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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Runescape Night Spider: Finally the Shadow Silk Hood!


In reference to my post of nearly 2 weeks ago, I've been dungeoneering consistently since then.  Some of the time has been dedicated to Night Spider hunting.  Some time spent Duoing with Monique to have fun, raise our levels, earn tokens...

In all that time, I've seen a total of 7 Night Spiders.  At first there would be maybe one or two a day, or every other day.  Then a long dry spell.  My last one was a few days ago, and Monique actually found and killed it.  Up until tonight, no Shadow Silk Hood.  No wonder.  At this rate, it seems the Night Spiders are more rare than the Shadow Silk Hoods!

Tonight that changed.  We had just finished duoing a couple of floors, then rushed  a few to get our floors evened out for prestige.  Monique took a break.  As she was walking out of the room, she saw me going back to the dungeon.  She asked if I was "Doing the floors she can't get to yet?"  I said "No, just Night Spider hunting."

Same dungeon.  Minutes later.  Went through a door and saw a Night Spider!  I quickly backed out in order to take a few screenshots of it.  Then the fight was on.  Easy kill, it's not like they're a boss or anything.  Just a little poison, which was easy to fix.  And when the dust settled... there, on the ground... on top of a huge pile of stuff... was the Hood I've been trying to get for the last two weeks!

By the way, that's a HUGE pile of junk.
Where do spiders carry all that?

So, 2 weeks, 7 Night Spiders later, I got my Hood.  When you think about it, 2 weeks isn't horrible.  I've gone longer than that trying to get an Abyssal Whip.  But only 7 Night Spiders?  On the one hand, that's phenomenal, to get a Shadow Silk Hood in 7 spiders.  On the other hand, 7 spiders in 2 weeks?  Holy cow.  That would take forever if my luck had been worse.

Shadow Silk Hood sitting on top of the pile behind me!

However you look at it, the search is over.  Now I get to play with it!
(Yes, that's Gorgonite and Katagon armor I'm wearing... I couldn't find any Promethium on that level, and I was too excited to keep looking - I wanted to get this blog posted!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Runescape Jadinko Lair - Getting the Rare Whip Vine

Last time, I mentioned I've been exclusively dungeoneering, with one exception.  That exception is related to the newest content release to date, the Jadinko Lair.  Meant to be a multi-skill training area, it looks pretty good in general.  But, I'm not that interested (right now) in the skills.  I'm interested in the Whip Vine drop.

The Whip Vine is a rare drop from the Mutated Jadinko Guard, and Mutated Jadinko Males.  The Guard is level 145, and the Males are level 201, and both are slayer beasts, requiring a Slayer level of 86, and 91, respectively.  The Whip Vine gets attached to an Abyssal Whip, and increases it's stats.  Not by much, just plus 4 to attack, and plus 2 to strength.  But it also gives a chance of poisoning, and a very nice special attack.

The special attack summons a vine that will hit your opponent 10 times for 125% of your accuracy, and 20% of your strength. The attacks will only hit as long as your opponent is in range.  Sounds pretty cool, right?  Apparently, lots of people think so.  At first, it was selling for 25 million on the Grand Exchange.  Plus the cost of Whips went sharply upward.  (By the next day, it was already down to 9 million.)

There's a bit of a catch.  Aside from the Slayer requirement to fight the Jadinkos, there's a requirement of 80 Slayer, and 85 Attack to wield it.  It can only be sold or traded as the Whip Vine.  Once the Whip Vine is attached to the Abyssal Whip, it's untradeable.  You can easily UN-attach it, if you ever decide to sell it.  

Like everybody else, when I saw the new content yesterday, I was all set to run down, kill a few beasties, and get my Whip Vine... but it wasn't that easy.  Aside from the fact that it's a rare drop, and I knew it would probably be just as hard to get as an Abyssal Whip is, there was a bigger concern.  

Turns out, Jagex put a limited number of Mutated Jadinkos in the caverns.  There were 3 to 5 players to every beast, and most of them were young kids with far faster reflexes than me.  I think I finally found an lesser-populated place in Australia, because the server there was horribly slow and kept hiccuping.  Most people didn't want to risk getting killed (and it's a serious risk with the Males), which was good for those of us crazy enough to go there anyway.

Once I found a good place, the killing commenced.  Hours yesterday, maybe 30 minutes this morning before work, and still no Whip Vine.  I'm guessing this could take days, or weeks if I'm really unlucky.  If it goes on too long, I'll just go back to dungeoneering, and buy one when they get cheaper.  But I'd rather get my own!

I went with a combination of melee gear, wound up going strictly Guthans, with food, prayer (Soul Split), and a unicorn.  This was pretty effective.  I may try Armadyl and range them later today, seeing if that's any better.  Not that the first setup was bad, I managed to stay for several hours in a single trip.  But every now and then, the Mutated Zadinko Males would hit hard with magic, and take me down more than 300 points.  So I'm thinking, range, wear magic resistant gear, and see how that works.

If, like me, you want to get your own Whip Vine, I wish you good luck.  Maybe we'll see each other down in the caverns!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dungeoneering Blunders- Learning to Duo Rush

I'm still dungeoneering.  Since I do obsessive so well, I'm pretty much exclusively dungeoneering right now.  (With one exception I'll get to in the next blog...)  Last night, I talked Monique into joining me for a prestige rush.  We blitzed through really fast, and I thought we were having fun, but after calling it a night, she confessed it wasn't as much fun when I kept grabbing all the keys.  I didn't mean to grab them all, I just thought we were trying to go as fast as possible, splitting up to gain speed.

To back up some, when we first tried Duoing dungeons, it was all new and I had to stop and research everything.  I'm obsessive that way.  And she got stuck waiting on me all the time.  It bored her, so she didn't care much for it.  Since then, I've been in the dungeons a lot, and her not at all.  So now that I'm much more experienced, we're trying a duo prestige run, only this time I'm the one going too fast.  I had a great time, and would like her to enjoy it also.  So we'll continue to modify our approach.  Right now, we're pretty much taking a standard rush approach, but with no assigned tasks.  When we try next time, we'll have her be the assigned keyer, and see how that goes.  

Part of her frustration is because I'm a more combat-focused character, and she's more of a skiller.  (Not so much that I'm good at it, just that my character's combat stats are maxed.)  So my character can blitz through and take more damage, while Monique has to be cautious.  Another part comes from our armor and weapons differences.  Since her last time there, I've raised my mining and smithing to the level where I can make anything Promethium that we'd like.  

Bearing that in mind, our first run we went to her deepest dungeon level, trying to find some Promethium to make her gear.  We did 2 mediums, which I usually find plenty of Promethium in.  For some reason, this time all I could find was Gorgonite, so for the moment, that's what I made her.

To make matters worse, while we were there, I got a Celestial Surgebox, and had to... yes... research it.  Had to make sure exactly how to set it up for the best spell, get it charged to it's fullest extent (after "Salt in the Wound", ammo charges are 225)  and do everything right before binding it.  Didn't want to bind it uncharged, only to have to re-charge it fresh every single floor!

This would have been fine, had I been on my own.  But with Monique there, and us trying to get her Promethium equipment, I worried she'd be bored.  Lucky for me, that wasn't an issue.  She was happy continuing to explore the dungeon, clear the rooms, and hunt for Promethium.  Which we still never found.

Finally, we both finished what we were doing, and did the boss room.  Don't remember what the boss was, but he dropped a Primal Warhammer into Monique's inventory!  Not knowing each and every weapon, I assumed Primal was always better than Promethium, and told her to bind it.  So she destroyed her Gorgonite 2-Hander, and bound the Primal Warhammer.  
...  and THEN, discovered she has to be 99 Strength to wield it!!  I could have used it, but she'd already bound it.  So her only option was to train Strength to 99, or destroy the Primal Warhammer.  In a way, it was actually a relief to discover the Promethium 2-Hander is considered better than the Primal Warhammer.  At least she could destroy it without regret.  

By this time, she was out of patience for hunting Promethium.  So we started our prestige run in floor 1, and Monique just bound one of the Katagon weapons that were laying on the tables.  Averaged about 3 minutes per floor, did about 15 floors, and called it a night.  We'll go back for her weapon and chestplate another day.

I think once we get on the same page at the same time, we'll enjoy duoing together.  I'm certainly looking forward to it!

As a final note, I went on the Runescape forum and asked for advice on what to bind with the Celestial Surgebox.  I got some great answers, and some very in-depth analyses.  Maybe too much info for a single blog, but I'm not sure if there's enough info to write an actual guide.  But one way or the other, I'll get the info up soon.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Runescape Dungeoneering: Night Spider and Shadow Silk Hood Hunting

Searching for the Elusive Shadow Silk Hood
 After that last big mess, I'm not setting any hard and fast goals.  Just going to do whatever sounds fun, or maybe work toward something for a little while, then something else.  Currently working on Dungeoneering.  Putting some time into getting a Shadow Silk Hood, and alternating by doing prestige runs.  Right now my deepest dungeon level is 39, so I've got a long way to go.

Read a lot about the Shadow Silk Hood, and it seems like a pretty cool thing to have.  Especially now that I can mine Promethium and smith at level 99.  I've been hunting for about a week.  Seen 6 Night Spiders.  No hood.  Averaging 1 Night Spider a day.  No big deal.  If it gets too boring, I'll move on to something else.  But it would be nice to have one...

There's not much in the way of guides for finding Night Spiders, or getting Shadow Silk Hoods.  Apparently Night Spiders are fairly rare, extremely random, and just not that easy to predict.

Close-up of the Night Spider
Best general Night Spider hunting advice I've seen (at least to match my playstyle) is to Solo, or Duo with a good friend, on the Abandoned Floors (30-35, the deeper the better).  Set size to medium, complexity 6.  Guide Mode on.  Don't waste time eating, just buy the tool pack, and run through the dungeon as fast as you can.  Only fight when you have to for clearing a door.  Don't waste time on over-complex puzzle rooms.  When you' ve worked the dungeon as much as you can, exit without doing the boss, and go right back in at the same floor. 

Just to go into a little detail on Night Spider Hunting:
  • - Solo or Duo.  I prefer to solo, but Monique Runescapes too, so I could see dragging her into my spider hunt.
  • - Abandoned Floors (30-35).  These are known to be the most common floors Night Spiders appear on.  That's not to say you'll see very many... After a week, I've seen 6 total.  But your  best odds of seeing one will be f30-35.  I choose f35, and just keep going back to it.
  • - Medium Size.  The larger the better.  Since I'm soloing, medium is my largest size dungeon.  It's not because you'll see more spiders per room, but that spiders appear most often in the offshoot, dead-end, side rooms.  You have more of those rooms in a bigger dungeon, so you get a better chance to see a Night Spider.
  • - Complexity 6:  It's accepted common lore that you see more spiders on complexity 6 than on the easier ones.  It may be fact, or just rumor, but if it can improve my odds a bit, I'm there!
  • - Guide Mode On:  Face it, you're not here for experience.  So turning on Guide Mode won't really hurt anything.  But it does offer an easier route to explore, making it that much faster to clear a floor and begin the next.
  • - To begin with, buy the tool pack, make sure you've got a few Cosmic runes to teleport with, and go.  No food, no eating.  This is all about speed.  If you get killed, your group gatestone will be dropped where you died, and you'll be fresh and new in the starting room.  Dive through the portal, pick up your rock, and resume fighting.  This is faster than picking up and eating food, and renews your prayer too.
  • - Don't fight unless you have to.  Only clear a room if you have to to open the guardian door.  Turn Auto Retaliate OFF, so you won't constantly be dragged into fights while you're opening doors.
  • - Don't waste time.  If a puzzle room is too time consuming, skip it.  Once you're explored all the dungeon you can reasonably get to, exit the dungeon.  No boss fight, just leave.  Come right back to the same floor, and do it all again.

This technique is wasted time for exp.  You'll get nearly none.  I thought it was actually none, but last night as soon as I left the dungeon from my last trip, I leveled up.  Took me by surprise!

Some people claim a SSH drop is quick and easy if you follow the general hunting advice.  Others claim you can be over 100 Dungeoneering and still have never seen a Shadow Silk Hood drop.  I've seen people estimate a Hood drop of 1 for every 15 Night Spiders, and others say it's closer to 1 Hood for every 50 Night Spiders.  Even saw one person claiming it's based on your actual kill count, and you can't share a kill with someone else.

Truth is, it's just random.  If you're lucky, you'll get a Shadow Silk Hood reasonably quick and easy.  If not, it could be a long and frustrating trial.  You could get that "Banging my head on the wall" feeling pretty easily.

So, what the heck... I'll try for a while.  Maybe do some other things at times.  If I get really tired of it I'll give up for a while and just Dungeoneer with what I've got.  Either way, it's a game, and I'm having fun.  No more stupid 99 no-lifing.  Except maybe for my fishing... I'm 96, it wouldn't take much to finish it...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Runescape Dungeoneering- 99 Smithing, 90 Mining... Promethium Chestplate, here I come!

Mining gold ore at the Living Rock cavern
About a month ago, I was enjoying some Dungeoneering.  At that time, it had cost me something near 2 million gold to get someone to smith a Promethium 2-Hander and a Promethium Chestplate.  While I liked them very  much, in a way paying so much for them kind of locked me in.  At that price, it's not a good idea to keep trying new stuff.  If I bound anything else, that money's down the drain.  Also, any money paid for the newer gear would be a further loss.
Lava Mines- No ore, but easy exp.

Maybe I've already got the best stuff I currently can.  That's not the point.  The point is that I'm afraid to bind anything else.  There's no going back.  The solution seemed obvious.  Get 90 Mining, and 99 Smithing.  Simple, right?
Turning ore to bars at the Edgeville Smithy
Superheating at the bank
Well... don't know why, but I decided just as a side project, I'd  bang out those levels and then always be able to make anything needed.  It sounded like a simple plan, and besides, it ought to be fun.  It shouldn't divert me from my Dungeoneering that much, right?  Little did I know.

Going from 82 Mining up to 90 was no big deal.  It took about 4 days, and that was fine.  Spent some time in the Lava Mine.  Some for the experience, which is easy, but not as fast as possible.  Stayed there until I got my gold mining armor.  The rest of the time was spent mining gold ore in the Living Rock Cavern.  That's probably the fastest way to raise mining levels, with the ability to mine many ores from a single rock before it runs out.

The hard part... going from 90 Smithing to 99?  That was insanity.  I KNEW it would take about 125,000 gold ore being turned into bars.  I just somehow thought it would go much faster.  I mean, you take a whole inventory to the furnace in Edgeville... wear gold-smithing gloves... Have my Varrock 4 armor for the occasional extra bar smelted.  It's automated- you click to start, and then sit back while it does the whole backpack.
I somehow forgot that each bar smelted comes with full graphics animation and the 'hissss' noise.  No shortcuts, no speed-ups.  Full wait for every single gold ore to be converted to gold bar.

At some point, I read that smelting in Edgeville can give about 60k exp per hour.  That was pretty much my experience, so I give them credit for accuracy.  The same place said that Superheating can give up to 100k per hour.  At that point, I still had about 60,000 gold ore left, so I bought 60,000 Nature Runes, grabbed a staff out of the bank, and started Superheating.  They were right, it was far faster.  It also took a lot more attention and effort.  After a while I started alternating.  Some at the Edgeville furnace, some superheating.

So... slightly over three weeks of my time spent on nothing but smithing... and last night I finally got my 99 Smithing!  Wow.  That was intense.  Would have finished over the weekend, but Monique, my son, and my daughter-in-law, pooled their resources to give me a brand new (birthday) computer this weekend, and I spent the whole weekend playing around  with it.

Now I can get back to Dungeoneering!
 Late last night, did the final few thousand with Superheat.  This morning, my mouse finger was cramped... :^)  But I'm done!!!
Mining the Promethium
Now I can relax, Dungeoneer, make my own Prometheus gear.

I can even wear the cape and do the 99 Smithing emote, which I hadn't thought of until Monique asked about it! 

But no more no-lifing to 99.  It's not worth it.  With my obsessive nature, I get too absorbed.  Told Monique if I ever get a notion like that again, just hit me.  Hard.  With a big stick.