Kaerella's Blog - stardate March 2008 (1)
Unbloggishly, here we read from the top down...so the new month starts at the top!
Comings And Goings - March 1st

Personally, I've spent all day fighting the Blood Frenzies, and have gained a few chocolate bars along the way, and a drake egg or two, and a pan flute, to say nothing of the Blood Frenzy Scrolls, which will come in handy if I ever want to transform myself into one.  Sadly, they only work in-game.  I think someone once told me that you have to be five levels above the creature you wish to transform into, so the best I could change myself into for five minutes would be a Pilferer.  These scrolls have no useful purpose, though apparently if a Raid Boss like Kamira appears, if you transform yourself quickly enough you won't be attacked, and can just stroll nonchalantly to safety.

Elvastar did actually manage to come online today for an hour or two, once his children were safely in bed - that he has children is something I didn't know, and rather weakens Rasta's argument that he should choose playing Last Chaos over living in a happy home with his wife.  I had a good long chat with Elva, who was similarly battling Blood Frenzies for some of the time.  He introduced me to the guild master of Crimsonchildren, Kurtstrife, which is rather useful as they are Norcaine's main allies, and then later went off with him to fight Giant Larvas, while still managing to remain on chat.  One of our guildies reported being pk'd (ie killed by another player), though on a different character not in any guild, so there wasn't really anything to react to beyond "Oh bad luck..."  And that person did mention that, when bored, they sometimes did a bit of pk'ing themselves...

It was great to have Elva to chat to, and to have his advice; his broadband connection won't be cut off until the new week starts, so hopefully he will be around tomorrow too, and I passed the word on to Rastatitan, who logged in just as Elva was logging out, that Elvastar would really like to go to Egeha tomorrow, and if possible gain the 35% or so he needs to reach level 42.  Elva has already given his mount away, and missed his horse buffs while farming...some of his other pets seem to be spoken for too.  And, whisper it, but he is hopeful that, if he is good, he may get his wife to relent and let him come back to the game, but it is likely to take at least three months he reckons.  By which time, conveniently, the delayed-by-90-day bonus Aeria reward points one gets when purchasing regular points should have been credited to his account.  Of course by then the main people in Norcaine will hopefully have gone up quite a few levels, leaving a level 42 sorcerer a fair way behind - but many of us have secondary characters who may have reached that stage!

Rasta asked me to help misstyl to transfer a pet from one character to another, which, after a short delay while I finished up in Merac, I was happy to try to do, as at the moment I do have a spare pet slot as I'm only carrying one, but for some reason it wouldn't work.  Usually when I have a problem with such a transfer it means that, while I've got the Pet Trainer to de-skill the pet (with the pet equipped), I've forgotten to take the pet off again afterwards, but apparently that wasn't the case this time.  And to end the day on a bit of a downer, while we were standing in the middle of Dratan, I noticed Mundo pass by - without the guild name!  So he has left the guild, sigh.  Which is strange, as I thought he was a friend of Rasta's.

Still, I got up in experience by 11% today, passing the halfway mark, while my horse too has passed the halfway point on the way towards his next level.  And I have now got enough skill points for all five levels of Charm, plus 17 points to spare, after adding a ludicrously large 80 skill points.  That is the result of spending way more time than I can do on a regular basis, but it is still a good step in the right direction.

Goodbye, Farewell, And Try To Get Back... - March 2nd

I'm sure those Blood Frenzies are getting as tired of me as I am of them, but I managed another massive 10% experience from them today, getting me two-thirds of the way to the next level, and 72 skill points... and my horse reached level 34 right at the end. I seemed to be spending a lot on wrapping paper and collecting boxes for the chocolate bars, too, so my supply of scrolls continues to grow. An announcement confirmed that the Valentines Event ends this week, so not many more chances for them. It's not often there are drops which even lower-level players can get, and sell for 80,000 gold or so, so it must have had strange effects on the Last Chaos in-game economy.

KnightThug has left Norcaine, but he did it properly by messaging me first and explaining why. There was one person in his previous guild who had been the reason he had left them, and that person had now been kicked - and his old friends were so eager to have him back that a mount was being offered! He's still on my Friends list, and I hope we will be teaming in future.

I must say that GuildPortal seems to come up rather well on Google searches - "Kaerella" will bring you to that version of my blog rather than the www.Kaerella.com one! I was trying to check up about the uses of the chocolate bars, and, when I put in "Last Chaos" + "Small Chocolate", the mention in this blog was the top answer, heheheh... Which of course didn't tell me much I didn't already know.

Someone was playing a rather tedious trick on a number of people - I was happily chatting away to Elvastar in the normal in-game messenger box, and over a dozen other people suddenly piled in... someone was dragging all the online names from his Friends list (Elva later explained) into his box. And they kept on doing it! The only people on my own Friends list involved were Captainjack (who got himself onto rather thin ice, guild-wise, by accusing me of doing it, before apologising) and Kakar0t, while I recognised a number of the names as being people in the party that he had briefly brought me into in Egeha a few days back. I think someone else must have started doing it too, but it recurred a number of times. Lucky I was just fighting Blood Frenzies, and nothing which needed my full attention.

This was Elvastar's last day on Last Chaos, at least for, by his estimate, around three months, and luckily he managed to achieve his ambition of getting into a good Egeha party, and reaching level 42. He did have vague hopes of getting further, but things started to wind down, apparently, and people did start to suffer the occasional death. When there were just five people left, well, even the Bogles were not realistically on the agenda, and he beamed back to Randol. I had mentioned that I would like to get a screenshot or two, as I don't think I've got any good ones of him in the gallery, so we teamed up and we got a few shots - just standing in town, then him quickly doing some mining to get rocks to feed his pony, and finally in the Norcaine guild hall. It was there we said our goodbyes...and he vanished...

I will try to add the best shots to the gallery soon, though tonight, it's getting late. And tomorrow, well, Last Chaos will be just that little bit emptier.

Life Goes On  - March 3rd

I went back to the Blood Frenzies in the afternoon, though not for a particularly long session... I also used 216 of my skill points to give myself level five of Magic Protection, which seemed like a good investment! That means that currently I don't have enough points for the fifth level of Charm, but with any luck by the time I reach level 39, and can put in the needed extra Dexterity to be able to learn that skill, I'll have farmed enough to be back up over 293 points - unless I get abducted to Egeha, that is!

The screenshots from yesterday are now up on the second gallery page at www.Kaerella.com - click on the 160 x 120 pixel "thumbnails" to get the 640 x 480 size versions. Some of the shots came out pretty well, I think, though I wish I'd taken more in the Norcaine guild hall.

If this blog is turning up in Google search results for Last Chaos, I ought to give a little general game information, I guess - so today's topic is farming, mining, energy gathering - harvesting. New players get quests to introduce these bits fairly early on, and should get given a knife for herb cutting, a hammer or pickaxe (depending on character class) for mining, and an energy collector for, well, collecting energy. These items do wear out, they start with an endurance rating of 7200, and when that reaches zero, they break and vanish. Just click on the item in your inventory to check on its current rating. Replacements can be bought in Randol from Merchant Geres for 1000 gold, but be careful to get the right one for your chosen profession, a healer can't use one that says it is for a mage, for example!

For farming, the best of the three possible items you will get is the green herb leaf, followed by the herb trunk, and then the yellow herb leaf. When you have equipped your knife instead of your regular weapon, approach a herb-bush in its little fenced-in garden, and when your cursor is over it, it changes to a sort of asterisk-symbol. Click, and you get the choice of either random farming, or choosing one of the three types. With mining and energy collection, the deal is the same, too; energy collection means clicking on the strange suspended stones in a sort of "Stonehenge" type circle, with again in descending order gamma wave energy, epsilon wave energy, and zeta wave energy. Mining sites are slightly rarer, you should leave Randol by the north gate and head slightly east of north for the most convenient one. Quality stone, imperfect stone, and flawed stone is the order there.

For the quickest results, people use Tool Aids; drag one on to your equipped hammer or knife etc, then choose Quality Stone (or Green Herb Leaf, Gamma Wave Energy) and start harvesting, and within seconds you should have 27 of the chosen items. As your hammer will have broken, and Tool Aids tend to cost around 20,000 gold from people set up in merchant mode, the top-quality rocks (or whatever) tend to sell for at least 1000 gold each. If you have plenty of "afk" computer time, you can do your harvesting without tool aids, though you do have to check every five to ten minutes to see if the ore vein, stone or bush has vanished and returned, as that means you will have to restart your character's exertions.

So what are these items good for? Well, your pet (or mount) has a red health bar - double-clicking on a herb while your pet is equipped will boost its health by 5 points, 3 points, or 1 point, depending on which type of item you are using. However, each time your pet levels up its health returns to 100, so you shouldn't need to do this very often. Beware, though, if enemies attack your pet and the bar reaches zero, your pet will die, and be "sealed", so you can't use it. The Pet Trainer will tell you how long, in actual fighting time (just being in-game doesn't count) the "seal" will last, or the amount of cash you must pay for an immediate unsealing. The energy stones aren't really needed, they just boost your pet's loyalty rating, and if you keep your pet equipped most of the time you won't need to do that. Mining rocks is what you'll have to do most often, as a pet gradually gets hungry, and the yellow bar decreases in length. If the bar reaches zero the poor thing will faint from hunger and drop to the ground, though it will not die. Mounts get hungry faster than unmounted pets.

When you start harvesting, always click on the weapon/tool in your inventory "E" window to make sure the endurance is decreasing. If the server, or that bit of the map, is too busy, while your character will go through the motions, sometimes no items will be produced, and the endurance will be unchanged. Just try stopping and starting, moving from one vein or bush to another, a few times, and hopefully eventually productive harvesting will begin.

The nine items, rocks stones and herbs, do have another use - they can be processed into the ingredients that are needed by people who craft weapons or armour, using the recipe books you'll sometimes find as drops. But that would be a whole other story!

I managed another fairly long session this evening, bringing the experience total up to a more reasonable 6% today. Adding 43 skill points is pretty good, though of course there were those 216 which got subtracted. And my faithful horse got, oh, about 20% of the way towards his next level. At least grinding has a purpose; if I'm to be guild master of Norcaine for a while in Elvastar's absence, I need to have pretty good skills, yes?

Short Time Working - March 4th

One trouble with this blog is that it is by Kaerella - and that isn't my only character.  One does, after all, get four slots... and I assume the same number of slots again if one checks out a different group of servers from the Cariae ones that the Norcaine people hang out on!  So it isn't really relevant that my junior healer Barbarienne went up two levels to level 20 today, completing her Guardian training and getting the appropriate bow as a reward.  She was helped along the way by borrowing Elvastar's yellow dragon forgefire - riding a dragon is great fun, but they don't half eat up the rocks quickly, the yellow "hunger" bar depletes very speedily.  Using fire breath on large groups of drakes is good, but a little bit risky as a healer can't use any healing skills while mounted.

I seemed to spend a lot of time moving items between characters - Barbarienne got quite a few chocolate bars, so they had to be moved across and consolidated, and wrapped, and put into collecting boxes.  As one can only exchange the bars (in boxes) three at a time, I have some left over, but they do give an attack bonus for a few minutes, so retain some of their value.

There was, however, time to go and visit the Blood Frenzies in the evening, even though, as quite often on Tuesdays, I have to log out early... so a further 2.5% experience has been added, getting us to three-quarters of the way to level 39, plus 942 more pet points, and 18 skill points.  Not a huge quantity, but not to be sneezed at.

The guild channel remained incredibly quiet while I was on, some members just don't use it; Captianjack is about the best.  Not long before I had to log out, though, Rastatitan messaged me.  The bad news was that Erinalasha has quietly left the guild, which sucks rather as she was a friend of Elva's and a main member.  The good news is the plans Ras has, to help level guild people and offer team-ups and incentives.  With Elvastar's (hopefully temporary) absence we have time to get other characters to useful levels, and help move along guild members who may be getting stuck in the doldrums when progress is slow because of your relatively high level, but you aren't yet high enough to get a boost from Egeha parties.

What frustrates me is the lack of communication.  Almost nobody visits the website and forums, so there is little use in posting messages or announcements there.   There may be six or eight Norcaine people on, but chatting in the guild channel gets very little response.  Smiila was wanting to team up her newer mage character, Devilsmiila, to level a bit, but the only reaction was from Cap, who was standing just next to her in Randol - but had to vanish at that point for half an hour.  And as "DS" isn't actually in the guild, she was chatting via Ras, and he was fighting in Egeha so was apt to lose messages when his own party talk was scrolling through fast.  People, if you want a team-up for a non-Norcaine character, log in first as your Norcaine character, and talk to us on the guild chat channel, okay?

Well, Rastatitan's ideas are very positive, so that is the bright spot.  I just hope he doesn't get 15 or more levels ahead of the rest of us!

March Madness - March 5th

Generally March's madness is limited to hares, but Aeria Games seem to be designating March as "fun month", and anyone who doesn't have fun can claim back any Aeria points bought during the period.  There is some sort of guild competition, but the news I've seen thus far doesn't go beyond sign-up details.  What is the guild team of five supposed to actually do, beyond log in an hour early?

Anyway, that means the end of the Valentines Day love-in.  In the end I had 295 each of the effort and experience ten-minute scrolls, which means I handed in 59 collection boxes, which I'd bought for 10,000 gold each, containing 177 individually wrapped chocolates, with the wrappers costing another 1000 gold each - so I spent 767,000 gold just on the packaging!  I also bought a few bars of chocolate along the way, to avoid getting left with two unused bars on a Tuesday evening when the event was liable to end.  I managed to buy one large bar for 150,000 last night, actually, after I'd already posted the day's blog; I'd only ever picked up two large bars over the three weeks, so it was good to be able to use them.  I noticed one player selling the medium bars at 170,000, and he had 48 left with only two or three hours until the servers closed.  A bit risky, that!  Putting three large bars in the box gained me "10 points", but still just the usual 5 plus 5 scrolls.  Getting the small attack and defence potions (times five) seemed to be entirely random, I think once three small chocolates got me both, though usually it was just the scrolls, or sometimes five of one sort on top.  In all, I have 40 (eight lots of 5) of the small attack increase potions, and 45 of the defence increase potions. They can't be sold, anyway, although they can be transferred between one's characters.  But let's say I spent 1.5 million gold altogether.  The current merchant prices seem to vary from 70,000 to 100,000 gold per experience scroll and  45,000 to 70,000 per effort scroll, so that is a value of anything from 30 to 50 million gold, which would do wonders for my cash reserves and allow me to think about the next level of armour.  If I decide to sell them, that is!  2950 minutes of 50% extra either experience or skill points is, er, just over 49 hours of each, right?  That is quite a lot of extra experience, it would cost rather a lot of Aeria points to get "skill pills" etc to last that long.

But I managed a long slog with the Blood Frenzies, once again.  No drops of chocolate bars now, sadly, and I don't really get the feeling that other loot drops have increased to make up for their absence. A knight called KaRsLi36 did appear on his dragon at one point and suggest going to the Giant Larvas as a team, but as neither of us could supply horse buffs, the idea didn't come to anything - at least, I looked up from typing that the only buffs I could offer were Encourage and Mana Shield and he was nowhere in sight!  Rastatitan has decided that he wants to help level up my level 20 mage, Keerella, and one or two other Norcaine characters at about that level, which seems good to me - he does want to get his titan to level 50 in Egeha first, though, which presumably unlocks a new skill or two.  I'm not sure how long it will take him to get there, it depends on the quality of parties he gets into.

My progress for the day?  12.5%, 3633 pet points for my horse, and 77 skill points, so that once again I have enough points for all five levels of Charm.  And by the time I reach level 39, assuming I keep farming this way, I'd estimate I would have around 100 spare skill points for some other skill-improving.  I was just running to see what the Healer Trainer has got to offer when I got one of those "Send Error Report?" messages, indicating that the game had encountered a problem and needed to close.  So I took the hint and came here instead!

March Onward - March 6th

A long march onward, for sure.  I looked in my inventory and I see I am now the proud owner of 43 Blood Frenzy Scrolls, which rather shows how much I have been hanging out with them for the last week or more.  A shame that such scrolls aren't valuable.  Personally, I think the Jaguar ones are best, it would be fun to stroll around town as a big sleek black cat for five minutes.

I read the progress bar wrongly yesterday, thinking it was an "8" when it was actually a "6", so the experience gain for Wednesday would just have been 10.5%, which is still the result of many hours slogging away.  And today was that half-point better, with a full 11%, not to mention 3852 pet points and a full 80 skill points.  Just over 7 skill points per 1% seems to be just about what the Blood Frenzies yield at the moment.

Rastatitan came on to chat with me just as I was ready to sign off, suggesting that I go to Egeha - but with the number of skill points I am carrying, I really don't want to risk the kind of point loss that a swift death or two would bring.  Besides, after such a long slog, I was starting to feel rather tired, and Egeha parties wouldn't be too keen on a healer who fell asleep in mid-demon. Once I am level 39, and have added the necessary attribute points to Dexterity so that I can use 293 points to get all five levels of Charm, things will be different...losing 3 skill points per death is rather more bearable than losing a dozen or more.  There is another skill I could get up from four to five 108 points, which would increase the damage I do... I should get the necessary extra 17 skill points before I reach level 39, so that ought to work.

RenaNight is doing well, and tells me she has new high-grade armour, so I look forward to seeing that.  She approves of my skill point farming, to "max out" my skills.  "Gratz you not power lvl noob" was the way she phrased it!  She'd fought and beaten someone in the arena recently who was ten levels ahead, but she had the full range of maxxed skills available, and her opponent didn't.  My feeling is that if you just go for experience, against high-level monsters in Egeha or elsewhere, you get the levels, but if you don't have the skill points to get the proper skills up to level 5, you're just a bit "hollow".

Anyway, Rasta does farm skill points - and he has reached level 51 now as well, thanks to playing even longer hours than I do, and using skill and experience boosters.  So, he's doing really well.  He has recruited JioK into the guild, which is good... I think Ras said that JioK's main character in Egeha, Pana8as, is around level 80.  There are a couple of other names I don't recognise who have been online today in the guild, but they are probably just people who have been rather quiet for the last couple of weeks or so.

I saw a great set of healer armour for sale today, around level 52 and all +6 - I'd have bought it if I'd had the money, but it was 24.5 million gold, which is rather more than I have.  Rena agreed with me, when I mentioned it, that it was a bargain.  It would be the next-but-one set of armour, so would have meant skipping over the previous set, but heck, my Dawn set is +6, which would be almost as good as, say, a set of the in-between type with just a +4 enhancement.  Oh well, I did get around 3.5 million today from selling my latest collection of item drop boosters, candy, pan flutes, drake eggs, and even some large attack and defence potions.  For some reason nobody bought any tool aids, which is a shame, as they are a bit heavy to carry around.  I must try to sell some of those experience and effort scrolls too if I want to be able to make big purchases like that...

The Prodigal Returns - March 7th

After all that, Elvastar's "three months" estimate was a little bit pessimistic... a bit more like "four days" in fact, as he returned to us early this evening!  He and his wife have come to an arrangement, which means that he will only be playing on Fridays, Sundays and Tuesdays - from the start of the "event" at 4:00pm GMT on Friday and Sunday, and an hour later on Tuesday.  There weren't all that many Norcaine people online to welcome him back, and as I was fighting Highlanders alongside the level 31 knight R0CK, I couldn't give him quite as much attention as I would have liked, and he cunningly switched servers before I could switch the guild leadership back.  But he can't avoid me for long!

I got up to level 39 during the afternoon, and got myself all five levels of Charm, and the fifth level of Deadly Shot to celebrate.  My horse also reached level 35 at last, so only two levels to go until I can make him my mount, with maximum horse buffs. This week's event was double skill points, which was welcome, and, since I was now a level higher, I went back to the Gnoll Lancers before R0CK called me away.  Level 40 Highlanders, like Bandits a few levels lower, tend to come in as a mob - you attack one, or (unlike Bandits)  just get a bit near one, and they all rush in.  And if one spawns in exactly the wrong place, you can find your pet's health bar taking a knock too, so you have to watch that.  Still, a hectic and productive session...until I got disconnected, sigh.  And when I logged back in, I found that yes, I had died - and, worse, my horse had been killed too!  I can't help feeling that R0CK might at least have been able to keep him alive, though suddenly without healing and surrounded by angry Highlanders I suppose he was a bit busy.  It cost 291,550 gold to get my horse "unsealed" - but heck, I did at least pick up one heaven stone today, and a HS is worth more than that, right?

For some unforeseen reason, the GMs found it necessary to add an extra "Happy Hour" from 8:00 to 10:00 gmt, halfway between the European one and the US one that begins at midnight UK time, so double skill points were again available.  I kept going, back with the Gnoll Lancers, until a little past ten, to get the 86 skill points needed for the fifth level of Vital Spot Blow too.  A passing mage, Lacust0, kindly buffed me with Haste and Spell Focus, which reminded me to buff myself with Encourage - and pointed out that my use of the scepter does count as a "magical attack", so I might as well use Charm too.

Elvastar managed to get himself into a Bogle-bashing team in Egeha - I imagine that the Bogles were glad to see him back.  Rastatitan had disappeared, though, probably for an evening out, so any plans he may have had to take me there have been left on ice.  Norcaine was generally pretty quiet, though I did have a chat with Smiila when I met her in town, and chatted with Stanislav earlier.

So, today I went up a little over 10%, despite the discon-death, and 103 skill points, thanks to the double Event.  And my horse added 4581 pet points, taking him a third of the way to the next level, which in all requires 12,248 points,  These higher pet levels do get longer and longer...

A Quick Exit - March 8th

The Gnoll Lancers were in a generous mood again, luckily; in the absence of any planned trip to Egeha I was busily farming skill points again, with a view to getting Cure Poison up to a respectable level.  Not that it seems a very useful skill in itself, except in PvP when rogues are using the Poison skill, but it has to be maxxed before a more generally useful level 44 skill I may need, Dispel, becomes available.  I will also need to get my Intelligence points up to 52, which may delay things by a level or two beyond then.

Stanislav, however, did manage to arrange a trip via Recall to Egeha, and asked me along.  Through no fault of his, though, we just couldn't get a full team, people were busy with other things or just unavailable, and things didn't go too well.  A level 55 knight called Mordimus volunteered to help us - I think he said that two other party members were his girlfriend and his daughter.   As he was more than 15 levels ahead of the rest of us, he'd have to be outside the party, but would be able to do the hardest part of the job.  Which makes it all the more strange that, as we attacked our fifth Boucu Demon, he announced that it was no good, the rogues just weren't snaring properly, and he was leaving us to it.  The horse buffs, which he had provided, had worn off, and suddenly the Demon was gaining health rather than losing it.  We were in terminal trouble.  I just managed to type "log out", and, er, logged out.  I just hope everyone else managed it too!  As Mordimus had forgotten to leave the party in time for the death a couple of times, I doubt if any of us (him included) got a huge amount of experience; I got 2.44% in all, which wasn't a lot, though more than I'd have got from hitting gnolls for the time involved.  Smiila was rather sensible to leave after the start of the party got delayed, though it is always nice to hear the Egeha music for a change.

So, back I went to the Gnoll Lancers; they do after all give skill exp as well as the regular variety!  The only chat channel action was the Last Chaos GMs, who had apparently sent the GameSage Beazlebub out into the Dratan desert, where he could only be cheered up if somebody sang Elton John's "Rocket Man" to him.  Luckily this wasn't on a Cariae server!  There was also an auction going on for the "event package", which is just two heaven stones, on the official forums.  With 30 minutes to go, the bids stood at 2.3 million gold on server group Katar, 1.3 million on Sarissa, and a more rational 650k on Cariae.  You can, after all, buy heaven stones in-game for 500k each or less easily enough...

Rastatitan appeared online a little later in the evening - apparently he has friends visiting at home, so was only able to come on briefly for a little skill point farming.  Oh, and that healer set of armour I noticed two days ago was still for sale, at least earlier in the day, and had come down in price to 22 million.  Still more gold than I have, I need to sell some of those effort and experience scrolls

Anyway, spending 42 skill points on two levels of Cure Poison leaves me with just a gain of 3 points today, but I am up by 9% on the long road towards level 40, and 2806 pet points gets my horse past the halfway point on his road towards level 36.

Almost A Server Event - March 9th

Apparently the USA has gone on to summer "daylight saving" time today, with the clocks springing forward by an hour - and to avoid people missing out on the "event" tea-time happy hours because of this shift, instead of 4:00 to 6:00 (or so) GMT, and again a few hours later, it was all solid double skill points from 3:00pm onwards... which is very nearly as good as Cariae winning one of those "server package" contests, as it includes double drops...

Elvastar came on fairly early in the afternoon, and I was able to find out which server he was in, and which map - so I quickly swooped over there to C-6 Merac and returned the Norcaine Guild Master title to him, and sped back out before he could react.  Even if he can only be on three days a week, well, it's his guild, and he's the best one to run it.

Well, I read on the Last Chaos "Wet Paint" Wiki about the third personal dungeon, which I had never tried, and has a maximum level of 40 to enter it - so as I'm level 39 now, it seemed like a good time to try it out, so I went in just before the event started, after some time spent browsing all six Cariae servers in search of new armour and maybe a new weapon - yes I've sold enough scrolls to be able to do some serious shopping. No luck there, though.

Anyway, I took a personal dungeon (3) ticket out of storage, and went into "Ajaka Canyon" - and I must say, I'd hate to go in there at much lower a level, or without a healer's skills. The foes may have generally been blue or green to me, but (as with the earlier personal dungeons) there were masses of them flying in from all directions. I should have taken more screenshots, but I'll try to post the two I did take soon, even if they are a bit grey. The canyon was narrow, and the underground part was slender too, with a lot of monsters zooming in - I did have to run for it a couple of times, there was a close call or two because despite my buffs they were hitting hard, and in a personal dungeon you don't have the luxury of having a pet with you, with the extra defence that brings. Finally I met Kamira, a lower level version of the Dratan "road boss", who was white-named to me... my Mana Shield must have been useful then, because I did manage to kill her, which brought up the final window... however a horde of insect-types were still attacking, and I came pretty close to dying after succeeding. The experience gained wasn't much, but the gold was about 28,000 I think, boosted a bit by the event starting while I was in there, and a couple of moonstones came my way, one as a drop and the other as a reward.

RenaNight reported that she'd unfortunately broken a level 69 weapon she was working on. She had got it to +9, and used 20 heaven stones, which were now all wasted. Ouch... Oh, and I found another "inappropriate word" one is banned from using in Last Chaos general chat, "cono", when I tried to type "economy" in when talking to Elva about the glut of heaven stones all these Sunday night quizzes give, since they hand them out as prizes. And that was before the GMs announced that anyone buying the "server event package" of two heaven stones from the Item Mall would get a full rebate for the points spent on it...

I did a long, long skill point farm, taking full advantage of the double skill exp - and of the double gold drops too, I went up by 400,000 gold before I logged out! The Gnoll Lancers did drop a heaven stone for me, and also a rather nice magic ring, with 8 "power of the mind" (alias Intelligence), and 2 "physical fortitude" I think, plus three pan flutes and the usual oddments.  Elvastar was busy farming too, and then joined a (non-Egeha) party with his friend Kurt; Captianjack was in Cariae-3, my favourite non-PvP server, since he didn't want to risk being pk'd while he was carrying a large number of skill points, so we made a "solo party" to add slightly to the experience we'd each get. He wasn't actually far away from me on the map, and we chatted for a while. In all I am up 11% on the day, and 159 skill points, so I will be able when I log on tomorrow to get the top level of Cure Poison, and have some points left over towards whatever I need to increase next.

Gnoll Business - March 10th

I've updated page two of the Screenshot Gallery here at www.kaerella.com - the first of the two shots from "Personal Dungeon 3" is a bit bland, but the second one shows the final battle with this junior "Blood Mistress" version of Kamira, and one of the ugly bugs that protected her.  It looks as if it is important to kill her quickly - or maybe the bugs just swarm out more when she has died?  Talking of bugs, the other two new screenies are set near the middle of Dratan, where Charlot summoned me to demonstrate how, if you click on the edge of one of the dried-out watercourses there, you end up apparently "walking on air".  I think to her and to the knight who was with her I seemed to be floating too, though from my point of view I remained safely on the bridge.  It was one of those strange little bits of a town where an unmounted pet like mine actually appears; he had moved out so far in the second shot because he was attempting to pick up a low-value item that the knight had dropped down below.  Charlot has adopted me as her mother in-game, so I get to say "Yes, Dear" a lot when she messages me.  She was on briefly today, to tell me she is now level 24, which can't be bad.

Well, the top level of Cure Poison was duly acquired today, and enough further skill points gained to get Fast Bow Fixing up to its maximum too, not before time, as it apparently speeds up all types of attack, not just arrows.  Apart from attacking bow skills that I could never fit on my skill bar, even if they do work with a scepter, my skills are generally pretty close to maximum now.  Next on my list is the second (and final) level of Elven Walk, which will give me a movement-speed boost (5% from level 1 I already have, level 2 takes it up to 10%), and then I guess it's a matter of adding a level or so to Resurrection, if I can.  Level 2, which I have, restores 35% of the experience that a character loses by dying (though it is no help with skill exp), and each subsequent level adds 5%, so level 5 would halve the experience loss of a party member.  It's 100 skill points per level, though, so not cheap.  And I can't use it on myself if I die, of course.

I bought three +8 parts of the next level of armour for a healer, the "Arvina" set, at 4.5 million gold each, which spends all the cash I've got so far from selling scrolls, I think.  That was gloves, robe, and skirt, and for that level of enhancement, quite reasonably priced I think.  I bought the circlet too, without plusses, and brought it up to +4, but I still need a good pair of boots, not that I'll be able to wear them for a while.  And the Storm's Eye Scepter to go with that level.  So it looks as if some more time spent scroll-selling will be needed,,,

Well, suitably buffed with Charm, Encourage, and Fast Bow Fixing I terrorised the Gnoll Lancers again; I was chatting with the sorcerer rikie, who was doing something similar, though he soon got bored and headed for the local temple.  He stopped and gave me horse buffs as he passed, though, which was nice, while they lasted I don't think I needed to heal myself at all.

My horse has reached level 36 now.  I looked at the details on the "Wet Paint" Last Chaos Wiki (I've put links to it, and to the official Aeria Games one, on the front page here), and it looks as if there is very little incentive to level a horse past level 37.  One level for "Crying" if you want to bring in all the monsters in the area perhaps, but "HPMP Up" "is considered a useless skill because it only affects you while you are riding your horse. You cannot attack while on your horse, so the extra HP and MP do you little good" - sounds logical!  Normally, people only ride horses to get from place to place quickly, or to show off in Randol, or very briefly to apply horse buffs. Dragons, however, are a different matter; "Dragon Roar", "Dragon Breath", "Dragon Poison", and "Live Regen" are all useful, and between them would take no less than 60 training points to maximise.  Hmmm...the final level, 59 to 60, takes 105,618 points, and the ones leading up to that aren't much lower, so I doubt if there are many level 60 dragons about!  Elva was saying that some high-level people on the forums mention having a drake about level 44 for its defence buffs etc, which rather confirms my feeling that a dragon is great for a character up to level 25 or so, but above that a drake is more useful...along with a horse.

Norcaine continues to be quiet, with next deciding to leave us, which is a bit of a blow, as she was our most experienced knight.  Perhaps she is looking for a more advanced guild.  She still considers us to be friends and good people, so perhaps we will still be able to team up in future, unless she gets more than 15 levels ahead of me of course...

My experience progress was helped by some minor quests in Merac today, including a trip to Owl Village, and being tasked by Magician Kihan there to collect three gnoll hearts from Gnoll Soldiers.  66,400 experience as a quest reward sounds impressive, but it only equated to 1.5%...two medium Crystals of Experience were thrown in too.  Taking a message back to Grand Magician Minearm in Merac was another 440,000 experience, it all helps...but having found out what a problem the gnolls were, the quests just peter out, one might have expected to be asked to kill a large number of them, for a suitable reward, but nothing more is on offer quest-wise in Merac.

So, 8.5% experience today, despite no very long slog; the pet points towards the next level stand at the very "leet" 1337 now.  And I've got together a new 29 skill points towards that second level of Elven Walk. 

The Other Prodigal Returns - March 11th

Yes, Sheele had been missing in action for almost two weeks, but managed to get online to us today.  Computer problems, and having to wait for a replacement card to arrive.  Apparently Sheele spent most of the afternoon wandering around Juno saying "Hello trees... hello rivers... hello berserk wolves... hello elder werewolves... hello drakes..." and so on.

Or perhaps not.  Okay, I admit it, I made that bit up.   Sheele went off to Egeha to fight weavers, which I gather are some not very friendly type of spider.  It's great to have Norcaine's top rogue back, for sure - it is certainly a very welcome return!  I was rather hoping that the return would lead to a Norcaine-based Egeha party involving both of us plus Rastatitan and Elvastar, but it seems not, everyone had their own plans...

I chatted with rikie while annoying the Gnoll Lancers in my usual way - and with Charlot too, who seems to have decided that at level 24 she really doesn't have enough mana to do horse buffs as well as everything else, and so is selling her white horse for 22 million.  Norcaine knight DISC came and teamed up with me for a while, he told me he was only level 25 but the Gnoll Lancers didn't give him any sort of trouble, with his horse buffs and other enhancements, I don't think I needed to do any healing while he was around.  After a while he headed back up north, as he was getting almost as much experience from critters that died rather more quickly, but we continued to "solo party" for a while, which adds a little to the experience each member gets.

It can be interesting to see what local dialogue is left in one's speech window when one leaves Randol for quieter regions.  Today mine was a remark by someone called DataVexturan: "lol i love mage fights" - whether this referred to the spells and tactics or the costumes involved, I really couldn't begin to speculate.

Anyway, since I had no exciting adventures to get involved in, I can only report that another 6.77% of experience was gained, a fair amount of window shopping was indulged in, my horse has 2249 more pet points (and is thus a quarter of the way to level 37), I'm almost three million up on the cash side after selling some more scrolls, and. let's see, if I have 18 less skill points after spending 65, I must have earned 47, right?

DISC asked me out of interest how many skills I have got maxxed, so I did a bit of quick adding-up, and it was seventeen of them - now that I've got the second (and final) level of Elven Walk that makes eighteen in all.  Which is pretty good, I think...

A Quiet Day - March 12th

I was relieved to be able to get online today; my internet connection failed soon after ten last night, meaning that I couldn't post the blog entry until it decided to work again around twelve hours later. I was starting to think I'd have to watch a movie or two on dvd, or maybe look out an old offline game!

Well, more Gnoll Lancers have been annoyed, and one of the dear things dropped a Heaven Stone; there was some discussion about the relative values of horses and dragons, with Elvastar, Zeratus, and DISC on the guild channel, with the general conclusion being that horses are more valuable than dragons, with pink dragons being more expensive than other kinds, as you can't dye a dragon pink, you have to get a pink drake egg, from the Item Mall or a reseller, and raise it from a hatchling. If you are considering selling a level 31 (or above) pet, it is more valuable if it hasn't been made into a mount, as that gives the buyer the option of continuing to train it up a few more levels.

This morning's update added an "85" to the end of everyone's pet's name, as in "Kaerella's Horse 85", and changed the typeface used in the game into a rather less legible one - it is now very hard to see what number one's health is at, or to see if Captianjack is calling one "m8" or "m6" - though we can probably guess that one. I suspect that the official forums will have a few complaints about that... I noticed one of the people in merchant mode was advertising a "Bad Font Sale!" This week's sale offers include Lucky Smelting Stones, but as usual all the really cheap ones had sold out before Europe had woken up, sigh. There are a couple of special packages in honour of St Patrick's Day, one of which includes a cheaper-than-usual green pet dye pill.

One thing the Gnoll Lancers drop fairly often are magical rings, so I used a couple of Combination Boxes, each of which turns three magical items into one (hopefully) better one. One of the resulting rings was no better than the ones put in, but the other was rather good - 2 attribute points of Physical Fortitude (Constitution), and 4 each of Physical Prowess (Strength), Swiftness of Reflexes (Dexterity), and Power of the Mind (Intelligence), plus 4 points of Evasion too! Some people sell the best magical accessories for silly amounts of money, but that seems like one to hold on to...

I went through Personal Dungeon 3 again, and this time managed to clear all the monsters out of the final room - and they do keep on spawning in large numbers for quite a while after Blood Mistress Kamira is defeated, and the "quest completed" window appears. As all the monsters except Kamira are blue or green-level, for a level 39 character it doesn't give much experience, but it yielded over 30,000 in gold. That might be slightly more than usual, as towards the end of my time in there, at about 8:20pm GMT, a special "double experience" event started, and such tweaks to the game do lead to double the amount of gold being dropped.

So, I went back to the Gnoll Lancers, and managed about 90 minutes of the double experience, meaning that today I went up by 12% on that front, putting me a little past halfway to the next level now. 2976 pet points means I'm getting close to halfway to my horse's finishing level, while 66 skill points, well, I'll soon need to visit the skill trainer again and see what is still on offer!

Just as I was logging out a "Hide and Seek" event was starting in Dratan on the Cariae-4 server, which was to be followed by a "reign" of fire and a monster spawn of masses of Pandora's Beasts. It seems a terrible shame to miss the opportunity to be killed a few times by them, but hey, some of us need our beauty sleep!

Absolutely Nothing - March 13th

No experience gained, no skill points, no pet points, even. I was busy all day outside the world of Last Chaos, and then in the evening, after getting sidetracked into looking through merchant stocks, and then wasting my time trying to help somebody before I finally realised, after rather too long, that I didn't have a rather vital qualification to be able to actually do the job (my fault), Rastatitan suddenly called a meeting of him, me and Elvastar at the Norcaine guild hall. And then, since he had to arrange and Recall his own replacement in the party he was in in Egeha, he took a few minutes to join us there...

Meetings are fine, meetings are good, meetings are productive, but they don't half take a long time. Ras has got himself up to, I think, level 53 now, and he wants to help other guild members to level up too. And he wants to encourage them to work at it, and play hard, by holding out the incentive of a gift from the guild for people when they reach level 45.

So, the details took a while to work out, but there is a definite commitment to more Egeha parties, and with guild people taking priority - which sounds good to me, I've been feeling rather left out of things since I reached level 39, got the skill I thought was needed maxxed, and then...well, nothing, leaving me just Gnoll Lancer farming still. I think Stanislav felt rather the same, though imagining that I was among the privileged few out hunting in Egeha.

We have had our problems in the guild recently, with Sheele going missing (and now, with computer repaired, safely back with us), and Elvastar's temporary absence, plus a number of guild members just not playing, but it looks as if steps will now be taken to arrange more than the odd "solo party".

And the gift for people at level 45? Well, assuming that our pet levellers can keep up, the idea is that every guild member would receive a mount - or to be more exact a pet horse, of mountable level. We need to be satisfied that the person has been farming their skill points too, with a pretty good number of skills maxxed; offer not available to people who already have a higher-level character, probably, and anyone newly joining the guild at level 44 might not qualify I guess!

So, details decided, a general guild meeting was called, which meant that the stint in the guild hall continued. DISC and Zeratus and Stanislav (Or more accurately "stanislav", but people with lower-case first letters do make for confusing reading) joined us for the grand announcement, and later Sheele came online and was able to join us. Sheele hadn't actually been there before, and had to be told that the guard captain at the town gate is the person who can transfer you to your hall. Hopefully what was discussed will spread to the active people who weren't online... and as for the inactive people, well, to make room for new members, some inactive people will have to be removed.

More time passed, and the earlier feeling of "well, as long as I get an hour to fight the Gnoll Lancers" turned into "maybe half an hour of actual fighting"... until my time fully ran out. Which was probably just as well, as I was drifting towards crankiness by that stage. These things always take so long! I departed politely, anyway.

Outside in Last Chaos itself, special rebates were being offered, and the gamesages and GMs were up to something too, but little of it penetrated into the guild hall. Ah well, tomorrow I am hoping to be able to actually do some fighting. Boucu Demons, Gnoll Lancers, Giant Larvas, I really don't care, just let me go out and hit something! Though my ambitions could be thwarted as I have to change my broadband supplier in the morning, with a new modem etc, and what are the chances that that will go as smoothly as they claim it will?

No Chance! - March 15th

There was, as it turned out, no chance that the "migration" to the new broadband would be painless - there was no blog post yesterday because I had no internet connection.  Despite the dismantling and moving of the computer desk into a different room (and screwing it back together again), reconnecting all the computer bits and untangling all the speaker wires, then following the installation wizard for TalkTalk, and the restful time waiting for the technical people to pick up their phone, not playing LC or visiting my usual web haunts gave me an awful lot of spare time, parts of this place have never looked so tidy.  But today I went back to a Thursday restore point, got rid of the old modem's software installation etc, and tried again, and after a while the extra "link" light on the new modem came to life.  And I'm back in the world...

So, this afternoon more Gnoll Lancers were killed - not that they mind greatly, they all have a strong belief in reincarnation.  A couple of hours or so got my skill points total up far enough for a new visit to the skills trainer to be needed.

My shopping was fairly fruitless, except for a moonstone for 6,999 gold and an effort scroll for 25,000... I did see what I assume to be a slightly cruel trick, though.  Memorie was sitting on her horse in town, in merchant mode - but someone called "tidoo" was standing right in the middle of her space, so that any attempt to look at her wares failed, as you clicked on tidoo instead.  She may well be wondering why she hasn't sold anything...

On the guild front, one of the stalwarts of many a Norcaine team, the level 36 healer Smiila, asked to be kicked from the guild.  I told her about Rastatitan's new plans to help people level, and the reward everyone should get when they reach level 45, but she thinks she will level faster outside Norcaine.  I am not sure why that is her plan, but she does promise to return to us once she has gone up a decent number of levels.

Anyway, the evening session started with the Gnoll Lancers, but then rikie called me up and invited me to Egeha - about two seconds ahead of C0BRA with a similar invitation.  After nothing for so long, it figures I'd get two invitations at once!  I joined rikie, along with Legolan, Jozafe, RaKi and Th3Shadow for a good old-fashioned Bogle hunt.  Jozafe left after a while, and xDemoNx, ElderDrake and KamaraSlayer were recruited.  ElderDrake, a knight, was wearing a green hat throughout, I think, which can't have given him full marks for defence, and when he left, leapt onto his golden dragon, which is a suitably dramatic way to depart.  By the end it was me, rikie, RaKi (both specialist sorcerers), and KamaraSlayer.  I think I was for most of the time the highest-level character, one level ahead of RaKi; I didn't get a huge amount of experience, in the early stages we were going so slowly that I'm sure I'd have got more experience back with the Gnolls, but later things speeded up - every 8% helps!  There was talk of tackling Boucu Demons, but I had to point out that in a fully-equipped Demon party I'd expect to be about the lowest-level member, not the highest.  Elvastar was also in a Bogle-hunting party, which was also going a bit slowly when we exchanged comments.

Sadly I was just too late to attend the special Leprechaun event in Dratan... I sent Keerella as she has a green hatchling, but she got to Dratan too late for it to be counted.  She was just in time for the attack of the leprechauns though - which didn't look like small green-clad Irish people, but more like ghostly Giant Larvas to me, er, to Kee.  A couple of screenshots were taken, we will have to see how they come out.  But not for a couple of days, my playing time on Sunday will be limited to a rather reduced evening session.

The Gnoll Lancers had got me enough skill points to move me up to level three of Resurrection, so that people I res regain 40% of the experience that a death would cost them - I was able to use it on Legolan when a Bogle attacked him, but earlier when things went a bit wrong, with more than one Bogle involved somehow, two or three people immediately revived themselves in town - it's awfully confusing when people do that, you see health bars at around 40% and don't know if they are people in the fighting area who you can heal, or what - I ended up doing Party Heal just to see who got a boost from it.  Luckily we were a large enough party at that stage not to get entirely wiped out; specialist sorcerers, with their "red demon" and "pin-headed knight" avatars, can take a lot of damage and still stay in there.

So, just over 13% more experience in all, so that I am now two-thirds of the way to level 40.  2205 pet points, so we are comfortably over halfway to my horse's final level, and, as Bogles don't give skill exp (about 55,000 experience, depending on the party size, and 1 skill exp), only 42 skill points.  It was nice to be back in Last Chaos after the enforced day off, and it was, generally, nice to be back in Egeha...I'd missed hearing the music they play there.