I finally unlocked all 25 HP mastery rewards in the Monster Manual:
Thanks go to Vengeance777, guild members in Over Raided, and various people on Orien for giving advice and suggestions about where to get the various monster types. Also, YourDDO and SpiritofNight's wiki list here were invaluable. I really don't want to hear "A glowing sceptre illuminates the dark cave, it is seated loosely in the pedestal." ever again.
In non-serious news, I also noticed recently that I'm now a Champion of Stormreach, meaning that I've gotten over 10000 forum reputation points, in slightly more than 3 years:
This was with under 1000 posts, meaning I've averaged about 10.5 forum reputation points per post for these three years. I know there are certainly people with a higher reputation/post ratio, such as developers and the Shroud puzzle solver that I used, but I would be curious if there were anyone with over 10k points that have a higher ratio. I don't know how to look up the membership list on this forum though (and it may not be public).
Anyway, I thought it'd be interesting to look at which of my threads have gotten the most reputation in the past. Now I can't see how much reputation points I actually got from each of them, so the most I could do was count up how many times people gave me reputation for them instead. There was a distinct gap between the 6th and the 7th most, so I'll look at the top 6, with the number of people that gave reputation for that thread in parentheses:
6th: Raid Boss Stats (28).
How much HP the various bosses in the game had was subject to wild speculation prior to this thread. Estimates of pit fiend (such as Arraetrikos in Shroud) HP for example had varied anywhere from 150k HP to 750k HP to over a million on elite. In this thread I gave a method for determining a monster's HP to any arbitrary accuracy (depending on how long you can be the only one hitting it), generally within 1-2%, using the combat log and the focus orb HP bar. Prior to this, estimates varied wildly. With the pixel method given in this thread, however, we finally had accurate values for monster HP.
I'm sure the usefulness of this method will decrease over time as more monster types are released in the Monster Manual, but I will be curious if various figures that I've given for boss HP such as here will stand up to scrutiny once their monster type is released in the Monster Manual and people can directly see them in the focus orb HP bar. The thread also gave information about other boss stats, such as fortification, although I haven't re-tested them after the changes last year so they're somewhat out of date.
5th: Character Attack Speeds (29).
There were several previous threads for character attack speeds, useful for determining a character's damage per second (DPS), such as cforce's thread and Monkey_Archer's thread, but this one retested the fundamental attack speed mechanics that were changed around Sept 2009 (around when Free to Play was introduced), and derived the new formula from the data. It also gave an estimate of the testing error in order to compare different possible attack speed formulae and verify the formula and parameter values.
3rd: Guild Level Records (31).
This thread has actually taken the most time out of all of them to put together. Since I've always been interested in figuring out and analyzing game mechanics and parameter values no matter which game I play, my role in Over Raided when the guild renown system was released was to figure out how the system worked, so that we could figure out what would be the best strategy for getting renown. And unfortunately I think that's largely been lost on the forum community, that leveling up a guild is largely just a matter of figuring out how to encourage members to play and organize the guild such that members want to play -- and the renown will come naturally. I remember back then we started running nightly elite Shrouds because they were very good for renown (as I posted elsewhere, back then if each account committed to just 1 elite Shroud each night and did nothing else, any guild could reach and hold level 100), but also gave us lots of loot, gave us an opportunity to scout out potential recruits, and quite often was faster than the normal Shrouds that everybody else ran.
But anyway, because I was also looking into figuring out our progress, it was natural to determine how to predict when our guild and other guilds will reach various milestones so that we could know if we were "on track", and to see the effect of different guild policies. Once we hit level 50 I made a lot of that data and analysis public via this thread, to preserve a historical record of the guild renown system.
The reason why this thread took the most amount of time was that when MyDDO stopped updating in Sept 2010, I ended up manually looking up each guild's level -- which meant logging onto each server and running by a member of each of the top 20 guilds to see the guild's level, several times a day. I had made specialized characters on each server (1 barb / 1 wizard) that were relatively quick to make, yet allowed me to run as fast as possible in town to maximize my chances of catching up to a guild member when I saw where they were on the who list. I continued this until February/March 2011 when MyDDO started updating regularly again. This is why the guild level charts of this period look different than the others. Sadly, I no longer have time to do that, so if MyDDO stops updating renown again there won't really be any record of guild levels.
3rd: Torc and Other Guard Proc Rates (31).
Once my barbarian got a Torc, it was natural to consider what the actual proc rate of the Torc was. This thread was basically a summary of the data that I collected on the proc rate, with a sample size of 69808 attacks so that the error on the proc rate percentage would be significantly less than 1%.
2nd: DPS Lag and Network Bandwidth Cap (75).
I was surprised that this wasn't the most, since I think this probably had the most effect on the game. Back prior to the time around Update 5, DDO had a type of lag where once the group started hitting a monster (usually raid bosses) for any significant length of time, the game would heavily desynchronize and the server would become unresponsive to the player's (client's) commands. The melees would look like they were just standing there (not swinging their weapons). You would throw a heal and you wouldn't see it go off until 10 or 15 seconds later during a fight, as something that happened regularly and continually in just about all fights (not intermittently as is the current form of lag). In our Shroud runs the healers were instructed to cast mass heals on the melees even when their HP showed as being full, because in the time it took for that heal command to register on the server, the melees will have gotten hit several times. Shroud runs where the healers waited until the melees were damaged before hitting their heal button wiped more often then not -- with the lag mysteriously clearing up once the majority of people were dead.
This thread showed that it was because there was a network bandwidth cap on how much information the server was providing to the client, and that weapon effects (among other things) took up a lot of this internet packet bandwidth. In a group situation, the amount of bandwidth needed for every player's "You hit X for 3 points of acid damage" etc. combat messages quickly exceeded this cap, leading to the server rationing the information that it was sending to each client, leading to the client being unresponsive because you were effectively looking at the game world of 10 seconds ago, rather than the current game world state (where people may need healing or you may already be dead, etc.).
I can't really claim credit for this idea, since yk49 had already mentioned a possible packet cap and Eladrin had mentioned weapon effects as a possible cause. But what this thread did was to put the two together and provide the evidence to show that they were indeed related, using a video and weapons with different amounts of weapon effects, to show that weapon effects increases the network usage, that a network cap exists, and that this cap was being reached whenever a big enough party started hitting a monster.
After reading the thread, Phax raised the bandwidth cap and made the packet communication more efficient, making DPS lag largely a thing of the past, although there are still other types of lag in the game. And my follow-up thread here showed that indeed, the bandwidth was no longer hitting a cap.
1st: Character Run Speed (82).
This thread gave a method for accurately determining a character's run speed to within 1%, with just a stopwatch. It showed that the striding effects that you find on gear do not actually correspond to their stated values, and gave the actual running speeds for a variety of effects. For whatever reason, this was actually the most popular of the threads I've created (by number of people who gave me reputation). I don't know why. However, just like many of my other threads, it gave a way to accurately test the value of a game parameter that anyone could use if they were so inclined, and results using that method that may be useful to the general game community. Nowadays, the effects chat type will state how much your run speed is affected by various modifiers, so you can directly look at that as well. But this method is a way to direct test the run speed regardless of what it's "supposed" to be.
I was surprised that a variety of other threads didn't really get as much reputation (or attention). For example, my general weapon and guard proc rate thread was an extension of the torc proc rate thread and gave a lot more data about different effects, but wasn't as popular. My work on figuring out the renown system such as here, here, and here doesn't really show up, although they would have if they were combined into a single thread. I also did a vorpal vs DPS thread which I ended up never finishing (the 2nd part would have been that if there were a high-DPS member in the group, it actually is good for the other members to switch to using vorpals, back when vorpals were useful).
Anyway regardless of their popularity I tend to post whatever I personally find interesting, and thought it would be interesting to look at some of the threads I've made in the past to reach this milestone. Hope you found it as interesting to read as I did looking through them!