Sunday, 31 January 2010

The Lair of the Elite Sphinx Fighter

The pet-levelling didn't continue overnight, the game had been running so long without a break on the older computer that things obviously needed a break. Not long before logging out I did actually see a ks-er in action - a knight called Erpiubald darted in, killed my death mask lancer, and hurried away. "Naughty", I commented, but got no reply.

SirGalahad started again fairly early in the morning, and soon got his drake to level 19. After coffee Rage and RedRyder made their usual trip to Prokion Temple on Tairen-1; that pesky rogue GIOURAS was around for a little while, taking what orc fighters she could at one end of the room, but she left before too long. As I'd had my coffee a bit early, my pair of rogues had enough time to get 202 skill points each; Rage went up by 10.51% and 86 guild points, while RedRyder added 3.69% and 14 guild points.

SirGalahad was back in action in time for the lunch break, and the drake reached level 20 just after lunch, despite a couple of ks-ings which I assume were down to a rogue called Cecil, of a guild called DorkSociety, or something similar...I may have got that first vowel wrong.

On the newer computer, Cariae's Kaerella logged in. Since she is now level 54, it seemed a good time to do her quest to collect seven of the "Egg of Crazy Dragon" quest item from the dragons in Dratan desert, which proved simple enough; in the quest part of the inventory they look remarkably like the rare pink drake eggs. Killing the necessary dragons, about half of which dropped an egg, added just 0.19%, but the quest reward added 2.73%, as well as 8 skill points. According to the Wet Paint LC wiki there ought to be a level 54 quest available now as well, "Apology from Goblin Commander", but it doesn't seem available from the miner trainer, at least not yet. It may rely on having completed a previous goblin quest, which hadn't been added to the game when Kae was the appropriate level, I suppose.

After that, Kaerella teleported down to the ravenous larva spot she had previously memorised, since she was now their level. I killed a few and moved along, exploring, and soon found the elite ravenous larva, which, as with the akane giants, gave three times as much experience and slightly more skill exp - it also hit pretty hard sometimes. Still, it made for a productive afternoon session, which ended with Kaerella up, in all, by 13.16%, 119 skill points and 1305 pet points.

With SirGalahad still pet-levelling, the evening session wasn't exactly what I had been planning. Gamer had been saying that she needed to buy new armour, so, logged in on Rage, I was looking through Roy's merchant mart stock, on Tairen-1, to see if there were, for example, any level 47 boots for sale - and there weren't. Now, Kaerella in the afternoon had picked up two or three pairs of them, and also level 46 shirts, from the ravenous larvas...a shame she is on a different server!

Gamer was just next to me when I finished scanning the last page of boots, so I invited her to join an equal-type party, and led her to Dratan. Then I led her south towards the ravenous larvas. There is a colony of them that isn't quite as far south as the ones Kae was fighting over on Cariae, though they don't have an elite one there - still, these were good enough for our purposes. Unfortunately, the first dozen or so we fought didn't drop any armour, and Gamer seemed to lose interest - or rather, she had other things on her mind.

So, Gamer said "come", and she led me west across Dratan, threading our way between the level 55 dragons, and then the level 59 arcane golems, until we entered the grassy higher-level south-west area, and were running past the various kinds of wafe, which, thankfully, are not aggressive. And then we encountered the first of the sphinx fighters and sphinx speer men, and either ran past or fought one or two to create a gap, as appropriate - and were soon at the elite sphinx speer man location, which I added to Rage's memory scroll. I told Gamer to do the same, and to make my meaning clear dropped a scroll for her.

Gamer didn't want to stay there long, and moved slightly further, still fighting the sphinx types as necessary. We met another rogue there, who accused Gamer of using a speed hack, but I said that she'd not been running as fast as me on the way there, innocently. I did wonder later if there was anything in the accusation, as Gamer's attacks seemed pretty swift - but witches have skills, hopefully it was just legitimate buffs.

We moved on - I thought we were heading for the entrance to the Tomb of Theos, and when we paused I made a new "on way to Tomb" memory scroll save point, but in fact we were too far east for that, one would have needed to take a different route from the elite speer man. Gamer had in fact brought me to the elite sphinx fighter, a spot which I think she had already found and memorised - one that I've never ever been to before on any server.

So, we settled in there, starting with Gamer on level 41 and Rage on level 33, and ending, when the Quiz approached, each two levels higher. I can't say that I planned to level Rage up, she was supposed to do some more work in Prokion Temple with RedRyder - something she ought still to be able to do, just about (albeit not with the orc fighters, I suspect), in fact it was lucky I didn't have Elizabeth's Enhancement on. I could have gone back to town and got that buff, but I didn't want to level up twice as fast...

It is frustrating not being able to communicate properly with Gamer. She was using a blessed iris, for double experience for three hours, and I tried to convince her "blessed iris bad :( - Elizabeth's Enhancement good :)", but it didn't work. It wasn't easy getting her to come to the Quiz, but at least that part I managed.

We fought the elite sphinx fighter and its accompanying level 64 sphinx speer men and level 63 sphinx fighters, and I think, although eight levels lower, Rage did her share, supplying the horse buffs and using Snare on the elite, and whenever else things got complex. Gamer seemed to be pretty good at using her skills, and if ever I got into trouble with a newly-respawned fighter it would immediately get Curse on it to slow it right down...and when one respawned on Gamer, I'd quickly use Snare, although of course that only works 70% of the time. I did get my health knocked down a bit a few times, but generally the usual advantage of fighting alongside a mage held up, monsters always seem to prefer to attack them first. We did get a weapon and a piece of armour dropped, which I let Gamer have, at her rate of progress she'll soon be able to use them. I got the moonstone boxes, and a tool aid or two, plus half the gold of course. And Rage had added a single skill point, 1075 pet points, and 147.03% experience.

I was so engrossed in our team-up that I didn't give SirGalahad enough attention, and somehow a death mask soldier got involved, and killed the drake, which by then was well into level 21; that is something that can happen there, but getting it "unsealed" at that level only cost 61,740 gold, which has to be a fairly minor penalty.

Gamer and I continued until Rage reached level 35; by then SirGalahad had logged out, and Kaerella had headed for the Tairen-2 quiz room, so I gave Gamer strict instructions to meet Rage on T-2, and escorted her to the domain merchant, and into the quiz room. The next thing was to get her to "alt + z > options > enter chat > yes", and use the "W" key to move around inside the room, but, though she did have to relog and return, she managed to do that, and then clicked on me, to be led around during the quiz itself.

Before the quiz began there were stern warnings about "exploits", and I did spot [GM]Stratos in the room briefly, checking us out; the gamesage Airadella was in our room too. Whoever was running the quiz entered the coding command into chat rather than whatever their version of "the console" is, but things got moving soon after that, and, thankfully, there were no new or hard questions. We all tend to know by now that Teleporter Nadil is in Lust Trum, Dratan has five oases, and that Billionaire Jiore's name kind of rhymes with "yee-haw", rather than being spelt "joire", so that there were few casualties along the way, and almost everyone emerged triumphant with their tool aids, moonstones, and, most importantly, heaven stones.

I was so relieved that I bought Gamer's heaven stones for a million each, though my most recent selling price is actually 950k, hoping that she would feel that she had enough gold now. Though, I must report, she still seems to be hoping for further generosity from her fellow guildies. I must try to get her along to the Tairen low-level Mad Monster Spawn on Wednesday, so that she can pick up some loot there.

Rage got her level 35 skill, which was a first level of the passive skill Reinforce 2, increasing her attack by 62 for 150 skill points, and all the heaven stones etc got transferred across to MistressDomino, who then went into merchant mode - though with people selling off their newly-gained HS quickly at bargain prices, she is unlikely to sell those tonight. SirGalahad, after getting his drake unsealed, went back to Maargadum Jail, so the drake should be well into level 22 by the time he logs out for the night.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Last Chaos Turbo

SirGalahad did continue working on levelling his new dragon hatchling overnight; he got ks'd twice, leaving him just standing there without a death mask lancer to fight, but even so the hatchling had reached level 12 by the morning, and level 14 by coffee time. This meant that even without visiting the animal trainer, Gal's pet had learnt Roar, Charm, Wing Shaking, and Fire Blowing, which are all "social" type skills, for fun and display only. As there hadn't been a chance to visit Randol yet, there were still 13 unused pet stat points, and no levels at all of Armour Increase, but SirGalahad, with his armour and his own defence skills, was able to carry on fine without that.

After coffee though Gal had some time off, while Rage and RedRyder made their usual trip to Tairen-1's Prokion Temple which, it being the morning, or terribly early or late in the USA, was nice and quiet. By the time lunch was approaching, both my rogues had gained 130 skill points; Rage had gone up by 6.85% and 56 guild points, while RedRyder was up by 2.40% and 9 guild points.

While SirGalahad continued his work on the dragon hatchling, for the afternoon session I decided to work on Sarissa's Kaerella, who reached level 15 at the last low-level MMS there. A trip to Velpist Temple in Juno started things off. A sneaky level 22 rogue called XSweetyX came up, activated player-killer mode, and asked what level I was, to which I replied that I was 15 - so she recruited me into a party, and killed a few of the local corpse rangers and skeleton soldiers until I levelled up. At which point, unsurprisingly, she ended the party, and killed me, since level 16 is the first level at which pk-ing works. Ah well, I needed to return to town anyway!

That had taken place in the room outside the "torn book of life" final room in the Temple, off to the left as one enters, so when I returned, after doing some outdoors quests, I headed for the straight-ahead room until I levelled up again. Going back to the scene of the crime a few minutes later, though, that particular rogue had left, and I was able to level a bit more there, and get the last of the four "cursed bones" items needed for a later quest.

After that, it was time for a trip out to Prokion Temple in Dratan; I had slight misgivings when I saw a level 90 (or more) night shadow there, but he was recruiting for his guild rather than going on a killing spree. I decided that I didn't need "GooGooGaGa" floating over my head, and anyway Kae isn't really going to be active enough over on Sarissa to justify being in a guild. I concentrated on killing level 17 ghouls and level 19 mummies; a knight called Maicin did attack me, but he approached, stood there, and switched pk mode on, rather than running in and catching me unawares, so I managed to escape back to the lobby. I fought over on the other side for a few minutes, and when I returned, he had gone, so I didn't have any further problems. A titan called badsanta twice kindly provided me with the Battle Roar buff, and two mages buffed me at different times, the second one, judging by her armour, pretty high level.

When I reached level 20, it was time to go back to Randol and do the new quests, including getting the special "neckless" accessory. Luckily, opening Lorraine's level 18 treasure chest got me a level 21 +4 bow, which should improve Kae's attack. So, for the next low-level Mad Monster Spawn, things should be a little bit easier.

By the time SirGalahad's dragon hatchling was 24 hours old, it had reached level 16, and grown from hatchling to drake. The plan will be to exchange pets with Rage at some point, and then level up hers a bit too, before passing that one on to RedRyder. They sure are pampered, poor Kae on Sarissa doesn't have a hatchling at all, as she has managed to reach level 20 without ever picking up a drake egg.

Aftre the early evening food break, it was the level 53 Cariae cleric incarnation of Kaerella who swung into action. The Last Chaos website had declared that we'd be having a special "Turbo" event today, with either 50% extra skill exp, experience, or pet points for four hours, starting from six UK time. It had also said we'd be told which of those it would be a day in advance, but in the end it remained a mystery until after 6:15, UK time, when the announcement came up that 50% extra skill exp had been switched on.

Whichever 50% they had chosen, Kae on Cariae seemed a good character to benefit from it; as it stacks with the Elizabeth's Enhancement 100% extra, it took the skill exp per akane giant up from 2200 to 2750, which certainly helped. Before too long Kae levelled up, which decreased the skill exp as she was no longer the akane giants' exact level, but 2475 per kill was still very nice to get. After two hours the GMs announced that they were adding 50% extra experience as well "for the final hour" - but they did keep going for the full four hours.

Kaerella logged out a little before the end, but it was still a pretty long session, which included a trip back to Randol to restart the Elizabuff when it ran out after three hours. I did actually have a neighbour out in the desert for a while, a knight called DemonSlayer, but he generally left me to look after the area around the elite akane giant. Kae went up by 27.25%, 292 skill points, and 2677 pet points, which made for a pretty good Turbo boost.

SirGalahad kept going, and that drake he's working on ought to be pretty close to level 19 by the time he logs out tonight. It is very handy that for some reason those "run out of memory" errors don't come up anything like as quickly as they did a month or two back, that saves a lot of runs back down through Maargadum Jail.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Steady Progress

It had crossed my mind yesterday to have a small grumble about the unusual timing of the main sequence of "Storm the Castle" events; the website calendar had got them starting at midnight, UK time, for Cariae and Katar, followed by Hatzring and Sarissa at 00:30, with Auzura bringing up the rear at 1:00am for the UK, or 2:00am for most of Europe - and Auzura of course is meant to be the server that times its events for European players.

However, just as I was about to vanish for a nice mug of hot chocolate, at about two minutes to eleven, I saw on SirGalahad's screen an announcement that the events had been brought forward by an hour, which meant that Cariae and Katar's events were about to start. Without stopping to think, really, I logged in my level 31 rogue Memree on Katar. I could have gone with my level 101 archer Barbarienne on Cariae for a change, but my usual feeling is that I need the loot more on Katar...

The event had just started when I teleported in, and people had cleared the initial bridge, and were at the gateway into the main courtyard fighting the zamaras and anubis spear men, so Memree quickly joined the fighting, using Snare. We got into the courtyard, and set to work clearing out the remaining anubis spear men, hell-otuu, dark harpies, and so on - and in about ten minutes, Merac Castle had been purged of its unwelcome inhabitants.

[GM]JediMike's events may be short, but he always comes through for us with generous amounts of loot, spawned back outside, so I grabbed my share, and by a quarter past was able to log out. Still, while I got on with the hot chocolate and other preparations for bed, I couldn't help thinking that, while I couldn't really contribute much on Hatzring or Sarissa, it wouldn't be too awfully late a night if I turned up on Auzura-4 at midnight for a few minutes.

So, just about ready for bed, I was back at the keyboard as midnight approached, with my level 73 rogue Rage ready outside Merac Castle on Auzura-4. "Are you guys ready?" JediMike asked, and when answered in the affirmative, the event began.

Rage started off by tanking a swarm of male assassinbugs; they may be green-named to her, at level 70, but it was quite a swarm, so I used a couple of health potions, and was glad of some assistance. Then there were the thorny mantises from Strayana (level 113), death knights, baals, jumping devils - and then the gateway defended by the zamaras and spear men, by which time our proper tanks were in action, and I was more providing artillery damage and Snares.

The attack was successfully over by a quarter past, and once again [GM]JediMike was extremely generous with the loot outside...and then it was time for me to log out.

I did however leave SirGalahad in action overnight, since he seemed to be doing well and hadn't been disturbed for a while. He did okay, taking the horse on well until probably about six, when he got a disconnection. He was back in action from breakfast time, though, passing legendarynoob fighting beast flyers on level three as Gal ran to his favourite death mask lancer. All that work meant that excellent progress had been made through level 36.

Legendarynoob came down a little later and started to pet-level on the same lancer, which was a bit noob-ish; I think he went afk then, I had to break aggro and move off to attack a different lancer or he'd have been left standing doing nothing when the one lancer died.

My Discipline guildie Gamer was online during the morning; she soon reached level 27, and was asking what the best way was to earn money. With her minimal command of English, it was difficult, but I gave her the link to the website page for the next Sunday Quiz. When I checked the guild list a little later, to see if she had moved from Juno to Prokion Temple, I saw that she was actually visiting Maargadum Jail, which isn't a very hospitable place for someone that level.

Gamer's 50% experience gain cap was helping the Discipline supply of guild points to grow rather nicely, so that at last we had enough points for the 0th level of "expension of the guild", for 2000 guild points and 200,000 gold. That got the maximum number of members up to 35, which I'm sure is more than enough - the next item on the agenda would be to get the guild from level 6 to 7.

I decided that I really ought to help Gamer, it is after all pretty brave to play a game in a language you don't follow - so Rage looked through Roy's merchant mart for 30/32 armour pieces. I managed to find all five bits at +11 for on average a little under 1.5 million in effect I upgraded Rage's set from +10 to +11, and then got her old +10 set changed into mage armour, which I traded across to Gamer. As she said her previous set was +1, that ought to make her fighting a lot easier. I really don't know if Gamer thinks it is a loan or a gift, but hey, Rage's armour is upgraded by the equivalent of five extreme stones for less than eight million, which doesn't seem unreasonable even at Tairen prices.

Also just before lunch, SirGalahad succeeded in getting his horse to level 37; so, he was able to log out for a well-earned rest for a few hours.

After the break I traded across a +15 level 29 mage staff, over on Auzura, from Memree to RedRider, who got Collector Ryl to change it into the crossbow she needed. And then the afternoon session starred the Discipline Duo, Rage and RedRyder, back on Tairen-1. It seems that Prokion Temple does start to get busy in the afternoons, normally it's the morning when Rage and Red go there - I had an annoying rogue called GIOURAS sneaking in to attack some of the orc fighters towards the end, which slowed me down a little, but Rage ended up by 10.73% (after adding just 0.20% and 1 sp at the recent event) and 89 guild points, while RedRyder added 3.76% and 14 guild points. They each earned 205 skill points - which takes Red's total of spare sp above the 3k mark.

Before the late afternoon food break, SirGalahad traded across the level 37 horse to Kaerella, who at level 22 won't half get through the quality stones if she uses a mount outside town, and then took a drake egg to Lorraine, and then on to Jajan. It was just on 4:25pm when he started to level his new dragon hatchling in Maargadum Jail - a good long session down there got it up to 100% Sympathy, and well into level 8 by bedtime.

The evening session was, luckily, pretty straightforward - my cleric Kaerella, out in Cariae-1's Dratan desert, killing akane giants, including of course the elite one. I was able to join a party led by the level 108 titan Morganic, who was sp-farming , and levelling his pet, on the level 106 anubis spear men. He left about halfway through, bequeathing the party to me, which I kept going safely. I had to go back to Randol after three hours to renew the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, and put four new heaven stones away and sell a drop or two to get Kae's weight down - then I went back out for another half hour, before at last calling it a night.

There had been a "random prize drop" announced in Randol on Cariae-4 during the evening, but my experience of such things is that they can be disappointing, so I stayed with the akane giants...and got a heaven stone and a couple of Hands during the time I'd have been away, so I probably ended up ahead.

Kaerella added 23.43% experience, 216 more skill points, and 2230 pet points, which takes Kae's drake SirFrancis to a third of the way through level 48. And Kae herself just needs 5% to get to level 54, not that that qualifies her for any new skills, weapons or armour, so it won't be a very exciting level to reach. Still, it is all progress...

Thursday, 28 January 2010

A Few More Mad Monsters

Hatzring's ten minutes to deal with their Mad Monster Spawn last night was apparently pretty good - though not as good as Sarissa's effort, as they got rid of them in eight minutes. I did go along to the final MMS of the night at eleven o'clock, on Auzura-4, where we took a whole twelve minutes, after which plenty of loot was spawned for us. There was no sign of a Game Master, but the combination of a single spawning of monsters and a very generous supply of loot would tend to indicate that [GM]JediMike was in charge.

This morning, after SirGalahad had done his usual couple of hours in Maargadum Jail, RedRyder and Rage were able to make their regular trip to Prokion Temple, still on Tairen-1. The "mirror universe" corridor room was free as usual - I think it won't be used much, as most people who intend to fight level 25 orc fighters don't want to have to run past quite a few level 27 and 29 ones to get there, but I could be wrong. I was a little more cavalier this time, and didn't avoid killing the one orc axeman in the room, or an occasional level 23 orc soldier that came along with the fighters in the next room, so RedRyder added 2.50%, and 10 guild points, while gaining 132 skill points.

Rage had already gained 13 skill points last night at the Tairen junior-type MMS, to add to the morning's 132 - the combined experience gain for her was 8.83%, and 87 guild points. And then soon after twelve, SirGalahad logged back on.

The afternoon session started a bit late, but involved RedRider over on Auzura, my level 26 rogue and general MMS-attender. After a little fighting in Juno she ended up in Velpist Temple's final room, killing skeleton lancers and corpse sergeants, and ended up with enough cursed bones to fulfil the quest that needed them. There were a number of quests that could be completed, in fact, and the rewards added 34.13% and 8 skill points.

Auzura's low-level Mad Monster Spawn, by the Euro GMs, in this case [GM]Noboru, was due to start at 4:00pm, UK time; I'd been on Auzura-1 for the Elizabuff, but remembered to move across to Auzura-4 for it, where I noticed that the coordinates given in-game were actually for the high-level spot. So, that's where I went, and was about the first to arrive, finding the GM waiting. It is better when the GM is actually visibly there, and interacts with people. This was a very different event from [GM]OgreKing's one yesterday; strangely, while he had welcomed people up to level 60, Noboru said that "around 30" was the level she had in mind. And then what she spawned was deadlier than his had been, particularly the last wave, when, egged on by some people who were feeling good about how they'd dealt with the previous waves, she spawned a higher-level assortment that included level 59 arcane golems, and various wafes, which start at level 60... and a level 115 cube guard?

Poor RedRider got killed rather quickly by a golem; as she had some skill points, I used one of her "beginner" resurrection scrolls, though I guess that only a couple of points would have been lost. We got a final generous wave of loot, which entailed breaking off from fighting that bouncing cube guard to pick up, but really, I guess it's good to experiment, but it did show how carefully worked out and fun the normal low-level MMS is.

There was time for the food break then, before the high-level MMS was due in the same place. I had been thinking about taking my level 73 rogue along, but after the surprises [GM]Noboru had dealt at the lower version, common sense prevailed, and RedRider struck again, after spending all her skill points on level 2 of advanced alchemy and level one of flawless stone processing.

There were four or five deaths for Red, but all they cost were the memory scrolls to get back from town, and a few small health potions - and the loot, again, was fine. This was very much the traditional MMS, with cave spirits, and then in the final wave sphinx commanders, flutons, and more. We were warned during the last wave that we only had ten minutes to finish everything, or we wouldn't get any more hands of loot dropped - but at the end Noboru announced that we had just made it, and spawned more generous piles of loot. As there had been a pretty large turnout, it was just as well she spawned double amounts, or we'd all not have got much each.

Red ended 0.36% down on the experience side, though her habit of picking on the local great horn beasts and blood wolves when things got quiet meant that she was 2 skill points ahead.

Back in town, it seemed time that I got a new armour set for RedRider, who had been making do with a 25/27 +4 set, so I started to browse through Roy's merchant mart, to see what prices people were charging for the 30/32 +10 pieces on Auzura. While some people were hoping for 5, 4, or 2.5 million per item, there seemed a few pieces at 2 million, or even one at 1,875,000... but then I got as far as the page on which KillerMiller was selling pieces of the knight set for 500,000 each. The helm had already gone, but I quickly bought the other four parts of the set, and then waded on through the pages until I found the helm for 1,500,000.

So, with all five parts of the 30/32 set, +10, RedRider got Collector Ryl to convert them into the rogue equivalents, for 144,000 more gold. I then provided her with some bloodseal gems; she couldn't wear the new boots and helm right away, but the three other bits had already increased her defence substantially. In theory I should have a level 29 +15 weapon she can use somewhere, I must check various characters' inventories.

A little later, while I still had RedRider logged in while I did some web stuff, an announcement came up that a troop of pharaoh's guards had got lost in Juno, and had treasure with them, so I switched to Rage, who over on Auzura is now level 73, and rode off into the countryside to search... only to be told after a few minutes that the event hadn't actually started yet. When someone found the place, just along from the lake, up towards the mountainous edge of the map, [GM]Valsharyn gave us the coordinates, and luckily I was near enough to be able to ride along there before all the loot was gone. Well, I got, as well as the usual HP and MP recovery pots, a large defence potion and two tool aids, which is better than nothing! But it is quite fun to gallop around the map, and I did get five level 12 physical defence minerals from a Pandora's Box I discovered on my travels.

The later part of the evening saw RedRider go out into the Dratan Desert to get some more quests done, which involved killing some clever foxes, and then farming the sand golems until they finally had dropped twenty of the "soft sand" quest item, which took a while. That took her up to around 95% of the way through level 26 - and getting the quest rewards added almost 30%, so Red is now level 27, and able to wear the whole 30/32 +10 armour set.

Meanwhile on Tairen-1 SirGalahad had kept busy, chatting occasionally with the knight legendarynoob, who is level 41 now. The horse reached level 36 just before ten o'clock, and continued for a little while after that.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Many Mad Monsters

The update from the overnight weekly maintenance was minor - tiny, in fact, amounting to a couple of tweaks to the item mall's offers, and a pirate costume for the night shadow. Still, we are assured, after the Last Chaos product manager visited the game's developers, BarunsOn Games, in Korea, that many improvements are on the way, not least to skill point acquisition...and with the third anniversary of the non-beta game due next month, some epic events are promised.

Meanwhile, SirGalahad got a surprise when he reached Maargadum Jail's fifth level this morning - not only was the knight legendarynoob pet-levelling on Gal's usual death mask lancer, another knight was using one just across the central path as well. Gal was able to find a third lancer further into the room, though, and settle in, though he moved to his regular sparring partner after someone, probably the knight GiaS, ks'd all three of us, and legendarynoob was just left standing there not making use of it.

After coffee the intention was to take Rage and RedRider to Prokion Temple, but, with them in Dratan City and ready to teleport, I got side-tracked when a level 13 mage, GAMER, decided she wanted to join Discipline. It was only after she joined that I found her grasp of English was a bit tenuous, which for someone from the Ukraine is hardly surprising... After Gal had 50% frozen her experience gain I switched to Kaerella, since Kae was, at level 22, close enough to party with her, and took her to Velpist Temple (after making sure she got the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff) for a start. The room outside the "torn book of life" room already had one player in it, but their "go away noobs" welcome did mellow enough after a few minutes for him to ask for a healing or two.

Gamer asked about a horse, and showed me she had a pan flute, so we went to Lorraine, and then teleported to Dratan to go to Jajan. She got her pony, and I gave her a few quality stones. After that we went to Prokion Temple - Gamer took an entirely different route to the one I always use, past spiders and basilisks, with me clicked on her while I got SirGalahad back into action. I think she understood the advice to get the entrance onto her memory scroll - and after that we fought the ghouls and mummies, and the occasional orc soldier, close to the entry hall for a little while.

I did however notice that Gamer had lost the Elizabuff, and suggested she should go back and get it again - perhaps she died while returning from Velpist Temple (my explanation of how to use the Juno NPC Scroll can't have got through). She had at least reached level 14 by then, and after Kae logged out for lunch must have continued back in Juno, as when I checked after lunch she had reached level 17 - and by late evening was on level 21.

Kaerella, level 22 on Tairen, went up by 35.47%, 74 skill points, and 56 pet points from that unexpected adventure. Over lunch SirGalahad continued his pet-levelling, with his horse reaching level 34.

For the afternoon session, it seemed like a good idea to work on my top character on the Sarissa server - my healer, named Kaerella, who was only level 11. So, jaguars and sasquatches and werewolves were worked on; she tried the first personal dungeon, and failed twice in rather low-level armour, then succeeded when her armour, and the Arcane Knowledge passive skill for increased defence, had been improved. A final session with the ancient and berserk zombies in Velpist Temple ended with her safely in level 14 - so she was liable to be a bit less vulnerable later.

The session did end a bit earlier than average, as the first of the low-level Mad Monster Spawns was due to start on Katar at five o'clock, UK time. I took my level 31 rogue Memree along, and found that it was [GM]OgreKing in charge, waiting around by the special spire that they conjure up at that particular location. He tends to spawn the monsters about ten minutes before the announced time, and then when the hour is reached put up a message that it is "already in progress", so I am about the firt person to start fighting generally - and this was no exception.

After Katar came Cariae, so I traded down to my level 27 rogue there, my one and only original character Karella. And after that, [GM]OgreKing moved on to Sarissa, with me close behind - but this time as my level 14 healer Kaerella, who had a more dangerous time. When the hordes were first spawned I concentrated on the berserk zombies, but some of even the low-level types are aggressive, and it wasn't long before I was running for my life, my health very low, followed by a dozen angry monsters. Luckily they don't have very good memories, so if one gets far enough away that they aren't on one's compass-map, they tend to forget what they were doing, and amble back to where they were, or even "ping" and reset to that position.

So, Kaerella lived to continue fighting, and did manage to level up, reaching level 15. So it will be time to buy her new gloves, and generally move her on a bit for next week.

Most of the junior MMS events started ten minutes early, and only lasted about twenty minutes in all, with two main waves, though they could sometimes be augmented by other minor spawnings as they went along. The first wave of loot was often put down with some monsters on top of it, making things a little difficult for low-level characters, but it was generally all fun.

After Sarissa came Hatzring, where Kaerella is level 22, which made things a bit easier, though the ability to know when to run like heck still came in useful. And then for Auzura I had rather more choice of characters, so opted to try my level 37 temple knight SirDarth. Ratel was there too on his low-level character Athema, though he mentioned that he wouldn't be taking his level 90 knight to the high-level MMS later, as he'd had to work very hard to collect 140 skill points and didn't plan to lose any.

Truthfully, while Darth was never in danger really, I didn't find it as enjoyable an experience. [GM]OgreKing was saying that people up to level 60 were welcome, but even at 37 there were times when there just were not any suitable monsters to attack, just stuff that was too low to be any use. At level 37, Darth could use a level 41 weapon, too, so his level 33 sword, although it's +10, isn't that quick at killing now either...

Still, the sequence ended with Tairen, where Rage, on level 33, was better matched to the monsters. As usual I went for salamanders and elite sand golems, as they have useful drops for quests - and I managed to kill enough pilferers and bandits to fulfil a quest from Merac. It is quite a mixture we get at these spawns, from level 14 berserk zombies up through other Velpist Temple inhabitants, the elder drakes from outside there, and versions of treants, horn beasts, drakes, and jaguars that I've never seen anywhere else. From Merac there are the butchers, pilferers, bandits, berserkers, and blood frenzies, and there are Dratan monsters too, with the regular and elite sand golems, elite goblin scouts - and plenty more.

All in all across the six servers I picked up some useful amounts of loot from the hands that the GM spawned, and on Sarissa and Hatzring some nice cash drops from the monsters too. There was even some ready-plussed armour at some point along the line. The high-level MMS sequence started at nine, UK time, again happening every half hour, but without Tairen on the end as there aren't enough high-level players on such a new server yet. As usual on a Wednesday I was away from Last Chaos for a couple of hours from eight, which is probably just as well since eleven events in a row might have been a bit of an overload.

I did however drop in on the senior MMS on Hatzring, which was a shorter and simpler affair than the junior one, lasting a little under ten minutes from start to finish, with some cave spirits, plus Punishers, Performers, Introducers, and a few golems. Still, the loot spawned was pretty generous. Auzura was due at eleven - which was a bit late for me in theory, but if it was only going to last ten minutes, plus loot pick-up time, well, perhaps RedRider, my local level 26 rogue, could make an appearance?

SirGalahad kept going throughout all the excitement - and the horse just reached level 35 by log-out time.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

A Successful Castle Storming

MistressDomino on Tairen-1 joined MistressDomina on Cariae-4 in selling the usual range of heaven stones etc overnight - or at least for a few hours, their supplies had got a bit low when I checked in the early hours, so I decided to give the computers and modem a rest.

SirGalahad went down to do a little pet-levelling before breakfast, though, and it wasn't long before the horse reached level 33. He kept going a little longer than usual as my coffee wasn't as early as sometimes, but I just had time to get Rage and RedRyder over to Prokion Temple on Tairen-1 for an hour before lunch.

Both Rage and RedRyder added 101 skill points; it looks as if just about 100 skill points per hour is what they can get from the orc fighters in the "mirror" corridor room at present. Red picked up some of the loot, but mainly was useful in just standing there and letting the sole orc axeman hit her, while Rage concentrated on killing the fighters. By the end of the hour, Rage had added 3.54% and 29 guild points, while Red had gone up by just 1.25%, and 4 guild points.

SirGalahad was back in action over the lunch break; MistressDomina on Cariae-4 attempted to sell a few items, but without any luck, maybe that is a rather quiet time of day. And then, for the afternoon the idea was to head back to the sphinx fighters and speer men in south-west for a session - though not with Rage and Chuck this time, but with Kaerella and MistressDomina.

Although Kaerella, my level 67 archer, and MistressDomina, my level 61 wizard-mage, are only six levels apart, I didn't use a Combat party, just an Equal one, so they got roughly the same amount of experience; it's not identical, Kae gets slightly more, though I assume it works out as a smaller percentage, but the skill exp is the same. MD just stood at the side, and Kae did the fighting; both sphinx types are green-named to her now, but they still gave useful drops, including a +2 armour piece and a couple of heaven stones.

It wasn't a hugely intensive session; I didn't use any boosters, the main thing was to get back into the way of playing Kaerella as an archer, and also finish getting her armour and bow bloodsealed. Some parts of her set had been bought as healer armour and were already sealed, but others had been converted by Collector Ryl and not fought in since. I did manage to get everything done, except one last seal for the bow, which I must say looks impressively glowy. Kae went up by 6.88%, and MD went up by 11.18%, and they each got 25 skill points, while Kae's drake, SirFrancis, gained 1294 pet points.

Auzura's "Storm the Castle" event was scheduled for seven in the evening, UK time; I had a couple of emails to deal with, but just had time for a short session, so Kaerella got to complete her two outstanding Dratan quests - which involved riding down to the Forgotten Temple, and getting its entrance onto her memory scroll (since there are other quests in there to come, as Rage has shown)...and then venturing inside to kill the spiders, and the legendary slayers.

I took things cautiously, just targeting the first legendary slayer, since their magical attack hits very hard; the spiders are protective of the slayers, so I needed to keep the ones close by down anyway, so fulfilling that quest was a by-product of the slayer-slaying. When my horse buffs expired I went back out and reapplied them, and luckily didn't get stuck in the entrance hall. It all didn't take very long, and just added 0.37% and two skill points - then back in town the quest rewards added 2.55% and another 9 skill points.

By then the announcements for the "Storm the Castle" event in Merac had started; I switched to Rage, and went down early, to find that [GM]Noboru was already there, along with perhaps a dozen other early arrivals. I did ask her about yesterday's parade, and where it had gone, but apparently that was not one of her events.

The GM spawned a first pile of loot at the same time that the monsters appeared - though naturally we gave loot-grabbing a priority - to reduce the lag, yes? We only had 15 minutes to clear the Castle of its monstrous usurpers, and [GM]Noboru warned us to expect flutons in the throne room... she called it the Cathedral, but castles are more likely to have a throne room I think.

Thorny mantises, male assassinbugs, anubis spear men, hell-otuu, dark harpies - we cut through them slowly but surely. One fluton was just outside the throne room, and we wore it down, with everyone conscious that time was running out. Their armour is so good that Rage only does about 135 damage, but I found that her Flame Arrow skill hurt them for over 6000, so I used that as much as I could, and left the Snaring to the lower-level rogues. There was luckily only one more fluton to beat, inside the throne room, and everyone piled onto him - we killed him with just seconds to spare.

Outside the castle again, our GM was generous with the drops, so that we were frantically running from one pile to the next, and grabbing all we could. It was then that Ratel got in touch, but I couldn't reply much until all the loot was safely snaffled. I reported to Ratty that I'd got 5 skill point boosters, 8 item drop boosters, 3 large defence, and 9 large attack potions, and he was suitably impressed.

Ratel had been skill point farming on the cursed liches in Egeha, which made him go through health potions at an alarming rate, but gave good skill exp, and good loot. Sheele last night had been saying that Ratel was now in a guild called "Wicked", which had surprised him - I'd remarked that in teenspeak that could mean "really cool", but actually the guild is Twisted, which also doesn't immediately seem to fit in with his approach to life. And apparently his fellow guildies hate the Illuminati guild, which Sheele's Auzura character BasheR is now in...

I only had time after that for an hour or so more of action, so it was Kaerella out in Dratan again - though this time my Cariae cleric Kaerella, fighting the elite akane giant and its non-elite retinue. Things went routinely enough; there wasn't a solo party available, but luckily someone in Prokion Temple was registered as a potential party member, so I picked him up, registered our party, and all went well, with the party actually reaching the full eight a time or two. By the time I left them, Kae had gone up by 6.16%, 54 skill points, and 583 pet points.

SirGalahad had been back in action for a while by then, and got his horse past the halfway point in level 33. There's no point in leaving him, or a merchant, in action overnight, as the usual weekly maintenance will be bringing the servers down at 1:00am UK time. What the new patch will bring has not yet been revealed, but tomorrow evening promises to be full of the various low and high level Mad Monster Spawns, so that is something to look forward to.

Monday, 25 January 2010

"There Was an Issue"

My two merchants both did some useful business overnight, with, naturally enough, MistressDomina on Cariae-4 taking in rather more gold than MistressDomina on Tairen-1 managed. But then, my needs on Tairen are rather less, so it all levels out.

MistressDomino logged out from Tairen at breakfast time, to allow SirGalahad to return to Maargadum Jail; on his way down to level five he got recruited into legendarynoob's combat party, which lasted for a while. There seem to be a number of farmers in the Jail at the moment, as well as pet-levellers.

I wasn't able to have an actual morning playing session, so MD and Gal were both able to continue until after lunch, when it seemed about time for Rage and RedRyder, the Discipline duo, to head for the orc fighters in Prokion temple again.

The omens seem good for the teaming of Rage and RedRyder, at levels 33 and 29 respectively, against the level 25 orc fighters; it took a little while to get to the "mirror universe" corridor room, but the respawning was almost fast enough to keep Rage busy, and by the end of the session Rage had gained 189 skill points and Red had got 185 - I guess a few times Rage was just too far away when she made a kill. Rage went up by 6.75%, while RedRyder only added 2.35%, getting her to very nearly halfway through her level.

SirGalahad went back to his pet-levelling after that, and then after the early evening food break I remembered about the "Parade" on Auzura-4. However, I was ten minutes late getting to Randol, and although I looked all round town, and outside the gates too, I couldn't find any trace of people parading around, though there were occasional GM messages about it - they even had a little game in which people had to stay close to the GM while she raced around, so that prizes would be spawned.

After that, the main job for the evening was to try to get my ranger-type rogue Rage (as in RAGE) on Auzura up into level 73, finally, so that she could start using her +13 level 73 crossbow. As only a little over 5% was needed, my plan was to take her out to the sphinx types, rather than do anything expensive or risky, in a Combat party with MrChuckNorris, who as well as providing the boost that you normally get from having a member of such a party close by, could give her the two useful titan buffs for bow-users - and, since he was just below the level of the sphinx types, increase Rage's experience gain and skill exp from negligible to useful.

That all went to plan - until a disconnection got us both. Standing on the side, where a player rarely gets attacked (just once for him today) Chuck was safe enough, but it was an anxious time waiting to be able to reconnect to the server, to see what had become of Rage, who had been attacking a sphinx fighter at the time, in an area where fighters and speer men did respawn The Last Chaos website seemed to be down as well, after one fleeting mention of a dc in the shoutbox - I wondered for a while if the problem was at my end, but I could log into other sites such as Hotmail okay.

Finally Chuck managed to connect, and after a few more tries Rage got in too - but her health in the character choice screen was on zero, so she had died, losing 2% experience and 158 skill points, which was extremely annoying. "We didn't crash the server. There was an issue, it has been resolved", said [GM]OgreKing in the shoutbox. Nice of him to appear there - but a pretty pompous thing to say, and I could cheerfully have throttled him.

Well, Rage and Chuck returned to the sphinx types, and luckily the server behaved itself for the rest of the evening. Elvastar logged in and chatted, and then changed across to his level 90 knight Ratel and rode out to me to return the two chaos smelting stones he'd borrowed some weeks ago, which I'd completely forgotten about. I asked if Sheele had managed to contact him a day or two back - Ratty hadn't been on then, apparently, and indeed isn't playing every day, confessing himself a bit bored with the game at present. Sheele was online this evening, so the two of them were able to have a long chat and get back up to speed.

Without the disconnection and the 2% setback I'd have probably had time for something else as well this evening, but as it was, Rage reached level 73 at around my usual log-out time, so that was the end of active play. Chuck, as the non-fighting member of the party, had added 2.83% and gained 22 skill points - Rage ended up having gained 5.16%, but was down by 136 skill points. Just as her total was starting to recover from that previous death at an "epic event", sigh...

Anyway, now that Rage could equip her new crossbow, the level 69 +15 one was traded across to my level 67 archer on the Auzura server, Kaerella, my highest-level character of that name, and transformed, thanks to Collector Ryl, into an archer-type bow, an "eblin bow" +15. So Auzura's Kae is now ready to rock again, at last.

So, to back up Kae's future efforts there, it was the Auzura version of MistressDomino who is getting left in merchant mode overnight, or at least for a while. It didn't take long to sell some Candy at 75,000 and nine heaven stones, all she could carry without going over the weight limit, at 2.25 million, plus a few moonstones and moonstone boxes at 59.500, so it seems that the prices on Auzura still tend to be a bit higher than average. I looked in Roy's merchant mart to see if anyone was selling an "Eyes of spirit" accessory at a reasonable price, for Kae, but couldn't find any cheaper than 220 million, so it looks as if Rage may well end up loaning her one, in exchange for the "Pierce of wind" Kae currently has equipped.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Quiz Night

MistressDomino sold a nice lot of stuff on Cariae-1 overnight, so this morning I restocked her supplies of chaos balls and item drop boosters, and so on, and let her sell a bit more, until coffee time. SirGalahad restarted his pet-levelling endeavours too, for ninety minutes or so, though as he was a bit low on quality stones to keep the horse fed, he had to buy a couple of pickaxes first, and use the two tool aids he was carrying out at the Juno mine, to increase his supply

The Discipline Duo, Rage and RedRyder, headed out to Prokion Temple in their usual way, on Tairen-1 after coffee. They started fighting the orc soldiers, and the occasional orc fighter, but halfway through the session Rage levelled up, reaching 33, and this decreased the skill exp per orc soldier by about a third. It also took about a quarter off the skill exp per orc fighter, but decreased the experience gain from them three times as much, making them now Rage's target of choice.

Finding a good place for orc fighters wasn't simple, but I ended up in the other half of the Temple, the "Mirror Universe", in their version of what I call the corridor room, which instead of orc sergeants, and a few axemen at one end, just had orc fighters and a single axeman. It will be interesting to compare a full late-morning session there with the previous spot, but today's hybrid version gave the duo 112 skill points each, plus for Rage 5.09% and 38 guild points, and for RedRyder 1.66% and 7 guild points.

SirGalahad got a further supply of quality stones from Rage before lunch, and then went back to Maargadum Jail, with the horse reaching level 31, the first level at which it can be mounted (if you don't mind non-maximum horse buffs), over the break. MistressDomino was back in merchant mode - but not the Cariae version with her "Reputation" armour and Uncle Sam top hat, but the more modestly stocked Tairen one in her plain old "Apperentice" gear. Still, she sold a few heaven stones, at 950,000 gold as opposed to Cariae's 1,950,000, plus a few moonstones and some Candy (at exactly the same price MD charges on Cariae), and took in almost nineteen million.

The afternoon session featured my level 53 cleric Kaerella on Cariae-1, out in the Dratan desert with the akane giants; I soon managed to get into bluray's solo party, and indeed took control of it when he had to go afk. Kamira stayed away, but it was quite a good session, with a couple of heaven stones turning up; by the end Kae had added 12.81% and 117 skill points, plus 1204 pet points.

Someone yesterday was wondering why Kaerella didn't move on to the sphinx fighters, but I like the skill points Kae gets fighting a foe at her own level, and the experience can't be too much less, as the akane giants are rather quicker to kill. I counted, and Kae managed to kill 34 akane giants in one five-minute horse buff period, with five of those being the elite akane giant, which gives triple the experience of a regular one. The akane giants give 26,400 experience each (or with the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff twice that), while a level 63 sphinx fighter gives 192,907, so I'd need to kill 6 of those in the five minutes, to break even experience-wise. Given the shortage of easily accessed sphinx fighters and the time they take to respawn, and the risk of homicidal sphinx speer men charging in from a distance to attack, I think trying to kill six of them every five minutes without getting killed could prove a bit tricky for Kae yet - and the area is generally quite busy, as everyone has to go to Tairen-1, rather than the other five sub-servers, so that they can get the Elizabuff.

I got a bit busy with other things, mainly getting my computer's music folder into order, in the evening, so, other than SirGalahad continuing his pet-levelling efforts, all that happened before the Quiz was a trip by Rage on Tairen-1 through the third personal dungeon, Ajaka Canyon - the map that has more recently been re-used for the high-level "Misty Canyon" area.

Rage managed it quite easily, thanks to the +10 armour; the only two tricky bits are when the single beast crawler appears in the big midway room, among the large numbers of other beasts, and when Blood Mistress Kamira herself gets involved, as magic attack is harder to resist, but Rage's crossbow soon dealt with them, and everything else.

The reward for a successful completion of Ajaka Canyon has been raised, I see - you now get a dozen moonstones, not just one, plus 50,000 gold, 220,000 experience (which worked out at 1.35% for Rage), and 16 skill points (assuming you have the Elizabuff on). Since the monsters all drop a hundred or two of gold, and there are hordes of them, it's quite a profitable deal. In all Rage added 1.62% and 32 skill points.

The Quiz went well - I think we still lost a few people on the "[GM]JediMike runs the Old Skool Treasure Hunt" question, but most of the questions were the easy ones we know and love, and, as they have probably taken out a few questions that are now obsolete due to schedule changes and GMs leaving, they actually started to repeat questions we'd already had by the end. As MistressDomino's inventory was getting a bit heavy, it was a level 5 mage called Enchantra who accompanied Kaerella to the Quiz Room on Tairen-2 this time, but she proved as clever at following Kae as MD had been.

The US-style "happy hour" started at nine, so I was able to take advantage of the extra 75% skill exp for half an hour or so at least. With the Elizabuff, it meant that at level 29 RedRyder, in a solo party with SirGalahad, got 1062 experience and 5500 skill exp per orc soldier, which seemed almost as good as the Combat parties with Rage - and in the time, Red went up by 2.90% and 111 skill points.

The usual orc soldier room was busy, but I was able to claim the upper corridor that links the two staircases. A mage called Lynda did try to deal with the soldier closest to one end a few times; from the haze of red, she wasn't finding it too easy, so I kept a watch, and if I saw other orcs heading her way, besides the one she wanted to fight, I'd show them the error of their ways. It's rather neat when a rogue can help someone by casting Snare on a monster they are fighting, without hitting it, and I did manage to pull that off once.

After that, I put MistressDomina up in merchant mode on Cariae-4 again, with her normal range of goodies; SirGalahad continued a little longer after that, and was able to get the horse into the start of level 32, before he too got replaced by a merchant, in this case Tairen's MistressDomino.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Bringing In the Cash

When I switched off the older computer last night, I noticed that there was a Microsoft update waiting to be installed, so it didn't come as too great a surprise to find that the newer computer had restarted itself at some point in the early hours of the morning, booting out MistressDomina, who had been doing some selling on Cariae-4. She had been able to take in about 124 million by then, though, so the campaign to get Barbarienne there a better bow might even lead on to getting Keerella a better mage staff... or there's always my cleric Kaerella's next armour set to consider.

SirGalahad did return to Maargadum Jail before breakfast, with the horse reaching level 29 before too long; after coffee he had to bow out while the Discipline Duo, RedRyder and Rage, teamed up in Prokion Temple on Tairen-1 again.

The Temple was fairly quiet when I arrived, but did get busier. A sorcerer called lulian17 did trespass a bit, but generally kept moving through; there was a rogue who seemed a bit low-level, and tried the old trick of attacking an orc that was fighting me, to try to gain some risk-free experience. Kill-stealing, they call it, or ks-ing for short. That works fine if I kill the orc pretty quickly, but she made the mistake of attacking one that was hitting RedRyder, who was of course not responding...the orc turned its attention to the intruder, as did a couple of others, and soon she was just a red stain on the floor.

A healer called HeLpSaVeEaRtH was also a bit low-level for the room, but didn't "ks" me, and was trying her best - she asked for my help when she got mobbed by a number or orcs, which I was happy to give, and indeed I tried to keep an eye on her and take care of any excess orcs that attacked her...but I really had to assume that she could deal with a single orc, which, it seemed, she sometimes couldn't. After three deaths, she wisely gave up on that particular room; if you don't have good armour, it really is best to stay with the level 19 mummies for another level or two.

By the time the lunch break was approaching Rage and RedRyder had gained 126 skill points each, while Rage had gone up by 6.85% and 47 guild points, and Red had added 2.05% and 7 guild points. And then they both logged out, and on the older computer, SirGalahad got back into action on the pet-levelling front.

On the newer computer, MistressDomina set up in merchant mode on Cariae-4 again, though for what seemed a long time nobody seemed interested in buying anything. Then towards the end of the break someone lashed out on 198 chaos balls, fairly swiftly followed by the sale of 14 heaven stones - and then someone grabbed all 300 item drop boosters MD had got on offer. So, that was another 480 million brought in... time to start researching prices for Kaerella's next armour set, perhaps.

Kaerella has picked up a new quest, by the way; Jajan, in Dratan City, wants her to collect seven "crazy" drake eggs from the dragons out in the desert. I don't think I've ever fought those particular beasts, though I remember having to try to run past them when the titan darkmager led one of my characters across from the poison mists to the sphinx fighter spot. I see they have both physical and magical attack skills, and are aggressive; at level 55 they are two levels above Kae at present, so I think we can wait a little while before trying them out.

The afternoon session did however deal with a couple of quests - or, rather, the same quest twice. The action part of the time was a bit limited, as there was some more trading of items between characters, but MrChuckNorris, level 62 warmaster titan, and MistressDomina, level 61 wizard mage, did go out to the sphinx fighters and sphinx speer (sic) men on Auzura-4 for a short session, in a Combat party. Chuck had got the quest to kill five each of the two sphinx types, so after MD had done a little preliminary fighting, he had his turn, even though he was on the older computer, and killed the ten easily enough. I then checked the map and saw that MD had a quest available to her back in town in a suspiciously similar place, so she used "pet return to village", and got the quest, and then easily got the necessary heads from her next fighting stint.

Once they'd both got their quest rewards from Occultist Pianon, they had each gained 12 skill points; Chuck had gone up by 1.78%, and MD by something similar, and also got a few pet points for her level 38 pink drake...and then there was some more moving-around of items to be done, before SirGalahad got back to work in Maargadum.

Barbarienne had a look in the merchant mart to see what weapons Roy had recently had added to his stock, and there were in fact two very attractive ones - unfortunately the price of 1.5 billion for a level 97 bow was a bit out of my league. It was blue-named, with five seals, and +15, but that still seems a bit high to me. The other nice one was actually a level 109 bow, but with a sixth seal allowing people 10 levels lower than that to use it, but unfortunately I didn't happen to have 6.5 billion in gold with me.

While I was browsing, an old Tomb of Theos acquaintance PerziaQueen popped up to say hi - she's a level 86 ranger now, though, she says, currently without a crossbow. I suppose that means she uses an assassin's daggers, which ought to work okay, though it isn't what a ranger's skill set is designed for.

After the break, while SirGalahad continued his good work down in Maargadum Jail, it seemed a good idea to give my original Rage, the level 72 ranger over on Auzura, a little outing; being on that sub-server would let me know when the parade and "Cluedo" thing got under way. I noticed that the leader of the NefariousShadows guild, of which Rage is a member, was online, and I actually ended up in the same solo party as Mellificent. She's a wizard, and level 71 now; she was in Egeha, but got apparently her third disconnection there of the day.

Rage got the quest reward for killing the hadians in the Forgotten Temple, which worked out at a little over 1% experience and 5 skill points; she also got a new quest, which involved going back there and killing jumping devils, which are her target of choice there anyway, since they're her level. It's just a matter of getting horse buffs, teleporting to the entrance, and hoping that one isn't "stuck" when one gets inside, and then running towards the far end while the buffs last, ignoring the legendary slayers and their magical attacks, since if you retaliate then all the local spiders get involved.

It didn't take long to kill the required number of jumping devils, and Rage continued with them for a little while afterwards. But those disconnections Mellificent had had were a bit of an omen; it did seem occasionally laggy in the Temple of Forgetfulness, or Forgotten Temple, so I was rather glad to log out from there before something nasty happened, and go back to Randol for the parade.

Rage got her new quest reward off the archbishop in Dratan first, and then went looking for the parade. [GM]Noboru soon arrived; it was a good turn-out, but the lag returned, and got very bad, with complete "lag spike" freezes - Rage got disconnected once, and I wasn't the only one. Of course all the transformations people were making, and the letting off of firecrackers, can't have helped, but it is just something that can happen sometimes with a server or sub-server. I didn't win any of the three prizes this time, but got a further supply of the transformation scrolls. Not that the event added anything, but Rage ended the afternoon up by 3.46% experience, and 13 more skill points, mainly from the quest rewards.

The main evening session was over on Cariae-1 with Kaerella - it seemed a good idea not to stay on Auzura if they were having lag and disconnection problems. Kae got into a solo party right away, which lasted for the whole session, which was good; and Kamira did drop in about halfway along, which was also good, though once again there was no rare accessory for Keerella. There was also a Pandora's Box, which rather than unleash a level 30 or level 50 Beast, which isn't a very dramatic happening when it's surrounded by level 53 types, dropped five of the level 12 magic defence minerals - those could be very useful when Kae gets to a level when she can take on Kamira herself.

Kaerella got up to a total of ten thousand spare skill points during the session, which is a nice milestone to pass; in all she gained 119 skill points, and went up by 12.80%, while her level 48 drake SirFrancis added 1176 pet points, so that he's 23% of the way through his level now.

After that I moved some more loot across to MistressDomina on Cariae-4, from some rather old item mall packages, to top up her supplies, and then set her up in merchant mode, hopefully to go overnight. She quickly sold most of her moonstone boxes, which makes a change. SirGalahad though will probably log out shortly, after passing the halfway mark in level 30 for his horse.

Friday, 22 January 2010

A Triple Spawning

I kept busy downstairs for most of the morning, while SirGalahad was at work down on level five of Maargadum Jail, finishing off level 27 for his horse. Hopefully I'll have more time to spare over the weekend, if I can get the shopping done early on Saturday morning. I did, however, manage to get MistressDomina set up in merchant mode before lunch, on Cariae-4, which seems to be the sub-server where almost all the sellers hang out now. It used to be Cariae-1, but there was a time when that particular sub-server had problems and tended to crash a lot, so people moved, and they've never moved back.

MistressDomina did rather well over lunch, selling a hundred item drop boosters, plus candy and large attack potions. She hadn't been selling heaven stones as she was too heavily-laden to carry any, though that may change next time.

The start of the afternoon session didn't involve any fighting, it was more a matter of moving stuff around - mainly getting loot from Cariae characters across to MD, and then moving assorted rings and other ordinary-grade accessories out of the Kaerella and Keerella inventories, to make a bit of room there. Kee actually had two or three "event weapons" in her inventory, so those got moved across too, which helped to lighten her load a bit.

The gold that MD had earned, plus contributions from Kae and Kee, was moved across to Barbarienne, who looked through the selection of bows that Roy had on display in the merchant mart. There were only a couple of level 97 ones at +15 on offer, and the best of those was only yellow-named - so I'll have to keep looking and hope a green-named one, at least, turns up, at a price I can afford. Different colour names indicate different attack power, starting with a lowly white name and going up to blue as the best, though often those are impossible to find.

After that was done, the Discipline Duo of RedRyder and Rage went off to Tairen-1's Prokion Temple in their normal way, for a bit of skill point farming. The place did get a little busy as time went on; there was a titan called Kempac who tended to hit an orc or two as he passed through, and fight nearby, and later on a mage called MIRAJ seemed to think there was room for her in the same room I was based in, so that slowed things down a little.

Still, by the end of the session RedRyder and Rage had each gained 124 skill points - that takes Red over the 2000 mark, and she's still only 40% of the way through level 29. Rage gained 6.59% and 45 guild points, while RedRyder went up by 1.96% and 8 guild points.

For a change I didn't log out early; SirGalahad took back possession of the older computer at around 4:20 UK time, while when Rage logged out, it was so that RedRider, my level 26 Auzura rogue, could log in on Auzura-4 for a European-type Mad Monster Spawn.

The website didn't make any mention of a junior-level "MMS"; I guess [GM]Valsharyn must have been unusually prompt with her usual ten-minute warning about perceiving an imminent influx of mad monsters, and there were no further announcements until the event actually was starting. Assuming I had a few minutes to spare I took Red across to the little treant spot where Val had held one low-level spawning, but saw nothing there, so when I read the announcement about the first wave coming in, Red swiftly teleported across to the main event.

There was actually one message after about ten or fifteen minutes that revealed there had been a junior event, and a well-attended one, so Red had missed out on that - but the high-level monsters kept her busy enough, with blood terrains and sphinx commanders, azers and futons, apes and dark bogles, patriarch botises and anubis archers. There were at least four deaths, but Red still ended up ahead on experience and, with her habit of picking off a few great horn beasts and blood wolves when things were quiet, ahead on skill points too, just about.

I missed out on the first loot spawning, due to a phone call, but Val adopted a clever new system for the final rather massive wave - the more of it we killed before the hour was up, the more loot we'd get. We didn't finish off everything by the time she unleashed her massive disintegration ray over the remaining monsters (or maybe just switched them off), but she reckoned we'd earned a triple loot spawning.

It was just as well she did that, as the event was pretty well attended, so even with three waves of loot I don't think anyone would have picked up as much as, say, [GM]JediMike would have laid out for us. I think I ended up with three or four of each of the good items in all, plus no doubt plenty of the MP and HP recovery pots.

So, my food break was a little bit late - and that kept me clear of a spawning of Pandora's Beasts on Auzura-5 a little later, though as events go those are relatively pointless - if you want to fight level 30 or level 50 monsters, there are plenty of others you can find at any time, that don't cluster so close together and do give just as much in the way of gold, and other loot rewards too. Now, if they spawned groups of the Pandora's Boxes, so that players had a chance of a more substantial bit of gold, when they opened a box, or a Beast to fight, things would be a bit different...

The evening session started a bit late; as usual recently it was Kaerella on Cariae-1 who was in action, out in the Dratan desert. I got into a solo party almost at once, which included bluray, though he didn't say anything - and I didn't, either, after the "hi, thanks" at the start. That Italian pleader, Uffo1, joined briefly, but didn't actually start asking to be power-levelled in the Tomb, but he must have been well-known to the party leader as he was kicked out anyway.

So, I kept busy on the akane giants and the elite one, and by the end of the session had amassed a very respectable 15.51%, 1482 pet points, and 143 skill points. There was no sign of Kamira, though. SirGalahad meanwhile kept busy - I did spot when he attracted the attention of a death mask soldier, and equipped Gal with his sword and killed it, before unequipping the weapon and returning his attention to the lancer. The horse survived unscathed, and was only about an hour short of level 29 at log-out time.

Looking at the Event Calendar, the next few days seem fairly quiet, though a "Cluedo" quiz and parade is due on Auzura-4 tomorrow, with another parade on Monday. Now I do like the parades, they are a nice bit of fun, but if we get them multiple times each week the novelty is going to wear off. The next European "Storm the Castle" isn't until Tuesday, so until then it will mainly be assorted bits of grinding I suppose. People on USA time are the only ones to benefit from "happy hours" now, as they start at 11:00pm or midnight for Europeans - let's hope changes are made to that before too long.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

An Old Friend Drops By

It was a rather less eventful, or Event-full, day today. SirGalahad got to pet-level all morning, as I was busy downstairs and so not able to do anything adventurous. His most regular visitor on level five of Maargadum Jail recently has been a knight called moonwalkeR, though as he tends to use a platinum blessed iris and experience boosters no doubt he won't be fighting death mask soldiers for much longer.

The afternoon session was another Discipline Duo affair, with RedRyder and Rage heading for Prokion Temple on Tairen-1, to fight the orc soldiers and a few orc fighters. Those types die quickly enough, but while the ratio of skill exp to experience is good, particularly for RedRyder in the Combat party, the quantities are not that generous. Still, they got 139 skill points each, while Rage got 8.82% and 69 guild points, and Red got 2.24% and just 8 guild points.

The Temple wasn't particularly busy - the orc fighter room I tend to concentrate on has three ways leading off it, and generally no more than one of those rooms or corridors had another player at work, so I was able to pull in some extra orcs when needed. It wasn't a full-length session, as there was a Parade announced for Auzura-4 as four o'clock approached, with firecrackers and transformation scrolls, and those events are always a bit of fun.

I went along as my level 10 merchant-type mage MistressDomino; well, she has an "Uncle Sam" style top hat, which adds a certain touch! One thing I'd forgotten was that you can't use transformation scrolls unless you are safely above the level of the monster you are transforming into, so while using a dire wolf scroll was okay, MD was too low-level to transform into a sasquatch, or indeed a drake, while even a jaguar might have been a problem.

Before and after the food break I did some moving of loot from my event-attenders across to my merchant types. It is difficult to get some of my fighting characters down below about 90% weight, and their inventories tend to be a bit full generally, not leaving much room for the picking up of loot. Now I need to research what the current selling prices on Auzura and Cariae are for things like heaven stones, moonstone boxes and item drop boosters, so that loot can be turned into gold. It would make sense to get Barbarienne on Cariae a decent level 97 bow if I can, to replace her 87 one, and for that some extra funds would be useful.

On Cariae-1 Kaerella was the last to pass her recent loot across to MistressDomina - and when MD logged out, SirGalahad was at last able to set out for Maargadum Jail once more. Once he was safely installed there, fighting his lancer, Kaerella got her Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, and headed for Dratan.

There was no solo party listed, so I looked at the people who were on the list as wanting a party, while I was still in Dratan city - and just then one of the two names, Shark565, appeared, and recruited me to his party - he also recruited a couple of other low level types, who were presumably on their way to Prokion Temple. Unfortunately, what he wanted to do wasn't a solo party, he wanted to try a Monster Combo, which as he was below level thirty would have been a pretty low-level one, with me "capping" everyone else so that they got very little experience.

He left the party, but luckily the other two stayed around long enough for me to register it as recruiting members, and after an uncertain start the party thrived, getting up to the maximum of eight a time or two. The only fly in the ointment was a level 30 type, Uffo, who, as he has done before, wanted me, or anyone of a relatively high level, to "come tomb - yes or no?" In the end I had to kick him, or other people would have left. Afterwards another member mentioned that Uffo was Italian, like him, but he'd not let on as he hadn't wanted Uffo to turn his attentions to him. Some players are too young, or just brought up by their parents to expect that they can have anything they want...

After a brief "hi" from BasheR yesterday on Auzura, his Cariae counterpart Sheele got in touch at a better time tonight, and we were able to chat. It doesn't seem as if he is intending to return to being a regular Last Chaos player, sadly (as a level 67 ranger he'd be just right for giving Kae a boost); he mentioned that he had tried out a night shadow, since BasheR was high enough to make him qualify, but hadn't been too impressed. He said that the game had become too much of a solo grind, which is hard to disagree with. Things were a lot more fun when you needed parties to level, when a group of friends and guildies would go and fight the (it seemed then) impossibly high level Boucu Demons...and if you went up the best part of a level by the end of the session, well, you'd maybe need to farm skill points for a day or two to get back on track.

It was all about getting people to buy a lot of aeria points, Sheele said... and then headed off to see if he could track down Ratel, on some server or another.

Kamira played hard to get, but did eventually put in an appearance, appearing right over Kae's head; so as usual Kae swiftly logged out, and Keerella, now with a few inventory spaces, logged in and teleported over. Kee did have to use a medium health potion, but the usual drops of lucky scrolls, moonstones, a crystal of experience (greater), and so on more than made up for that. There wasn't a rare drop, but then, there rarely is.

Another party member, Turkeyleg, a level 53 knight, was also fighting akane giants for much of the time, but kept to the main group on the main path. There was some talk of him coming up to team with me, but in the end he stayed where he was. He was complaining that he was losing health due to the attacks from the giants, to which my response was that he ought take up the option to wear some armour... I wouldn't expect a well-armoured knight to have much trouble with monsters of his own level, unless a magical attack was involved.

By the end of the session Kaerella had gone up by 16.64%, and got 1513 pet points for SirFrancis - and, as it happens, exactly 150 skill points, enough to get her back to where she was before learning Party Heal 2. That can't be bad for one evening session, I'd not checked the figures until I was back in town.

As for SirGalahad, well, it looks as if his horse should only be about an hour away from level 27 by the time he logs out tonight, despite his time off today.