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The Second Astral Plane Quest


cutler121

  

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So over the last month I put together a few quests with a variety of different formats for people to try out and I thought I would post the results of those quests to both let people know how they turned out and hopefully get some feedback on what people thought about them.

If people could respond here about what you particularly liked, disliked, or what worked well or maybe would have been better if done differently, I will think about that for future quests.


In this quest I continued the necrovion astral plane adventure. When Asterdai first gained access to the astral House of Tainted Times he found a sealed and encrypted message which was the back story for this astral plane quest. Mighty Pirate was the first person to break the decryption on this message and received a WP for being able to do so. The body of this message is copied below. The message was encrypted using a Vignere cipher with a 24 length key. I also made the encrypted message available to anyone who had gained access to the house of tainted times one day earlier than for everyone else as a bonus for completing the first quest.

Once Mighty Pirate decrypted the message, I opened up access to the House of Tainted Times 3D Maze and posted the body of the decrypted text.

When people first entered the 3D maze they could only move forward and backward along 5 cubes. At the furthest cube there was a signpost which activated being able to move right. This allowed people to move forward, backward and right and eventually be locked in a single square with another signpost which opened up going left. I wanted people to have a chance to learn how to navigate the maze as they were first trying it out so this was a kind of instruction period. Eventually people learned they could travel up, down, right, left, back and forward and were sent to follow a single path which dead ended at another signpost which opened up the full maze.

As people explored the maze, there were a few dead ends which gave hints as to what to do, opened new possibilities (like search the walls of the cube), find the secret passage to Sages Keep, and eventually have enough info to find the hidden vault hidden in the maze which was protecting the most vulnerable soul cubes for MD.

I rewarded 3 WP for the first three people who were able to find the vault:

Yoshi
Cless
Udgard

and honorable mention to people who had already received a WP from me but were able to solve the secret of the 3D maze.

asryn
tankfans
asterdai


I was really impressed that so many people were able to find the hidden vault in the maze, this was a difficult task.

In this quest I wanted to extend the astral plane and try out more interactive methods to have people interact within MD. I had some more ideas about things to do with the maze, but when it reached the point it is now, I decided it was already difficult and had a huge amount of work in it so sometimes it is best to just finish so people can enjoy (hopefully) what is already there.

In the near future, I plan to close the howling gates entrance to the necro astral plane to casual entrance. The only people who will have unlimited access will be:

1) People in a necrovion alliance
2) People who have chosen Necrovion as their home land
3) Friends of Bob (have made bob bloom) so they can continue to do so
4) People who have found the hidden path from Sages Keep to the House of Tainted Times so they will be able to reenter that way anytime.

I also plan to add access to GG for people in GG based alliances/land and at some point for loreroot for people in loreroot alliances/land choice.


I have lots of ideas for future quests and would like to try out a few new directions to develop the astral plane as well. Unfortunately I am out of WP at the moment so until I get some more my future quests may have to be just for the fun of doing them (if that is enough of a reward)

I would also be open to expanding the astral plane quest chains in new directions if people have any new ideas or would like to have some more interactive locations. A few possible ideas already in work -- making an interactive wishing well in no mans land, making more MD based click type puzzles, having new 3D mazes to gain access to new locations (I have a 25x25x25 maze in the works), possible boat rides and/or air balloon rides to expand ways to travel about MD, lots of new ways to die in the astral plane.

So how do people like the continued development of the astral plane? Is it something which should be continued or not?

Cheers,

Cutler


PS The body of the decrypted message is copied below.



We never thought this would happen. When we first learned that every living thing has a physical soul in the astral plane, it gave us such hope to know that there was proof of survival after physical death. Some of our initial research even proved that it is possible to bring people back to life that had died. Each living beings life exists as a cube on the astral plane. By shocking a cube in the right way of someone who died, their life was found to restart on the physical plane. If only it could have ended there. Some of our darker brethren decided to test the opposite hypothesis, could damage to the astral cube hurt or even kill someone in the real world.

It started as a simple if evil set of murders of people disliked by many. Their astral cubes were burned to ash and their lives were snuffed out. What nobody knew was that no cube existed alone. When one cube was destroyed sometimes four, five or up to six other living beings died as well. Each cube was connected to other cubes, sometimes to friends or plants or animals which lived close to the target. It was unclear. So we wanted to know how the cubes were connected.

Cubes of every type of living creature were gathered and destroyed to try to find a pattern in the connections. For some reason, some cubes seemed to hold the soul for not just a creature, but large groups of living things. We couldn’t believe that the destruction of a single cube killed all of the grass for miles around the House of Sage Research. Piece by piece the land began to die, and we couldn’t stop it. So we locked the path from the house of sage research to Sages Keep and walled what has become known as Necrovion to stop the creeping death. As a badge of our shame we have renamed the House of Sage Research to the House of Tainted Times.

Since any cubes residing on the astral plane are vulnerable to being damaged or manipulated, we created one of the strongest magic wards ever known to transport new soul cubes to the real world to protect them from harm. Then as a final step we locked away the astral plane so it couldn’t be misused by the unwary. With the soul cubes in the real world and the astral plane locked away, the progressing death of the real world was limited to what is now being called Necrovion. It is too late, but now we know that some cubes are special, they contain the life of a land, or connect not a few but many people together. These cubes can never be allowed to be abused again. We have collected the most vulnerable such cubes and locked them away here in the astral plane. For this is a power too dangerous to be played with again. Only the most insightful of souls should be allowed to handle these cubes again, and we do not trust even ourselves. Our research has killed this land, and that cannot be allowed to happen again.

If these cubes are ever needed again, only one who truly understands the connections between all living creatures and their cubes will be able to unlock them from their sanctuary. To do so, enter the House of Tainted Times and speak aloud the old now all but lost name of our home “House of Sage Research”. This will allow access to the maze, but beware only one of subtle understanding and great insight will unlock its mysteries and many will never leave alive. If you are of clear conscience and do not seek power over others, it might be best to lock this message away and not reveal what you have learned, leave this sleeping power undisturbed.

Using real history and trying to keep the


To complete the quest people had to enter the astral plane and interact with a bunch of the locations in necro to gain items and complete tasks which eventually opened up the house of tainted times. There were several distinct quest chains including 1) fixing the house of tainted times clock, 2) finding the stars to rebuild the house of tainted times tiles, 3) cleaning the jug / (helping out Bob).

When people had completed most parts of these different quest chains, it became possible to activate the tiles in front of the house of tainted times. This activated two "dominoe" type puzzles, which people had to solve to gain entry to the house of Tainted Times.

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[quote name='cutler121' date='03 December 2009 - 03:45 AM' timestamp='1259829907' post='49014']
So how do people like the continued development of the astral plane? Is it something which should be continued or no
[/quote]

I love it! If you ever stop working on it, we will find you... and politely ask you to continue working on it :P The maze was extremely well put together, and I loved how you started it with going forwards only, then gaining knowledge of going right, then left, it was awesome. The only thing that I did not like was searching in every room and closing the popup every time. Maybe next time the message would appear somewhere within the same window? Other than that, excellent job, and waiting for the next quest in the series :P

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Yeah I made the popups like that to be annoying on purpose. That way people who figured out exactly where to check wouldn't have to deal with them and people who just randomly clicked would get tired :-) You surpassed my expectation for clicking endurance.

Cheers,

Cutler

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25x25x25?
I'd get lost even with map and compass... O_o

I think i haven't posted in the other thread, so i'll seize the opportunity to say that i love the things you are doing there, logic puzzles and mazes, and still hard enough to not be solved by anybody :P

Keep that work up, pleeeease =)

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wait.... but i never got lost in that place... didn't know it had started either... only been in the maze at most 10 minutes and i am pretty sure i have explored every area there... and i can leave via necro, go every direction, and search the sides.... and i found the way to sages keep.... the room has hit me once, i have found a button on the ceiling as well....

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Congrats on finding the vault I am Bored. Even finding it through random clicking is still impressive. If I ever do get the 25x25x25 maze completed though I think that route will be dramatically less likely to work :D

So I am planning on closing the howling gates door on day 340. Only people who have set Necrovion as their home land, are in a Necro alliance, or have made bob bloom will be freely able to enter the necro astral plane after that date. (Unless something else comes up like another quest)

So if you want to keep access to the Necro astral plane, you still have two days to water Bob, complete the maze or join the sentinels :)

I am willing to add content to the astral plane besides what I am developing for future quests. If there is something you would like to see, feel free to PM me to suggest it or leave a message here.

Cheers,

Cutler

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how do you water bob? and can i get acess anyway since i can get bob to bloom outside of teh astral plane?

oh and the jug and well are switched.

and i have watered bob 405 times.....


[color="#0000ff"]USE EDIT BUTTON!!!
Do I really need to watch you like I watch over a baby?
I am tempted to propose to the other mods to put you under moderation.
DST

and i was about to use the edit button, but i was watering bob 405 times.....
[/color]

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[quote name='cutler121' date='05 December 2009 - 10:27 AM' timestamp='1259983671' post='49180']
So I am planning on closing the howling gates door on day 340. Only people who have set Necrovion as their home land, are in a Necro alliance, or have made bob bloom will be freely able to enter the necro astral plane after that date. (Unless something else comes up like another quest)

So if you want to keep access to the Necro astral plane, you still have two days to water Bob, complete the maze or join the sentinels :P
[/quote]

And those that finished the maze please? =D

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[quote name='I am Bored' date='09 December 2009 - 02:58 PM' timestamp='1260370683' post='49508']
i have now watered bob on the astral plane 163,954 times, and no i didn't add any extra digits to that :D
[/quote]


Ahhh but the real test is how many times you have tried to kill bob!

Cutler

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Well i am not being funny.

But that IS amazing. 163 thousand times???
i thought my 24 were impressive.

If you do not receive a reward for this i will be dissapointed.

Oh and cutler, thanks for the addition of the real sages keep into the astral plane, i have never been there before, awesome stuff (though may not have been so awesome, if i havent been playing for 250 days without getting there :)) if you know what i mean)

EDIT :YAY!!! i got into the hollow den!! Awesommmmmmmmeeeeeee!

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