A little more Monstrology

Monstrodome Recipe

So far I’m hanging in on the effort to get enough animi to make a Monstrodome.   Feeling more doubtful every day whether I can stomach 201-600 rounds with Lord Nightshade, Lady Blackhope and Foulgaze  (67-200 apiece).

I’ve spent 15-30 minutes one or twice a day working on Foulgaze and Lady Blackhope  and it’s mind-numbingly boring.  For all that time spent, I’m one battle away from having 3 of the 10 cards worth of animi from Foulgaze and enough from Lady Blackhope to make 2 of 10.  That’s a whale of a lot of battling left to do considering I’m already totally burned-out on this…

I also decided to explore the Expel spells a little since I knew nothing in my first post on Monstrology.  All that fighting Lady Blackhope means I also collected a bunch of Skeletal Corsair Animi from her minion since I’m enchanting Deer Knight with Extract and casting it every time.  Only minions have Expel spells –can’t get one for a boss.  Since I had all these spare Skeletal Corsair Animi I made a couple of those cards.

Initially, since he looks just like them, I assumed you could use it on a Skeletal Warrior in the street not far away, but no, it only works on her minion.  Her minion used to be a Skeletal Warrior too but for this they’ve left him looking exactly the same and changed his title.  The Expel Skeletal Corsair card only works on this one creature who seems to be only in this one place.  Not sure what the point of that is???  The one I used on a Skeletal Warrior put the X on his circle and then did nothing so I had to hit him with another damage spell.

You make a treasure card using 15 Skeletal Corsair animi and 2000 gold and put it in your treasure side deck.  When you move it into your “hand” you can target the Skeletal Corsair and when it hits him that’s it for him.  A big red X appears across his/her circle and then the creature disappears.  Since I’m working on Monstrology with a level 92 wizard, it’s seeming pretty pointless since I can defeat many of the creatures in Wizard City with one unenhanced wand spell…

If you have the patience to work your way high enough in Monstrology to have an Expel for some creature on, say, Azteca, I can imagine maybe it could be helpful to be able to just automatically knock one opponent out with a single spell.  But most of us are using big AOE spells by then–which lets us knock out all the minions or mob creatures at once–so I’m hazy as to when this would be much of an advantage.

Really the only part of this I find kind of fun is making a guest.  The only thing is I’m not that in love with most of the creatures you fight; if I’m going to turn some of the characters from the game into “guests” in my houses I’d prefer some of the NPCs like Tashio or Baldur Goldpaws or Sir Reginald Baxby…  You know, nice…  not creepy…  not enemies…

First tries at Monstrology

Field Guard Guest

Field Guard Guest

Although initial descriptions of Monstrology didn’t particularly infuse me with excitement, I’m just finishing up a major update on my guide to the game.  When this update came out before I completed the project I figured I should explore it enough to add at least a broad outline about it.

It’s always a bit tough in these early stages because many things are not known or have been incorrectly noted by players so very little is available on line to help you.  If I didn’t have this book project to finish up I’d wait for a couple of months and give more gung-ho players than I a chance to master it and put guides on the wiki and in blog posts.

It starts simply enough.  You visit Gilda Burke, next to the Myth Tower in Ravenwood, to get a little tutorial, receive your first “extract” spell , which extracts animus (kind of like spirit) from undead creatures, and then defeat a couple of Lost Souls using the card to collect animi.  It operates like the Sun spells:  you click on the Extract Undead spell and then click on whatever damage spell you wish, which enchants the spell.  When you defeat the undead boss or creature, you receive 2 or 3 “animi” of that creature (possibly more at higher levels — won’t know until or unless I get there). If you have an AOE and are fighting both a boss and minion(s) who are undead, you will extract from each of them when the spell defeats them.  If you lose the fight you don’t collect the animus, even if you hit with an Extract-enhanced spell.

Each boss and creature requires you to have achieved a certain minimum Monstrology level in order to extract animus.  If you haven’t gotten to the level, you can enchant the card with Extract but you won’t collect any.  You also won’t collect an animus if you use Extract on a creature who’s not an Undead. (At higher levels there are other types; Extract Wyrm, Parrot and Polar Bear).  A list of creatures and required levels has already been put on the wiki but I quickly found it to be inaccurate (see below).  Each type of Extract works only on creatures of its specific type (i.e. Extract Undead can only be used on Undead, Extract Wyrm can only be used on creatures classified as Wyrm, etc.).  For a list of undead creatures see here.

After getting to Monstrology level 5 I took a look to see where I could go to collect something different and what might change at a higher level and noted Bonekeeper was on the above-noted list as level 4.  I defeated him and got the message that I didn’t have a high enough level to collect any animus from him.  Either he requires more than level 5 or there’s a glitch in how the programming is reading the match between your level and the boss’s.

There’s now a page in your spell book where all the animi you have collected appear.  In the lower left you can click on one circle to see what you need to collect to make an animus treasure card; they all seem to require a LOT of animi of that creature plus some gold.  With these treasure cards you can summon one of these creatures either to help you in a battle (you cast just as you’d cast a card to summon a minion)  — or possibly to put in a Monstrodome in your home (more on Monstrodome below).

Another circle shows you what you need to create a “guest”, which is a housing item which replicates that creature and can be placed in your house.  At first I felt pretty disinterested as I have pets like most of the undead creatures in WC and I already have most of them running around in many of my houses.  But as you can see in the picture at top, these are much larger than the pets.  Like the pets, the guests run over to you as soon as you arrive in a room and then roam in a pattern in a fixed area.

You don’t need a crafting station to create a guest or a summon animus TC; once on the Monstrology page in your Spell Book, if you click on the button to make a TC or a guest and you have enough ingredients the button on the bottom lights up and you just click and make your item.

You can also make a one-shot kill card to use on the undead minions–I gather there aren’t any for bosses.  I’ve seen very little about this and for the creatures I’ve collected so far this option doesn’t seem to show up.  I’ll post again if I find out more as I keep exploring this.

With the Monstrodome you can create a dueling circle and supply it with opponents by using summon animus treasure cards you’ve made.  I found that in someone else’s blog but I think I read in yet another post that you make one or more guests to put in; it’s going to be a long time before I have a Monstrodome, so I haven’t tried it myself and can’t vouch for whether it’s a summon treasure card or a guest you put in.  I’m also unclear whether every time you or a friend battles and defeats whomever you’ve put in there if you then have to replace it if you want another battle???

Monstrodome Recipe

Monstrodome Recipe

The Monstrodome itself can be either purchased at the Crown Shop (2500 crowns) or crafted from a recipe you buy from Felicia (25,000 gold).  I have no intention of forking over the Crowns since I doubt I’ll do anything with this once I’ve tried it.  I was quite disheartened to see the ingredients required.

The picture doesn’t make it clear but you have to make 10 summon animus treasure cards each for Lady Blackhope, Lord Nightshade and Foulgaze.  Each treasure card requires 20 animi, which means you need 200 of each to make 10 cards.  For these bosses you get 1-3 (alternates confusingly…) each time you defeat one (using Extract) so you have to defeat each one somewhere between 67 and 200 times depending on how many times you get 1 or 2 or 3) to make enough of the cards.  Sometimes I wonder if Kingsisle has a Boring and Frustrating Department where they sit around trying to think up ways to make the game as tedious as possible…

Brass is also one of those reagents that doesn’t spawn and isn’t sold by a vendor.  It comes in packs and is dropped by a bunch of bosses as well as the Star Jewel plant (also requires buying packs).  Unsurprisingly, it has also become hard to get at the Bazaar since the recipe came out.  I managed to buy a few and then to put together every one I’ve gotten for every wizard on my first account to get enough for one recipe.

Since I garden a lot I have far more of the other reagents than needed so that part was easy.   But I was SO bored after fighting Lady Blackhope enough to make ONE treasure card, I logged out; I’m guessing it’s going to take weeks –at the least; or maybe that’s if I ever 🙂 — before I finish the 201-600 battles it will take to get all the animi required…

At a guess it’s going to be a long time before I have a high enough level to get the other types of Exract spells–and I’m seriously doubting I’ll want to — but this is another area in which I’ve not seen much info and I have yet to try to find the other vendors (on Avalon, Azteca and Polaris, I think) and see what I can suss out about the level required to purchase the other spells.

You don’t want to team up or join other people when you try to use Extract.  I Teamed Up and soon realized my mistake; in this case one of those snotty high level “farmers” cast a kill AOE before two of our teammates were in the circle (GRRR!!!!) and wiped everybody out before I cast anything which meant I hadn’t cast anything enchanted with Extract so I couldn’t collect.

I also haven’t seen what happens if you’re with others and you actually hit one or more opponents with Extract on a spell but someone else gets the kill shot after that (i.e. your extract-enhanced spell does damage but isn’t the kill shot).  Not sure whether you’d get any animi in that situation or not.  To be on the safe side I think you’re better off going it alone and making sure you’re the one who’s delivering every defeat.  I think there’s going to be a big problem looming about people screwing up your effort by jumping into your circle when you’re out “in the street” fighting a mob to collect animus …

I tried out whether you can use both Extract and a Sun spell (in other words double enchant your damage card) and you cannot.  So I can see an issue for me if I ever decide to try the higher level Extract spells:  with mostly Life and Death wizards and their relatively low damage spells I rely a LOT on enchanting with Sun spells to enhance damage in higher levels.  Don’t know that I’d care to go into a boss fight on Azteca trying to collect his animus but not be able to use Colossal…

Side note:  as mentioned in my last post this is the week for the Easter drops.  I spent a couple of hours (altogether) over the first three days without receiving a single holiday drop of any sort (I wanted a low level wand to stitch) so I’m done with that for this round…

Holiday Drops Start

 
Bunny SuitApril 10, 2017

The holiday drops for Easter started today.  As usual you can get themed gear (a bunny costume!) and pets.  Oddly there don’t seem to be housing items for Easter — back in Pixie Hollow we’d have had decorative eggs, flower arrangements…

There are also special mounts (including permanent)  you can only get if you fight a boss equal to your level (i.e. level 90 would go to Azteca, level 20 would go to Krokopatra in KT).  So you may not see as many level 110s fighting Lord Nightshade as usual during holiday drop events…

For more on the gear see here.

I farmed Jade Oni for a while tonight without getting a single holiday drop.  Seems like it’s feast or famine with these.  At Halloween I got just about nothing.  At Christmas I c

Should last through Sunday night, so have fun this week!

Double Pet days and Test Realm

March 26, 2017

new-brainy-assistant

New Brainy Assistant

I’m late giving notice on the Double Pet reward event that started I think Thursday.  Since I’ve by and large given up on pets I’m not all that excited and as usual it hasn’t changed much for me.  The few pets I’ve trained have just resulted in the usual disappointment.  I didn’t seen an end date but the usual would be to end today — which usually means you should be able to get the double rewards until 8 or 9 CDT Monday.

For one newer wizard I’ve hatched several generations now, trying to get the heal talents from Morgan D’s pet; the fourth generation is so far not throwing out any of the unwanted talents I’ve been trying to dump but has two levels to go so I’m not holding my breath.

The test realm also opened a few days ago.  Not sure how long it was going to run this time and the small amounts I’ve seen about “Monstrology”, which is what they’re testing, have not clued me in to what it is nor caught my interest enough to want to be bothered signing in to the test realm to find out…  You can find out more here.

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Timer slow-down?

Gardening Info no longer blocks view

March 13, 2017

I’ve seen signs during the last several Double Garden Reward events that KI is slowing down the timers and this time feels more like it than ever.

I planted Couch Potatoes and Evil Magma Peas on Wednesday, early in the evening.  Normally both of those — with all likes — would have been at elder harvest Saturday.  Not only did they not make it but for most of them the progress bar didn’t move from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.  I even made time to check in this morning before the event got taken down and none of the Couch Potatoes made it to elder harvest.

A bunch of the CPs are close but didn’t make it and another batch is only about 3/4 complete.  Some of the EMPs finally made it by late Sunday night and the rest by this morning but that’s 1 to 1-1/2 days longer than usual.  And the CPs are at 2 days longer than usual and counting.

I’ve seen some comments on a Facebook group I’m in about the timers seeming to have slowed down at the last event and have run into people in the game who seem to be experiencing this slow-down too.  What’s your experience?  Do you think KI is slowing down the growth of plants during these events?

I’m finding the safest way to be assured of double elder harvests on crops you want is to get them there when there’s not a double rewards event happening and just leave them sitting at elder until one starts.  That way you’re assured of one double elder harvest.  After that it’s getting to be a crap shoot whether you can get any sort of plant–no matter how short the growing cycle–from seed to elder harvest while one of these events is happening.

Mid-way through Double Garden days

Picture 2016-08-31 14-40-21

Elder Harvest

March 10, 2017

I’ve been a bit lax on the posting front on all my blogs lately so I didn’t manage to post a heads up on Wednesday when Double Garden XP days started.  Through Sunday you get double XP, gold and harvest drops for all gardening.  Took me by surprise as I’d not expected one for a while, but it happened I had a bunch of gardens sitting at elder harvest 🙂

There’s possibly enough time to plant Couch Potatoes, Snap Dragons or Tiger Lilies and get them to elder harvest if you have every like as those grow pretty fast but it’s too late for most plants–although you could get a mature harvest or three off some, like Evil Magma Peas.

I’m mostly pointing this one out to note it tends to be a good moment to pick up some of the rarer or hard-to-get treasure cards and reagents at the Bazaar as all the gardening folks are getting huge harvests and needing to sell stuff.  I’ve already hit the limit on treasure cards and headed to the Bazaar to sell them with several wizards numerous times.

For instance, Evil Magma Peas drop lots of Feints and Tower Shields.  I have so many for most of my wizards that I sell quite a few at this point.  EMPs also drop Black Lotus, Scrap Iron,  and Sandstone (among others) and most of my wizards have huge stores of them plus I have the maximum in the Shared Bank so I’ve been selling lots of reagents too.

If you’re looking for crafting ingredients or to shore up your TC collection, spend time sitting at the Bazaar this weekend!

 

Tapestry to Bazaar leads to more fishing woes

picture-2016-08-15-16-14-30

I knew I wanted a Tapestry to the Bazaar as soon as the recipes came out, so Morgan D. bought one right away — before I realized one of the ingredients required fishing, which I’d already tried and quit…  So, the recipe just sat there.

Then I bought some bundle on sale for Rylee W. on account #2 and it came with a Tapestry to the Bazaar.  Yea!  I’ve gotten pretty good at using it to send her to the Bazaar and then opening other accounts and porting wizards to one another until everybody who needs to sell or buy stuff at the Bazaar is complete.

But since my recent experiments with what you can do for free have included doing the first fishing quest I started thinking about the never-crafted recipe sitting in Morgan’s list.  And I thought about how nice it would be to have more than one wizard with the Tapestry.   Even though I still despised fishing on this second try, I managed to do it, so I figured I could tolerate it long enough to catch 5 Cuddlefish in Cyclops Lane.

Turns out that may be questionable.  I’m down to just needing one more so I’ll probably finish and craft the tapestry, but I’ve run into new things to hate about fishing so I’m feeling kind of sorry I tried.  I particularly have trouble in Cyclops Lane with fish “getting away”.  I’ve spent enough time there fishing now to say 1/3 to 1/2 of the fish you catch get away — and as I’ve mentioned, after having bored you with standing there doing nothing after you cast, then after you catch and lose a fish, they still have the GALL to charge you an energy point!

But even worse, the fish in Cyclops Lane barely spawn.  I’ve gone  from realm to realm to realm trying to find enough fish to even bother casting the “reveal school” spell finding zero to 3 fish in the entire pond area and it’s tributary streams.  When I have found a few more fish I’ve cast the reveal school spell and discovered not a single Death school fish in an entire area that’s supposed to be a place to catch at least two Death school fish, Cuddlefish being one of them.  I literally wasted an entire hour and an ENTIRE ENERGY GLOBE’s worth of energy casting that stupid spell and finding out there were no Death fish or hitting a new realm and finding no fish at all.

And yes, I tried the stupid run around and scatter fish so it will re-spawn bit.  I don’t know why I bothered as it has never done anything before…  It takes FOREVER for the fish to come back.  I’ve gone off to accomplish other things in WC for as much as 10 or 15 minutes — including doing a round or two in the B.O.X. and popped back to Cyclops to find still no fish returned.  B.O.R.I.N.G.

At the end of an hour I had 3 unwanted fish and one ho-hum treasure chest, no energy and I was enraged that I’d put up with doing one of the most boring “fun” activities ever invented for that long and had ZERO to show for it.  I then did a little research and saw all kinds of people posting they’d experienced the same thing in that area:  either no fish or no Death fish on realm after realm after realm is the NORM.  Who on earth thinks that’s fun???

If you don’t own an Amber Estate or a Death House (I have neither), Cyclops Lane is the only place in the spiral that has Cuddlefish.  Why make it a requirement for crafting, put it in only one spot and then program it so most of the time it isn’t possible to catch one there?

What I really wish is that they’d put transporters to the Bazaar all over the spiral…  And I would NEVER fish again 🙂

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Some Wizard City Battle tips

In Stormdrain Tower

In Stormdrain Tower

Since I’ve been running experiments on what you can accomplish for free and also spent a lot of time farming in the Stormdrain Tower for Christmas pets, I’ve been very aware of some of the common missteps new wizards make when battling in the early stages.

Shields:  Newbies tend to spend a lot of rounds putting shields on when they could finish off the opponents in the time they waste on shielding (and I did the same thing with my first couple of wizards).  I’m not saying never shield; in fact if you solo the bosses so you have more than one opponent hitting you it’s a good idea to shield, but for your average mob fight there’s no particular reason to spend several rounds casting shields.

If you need to wait a few rounds to cast a one-hit kill spell you might want to toss on a shield while you’re getting enough pips if you don’t have a blade or trap to cast.  Otherwise, until you hit the point (Colossus Blvd. or Krokotopia depending on which you decide to do first) where you always have two opponents in a mob fight, there’s no big need for shields.

One Hit:  In Unicorn Way you don’t have much choice but to hit with one of the two spells you have (your school’s one-pip and wand) and for several of the opponents it takes more than one hit to knock them off.  After Unicorn Way though, you’ve generally gained at least a two pip spell and in some schools you get a trap or a blade fairly soon (I think Life is last of the schools to get either so you won’t have them through most of Wizard City) so you have the capacity to take many opponents out with one hit.

I see new wizards all the time who seem to feel you need to start attacking right away but I’ve found it can be worth it to work a strategy in which I wait and hit each enemy once, taking him out with just the one spell.  Since I create and delete Death wizards who just go through Wizard City all the time, I’ll give the example of Ghoul.

It’s a two-pip drain health spell (you get health back) that Death gets about the end of Unicorn Way.  In the early stages you only have one pip at your first cast so you have to wait.  Even if I’m up against a Haunted Minion or Troll who could be taken out with Ghoul alone, I use the extra round to cast a Death trap even though I don’t need it.  That way I get back more health.

If there’s no drain health benefit (i.e. every other school), but you want to use your two pip spell you might want to cast a shield or just pass the first round.

When I get to higher health opponents like Magma Man or Warhorn, I cast a Death blade or trap one round and the other one (blade or trap) the second round and then hit with Ghoul on the third.  It creates enough damage to take the opponent out in one blow.  And I get a bunch of health back.

If you’re not getting health back it might make as much sense to hit with a smaller spell each round.  Some of that is personal preference.  But I’ve gotten so I set up for a one hit kill each time and I never get defeated in Wizard City.

Overkill: I see a lot of new wizards who get Treasure Cards for bigger spells or Feint and use those a lot in Wizard City.  The big spells take more pips to cast at a stage of the game when you’re totally pip challenged which means you’re taking hits for extra rounds.  Feint uses a pip so it can also make you wait to cast damage.  Both bigger spells and Feint generally give you a hit far beyond what you need to take out these low level opponents.

At this early stage when your health is pretty small, I think the added danger of taking hits for more rounds makes it inadvisable to use spells that take extra pips.  I know some wizards like to see how big they can hit so you won’t care for this piece of advice, but I just like to hit with what it takes to finish the job and do it in the least possible rounds.

I’ve soloed dozens of wizards through Wizard City without ever using bigger spells than my wizards have earned.  I DO often pass them a few TC blades and occasionally use those, but basically I complete that world using only the tools each wizard is given as she levels up and it is enough.

Stun Block:  A lot of newbies seem to figure out they can use training points with Diego at the Arena and Stun Block is one of the early ones you can get.  Don’t waste a training point.  No one will be casting Stun on you for something like 40 more levels or more so you DO NOT need Stun Block for a long time.  I see newbies cast it all the time and it just squanders a turn since it’s useless.  Plus to anybody who knows the game, you’ve just proved you’re clueless 🙂

Who’s Hitting Whom in Battle:  I’ve written before about the wisdom of taking out minions before the boss, so I’ll refer you to that post for advice.  But there are more specifics to consider.

When you enter a battle, on your side of the circle the first position is on the right.  Across the circle the first position is on your left.  If you’re in a boss fight in Wizard City that’s always where the Boss is (this really changes as you level up through other worlds).  If you Team Up and there are four of you there will be four opponents.

If everyone enters the circle at the same time, the opponents will generally lob spells at the person in the corresponding position (again this becomes less true as you move into higher worlds but holds throughout Wizard City).  In other words, if you’re in the second spot, the opponent just to the right of the Boss will focus his attacks on you.  So the smartest move to save yourself is to take out the minion who’s focused on you.

There are exceptions to how they attack.  If one person jumps in first and the others are delayed getting in the circle,  all opponents initially lob their attacks at the first person.  Also, if someone hits one of them with damage, that one (and sometimes one or more of his friends) will hit back at the one who damaged him.  So for instance if the person in third position attacks the second position minion, the second position guy will likely lob something at the one in third.

Stay aware that when you attack you attract damage.  And if you attack someone other than the minion opposite you, you’re probably going to be attacked by both the one opposite and the one you attacked.  Same for the theory about hitting the boss.  If you hit the boss, the boss is likely to hit you and if you’re not in first position you’ll probably be taking hits from the minion opposite you as well.  Think twice about attacking anybody but the one opposite to you until you’ve defeated that one.

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Okay, those are my battle tips for newly minted wizards in Wizard City.

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Reminded I hate fishing…

Fishing

In recent posts I’ve been experimenting with how much a wizard can do playing for free.  Even though I quit fishing very shortly after taking a few wizards through the first couple of quests, I decided to include fishing to see how much it could help in leveling up

While it does provide a bit of a boost, the experiment has mainly served to remind me the many reasons I loathe fishing in the spiral.

  1. It’s BORING.  Once you cast a lure, your character can’t move and you’re just stuck there staring at the same thing.  (see above picture and imagine just standing there for several minutes with nothing to do but look at that).
  2. They’ve added an annoying feature in which the fish can “get away” after you’ve caught it.  It just happened to me for 14 out of 16 casts.  Yup.  And they have the gall to take an energy point for it.  So after you’ve stood there being bored to death and finally caught a fish, it gets away and you still lose energy–in this case 14 points for absolutely nothing.
  3. Very little works the way the training and instructions tell you.  You have lures for each school and supposedly each school’s lure makes it more likely you’ll catch a fish from that school.  I can keep casting a lure from the same school 8 or 10 times (and yes, even after wasting 3 more energy points to see the schools of all the fish) and I might catch 7 or 8 fish from other schools.
  4. The “luck” elixir doesn’t seem to improve my odds much at all.  Each wizard gets one that lasts for an hour with the first quest and my wizards have still caught fish of the wrong school, caught the wrong fish, cast lures that no fish came to, had fish get away…  It seems to add nothing.  I would never buy one.
  5. Every time you catch a fish you lose 3 energy points, whether or not it was a fish you needed or wanted.
  6. One of the pieces of advice is to run through the water to get rid of the fish and have them spawn again.  They’re already few and far between and after you’ve scattered them it’s a long boring wait before any significant number shows up again and for me it hasn’t tended to mean that the kind of fish I need shows up.  So you scatter and have a boring wait for the fish to show up again followed by some boring standing around staring at a lure and whatever scene is in front of you, followed by most of the time failing to get what you were after.
  7. It was pretty clear to me from the beginning that this is a blatant effort to get wizards to spend Crowns on energy.  I get that KI exists to make a profit and many things in the spiral are designed to entice you to spend money.  But in most areas they’ve also provided ways you can get things for free with some work.  In fishing, you just burn through energy with little result and there’s no way to keep going without purchasing more and more energy.

I’m glad I’ve pretty well finished with my experiment as I have no desire to ever engage in fishing again.

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