Ask a r99 Collector
The possibility of obtaining a Wand of the Dark Faerie from Jhudora or Illusen’s Staff is nearly impossible unless you have an extensive collection of r99 items or seek the help of collectors on the Trading Post boards. After quest 27 or so the faeries start to ask for unbuyable items and in order to procure one in the 16 minutes allowed it’s imperative to have the backup of many collectors. For those questing, Lovagees, or Nita, is a familiar face. She has a whopping 700 r99 items and is frequently available to send what you’re looking for in the nick of time. When I was vying for the illusive weapons I often neomailed Nita ahead of time to make sure she was on as she’d helped me so many times when other didn’t have the item I was looking for. Her advice for preparing to start a round of quests was also very valuable to me (so much so that I saved it as a sticky note to reference). Now as I start to snag an r99 here and there for a modest galley I asked her to share her tips on building such an impressive collection.
How did you start collecting r99s? Did Charity Corner make a difference for your collection?
Lovagees: I had a few in my "I think this is cute" category of a side gallery, but had never considered buying them in the past due to the rarity and high prices.
Charity Corner was the starting point for me. As soon as I started donating and getting really awesome items, I went full force and hunted down every r90+ item in my sdb, closet, shed, side account galleries and shop snipes. Charity Corner was the start of a really fun collecting adventure.
I started by investing 10,000,000np into buying items to donate. At this point, the items had inflated quite a bit. I didn't think about how this would impact Jhudora or Illusen quests then so I sold several and re-invested back into the CC donation items. By the time it ended, I had about 150 r99s plus some other r90+ items as well.
How many successful quests have you completed? Have you ever failed a quest for Jhudora or Illusen?
Lovagees: I have completed two Jhudora quests and one Illusen quest. The first time around, I was already at Level 20 for both quests from previous years of getting the avatars. (Who knew that your scores lasted YEARS???!)
I have failed one Jhudora quest recently. Actually it wasn't even for a difficult to acquire item, I just picked really bad timing because I got over-confident.
What advice do you have for new questers?
Lovagees: Start hanging out on the trade chat BEFORE you get to the r99 quests. Do some selling or buying. If you have some r99s, even if just a few, you can always offer to be of help for other questers. Decide if you want to quest once per day or twice. There are some better times to quest. If you’re able to, there is a small window of time around 6-8 NST morning and evening to hit the max potential number of backers. Make a board asking for help! You can use the Jhudora and Illusen emoticons in your title to make it easier for backers to spot your board. You don’t really need to make a board more than 5-8 minutes before your reset time unless it’s a much slower time of the day. If it’s a slow time you are on, let people know when your reset time is so they aren’t just hanging around your board for 15 minutes.
I personally like to start my backup board (something along these lines):
Hi everyone! Getting ready for quest #XX, looking for backers! Will buy/replace item asap, just let me know. Time resets at :15. Thanks in advance ^_^
Backers (and lurkers) will come on to post good lucks and I use that time to gauge how many backers are on. And open up all my tabs. I open my NM to a blank send message, my quick remove to my gallery (or wherever you keep r99s if you have them), the Trading Post and a blank new topic screen. You may need to make a new board with the title of “Where is my _____?” along with the faerie’s emoticon so it stands out.
#1 rule - Make sure your inventory is empty (or low) AND you can accept items from non-NFs. It’s the easiest for backers to send the item to your directly due to the time constraints of these quests.
How much should someone save before starting one of Jhudora or Illusen’s quests?
Lovagees: I recommend 15-20 million NPs. That’s right. I wouldn’t quest with less than 10 million NPs myself and have 700 r99s. Right after the Winter Charity Corner, r90+ items were very plentiful and pretty cheap. Lots of items were easily under 500k. The market is slowly creeping higher and many of the quest items have gone back up due to the number of quests, book club, gourmet feeders and collectors taking advantage of low prices. If you have no r99 collection of your own, you are likely to spend an average of 700k per quest item with a good chance of getting a few outliers in the 1-2 million range. You even have a slim chance of a buyable quest item OR a very expensive doll, stamp or weapon. There are some items it would not be worth questing if asked for. Make a decision before you reach the higher quests on your max for each level. You probably don’t want to take a chance paying 10m for a stamp on level 34 but level 48 it may be worth the risk.
Keep in mind, even with a great group of backers, having enough neopoints and even questing at peak times that you can always be asked for a rare r99 item worth more than either the wand or staff!