Monday, 31 August 2009

Nine to Twenty in an Evening

CaptainScarlet's attempt to pet-level overnight was thwarted by the computer deciding that it needed to reboot, but he still managed a few hours, and restarted suitably early, soon joined by SirPerivale, so that by the end of the lunch break Peri's drake was level 23, and Cap's horse, which I believe I may have mentioned once or twice is pale blue, had reached level 32.

There was a morning session before that, though, after coffee, and while Cap and Peri took a rest, JohnWellington and Galahad went to Auzura-3's Prokion Temple. There wasn't actually time for much more than an hour there; I didn't get any visitors, though RIPeices was somewhere not far away, complaining about how boring sp-farming was.

By the time lunch was approaching, JohnWorthington had gone up by 10.39%, 117 guild points, and 156 skill points, while Galahad was up by 12.23%, 122 guild points, and 65 skill points. 4.11% of Gal's experience gain actually came from a few minor quests in Merac before he reached the Temple, while John got the extra skill points by using his penultimate "beginner" platinum super skill pill, adding 150% skill exp gain for an hour.

After lunch, it was time for MistressDomina and MistressBlaze to head back out to the Sphinx types. MD started one of those "30% extra experience" elixirs, but, with the experience shared with MB, it wasn't worth teaming it with a Blessed Iris. The place was quiet, at least until Kamira put in one of her "Arrivals" just after four o'clock, UK time. Rage came out to deal with her, but, despite the lucky scroll and the item drop booster, the drops were just the usual assortment, without any rare accessory.

MistressDomina returned after that, and by the end of the session she had gone up 14.27%, and added 847 pet points. MistressBlaze had gone up by 34.28%, so is almost halfway through level 42 now. As MD did reach level 53, allowing her to start using the level 57 +15 staff, the level 45 staff has now been passed across to MB. It does mean that MD is hitting a lot harder now.

After Cap and Peri had a brief stint during the early evening food break, MistressDomina and MistressBlaze returned to the Sphinx types - but not for long, as Ratel logged on, and as I'd offered to level his new pet-leveller Leopardknight up a bit, that's what we decided to do. MD had added just 1.70% by then, a skill point, and 106 pet points, while MB had added 4.41% experience.

Leo had got most of the way through level nine, so, with his +4 armour set, was able to make the run out to Prokion Temple, and get that location on his memory scroll. Meanwhile, I'd logged in CaptainScarlet to get back to pet-levelling, and SirPerivale, who also headed for Prokion Temple on Auzura-3, and teamed up with Leo.

The first thing Peri had to do was die a few times - at a 3% reduction in his experience, fifteen times, in fact, to get back to the start of level 22. Then it was a matter of putting his armour back on, and heading into the further reaches of the Temple - Leo and he ended up in the corridor outside that favourite back room, which with its Orc Fighters and Orc Soldiers suited us fine. Before too long though Leo told me to stop fighting, and it's just as well that I did that immediately, rather than finishing the fight with my current Orc Soldier, as he was on the brink of reaching level 11 - and you can't join the Guardian system beyond level 10.

So Cap logged out, and Kaerella logged in and re-registered herself as a prospective Guardian, accepted Leo's application, de-registered herself, and then logged out, so that Cap could log back in and return to his Berserker. And then SirPerivale was able to continue fighting.

Leo was able to fight the Soldiers and Fighters, with a little care and the use of a few health potions, despite them being a dozen levels or so above him, which helped things to move along, and before too long Leo reached level 16. Checking my records, I saw that, while I have a lot of characters currently on level 32 or 33, it seems, SirDarth was still on level 31, only fifteen levels ahead of Leo now - so Peri logged out (having added an unwanted 57.82% experience, as well as getting 44 skill points), and SirDarth logged in. Leo took the opportunity to clear out his inventory a bit, and spend his newly-gained skill points, and then he and Darth headed back to Prokion.

A sorcerer had been using my favourite back room, but he had gone now, so SirDarth was able to take over there. Leopardknight wisely decided that his current armour was no match for the Orc Axemen and Orc Sergeants, so took up a position behind a torch/brazier in a corner, and let Darth get on with the fighting.

With the +10 30/32 armour set, I found that Darth didn't need to use his shield, so, despite being a temple knight rather than a royal knight, he used his +10 dual swords instead of the single sword and shield, which gave him at least 10% more attack power. Luckily I'd remembered to buy five bloodseal gems in Randol, so I was able to add the five seals to the dual swords as the fighting progressed - they added a little extra attack, and increased his hit rate, so all the seals were useful.

Leo had to leave before 8:30, my time, but he was able to keep his character there afk, and indeed will probably be standing there all night, or until his computer has the "run out of memory" error again. He was halfway through level 18 when he headed off for bed - and Darth managed to get him to level 20, so that he completed the Guardian system, and will be only fifteen levels behind his next team-mate, MistressSabina, when we next team up, with ten minutes to spare.

SirDarth himself added a welcome 51.59% experience in that session, so that he has now reached level 32, and 146 skill points. Back in town he had some new skills to learn, such as the extra-defence Wall of Belief, and old skills to improve, spending 727 skill points in all.

Just as I was preparing to log out, and get SirPerivale set up to pet-level for a while, Stavanic saw me in town, so that rather delayed things, with various characters having to be logged in. MistressDomina was needed to kick his "GuildHealer" character from Norcaine, and then he wanted to temporarily transfer the gm position in his DeathBringers guild to Peri, before having it passed on to GuildHealer. Running out of time and patience, I'd, once Peri had been made GM, moved across from Auzura-4 to Auzura-3, so that Peri could join CaptainScarlet's party and restart pet-levelling, but it seemed that Stavanic had logged out before reading that I was moving across.

Steve did finally get GuildHealer down to where Peri was pet-levelling, and even managed to click on Peri to "apply to join guild" - though as that pop-up appears in the middle of the Last Chaos picture, and I'd moved the blog-writing window on top, except for over on the left so that regular text could still be seen there, I didn't react immediately - and the first text message I saw was "dangit I have to log off". So, Peri remains GM there, at least overnight.

Anyway, CaptainScarlet has managed, with his extra time this evening, to get the horse most of the way through level 32 - while I see that Peri's drake has just reached level 24. So both pets are a little too high for overnight work, which will at least save me some electricity.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

New Armour for MistressBlaze

Both SirPerivale and CaptainScarlet pet-levelled overnight successfully, taking full advantage of the double pet experience - so that by coffee time this morning Peri's level 6 hatchling had been transformed into a level 19 drake, and Cap had moved the pale blue horse on from just short of level 26 to 70% of the way through level 29. We were not alone in our favourite spot in Merac, the titan XXRoidRageXX and an archer called LaLeLou had also taken up residence there by then.

After coffee, however, I decided to take Galahad (that is, GALAHAD, to give him his official name) and JohnWellington back to Prokion Temple, to take advantage of the double experience and skill exp, as well as a little bit of the double pet experience since Galahad did have his drake equipped for most of the time, just taking it off whenever it got attacked.

First, however, John spent some of his skill points, learning the self-buff Stone Skin's five available levels for 163 skill points, which increases his physical defence by 170 for ten minutes (even if there is a slight bug in it which sometimes makes a sorcerer go invisible), plus all five levels of the level thirty skill Ice Spike for 228 skill points, hitting a foe with 510% of the power of a regular attack and slowing them down by 25%; that is the skill one must learn before being allowed to become an Elementalist or a Specialist. Adding or topping up the passive skills Cursed Soul (increases magical attack), Defence Shield (increases magical defence), and Vital Mastery (increases maximum health) got the total sp spending spree up to 912 skill points.

On the way to Prokion Temple John was able to get the quest for collecting Orc ornaments, and immediately complete it as he had already picked up enough of them - that alone added 3.37% experience. Once he and Galahad got there it was an uninterrupted session in our usual back room, and by the time lunch was getting near, John's total experience gain for the morning had reached 36.18%, he'd gained 186 guild points, and he'd got back 203 of the skill points he'd spent. Galahad added the same number of skill points, 27.83% experience, 189 guild points (being one level higher he gets slightly more experience per kill, but completing level 32 takes more experience than level 31), and 2902 pet points, which got his drake into level 27.

Over lunch Peri's drake reached level 20, and Cap's horse moved on to level 30, but it was soon time for MistressDomina and MistressBlaze to head back out to the Sphinx types on sunny Auzura-4. MB did manage to find and do a message-carrying quest in Merac, just involving a trip to Owl Village, adding 0.74%; she is now set up to do a Gnoll-killing quest too when convenient.

The assassin-type rogues SnapDragon and JohnnyDepp were also there for much of the time; Johnny was there when I arrived, and SnapDragon turned up soon afterwards, but I can't say Snappy did a huge lot of fighting before deciding to move on to the Tomb of Theos. Eventually Johnny decided to go shopping, I'm not sure if that involved Randol on Auzura-1, or her local supermarket. I had the place to myself for a while, and then a knight and a titan, Kopiteus and Executtor, arrived. They went around the corner, so didn't crowd me very much, and supplied the occasional Divine Shield buff in return for Haste.

By the end of the session MD had gone up 20.78%, with the double experience on offer being cancelled out by MB's presence there, with her drake adding 1758 pet points. MB did rather better percentage-wise, going up 74.14%, which meant she reached level 41; they each got 4 skill points. MB could now use the level 45 staff that MD is still using, we just need to wait for MD to level up to 53, and be able to use the level 57 one she is already carrying.

The food break was extended a bit as a friend dropped round, but with the double pet experience still going on, Peri's drake reached level 21 then. I noticed, when I got back to the screens, that MortimerJones's titan pet-leveller XXRoidRageXX was lying dead on the ground - I don't know how that happened, unless the Berserkers are hitting just that little bit harder at the moment, but I'm glad I wasn't around when he found out... After that there was still time for MistressDomina and MistressBlaze to return to the Sphinx types for a while, before the Quiz; luckily the double experience, skill exp and pet experience kept on rolling for more than the 24 hours we might have expected.

I found that Kopiteus and Executtor were still in action, and expressed admiration for the length of their stint, but they assured me that they had been away for most of the time, and only recently returned. So, MD and MB got to work again; and when MistressBlaze finally reached level 42, ten levels below MistressDomina, I changed the party type to Combat, so that, while MB as a non-attacker got a smaller share of the experience, MD got more. It must have been at about that time that the event bonus finally ended.

MistressDomina added 18.79%, while MistressBlaze added 45.07%; they each added 3 skill points, and MB also got 1460 more pet points. But the Quiz was approaching, so it was time to head for the Auzura-2 Quiz Room, where Ratel was waiting.

There were a couple of questions I was slightly uncertain about, and I think we did lose a number of people along the way, but Kaerella, MistressSabina, and Ratel all made it through to the end safely, with our tool aids, moonstones, and heaven stones safely in our inventories. I asked Ratty afterwards if he'd sold his, knowing that he is low on cash after that disastrous "upgrade event", but he said no, he was saving them for the next upgrade event... that seemed a bit over-ambitious to me, but he quickly went on to explain that the idea would be to sell them then, as people tend to pay up to twice as much for heaven stones when such an event is running.

MistressDomina and MistressBlaze returned to the Sphinx types, only to find the place so busy that it was difficult to find any monster to target - one group in particular were taking not just the Elite but everything else that spawned in that vicinity. A level 42 rogue called MonaLott was soloing close by me, and we chatted a little. The announcement came up that "MortimerJones's party" had won the "Betrayal" event that had been running, involving guiding a GameSage back to town on a PvP-enabled sub-server while fighting anyone else who wanted to take charge of her, and I commented that, at level 140, he probably didn't need a party, he could manage it solo.

I didn't stay beyond 9:30 UK time as I'd arranged with Ratel that one of my pet-levellers would add his new pet-leveller-to-be Leopardknight to his Friends list then, so that he could pass over the 500 quality stones outstanding from the pet-levelling arrangement we'd had. So, MD added just another 2.90% and 246 pet points, while MB, back in a normal Equal-type party, added 8.87% and a skill point. MistressBlaze has now taken delivery of the 45/47 mage armour set, she just needs to wait for MD to level up before she can have the level 45 mage staff to go with it.

SirPerivale took delivery of the quality stones, which should come in handy as his supplies were getting low. He offered to help Leo level for a few minutes, partying against the Berserkers, but Leo had been busy in Velpist temple, taking full advantage of the +4 armour set Ratel had made for him, and was very close to level ten, which was his immediate objective so that he could go into merchant mode. He also mentioned that I should remind him to return the level 29 +13 weapon he'd borrowed a while ago - I wonder how that compares, attack-wise, with all the level 33 +10 weapons we all have now?

So, Peri headed for the Berserkers alone, just to pet-level for the rest of the evening, where he was soon joined by CaptainScarlet. Peri's drake should be most of the way through level 21 by log-out time; Cap's pale blue horse should just about reach level 31 by then. Regular, one-point-at-a-time pet levelling seems a bit slow now, after our day of twice that speed.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

John Gets His Armour

You can tell I was running a bit late last night, and getting sleepy - I forgot to mention how MistressDomina and MistressBlaze got on in their evening session with Ratel. MD added just 14.97%, plus 822 pet points, while MB went up by 29.63%, and added another 1526 guild points for Discipline. I think I can unlock her now! They each gained a pair of skill points, too.

CaptainScarlet attempted an overnight pet-levelling, but someone killed his Berserker about halfway through. Scrolling back, someone called xXFangtasiaXx saying "oh hell sorry" may be relevant. The drake did reach level 32, though.

That was perhaps an omen which I should have heeded, but I went ahead with plans to make use of the last of the half hour "upgrade events", scheduled for 11:00am UK time. As that was 3:00am as far as the Aeria offices were concerned, it was perhaps not surprising that there was no announcement made in-game when the time came for the event to start. A quick trip to the Last Chaos forum ShoutBox informed me that there was not going to be an announcement, but that the event was running automatically, so, trusting fool that I am, I went ahead and tried to upgrade some armour.

I used runes of protection from upgrade boxes, so nothing broke, but nothing much succeeded either; twelve attempts, using runes and heaven stones, did increase one shirt by +1, but a pair of gloves actually ended up down by one, so that I had to use a lucky smelting stone to repair that damage, since luckily it was only a fall from +6 to +5, when a LSS can be used. I never even got on to trying to upgrade that healer armour set a bit more.

GameSage Giovanna_X's guide to upgrading does, I see, recommend using normal smelting stones on +6 to +9 items, I see, as, while they only have a 1 in 3 chance of upgrading an item, unlike a heaven stone's 1 in 2 chance, they don't apparently have the risk of downgrading an item. A rune of protection I is also needed to prevent breakage, but it does seem like something worth remembering, and normal smelts do tend to be cheaper than heaven stones.

The general feeling in the ShoutBox was that it had all been "a waste of effort", and I think I'd go along with that. It meant no time for any actual adventuring in the morning. I did at least have Memree and CaptainScarlet trade her level 1 hatchling for his level 32 drake, so she is now fully equipped pet-wise. Cap then traded the hatchling across to SirPerivale and took the pale blue horse, which soon reached level 25, in exchange, before Cap and Peri both headed down to Merac for a slightly extended lunch break.

After lunch, it seemed a good idea to go back to getting my sorcerer JohnWellington up to level 31, teamed with MistressSabina, in Prokion Temple. I was rather hoping that this wouldn't take the whole afternoon, but it did; it being the weekend there was no visit from ol' Grabby, but a level 23 mage called RIPeices did poke her head in, before wisely deciding that the corridor outside was more her speed, and we did chat generally, and ended up adding each other to our Friends lists. A level 29 mage called daguardian tried a few Orcs by the doorway; at least she said she was level 29 when RIPeices asked, though she wasn't wearing the 30/32 armour set, and thus was very sensible not to come any further in.

The scheduled time for the new "day" to start, with double experience, skill exp, and pet points, was six o'clock, UK time, but as there was nothing else going on, after that morning "upgrade event", someone kindly got into the Aeria office early enough to switch it on at about five to four. Which was lucky, as even with that doubling the speed of experience and skill exp gain, JohnWellington didn't reach level 31, and get his free +10 armour and weapons, until just about my usual food break starting time. So, that is one more goal reached, though, with less urgency, I do also want to get him to level 32 to start learning some specialist sorcerer skills. He logged out, having gained 73.19% experience and 293 skill points, a total helped along by using one of his "beginner" platinum super skill pills for an hour.

MistressSabina had added 19.14%, 204 skill points, and 330 guild points by then, and stayed in Prokion Temple over the food break, while CaptainScarlet logged in and went to Merac to make some use of the double pet experience. He joined Sabina in the Temple after that, doing some fighting, though with his red name he doesn't hit very hard. As he was active, the "run out of memory" thing came up rather more quickly than it did when John just stood quietly in a corner, but with his armour rating he can run back to the room easily enough.

Once MistressSabina hit level 35, the amount of experience got from killing a level 27 Orc Axeman really plunged, so it seemed like a good idea to give her a rest, until a new lower-level companion can be found. By then she had added another 19.65% and 233 skill points, thanks to the double rations, along with 193 more guild points for Discipline.

For a change, it was my level 32 royal knight GALAHAD who logged in to take her place, and hurried to join CaptainScarlet. The target was to get Cap to level 32, and to get him enough skill points to be able to upgrade the Discipline guild to level seven, plus enough for the first few levels of the temple knight passive skill Wall of Belief. And that's what we managed to do - in all Cap gained 45.67% and 307 skill points, while Galahad, coming later, added 13.02% and 95 skill points. With his dual-sword attack he certainly cut through the Orcs very quickly, and even without using a shield his armour was good enough to mean that he didn't take any noticeable damage.

Back in town, MistressDomino transferred the 2,500,000 gold needed for the guild upgrade across to CaptainScarlet, and Sabina temporarily made him the guild master; he went to the north gate's guard captain and arranged the upgrade, using that much gold, 550 of his skill points (for some reason I was thinking it would be 720), and 18,000 guild points, which still leaves us 2,911 towards the next skill, a new "expension" of the guild size that costs 6,000 guild points and 200,000 gold. That's probably as far as I'll want to take Discipline, to go up to level eight would cost about 9% more than this level-up did. But heck, if we find we do have 19,620 guild points going spare eventually, I may well be tempted.

Cap handed the guild master position back to Sabina, who was able to get herself level six of the Secret Study passive mage skill, now that she is level 35; for 150 skill points she has increased her magic attack by 6. It may not be a lot, but it all helps. Cap had enough skill points left for the first four levels of Wall of Belief, spending 111 skill points to add 105 to his physical defence stat. Level five, adding another 50, will cost another 216 skill points, 117 more than he currently has available.

There was still time for a relatively short trip into the great outdoors, so MistressDomina logged in, teamed up with MistressBlaze, and the pair of them headed for the Sphinx types on Auzura-4. I was surprised to find the place deserted - no rogues about at all! Still, MD settled in and killed the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men one by one, so that, by the time the session reached its conclusion, MD had added 9.84% and 2 skill points, plus 842 pet points, which were enough to get her drake up to level 37. MB, as she is twelve levels lower, added rather more experience, percentage-wise - 38.85%, plus a single skill point. MistressDomina also finished adding the bloodseals to her armour set; now she just needs another 55% experience, so that she can start to use her level 57 staff...

SirPerivale and CaptainScarlet quickly headed off to Merac for pet-levelling, to take as much advantage of the double pet experience as possible. When last seen, Cap had got the pale blue horse close to level 26, while Peri had got the new hatchling up to level 6, although its Sympathy, which starts on a new pet at only 50%, was still only 80%. A Pandora's Box was nudging at their heels, but luckily when Cap opened it, it just produced some magical attack minerals, rather than a ravening Beast.

Friday, 28 August 2009

The Mystery Event

It was SirPerivale's turn to do some overnight pet-levelling, and that went pretty well, taking the pale blue horse in his care up to level 23. In the morning CaptainScarlet and his drake joined in for a few hours - but after coffee it was time to get some use out of the still-running "double skill exp" event, so MistressSabina and JohnWellington headed for my usual room in Prokion Temple.

Things proceeded much as ever there; Grabnar turned up at about 1:40, UK time, and was able to show off his newly-acquired devil and knight forms, so he must have reached level 32. There was a red-named rogue called NijaNegra who made a couple of forays into "my" room, just to lure an Orc Sergeant or two outside to be dealt with at her leisure, I think. Otherwise, it was just Sabina, John, and a large number of Orcs.

The morning session was less than two hours; Sabina added 12.46% and 246 guild points, while John added 28.65% and 218 guild points, while they each gained 248 skill points. The afternoon session was a bit longer, so Sabina added 21.92% and 428 guild points, and John added 50.01% and 380 guild points, while they each added 429 skill points. As the Discipline guild had by then reached our target of 18,000 guild points, Sabina then "unlocked" John's experience donation.

The change to a new "day" was due at six o'clock, but they stopped the double skill exp early - and also started advertising a cheap deal on heaven stones in the item mall, mentioning that, as expected, Friday's mystery bonus was an "upgrade event". I continued with MistressSabina and JohnWellington until it was nearly time for the first event anyway, so that Sabina gained another 9.16% and 179 guild points, while John added, at twice his previous speed, 36.54%, which took him comfortably into level thirty. That session only gave them 96 skill points each, but it all helps. Sabina's total number of unused skill points is starting to look quite respectable, in fact, though she doesn't have all her available skills maximised.

The Friday "upgrade event" had been arranged not to run all the time, but just for half an hour every four hours, starting at 7:00pm UK time, with the last one at 11:00 tomorrow morning. Luckily each one was for the full 200%, not random changes between that and 150% and 175%... but the timing isn't really that convenient for European players.

I can't say that I did very well at upgrading, though as I used runes of protection, all I lost was the cost of such things, and a few heaven stones. The runes are expensive - it was annoying, with the alleged double chance of a successful upgrade, to use a whole package of four runes of protection II on Memree's +10 armour, and only get one piece to +11, and attempts to upgrade some assorted boots and headpieces seemed to have a similarly low success rate.

However, I had it easy compared to Ratel. He got his new sword to +12, and was saying that that was probably enough - I agreed, and said that it was time just to use an Extreme Stone, something with a guaranteed success which can only be used once per item. I discovered later though that he'd changed his mind, pushed his luck, and broken the weapon... he broke some armour too, and spent around 80 million in gold, leaving him with very little cash remaining.

I had at least managed to (rather expensively) upgrade the titan level 62 headgear and boots to +8, so that MrChuckNorris can wear them instead of the level 57 ones, until he levels up and can use the level 67 ones. This meant that the level 57 pair could be traded across to MistressDomina, and converted into the mage armour equivalents, so she is now wearing the full 55/57 mage set. I must say that the boots, with a subtle purple hue, complement the rest of the set rather well. As the boots are so rare, one seldom sees the full armour set, which is a shame as it is one of the best-looking mage ones I think.

With all my failures and use of expensive materials, I was feeling a bit dispirited, though not as down as Ratel. With no experience or skill exp bonus running, I decided I might as well take MistressDomina and MistressBlaze out to the Sphinx types for a little while, as something fairly simple to do and to get a few bloodseals added to the new pieces... so off I went.

When I arrived I saw a familiar pair of large, ominous dark wings just around the corner - Kamira was there. I just didn't feel enthusiastic enough to bother to go and get Rage; after all, I couldn't tell now long she had been there, she might well vanish before Rage could teleport in. As she was just around the corner, she wasn't really in my way, so I started to just fight the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men. A rogue called JohnnyDepp appeared after a few minutes - I did say that I wasn't sure how long Kamira had been there, but she may well have logged out by the time I hit "enter". A few minutes later a knight with the suspiciously similar name of JackSparrow rode up, probably from the Tomb of Theos entrance, but by then Kamira had left.

Ratel arrived as I was fighting, and joined the party. After a while I noticed that he was using a Blessed Iris and a 30%-extra elixir - if I'd known we were going to do a quite substantial, full-steam session I might have started something like that too! He mentioned that he'd got killed by the Sphinxsters on Auzura-6 a little earlier, and we soon found that the Auzura-4 types too were causing rather more damage than usual - the set-up for the upgrade events must have affected some stat arrangement or other. However, we also found that it worked both ways, and that the Sphinx types' health bars went down a lot more quickly too, so, as long as we watched our own health carefully, we got along pretty well.

That "extra damage" effect probably means that it was a bit of luck that I didn't log in as Rage and try to kill Kamira. At that stage I wouldn't have known that anything was different, and would probably have got a nasty shock when Kamira attacked rather harder than usual, with a dirt nap to follow...

I stayed a bit later than usual, but I left Ratel to it for the last hour or so of his three-hour Blessed Iris. I did set up SirPerivale, pet-levelling, to provide a solo party, but I think Ratty did actually log out a bit before the Iris was over. I'm sure he got into level 52, though; he plans to freeze his experience (well, to 50%) and do some skill exp farming next.

Peri's horse did level up, reaching level 24; Cap's drake still has some way to go in level 31, however. I did watch their health bars carefully to begin with, but, as they both have at least 250 more defence now than the usual minimum for fighting a Berserker without losing health, there weren't any unpleasant surprises there.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Some Hard Work

I did leave CaptainScarlet levelling his drake overnight, and all went well; since it was already quite a high level, it only levelled up once, but that got it well into level 30, so that it reached level 31 by coffee time. SirPerivale had joined in before breakfast, and his pale blue horse reached level 20 after an hour or so, so things were ticking over nicely.

As well as the continuing double experience, our friends at Aeria Games decided to give each account a free go on the Last Chaos "loot wheel", a kind of online roulette. Click the button, and the wheel rotates, past all sorts of tempting prizes until the pointer usually ends up over a single Rejuvination Potion. This does cost 99 aeria points per spin, almost a dollar in real money, but today there's a rebate deal, where we get our points credited back to us. So, a bit of fun, and I did manage to get a platinum pet experience pill, which is a useful sort of thing to have, especially with all the pet levelling I do.

After coffee, to take advantage of the experience boost, I logged MistressDomina and MistressBlaze in, and took them out to the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men. The place was quite busy, I think at one point there were four other players there - all rogues! This included silentassasin5, as seen yesterday, plus xX10Xx, XXRogueXX, and HeroRogue. Most of them decided to move on to the Tomb of Theos, so I had the place to myself briefly, before SnapDragon arrived. She was still there when I logged out for lunch, allowing my pet-levellers an hour or so in Merac.

MistressDomina had gone up by 18.48%, 2 skill points, and 608 pet points, while despite the 50% experience freeze she has, MistressBlaze added 37.23%, 1 skill point, and 825 guild points for Discipline.

The afternoon session was more of the same. Silentassasin5 was just leaving when I got back, but most of the others put in an appearance at one time or another. A level 60 rogue called Bladester very kindly gave MistressDomina some magic attack minerals she didn't need; she was basically skill point farming, she said, and promised to come to my rescue if I found myself being overwhelmed. I didn't actually see it, but from the "oops" and the farewell, I suspect that the Elite Sphinx Speer Man and his cohorts did actually manage to kill her. It can happen to the best of us.

MistressDomina had started a three-hour 30% experience boosting potion, since it stacks with the "event" boost, so that's how long I stayed, generally avoiding the Elite unless he attacked me. In all MD went up 47.49%, taking her neatly into level 52, plus 2 skill points and 1395 pet points. MistressBlaze levelled up too, reaching level 40, adding 78.87% experience, 3 skill points, and 1805 more guild points.

The "new day" was due to start at six o'clock in the evening, UK time, and this time we were promised double skill exp, so it was time for a change of emphasis. After SirPerivale and CaptainScarlet did some pet-levelling during the food break, MistressSabina, my level 33 witch, and JohnWellington, my level 28 sorcerer, logged in - and headed for Prokion Temple, on Auzura-3.

I got there at about twenty to six, as it seemed like a good idea to reserve my room before the change from double experience to double skill exp began, as it is such a good place for skill point farming, if you are at the right level. It was almost ten past by the time the announcement and the change came, but a little double experience never hurts, and as both Sabina and John are on the "50% freeze" to donate half their experience gain to the Discipline guild, they didn't exactly race ahead on that.

The session lasted slightly over four hours; I did have three visitors, including a rogue who did attack at least one Orc in the room before going invisible, but nobody stayed around and gave me any problems. By the end of the session, both my characters had levelled up, and gained 580 skill points each. MistressSabina had added 37.69%, and contributed 609 guild points, while JohnWellington had added 93.03%, along with 533 guild points.

All these guild point contributions mean that the Discipline guild is now within a thousand of the eighteen thousand needed for the next guild upgrade; that also needs some gold, plus some skill points, which will probably be donated by... well, I was thinking that MistressBlaze would be the one to supply them, but I'll need to look at the various stats carefully before committing myself on that.

As usual, SirPerivale and CaptainScarlet took over the computers after that, for a little light pet-levelling. Peri's pale blue horse moved on into level 21, while the drake that Cap is looking after is more than a quarter of the way through level 31 now.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Indoors and Out

SirPerivale and CaptainScarlet did manage to do perhaps three hours of pet-levelling in the morning, but after coffee it was time for MistressSabina and Memree to head for Prokion Temple on Auzura-3, to take advantage of the 50% extra experience and skill exp, which were still running from last night. It isn't really a huge advantage, that particular combination; some of my characters will benefit from extra experience, and some from extra skill exp, but all a combination of the two does is speed things up a bit.

Anyway, the action in the back room at Prokion Temple was the usual kind of thing. My lunch break was again a bit shorter than usual, and Sabina and Memree waited patiently in the room there for me to return. Grabnar arrived at around ten to two, accompanied by an archer who didn't say anything (except one speech that was just dashes and quotation marks); she didn't stay very long, and he had to leave after half an hour, presumably to get ready for school. Finally, not long after three in the afternoon, UK time, Memree reached level 31, and the +10 armour set and the two weapons arrived in her inventory. In all Memree had added 154.13% experience, and another 372 skill points.

MistressSabina set Memree's experience gain to 50%, now that she had reached her target - which means that all Discipline guild members are on that, now, since we need more guild points. Then Memree logged out - and my sorcerer-in-training, JohnWellington, logged in.

As his current less-than-impressive armour only gives John 369 physical defence, and he doesn't have a horse to supply the attack and defence "hauling" buffs, getting him from the Prokion Temple entrance hall along the corridors and through various rooms full of Orcs, to join Sabina, was a bit tricky. I used a potion of haste, and three small health potions along the way, but he got to his destination safely.

The "day" was scheduled to change at 6:00 pm, so until then, except for another shorter-than-average food break, MistressSabina was able to level up John a bit. The announcement of the change was on time - but it was seven or eight minutes past the hour before the bonus was actually changed to double experience, with skill exp returning to normal.

JohnWellington had added 50.58% experience by then (with his experience gain set to 50%), and gained 182 guild points for Discipline, plus 158 skill points for himself, so he is now in level 28. When we have our day of double skill exp, we will work on him some more, we might even "unfreeze" his experience gain for an hour or two.

MistressSabina had added 44.44% experience with Memree, and another 19.46% with John; like Memree, she had gained 372 skill points while teamed up with her, followed by 3 points while John was on his way, and 158 with John. She had also gained 695 guild points in all.

Once the "day" had changed, it was time to leave Prokion Temple, so instead, moving across to Auzura-4, it was MistressDomina and MistressBlaze who teamed up, and headed for the Sphinx types, out in the sunshine.

Ratel was already there, and very kindly teamed up, even though MistressBlaze wouldn't be doing anything to earn her share of the experience. So, MD and Ratel settled into their routine there. We did get other people coming along from time to time, but Ratel's handy teleport skill meant we got our share of the Elite Sphinx Speer Man. Ratel let one rogue into our party to share in the buffs, and then leave, a few times, but we didn't want to enlarge the party, three was enough.

Ratel used a number of potions, including one of the 30% experience boost ones, which did "stack" with the double experience we were getting, so that he got about 825k experience per Elite, compared to MD's 625k. That ran out before the end of the session, so that MD kept a narrow lead over him. Ratel mentioned that he had been warned not to use a Blessed Iris today, since it would not stack with the event.

One visitor we had was Kamira; luckily nobody else was around at that time, so MD was able to log out, and Rage was able to come and despatch Kamira with her usual efficiency, despite being attacked by the Elite Speer Man and a couple of his friends at the same time. There weren't any rare drops, though.

Ratel left a little after nine, and the rogue SnapDragon, who'd been fighting alongside us in a friendly way, left as well, so MD was soloing there for a while - just long enough for MistressBlaze to level up. MB added 100.13%, reaching level 39, and also gained a single skill point. Level 38 was certainly a lot quicker than her Prokion Temple levels, particularly the later ones. That session added 1899 guild points, as well, which can't be bad. MistressDomina also gained a skill point, along with 1087 pet points and 44.47% experience.

Back in town, MistressBlaze was able to learn the level 38 passive skill Robe Mastery, for 310 skill points, increasing her physical defence stat by 125.

I logged Memree back in; she had enough Orc Ornaments in her inventory to do the quest involving them as soon as she was given it. She also spent some skill points, and made the change to Cleric. In fact, she spent all 1683 skill points that she had saved up, maximising most of the useful skills, though there are still two or three which could do with having further levels, and that's before we start looking at the Fast Heal and Magic Protection skills she can learn at level 32, which need 589 skill points between them. So, there's a lot more "sp farming" in Memree's future, though now she has the +10 armour, that removes the urgency from things.

SirPerivale and CaptainScarlet were then able to return to Merac, and their pet-levelling. Peri's blue horse was moving well into level 19 at log-out time, while Cap's drake was a little more than halfway through level 29.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

A Busy Day in the Temple

CaptainScarlet did attempt to pet-level overnight, but some pest came along and killed the Berserker, so perhaps half the time was wasted. Still, that still left a few hours of progress for the drake. And SirPerivale rejoined him before breakfast, for perhaps three hours work on the pale blue pony - or pale blue horse, now.

This is liable to be a comparatively short report, as really today was one big session rather than a number of separate adventures to talk about. After coffee, I headed for Prokion Temple on Auzura-3..and, really, that's where I stayed until it was time to log out in the late evening, and give Cap and Peri another hour or so of pet-levelling.

MistressBlaze teamed up with Memree, to move her on a bit - and she certainly achieved that objective. They stayed there over a slightly shorter than average lunch break, and then continued through the afternoon session. The sorcerer Grabnar did drop in for about twenty minutes around two o'clock, UK time - for him it was about seven in the morning, Rocky Mountain Time.

Throughout the day we had the 50% bonus to skill exp gain running, and that continued until six in the evening, at least as far as the UK is concerned. And promptly at six, before in fact they announced it, the third day of "Bonus Week" kicked in, keeping the extra skill exp, and adding a 50% boost to experience gain too.

My timing was pretty good, as MistressBlaze was within a percent or two of reaching level 38 by then. Once she reached that, she really was a bit high to get much from the Orcs of Prokion Temple, so her session was over. In all she had gone up 25.51%, gained 819 guild points for the Discipline guild, and added a rather useful 613 skill points.

Memree, my healer-in-training, had by then gone up 378.03%, going from level 23 to level 27....and added 612 skill points. MistressBlaze traded across her armour and accessories to Memree, and then logged out - after that long a session, it was no surprise that even the newer computer then threw up a "run out of memory" error then.

So then my level 32 witch MistressSabina logged in, and hurried to Prokion Temple, and my favouriye back room, where Memree traded the best mage armour and the three accessories across. And, well, Sabina continued where MB had left off

Ratel did get in touch, to congratulate MistressDomina on reaching level 51; he congratulated MistressBlaze on reaching level 38 when I told him, too. However, he was as usual in Auzura-4, so we couldn't make a party.

MistressSabina's weapon is a witch-type wand, which doesn't hit as hard as a wizard-type staff - but it is a level 33 one, while the staff is level 29. Her Flame Storm, based on her weapon's attack, is therefore slightly less effective than MB's is, but the faster hitting with her regular attack probably compensates for that, and that extra speed makes her a faster pet-leveller.

Sabina did reach level 33 later in the evening, which meant that the Orc Axemen, at level 27, are now blue-named for her. So I decided to unequip her drake then; it may be useful for loot-collecting, but with the potential pet points drastically reduced, it didn't seem worth having to watch out for it being attacked, and without having to worry about it losing health, faster and more ambitious mobbing of the Orcs was possible.

By the end of the evening, MistressSabina had gone up 48.59% in experience, even with the 50% experience freeze, taking her comfortably into level 33. She and Memree had each added 366 skill points, and Sabina's drake had added 1826 pet points before it was unequipped. Memree had added another 206.38% experience, moving on to level 29.

So, Memree's total skill point gain for the day was 978 skill points, which certainly means that she can start learning some more skills - she only had 333 at the start of the day. And moving from level 23 up to 29 is rather useful progress.

By the end of the evening, SirPerivale had got the pale blue horse into level 17 - Cap might just get the drake into level 29. As there is the usual routine server maintenance shut-down scheduled for 1:00am UK time, there is no point in trying to pet-level overnight, so it looks as if I'll be saving some electricity there. We just need to keep our fingers crossed that the "Player Appreciation" event continues, so that a nice set of free +10 healer armour for Memree is still to be had when she hits level 31.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Today is Yesterday

It's not something I'd want to do, or be able to do, often, but both SirPerivale and CaptainScarlet pet-levelled through the night, so that when I checked in the morning the starvation-bars of both Cap's drake and Peri's pale blue pony were down to 10%. It was lucky I didn't oversleep! That certainly got the new pony off to a good start, gaining about nine levels - the drake gained two levels, as well.

The talk of a day each of 50% extra experience, skill exp and so on sounds simple in theory, but in fact the "day" doesn't change at midnight, which, for PST on America's West Coast, would mean 8:00 am in the UK... it seems that it changes when the Aeria people get into the office at ten in the morning, which for the UK is six in the evening.

So, for most of the time today it was still "yesterday", which meant 50% extra experience. Which meant that it seemed like a good idea not to head for Prokion Temple after coffee, for a change; instead MistressDomina logged in instead of Peri, made a solo party with Cap, and headed for those Sphinx types out in Dratan's south-western corner.

It wasn't a very long session, but the main thing was that adding 9.84% experience got MD to level 51, so that she could wear the two main pieces of the 55/57 mage armour set. After all the black leather costumes, it makes a change to actually slip into something purple, and, well, a bit more feminine. 3 skill points got added too, and 312 pet points. I stayed just long enough for one armour piece to be ready to accept a bloodseal gem, and then headed back to town.

After lunch. MistressDomina went back, and took MrChuckNorris with her. It isn't worth her reaching her next level, 52, if Chuck doesn't reach 62, as until then he needs to wear the headgear and boots from the 55/57 set, since we skipped one set. He does actually have the level 62 boots and headgear he could use instead, but they are only +5, so not as good as the level 57 +8 ones...

The place was a bit busier, with the rogue MissNatashA hard at work, and other people coming and going. There was a team of four people from one guild, taking on the Elite Sphinx Speer Man... something went wrong for them, though, and I looked round to see three of them dead, and their archer taking cover behind the fence, so I finished it off for them. The big guy does hit hard; he may give three times as much experience, but boy does he make you work for it.

After a while I got to thinking that, with the 50% extra experience still running, it was perhaps a good time to start a new character, with a view to getting them to level 31 over the next week or so. So, once MD had added another 8.86% experience, 4 skill points, and 447 pet points, and Chuck had got 5.46% and 3 skill points, they left the scene.

CaptainScarlet logged back in, and was soon in a solo party, while he pet-levelled, with a new healer called Memree - a name I did use over on the Cariae server, but just for a minor mage. With the 50% extra experience, getting from level 1 in the starter dungeon to level 7 out with the berserk wolves didn't take long, which is the first stage.

SirPerivale's previous recent levelling efforts had got him almost halfway through level 22, so the next item on the agenda was to take him to Prokion Temple to die a few times - after he'd invested his 6 unused skill points in a minor skill. The Orc Sergeants in a room just off the main hallway were only too happy kill Peri, who lost 3% experience each time, until he was back to 0% of the way into level 22.

After that, SirPerivale and Memree teamed up to fight the Berserkers, and a few Bandits, in Merac, and by the time that my food break was due, Memree had reached level 14. Peri then unequipped his sword and went back to pet-levelling, joined by Cap, until I was back.

By six o'clock, when the 50% extra experience ended, Memree was approaching halfway through level 16, so my timing was pretty good. That last half level may have taken a few extra minutes, but probably added an extra skill point, since the 50% skill exp boosts had now started. By the time he logged out, Peri had added 41.22% experience and 3 skill points, as well as helping his pale blue pony up a level.

Now that she was level 17, Memree borrowed the mount that CaptainScarlet was storing, and rode out to Prokion Temple, to get its location onto her memory scroll - stopping at Shuraine's oasis along the way of course. She also borrowed a 20/22 healer armour set, and a level 21 bow.

My level 32 witch MistressSabina borrowed the best level 30/32 mage costume, and the three accessories, from MistressBlaze, and then teamed up with Memree - to head for the Auzura-3 Prokion Temple, where, thankfully, my favourite back room was ready and waiting.

It was Sabina's task to get Memree from level 17 to 22, which she managed reasonably quickly. They each got 188 skill points, and Sabina added 19.11%, along with 1077 pet points.

As I'd done with JohnWellington, at that point Sabina traded across the best mage armour, and the three accessories, to Memree, and logged out; MistressBlaze then logged in, and hurried to Prokion Temple. Memree traded the items across to her, and the Orc-bashing continued until it was time to finish for the day. MistressBlaze added 5.96%, so is almost three-quarters of the way through level 37 now. She and Memree each added 140 more skill points, while Memree went up 157.54%, taking her comfortably into level 23 now.

Memree completed the Guardian system quickly enough, anyway, gaining her healer "event weapon" bow - so that's another ten reputation points for Kaerella. It may take a while to get her, and JohnWellington, to level 31, so let's hope that the "Player Appreciation" event doesn't end any time soon.

By the time he logs out tonight, SirPerivale will have got that new pale blue pony most of the way through level 15, so it will probably become a larger-size horse, at level 16, before breakfast tomorrow. I'd better not try to level through the night again, that older computer needs some rest I'm sure. Cap's drake is comfortably into level 27 now, and he may well try another overnight session.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Bonus Week Begins

CaptainScarlet's horse may have been in its final level before it can be transformed into a level 37 horse, but level 36 is a pretty long one, so an early start seemed like a good idea, so that by lunchtime we were more than halfway there. SirPerivale did a bit of levelling on his drake, too, until after coffee.

This is, it seems, to be a special week in Last Chaos, so that today we got 50% extra experience all day. Tomorrow it will be 50% extra skill exp, then on Tuesday we get 50% extra for both, followed by double experience on Wednesday, double skill exp on Thursday, and on Saturday double experience, skill exp, and pet points. Friday's bonus is as yet unrevealed, but I doubt if I'm the only one hoping for an "upgrade event", with heaven stones twice as likely to give an item that extra plus.

After coffee I decided to continue where I'd left off last night, and took SirDarth to Prokion Temple on Auzura-4, in a solo party with Cap. Darth was still carrying one last super skill pill and skill pill, so I activated them, to give a 115% boost to his skill exp gain. This meant that, at level 31, each Orc Sergeant gave 9460 skill exp, and each Orc Axeman gave 7095.

The hour gave 204 skill points, and with the 50% boost 26% experience gain, but I kept going after that for a little under another hour, meaning that the whole session brought in 48.43% experience and 286 skill points, plus 1946 pet points. Knights definitely level up pets faster than mages do.

SirPerivale rejoined CaptainScarlet over lunch; XXRoidRageXX was there too, and the movements of our target Berserkers meant that, on my screen at least, Cap and Roid were fighting side by side. He had a new pale blue pony, which I happened to see reach level 16, and become a horse. As I was preparing to leave, a Pandora's Box appeared, and as it was a bit close to all of us, I didn't risk Peri opening it, I briefly changed to MistressDomina - so she was the one who opened the Box and picked up the five moonstones.

The afternoon session was still in Prokion Temple, though this time on Auzura-3, and with MistressBlaze and JohnWellington. I can't claim that I played 100% flat out all the time, but I did keep going. I had assumed that the 50% all-day experience boost was instead of the two-hour "Tea-Time" specials, but a 50% skill exp boost was announced at three o'clock, UK time, which was rather useful. I didn't stay in the Temple for the last half hour of it, but even so MistressBlaze added 10.84% experience and 223 skill points, plus 351 guild points, while JohnWellington gained 55.56%, the same number of skill points, and 278 guild points.

When Peri and Cap got back to Merac, we found RoidRage dead on the ground, killed by a Pandora's Beast - so MistressDomina was called out again, to get rid of it, before the pet-levelling could properly restart. He was up on his feet again before too long, I hope the Beast didn't kill his pet first, that's extra annoying. It was lucky that Cap wasn't there when the Beast was on the prowl, his horse, at level 36, would have been expensive to unseal. It is one of the perils of pet-levelling, prowling Pandora's Beasts - or people opening a box close to you and then running off when a Beast is released.

After the food break MistressDomina headed out to the Sphinx types, and had only been there about ten minutes when VinDiesel got in touch. He asked to come and join me, which seemed a good idea, so we were soon killing the Sphinx Speer Men, and the Elite, at a great speed. Unfortunately after less than ten minutes he got called away at home, but it was fun while it lasted. It was lucky I'd not been in the Tomb of Theos, as if he'd joined me there he'd not have had time to get anything like full value for his admission fee.

The rest of the session there was just solo, and by the time the Quiz was approaching, MD had added 23.16%, plus 6 skill points and 776 pet points. Ratel came online, first as his titan Argoth, who needed to die a few times to get his experience figure down a bit, as he needed to get some more skill points before levelling up. I suggested the Forgotten Temple, since you would respawn very close to where you died, so the whole business of multiple deaths would be pretty quick, and he took my advice.

We met up in the Auzura-2 Quiz Room, and this week everything went smoothly; most people survived to the end, with just a few people lost along the way. We all remembered that GM JediMike does the Old Skool Treasure Hunt, even. So, Kaerella, Ratel and MistressDomina all ended up with the full fifteen heaven stones, as well as the ten tool aids and ten moonstones.

Afterwards, SirDarth transferred a blue pan flute he had over to CaptainScarlet, who took it to Lorraine and then on to Jajan in Dratan, to get a level one pale blue pony. Cap then headed for Merac, and got the last 500 or so pet points to get his horse to level 37 - I managed to stop the points score right on that, which looks tidier I think. Cap then equipped the new pale blue pony for a few minutes, while MistressDomina was busy again with the Sphinx types.

The session with the Sphinx Fighters and their friends was a fairly short one, but it got MD another 10.55%, 2 more skill points, and 334 pet points. A temple knight turned up and soloed the Elite Sphinx Speer Man a few times, and a mage who can only have been in the mid-twenties made two attempts to battle a Sphinx Fighter, dying both times. It's not a good plan to go toe to toe with them in that level of armour - but I suppose it was the "lag effect" one gets there, when they appear to stop well away from one, but then suddenly are right on top of you, that got her.

After that, it was time for both pet levellers to be on, so Cap exchanged the level 1 blue pony for Peri's drake, which was well into level 23 now, and also transformed the horse into a mount, which at the moment he has custody of, until I work out which character it should go to. It wasn't long before the drake reached level 24, and the pony reached level 2. Progress comes quickly at the early levels.