TriadCity Message of the Day

The loooooooooooong-awaited and uber-fabulous Tree of Wealth is now online. Woo-hoo!

How long awaited? About ten years, actually. Well arlighty then.

The TOW is intended for Warriors or other violence users between levels 15 and 20. In some ways it's your pretty typical MUD-inspired killing ground for monstrous critters, arachnids in this case, which become more challenging as you climb the tree. On other ways it's more interesting. For example:

  • TOW arachnids have the ability to spin sticky webs. The more powerful the arachnid, the stronger and more sticky the web. If you get stuck in one, you're totally immobilized until somebody else Cuts it. That's right, someone else has to cut you out. Indeed: while you're stuck you can't do a darn thing, including defend yourself. But, the critters can attack you all they like. They will probably like it very much.
  • TOW arachnids work together to implement a common defense strategy. Their General is an Arachnid Princess, who monitors every movement inside the Tree, knows where everybody is, and makes decisions accordingly. She currently has four distinct strategies she can employ, each of which has individual strengths and weaknesses compared to the others. A strategy is chosen for her at server boot; she'll use that one until the next reboot. This has the potential to make your experience of the TOW pretty different from reboot to reboot.
  • Stings of higher-level arachnids are poisonous, resulting in paralysis lasting a greater or lesser time. As noted yesterday, if you become paralyzed, somebody else will have to Drag you out of there. And, just like being stuck, if you're paralyzed you can't do a thing.

It ain't all one-sided, though. You've got some tricks up your sleeve. One you'll enjoy, we think, is Bug Bombs. Available for purchase from the No Bugs M'Lady Store in the Black Plaza Mall, Bug Bombs explode when dropped, leaving behind a toxic-looking pink cloud which repulses lower-level arachnids. This makes it possible for you to concentrate on Cutting the webs inside a particular Room without fear of attack. At least, until the Bug Bomb Cloud dissipates. Note that higher-level arachnids aren't affected by these, but lower-level ones are.

Most importantly, if you kill the Princess Arachnid, the others all go dormant. They won't move or attack, or spin new webs; and the dead ones will cease to repop. If you and your violence-loving pals can find her and bump her off, you'll own the entire Tree until the next reboot.

The Tree is stocked with goodies. There are hidden caches of Dinars, weapons, ammunition, interesting equipment, and other desirables. Not only that. The arachnids will strip the bodies of the Players they kill, and will hoard captured Player eq and inventory Items in their treasury Rooms between reboots, just like an Inn Room or a Player House. Depending on who's gotten killed in there, you and yours could potentially fight your way through to a real bonanza of hypercool gear.

We'll leave it to y'all to formulate your own strategies. Just a few important reminders before you start:

  • Go with friends. Seems pretty unlikely that any lone wolf type could ever survive in there. During our testing, no lone wolf ever did.
  • Be at least level 15.
  • Travel light. The heavier you are, the more likely to be caught in a web.
  • Be dextrous. The lower your Dex attribute, the more likely to be caught in a web.
  • Wield a Cutting weapon. Something with a blade: a sword, a knife, an axe, a dagger. Have the correct Skill for it.
  • Bring some Bug Bombs.
  • Bring a light. It's dark in there.

Two notes re balance:

It's pretty difficult to set balances for zones like this purely through our own testing. Y'all will have to have at it and let us know if it's too hard or too easy. Remember, the goal is to create a challenging and tense combat environment for Players level 15 to 20. We'll work with y'all to make adjustments based on experience.

There are characters today who are over level 20, have Diamond Helmets, and can probably walk right in and kick all the bug asses in the building. Nothing will stop you, but, remember that if you do that, the experience will be unavailable for the level 15 - 20 types for whom the zone is intended. Thanks for keeping that in mind!

Have fun!

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