We left off the night before rocking some 63 maps and pretty soon we’d be moving up the map ladder. Fooly had stayed on most of the night plowing through 61/62 maps and managed to get a few more 63 and 64 maps. We got right back into doing our 63 maps and we had already planned that if we had decent luck by mid-day we’d be up to our 64 maps. We grinded tediously for a good chunk of the day and we finally had to move up to our 64s. The reason for the name of this series is due to the first 64 map we did. We did a Coves and in that coves we ended up pulling two 65s and two 66s, which was incredible for us as a group. As a group we began joking about how the RNG Gods had us in their spotlight and as loyal followers to their ways we should worship and respect them. What started out as a joke, turned into a running gag for the remainder of the race.
Everytime we would get good RNG, we’d pay our respects to the RNG Gods. Prior to starting Maps, we would offer prayers at the “altar” which was the Map Device. I can only recall a period of 4 maps in a row where NO maps dropped. Every other time we had amazing RNG and Maps were dropping like flies, as well as higher end currency. We ended up riding 64 maps for the rest of the day and this time Fooly went to bed at the same time as Ragnarok and I and we ended up staying up a few hours longer than normal because the competition was extremely fierece. At this point Fooly was pushing Top 20 and Ragnarok and I were close to Top 50. Fooly was going to get up a bit earlier than Ragnarok and I because he was so close to Top 20 and didn’t want to fall too far.
I was really worried about our rankings at this point. While we were gaining on people, we weren’t gaining many ranks and we had already discussed we may have to stay up for longer hours on Saturday, the 2nd last day of the race. Ultimately it was going to be what the rankings looked like and it’d be a decision we’d make as a group when the time came. There were a few times I almost thought about quitting because of the competition, but I realized if I was feeling that way, others were too so that may thin the competition, which in the end, it did.
Because of the fierce competition, we got up a bit earlier than normal to begin the final day and a half push. We still had some 64s, about ten 65s and a few 66s. Fairly quickly, our RNG luck seemed to have dried up. There was some group discontent as we began running out of 64s. Fooly wanted to move up to 65s even though we had a bunch of 63s we could run safely. I was firm that we should move back down to 63s and hope our luck returned in fear we’d bottom out there anyways. We ultimately wasted time arguing. Ragnarok didn’t care either way, so someone had to compromise, so I did. We had 2 chiselled and rolled 65s so I was comfortable only running those and anything below 65 that dropped we’d move down and run those and we’d discuss the situation again if we ran out. We ended up getting some 64 maps out of them and I believe a 66, so we paid our respects and continued to grind.
There were numerous times throughout the race where one of us needed a break for something. I had to check on the kids, Ragnarok smoked often, and Fooly mostly no-lifed so he was never not gaining. During these times we’d be running our lower level maps and we were plowing through that surplus of 62s and 63s. This would become an issue later as we came closer and closer to bottoming out.
There was a 65 I rolled that Fooly wanted scoured and chiselled when I was saving our chisels for the 66s we were going to be doing soon. He went on a rant about how you have to chisel maps to get more maps and that I was effectively wasting the map. I immediately shoved the map into the device, told him it was up and we were doing it. We got into another argument and he tossed out the gem “You haven’t even done higher level maps, I have.” While this may have been true, the highest level map I’d completed was a 63 prior to this race, this wasn’t an e-peen competition. In a perfect world, I would have lit into him them, but we were racing as a group and it would have been detrimental to start something then. There were many options I could have used, map knowledge != survivability knowledge (He had 2 deaths afterall. 2 NOOB deaths.), map experience != authority, etc. I settled with RNG is RNG, Ragnarok agreed, and I’m sure if we didn’t pull anything from the Map, which we did get another 65, he would have ranted further about how he was right.
Quickly though we were on 65 maps full-time and fairly soon our map surplus was dwindling. We managed to get roughly half a dozen 66s and we were forced late morning to start doing 66s. Maze Waste Pools, Maze Torture Chamber and either pack size or more rare/magic monsters. We’d magic roll those then regal it. We pulled our first 67 but our resources were drying up. At some point in the day either Fooly or someone from another team contacted us about merging groups. At this point in time I felt it was risky to merge, especially if they wanted to use our 67s first. We still had some 66s and even though our luck was running out, we could go for a few more hours before things got dicey. Worst case scenario we could always reconsider hooking up with them if the RNG Gods kept shitting on us, and ultimately it’s what would end up happening.
A few hours after the merger offer, we only had our 67s left, all un-rolled because we lacked the currency for it. We had nothing between 64-66 and only a handful of 63s. Things were looking very bleak, and I suggested we reach out to that group now (I know, extremely shitty, but who wouldn’t think that way without knowing strangers?) and see if they were still open to merging. Surprisingly they were. They even had some 68 maps, but were lacking 66-67, but had a good surplus of 63-65 maps, something we didn’t. If they had said no, I doubt we all would have made Top 20, but the grouping incentive is huge so our parties merged.
Their party consisted of Magnicon2, a caster Marauder using Freezing Pulse, a bunch of auras with epic survivability, Pastromy, an Ice Arrow Templar with some other shit I can’t remember, and IMDisappoint, a Lightning Strike Duelist. We started with one of their 68s, which eased a lot of my apprehensions, so once we rounded out those, we tossed them our 67s and we ran with those. It didn’t take long for our group dynamics to merge. They quickly picked up on the paying respects to the RNG Gods and the gag continued for the rest of the race with these guys. Their group towards the end of the race added a new element to paying respects, which was making an offering. We’d throw down random unique items, sometimes valuable gems, etc. A lot of the time I’d take them and pretend I just found some epic new loot, but would quickly throw it back down. My role also changed in the group. I speced into dual-curse and would rarely use my summons again. This made my job fairly easy and boring, and at times I felt useless, but I served my purpose on some of the tougher bosses/maps.
After falling down from our 67 and 68 maps, we eventually worked our way back up with their lower maps, and eventually got a level 69 Plateau to drop. It dropped in my name, so I quickly grabbed it, joked I was peacing and going solo, then I had a client crash. I doubt they thought I was being serious, but client issues are a problem for me with multiple party members due to using Linux and running a shitty video card.
Ultimately we ended up trading this Plateau to Team GGG, headed up by Nugiyen. The plan was Team GGG would roll the map as perfect as possible for us, then use a Mirror on it. They would get a rolled 69, and we would get a rolled 69. I traded the map to DesuDesu_GGG and he proceeded to roll it….. before realizing he forgot to chisel it. It was a bone-head move, likely due to sleep deprivation, and he was forced to invest 20 chisels into it. A member of his group suggested completely re-rolling it to save 16 chisels, but they had dropped lots of currency into it, including 3 Exalted Orbs.
We ran the Map and managed to pull a 68 Cells, I believe and our RNG luck seemed to return. My original group and this new group had already decided to stay up for the duration of the race, so it was going to be a long night. We tirelessly farmed anything we could find, moving up and down the Map ladder. There were numerous times in the early AM where I would doze off a bit during a map and forget what I was doing. Whether it was casting the same curses over and over with no one near me, pressing Z trying to cast curses, etc. I really didn’t think I would be able to make it, but the group was very talkative and that seemed to help.
Fooly had managed to get into the Top 10 by this point, and Magnicon and Pastromy were hovering around the 12-15 ranks. I was slightly ahead of Ragnarok and nearing Top 20, and Ragnarok and Disappoint were just behind me. After getting over the extreme exhausting hurdle, things would eventually pick up in the final hours of the race. Our luck carried us for most of the morning. We pulled a Necropolis and the experience was amazing…. Until I crashed halfway through it. At the start of the morning, I had about a 6m experience lead on Ragnarok. It was a decent cushion, but it evaporated after that map. I was getting extremely frustrated with my crashes, knowing that everytime I crashed, I was getting pushed further and further back in the group, while everyone outside us were catching up while I waited for them to clear the map.
For much of the day we would move up and down from 64-68 maps. I believe at times we ran some 63s. A former member of the other teams group, Zertan was gracious enough to offload currency and higher level maps to Pastromy. Pastromy would ultimately give him the second demigod he won for being our hidden 7th team member. With a few hours left in the race, we ran into a huge wall. While we had a bunch of 63 maps, that was all we had left. Everyone in the group was Top 20, though the other groups had higher level maps and were closing the gap fast. Team GGG had insane RNG during this period, pulling 68/69 map after map without the resources to roll it. As it turns out, they began to pay some form of respects to the RNG Gods, proving through scientific research that it works. A trade was made. We traded them 10 or 12 chisels for a 68 Cells, which we chiselled once or twice with the remaining ones we had. Team GGG promised that if he didn’t pull anything they’d give us a 66.
Team GGG pretty much at this point had Top 4 locked down with their group. They were mostly trying to get Simon_GGG into the Top 20. I’m fairly certain in retrospect, Simon would never have allowed this trade to happen, but in hindsight, they had a shitload of higher level maps and likely thought it impossible for us to get the luck we would get. We ran the Cells and we pulled another Cells out of it. I crashed the first time after trying to curse Brutus, so I had to reload. We started the next Cells and the RNG Gods returned in full force. I’m fairly certain we pulled a Necropolis, two 68s, two 67s and a 66. That type of pull, in the final 3 hours of the race, is staggeringly legendary. I’ll be the first to admit it. Without that trade and luck, I don’t think Ragnarok, Disappoint and myself would have reached Top 20 and Pastromy wouldn’t have gotten Top 10. Those maps are what cemented our final push in the race.
We finished all those maps up within an hour and with two hours to go we lived off the 65-68 maps that dropped from it. In the last 2 hours, I had a couple crashes. Prior to all those maps, I had a 3.5 million experience lead on Disappoint. I ended the race 500k up on him. Thankfully I only crashed towards the end of a map clear, and typically in lower levelled ones, so it didn’t hurt that much, though I was fairly anxious in the last two hours. There were two people that passed Disappoint and I, but due to our map clearing speed and experience rate, we passed people that were ahead of us. With 2 hours to go, we had a roughly 13 million experience lead over Simon and Angry_African. On Nugiyen’s stream, Simon thought that was easily manageable, and if we hadn’t been gaining, it would have been. What he failed to realize was our map clearing speed on slightly lower levelled maps allowed us to offset much of the experience he’d gain. If he ran a Necropolis and gained 3-5 million, we could clear 2 65s and get about 3. They were also running some Temporal Chains maps which is silly in the final few hour push.
In the last hour I didn’t crash once, I was wide awake and we were face-rolling every map we were doing, which was mostly 64-66 maps. While Angry_African and Simon_GGG were gaining on Disappoint and myself, we passed someone to give us a little bit of a cushion. My biggest fear was a crash with Disappoint so close in experience. I was sitting at 18th rank, and while this will sound selfish, if Simon and Angry both made Top 20, I’d still be Top 20 bumping Disappoint out. Thankfully, we wouldn’t have to worry about it. With 10 minutes to go, Fooly left, unsuccessful aiming for Top 5, but safe in the #6 spot. Disappoint and I both had a 3-4 million experience lead on Simon so we just finished doing some 64 maps before the race ended.
We cheered, we virtual high-fived. Everyone was excited. Everyone was tired. Our original group set a goal of Top 20. We reached it, with Fooly getting Top 10. The merged group had a goal of getting everyone into Top 20. We did it, with two in the Top 10. Magnicon was so close to getting Top 10, but he didn’t care, he got what he wanted. Fooly finished 6th, Pastromy finished 9th, Magnicon finished 11th, Ragnarok finished 14th, I finished 18th and Disappoint was 19th. The final race of closed beta, the final chance to win a Demigods Presence. I did it. We did it. In my opinion this was the greatest 1 week race closed beta offered. It had the highest level of competition, there were crazy moments, crazy deaths. I set my mark, I reached my goals.
I have to say thanks to everyone in the group, even though I think Fooly’s a turd, I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks to GGG for making such a fun and addictive game. Thanks to the wife for tolerating the insane amount of time I put to win a “trinket”. But the most important that needs to be thanked, is the RNG Gods. Through your divinity, you answered the prayers of both groups, and any group that paid their respects. You have a loyal follower for life, and I will spread the word.
I pay my respects to the RNG Gods.