Super Adventure Suffering

There is a particular mental state with which to take on Tribulation Mode in Super Adventure Box.

It’s about three parts acceptance and one part perseverance.

One has to acknowledge that things are unfair, life has its downs – many of which will smack you in the face and then kick you when you’re already down, regardless of whether you see it coming and that there’s no point getting upset or frustrated about it because that just makes a bad situation feel even worse.

sab-cloud
Tribulation Cloud hates you. No offense taken. Just take the hearts, take the life and let me move on with block pushing.

Instead, the way to get through it is to just keep picking yourself up again – one more time -, preferably to the accompaniment of some good music to keep emotionally regulated and focus on the small things you may be able to control about 50-60% thereof.

Take tiny steps. If things smack you down, try it again, ever so slightly differently and see if that way works better.

sab-routes
Dodge-jump, even with an approved Autohotkey macro only works about 50% of the time with my latency. The Taco route shows how to get to the balloons which help to unlock a secondary checkpoint. After falling one too many times, I found a no dodge-jump shortcut that just ignores the balloons instead. No need for a secondary checkpoint if you can just get to the next checkpoint eventually.
sab-dark
Oh, and everything is tweaked for brightness in the images. And gamma is raised in full screen mode when jumping. Because otherwise, it looks like this, which is just ridiculous.

Have a plan, try your best to follow the plan; when life inevitably veers you off the plan, see if there’s another way to course correct back to the same goal and celebrate finding that if it’s at all possible.

sab-shortcut
Another dodge-jump bane in red arrows. It’s a great shortcut if dodge-jump works consistently for you. It’s a lot more annoying if you fall and have to keep re-tracing your steps and hoping the dodge-jump works /this/ time. So I went and found the long way around. Which I only have to do once.

If not, scrunch up that attempt as a failed one and try attempt number X + 1 and aim for just a bit more accuracy, a bit more precision and consistency, even when factors beyond your control conspire to make things completely unpredictable.

sab-balance
The jump where you pretty much balance on a razor edge of safety. Too far to the left and the spikes get you. Too far to the right and you fall into nothingness.

Given current worldly events, I have found myself in a pretty good mood for taking on the last Tribulation zone I have left to finish up the Storm Wizard weapon collection.

This has been a long term project of several years.

One year, I decided to finish the King Toad weapon collection, which meant doing World 1 Zones 1, 2 & 3 on Tribulation mode 16 times each. I believe I did them all in one season’s worth of Super Adventure Box (SAB), but learned each individually, with plenty of outside help from videos and GW2 Taco (which provides an overlay route guide) before moving on to the next.

The next year, it was time to take on World 2 Zone 1 Tribulation. That was it. One World 2 zone a year was enough for me.

The year after that, World 2 Zone 2 Tribulation. The Pain Cliffs. That was a terrible year.

Last year, I skipped SAB. Possibly due to some lingering trauma, as well as overall malaise with the state of the game that year.

This year feels like a good year to take on World 2 Zone 3 Tribulation. It’s been that kind of year.

sab-abyss
(The non-color corrected version of the above image is almost poetical.)

I ran through World 1 normal mode and felt a really feel-good sense of nostalgia. It felt almost like coming home to familiar ground – I remembered all the chest digging spots of yesteryear, without even having to look them up. The self-learning from so much bauble collecting was deep-rooted.

That positivity lasted through most of World 2 normal mode, though Pain Cliffs was pushing it a little (I found a decent if slightly tedious shortcut via Shortcut Eagle for the Glitched chest, I refuse to go through all those horrible checkpoints as far as humanly possible) and Storm Top was overextending its welcome somewhat through its length (though a little nostalgic as I revisited places usually skipped past while hunting for the glitch.)

On that burst of good feeling, I decided to take on Storm Top in Tribulation Mode and complete the Storm Wizard collection.

Sure enough, on Friday night, just before the very weekend I slated to begin the mini-project, I start lagging my arse off.

Ping is crazy, going from our regular across-the-ocean latency of 250-280ms to 500ms, 800ms and spiking to the thousands. 1k, 2k, 4k (that one took the cake. I had no idea it was possible to remain connected to the game with quadruple digit ping.)

Besides local ISP issues, the main bulk of the problem appeared to lie with the Telia servers just before the Amazon cloud servers that Anet chose to use since Path of Fire launched. This is not a new problem. I wound up in extended runarounds with Support getting hand-waved off until final escalation to someone moderately more competent who pretty much said, “You can fix this on your end by using a VPN. The end.”

So I found a VPN and used that for the several months I was still relatively interested in the game. As my interest died, I saved on costs and stopped paying for the VPN service. Apparently as other players’ interests died at the same time, the traffic eased or the server routes re-shaped themselves and I found myself connecting back okay-ish sans VPN this past year.

Come SAB and multiple lockdowns globally, and that is no longer the case.

*sighs*

So I’m back on the VPN for a month and we’ll see how things go from here. It’s that kind of year.

Control? Predictability? Never heard of ’em. Accept. Adapt. Improvise. Find an alternative. That seems to be the watchword of the day. Month. Quarter. Year. Whatever.

I’ve managed two tokens (aka two Tribulation completions) a day for two days now, and things seem to be more or less okay.

Except today, even with the VPN, my connection has been snapping on and off. Full disconnections mean a lost instance and zero progress. I think the ISP is to blame for this one.

On the bright side, my speed through the Tribulation run is showing noticeable improvement and I’m getting certain tricky parts almost down to a science. On the first day, without VPN and ping spiking to 4k, it took 3 hours to first completion. On the second and third day, it was about 50-60 minutes a run.

Today I was nailing the first few phases in a handful of tries. I was about 60% of the way in about 20 minutes, one disconnection and repeat included. The second disconnection told me it was time for a break.

I suppose there’s always reading a book instead until things get better.

sab-fall
Falling. Failing. You get used to it. All you need to do is give it one more go after the plummet. But taking breaks help.

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