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Test of the Singing Cicada
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Find cicada cages placed around Egypt by other players, then place your own for a stream of points.
The Test of the Singing Cicada is one of the 7 Tests of the Human Body, and is also the way to permanently increase one's Speed attribute. The test focuses on exploration, particularly of remote or hard-to-reach areas in Egypt.
Hidden across the Egyptian landscape are dozens of cicada cages, detectable mainly through the continuous chirping sounds they emit. A player who comes across a cicada cage is allowed to take a cicada from it (provided the player has signed up for the Cicada test). When a player has collected enough cicadas, he may build and place a cicada cage of his own. Cages disappear after 7 players have discovered them.
Cicada points are earned both by finding other players' cages (a single bonus for each cage found) and by building your own (points earned continuously for as long as your cages survive). Every 3 Egypt days, the 21 players with the highest scores receive a permanent Speed advance. They then all lose cicada points equal to the 21st player's score. (In effect, the 21st player's score determines how much it "costs" to "buy" a Speed point that day.)
To pass the test, a player must achieve a permanent Speed of 7. Players may continue to gain Speed points through this test even after passing.
In most people's opinion the locations of cicada cages should not be shared. Doing so is considered rude and can ruin the test for other players. However, sharing the locs is Legal, so only a DP can ban your for that.
This Test has two components: hunting cicada cages placed by other players and placing your own cages. As a Body Test, it involves a lot of running and exploration of Egypt. The better you know the land and the people, the better you will be able to hide or find cages.
Cicadas make a continuous chirruping/buzzing sound, which is directional and gets louder as you get closer. It can be heard to a distance of about 62 coordinates from the cage. Having any sound option active will activate the cicada sounds -- pick whichever is least annoying if you want minimal audio. (NOTE: Music DOES NOT count for this -- having only Music enabled will not let you hear the chirp.) Even if you haven't yet registered for the Test of the Singing Cicada you will still be able to hear them.
The different required sounds are a common misconception ("Because sound X worked for me, it must be the correct one"). Providing any sound is enabled, the cicadas will sound. Pick whatever is most tolerable to you. Best suggestions are to enable the Building sounds but nothing else, or interface sounds but nothing else, since both these will generally make no sound whilst you are out hunting, allowing a clear audible once in range of a Cicada.
When you find someone's cage, you can take a single cicada from it. You will gain a point for every minute since the last time a cicada was taken, or since the cage was built if you are the first to find it.
Note: You cannot hold more than 21 cicadas at a time -- turn them in for cages, first!
A cage initially has 7 cicadas in it -- when the last one is taken, the cage crumbles. As a matter of courtesy, it is polite to /chat the owner of a cage you've crumbled and tell them where it was. This helps her know which of his cages were well or badly hidden. Players receive no automatic notice when one of their cages crumbles, and can only manually check how many cages they have in total, not their specific locations.
Some tricky players place their cages inside large buildings (e.g. warehouses, Raeli Ovens), where they can be heard, but difficult or impossible to be seen or clicked. It is even possible to conceal a cage by placing it right on top of another cage. Such tricks are considered an exploit even if they are not prevented by the game system, but they can be circumvented with the handy menu option "Move nearby cage".
Even though a cicada cage cannot be picked up, it can be moved after it has been placed. You must be standing fairly close to the cage (within 1 coordinate or so), and then an option will appear under your "Tests->Test of the Cicada" menu to "Move nearby cage". This will move all nearby cages to a point more or less close to where you are standing. This works on all cages, even other players', and is very useful for extracting cages deliberately hidden inside other objects or land features, as well as separating stacked cages. You can only do this once per minute.
An alternate solution to cages hidden in buildings: Just come close to the wall of the building, then press Enter+arrow to move your avatar inside. When you're in, move camera maximally closer to avatar and you will see the cage.
When you have enough cicadas, you can trade them in at any University of Body for a cicada cage. You may carry a maximum of 21 cicadas in your inventory, and may only make 1 cage every 5 RL hours. The number of cicadas required by the UBody for a cage varies automatically based on the number of cages already existing in the world. It can drop to as low as 4 or rise above 7. Regardless, the cages they hand out will always contain 7 cicadas. See Cage Costs for details of recent cage requirements.
Once you received your cage, 1 Linen and 4 Boards are required to actually place your cage on the ground. Once you place a cage, you will receive one point per minute from it until the last cicada is taken from it and it crumbles. You cannot take a cicada from your own cage, nor can you pick up your cage once placed.
Getting More Speed
Getting more than 7 perm speed needs more advances as follows:
- getting from Speed 8 to speed 9 you need to get 2 speed advances (8+1 then 9)
- getting from Speed 9 to speed 10 you need to get 4 speed advances (9+1, 9+2, 9+3, then 10)
- getting from Speed 10 to speed 11 you need to get 8 speed advances (10+1, 10+2, 10+3, 10+4, 10+5, 10+6, 10+7, then 11)
- getting from Speed 11 to speed 12 you need to get 16 speed advances
- getting from Speed 12 to speed 13 you need to get 32 speed advances
- getting from Speed 13 to speed 14 you need to get 64 speed advances
- getting from Speed 14 to speed 15 you need to get 128 speed advances
- getting from Speed 15 to speed 16 you need to get 256 speed advances
- Speed 1 (Total Advances 1)
- Speed 2 (Total Advances 2)
- Speed 3 (Total Advances 3)
- Speed 4 (Total Advances 4)
- Speed 5 (Total Advances 5)
- Speed 6 (Total Advances 6)
- Speed 7 (Total Advances 7)
- Speed 8 (Total Advances 8)
- Speed 9 (Total Advances 10)
- Speed 10 (Total Advances 14)
- Speed 11 (Total Advances 22)
- Speed 12 (Total Advances 38)
- Speed 13 (Total Advances 70)
- Speed 14 (Total Advances 134)
- Speed 15 (Total Advances 262)
- Speed 16 (Total Advances 518)
- Speed 17 (Total Advances 1030)
- Speed 18 (Total Advances 2054)
It is possible to receive more than one advance in a day. If the top scorer has 15k and the advances cost 5k then the top scorer will gain three advances.