At long last, and after an additional 4 points of luck I gained upon level 64, I am able to kill mountain snakes without spending all my time waiting for their poison to wear off! I even got my first snake skin now - of all times.

PS. I also read the instructions of the strangest ritual after following some of the most confusing directions. A soul of an undead? Will I ever be free from this hunting for (read: killing) completely preposterous items (read: opponents)? Woe is me! ... now where did that TradeBot go?

PPS. I jinxed it now; so much for not getting poisoned by every darned snake. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. X-)

7 August 2010

Dear diary,

Today I hear a rumour that a new salesman had arrived. I looked all over for him, and stumbled into a bakery I had never been to before. I bought an orange cupcake and wandered around while nibbling on it. It turns out that the bakery storage room opens up to the roofs of Tulimshar. The view was great!

I also eventually found the trader, who I think may be slightly dyslexic. That would also explain the outrageous prices he demands for the items he carries. On the other hand, I hear there are some people here who are very, very wealthy too...

1 August 2010

Dear diary,

As I was complaining to the Ferry Master about completely unacceptable pricing policies, he pointed out that my money had in fact been spent for a good cause: a new ferry line had been set up to deliver travellers to the lost island of Candor!

I shall continue my report on the mysteries of the place later, as I hear someone is about to re-enact the Epic Battle of Candor and I must prepare myself!

31 July 2010

Dear diary,

More people missing! All of a sudden, Richard's brother William has vanished from the Hurnscald General Store. Richard has taken it upon himself to run both the bank and storage services now. I wonder if someone is going to show up demanding ransom for the missing brother; I imagine the banker family is quite wealthy.

I've heard rumours that a similar disappearance has happened in Tulimshar, but have not gone to confirm this yet: after the ferry noticed it now has a monopoly on travellers, it raised the prices so high I'd rather take my chances with a pair of crazy wizards than suffer the seasickness and 'landlubber special prices'. Hmph!

30 July 2010

Dear diary,

I guess I will have to believe it: my job was a hoax! MrDudle ran off before signing a single paycheck! I feel tricked. Also, he took the print house key with him so it appears that we cannot reorganize to run the paper without him either. Oh dear.

4 July 2010

Dear diary,

Today I ran into horrible lies and vile gossip in the TMW Times. They blamed my teacher, Sagatha, for protecting a drug addict, when in fact the poor sick mouboo in question is suffering from a bad injury and has to use medication that causes it to feel dizzy. Of course I immediately left a message to the editor, who must clarify this matter.

I see no future for this kind of scandalous "journalism" in our realm. What will they do next, start paying people who send in pictures of celebrities they caught in awkward situations? Disgusting!

(Also, please contact me if you do; I have to fund my studies somehow!)

25 June 2010

Dear diary,

Good heavens! Today, I found AuctionBot dead in the garden! This is terrible! What could have killed him? Maybe he caught the Ponderpox? Does the Investigator know anything? Oh, the horror!

24th June 2010

Dear diary,

Today, I got my black cowboy hat at last, and celebrated my newfound freedom from snake skin hunting!

This lasted for all of five minutes, after which I found out I need some 12 more for another project. Foiled again.

I have killed at least 20 mountain snakes but am yet to receive a single tongue or skin from them. It seems that my best strategy remains to kill everything else in the world and then go see if Ishi's lottery brings me luck, skins and snake tongues.

21th June 2010

Dear diary,

I was just discussing the birds and the bees with Sagatha when the news came in: the climate change had caused a huge flood that washed away the land bridge between Tulimshar and Hurnscald. The horror!

Being my aptly delegative supervisor at any complex things related to nature, Sagatha promptly sent me off to organize rescue parties for the poor slime population that would surely be badly struck by this event. As I got to the shores, I was amazed by something else than the extent of environmental disaster: a building had been revealed by the flood! It was still quite moist inside, so it's no wonder no one was living in it despite the splendid view to sea. If the student apartment prices keep going up, I'm definitely going to go squat in there.

In other news, Sagatha keeps complaining that I'm way too distracted these days. I can just go "oooh, butterflies!" in the middle of her no doubt important lecture on the sleeping habits of mouboos.

PS. Went to the mines tonight to study whether the red slimes show any signs of growing tentacles like the sea slimes; Sagatha suspects its a sign of environmental stress. Man, were the spiders always this creepy?

By the way, TMW is raising funds for more RAM for the server, see the related forum thread: [1]

20th June 2010

Oh TMW, how I love you! Let me count the ways:

  • Free-as-in-freedomness. If I had done my contributing years on here rather than my home MUD, the work wouldn't have gone to waste when the single server no longer attracts players. Not to mention upkeep's a lot saner when the code repository is designed for open source.
  • Equipment and location saving plus the lack of death penalty on eAthena is the central reason why I can play in the first place, given that I can be interrupted at any given time.
  • Stacking bonus and experience from player healing. The two greatest social playing innovations that got me to interact with people.
  • Competing clients. The total awesomeness of being able to choose between stable vanilla and a hackish munchkin version (not to mention others). I haven't even bothered trying the competing servers yet.
  • IRC, wiki, bugtracker and forums. This game has a definite presence beyond the one server instance where the actual game is. Not to mention that I hardly see any politics in the gameworld itself; people work them on the forums mostly. And did I already mention there's an actual bugtracker?
  • Transparency. You can actually go read the walkthroughs and monster item drops if you want to be spoilered silly - the gameplay cannot be dependent on hiding things when anyone can go read the code.