Friday, 30 April 2010

Three Sessions in One

SirDarth managed a little bit more pet-levelling this morning before coffee, but then, staying with the Sarissa server, it seemed like a good idea to have one of RedRyder's team-ups with Kaerella, with Prokion Temple's back room as the location.

Since RedRyder was within 4% of reaching level 38, this was the last time the two characters would be able to form a combat-type party, with skill exp equally shared but Red getting around seven times more experience, until Kae too levelled up, to reach level 28.

Luckily the back room was available, and we didn't have any interruptions or problems, so that by lunchtime RedRyder had added 14.75% and 269 guild points, while Kaerella was up by 15.41% and 38 guild points. They had each earned 233 skill points.

Since RedRyder had reached level 38, back in Randol over the lunch break she was able to learn the two levels of the passive skill Defence Guard, increasing her physical defence from 761 to 861, and all five levels of the very useful attack skill Flame Arrow - so 585 skill points were used. The distribution of Red's stat points isn't quite what the Wet Paint LC Wiki suggests, they'd have me putting more points into dexterity, and not learning Defence Guard, which needs 17 stat points in constitution, until level 47, and Mind Training, which increases magical evasion, a level earlier - but I reckon I can do without the attack skills Piercing and Hyde Shot for a while, until I get enough dexterity for them. Neither of those skills are ones my other rogues ever use.

Since the combat party, once broken, couldn't be reformed, with Kae and Red now eleven levels apart, they stayed in the party over lunch, just standing around in Randol, and then, once the three-hour Elizabuff had expired, they were able to get it again, and head back to the Temple.

The afternoon session lasted for almost the entire three hours of the buff, and saw RedRyder add 23.22% and 440 guild points, while Kaerella went up by 25.14%, and 63 guild points. They got 406 more skill points each, too, which is the main thing.

The party went on into the evening session. I continued to have the back room to myself, luckily - an occasional person would come in, see the room was busy, and go out again, but the only person who attempted to stay was a mage who arrived just as my three-hour "Elizabuff" was about to wear off. When the buff had vanished from both Red and Kae, I did say "brb" before they each used a scroll of recall... I don't know if all the orcs were just too much for her, but when I, or we, returned with fresh buffs, she had gone, leaving a little gold and a dark orb on the floor.

I continued for half an hour or so beyond my theoretical log-out time, as Kaerella was actually approaching the end of level 27 - and if she got into level 28, she would be able to form a new combat party with RedRyder, as they'd be back to just ten levels apart. So, on I slogged, so that the evening session ended just after ten, UK time, with RedRyder up by a further 37.27% and 706 guild points, and Kaerella up by another 40.32%, and 100 guild points. And they had each earned another 662 skill points...

So, that was a job well done, with RedRyder ending up with over 6k of skill points in her stash, and Kaerella's first level since maximising all her skills yielding her 1576 skill points in all. I had had no idea at the start of the day that I would manage to get all that way, but, well, we made it.

The day's event was to be a "Dratan Run", a route through Dratan's desert with giant warrior statues as markers, and plenty of high-grade monsters to despatch...and hopefully some loot spawned along the way, which might not run out of its time and vanish before we got to it. Cariae was scheduled for 10:30, UK time, so I took Barbarienne along there ready. And SirDarth went out to the bandits on Sarissa-4, to do some more pet-levelling.

The map provided on the website saw the path starting out from the west gate, but the route actually must have started from the south gate - which explains why I started out running and riding off in the wrong direction, assuming everyone else was just in front of me. I did find the path eventually, but it was crammed with extremely high-level monsters - surely our main fighting force ought to have reached this part by now? I met up with a level 98 knight called Davies038, and we rode past some of the monsters... and then he used a memory scroll to go to the Tomb of Theos entrance, where he found the end of the Run... nothing like the route on the website.

I used "pet return to village", and headed out from the south gate, following the trail of giant statues until I caught up with our fighting force, but our group was not a particularly large one, so progress, against flutons, patriarch botises, and other nasties was extremely slow and a bit risky. Davies moved over, since he could see my dot on the map, and joined in... but by then things had been going on for 45 minutes, and we can't have been past the quarter way mark... any loot spawns must have long vanished.

So, I had to log out, and how long the other people would take to finish the Run, I can't imagine...

Thursday, 29 April 2010

The Treasure Goes Missing

Both Galahad on Cariae-5 and SirDarth on Sarissa-4 had successful overnight pet-levelling sessions, so that by morning Gal's drake had reached 35, and Darth's horse was halfway through level 34, so that was a satisfactory result to wake up to.

SirDarth's horse had reached 66% of the way through that level when it was time to log off from that server, and restart over on Hatzring-5 - so that LordDarth there could have a morning session.

LordDarth started by getting some quality stones, which he'll need when he reaches pet-leveller status. He had acquired 42 tool aids, so he bought 40 knight-type pickaxes from Geres, and went out to the mine north-east of town, where 41 pickaxes, including his original one, yielded him a useful 1,107 quality stones. He used his one knife to gather 27 green herbs, as well.

Having remembered to get the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, Darth teleported to Randol, where the quest reward for getting five cracked axes added around 9% experience. As he'd now got both the quests that involve killing desert spiders, he teleported to Prokion Temple, and then killed a few spiders nearby, to get those quests done, before going in.

LordDarth had managed to join a solo party, but when he approached my favourite back room in the temple, he found it was occupied - by another party member, GregoryHouse. So I quickly got off his radar, and went to the nearby corridor room, where the orc sergeants, and a few axemen, were ready and waiting.

The idea was to get Darth to level 29, so that he'd be able to equip his level 33 +10 dual swords - and we got there safely. Darth had added 74.86% in all, and gone up by 127 skill points.

There was a little time left before lunch, so MistressDomino over on Auzura had a look through Roy's new merchant mart stock, in case someone was selling a "b5e" +15 piece of the 85/87 rogue armour set that I could afford. I was a little bit tempted by a hood, selling for 450 million... it didn't have evasion bloodseals, instead it had four offering a little extra defence, plus a fifth that apparently decreases mana consumption by 30%.

Galahad continued the drake-levelling on Cariae-5, and as lunchtime approached, SirDarth on Sarissa-4 got back to work too, until it was time to begin an afternoon session.

My phoenix rogue on Cariae-5, RedRydeR, was able to form a solo party with Galahad and, while he continued to work on levelling his drake, Red headed back to Prokion Temple. The session was a slightly short one, but Red still managed to add 6.81% and 79 guild points, plus 317 skill points. Red was now a quarter of the way through level 35, so this bit of sp-farming is slow going, but teaming her with a lower-level character once we reach level 36 should speed things up.

The reason for the afternoon session's slightly early end was that I wanted to be back on for 5:00pm after the food break, as the "tea time" bonus of an extra 50% skill experience for two hours was due to start then. It seemed to me that RedRydeR was best placed to benefit from that, so she returned to Prokion Temple. This time the place was rather busier, and the back room and corridor room were both in use. With Red's level 37 +15 crossbow, the "mirror" back room didn't seem to respawn its orcs fast enough, so I ended up in an axemen and sergeants room just off the central upstairs gallery, so that, if I ran out of orcs there, I could get a few from outside.

The "tea time" started a few minutes late, and I think it ended a bit early, but the extra 50% skill exp, adding on to the extra 100% from the Elizabuff, did mean that for ninety minutes or so the orc sergeants gave 5500 skill exp instead of 4400 (on a base of 2200), and the orc axemen half that, so it was useful. I continued on for a while after the event ended, and RedRydeR ended up with another 8.56%, moving her on from a quarter to a third of the level, 100 guild points, and 488 skill points, making it a pretty worthwhile session.

After that, Galahad finally logged off, with his drake three levels higher than when he logged on yesterday, and, over on Auzura-4, my level 71 archer Kaerella and my level 64 wizard MistressDomina made an equal party, and spent some time, unboosted, with the elite sphinx speer man and his cohorts. Kae added 2.23% and MD added 3.83%, and they each added 11 skill points, so that was a bit minor, and shows that Kae has rather outgrown that particular spot. Next time MistressDomina goes there, she'll be back to doing her own fighting and using health potions, with MrChuckNorris to assist.

I would have stayed longer, but a "hide and seek" event was due on Katar-5. SirDarth took the opportunity to log in on the older computer, on Sarissa-4, and do a little more work on his horse, which ought to reach level 35 before close-down tonight, while, on Katar-5, Kaerella, who is level 32 there now, logged in.

The "event" was very peculiar. It was announced on time, and the announcement was repeated a few minutes later: "Is everyone ready to hunt for treasure? There are 12 spots on the Juno map. 11 of these spots have monsters and 1 of the spots has monsters and treasures! Be sure to look carefully everywhere you go. Don't waste time though, the treasure" ... and the message was left uncompleted, though I assume the treasure would vanish if not picked up.

So, I rode around Juno for thirty minutes, but only ever saw one monster, a fluton, which I avoided. If there were eleven other spots, well, I didn't find them, and neither did the two people that I was, after a while, in a party with. On the feeling that the GM involved would have moved on to Cariae-5 by 9:30, UK time, I logged out. There had been no announcements of the location coordinates, or that the treasure had been found, making it all a bit of, well, a non-event, not in the same class as a "Pharaoh's Treasure" adventure.

Oh well, at least Kaerella had a chance to open a few Pandora's Boxes as she rode around. One dropped ten small health potions, and another dropped 20,000 gold, so things weren't a total loss - and it is quite fun to gallop around Juno, even if one has no idea where one should be going.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

As the Wheel Spins...

It was another tiny patch to download, to start the new Last Chaos week - just a couple of item mall packages and a promise that the Mondshine quests ought to be improved next week. The recent changes there, imposed by the Korean developers, seem to have caused a bit of a mutiny there. SirDarth was able to log in at breakfast time and do some work on his horse, but otherwise all was quiet.

However, there was a news item on the website that looked rather interesting - "Unlimited Free Spins (100% Rebate)". The LC "Loot Wheel" had been updated again, it seems, and to celebrate we could all have as many goes on it as we wanted, for twelve hours finishing at 3:30pm UK time... we had to spend the usual 99 aeria points per go, but were promised a full rebate, which on past experience happens within a couple of weeks, and is rounded up to the full 100 ap.

So, I had a lot of work to do, as my various accounts all had amounts of ap I could temporarily invest. I might not have been able to do a normal morning session after coffee anyway, but this obviously took precedence.

One thing that became obvious is that while the Loot Wheel may look like a roulette wheel, with twenty or so equal segments offering fifteen different possible prizes plus a jackpot, the wheel is "weighted", so that the chance of receiving the top prize, a "jaguar collar" that enables the winner to get a pet jaguar, is vanishingly small. "I ended up just buying a jag off someone, because I wasted like $200 trying to get one", someone in Randol on Cariae-5 said, and I don't think it was bad luck, just the result of very long odds.

Still, the other prizes vary between "very nice" and a bit minor - and if I'm going to get my ap back, I don't mind the occasional single heaven stone or strong medicine. Curiously, a single platinum blessed iris is hyped up as the next best thing you can get, but I'd put 50 chaos balls, 25 experience boosters, 25 skill point boosters, 10 experience boxes, 10 skill boxes, and probably 2 health stealers ahead of a pbi for value, plus maybe the 10 heaven stones and the 2 berserker potions. I'm not sure about the 10 tower boxes or the 2 mana stealers, they may be a worth a bit less.

Sadly, they seem to have removed chaos smelting stones and resurrection scrolls from the prizes. There is also a "free spin" result, which just means you have to try again... I also found a few times that if the wheel goes crazy, and you get a "cannot connect to server" error message, you lose the 99 ap you had wagered, but after you reload the page don't get any prize. I just hope I get the rebate for those ones safely.

Most of my accounts already have a lot of purchases in the "records" section of the in-game item mall, so I was slowed down by the need to claim my prize after every spin, choose the server, and, in the game, have my character download the item into their inventory. Still, we made good progress, and a number of my characters are now rather overweight, thanks to all the experience boosters and other similarly weighty items they are now carrying. My supply of the platinum blessed irises is much enhanced too, which is lucky as I got through quite a few over the weekend.

I was still hard at work on the wheel when the end of the time arrived - I see from MistressDomina's records that I stopped with a minute to spare, but with enough ap left for another twelve spins. And still no jaguar collar - but it may be handy to have a few aeria points left, until the rebates come through.

Anyway, particularly on Cariae and Auzura, I am a lot better off for goodies now, so it was all time well spent. I wonder if the prices of experience, skill point, and item drop boosters will fall a bit, at least temporarily? It could effect heaven stones too if there is a sudden massive influx of them into the game.

SirDarth was keeping busy on the older computer, and indeed downloaded some items when it was his account's turn to spin that wheel. His horse did level up to 33... but a little later, while I was paying too much attention to the Loot Wheel to notice, some little dear (or, I believe the technical term is "nasty little scrote") lured Darth's bandit, followed helplessly by Darth, a long way from where he'd been working, to a dangerous area with blood frenzies and elite bloody outlaws. Poor Darth was killed.

Luckily, I noticed this within the five minute (ahem) "deadline" to use one of his beginner resurrection scrolls, so he didn't lose any skill points from his stash, and when he revived back in Merac Caron, he was able to equip his horse again, which hadn't been killed. So, he moved across to the other location he uses, with just the two bandits and the disinterested butchers, and continued his work.

There was just time before the early evening food break for RedRydeR to have almost an hour's worth of orc-fighting in Prokion Temple; SirDarth logged out on Sarissa-4, and Galahad logged in on Cariae-5 to give Red the solo party boost. Gal went out to the bandits, and put in some work on his level 33 drake.

RedRydeR's hour passed easily enough, and another 2.71% experience was gained, along with 31 guild points for Discipline - and, more importantly, 127 more skill points.

Like most Wednesdays, I had an early finish tonight, but LordDarth had a reasonably long session first on Hatzring-5, starting off with a few quest rewards, including one involving a trip to Shuraine at his oasis in Dratan's desert. While I was there I farmed ten soft sands from the sand golems, and then headed on to Prokion Temple, in a solo party. My first attempt to enter saw me end up in the foundations instead - which meant I had to use a scroll of recall, as the only way out of that, short of logging out of the game. Back in the city I got the reward for the ten soft sands, and that took LordDarth into level 27, so that he was able to wear the whole of the 30/32 armour set.

That made Prokion Temple's orc attacks rather tolerable, once I'd successfully got in. Compared with other servers, Hatzring's temple does seem quiet, I think the server must be "top-heavy" with more high-level players than newer ones. The back room was free, and so Darth got busy there - his only problem is that his +8 event weapon doesn't kill all that quickly, but things will improve at level 29 when he can use the +10 level 33 dual blades.

Still, by the end of the session LordDarth had gone up by a total of 173.53%, reaching level 28. He added 253 skill points, and, as he did equip his level 1 pony for a little while towards the end, it gained 449 pet points.

Once he reaches level 29 and can use the better weapon, we can start to use his five hour-long beginner pssps, for extra skill exp. He got enough sp today for the next guild upgrade, but there's the one after that, and he needs to learn the level 30 skill Mana Break before he'll be allowed to become a temple knight. And there are a couple of skills after that which add to his defence rating, so are worth learning, particularly if he wants to be able to pet-level on gnoll lancers, as well as bandits and berserkers.

Galahad continued his work on his drake, on Cariae-5, during the evening, and later SirDarth on Sarissa-4 logged back in for a little more bandit-bashing. He missed the start of the "Creature Carnival", but was in time for most of the double pet experience. It may only last an hour or so, but is useful. Gal's drake must have reached level 34 shortly before the event started, so is currently a few hours ahead of Darth's horse.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Keeping Busy on Hatzring

MistressDomino on Auzura-5 had another crashy end to her overnight selling session, with the "send error report?" window popping up, but she managed to sell around 35 million's worth of stuff before that... not a lot, when things one is hoping to buy may be on offer for a billion or so. I did get her back into selling action for the morning, as I had to go out shopping and so wouldn't be able to do anything more active in Last Chaos, but another 297.500 gold wasn't much when the items one is offering have a total value of approaching 500 million. I guess it's a quiet time of day, with the US asleep and Europe just waking up, and at least there were a few more purchases during the lunch break.

Enchantra over on Hatzring-5 did a lot better, however, starting with 548 gold and reaching 138 million by morning; I restocked her as much as I could for the morning, and she managed to bring in almost 23 million more, selling everything except some item drop boosters. So, the gold for upgrading the Discipline guild will be no problem, and some sort of shopping spree for good armour for LordDarth and Kaerella beckoned.

After lunch the first thing to do was start spending all that gold. I got a bit of a bargain in a level 29 Jungle Bow +4 for only 50,000 gold, being sold by Alvultra, but that rather encouraged me to try to get a good 30/32 armour set - and by good, I do mean expensive.

It was strange, looking through the available armour listings in Roy's merchant mart on Hatzring; it is one of the oldest servers, and this was reflected in a lot of high-level stuff being for sale, level 120 or so, and very little low-level material at all. Eventually I did find a few pieces from the 30/32 armour sets, but they were very rare, and quite often the price reflected this rarity.

Luckily, persistence paid off, and I finally found +10 gloves for just 1 million, headgear for 1.2 million, and boots for 2 million. I had seen a +14 shirt for 60 million, which, considering the items and risks needed to get that high seemed pretty reasonable to me, and +13 leggings for just 15 million, so, since I could afford them, I bought them, and then changed all the pieces into the healer versions of the armour, for Kaerella.

So, the afternoon session involved Kaerella and LordDarth on Hatzring-5 going to Prokion Temple. As Kae was level 25, she could wear the new +10 gloves, and later in the session the shirt and skirt from the new armour set became available when she reached level 26, which gave her a pretty good defence rating; as a knight LordDarth has pretty good defence anyway, and Kae was able to heal him if necessary. Our main base of operations soon became the room alongside my favourite back room, where a few mummies share the area with orc soldiers - generally Kae would attract the orcs' attention with a few well-placed arrows, and Darth would attack them once they had come near.

By the end of the session, Kaerella had gone up by 147.93%, and was past the halfway mark in level 26; she had earned 162 skill points on top of the 140 she already had, so was able to learn the first, big level of Resurrection, costing 250 sp, and boost her Party Heal too. SirDarth had gone up from 20 to 23, adding 307.84% and 158 skill points.

As we still had some gold left, before the evening session some more shopping took place, and as well as a +10 level 33 sword, which Darth will be able to use when he reaches level 29, for just a million, we replaced his unplussed "Light of Odin" sword with a +8 one for 20 million, and got Kaerella a +9 version of her bow, for 35 million - so those better weapons speeded up the evening's work somewhat.

As well as some further work alongside the back room, and indeed in the corridor outside it, which has level 23 orc soldiers mixed with a few level 25 orc fighters, Kaerella and LordDarth were able to venture into the back room itself, though being careful not to go too far into the middle. A level 23 sorcerer called Socerer121 came in and asked to join our party, so we let him in, and, while he was slightly difficult to keep alive as he did like to run into the depths of the room, things went okay. I noticed early on that he didn't have the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff on, so he went back to town to get it, and later reached level 24. Kaerella reached level 27, too, and so was able to wear the whole of her deluxe 30/32 armour set.

After a while Socerer121 decided that we ought to move to a different spot - so we ended up in the central area of the temple, on the gallery at the top of the stairs, still killing axemen and sergeants, until he had to leave - and then I returned to my back room. Before long I had another new recruit to the party, a level 18 French knight called cavalier. He needed a bit more effort to keep alive, as he did seem to like to run around the room gathering an orc posse. It was lucky Kae had upgraded her Party Heal. He did reach level 19, and soon after that had to leave.

Kaerella reached 97.67% of the way through level 27, meaning she had gone up 141.00%; as she doesn't want to go above level 27 until her skills are maximised, and even the non-special ones are far from complete yet, she went back to Randol, spent all but one of the 158 skill points she'd earned, and then went to Maargadum Jail for her first set of "suicide runs", to get her back to the start of level 27. LordDarth continued some fighting while she was away, mainly out in the corridor. After the necessary 33 deaths, Kae returned to Randol, got the Elizabuff again, and rejoined LordDarth in the back room.

We kept going until Kae had got another 100 skill points; she'd gone up 65.12% by then, so, after learning the second level of Resurrection, taking all 100 sp, there was just time for 22 more suicide runs in Maargadum Jail.

By the end of the evening, SirDarth was halfway through level 26, having added 342.45% and 276 skill points. He is likely to go solo for his next few sessions, so has borrowed Kae's armour set, converting it into the knight equivalent - when he reaches level 31 and gets his own free +10 set, Kae can have the better set back. Darth upgraded the guild to level four, which used 120 of his skill points - the next two guild levels come available when he reaches level 30, costing 240 and 500 skill points, along with 1 and 2 million gold; after that, Kaerella can have her experience gain frozen on 50%, so that she can go twice as long between "suicide run" outings.

After the active time, SirDarth, my pet-leveller, logged in on Sarissa-4 and went out to the bandits in Merac. A Pandora's Box he opened disgorged a level 50 pandora's beast, so he moved a little way away from his normal spot. After a few minutes, I noticed a rogue called Tayunari there - she had killed the beast, and was now fighting the bandit I wasn't sparring with, and the local butchers, which were a bit low-level for somebody who could get rid of a level 50 critter. So, it seemed likely that she was trying to persuade the Grand Red Dragon, Merac's raid boss, to appear.

And indeed, it didn't take long for the "GRD" to arrive. "Ah, your luring worked - good luck", I said. She just answered with a "?", so I went on "I was assuming that you were trying to lure the GRD". "Yeah, lol", she said, and, after the GRD was vanquished, "Best spot for spawning I found."

She didn't stay to get rid of the Cerebri that the GRD spawns when its health gets low - I noticed she didn't bother to pick up the "hero's necklace", either, but then, that particular item is usually rubbish. Still, the Cerebri won't still be there tomorrow, as tonight we have the usual maintenance downtime for the servers, which wipes away any anomalies like that. Whatever else it wipes away, or brings in, we will have to wait to find out.

There was a special event this evening, though a bit late, on most servers, for me - a special class versus class PvP event at the "proving grounds" arena in Dratan. Such events are usually a recipe for chaos, let's hope things worked more smoothly tonight. [GM]Moose was making a special appearance for this, lured back from his new responsibilities on another Aeria fantasy mmorpg, Shaiya, which is a nice touch. Tomorrow, it will be time for another "Creature Carnival". Sadly, Auzura doesn't seem to be getting its usual European events this week, let us hope that normal service will soon be resumed.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Ten Levels in One Evening

There was an overnight selling session for MistressDomino on Auzura-5 again, which lasted safely into the new day, but she didn't manage to sell all that much, other than her supply of transformation scrolls from all the Parade events Kaerella there has attended. SirDarth on Sarissa-4 was able to pet-level through until coffee time, too, and got his horse more than halfway through level 32 without any problems.

What I'd have liked to do during the morning session of an hour or so would have been to take my phoenix rogue RedRydeR along to Prokion Temple on Cariae-5 and farm the orcs for a few more skill points, but since Cariae has reverted recently to its old habit of kicking people out at around eleven, UK time, that rather ruled out that option.

On Auzura, then, MistressDomina came out of merchant mode to get some recent loot from other characters; Rage traded the recently-acquired gift from Kamira, the Tears of Knight accessory, across too. Rather than buy a golden magnifying glass, to "identify" and activate the ToK, from the NPC merchant for a million, MD found someone selling ten glasses for 8.5 million via Roy, so is now well stocked to identify future goodies.

SirDarth, now at level 37 on Auzura and a non pet-levelling temple knight, had the ToK traded across to him, and he traded the Pierce of Wind he had been using across to MistressDomino in return. Darth now has two Tears of Knight accessories, which is pretty good.

RedRider logged in too, since at level 27 she is ideally placed to team with SirDarth in Prokion Temple on Auzura-5; they got the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, made a combat party, and headed for Dratan. Luckily my favourite back room in the temple was available, so they settled in there, with, initially, Red picking up the loot, and Darth handling the fighting.

RedRider is at the "getting all the special skills sorted" stage, and so intends to stay on level 27 for a while yet, being available for low-level events like the Junior Mad Monster Spawns. After a while Red started to fight a few orcs herself, since she has a level 29 +15 crossbow... and then it occurred to me that it would be more useful for her to take the lead in the fighting. Her better weapon means she probably kills faster, being the right level for orcs she gets good loot drops including heaven stones (two, from hands of the warrior, in quick succession), she can level her dragon hatchling... and while Darth gets as much skill exp as he would if he did the fighting, he gets less experience, and so will level up more slowly, adding more skill points.

RedRider doesn't get as much skill exp as she would in a solo party, but it seems like a good idea to me, as she is really in no hurry. The session wasn't a long one, but she got enough skill points for a couple of levels of alchemy, 135, on top of 4 she already had. Her hatchling levelled up, reaching level 3; Red went up by 51.90% experience, while SirDarth, also getting 135 skill points, went up by rather less.

Over lunch, the pet-levelling SirDarth on Sarissa-4 took over, moving his horse along for about ninety minutes. Then after the break, once RedRider had got rid of that 51.90% experience by "suicide runs" in Misty Canyon, it was time for Cariae's RedRydeR to have her turn in Prokion Temple, in just a solo party with MistressDomina, who managed to sell about 25 million's worth of goods back in Randol.

Since RedRydeR had finished her supply of beginner pssps now, she was in Cariae-5, with the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, which meant that her skill point gain was slightly slower, and her experience gain twice as fast; by the end of the afternoon she had gone up by 7.31% and 85 guild points, while adding 340 skill points, so by the time she reaches level 36 her stash of sp should be nicely boosted.

A rogue (in more senses than one) called adonis99 had applied to be added to Red's friends list back in Randol, and when I'd reached the temple opened the chatting window with "hey lol GM is online", to which I innocently replied "which one?" There was no text alongside her name on the next line, but the following line had [GM]Krash saying "Hello RedRydeR and adonis99" followed by "You need 200 mill and 35 Heaven Stone, RedRydeR?"

Yes, it was the old scam of counting the spaces, so that you start a new line, with whatever name you type in as the "speaker"... haven't those people realised that Krash has left the building? It didn't get as far as "him" asking for my log-in details, as I just said that adonis99 was lower than me, and would appreciate such a gift more, and he gave up after that.

The main action during the evening session was over on Hatzring. LordDarth was ready for a bit of quick levelling now, since he'd reached level 10 and had Prokion Temple on his memory scroll, so he teamed up with my level 24 healer Kaerella, who accepted him into the Guardian system, and we did the usual trick of having Darth safely in the temple's starting area, while, within compass-map range, Kaerella fought ghouls, mummies, and occasionally orc soldiers, and even an orc fighter or two that insisted on getting involved.

There were various people recruiting for their guilds, and a friendly cleric called Fyrwenn tried to recruit both of us, but I explained my whimsical plan of wanting to have Kaerella on all servers in the same guild and riding a pale blue horse, and she was suitably impressed.

I'd carefully not given Kaerella the Elizabuff, so that she didn't go up too fast, but she did go up a little over half a level, reaching level 25, before the end of the session - I didn't spend any of her skill points, as she needs to save up for that first level of Resurrection. LordDarth did have the buff, though - and managed to go from level 10 to level 20 just standing in the hallway, except for very rare battles with a ghoul at the end of Kae's corridor, when she was busy at the far end. So, Kaerella got 10 Reputation points for being Darth's Guardian, and Darth got the "event weapon" sword.

I had been surprised that LordDarth wasn't in the Discipline guild, but of course it was my local level 10 mage Enchantra who had formed the guild on Hatzring. Back in Randol, LordDarth applied to join, and was accepted, and then was made guild master - at level 20, with some cash passed over by Kae, he was able to upgrade the guild twice, to make it level three, using some of his skill points. He also got his special "neckless" and did the other level 20 quests...he even borrowed Kae's Juno NPC scroll and went out to Wild Collector Kai, to complete one quest, and did the repeatable "kill 30 drakes" quest for him while he was there. The quests gave him 46.59% more experience, and 14 more skill points, allowing him to get the fifth level of Vitality Control, increasing his health regeneration.

That took me just past nine o'clock, so I was late for the "gaming trivia quiz" [GM]Kali was hosting in Merac on Katar-5. I rushed over, staying with the same account so that it was a level 2 SirDarth who was my representative there, and luckily it was late starting. There were ten questions in all, most of them so tricky and Atari 2600-based that it was "nice try guys" and on to the next question, but a few were Aeria-related, and when Kali asked "Which game lets you have a Sprite as a pet?" I was the first person to type in "Grand Fantasia", so I won that round.

At the end, [GM]Kali traded a platinum blessed iris across to me, and apparently someone who got two or three answers right also just got the one pbi. The web page this time made clear that one shouldn't participate in more than one server's quiz, so I don't know if any of the other servers got more of the answers right, but you would have to be a student of early Atari games to get some of them. One question had been "Which was the first first-person shooter", and while most people had tried "Doom", I typed in "Wolfenstein", but that wasn't the right answer, apparently. "Maze War" perhaps, but who, without checking Wikipedia, would think of that one?

Enchantra on Hatzring-5 went into merchant mode after that, starting with 548 gold, and doing rather well early on, quickly selling all the skill point boosters that I'd put up, gained from attending various Hatzring events, like junior Mad Monster Spawns, over recent months. MistressDomino on Auzura-5 logged in too, and had a look to see if there was any +15 armour suitable for Rage available. The nearest was a +13 piece of "b5e" at 895 million, but I think we'll hold out a while in the hope that a +15 piece or two turns up. MD then went into merchant mode as well, so we shall see if the night ahead is a prosperous one for the two merchant mages.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Outside With the Sphinx Fighters

MistressDomino had a pretty good overnight selling session, though the experience boosters didn't sell at the higher price; the skill point boosters did, however. The selling came to a slightly early end, with a "send error report?" message waiting for me when I checked in the morning.

This was the second day of the double experience and skill exp, stacking with pssps, pbis, and the two kinds of booster, but I really didn't feel like a marathon Tomb session again... which was just as well, as the forum shoutbox had people reporting that Cariae had suffered its regular crash just after 11:00am UK time. It seems to be the point at which data is gathered for rankings, though why that should kick almost everyone out, I don't know.

Luckily I was over on Auzura-4 at the time, fighting the outdoor sphinx fighters (the ones in the Tomb ought really to be called anubis fighters), sphinx speer men, and the elite sphinx speer man. My level 62 wizard MistressDomina was taking the lead in a combat party; I started by teaming her with my similar-level titan MrChuckNorris, but as she took quite a lot of damage, particularly from the elite, Chuck bowed out, and Kaerella took over.

Kaerella could heal MD, though her higher level, 70, may have reduced the experience gain slightly. Chuck is well off for skill points, while Kae is glad to get some extra ones - she only got 19 from the session, but it all helps. MD used a platinum blessed iris, to triple her experience gain, and also used 32 experience boosters. She reached level 63 before the end of the hour, and added 90.02% in all, as well as 721 pet points and 24 skill points. We did continue for a few minutes after the hour, with the party changed from combat to equal, and Kae doing the fighting, so Kaerella added 2.87%.

Reaching level 63 meant that MistressDomina was able, back in Randol, to learn level 7 of Flame Field, for 300 skill points, increasing that skill's power from 210 to 250. Useful if there is a group of monsters, though the level 70 skill is generally held to be better.

After lunch we followed a slightly different scheme, with Kaerella not in a party with MistressDomina - instead, MD was just in a solo party. Kaerella stood nearby still, and supplied healing when needed. MD managed to add 93.54% in the first hour, which was just enough to get her into level 64, plus 38 skill points and 911 pet points, while using 38 experience boosters. There was a slight interruption from a royal knight, who took the elite twice, but he soon moved on, perhaps to the nearby elite sphinx fighter as I suggested.

The second hour used up another 37 experience boosters, with MistressDomina moving on by another 80.71%, and adding another 33 skill points and 837 pet points. After that, there were a few minutes left, so MD left the solo party and made an equal party with Kaerella, so that MD got another 1.58%, and Kae, doing the work, got 1.02%, with 5 skill points each.

For the evening session, we went back to Kaerella leading a combat party, still out at the same spot; 49.23% was Kae's experience gain in the first hour, plus 20 skill points, from 43 experience boosters, while the second hour brought another 53.44%, and 23 skill points, from 49 boosters, taking Kaerella into level 71. Approaching half an hour after that of an equal party gave Kae 2.16% more and 11 skill points... MistressDomina added 4.46% during the two hours, along with the 43 skill points, and another 3.67%, and the 11 skill points, from the final bit, so she's still almost 10% away from reaching level 65.

We did have a visit from Kamira during the first hour, so Rage temporarily logged in instead of Kae, and quickly dealt with her, getting the usual drops, but no rare accessory this time. Kaerella then hurried back, and continued her session.

Over on Tairen-2, the Sunday Quiz went smoothly, with no tricky or out-of-date questions, so MistressDomino and Kaerella both got their tool aids, moonstones, and heaven stones; Kae passed her moonstones and heaven stones across to MD before they both logged out.

Two Tairen characters I've not logged in as for a while got a chance after the Quiz - SirGalahad, who used to pet-level so assiduously in Maargadum Jail, and my level 41 rogue xRAGEx. They made a solo party, and Gal headed back to level five of the Jail; all he had on the pet front was a level 2 dragon hatchling, which soon reached level 3, as Gal fought his usual death mask lancer.

I wonder whatever happened to GAMER, Discpline's Ukrainian level 50 mage on Tairen? The character is still in the guild, but doesn't seem to be playing Last Chaos any more. She lead Rage to the elite sphinx fighter's location ages ago, which I added to Rage's memory scroll. Now that I know that area a bit better, it seemed a good idea to move from that spot to the "elite sphinx speer man number two" location, which I now knew to be close by.

So, I teleported to the spot, which was right at the side of the open area, and managed to work out which way I needed to move - and got to my favourite sphinx spot without having to do any fighting. Someone was there, but they left almost at once, just leaving some gold on the ground for me to pick up...I hate to leave a place looking untidy, so quickly grabbed it.

At level 41, my Tauren version of Rage did have to be pretty careful, and left the elite sphinx speer man strictly alone. When Snare worked things were simple enough, and when it failed, well, quite a bit of health got lost. It wasn't a long session, Rage doesn't have any pbis or boosters, but she added 22.87% and 214 pet points, getting to the three-quarters mark in her level.

But that was the end of today's action - not as intense a slog as yesterday's Tomb of Theos session, but Auzura's Kaerella and MistressDomina got moved along nicely. The main idea has got to be to get Kaerella back within fifteen levels of Rage, who is level 91, so Kae needs another five levels, while Rage concentrates on "Storm the Castle" events and similar excitements, and trying to get a high-quality level 85/87 armour set. Talking of "StC", the forum poll for Sunday's event still seems level at zero votes each, as [GM]Kali never did unlock the thread to allow people to vote.

SirDarth logged in on Sarissa-4 for a little bit of work levelling his horse, while at the end of the evening, SirGalahad's short session in Maargadum Jail finished with the hatchling safely into level four. Running all the way through the Jail takes time, but it's good to have a pet-leveller who doesn't need to get a red name.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Changing the Lightbulb

SirDarth's overnight session went well, with his horse reaching level 31 soon after breakfast this morning without any incidents. MistressDomino sold a nice lot of stuff on Auzura too, though she still has rather a lot of the large attack and defence potions...when I have time, she needs to browse Roy's merchant mart stock, in case any other suitable armour pieces for Rage are available, though someone in the forum shoutbox did mention later that +15 b5e rogue armour pieces aren't usually less than 1.5 billion each, sigh.

There seems an awful lot going on this weekend. The website mentions a Dratan raffle, in which each time you drop 1000 gold on the ground in that map, and don't pick it up, you are entered in a raffle with a chance to win one of 30 "variety packs"; there's a 30% bonus on buying any amount of aeria points; there's a "tiered spender event"; there's a first time buyer event... and, while those are all announced in detail on the website, hidden away in a forum post called "While You Wait For Mondshine", we are told, if we find it, that, running from 1:00am today, UK time, for two days, the experience and Skill exp cap will be raised to 600%, and the base XP/SP experience will be raised to 200%, with thousands of 3 for 1 packs on sale in the Web Mall.

So, I just had time for one hour's worth of platinum blessed iris out in Dratan on Auzura-4 for Kaerella, in a combat party with MistressDomina, before lunch, using an experience booster on the elite sphinx speer man - which got the experience from that critter up to 15 to 17 million a go. Kaerella reached level 69 before too long, and added 75.66% in all, along with 706 pet points (the sphinx fighters went blue-named when she levelled up, cutting the pet point gain); as well as the hour in the combat party, we then switched to an equal party for another quarter of an hour, so MistressDomina managed to add 6.15%. And they each got 34 skill points.

I'd checked with the forum shoutbox about the extra experience and skill experience initially, logged in as Memree since I'd been doing level one of the tiered spender event on that account, mainly buying the 3 for 1 experience booster packs, and kept an eye on it afterwards. The conversation came round to the shortcomings of the Korean developers of the game, and Aeria_ks1lent's valiant trip to Korea to attempt to sort them out, and I posted "How many Korean devs does it take to change a light bulb?" followed by the answer, "We don't know, they are working on it. Please be patient." This appealed to some people, and forum regular lukaviljevac used it as the basis for a cartoon, which he posted in the forum's creative area.

Over on Cariae-4, Barbarienne and Keerella headed for the Tomb of Theos after lunch, having been assured in the shoutbox that it was set to easy now - and indeed it was. This was Barbarienne's turn to lead, with Kee on the older computer; with it being the weekend, with the special experience (and skill exp) running, I expected the place to be busy, and I wasn't disappointed - the opening area with its screaming zombies looked pretty hectic as I ran through, and the room with the anubis spear men, plus sphinx fighters, was in use. CombineHarvester was, er, farming, on one side, and a pair from the major guilds Vendetta and Trio were across from him, I think doing power-levelling as there seemed plenty of use of Party Recall going on.

So, Barbarienne settled in just to fight the sphinx fighters, without using any potions, hoping that a vacancy would occur; Keerella ran in to join her, but at this stage just stood in a safe place with SkrappY equipped. Before long I noticed that the power-leveller had about twenty minutes left on the platinum blessed iris, so kept my fingers crossed - and the pair did indeed disappear when the time expired.

So, Barbarienne was able to take on the far side of the room, my favourite levelling spot, and began her first power potion, berserker potion, crit pot, platinum adrenaline, and platinum blessed iris hour... and after a few minutes Keerella put SkrappY away, equipped her level 50 drake Greedo instead, and began fighting the sphinx fighters.

At some points the room was busy, and sometimes I had the place to myself. There were times when Barb had to wait for an anubis spear man to respawn, but generally I was pretty lucky. CombineHarvester moved on deeper at a time the room was crowded, which was kind; a temple knight called tristram666 actually used his Teleportation skill a few times, and I commented on it. He wondered if it could be called "telekinesis", but I said that that would involve the monster floating through the air, rather than instantaneously being moved from one spot to another - we agreed that would be a cool effect. I shared the room with a warmaster titan called BusDriver, but he didn't say anything... and other people came and went, I don't think the titan who was there when I finished understood English.

Barbarienne's experience gain varied between 22% and 24% per hour - and over the five-hour session, she went up 113.38%, reaching level 104. Her drake went up by 5692 pet points. Barb used 264 experience boosters, an average of around 53 per hour, so that was a pretty expensive level to get, but speedy. Keerella wasn't using any potions or boosters, and just went up by 5.57%, but her drake added 4789 pet points - and they each gained 49 skill points.

Going on for so long, I just had some milk and biscuits at the desk for my "food break", but once the session was over I did the washing up, on the feeling that I couldn't really leave it all for Monday. Then Barbarienne logged in and got the fifth level of Rise Focus 2, for 40 million gold and 1300 skill points, increasing her hit rate by 44. That took her stash of skill points down to 3,118, but if necessary she has a few thousand "banked" in the special skills too.

The remaining part of the evening was just long enough for Kaerella and MistressDomina to team up on Auzura-4 again. Before we left Randol, a Vendetta member called ENKIL opened a trade window with Kaerella, and displayed a "Crest of Rainbow" accessory, which gives 12 each to strength, intelligence and dexterity, and 6 to constitution. As I couldn't see that Kae would actually prefer that to her current three accessories, I gracefully declined, and Kae headed for the teleporter to Dratan.

MistressDomina was by Storekeeper Bianca still, though, and ENKIL opened the trade window with her, and displayed the accessory again. "How much?" I asked, and when he assured me it was free, gratefully accepted it. With her 60/62 armour MD is obviously no noob, any more than Kae is... it was a very nice gesture, and much appreciated.

The location of the second elite sphinx "speer" man was, as usual, quiet, so, in their combat party, MD just stood and watched as Kae fought the locals. For an hour Kae used a platinum blessed iris, for triple experience, stacking with the event - and she used 40 experience boosters, on the elite, killing the regular types in between. There was a slight hiatus, though - the roadboss (or indeed raid boss) Kamira arrived.

Not feeling particularly lucky, and since it doesn't seem to matter if the person fighting the boss is higher in level, Kaerella logged out, and Rage logged in, teleporting to the other elite sphinx speer man's location and quickly riding across. Just using horse buffs, Rage did need to use a medium health potion to stop her MP getting a bit low, but Kamira didn't last long - and, along with the usual goodies, on the ground was a Tears of Knight, that most desirable of accessories. It looks as if my temple knight on Auzura, SirDarth (not a pet-leveller), is in for a treat...

Kaerella returned after that, and finished the pbi's hour - changing the party to an equal one after that, she continued for another twenty minutes, to get MistressDomina a bit more experience. In all, Kaerella added 63.82% - plus only 279 pet points, as after she reached level 70, both the local kinds of monster were blue-named. MistressDomina added 7.67%, and they both got 35 skill points.

Back in town, Kaerella found she still had level 7 of Poison Arrow to learn, from level 68, as well as the five levels of the level 70 skill, Paralyzing Arrows - the last new attack skill until the one Barbarienne has recently learnt at level 102, Fatal Blow. So, that was 1850 skill points used...

The winning event for today was apparently a "Dungeon Run". I did ask in the forum shoutbox what that might be, but our resident gamesage didn't know. "Not sure. Maybe you have to kill mobs in the different dungeons?" That was the suggestion from ants3107, anyway. I did later see a post on Sarissa saying it was taking place in Maargadum Jail, but that was a bit late in the evening for me. There was a forum post calling for votes for an event tomorrow, but sadly, while it said it was "open", [GM]Kali had absent-mindedly locked it. The candidates were Race to the Finish, Hide and Seek, and Storm the Castle...the last of which would get my vote, if I could cast it.

SirDarth logged in for a hour or so of pet-levelling on Sarissa-4 before the older computer closes down for the night, getting his horse past the 25% mark in level 31; over on Auzura-5 MistressDomino did a little selling, too. She had increased the price slightly on skill point boosters and experience boosters, since there ought to be a high demand for them at the moment, but there didn't seem to be any takers.