Kaerella's Blog - stardate February 2008 (1)
Disconnected... - February 1st

Friday has a "Happy Hour" starting at 4:00pm GMT; in theory it lasts two hours, but it was still going on well over an hour after that when I got disconnected... I don't know if it is just me or the server itself having problems, but I am unable to get back into Last Chaos, things keep "timing out"... I did get to the start of loading in Randol once, but the brusque "Disconnected" window appeared after a while.

Anyway, I made fairly good use of the "Happy Hour" bonus, which was double skill experience. If the berserker I was fighting when I got disconnected didn't manage to kill me, I added around 7%, and at least 50 skill points, while my drake finally levelled up too, so that's another 10 armour for me. It all helps! Being in the non-PvP Cariae-3 server may be a reason why people are if anything kinder than average; my neighbour among the berserkers and bandits, Shiskabob, used Divine Shield on me a few times, and a titan who moved away too fast for me to see his name also used Battle Roar. I did get an armour drop, a level 35 item which ought to come in handy as the basis for a smelting stone...while I also got dealt a Hand of the Warrior, which is the one with three haste potions - and a heaven stone!

One level 20 knight seemed a bit out of his depth in deepest Merac; he may well have just been having a joke. At about that time there were rather a lot of Pandora's Boxes spawning, for some reason...which led to a procession running quite a long way along the main road, with three Pandora's Beasts chasing some unfortunate, plus a few blood frenzies picked up along the way, plus people trying to attack the monsters. It was a bit of a relay race, as the front runner tended to die, so a number of corpses were left on the road. It was all a bit of a shambles, as there had been no time to form any sort of team, so there wasn't much I could do except fight the odd blood frenzy that picked on me. I went back up the road a bit, and two more Pandora's Boxes spawned... the second of them I opened myself (well, it might have contained treasure); a knight did the close-up fighting with me using my ranged attack, so he got the cash that dropped, and we shared the experience, which was fair enough.

I asked Elvastar about the Resurrection skill, and why I have sometimes been asked to run through three-quarters of Merac to get to someone who needs ressing; apparently being ressed that way does mean less death penalty. If I increase my level in that skill, the loss of experience from a death will decrease further, but it is awfully expensive in skill points, so generally nobody goes beyond level two.

Someone from my Friends list I'd not heard from in a while, Yugo, got in touch via the in-game Messenger; apparently he has moved over to playing on the Sarissa server now, as he finds Cariae too laggy. So it was a bit of a farewell from him - if I visit Sarissa, then "ShawtyLo" is his name there to look out for. He was suitably impressed that I'd reached level 33, anyway. Though when one does reach such "dizzy heights", one sees the people who are still ahead of one, all the way to the fabled level ninety...

Well, no trip to Egeha for me today. I gather that some Norcaine members were there this afternoon, courtesy of RenaNight's Recall scroll - I'm also told that the adventure last night continued after I left, including the killing of a second Boucu Demon. There were a number of deaths on our side too apparently; I don't know if they managed to call in a replacement healer, or were depending on potions. A dangerous place, Egeha!

A Disruption in the Force... - February 2nd

Apparently the server had problems yesterday, so everyone got booted off for a while. I know that at one stage the "start" window for Last Chaos couldn't even bring up the news panel, giving an error message instead.

I'm glad to report that I didn't get killed when I lost contact, which does sometimes happen... your helpless figure just stands there in-game after you have been disconnected from it for a while.

Nothing very exciting to report today. Most people, it being Saturday afternoon and evening, were presumably out, shovelling snow or whatever. I know one person I teamed with said when he left that that was what he was going to do next, followed by a trip to the movies!

So, I went to my favourite spot for berserkers and bandits; had I known it would be the main event for today I'd have made notes, but I teamed up with a sorcerer and a knight, respectively levels 31 and 24... though from the frequent massive amounts of healing the sorcerer took, I don't think he can have upgraded his armour lately! He didn't use spirits, just bashed away at the bandits and berserkers, presumably using some spells as his mana bar was always very low. Luckily a titan came along and joined us, supplied horse buffs, and rounded up large groups of b'n'bs. And if the healing I was doing sometimes meant that the whole group would head for me, well, with the horse buffs (as usual the defensive one is maxxed at 10) it didn't really matter, very little healing was needed. One thing I did make a note of was my defence rating; without the horse buffs, but with about 250 from my dear pet drake, it has reached a respectable 660 now, even though I've not managed to enhance my current armour much. But add the horse buff and it goes straight up to 1110! Another person did join the group, but within a minute he was begging for money, and when nobody handed him any massive amounts of gold, he left. The group didn't really stay together for a huge length of time, but I put on a respectable 7%, plus a thousand points towards my drake's next level (so that he's almost a quarter of the way there, 2331 out of 9457), and added 15 skill points. A lot less experience gain than a well-managed trip to Egeha would have brought me, but 15 more skill points than I'd have got there.

Begging in-game is a strange thing, you quite often see it, though more usually in Randol town. I suppose a lot of youngsters are so used to whining at their mother until they get what they want, they think the same trick will work online, heheheh...

Browsing the various "merchant stores" can be interesting, and the amount of difference in prices can be eye-opening. A general rule of thumb is that if the sign overhead says "!!!VERY CHEAP!!!" then the prices will be a total rip-off. The recipe books for making armour and weapons vary a lot. It may well be that the high-level books are rare drops, but the ones below around level 40, for items that can easily be bought from the NPC weapon and armour merchants...well, I suspect that the supply greatly exceeds the demand. They are not the equivalent of the finished items themselves, various raw materials need to be refined for that, and any armour or weapon crafter would have put so many skill points into getting the needed skills up to the required level that they wouldn't be much good at fighting. Accessories like rings and necklaces also vary wildly, with what one person would ask 15,000 gold for being offered elsewhere at ten times that. Really, they need to have a +4 for dexterity, strength, intelligence or constitution to be valuable, and +6 would be better... the minor "+2 to attack" or "+1 to evasion" ones ought to go straight into the combination box...

Elvastar logged off very early, even by his local time. A shame, that, as I did see a couple of level 40/42 bits of sorcerer armour which I think he is after, being offered in Cariae-1...

A Death In The Family... - February 3rd

I missed the early, European tea-time "happy hour", but made reasonable use of the later one, staying up rather late fighting highlanders and the occasional blood frenzy. It started out with the usual berserkers and bandits, but a number of us teamed up, including KlapperNec the sorcerer and Anastazia the healer/cleric. We also started with LillD the knight, masteryosti (also a knight, and about the only one who was lower in level than me), and KillemAll the titan, who we had seen yesterday there just standing around looking decorative. He must have connection problems or something, as he went afk and, not doing it in a very safe place, died, and then went off somewhere else again solo (but still teamed) and died again. We'd thought he was off shopping or something, but when his health bar went blank again I remarked that "those merchants must drive a very hard bargain"...

Oboe the mage, with a full-strength horse for the buffs, joined us; Anastazia went off to Dratan to resurrect a friend, Knightmare01 the knight, who later joined us. Anastazia actually has the Resurrect skill maxxed out (as opposed to my level one in it) - 650 skill points apparently! So if you want to be ressed with the least possible experience loss, she is the one to call. As for calling me - well, you may save some experience, if the area is now safe and I don't perish in the attempt, but if it takes me ten minutes to run through three-quarters of the map to get there, you could have probably regained the experience by fighting for that time rather than just lying on the ground!

I see that I went up almost 20% in experience over the evening, and gained 38 skill points...but I only gained 345 pet points, as some evil highlander or blood frenzy killed my drake when I wasn't looking, which means I'll be without him for 12 hours of playing time. I equipped my level one pony, just for a little pet exp and to pick up items, and he got killed too, though as he's low-level there is only a 5-hour penalty there. I think Anastazia's pet got killed as well, but she paid to get him released, about 250,000 gold apparently.

By 10:30pm GMT it was Anastazia, Oboe, Knightmare01, KlapperNec and me, with hordes of highlanders being rounded up and despatched. I left at around a quarter to eleven, shortly after KlapperNec I think, and for all I know the slaughter may still be continuing even now...

Serving My Time... - February 4th

I do miss having my faithful drake flapping along behind me. The "sentence" was 12 days without him, after he was killed, though luckily that is in-game time, which equates to real-time playing hours, and I've managed today to get it down today by just over five hours. Wandering around Randol looking at the merchants' wares doesn't count, as Elvastar confirmed; I don't think that peacefully farming rocks does either, or I'd have got the total down rather more.

But it does mean that my pony has gone from level 1 to level 5, which is something. The pet trainer quoted a price of "0" gold pieces to unlock him, unlike the 222,000-odd for the drake, but did I think take a single gold piece for the service. So I do get a small armour buff...and don't have to bend down to pick up my own loot!

I'm afraid I under-estimated the speed and attack power of one of the (level 50) Pandora's Beasts just outside Merac, and got myself killed there - losing not just 3% or so of experience, but at least 11 skill points, which was a bit painful. It took a while to get them back, but by the end of the day I had put on 40 points - and also managed 14% more of the general levelling experience, so that I am now a respectable level 34. The same as the berserkers, in fact! The next three Pandora's Boxes I opened luckily gave loot instead of a ghostly homicidal maniac - 50,000 gold, ten medium healing potions, and then ten great healing potions, which, while I have seen people attempting to sell them for 10,000 gold each, cost 5430 gold from the merchant.

Well I did team up for a while with KlapperNec again, since we were in the same place, but there is no great excitement to report. I just wish he'd use his horse buffs more often. The end of my day was enlivened by the appearance of another Pandora's Beast, I hope whoever unleashed it had got their running shoes on. I kept my distance, killing a few more berserkers and hoping that a suitably powerful melee character would come along and wish to team with a healer, but things were quiet, and time was passing, so I'm safely here instead.

Moving Along  - February 5th

Ack, I should have known better - that is the second time that this creaky blog system has "saved" my post by losing it - all 596 words lost forever, just because the IT system here is so useless... I thought last time that I'd hit the wrong button or something, but no, the system is glitched. Bah!   (this refers to our previous hosting... -Kae)

Well, I spent way too much time playing today, working off my darling drake's time in prison - down to 3 days and 32 hours - did you know that there are sixty hours in the day now? Still, my little pony has been helping as much as it can, picking up the loot and generally offering moral support. He is level eight now, and gives me a buff to my defence of 80, which isn't bad. A "Large Defence Potion" gives a buff of 95 for a mere 5 minutes, and for that you'd pay around 25,000 gold if you shopped around in Randol.

Of course horse buffs are better - as I remarked to KlapperNec when we were teamed earlier, "Hmm, 450 less defence suddenly..." The hint was taken and the buff restored! Other people involved in the team at different stages were the mage GingerBeer, NightSorcerer (who probably thinks me rather rude, I twice had "the program has encountered an error and needs to close - tough!" when teamed with him, the first time when he was attempting to trade with me), and for a fairly brief but fun time, ENVYXX of the aptly-named "Delightful Healers" guild, who rounded up large mobs of berserkers and bandits for us to deal with.

The long hours today gave me just over 14% more experience, but I have to report that my skill points are exactly where they were two days ago... but don't worry, that's not due to death penalty or anything, it means that I used 100 skill points to go up to level two in Resurrection, so that people in the party that I res will now lose slightly less experience than before, and a lot less than if they just took the "return to town" option. Not quite in Anastazia's league, but it's the thought that counts. Healers can't res people who aren't in their team, but it is possible to team with players when they are lying on the cold earth.

All the good loot today that the berserkers and bandits dropped seemed to go to other party members, but my share of the cash dropped means that my reserves are back up to (just) over three million gold. Which is just as well, as I still need the headgear for the Dawn set (I've got the rest ready for when I'm high enough level to switch over to it), and my weapon for that level is completely unenhanced. Oh well, going around Randol looking at all the goods on offer is rather fun, you never know what you are going to find. Though almost everyone seems to have decided that even the least useful magic accessories are suddenly worth 250,000 gold - 10,000 is quite enough for most of them, I think! I did manage to buy one for 10,000, and another for 12,000, and then combined them, plus one I already had, in a Combination Box - making a new accessory that had +4 to one of the four attributes. Result!

By the way, there are quite a few Last Chaos videos on YouTube, both trailers and player-created ones, so do have a browse there if you have the time.

Free The Drake One!  - February 6th

Whew, I have played way too much Last Chaos today, really for the third day running - but by logging-out time, I had finally worked my way through the "twelve day" sealed-away time for my drake. And got my pet little pony, which I'd never really let out before, up to level eleven. If I can get away with a defence rating of 558 (with my pony) rather than 663 (with my drake), I think I'll be training my four-legged friend a bit more over the coming days. Just not so much that I start the day with its hunger on 100, and end it 69 points lower! It's good to have moved the pony's level along like that, and all in twelve, well, hours in real time. It seems to me that you do actually have to be fighting for the timer to be counting down, taking a few seconds between berserkers to pick up loot and heal just doesn't count.

The continuing slog against the berserkers and bandits continued. KlapperNec was around for a short while; it was revealed that he is actually a specialist, able to transform into a winged red devil, a skill he hadn't previously used while I was around! Another sorcerer, rikia, at level 29, was teamed for much longer, and remembered to use his horse buffs all the time, which was nice. He was good company, I'll hope to team up again tomorrow, though I doubt if I'll be slogging away quite as long around there.

Well, I see I went up a massive 69 skill points, and added 18% to my general experience. A nice collection of skill points like that means that I can afford to go somewhere, hopefully teamed with other Norcaine members, and go after a larger amount of experience, even if the higher-level monsters don't actually give much skill exp. It would be good to get the remaining 60% up to level 35 before too long, as RenaNight has now reached level 50, and if I'm more than 15 levels behind her, then I don't get experience if I'm in a party with her. She has said that she will be going after skill points, so hopefully (from my point of view) she won't reach her next level for a while.

I fought a couple of Pandora's Beasts solo in Merac today - curiously they were both level 30, rather than the homicidal level 50 ones we usually get. The second of them gave me 27900 experience points, 564 skill exp, and 348 gold, so not a huge boost, but it all helps.
And on the Norcaine guild front, we have at last got two more members, Zeratus and Itura, to register for our forums here on GuildPortal, so things are looking up. Elvastar and Itura, who is at least three levels ahead of me as a healer, are hoping to arrange a guild outing of our level 30-plus members into Dratan to fight some of the higher-level monsters out in the desert there this weekend, I just hope that Roadboss Kamira doesn't hear about our plans!

There May Be Giants - February 7th

I did my share of slogging away with the berserkers and bandits today, joining up again with GingerBeer, NightSorcerer, rikie and KlapperNec, and indeed c33b0t, though unfortunately I did get a couple of "send error report?" windows, which signal that the game has decided to shut down - once just as we were setting out to move on to the blood frenzies. I still don't know how they got on, as when I went back to our usual place, nobody was there, and I didn't know exactly where they would have gone. There was a Pandora's Beast walking around irritably, but luckily a high-level type came riding by and disposed of that with three strokes.

I managed to sell some surplus moonstones, tool aids and a few other oddments, so felt able to spend 1,200,000 gold on a Hypocrates Helm +4 to complete my current armour set. I'd really like to get the next helm up, a Dawn one, to get my next set ready, but I've not spotted one for sale yet.

Loot today was a bit better - mainly because I picked up two heaven stones. I'd actually bought one earlier while browsing, a price of 450,000 gold being too good to ignore - the usual minimum is 500,000, and people often try for 10% or even 20% more than that.
After the grind, Elvastar and RenaNight came to my rescue, and invited me to Dratan, for an expedition to defeat Baal, the giant spider boss. And we did it, having the satisfaction of telling the next party to arrive that, sorry, we just killed her. Apparently, she doesn't respawn for two hours...though that may be game "hours", I don't know, I've never encountered her before. I got 8 experience points and 1 skill exp point, ie practically nothing (except a small loot drop), since Rena is 16 levels ahead of me, but it was an interesting break.

After that Elva and I, teamed with a rogue called strokeZ, beamed over to where the Akane Giants are, and killed a good number of them, thanks to Elva's horse buffs and splendid-looking new armour. One nice thing about the Akane Giants is that they are big enough and tall enough that they can't be obscured by Elva's spirits, so one can actually hit them between healing spells! Rena remained in the party, but was not actually with us there, so experience did come our way. Still only a single skill exp point, as with most relatively high-level monsters, but around 11,000 experience points per level 53 giant, so I went up by around 0.06% per kill, which is really flying along. We got strokeZ up to level 31 before Elva logged out for the night. He was good company; it seems he used to be a bit of a pk'er, though not so much now. I remarked that, as a healer, I had tried to heal people to death, but my scheme didn't seem to work...

To get a bit more skill exp, I headed back to the berserkers...I'd only just got there when a rogue called ChogiPL arrived, and invited me to join her party. After only two or three berserkers she asked me to follow her, in the general direction of the blood frenzies...but before we got very far, we encountered a Pandora's Box. She shot it, and it dropped 50,000 gold, which was, I thought, nice - but ChogiPL dissolved the party to pick it up for herself. After that she wanted to reform the party, but in the circumstances I didn't feel that that was a good idea. She was the melee fighter, if anything else good dropped would she immediately break up the party to make sure she got it? Not quite the spirit of teamwork, I think. I went back to the berserkers.

It seems a good idea to level my pony more, so I got him up to level 12 today, though I let my drake out to play some of the time! In all I went up 19%, and added 37 skill points; and ended up with almost twice as much cash, too! As I now have the Hypocrates Helm, the whole of my previous +4 healer armour set is now something I can sell. While browsing around the various items on sale, I saw that somebody was selling such a set for three million, which doesn't seem excessive to me, considering the number of smelting stones used, and probably Mall-bought lucky smelts too. If any healer in the Norcaine guild wants it, though, I'm sure I can offer a useful discount! Still, all my items-for-sale and cash wouldn't be enough to buy a horse to ride about on, especially with future armour and weapons to buy. There is, however, hope in that direction, so I'll have to be patient for a while yet.

A Quiet Day - February 8th

Not a lot to report today. KlapperNec was afflicted with the "bug" that sorcerers get - at least, Elvastar gets it too - and was totally invisible at some times while we were teamed. The berserkers and bandits must find it very spooky to be attacked by a floating name! I've never seen this with Elva, but he didn't just suddenly vanish every time, sometimes he faded away, and spent a while like a see-through ghost. There were a couple of others in the team, though not for long. I do think it was a bit sneaky for one party member to go afk to eat "for ten minutes", and just sit there for half an hour taking a third of all the experience that was being earned nearby... and then, when this particular rogue did come back, she only stayed a couple more minutes. I did at least manage to spend some of that half hour out of the compass-circle range, to avoid sharing all of the unearned loot and experience...

My searches have not yet found me a Dawn circlet, or helm, or whatever it is called, but I'll keep looking. I missed out on an invitation to Egeha (well, only one healer was needed, I think, and Itura is a few levels ahead of me, and more experienced), which was probably lucky as things apparently didn't go too well, with the party leader kicking some Norcaine people, and a bit of dying. Rastatitan was inviting me just before I signed out to join a new team, but it would go on too late into the evening, and I seem to be developing a cold, sigh...

Anyway, some useful grinding was accomplished, helped along by the Friday "event" which this week was 50% extra experience, and 50% extra skill exp too. I did get another heaven stone while I was soloing, which is always welcome. My pony has gone up two levels and is now (just) level 14, and my experience went up 14%, so that I am now 73% of the way to level 35. If I'm only 28 skill points to the good, that is because I spent 30 during the day upgrading Mana Shield to level four. Level five would be another 108 points, so I think I'll leave that! It's a skill (increasing target's magic resistance) that I don't normally use, but people asked for a buff yesterday before attacking Baal and I used it then, so improving it seemed like a good idea.

Onwards And Upwards - February 9th

I hadn't done much more than 2% on the berserkers'n'bandits grind when Sheele got in touch, and invited me highlander-hunting; they are level 40, so still red for me, and drop some nicer loot, and, while giving almost as much skill exp, give quite a bit more regular experience. And Sheele gets through them pretty fast! I got two heaven stones, and three angel scepters, the same weapon that I'm now using - I've made them into smelting stones and, as one would expect with the one-in-three chance of success, as weapons always make two smelts, added +2 to my boots. It all helps! And in all today I managed to add 42 skill points, though it looks as if I really ought to use some of those points to increase my passive skills... Oh, and the total experience rise today was 23%, which was pretty good.

Highlanders are very obliging, they run in, grunting, from all directions, only to be gunned down by Sheele's trusty crossbow. With the horse buffs, there really wasn't really much healing needed, but at least I made myself useful picking up the gold the highlanders dropped. It was a slightly tricky spot to get to, down in the northwest corner of the Merac map, past doom slayers and blood frenzies, but well worth the trip.

My pony levelled up to 15, but the next target, of actually reaching my 35th level, will have to wait...we ran out of time, and RenaNight wanted to meet us back in Randol. Her having "Recall" is very handy! She is very kindly going to help level my pony, and we exchanged my level 15 pony for her level 28 drake, which I must try not to get killed...

So, more was achieved today than I expected, by a good bit, thanks to my two favourite rogues!

Return to Egeha - February 10th

I managed to add 31 skill points on Sunday, courtesy of the usual bandits and berserkers and also a trip to the highlanders, also involving at some stages KlapperNec, Caslu and GingerBeer, but in the evening Rastatitan was trying to organise a Norcaine guild trip to Egeha. It must have been frustrating, trying to get enough people together at the same time, particularly as Elvastar didn't manage to get online at all... but once Sheele appeared, things were able to start, and I joined them, plus Smiila, next, Zeratus, Katara02, and a non-guildie called Mazajii, through the handy "recall" function... to find that the adventure had already begun, and a Boucu Demon was in their sights!

At its high level (84), it took a while for all eight of us to kill one, and at the start Rasta's health bar got perilously low despite us having three healers in the party, but we finally managed to kill it - I think I got around 356,000 experience for that! After Rasta's near-death, we were perhaps a little over-ambitious to try another one, and this time Rasta did die, though someone was able to resurrect him quickly...the decision was taken to beam out from that location, and settle for some Bogles for a while, at their relatively modest level of 65. It's strange how identical monsters do give different amounts of experience, these ones seemed to vary, for me, from 65,000 to 93,000, though the increase mainly came from a couple of people having to leave, so that the rewards were spread across fewer team members. Still, a change of 3000 experience between kills seemed common.

I mentioned in passing that, while Bogles are entirely unaggressive until attacked, I didn't like it when two were close together, as I tended to worry that I might hit the wrong one, leaving us fighting two... and sure enough, one of our healers made that error, I didn't even see her health bar go down, just heard her death-cry. Luckily that second Bogle didn't turn on the rest of us, it was content just to deal with the person who had attacked it, so we were able to finish attacking the other one, and I resurrrected our team-mate. It is good to know that in such circumstances everyone doesn't have to try to fight two Bogles at once, we just wouldn't have the snaring capacity to deal with that I think, so an easy mistake to make like that doesn't doom an entire party.

Katara02 and Zeratus had to leave as time went on, as well as Mazajii, but luckily a different knight, GOODPEACE, volunteered to join our party; I think he knew the area rather better than we did. He was a bit doubtful about a return to the Boucu Demon area, but after a few more Bogles suggested we try a Little Koyemsi, which at level 72 is about halfway between Bogles and Demons...and after a little diversion when Sheele got a little too close to a Dark Bogle, which seems to be a more aggressive kind, GOODPEACE managed to attract one away from its family group. It again took quite a while to kill, but at 166,000 experience was around twice as rewarding as a Bogle.

However, now it was around ten to eleven, UK time; I'd not intended to stay beyond 10:30, and was starting to feel rather tired (having a slight cold at the moment doesn't help), so made my farewells and left. Including the earlier grind I was up 28% on the day, which can't be bad! For all I know, the others are still out there. Probably not, though.

RenaNight had earlier reported that her levelling of my pony had started satisfactorily; I managed to level her drake too, but she kindly insists that I should get back to levelling my own one. She also gave me the distinct impression that I ought to improve my passive skills, ones that quietly work in the background improving attack speed, magic defence, and things like that. So I spent a massive 272 skill points at the Healer Trainer...and even that doesn't fill in all the gaps! Many Last Chaos skills are quite cheap, in skill point terms, for the first few levels, but the fifth and final level suddenly gets very expensive. It looks like I'll need to be doing a lot more grinding away, then, not just dangerous and exciting trips to Egeha, where the monsters tend to only give one skill exp each, even if they give 356,000 regular experience...

The Demise of the Demons - February 11th

Another comparatively small bit of slogging was achieved before the call to Egeha came again - just time for 17 skill points before the Recall, to join Rastatitan, Elvastar (back with us after his "day off"), next, Smiila, Sheele, and a few guest non-guildies such as derdevil, strokeZ, Chaos666 and, rather briefly, batwoman. Oh and Ras kindly used his Recall ability to bring Norcaine's Itura to Egeha, though she went off with a higher-level group.

We did kill a few Bogles, but our main focus was on Boucu Demons, which tend to give around 380,000 experience at my current level, not to mention that single bit of skill exp. The spot for (relatively) safe demon-hunting is small, and some other people came to look, via memorised scroll, but went away when they saw we were occupying it. One high-lvel character Theone had a little bit of fun with us, luring a more fearsome local beastie, a Skinwalker, up among us, but as long as it concentrated its attention on him we were okay. If he had logged out, well, that would have been a bit nasty, but luckily he wasn't that sort, and generally friendly.

All in all I see I went up by a third of a level, and moved my drake along a bit towards his next level too. We didn't have any deaths, although a couple of health bars did go dangerously low sometimes. I didn't try to stay up as late as the previous evening, leaving half an hour earlier, so I hope things continued to be death-free; we certainly started a lot earlier than last time. Ras went up a level and was then able to use an impressive new axe, and Elva was rather happy to see his experience move along a bit too. A high-level character, Pebbles, very kindly gave Elva a new armour set, in much the same way that a level 30 player might give some no-longer-used armour to a level 5 one in Randol. And yes she was partnered by a player called BaMBaM, obviously a pair of Flintstones fans!

I have my full healer Dawn set now, though so far I can only wear the gloves. Another level and I'll be able to wear a couple more bits, so that is an incentive to return to Egeha soon. And of course the music there is quite a change from the bits on the other three maps...

Kae Gets Kranky - February 12th  (attempted title, "Bitchy Kae"!)

I'm totally puzzled, I got the first version of this entry wiped, with a reference to the GuildPortal "terms of use", my IP logged, and the threat that "repeated violations", et cetera et cetera... what are these people on? Ah well, try again, with the only possible word they could object to (could they?) removed. The word in question? Well, take a "b" and an "i" and a "t" and a "c" and an "h" and a "y", and you don't exactly have a swearword, do you?Let's hope the replacement word passes muster.

I do, I admit, get annoyed, cranky even, if I get pointlessly killed, especially if it's because the party just rushed in without a plan. The loss of experience takes a while to work off - and by this level, the loss of skill points takes at least an hour to reclaim! Poor Rastatitan had been trying to organise a trip to Egeha, but gave up in the end, Sheele was offline and there just weren't any suitable rogues around. Being a bit cleverer than I usually manage, I'd kept on grinding with my pals the berserkers and bandits, being "on call" for when needed rather than sitting around waiting for the team to be complete, so when Ras decided that a trip to some of the higher-level monsters in the Dratan desert was about all we could aim for, I hopped over to the appropriate server, and got Recall. Unfortunately, the initial attack aggroed a whole different type of nearby monster, as far as I can tell, and down we went. Except Ras I think! I respawned with the full exp loss, got Recalled and ressed people (so that they at least didn't get the whole penalty), but somehow Rasta's "Lolol" response to my cranky remarks just wasn't infectious, and I let Smiila do the healing on their next, more considered attack. As she was managing okay, and a dear friend was asking me to join her (in a whole different world...), I went off and left them to it.

Well, after a while fighting large and well-armoured monsters on an island in that other world alongside my friend, I logged back in, and have managed to get back some of the lost experience...chatting with RenaNight and with CrystalBlade made the grind less, well, grinding...and at least it means I can sign out on time and write this up right away, rather than having to do it the following morning.

Ah well, at least my drake made some good progress towards his next level!

When The Going Gets Tough... - February 13th

Yes, when the going gets tough - this healer goes shopping! It's strange how the price of heaven stones and item drop boosters seems to have fallen lately, the former are now often seen for under 500,000 gold instead of perhaps 10% over it (though some optimistic people still hope for 700,000), while the item drop boosters, which used to hover around the 100,000 gold mark, can now be found for 75,000 or 80,000. As they only apply to one particular kill, I assume people going to Egeha buy them...and that didn't include me today. Still, I managed to spend almost all my cash; I saw a Raphael Scepter, the level 41 item to go with my upcoming Dawn armour set, and, unlike the one RenaNight had kindly given me, this had been enhanced by its previous owner - a full "plus eight", and one of the bloodseals had added some "Power of the Mind" too, I noticed. The price (five million in gold) didn't seem too outrageous, given the amount of stuff one would have had to acquire to get a weapon up to that level...in fact, the more I think about it, the more I am convincing myself that I got a bargain. And one day when I outgrow it, hopefully I'll be able to sell it without making a loss.

The new "Valentine's Day" promotion in-game this week, now that they have finally got rid of the Pandora's Boxes, involves random drops of bars of chocolate - small, medium, and large. You can use them to give yourself an attack boost, or you can wrap up three bars in special wrapping paper (1000 gold a sheet), and put them in a line into a special box (10,000 gold), and hand the package in to the domain rep, who gives you something useful in return, or so we were promised. As I had picked up three of the small bars while grinding today, I tried out the system, and my 13,000 gold investment was well rewarded - 5 effort scrolls, giving an extra 50% skill experience for 10 minutes, and 5 experience scrolls, giving 50% extra regular experience for the same length of time. Rather useful, and I'm sure selling for at least 100,000 gold normally, judging by the general price of the Christmas "cake", which only gives 30% extra experience.

Anyway, the main in-game thing to report is that my faithful drake had now reached level 33, and is now maxxed out on providing extra defence for me - 250 defence points (which at the moment means a total of 759 rather than 509) for level 30 in that, so now he is providing the first two levels of magical defence too. The next level for him is of 10,309 points, but hey, I've got 29 of them already. I'm up 28 skill points, so more than made up for yesterday's temporary loss, and up 5% in general experience too, so over two-thirds of the way to my next level. And then I'll be able to wear two more bits of the Dawn armour, even if I won't be able to use my lovely new enhanced scepter yet.

Lean Times In Egeha - February 14th

I was glad to get a call to join a guild party in Egeha, after only a few minutes of the usual grind, and joined Rastatitan, Elvastar, Sheele, Smiila, and from outside the guild GOODPEACE again, and two new faces, master2 and Cokage, but the party was not an unqualified success.  True, we managed to kill a few Boucu Demons, but we suffered a few deaths, and the timing of the various skills needed never seemed to be quite right, so that poor Sheele often lost a lot of health before Smiila and I could save her - and we were twice attacked, while fighting, by a pk'er from the notorious "Superstars" guild (who seem to have let their name go to their heads), LCgenericname17649.  At least, I never saw him, but Elva gave me the name later, and added that Uhmed was with him, but "bugged out before pk'ing anyone."  So, two deaths for me; Smiila was able to use Resurrection on me once, which kept the loss of experience down, but does nothing to mitigate skill exp loss, so I lost at least 22 points from the two attacks.  One problem is that the place we went is the one location from which parties can safely attack a single Boucu Demon, so a lot of people have that exact spot on a memorising scroll, and may indeed wish that we weren't there so that they could take over.  I did end up with around 9% more experience than I started with, but, generally speaking, I'd prefer to have those skill points!   We did spot one higher-level player taking on multiple Skinwalkers, but from the speed involved, the general opinion of our experts was that Shiel was a "hacker", not a legitimate player. Rasta lost his connection, and the party started to break up after that, and before too long I was back with the old familiar berserkers and bandits.

So, I kept on keeping on, teaming briefly with KlapperNec, who used the "what you pick up you keep" kind of party, which seems a good idea as he does have to go afk sometimes.  I was determined to get at least halfway towards level 36 from where I was, and I managed it before heading back to town.  I'd chatted with Elva a bit, and with RenaNight, who, when I told her what has happened to us in Egeha, seemed eager to go and have a few well-chosen words with Mr Generic, probably along the lines of "Take that, and that!"  I just hope I do manage to reach level 36 before Rena levels up again and goes out of my reach, more than 15 levels above me, because if possible she is hoping to be able to help me on my way to being able to wear my complete new armour set, and use that expensive new weapon.
I'd managed to collect three more small bars of the "special event" chocolate in Merac, and three medium-size bars too, but just as I was about to head off from the storekeeper, I got one of those "encountered an error" messages, and Last Chaos closed down for me.  It didn't really seem worth starting it up again, so I'll have to see what special items I can get for the chocolate tomorrow.

Unbloggishly, here we read from the top down...so the new month starts at the top!