Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Zombies and Sphinxes

I had to go out shopping for most of the morning, which meant that I couldn't set up SirPerivale to level our horse until late in the morning; until then Rage and MistressDomina just did a little bit of mining, to keep busy.

When Peri did go out to Merac, it didn't take long to get the horse to level 34; and then in mid-afternoon we had an unexpected bonus, the GMs switched on double pet experience, which was a useful boost - not as speedy as one of the platinum pet experience potions, but free, and it kept on going for the rest of the day, so the horse actually got a useful way into level 35 by the end of the evening.

When Kaerella logged on after lunch, she quickly got an invitation from Optimusprime to go to the Auzura-1 Tomb of Theos to join a party in progress.      BasheR had been in the party earlier, I think, and came to meet me at the entrance, mainly to show me his new armour, which has the oversized fairy that denotes that it is all +15 - nice!

As well as Optimusprime, Corbenik and the specialist sorcerer StrongLT were in the party, though Strong didn't stay very long, and BasheR did come in and join us.  We generally managed okay, though there were a number of occasions when my health got dangerously low and I had to seek shelter against the wall.  It wasn't a very long session though, people had to leave, but 26.77% was a good start on the road towards level 53.

After the others left, Corbenik and I went across to the Auzura-3 Sphinx Fighters.  He was able to tell me that the party deeper in the Tomb on Sunday had gone okay, though progress had been a bit slow and the rogue did die.  Anyway, we fought the Sphinx Fighters, the Sphinx Speer Men, and the Elite Sphinx Speer Men for the rest of the afternoon.  When Corbenik got a heaven stone he offered to share it with me, but I said it was just the luck of the draw and that I had plenty, so he should keep it... and shortly after that I got one too.  And, for the first time that I remember, the Elite Sphinx Speer Man dropped a ready-plussed item, which came to me, a Mending Shirt +3.

The bloodseals I got on the newly-equipped Mending Tiara and Mending Boots were, as ever, a mixed bunch: increases long range evasion (33) is a bit minor as there aren't that many ranged-attack monsters, and increases close range physical hit rate (56) is pretty useless as Kae can only use a bow, but increases close range evasion (45 and 22) is nice, and energy for spells and special attacks (7), and power of the mind (intelligence, 4) are useful too.

Corbenik had to log out at four o'clock UK time, as that's 11:00pm where he is; he buffed me before he went, though, and I continued until my usual food break time, managing to get to halfway through my level - a total of 49.44% experience gain for the whole afternoon.  6 skill points got added, too, as well as 975 pet points.

The evening session was, well, more Sphinxsters basically, though SirPerivale, after being lucky and getting five level 12 physical defence minerals from one Pandora's Box, unleashed a level 50 Pandora Beast from a second one, and had to run for it.  So, Kae moved across to Dratan, and rode to the spot, killing the Beast fairly easily, and getting 73,600 gold as a drop.  Peri had moved back along the trail to another Berserker, though it was a busier spot, and once his target Berserker did get killed by someone else and their Scra-Chi pet.  Still, it was easy enough to target a different one, so no time was lost.

Apart from that brief diversion, Kaerella was just soloing the Sphinx types.  For a while a specialist sorcerer called DaCvaR was there, in demon form; I assume he was pretty low-level, as he'd lure the Elite Sphinx Speer Man, and then use his spells on it from behind a fence, which is probably a great way to get experience soon after one has left Prokion Temple - and probably risky enough not to count as an "exploit".

By the end of the evening, Kae had added another 34.20%, getting the day's total up to 83.64% experience gain.  Another 19 skill points meant 25 in all today, and 2324 pet points brought us up to 3299, a total much helped by the double pet experience for so many hours.  It's a shame that the servers come down for their usual maintenance tonight, a little earlier than usual apparently, so there's no chance the double pet experience will still be running tomorrow.

As Kaerella was doing some mining over my early evening food break, it looks to me as if she may well have been chosen by the gods to receive divine gifts when I wasn't looking, as happens randomly to players above level 30 when the server is "Recommended". At least, I assume she would only have been carrying ten moonstones, from Sunday's Quiz (Rage still has her ten) - and now she has twenty.  So, fame at last...

Monday, 30 March 2009

The Return of the Prodigal

SirPerivale and SirDarth both started work early as usual; Peri had been asked to get this particular horse to level 16 and he's already level 18, but he may as well keep busy!  When Darth arrived at the Berserkers there were two Pandora's Boxes close by, but one just yielded ten small healing potions, while the other disgorged a level thirty Beast, which dropped only 55 gold when killed.

When I checked after coffee, however, Peri had a "Friend registration cancelled" note, to show that someone had attempted to add him to their Friends List but given up when he didn't respond.  Darth had a similar note, but the clickable window for it was still open - and revealed the name to be Zenderfly, a name we've certainly mentioned many many times here in the past.  Unfortunately she had already left the sub-server, so that clicking the button didn't work, and neither did an attempt to whisper.

A little later, after browsing the shops in Auzura-1, Kaerella headed for the Sphinx Fighters on Auzura-3, where Hevenlee was already in action.  She mentioned that there had been a 175% upgrade probability event after I'd logged out yesterday, sigh - she'd broken her new shirt and skirt then, but upgraded her other stuff successfully, including, most importantly, the boots. Looking at yesterday's "events" list, the upgrading didn't come along until about 3:30 am, UK time, which would have been rather a long time for me to wait up.

BasheR got in touch to invite me to a Tomb party on Auzura-1 - I hadn't realised, with the new timing, how close we were to lunch, but Bash said to come anyway.  A third person he had invited didn't arrive, but we did manage to kill two Screaming Zombies, albeit slowly - and moments after the second one was killed, I got a disconnection.  So, that ended the morning session rather abruptly.  "Couldn't you dc two seconds before?  I would get full xp", Bash commented...

Kae went out to the Sphinx Fighters rather briefly after lunch, but as the 50% skill exp was still on from last night, I soon switched to my level 23 mage MistressDomina, and headed, of course, for Prokion Temple.  The Orc Soldiers in an early corridor are level 23 too, so MD was able, once she picked up the correct Blessed Reward, to get 12375 skill exp per kill.  It wasn't as long a session as Chuck's yesterday, but it did bring in 358 skill points, and a variety of armour and weapon drops.  I kept going until MD's inventory weight reached 100%, which happened in the best possible way with the arrival of a Heaven Stone.

MistressDomina spent 493 skill points, as she'd already got some in reserve, which got her almost the whole way through the first three grades of Weaponsmith levels - 17 more sp will be needed before she gets the top available level though.

BasheR was about one kill short of levelling when Kae got disconnected before lunch, but later assured me that he had got that level safely - and the one after, so he's level 54 now.  So he must have found some other people to team up with, while I wasn't around.

Stavinac checked up on how WintersVoice's horse was coming along, and when I told him it had reached halfway through level 19, asked me to stop there, to avoid it overtaking WintersVoice; so I swapped that horse over to SirDarth, and set SirPerivale to levelling up our own horse, which had just reached level 33.

Kaerella's evening session was with the Sphinx Fighters again, and at about a quarter to eight Zenderfly made an attempt to add Kae to her Friends List, which I eagerly accepted.  So, Zen's back, though as the low levels don't really hold much interest for her, she will be concentrating on her existing Cariae character, level 106 now.  "I'm announcing my LC revival". Yes, for about three months Zen has been playing Rappelz: "Very interesting on the low levels, but sucks on the higher things."  She mentioned that over on Cariae experience boosters seem to be going for around three million each now... she still has about 3000 though, which should keep her going.  And a friend has promised to sell her a level 109 +15 mage weapon, yellow with four seals, for 750 million.  Selling some boosters, and some heaven stones at around three million too, should soon raise the cash needed.

Kae continued with the Sphinx Fighters - it was quite a long slog, but by the end of the evening session level 52 was at last reached.  So, I was able to equip the new Mending set's circlet and boots.  Despite the lack of an upgrade event, it only took me seven heaven stones to get them both to +3, and I added lucky smelting stones to get them to +6, like the rest of the set, so that my defence has now risen from 842 to 915... plus another 210 if I have SirFrancis equipped.  Level 52 doesn't add to an archer's attack or passive skills, but it did mean that I could get the final levels of weaponsmithing and armoursmithing, for 435 skill points each.

Level 53, I see, will allow Kaerella to get a sixth level of Arrow of Silence, an attack skill I don't think I've used, but useful against bosses as it stops its target using its own special skills for ten seconds.  Level six increases its chance of success from 70% to 75%, and increases its "power" (the multiple of the regular hit damage) from 290% to 320%...hmm, I see that at level 56 a sixth level of Slow Shot does something similar, power-wise (310% to 350%), and increases the slow-down effect from 50% to 55%... But level 53 is the important one, as that will allow me to equip that shiny new level 57 bow of mine.

The evening session added 50.20%, and, helped along by that 50% extra skill exp, 28 skill points, plus 1313 pet points, so that the totals for the day for Kae were 64.38%, 36 skill points, and 1725 pet points.  That was an awful lot of Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men, about the only diversion was when SirPerivale opened another Pandora's Box, which this time released a level 50 Beast - so Kae had to zip over to Merac and ride down to deal with it.  It dropped 44,800 gold, which made the trip worthwhile.  On the way back I dealt with three Cerebrii left over from another killing of the Grand Red Dragon raid boss, just to keep the place tidy.

I skipped across to Cariae-5, logging in as Barbarienne, my level 100 archer, and took up an invitation Zen had offered earlier to add myself to her Friends List, so had another little chat.  She is gradually getting used to the Last Chaos skills and gameplay again after her months away; I was able to warn her about the "send error message?" problem with switching directly from a mount to a non-mounted pet, and also able to have a brief browse of a Cariae merchant display or two.  Boy does the stuff look expensive, after Auzura prices...

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Back to the Orcs

I was either up slightly early or slightly late for a Sunday morning, depending on whether the clock was on yesterday's GMT or today's BST; SirPerivale wasted little time in heading out to the Butchers, anyway, and was able to report to a suitably impressed WintersVoice when she logged on that the pony had reached level 13; by logging-out time it had just reached level 18.

SirDarth was able to get our own horse up to level 32 fairly early on, before Kaerella took over for a little under an hour before lunch, during which she added 9.86%, plus 4 skill points and 271 pet points at the Sphinx Fighters in Dratan.  The main thing was to see what bloodseals Kae could add to her new armour pieces; these things are slightly random, but, with the new gloves already adding 2 to long range physical attack, 37 to long range physical hit rate, and 1 to all types of physical attack, some more good extras were welcome. 

In the end, the Mending Shirt added 7 to hit points (health), 4 to physical fortitude (constitution), and 1 to all types of physical defence, while the skirt added 1 to attack, 10 to magical resistance (which increased the "magic evasion" stat from 149 to 159), and 2 more to physical fortitude.

The afternoon session started with Kae soloing the Sphinx types, but then CZLoarie insisted on joining the party, even though at the moment she is 16 levels below Kae and therefore "capped" for low experience gain.  After a while Corbenik got in touch, though - I was in favour of joining him on Auzura-4 and thus leaving Loarie behind, but he came to me, and it did make a reasonable excuse to leave the Loarie party.

CZLoarie did mention that she had a "drop hack", which seemed something to be wary of, but she didn't explain further, and we didn't suddenly start to get good drops, and indeed the amount of gold per Sphinx Fighter seemed unchanged.  But teaming with Corbenik certainly went a lot better, and by the end of the session I'd added 21.92%, 6 skill points, and 672 pet points.

Corbenik was hoping to get a Tomb party together, and we did in fact move across to Auzura-4 to make one.  I understood that we would be joining three other people, so I should register and accept Recall to get there - but it looked, when I arrived, like a total of three of us, not counting the Recall-giver who was level 86 and thus capped us wildly, so wouldn't be staying in the party.  What's more, we weren't at the start of the Tomb with the level 100 Screaming Zombies, it looked to me like a room deeper in, with the Anubis Spear Men, and they are level 106 boss monsters.  Great experience, sure, but they'd only have to sneeze and characters our level would drop dead.

So, I made my excuses and swiftly logged out, taking a slightly early food break for a change.  SirDarth went back to levelling the horse for a while, so no resurrection scrolls were needed or used.

After the break I did log back in as Kae; the first order of business was to help SirPerivale, as the Grand Red Dragon had been killed rather close to him, and the person who'd killed it hadn't killed the Cerebrii that spawn when its health-bar is down about halfway.  So, Kae rode out to the Butchers, and managed to clear them out.  They are passive, if protective of each other, but hey, Peri felt happier with them out of the way.  Corbenik wasn't online, so I couldn't check to see whether he'd gained lots of levels or not.

Kaerella did head for the Sphinx Fighters briefly, but the Sunday Teatime bonus of 50% extra skill exp was running, which doesn't do her much good, so I decided to switch to one of my sp-farming characters, just until the teatime bonus ended.

So, MrChuckNorris headed for Prokion Temple, and was lucky enough to find the first upstairs room off the corner of the central rectangle free, with its fine selection of Orc Sergeants and Orc Axemen.  He set to work - and, well, they forgot to turn off the 50% bonus, so he continued all evening until Quiz time, getting exactly 1300 skill points, thanks to the bonus and the Blessed Rewards.  Even that many doesn't max out all his special skills, however, he still needs the higher levels of herb and stone processing.  His drake got up to level 25 towards the end, adding in all 2981 pet points.  He didn't gain any experience of course, but his contribution of guild points to Norcaine rose satisfactorily.

Ratel mentioned how busy the Temple was, but I didn't have any trouble, just people running through, until a titan called Arroc turned up, and decided to stay.  Luckily he gave up after a while, but he wasn't much of an advertisement for titans.

Kaerella and RAGE went to the Quiz on Auzura-3; BasheR and Argoth (Ratel's titan) were on Auzura-2 I think, though after its past problems that's a sub-server I don't go to for the Quiz any more.  The questions were the usual selection, in the usual order, so all went well, and everyone got their Heaven Stones.

Well, after that it was too late, by British Summer Time, for any more adventuring, so Kae's brief evening session had just added 1.25%, a skill point, and 41 pet points - her totals for the day were 33.03%, 11 skill points, and 984 pet points.

I noticed after the Quiz that the people who shout out "buying all HS at Moonstone statue" or wherever were offering as much as 700,000 gold each, so maybe the price on the Auzura server is starting to rise.  I've got plenty in stock at the moment, though Kae will have to use a few soon on her new headgear and boots to get them up to +3.  As usual a lot of people were expecting an upgrade event after the Quiz, but there were no announcements of such a thing before I had to log out.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Two Levels

SirPerivale was busy all day long, just about, as usual.  He'd just got Stavanic's drake to level 23 when the man himself decided that was enough, and asked to take it back - he also asked if Peri could level up a pony for a new friend of his, a healer called WintersVoice who he'd been helping.  Since a bribe of five tool aids and 125,000 gold was involved, how could I refuse?

So, the exchange was made.  The idea is to take the pony to level 16, when it changes into a horse, though not of course one that can be mounted; luckily it was level 3 already, so Peri was able to get a couple of levels of Armour Increase, which came in useful, as even with the Butchers a total physical defence of 634 did mean that his health bar did fluctuate a little.  I switched from his hit rate accessories to his defence/evasion ones, which at least moved us on to 638.

SirDarth had some pet-levelling time too, in the early morning, at lunchtime, at the later food break (and I do mean later), and at the end of the day, so that the horse that MrChuckNorris is liable to end up with has got through a fair part of level 31 today.

After coffee Kaerella headed out to the Sphinx Fighters, and had a solid session there up to lunchtime; another archer, Hevenlee, was there too, and we did chat a bit, she was three levels lower than Kae but had managed to find more up-to-date armour.

The afternoon session was a bit of a marathon, starting as soon as I logged back in with a summons to the Auzura-1 Tomb of Theos from Optimusprime, the level 53 knight.  I think we must have battled the Screaming Zombies for at least four hours before we finally ran out of people; Hevenlee was there when I arrived, and stayed quite a while, though when she left I was the only healer.  The level 45 specialist sorcerer StrongLT was sometimes in the party and sometimes not, and annoyed some members, who seemed to think he was "speed-hacking", but otherwise everyone got along well, and nobody seemed to blame me for the deaths - well, those zombies hit harder than I can heal, and I used two resurrection scrolls myself. 

The level 45 knight Corbenik got in touch with me after a little while, as he's on my Friends List, and I told him where we were and who the party leader was, so he came to join us, and was a mainstay of the group.  The level 40 mage Paranvarun was also a very useful member, good at luring and hexing, and we missed her after she had to go.  Mistletoe, a level 50 rogue, was also a long-time member, with some life-saving snares, though she did tend to die rather often, if the snare failed to work.  The level 53 titan WaSKonE was sometimes in our party and sometimes outside, when he let us "KS" his zombies while running an Iris.  

Other members for a shorter time included BlackKnight8, though at level 35 he was capped by some of us, and the specialist sorcerer BassIsKicking, who at level 33 had the same problem, as indeed did the level 33 titan Maxim.  Kn1ghtP0w3r at level 42 was useful, though, as was the level 52 warmaster titan Tynian towards the end, though he did complain of bad lag on the server.  He wasn't imagining it, when I logged out I saw that Auzura-1 was tagged as "congested".

So, as I said, it was a marathon session, and I delayed my food break as long as I could.  It wasn't too long before I reached level fifty, and was able to put on my new gloves - and by the end, I was almost three-quarters of the way through the level, having notched up 146.18% experience, including the morning session of a little over 25%, along with 10 skill points (mainly from the morning) and 2223 pet points.

After a rather late food break, Kae was able to get her new level 50 passive skill, Enchant Arrow, which for 573 skill points for its five levels, increases her attack by 165, from 746 to 911 - which can't be bad. Kae headed out to the Akane Giants for a change, just to see if they'd drop another boots manual, and then moved across to the Sphinx Fighters.

The aim was to get the necessary experience to reach level 51, and be able to wear the new level 56 shirt and skirt - and that was accomplished by the time I logged out.  For the last twenty minutes or so, the level 42 specialist sorcerer CZnaruto2 insisted on joining me, and we certainly fought fast - he never waited to be fully healed before, in his knight form, charging off to attack the next Sphinx Fighter or Sphinx Speer Man, so that often I had to use the one-two of Heal and Party Heal to keep him alive, which really drained my mana fast.  Still, we both survived, and shortly after I reached level 51 it was time for me to go.  I did say that he could solo them with enough health pots, but perhaps he'd also need horse buffs, or their equivalent.

Another 29.47% experience had been added, for a total today of 175.65%, plus 21 skill points, and 2904 pet points, which was just enough to get SirFrancis (my Drake) up a level too, to 31.  The Sphinx Fighters are now pretty easy for me to pick off, with the added physical attack power, if I use Slow Shot the Fighters tend not to quite reach me before dying, while the Speer Men too are almost finished, and only get the chance of one lucky hit before going down.

A busy day for Kaerella then, though it will be another 97% before Kae can wear the boots and headgear for her new armour.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Level 49

On the pet-levelling front, SirDarth got our current horse most of the way through level 30 by lunchtime, with a little help from a Berserker, when Stavanic appeared, and transferred his drake across to SirPerivale, for a few more levels.  This one, dyed a dark grey, is starting his training session at level 19, so it won't be all that long before he gets higher-level than Peri.  I'll have to watch how many stones I use to keep him from starving, at the start Peri's stock was 420 quality stones, 167 imperfect stones, and 188 flawed stones, which should be enough for a while.

Kaerella managed to find a pair of level 55 gloves in Auzura-1 Randol, for 200,000 gold - it cost a further 81,000 for Collector Ryl to change them from mage-type Prua's Gloves into Mending Gloves, but it meant I did have three parts of the 55/57 healer armour set at that stage.

Optimusprime invited Kaerella out to the Sphinx Fighters on the Auzura-4 sub-server just after coffee time, along with the cleric Ewli, and we had a good session there, making an efficient team, killing the Elite Sphinx Speer Man plenty of times.  I actually got two level 53 weapons as drops, the rogue's "Ponyshankers" daggers and the knight's "Ponaitrun's Dual Sword".  And just before the party ended I reached level 49, which was great - the whole session saw me add 38.53%, plus a skill point and 623 pet points.

Level 49 just meant another four stat points to use to increase my Dexterity (levels alternate three and four points each, from level 32 on); if I had a level 53 weapon I could use it now, but, as it's +15, I'm relying on my level 45 one for four more levels, until I can use my expensive level 57 +15 Coriver Bow.  There is a new passive skill to learn at level 50, Enchant Arrow, which, for 573 skill points for the five levels available, will increase my physical attack by 165, so that sounds useful.  I'll be able to wear my new gloves then; my current level 45 Arvina Gloves +4 give 61 + 16 defence, the level 55 Mending Gloves give 76 before they are enhanced, and adding +6 gets them an extra 31.  The shirt and skirt are ready to use a level later, and add 31 and 42 respectively, at +6.

The afternoon started with Kaerella returning to the Sphinx Fighters; a team-up with fellow archer MJaa101 didn't work as she was more than 15 levels below me, so her experience gain was severely "capped", but the titan Kurnog was within my range, so we teamed up for the main part of the afternoon, and he gained a level.  

The Friday "Happy Hour", with 50% extra skill exp, began just after four, so I decided to take a slightly early, shorter food break, and give my titan MrChuckNorris a session in Prokion Temple after that.  The room Chuck ended up in was almost identical to my favourite upstairs back room, but with one or two level 25 orcs in there as well as the usual level 27 and 29 ones, and I settled in for a nice long session.  As a titan hits hard rather than often, the pet point gain was just 2027, but 708 skill points got added, helped by the "Blessed Reward" that gives 50% extra for a time, and, while it lasted, the 50% extra from the "Happy Hour".  If I'd been asked I'd have said that that would have meant 11000 skill exp instead of the Orc Axeman's usual 5500 (if you are his level), but the 50%s didn't add, they multiplied, and 5500 x 1.5 x 1.5 equals 12375 skill exp per kill.

Chuck hasn't really started his sp-farming proper yet, all the points I'd gained went to get his herb-gathering skill finished, the energy absorption skills learnt... and the first few levels of weaponsmithing.   And there's still alchemy to do after that, not to mention the various kinds of stone, herb and energy processing

I was lucky enough to find the Kae's level 57 headgear later, for 600,000 gold, plus 87,000 to convert it to the healer type, but I knew the boots would be rare.  I checked up on the Wet Paint Last Chaos Wiki, and most varieties of level 57 boot aren't dropped by any known monsters, though one or two types may drop in the Forgotten Temple, from some extremely nasty aggressive, protective magic-using types that would have someone my level dead in seconds.  However, the production manual for level 57 boots, it mentioned, is sometimes dropped by the level 53 Akane Giants...

So, I went out to them; I've fought them a few times before and got nothing interesting, but it seemed worth trying.  This time I was actually able to kill the Elite Akane Giant - but, after a few minutes, it was one of the regular variety that dropped what I'd come for.

I headed across to the Sphinx Fighters in triumph, Ratel was suitably envious when I mentioned I'd got the manual, which is itself rare and valuable (he reached level 31 today, and is now officially a Temple Knight).  But after a while, I couldn't put it off any longer - it was time to do the necessary crafting.

As Kaerella has her special skills maximised, manufacturing the raw materials was no problem, once I'd opened the manual and found what was needed - 15 Imperfect Wind Crystals (made from 2 gamma energy), 15 Flawed Wind Crystals (made from 2 epsilon energy), 20 Cotton Fabric (made from 2 green herb leaf), 15 Good Quality Tincture (made from 4 green herb leaf), and 15 Fair Quality Tincture (made from 4 herb trunk).  I had to transfer some green herb leaves across from MistressDomino, and some of both sorts of energy from my storage knight CALM, and I then withdrew four tool aids from the warehouse, bought two energy collectors and two herb-harvesting knives from Geres, and went and got some more herb trunks and gamma and epsilon energies.

So, that was the easy part done, the next step was to buy the herb trunk scrolls, green herb leaf scrolls, epsilon wave manuals, and gamma wave manuals needed, though as using them to convert the appropriate number of raw materials into the items needed for boot manufacture does have a failure rate, I did end up buying a few more - 19 in all each of the herb trunk and gamma wave types, 16 of the epsilon wave manuals, and 40 of the green herb leaf scrolls, before I had all 80 ingredients, but luckily they are only 50 or 100 gold each.

However, past experience over on the Cariae server has taught me that there is a risk, too, in the actual final crafting of this sort of item, so I moved into the Guild Hall to try to avoid any lag problem, and, with a certain amount of trepidation, pressed the "proceed" button.  A failure would mean that, while I retained the manual, I'd have to go through the whole rigmarole of collecting the herbs and energy waves, and converting them into the ingredients, again, with of course again a chance of failure at the end - but much to my relief I was lucky, and completed my level 55/57 "Mending" armour set safely.

I went back to the Sphinx Fighters for a final half hour, which was relaxing after the tension of that rare bit of crafting.  Including the morning session, Kae's experience gain for the day reached 65.07%, plus a couple of skill points and 1554 pet points.

SirPerivale got Stavinac's drake up to level 22 before the end of the evening, and I was able to put SirDarth up for a little while too, so that my horse was able to reach level 31 - and Darth had a chat with Failure2020, whose horse was also approaching 31 now, and probably won't be going any further.

Anyway, it's great to have that next set of armour sorted out, so that, before too long, Kae won't be wearing a rather under-powered old mixture, but a full brand-new set, with a new bow to go with it.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Another Short Day

I was busy all day until the evening, from mid-morning, though I was able to set up Last Chaos characters and monitor them.  That meant that, after shifting some recent loot across to MistressDomino, she was able to spend most of the morning in merchant mode, and did pretty well, taking in about 17 million in gold for tool aids, three heaven stones, moonstones, moonstone boxes, large attack and defence potions, physical attack and defence potions... I even sold another Myst Eye.

SirDarth spent almost the entire day out in Merac levelling the horse, after using a good number of tool aids to mine some more quality stones. Kaerella has the pale blue mount now, MistressDomina already had a natural-colour one, which is liable to turn to a fine white horse when I transfer that white pet colouring crystal BasheR gave me across... so the horse Kae had been using is now with my rogue RAGE.  Which means that SirDarth's current horse is liable to go to my titan, MrChuckNorris, when the appropriate level is reached. He reached level 30 today, so is very nearly mountable, though as usual we're aiming for 37.

One of the packages is the item mall this week is "Spring: On the Rocks", which for 999 ap gives no less than twenty lucky smelting stones - "you save 3000 ap", they say.  And I noticed that there was a "buy one get one free" offer going on for it this morning, so, I managed to scrape together just enough ap to buy that, which ought to mean some useful armour upgrades.  Maybe SirDarth's armour will go to +6 instead of +5?

After a little merchant-browsing, Kaerella went off to do some mining, the slow way; just using tool aids is fine, 27 quality stones at a time, but if one leaves a character mining, they pick up all three kinds of stone, and it is handy to have good supplies of imperfect stones (3 hunger points) and flawed stones (1 point) as well as quality stones (5 points), so that one can top up the horse's yellow bar to exactly 100.

I'd seen a level 57 +15 weapon for sale for 75 million earlier, and been very tempted, so after MistressDomino had taken in the sale proceeds this morning, I reckoned that I could just about afford it - so went back to Auzura-1's Randol, found its seller, TitanKamun, and handed over my cash.  It is already a fully bloodsealed archer's bow, which is handy, though Kae will need to reach level 53 before she can use it.

I had picked up a pair of titan pants, level 56, from the Sphinx Fighters a day or two back, and I saw a rogue shirt of the same level, already +3, on sale for 3,005,000, which seemed like a bargain to me.  I've converted them both into the healer equivalents - and when, just before log-out time, there was a special upgrade event, after a successful "scavenger hunt", I briefly switched back to Kae and upgraded the skirt (changed from the pants) to +3, just using three heaven stones with no failures.  When I reach level 51 I'll be able to wear them, but I still need the boots, gloves and headgear for the set, which will probably be hard to find...especially the boots!  Just in case I see a complete armour set for sale at an affordable price, I won't add lucky smelting stones to the two pieces yet.

Well, the evening session started with Kaerella taking a trip out to the Sphinx Fighters on Auzura-1, as requested by CZnaruto6 and also CZLoarie - though by the time I was ready to head out, they were both back in Randol I noticed, rather over-optimistically fighting in the arena there, against some strange level 135 beasts called Flutons which a GM or someone like that must have spawned.

Loarie did team up with me for a little while, and indeed joined Norcaine, though I don't really expect that to last; there were a few other regulars around too.  Unfortunately Auzura-1 had a mass disconnection before too long, when I logged back in that sub-server was tagged "maintenance", so I moved across to Auzura-3 instead, where I could solo party with SirDarth, and continued there for a while.  It wasn't a hugely long session, but at least I didn't die today - I got a skill point from somewhere, and 287 pet points, plus 9.60% experience.

But Kaerella is too high a level to benefit from Blessed Rewards, while Auzura is again "recommended", so it was time to give MistressDomina, my level 23 mage, the outing she missed out on recently, and ride out to Shuraine's oasis in the Dratan desert for some Sand Golem farming.  As my area included the Elite Sand Golem, I did end up with three bits of ready-plussed level 27 headgear of various types. as well as the twenty drops of Soft Sand I was after... ten for a quest MD has, and the second ten for a quest she hasn't got yet.

Kamira did drop in, unsurprisingly; I mentioned it on the forum shoutbox, but nobody seemed interested, so after her usual 14 minutes she just went away again.  Luckily she wasn't directly over where the Elite Sand Golem spawned, so it was easy enough to work around her.  Once I'd got all twenty of the drops I wanted, I mounted up and rode on to Prokion Temple, which is quite near, and fought Orc Soldiers.

I'd not needed any health boost with the Sand Golems, even though they are five levels above MD, because I had my horse buffs - inside the Temple I couldn't re-cast those buffs when they ran out, so I used, well, three or four of the small health potions probably, but generally the Blessed Rewards kept me going.  By the end MistressDomina had added 156 skill points (and 1499 pet points) - it's hardly power skill point farming, that can wait until she moves on up to level 27 with more skills and a better weapon and armour, but a few extra sp always comes in handy.

Failure2020 was out pet-levelling next to SirDarth again - while I was briefly changed to Kae to upgrade that skirt in Randol he was the star of a "has been chosen to receive divine gifts" announcement, so Darth congratulated him when he got back.  He hadn't really been concentrating, so it was news to him, but he had the ten moonstones in his inventory to prove it.

So, a short day, but not without incident.  Tomorrow should allow a rather longer playing time, with any luck.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

An Unexpected Level

There doesn't seem to be anything different after last night's maintenance shut-down, except that the item mall packages now have a "Spring" theme.  "Spring: Grassy Knoll" is a bit of a strange name for one package, a quick Google search confirms that "grassy knoll" is still primarily associated with the assassination in Dallas of a certain US President.  Maybe that's why the special "buy one get one free" offer announcements in-game call it "Spring: Greasy Knoll" instead...

It didn't take long this morning for SirPerivale to get that pale blue horse to level 36, and, by using three of the triple pet experience one-hour potions, we got him to level 37 by mid afternoon - job done.  So Peri enjoyed a well-deserved rest for the rest of the day, while SirDarth went out to the Berserkers instead, getting his horse up to level 27 before the tea break, and well into level 28 before the end of the evening.

Stavinac did mention that there was double experience on for a while this morning, but I was too busy to take advantage of it, sadly, and it soon got turned off.

After lunch Kaerella got invited to the Sphinx Fighters by CZnaruto2, and joined his party along with Blackknight8 and humuscz, but they seemed very hard to keep alive, with Naruto in particular charging back into battle before he was fully healed.  So I was very glad to get an invitation to the Tomb of Theos from Optimusprime - though I did stay with the sphinx-fighters for a few minutes more before teleporting across to the Tomb entrance, on Auzura-1.

However, I'd made the mistake of not leaving Naruto's party, so they could see on the map where I'd gone.  I left the party before going in, saying that only I was invited to join a Zombie party, but both CZnaruto2 and humuscz followed me in, and made a nuisance of themselves asking to join our party, which was  the knight Optimusprime and the titans Caroz and WaSKonE, and me.

In the end, to get a bit of peace, not be KS'd, and avoid the temptation to PK the pair, we moved over to Auzura-6, and settled in for a nice productive session.  As I'd started the day not much over halfway through level 47, it came as a complete surprise when I levelled up, I thought SirFrancis must have levelled, but no it was me - and by the time we stopped for a food break, I'd gone up in all 65.27%, plus 375 pet points.

I stayed in the Auzura-6 Tomb over my food break, and when I returned Caroz was soloing a Screaming Zombie - as he was using an experience booster he didn't want to party at that moment, but I gave some healing anyway.  He was using a Blessed Iris, and mentioned he was getting about 13% experience per zombie that way; I remarked that a Platinum Blessed Iris would be even better, so he went off to buy one.  And didn't return, sigh, at least not to that particular sub-server...it looks as if he's decided to go solo to level up there in future.

I did switch to MistressDomina, with the idea of getting some Soft Sand for a quest she has, but I had the keys for her drake and her mount the other way round from the way Kae has them, so as soon as I arrived at Shuraine's oasis I got the "Send Error Report?" pop-up, and had to close Last Chaos.  Oh well, I'd been meaning to see if that bug had been cured yet, obviously it hasn't.  

There had been a level 50 Pandora's Beast just outside Dratan City's East Gate, so I switched back to Kaerella to deal with that; it just dropped an entirely ordinary amount of gold, but since I was on Kae again I headed for the Sphinx Fighters on Auzura-3, and played solo there, with SirDarth providing the other half of the "solo party", ignoring a summons from Naruto to go there on Auzura-1.  I generally did pretty well, managing to kill the Elite Sphinx Speer Man, but on a couple of occasions he did get his revenge.  The second time, at least, wasn't my fault, he was held back by a palm tree, so I had time to cast Self Heal... only suddenly he wasn't held back, and hit me hard, whump.

My evening in Last Chaos ended early, as it usually does on a Wednesday, but that solo session had added another 31.95%, and 4 skill points, so that on the whole day my experience gain was 97.22% - plus those 4 skill points and 1073 pet points.

So, once Kae has taken delivery of her new pale blue horse, the priority, apart from some more levelling, has to be to try to get her a better armour set, something that she'll be using long enough for it to be worth getting it up to at least +6.  A new bow can wait a while, but that old armour really has to go soon.  BasheR was suggesting that Norcaine is too quiet for us now, as Ratel has hardly played at all for the last week or so, and the only other person, JadaMarie, has a different server as her main priority, and is still sp-farming.  If he finds a suitable guild, maybe at least one of my characters ought to move across with him...

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

A Coffee-Free Morning

SirPerivale and SirDarth both started their horse-training duties before breakfast, and of course were able to get on with that while I was busy doing other things.  However, just as I was thinking that it was time to leave the computers entirely and go in search of a mid-morning cup of coffee, BasheR got in touch, inviting me to join his party in the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-1.  If that wasn't tempting enough, he'd also got himself a Recall card, so I'd not even need to pay to get in.

So SirDarth quickly logged off, and Kaerella logged on, and registered for the party.  As well as BasheR, who has now reached level 51, the party included the cleric Ewli, the level 49 knight Optimusprime (who later mentioned that he has another three Transformers-named characters), the level 36 mage Pawanvarun, and, on and off, one or two others.

The Screaming Zombies as usual took quite a while to kill, but, with everyone piling hard against the wall if the current Zombie turned on them, we managed to deal with quite a few of them, until Bash had to leave us, and the party started to wind down.  Optimusprime, Pawanvarun and I were the last remaining, and we did try to kill one last Zombie, but things were very slow, and in the end the monster managed to reset its health to 100% again.  So we went outside and headed for the Sphinx Fighters instead.

I think it was Pawanvarun who had suggested the move, but in fact she didn't do anything when we arrived there, and soon left.  Still, two people is entirely adequate for Sphinx Fighters - though poor Optimusprime does suffer from lag badly sometimes, and died a couple of times because of it.  If he's standing right where the Elite Sphinx Speer Man respawns, gets attacked, and doesn't move then there's not a lot I can do about it.

We continued until it was almost time for lunch - and I'd just reached level 47. In all I'd gone up by 44.46% experience, so that was a pretty useful session.  Back in Randol, I finally had enough stat points in Dexterity to get the level 44 skill Poison Arrow (its first five levels, 327 skill points, causing 380% damage and a health decline by 30 per second for 7 seconds), as well as the level 47 passive skill Vital Spot Blow 2 (its first level, 150 skill points, almost doubling Kae's chance of dealing a critical hit...well, adding 80% to the chance, anyway).  So Kae ended the morning down 477 skill points, as she'd not actually gained a single one.  916 pet points had been gained, though.

After Kae logged out, SirDarth logged back in for some lunchtime pet levelling.  SirPerivale got talking to his guild master in DeathBringers, Stavanic, and he invited Darth to join him for a little skill point farming in Prokion Temple, with the idea that Darth could go afk a bit and get some free points.  So, Darth headed over there; Orc Sergeants may be seven levels above him, but after Berserkers (twelve levels higher than Darth or Peri), they seemed a pushover.  His horse actually reached level 26 there - but moments after Darth went afk to leave Stavanic to do all the work, Steve had to leave for school.  So, when I checked back a couple of minutes later, I just took Darth back to Merac, for the regular pet-levelling; he had gained a dozen skill points from the outing, though.

It was twenty past two when Peri got the pale blue horse up to level 35, and about half an hour later when Kae, after some shop-browsing, headed out to the Auzura-1 Sphinxsters, invited as so often by CZnaruto6, though he soon left the party he formed. A number of familiar names teamed up for a little while, including the level 35 rogue CZLoarie, though unfortunately she seemed to spend most of her time afk, hill-hugging, so I was relieved to get a call from BasheR, asking me to head for the Tomb of Theos again.

BasheR was teamed with a level 52 titan, Caroz, and we made a pretty good trio fighting the Screaming Zombies - and after Bash left, we made a pretty good duo, though it was a bit slower.  By the time Caroz had to leave it was time for my food break - my afternoon's endeavours had in all added a further 46.01%, a skill point finally, and 624 pet points.

Kae stayed in the Tomb over my food break, in case there was a continuation of the party, or a new team-up, but Caroz left the party, and BasheR, enquiring if all had gone well, was only aiming to set up in merchant mode.  One knight who came in did ask my level, but my 47 was much too low to team with him.

So, Kae went back to the Sphinx types for a while, and then I remembered that I had a quest in Merac to complete, and that led on to some other quests in Maargadum Jail, such as collecting ten Beast Hearts and killing thirty Beast Flyers, as well as visiting Owl Village again and an NPC called Rau, who now, I see, not only has an Elite Frenzied Berserker fairly close by him, he also has an actual Elite Berserker (the EFBs are the elite type of Highlander), and an elite Bandit - or "Bendit".  I wonder if the elite Berserker would be handy for pet levelling...?

The Sphinx spot was a bit busy, so Kae didn't stay there for long after her time in Merac - so her evening session was a bit short, adding 9.96% more experience, 459 pet points, and 14 skill points.  That made the day's total experience gain a very respectable 90.43%, along with 15 skill points to set against the 477 invested in those new skills, and 1999 pet points.

However, it was time for a change, and, with the Blessed Rewards dropping again, with Auzura once more the "Recommended" server, it seemed like a good idea to log in with one of my other characters, who have all been a bit neglected lately as Kae has been pushing up through the levels.  So, my level 27, sp-hunting titan, MrChuckNorris, set out for my old hunting grounds, Prokion Temple.

The old place hadn't changed a bit; well, Darth had been there briefly just before lunch, true, but this was the first time for quite a while that one of my level 27 types headed upstairs, and sought out my favourite back room there, which, luckily, was free.  Chuck didn't use any special potions or boosters, he just spent an hour or so owning the Orc Axemen and Orc Sergeants - his +4 30/32 armour set was quite good enough, he never had to even think about his health (just that of his drake), and his +15 level 29 sword was swift and terrible, if seen from an Orc's angle.  His drake levelled up, reaching level 24, getting 1621 pet points, and 401 skill points were earned.  358 of those went to maximise mining, and get herb-farming up to its penultimate level; maxxing out the special skills can take a lot of skill points, for sure.

So, that made a change of pace.  SirPerivale kept busy throughout, of course; I did use one platinum pet experience potion, so progress through level 35 for that pale blue horse has been pretty good, though level 36 won't come along until, probably, mid-morning tomorrow.

At the moment, then, I have a level 47 healer, Kaerella, on both the Cariae and Auzura servers.  Cariae's cleric Kae already has her pale blue horse, and an excellent set of level 50/52 armour, her only problem is that she doesn't have enough skill points yet to go all the way up to high levels, which was why she was farming the Beast Flyers in the central area of Maargadum Jail's third level, day after day. 

 Auzura's new archer Kae has plenty of skill points, and ought to have her pale blue horse pretty soon now (she currently has an uncoloured, basic brown one)...her main problem is that I've not been able to find proper armour for her, she is wearing three pieces from the 45/47 set and two pieces from the 40/42 set, all only +4.  If I could just find her a full 50/52 set of armour, I'd be very happy.  As it is, that central area of level three would be a bit dangerous, she'd spend more time healing herself than fighting, to kill the thirty Beast Flyers for the quest she used a side room in which no more than four Beast Flyers spawn at a time.

Hmm, maybe the missing "Merchant House" system will be restored in tonight's post-maintenance update/patch - I didn't see any useful armour of the right level there before it was removed, to thwart a duplicating exploit, but who knows what will turn up next?

Monday, 23 March 2009

More Zombies, More Sphinx Fighters

SirPerivale did indeed manage to get the pale blue horse up to level 33 last night, though he, and I, had to stay up to almost midnight to do it.  He had a clear run today, and the horse reached level 34 soon after 6:30 in the evening.  Kaerella had to mine another twenty hammers and tool aids' worth of quality stones, though, and visit him in Merac to pass over 500.

SirDarth got to do some levelling on our more generic horse too, which reached level 25.  He also opened a Pandora's Box that appeared by the pair of them - and received a level 61 Zentian Sword, which was a nice drop to get.

BasheR invited Kaerella to the Sphinx Fighters, so I managed to join him there for a little under an hour before lunch - long enough to add 17.82% experience and a skill point.  He did have to vanish for a while, and I found that I was perfectly able to solo the Sphinx Fighters now, using Slow Shot meant that they were almost out of health when they reached me, and while I then might take a hit or two, my health never got dangerously low.  The Sphinx Speer Men, a level higher, were a little trickier, it was best to turn and run at about the halfway stage, and then use Slow Shot again.

The afternoon session was a long one, and varied.  I started off soloing the Sphinx types again, but with a 30% potion, plus a platinum adrenaline to speed up my hit rate, and a berserker potion to add a bit of extra power, and all was going well, when BasheR again got in touch, this time to invite me into the Tomb again.  I did play a little hard to get, and, going on past experience with now-forming parties, didn't quit fighting the Sphinxsters at once, but kept going until I knew there was a functioning party ready and waiting.

And a pretty good functioning party we did have, with a level 52 titan, and later on that rarity a true specialist healer, a cleric, as well as one or two others.  To begin with I was the lurer, using Slow Shot, but on the guild chat I communicated my unhappiness about that to Bash after a while - nobody else was getting targeted by each Screaming Zombie, and my health got dreadfully low on a number of occasions, with 11 hit points being, well, a bit too close to death for comfort.

So we adopted a different strategy, with a level 52 titan rather than a level 45 archer as the tank, and things went a lot better, with plenty of experience from each kill, though as ever Zombie drops are not much good.  The party ran its course, and we quit while we were ahead; I went back outside and used a memorising scroll to move back across to the Sphinx Fighters.

It wasn't long before a party formed, including at one time or another terry95 the level 37 titan, psilis, also a titan (and briefly towards the end his rogue psilis1, though level 19 is probably a bit low for that area), the level 35 rogues Xenia and CZLoarie, and more.  The "Shots" package contest, to see which server gets a day's double everything, is still running, but there was a "mini Shots experience" contest to see which server bought most over an hour or so, and while Katar won, getting an hour of double experience, Auzura was so close that they kindly gave us 75% extra as well.

The bonus started just as I was about to log out for my food break at 4:20 UK time, so I stayed around - I'd already reached level 46, but by the time the "hour" ended 75 minutes later, in all I'd added 105.55% during the afternoon...and a single skill point!

It seems to be Auzura's turn to be the "recommended" server again, though Kae is too high level now for the "Blessed Rewards"; Peri got one when he had to kill a Berserker before opening a Pandora Box, and it was the one that increases its user's attack - luckily that doesn't seem to change one's bare-handed attack figure.

The evening session was therefore a bit shorter than usual, as it started later; I headed for the Sphinx Fighters again, on Auzura-3 so that I could "solo party" with SirPerivale.  It wasn't long before a rogue called LCGenericName324, and an archer called MaximusGirl, asked to join me, they were both level 43 and in the guild Trio.  I think people get given the "LCGenericName" tag if there is a problem with the name they have originally chosen, they'd have to buy a character rename card for 1999 ap if they wanted a new name of their own choosing.

We worked together pretty well, and took on the Elite Speer Man whenever he respawned; the party lasted quite a while, but eventually they left, and I had a final ten minutes soloing.  In all, that session added another 34.23%, and 2 skill points, so that the day's total went up to 157.60%, which can't be bad - plus 4 skill points, and 2625 pet points, enough to get Kae's drake, SirFrancis, into level 30 at last.