Tuesday 29 June 2010


The United(Really?) Kingdom is suffering a modest spell of hot weather at the moment, and as with the snow it seems that we are utterly unable as a populace to deal with any variation in temperature away from Mildly Inclement degrees Celsius; if no rain is seen for more than a few days mothers will begin clutching their children tightly to themselves as they peer fearfully out of their curtained windows, old folk cross their chests and sit on their porches waiting for the end of all things, and men begin to gather in groups in the street and stand stalwartly staring towards the sun, arms clamped in at the sides, fists clenched, humming God Save the Queen through gritted teeth set into defiant perspiring faces.

In order to help my British MMO brethren through this difficult time of pleasant weather, I thought I’d drop a few tips on how to cope in a language that will be familiar to us all.

The big yellow thing in the sky is called Sun, he’s the current end-game raid boss for this expansion, or ‘season’ as regular raiders of the outside world call it.

Sun gives off a massive AoE DoT aura that turns you pink and makes your skin fall off. This aura is a bit backwards because it affects everywhere outside of the dark dank dungeons we generally inhabit of an evening.

To counter Sun’s aura there’s a special Sun Screen buff that you can apply, it’s gained by using a cream every couple of hours or so. The buff doesn’t stack; attempts to apply multiple buffs will simply make you look like a noob when you go outside. The cream can be picked up from most vendors at your local village or town.

Sun’s second phase is to apply an Overheat debuff to those who remain hidden inside thinking to avoid the DoT aura. Players can counter this by removing armour and submersing themselves in any nearby expanses of water. Be warned though, the AoE DoT aura is still in effect in the second phase and the longer a player stays in the water the quicker the Sun Screen buff wears off. Players will need to carefully balance between the AoE DoT and Overheat to make it through to phase three.

Note: Players should drink regularly at all times in order to replenish fluids lost through the perspiration mechanic that was introduced with patch 1.4.7, which as far as we can tell was only introduced to give the players busy work. Be aware that certain drinks will draw aggro from various insect class mobs, some of whom have a nasty poison attack.

In phase three a siren will sound and any players smart enough to think of filling a bath with cold water to survive phase two will be drawn outside to a nearby ice cream van. This phase forces all players out into Sun’s AoE DoT and is a test of group cooperation as the players queue for their frozen monosodium glutamate on a stick. Useful resist gear for this phase includes the knotted handkerchief headpiece, which is generally considered best-in-slot for fire resistance of this type. A string vest and shorts that are too tight around the crotch are generally best for chest and legs, although embarrassingly over-tight Speedos are an acceptable alternative – these items all look like bikini pieces on female avatars, of course. Sandals and flip flops are the best footwear – WARNING do not be tempted to equip white socks at the same time as sandals; although it might seem that the sock’s partial defence bonus to sun block would be useful in these situations, you will draw such considerable aggro from other PCs that it will far outweigh any benefits the socks might provide.

Note: At any time a BBQ event can be initiated by the leader of your party. This event provides considerable resistances to both Overheat and Ice Cream Van Nearby, but will require everyone to take on Sun’s AoE DoT. Be warned that you need a leader with a skill of at least 375 in cooking to be in charge of the BBQ: for every fifty skill points below 375 they are there’s a 10% chance that the leader will serve poisoned food which will debuff players for several days afterwards; it does provide lots of opportunity to practise using the Sprint to Toilet skill however, and is one of the few ways to gain the Both Ends At Once! achievement.

Those players who thought ahead and made their way to the beach in order to be near an expanse of water for phase two will now be punished by the developer for their foresight and ingenuity and suffer a Sand debuff that reduces the effectiveness of ice cream and BBQ food by fifty percent. They will also be attacked by sea gulls at random. And it will rain. Serves them right for daring to enjoy themselves in an MMO.

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