Thursday, 30 April 2009

Slow Work

Actually, Darth's horse managed to reach level 19 before he logged off last night, and, despite a disconnection just after breakfast, got to level 20 by mid-morning.  By the end of the day, he was well into level 23.

MistressDomino did some merchanting in the morning, as I was busy elsewhere and so not able to do anything active - from the speed with which they sold, I suppose 1.75 million was a bit low as a price for heaven stones now.  A rogue called XxSmokeMachinexX wanted to do a special deal on the chaos balls I'd got on offer.  I'd wanted 1.45 million each, she offered 1.00, I suggested 1.25, she accepted... only to decide that she couldn't afford that much cash, so I ended up selling 100 at 1.10 million each, which seems a bit low, but does help the finances here.

Other than those early sales, things were a bit slow for a while, until someone bought all 163 skill experience boosters at 695,000 gold each.  SmokeMachine had offered 12 million for the 100 large defence potions, using the "friends list" chat messenger, but I'd been away from the keyboard and not responded - and then someone else came along and paid the full 14.5 million.  The solo Easter Egg and an item drop booster found buyers soon after that, and there were a few other minor sales before the end of the afternoon.

Checking on Darth, I found that the Berserker he was battling was down to about one-third health, which is rather unusual, I can only suppose that someone else attacked him for a while and gave up, though usually a Berserker will turn his attention to a new attacker, and chase after them while Darth chases after him.  The Berserker's health did gradually recover.

I'd been busy all day, and in fact I wasn't even able to start the evening session as early as usual, but eventually MrChuckNorris was able to log on, and head for Prokion Temple.  I had slight misgivings that the place might be busier in the evening, usually I take Chuck there in the afternoon, but my favourite room was clear, so I started a platinum super skill pill, and set to work.  Unfortunately a few minutes before it ended, another titan charged into the room and began fighting there, which did slightly decrease Chuck's kill rate; 586 skill points in that hour is reasonable, though.

I got the impression that he didn't know much English, so it wouldn't have been any use complaining that it is rude to charge into a room which someone else is using, especially if they are using an expensive item like a pssp.  It's something I normally avoid doing, unless the occupant is someone who has previously done that to me.

Still, with that titan also active, it didn't seem a good idea to start a second pssp - and by the time he left, there wasn't enough time remaining to fit in the whole hour a pssp needs.  So, the whole session just added 766 skill points, though of course I still have the pssp I would have used in my inventory, for Chuck, or MistressDomina, to use at some future time.

Soon I'll have to decide if Chuck has enough skill points to be able to unfreeze his experience and start levelling up - those Poison Mists out in Dratan Desert are waiting, and who knows, maybe Kamira will drop by there.  I suppose in theory I ought to take the level 102 skill into account, but if you go all the way to the level 134 ones, then more than three times my current total would be needed, around 43,000 sp... oh, and the little matter of 3,896,000,000 in gold!

The Easter Eggs weren't particularly generous this evening; the properties of the "green stone" accessory I got from one will remain a mystery until I next log on, but are unlikely to be very special, plus I got 50 gold three times, 500 gold, 10 herb trunks twice, 10 gamma wave energy, and a tool aid.  Chuck did get a heaven stone as a normal drop, though - he is gradually building up a small supply of them of his own in storage.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Crafty Work

There was another early start for SirDarth, working to level up his new pony, but he did have to take some time off later in the morning, while some exchanges between some of my other characters took place.  By then though a couple of levels had already been added, however - and as the day progressed, the pony became a horse, ending up in the evening well into level 18.

Kaerella settled down to do the crafting of the rogue level 51 Fatal Shirt and Fatal Pants, which meant standing close to Scroll Trader Gerel, and buying lots of his Quality Stone Manuals, Green Herb Leaf Scrolls, and Gamma Wave Energy Manuals - to get together all the ingredients for the shirt and pants would have needed 30, 55 and 30 respectively if it wasn't for the failure rate even at the top level of the processing skills, as it was 33, 68 and 35 were needed, which meant I got through 198 quality stones, 204 green herb leaves, and 70 gamma wave energies.  It's lucky that the individual manuals and scrolls only cost 100 gold each, as costs were starting to mount up.

As previously mentioned, there is a risk of failure with the actual crafting of the items, and my first attempt, to make the Fatal Shirt, was a failure, with the prepared materials vanishing, but the manual for them remaining - but luckily the Fatal Pants did appear safely in Kae's inventory.  Still, that meant a further trip into the countryside with tool aids to get more stones, herbs and energies, and another processing session, using 18, 45 and 30 (when no failures would have meant 15, 30 and 20) more manuals and scrolls, and 108 more quality stones, 136 more green herb leaves, and 60 more gamma wave energies.

MrChuckNorris contributed some gamma wave energies that he'd got from Easter Eggs, so it was good to have found a use for those; his items from the Eggs yesterday had included 10 of the energies three times, 50 gold six times, 10 herb trunks, a magic stone accessory, 500 gold, and two drops that were new to me - a Large Chocolate, as seen during the Valentine's Event, and 25,000 gold.  MistressDomino did manage to sell four Eggs yesterday too, at the reduced price of 450,000 gold.

Anyway, the ingredients for the Fatal Shirt were ready again:  15 black diamonds, 20 imperfect earth crystals, 15 cotton fabrics, and 15 good quality tinctures.  With fingers crossed, the shirt manual was clicked open, and the "okay" button pressed - and this time, thankfully, the shirt was successfully crafted.

The shirt and pants were traded across to Rage, along with the necessary lucky smelting stones and chaos smelting stones.  It took Rage 13 heaven stones to get the shirt, pants and boots (bought yesterday) up to +3, which wasn't bad - 9 successes out of 13.  Adding the other stones got the whole set up to +8.  I must say the new armour set does look very smart; Rage can only wear those gloves so far, but wearing the whole set will increase her physical defence to 990, or when she has her pet horse equipped, with 16 levels of Armour Increase. 1125.

Well, it was a lot of expenditure and effort to get this complete set, but it means that, in due course, my other characters will be able to use it too, after Rage has moved on up to another set of armour.

The afternoon session started slightly late, but I managed to fit in two hour-long pssps for MrChuckNorris in Prokion Temple, without any interruptions - gaining 612 skill points in the first hour, and 620 in the second, so Chuck's attacks seem to have been more vigorous than yesterday.  He did, however, need to use the health recovery potions, and the occasional small health potion.  His total skill point gain for the session was 1237, along with 2075 pet points, which were easily enough to get his drake to level 30.

Chuck's Easter Eggs were a pretty good selection; the ten included 50 gold times four and 500 gold times three, along with a platinum harvest booster, a heaven stone, and a "greatest experience potion", as offered in the Item Mall for 495 aeria points.  But then it was time for the food break, once I'd set up Rage to harvest some more herbs.

xXAcheronXx suggested that we should team up at the Sphinx Fighters, but seemed to be changing his mind a lot.  He rather rashly attempted to upgrade his armour from +3 using a heaven stone, and broke a vital part, which really upset him.  There was a trip to Maargadum Jail involved too, and he also mentioned having a pet-leveller character who'd nearly got a horse to level 31.

Rage went to the Sphinx types, but didn't stay long, as the mention of Maargadum Jail reminded me that Rage had a quest there, to collect ten Beast Hearts from Beast Archers, Beast Scythes, and Beast Flyers.  So Rage rode there, gave herself the horse buffs, and ran down to level two.  It took a while to get all the Hearts, but she visited level three as well, though not going into the central area.  A guard character on level two gave her a quest too, while Great Magician Minearm gave her a follow-up when she took back the Hearts, so a ride out to Rau, and on round to Magician Kihan in Owl Village, followed.  I think the three quests between them added 1.69% experience, but it makes a change...

Another change was taking my level 10 merchant mage, MistressDomino (not to be confused with MistressDomina) out of Randol to earn a few skill points, to enable her to start up the "Discipline" guild on Auzura...somehow that name seems to go pretty well with the mage costumes!  She did pretty well just fighting Berserk Wolves and a few Jaguars, picking up two pan flutes, three tool aids, a Hand of Bravery and a Hand of the Guard, and a moonstone box, and is still comfortably inside level 10 - I don't want her to go above that at the moment, in case she needs to take Kae as her guardian and swiftly level up to 20, to earn the mage event weapon.  She did get one Easter Egg as a drop - as she was already carrying two of them, those both had to be opened, revealing another platinum booster, and a cake, before the new one could be picked up.

After that, and some shop browsing, well, Rage went back to the Sphinx Fighters for a while; there was nobody around to party with, just a low-level mage being assisted by a higher-level guildie.  It was hardly a marathon session, and by the end the total experience gain was just 20.51%, plus 13 skill points from Maargadum, and 667 pet points.  Still, it's all progress, moving us in the right direction.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The Search for Armour

SirDarth did do a little pet-levelling early in the morning, but then I had to go out shopping for a while, so he had some time off. Later in the morning, though, he was able to get the horse to level 35 for Bladesrus, ready for later in the week. The horse was then traded across to SirPerivale for safe keeping; Darth got a new pan flute from MistressDomino, who had been doing some quite successful selling during the morning, and headed for Lorraine, and then Jajan in Dratan, to get a brand-new pony.

With his upgraded armour, particularly the +13 shield (96 + 135 defence), Darth was able to take the brand-new pony to the Butchers in Merac without any problems, he didn't need any Armour Increase buff there. But the advance announcement of a 200% "upgrade event" for 4:00pm UK time, aimed at European people who may find the usual US-oriented timings of such events impractical, led me to decide to upgrade his armour further - that and a "buy one, get one free" offer on the "Web: Stone Super Pack" combined with a 100% rebate in a few weeks!

But before that, there was time for MrChuckNorris to head for Prokion Temple, for an uninterrupted two hours or so. The first pssp brought in 533 skill points, and the second one a further 505 - the whole session brought in, as well as 2137 pet points, 1067 skill points in all. There are people who gain points faster I know, but Chuck is only using the pssp, not any power, berserker, crit, or adrenaline potions.

One thing that was mildly strange was that today Chuck was not losing health at all - he didn't have to use the health recovery pots almost constantly, plus the occasional small health potion. The fact that the skill points per hour figures are a bit lower than recently rather chimes in with what Darth was finding at the same time - his Butchers were lasting a lot longer than normally. So perhaps the monsters have been adjusted once again, to hit less hard, but they either have better defence or evade more?

Chuck logged out when the announced thirty minute upgrade event began, and BaronIce logged in, grabbing the necessary runes, heaven stones and chaos smelting stones from either the storage chest he shares with Kaerella, or from the "Receipts" area of the Item Mall window.

BaronIce may only be level two, but he boldly went off to Merac to join Darth, and borrowed his various bits of armour to upgrade, using chaos smelting stones to get the pieces up to +10, and then a heaven stone and a rune of protection 2 to get to +11 - as the worst failure you can have with a rop-2 is a decrease to +10, there's no great risk in using them to go from there to +11! Presumably the event meant I had less failures to manage that upgrade, five successes out of seven can't be bad.

So, SirDarth's enhanced armour meant that he could move along to a Berserker even without any Armour Increase buff - with +11 gauntlets, the rest of the armour at +12, and the +13 shield, his physical defence is 1048 - or with the defence-type accessories equipped, 1062.

Before he'd left, BaronIce as an experiment did what a player or two have tried, he attacked Darth's target Butcher - and sure enough, after a minute it turned on him, and only some speedy retreating kept him alive - not that a level two player gets a death penalty. He had got the Butcher's health down a bit, but his retreat out of its range meant that the health reset to 100%, and, although he came back within range, when Darth killed the Butcher, the Baron didn't get any share of the experience.

The evening session was rather bitty, and, as some research and travel was needed, not really all that productive - Rage just added 8.29% experience, 23 skill points, and 762 pet points.

The idea had been to try and get Rage her next armour set, which is the rogue "Fatal" 50/52 armour. As MistressDomino is quite well of for gold currently, the first thing to do was to have her check out Roy's Merchant House - where only one pair of level 52 boots was for sale. These boots, like the level 57 ones, are exceedingly rare, so it was a nice surprise to find that there was a pair on offer, even if the price being asked was 19,999,999 gold. So I swallowed hard, and parted with the cash.

I then checked out the rest of the armour for that level on offer, and found the gloves for 50 million, upgraded to +8, and the hood for 40 million, upgraded to +7. High prices, true, but prices are high now, and if I'd bought cheaper un-upgraded ones I'd have been adding expensive lucky smelting stones and chaos smelting stones, and ended up, in reality, paying more. A small bonus was that all three items are already part of the rogue Fatal armour set, so no transforming from another class, courtesy of Collector Ryu, is needed. There were some nice bloodseals too...

Rage was able to equip the gloves right away, as she is level 45, which increased her physical defence from 772 to 809, so that was a good start. Doing some research on the Last Chaos "Wet Paint" wiki, it seems that it is the Wafes that drop most of the armour at this level. They are level 58 to 62, and are next to the Sphinx Fighters, so would be easy enough to visit - but, while they are passive, they are also protective of one another, all four types, they buff and heal each other, and two types have a strong magical attack... so Rage is going to keep well clear of them.

There was a possibility of one armour piece being dropped by the Akane Giants, so Rage rode out to them, in Dratan desert. It's a place I've been to many times before - Kae got the manual for her boots there - but I didn't get any worthwhile drops at all, mainly because they were, at level 59, 14 levels above her - and the closer you are in level to the monster you're fighting, the better the drops, which explains why the sp-farmers in Prokion Temple do so well.

A move to the Salamander Ruins down in the south of Merac didn't do much, either; the Sallies may only be level 50 and thus yellow-named for Rage, but they are protective, and the Cerebrii in the area, with their magic attack, are protective of them too. And no good drops...

I checked my stock of manuals, held by Calm, and luckily found that I did have both the ones I need, which was a pleasant surprise. The two have been moved over to Kaerella, as our most talented armour-crafter, and, after research, it looks as if, if there wasn't a failure rate in processing materials, 180 quality stones, 60 gamma wave energies, and 170 green herbs would be needed to start off. So Kae got a few tool aids out of storage, bought the farming implements needed, and has, at least, stocked up on those three materials. Transforming them into black diamonds, imperfect earth crystals, cotton fabrics, and good quality tinctures can wait until tomorrow. And then when everything is assembled, there's a chance that the crafting will fail and one will need to gather and process the raw materials again, sigh.

By the end of the evening, despite a disconnection just after Rage was back from Merac, and a couple more associated, I suspect, with the "Mad Monster Spawn" on Auzura-3, Darth had got the new pony to level 10. Being able to use a Berserker from the start was worth a small investment of cash, and at this kind of level the pony takes a good long while to get hungry, so things are pretty relaxed for Darth as yet.

Monday, 27 April 2009

An Expensive Purchase

SirDarth has kept busy today again, with a couple of little gaps, once in the late morning while I needed to have two characters in Guild Wars at once (in Pre-Searing, to enter the Charr-infested Northlands you need two people, one to throw a lever to open a gate below, and the other to go through), and then after the early evening food break when some items needed to be moved about, involving Rage, Kaerella, Chuck, Calm, Darth himself, and MistressDomino.

Looking back to the 18th, I see that Bladesrus "will settle for level 31" on his horse, so I needn't take that one all the way to 37; he has made good progress, though, and is well into level 34, so I'll stop on level 35, which should keep him happy - and then think about Stavanic's latest request, which is for another mount.  As he is not exactly rich, he may have to make do with a level 31 one, we'll have to see how things go.

So, I did spend a little time in Guild Wars in the morning with my level 14 ranger Kate Woodrunner; that is about the highest level at which you can still gain some experience in Pre-Searing, and then only from four Charr bosses, who are rather close together and with plenty of other Charr close by.  Those bosses can drop useful rare items, but not today... at least I increased my supply of red iris flowers...

But after lunch it was time for MrChuckNorris to teleport out to Prokion Temple.  His two pssp-using hours yielded 552 and 572 skill points, with the whole session adding 1165, plus 2124 pet points.  There was a very slight interruption just as the first hour was ending, when a rogue charged in - but it was a guildie, Legacy, who vanished almost immediately.  I rather thought Invisibility must be involved, but a query on the guild chat channel told me that she had in fact died.  It's not the ideal room for a level 25 rogue, for sure.

She told me that her main reason for coming to the deeper reaches of the Temple was that she had the quest for Cracked Axes - so, as Chuck was carrying 31 of them, and had presumably already passed plenty more over to the storage character Calm (actually all-capitals like RAGE - a sort of balance for that name, heheh), I traded the five she needed across to her, free of charge.  And back in town later I traded four across to SsnowboardS, who also had that quest active.

I was barged in on by a knight later, though luckily he didn't stay long, so Chuck had a pretty clear run; on the Easter Egg front, we got 50 gold x four, 500 gold x two, a magic stone (accessory), 10 gamma wave energy, a tool aid, 10 quality stones, 10 herb trunks - and a Cake, which just gives 30% extra experience for ten minutes.  Somehow it seemed strange to get a cake from an egg, but I suppose the other contents are just as peculiar...

Looking through the Merchant House items for a good weapon for Kaerella, I passed pages of overpriced items - for a level 69 weapon, there was a +14 crossbow for 149 million,  +14 daggers for 200 million - ah, a +15 mage staff for 200 million... and the Eglain Dual Sword for 175 million, which, these days, seems to be as cheap as it gets.  Thank goodness there was a 200% upgrade event last night, just starting when I logged out, that must have increased the supply of such things.  I quickly changed character to MistressDomino, as she was the one with enough cash, and purchased the sword, then got Collector Ryu to convert it into an Eblin Bow for 820,000 gold - and in the general trading-across of items later, moved it to Kaerella.

At present, Kae uses a level 57 +15 Coriver Bow, with 194 + 341 +75 as its attack stats - she will have to continue with it for three more levels as she is only level 62 currently, but then the new bow, with its 264 + 464 +75 attack stats, will make quite a difference.  At the moment her Physical Offence stat is 1204, but the new bow moves that on to 1393.  That may be 4 less than one would expect from those numbers, but the old bow has got some attack-enhancing bloodseals, and the new one doesn't have bloodseals yet.

The evening session saw Rage head for the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men (that is the way they spell it, rather than "Spear").  To begin with, I was asked,  by a presumably higher-level member of the same guild, to team with a level 40 mage, Magikka, which I was happy to do, the more damage that is done on the Sphinx type as it hurries towards me the better.  She wasn't, however, all that disciplined in her approach, and may well have been more used to playing a melee character as she tended to stand toe-to-toe with a Fighter rather than running for safety.  She did die a number of times, though luckily that didn't negate the health and mana stealers, and crit potion, that she was using - a gift from her fellow guild member.  It must be the mage costume that does it... At least, I think, she got a mage armour drop for future use.

xXAcheronXx, currently a level 39 royal knight, joined us, and seemed in contrast to be discretion itself - well, maybe not, but there were less of his "Geronimo!" type charges than usual, and his Concentration buff is always much appreciated.  Chuck's room-sharing titan from Saturday, Zodiac, arrived after a while, and joined us; I didn't mention Chuck at all.  Zodiac has reached level 36 now, so he has been keeping busy.  Majikka left not long after that, and later Zodiac had to go too.  Acheron decided to head for the arena at about my usual log-out time - but before he went he renewed the Concentration buff on me, and I felt it would be rude not to use it, so I continued solo while it lasted... which, as it is one of the longer-lasting buffs, meant that I just had time to reach level 45!

Well, Rage would be able to wear the next set of gloves up, now; I also spent 327 skill points to learn Hyde Shot, which gives you a 300% harder hit, at the full range of 20 meters - but only if you are invisible at the time.  I could actually have grabbed it a level earlier, but it doesn't sound all that useful in PvE.  Four more points in Constitution means that I'm just one level away from being able to increase my magical resistance by 25...

Rage's total experience gain for the session was 56.10%; no skill points were gained, but the pet point tally rose by 1096, which can't be bad.  My health did get uncomfortably low on one occasion, but I managed to stay alive, which is always useful.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Old Haunts Revisited

SirDarth went out in the morning again, and that horse has now reached level 33 - eleven levels above Darth himself, and one level below the Berserkers.  However, for the afternoon and much of the evening, he was able to put his feet up and relax at home, as my computers were busy elsewhere.

Actually, in the morning I will confess to playing a little bit of low-key Guild Wars, mainly taking a level 14 archer around Pre-Searing Ascalon looking for red iris flowers, but that's another story...

As the Cariae server group was enjoying double experience, skill exp, and pet experience today, up to, I think, about nine in the evening, UK time (they won a competition to buy the biggest number of a special cheap Mall package), it seemed like an excellent time to go on over there for a change, and to check out what the Tomb of Theos was now like for higher-level characters.

So, my level 100 archer Barbarienne logged in, ready for some action for the first time in quite a while - and my level 90 mage Keerella too, who got to go on the more modern computer.  What I hadn't previously noticed was that her experience was shown as level 90 and 288.30%, which meant that she was due an adjustment after they changed the amount of experience needed between levels 90 and 100 - so she rushed out of Randol, killed a fox, and was suddenly level 91, and 94.15%.

Barb and Kee both headed for the Tomb of Theos on Cariae-4, and went in - the idea was for Barb to stay near to the wall, and to equip SkrappY, my "human tribe" type cat-like pet, not fighting, but occasionally healing Kee, who'd have her drake Greedo equipped.  And so we started against the Screaming Zombies, in a Combat party, so that while skill exp and loot were equally shared, the actual fighter got the normal experience for a kill plus a little bonus, and the non-fighter got a little bonus too.

Before very long Zenderfly got in touch, and invited Barbarienne to join her and some other high-level types in a Combat party in the Tomb's furthest, hardest room, "the grave room" - so she would boost the active players' experience, and get that little bonus, and some cash etc, herself... and help SkrappY's experience too, as the Sphinx Commanders give "human tribe" pets more experience than anything else short of the top boss characters.

The time in there was not without incident; wall-hugging in there isn't easy, you half-submerge yourself in the wall and can still get attacked.  Poor SkrappY had already been killed once back in the Tomb's entrance corridor when a Screaming Zombie which someone had lured wandered back and attacked him, and now he had a second death - and so a second trip back to Randol to get the Archbishop to unseal him was needed, though luckily he doesn't charge people to do that.  And Barb herself had her health taken perilously low, though she'd been carefully put into what had been thought a safe position by Zen's recall... it seems unusual to me for the Sphinx Commanders to be active on the "outer ring" of that room.  

Luckily at the last moment I reasoned that if I could be attacked, then my skills would work, and I used Barb's Self Heal skill, until the Commander got distracted.  The next time I got placed in what seemed a good, safe spot, Zen advised me to try using a potion - if it was used, then that meant I was in an active rather than a safe spot.  The small health potion I double-clicked didn't trigger, so I was safe, and able to go afk.

That was the time for my early evening food break.  Keerella continued with the Screaming Zombies after that, and joined a "solo" party which did actually include a level 98 gamesage, just to get the solo party bonus for her kills.  It didn't generally seem to me that the Screaming Zombies were hitting much harder than before, but then Kee does have top-grade armour, even if it is just 85/87, and accessories.

Someone pulled a large number of Zombies from lower down, perhaps they had been "ks'd" a bit and got annoyed, or perhaps they just felt like it.  A number of the lower-level people who team up to fight the Zombies got killed - I think the knight and couple of titans who'd asked to be allowed to attack my targets had gone by then.  What was annoying for me was that Greedo, my pet drake, got killed in all the turmoil, and it cost 806,736 gold to get him "unsealed" back in town, as he is level 49.

Kee did actually get her health hit hard a couple of times, and that was when someone had lured up a level 101 Infected Grey Mummy - medium, or even large, health potions were needed then.  Shawshankz and Astarael were in touch, and seemed glad to have me online, and Ratel moved over for the day to Cariae too - his sorcerer, Elvastar, his original character as far as I'm concerned, went to Egeha I think, but found that his demon form and Bogles didn't mix very well.

The Combat party in the Grave Room rather petered out, I think a number of people, Zenderfly included, had to get themselves ready for the Dratan Castle Siege.  When Barbarienne logged out from there, she was unable, after I'd restarted the game, to teleport back to the Tomb entrance to rejoin Keerella, as the Siege was in progress - but she was able to use a teleport book to move to Kee, which saved an admission fee.

So, the Zombie-hunt continued; the place had been very busy earlier, but for a while Barb and Kee had the entrance corridor location to themselves, since other people couldn't get in.  The guild Zen was in won the siege, as she delightedly informed me, and people began to come in again.

By the end of the time on Cariae, Barbarienne had gone up 0.23% in experience, which just shows how slowly things move once you reach level 100, though 22 skill points may be useful.  Keerella, as the one who'd been doing the actual fighting, had added 10.29% - which had been enough to raise her to level 92.  She added 27 much-needed skill points, and 6512 pet points.  The champion achiever though was SkrappY - I didn't think he'd gone up very much at all, but it wasn't 13.65% experience he'd gained, it was actually 113.65%, so now I can casually say "Well yes, I have a Scra-Chi pet over on Cariae - he's level fifty at present."

I was busily chatting to Asta and Shaw, when an announcement came up about the evening Quiz... as well as the usual one, they were going to have one an hour early!  It took us a minute or two to realise that that meant one was starting in five minutes, at which point we all hurriedly logged out.  To avoid problems, it is always wise to restart the game before heading for the Quiz Room.

In fact, the Auzura Quiz Room wasn't yet open when SirDarth, followed swiftly by Kaerella, got there - but at just about the time things should have started, we were let in.  And it was, for a second week, a new set of questions!  Some were so specialist that only guesses could be made, so some respawning in the middle of Randol did happen, but luckily the doors were left open, so people could run back in.   I got the tool aids and the moonstones - I missed out on the five heaven stones, but I was back just in time for both Darth and Kae to get the ten.  Ratel was luckier, I'd changed my mind on one answer, and moved across at the last minute to where most other people had gone, but he hadn't had time to follow me - and thus stayed in, to get the five as well as the ten heaven stones.

That didn't leave a huge amount of time before the second Quiz, but Darth did a little more pet-levelling, and then this time Kae was joined by MistressDomina.  Sadly we got an early question wrong, and this time, to the annoyance of everyone, the doors were locked.  Not many people had survived in there as long as we had, so I doubt if many people even got tool aids, let alone heaven stones, that time.

SirDarth headed out to Merac for pet levelling, and after a while noticed the arrival of a mob of newly-spawned Pandora's Beasts.  I wasn't going to do anything, beyond moving Darth as far back from them as possible, but spotted a box-released level 50 one close by too, which might drop useful cash, so logged Rage in quickly, and rode down.  I was going to say that the Blood Frenzy-type Pandie "only" dropped a Moonstone Box, but that it worth as much as the average Pandie cash drop I think.  Rage stayed to help clear away the mob of spawned Pandies, and generally found that now she could target one of the level 50 Larva types, and it would be dead before it could do her much damage.  

After that mob was dealt with, I went back to the spot to the northwest, downhill from Peri's usual Butcher group, and found the Pandie mob there almost untouched.  There were a few gold drops on the ground, so someone had been there, but nobody was fighting them now.  Using horse buffs of course, I methodically cleared the whole lot out.  All this activity only gave Rage 2.35% experience, 3 skill points, and 120 pet points, however.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Orcs & Sphinx Fighters

SirDarth kept busy with the current horse, which reached level 32 during the early evening food break.  As for the level 23 one he'd previously been working on, before Bladesrus handed his across, I traded that across from Keerella to SirPerivale, which seemed more sensible, and Peri managed a little work on him during the lunch and later breaks.  With Peri's +3 armour and shield and 22 levels of the Armour Increase buff, a physical defence of 781 is quite comfortable against the Butchers, though unlike the Berserkers, they do tend to die after twenty to thirty minutes of bare-knuckle attack.  The horse did reach level 24 just at the end of the second food break, so that was even better.

The afternoon seemed a suitable time for my level 27 titan, MrChuckNorris, to use a couple more triple-sp platinum super skill pills in Prokion Temple, though as it happens things didn't go entirely smoothly - well it is the weekend , so there are more people online.  The titan I'd seen briefly last time, ZODIAC, a member of SneakyFreaks2, was using my favourite room when I got there, so I went back to the square room with the statues for the first hour, where Chuck managed 575 skill points.  After that I went back to the other room, and settled in there - but unfortunately Zodiac returned after a while, and, despite Chuck being on a pssp, wasn't willing to leave the room to him solo.  This meant only 489 skill points in the second hour, but Zodiac did have the habit of not picking up his loot, so Chuck's drake kept busy picking up extra stuff, including a couple of bits of armour as well as gold drops.

Initially Zodiac accused Chuck of speed hacking, which seems strange as Chuck's accessories aren't particularly good, so his hit rate can't be all that unusual - but luckily he changed his mind after a few minutes, and was good company later on.  He was approaching level 33, so may not be in Prokion Temple for many more sessions... the Poison Mists, or even the Sphinx Fighters, beckon.

Including the usual after-pssp continuation, Chuck added 1179 skill points, as well as 2432 pet points.  The fourteen Easter Eggs opened did include a heaven stone, ten potions of haste (twice), a "magic stone" accessory (it may have had no properties visible, but apparently next time one logs in, the properties are revealed), ten herb trunks, 500 gold, seven of just 50 gold - and finally a platinum harvest booster, which apparently is like a regular tool aid, but gives three times as many stones, or whatever.

After the break, it was time for Rage to head out to the Sphinx types again; the level 41 archer Archers and a level 41 titan CrownedSalvation were teamed up there, and let me join the party.  It wasn't too long before Acheron turned up.  "He's good company, if a little rash" was my comment, and he lived up to it.  I don't blame him for Rage's death, though, that was probably something to do with the lag we were experiencing.  It was unusual, typed-in text took a number of seconds to appear... and that is probably something to do with the mass disconnection on Auzura-3 that came along later.

Archers the archer didn't actually stay too long, I think she may have died on one of those occasions when we ended up fighting four assorted Sphinx types at once; the lack of a healer, and Slow Shot, rather put paid to Acheron's ambition that we should relocate to the Tomb of Theos.

CrownedSalvation left after a while, and Acheron brought in a friend, a level 39 rogue called Sorenity - an assassin, with blades, rather than a crossbow-wielding ranger like Rage.  So, I had to keep on with the luring, when it wasn't Acheron running forward into aggro range of a few, but the second Snare skill was very useful.  We added a level 38 titan called Razval25, though not as quickly as we'd have liked as there was a strange sorcerer there that I definitely didn't want to add to the party.

He was asking the level of people's pets, and offering rather low prices to buy them, and saying that he'd got a pet to level 29 in two days, and he could get my level 32 pet horse to level 40 in a couple of days if I passed it to him... and then later he said he was level eight, so what he was doing out there I don't know.  Definitely not a person to lend a high-level pet to, even if, I suppose, that pet-levelling had been on a different character.

Anyway, a "Dark Goddess" turned up, with the name of Barewolf - someone else using a transformation scroll to get there!  Unfortunately, he had to do it twice, because just as I was clicking to add him, in the form of a level 34 knight, to the party, that mass disconnection I mentioned happened, at 8:46pm UK time.  As the game doesn't save itself every second, there is always a slight "rollback" effect when we get a "dc", and Jacqueline complained about a loss of some recently-gained experience... so even if Barewolf had had time to add the location to his memory scroll, he'd have lost it again.  There had been a mass spawning of Pandora Beasts a few minutes before, which might have had something to do with the lag and subsequent disconnection.

However, I think he must have done what my titan guide had advised me to do when he led Rage there, and saved his progress every few minutes, as soon after we were back there, he arrived again too.  He joined the party; Acheron had to leave not long after, but we continued for another 45 minutes, tackling the Elite Sphinx Speer Man slightly less often and with fewer of his friends.  I was about to say my goodnights when Sorenity mentioned she needed only 2% more, so continued for the necessary few more kills before leaving.  I did apply horse buffs before I left, but I don't know if Sorenity, Barewolf and Razval25 continued there at all.

Rage had, again, not added any new skill points, she has been on the same total for the last four sessions, but 1150 pet points got added, and 39.14% experience, so we are comfortably into her current level, 44, now.

One reason I was fairly prompt in logging Rage out was that two hours of double pet experience had been announced; Darth's pet's points were clicking up nicely two at a time, and it seemed a good opportunity to let Peri's horse also gain the extra benefit.  The GMs did announce that the first subservers of each group had a pet-levelling statue in the Randol arena, but I prefer the Butchers and Berserkers - the arena is a PvP area, so that people there could easily get killed, and, worse, have their pets killed by some creep.  "The statues are there for training and levelling pets.  Do not destroy them.  If I catch you doing it, there will be punishment", a GM message read.  "I am not above banning an entire guild for interfering in my events.  Think about that before you take action.  If you are attacking a statue without a pet out, I will consider it an attempt to ruin an event run by a GM."

Friday, 24 April 2009

Concerning the Tomb

SirDarth went out early again with the horse he is levelling for Bladesrus, and settled in for what was to be a quiet day for him, with a couple of exceptions.  The first of these came in the middle of the morning, when another knight was busily killing the local Berserkers and Bandits nearby, and I wondered idly if he was doing it to lure the Grand Red Dragon - it turns out that he wasn't intending to, as when, seconds later, the GRD arrived, he disappeared.  I mentioned the GRD's arrival on the guild channel, and BasheR, or at least his level 21 Kamira-luring rogue BadToTheBone, after briefly wondering if Bash should deal with the GRD, decided that Kaerella really ought to give it a try.

So, Darth equipped his sword, dealt with his Berserker, and picked up some of the cash drops which that other knight had left in his hurry to leave, then moved up a bit towards town out of the fighting area - and Kaerella logged in, and rode down from Merac village.  Darth gave Kae the Divine Shield buff, while Kae gave herself horse buffs and the buff Mana Shield to increase her magical defence.

Kaerella started with Arrow of Silence, which has a 75% chance of disabling its target's "special attack" skills, triggered an item drop booster, and, using a health potion or two, managed to kill the Dragon before the Cerebrii it had spawned made too big an impression on her health, then swiftly retreated... and once her health was back up, killed the Cerebrii too.  So, the expedition was a success, but there weren't any good drops, not even lucky scrolls or a medal of honour - just 24,640 gold, which is a pretty poor return for the use of an IDB.

After lunch, it seemed like Rage's turn for some action, so out she went to the Sphinx Fighters, in a solo party with SirDarth.  The level 38 mage Neji arrived pretty soon, and as she seemed to want to fight the same targets anyway, I invited her into the party.  She was a good enough player, but strangely didn't seem to take any action when her health got low, which did lead to a death or two over the following hours.  A level 41 rogue called Dirk soon joined up too, as did a level 36 temple knight who seemed familiar from somewhere, Ratel, and the level 38 rogue Atheist accepted the invitation as well - it keeps things simple if everyone is in the same party!

Atheist had a rather strange skill, which may have come from a Mall item, or been enhanced by it - she could attack at almost double the range of us regular ranger type rogues, but it had an "area of effect" side to it too, so that often a couple of other nearby Speer Men would start running in too.  Still, we generally kept on top of the situation.  

The team were doing so well that we decided to move to the Tomb of Theos.   Dirk, with a little guidance from me, ran across, everyone else except Atheist had the Tomb's entrance on their memory scrolls; Ratel was advising Atheist to use a potion of haste and a transformation scroll (he confirmed that it was a Bandit one which he himself had used to get to the Fighters), but decided to trigger a one-hour party recall card he had, which made things easy for Atheist - and saved me the admission fee!  It came in handy inside a time or two before its hour was up, as accepting the option to move to his location did rescue one from the Screaming Zombie's aggro.

As SirDarth was still in the party, he made use of the Recall too, though only to immediately leave the Tomb and get the entrance area onto his memory scroll - that will save time eventually, and was his second minor adventure of the day.

Before long the level 42 archer healer xXholynessXx was persuaded to come and join us, which with her Slow Shot was good, though she seemed very unwilling to do any healing, Rage used a good number of health potions as well as plenty of the mana ones.  I got very good at dashing to the wall when the Zombie turned its attention to me, though I find the left-hand wall, the north side, better than the other - about the only time I sought shelter on the right, I did get to use a resurrection scroll.

So, people did die occasionally, as is to be expected; Ratel rather took charge, and things continued beyond my normal food break time.  I'm sure everyone levelled up, some people at a slightly lower level and using an Iris went up two or even three levels, though Neji wasn't around for the whole session; Ratel ended the day at level 38, and has put himself to donating 50% of his experience gain to the guild now, while he farms skill exp with the Poison Mists.  Rage herself didn't add any skill points, but did get 1479 pet points - and 112.37% experience, moving her all the way through level 43 and into the start of level 44.

Ratel had to leave, and we decided to quit while we were ahead; a couple of people went back to the Sphinx Fighters, while I headed for the kitchen, and some food.  The slightly late break meant that the usual Friday "happy hour" bonus of 50% extra skill exp for a couple of hours wasn't used at all by me, in the Tomb the Screaming Zombies still only gave 1 skill exp each, and for the rest of the time I was offline.

Luckily, just as I was coming back online, a GM announcement came up that we were going to have a few hours of double skill exp, starting right away, so, this seemed like a job for MrChuckNorris!  Chuck was logged in, and went out to Prokion Temple.  There was actually a titan already in our favourite back room, but he was just standing by the entrance; I did have to kill one orc that attacked him, but he vanished soon after that.  A little later a healer from the same guild appeared, and did a little fighting from the entranceway, but she too ended up just standing there - I was just fighting a couple of orcs that were attacking her when she too faded away.

Almost at the end of Chuck's stint, a rogue appeared - and then disappeared, she must have used the Invisibility skill, though if so the orcs that were already attacking her didn't seem to be fooled.  As I commented to Ratel, who was solo-partying with me while over with the Poison Mists, if a rogue goes invisible, then attacking any monsters she is fighting can hardly be ks-ing, right?  Guildie SsnowboardS came along and farmed the corridor outside; he requested my aid at one stage, as he'd got surrounded by some orcs while wall-hugging, and asked me to kill them.

Otherwise, it was business as usual for the evening there, using the occasional small health potion, and having a health recovery pot active almost all the time.  The 15 Easter Eggs I picked up brought in 10 potions of haste twice, 10 herb trunks, 500 gold, 50 gold nine times - and two heaven stones.  Strangely, I didn't pick up any other heaven stones, but I did get four "Hands of the Guard", each with an item drop booster, a skill point booster, and a pair of tool aids.  I resolved to continue until Chuck's drake levelled up, which it did not long after my usual logging-out time - the same moment that my skill point tally for the evening reached 1000!   When I logged out shortly after that, the total pet point gain was standing at 2587, along with 1031 skill points, which definitely means that Chuck is past the halfway mark, on the way to getting his experience gain unfrozen.  He has already donated more guild points to Norcaine than BasheR, who probably farmed his sp at a slightly lower level: 38 exploits, at the moment, whatever they are, and 18877 cumulative points.

So, lots of experience for my rogue, and lots of skill points for my titan - a busy and productive day, I think.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Death in the Afternoon

MistressDomino had a pretty successful time selling stuff overnight, though I'm still a bit shakey on the new price levels, things either sell out within minutes or are still there in the morning. The slight problem is that there don't seem to be any +15 level 65 or 69 weapons to buy at any price at the moment, though there was a +14 one which was a bit higher than I'd want to go for a +15, even now.

SirDarth was out pretty early to do some levelling on that horse of mine, but it looks as if that particular job is now suspended, as Bladesrus got in touch to transfer his level 27 horse across for some levelling, as agreed.  The only problem was that, by then, the afternoon session had begun, and MrChuckNorris had started his first platinum super skill pill, so I was a bit distracted, not wanting to lose any more playing time for Chuck than necessary.

Bladesrus came out into Merac to deliver his horse; he joined the party so that he could find Darth easily, after resetting the horse's skills so that it would be possible to trade him across.  He also sensibly passed over 350 quality stones, and the gift of a +3 level 37 Holy Sword - with the promise of ten heaven stones when the job is completed.  He will be away for eight days now, so that gives Darth plenty of time to level the horse up - he'll be on a drilling rig apparently.

So Darth swapped over from having his horse equipped to having Blades' horse equipped, and I concentrated on Chuck again - during the exchange and the chat I'd taken my eye off him a bit, and when I did look Chuck's health was mortally low, not much more than 100, and he had to run from the mob of Orc Axemen and Orc Sergeants, praying that he could get to a safe bit of wall before taking another hit.  It was a darn close-run thing, and took some recovering from.

The next time I looked at SirDarth, it was he who was lying dead - my first thought was that somehow a couple of nearby Bandits had been aggravated, but of course Blades' horse wasn't giving any Armour Increase buff to him, as his skills had been reset.  So, it was a matter of taking him back to the Animal Trainer in Randol, and getting a nice, comfortable 26 levels of the skill before settling in with the Berserker again.  Darth lost 0.01% experience, and possibly a single skill point, so that didn't matter, but I must try to remember about resetting skills and so on.

So that Darth's own horse doesn't lose any great amount of Sympathy (as it would if it was in Darth's inventory while a different pet was equipped), that animal was traded across to Keerella, who is just a "mule" type character over on the Auzura server, as opposed to the Cariae server's level 90 mage.

Anyway, as you've probably gathered, my titan MrChuckNorris had a busy afternoon in that upstairs back room in Prokion Temple.  It was probably just as well that he wasn't using that second pill for an extra 50%, just the "pssp" giving triple skill points.  That interrupted first hour yielded 473 skill points, while a better second hour managed 555.  Continuing on for a few minutes after the end of the second pssp meant that the total skill point gain for the afternoon reached 1108, while 2083 pet points also got added.

Chuck opened eleven Easter Eggs, but all he got were ten each of gamma wave energy, green herbs, and (three times) potions of haste, four 50 gold, one 500 gold, and a tool aid - so nothing approaching the 900,000 gold or so I've been known to sell the eggs for.  But one can only collect a single egg per outing - the remaining unopened one has been moved across to MistressDomino now.

Before the food break, back in Randol, Chuck decided to prepare for the next time an "old school treasure hunt" is announced, by updating his memory scroll to include locations close to the four corners of the Juno map, so that he ought to be able to get to most announced coordinates pretty fast.  As the scroll only has five slots, he has overwritten Velpist Temple and Shuraine's Oasis - but kept Prokion Temple, of course.

Rage was still doing a little mainly-afk mining when Ratel logged on, and suggested a team-up at the Sphinx Fighters.  He hadn't been there before, so Rage went first, so that she'd show the location as a party member on the map.  He asked if he could add a royal knight friend to the party too, which, with their Concentration buff, was fine with me - it turned out to be xXAcheronXx, who of course both Rage and Kaerella have teamed with before.  I advised Ratty to use a transformation scroll, a Harpy maybe, so that he could nonchalantly stroll past the Masters of Secret Technique that had done for Rage a time or two, and I think he took my advice, as his initial appearance seemed a trifle small, and there was a small whirlwind effect before he was fully revealed in front of us.  A Goblin Scout scroll perhaps?

Acheron had a couple of disconnections early on, but otherwise things seemed to work okay, prompting suggestions that we should relocate to the Tomb of Theos and take on the Screaming Zombies.  To my mind, that's a bit "Wow, we handle these level 12 Sasquatch pretty well, let's go and attack the level 109 Sphinx Commanders next, shall we?"  Acheron tended to get a bit enthusiastic on the luring/attacking side, and quite often we got not just the Elite Sphinx Speer Man, but a couple of his friends too.  My policy on such occasions was to take the friends one by one, and let the two knights keep the big guy busy!

Ratel did die, but as he doesn't carry a huge amount of skill points (more like 135 I think), he didn't have much to lose - a little later Acheron managed to die too, which, given his rather endearing recklessness, seemed fair enough, I was thinking...but seconds later Ratel went down for a second time.  I need to impress upon him the need to hide behind the fence at the back when the going gets tough.  The generous amounts of experience the Sphinx types give had, at least, enabled Ratel to reach level 35.

I remembered I had to make a brief phone call, which turned out to be a rather long phone call, and when I got back Acheron had gone off to eat, and Ratel had moved back across to the Poison Mists, so I took on a few more Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men solo, before it was time to head back into town.  In all Rage had managed to add 48.87%, so she too does rather better experience-wise against foes of that level than Kae does.  1025 pet points got added too.

So, it was good to be able to team up with Ratel again; we did it a few days ago against the Poison Mists, I know, but that was just being in the same area, mainly, rather than fighting the same targets.  His defence buffs are certainly useful, as of course is his "Shield Strike" stun skill, which I see has a 75% chance of success, so slightly better than the 70% on my Snare.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

To Egeha!

As usual, SirDarth headed for Merac early in the morning, and settled in to level up the new horse a bit more.   A couple of people turned up in mid-morning, and their activities attracted the attention of the Grand Red Dragon - so Darth had to move a little further along for a few minutes, while someone switched to their main character and despatched it.  Apparently it dropped a "Chain of Tiger" accessory, so killing it was well worth their efforts.

There didn't seem to be any obvious changes to things overnight, after the usual maintenance; the Easter Eggs are still dropping, and the Pandora's Boxes still turn up - Darth sighted three Beasts, and while Kaerella didn't get any drops from two of them, a brief guest appearance by Rage did yield a 120,000 gold drop from the third.

Kaerella went out to the Sphinx Fighters and Speer Men in the afternoon, and managed to get the final 10% experience she needed to reach level 62 at last, and so was able to put on the Serenity Boots and Serenity Tiara to complete that armour set - no longer would the old green boots clash with the rest of her red costume!  The place was pretty quiet, with just a level 35 archer, Archers by name, working away, concentrating on the one Sphinx Fighter that respawns closest to the camp.  She was pretty good at fighting and running and firing, and running again, but an archer doesn't get Slow Shot until level 38, so she was at a bit of a disadvantage, and did die once.  I offered to resurrect her, and she joined the party for that, though of course left afterwards as she was capped and would get very little experience while partied with Kae.

By the end of the afternoon, Kae had gone up by 10.09%, plus 20 skill points and 723 pet points; level 62 had been reached, but Kae did continue for a few minutes after that in the hopes of getting a "bloodseal ability" on her new armour pieces.

Thanks to various purchases of the "Web: Super Stone Pack", Kae's storage was actually pretty well off for expensive and valuable Chaos Smelting Stones.  Given that the last time I tried to upgrade armour past +6, I used five runes, five heaven stones, and two lucky smelting stones (to put right two decreases) to get only two items an extra plus, I decided to take the straightforward option, and use ten Chaos Smelting Stones to get all five parts of Kae's armour from +6 to +8.  Before she could wear the new boots and tiara her physical defence stat was 1323, and after the change it was 1365 (the previous armour set was +6 too); at +7 we moved on to 1404, but as you go up the plusses the defence gets more generous, and +8 got us on to 1497.  This includes 27 levels of Increased Armour from Kae's drake, SirFrancis, without that her new physical defence is 1277...a good reason to have SirFrancis equipped as often as possible.

Ratel came online today, and was able to freeze SsnowboardS's experience gain.  He was out with the Poison Mists, but reported that, at level 34, they were hitting him a lot harder than he'd been used to, before generally only the Elite one could damage him, but now the regular ones could hurt him too.  So maybe the attack, or the monsters' chance of landing a critical or deadly hit, has been tweaked again by those underhanded folk at T-Ent, the shadowy South Koreans behind Last Chaos.  Certainly, later in the day, I noticed that even at 985 physical defence SirDarth was occasionally taking enough damage for his health bar to fluctuate a bit.

In the evening, Kaerella made her first trip to Egeha, the fourth LC map, and home to some impressive monsters - before Strayana and the high-level new dungeon areas were added, this was the ultimate high-level area, but it seems a bit quieter now.  The idea was for Kae to go hunting the level 65 Bogles, though maybe she should have made her foray here a few levels earlier, as, while they are still yellow-named (unlike the Sphinx Speer Men, who have just gone white-named for Kae), they don't give much more experience than the non-elite Speer Men.  

The Bogles do however seem more generous with the drops, and over the evening dropped two level 65 rogue crossbows, level 65 knight gloves, one pair of titan and three pairs of knight level 66 pants, and level 67 healer and titan headgear.  There were plenty of Easter Eggs too, and, after earlier getting one of those no-stat green stones, the contents revealed were 500 gold, 10 herb trunks, 50 gold, 500 again, a tool aid, 50 gold, 50 more gold, another tool aid. 10 gamma wave energy, and finally another 500 gold. So, nothing marvelous, but it's all a bonus, and there were a couple of "Hands of the Guard", as well as a heaven stone, among the other drops.

By the end of the evening Kaerella had added another 13.35% on a hill not far outside Egeha village - but Grocer Wein, the local NPC trader, had given her a quest to kill ten Bogles, so the reward for that (3,958,140 experience, as well as 90,000 gold) got her total up to 13.91%.  41 skill points and 1258 pet points also got added - so that made the totals for the day for Kae 24.00% experience, 61 skill points, and 1981 pet points.  SirDarth had got the horse well into level 21... and the idea is to put MistressDomino up in merchant mode for the night, so maybe Kaerella will be able to afford a new weapon before too long.