Monday, 31 May 2010

Another Cancelled Event

One thing I didn't mention about last night's Auzura "Merac Run" was that Rage went up by 0.21% for her 40 minutes of fighting; she didn't get any skill points, but her drake did get 380 pet points. Ah well, I suspect 0.21% is a lot more than 2bizarJones got for her rather more high-level efforts!

MistressDomino did manage to make some useful sales in the late evening, UK time, on Auzura-5, and I decided to leave her selling her goodies for at least part of the night. The moonstones and the perfect stones sold quickly, as did most of the heaven stones, and some chaos balls - but for a really good selling session I'd need to sell some mana stealers, berserker potions, item drop boosters, and damage boosters too. In the end, there seemed rather a lot of those left, so perhaps next time prices will need to be adjusted. Still, MistressDomino's cash stash moved back up to the highest it had been since her last big spending spree.

RedRackham logged back in for some drake-levelling on Cariae-4 before breakfast, and stayed at work until after coffee. RedRydeR did make a trip down to the Jail, but floor three was already being used, so I had to switch over to Plan B - which involved SirKit and AmityBlaise heading for Prokion Temple instead.

The back room was in use, so Kit and Amy moved along to what I call the corridor room alongside, and had an uninterrupted session there. It was a combat party, with Kit doing most of the work, but Amy did some fighting too, when convenient. By the time lunch was getting close, SirKit had earned 54.38% experience, while AmityBlaise was up 41.63%, and had earned 103 guild points for the Cariae branch of the Discipline guild. And they'd each got 247 more skill points.

Over lunch we had RedRackham drake-levelling on a gnoll lancer in stereo, out in both Cariae-4 and Auzura-4 - we had the same effect over the early evening food break, too. At the end of the lunch break another pandora's box appeared on Cariae-4 near RedRackham, and RedRydeR logged on specially to deal with it - it was handy that, last time she'd been there, I'd added the spot to her memory scroll, This time the box just unleashed five level twelve physical defence minerals, rather than a beast.

The third level of Maargadum Jail was again in use when RedRydeR arrived, but I decided I might as well stick around, and fought the beast scythes and beast archers on the raised area to one side, without really going into any of the side rooms. SirKit came along too, and went down to the central area, to just sit out of the way there. I asked the titan there, MUDD, if he wanted a combat party, but he was already in a solo, and anyway was more interested in skill points than experience - he was using an effort scroll, for 50% extra sp gain for ten minutes. He asked me to stay clear, so I stayed up at the side - until he announced that he was finished, after five minutes or so, and handed the place over to me.

So, RedRydeR took possession of the place, and stayed there until the end of the afternoon, when the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff ran out. A level 47 knight called BlaCkStaR88 came in, and accepted an invitation to join the combat party...but apart from asking my level when he arrived, I don't think he said anything, and he left after a few minutes. I caught sight of someone called babysnuggle at one end briefly, but they didn't stick around; there was a rogue called xSilentOnex later who, by again asking my level, didn't live up to her name, and again soon left.

By the time the session reached its natural conclusion, RedRydeR had gone up by 51.45%, plus 137 skill points and 2472 pet points, which got her drake well into level 18, while SirKit had levelled up, reaching level 37, and so was able to put on the last two pieces of the Abro armour set. In all he gained 27.65% just sitting or standing at the side, and 134 skill points.

After the early evening food break, I did a little checking on various inventories, and some searching in Roy's merchant mart on Auzura and Cariae. There was still no +15 level 85 bow available for Kaerella on Auzura, which is rather holding her back - she needs that bow so that the level 69 one can be changed into a wizard's staff for MistressDomina, so that MD, along with MrChuckNorris, can do some levelling on the screaming zombies. And Kae herself will then be able to fight the screaming zombies herself, and go up at least one level, to be able to put on the circlet and boots from the 85/87 armour set - which will free up the level 72 ones, to be passed on down the line.

Over on Cariae there still was no sign of a +15 pair of level 85 gloves to complete Keerella's set - but when I switched to looking for healer gloves, I found a pair of green-named, 5 evasion seal level 105 Light Jarinom Gloves +15 being sold by Roy for tallichealer at 420 million, which seemed well worth getting, since Barbarienne is now that level. I couldn't see a +15 level 106 jacket, for next time she levels up - but I found that DaizY was selling Anti-stone Jarinom Leggings +15, blue-named and with all five evasion seals, for, gulp, a billion (US), and gritted my teeth and bought them too.

Equipping the gloves, instead of the level 85 b4e pair, increased Barbarienne's physical defence from 3334 to 3403, but decreased her physical evasion from 1183 to 1150, so I think I'd better still try to find a blue-named pair if I can, eventually. The new gloves do add 8 to physical attack, though! When Barb can put on the new leggings, they ought to increase her defence by 83.

Moving down a few levels, from 105 to 27, AmityBlaise had 521 skill points to spend, so was able to get the remaining levels of Snare, Reinforce, Regain, and Coup de Gras, plus the first level of Innate Movement (increasing her attack speed), three more levels of Poison Capsule, and the first two levels of Mental Defence (increasing her magical defence) - leaving her once again with zero points. She then opened a couple of treasure chests, with Lorraine's assistance, and got 20 Candy plus 150,000 gold.

The main part of the evening saw SirKit and AmityBlaise return to Prokion Temple, which was so full that the first place we found free was the "mirror universe" back room. Luckily with Amy, on level 27, in the combat party, even the two orc soldiers there give a useful bit of skill exp. After a friendly passing rogue, DarlaSilvereye, had lured in a group of extra orcs for me a couple of times, Amy started to do that, in a less ambitious way, luring in a few orc fighters, axemen, and sergeants from the corridor, to help keep things busy. Thanks to her fighting, we got a few more Wendy Bear pieces, though Kit got some too - and Amy got a heaven stone, followed later by a hand of the warrior drop, so we did pretty well on the loot side.

My duo logged out early, though; SirKit had earned another 30.47%, while AmityBlaise had gone up by 40.78%, and earned 102 guild points. They each got 206 new skill points, rather less than from the morning session; the decrease would mainly be due to Kit having moved up by a level, I assume.

I did a little moving around of loot, replenishing my merchant stocks; SirKit moved his extra Wendy Bear pieces across to MistressFelicia, but RedRydeR has held on to hers for the moment. I have seen people attempting to charge up to a million each for the pieces, I hope nobody pays that much. But then I've seen people trying to get that much for a Candy, which I don't find particularly speedy sellers at around 75,000 gold.

MistressDomina on Cariae went into merchant mode, near the fountain close to the arena on Cariae-4, and quickly sold most of her heaven stones... and somebody bought all 300 of her experience boosters, at 1,550,000 gold each, so we've more than got back the cost of those gloves. The shirt may take a little longer, I felt...

Today's special event was another of the fifteen-question quiz things, this one with "Who is the GM?" as the theme. Auzura-5 was scheduled to start the ball rolling at nine o'clock, UK time, which was why I'd stopped the adventuring earlier than usual. Kaerella went along to Merac Village... but a few minutes after nine a GM announcement came up that the event had been cancelled, and that instead there would be four hours of 50% extra experience, which was not a lot of use for me. So, RedRackham logged back in on Cariae-4, and went to do an hour or two's pet-levelling. Ah well, a slightly early finish is probably a good idea, as I've had a couple of rather late nights this past weekend. I suppose Last Chaos, or Aeria Games in general, must be slightly under-staffed for GMs at present.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

On the Run

RedRackham logged back in at breakfast time on Cariae-4 today, not that I actually have breakfast on a normal Sunday, and it wasn't too long before his drake reached level 37. So, the drake was now ready to be traded across to RedRydeR in exchange for her current one... but in the meantime, there was no harm in it adding a bit more pet experience.

My plan for after coffee was for RedRydeR to log in and check out level three of Maargadum Jail. If it was free, SirKit would hurry down to join her - if it wasn't free, then SirKit would take the newer computer and head for Prokion Temple, accompanied by AmityBlaise.

RedRydeR had only just got the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff when ExtreamWitch got in touch, to suggest another combat party at the Jail, which sounded good to me - she soon reported that our spot was clear, so Red hurried along, and with my pet-leveller logging out, SirKit logged in too, and set off to follow her.

Things went smoothly through the morning. There was a very brief visit from a sorcerer called Yebach while ExtreamWitch was back in town to get a skill, but by the time I'd clicked on him, with the intention of inviting him into the combat party, he said "bye" and beamed out. By lunchtime, RedRydeR had gone up by 32.34%, 1342 pet points and 79 skill points, while SirKit had added 18.35% and 76 skill points, since he arrived slightly later.

We left our characters there over lunch, and continued afterwards, though ExtreamWitch had gone off to the arena for a little while - so I've done less reading of the Sunday paper than usual. Another mage xXOleXx, on level 43, was in the party for much of the afternoon. I think she only died once, maybe she'd do better if she wore proper armoured headgear rather than an "Uncle Sam" ringmaster style top hat... though Extream did confess that the pirate hat she was wearing wasn't melded onto armour yet, either. A brief outing with a friend to the Tomb of Theos since I'd seen her last had got her into level 49.

The Elizabeth's Enhancement buff wore off fairly early in the afternoon, so Red and Kit took it in turn to log out, respawn in Randol, get the buff, and return. Recently, on the older computer in particular, Last Chaos has taken ages to close, if it has been running for a while, but the restarts of the game made things run more smoothly for the afternoon.

Sorcerer0 also joined rather briefly, hoping to move up from level 33, but by the time four o'clock was approaching it was just Red and Kit. I had to stop a bit early as a friend was coming round, but RedRydeR had earned another 53.55%, 112 skill points and 2483 pet points, taking her current drake into level 17, while SirKit was up by another 28.33% and 109 skill points.

RedRackham did a little more drake-levelling over the early evening food break; a pandora's box appeared eventually, and rather than possibly release a level 50 beast RedRackham wouldn't have been able to deal with, with other afk pet-levellers around, RedRydeR rode down and opened the box - which just released a level 30 beast which was easily dealt with. RedRydeR took the opportunity to complete a couple of quests, gaining another 4.69% experience. A new quest requires her to visit the Jail and fight beast flyers and so on to gather some beast hearts - no problem!

Having reached level 35, SirKit was now able to learn the sixth level of Concentration, for 200 skill points; he also spent 163 sp to finally learn Devotion, which decreases defence by 40 but increase attack by 70 and hit rate by 80 for five minutes at a time, and got four levels of the passive skill Two Weapon Fighting, for 111 sp, to increase his attack by 72 while using dual swords, so his skill point stash was back below 6k.

AmityBlaise logged on to join Kit, and spent all 388 skill points on various skills, including Reinforce (increasing physical attack), Far Seeing (increasing her range with a crossbow), Free Walk (increasing her movement speed), Regain (increasing her HP and MP regeneration rate), and Coup de Gras (increasing her rate of critical hits), as well as Snare... not that she can afford the top levels of all of these yet.

Not unexpectedly for such a busy time, the back room in Prokion Temple was busy - so Kit and Amity ended up just beyond the mirror half's corridor room, fighting orc sergeants and axemen there. Amity had had her experience gain cut to 50%, so it took a while for her to get the 80% or so she needed to reach level 27; being able then to equip the boots and hood from the 30/32 +10 armour set increased her physical defence from 524 (or 527 after levelling up) to 738, so that she was no longer taking damage from orc attacks, which was a relief, as up until then I'd had to keep a careful eye on her health bar.

Until Amity levelled up, the party had been an equal one, with Amity doing a fair bit of fighting, and getting some loot, but once level 27 had been reached, Kit changed the party type to combat, so that Amity's experience gain slowed right down, and his speeded up a bit. By the time the Sunday Quiz was approaching, SirKit had gone up by 52.97%, taking him comfortably into level 36, while in all AmityBlaise was up by 89.58%, and had earned her first 183 guild points for Discipline. They had each gained 273 skill points, so Kit was safely back over the 6k mark. Maybe he can afford the fifth level of Two Weapon Fighting, which would add another 18 to his physical attack, for 216 skill points, though that will take him down below 6k again...

Kaerella and MistressDomino logged in on Auzura-2 for the Quiz, as they have done for the last few weeks, hoping for the usual set of questions. Things did indeed go smoothly, with most people making it safely to the end, and Kae was able to trade her 15 heaven stones and 10 moonstones over to MD afterwards, before they both logged out.

After that, luckily the lag wasn't too bad, so that logging in and out to transfer the spare Wendy Bear pieces across to MistressFelicia on Cariae-5 (since MistressDomina doesn't have the nine spare spaces needed) from other characters was simple, if time-consuming. I also transferred a level 40/42 +6 Abro set of knight armour across to SirKit; his 30/32 +10 Steel set gives him 974 physical defence, but the three pieces of the new set he can wear so far increase that to 996, and when he levels up again and can wear the helm and boots that will go up to 1014, so it is worth changing... besides, there are so many knights around these days wearing the Steel set, it makes a change to be wearing something else.

Looking around, it seemed that selling the Wendy Bear pieces for 150,000 gold each wasn't unreasonable... but I must have priced them too low, within a minute or two of MistressFelicia going into merchant mode alongside the event's npc somebody bought her entire stock. Still, getting 31,350,000 gold so quickly for the extra loot drops this week wasn't too bad... by my calculations that was 209 pieces, though MistressFelicia, AmityBlaise, SirKit and RedRydeR all still have one set of all nine picture parts.

There was just time to put MistressDomino over on Auzura-5 into merchant mode before ten o'clock, and then Rage headed across to Merac on that sub-server, for the night's "Merac Run". As usual it started off easily, with level 50, 60, and 70 critters, but as we continued towards the Misty Canyon teleporter, the monsters got harder. I'd been recruited into a party by the level 36 archer Deensechick, who kindly provided some useful healing along the way - but the elite cerberi at the finishing area, and perhaps some of the higher-level stuff, did kill her two or three times.

I generally kept out of the tighter corners, doing my share of the fighting but trying not to tank the silly-high stuff. An archmage quanian did single me out, though, for its version of the "blind"'s very disconcerting when the whole screen, except one's own greying-out figure, goes black. There was an introducer camio that turned its attentions on me, too, after chasing somebody up the hill at the side of the track. [GM]Erock, a newbert GM, was on the chat window a time or two, I don't know if he was there "in person" - but, with masses of flutons, patriarch botises, and other nasties, we were very lucky to have the server's number two mage, the level 155 2bizarJones, leading the fight. She wasn't getting much experience, all the monsters were blue-named to her, but she certainly stopped the rest of us from getting into a lot of trouble there. And, after about 40 minutes, the run was over.

Zombie Fighting

In the end I didn't risk MistressDomino staying in merchant mode overnight, in case her earnings disappeared again from some unscheduled maintenance - she sold out of half her items within an hour, anyway, so has got back to the kind of cash level that might make it possible to buy a +15 level 85 bow, though it would be a near thing. So, MD logged out, and RedRackham moved over to the newer computer, allowing the old XP-running machine to be switched off overnight.

By morning, Cariae's RedRackham had got his drake comfortably into level 36. Getting to 37 isn't a "magic number" for a drake in the way that it is for a horse, but it will mean the end of overnight sessions for that particular pet, as any pet that is two levels above its owner gets hungry twice as quickly, so that 8 hours 20 minutes, for a full 100 hunger points, falls to half that. Red had company with the gnoll lancers, the mages HoneyBun and KiaOra from the DisciplesofHope guild were hard at work there too.

Over on Auzura-4, my other RedRackham swung back into action at breakfast time; his drake is level 38, so can't be levelled overnight. I don't think I have any special plans for this particular pet, but perhaps it will get exchanged for a slightly lower-level one being used by another of my Auzura characters...

The pre-lunch session saw SirKit in Prokion Temple again. The level 36 knight ThunderStorms was in the back room, not for the first time, so Kit went to the corridor room - but before long a level 31 healer called BGarcherBG came in, so after a while I decided to move along and try to find some other orc sergeants and axemen. I tend to think that the small square rooms, with four big statues in them, just off the corners of the central stairway area, are bad bets because too many people tend to barge in and try to "help", but today I was left alone, so that by the time lunch was near, SirKit had added 14.07%, 251 skill points, and 139 guild points.

The solo party Kit joined at the start ran out of people before 11:30, so he had to find another solo party - and both ThunderStorms and BGarcherBG were in it, which is how I know their levels. I wonder if ThunderStorms intends to stay in the temple for the whole of level 36, gaining skill exp? If so, he may be using that back room for a while yet.

The afternoon session involved another popular place, level three of Maargadum Jail, which is where I took RedRydeR and SirKit, in their usual combat-style party. Really, there is only the one good spot there, unlike Prokion Temple, so I was lucky that someone left just as I arrived, leaving the way clear for me; they must have been in a combat party of their own, as a knight remained, and just stood on the far staircase throughout the afternoon.

Before long a level 48 mage called ExtreamWitch17 arrived, and since she was obviously going to do some fighting, I invited her into the combat party. I don't think her armour was too good, as she used a lot of health potions, and there were a number of times when she had to run from a mob of beast flyers, with me trying to pick them off one by one. From what she said, I don't think she had any head armour, and hadn't moved over her stone of shadow accessory from her higher-level assassin character.

She got a disconnection, and while she was away a level 33 sorcerer, sorcerer0, arrived, and, though his command of English was a bit basic, seemed to want to join the party. I had to transfer leadership to SirKit for that, but, with his stone skin buff and knight form, he got into a lot less trouble than ExtreamWitch17 had.

He didn't stay long - and uffo1 made only a very brief appearance, after sending me messages to come to the Jail, to which I had replied that I was already there. ExtreamWitch did get back eventually, with her SoS but still without headgear...she was still fighting when I left, though she had followed my advice to move to one of the side rooms rather than risk the whole mob of beast flyers concentrating on her alone. From some remarks ExtreamWitch17 made, I think "she" is actually a 13-year-old boy, but I do tend to go by the sex of the character that is being played. That probably explains a wish expressed that a pk-ing spree in Prokion Temple on Cariae-5 would be possible...that does seem rather a 13-year-old boy thing to do.

By the end, RedRydeR had gone up by 43.20%, and her dragon hatchling had gone up to level 16, becoming a drake, by gaining 1814 pet points. SirKit had gone up by 14.22%, and added 139 guild points - and both Red and Kit had earned 99 skill points.

Over the early evening food break I had RedRackham in stereo, fighting his gnoll lancers; on Cariae he was moving his drake through level 36 still, while on Auzura his drake reached level 39, meaning that it now got hungry three times as quickly.

Earlier I had cleared out some of RedRydeR's inventory space by moving non-essential items across to a level 20 rogue that I'd never done anything with, AmityBlaise - this included the +10 30/32 rogue armour set and +15 level 29 crossbow, which really need to go back to my original rogue, and indeed the first LC character I made, Karella. But now it was time to make some more practical use of Amity; she put on the armour set, which even with a 70% penalty gave better protection than her old duds, and I ran her out to Prokion Temple, to get its location onto her memory scroll. She even fought a few mummies and ghouls there, but soon logged out, with substantially lowered health.

SirKit then logged in on the main computer, and AmityBlaise relogged to the older one. After getting their Elizabuffs, they headed for Prokion Temple together, for the main evening session - with Amity so much lower than Kit, she ought to boost his experience gain and skill exp gain nicely, was the theory.

I ran into the back room and started fighting orcs, somehow completely failing to see a titan in a green santa hat already fighting at the back there. When I did see him I cut back my attacking, and was just checking his buffs to see if he was having a "power hour" with a pbi etc... when he vanished. So, my timing must have been pretty good.

AmityBlaise stayed back, only occasionally getting attacked, and SirKit got busy, getting good amounts of experience and skill exp. He soon reached level 35 - and by the time I logged out, he had added 34.77%, 399 guild points, and 382 skill points, taking his stash over the 6k mark. AmityBlaise got the same amount of skill points - she went up by six levels, so can now use the crossbow, plus the gloves, shirt and pants, without any penalty.

Back in town, Discipline's guild master Kaerella logged in, and recruited Amity into the guild. She then set Amity's experience gain to 50% - and, while she was about it, unlocked SirKit's experience gain.

I'd added DarkxSlayer, a level 22 knight, to the party when he asked for a solo - he got added to Kit's friends list recently. He was in the room up the stairs to the left, with the mummies and single orc soldier, but may well have moved on a bit, since he levelled up a couple of times too. The archer qpWEEDYqp had come into the back room fairly early on, but just stood there for at least twenty minutes, so I defended her a little when orcs targeted her. She later returned, to finish her level, and indeed I left her "in charge" when I logged out. She very kindly gave Kit 25 effort scrolls, which may well come in handy at some point.

By the time SirKit and AmityBlaise, whose claim to fame is that she is the only character of mine in this game to use the name of a character I'd made in Guild Wars, had logged out, and Cariae's RedRackham had returned to his gnoll lancer for a bit more drake-levelling, it was getting a little bit close to ten o'clock... and rather than log out, I decided to let Rage, my level 92 rogue, attend the "Zombie Invasion" in Dratan on Auzura-5.

From previous events I knew that things were likely to start at Shuraine's oasis, so Rage rode out there - and, although it was around seven minutes before the starting time, the water was full of berserk zombies and screaming zombies. So, I was the first one to start fighting the invaders, picking off the screaming zombies one by one. After five minutes the GM announcement came up, with the location, so a couple of minutes later, I was no longer alone.

We cleared out the zombies there; a level 33 mage called mkato asked for a party, so I added her, and applied horse buffs when necessary. There were zombies, including the boss-type ancient screaming zombies, all along the road to the city, and we fought those - and then reached the massed ranks of zombies outside the city itself.

Poor mkato did die a few times, just one absent-minded swipe from a passing zombie was enough, but she always returned to the fray, and fought hard. I picked up an "earrings of flame" accessory a zombie dropped, and passed it across to her, since it seemed quite useful. I also gave her the tip Zenderfly had given me so long ago about right-clicking on a party member's health bar to target the monster they were attacking.

There certainly were a lot of zombies, mainly the ancient screaming type; I could solo or tank one, though its Silence and poison skills meant I used a few health potions each time. Luckily the high-level mage MAG1C was there, and was able to attract a fairly large group, and generally keep their attention while a few others of us added our firepower to the battle. I see from the rankings that she is Auzura's #19 mage, on level 114; I had assumed she was higher than that, she must have pretty good armour.

We killed the last of the zombies, I think, after about eighty minutes. It was quite a battle - and Rage added a whole 1.27%, along with 3 skill points and 1049 pet points.

It was more than time to log out after that. RedRackham should have got his drake within a couple of hours of level 37 by the time I switch off the older computer, as he can't level it overnight any more - so that particular task is moving along nicely towards its conclusion.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Disappearing Gold

Just as I was heading for bed last night, another GM announcement came up: "All servers are coming down at 5pm PDT for a brief maintenance to address an issue with the Wendy Bear Events. That is in two hours!" We should at least give them credit for giving proper advance notice, so that nobody would be kicked out with one-hour potions running. Of course, there are things that last for three hours, but hey, you can't have everything.

So, it wasn't worth leaving RedRackham in drake-levelling action, since he'd be kicked out soon; he logged out with the drake just approaching halfway through level 34. MistressDomino had taken in over 300 million gold by then, so I decided I might as well leave her in business until the server came down - as it happened, she didn't sell much more, though, so in total her takings were 364,578,000 gold.

Before breakfast, both characters logged back in; RedRackham returned to the gnoll lancers, and MistressDomino went back into merchant mode. But later I noticed that last night's 364 million seemed to have vanished - so remind me not to leave her in merchant mode when the servers are scheduled to go down! The items she sold had not miraculously returned to her inventory, of course.

MistressDomino sold some more items during the first part of the morning, to get back some of the loss, but it is an annoying thing to happen, when one needs a substantial amount of gold to buy that new bow for Kaerella.

After coffee, I logged SirKit in, got the Elizabuff, joined a solo party, and headed for Prokion Temple on Cariae-5. The solo party only just lasted long enough, so many people seem only to join such a party for a few minutes, but by the time lunch was approaching SirKit had earned 10.01% experience, 204 skill points, and 98 guild points, as well as picking up quite a few more Wendy Bear pieces. Judging from people one sees around Randol, it is definitely the pirate costume-covers that are given out with the event this year.

One thing I was worrying about during the session was - MistressDomino bought those expensive gloves for Rage last night, had they, like all that gold, vanished? That would take my losses over a billion. Luckily, when I logged MD back in briefly to check, the gloves were still safely there. Over lunch, the Auzura incarnation of RedRackham joined in with some pet-levelling, as well as the Cariae one, and got his drake past the halfway mark in level 38; on Cariae, level 35 had been reached by then.

MistressDomino traded the rogue gloves over to Rage, who, by equipping them, increased her physical defence from 2946 to 3037 and her physical evasion from 920 to 1099. Rage then traded across her old 70/72 +13 armour set to my local level 67 mage, MistressDomina.

Since Rage now had her full 85/87 armour set at last, it seemed like a good idea to take her to the Tomb of Theos to fight some screaming zombies, so at the start of the afternoon she teleported over to the Tomb's entrance on Auzura-4, and checked up on the condition of the place - which turned out to be maximum easy. So, Kaerella, who on Auzura was now a level 85 archer, teleported over to join her, and they formed an equal party and went in.

Rage did the targeting and most of the fighting, using a large crit pot, a berserker potion, a platinum adrenaline, and a platinum blessed iris for triple experience gain; Kaerella helped with the fighting, and just used a pbi. Rage went up 7.33% in the first hour, 7.13% in the second hour, which just took her into level 92, and just 4.45% in the third hour, which shows that her new level is a longer one. Kaerella meanwhile, being a few levels lower, went up 29.53%, 29.26%, and in the third hour 26.27%, during which she reached level 86. Rage's drake added 2712 pet points, while SirFrancis, Kae's drake, added 1452 pet points, as Kae tended to only target the zombie in question for the second half of the fight. Rage added 11 skill points, and Kaerella added 12.

Reaching level 86 meant that now, as well as the gloves, Kaerella could wear the Anti-stone Jacket of Dimension and the Antistune Pants of Dimension, both +13, increasing her physical defence just from 2112 to 2143, and her physical evasion from 495 to 831 - her magical evasion went from 297 to 489. The main reason the physical defence stat is changed so little is that her old Balsamic Shirt was +15, and a +15 armour item has a bonus of +100 to its defence, but those increases in her evasion are pretty useful.

During the first hour a knight called Th3Kn1ght asked if he could ks a bit, and since I wasn't using boosters, I agreed; he can't have been very impressed with the experience gain that got him, though, as he left before long. I don't know what level he was, but I suspect he'd have got more experience outdoors with the sphinx speer men and fighters - or he should have been on the fifth subserver, perhaps teamed up with some other people at around his level. An assassin-rogue called TodesJoy was around for a couple of sessions - there was another one called PainManagement at one stage too, and a titan. A specialist sorcerer called pszeskurwysyn was teamed with yet another assassin-type, xEWAx, but I don't think they spoke English. The sorc did die twice, once with the screaming zombie down to a tiny amount of health, which must have been annoying for him.

As far as the Rage/Kaerella team goes, the next step ought, I suppose, to be a combat party with Kae as the fighter, using experience boosters as well as a pbi, plus a crit potion, platinum adrenaline, and a berserker potion, and maybe a power potion too. It might make sense to use a +2 platinum refining stone or two to raise some of her +13 armour to +15 for 24 hours too, for the armour bonus, since that works out rather cheaper than a potion, and lasts a lot longer. Kaerella needs to get to level 87 to wear the Speed Up Boots of Dimension +13 and the Casting Up Circlet of Dimension +14, which should get her evasion and defence up a bit more. All this will have to wait until she can buy a +15 level 85 bow, however... probably a Soul' Rainbow Bow, which is the green-name one with slightly lower attack than a blue-name one but an improved hit rate. And for that I need more gold, of course.

The afternoon session had lasted longer than usual, so the evening session was a bit shorter. There was an "APAC" happy hour from six to eight, with, or so the website informed us, 50% extra experience gain, but on Auzura only. This week I was able to think of a character who would benefit from this extra experience - my level 37 temple knight SirDarth, who on Auzura isn't a pet-leveller, though I must admit he doesn't have a huge stash of skill points. So, Darth teamed up, in a combat party, with RedRider, my level 27 rogue, designed for low-level mad monster spawns and other Auzura events (which sadly have disappeared entirely), who is in theory learning her special skills - and after getting the Elizabuff, they headed for Prokion Temple, where once again I had to settle for the corridor room. A knight called jordan70 did barge in and try to take over a couple of times, I think he must have had a disconnection the first time as he vanished very suddenly, leaving an orc sergeant with almost no health. His English wasn't very good, but he seemed relatively friendly.

I ended the session with SirDarth just 0.02% away from levelling up, to give me the option of forming one more combat party with RedRider; by then Darth had gone up by 30.11%, while Red had added 14.46% and 36 guild points - they had each earned 136 skill points.

I decided to open fifty chaos balls, to see what goodies they do tend to release - and I didn't get any chaos smelting stones, unfortunately. I got just 10,000 gold 9 times, 10 great mana pots 8 times, 10 Candy 6 times, a set of one each of the effort, experience and lucky scrolls 5 times, 10 great healing pots 5 times, five each of the level twelve physical and magical attack minerals 5 times, five each of the level twelve physical and magical defence minerals 4 times, a set of one each of the skill point, experience, and item drop boosters 3 times, a platinum blessed iris twice, and, once each, three tool aids, a blessed iris, and a heaven stone. So, of the fifty rewards, seven were definitely worth more than a chaos ball can be sold for, and another nine were thereabouts...while twenty-three were poor. Of course, if I had got a chaos smelting stone, its value would mean that I'd definitely come out ahead.

Opening the balls with Estella took a while, so by the time RedRydeR's inventory was filled up with all that stuff, it was time to log out for the night. MistressDomino went into merchant mode again - let's hope that she gains money rather than losing it, this time. RedRackham's Cariae pet drake was a third of the way into level 35 by then. Today's "Dungeon Run" event was starting on Cariae at ten, but even without extra monsters, I'm afraid Misty Canyon is a bit too dangerous for even my top character.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

A Last-Minute Cancellation

RedRackham managed to keep his gnoll lancer alive through the night. so that by morning, his drake had reached level 33. That particular spot was a bit crowded, with almost every gnoll lancer kept busy, since they now seem to be the only outdoor creature that a level 35 pet-leveller can, just, use for any length of time. The mage HoneyBun was the next one to me, though I'm not sure if the +10 30/32 mage armour set would give enough physical defence without further augmentation.

LordDarth logged back in at breakfast time, with just a little over two hours to go before his horse would reach level 37. The death mask lancer closest to the door was free, so Darth was able to settle in there, though it wasn't long before the lancer's health bar started to decrease.

There was a "Loot Wheel Free Spin Rebate" offer today, to cheer us up, though not for unlimited spins, just one per account, so that was useful to get a few minor items. It's strange the way the pointer "jumps" across the ostensibly equal-size chances of getting a jackpot or a jaguar collar, but one gets used to that after a while.

LordDarth finished getting his horse to level 37 at around 10:30am, UK time, and so was able to log out. I don't know if he'll ever need to do any more pet-levelling on Hatzring; it means that as well as Kaerella there having her pale blue horse, my local rogue RedRyder will now be able to have a mount. I don't really have any other character there who might need a mount.

RedRackham continued his work on the drake on Cariae-4, getting past the middle of level 33 by lunchtime. Over on the older computer, I logged in his Auzura namesake, and he too went down to the gnoll lancers. Initially he was hitting for 19 rather than 18, which did start to drive down the gnoll lancer's health - so he had to remove his gloves, which have a "4 physical prowess" bloodseal, to get the damage down to 18. So, he really was fighting bare-handed... His drake has reached the early stages of level 38 now, so gets hungry twice as fast.

The afternoon session started rather late, due to an unexpected delivery of stuff I needed to sort out, but RedRydeR headed for the beast flyers on the third level of Maargadum Jail, followed by SirKit. I didn't bother to give SirKit horse buffs before he went in, and when he stopped to pick up some abandoned gold on the ground floor, he actually lost quite a bit of health - I guess a royal knight doesn't have as good a defence rating as a templar.

I wasn't there much over an hour, just long enough to get RedRydeR into level 44; the level 44 knight uffo1 turned up towards the end, and, since he had been a recent addition to Red's friends list, after selling me a heaven stone, pbi and pssp remarkably cheaply, I invited him into the combat party. Which made his "no ks" remark a few minutes later a bit strange, particularly as his health was suffering when the beast flyers mobbed him. I replied that ks-ing was hard to avoid there, and we were in the same party anyway... and the next thing I knew he had vanished from the party, and the room. I did ask him a few minutes later if he'd had a disconnection, but got no reply.

Well, there weren't enough beast flyers for two of us anyway. By the end of the session, RedRydeR had gone up by 30.37%, 58 skill points, and 989 pet points, which took her hatchling into level 15, while SirKit had gained 8.72%, 47 skill points, and 86 guild points.

Reaching level 44 meant that Red could learn the first five levels of Hide Shot, a powerful attack that can only be made while invisible, for 327 skill points. Its "power" of 300% sounds good, but, as using the skill ends a rogue's invisibility, it can only be used once per fight. Level 47 is when a new level of Detect Weakness becomes available, increasing Red's hit rate by 65 for a cost of 200 more skill points.

For the evening, RedRackham and his drake, now in level 34, moved across to Cariae-5, and gave SirKit a solo party, for his trip to Prokion Temple. I saw egyptman, the sorcerer, as I was heading towards the back room, but he was disconnecting at the time. The back room was in use, so I had to settle for the corridor room. Egyptman did get back to the Temple, and talked about teaming up, but didn't manage to describe where he was. When I spoke briefly to a mage, numbNuts, he was in range to "hear" me - and I found that he was by then in the back room. I could have teamed up with him there, but the knight BladesMasters was also in there, and while two might have been company, three would definitely have been a crowd.

By the time SirKit logged out, at around 8:40pm, he had gone up by 24.64%, and added 431 more skill points, as well as earning another 241 guild points for Discipline - so his stash of unused skill points is in danger of becoming marginally respectable.

There was a "Dratan Run" scheduled for nine o'clock UK time, but I'd given myself a little gap to let MistressDomino on Auzura trade across the armour pieces she had recently bought to Kaerella and Rage - so Rage received her blue-named, five-bloodsealed evasion-type Antistune Chaser Jacket +13... which means that now she just needs a good pair of gloves for the complete set. At the moment her physical defence is 2946 and her physical evasion is 920, with her magic evasion at 446, so she's not doing badly.

Nothing, however, was happening in Dratan on Auzura-5 as nine approached - and checking the website, I reloaded the events page and found that the timings for the Run on the various servers had been magically put back by half an hour.

That gave MistressDomino more time for browsing Roy's merchant mart - and she found the last two parts of Kaerella's 85/87 healer armour, the gloves and the shirt, which HealerVic was selling for 650 and 450 million respectively. It does look as if the gloves are the hardest items to get, from these sets. So, Kaerella now has the full 85/87 b5e +13 armour set - she just doesn't have a level 85 +15 bow to go with it! She can only wear the gloves so far, so a little more work will be needed...when she gets that bow. And MistressDomino, I decided, needed to do some more selling.

As 9:30 UK time approached, or 1:30 PDT, an in-game announcement came up briefly:
"Dratan Run has been cancelled today, enjoy 150% exp and sp gain until 6pm PDT!" The extended "Teatime" is fine for people on US time, but pretty much useless for me. The GM office does seem a bit accident-prone lately, sigh...

So, while RedRackham continued to level his drake on Cariae-4, over on Auzura-5 MistressDomino was doing some window-shopping to compare prices in Randol. She then went into merchant mode, close to the arena, in the hope of getting enough gold to make it possible to buy the needed rogue gloves or healer bow, if they become available - though probably not both. Her heaven stones sold pretty quickly, so it seems that the prices on them on Cariae are still a bit higher than usual.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A New Setback For Pet-Levellers

Last night's patch was at first glance minor, though it was big enough for me to need to "pause" my antivirus protection to get it downloaded. Some mall items in the in-game mall have been reduced in price, but this slight improvement is overshadowed by the removal of, among other things, one of my favourite packages, the Egeha Package which, even after it had the 30-day party recall removed (reducing its price from 599 to 499 ap), had a useful selection of stuff: 5 teleport books, 5 summon books, 5 resurrection scrolls, 50 greater healing pots, 50 large defence potions, and 50 large attack potions. Even at today's trimmed prices that selection would cost you 1087 ap to buy separately, sigh...

Anyway, I got Last Chaos updated, and attempted to log in for some pet-levelling at about eight o'clock, UK time, but I repeatedly got the "could not connect" message - and eventually discovered, by checking the forum shoutbox, that the servers were all down for an emergency maintenance...I thought they checked the new patches on a test server before applying them to the main game? There was of course no estimate as to when the servers would be up again, but when I tried again at around half past. the game was actually working.

LordDarth hurried down to level five of Maargadum Jail in Merac - but Dompteur had beaten me to it, and was in the best spot. Still, Darth settled in with the next death mask lancer along, and started to move his horse along towards two-thirds of the way through level 35. RedRackham over on Cariae-4 was also set up, fighting bandits in Merac, and soon got his drake into level 31. So, while I was to be busy downstairs for the morning, at least the pet-levelling side was covered - or so I thought.

Unfortunately, after a while I checked, and RedRackham was just standing there...he had killed his bandit, even though he was still only hitting it for 18 damage a time. Sure enough, when Red took on the other bandit, its health began to decline slowly, while over in Hatzring-4's Maargadum Jail, the death mask lancer's health bar was down to about 75%...looking through the forum, I notice a mention of the no-weapon attack speed being increased. After teleporting to a different spot, a berserker's health started to decline too, so RedRackham moved to the gnoll lancers, which, at level 39, are a bit more robust, but did still seem to take some damage. Meanwhile in the Jail, the death mask lancer's health bar did seem to be declining too, so I had to take occasional breaks from attacking it. Sadly the actual rate of getting pet points seemed unchanged, at around a thousand per hour.

The new event hinted at last week turned out to be the "Wendy Bear" one, where we pick up as loot drops nine different squares which, put together, form a picture of a teddy bear. Take all nine pieces to a special NPC in Randol, Saroyan, and, after playing rock paper scissors, you stand a chance of winning a costume cover, or some other prize. This event is scheduled to last for two weeks; I did think that, if the costume cover was the same as the last time this event ran, soon almost everyone would be running around in school uniforms, but kaynah80 in the shoutbox reported that he got the knight pirate costume, so perhaps we will all soon be pirates.

By lunchtime, the health-erosion of the gnoll lancers and death mask lancers seemed to have settled down, though I noticed that Dompteur's death mask lancer was down to about 20% health then. All the messing around meant that I'd done less work during the morning than I'd intended, which means that I'll have more stuff to do tomorrow, even after doing a bit more downstairs work in the early afternoon.

LordDarth's horse reached the start of its final level, 36, soon after two, which was at least a sign of useful progress. The "Creature Carnival" event this evening, with its hour or so of double pet experience, should be useful, I felt, in getting a bit further along.

The afternoon session was a bit short, so SirKit headed for Prokion Temple again. The solo party I joined dwindled a bit, so that I became its leader after a while. I had a bit of trouble with a level 25 knight called Knigith21234, who didn't seem to grasp the solo idea of a solo party, and rather expected me to be standing in the hallway at the Temple to welcome him...or when he saw we had a level 94 party member, maybe we should all join him killing screaming zombies or whatever? I think he was a bit young, so one has to make allowances.

My favourite back room was in use when I arrived, so I had moved on to the corridor room. The rogue Liubov joined me there later in the afternoon, so there was a slight shortage of orcs for two - luckily when I investigated, the back room was then free, so I finished my session there, whispering to Liubov that she now had the other room to herself.

By the time SirKit logged out, he had gained 12.00%, along with 184 skill points and 117 guild points. For the early evening food break, RedRackham logged back in, and headed for the gnoll lancers in the south of Merac. He took off his hit rate accessories, to try to avoid damaging his sparring partner, but its health bar was still a bit unsteady.

The reaction on the forum to the disappearance of many items from the in-game item mall, such as the warehouse expansion card, shadow removal powder, physical and magical defence shields, memory scroll card expander, the one-day warehouse card, and quite a few others, led to lots of new threads - [GM]SupermanOX tried to make a more "official" thread for the subject, locking the others and referring people to his thread... and then Aeria_ks1lent came along and locked that one too. Apparently [GM]Cara has promised that most of the missing items will be returned, probably to the web version of the mall, but what a strange decision to remove them in the first place - the matter just wasn't thought through. Unlike the bare-handed hit rate problem, we can't blame the South Korean developers for this one.

On the pet-levelling side, RedRackham chatted a little with KiaOra, and LordDarth chatted with xDARKSHADOWx, and later with Dompteur, and it is safe to say that nobody was very happy with the situation. Dompteur recalled how things got changed a couple of years ago, when suddenly the physical attack of the monsters was increased - this is a bit similar, but at least it's the monsters that are unexpectedly dying this time, rather than us.

The evening session was going to be a short one, since, as with most Wednesdays, I'd have to log out at around eight, so RedRydeR headed for Maargadum Jail on Cariae-5, and went straight down to the third level. The beast flyers there are level 46, three ahead of Red, and they and the level 42 beast archers are protective of each other, which makes for a rather busy central area - it looks really impressive when a player is mobbed by half a dozen or more beast flyers, with their big wings, with three or four beast archers also attacking from a distance.

Kaerella spent quite a while in level three's central killing area farming skill exp some months ago, and to survive she needed the 50/52 armour set, all +13 - which meant she was a level above the beast flyers. RedRydeR, I discovered, was okay there in the 45/47 armour set, with pieces ranging from +8 to one +13, though having a 10% suction of life accessory certainly helped.

For a time a specialist sorcerer called Naturist barged in and fought the central beast flyers too - I think he'd have been better off in one of the side rooms with just three beast flyers and a few beast archers, judging by the red haze of health potions in action. Towards the end a knight was sitting watching, probably hoping I'd vacate the spot soon, as it is quite a popular one - it's quite often in use even on the fourth subserver, when I run through to pet-level.

A level 44 rogue called BoneS (or some similar version of that name) was in the same solo party, and apologised when she ran through the middle, heading for a lower level - I wished her good luck down there. She did invite me, once she had come up again, to join her at the sphinx fighters, but by then I only had about half an hour left... and besides, I was getting some useful experience, skill points and pet points with the flyers. It is useful that neither the beast flyers nor the beast archers are pet-eaters, though you have to be slightly careful on the way in as the beast scythes, up on the gallery, are inclined to nibble on a pet if they get the chance.

By the time I did have to log out, RedRydeR had earned 33.70%, 159 skill points, and 1315 pet points, so it had been a worthwhile trip... and it did make a change from the orcs in Prokion Temple.

LordDarth had been able to continue his pet-levelling while Red was fighting, though as well as keeping the horse from losing too much of its hunger bar, I had to stop Darth fighting the death mask lancer for a minute or two every now and again, to let it regain its health. Late in the evening RedRackham was able to log back in too, and teleport to the gnoll lancers again, to take advantage of the last part of the Creature Carnival's double pet experience. This time his gnoll lancer seemed able to keep its health, just about, but this does seem to vary. By the end of the evening, Darth had got his horse to around three-quarters of the way through the final level necessary, thank goodness, while RedRackham's drake had safely reached level 32.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

More Time in the Temple

RedRackham had another trouble-free overnight session levelling his drake, so that by breakfast time it had reached level 30. LordDarth logged back in then, and was able to take up his preferred position on the fifth floor of Maargadum Jail over on the Hatzring server, and continue moving his horse through level 34.

MistressDomina on Cariae did some window-shopping without luck, but MistressDomina on Auzura managed to find a pair of level 87 healer boots, "b5e" +13, being sold via Roy by IceCleric for 500 million Kaerella now has her circlet, pants and boots for the 85/87 set, even if she can't quite wear them yet. A +13 b5e rogue Antistune Chaser Jacket, being sold by Damethra for 750 million, proved too tempting as well, although I had hoped to find a +15 MD bought that, which probably means that if a +15 one does turn up, I won't have enough gold left to get it. Rage still needs the gloves for the set, too - a pair of +13 gloves, Ebade Chaser Gloves +13, were on offer from Mikeyfri for 589 million, but they only have four evasion seals, for b4e, missing the 16 dexterity, so I managed to resist buying those.

There was plenty of time left this morning for SirKit to take a trip out to Prokion Temple again. It seems strange to be spending so much time on a minor character, but it will be useful to keep him within party-making range of RedRydeR...and we do want to get Red herself within party-making range of my level 70 Cariae cleric, Kaerella, who it would be great to get moving along far enough for her to be able to wear the 85/87 armour set.

SirKit's morning session added another 11.46% experience, plus 190 skill points and 94 guild points; and then it was time for him to log out for lunch, with RedRackham taking over the computer for a while to work on his drake, getting it almost halfway through level 30 by the end of the two hours.

SirKit was back in action for the afternoon session, again in the back room of Prokion Temple; the solo party lasted just long enough, with the last other member leaving just as the time approached for the early evening food break. By then, Kit had earned another 19.43% experience, 336 skill points, and 158 guild points.

Today's event, I found from checking the website, was to be a treasure hunt - one location has the treasure, though it will vanish after twenty minutes, and ten other locations have monsters. That all sounded reasonable - but the hunt wasn't across the grassy hills and plains of Juno, it was to take place in the ebony mine, a dungeon one can access from Juno. Checking the Last Chaos Wet Paint Wiki I see that the degraded golien commanders, reinforced troll zens, cursed harpy wings, degraded goblin commanders, developed harpy kings, reinforced troll berserkers, and reinforced troll kings that infest the place already are all aggressive, and go from level 123 to level 140, with some nasty skills to stun you, remove your ability to use skills, or remove large amounts of health. So, I don't think I would stay alive very long if I hunted for treasure in there!

LordDarth got his horse into level 35 over the food break, but after that it was time for yet another session in Prokion Temple for SirKit. It lasted for the whole length of the Elizabuff, and got SirKit into level 34. The new level slowed down his experience gain a bit, though he still got 3300 and 5500 skill exp from orc kills. 21.25% was the experience gain, and Kit got another 407 skill points, as well as 196 guild points.

About twenty minutes before the end of Kit's session, another knight, BladesMasters, rushed in, and started to kill the orcs, which slowed me down a little. He didn't say anything, but was always polite if we happened to dash towards the same target. Checking his buffs, I was surprised to see that he was using a platinum super skill pill, plus a crit potion and a platinum adrenaline - so he really ought to have had a room to himself. I did cut back my rate of attacking slightly by picking up loot, but there were still times when we were both standing waiting for some orcs to respawn. No big deal for SirKit, as the only buff he had was the free Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, but a waste of expensive time for someone using pricey potions. He did use a few skill point boosters too, I noticed.

"Elizabuff over - good luck", I said, as I left him to it; hopefully the rest of his hour went by more efficiently. SirKit logged out, and after a little unsuccessful browsing of Roy's merchant mart stock on Cariae and Auzura, RedRackham logged in, and headed for Merac to do a little drake-levelling. It won't be possible to go through the night, of course, as the server maintenance is scheduled for 1:00am, UK time. Last week the patch notes mentioned that "
A new event will be coming after 5/25/2010 maintenance
", urging us to stay tuned for more details... hopefully we will soon find out what that is all about.

By the end of the evening, LordDarth's horse was just about halfway through level 35 - that is one bonus that comes from SirKit working solo, Darth can continue through the day down in Maargadum Jail. RedRackham does better at overnight sessions, but this evening he'll be logging out with his drake still more than an hour away from level 31.

Monday, 24 May 2010

A Visit to the Sphinxes

I was able to leave RedRackham to pet-level through the night again in Merac, and his drake went up by two levels - and a third level before coffee time, getting it into level 28, which is starting to be a useful level. LordDarth had just managed to get his horse into level 33 last night; he went back down into Maargadum Jail on Hatzring-4 at breakfast time today, and, finding the preferred position available, settled in to spar with the death mask lancer there.

After coffee, I let LordDarth continue, while SirKit logged in on Cariae-5, joined a solo party, got the Elizabuff, and headed for Prokion Temple. It was a good old-fashioned solo party, with people reminiscing about the old days and so on, and even a few "party recall" alerts to decline. Apparently the monsters in Mondshine give masses of skill exp, one player who had gone through a few levels there had run out of things to do with all the skill points he had gathered...

The back room with the orc sergeants and orc axemen was free, so that was where SirKit spent his time - and actually managed to reach level 33, so RedRydeR yesterday hadn't needed to stop just before reaching 43. In all Kit went up 21.35%, earning 209 skill points and 145 guild points, before he logged out for the lunch break.

Over lunch RedRackham did a little bit more work on his drake, though the levels are starting to get a bit long for them now - level 28 will take almost seven hours. But once I was back at the keyboard, well, I started with a little shopping around. There still weren't any items that are on Barbarienne's, Rage's, Keerella's. or the Auzura Kaerella's wants lists, but I did find a couple of new weapons for RedRydeR, a level 45 +15 crossbow and level 53 daggers +15, both being sold by AnnaHUN, for 179 and 180 million. Since those were the first highly-plussed weapons at that sort of level I'd come across in 40 pages of Roy's stock, MistressDomina quickly bought them. It just cost another half million to change the daggers (or "ponyshankers") into the equivalent crossbow.

Once RedRydeR had taken delivery of the new weapons, she teamed up, in a combat party, with SirKit, and headed for the elite frenzied berserkers. Red's first kill took her into level 43 - it also brought a hand of the warrior, so, with its heaven stone, that was a nice way to celebrate the start of the new level.

RedRydeR did take a short break from the elite frenzied berserkers, to ride down to the gnoll soldiers, as she had a quest to kill 25 of those, but returned to Kit once that quest was complete. And then at the end of the session, there was another quest to do, which involved a brief trip to Maargadum Jail to kill some spike canines. Red and Kit went in, and that didn't take long. Then Red returned to Merac Village, where she got her quest rewards, while Kit did a quest to kill some bandits and pilferers, and then made a trip, on horseback, out to deliver a message to the magician at the column of magic.

RedRydeR also traded her old weapon, the level 37 crossbow, over to SirKit, and once he was back in Randol he got Collector Ryl to change it into dual swords for him, and bought some bloodseal gems. Red had managed to give her level 45 crossbow all its bloodseals, so is fully set up for the most effective possible fighting now.

In all, RedRyder had added 36.36% experience during the afternoon, plus 102 skill points and 1052 pet points, while SirKit had gained 28.70%, 85 skill points, and 84 guild points.

LordDarth and RedRackham were both in action over the early evening food break, but then it seemed time for RedRydeR to finally get the location in Dratan of the sphinx fighters and sphinx "speer" men onto her memory scroll. I had toyed with the idea of Keerella riding out there and using a scroll to summon her - but I have managed to get other characters there before the hard way, so it seemed worth attempting. The trick seems to be not to take the most westerly road, as that takes you to a rather closely-packed group of the masters of secret technique, gelatinous blobs that are aggressive, and have long-range physical and magical skills.

So, Red set out from Dratan City, and was soon riding past the level 55 dragons, level 56 goblin commanders...and then I was approaching the level 57 masters of secret technique. It wasn't too large a group of them, so I dismounted,, and ran through a gap in their line-up. One of them did chase after me, but I kept going, trying to avoid some more dragons and goblin commanders, and managed to get clear. Then there were some level 59 arcane golems...and once I was past them, I was on the path leading into the green southwesterly uplands of Dratan.

The various kinds of wafe occupy the first part of that area, but, as they, unlike everything else I encountered, are not aggressive, I just rode past them - until the campsite where most people fight the sphinx types, and the first of the two elite sphinx speer men, was close. Since I'm well aware that the speer men are a lot more aggressive than the fighters, I risked going reasonably close to fighters while keeping a respectable distance from the speer men, and reached the camp without any further incident.

After I'd got the location onto RedRydeR's memory scroll, Red logged out, and SirKit logged in, to attempt the same journey. He does have his mount now, and, while he may be ten levels lower than my phoenix rogue, knight armour and health regeneration are pretty good, so it did seem worth trying. And, with rather less skill points stashed, he didn't have very much to lose if he did get killed. It's a pity he doesn't have the "beginner" resurrection scrolls and other goodies, but he was begun a long time before those got added to the game for new characters.

SirKit did take some damage from the first group of dragons he rode by, but his health did indeed soon return to normal, and he followed the route that Red had taken, riding past the group of masters of secret technique, and past the arcane golems, without any problems. He rode past the wafes - and he rode past the sphinx fighters and sphinx speer men too, only dismounting when he reached the campsite's fire. So, he added the location to his scroll too.

While the other monsters mentioned tend to give roughly 26,000 experience each, or three times that for the elite versions, when you reach the sphinx types, things change - a sphinx fighter will give 192,907 experience, and a sphinx speer man will give 212,917, more than eight times as much as the previous monsters. This makes the sphinxsters rather popular, and a lot of people move to their location straight from sp-farming in Prokion Temple, and quickly move through the levels until someone else there suggests that everyone joins together for a party fighting the screaming zombies in the Tomb of Theos...which can lead to further triumphs, or disasters.

Still, SirKit needed to farm some more skill points first, it would be a shame to leave the Temple while he is still level 33 - so he logged out and in again and renewed the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff for a full three hours, and headed for Prokion Temple. The back room and corridor room were in use, so I actually ended up in the mirror half, just down from its corridor room, where a group of orc sergeants and orc axemen were congregated. I only had one visitor, a rogue called fastfingers who seemed about to take over the whole local orc population...but then just stood and got hit, so actually was the victim of a disconnection. Once I realised that I killed the orcs that were attacking her and gave her the divine shield buff - if her armour was the +10 set she'd have been okay anyway, but one can never be sure.

By the time the Elizabuff expired, about four minutes after its timer ended, SirKit had gone up by 32.72%, and added a very useful 478 skill points; he earned 268 guild points for Discipline too.

By that time the "word trivia" quiz on Cariae-5 was approaching, so SirKit headed over to Merac village for that. To my surprise it was [GM]JediMike who joined us there, rather than Kali; I asked him if he'd been on vacation, since it was ages since I'd seen him in-game, but apparently not.

Sadly SirKit proved not to be as bright, or as quick-typing, as some other people Cariae was the third server to host the quiz, the suspicion must be that at least one very swift answerer may have gone along an hour, or half hour, earlier elsewhere, which is the problem with these events, unless they can think of 90 rather than 15 questions. At least I now know that a politically undecided person is a "mugwump", the longest place name in use now is in New Zealand, rather than Wales...and that the Hawaiian alphabet has twelve letters, while the longest word one can type with one's right hand is lollipop, and the only English word to end with "mt" is, who says playing games isn't educational?

LordDarth had kept going, levelling his horse, and reached level 34 at around nine, UK time. Once SirKit had logged out, RedRackham was able to get back in, too, for some quality time with his drake in Merac.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Another Successful Quiz

RedRackham pet-levelled through the night, but had to log out at around 6:30, when I left the house - I was going to be gone too long to keep him in action, as the drake would starve after eight hours or so if it wasn't fed some quality stones..

So, it was gone six thirty in the evening when RedRackham logged back in - this time he went to Cariae-5 to fight the bandits in Merac, so that he could supply a solo party for SirKit, who headed for Prokion Temple, where he was lucky enough to find the back room empty. I only saw one visitor while I was there - a knight, who only stayed a minute or so.

By the time the Sunday Quiz was approaching, SirKit had added another 22.02%, along with 215 skill points and 150 guild points. But RedRackham logged out, followed soon by was time to restart the game on both computers, and log in for the Quiz.

Kaerella and MistressDomino went along to the Quiz Room on Auzura-2, as they have been doing for the past few weeks. The quiz itself ran pretty smoothly - there were reminders beforehand, no out-of-date questions, and it all moved along at a good speed, so hardly anyone got kicked out...although I think sometimes a player will move back to the middle too quickly, while the other half of the room is still "live" as a kicking zone. I don't see the point of moving back onto the central strip of carpet anyway, I always stay where I am, so that if the last correct answer was an "X", I'm ready and waiting if the next answer is also for the "X" side, and only have to move if I need to move over to "O".

After the final question, Kaerella traded her newly-acquired moonstones and heaven stones across to MistressDomino, and then they both logged out. As usual there was some lag at that stage, for example when I double-clicked MD's armour for her to put it on again, the reaction wasn't exactly instant. The shoutbox had people complaining that our merchant mart guru, Roy, wasn't working, but that was just the usual post-Quiz lag.

For a change both my characters managed to log in without problems, though - SirKit, again, but this time teamed up with RedRydeR. I only had 45 minutes left, but that was just long enough for a trip down to the elite frenzied berserkers in Merac, where I got RedRydeR right to the end of her level. I didn't let her actually level up, so that she'll be able to make a combat party with Kit again straight away next time, but she added 12.73%, 16 skill points, and 466 pet points, while SirKit got 4.71%, 15 skill points, and 32 guild points.

There was a pandora's box there when I arrived, which, when opened, dropped a level 61 Everlucky Bow. There was a time when that would have been useful, but now every character who reaches level 60 gets a pair of +5 level 61 weapons, so they are no longer rare, which means that RedRydeR will probably just sell it to merchant Geres back in Randol.

Once that session was over, LordDarth was able to log in for an hour or, to hopefully get the horse pretty close to level 33 by log-out time. xDARKSHADOWx was still occupying the best spot on level five of the Jail, but Darth just moved along to the second death mask lancer.

RedRackham logged back in, too, and went back to his brace of bandits in Merac, this time on Cariae-4; it wasn't long before his drake reached level 26, so good progress is being made. This particular pet doesn't have to reach level 37, though the more levels it has, the better RedRydeR's attack and defence will be when she has it. All 30 levels of Increased Power would add 60 to Red's physical attack, while 6 levels of Increased Armour would add 70 to her physical defence. Or 30 levels would add 250...not as much as the 450 you get from Defensive Hauling, the armour-boosting mounted horse buff, but it doesn't run out, and you can use it indoors.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

After the Elites

RedRackham lost two or three hours to a disconnection overnight, but otherwise things progressed well for him on Cariae-4, and his drake reached level 22 by morning. LordDarth went back to Maargadum Jail before breakfast on Hatzring-4, and continued to work on his horse.

I managed to have a morning session, after coffee, for SirKit on Cariae-5; RedRydeR went up to level 42 yesterday, and Kit needed to try and catch up a bit, to get close to level 32, for future combat party team-ups. I headed for my favourite back room in Prokion Temple, and had it to myself for much of the time - though a level 32 specialist sorcerer and a level 25 titan did come in towards the end, for a while. By the time lunch was almost ready, SirKit had gone up by 23.93%, and earned 135 more guild points for Discipline, as well as getting himself 181 skill points.

Over lunch, RedRackham, who is the guild master of the ForceWithin guild, went back to Merac for some more drake-levelling, and got his pet into level 23; over on Hatzring-4, meanwhile, LordDarth had at last got his horse into level 32. Both computers would be neded for more active playing for the afternoon session, though.

Kit was still 10% below reaching level 32, but for the afternoon a team-up with RedRydeR seemed the best option, starting as an equal party. But first, Red finally got around to learning the sixth level of Mental Defence, to increase her magical defence from 89 to 97, which became available when she reached level 41. Spending 150 skill points on that got her sp stash down to only marginally over the 22k mark - but learning the second levels of the special skills Master Weaponsmith and Master Armoursmith, which came available at level 42, took another 690. The third and final levels, at level 52, will need another 870, which will mean that all her special skills are fully at the max.

RedRydeR and SirKit made their equal party, got the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, and headed down to the elite frenzied berserkers again. It didn't take very long for Kit to get the 10% he needed to reach level 32, so after that we were able to switch to a combat party. It was a little while after that when the level 32 sorcerer SirKit had encountered in the morning, egyptman, arrived, and asked to join the party, which, since it was a combat party, didn't make a huge amount of difference to me... the skill exp had to be split three ways, but in theory the experience per kill ought to have been boosted slightly.

Egyptman was one of those players who don't worry if their health is down to 20%, they will keep on attacking the monsters, even if those monsters are eight levels above them and elite. My feeling was that he ought still to be farming skill points in Prokion Temple, but he doesn't seem very keen on stocking up on sp. I managed to persuade him to go back to Randol to get the Elizabuff, but it wasn't long after that when he got killed, so lost the buff again.

He did kindly give me a couple of item drop boosters - and when he passed over a healer-type pumpkin headpiece, I took the opportunity to give him some small health potions, and small HP recovery pots.

When he got tired of the elite frenzied berserkers, he wanted to move to Maargadum Jail, so we did that for the last half hour of my session. With horse buffs, we ran through the ground floor, and headed for level three, killing the beast scythes, and a few beast archers. He did go afk for a while, but had the sense to, like SirKit, click on RedRydeR to follow her.

I carefully advised egyptman not to try to run back out of Maargadum Jail, but to log out or use a scroll of recall, and then left, for a rather lengthy food, and preparations for tomorrow, break. By then RedRydeR had added 42.04%, 47 skill points, and 1501 pet points, while SirKit was up by 21.94%, 46 skill points, and 138 guild points.

LordDarth went back to the fifth level of the Jail, over on Hatzring-4, to find that xDARKSHADOWx was in the preferred position closest to the entrance, so Darth went to the second death mask lancer, and got to work. Over on Cariae-4, RedRackham went back to his pair of bandits out in the open air in Merac, for a little drake-levelling.

Now that he had reached level 32, SirKit was able to learn all three levels of Defence Guard, raising his physical defence by 150 and costing 414 skill points, and the first five levels of Concentration, for 262 sp, which would apparently give RedRydeR, or anyone else with a snare/stun type skill with a 70% chance of success, a boost to an 87.5% chance of success for ten minutes. There's another level to learn at level 35, increasing the chance to 94.5% if the figures are right...though I must admit the figures do look a bit dubious, as with further levels of that skill you would end up with a success rate well over 100%. Still, presumably it increases the success rate at least a little bit. There are some other slightly tempting skills, but Kit's sp stash isn't a big one.

As SirKit, in a combat party, doesn't earn as much experience as RedRydeR, it looks as if he does need his own regular solo sessions - which have the advantage of earning him rather more skill points. So, the evening session saw him fighting in my favourite back room in Prokion Temple again, where he stayed until the three-hour Elizabuff was over. It seemed to continue for ages after the countdown was finished, that must have added an extra five minutes, and meant that he got past the halfway mark in level 32, adding 39.62% and 380 skill points, along with 271 guild points.

Kit was in a solo party, which had a fairly precarious time for a while, down to just two active members, plus four blanks where people had logged out. Eventually the leadership passed to me, and I trimmed out the people who'd been logged out for a while...and we did actually get up to a full active eight at one stage, though I think we were down to six when I left. A level 88 player called "blaaaaah", although they responded to my original "hi" with just "blah", did get a bit chatty later on, and I left the party in their hands. I did wonder when fighting sorcerer spirits in the spirit cave was mentioned, but that was a higher-level character on blaaaaah's account. Raging spirits of the sorcerer are level 134, so not ideal opponents for a level 88-er. If you are approaching level 130, they must be okay...after all, you can't keep fighting Sphinx Commanders forever, they are "only" level 109.

LordDarth had continued his pet-levelling through the evening, and managed to get around three-quarters of the way through his horse's level 32; RedRackham logged in once SirKit had logged out, and got back to work on his drake, moving through level 23.

The main event today was a "hide and seek" in Merac, but even on Auzura that didn't start until ten in the evening, UK time. There was an all-server "happy hour", too, with 50% extra experience, but that wasn't scheduled to start until an hour later. So, not much use for me.

Tomorrow being one of my busy Sundays, I'll only be on in the evening, hopefully in good time for the Sunday Quiz at 8:30 UK time. There should also be what they are calling a "dungeon run", but which really seems to be an "Egeha Run", but Katar starts that at ten, with Cariae half an hour later - and Auzura later in the rota, at midnight. The cost of getting to Egeha (800,000 gold) may put off any lower level people from going along...I would take Rage or Barbarienne if the event started a bit earlier, but that is a bit too late in the evening, after a busy day, for me.