Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pankration: What We (Read: Me) Know So Far

Welcome to the Pit

In order to get started with Pankration, you need to go to the Pit in Whitegate. Bring some Imperial currency, you'll need it. You can exchange Imp. coins for jettons, the currency used in the Pit.

The rates are as follows:
1 bronze = 1 jetton
1 silver = 10
1 mythril = 30
1 gold = 200

Trade coins to Zandjarl by the gate in Annihilation (where you are upon entering) to obtain jettons.

With your shiny new jettons, you can use the services of the Pit. From obtaining Rare/Ex items from Zandjarl, to getting setup with a monster, to paying a fee to enroll your monster in matches.

Where's mah Pokemons?

First, you need a monster. You can either buy a Soultrapper and Blank Soulplates for 2 jettons each from Zandjarl (or HQ for 500 each), and go snap pictures of monsters (more on that in a minute), or you can buy Soul Plates from other players bazaars. I'd recommend you do the former it's a lot cheaper.

Snapping some pics

Once you have a camera and plates, head out and find a mob you'd like to take pictures of. You snap pictures by equipping the Soultrapper and Blank Soul Plate, waiting for the timer to cool down, and using it in your menu on a target monster.

Taking pictures doesn't aggro mobs, but aggressive ones will still attack you if they normally would. You can't take pictures while Sneak or Invisible are up, so you'll have to be careful. You can also take pictures of mobs other people are fighting.

You won't get a soul plate every attempt, and they are consumed each try. There's a one minute cooldown between attempts with the 2 jetton soultrapper. Mobs have several different possible soul plates you can obtain from them.

What affects success isn't currently known for sure. Level difference seems to be a significant factor. You'll get a soul plate nearly every try in Valkurm Dunes, but Molechs on Uleguerand Range will prove more diffcult. Proximity to your target may also affect it.

Once you've used up your soultrapper and plates, it's time to head back to the Pit. Hopefully, with a bunch of soul plates with monster images on them.

P.S. Bring a stack of Ice Crystals.

It's Clobberin' Time! ...Almost.

Now that you're back at the Pit and you've got some Soul Plates, you need to make a monster. If you look through your collection of Soul Plates you'll see they're inscribed like the following:

{Evasion Bonus}
(FP:30)[LesserColibri]

The first line will always be an ability/stats/job. The second is the cost in Feral Points (FP) followed by the mob you obtained it from.

{Ability}
(FP:X)[MonsterName]

Is a generalized one.

South of Zandjarl (and in similar locations at the three other arena areas) are two NPCs. The one on the left, Abhrem, is the one you need to talk to first. Look through his dialogs and see what he has to say.

Then trade Abhrem the Soul Plate that you'd like to make a pet of along with an Ice Crystal. (You remembered to bring those, right?) Your pet will be a mob of the same family as the one you snapped a picture of. He'll give you a Soul Reflector inscribed with [PitMonster(Lv:X)] where X is the pet's starting level.

Note: Some Soul Plates can't be made into Soul Reflectors. The list includes:
Beastmen
Elementals
Empty and Sea mobs
CoP level restricted area-only mobs
HNMs (Fafnir, Behemoth, Adamantoise, Khaimera, Hydra, Cerberus, etc)

Trade your new Soul Reflector to him, and it'll open a dialog with the following options:

Quit. (Self-explanatory)
Change monster name. (A good place to start, "PitMonster" vs. "PitMonster" = lame.)
Confirm feral skills.
Remove feral skills.
Confirm FP total. (More on these three in a moment.)
Confirm level and EXP. (Your pet's TNL.)
Confirm monster temperment. (Find out how your monster behaves in response to commands.)
Review terminology. (Self-explanatory)

Confirm feral skills will tell you what, if any, abilities your monster has. The ability on the Soul Plate you used to create it can, sometimes, carry over. There may also sometimes be a skill specific to mob family, but not much is known about this yet.

Remove feral skills lets you remove one of your monster's skills. The reason you might want to do that is because each skill requires a certain amount of Feral Points (FP) and your monster only has so many. (FP increases slowly with level.)

You can teach your monster new feral skills by trading your Soul Reflector along with the Soul Plate with the desired skill. Not all monsters can learn all skills even with enough free FP for them.

Abhrem, and similarly located NPCs, will also tell you what a Soul Plate's ability does and if he can make it into a Soul Reflector by trading it to him.

Trade your Soul Reflector to the NPC next to Abhrem, Kadjayhal, or the similarly located NPC in other arena areas, and for a 1 jetton fee he'll make it an Official Soul Reflector. You can only have one Official Soul Reflector at a time, and can change it back by trading it to him again. The Official Soul Reflector is the monster you can use in matches.

Walk north, trade it to Kaheema (or similar NPC in other arena areas...), and she'll offer to enroll your monster in a match. Or, if your server is packed full of people trying to Pankration like Hades is right now, tell you they are not taking reservations. (You can try the other arena areas and see if you can get a match in one of them.) You can talk to her again to find out what monster yours will be fighting. Unfortunately, there's no way to find out how much longer until your match other than the initial estimate you get.

It's Clobberin' Time! (For real this time.)

After waiting a while, you'll be paged and told to go to the red or blue sides in one of the arena areas. Go there, talk to the guy, and you'll be allowed down to the platform to [humourously named] Speaking Tubes. Here, you can issue commands to your monster during the fight.

Which, it will mostly ignore until around level 12 or so according to most people's experiences with it.

The winning monster is mostly determined by level and monster family it seems. The level 3 worm you got from Konschstat Highlands won't be taking out my level 12 Marid. Though your Evasion+15%, Evasion Bonus, level 10 Wind Wall-spamming Wyvern might be a different story.

Get a job! (And subjob...and job traits...and magic)

If you've been out soultrapping everything in sight, you're probably noticed that you got a few Soul Plates with {Main Job: Black Mage} or something similar as the ability. Just like players, your monster has a main job (and can have a subjob). For most monsters it's Warrior. For others it's Red, Black Mage, or Monk. It's possible to change the main job using the proper Soul Plate. Not all monsters can be all main jobs though.

You can also add a subjob using a {Support Job: SomeJob} Soul Plate.

If you have a spellcasting main or subjob, you'll need to have an appropriate magic scrolls feral skill for your monster to actually use them. If you have a Red Mage Colibri equipping it with {White Magic Scrolls} will enable it to cast Cure. Add {Black Magic Scrolls} and it try to Blind and possibly nuke its opponents.

Monsters seem to learn spells the same level a player of the same job would.

Your monster can also utilize the Job Traits of it's main or subjob if you give it an appropriate feral skill. {Job Trait: Monk} might work wonders for your Mandragora or Taurus monster.

A little more on Feral skills

There are several types of feral skills. Ones that are static bonuses such as {STR+25}. Ones that are static increases such as {Attack +15%}. Others that are like Job Traits and believed to increase in power as your monster levels like {Attack Bonus}. And ones with a level that can increase after every fight such as Lizard Killer or Store TP which have their own levels independent of your monster's level.

Conclusion

That's it for now. I've covered most everything I can think of that somebody would need to get started in Pankration.

I'll spellcheck this later and find the many typos that I'm sure are in it.

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