Unbloggishly, here we read from the top down...so the new posts start at the top!
Kaerella's Blog - stardate February 2008 (2)
Forward With RenaNight - February 15th

Boy, did I play a lot of hours today - that I added 97 skill points is a bit of a clue! I started in the middle of the morning, though I had three disconnections in a row early on. The second time I'd just arrived back at the berserkers and bandits, only to find they weren't there! The third time I was just running down the road. But after that, things settled down, luckily. The main thing was to get the 15% I needed to reach level 36, and I managed that soon after the "teatime" event (offering double experience) started at 4:00pm (GMT), just after RenaNight came on, to ask if I'd got to the new level yet, to be able to team with her and get experience from so doing.

As a reward, Rena took me out on the town, wearing my new Dawn robes and skirt, which I can now use - or, more accurately, she Recalled me into deepest Merac where the Giant Larvas live. At level 50, they give a nice bit of experience, and they give skill exp too, which was why Rena was after them. They are aggressive, tricky beasts, so quite often I had to run to get behind Rena, when a larva respawned where I was standing; they attack pets, too, so after my poor drake had suffered a 63% drop in his health, I put him safely out of harm's way. Progress was fairly quick, though, and before Rena had to leave I added a massive 31% experience, thanks to the double experience event - and thanks to Rena! And I picked up a good healer bow, which I ought to be able to sell, and a heaven stone.

After that, well, the event was still running, so I went back to the bandits; not so much the berserkers, as now that I'm a level higher they don't give as much skill exp as before. A long chat with rikie helped stave off the boredom; I did team with someone, a rogue I'd teamed with before. As a healer it often seems rude not to team up, but I am getting a little peeved at being taken advantage of, people who regularly go afk for a minute or two, or sit down and say they are off out to "walk the dog" or "go to the shop", still taking part of the loot and the experience that I, by still fighting, am earning. It was another pretty long session, luckily the event bonus continued until almost 7:40. I decided to aim at reaching 40%, and not too long after 9:00pm, I got there. Progress at that spot is slowing down, I'm going to have to move further away from Merac and go for higher-level critters, I think, but the bandits dropped plenty of chocolate as a leaving gift, and no less than three more heaven stones!

It's a pity that this blog set-up doesn't seem to have an option to show pictures, or I'd let you see my sexy new costume. In fact, since the blog service here does seem a bit unreliable, with some weird banned words and inconvenient down-time, I might well move over to my own webspace. As I'm not a coding expert, we would probably lose the "Comment" option, but it is hardly being over-used, is it? As a preparation for such a move, I went a bit over the top today and bought the domain name www.Kaerella.com, which was, as I suspected, available. So if anyone was intending to use that name for a fizzy drink or a sportswear fabric, well, they are out of luck, heheheh...

(note - and we have now moved to a place where pictures can be shown, et cetera...)

Up And Down... - February 16th

Since I've slightly "outgrown" the Berserkers and even the Bandits now, I went deeper into Merac and found a group of Gnolls which were just about far enough away from the more aggressive Gnoll Soldiers. I did fight some Blood Frenzies along the way, which are generally unaggressive, but do have the nasty habit of attacking one's pet if they happen to respawn near enough, and also tend to surprise one by giving one a thump as one passes sometimes. I managed to get about 5% experience from the trip, not to mention a few more chocolate bars! I think the general conclusion is that it is best just to use three bars in a straight line in the chocolate box, as you get five each of the two kinds of scrolls, and maybe five of the smaller defence potions if you are lucky. So thus far I've got 40 of each type of scroll, which should come in useful.

RastaTitan called me to Egeha (or Recalled me, to be strictly accurate); it wasn't a guild team, but the people involved, including quicksandy, Dark0trebor, Dekin, GreatGoldKnight, Garry, and later Wivern and a healer/archer called ednan, were pretty good - the rogue quicksandy in particular lived up to her name, as soon as the Boucu Demon respawned she would attack, if possible! We met GOODPEACE and Sheele when we scouted out a different spot, and Rasta did have to do a little persuading that Sheele was a guildie and a friend, as someone in the team was of the opinion that they might be persuaded to relinquish their "first come, first served" rights to the position. Just as well, as later when one of our rogues left, we were able to recruit Sheele into the team, which certainly made things run more smoothly.

The "Down" news is that I did manage to die three times, losing about 30 skill points I think; that I am down 49 on the day is because I did spend some on upgrading minor skills. Generally though we were pretty good, with some excellent "Recall" tactics taking us back into town if things went wrong, and we were pretty lucky too - twice the Great Gold Dragon appeared there, but both times we were just out of its range. The first time we out-waited it, it only stays in one position 14 minutes apparently; I went back to Randol and wrapped some chocolate! The second time was just as we'd killed what we had decided was to be our last demon of the evening, so goodbyes were rather hurried. I don't trust raid bosses, I've known them to move...

The "Up" bit was that every Boucu Demon gave me not far short of 2% experience, so I reached level 37, and was able to equip my Dawn circlet and boots, and my suitably-enhanced new scepter. In all I went up not just the 60% needed to reach the new level, but another 10% as well. So, I'm happy, though getting back those lost skill points will mean some more grinding to do.

One reason the party finished when it did was that GM Moose was holding a "monster spawn" at the arena in Randol on Cariae-3. I did take a look at it, there were level 99 and level 100 monsters in there, and people gleefully killing each other in hopes of getting some drops. As far as I could tell people didn't lose experience or skill points for dying, which is just as well as there was a lot of it going on. I did think I was among those involved in killing one of the monsters, but I didn't see any experience points reward when it died. Still, it was well worth seeing - and with any luck I will have a couple of screenshots ready to put in the gallery. When I have a gallery! A little work was done today on the www.kaerella.com site, but only really preliminary design stuff, so we'll be here at gp for a little while yet.

And Along! - February 17th

As today is Sunday, we have had our European "tea-time special event", double experience again, and as quite often happens this over-ran nicely, so that two hours became more than three - it wasn't until just after the quiz finished at 7:15 GMT that the experience given by the Gnolls I was fighting returned to normal. Elvastar went to the quiz, something that I have never done (usually because the event's bonus is still running); the questions had a Valentine's Day theme apparently, and as a happily married man, well, as Elva ruefully reported afterwards, "I flunked out on the 1st question, lol."

I already had a location on my Scroll of Memorising from a while ago, just labelled "South Merac" - and when I teleported there, found it was the exact location I'd run to a couple of days before, with an obliging group of Gnolls, and a less obliging Soldier Gnoll just across the road. I got too near his respawning point once and my poor drake suffered for it, losing a dozen points before I could put him safely away in my inventory. With stern application for much of the afternoon, and around three hours of double experience, I managed to get, well, about 12% experience... but I also managed to recoup the 30 skill points I lost yesterday, and my darling drake levelled up to level 34. Which was handy, as levelling restores his health to 100, and despite a few feeds of herbs the bar had got down to 14%.

next reported the presence of a level 82 Skinwalker in Merac, on Cariae-3, and led me to it - it was down among the Butchers, so would have been a severe shock for any experience farmers. My theory is that someone had used a "Summon Monster 2" scroll, which while it says it brings waves of monsters suitable for a group of level 40 players, can bring monsters as high as level 90. But surely they would come more than one at a time? We are familiar with Skinwalkers as there is one uncomfortably close to the Boucu Demon in Egeha that our teams usually teleport to.

There was a special "rebate offer" on an Item Mall collection of stuff called "Linens" today - buy one, and get your aeria points refunded! Since this particular collection includes teleport scrolls, summoning scrolls, and some high-powered potions, plus a month-long Party Recall card, this seems a very generous offer. The Party Recall cards start counting down immediately, so I've left my set still in the "bought" section of the Mall, in hopes that the clock doesn't start ticking until moved into my inventory. There will be a lot of people with cards for the next month, for sure, which will be very convenient for Egeha parties.

RenaNight seems quiet, she must be busy at high-level stuff. I don't like to interrupt her, but it would be great to go hunting some more Giant Larvas together, if I'm still no more than fifteen levels behind...

The second "tea-time" started at 9:30 GMT; thinking it would start a bit earlier than that, I had gone to fight a few more Gnolls, and a Gnoll Soldier or two, while most of the others went to the quiz - Elva lasted to the seventh question this time! I continued after the double experience began, until I got invited by Rastatitan to Egeha, to join Elvastar, next, Smiila, Sheele, and a couple of non-guildies...but the only Boucu Demon spot they had managed to find empty was a very tricky one, close to another group's target, and with a Skinwalker right next to our own demon. Poor Ras died twice - and we only killed two demons! DeviLRogue left after the first one, and mazajiii, a specialist-type sorcerer, left after the second. That demon was actually the next group's target, but Ras got a little too near to it, and it attacked and killed him before we could do anything, so we had to take it down with only six. Ras himself got computer problems and had to leave, and nobody else had Recall, so back we went, via escape scroll, into town. An attempt to kill Bogles went badly, that first stretch of road outside town is just too buggy, and sometimes healing just doesn't work, which is probably as off-putting for the (non-) recipeint as it is for me! It was Smiila's turn to die, and how Elva and Sheele survived I don't know. As I'd found before, using Resurrection there was a bit hit-and-miss, but I did finally managed to res her. When I logged off for the night the decision was being made to leave Egeha, and hunt some more reasonable monsters, in a more reasonable place.

So, for a change I stayed alive throughout, and I'm now 30% into my new level. My skill points are 41 down on the day, but that is because I've now managed to get the required 12 points in Dexterity, and have learnt the skill Encourage at last, which despite the way the description is phrased, does not cover the whole party, but just one team member at a time, increasing their attack in some undefined way. I just took it to level four, costing a total of 89 skill points - the fifth level would cost another 173, so I don't want to think about that until I am level 38, and find out how many points Greater Heal will take. Skill points are hard to get, particularly at high levels, so one has to use them as wisely as one can.

A Quieter Day - February 18th

No great adventures today; no deaths to report, even. Elvastar told me that yesterday's party, with a changing membership, continued in Egeha (and elsewhere) for another three hours after I logged out, and he went up around 70% of a level. Which means he stayed up until almost 3:30am, by his local time! That's not for me, I turn into a pumpkin well before midnight...or at least my reflexes would tend to slow down, which with a healer, and Bogles or Boucu Demons, would be unfortunate.

So, off I went in the afternoon for an hour or so with the Gnolls; the experience gain isn't huge, but at least it comes with skill points attached! I went down there again in the evening, but after a while Elva got in touch, and invited me to join him to deal with some mobs. So, good experience and good company, who would want to refuse? The first places he led me to were already taken, but before long we found a good spot. I had to put my drake away as Blood Frenzies do seem to pick on pets, and won't even change their target to you as easily as some monsters do. Elvastar collected the groups, often with a few Berserkers in "for colour", at least two dozen at a time; I kept the local population down while he was away, and then helped kill them when the main group arrived. Not surprisingly, Elva logged out at his more normal time of 9:00pm (GMT), to have a comparatively early night, though even that is 11:00pm for him. He remembered just after logging out that he hadn't given me a final "horse buff", and very kindly logged back in and rode down, on his so-appropriate white charger, to give me the buff, allowing me to kill some more Blood Frenzies in comparative ease. In all today I went up by a steady 9%, my drake is now at least a quarter of the way to his next level, and 49 more skill points can't be bad, right?

Anything else to report? Well, I wrapped some more chocolates, put them in the collecting box, handed them in, and got the usual five plus five scrolls in return, so my stocks of those are pretty high. The Valentine's Day event-week is near an end, though, so there won't be time for much more of that. KlapperNec was trying to sell his horse to me at a bargain price, but sadly I don't have enough cash and it was cash he needed...plus the exchange would have been tricky as a player can only carry two pets at a time! CaptianJack came on to chat briefly, glorys was looking for someone to get her some lucky smelting stones from the Mall in exchange for in-game gold, I chatted to rikie too, and saw him again at one of the spots Elva and I tried for our Blood Frenzy "flash mobbing". The Norcaine guild channel seemed pretty quiet.

And why not? We don't want high drama every day, after all.

This And That - February 19th

I missed out on playing Last Chaos until mid-afternoon as I was working on the www.kaerella.com website - which is just about open for business now, with the full blog archives, a front page for the two latest posts, and a Gallery page, complete with small "thumbnail" pictures that, if clicked, bring a nice large version popping up, at least in my browser. I do intend to keep posting this at GuildPortal for a while yet, but for a less mundane text-driven approach, you might like to head over to the site and bookmark it. Unless you're reading these words over there, in which case forget I said anything...

I'd only spent a few minutes with the Gnolls when Rastatitan called on the Norcaine Guild channel to say that there was a party in Egeha, so I should hop over to Cariae-6 and register... and so I did, to join an almost entirely guildie party: Ras, Sheele, next, Smiila, Psykore, elnmr2010, and as our token non-guildie flying (from the LIBERTY guild). I know that the lack of capital letters in some names makes this stuff slightly confusing, but that's the way names do vary in Last Chaos.

So, it wasn't a long session, due to the various time zones; it might only be half past three in the afternoon by Greenwich Mean Time, but Psykore was soon ready for bed, next had to take the dog out for a walk, Ras had some other commitments... so rather than hang on and hang about trying to fill the vacant slots, we resolved to disband, with of course the option of starting again later. I'm sure the party was in operation long before I joined, but I got another 5%, thanks to a few Bogles and a few Boucu Demons, and a little cash, as even split eight ways they do tend to tip generously - and nobody in the team died, which is the important bit!

Unfortunately, the next time Ras wanted me to join an Egeha party, I was just about to log out - a prior engagement outside LC.  Before that I'd managed to fight a few Blood Frenzies and generally farm a few more skill points, anyway - and when I briefly logged in just now (late in the evening), seeing I had two small chocolate bars left which won't be much use after tonight, I quickly bought one more, at 300,000 gold... rather expensive, but I didn't have time to shop around, and it means no small bars left over and ten more scrolls, making a grand total of eighty of each of the two kinds. I did actually pick up my first and only large bar of chocolate from the Blood Frenzies, but that will just have to be used, or sold, for the attack bonus it gives, I'd have no chance of finding two more of them at anything approaching a reasonable price.

11% up today, so just past the halfway mark to level 38, when some new skills become available, such as Greater Heal.  28 skill points too, despite my farming sessions not being all that long...and some more points for my faithful drake as well, though he's not halfway to his next level yet. My time was a bit limited, and will be similarly cut back a bit tomorrow, but progress continues to be made.

Up And Down, Again... - February 20th

It looks as if the chocolate promotion is continuing this week; bars are still dropping, the magic-seller still has the wrapping paper and the boxes, and the Domain Merchant is still set up to receive them. Still, as long as the price of the ten-minute scrolls remains at around 100,000 gold, then that hastily-purchased bar last night was just about worth it! This afternoon I spent some quality time with the Gnolls, probably about 90 minutes, which added about 3% to my experience, but more usefully added 15 skill points, and got my drake halfway to his next level at last. Oh, and the Gnolls kindly donated two Heaven Stones to the "Make Kaerella a Rich Healer" appeal.

Rastatitan wasn't in Egeha then, for a change, instead, from the guild chat channel, I know that he was in Randol, kindly selling a suitably-enhanced titan Great Axe to Psykore, with an extra million knocked off his already-fair price since Psy's a guildie. Elvastar meanwhile was concentrating on levelling a new horse, one he intends to take to at least level 37, though he had me pass on a message to Ras that he'd be up for an Egeha trip later on...

Anyway, that was the quiet, productive part of the day. The trip to Egeha did get organised, with Ras, Elva and me joined by Smiila, next, and strokeZ, who has recently joined Norcaine, plus a few non-guildies including DeviLRogue again, and SETH666 who left halfway through his first Bouku Demon, G4tsu and monster2 also fairly briefly, and then Garyy. It was not a success. I think much of this can be put down to lag - for some reason, after the Last Chaos servers have been taken down for maintenance the previous evening, Wednesdays are a lot more laggy than usual... Elvastar in particular was badly afflicted, his text taking ages to appear at times and also his spirits delayed, while I think one rout by the demon was due to at least one rogue being totally lagged out. Another was by somebody managing to lure the nearby Skinwalker as well, but let's not go into too much grisly detail!  Elva remarked later that if the lag continues in future, his Wednesday evenings are going to be devoted to afk pet levelling, while he watches a movie...

So there was a fair amount of death spread around, of which I got more than my share - I died three times. Our non-guildie rogue was saying that I shouldn't ever heal during a lure... but as Elva remarked later, he'd have died straight away when he lured if I hadn't healed him, he certainly came close enough and I "advised" him not to do it again, he hasn't the armour for it. I said to the rogue that I'd thought that, when I healed him, the lure was over, and he replied that the lure wasn't over until the "deamond" was dead. In which case there was no real point in me being there, so I said goodnight and left. Three deaths is just about the maximum I'll stay for in a party anyway. I wasn't too far down in actual experience, as we had killed a few demons as well as a Bogle or two along the way - but 27 skill points! Rasta did message me afterwards, to ask if I was coming back - he'd lost points too, of course. But really, a bit of nice productive grind was what I wanted, rather than standing around for ages while the party formed and reformed and people went afk or had to be replaced... some parties work, and some don't. Sometimes, bashing Gnolls is really therapeutic! Rasta understood - but then, he is an understanding kind of person. For a titan.

Apparently, the more unused skill points you have, the more you lose when you die; and as I'm saving up 290 of them to get Greater Heal when I do at last reach my next level, I'm a bit vulnerable. Elvastar was in a party once with a rogue with around a thousand unspent points, and over two deaths she lost 45 skill points! So, once I've reached level 38, I am cutting right back on my unused skill point balance, what I get I will spend. In the meantime, I've spent 173 points to get the top level of Encourage; fingers crossed that I get back up to that 290 I'll soon need.

So, despite the grinding I ended the day only about 4% up on experience, and (before getting Encourage level 5) 3 skill points down. But I did get those two heaven stones, and I did get three small chocolate bars so that my hoard of scrolls has increased, so it's not all bad. What I need is a nice in-between party, something not as ambitious as an Egeha trip - Giant Larvas perhaps, or Akane Giants, with a few friends.

Busy Doing Grinding - February 21st

Nobody took the hint from the ending of yesterday's report, so it was all grinding today. I visited the Gnolls in the afternoon, where nothing more exciting happened than a passing knight, Dvid, kindly giving me a Divine Shield buff.  7.5% experience was achieved eventually, and while no Heaven Stones dropped (the Gnolls explained that they have a limited budget for such largesse), there was a chocolate bar or two. RenaNight came on to chat for a little while, but there was no mention of any possible teaming-up, so I suspect she is probably more than 15 levels ahead again.

As for the evening, well, instead of using the memorising scroll to go back to the Gnolls, I decided to give them a break, and headed for the Blood Frenzies; there are a useful number not far past where I used to belabour the Berserkers and Bandits. They are one level higher than the Gnolls, the same level as me at 37, and they are a little trickier as they will attack pets, so one does have to keep an eye on what is happening, and generally not stand around where they are likely to respawn. In some places, they team up with Highlanders or Doom Slayers, who pack quite an effective magic attack, but here they only have Berserkers around, who ignore anything that isn't happening to them personally. So on I slogged...light relief came from a little talk on the guild channel, generally, as one watched the figures slowly advance.

I must have been there for quite a while; my inventory filled up, which may sound impressive but I think I only started with eight free slots! I did have to drop a spare herb-farming knife I was carrying, as the cheapest item, in order to pick up a weapon-making book, which I must pass over to Enchantrella, who knows how to use such things. It took a while, but by the end my dear drake finally levelled up to level 35; his next level will require 12,248 points, about a thousand more than the last one, sigh. The pet trainer has given me another level of magic defence, adding 2 more points to that. It all helps!

Mundo had gone round to Rastatitan's house, as they live not too far apart in Portugal - it was funny to suddenly have Rasta's "voice" on the Guild chat, coming from Mundo, who was the character logged on. Katara02 reported that she had been pk'd by Rougethebest, but as she had been soloing in a PvP server with a red name it wasn't entirely surprising. Elvastar was ready to go and avenge her, but the rogue (or rouge) apologised, and all is sweetnesss and light. Elva has advised Kat to move to a non-PvP server while she works off the red (which itself presumably comes from some sort of pk'ing), which sounds sensible, as red-named types are a target, especially for people who wish to earn themselves blue names. There are certainly a lot of red-named types "hiding out" in the non-PvP servers I solo in. Elvastar encountered some sort of bug when he tried to wrap his chocolate bars, he started with the required three, but somehow when he'd wrapped two of them the last one had vanished. That's the trouble with being a sorcerer, some magic probably remains swirling about them, causing strange things to happen.

Anyway, my total experience gain for the day was a little over 13%, which of course wouldn't have taken very long to get in Egeha, if the party was good, and lucky, and lag-free, but there was no guild activity over that way, which is probably just as well. What I wouldn't have got in Egeha was a massive 73 skill points, 67 more than I need to keep back for Greater Heal.  I must visit the Healer skills trainer and see what I can use them for. My cash balance is slightly up, of course, as all those drops of a hundred or two of gold soon mount up. But I saw somebody selling the next type of armour I'll need to get, a very desirable +6 set... at 5 million a piece! So, more cash will be needed if I'm to be properly dressed in a few levels time.

Barbarienne was in touch to say she went to one of the "newbie classes" last night on Cariae-4, which was taught by game sage Airadella, assisted by LCGenericName9452, who escorted the group from the Randol town gate to Dratan, where the class was held - hmm, didn't he pk Elva and me once? But he was blue-named and on his best behaviour last night it seems. I'll hope to get a screenshot or two for the gallery here at www.kaerella.com soon, apparently GMKrash put in an appearance - and at the end Airadella kindly handed out gifts of cake to her students. GMKrash's guild is displayed as "GameMasters", so beware imitations. Real GMs never ask for passwords; real GMs don't eat quiche either, I suspect.

Limited Time - February 22nd

Sheele very kindly took the hint from my recent entries, and almost as soon as I logged on this morning invited me to a joint attack on the Arcane Golems in Dratan.  They are level 59, and nicely unaggressive until directly attacked, so we had a pretty productive time for a while...a bit less for Sheele as she is around six levels ahead of me, but I was getting about 0.05% experience every time, so it didn't take very long to add 6.8% to my total.  Sheele was hoping for some items suitable for smelting, but had to settle for a large bar of chocolate and, I think, an accessory of some sort, while I got a pan flute and a drake egg.  And some useful cash, of course.  I hadn't had the exact spot memorised, but my "sand golems and spiders" location was pretty close, so I just beamed to that place and then hurried across.  Strangely, I saw the Death Knight of Iris quite close to where I arrived, but I wasn't about to get very close to him, and quickly headed off in the opposite direction.  Sheele was tempted to try and kill him, but I've still got too many unspent skill points to want to do anything quite that risky.

On the guild chat channel, there were reports of further problems from Rougethebest, attacking strokeZ this time.  Sheele attempted to warn her off attacking us over chat, and got threatened herself.  This is a bit worrying, as apparently Rouge is a member of ShinraCorps, one of the larger guilds and in an alliance with Ambition and others.  But we have friends in high places too, not to mention our allies CraftersOfIris and CrimsonChildren.  Yesterday Elva was checking with me that he'd got the name of the first guild correct, which he had, while I couldn't remember the name of the second guild, and could only make a wild guess that it was something like "Purple People"... well, I wasn't far wrong, was I?

I'd played in the morning because I wasn't going to be able to play in the afternoon... I farmed for a while, and had to decline a new offer from Sheele, to do with a "4 people demon party", which apparently would offer excellent experience.  It sounds a bit daring to me, but that's Sheele okay - daring!  Later she mentioned that I might consider 2-man demon farming. with a level 52 mage she knows, but I think I'd better wait at least until I have Greater Heal before trying anything quite that advanced.

I was able to get back on before the tea-time event was too far along, adding a further 30 skill points to my total.  Despite the Arcane Golems only giving a single skill exp, I had actually gone up one level with them, so I must have been very close to a new point when that particular party started.

After teatime was over, my friend Elys in an entirely diferent game called for me, so I headed for the outer reaches of a rather formidable dragon's cave, away from the world of Last Chaos...she was tempted at one point to join me in this game, but was rather put off, unfortunately, by the rather sweeping EULA that one has to click "I agree" to.

After that I had about an hour left, so I headed for my friends the Gnolls, not wanting them to feel neglected, and gave them my attention.  There was a mainly-guild party in Egeha, but luckily they didn't need me.  "There are deaths, but adventurous ones", Sheele reported.  "Kae would write a lot about this if she was with us."  And the next bit of guild chat was a request for Smiila to res someone, so it sounded suitably dramatic.  Afterwards, Elvastar messaged me: "Well the party was fun, we died a lot, got an inki on top of us one time, went to the tower, and saw a lot of ugly, high-level monsters throughout Egeha."  I wonder what an "inki" is?  Probably not like a "duvet" unfortunately!

Two new names have been added to the guild roster - oldclood is a level 30 sorcerer, strokeZ in disguise - and our friend, the knight Captianjack, has been persuaded to join, which is good news.  oldclood is a bit short of skill points, so will have to do a lot of farming over the next level or so.  strokeZ had been tempted to give up on him, but, once you've got a character to level 30, it is certainly worth continuing.

RenaNight has been very kindly levelling my pony over the last few days, as she has a character set up to do that.  As the advice is that I should mount him at level 31, and then work on levelling another pony myself with the long-term aim of getting him to level 37 for full-strength horse buffs, this means that I will almost certainly be parting with my dear, lovely drake.  Moving him to one of my other less advanced and less played characters, in exchange for a low-level pony, not selling him or anything, but it will still be sad to see him go.  But horse buffs will give me more armour than he so faithfully contributed, allowing faster farming, so that is progress.  And I'll be sure to post screenshots of me on horseback, riding at speed through the countryside, when I can!

Anyway, despite my times away I managed to add 12% today, which was pretty good I think, got my drake a fifth of the way to his next level, wrapped three chocolate bars and handed their box to the domain merchant in exchange for the usual scrolls, and added 40 skill points. Without any dying...

A Special Gift - February 23rd

As it happened, I logged on again in the morning, and this time it was Rastatitan who immediately wanted me to go to the Arcane Golems, to help him and Erinalisha. The idea was to get Erin levelled up a bit, and for Rasta to get some armour pieces for the next titan set he needs, which apparently the golems have been known to drop. Our party was joined by a non-Norcaine knight called Gozby15, and then by Sheele. Despite Erin being a healer too, the healing actually got a bit tricky then, and my mana started to drop dangerously because I was kept so busy - Sheele and Rasta tended to attack different golems at the same time, and keeping them both healed became a full-time occupation! Despite using the Lucky scrolls, I don't think Rasta got much of use in the way of drops. By the time we finished I'd got a couple of bars of chocolate and a reasonably good magic earing, and also just over 6% experience, so a useful way to start the day.

Elvastar joined the party then, but no more fighting was done, and the talk turned to a plan to take a party to Egeha. I made clear from the start that I wasn't available, as lunchtime was approaching, and that if the golem-killing party was over I'd be off back to town, but it seemed to me that, even though I'd made that clear over a few minutes that I wasn't interested, when I was back in Randol they seemed surprised that I'd left - ah well.

Anyway, one reason for getting back to Randol was that RenaNight had finished levelling, on her overnight pet-levelling character, my pony from level 15 to level 31, so some exchanging had to be done... my drake to her and my horse to me, then my drake on to Enchantrella (where he boosts her defence from 233 to 480!) in exchange for her level 10 pony, and then the pony to me and Rena's level 29 drake back to RenaNight. It was really very very kind of Rena to take the time to get my pony up to mount level, and I am most grateful to her. I should really convert him into a mount right away, but hmm, Rena did get him 802 points towards the next level...one more level would be a good idea, right...?

The afternoon session was just a "house party" with the Gnolls, who did part with a chocolate bar or two and a Hand of the Warrior, with its three Haste Potions and one Heaven Stone; 20 skill points and a little under 4% experience, while my horse put on almost 1400 points towards level 32, getting it a quarter of the way there. And the more levels a horse has when it is turned into a mount, the more skills he can master. Once he becomes a mount, he can't advance any further, so the longer one puts that off the better, in theory.

As for the evening, well, it was a bit varied. I visited the Gnolls, but then I got a call to move to a different (PvP) server, Cariae-5, to join Elvastar and other guildies in Egeha. Unfortunately after I'd beamed across, it was discovered that the person who would have used Recall to move me to Egeha, Rena, had moved to Cariae-4. There then followed a lengthy delay; we hoped our troubles were over when Rastatitan logged on, and I think he did manage to get taken to Egeha by someone whom he had himself transported in the past, but it was right into The Tower, and perhaps, even though of course I have scrolls to return me to the local town, Ras thought it was too dangerous to take me in there. It all came to nothing, anyway, and I went back to the Gnolls - though actually I moved a little further along the road after a brief visit from Elva and found a useful collection of Gnoll Lancers, who are level 39, rather than 36, and thus give a bit more experience. Katara02 logged on to the guild channel to ask if any of us knew someone called ArcherX, but nobody did - apparently ArcherX owes her 1 million as a hiring fee, and the return of her +13 Athena's bow, so I do hope she is honest.

It was gone 9:00pm when Sheele sent me a message about a new Egeha party, involving her and Ras plus ScaredLittleGirl, g4tsu, Haplo37, and LokisBraut; this time Recall went almost smoothly, except that the game closed on me with the "send error message?" window. As sometimes happens with that, when I logged back on I was still in the party, and was quickly Recalled to our favourite Boucu Demon spot. As one of the non-guildies was a pretty powerful mage, a few demons went down quickly - but as luck would have it, the dreaded lag struck her, and she had to log out. And that started the usual decline, accentuated by the appearance of the Great Golden Dragon directly over "our" demon. I think the party was over when I left; Ras had gone to take a shower, Sheele, who had unfortunately managed to get attacked by two Skinwalkers and consequently died before either of us healers could do anything, was on an extended "brb", a non-guildie or two had gone. I left word that they could call me back if the party was going to restart, and went off to swap some items around - and get my latest set of experience and effort scrolls in exchange for chocolate, of course...

While it was one of my briefest visits to Egeha, including a visit to a new place after we decided that the dragon could have that spot if she felt strongly about it, it did actually give me another 3% experience, leaving me perched precariously only 2% below level 38 - a 16% increase on the day. I would be 35 skill points up, too, if I'd not spent 65 on "Elven Walk". There's no telling when the ability to run just a little bit faster may be useful, right?

Double Time - February 24th

I managed to get the necessary 2% to reach level 38 early on, thanks to the Gnoll Lancers, and was thus able to spend my 290 skill points on Greater Heal. I was able to test it out in the afternoon too, as I was alerted by strokeZ that a level 48 royal knight, Kakar0t, was wanting to join Norcaine... and as one of Elvastar's two Guild Advisers, I get to invite people! It transpired that Kakar0t was in Egeha, and so I got Recalled there...and found myself at a slightly better Boucu Demon-hunting spot than our usual one, with a team of people I'd never met before. Kakar0t didn't actually join, but we're on each other's Friends lists now. And as the healer the team was waiting for hadn't arrived yet, I got to participate in the killing of the next seven demons, gaining just over 7% experience. Greater Heal does indeed heal more, er, greatly, and will be useful in Egeha in guild teams, for sure.

My next objective on the skills front was to increase Mana Shield from level 4 to level 5, which, as with almost every skill, is the maximum level. 108 points were needed for that, of which I had 31 ready and waiting; luckily the Sunday "Tea Time" event was giving us double skill experience, so things were looking good.

Usually the two-hour "event" on a Sunday does over-run a bit, sometimes by over an extra hour in fact, but this time they forgot to switch it off at all, so that when the later US-type tea-time was announced at 9:00pm GMT as starting, the old event was still on. So, not wanting to miss out on the boost, some of us had been slogging away for almost five hours by then! I'd arrived a little late, doing things then that I'd normally have done a bit later, so I reckon I was slogging away against the Gnoll Lancers for about four and a half hours, with the result that my total skill point gain for the day was 110. Luckily there were other Norcaine people on to chat with, particularly Captianjack, who was getting a lot of skill points from large mobs of treants. Fairly early in the afternoon strokeZ surprised us by casually mentioning to Jack that he was gay, but we soon were told that that particular bit had been typed in by strokeZ's brother. "I'm going to get him", strokeZ promised...

After increasing Mana Shield, I now have 33 points to go to the next skill along, whatever that is. I would have liked it to be Charm, particularly as that Egeha team asked me if I had it as soon as I arrived there, but that requires a basic 17 attribute points in Dexterity, so it will have to wait until I'm level 39.

While Kakar0t may have got side-tracked (I think he is helping a guild called BlazingCherries with something), we do have a new member, who I recruited just before signing off, on Elva's behalf - Stanislav, a healer I have worked with a few times in Merac. A couple of levels below me, I think, as Stan's not yet wearing the boots from the Dawn set...but close to levelling up, so he probably will have the full set next time I see him.  As for my level, well, I added 18% over the whole day, including the quick Egeha boost, which can't be bad - and my horse levelled up to level 32 right at the end.  RenaNight told me, just before I got whisked away to Egeha, that for an extra level of "horse buff" I'd have to take him up two levels, so I guess we continue on to level 33... 9457 points to go!

A Quieter Day  - February 25th

Well, three relatively short visits to the Gnoll Lancers brought me up to 20% of the way to level 39, with an additional 19 skill points - after the ages spent yesterday, some down-time was needed!  I was once messaged about a possible Egeha party by Kakar0t, but they needed someone with Recall, and that someone isn't me.  Katara02 hasn't tracked down ArcherX yet, and the rental fee has risen to 2 million now.  I think Captianjack was actually mobbed by greater drakes rather than treants yesterday, to get massive sp quickly, which sounds a bit dangerous to me, those guys just keep on coming in from all directions. Being taken to that area when I was rather lower-level is still etched on my memory!  Apparently his name was inspired by Captain Jack Sparrow of "Pirates of the Caribbean" - I'd been assuming it was something to do with the Doctor Who spin-off "Torchwood".

I did see Rastatitan, but he was just sitting quietly in Merac.  I think Sheele was busy in Egeha.  Oh, and Elvastar reported thsat he is now level 41 and 15%, "and not evil any more."  Which is reassuring to hear.

I looked up the skill Charm on the Last Chaos Fan Community, which has some rather endearing translations from, I assume, the Korean:  "It improves the magical attack power of the object which it appoints."  One of the level 38 skills for an Archer sounds good: "You discharging many proposing arrows to the enemy of your own forward 120 degree range, it gives the damage to the many enemy simultaneously" - no wonder it's called Multi Shot!  Anyway, as well as needing a basic 17 points in Dexterity, the first four levels of Charm cost 99 skill points, which isn't too bad...level five costs a further 194 points, though, so I've a lot more sp farming in my near future.

This blog, of course, is about the healer/cleric Kaerella; with Last Chaos you do get four character slots, though, so the time I spend as a mage, etc, doesn't get reported here, generally, though the character names may get mentioned in passing.  Still, running around as a mage, and I'm sure it's the tight black leather bits and pieces they wear that get the game its "15" rating, makes a change, and it is interesting to try out different skills, and revisit places that Kaerella has outgrown.  So even a rather short day's entry here doesn't mean I've been entirely slacking off...

A Lack Of Time - February 26th

I went out shopping - and while I was out left Keerella (my mage character, that is, not a typo) selling the moonstones, tool aids, candies, item drop boosters, drake eggs, and pan flutes that I'd managed to accumulate over the last week or so - and while she didn't sell the large attack and defence potions or a couple of accessories, otherwise she did excellently, taking in almost five million in gold, which I've now moved across. I was tempted to spend almost my entire total wealth on a +8 scepter of the next level, but maybe 8.5 million was a little high. I'll agree that the later plus levels are worth a million each, but not, generally, the first two or three!

I had earlier managed to fit in a rendezvous with the Gnoll Lancers; it does take a while to go up even just 2%, but it also added another 11 skill points, and while the drops weren't very exciting, the gold does add up. It seems to me that they dropped more gold during the Sunday "tea-time" double skill exp event, but I can't be entirely sure! It's strange, I never remember my horse picking them up, but a pair of personal dungeon tickets seem to magically appear in my inventory after a little while there, every time. One for dungeon three, and one for dungeon four - neither of which I have ever visited. I did the first dungeon lots of times, getting to and defeating the Balrog, basically farming it for experience and for moonstones, but I only tried to rescue the princess from the second dungeon a couple of times, it's just annoying the way a healer can't heal her, and her health didn't even seem to regenerate over time.

Is this the last day of the special chocolate bar drops, and the chance to get effort and experience scrolls from the Domain Merchant? It's difficult to guess, the on-screen announcement for the offer still gives the closing date as a week ago. The Pandora's Boxes lasted three weeks... but I've been making sure that I use all the chocolate bars I can, wrapped and boxed, before the servers close down.

The evening? Well, I had to log out early, but I visited the Blood Frenzies for a change, which while they are a couple of levels lower than the Gnoll Lancers, seem to die rather more easily, so maybe they give more experience per hour - and more skill exp, too.  They do have the nasty habit of attacking one's pet, though, so one has to be a bit careful.

There was an attempt to make up a guild team for Egeha; I thought from the chat channel that they had managed it, with people moving to the right server and registering for the party etc, but as far as I can make out it didn't actually happen. Elvastar managed to find a party to join, but there seems to have been some complication or other involving another guild member, not one of our "core group". I'll hope to learn more about that, but it may be confidential of course...

So, not a huge time was spent playing as Kae today, but 24 more skill points have been earned, 3.78% experience, and 1463 pet points. A few odd chocolate bars have been left, not three of any particular kind; oh well, if the Valentines event is over, they do give an attack bonus, so will still be slightly useful, though I doubt if they will go for the high prices that some people have been asking for them lately.

Slow Progress - February 27th

I avoided the Gnoll Lancers today, and stayed with the Blood Frenzies, in three different sessions.  I can't say the drops were overwhelming, but the cash does add up, and there was a rogue weapon and a bar or two of chocolate - yes, the Valentines Event continues, so I've added another five each to my stocks of the experience and effort scrolls.  The ordinary "plus 50% experience for 10 minutes" scrolls seem to sell for about 70,000 gold at the moment, with the "plus 50% skill exp" ones approaching half as much again, which shows that people are keen to get extra skill points.  When one hands in a chocolate collecting box with a line of three wrapped chocolates in, it seems entirely random whether or not one gets five small attack or defence potions as well.  Strangely, while you can transfer these pots between characters via storekeeper Sophia, you can't actually sell them.

Sheele did get in touch with me once about an Egeha party, but I was one level too low - they had a level 54 character, and I'm 16 levels behind, which is one too many.  I didn't respond to the query very quickly anyway, as I had a phonecall from my broadband provider.  They seem keen to upgrade my line's speed, and to lower the monthly cost, which seems difficult to argue with, though connecting up a new modem may well prove traumatic...

Elvastar was keeping a low profile today, probably concentrating on pet training; the servers had been down for their weekly routine maintenance overnight, and for some reason this tends to make Egeha laggy in places, so he wasn't going to be going there.  Nothing worse than staring at one's character just standing there while a Boucu Demon runs wild - though being another character in a party when suddenly some of the people just aren't doing anything except dying isn't a good experience either!  The guild channel was very quiet generally, some people seemed to only be making brief visits.  DeviLRogue was in touch briefly just to say "hi", but there wasn't very much going on to keep boredom away. 

GM Silverrose was running a couple of raffles when I was on - the idea is that you buy a specific item from the Mall, using Aeria Points, during the time specified, and one person who does that wins a prize, such as a level 32 dragon, or a +10 weapon of his or her choice.  I didn't win either of those, sadly.  But then, I didn't buy the items in question!  If they ever do it for an item that I actually could make good use of, well, maybe I would have a go.    Today there was also a special deal on the "Super Lucky Draw Box" from the Mall - buy one, and get a full refund within two weeks.  It's a way to encourage more people to have Aeria Point accounts, which means parting with at least $20.00, but harmless enough. I didn't get anything good out of my box, just a Large Attack Potion, something I have got dozens of, sigh.  As usual, some items are on special sale prices this week - and as usual, the ones on the really cheap price tier had all vanished right away, before people in Europe had had a chance to log on.  They need to increase the number available, or renew the number every few hours, or just make it unlimited for the week.  Nobody seemed to be buying many "runes of protection" on the next tier, less generously reduced - presumably the people who pounced as soon as the servers came back up will be selling most of their purchases in-game, at maybe a slight reuction on the usual in-game merchant price.

I got to my target of 30% of the way towards the next level, which meant a little over 6% today.  46 skill points was pretty good, I think, bringing my balance up to 122 - I must try not to die if it gets much higher, as the sp loss will start to get a bit daunting.  To get the whole five levels of Charm when I reach level 39 I'd need 293 points, but I think I'll just keep 99 points at the ready, enough for the first four levels, and spend the other points on increasing some other useful skills.  My horse is more than halfway to his next level now, after gaining 2346 points today - another two days like this and he'll be level 33, and I'll have to decide whether or not to continue to level 35 and another level of the so-desirable "horse buffs".

You can tell that I'm trying to spin things out, can't you?   Oh well, I'd better finish, then.  And hope that I have some actual team-up adventuring to report before too long.  Following feedback from Elys, the colour scheme here has been modified, to use a darker purple.  You can't say that we don't listen to our readers around here!

Bad News - February 28th

I didn't want the title of today's piece to be too dramatic, but "terrible news" would be more like it really.  One of my best friends in-game, the creator and guild master of Norcaine, came on while I was fighting the Blood Frenzies, to say he was making me guild master.  Was this to be a temporary thing?  It seems not.  His wife had given him an ultimatum - basically, it was either he gave up playing Last Chaos, or suitcases would be packed.

Well, I can see her point of view - most of us are students, or people with no great responsibilities, and if we choose to spend the evening sitting at our computer playing online it doesn't really matter, we'd otherwise be watching television or otherwise goofing off.  Elvastar was putting in long hours, at least once staying up past 2:00am, and it is hardly surprising that his wife was feeling neglected.  Darn it, I stayed in-game in Merac longer than I intended to, but to leave meant that my last chat window with him would be gone.  It's silly, but typing that has just made me mist up again...

It had to be me as leader, as none of the other main high-level long-time Norcaine members were online, and apparently both the one making the change to the guild officers, and the one being changed, had to be online and in the same server.  Elvastar was a great companion, a wise and sensible and considerate person to be around, and I'm going to miss him like hell.  The game just won't be the same.

Oh well, I didn't have much else to write about anyway.  Blood Frenzies were my quarry, and later on in my endeavours I was joined by C0BRA there, who as a level 32 rogue may well have got more from the Berserkers that are also at that particular spot.  A couple of C0BRA's friends were also in the party, but only at long-range for that small experience boost one apparently gets from doing that.  I went up another 6%, added just over 2000 pet points, and got 40 more skill points, so progress continues; I even have some more chocolate bars now (though I couldn't quite work up the enthusiasm to wrap, box and exchange them), and a heaven stone to add to my collection.  It's just that everything seems a bit bleaker now.

Leap Day - February 29th

No sign of Elva online today, or of Sheele...if anyone has problems getting into the game, feel free to email me, it's Kaerella, "at" gmx.com... or. come to that, we could always have a "feedback" page about Last Chaos and the blog at www.Kaerella.com. And the GuildPortal set-up does include a forum for Norcaine members, which could do with a bit more use...

Luckily I managed to chat with Rastatitan, who also hasn't been around much - he was going out to eat at a restaurant this evening, leaving his character in Merchant mode. He is of course being cheerful and supportive, but I do want to chat with Sheele too. Rasta is of the opinion that Elvastar has got his priorities wrong, and that he should put his guild and Last Chaos ahead of his wife. As for me, well, I do sympathise with Mrs Elva, having a husband spending so much time glued to the computer screen can't be much fun, but surely some compromise could have been made. Some husbands spend hours out drinking with friends, or upstairs constructing model railways in the attic, a few hours of online play per night isn't worse than that surely? We need to wait for Elva's promised next, and probably final, appearance online, which Rasta suggested might conveniently be at the Quiz time on Sunday, 7:00pm GMT.

Elva has put an announcement on the guild's news page: "I made good and very dear friends playing LC and I'm gonna miss you all terribly", he says. This cuts both ways of course. I never set out to be a guild master, early on I just found Elva to be a great person to chat and to play with, and thought to myself that, if he ever decided to start a guild, I wanted to be in it...

As for my playing today, well I did a heck of a lot of it, because I was hoping Elva was going to log in, so I wanted to be there. After one session with the Blood Frenzies, the "tea-time event", or "happy hour" rather, was double drops, so I went back to the Gnoll Lancers for that time...as they are two levels higher, the theory is that they ought to drop better items. Not that I noticed anything more than the usual drops for the hour or so I was on then, though the gold amounts dropped seemed to be doubled, which is something. I think most people would have preferred double experience, skill exp, or pet points though.

I reached a pretty massive 10% experience gain by the time I logged off, plus 68 skill points, while my horse reached level 33...and got not all that far short of 2000 points towards the 10,309 needed for the next level. There was very little chat activity, really; Norcaine has been quiet all week, and other Egeha-related messages were sparse. If I'm to get my passive skills maxxed out and get Charm to at least level four as soon as I reach level 39, I do need a lot of skill points, and this sort of farming seems the best way to do it. I'm still not halfway there, at this rate it will take another week, but heck, I don't want to outgrow this +6 armour and my +8 weapon too quickly, right? And the drops of chocolate bars are reasonably good in Merac, I got some more of the experience and effort scrolls today.

So, my character slogs on, even if the guild is a little bit in limbo at the moment. Too many people are offline, there's no chance of putting a good Egeha party together on our own...not that I am all that keen on going there until I get to my next level, and can put the extra attribute points into Dexterity to open up the Charm skill, which ought to be useful there, but we have other healers. People like Rasta, Sheele, next, strokeZ, Smiila, Stanislav, and Captianjack are a pretty good basis for a team, but we need them all online at the same time for that.