Difference between revisions of "Return to Black Swan Castle/saved posts"

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~Kaikala
 
~Kaikala
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{{saved-post
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| category = Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
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| topic = General Discussions of Paid Events
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| messagenum = [http://forums.play.net/forums/GemStone%20IV/Paid%20Events:%20Adventures,%20Quests,%20and%20SimuCoins/General%20Discussions%20of%20Paid%20Events/view/897 897]
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| author = [[User:GS4-RETSER|GS4-RETSER]]
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| date = 02/05/2020 08:30 PM CDT
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| subject = Quest Changes: Experience Rewards
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}}
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Hey Everyone!
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We've reviewed and made a few adjustments to all the quests in terms of experience rewards.
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Night At the Academy (NATA) was left unchanged.
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Black Swan Castle (BSC) will now award experience similar to NATA.
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Troubled Waters (TW) will now award experience scaling based on your performance/time with a ceiling of the same amount as BSC/NATA.
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Reim will now award you with a medium amount of experience for completing the entire instance. It will be awarded when you kill both the Empress and Emperor. This will only happen when you receive the flag to enter. Helping multiple people kill in the same room will not reward you with additional.
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Reim Fortress Defense (RFD) will now award you with a small boost upon completion of the quest.
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All of these changes are effective immediately and live.
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Happy Questing!
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Retser, SGM

Latest revision as of 14:33, 2 August 2020

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 5
Author: FIREPHOENIX
Date: 02/06/2013 03:40 PM CST
Subject: Re: Memories


<New ticketed quest: Return to Black Swan Castle

I see what you did there!

I think it was run in 1997 and 2001/2002. Here is Simu-Melissa's post about it. Tickets were $30 in both runnings. It was for 50 people at a time in order to solve all it's puzzles.


Shrouded in mystery, Black Swan Castle towers deep in the forests of Upper Trollfang. Hidden within lie the fiendish tricks and traps of a madman - and your companions will need your help to survive!

Adventure! Puzzles, traps and tricks, galore! Black Swan Castle will challenge your cooperative and puzzle solving skills!

Teamwork! Enjoy the opportunity to work with many different types of characters. Solo players beware! All levels of characters may participate. Many puzzles require all levels of character to complete!

Battle Terrifying Foes! All levels of fearsome monsters will be encountered. Be one guard! Be ready! Beware!

Danger! This quest is not for the weak at heart! Adventurers must expect to fall victim to death-traps, and the unexpected! Only the most cautious and observant will have any hope of avoiding the ultimate sacrifice! (Please note: You can die in places where clerics may not be able to get to you. You can get trapped in places that may take time to get rescued. These pitfalls represent the challenges of the quest.)

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 14
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/02/2013 08:05 AM PST
Subject: Trouble in the Trollfang


Officials in Wehnimer's Landing have noticed an increase in troll activity in the Upper Trollfang. After sending several hunting parties to investigate, the source has been narrowed to the area immediately surrounding Black Swan Castle. The town is recruiting volunteers to venture into the Castle and investigate. Because of the danger involved, each hunting party has three hours to explore before being extracted by a rescue team and handsomely rewarded!

Black Swan Castle has a long and storied past. While it was once the pride of the countryside, resplendent with its pristine white marble walls and graceful swan-like curves, dark magic twisted it into its current form a century ago when undead hordes descended on it and the surrounding village. Vestiges of the battle are still visible both inside and outside the castle.

Rumors of dangerous booby traps inside the Castle abound. Can you get by them and discover the source of the trouble? Do you have the brains, guts, and heart to Return to Black Swan Castle?

Quest Details

Up to 10 players can participate in the Return to Black Swan Castle quest This is a heavily puzzle-based quest that relies on good party balance and a breadth of available party skills. Players are strongly encouraged to bring a diverse group of professions and races for maximum success. While there is limited combat, there are many things that can maim and kill unwary adventurers!

Tickets and pricing should be following shortly. Or soon. Presently? Pick your favorite word for "I don't know right now, but want to post anyway."

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 13
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/02/2013 08:01 AM CST
Subject: Return to Black Swan Castle Prize List


The prizes for the Return to Black Swan Castle Quest are grouped into six tiers. There are five checkpoints to reach in the progression of the quest in order to unlock higher tier prizes. You may choose from any lower tier, as well.

Exact details about item properties will be left to the winners. The attuning bonuses are in line with the enhancive prizes from the Academy Quest: big and short-lived.

All of the items are scripted.

Iron Tray (Tier 1)	
Prize	Purpose
Bloodjewel ring	Enhances Harness Power, Mana Recovery, and Spiritual, Mental, and Elemental Mana Controls Bonuses (*)
Chicken foot	Enhances Stalking & Hiding and Ambush (*)
Troll finger pendant	Enhances Dodging, Agility, and Intuition bonuses (*)
White leather gloves	Enhances Spell Aiming Bonus and Elemental Air Lore Ranks (*)
Black swan charm	Enhances Mana Recovery (*)
White swan charm	Enhances Max Spirit and Spirit Recovery (*)
Horned pegasus charm	Enhances Stamina Recovery and Constitution Bonus (*)
Wolverine fur scarf	Enhances Stamina Recovery and Survival Bonus (*)
Green alligator bag	Self-closing large capacity belt-worn container
Kitten satchel	Self-closing large capacity belt-worn container
Bronze Tray (Tier 2)	
Prize	Purpose
Troll hide bag	Large capacity belt-worn container; Enhances health regeneration
Shimmering green orb	One-use orb allows you to learn from your experiences faster!
Imflass close helmet	Heavy critical padded helm with locking faceplate; Enhances Multi Opponent Combat Ranks, Combat Maneuver Bonus, and Strength Bonuses (*)
Black felt hat	Enhances Dexterity and Perception Bonuses (*)
Orc hide hip-satchel	Large capacity belt-worn container; has a skull clasp
Black leather gloves	Trick gloves; Enhances Disarming Traps, Picking Locks, and Pickpocketing Bonuses (*)
Brown silk gloves	Ensigiled gloves; Enhances Spell Aiming Bonus and Mana Recovery (*)
Silvery imflass lance	Five-enchant weapon that telescopes between a cudgel and a lance; Enhances Multi Opponent Combat Ranks & Strength and Agility Bonus (*)
Gold and ruby bracelet	Enhances Logic bonus
Cloth-of-vaalin gown	Fully unlocked metallic gown
Steel Tray (Tier 3)	
Prize	Purpose
Crimson kelyn dagger	Fully unlocked five-times enchanted Siolan dagger; Enhances Ambush and Combat Maneuver Bonuses
Troll-arm scabbard	Squishy troll-arm scabbard that can hold one weapon; Enhances Health Recovery
Troll-leg backsheath	Squishy troll-leg backsheath that can hold two weapons; Enhances Health Recovery
Thick leather blackjack	Four-times enchanted blackjack with knockout flares
Golden skull ring	Skull ring that attunes to a container to open and shut it; Enhances Perception
Drakar short sword	Fully unlocked Thousand Cuts short sword; enchanted six times with fire flares
Vultite longsword	Four-times enchanted expander weapon -- switch between a dagger, a short sword, and a longsword!
Orange yarn mugwump	Disk Transformer with 500 charges; results in oil-coated disk
Marble prayerbeads	Unattuned prayerbeads; Enhance Religion Lore
Pouch-lined harness	Fully unlocked Cidolfhus bandolier with increased capacity
Platinum Tray (Tier 4)	
Prize	Purpose
Black linen harness	Katana sash with special Black Swan Castle loresong; Enhances Edged Weapon Bonus
Spiked mace	Unlocked Iasha white ora weapon with five enchants
White ora maul	Unlocked Iasha white ora weapon with five enchants
Grey wolf fur satchel	Fully unlocked Cidolfhus bundling skins and fur bag; Enhances First Aid and Survival Bonuses
Orase quarterstaff	Six-times enchanted quarterstaff with a hidden katana inside
Shimmering violet orb	One-use orb allows you to learn from your experiences faster!
White satin gown	Nalea gown with Black Swan Castle loresong
Black ruic longbow	Five-times enchanted somewhat-sighted longbow; Enhances Perception, Ranged Weapon, Dexterity, and Ambush Bonuses
Mykalin scale gloves	Five-times enchanted unarmed combat gloves with Unbalance flares
Carved wooden troll	Figurine that allows you to speak (but not understand) Trollish
Silver Tray (Tier 5)	
Prize	Purpose
Blackened orase runestaff	Five-times enchanted fully unlocked wand stave with fire flares
Slim witchwood runestaff	Standard enchant Heimer runestaff with rank five Mana flares
Loose white robes	Four-times enchanted robes with fire flares and cold resistance; Vulnerable to fire
Troll spine	Drop into your existing non-enhancive armor to add Health and Stamina Recoveries
Two-toned stone bead	Fully unlocked hair bauble; includes braid and ponytail options
Leather kit	Fully unlocked Gostahl gambling kit that unfolds into a table
Hooded white mantle	Fully unlocked climatewear cloak with increased capacity
Black leather backpack	Reduces encumbrance once per day; max light and deep
Cupped hands pendant	Chrism holder that automatically applies the chrism effect to you; Enhances spirit recovery (*)
Dark blue potion	One dose of fixskill potion
Gold Tray (Tier 6)	
Prize	Purpose
Gold double leathers	Five-times enchanted double leathers with exceptional critical padding
Eahnor-trimmed leather	Five-times enchanted full leather with exceptional critical padding
Golvern full plate	Five-times enchanted full plate with exceptional critical padding
Eahnor-scaled armor	Five-times enchanted brigandine with exceptional critical padding
Faewood runestaff	Five-times enchanted runestaff with rank six Acuity flares
Quartz feather	Forehead gem with Black Swan Castle loresong; unalterable
Troll flesh pin	Infuses health once per day; Enhances health recovery
Troll magus fetish	Infuses mana once per day; Enhances mana recovery
Opal ring	Ring that creates magical ice
Grey leather pouch	Pet hedgehog
WARNING:	Selecting one of the starred (*) enhancive items will bind the item specifically to you. Nobody else. Period. Just you.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 24
Author: GS4-QORTAZ
Date: 03/02/2013 10:34 AM CST
Subject: Re: Return to Black Swan Castle Prize List


>Just to be clear, if all 10 players complete the quest they can call choose 5x ECP armor? Is the padding permanent or temporary? - TARQUAN

Having made them, I can tell you that the padding is indeed permanent.

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 30
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/02/2013 11:48 AM CST
Subject: Re: Return to Black Swan Castle Prize List


>For the groups, will having a wide level gap be a bad thing like it was in the Academy Run? or just more of a minor annoyance but not something that would hinder the party? - CHULAK

Any character of any level, profession, or race, alone or in a group, is able to complete the puzzles. There is only one instance of ...minor annoyance that I can think of.

>Question.. why 3 leathers and no chain? - TRAINERTWO

I had to take out a bunch of fun stuff to try to cover different armor groups. We'll try to hit up everyone!

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 33
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/02/2013 12:27 PM CST
Subject: Re: Return to Black Swan Castle Prize List


>not sure if the puzzles changed; but if I recall there was one part that having a younger character in the group was a good thing... - MAZZAC

There is a mix of new puzzles and revamped old puzzles. Any puzzle can be completed by any character of any level, race, and profession. The solutions might just be a bit different.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 35
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/02/2013 06:06 PM CST
Subject: Re: Return to Black Swan Castle Prize List


>Neat prizes! Are the prizes limited in number, or can everyone in the group get the same item if desired? - LADYFLEUR

There are no limits currently. The prize structure may change for runs outside this first batch, if it needs to. We'll see how it goes!

>Also, are the non-attuned enhancive items also big and short-lived, or are any of the enhancive items rechargeable via the Adventurer's Guild? Thanks! - LADYFLEUR

The attuned enhancives cannot be recharged, but will not crumble. The non-attuned enhancives are pretty modest and can be recharged via the AdG.


~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 77
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/06/2013 02:48 PM CST
Subject: Re: Groups


>When doing the quest, are we going to have to stay in one big group of 10 people, or can the quest be completed if people split into smaller groups? - BHTM

During Droughtman's Maze, it became apparent that there would be some people who sign up for quests for the prize alone and not participate in the quest itself. And that's fine; I can't force people to participate. The rest of the group will not be directly penalized if someone wants to hang out in TSC and wait for the quest to end. There are no puzzles that require all questers to complete.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 80
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/06/2013 06:12 PM CST
Subject: Re: Groups


>That's not remotely close to what I asked. - BHTM

You asked if the group had to stay together. No, people don't have to stay in one group. Sorry to provide you with my reasoning.

>Does the quest require everyone to move from one puzzle to the next, or can you split up and tackle different puzzles concurrently? - BHTM

Some puzzles will have to be done in order. Some won't.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 82
Author: GS4-MESTYS
Date: 03/07/2013 8:06 AM CDT
Subject: Black Swan Quest Prize Revisions


Due to a miscommunication on my part, a number of the prizes from the initial posted list were created with properties more potent than intended. In keeping consistent with our quest prize structure, the following six items will be modified for all runs:

Platinum Tray (Tier 4)	
Prize	Purpose
Orase quarterstaff	Four-times enchanted quarterstaff with a hidden katana inside (down from 6x)
Black ruic longbow	Four-times enchanted somewhat-sighted longbow; Enhances Perception, Ranged Weapon, Dexterity, and Ambush Bonuses (down from 5x)
Gold Tray (Tier 6)	
Prize	Purpose
Gold double leathers	Four-times enchanted double leathers with heavy critical padding and two fusion slots (down from 5x/ECP, added fusion)
Eahnor-trimmed leather	Four-times enchanted full leather with heavy critical padding and two fusion slots (down from 5x/ECP, added fusion)
Golvern full plate	Four-times enchanted full plate with heavy critical padding and two fusion slots (down from 5x/ECP, added fusion)
Eahnor-scaled armor	Four-times enchanted brigandine with heavy critical padding and two fusion slots (down from 5x/ECP, added fusion)

I apologize for the error, and will be taking steps to prevent any similar occurrences in the future. Good luck to all current and future ticket holders, and have fun storming the castle.

-M.

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 203
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/13/2013 09:10 AM CDT
Subject: Re: Tonight's run


>was anything changed between the Plat runs on the Simu side. If so, would a GM mind explaining what was changed? -RBALDWIN

The only thing that was changed was the door that Hal got stuck at, and the second group didn't open it the same way, anyway.

There are a few things that I tweaked after the second run based on the comments groups made, mainly alternate verbs that make sense to work. For example (but not a real example), if I had a puzzle that already trapped spin and turn, and one of the groups tried twist, I'd go ahead and add twist. Syntax is always a concern, and I will cut down on that frustration where I can.

>They knew where we got stuck and what frustrations we had and go to bypass some of the worst of it. - KITHUS

From watching both groups, I don't know how much information was shared. If it was, the people with knowledge on the second run weren't too insistent on using it. The first group got over the wall differently than the second group. It took both groups 90 minutes to get into the castle. Both groups attacked the next two puzzles differently. Once into the main area, the two groups went entirely different ways.

The big thing the second group took to heart from the first group was the warning NOT TO LEAVE THE GROUP. EVER. Sometimes, guys, you might have to. Every puzzle can be completed solo, so the group can technically stay together most of the time. But I stick by my earlier comment that the quest can be completed if people split into smaller groups.

>I would prefer being able to solve the puzzle at our leisure. - SMAHSH

The problem is, with an automated quest, we need to have exact durations in order for the set to reset for the next batch. Blocks of time have to be set up in advance. What happens if one group runs way over the expected time, and the next group is ready to go? Plus, we have people complaining that they can't set aside three hours for a quest (and we are working on things for those with shorter attention spans or available play time!). The previous runs took 12-15 hours. I removed a lot of tedium from the old puzzles, but there's still a lot of content. Just like Droughtman's and the Academy Quest, you must be present in game when the quest ends to collect your prize. I think it's better to have a set duration than to give an estimated run time of between two and ten hours where if you have to leave you're out of luck.

If the tiers were based on time, the quest would have to be limited to one run per account. Otherwise, there'd really be no need for any more than two tiers. One tier for you to figure out the puzzle at your leisure, and the other tier to blow through everything you learned on the previous run.

I am the type of person who can do the 5 questions on a crossword puzzle that I know and walk away completely happy. I don't see partial completion as a failure. The lower tier prizes are on-par with the prizes from the Academy Quest, and you weren't guaranteed a prize there.

>I hate time-sinks, and the quest is filled with them. - SMAHSH

Roundtime is really the only thing I have to keep the puzzles balanced regardless of how many players are currently running a quest. If ten players dance in the foyer for ten seconds of roundtime one time each, they're done in ten seconds. If one player dances in the foyer ten times, he's dancing for a minute and a half. At 40 seconds, the larger group still has the edge, timewise. Note: You don't need to dance in the foyer.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 209
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/13/2013 09:43 AM CDT
Subject: Re: Tonight's run


>What does this mean, exactly? - LADYFLEUR

The roundtime on some puzzles scales according to how many players are currently running the quest to flatten any purported advantage or disadvantage of group size.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 211
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/13/2013 10:17 AM CDT
Subject: Re: Tonight's run


>In other words, a full group breaking up into small groups is not the same as a small group running by themselves. - LADYFLEUR

It's not necessarily better. A full group breaking into two small groups will not go twice as fast as one small group on its own, but still might go faster than a full group all staring at the same puzzle perplexed.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 214
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/13/2013 11:33 AM CDT
Subject: Re: Tonight's run


If anyone from either of the previous two groups has suggestions for alternate syntax options for puzzles that their group completed, please email me at GS4-VANAH@play.net.

For example, the H4H book that was mentioned as a hated guess-the-verb puzzle in this folder was bound by a strap had to be RAISEd before the book could be opened. Attempts to manipulate the book before that told you that the strap had to be lifted first. LIFT isn't a verb. Flat out changing that messaging to telling the player that the strap had to be raised first might be too obvious. I could, however, expand the puzzle to work with other existing verbs like UNWRAP, GET, or PULL. Not all verbs that make sense mentally work mechanically; REMOVE might make sense, but you're not wearing the strap so it may not work mechanically. If you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them but may not be able to implement them.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 218
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/13/2013 2:11 PM CDT
Subject: Preparations


Just a heads up on how transportation to and from Black Swan Castle works:

The campaign tent is set up in the Upper Trollfang and can be accessed by all to view the prizes and quiz the official. I'll probably have the tent out in prime by tomorrow morning.

About 30 minutes before your scheduled start time, the official will close up the tent to prepare for the event. Questers will start getting messaging as a heads up to get ready for the quest. If you need to hit up the bank or your locker, please do it when you get the warnings.

Ten minutes before your scheduled start time, the hunting party will pick you up and take you to the campaign tent. If you log in during this ten minute period, you will be brought to the campaign tent and may not have time to deposit silvers or run around town. You won't be picked up if you are in a teleport-proof room, but you should get messaging nudging you somewhere where the hunting party can pick you up.

During the quest, you can leave the quest area to get healed or raised, but you cannot take quest items with you.

You must be in game when the quest ends to claim your prize. You have 30 minutes after the quest ends to pick your prize.

After the quest, you will have 30 minutes to exit through the swirling portal to return to where you were picked up. If you miss your 30-minute window, you will have to provide your own transportation.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 220
Author: GS4-SLEKEN
Date: 03/13/2013 07:04 PM CDT
Subject: Re: Tonight's run


<<Out of curiosity, how many people have to say that they hate playing guess the verb, AND that they perceived some puzzles to be merely 'guess-the-verb- before you'll consider that maybe, just maybe, perhaps they are right, instead of getting defensive and claiming that there are no 'guess-the-verb' puzzles in RtBSC?

Obviously, we haven't reached that magic number of people yet, but there is hope, with more runs of RtBSC scheduled.>> - CAELRIC

We get the message that some people don't like the puzzle design. Trust me, we get it loud and clear. As you can read, Vanah has been taking suggestions for alternate verbs and she has implemented many. Rest assured that the next few quests we release will have minimal (if any) puzzles.

We are also going to be very careful on the length of quests. We're going to aim for 1 - 2 hours and even try to stay on the low side of that.

SGM Sleken

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 227
Author: GS4-WYROM
Date: 03/13/2013 09:36 PM CDT
Subject: Re: Tonight's run


I told myself I wouldn't post again. But here's the issue with GS. Verbs are how we interact. In text, it's all we have to rely on. We just don't have the visuals like a graphical game to display a puzzle. So it's not like Myst where you see the puzzle, and you use your cursor to "solve" it. Yes, it's a little guess work, yes it's a lot of reading and looking at everything, but "guess-the-verb" is in a sense, a needed factor.

But it's VERY intuitive. I honestly wish more of GS could be as intuitive as BSQ is. Like, for example... In normal gameplay, you might find yourself needing to tie your shoe. You have to figure if it's pull, push, turn, twist, spin, etc. In BSQ, it's just "tie shoe." When I ran the quest and asked one of my party members how they did something, they were like it was just XXX YYY. And I was like, "...oh."

~Wyrom, SGM
Quests
Platinum
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Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 233
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/14/2013 9:38 AM CDT
Subject: Re: Preparations


The campaign tent is set up in the Upper Trollfang. Similar to Academy Quest, there is a sign with information about the prizes. The sign also indicates which prizes will attune to the winner. The prize tiers are set out on the different trays for your INSPECTing pleasure. Augmented chain has been added to the armor selection on the gold tray.

When the quest finishes, the official will tell you which trays you can choose from, and the sign will only display the items on those trays. You can ASK the official about prizes again if you forget which trays he told you.

Those 30 minutes can go by pretty quickly if you're poring over the prize list, trying to decide which to pick. Having some idea ahead of time of which prize from each tray you are interested in will cut down on panic after the quest. Look at the attuned Academy Quest prizes for an idea of what sorts of enhancives the attuned Black Swan prizes will have.

Also, since it was jokingly suggested to me but not surprising, it's a bad idea to log out during your quest and wait for the next group to hit a higher tier. You must finish with your group to win a prize.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 240
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/14/2013 04:23 PM CDT
Subject: Re: Tonight's run


>Yeah I don't quite understand how you reach that conclusion. - ARCHIGEEK [That there should be less puzzles in quests]

It wasn't a decision based solely on player response. Speaking for myself, it was more of a "thank goodness that project is done" comment.

The renovation of Black Swan Castle was much more resource intensive than we expected. It was announced at Simucon 2011 with a release date of March 2012. The quest was written in 1993 and the code had to be almost completely rewritten and QCed. There are a little more than 100 scripts for Black Swan and tens of thousands of lines of code. In contrast, the Academy Quest is 5 scripts. It was a lot of work for myself; Bravura and Perezz who helped with coding; Sleken, Varulv, and Modrian who QCed the code; Zoet who repainted some painfully old rooms, Tamuz who QCed all 150 rooms and helped to bring them up to current standards, and the dozen or so GMs that I repeatedly killed in testing.

We are trying to build a good base of an array of varieties of quests. Droughtman's Maze is very different than Academy Quest is very different than Black Swan. There will be puzzles in the future, but frankly, I don't have another Black Swan in me.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 257
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/15/2013 12:01 PM CDT
Subject: Re: Prize question


The prizes that has asterisks cannot be recharged. Any other prizes listed as having enhancives that does not have an asterisk are small, permanent, and can be recharged at the Adventurer's Guild.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 309
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/19/2013 05:29 PM CDT
Subject: Tuesday evening run...


>Sure would be nice to know the bonuses on that troll spine prize... - KAYB6

This item is utilized to be PUT into an existing set of armor. This one will be a bonus of 3 to stamina regeneration and 5 to health regeneration. The receiving armor cannot be currently enhancive or fusion.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 312
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 03/19/2013 06:23 PM CDT
Subject: Re: Tuesday evening run...


>I don't suppose it adds a neat description to your armor, perhaps with a toggle option? Quite a neat approach for a prize. - THORNBROOK [Re: troll spine]

Nope, sorry! It only imparts the enhancives. A nice option if you already like the way your gear looks, or a script on it!

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 356
Author: GS4-WYROM
Date: 04/01/2013 12:32 PM CDT
Subject: Re: the future of the black swan quest


I think a lot of people are forgetting that there are quite a few random elements to this quest that change each run.

~Wyrom, SGM
Quests
Platinum
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Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 368
Author: GS4-WYROM
Date: 04/6/2013 08:59 PM CDT
Subject: Re: another broken run


They take the players in the quest into account for their level. So you likely had a capped, or close to cap, player with you.

As for the spells breaking, it was an issue with the recent changes to the game, which were unexpected. GM Vanah was quick to track it down.

While we don't want anyone to feel they are part of a broken quest, there are just a lot of variables involved in this quest, and things are being fixed as fast as they can.

~Wyrom, SGM
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Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 372
Author: GS4-WYROM
Date: 04/6/2013 10:32 PM CDT
Subject: Re: another broken run


Any level-range group can go on this quest together. Anyone who has been on this quest and has gotten to tier 4 knows where the combat sequences are. There are several spots that require heavily skilled players to complete the quest a certain way. But there are ways around it. Unfortunately, mechanically skilled players in GS translate to physical experience earned.

The group that spawned the super trolls was just the luck of the draw. And then there was a mishap with some back end things, due to recent changes to the game. It's unfortunate that we had to discover it at BSQ. But it could have happened ANYWHERE. It was not tied to the quest.

~Wyrom, SGM
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Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 378
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 04/07/2013 07:25 AM CDT
Subject: Re: another broken run


The trolls are intended. There was messaging the first time they showed up to tell you why. These are the same trolls from the Landing invasions a ways back.

If something seems excessively frustrating, there's probably a way around it that no one has found. If you go off an existing walk through, you only know what they guessed, right or wrong.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 387
Author: GS4-WYROM
Date: 04/10/2013 10:58 AM CDT
Subject: Re: another broken run


A big reason the decay/depart drop spot is in the beginning is due to the fact that groups are intended to deal with the death, and not just decay/depart. Obviously, with random groups, it doesn't work out very well when no one brings the tools to raise someone.

~Wyrom, SGM
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Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 391
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 04/10/2013 12:20 PM CDT
Subject: Re: another broken run


Combat changes are being discussed. Other changes will go along with it.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 408
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 06/02/2013 09:11 PM CDT
Subject: Adjustments to the Return to Black Swan Castle Quest


We are getting ready to open up the Return to Black Swan Castle Quest for private runs. Please be aware that due to issues with automation that arose during the runs in March and April, we have made several adjustments:

  • Removed most combat, allowing grouping for different-level adventurers
  • Replaced tiered success a flat success/not success and regrouped prizes accordingly
  • Increased time limit to five hours so all can finish without feeling rushed
  • Adjusted random factors for some of the puzzles
  • Added a "quit early" option for claiming a prize

Private runs can be requested by emailing quests@simutronics.com. If you would prefer public runs set up, name a date and time and we'll see about getting it up on the website. Your time slot may not be available if there is another run scheduled, even if the participants do not need the full five hours to complete the quest.

Some of the prizes have been adjusted or removed. The two prize tiers are listed below. Please keep in mind that the script owners have the right to pull their items, so some may be removed or more may be added as runs progress.

Success:
Prize	Purpose
Crimson kelyn dagger	Fully unlocked five-times enchanted Siolan dagger; Enhances Ambush and Combat Maneuver Bonuses
Troll-arm scabbard	Squishy troll-arm scabbard that can hold one weapon; Enhances Health Recovery
Troll-leg backsheath	Squishy troll-leg backsheath that can hold two weapons; Enhances Health Recovery
Thick leather blackjack	Four-times enchanted blackjack with knockout flares
Golden skull ring	Skull ring that attunes to a container to open and shut it; Enhances Perception
Onyx feather brooch	Gold-ring holder with feather messaging; Enhances Max Mana and Mana Recovery
Drakar short sword	Fully unlocked Thousand Cuts short sword; enchanted six times with fire flares
Vultite longsword	Four-times enchanted expander weapon -- switch between a dagger, a short sword, and a longsword!
Orange yarn mugwump	Disk Transformer with 500 charges; results in oil-coated disk
Marble prayerbeads	Unattuned prayerbeads; Enhances Religion Lore
Pouch-lined harness	An unlocked Cidolfhus bandolier (12 verbs) with increased capacity
Black linen harness	Katana sash with special Black Swan Castle loresong; Enhances Edged Weapon Bonus
Spiked mace	Unlocked Iasha white ora weapon with five enchants
White ora maul	Unlocked Iasha white ora weapon with five enchants
Grey wolf fur satchel	Fully unlocked Cidolfhus bundling skins and fur bag; Enhances First Aid and Survival Bonuses
Orase quarterstaff	Six-times enchanted quarterstaff with a hidden four-times enchanted katana inside
Shimmering violet orb	One-use orb allows you to learn from your experiences faster!
White satin gown	Nalea gown with Black Swan Castle loresong
Black ruic longbow	Four-times enchanted somewhat-sighted longbow; Enhances Perception, Ranged Weapon, Dexterity, and Ambush Bonuses
Mykalin scale gloves	Five-times enchanted unarmed combat gloves with Unbalance flares
Carved wooden troll	Figurine that allows you to speak (but not understand) Trollish
Two-toned stone bead	Fully unlocked hair bauble; includes braid and ponytail options
Troll spine	Drop into your existing non-enhancive armor to add Health and Stamina Recoveries
Loose white robes	Five-times enchanted robes with fire flares and fur lining
Black leather backpack	Reduces encumbrance once per day; max light and deep
Troll flesh pin	Infuses health once per day; Enhances health recovery
Troll magus fetish	Infuses mana once per day; Enhances mana recovery
Not Success:
Bloodjewel ring	Enhances Harness Power, Mana Recovery, and Spiritual, Mental, and Elemental Mana Controls Bonuses (*)
Chicken foot	Enhances Stalking & Hiding and Ambush (*)
Troll finger pendant	Enhances Dodging, Agility, and Intuition bonuses (*)
White leather gloves	Enhances Spell Aiming Bonus and Elemental Air Lore Ranks (*)
Black swan charm	Enhances Mana Recovery (*)
White swan charm	Enhances Max Spirit and Spirit Recovery (*)
Horned pegasus charm	Enhances Stamina Recovery and Constitution Bonus (*)
Wolverine fur scarf	Enhances Stamina Recovery and Survival Bonus (*)
Green alligator bag	Self-closing large capacity belt-worn container
Kitten satchel	Self-closing large capacity belt-worn container
Troll hide bag	Large capacity belt-worn container; Enhances health regeneration
Shimmering green orb	One-use orb allows you to learn from your experiences faster!
Imflass close helmet	Heavy critical padded helm with locking faceplate; Enhances Multi Opponent Combat Ranks, Combat Maneuver Bonus, and Strength Bonuses (*)
Black felt hat	Enhances Dexterity and Perception Bonuses (*)
Orc hide hip-satchel	Large capacity belt-worn container; has a skull clasp
Black leather gloves	Trick gloves; Enhances Disarming Traps, Picking Locks, and Pickpocketing Bonuses (*)
Brown silk gloves	Ensigiled gloves; Enhances Spell Aiming Bonus and Mana Recovery (*)
Silvery imflass lance	Five-enchant weapon that telescopes between a cudgel and a lance; Enhances Multi Opponent Combat Ranks & Strength and Agility Bonus (*)
Gold and ruby bracelet	Enhances Logic bonus
Cloth-of-vaalin gown	Fully unlocked metallic gown
  • Prizes marked with (*) will attune to the winner and have enhancives that will burn out quickly

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 453
Author: GS4-WYROM
Date: 07/06/2013 11:51 PM CDT
Subject: Re: Adjustments to the Return to Black Swan Castle Quest


Not sure on the weapon expander one. But the sword cane, each weapon is treated as a different weapon. So if you enchant the quarterstaff, that is all you're enchanting.

All enhancives generally require recharging via BPs. Only a small handful don't, and we'd specifically state such.

I believe players have done the research on the spine.

~Wyrom, SGM
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Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 456
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 07/16/2013 10:55 AM CDT
Subject: Re: Black Swan Tickets


>Is there a recommended minimum number of players for this quest? - PRICKLIES

The Return to Black Swan Castle Quest can be run alone. The puzzles can all be completed alone. All of them!

I will see about getting the website updated.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 460
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 07/16/2013 12:44 PM CDT
Subject: Re: Black Swan Tickets


Teamwork is important, but you aren't punished for having a smaller (or no!) team. The tasks scale to the number of participants. Many of the puzzles have alternate solutions, and all of the puzzles can be done solo.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 480
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 08/31/2013 09:29 AM CDT
Subject: Helpful Hints


Hi guys,

Now that we've had a few low attendance runs, I'll address one of the concerns people have had:

The sapphire eyes have no quest purpose once they are removed. They are just souvenir gems. If you think you need them for something else, you're wrong. If you have another way past the eyes, you don't need to die repeatedly trying to remove them. You don't need to die at all!

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 484
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 08/31/2013 08:00 PM CDT
Subject: Re:Helpful Hints


>(unless there's some secret thing that I am missing...) - CHULAK

There are a LOT of secrets that people haven't hit on. Almost none of the profession-based shortcuts have been found.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 495
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 12/12/2013 10:13 AM CDT
Subject: December runs


There are still plenty of tickets left for the upcoming December runs!

I'm so happy that the last group finally figured out the profession shortcut for what is slippery besides grease.

There are a few more profession-based shortcuts left to find regarding the boulders, the boats, and the crystal dome!

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 497
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 12/12/2013 04:43 PM CDT
Subject: December runs


>Is there a minimum for a BSC run to work? - HAWKLAND1

The quest can be completed solo!

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 498
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 12/15/2013 02:33 PM CDT
Subject: Unloved Prizes


There are several prizes that have never been chosen. Here is some information on these sad, lonely prizes, all from the silver tray:

a lush brown wolverine fur scarf with a white stripe	+20 Stamina Recovery, +30 Survival Bonus, Attuned, Not rechargeable
an ebon opal and pewter wire black swan charm	+15 Mana Recovery, Attuned, Not rechargeable
a platinum wire and blue sapphire horned pegasus charm	+20 Stamina Recovery, +10 Constitution Bonus, Attuned, Not rechargeable
a pair of long feather-buttoned white leather gloves	+25 Spell Aiming Bonus; +5 Air Lore Ranks, Attuned, Not rechargeable
a withered troll finger pendant suspended from knotted twine	+20 Dodging Bonus, +10 Agility Bonus, +10 Intuition Bonus, Attuned, Not rechargeable
a withered chicken foot on a frayed piece of twine	+25 Stalking and Hiding Bonus; +25 Ambush Bonus, Attuned, Not rechargeable
a chain-link gold and ruby cabochon bracelet	+3 Logic Bonus

All are scripted!

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 505
Author: GS4-TAMUZ
Date: 12/16/2013 11:51 AM CDT
Subject: Re: Unloved Prizes


> Imflass close helmet - any chance anything on this permanent, esp the padding? Thx - RARJR

The padding on the helmet is permanent. The enhancive properties are rather large and are not rechargeable. The enhancive attunes.

So, once the enhancive runs dry, you've still got a heavily padded helmet.

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 512
Author: GS4-WYROM
Date: 2/13/2014 08:57 AM CDT
Subject: Pouch-lined Harness


Just wanted to leave a note here that the harness that you get has 12 verb traps. At the time, that was the fully unlocked version when this quest went live. But shortly after, I added 4 new verbs to create an "auction" quality version. But since the term "auction quality" confused people, I just scaled it back to the the unlocked level. But we never updated the sign at Black Swan. So I'll see about getting that fixed. Sorry about that.

~Wyrom, SGM
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Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 541
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 10/12/2014 12:19 PM CDT
Subject: Black Swan Castle - Removal of a shimmering violet orb


The shimmering violet orb has been removed as a prize from the Black Swan Castle Quest. From now on, runs will not have this RPA orb as a prize option.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 542
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 10/12/2014 12:21 PM CDT
Subject: Black Swan Castle - Removal of a shimmering violet orb


The 1x green orb has also been removed from the prize pool.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 565
Author: GS4-VANAH
Date: 01/27/2015 6:52 AM CST
Subject: Re: BSC runs


Combat in quest apparently has to be Disneyfied so everyone can win and very few people die, and if they do, then there's no lasting consequences. The same trolls that went over well for invasions were widely bashed when used in the quest. Combat won't be back in BSQ.

The quest is closed to adjust it based on the quest poll that was run last year. However, if you want to run the quest in its current state for the prizes currently available (you can see the prizes in the tent at any time, make sure to note the 4x RPA orb was removed and will not be returned). You can contact the office to set that up. Before we make the switch to the new prizes and new prize structure, there will be an announcement and the switch will be made after any scheduled runs have been completed. If the price or prizes change and you wish you had waited, you will not be reimbursed and you will not be able to switch out prizes. If you want to run the quest as it is currently, you run the quest as it is currently.

If you try to run this with a very low-leveled, low-trained character, you may have a more difficult time and take longer, but the quest is do-able. You may need to attempt things multiple times or need to do things the long way instead of taking shortcuts. You may need to use scrolls or imbeddibles. But the quest is completable by anyone solo.

~Vanah

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Black Swan Castle
Message #: 570
Author: GS4-KAIKALA
Date: 06/15/2018 11:28 PM CDT
Subject: Black Swan Castle - Prize Adjustment - Iasha Weapons


Hey all,

Iasha weapons are no longer one of the prize options for the gold tray (successful run). No other changes were made to the prize pools at this time.

~Kaikala

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: General Discussions of Paid Events
Message #: 897
Author: GS4-RETSER
Date: 02/05/2020 08:30 PM CDT
Subject: Quest Changes: Experience Rewards


Hey Everyone!

We've reviewed and made a few adjustments to all the quests in terms of experience rewards.

Night At the Academy (NATA) was left unchanged.

Black Swan Castle (BSC) will now award experience similar to NATA.

Troubled Waters (TW) will now award experience scaling based on your performance/time with a ceiling of the same amount as BSC/NATA.

Reim will now award you with a medium amount of experience for completing the entire instance. It will be awarded when you kill both the Empress and Emperor. This will only happen when you receive the flag to enter. Helping multiple people kill in the same room will not reward you with additional.

Reim Fortress Defense (RFD) will now award you with a small boost upon completion of the quest.

All of these changes are effective immediately and live.

Happy Questing!

Retser, SGM