Thursday, 23 December 2010

Plenty of Drops

The attendance half hours got seen to in the normal way, with CaptainScarlet heading for Maargadum Jail after the first three had each done their thirty minutes. However, I did have some work to get through today, so active playing didn't look like being possible until the evening.

One thing about the Christmas event that has improved is the snow. Last Chaos doesn't let it settle on the ground, but previously in Randol an endless succession of large, two-dimensional snowflakes streamed down the screen, making older computers work hard and just looking phoney. This year, a rather small number of natural-looking flakes drift unsteadily towards the ground.

The Christmas ornaments and the main tree in Randol seem the same. You get the ornaments as drops from monsters, then you click on the tree and give them up (unless you think you can get people to buy them from you), and once enough people have donated ornaments, and after a five-minute warning, packs of candy canes appear beneath the tree, giving either health or mana, or perhaps both.

Every hour, a large box materialises beside you, and when you open it, you get a present - but there are problems this year. The boxes have never appeared in towns, but this time they seem not to arrive if you are near a wall, or near a all seems a bit random. Previously, you could leave a character in your guild hall overnight, and find the place overrun with the boxes in the morning, but I did try leaving MistressDomina in the Twisted guild hall for an hour, and found nothing.

And the "presents" are really annoying - most times it's a Santa hat, which will last for 30 days and can be used as a cover, but only the person who opens the box can ever pick it up. Kaerella got a healer hat yesterday, which was good, but an hour or two later she got another one, so, as it cannot be traded or dropped, left it for Barbarienne to pick up...and she was unable to, right up until the moment it finally vanished. And mage, night shadow, and knight hats have been similarly useless. One-day merchant cards are slightly useful, allowing you to sell items as you fight, and I think platinum item drop boosters are available again this year; I have had a couple of reindeer pet change books, which can change a horse or drake ("level 16+ pets only") into a little reindeer, until the event ends, but there has been no sign of anything more interesting.

Auzura's RedRackham joined CaptainScarlet in Maargadum Jail, and then before lunch Rage, who had continued with some mining, finally logged out, to allow Cariae's RedRackham to also have a turn at pet-levelling, with his level 38 drake.

Shortly before four o'clock in the afternoon, RedRackham (on Auzura) got his pale blue horse to level 37, which completed that job. As he had a pink drake egg, the next thing to do was for him to start a new pink hatchling, so he made the trip to Lorraine, and then on to Jajan in Dratan, before returning to the Jail. And, as he was running down to the fifth floor, CaptainScarlet's drake levelled up too, reaching 46.

Cariae's drake got halfway through level 38 before Red had to log out, to make way for Kaerella on that server, and a bit of actual playing. On Auzura, Red's hatchling was about halfway through level 2, and on 62% sympathy. Unfortunately, when Kae reached the Tomb, it was down to only 30%, so plans had to be changed - and instead MistressSabina logged in on Auzura-6, for some more giant farming. After cleaning out her inventory a little, RedRackham was able to log back in, but this time on Auzura-6 to give Sabina a solo party.

There was a couple of hours of double skill exp starting at around six o'clock, though with Sabina already having the Elizabeth's Enhancement buff and the 10% attendance bonus, she wasn't far short of the 250% (150% extra) cap anyway. One thing did make a useful difference, though, and that was a special hour-long seasonal buff from the Randol Christmas tree, which actually quadruples the drop rate. Given that the giants drop plenty of weapons anyway, well, let's just say that Sabina had to make frequent trips back to town. It would have been very useful if one of the hourly gift boxes had given her a one-day merchant ticket, so that she could have sold stuff on the spot, but all she got was a succession of warehouse tickets. That did at least mean that personal dungeon tickets and heaven stones could be deposited, as they'd stack with ones already there, but otherwise the warehouse was full.

By the end of the evening, MistressSabina had added exactly 20.00% experience, I found to my surprise, along with 166 skill points and 1689 pet points. She had also added 61 million gold to her total, so must have picked up at least 210 weapons.

CaptainScarlet and RedRackham had kept busy too; Red did get ks'd once, but when he went to lure the respawned death mask lancer back to the side, he found that there was a Christmas gift box in the middle, which dropped a reindeer pet change book. Those have been sellable in the past, let's hope the developers haven't changed that. By the end of the evening, Cap's drake was almost a quarter of the way through level 46, while Red's new pink drake had reached full sympathy, and level 8.

Tomorrow's event promises extra experience, and, rather handily, on Christmas Day itself we get a couple of hours of double pet experience. That looks set to be a day for long pet-levelling sessions, rather than particularly active adventuring...

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