Tuesday, 31 August 2010

In Better Condition

I managed to have coffee a bit early today, and thus was able to fit in an hour for MistressSabina on the third floor of Maargadum Jail with the beast flyers before the "dungeon time" hour began. I even found a solo party right away, so things were pretty near perfect. I might possibly have missed out on a kill or two by making a few posts on the Last Chaos forum shoutbox, but when the hour was over, Sabina had added just 4.88%, while earning 141 skill points, and 998 pet points for her drake.

On the shoutbox, Dr.Jirri seemed in good spirits, with plans to walk around slowly with his arms outstretched, to make a pretty good impersonation of an Egyptian mummy. There was an announcement in-game of a 75% rebate offer on a couple of packages in the web item mall, but no evidence of such a deal in the actual mall, so one gamesage passed on a message about that... and talking about rebates, the aeria points used on those ten free loot wheel spins a week or so ago still haven't been refunded to anyone, it seems.

After lunch, MistressDomina asked in the guild chat channel about the Condition of the Tomb of Theos on Auzura, and was very relieved to hear that the Tomb had at last been suitably set. So, when the two to three o'clock "dungeon time" hour was approaching, MD was hurrying towards the anubis spear men. The first room was busy, and the first corner of the corridor linking it to the wider stretch with the columns - so I ended up on the third corner, which wasn't an ideal spot, as I did occasionally have a sphinx fighter coming in on me. Still, during the hour, with the pbi and usual three potions, MistressDomina put on 45.41%, using 44 experience boosters.

As MD was just in a solo party, getting 510,805,980 experience per kill, as opposed to at least 540 million if I'd had a combat party, it wasn't as huge a total as I might have managed with two computers running. A royal knight called Gluecksbaer was fighting close by, and killing remarkably quickly. He still had "LastChaos Newbie" in green over his head, so the character was less than a week old. He did mention later that he hadn't got a huge reserve of skill points, and was planning to farm some around level 100. By the end of his session he had reached level 85. I did say that it was possible to remove the Newbie title if one wished, but he is wearing it as a badge of honour.

The level 59 ranger-rogue nowomannocry had been in touch, since she'd got onto MD's Friends list, asking for help getting to level 60, so MD moved across to Auzura-5's Tomb once her pots were over, to join her. She opted for mummies rather than zombies, so I led her to the ancient grey mummies room, and let her "ks" me, but she complained that she was still getting very low experience. I discovered that she was only using a plus three bow - a level 57 one, rather than the 61 type she could equip. No wonder she was doing very little damage. She didn't seem to have any attack skills, and tried to assure me that Flame Arrow was an assassin skill. Even her Snare was only level three, so not very reliable.

Eventually we headed back to the start, though a screaming zombie en route did manage to kill her. She fought at the start for a while, along with the other people who were there - Gluecksbaer turned up there too, and there were quite a few familiar names from MD's previous sessions there, some now in higher-level armour than when last seen.

By the time MistressDomina had to leave, her total experience gain for the afternoon had reached 46.58%, so her unboosted time didn't add much. She had earned 7 skill points, and her drake got 1803 pet points.

I started off with a bit of a mistake after the food break. MistressSabina had hurried to the third floor of Maargadum Jail again on Auzura-4, arriving about ten minutes before the end of the "dungeon time" hour, and, seeing the place relatively tranquil, had begun fighting the beast flyers, equipped her drake, and started a platinum super skill pill...only after a minute to see that there was someone else fighting there, right at the far end. To my great relief though Kingschurk left after five minutes or so, and Sabina had the place to herself, for two long, busy hours. With the loss of health to watch out for and the frequent change of targets, it's exhausting work compared to fighting screaming zombies or anubis spear men, but the extra skill points are, hopefully, going to be very useful. During the first hour's pssp Sabina added 135 skill points, followed by 122 in the second hour. 9.04% experience was added, and, as double pet experience began when the dungeon time ended, 3838 pet points.

There was time to switch to Kaerella over on Katar-5, and reach Maargadum's second floor just as the new "dungeon time" hour was starting. The place got pretty busy, but Kae fought in all three of the rooms on that floor, and reached level 43, adding 24.17% during the hour, plus 71 skill points and 1264 pet points.

Back in Randol, Kaerella at last had enough stat points in Intelligence (17) to learn the level 38 skill Arrow of Silence. The first five levels, for 293 skill points (there are further levels at 53 and 63), mean using this skill can "silence" the enemy, stopping them from using attack skills for10 seconds, with a 70% chance of success. It also hits with a power of 290% of a normal shot, and as it only takes 6 seconds to recharge, can be rather effective, if it works. It's not a skill my archers use, generally, but it's useful to have it available. And thanks to the skill points she's been getting in Maargadum Jail, Kae's total stash of unused sp still remains above the 20k mark.

That was the end of the adventuring for today, but things had generally moved along quite well, particularly for MistressSabina with her three pssp hours. She is nearly halfway through level 46 now, so the number of future sessions with the beast flyers is starting to get a bit less intimidating. She may well fight them through level 47 as well, but if so, she'll do it with the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff to speed things up, and probably without the 50% experience freeze.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Greedo Levels Up

Cariae's MistressDomina carried on in merchant mode after I'd finished yesterday, and by morning had done some useful selling - almost doubling her gold reserves, in fact, so that it soon ought to be possible to look into getting SirKit his full 85/87 armour set.

Auzura's MistressDomina logged in after coffee today, mainly to check with the members of Twisted online if they knew if the Tomb of Theos had been reset to a lower difficulty level, but nobody seemed to have an answer to the question - and looking at the guild list, nobody online was actually in the Tomb. That seemed a bad sign, so I bade them farewell for a while - and decided to find some other use for the upcoming "dungeon time" hour.

Kaerella logged in over on Katar-5, and after quickly making some inventory space by moving some items out of storage into a second character on that account, and then putting in some accessories etc, reached Maargadum Jail just in time for the start of the hour...with her horse buffs still active, she was at the back of the ground floor killing the canine mob that had followed her, when the "dungeon time" announcement came up.

Most of the time was, as usual for Kae there, spent on the second floor, in its room of spike canines, dire spike canines, and double-headed canines. Her drake took a bit of damage, but the experience gain was good; I didn't get access to a solo party for a while, and had to leave a few minutes before the end of the hour at noon, but Kaerella managed to add 19.34%, 57 skill points, and 455 pet points. She is still 700 or so sp below her highest point, after spending so many points when she reached 42, but her total is recovering.

For the afternoon, Barbarienne got into a solo party on Cariae-5, and headed into the Tomb of Theos. Luckily the Cariae one seemed nice and easy, Condition-wise, but Barb did miss having Keerella with her, so it probably wasn't that good an idea to give her the session.

At level 109, Barbarienne is three levels above the anubis spear men - and that means that the experience they give has been reduced, when Kee isn't there in a combat party to lower the group's average level. I did half an hour before the "dungeon time" hour, and the same length of time afterwards, so I used two platinum blessed irises - but I didn't use any potions, except a single platinum adrenaline to speed up Barb's attack during the central hour. Without the 50% boost the experience per kill was 255,402,984, plus 770 skill exp, going up to 383,104,476. In the first half hour Barbarienne added 4.00% from 20 boosters; that was followed by 7.49% from 25 boosters, 6.58% from 22, and 3.04% from 15...the platinum adrenaline certainly increased the kill rate. During that last half hour I did get a phone call, about a new computer I've just ordered, but I was back in time to pick up the shield that had been dropped, one of three items I could sell to Geres later.

Barbarienne went up in all by 21.12%, which wasn't too bad for two hours; the 7 skill points are welcome, as are the 2080 pet points.

The titan Dr.Jirri. a shoutbox regular I'd last seen at the Auzura Mad Monster Spawn last week, turned up in the shoutbox, slightly annoyed that he'd got, having reached the fifth level of the loot forge, only a rune of protection 2. Apparently out of fifty ores he had got eleven assorted master stone tickets, from +17 to +23. Eventually he apologised for some typos, blaming his burned fingers - I assumed it had been a BBQ accident or something, but he eventually revealed that his apartment had caught fire last night, due to an electrical short circuit, and that he and his girlfriend had escaped, saving his laptop and papers, but he was burnt on much of one side, and was in hospital, waiting for surgery, wrapped in bandages like an ancient grey mummy.

After MistressDomina checked there wasn't any Twisted guild activity or any word of the Auzura Tomb of Theos being set at a more reasonable level, I switched across to MD's Cariae equivalent, my short-of-skill-points level 98 wizard Keerella... I had thought of fitting in a couple of pssp hours for MistressSabina in Maargadum Jail with the beast flyers, but the evening's Happy Hour, from six to ten UK time, had been pre-announced for a change, and was to be 75% extra experience and skill exp, which wouldn't have been much good for Sabina - but for Keerella, was tempting.

Keerella headed for the Tomb on Cariae-4, and began to farm the screaming zombies at the start; she had them alone most of the time. A solo party appeared fairly soon, and when I applied, I found it was the gamesage ADISA who was the leader, busy in the Floriam cave. With the Happy Hour the screamies gave 15,359,846 experience and 1732 skill exp, which was good, so while progress was still slow, it wasn't quite as slow as usual. When the "dungeon time" hour began at eight, the experience went up to 23,039,768 per screaming zombie, which can't be bad, unboosted.

ADISA left after a while, as did various other party members - ADISA hadn't "left" the party officially so her name was still there, if greyed out. She took over the forum shoutbox, which was good as she managed to calm down a few rather angry people that I hadn't had a great deal of luck with. I asked her if she had left the party for good or was coming back, and as she said she was gone now, I said I'd better "kick" her, which slightly surprised her as she hadn't realised she'd not formally departed, just logged out.

Finally by around nine there were just three of us left in the party, just Kee plus the level 97 titan Korath and the level 100 assassin dr12. Korath suggested that Keerella should change the party to the combat type, so I did - which changed my skill experience and skill exp amounts not at all. As I commented, you do have to be within compass range for the combat party to give its boost... so, when Korath said he was down with the anubis spear men, I decided I might as well run down that way.

Korath wasn't in the main spear man room, he was right at the last corner of the corridor before it gives way to one of the wider, column-lined stretches, fighting the spear men there, so I settled close to him, on the sphinx fighters...and soon saw that dr12 was in the column stretch, so that I could have them both on my compass-radar. They both moved in a little so that we were all three reinforcing each other.

I commented, when Korath said that I could take a couple of sphinx fighters off him as he hadn't touched them, that as the three of us weren't then using boosters, it didn't matter if we shared kills, and that inspired him to bring in as large a group of fighters and spear men as he could, and have me use my area of effect skills. I used my flame skills - and then, warning Korath as it has the side-effect of increasing its targets' attack, experimented with Chaos Nova too. It takes five times as long to recharge, at 30 seconds, but it does hit hard, and soon both Korath and dr12 were bringing in as many anubis spear men and sphinx fighters as they could, as well as the anubis attacker from the far end of the column stretch.

Since combat parties give out experience based on the damage you do, I may well have had the best of that, but it was fun, though I had to watch my health, and used a few large red candy canes (left over from last Christmas) to keep it up, when the 10% suction of life seemed slow to kick in. My drake took some damage; Korath, who reached level 98 during the battle, mentioned that his pet had been killed by the fighters, so this was his revenge.

Finally at about 9:45 Korath said that the current mob would be his last - I was more than ready to quit too, and dr12 chose that moment to lag out, so the timing was good. By then Keerella had added in all 6.05%, 35 skill points, and 3671 pet points for Greedo - who reached level 52 about halfway through the evening. Back in town that meant that another level of Greedo's magical power buff could be learnt, increasing Kee's magical attack by a further 1.

So, as Korath agreed, that had been a fun way to end the session.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Condition Is Everything

I was determined to have MistressDomina manage a "power hour" today, not least because there is one of the low-chance freebie "raffles" going on this weekend and using boosters is the way to get an entry or ten. So, MistressDomina logged on at about twenty to eleven, aiming for the eleven to twelve o'clock "dungeon time". I managed to get into a rather full Twisted guild solo party on Auzura-4, and headed for the spear man room in the Tomb of Theos. My theory was that this early in the Sunday, the place ought to be relatively quiet, and sure enough, there was just a level 97 knight, Carvante, there, already fighting the nearest pair of anubis spear men. I checked that he was okay about me setting up operations opposite him with the other two, and he was - and proposed a combat party, so I said farewell to MD's guildies, and he recruited me.

When the "dungeon time" began, I started my berserker, platinum adrenaline, and large crit potions, popped an experience booster - and as the spear man I was fighting was almost dead, quickly started the platinum blessed iris too. Before long a level 87 mage called elfera arrived, and she joined the combat party as well. She did attempt to assist me with my kill, but I had to tell her not to as I was using boosters. Since she wasn't confident about making solo kills, she then went into the corner, to get a bit of experience from the combat party and give us the boost.

When the hour ended, MistressDomina had gone up by 53.86% in level 93, after using 37 experience boosters. The dungeon's Condition seemed roughly the same as yesterday, not perfect, but not too hard either. Carvante stayed fighting, after his "power hour" was up, in the hopes of reaching his next level, but without boosters he didn't make a huge amount of progress. Still, it made sense for MD to stick around, near elfera in the corner.

I had a rather quick return after lunch, and did a bit more fighting; some other people were doing a bit of power-levelling, and one of them joined our party - they even brought in somebody else to provide the party recall for their power-levelling, with the promise of a pbi for their time.

Carvante had a disconnection, I think he said his laptop froze, and then got recalled back in, though there was some disagreement about who was entitled to fight that limited supply of anubis spear men - and the power-levelling group and Carvarle left to settle their differences on Auzura-6, a subserver where PvP is enabled. The group stayed there, though Carvante soon returned, and resumed his duties in the party, though now he was mainly on the sphinx fighters.

After a while I decided that, since I was there, I might as well not just wait for the two to three o'clock "dungeon time" hour, but do as Barbarienne had sometimes done, and "frame" it in two one-hour power hours. So, I started well before the 50% boost hour - I used 19 experience boosters before it began, and another 13 while it was running, for, including the small amount of experience made unboosted beforehand, 32.70%. The second hour used 16 experience boosters in the "dungeon time" hour, and another 13 after it, for another 29.21%.

Compared with the morning hour, that represented a bit of a slowdown - 37, then 32, then 29 anubis spear men killed per hour. I might have lost a single spear man per hour after lunch from having to protect elfera, who had moved to a rather vulnerable position before going permanently away-from-keyboard...generally it was only the anubis spear men who spawned near her, but very occasionally a sphinx fighter would come in and attack her - we all tried to stop her from being killed.

Another rogue, an assassin called Yournext, who was just in range for the combat party, had joined us, and Carvante left...and eventually, much to my relief and with only about 15% health, elfera vanished too. Yournext had a red name, though she admitted she'd got it by killing another character of hers; when she finished her pots, she traded me a couple each of the HP and MP stealer pots and a dozen of the more potent Remedy items, which I think, looking back, may be quite valuable - I just use the ordinary Remedy type, costing 5k each. when a spear man stuns me. I gave her ten million for them, which is a bit low, but I don't think she was expecting anything. I had ten minutes or so of my pots left when she said she was heading for Randol, so I asked her to stay in the party so that I had the solo party boost...but she actually stayed in the room for me, so that I had the combat party advantage, which was kind.

Anyway, the reason for the slowdown in MistressDomina's kill rate was that the Condition of the Tomb of Theos had deteriorated. The spear men had got tougher, and I noticed that the damage that MD's terra spear attack did, already well down from its peak, had fallen by at least another thousand. And MD was starting to take some serious damage, her 10% suction of life accessory was no longer enough, generally, to keep her healthy...I was using a lot of medium health potions, and some larger ones too. So, I was quite glad when that second set of pots was finished.

In all, MistressDomina had added 115.77% from her three hours with pots, and the bit of in-between-time. 4 skill points had been gained, and her drake was ahead by 3762 pet points. She had reached level 94 during that second hour, so she is firmly back ahead of Chuck now.

Back in town, there was a new passive skill to learn - the seventh level of Staff Mastery, for 400 skill points, which added 11 to her magical attack. That may only be around 0.45%, but it all helps. MistressDomina then rode across towards the arena, and watched some of her guildies. You can't actually fight people in your own guild, so one member had been kicked specially, and was presumably allowed back in later. And then, after passing over a couple of hit rate rings to a rogue I'd met, in his or her sorcerer guise, in the Tomb before, it was time for my break.

The evening is of course shortened by the Sunday Quiz, at 8:30pm UK time, for which one needs to set out with a few minutes to spare. Unfortunately I was running a little late, but I decided to take MistressSabina to see if the beast flyers on floor three of Maargadum Jail on Auzura-4 were free - and for a miracle, they were. One slight problem was that I didn't manage to find a solo party until about halfway through Sabina's pssp-using hour, which must have cut back the skill points gained, but when the pssp ran out, she had gained 132 skill points, while adding 4.65%. I did stay there a bit longer, since I doubt if I have enough pssps to do the whole level, and by the end, Sabina had gained a total of 154 skill points, 5.75%, and 1294 pet points.

MistressSabina had actually got the "attendance bonus" timer running when she logged in, as she had only got about halfway through the 30 minutes countdown on her most recent appearance, before the last maintenance removed that. When the timer reached zero, though, there was no announcement - so that's the end of that. She had picked up a good selection of gems, tool aids, heaven stones, and tokens from the beast flyers, so, once she was back in Randol, Sabina was able to make her five spins of the LacaRette wheel, using "course B" as usual, and for a change none of the five prizes was a single potion of haste - instead, she got two packs of five heaven stones in succession, which rather makes up for MistressDomino not being able to go to the Quiz tonight. She also had time to increase her supply of quality stones, buying sixteen mage-type hammers from Geres and going out to the mine.

And then it was time to go to the Quiz Room on Auzura-2, so Kaerella logged in to go there solo. The good news was that the room is now normal, we can once again just click on the floor to move to that spot, instead of having to use the WSAD keys. The quiz was a bit slow to start, after its usual "start" cue had appeared, but after that we rolled merrily along. Curiously, most of the room forgot that teleporter Nadil is associated with Lust Trum, and our numbers were a bit sparse after that question, but Ratel and his family were among the survivors.

Ratel, however, did tell me that he is moving house, just to a different part of the same town in South Africa, tomorrow, and his internet service provider has told him that it will take around three weeks to get his internet connection working at the new address. So, Twisted, and I, will be without him for almost all of the coming month...He wasn't happy about that, but I reminded him he could spend the time reading his vampire books - he has become a bit of a "True Blood" fan apparently. I also advised him to make sure the kettle and teapot weren't packed away too deeply in the moving boxes...

Once Kaerella had got her Quiz loots, she logged out, which at certain times in the past has been a wise move, as any disconnections right after the quiz did tend to remove recently-acquired stuff, such as heaven stones, from everyone's inventories. I kept an eye on the shoutbox, and put MistressDomina on Cariae-5 into merchant mode for a while, where she quickly sold her stocks of chaos balls, moonstone boxes, and mana stealers, which boosted her gold reserves nicely...though without Ratel to rely on, I'm a bit stuck for moving stuff between characters until I manage to get a second computer back in-game.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

A New Problem

I didn't see any items to buy with my last-thing shopping last night, but while MistressDomina on Cariae-5 was browsing the players in merchant mode this morning, she did at least find an Eyes of Spirit accessory for 45 million, being sold by the temple knight TIKALxMT; there is sure to be one of my Cariae characters who could use it. It doesn't seem so long ago that they were five times that price...

The next thing to do, I decided, was log Keerella in, and move a few items across to MistressDomina, as Kee's inventory is rather full. So, Kee logged in on the newer computer, and I started up Last Chaos on the older computer - at which point disaster struck. Maybe the higher resolution for the game that the new monitor had enabled had over-strained the graphics card, but the screen was suddenly made up of rather random rectangles of stuff, and doing a restart just brought further strange decorations overlaying the usual desktop. Well, it is an old computer, so is it worth replacing the video card?

So, that scuppered my plan for MistressDomina on Auzura to have another "power hour" before lunch. After fiddling around a little, I just ended up with Cariae's MD in merchant mode for a while, though there were so many people selling things, and so few people buying things, that business was rather quiet. We did at least sell a hundred skill point boosters, and a few other oddments - ten moonstone boxes, five heaven stones, that sort of thing.

The attempt for MistressDomina on Auzura to do a "power hour" from two to three o'clock didn't work out, either. I mentioned my intention on the Twisted guild chat tab, but there didn't seem anyone who could give me a solo party - Dropkick, the level 103 temple knight, would possibly be available in ten minutes or so when his pots ended. So I headed down into the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-5, and had just reached that corridor corner, which was already in use though the next spot seemed free, when the level 101 assassin-rogue Chilla asked for a combat party as she passed. I registered, she picked me up - and recalled me a few yards further along, to the wider corridor with pillars at its sides, with four spear men, plus sphinx fighters and towards its far end a single anubis attacker.

We seemed to be slightly at cross purposes, however. Chilla was actually in Twisted, I realised... a pity, if we'd worked things out in advance she could have saved me the entrance fee by using her party recall to bring me straight into the Tomb. "Sit here an hour, and thanks", she said. "Ok? You must sit here." To which I replied, "I'll take the two in this direction." But she said "What? I need four."

So, instead of a "power hour" and a gain of around 50%, I just fought the sphinx fighters, and the sole anubis attacker, using no expensive pots or boosters - just the occasional health potion. And as far as I could see, Chilla didn't actually need all four, while she did move between the two pairs, she didn't have to do that very often. Dropkick joined us once his own pots had ended, and he and a night shadow, also in Twisted, who had a polar bear cub equipped, just sat down next to one of the torches at the side. I was careful to pick up the loot, so that everyone got a little gold for coming, and did remind Chilla once when she was out of compass-map range of the two afk party members... and ended up, when the hour was over, with 3.04% experience gained.

I continued a little while after that, since the others were still there, getting up to 3.39%, but when Dropkick headed back to Randol, MistressDomina ran back to the start of the Tomb, and fought a few screaming zombies, helping out whenever some junior fighter got chased down the corridor. The session ended with MD up a total of 4.19%, which may not seem much, but it didn't cost anything. She got 7 skill points, and 1647 pet points for her drake.

After the early evening food break, MistressSabina went to Maargadum Jail to visit the beast flyers, but Auzura-4's room was occupied by the knight JING, and Auzura-5's by the specialist sorcerer BiliBala, so I was out of luck there. Instead, MistressBlaze logged in, and teleported out to the sphinx fighters and sphinx speer men in south-west Dratan. The level 51 assassin-type rogue Killerhoernch3n arrived at almost exactly the same moment, and we teamed up in a combat party, making a pretty good team against the elite sphinx speer man and his cohorts.

She didn't stay very long, though, saying she needed to do some farming - she did remain in the party for a while however, so that I was able to switch it over to the equal type, and register it as a "party seeking members", with the usual "solo" title. We gradually got up to the full eight, including two or three people visible on the Dratan map - and one of the last of the original eight to join was spazz, from Twisted, so I said hi and identified myself. How he came not to have a guild party I don't know...

It was a long session for MistressBlaze, helped along by the evening's "Turbo" event adding an extra 50% experience and skill exp, though, added on to the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff, which MB is still low enough to get, at level 57, it actually just works out at just 25% more. The buff had worn off by the time I was back in Dratan City, but by then MistressBlaze had gone up by 38.00%, 49 skill points, and 1180 pet points.

I kept an eye on the forum shoutbox, particularly when the gamesage Zhegao was only looking in occasionally, trying to concentrate most of his attention on his college work, and generally playing back-up and giving people the links they were asking for. [GM]Yatou put in an appearance, and I commented "By the way, it's usual to end a MMS with a generous spawning of loot", adding the "rolleyes" type smiley face. "Yeeeeah, I realized it when I went to bed last night that I forgot to change the coordinates on the MMS gifting tool", he replied. "So they did spawn >> just in another location >< so sorry about that." So, our loss was the red sasquatches' gain, apparently. I hope someone was farming there, and was able to get rather rich very suddenly! Yatou didn't stay long, as he had, he said, 200-plus RTs to deal with.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Back on Track...?

I kept working on the "Update completed. Update is completed. Please, restart game." problem this morning, in my usual low-tech way. First I did a System Restore to a point I'd set late last night, but that didn't do anything, and then I moved over the installation files from one of the download sites I'd downloaded onto the newer computer - and I also moved over the newer computer's complete "LastChaosUSA" file folder, using a USB flash drive.

I uninstalled the game, and then got rid of the "LastChaosUSA" folder, as that was still actually there, with, it seemed, most of its contents. Then I installed the game again from the different client - but that still gave the usual "Update completed. Update is completed. Please, restart game." message, once the game had updated itself. I had difficulty renaming its newly-created "LastChaosUSA", as it was apparently "still in use", but once I closed Firefox, the renaming was done, to "LastChaosUSA fri install" - and I moved in the "LastChaosUSA" folder I'd copied across from the newer machine. Then I launched the launcher - and "Update completed. Update is completed. Please, restart game." didn't immediately appear. After a rather long three or four seconds, the game actually started to load.

After all that, all I did was send RedRackham down into Maargadum jail on Auzura-4 again. The window for the game is now 1151 by 864 for some reason, and, on the new LG monitor, looks nice and bright, if rather too wide, stretched by the different screen shape. Still, slightly sturdier monsters, and more spacious rooms, seem to work okay. The next trick would be to head for the Tomb of Theos later, and not get the "send error report?" crash message.

Kaerella logged on, on the newer machine, on Katar-5, and headed for the second floor of Maargadum Jail, to fight the two-headed, dire spike, and spike canines - but just before the end of her session, a level 50 rogue called Marckiller30 asked where to find the Death Knight of Iris.

I gave him the directions, but he said he had been there, and there was no Death Knight. It sounded as if somebody else had killed it recently and it hadn't had time to respawn, but on the chance that it'd be back, Marckiller30 persuaded me to party with him and go down there...which I reluctantly agreed to, after insisting we went out and got horse buffs first.

A level 45 specialist sorcerer called mttx joined the party too, and came down with us. I carefully applied mana shield, and we entered the torture room - but the Death Knight still wasn't back. We stayed and killed the death mask soldiers and lancers for a while, in case it respawned, but then I had to log out for lunch. Marckiller was considering trying over on Katar-4 instead, I hope he got on okay.

Kaerella had added 21.10% in all, plus 63 skill points and 471 pet points. I'd not equipped her drake in the torture room, but we probably got reasonable experience there. It would have been a bit of a surprise if the Death Knight had respawned on us there, we were probably rather lucky not to encounter him.

After lunch, I made another attempt to do what I'd tried to do on Wednesday, which was to take MistressDomina, Kaerella, and the polar bear cub down to the anubis spear men in the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-5, for a "power hour" there coinciding with the two o'clock to three o'clock (UK) "dungeon time" hour with its 50% experience boost. Last time, I had to give up after Kaerella crashed out five times in a row, leading to the reinstallation of the game sending me back into
"Update completed. Update is completed. Please, restart game." land. This time, much to my relief, Kaerella didn't have any problems.

My duo reached the first bend in the corridor after the spear man room and, after dealing with a sphinx fighter or two that had followed, Kaerella, in the combat party, just stood in the corner, with the poly equipped. After a while the anubis spear men did seem to start to hit MistressDomina a bit harder than I'd expected; I was a bit wary of Kaerella healing her during a fight, in case that stopped the experience booster from triggering, but there wasn't a problem, though once it did bring a sphinx fighter in on Kae, who had to quickly un-equip the poly, fight it, and then re-equip him.

There was some chat on the Twisted guild channel, in which I did somehow feel a bit more welcome; our guild master emeritus, Spazz, was online. A joke was told about a man staggering out of an antiques shop, carrying a grandfather clock he'd just bought, only for a drunk to collide with him, so that the grandfather clock was dropped, shattered into a thousand pieces. The man was not very happy, but the drunk blearily asked why he didn't just use a watch like everyone else. "Some people have too much time on their hands" was my comment...

MistressDomino was hitting perhaps 10% less hard than usual, but by the end of the hour 35 anubis spear men had been killed, for the use of 35 experience boosters, and MD was safely into level 93, adding 55.40%. After that MD and Kae ran back to the start of the Tomb, and just fought the screaming zombies, in an equal party, with Kaerella mainly standing well back with the polar bear cub equipped. The cleric Lilyanne joined the party for a little while, at her request, but as I thought, soon found that she could get more experience "ks-ing" from outside the party.

In all that session, MistressDomina added 56.29%, and Kaerella added 3.43%, while they each gained 3 skill points. MD's drake got 2096 pet points, and the polar bear cub went up by 18.85%.

There was some selling to be done over the food break and beyond, so MistressDomino went into merchant mode on Auzura-5, and did pretty well, after a slow start, selling most of her skill point boosters, some heaven stones, a couple of MP stealers, an old Halloween pumpkin helm for a rogue, and even some potions of pet healing. Around 300 million brought in made her total cash stash quite useful once more. And she continued for the rest of the evening, selling her runes of protection 2, the rest of her skill point boosters, and other oddments.

MistressBlaze had a rather brief session, initially out with the elite sphinx speer man and his friends, and then riding back to the arcane golems, in case, closer to her level, they'd be more generous with the loot. She only gained 4.14% though, plus 12 skill points, because soon it was time to log her out, and switch over to my level 92 rogue Rage. I'd earlier checked that there was to be no "official" Twisted guild presence at the high-level Mad Monster Spawn, and indeed I didn't see anybody from that guild there.

The Auzura "MMS" started punctually, at seven o'clock, UK time, with announcements leading up to it in the traditional way; [GM]Darasuum arrived early, and chatted a little, looking suitably impressive in his night shadow costume, plus a GM's identifying green glow. There were three waves of monsters, and Rage did have to be a bit careful, particularly when there were flutons involved - a couple of times she snared one, and that seemed to make Rage its main target when it got free, so some running like heck was needed. Those invisible walls, when one tries to run along a slope, could have been fatal, but luckily Rage survived. After just under half an hour, Darasuum spawned the usual hands of loot for us to grab, and then spawned some flutons and patriarch botises to keep us busy, declaring the event officially over - and, as we were not a particularly high-powered bunch, those kept us busy for the next 25 minutes.

That meant Barbarienne, my level 109 archer, only just teleported to the "MMS" location on Cariae-5 for the scheduled eight o'clock start with a couple of minutes to spare, to find...well, to find nobody, actually. I was just heading back towards town when the next person arrived... I remarked in the shoutbox that it was strange, I'd thought the Cariae MMS was due to start. A couple of other people did arrive, and then there was a "MMS in 5 minutes" GM announcement. I commented that the GM had woken up, and [GM]Yatou apologetically said that they had been rather busy. He or she never actually appeared, staying "invisible".

There were less people at this MMS, compared with Auzura, but we luckily had some people who were level 140 or so, which meant that we could kill flutons and so on rather more quickly. Yatou "improvised" a fairly big group of flutons, and patriarch botises, and large level 140 floating skull-like heads, eager to munch any of us, called "croythes", which when killed spawned a couple of maggot-like creatures of a similar level. And with that he vanished, ignoring any reminders that it was customary to spawn some loot, as we had disposed of the regular waves within the 30 minutes allowed. Well, we had never seen him, but there was no more in the way of conversation.

I did feel safer as Barbarienne than as Rage - well, 17 levels do make a difference, and I could take on wight slashers, and some other monsters, without any great risk - though, as with Rage, I did get stunned a time or two by the archer spirits, and was on the receiving end of a fluton's flamethrower skill, which leaves one dazed and bleeding. I'd been recruited into a party by a level 5 character I never actually saw on my compass map - they also brought in a level 85 knight called Hommer2, so I was able to provide horse buffs while he was melee fighting.

The monsters were all killed within 30 minutes, leaving us at a loose end, though some people fooled around with the low-level monsters that now populate the area, bringing in whole "trains" of treants. xSmexySorcereR decided to drop some loot himself - I generally didn't chase around after it, but he did drop an item drop booster next to me, which I managed to grab. I'm glad I did say "ty", as later looking at my inventory I saw it was actually ten of them...

There wasn't really time to do anything much after that...though I might bring MistressDomino out of merchant mode just before logging-out time, for a quick look to see if there are any items she could spend her now rather more substantial chunk of money on. Or that might happen tomorrow morning.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Please Stand By

[GM]AwesomeSauce had requested in the Last Chaos forum shoutbox that people who were experiencing the "Update completed. Update is completed. Please, restart game" problem should sent in a ticket, so I did that last thing last night, along with a screenshot - just an area of my older computer's desktop, with twelve of the little pop-up windows cascading neatly down it. I had a reply waiting this morning, but only a kind of preliminary one - as usual in such cases it asks for a screenshot, as a link not an attachment, so without comment I included the link to PhotoBucket again, where "LCerror.jpg" is hosted. They wanted me to check that lastchaos.exe wasn't running, so I did that... since the computer had been turned off overnight, that would have been a neat trick if it was still rumbling away in there somewhere.

I needed to go out shopping this morning, and my main purchase was a new monitor for the older computer, one with a proper high definition screen resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. Unfortunately the older computer, running XP, seems to have no provision for these new-fangled wide screens, and the nearest resolution it offers is 1280 by 1024. This looks better than the default 1024 by 768, but any pictures displayed are going to show some rather tubby people.

Meanwhile, MistressDomino did a little more selling, at least. She didn't sell out of anything, but she sold a few more skill point boosters, and twenty heaven stones, so her gold total is moving on steadily.

For the main part of the afternoon, a newly-created healer over on the Katar server, LadyScarlet, investigated the new quests available, with "LastChaos Newbie" in green above her head. The tutorial quest at the start had been changed, with a "boss" to fight in its main room - a Corrupt Dragon, level five. Luckily he didn't seem inclined to actually attack LadyScarlet, who was using her bow from out in the corridor - but he didn't drop any loot, which seems a bit of a shame.

Elizabeth gave her a present of five small healing potions, which was more useful than the potions of haste that most of the early quests have always given. There are a succession of "quest scrolls" that need to be clicked to be activated, but they just take you to an NPC in town for a small reward, such as three scrolls of recall. But generally it was just a matter of killing foxes and deer for Healer Yabo, and then wolves, and carrying on much as usual. I was lucky enough to pick up a level 33 shield somebody had dropped in town, which meant I had enough cash to eventually buy a better bow; I could probably get her better armour, as well.

I was intending to split the evening session into two parts, but when the "happy hour" was announced at just after 7:00pm UK time, with double experience and skill exp, it seemed to fit best with what I was doing then - which was fighting the screaming zombies in the Tomb of Theos. Not with my Auzura level 92 mage MistressDomina, though; instead I was working on my Cariae level 98 mage Keerella, who needs to reach level 99 if she is going to be able to continue to be in a combat party with Barbarienne...assuming that I will be able to use both computers for LC again before too long.

Keerella was in the Cariae-4 Tomb, which, since the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff for players on level sixty or below isn't available on Cariae-4, is nice and quiet. I had the first part of the Tomb to myself for most of the evening, except for the occasional passer-by, though for the last half hour or so the witch STRAWBERRY was there too. Judging by her 60/62 armour set, the same one that MistressBlaze, on level 57, wears, she was being rather daring. She used masses of pots - a crit, platinum adrenaline, power potion, health stealer, and more, plus quite a few large health potions, but she was managing to kill the zombies. I was able to take a second zombie off her a couple of times, and she did need to do a fair amount of running about.

Anyway, I continued a little past my usual finish time, to get Kee's experience gain up to 5.00%. She earned 43 skill points, which must be her biggest gain in a single session for quite a while, and her drake, Greedo, added 3890 pet points. Keerella's armour is better than MistressDomina's, but her weapon isn't as good, at "just" +15, so the Terra Spear skill tends to do around 24k damage rather than 30k or so.

The possibility of a near-future weekend "master stone tiered spender event" seems to have diminished, as the "new season" of the new Loot Forge isn't just a different selection of gems at various levels, it is upgrading-themed. The more times you risk your stake (which is aeria points - 1 ore is 49 ap, dropping to 35 if you buy, gulp, a hundred at a time), the more likely you are to get something good, though if you fail at any stage you lose your previous prize. Possible prizes include master stones +17, master stones +19, +21, +23, and even +25. These don't take an item all the way from no + at all to the number they give, they will just take your item up one, with that number as the maximum. The prize you get would be a master stone ticket, which can be traded - and then its owner can send in a ticket to have the upgrading applied, as before, by a GM.

I can't say I like the idea, though apparently the price of the +17 ticket is around 600 million on Cariae now, so buying such a thing for in-game gold is a possible option, if one has an item that would be worth that much more if it had the master stone applied to it. It looks as if there are going to be quite a few more weapons around now that are above +15...

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Technical Problems

The new patch this morning was rather large, though it didn't seem to accomplish much. When starting the game after getting the "update completed" all-clear, though, a little window would come up, saying "Update completed. Update is completed. Please, restart game." All one could do was press the "OK" - and after three or four goes, the newer computer did manage to get going. However, the older computer continued to give this message, even after the computer itself had been restarted. I was advised to try "flushing the DNS", which is a "command prompt" line, and easy enough to do, but that didn't help. Neither did further restarts, or switching off the modem for a while - which was a shame, as that meant that MistressDomino, who I'd put in merchant mode on Auzura-5, had to come offline.

I was doing "the high-tech version of thumping the computer case violently", as I termed it in the shoutbox, "ie a System Restore", when gamesage Irene_tas said that it looked as if I would have to do a complete new installation of the game, probably - though someone else said that they had already tried that three times. But as the System Restore was already going, I continued with it...and once my settings had been backdated to yesterday, I tried to start Last Chaos again. As before, the usual launcher came up, and then, when "start" was clicked, vanished. The suspense was terrible, but finally instead of the irritating little error window, the full-size LC window started to load. The log-in background, usually a view of Mondshine apparently, was a bit strange, but MistressDomino was able to log back in, and continue her sales campaign.

MistressDomino had sold her moonstone boxes before her break, as well as her strong medicines, and now she sold her moonstones quickly, so it looks as if I need to revise my prices for that sort of thing. Meanwhile, RedRackham had headed for the fifth floor of Maargadum Jail, and was busy pet-levelling his drake. MistressDomino sold three Runes of Protection 2, and then a hundred skill point boosters.

With all that to keep me busy, there had been no time for my characters to put in their "attendance allowance" half hours - so it was kind of handy that the new Patch Notes reveal that the system had been removed. "
We have removed the system for now but that does not mean it will be gone forever. Let us know if you really miss it!
" Apart from that, some weapon enhancement names have been changed, to make them a bit more relevant, and new characters get some more early quests, and "Last Chaos Newbie" above their heads for the first seven days.

My plan for the afternoon was to get MistressDomina and Kaerella down to the anubis spear men in the Tomb of Theos on Auzura-5 for the "dungeon time" hour of two to three, but alas it wasn't to be. Kaerella crashed, with the usual "send error report?" pop-up, when we were a few yards into the screaming zombies. She logged back in - and crashed again. In all she crashed five times, so, given that there have been other crashes down there in recent weeks, it was time to reinstall the game on the older computer. That took most of the afternoon, so MistressDomina was fighting, just at the start against the screaming zombies, at a bit less than full speed.

The game was downloaded, uninstalled, and installed again, and then patching it to get it back up to date took a further 26 minutes. After which - yes, you've probably guessed it, we were back to the
"Update completed. Update is completed. Please, restart game." message. Numerous attempts to get the game's launcher to actually launch the game failed, and a restart didn't help either, so the next stage was another System Restore to yesterday's checkpoint...which again took ages. And it came with the caveat that various files had had to be renamed - which entirely ruined the Last Chaos files, with probably hundreds of the properly named files just about empty, and the correct stuff, presumably, in files with a "(2)" on the end

MistressDomina's session added exactly 4.00% experience, along with 7 skill points and 1568 pet points, so that was something, but it was annoying to be limited to the single computer.

So, a further uninstallation and reinstalling was then called for, which again took quite a while, as did the patching...but all it got me was the same moronic "
Update completed. Update is completed. Please, restart game.

The guild chat channel for Twisted seemed pretty busy, but it was mainly chat between people I'd never met and didn't know, using either real names or nicknames rather than the character names, so it tended to go over my head. I did enquire what sort of time there might be any monster combo type stuff done, but didn't really get anywhere with that approach. Oh well, it's difficult as a newbie to get into the swing of things, but I'll continue to try - maybe some members or other in the guild will try too.

For want of anything better to do, MistressDomina went back to the Tomb of Theos for the usual shorter Wednesday evening session, and just fought the screaming zombies, helping out whenever anyone got chased down the corridor. Ratel did come online, and tried to cheer me up a bit, but he couldn't really work me into the guild chat, and there wasn't enough time left for it to be worth him coming and joining MD.

Still, MistressDomino did manage to add another 3.40%, 7 skill points, and 2972 pet points before the usual early Wednesday evening log-out. There was double pet experience running, so it was a pity that RedRackham wasn't able to take advantage of that later.

All in all, a bit of a frustrating day. Maybe the overnight downtime will be enough to get the older computer's fresh install running...if not, well, I'm running a little short of ideas.