Part 57: .hack Quarantine - //Update 17 - Item Collection and e-Mails//Update 17
Welcome to the antepenultimate update for this LP. This and the next are going to be long by necessity.
The first part of today's update covers the item collection event and my methods for getting through it. The rest of it is every remaining affection e-mail chain in the game.
This update is 245 images long, and a little less than 90% of it is e-mails. I wouldn't feel the least bit bad if you skipped most of this one.
Like I covered several updates ago, the start of the item completion event is really easy. You just run around to each vendor in town and pick up what you're missing from their lists.
This will get you a good 200 items off of that list before you really even get started with the big time collecting.
After this, I strongly recommend that you load up on the *call spell scrolls from Ω Server Root Town. Trade with anyone and everyone you possibly can. Invite folks to your party and trade with them until they've given up everything remotely useful in their inventories.
You can knock out a lot of weapons and armor this way, especially the hard-to-get super high level ones.
Once you've traded with absolutely everybody you possibly can, the hardest phase of this starts. You're going to need to go through the lists in the root town and manually mark which ones you have and have not collected.
I had a gigantic .txt file full of lists of every weapon and armor I had not collected. You're also going to need this FAQ, this second FAQ, and this list of monsters.
The second FAQ tells you where to get all non weapon and armor items on the completion list. The first FAQ tells you where you can find every other item on that list.
The third FAQ is for the occasions when the first FAQ is wrong. Occasionally you can data drain a weapon or armor piece from a monster instead.
However, there is one surefire method that will get you the vast majority of both lists with little fuss. You need to get weapons from the root towns and abuse the shit out of the Spring of Myst system.
The weapons and armors in the first FAQ are ordered in the same manner as the game's comprehensive master list on the Event NPCs. So, the easiest method to complete those lists is just to grab weapons from the item shops in town and upgrade them with the Springs of Myst.
For the weapons, the fastest method I found was to grab two copies of a weapon, upgrade one with a <blank> <blank> "Sunny Day" field, and upgrade the second with a <blank> <blank> "Twin Hills" field, then a "Sunny Day" field. This puts one weapon a single stage behind the other, allowing you to use nothing but Sunny Day fields to upgrade both until you reach the end of what the server can upgrade.
Once you get far enough down the individual lists, you're going to run into absolute limits of the Spring of Myst system. For instance, even Grandpa on Omega Server can't upgrade a weapon past a certain point. Once you reach that point, you're going to need to go hunting manually.
That's why I had to be careful to obtain those two specific weapons in the previous update. The only way to obtain them was to go to the bonus dungeon and data drain specific enemies.
Armors are a little more difficult to obtain, though the individual lists are shorter. If your collection was like mine, you're going to need to do more hunting of individual pieces of armor because the upgrade system for armors is completely chaotic, and upgrading or downgrading a piece will often change its armor type entirely!
I've said it multiple times, and I want to say it again. Completing the item collection event is not fun. It is a tedious, soul-destroying grind. Even now that I'm done and two and a half weeks removed from having completed it (as of the time of this writing, April 13th 2015), I still don't feel it was worth the effort I put into it.
I mistakenly thought the in-game clock went only to 99 hours. This is where so much of my playtime went. I mean, look at that. 50 hours ago we were at the final boss of the game, now we're in the middle of a godawful sidequest.
I've run out of words for this. I've tried many times to dissuade you guys from doing this grind. I've talked in detail about my methods for getting this done with the least amount of random hunting possible.
All that's left is to look at the pretty pictures as the numbers slowly tick up and down respectively.
This is where we stood as of the start of the last update, with two items to go on this list.
After completing that bonus dungeon, because we found the two remaining weapons within, we get text that I suspect few players have ever seen.
Because we were the first player in the game to accomplish this, the event immediately ends for everyone else. I'm having a hard time deciding if this makes Kite a dick or a hero.
Anyway, the next 217 images are all the rest of the e-mail chains we haven't done yet. Thankfully I captured these according to conversation, so no confusion for me!
If you guys want to bow out now, I wouldn't blame you. See you guys next time.
For those of you dedicated enough to stick around? Time for some laughs.
That's 23 separate e-mail conversation chains.
Late 20s/early 30s isn't exactly old. My birthday was a month and a half back and I certainly don't feel old yet!
I got confused, so there is no picture of the bad response to Balmung.
Balmung is like 17 in the real world. Why is he asking for dating advice from Kite "I'm gonna invite both girls that like me out on a date at the same time" the Love Guru?
You know, reading this e-mail chain and comparing his past behavior, I'm starting to develop a sneaking suspicion that Balmung is a little bit autistic.
There's something kinda funny about a bunch of Americans in the Midwest speaking Japanese like samurai warriors.
Oh god she likes Kite.
Poor Natsume. She could really use a dose of self-confidence!
I absolutely adore the comedian/straight man thing Nuke and Kite have going on.
Who do we know that wants to be an editor and tells rambly funny stories?
Well she's feeling uncharacteristically chatty.
"I like pain." Asshole Kite is so magical at times.
The next e-mail chain is from Sora. He has a very... interesting way of talking. It's very Web 1.0.
It's also really fucking annoying to read.
Who the hell are the Avery Sisters? A Google search suggests they're wedding photographers?
Yasuhiko, if you don't remember, is Orca.
Again, Asshole Kite is absolutely magical.
Lepidosiren Paradoxa is the South American Lungfish.
You really get the feeling that Elk is just a little kid without any friends.
NEXT TIME: Saying goodbye to the .hack games.