Sunday, 31 May 2009

More Sphinxes, More Levels

It was, basically, a lazy Sunday morning, but SirDarth did go out to the Berserkers pretty early - SirPerivale headed for the Butchers a little later, as he needs to be checked on rather more often!  SirDarth did get a Pandora's Box next to him at one point, which. when he opened it, gave him five level 12 physical attack minerals.  That must be one of the most desirable drops, though perhaps the level 61 weapons one very occasionally gets are a bit sought-after.  And just at the end of the lunch break, he got five of the magical defence minerals, too, just what one needs if going hunting the Grand Red Dragon or Kamira..

One thing I did do, though, was switch over to the Cariae server, and let my level 47 cleric version of Kaerella finally complete the "Worry of Minearm" quest, now that I've found out how to do it without dying a lot.   

So, it was the usual ride down to Maargadum Jail on Kae's pale blue horse, and the run down through the levels.  Kae went straight through the deadly level four without touching anything, and, after easily killing a few Death Mask Soldiers, reached the two Beast Crawlers at the far end, and kept killing them one after the other, and the nearby Soldiers, until the three rings needed had been obtained.  

On the way back up I stopped briefly on level three, where Kae had spent many slogging hours getting skill points fighting the Beast Flyers.  As I suspected, the changes of recent weeks mean that, even with her complete +13 armour set, Kae did gradually lose health, so to farm there now she would need more "suction of life" accessories, or other aids, which does complicate things.

Anyway, Kae went back into Merac Caron village, and got her quest reward from the Archbishop.  The length of time between getting that quest and finishing it may be some kind of record, one would have to check quite a way back in the blog archives at to see how long exactly.   The follow-up quest to get "rotten flesh" from the Death Mask Soldiers and their chums, "Reactivation of the Death Knights", doesn't become available until a character is 99.71% of the way through level 49, apparently.

There was a pet-leveller on Cariae-3, in the same spot on level five of the Jail that SirRenDippitty favours on Auzura-3, I noticed, fighting a Death Mask Lancer and being ignored by the local Beast Crawlers.  And a couple of people were tucked in right at the start of level one, behind the teleporter, pet-levelling on Spiked Canines, something I have seen on Auzura-3 too.

The only other bit of action, and I use the term loosely, in the morning involved, back on Auzura, Kaerella getting some tool aids out of storage, buying twenty healer-type hammers from Merchant Geres, and heading out to quickly mine some quality stones.  Twenty "boosted" minings meant 540 quality stones were gained, but when Kae went out to Merac to replenish SirPerivale's stocks, she actually passed across 750, so is a little low in her own supply now.

After that, it was time for SirDarth to log back in and continue to level his drake, which was well into level 22 by the time that my lunch break ended; SirPerivale had got the horse up to level 31 by then too.

The afternoon session involved Rage and Chuck at the Sphinx Fighters.  As they are currently more than ten levels apart, I started out with an equal party, but BatCow turned up within a few minutes, and as she is in between us, level-wise, she was able to take over party leadership, and re-recruit Chuck into a combat party.  It was a pity she couldn't actually stay long, saying that she had to go and fix something.  Expecting her to return I left it as a combat party, though really it would have been better if Chuck had got half the experience, in an equal party; as it was, Rage went up 57.14% in the session, thanks to the "Sunday teatime" bonus again being 50% extra experience for two hours, plus 12 skill points and 2291 pet points, while Chuck added 50.50%, and also 12 skill points.  Rage had reached level 56, Chuck had reached level 44, and Rage's horse had reached level 36...

The evening session was Rage and Chuck again, though this time in an equal party.  For part of the time a level 51 mage called xMajikkax was also on board, after she had had difficulty soloing the Elite Sphinx Speer Man.  She used a lot of buffs, health and mana stealers, crit potions, and a platinum blessed iris, but she didn't seem to feel that that meant she had to play flat out and solidly for the whole hour, she went back to town for a while, and left rather early, apparently her Currahee guild wanted her back in Randol to prepare for the Quiz..

The guild masters made the mistake of announcing that the quiz room doors were open about 70 minutes before the quiz started, leading everyone to think that the quiz was going to be an hour early; Chuck actually logged out, so that Kaerella could go into the quiz room, before they announced that there was an hour left to go - so Chuck returned to Rage and the sphinx types.  By the time the session properly ended, Rage had added another 12.56%, and 7 skill points - his brief absence meant Chuck had one less skill point, but, twelve levels lower than Rage, his share of the experience went a lot further, percentage-wise, at 55.21%.  

The quiz itself seemed to have a few new questions early on, including the kind, like the price of an obscure weapon, that can only be guessed at, but luckily the doors were left open, so we all ran back in again.  Rage only had to re-enter twice, as a dash from one side to the other by Kae, changing her mind at the last minute when most other people had migrated over there, had left Rage behind on what turned out to be the correct half of the room, while Kae made the trip back three times.  Question twenty, on which the final ten heaven stones per player relied, was another tricky one, concerning the "Gate of Dimension", a personal dungeon I've never tried, but luckily the collective wisdom of the room got that one right.

SirDarth was able to log in afterwards, and headed down to his Berserker in Merac, getting his drake up into level 23 before the close of play; the newer computer's screen remained black for a while instead of loading Randol properly, but eventually a new attempt got Rage back in. Ratel asked if there was some way I could give him a bit of a "power level", so rather than have a slightly early log-out, the two of us went back to the Sphinx types for about an hour, until his log-out time.  Ratel got a heaven stone, and the Elite dropped a level 53 titan axe, +2,  for him, the first time in weeks that I've seen the Elite drop a ready-plussed item.

Things were certainly speedier than with Chuck just standing at the side and providing buffs; Ratel gave me the two defence-increasing buffs he has, and took charge of the horse buffs too, and I attacked the Elite Sphinx Speer Man every time he reappeared, and three or so others in between, in a suitably hectic manner.  We made a great team, with Ratty's stun coming in when my Snare failed - he added 38%, levelling up to 42, while I added 10.47% and another 4 skill points.  SugaRush  arrived soon after we did, but kindly let us hog the Elite, something for which I did thank her before leaving.

Back in Randol I was more than ready to log out, but BasheR wanted to check what Ratel had mentioned to me about the proposed move to Corleone - and Succubus2 very kindly came up to me as I was putting a personal dungeon ticket into storage, and traded a platinum super skill pill across to me, so that Rage could "get some of ur sp back."  A suitable gesture of peace, I wonder if TinySickNinja had any input in the matter?  As for that migration, things seem a little unclear as to whether everyone is invited; if Legacy/Shadowrend, Ghostt, JadaMarie, SsnowboardS, and I suppose Tocho and ElvisStd aren't in the deal, then how could Kae and Chuck move across?

Talking of guilds, Rage is actually in a new one now, and has been made a guild advisor.  The player behind it is Acheron, but more news about that as it happens...

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Back to the Sphinxes

SirDarth started early as usual, and by lunchtime the dragon hatchling had reached level 16, and was now officially a drake.  SirPerivale got some time in too, and his horse reached level 29 just before the end of the lunch break.

But in the morning the idea was for MrChuckNorris to take the spotlight.  First of all, though, weapons had to be moved around and restyled for their new users; Chuck got Rage's old crossbow, and had it transformed into a rather impressive new titan sword, while his old sword went to MistressSabina, who had it changed into a mage wand, which meant that the mage staff she'd been using could go back to MistressDomina.

After that bit of swapping-around, Chuck was able to head over to Merac and see what new quests were on offer.  The first one was simple enough, it just involved entering Maargadum Jail and killing the Spike Canines and Dire Spike Canines on the first level until they'd given him five canine skins.  The second one wasn't exactly complicated either, it meant a ride down to the Gnolls, and killing 25 Gnoll Soldiers.

Chuck headed out to the Sphinx Fighters then, and tried soloing one - which wasn't a great success, despite his pretty good armour it was a matter of running away, regenerating health with pots, and going back to fight the same Fighter some more, a few times.  Luckily the level 44 assassin rogue Neisha and level 52 royal knight DrAGoNLoRD turned up, and invited Chuck to join their party... and Legacy arrived soon after, and also joined the team.

This was in fact the first time Chuck has actually properly fought in a party; as he tended not to be the one targeted, it went pretty well, generally, and he was able to supply horse buffs for the party as well as his attack buff.  Legacy did have a tendency to get a bit over-enthusiastic and charge in and attract multiple Sphinx Fighters and Speer Men, probably including the Elite, but I think she was actually the only one not to die at one stage or another.  Chuck certainly took his death rather better than Rage did yesterday, but then, nobody there was liable to resurrect him against his will...

It was Kaerella who headed for the Sphinx Fighters after lunch.  At level 63, she is the same level that they are, so, in a solo party with SirDarth, they were giving her 1100 skill experience each, while the Elite Sphinx Speer Man gave 1358.  And, when one is the same level as one's foes, the drops are better too, so some weapons, headgear and other bits and pieces did get acquired as the afternoon went on.  Neisha and Dragonlord were still there for a while, but I knew that Neisha was too low to party with, so just let them get on with their Elite-slaying.

TinySickNinja was also there, though generally just lying in the assassin-rogue's "Death Motion" mode, so that the Sphinx types ignored her.  She was active in the shoutbox, and also browsing the web, idly looking at other games.  We chatted about Guild Wars, Lineage II, and Last Chaos related matters too.  She did mention in passing the "ugly" happenings in the Tomb of Theos yesterday, but Kaerella didn't press her for details.

BasheR was in touch, saying that he had had an approach from the 75 player strong "Corleone" guild about a possible migration of all active Norcaine players to there.  If they think we are all as high-level and accomplished as Bash, who is currently level 87, they may be in for a bit of a disappointment... though I can see the logic of such a thing, we may be sp-hunters at level 25 mainly, but at least they know that we are active players.   Still, the matter will need to be passed to Ratel.  Maybe Corleone would settle for just Rage, currently unattached...?

Legacy has decided that her character is broken, in that she doesn't have the mass of skill points needed to progress in the game, and has created a new rogue, Shadowrend, who Chuck recruited into the guild, and I see has now moved up from level 4 to level 14.  I've advised her to keep Legs, for use at Mad Monster Spawns and similar events, where you don't want to be using a character who'll lose a lot of skill points if she dies.  Legacy has made enough cash in her career to be able to gift the new rogue a nice high-level event weapon, etc, so it all does make a fair amount of sense.  Still, I'll miss the "Legs" nickname, the suggested "SR" just isn't the same, suggesting more a tube of toothpaste.

Stavanic was in touch, asking for help with levelling a further pet horse; it looks as if he will actually start this one himself, and provide some quality stones. Darth will just need to get it to level 18, which shouldn't be too difficult, after all the current drake got to that level today by the early evening.

For the evening session, Kaerella went back to the Sphinx area, but after she'd added another 13.96%, and a useful 27 more skill points, not to mention 822 pet points, BatCow arrived; while Kae would conflict with her, as they are too far apart to party, Rage would compliment her, so Kae gracefully departed, and a couple of minutes later Rage arrived.

At level 55 now, Rage was too far above BatCow, at level 43, for a combat party, but a regular equal-type party was still possible, so we teamed up.  BatCow was using a Blessed Iris, giving double experience for three hours, and was eager to level up as quickly as possible, so we fought non-stop, right in the middle of the area, attacking and being attacked by the Sphinx Fighters and Speer Men, and especially the Elite Sphinx Speer Man.  She levelled up before very long, and before my log-out time, levelled up again, and went back to town to learn her new skill.  

Rather to my relief, she decided not to try to continue using the remaining time on her iris, as I really couldn't have stayed up that late, and my higher level weapon and horse buffs must have been quite useful in getting the experience coming in quickly, but headed for the Auzura-1 arena for a few minutes before logging out.  So Rage just stayed solo for a few more minutes, and then ceded the computer to SirPerivale for a short afk session working to level up that horse, while I started getting the blog entry together.

BatCow may have gone up by more than a level, assisted by that Blessed Iris, but the higher you get, the longer the levels are, so Rage actually only added 32.21% during the session, plus  9 skill points and 1118 pet points.  It's all useful stuff, but hopefully there will be some more trips to the Tomb of Theos in the relatively near future... I'll have to see if I've got any experience boxes with useful irises inside them.

Lilwonderer messaged Darth a time or too,  most recently mentioning that SirRenDippitty is her father.  As usual I say "her" since the character, a rogue, is female... anyway, Peri's horse got at least a quarter of the way through level 30, and Darth's drake reached level 20, so we're doing quite well on that front.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Trouble in the Tomb

When SirDarth arrived at his Berserker spot, a level 50 Pandora's Beast was prowling around, so he promptly vanished again, and I logged in Rage instead, and rode down to deal with it - the Beast dropped 116,000 gold, which must be about the maximum.  A little later (well, after breakfast) SirPerivale logged in too - and there was a prowling Pandie there by the Butchers too, so Rage had to make another trip to Merac.  That one, sadly, didn't drop anything.  Rage checked the Berserker spot too before logging out, and discovered a Pandora's Box, but it just unleashed the level 30 type Beast, so there was no great reward there.

After coffee Rage did get to make her scheduled trip back to level five of Maargadum Jail, to kill a few Death Mask Soldiers and obtain five portions of "Rotten Flesh"; she stayed a little while after getting the five, but didn't get any interesting drops.  Then it was time to take the quest items back into Merac to the Archbishop there, and claim the reward of 867,000 experience.  He in turn gave me the last pre-Egeha quest, which was just to take the samples back to Healer Yabo in Randol, who coughed up another 587,000 experience, along with 100,000 gold.

While Darth continued to work on his new hatchling, MistressSabina headed out to Prokion Temple for an hour or so of skill point, and guild point, farming.  I was expecting to link up with a healer called ElfMage who'd asked yesterday for a bit of help, but she didn't appear; it meant that I didn't start a skill pill, which was probably just as well, as before long Zenderfly got in touch, wanting to invite Barbarienne to a party over on the Cariae server.

So, Darth logged out, and my level 100 Cariae-based archer Barbarienne logged in.  Zenderfly didn't have a Recall card or book, unfortunately; she got free admission to the Tomb of Theos, as the guild she is in won the Dratan Castle Siege last time and therefore "owns" the place, but it cost Barb 160,000 gold - less than normal, usually it's 3,000 per character level.  Zen kindly dropped a level 85 unidentified bow, worth about 600,000, for me, to compensate.  As we were in our party by then, it got allocated to her, which I had to point out - she dropped it again, and that time I did get it.

I clicked on Zen to follow her as she made the run down to the Grave Room; she ran out of "Escape" potions about halfway, so we did get stopped by the Anubis Archers a few times, and both took quite a lot of damage - it was lucky that I'd just moved a greater healing potion onto my skill bar!  And then, just as we reached the Darkmind Terrain, suspiciously close to exactly 11:00 UK time (3:00 am PST), I got a disconnection.  Annoying, or what?

It didn't seem to be a general disconnection, though.  I checked my inventory and found that I did have a teleport book left, so I used that to move to Zenderfly, who had successfully reached the Grave Room, and took up my position by the wall... it's a tricky place to get an invulnerable position, I had to move a few times, until triggering a small potion of some sort didn't work, which proved that I was safe.  So, I settled in, with my "human tribe" Scra-Chi pet SkrappY, now level 50, equipped, to get and give that combat party boost, as one of five people there.  Menawhile, MistressSabina was relatively busy over on Auzura still, in Prokion Temple.

It seems that the Cariae server does uphold the old traditions, as at 11:30 (UK time) there was another disconnection, a general one this time; Friday at that time always was when that sort of thing happened, at one time the GMs even ran warning announcements about it.  So, I had to relog, and send Zen a message of regret... she can invite me some other time, but preferably when someone in that final Sphinx Commander-rich room has Recall available!

So, Darth was able to log back in, and give MistressSabina back her solo party.  By the end of her Prokion Temple outing, she had added 58 skill points, and, by adding 673 pet points, got her drake up to level 26.

SirDarth did have a visitor just before lunchtime, a rogue called lilwonderer: "Hey Darth, lovin' the drake."  My hatchling looked fairly similar to hers, but still, it was a conversation-starter, it was lucky I was there to be able to respond.  She did actually stand too close to me to chat, and the Berserker took an instant dislike to her, though she hadn't attacked it, and began hitting her instead of me.  I equipped my sword and killed it, which seemed the only thing to do, and found a different one to fight.  After I'd gone afk for lunch, having added her to my Friends List, she left a message: "U gonna put me on ya blog?"   Hmm, I'll have to think about that...

The hatchling was level 12 by the time Darth logged out, to allow MrChuckNorris to join Rage in Dratan.  The afternoon session there was a pretty long one, as the Friday "Happy Hour" began at three and continued until five, with 50% extra experience - and after that, well, first I needed the last few percent to get Rage to 53, and then I needed just a little more to get Chuck to 43!  Legacy was with us all afternoon - with Chuck at the side, anyway, she had a meeting to go to.  WhiteMessiah2 was around for much of the time, and continued a little after I went downstairs for my food break; she showed me her armour, it was very impressive, both the shirt and pants were +15, and the others around +12, so that, with horse buffs, her defence rating was 2555, compared to my 1973.  

TinySickNinja, the level 54 ranger, also joined the combat party after a while, and invited Rage to join the "TrueGamers" guild, whose guild master is the level 57 archer Succubus2.  It seemed like an active, fairly dynamic guild, one does see a fair number of members around, so I decided to see how it went, and accepted the invitation.

Level 53 meant that Rage could finally equip her shiny new level 57 +15 Puplern Crossbow, which made a useful difference to the power of her attack, and by the time I finally took my break, Rage had gone up 50.31% (including a small amount from the morning), thanks in part to the "Happy Hour", plus 7 of those all-important skill points and 1830 pet points.  Chuck was up 31.60%, and 4 skill points, so all in all it had been a productive session.

I got back from eating at just about the time that Legacy also got back, so we began to fight the Sphinx types again - but pretty soon TinySickNinja invited me to join her and Succubus2 for a party killing the level 100 Screaming Zombies in the Tomb, over on the Auzura-4 sub-server. I asked if Legacy could come too, and, as she was just high enough at level 42 not to be "capped" by Succubus2, the answer was in the affirmative.  Only after the three of us were inside did we discover that Legacy didn't yet have the location on her memory scroll, but with a few directions she was able to run from the Sphinx Fighter location, and join us.

The first hour or so went very well, we really carved our way through the Zombies most efficiently, with Succubus2 luring, Tiny doing the first Snare, and me the second.  After a few minutes I started one of the expensive, triple experience for an hour Platinum Blessed Irises - and by the time it ran out, my total experience gain was 171.65%.  After carefully checking that we intended to continue long enough for me to get full use from it, I then started my second one, but about ten minutes in, it all went a bit pear-shaped.  I think Tiny was afk; I also got the impression that more than one Zombie was involved, either as a mis-lure or left lurking around by someone else.  But I died - and, while I was deciding whether to use my resurrection scroll to res on the spot, and waiting for the Zombie to get moved away from my corpse a little, suddenly Succubus 2 had resurrected me - which meant that I hadn't used my scroll, and had thus forfeited a large chunk of skill points - 472, by my calculations at the time.

If there's anything that annoys me, it is thoughtless, noobish behaviour like that - and did I get an apology?  No, it was "next time get ur lazy ass up."  Maybe my response to the situation of "WTFFF?  You b*****!!!!  Never EVER res someone who has a res scroll on... you wasted 472 skill points for me then" was not entirely diplomatic, since Succubus 2 is the leader of that guild, but heck, it did seem a lot of skill points, and either terribly noobish, or dreadfully arrogant, behaviour.  "Don't worry, I'll never res you again" doesn't count as an apology in my book.

Succubus2 vanished in a sulk, and, as Legacy seemed to have had a disconnection, after also dying, the party was over.  Poor Tiny was puzzled about it all when she returned to her screen, she seemed to think I'd called Succubus2 a "btch".  And is "wtf" swearing?  It rather depends what the flip you think the "f" stands for I suppose. To make some use of the remaining time on the Platinum Blessed Iris I headed back to the Sphinx Fighters, and, in all, from that second PBI I just got 44.56%, around a level less than I would have expected.  Dang, I'd been saving those two PBIs for the Zombies, and now I've gone and wasted one.  Luckily, Succubus2 expelled Rage from her guild, saving me the trouble of logging out, deleting and undeleting the character, and logging back in again, to lose the guild membership, not something I'd have wanted to waste time on with the PBI running.

So, while SirDarth was busy getting his hatchling up to level 14, Rage had at least added 216.21% experience, and 1681 pet points, even if she was down 465 skill points on the session.  Though, come to think of it, now that things are calmer, weren't 225 of those actually spent on getting the level 53 skill, level six of Mind Training?  Ah well, maybe that ought to take one or two exclamation marks off my outburst, but honestly, a healer using resurrection on someone with a res scroll active is such a basic error, one really does wonder...

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Out With The Sphinxes

SirDarth got the horse to level 28 this morning, at which point it seemed a reasonable idea to pass her across to SirPerivale, and let Darth do what I had meant to do last time, which was start a new dragon hatchling.  The horse gives enough of an Armour Increase buff now for Peri to be comfortable against the Butchers, as ever the only problem is that they do die after twenty or thirty minutes or so.  Darth, setting aside the pan flute quest that Lorraine offered first, this time got the drake egg quest activated, went to Jajan in Dratan City, and became the proud owner of a brand new hatchling.

Unless Stavanic does actually come up with some incentive for me to train up yet another pet for one of his characters, the plan is to have Peri work on the level 28 horse a little, with a view to that horse replacing Rage's current one when she reaches level 37, and can be sold.  She is level 35 at the moment, but those last couple of levels are pretty long.   The hatchling that Darth has started work on would possibly be a replacement pet for that second horse for Rage, drakes do seem better at picking up loot than horses... or it really would be fun to have one character who could fly about on a mounted dragon eventually!

SirPerivale was already holding a level 37 horse, as yet unmounted; as Basher was online, I suggested that, as I owed him half an Eyes of Spirit accessory, as I'd kept the one that dropped when we jointly killed Kamira (well, I helped with the local Poison Mists and the Death Goddesses Kammy spawned), I could pay him off by giving him this horse - and he thought that was a fine idea.  I assumed he'd want to keep it, so that both BasheR and BadToTheBone could have mounts, but he decided to sell it.  I hope he gets around 300 million for it...

There was time this morning for MistressSabina to do an hour in Prokion Temple, using a triple skill exp platinum super skill pill; the room was available, so she settled in, doing a fair amount of gathering a mob of Orcs there and using Flame Storm on them; the hour gave 419 skill points, which isn't bad as, now that Sabina is level 30, they don't give quite as much skill exp as they used to.  The full session gave 438 skill points, and 980 pet points, so some more of the special skills can now be learnt.

SirPerivale was able to do a little levelling over lunch, as well as Darth, who had got the hatchling up four levels by the time he had to make way for Chuck, but once I was back at the keyboard, it was time to sort out Rage's next set of armour. No crafting was needed, thankfully, just the conversion of Kaerella's old 55/57 healer set.  I did try to skimp on the upgrading a little, but leaving the gloves at +6, moving the hood and boots up to +7, and the shirt and pants up to +11, meant that the defence was only 1 better than Rage's old +8/+11 set.  So, I got the new set up to the same plus levels as the old one, and things looked a bit healthier.  

For the main afternoon entertainment, Chuck and Rage went out to the Sphinx types.  Rage couldn't wear her new boots and hood yet, but she put on the other three pieces - not as smart an armour set as the previous red "lion tamer" suit, I think, but additional protection out there is always useful.  It was generally just Rage and Chuck in the combat party until I was starting to think about taking a food break, at which point Legacy arrived.  So, my food break was rather delayed!  I had by then managed to get the last 14% Rage needed to level up, so was wearing the whole set, and trying to get it all bloodsealed.  At that point, Rage had added 27.41%, 3 skill points, and 1393 pet points, while Chuck was up by 18.61% and 2 skill points.

WhiteMessiah2 arrived just as we did finally take our break; she did join our combat party for a little while, but then a friend or two outside our level range turned up, so she left to party with them.  Legacy left too, so, once my armour had got its full quota of bloodseals, it was time to meld the cover on. I'd got the "schoolgirl" cover set from the Wendy Bear event, playing rock, paper, scissors on Tuesday, so, using four bonus books of melding, all of which just gave +1, I melded the gloves, boots, shirt, and skirt to the armour pieces - and this increased the total physical defence to 1520, very nearly a 10% increase.on what I'd been getting from the previous set.

BatCow teamed up for much of the evening; WhiteMessiah2 did return, as well, and Acheron put in an appearance, with some death-defying mobbing of the sphinx types.  I feel that he really ought to shout "Geronimo!" as he charges forward.  After many near misses and 5% health bars, his luck did finally run out, but he'd had fun, and he'd not actually endangered us, only himself. He is good company; he does actually have a level 19 mage, StormOfStress, in Norcaine, but I don't think we've seen her online much yet.

Talking of Norcaine, Ratel was on this afternoon rather briefly, to say that he'll be away from us for about a week, though he hopes to be online on Sunday evening for the Quiz.  So, MrChuckNorris has temporarily been promoted to guild master, since he is currently online so much.

Legacy, although she is an assassin, decided, after checking with me that she would be able to use it, to buy herself a crossbow, and seemed happy; it looks to me as if a trio of passive skills for speed, attack and evasion won't work for her if daggers are not equipped, so she may have to change her speciality if she wants to continue to fight like a ranger.

Well, by the end of the evening session Rage had added another 38.91%, 4 skill points and 2044 pet points, while Chuck had added 28.71%, and 4 skill points.  Luckily Chuck is still closer to the end of his level, needing 30% compared to Rage's 45%, so he ought to reach level 43 before Rage reaches 53...which is important if they want to stay in a combat party, since ten levels is the maximum difference allowed.  Oh well, if that does become a problem later they'll just have to be in an equal-type party, where a 15 level difference is okay, until Chuck gets back in range...

By the end of the evening Peri's horse had got halfway through level 28, while Darth had managed to get the hatchling through two more levels, to reach level 7.  He is having rather short days lately, with Chuck using the second computer, but he did have a sighting of the Grand Red Dragon early on, a wandering Pandora's Beast killed for him by Rage, and someone, in the evening, sneaking up to kill his Berserker again, proving that leaving him at work overnight just wouldn't be practical.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

New Boots

MistressDomino sold almost all her items by the time that the servers went down for their weekly scheduled maintenance last night, with only some tool aids and three Wendy Bear pieces left, so that makes me fairly prosperous again - which is just as well, as there is new armour to be bought, and it also made me resolved to buy a new +15 weapon if I could find one.  SirDarth also kept pet-levelling safely until the closure, and then got a fairly early restart too, so that our horse was able to reach level 27 by the end of the lunch break.  By the end of the evening he was more than halfway through that level.

Halfway through the morning, however, Darth got a Pandora's Box next to him which, when he opened it, released a level 50 Blood Frenzy-style Pandora's Beast.  Luckily it didn't attack Darth, who was able to retreat, followed by his Berserker, and continue his pet-levelling, but it meant that Rage had a good reason to log in, and ride down to deal with the Beast - which she did, getting a 40.800 gold drop for her trouble.

I'd been reading on the "Wet Paint" Last Chaos Wiki that level 47 manuals to craft boots are only dropped by level 47 Death Mask Soldiers and level 48 Beast Crawlers; the boots themselves are dropped by some fairly tricky monsters in Dratan desert, varying between classes but usually including level 55 Dragons and things like that.  So, as Rage was close to Maargadum Jail, it seemed a good idea to head down to its lower levels and check things out.

I've had other characters killed very easily by Beast Crawlers, but they are passive, so if one doesn't attack them, or any nearby Beast Flyers, they shouldn't be a problem.  So, I rather tiptoed through level four of the Jail, and found my way down to level five. That takes one a bit close to the local big boss, the Death Knight, but he does have his own room just beyond, so hopefully doesn't get lured out by fighting there.

The knight SirRenDippity was already there, but after a while I realised that he was pet-levelling, off to one side with a level 44 Death Mask Lancer - which seems like a good set-up, as long as nobody lured an aggressive, pet-eating Death Mask Soldier in on him.  Hopefully such people don't bother to go all the way down there to do such things.  Anyway, I started off cautiously, not going into the far half of the rather impressive room, and just targeting the Death Mask Soldiers as they respawned.  After a while I did actually get the drop I needed, the level 47 boots manual, but I continued, in case they might drop a second one, since such things are rather valuable.

I didn't get a second boots manual, though I got a couple of other manuals from around that level - and three assorted pairs of level 42 boots, which are themselves slightly hard to come by.  One pair, as does happen sometimes in the Jail, was already +4, so I think Ratel, or at least one of his characters, may well be interested in those.  I also realised that I did still have a quest active to kill "Beast Leaders" for their rings, and that it was Beast Crawlers that they meant - a quest I had attempted once or twice on the Cariae server, with fatal results, because as soon as my cleric, or whoever, had attacked one Beast Crawler on the Jail's fourth level, others had also attacked, often using deadly magic through the walls, and before I could retreat up the stairs, I'd die.

Roaming around the whole room on this more open fifth level, I noticed that at the far end there were a couple of Beast Crawlers, one on each side of the main path, and while they did each have a Death Mask Soldier close by, otherwise they were alone and out of range of any protective friends.  So, I decided to risk attacking them in turn, and, without being mobbed by magic-users, didn't have a problem - I got the three rings I needed eventually, and returned to Merac Caron village.  Once I'd got the reward for that quest, a new quest came available - and for that, Rage will need to go back and fight some more Death Mask Soldiers, which won't be difficult now that I know my way around down there.

After lunch, it was time to use that level 47 boots manual, and craft a pair of level 47 titan boots, so that Chuck would have the complete armour set - and my other characters following on behind would have the full set in turn.  The ingredients needed do vary, but for the titan boots 8 gold, 12 black diamonds, 8 imperfect wind crystals, and 8 cotton fabric were what I needed; to make them I processed 84 imperfect stones, 84 quality stones, 20 gamma wave energies, and 18 green herb leaves, using the appropriate processing scrolls.  Each processing operation had a risk to it, if I'd had no failures the numbers would have been 48,  72, 16, and 16 again... and the actual making of the boots, once the ingredients were all assembled, is risky too, but I clicked the button, and the boots were successfully created, to my great relief.  Then it was just a matter of transferring them across to Chuck, using four heaven stones to get them to +3 (so, just one failure), and using three lucky smelting stones to get them to +6, to match the rest of the armour....or at least the gloves and headgear, the shirt and pants are a bit better, as they were a rather expensive impulse purchase, at +11, a few weeks ago for Rage's set.

The other four parts of the set were changed from rogue items to their titan equivalents; Chuck couldn't actually wear the new helmet and boots yet without an armour penalty, but a trip out to the Sphinx Fighters with Rage would soon sort that out.

After the time taken to harvest and process the ingredients, and generally move items around between characters, the afternoon session at the Sphinx types was an hour shorter than usual, but Chuck buffed Rage, and Rage set to work.  Chuck needed almost 25% experience to reach level 42, but, in our two-person equal party, we got there by soon after four.  The next item on Chuck's wants list is a new weapon, since his old one, while nice and shiny and +15, is a bit below him now.  What he needs is Rage's current weapon - but he can't have that until Rage is high enough for her next weapon, and for that she needs to be level 53, rather than the level 51 she is now.

It all gets complicated, with the different characters inheriting armour and weapons, but, thanks to MistressDomino's overnight sales, I was able to afford to buy a level 65 +15 weapon for Kaerella, which cost 142,332,682 gold from the Merchant House (I don't know how the seller, XDarkSageX, arrived at that price, but it seemed relatively fair by current standards on Auzura), and that meant that the bow Kae had been using could be passed down to Rage, and converted into a crossbow.  It is a level 57 weapon, though, so Rage will need to be level 53 before she can use it properly.  Then Chuck can have Rage's current weapon, MistressSabina can have Chuck's weapon, and MistressDomina can have her staff back from Sabina...

Since Rage's levelling was now a higher priority than Chuck's, I changed the party type, just before Chuck levelled up, from "equal" to "combat".  Provided that combat party members are close enough together to be on the compass-map, people get experience based on their actual contribution to the fight, plus a boost based on the number of people in the party - so Rage would get slightly more experience than soloing on average if Chuck was within range, while he'd get some experience too, though not as much as in an "equal" party.  He'd still get a full share of the small amount of skill exp, and his share of the loot.  A combat party will only work when members are within 10 levels of the leader, so it couldn't have been done much earlier.

Legacy came out to join us soon after that.  She wasn't able to play for very long, as she is studying for examinations this week, but she sat down by Chuck afterwards, and was happy to find when checking back later that she'd been boosted by 11% by then for doing nothing.  By the time I took my food break, Chuck was up 25.28%, while Rage was up 22.80% - her horse had reached level 35, gaining 1039 pet points.

Legacy was afk for almost all the evening session, which had the usual early Wednesday ending at a little before 8:00pm UK time; BatCow did come out for a while, but wasn't convinced by the idea of a combat party and stayed in her own solo party.  The place got pretty busy, with a team from the DamonBlut guild doing a lot of work, so that often the only Sphinx type I could attack was the Elite Speer Man himself, but things calmed down after a while, and when another rogue from Rage's Friends List, WhiteMessiah2, came and teamed up, we made pretty good progress. I do find WM2's spelling hard to follow, it was only after she left that I worked out that her final question had been as to whether she too should sit and watch...but as I had to log out soon after that, it didn't make a great difference.  Hopefully Legacy checked her screen and logged out as well, before too long, and was happy with the progress she'd made.

The evening session ended with Chuck adding another 22.63%, and Rage adding 27.90% - and at level 51 you need a lot more experience to go up by a percent than you do at level 42.  Rage added another 1127 pet points, and they both got a couple of skill points in each session.  SirDarth was able to resume his pet-levelling from around 8:00pm, but there was a disconnection at about 11:15, due to an upgrade event going on - with the lag and black screen problems that tends to bring, it didn't seem practical to try to return him to Merac just for a few more minutes.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Mad Monster Spawn

I was too busy in the morning to do anything more complicated than set SirDarth to pet-levelling, but he did some good work, despite the occasional sneaky Berserker-killer, and  got the horse to level 25 by the end of the afternoon.

So, it wasn't until after lunch that MistressSabina was able to head for Prokion Temple, and my favourite room there.  At level 30, with both a platinum super skill pill and a red-and-white skill pill, for 215% extra skill experience, the Orc Sergeants were giving 15592 skill exp, and, two levels lower, the Orc Axemen were giving 12127.  My first "power hour" gave me 523 skill points; I went back to Randol after that, and spent them on skills, especially the new level of Flame Storm, before going back for a second hour - which gave another 521 skill points.  The total skill point gain, due to overtime, was 1058 - but, maxxing out all the available general and passive skills, and then starting on the special skills, like mining, got them down to just 4 spare.

That was just as well, as the Mad Monster Spawn was announced rather earlier than usual - at 5:00pm UK time in fact, so MistressSabina was only just in time to join in.  With monsters going all the way up to level 140, it was not, I suppose, surprising that I did die three or four times, but, while that did take me down from the 5.28% into level thirty to the round 0.00%, I still had those 4 skill points.  Since Sabina's experience was frozen, she didn't get any direct benefit from the monster-kills she assisted with, but I had made a note of the guild points she was earning (516 and 530 from the time in Prokion Temple), and her work against the big guys added another 115.

There was a mass disconnection towards the end, to nobody's great surprise, while I was attempting to buy some more mana potions from Merchant Geres after another death, which might have been just as well; we had been given twenty minutes to clean out the final "boss wave", and really weren't making much headway against the Flutons!  The early timing probably meant that there weren't many high-level players there, just a lot of low-level hangers-on, making themselves useful with debuffs and snares but not actually hurting the monsters much.  The "rollback" from the disconnection wasn't too bad, anyway, at least I did still have some loot in my inventory from the Hands that GM Stratos had spawned between the earlier waves.  Including the final spawning of rewards, I did manage to get 11 item drop boosters, 8 skill exp boosters, a few large defence and attack potions, and a good supply of tool aids, as well as the small health and mana recovery pots.

After that, GM Stratos held one of his races, where everyone gallops off towards a location he announces.  As I am hopeless at map reading, I just rather naughtily clicked on to another rider, and followed automatically - she was good, though not quite good enough to be in the first three.  We ended up on the "edge of the world" at coordinates 1526, 1305, high on the hillside that edges the map, with a view back towards Randol itself.  The winners were Croas, Actus, and Warrior28.  There was a general request that GM Stratos should give us some drops for getting there - but what he dropped on us was a group of Barren Eise boss monsters, so I was rather glad that I had dismounted!  I retreated quickly enough not to be killed that time, so was able to see the funny side of the GM's little prank.

Rage headed out to the Sphinx types after that, where Ratel and Legacy were already in action, and joined the team - SsnowboardS also joined, but just for the solo party benefit as he was doing some skill point farming in Prokion Temple.  I brought MrChuckNorris along too, and he was kindly allowed to join the party, just standing at the side and applying the occasional buff.  The team worked pretty well, though there was some lag about, so that text tended to be a bit slow appearing.  Ratel unfortunately wasn't able to stay all that long, but Legacy and I continued until gone nine, and then I went on alone for a few minutes - just long enough to get Chuck up to 75% experience gain, which seemed like a suitable point to end on.  Chuck got 75.24% in all, along with 2 skill points; Rage, who is still ten levels higher, got the same number of skill points, but just 20.44% experience, and 1232 pet points.

One can never be quite sure how long special events are going to remain open in Last Chaos, so, as the Wendy Bear set-up has been going for two weeks now, it is entirely possible that the NPC with whom one plays "rock paper scissors" will vanish overnight, leaving the nine pieces of the bear picture redundant.  Or maybe the deal will continue for another week, or longer, who can tell?  It seemed a good idea to get my various characters to use their sets tonight, anyway, so Rage and Kaerella and MistressSabina are now the proud owners of schoolgirl costumes, which will vanish in thirty days.  Whether or not any of these get "melded" to actual armour, I don't know, though my other prizes from the game-player did include, twice, two bonus books of melding (when I won a few rounds), as well as some greater health and mana potions and some weapon covers, which, like the costumes, can be melded on to one's actual item for thirty days.  Sensibly, one is able to choose, for one's class, which type of cover to take, either a crossbow or blades for a rogue, staff or wand for a mage, and so on..  

As for my remaining odd Bear pieces, well I'm leaving MistressDomino selling them, and hoping that she gets a few good customers before the server maintenance begins.  If not, and if the Bear event does close, well, there's always next year!  So with MistressDomino in merchant mode in Randol, and Darth battling his Berserker out in Merac, another day in the world of Iris draws to a close...

Monday, 25 May 2009

The Guild Upgraded

There was another fairly early start for SirDarth, back to levelling our own current horse now; the horse, which I suppose we should call "she" as it becomes a "Knight Mare" when turned into a mount, reached level 21 during the morning - and after getting close to level 22 at the end of lunch, got there while I was on my early evening food break.

After coffee I managed to fit in a trip to Prokion Temple for MistressSabina, the guild master of Discipline; my favourite room was ready and waiting, so a super skill pill and a skill pill were started, and I settled in for an hour of ruthlessly mobbing the Orc Sergeants and Orc Axemen.  Yesterday with a 215% boost the hour gave me 533 skill points; with a 115% boost instead, 364 sp would be what one would expect from the same number of kills, but in fact I got 417 skill points, or 444 for the full session, so I did pretty well.  The 417 actually returned me to exactly the number of points I'd had before spending some on skills yesterday, which was rather neat.

The end of the hour saw Sabina on 96.68% of level 29, so it only took a few more minutes to reach level 30 - the total experience gain for the session was 85.78%, while 1019 pet points also got added.  Back in town, I was able to visit the Royal Guard Captain, and use 240 skill points and 1,000,000 in gold to upgrade Discipline to level five... and then use 500 skill points and 2,000,000 in gold to get the guild to level six, which allows the guild master to freeze the experience gain of members.  So, MistressSabina's experience gain is now frozen, as is MistressDomino's, and new recruit Foxchaser's.  The next time Sabina farms some skill points, she will start collecting Guild Points, which are needed for any further guild level increases or skills.

Sabina spent the rest of her skill points on, naturally enough, skills, though I didn't keep enough for the fourth and final level of Flame Storm, which is now available for her.  I must get that next time, and also max out the other skills.  

By then, lunch was getting near, so Sabina logged out, and MistressDomino logged in to do some selling.  The main part of the break just saw her sell seven Wendy Bear parts at 40,000 gold each, but then I had a sudden rush of business, and almost sold out, so that in all 75 pieces got sold, bringing in exactly the 3,000,000 I'd spent on guild upgrading.

For the afternoon, Rage and Chuck headed for the Sphinx types again, and Chuck started one of the week-long 30% experience boost potions.  SugaRuSH was there too, but I was the one who got partied up with a level 36 royal knight called Alexanderdgreat.  I suppose it must have been his computer or his connection, but he was the worst fighter I've ever come across.  I'd target a Sphinx Speer Man, and if he reacted, he'd rush to where the Man had been, he'd almost never actually attack it.  And he'd often attract the attention of another nearby Sphinx type.   Well, at least he gave me the Divine Shield buff most of the time... Towards the end Alexaaaander95, another (no relation) knight turned up, but he was just level 25 or 26, so had to just "ks" from outside the party.

Anyway, Chuck did manage to level up, and by the end of the session was level 39, with four more stat points invested in Strength; his total experience gain was 80.35%, and he and Rage both gained a skill point as well.  Rage went up 15.21%, which isn't bad, for her level there, and also added 1090 pet points.

Darth did some pet-levelling, and Chuck did some herb farming, over the food break - but then it was time for Rage and Chuck to go back to their friends the Sphinx types.  And it was quite a party - Legacy got in touch just before I started, so was there from the start, and BatCow joined us this time too.  Giving part of the pooled experience gain to Chuck for just sitting there may be a slight down side, but on the other hand, Rage's higher level, better armour, and ability to supply horse buffs do give an up side to a teaming.  

Later on a level 39 titan called MADOC joined us, though he did tend to run around with less than 50% health.  Apparently he'd run out of health potions, but it is easy enough to return to town, buy a few, and teleport back, it would only take a minute or two.  A level 31 ranger called MRASASIN was too low to join the party, but we let her ks a bit, and she reached level 32.  I think most people levelled up, in fact.  Rage reached level 51, adding another 41.17%, plus 2081 pet points, and she and Chuck each got 2 shiny new skill points.  Chuck reached not only level 40, but, right at the end, level 41, going up 185.64% in that session.

MistressDomino went back into merchant mode, and sold out of Wendy Bear pieces rather quickly - somebody bought all 112 of them, at 40,000 gold each, so that was an easy 4.480,000 gold - I know other people do charge more, I just can't think of them as so very valuable.  The special Wendy Bear event may end tomorrow, when the servers go down for their weekly maintenance, or it may continue for another week, who can tell?  SirDarth did a little more late night pet levelling, getting his horse halfway through level 22 now.

So, it was quite a productive day, with MistressSabina, Rage, MrChuckNorris, Darth's horse, and the Discipline guild all levelling up.  We will definitely have to think about getting new armour and weapons for Rage and Chuck; Chuck's armour, at least, will be Rage's previous set; there is a 55/57 healer set that Rage could convert, too, but it's not as highly upgraded as her present armour, so will need some work done on it if it is to give more defence than her current red "lion-tamer" style costume.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Chuck Moves Up

SirDarth made a fairly early start, for a Sunday, and by lunchtime had got Ratel's horse to level 24, which rather concluded that particular operation  It's at that point, two levels above Darth, that a pet starts to get hungrier, for one thing.  Rage did have to ride down once for a wandering level 50 Pandora's Beast, but the two boxes that Darth himself opened discharged a level 30 one which he was easily able to deal with - and he also got a drop of five physical defence minerals, level 12, which are always useful.

MistressSabina took advantage of the morning being relatively quiet in Prokion Temple; her first attempt to teleport in landed her down in the basement foundations again, but the second try got her into the starting lobby safely.  Using the pssp-sp combination again for a 215% boost, so that the Orc Sergeants gave 16458 skill exp and the Orc Axemen gave 15592, while she was level 28. this time the hour gave her 533 skill points, which was rather better than yesterday.  It seems that the condition of the Temple does vary, so that sometimes the Orcs are harder to kill than at other times; I was also really pwning them, getting groups together and using Flame Storm as much as possible.  As usual I stayed on for a few minutes after the hour ended, and netted 544 sp in all; Sabina also went up by 83.02% on the experience front, reaching level 29 before the end of the hour - doing a few minor quests added another 7.01% to that.  And let's not forget the 1082 pet points...

After lunch, Rage headed for the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men, but she didn't go alone - as she was only 15 levels above my titan, MrChuckNorris, I decided to take him along too, and give SirDarth the afternoon off.  BatCow was there as well, but it didn't seem a good idea for us to party up as Chuck would be getting a share of the experience for doing very little - just standing in a safe spot, and giving the Battle Roar buff to increase Rage's attack a little.

Chuck's fellow Norcaine guild member Legacy did come along and team up, though, and didn't mind Chuck getting his share; she is a level 38 assassin-type rogue, a melee character using a pair of daggers, so finds it useful to team with a bow-user... and two people with Snare in a team is always a good idea.  We were able to kill the Elite Speer Man easily enough, and kept suitably busy.

After a while Legacy (or "Legs" as we call her - be glad that a player called Titianna isn't in our guild!) had to do some revision work, so joined Chuck over at the side, which seemed fair enough as she'd been donating experience to him until then.  Unfortunately they were not quite far enough over, we found after a while - I was fighting just around the corner, when I suddenly saw that Legacy's health bar was black - and Chuck's was down to about a third!  A Sphinx Fighter had spawned just too near them, I guess - I managed to get Chuck to safety behind the fence, and killed the Sphinx Fighter in question, but it was a nasty surprise for Legacy.  Still, she had managed to reach level 39 by then.

Legacy did return, and fought some more, but managed to get herself killed by the Elite Speer man, so all that studying hadn't improved her in-game skills.  The "Sunday Teatime" event gave us 50% extra experience from 3:00pm until 5:00pm UK time, so I kept on long enough to get full value from that - and a little longer, as there was a junior titan who needed to ks a little, but in the end hunger won out.  By then Rage had gone up by a very useful 43.00%, plus two skill points and 2127 pet points, which shows just how long a session it was.  Chuck hadn't had his pet equipped, but I have him down as having gone up by 16 skill points - and 241.33% experience, which is rather better than what he was getting from soloing the Poison Mists.

After the early evening food break, which wasn't as early as usual, there was time for a bit more levelling at the Sphinx types.  SugaRuSH, a level 52 rogue, was there as she quite often is, and another rogue, CHERRY, who knew her turned up as well, as she asked Suga if she could ks I assume she was only in the mid-thirties, level-wise, but, soloing, she seemed to be doing pretty well, though she did die once.  It wasn't a very long session; Ratel logged in just before eight, so Chuck logged out and Darth logged in, to transfer the level 24 horse across, help him move a pet or two between characters, and get back the level 19 one I'd loaned him.  He was suitably grateful for Darth's efforts, I hope the higher-level pet for his healer Jacqueline does help her to survive in Prokion Temple.

Rage had added another two skill points, and 15.74% experience, plus 971 pet points; Chuck had spent 585 skill points on two new skills when he reached level 38: Bellow, which would reduce the defence of any foe within two meters by 100 for 30 seconds, and Fire Command, increasing the long range hit rate of any bow-user within five meters by 30 for five minutes.  He had gone up by a further 60.17%, which had taken him comfortably into level 38.

So, Rage's gain for the day was 58.74%, plus 4 skill points and 3098 pet points, while at the same time MrChuckNorris had added 301.50% and 16 skill points.  I'll have to do some more team-ups like that!

Most of the Norcaine people seemed to join Kaerella and Rage for the Quiz in the Auzura-4 Quiz Room, and thankfully the questions were the ones that we are gradually becoming familiar with, so there were no upsets or surprises.  People on other servers have been known to lose all their prizes from s sudden disconnection afterwards, and its "rollback", so I quickly logged out.  

As usual after the Quiz, logging back in was a bit of a problem; SirDarth got in fairly quickly, after only a very brief black screen, but found some things very laggy - guild chat took a few minutes to appear, and checking the guild status screen, it took quite a while to load the Norcaine details.  He was already fighting his Berserker by the time the log-in guild message appeared.

I tried to log MistressDomino in to Auzura-1, but got a black screen for ages - I restarted a few times, allowing about ten minutes of black screen each time, and finally got back in, but as you can imagine the forum's shoutbox was quite busy with people complaining about black screens, crashes, and lag.  MistressDomino went into merchant mode selling the Wendy Bear pieces at 50,000 gold each, all except piece two which I sold out of earlier, plus the large attack & defence potions, and took in a few million.

SirDarth's horse reached level twenty not long before his log-out time; just before that someone killed his Berserker and ran off, not even stopping to pick up the 446 gold it dropped, but I only lost a few seconds...and gained the gold of course.  Still, it does demonstrate that keeping Darth going overnight to level up his horse just isn't practical at the moment.