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Aryvane's avatar

Cat

How to "Speedily" YM in the Post-Elite Generation
A moderately-lengthy, appropriately objective piece for those beginning DMS or farming YM.


      Purpose:
      The "elite" generation of players who first entered DMS, explored previously uncharted territories, and developed from scratch many techniques that worked for them to clear rooms have largely left zOMG! or play almost exclusively with their friends and old crewmates. Although they passed down their gameplay tricks and methods, newer players have discovered and augmented upon their discoveries. This guide was written to address the discrepancy between older and newer beliefs as well as the confusion as they clash in crews. It is meant to facilitate and streamline your DMS experience, minimize upset within crews, and generally help you achieve your zOMG! goals just a little bit faster.

      As for the blunt wording:
      As a team player, you’re expected to pull your own weight. Since it’s nearly impossible to YM without a crew, it is your responsibility to learn the basics of DMS and zOMG! instead of imposing on others. My goal in writing this article is honestly to help you improve your gameplay or at least have you leave just a bit more informed. If I offend you with my thread, I sincerely apologize, but better offended here on the forums than annoy everyone else in-game, yes?

      Glossary:

      DMS = Dead Man’s Shadow
      Tank = Player who takes damage for the other players
      Heal Tank = Tank that also has to heal his crewmates.
      CL = Charge Level
      YM = Yellow Maze
      R4 = Rage Rank 4
      z!F = the zOMG! Forum
      CurtNeko = z!F's resident p***y
Aryvane's avatar

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A Brief Note Regarding Your Rings
How to prepare yourself so you’re not an annoying leech

      You must have all your rings at CL 10.:

      If you’re considering DMS, I’m going to assume that you’re at CL.10. If you’re not, then you’re in the wrong place. It’s not enough to have only your favorite Papa Saw rings at CL.10, either. More often than not, leaders will have structured their crew in specific ways and ask you to carry very specific rings. I cannot stress how crucial it is that you have collected all 40 basic rings and have them all at CL 10.

      But Aryvane,” you complain. “Surely I only need to charge the 8 rings I use for DMS!”

      Yeah, no.

      It’s an effing hassle for everyone else in the crew if you don’t have the buffs that they’re missing, and they have to get everyone else in the null and re-order all the buffs just because you were too lazy to farm Papa Saw a few more times to get the orbs you need. You slow the entire instance down and half the time, they’ll just kick you and invite someone else. This isn’t them being rude, either. This is you being rude, coming in unprepared and expecting other people to pick up your slack. Don’t. Save yourself some butthurt and go level up your rings before you even think about hitting the gate.

      Also? Go buy yourself some revives from the marketplace or Back Alley Bargains, please. No one wants to carry Defib because you can’t spare 20k. If you want to save/earn gold, head to PS or SMEB. Otherwise, be prepared to lay down 20k every now and again for revives or, better yet, don’t die.
Aryvane's avatar

Cat

Crewing for Dummies

      DMS is a team sport. Alright, it’s not a sport, and it’s a crew, not a team, but my point still stands. A full crew of six is necessary to beat YM most quickly and efficiently. You will want to find a crew of five other people. Let’s review some basic crewing etiquette that seem to have fallen out of practice.

      Use chat options to your advantage.
      In the chat panel, there are multiple settings for broadcasting your message. Using “talk” means that only the people on the same screen as you will be able to see your message. Using “shout” will allow you to talk with everyone on the same layer in your area. When you’re crewing, Shout will allow you to communicate with the most number of people.

      Communicate effectively.
      Ask, either on Talk or on Shout, politely if anyone is interested in crewing. Be specific which kind of crew you’re looking for. “Any YM crews willing to take a 10?” sounds a lot better than “DMS crew me pl0x!”

      Be up-front about any special needs. If you’re missing a certain ring, let the leader know before the leader starts doing ring assignments. If you’ve volunteered to be the crew’s tank, and you’ve never tanked before, let the crew know so they can give you pointers. If you have no idea how to rage a buff, for god’s sake let me know so I don’t waste 5 rooms shouting “R4 Keen before I HM01 you!” Many experienced players are willing to answer a few questions, as long as the questions are phrased responsibly and intelligently.

      “BRB” is three letters and “Back” is four. They’re not hard to type, will take you less than 10 seconds. If you need to pee, I don’t expect a four-page report on the state of your bladder. I’m not that cruel. I just want to know that you’ll be gone for a minute or two so I don’t get confused by your inactivity. Similarly, when you get back from the bathroom, make it easier on your leader by letting them know you’ve returned. This way, they don’t have to waste time guessing or leave you behind accidentally.

      For the record: if a leader kicks you for being inactive because you failed to type “brb,” it’s not them being an a**. It’s you being lazy. So save them some irritation and save yourself some butthurt. Practice those three letters.

      Be patient.
      DMS is a unique area of zOMG! that requires focus and grasp of very specific strategies to play successfully. That being said, it takes a while for crews to come together and finish prepping. Be willing to answer questions that your teammates ask you. Assigning buffs and attacks can take a while, but it’s ultimately meant to facilitate and streamline the actual run and minimize player deaths. Therefore, don’t expect that crews will head in and start killing things right away. Plan for a 10-20 minute pre-maze prepping, buff-checking, and general recruiting.

      Know your available playing time.
      There is nothing more irritating than when I’ve assigned all buffs, we’re all of one room in, and someone announces that they have to go. YM runs can take between 1-3 hours, depending on the crew. If you don’t have at least 45 minutes, go SMEB instead and save everyone else the headache of replacing you. Yeah, real life comes up, and most crewmates are perfectly understanding of family emergencies and IRL commitments, but if you begin to get a reputation for ditching, the smart leaders will stop crewing you. Actually, that leads me to my next point which is:

      The BRB is not your personal stripper. Quit abusing it.
      Too many times, I’ve invited a person into my crew only to learn, three rooms in, that they’re afk 50% of the time due to multitasking or slow internet connection. If your internet can’t keep up with zOMG!, save everyone some impatience and just get off the game. You can always come back when you’ve gotten it fixed. If you’re cooking or playing OverSoul on Facebook and have to leave every five minutes to check on something else, same deal. Why would I want to drag your useless a** through the maze, wasting my time? A “brb” once in a while is fine. If you’re absent once a room, that’s too much and you should consider a hobby that doesn’t require 90% of your attention. Like knitting.

      Listen to the Tank/Leader.
      If you have a tank, listen to the tank. If you don’t have a tank, listen to the leader. If you’re new to DMS and someone orders you to bring a specific ring or kill a specific monster, do it. If you’ve got a few dozen rounds’ experience and you find something blatantly wrong about the instruction, raise the issue politely on whisper-chat rather than getting in the leader’s face.

      Make some friends.
      Gaia is, more than anything, a social networking site and a community. Crewing with strangers just isn’t the same as crewing with people whose playing styles you’re familiar with. Additionally, people are more likely to crew players on their friendslist, so you’ll be making future DMS crewing faster. Friends will appear on each others’ maps as blue dots and if you happen to have a friend on another layer, you’ll be able to switch layers easily. This is especially useful if you happen to load onto an empty layer.

      Don't be a leader if you can't lead
      Very specifically: if you don't have much experience in DMS and you see someone in your crew who does, don't let your pride keep you from handing the crown over. Leading is a big responsibility. It involves coordinating buffs, coordinating re-buffs, watching the adrenner, deciding kill-order, calling out the people who solo, knowing when to kick a leech, and so much more. Until you have a decent amount of experience in DMS or you feel really, really comfortable taking the responsibility for these things, let someone else lead.
Aryvane's avatar

Cat

Which Rings not to Bring to YM
How the ringset has changed since the elites played


      If you’ve played DMS with any frequency, you’ve heard at least one crewmate or leader tell you that something’s wrong with your usual ringset or give you contradictory advice. More often than not, one of you is working with limited or outdated information. Let’s go over some more common scenarios.

      Scaredy Cat and Duct Tape
      Once-upon-a-time, when the entire crew was CL 10 and no one knew how to tank, these rings were essential to prevent the entire crew from wiping. Now, when most crews have either a tanker or a few more experienced players, these rings are nearly obsolete, a drain on stamina, and a waste of a ringslot. Granted, they have their uses, but are actually less efficient in DMS than many other rings. Anyone who brings cat or tape should be drawn, quartered, and beaten with a dead horse.

      Area of Effect Rings
      Fire Rain, Dervish, Shark Attack, and Heavy Water Balloon, four of the most useful rings in other areas of zOMG! are frowned upon in DMS. In DMS, the monsters are spread out and the crew deals with them one-by-one rather than mobbing them en masse. The AoEs, therefore, prove rather impractical and would be better replaced with one-on-one attack rings such as Hack, Mantis, or Shuriken.

      No, you cannot bring knife.
      Knife does minimal damage and drains an inordinate amount of stamina. Before, in the early days of DMS, 10-crews used knife to keep monsters from killing their crewmates by cutting the monsters’ critical-hit ratio. Nowadays, with the use of the tanker, who actually benefits from taking damage, knife is obsolete. Replace knife with another attack ring.

      For heavens' sake, leave the meat.
      This is another one of those rings that was crucial in 2011, but whereas the zOMG! community has now generally accepted that Cat and Knife are out of date, they stubbornly cling onto their Meat rings. If you learn one thing from this guide, please, let it be: take off your meat ring and go veggie. Please.

      The Meat ring is meant to give players extra health. You shouldn’t need this extra heath. Above CL. 10, a player has 1k+ health. Therefore, if the player is consistently taking enough damage that they need meat (that is, 1k+ damage all the time), they’re doing something wrong. Meat is a crutch, and an outdated one, at that. For damage-dealers: the ringslot for meat would be better suited to a fourth attack ring or an extra passive. For tanks: fill that slot with a passive, another healing ring, or an attack ring.

      In YM, you do not need meat. Wean yourself off meat, you wimp.
      Exception: tankers, who have more free ringslots than regular fighters,
      are allowed to carry meat to make tanking easier.


      Bandage.
      Surprised? Bandage is a wonderful, efficient self-healing ring and a very popular one in any area of zOMG!. However, it is actually impractical in DMS, when the crew is ideally in the same place, attacking the same monster. Instead, bring wish. For the same stamina, wish will heal your entire crew. Better yet, bring no healing rings and trust your tank.

      Solar Rays
      In ye olde days, every crew member was advised to take solar rays so they wouldn't fall prey to the grue. However, now the zOMG! community has successfully isolated the grue and can predict the timeframe in which it strikes. A crew that wants to avoid the grue can simply not play during this timeframe (12:AM - 3:AM Gaia Time). Additionally, for speed crews, there's the added possibility of simply awakening in the null chamber and starting over completely (since you're not going anywhere anyways).

      It should also be noted that solar rays has a very low damage-per-second rate. It lacks the power of bump and the efficiency of hack or mantis. So why carry it?

The rings that you should bring:

      4 attack rings:
      Unless you are a tank, there is absolutely no excuse not to bring four attack rings. If you are not the tank, you shouldn't be healing anyone. Therefore, you don't need heal rings or (god forbid) meat. You can fill these slots with attack rings. Mantis and hack are recommended. Shuriken, bump, and slash are acceptable. Hotfoot is a last-ditch resort. If you bring guns-guns-guns, I will feed you to my sister.

      Adren:
      Every crew should carry one adrenaline ring. Not every crew member. Every crew. That's one adren ring per crew. Adren speeds up kills by upping your crew's crit-hit ratio. Adren may count as one of your four attack rings, even though it is technically a debuff, not a real attack.

      At least one passive:
      Passives are fitness, fortune's favor, and integrity. Fitness and Integ will help boost your stamina so that you can effectively use your four attacks.

      One ring of your choice:
      And don't you dare let this be meat.

On Recommended Ringsets:

      I don't believe in a mandatory ringset.
      Although there are rings that generally work better than others, it's more important to understand why rings work the way they do and use them to develop your own unique play-style. To get the most out of the game, it's not enough just to beat the monsters. I recommend you immerse yourself into the game and consider for yourself how to play.

      Damage Dealers:
      I personally recommend you take: 4attack / 2buff / 1passive / 1not-meat.
      Some leaders will insist on specific attacks. Others will beg you to carry a third buff (they'd better have a damn good reason for it). I've seen people play effectively even with rings like fire rain and hornet's nest. However: before you try to be creative, practice with and try to understand what's already been proven to work.

      Heal-Tank's ringset:
      This is a great example of old vs new ideas. Traditionally, the beginner tank takes:
      Meat / Diagnose / Bandage / Wish / Iron Will / Integrity / Fitness / One Attack.
      This allows them maximum healing capabilities and a great deal of leeway to learn.

      However, when I tank, I distill this set down to its bare essentials. My ringset ends
      up looking more like:
      wish / bandage / iron / passive / buff / buff / passive / attack
      By carrying more buffs myself, I (who almost always has full rage) give my crewmates
      the ability to carry more passives for themselves.

      But again: that's what works for me, and may not work for you.
Aryvane's avatar

Cat

In the Maze Itself

      Assuming that you’ve cobbled together an efficient crew and successfully entered the maze without dying at the hands of the bootsnakes and clutches of DMP, you’re now ready for the fun more painful stuff.

      Buff, goddamit. Buff.
      You will be assigned at least one buff, most likely two buffs. It is your job to use them at rage rank four (r4) and then, throughout the entire run, keep them at r4. This means refreshing buffs every ten minutes so that they don’t fall. If too many buffs fall at once, people die and then get pissy at you for wasting their revives. It is your own responsibility to keep an eye on your own buffs (do this using the crew panel) and make sure they’re always active. Leaders and tanks: you should be keeping an eye on all the buffs, making sure they get re-buffed.

      Adren, you idiot!
      The adrenaline ring, when used on a monster, increases your team’s critical hit ration on that monster. Ideally, at r4, it speeds up the killing rate by at least 30%. In order for this to work, the person assigned adrenaline should attempt to r4 every monster that the crew is killing.

      Listen to your Tank!
      Whereas during ring assignments, the leader is in charge, in the maze, the tank’s word is law. This means: if your tank tells you to kill monsters in a specific order, do it. If your tank tells you to leave a certain monster, do it. If your tank tells you to go make him a sandwich, do it and quit complaining. Why? Simply because the tank has the power to walk over to you where you kneel and direct all the monsters in the room to kill your prone form.

      Do not Solo.
      Vampires heal very quickly. The more people on a single monster at once, the quicker the kill, and the less healing the monster gets to do; thus, less stamina is wasted. Don’t solo. Just don’t.

      Mapping
      Because the YM is a maze, players like to keep a record of the doors they’ve taken so they can find their way back to each other and avoid dead ends. Although mapping is a useful skill for Tuna and BL runs, it’s pretty obsolete for speedy YM farming. If a YM farming crew hits a dead end, a loop in the maze, or gets lost, it’s actually more efficient to simply terminate the crew and start over (since they’re not trying to get anywhere in the first place).

      However, if you’re really proactive about mapping, you can read about it here.
Aryvane's avatar

Cat

How to YM with a Tank

      There are two types of tankers: regular tankers and heal tanks. The job of a tanker is to draw the attention of all the monsters in the room to themselves and thus spare the rest of the crew from taking damage. The heal tank has the added job of having to heal the rest of the crew if they do get hurt.

      The heal tank is often more efficient than the regular tank because it spares the other crew members from carrying healing rings and thus opens up more ringslots for attacks and passives. This kind of job specialization allows the damage-dealers to focus on killing monsters and the tank to focus on healing, making everyone’s life much easier and the run much faster.

      For the Heal Tanker:
      Note: the tank is often incorrectly called the “aggro.”

      The rings you'll need are Wish and Bandage.
      The ring most crews expect you to have is Iron Will
      The rings I recommend you also bring are Integ and/or Fitness.

      Here's the logic.

      Monsters prioritize their kill order by "hate."
      After you enter a room and get within a monster's range, it'll put you on a kill list. If you (a) damage the monster or (b) heal anyone on the kill list, you gain aggro (or hate points). The monster attacks the person with the most hate points.

      So obviously, with this information, a Heal Tank's job is to accumulate more aggro through healing than the rest of the crew can accumulate by attacking, thereby drawing all attacks to him/herself and helping the crew stay alive.

      Four things to keep in mind while you tank.

      1. You must accumulate more aggro than your 5 other crewmates combined. This mean walking into the room first so that the monsters have a few seconds to target you and hurt you so you can mass-heal and rack up those hate points.

      This also means that while your crew is attacking monsters, you have to not only continuously heal yourself, but also toggle your rings so that you can heal yourself even more.

      One of the biggest mistakes inexperienced tanks make is forgetting to toggle, especially in a NF room. It's not enough just to be hit by vamps and keep your health high. You have to create damage to yourself so you can heal more.

      2. You must keep the crew alive. If someone dies, it is your fault.
      Exception: if crew members are genuine idiots, it's okay that they're dead, and more
      often than not, the rest of your crew will celebrate their death


      You will not only have to heal yourself, you will have to constantly be wishing your crew. Obviously, you'll rack up rage really quickly, and you'd be wise to spend it on r4 wish or bandage. You will also have to be aware of your crew and, if they get too close to you, you have to be ready to re-position yourself somewhere else. This is another common mistake.

      3. You should know how to reset monsters.

      If you attract a monster, but then run too far from it, it'll go back to its original position, but you'll still be on it's kill list. Therefore, the trick is to attract the monsters first and then reset them so that you're not tanking 8 vamps at once.

      4. Communicate with your crew.

      Once you develop your own style of tanking, be responsible and share your way of doing this with your crew so they know what to expect. Some tanks like bringing a different buff, not Iron Will, so they make sure that's known. Some tanks establish a "enter the room 15 seconds after I do" rule to avoid having to command the crew "in please" each room.

      Oh, and if you’re going to be a heal tank, tell your crew to drop their meat and bandage rings. They won’t need those rings because you’ll be healing them.


      For the Damage-Dealers:

      Do not amp unless the tank amps.
      This way, you minimize risk of generating more hate than the tank does (and thus pulling aggro away from the tank). When in doubt, ask your tank for permission to amp.

      Stay in a group.
      None of you should be soloing monsters anyways. The closer you stick to each other, the easier it is for the tank to hit you all collectively with healing rings. This makes the tank’s job easier and keeps you all alive.

      Stay away from the tank.
      This should be a no-brainer. The tank has attracted all monster attention. Monsters are aiming their attacks towards the tank. Therefore, if you position yourself between the tank and the monster(s), you’re putting yourself in the line of fire. It would, then, be even more idiotic to kneel near the tank. Collective damage + kneeling = instadeath. Just a bit of math for you guys.
Aryvane's avatar

Cat

”Speed DMS”

      ”Speed” is a misnomer. Rarely are so-called “YM speed” crews actually speedy. More often than not, they wipe fairly quickly because speed depends on very careful concentration and dedication from each crew-member and seamless teamwork.

      Therefore, speed is recommended only for crews of friends who know and trust each other and can depend on each other. Strangers and low-level players should stick with tank-based runs.

      In other words? If you really want a fast crew, find a tank. 'nuff said.

      The main difference between speed zOMG! and tank zOMG! is that instead of having 5 people attack and one person get attacked, 6 people will attack at once.

      In theory, you have 6 killers, 4 attack rings each, kills ought to go fairly quickly. Obviously, without a tank, people will take damage (which is why speed is mosdef not recommended for a crew with many people at low levels).

      Because everyone's attacking the same monsters, they're ideally in the same place, making wish a much better healing ring than bandage. If everyone uses wish to heal everyone else, no one should take the brunt of the aggro (and thus the brunt of the damage).

      Meat is actually not that commonly required (though some people prefer to have it on for safety's sake). Remember: if you're taking more than 1k damage, you're doing something wrong and you're better off not doing speed anyways.

      ^ Removing meat leaves you with an extra slot, which a lot of players like to pack with a passive because 4 attacks drain stamina like no one's business.

      Taking diagnose as a heal isn't as efficient as wish, stamina-wise, but diagnose means that you don't have to aim when you're healing and that you can heal yourself. With the stam trade-off, though, diag is only really an option if (a) you have dropped meat for integ or (b) you're only carrying 3 attacks.

      Again: in theory, speed is about 15% faster than tanking, more if everyone's amped.

      In practice, it can take longer if you have a badly coordinated, solo-happy crew and you come across one too many NFs.
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Cat

Using the z! Forum when you’re really stuck

      Outside of its flash world, the zOMG! players gather together in the zOMG! forum to chat, share strategies, and mourn the loss of the good old days.

      In this forum, you will find many guides on different aspects of zOMG! as well as experienced players willing to answer questions you might have. Rather than being an add-on to the game, the z! forum is rather a more intimate community complete with its own comics and memes and inside jokes. Here, players from all different areas (SMEBers, SMOBers, PSers, DMSers, newbies, etc.) come together and chat about their favorite lascivious diver (*cough*Marshall*cough*).

      How to use this forum:
      When in doubt, hit the search bar. Don’t create a new thread asking “can someone link me to the guide for farming?” That’s equivalent to being too lazy to google and bugging your friends instead. Search “YM farming guide” yourself and save us the trouble.

      If you have a new or specific problem (for example, if you want help for a very specific quest and are recruiting people right now), starting a thread may get you many replies from experienced players happy to lend a hand.

      Basic forum etiquette applies to this forum just like any others.

      Do read the informational stickies at the top of the page.
      Do not spam the front page. One active thread. That's all you need.
      Do not name-drop. It's against the rules to make a thread complaining specifically about a user by name.
      Be polite. Courteous. Friendly, even. It's a community, guys.
Aryvane's avatar

Cat

Final Words

      Wow. Okay. We're at the end. And I'm sick of typing. Much of the above was based on my personal experience as well as advice I've received from friends and crewmates.

      I suppose my main message, if I were to sum my thread up in a sentence would be: "To improve your DMS gameplay, you should understand old tactics and use them to develop your own."

      I do hope that I've helped you at least a little. If you have any questions, or any issues with any of what I've posted, I do hope you leave a comment in this thread.

      Thank you to the z! forum at large for putting up with me.

      - V.
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A Random Act of Terror's avatar

Omnipresent Gatekeeper

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>first

Finally, a guide that'll allow me to catch up to all these kids and their hip young lingo surprised

Thanks, Aryvane.


~Terror
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Aryvane
CurtNeko = z!F's resident p***y
^ LOL



In all seriousness though, I am sitting here nodding along to everything you've typed. You've done a great job explaining things clearly (and bluntly)

I'll be sure to link people to this thread! Thankyou so much for writing this.

I just had to quote the bits that I couldn't agree more with :
Aryvane
In YM, you do not need meat. Wean yourself off meat, you wimp.
Don’t solo. Just don’t.
The tank is often incorrectly called the “aggro.”


I find that the only way that "speed" YM is faster than tanked YM is if everyone amps, everyone is veggie and everyone takes wish (and people aren't dumb enough to run away when their health drops, and lures more monsters in the process).
Aryvane's avatar

Cat

A Random Act of Terror

Your signature amuses me every time I see it.
Consider this my way of paying you back. 3nodding

Scarlet Heaven

heart
Scarlet Heaven
Aryvane
CurtNeko = z!F's resident p***y
^ LOL

Ary had me at that even before reading everything else. xd
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Man-Hungry Cutie-Pie

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Signomi
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Aryvane
CurtNeko = z!F's resident p***y
^ LOL

Ary had me at that even before reading everything else. xd
Same same - I want to comment on so so many things she's posted here, but that had to be the first thing I commented on xD

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