Beginnings - January 10th, 2008
Well, Elvastar has set up the Norcaine guild here... I'm not entirely sure what I need a blog for, but some sort of starting entry seems like a good idea. The guild forum will of course be the heart of the project, so see you there!
Experience... - January 14th
Well Norcaine hasn't yet had our Big Meeting, the idea is for Elvastar to pounce as soon as we can catch just about everyone online at the same time. Hopefully we can then persuade people to register for GuildPortal, and join the forum here... who knows, maybe strat theit own blogs?
Elva and I were pk'd last night, down at Mystic Swamp - apparently the sorc in question is level 61, nice eh? He pk'd Angel today, too, apparently he wants to max out his wickedness rating. Still, tonight we got some really good exp, thanks to RenaNight joining us, so that we could smack down many Salamander Ruins and Cerebrils. We had toyed with the idea of going to a non-PvP server to avoid the pk'er, but heck, cariae-6 is our home! And this time we were a bit more out of the way, perhaps the swamp, with its Berserkers and Doom Slayers, is a rather obvious place for a high-lvel player gone bad to find easy prey.
Same Again? Not Quite! - January 15th
Well, Elva invited me down to beat up the Gnoll Soldiers again, and the pair of us killed quite a few, and I even got quite a nice sword as a drop, which should convert into two useful smelting stones. I vetoed the suggestion of taking on a Salamander Ruin or two, they are level 50 after all and, while their armour rating isn't too high, they hit hard. But then Sheele was able to come and join us, and the decision was made to venture along that particular path. Sheele, while a skilled player, is not as high a level rogue as RenaNight, and without the ability to provide the very useful attack and defence "horse buffs", so things were a bit hairy, particularly as someone from my Friends list, C0BRA, was asking to team up and not taking "no, it's a long way to run and I'll be logging out soon" for an answer.
Sadly, the rogue "Snare" skill doesn't always work, and I think one or two Salamander Ruins or a Cerabril may have spawned at just the wrong moment, because, on what might anyway have been our last group, suddenly they were all over us, and, worse, not ignoring me healing away at the back. So down I went, and despite Sheele's wise advice Elva wasn't able to disengage or log off in time. So, some death penalty to grind away at tomorrow...
The Daily Grind - January 16th
Sheele mentioned online just now that he had read the blog here - so I've actually got an audience. Surely fame and fortune, and a book deal and a tv series starring Billie Piper, are now only a few steps away...
Anyway, I seemed to spend hours busily attacking butchers and pilferers in my favourite spot south of Merac - very few other people go there, it's what looks like the top of a hollowed-out mountain, or maybe an extinct volcano, and it's not quite as obvious to approach as the main road that has butchers on it. After yesterday's unfortunate ending, I was 54% of the way towards the next level, the magic number 31, and now I'm on 62%. Progress really slows down at this sort of level; I could go faster, but then I wouldn't be getting as much of the special "skill experience", leading to skill points which I can use to learn new, you've guessed it, skills, and wouldn't be levelling up my faithful pet drake as quickly.
Talking of pets, the rogue who "borrowed" Elvastar's dragon mount (which Elva'd got for the bargain price of fourteen million in gold) and never returned it was messaging me again. First of all he wanted to "borrow" money, and then a little while later he was asking to "borrow" my pet, "just for a second". Just how stupid does he, or she, think I am? No, don't answer that. While someone can quite plausibly ask to have a ride on a full-grown dragon, something I look forward to doing some day, why on earth should somebody want to just have a little drake flapping away behind them at shoulder height, like an overgrown pigeon? Unless he was going to steal it and sell it for, what, ten million or so!
More Gnolls! - January 17th
I should perhaps mention, for people arriving via search engine or from the GuildPortal blogs page, that the game I am playing isn't World of Smurfcraft, it's one of the no-subscription micro-payment ones... Last Chaos. We've put in a request that GP add it to their selection of games, it's a bit surprising that it wasn't already on. It's definitely in the Lineage II tradition, with the usual slightly dodgy translations from the Korean. Pretty good graphics, I'd say, nothing over-ambitious but the water effects for example are excellent. Download the client, being careful to get the Aeria Games version rather than the Malaysian one that's also on the search results, and give it a go. Soon you too can be grinding your way towards being able to fly your own dragon...and it won't cost you a penny unless you want special potions to speed up your journey.
Today I did team up with Elvastar again...I'd headed for Merac with the idea of soloing butchers and pilferers, but there he was, already in a party with healer Persial, ready to head further south to the gnoll soldiers. Not as much pet experience for me (in fact I took off my drake after a while, gnoll soldiers have a nasty habit of attacking pets, and not changing their target even when we attack them), and probably less skill point experience, but more general exp, so that I am almost at 80% on the journey from level 30 to 31. I made a slightly envious congratulatory comment to Elva after he'd received a magic necklace, a magic earring, and a heaven stone, and he informed me that I'd just been allocated two heaven stones in quick succession, which I'd not noticed. Considering that they sell for 500-600k each, useful drops to have...
Sexy Costumes in Last Chaos - January 18th
Heheh, I thought that title might get your attention. As a healer, I get quite a respectable, if short, miniskirt, and show a bit of midriff before the top piece, and generally it's an effect I'm quite happy with. Rogues get full coverage from head to toe, but the third female class, mages, well, skintight black leather hot pants, sometimes with cut-out areas, long shiny black boots with high heels, and push-up bra arrangements. I think that may well be why "Last Chaos" is meant to be for ages 15 and up. One particular armour, for around level 31, is called "vanishing", and with good reason!
Last Chaos is a "micropayment" mmorpg... at least that's the general term, but like other games of its type, "micro" is a bit misleading. A friend who hasn't been playing for more than two months, I'm sure, told me how much he had spent, and I've just converted it into US dollars - $283.00! A special in-game potion, or a scroll, or something to enhance your armour or weapon tends not to cost a few cents, as one would tend to assume, but a couple of dollars or so. Of course these items are entirely voluntary, and you can farm gold in the game and buy such items from other players if you really want them, but be careful in there. But hey, $150 a month or whatever is less than a lot of people spend on eating out, or drinking, or smoking, or downloading stuff from itunes, so if you can afford it and are enjoying yourself, it's not exactly a problem.
As for me today, well there was a 2-hour special when we all earned double pet experience, so my cute little drake was able to reach level 28, only two levels behind me. When a drake reaches level 31 one can have it turned into a full-size dragon, and ride it about, though I intend to let it level up a bit more first. Sure, I want to ride about on a dragon, but let's make it a powerful one, yes? When I reach level 31 I have a career decision to make for myself too - archer or cleric? However, I am advised to wait until I am almost level 32 before doing that, so that I have more skill points by then to spend, and will be able almost immediately to get skills that become available at level 32. So it will be business as usual for a while yet...
My Favourite Rogue - January 19th
Yesterday our server, Cariae, had a special 12-hour event with double experience, double skill experience, and double pet experience; it was only announced at the last moment, as just before the deadline someone bought enough of the special "competition packages" for us to qualify to have it then, so I came in a bit late, but swiftly headed for my favourite place to battle butchers and pilferers. Even at twice the normal speed, it was a bit of a slog, but I managed just over four hours of it, enlivened only by chatting with Elvastar and other guildies and having the radio on. And then Elvastar teamed up with RenaNight, and invited me to join them. It was a long run from the top of the map down to the south-east corner, but well worth it, as Rena is high-enough in level to take on the salamander ruins and cerebril at a pretty good speed, and "power level" us.
Elva had to leave after half an hour, or a little after midnight his time, but he is two hours ahead of UK time, and Rena very kindly kept going for another hour... an hour past my usual logging-off time, but with the double exp and Rena willing to help like that, I wasn't feeling as tired as I usually get after ten.
I didn't notice any particularly good item drops from the salamander ruins, except a relatively high-level recipe-book for making some sort of armour, but they were generous with their cash drops... and the butchers and pilferers had dropped a few pieces of armour that will be useful for turning into smelting stones for various upgrades. But, between the slog and the speedier ninety minutes, I went up by 77% of a level (to make me level 31 and 70.18%), 89 skill points, and not far short of a whole pet level for my drake. As a healer, I am now getting close to the moment when I have to decide whether to become an archer or a cleric, and get some new skills. I have to do that before I reach level 32...
Anyway, RenaNight was very kind, she even offered to use pots to heal herself so that I could use my bow more and thus get more pet experience points, though I did keep on with the healing. She is definitely my favourite rogue!
Double Experience - January 20th
After yesterday's multi-type double experience extravaganza, today's genteel tea-time offering was double pet experience, so my level 29 drake has moved up from 679 points out of 7303 (before level 30 is reached) to 6345, thanks to the butchers and the pilferers.
CrystalKnight invited me into a group going after the level 52 Giants in Dratan, which started badly when we ran out of the town gates straight into Road Boss Kamira, leading to the usual instant death she hands out... and then when we did get to the Giants, by a different route, they killed us straight away! Luckily we managed to get a few more recruits, including a level 35 archer, Twis, who kindly acted as our tank and was able too to supply "horse buffs" to add to our armour and attack. When she left, my feeling was that the party was over, so I headed back to my usual slogging spot and a (shorter) second bout of double pet experience. Despite the double death penalty I ended 15% up in experience, which was more than I'd have got if I hadn't joined CrystalKnight's party... however, I only just managed to get back at the end of the day to the number of skill points I started the afternoon with, as you lose some of those too when killed.
So, a mixed day, but I did get my cash balance back up over 2,000,000 gold, and just before logging out did get an extreme stone, an item which tends to sell for 500k or so. And tomorrow I'm sure my drake will reach level 30, only one level below the point at which I can choose to convert it into a dragon for riding about on!
Clerical Work - January 21st
Another day of pestering the pilferers and bashing the butchers, though now that I am a few levels higher than when I first went to that particular location near Merac Caron, I seek out the level 33 pilferers rather than the level 28 butchers! I added 10% to my experience level (31), getting me near enough to the top, I thought, to take up my new profession: no longer am I just a healer, now I am a cleric.
I'd managed to add another 31 skill points, which after yesterday was a surprisingly large number. While the main new cleric-type skills, such as the promisingly-named Fast Heal, don't come in until level 32, I did have to use a massive 228 points to get myself up to level five of Double Stingshot to be able to take up my new profession, a fairly useless skill for somebody who'll probably be using a scepter rather than a bow very soon. When I think how long it took to get those points! It would have been worse, I suppose, if I'd not got a large reserve of skill points, and thus hadn't been able to make the change.
Well, level 32 is still about 5% away, so before too long I should know if my remaining points are going to be enough to get me some useful new skills. I did pretty well for pet points today, too, my drake reached level 30; at level 31 he too can change profession, and be a full-size dragon to be flown around on, but I do intend to keep him small for a while yet. He gives me good buffs while he remains a drake, particularly some extra armour against attacks, so I'd notice the difference. I did try briefly fighting pilferers without him, and they seemed to do me a lot more damage.
New Skills... - January 22nd
I got to level 32, with a little help from C0BRA, who insisted on rounding up ludicrously large groups of butchers and pilferers - the pilferers tended immediately to want to attack me, no sense of humour some monsters.
I'd been told that I'd have to stop using a bow and use a scepter instead, and I discovered why, in, luckily, a non-lethal situation... my brand-new level 32 "Fast Heal" skill doesn't work if I have a bow equipped. Fingers crossed that the other Heal skills still work once I change - I hope a new scepter isn't too expensive. New armour is a slight problem, I bought myself level 37 boots and applied three smelting stones, two of them from a weapon RenaNight generously passed over to me - and none of them took!
Elvastar has been entirely inactive for the last couple of days, doing some away-from-keyboard pet levelling, so I'm feeling a bit out of touch with the guild. Particularly when one of our people asked me in town why she'd suddenly found herself guildless...
Not A Lot - January 23rd
I applied two more smelting stones to those darned boots, and they both failed. Apparently smelts have a one in three chance of working, so those are definitely unlucky boots! Two level 37 weapons and a level 37 armour piece, plus the cost of smelting them, that's quite a waste of money.
No adventures today... I did log out rather quickly when a red-named character with the knife-and-fork symbol of "PvP enabled" rode into sight, but he wasn't coming straight at me, and I think could probably have surprise-killed me if he'd wanted to. The usual method pk'ers (player killers) use is to see somebody fighting a monster, or a whole group of them, and run in quickly, so that before they've been noticed, their victim is dead. Cowardly, I call it...if they want to fight, go to the Randol arena.
So, a small amount of slogging, but no real progress. The guild continues to be very quiet, with Elvastar inactive, but I was looking at the official Aeria Games forums for Last Chaos and they do mention that people being randomly kicked from their guild is a bug that they are working to beat. Apparently sorcerers are more likely than others to be disconnected from the game while playing, which is another bug.
As an experiment I equipped a scepter, and was relieved to find that it is compatible with the "double stingshot" spell... a scepter that fires two arrows at once? Very cunning. It was still a bit of a (compulsory) waste of 228 precious skill points; it's an "opening" attack, and if you are in a group, you don't really want your healer to fire the first shot and attract whatever you're attacking. You'd rather she saved the mana that the spell uses, so that it can be used for healing the "tank" types who are the ones that ought to be absorbing the monster's damage.
The White Stallion - January 24th
I'm very happy to report that Elvastar was back in action today, having spent the last few days getting his pet pony up to a full horse - and a fine animal it looks too, with the newly-available white dye applied! We teamed up to fight berserkers and bandits (a step up from butchers and pilferers), and got some good drops and experience...but Elva had to log out early, as he didn't get much sleep last night, since he had to keep re-setting his pet-levelling in-game every hour or so...such dedication.
Sheele came out to replace him, and the battle continued, then, once he had finished selling a number of white pet-dyes back in town, Rastatitan joined us. Suitably emboldened, we headed for the salamander ruins, and killed a few quite easily. I'd just typed in "be careful only to get one at a time" when, you guessed it, three of them, and a cerabril, charged us, and we had nowhere to retreat to, as the highlanders and gnoll soldiers in those parts are aggressive. Ouchie! So I was very soon reassembling back in town. Anyway, it only wiped out a part of the evening's experience, and skill exp, gain, I still came out further ahead than if I'd been soloing. And it was more fun, too.
The "Pandora Boxes" today seemed more high-powered than yesterday. I'm sure then the ones in Juno I encountered let out level 20 "Pandora Beasts", and the Merac ones level 30 types... but today the Juno ones were level 30, a bit of a shock to the system for the level 10 to 15 characters in those areas, and the Merac ones were level 50. Still, Elva and I managed to deal with two or three, and very nice experience they gave too. Lucky I have "Fast Heal" available now, as they do hit hard and fast.
To Egeha! - January 25th
Egeha is the high-level zone in Last Chaos - so leet that teleporting there costs you 800,000 gold. Luckily, Rastatitan had a friend who was there and able to form a party with just about every Norcaine guild member who was online, and use the "recall" function to move us all there for free!
Well, we soon found out that we were a bit outmatched. A friendly local knight helped us, casually asking "Is there anyone under level 40 in your group?" Ha, there was nobody even very close to reaching that level. But we managed to fight a few of the level 65 critters just outside the settlement - and they managed to kill us. I think I got off lightly with two deaths, I'm sure most people had more. I was very lucky when we perhaps over-ambitiously tried for another, after Elvastar had got a disconnection and Rasta had had to go afk, and in fact there were only four of us active - we were hit hard, and poor Sheele as main attacker was killed faster than Fast Heal can work... only afterwards did I see that my health was down to about 200/250! Killing the beasts had given us some good experience points, which cushioned the loss from death penalty, but there was no such cushion for the loss of skill points, sigh...
Egeha seems buggy. At one point between fights I couldn't heal Sheele at all, despite using Group Heal quite close by, and Fast Heal. There were tiny lag-style hiccups too... and at the end I couldn't use Self Heal to boost that low health level, until I clicked on the weapon trader (armour and weapons sold by NPCs in Egeha are no better than the ones you can get in Merac), at which point Self Heal triggered. If anything like that had effected Snare or the various buffs while we were fighting, that might be an extra reason for some of the deaths.
But it was good to have a guild team-up like that, and to finally visit the fabled Egeha. I'm just glad I didn't have to pay 800k for the privilege!
A Quieter Day - January 26th
No great adventures today, for me... no sign of Elvastar or Rastatitan when I was online. Elva had decided that healers in Norcaine when soloing to get skill points should avoid the risk of being player-killed, and thus losing more sp than they'd gained, by only soloing in the non-PvP servers, Cariae-3 and Cariae-4 - so that was what I did. It certainly made a change to be able to fight the berserkers and bandits out on the main highway in Merac...and when a red-named player did suddenly ride up on their horse, instead of any trouble, I got an offer of full-strength "horse buffs", which while they last are very useful, adding greatly to both one's attack and defence. Thanks, Ziomalek!
The only "big news" was that my drake reached level 31...which means I could have it transformed into a dragon, and fly around at great speed impressing people. However, for me it's more useful as a drake; after using the new pet skill point, having my drake with me when I fight adds 200 to my armour rating, moving it up from 444 to 644 at the moment, as well as giving small boosts to health and mana totals. My present armour does need a bit more upgrading, I just need the right drops to turn into smelting stones to buff each piece up to at least +3...
Double Experience - January 27th
Sunday's "tea-time special" was double experience, which many of us were able to take full advantage of. In theory these things last two hours, with the European one from 4:00pm to 6:00pm GMT, but usually they kindly leave the boost on for a while - maybe twenty minutes, maybe longer. This time it was over an hour, past the time at which the regular quiz event was held, so I was able to grind away for, well, rather longer than I'd intended, much to the chagrin of the local berserkers and bandits.
And at 9:00pm GMT the US-aimed "tea-time" began, so after half an hour or so Sheele invited me to go Larva-hunting in Merac, which has the advantage of not being quite as far to run from town as going to the salamander ruins, and a bit less dangerous too - the critters may be level 50, but there isn't an equivalent of the Cerabril joining in too, and it's unusual, if you pick your spot as well as Sheele did, to get more than two attacking at once. We also had RenaNight in the party, but only as a slight exp boost from having an extra member...she was busy selling some rather expensive armour back in town.
Fairly early on Sheele said that her morale was a bit low, and could I encourage her a bit? A strange request, but I dutifully typed in "Go Sheele - yay!" Not exactly what she had hoped for, and it turns out that there is actually a healer/cleric spell called Encourage. I don't have it because, although it is a level 32 spell, it requires the caster to have a minimum of 12 attribute points in Dexterity, and if I had that many in Dexterity I wouldn't have enough in Intelligence to be able to cast Fast Heal, which is rather useful. Hmm, do I put future points into Dexterity to try and get access to that spell, or continue on the Intelligence kick, which will unlock other useful stuff as I go along...? Getting accessories with appropriate boosts is an option of course, though I find that a lot of rings, necklaces etc I pick up I am unable to equip, for no obvious reason. And bloodseal boosts are unpredictable, and expire when you move up to the next level of armour.
We continued on the Larva-bashing, with Sheele carefully only pulling one at a time as much as possible and using horse buffs, for rather longer than I'd intended, but heck, it was double experience time. Rather low skill experience, but my earlier slog had covered that for the day. By the end, I'd gone up exactly 38% of a level, added a massive 37 skill points, and moved my pet drake 3246 points along towards his next level, which is still 5427 points away! There was only one point where things got a bit fraught, I got attacked and had to use Self Heal as well as the other spells, but my faithful drake bravely took some damage in my stead, and Sheele was soon able to come to my rescue.
So, a satisfactory adventure. Not a lot of loot, but I did get a level 46 knight's shirt, which no doubt in a few weeks will get turned into a smelting stone at vast cost, and then have a one-third chance of upgrading a piece of whatever armour I have then No wonder enhanced armour of that sort of level goes for millions in gold!
I Wonder What They Turn Into? - January 28th
After a not very long slog with the berserkers and bandits, which got slightly side-tracked when a knight called Asteca wanted to team up, and then decided we should head for the swamp and fight blood frenzies, a new trip to the level 50 lavas, or Giant Larvas to give them their full name, was arranged - luckily I was in Randol when Elvastar was assembling the group.
Well, Sheele was of course our main attacker, with Rastatitan joining us after a while (most of us have the location on our teleport scrolls now); Fastdaggersgirl1 was briefly in the party, as was Persail (who may well be joining Norcaine if we can find the room!), while Next and Smiila were along for the whole thing...as was Elva of course, though he did lose his connection briefly (there is a game bug that makes this happen more often with sorcerors). It rather puzzled me, as he'd just asked specially to be healed, so I did wonder if he had left the party to allow the lower-level members to get more experience. Just as well that wasn't the idea, as I had my hands full keeping the party members alive, with the larvas (larvae?) respawning in our midst, and trying to locate and click on a non-party member and heal him would not have been practical. I picked up a useful-looking level 41 sword, and Rasta was kind enough to give me a level 32 shirt, Afterwards I converted it into a smelting stone, but I'm afraid luck was against me and it didn't upgrade my armour. Anyway, useful loot, a nice guild party outing, and a healthy dollop of experience, though some of the larvas did tend to attack my drake, and I had to quickly feed him some herb leaves on three occasions. Another 11% gained over the day, then, and 9 skill points... and about 900 points towards my drake's next level, though he still isn't halfway there yet.
Spending Spree - January 29th
I've been a good girl and slogged away at the berserkers and bandits again - they may not be as showy as the giant larvas, but, while they don't give anything like as much regular experience, they do give a useful amount of skill experience too. Which in due course can be used to get extra skills, and generally make me a good healer-cleric. It may only be 6.5% exp I've added today, and about 1250 points towards my drake's next level, but another 17 skill points have been safely banked!
A certain roguish inhabitant of my "friends" list was on for a nice long chat, but in the end the conversation turned to a wish to borrow my drake for a few minutes, and honestly, whatever is the point of that? Having a drake fluttering away behind your shoulder is not much different from having a level 1 hatchling there, and I certainly don't want him dyed, or converted into a riding-dragon. He's entirely vital for me, I've worked hard to get him up to his current level and get him the buffs he offers, and I'd be lost without him.
RenaNight tipped me off that there were some good healer items being offered in Cariae-1, so I joined her there, and, after collecting together just about all my money, spent, following her advice, well, just about all my money, 6 million in gold. And I can't use anything I bought yet! The level 37 Angel Scepter +7 I will soon be able to wield... it has +4 to intelligence, which is useful, and its +7 augmentation means it will hit pretty darn hard. It cost half the total amount, 3 million, to which we add level 42 Dawn Boots +6 (with +6 to dexterity), a level 41 Dawn Skirt +4 (with +4 to strength, if I remember correctly), and a level 41 Dawn Robe +4 (with +3 to strength), at a million each. Ah well, hopefully at some distant time, when I outgrow them, I'll be able to sell them on, and use the cash towards parts of a higher-level set - but I need to grow into them first. In the meantime, I'm going to have to see if I've got anything worth selling, in the way of accessories, item drop boosters, tool aids, attack and defence pots, and candy. I don't want to have to sell heaven stones, as, once one's level becomes high enough, they are the best way to augment one's armour, so one would just end up having to buy them again.
Oh well, enough high finance. Tomorrow will be a new day, with more monsters to remonstrate with, and more friends in need of healing.
A New Level - January 30th
Yes, finally I've levelled up, adding just over 10% today to experience, around 30 skill points I think, and a thousand or so points towards my drake's next level. And being level 33 means that I can use that expensive new +7 scepter I bought yesterday, even if the "Dawn" armour I bought then is still a few levels away. I really ought to do something to improve my current armour, but while I do turn any appropriate loot into smelting stones and apply them, it's just that almost all of them fail to upgrade the items, sigh...
Anyway, it's nice to make definitive progress like that. And I managed to sell some surplus tool aids, item drop boosters, and even some moonstones to build up my cash reserves a bit. No takers for a heaven stone at 550k; I'm a bit wary about putting too much valuable stuff into "merchant mode", I have seen on a few occasions items scattered on the ground in town, and passers-by hurrying to pick up the unexpected bounty, which I assume means that somehow somebody in "merchant mode" encountered a very expensive bug!
Shopping can be fun... you see some people selling items the NPCs sell a lot cheaper, but I actually bought a few "scrolls of memorising" (which allow you to return to a previously-entered location, such as the entrance to a temple) on sale more cheaply than merchant Geres has them. And it is a good idea to look out for cheap accessories, or the books that crafters use as recipes to make weapons or armour...the price on them varies wildly.
Aeria games released a new pet-colouring pill today, "stormy", which I gather is a dark grey, verging on the black. I haven't noticed a pet that it has been used on yet, but it will be interesting to see what dragons and horses look like after it has been used on them. White horses look fine, but after only a week there are a great many of them about.
Thrills And Adventure - January 31st
I've only recently discovered the delights of the "Combination Box", as sold by kindly merchant Geres in Randol for a mere 500 gold. Put three low-grade accessories (such as rings) into it, and it magically combines them into one - not that this one has all the properties of the three items combined, but it does tend to be more useful, perhaps with +4 to "quickness of reflexes" (ie dexterity). With a little help from a couple of boxes, I now have three accessories to use which between them add 12 to my dexterity. And a score of 12 dexterity is what is needed to be able to learn and use the skill Encourage, of course...
Except that that idea doesn't work. It seems that add-on attribute points like that don't count, and I wasn't able to learn the Encourage skill. Oh well, back to the drawing board!
Enchantrella, Guild Master of the new "Crafters of Iris" guild and a level one Expert Weaponsmith in her own right, passes on news of a "random act of kindness", which deserves to be mentioned here. A healer called Attak noticed a new healer just outside Randol's north gate, and asked her level. When told that Barbarienne was lvl 5, she then opened trading, and gave her a level 9 +2 bow, a second lower-level bow - and 10,000 gold! After being thanked, she then left. It's nice that there are such generous people out there.
Let's see, what else. I did slog away for about 2% against berserkers and bandits, and added 6 skill points... I'd briefly thought that yesterday was Friday and dashed out there in case there was a "happy hour" going on, but soon got my days sorted out. A Pandora's Box appeared nearby, but by the time I'd asked if the couple of other people close by wanted to team up for it, assuming a level 50 Pandora's Beast would appear, one of them had opened it - and got not a Beast but a treasure. Next time, I open such a box first, and worry about teaming up afterwards.
The main event came a little later. RenaNight has bought a 30-day Recall scroll - a rather expensive purchase, but if it gets us free trips to Egeha well worth it in my opinion! She and Elvastar started fighting the Bogles just outside town as a pair, which seems a bit risky to me and presumably uses quite a few potions, but when I logged back on I got invited to join, and luckily Sheele also came online very shortly after; another Norcaine member, Zeratus, is a royal knight, so we were very glad of his company too, as the skill Concentration is extremely useful in such places. We had a good Bogle-bashing team now (though after a while Zeratus had to leave, and we brought in someone's friend called RagnusPL instead), and set to work. After a while Rena went off to find a demon in a suitably solitary location, and we were able to continue rather more cautiously in her absence, getting slightly more experience, around 78k instead of 63k in my case (!), until she used Recall to move us to the place she had found. Bogles are level 65 - but Boucu Demons are level 84! Rena warned me not to use Group Heal there, as it would be liable to attract the monster's attention. We managed to kill this one, though it took a while, and we decided that it would be pushing it a bit to continue with such high level types, and went back to the Bogles.
I managed to get myself into a bit of trouble; Recall was used occasionally to bring new people to us, and this sometimes meant that I'd move about 5 metres to stand next to Rena. So when the choice-window, asking if I wanted to be Recalled, came up one time, I declined...only to find that somehow everyone else had moved by it to the far side of the map! I was assured that I could get there without problems just by running down the main road, so I brought up the "W" map and set off. Bogles are entirely unaggressive unlesss attacked, so running past them was no problem, but the next type, well, they made roaring noises as I ran past - and suddenly I noticed my health was down to 200 or so! A quick logging-off seemed the best thing to do, and luckily I got out before being hit again. Back to Randal, and I registered for the party again, and this time got safely recalled to the team. Oh well, it keeps things interesting.
More Bogles got bashed - being the healer in such a team is a bit nerve-wracking, watching the health bars for the sudden and heavy damage a Bogle can do if Snare fails, and a few times Rena's health did get dangerously low in the time it takes to cast even Fast Heal, but it was only when one Bogle managed to attack Elvastar that our party suffered a death... two quick hits was all it took. Luckily my resurrection skill worked fine (on our previous trip the area near town had seemed a bit buggy), but it was a shame to lose our 100% record, and particularly unfortunate that it was Elva, who is working hard to get more skill points.
We did have a little friction with another group of adventurers who seemed to want to do their killing a bit too close to us, and at one point it did look as if a fight might break out, but Rena handled the situation skilfully. Earlier she had mentioned that if a "ggd" turned up we should run, but I was a bit busy concentrating on the health bars to do more than wonder what a "ggd" was. Well it turned out that it was the local "raid boss", the Great Golden Dragon, the local equivalent of the red dragon in Merac or Road Boss Kamira in Dratan - and we got the on-screen announcement that it was due in five seconds! As luck would have it the dragon was only interested in that other nearby group, so we had a good view... but as it was at least 40 minutes past my usual logging-out time, it seemed like a good point at which to draw my adventure to a close, and I logged out. I hope everyone else did, too. In my experience, being within viewing distance of that type of boss can turn fatal rather easily if it decides to move, both the red dragon and Kamira have got me more than once that way!
Those high-level creatures, Bogles etc, give no skill experience (well, one point, compared to the thousand that a Bandit gives), so the adventure did nothing for my skill point total, but my drake is now getting pretty close to its next level... and I went up about 55% of a level! As Rena commented early on, at that rate it won't be long before I can wear that Dawn armour. I've got boots, robe, and skirt, and Rena mentioned I think that she had a pair of gloves I could have, so I just need to look out for a circlet.
By the way, do feel free to use the "comment" option here. And if you're in Norcaine, or a friend and ally like Rena, do register for Guildportal, it's very simple (just an email address and the name you want, preferably your in-game name or as close as you can get), then do an internal search for "Norcaine", and you'll find our news page and, more importantly, our forums...