Kaerella's Blog - stardate April 2008 (1)
Unbloggishly, here we read from the top down...so the new month starts at the top!
The Ultimate Answer - April 1st

As you may know, the answer to the ultimate question about life, the universe and everything is "42" - and I got to that level today, despite having a slightly truncated on-line time.  The Gnoll Soldiers were kind, they dropped a couple of Heaven Stones and at least half a dozen Moonstones...though the two Easter Eggs they handed me weren't highlights of the day, one was a "50 gold coin" type, and the other contained 10 Herb Trunks, which was hardly generous.  Still, over 7.5% experience, 47 skill points, and 2304 pet points mean pretty good progress.  And now Kae can wear the whole Arvina armour set.  It's a bit brown, but an improvement on the "bathing suit with flaps" effect of the previous outfit.

I spent 43 skill points on the top level of Shining Arrow, which was the only remaining available skill to top up, other than the crafting ones.  One skill I don't have is Mana Barrier, which becomes available at level 38 - but it requires one to have 17 attribute points in Constitution, which would mean that I wouldn't have enough points in Intelligence for the level 44 skill Dispel, which requires 52 points to be put into that.  Once I've got that, I can think about improving Constitution, but with horse buffs now available, a passive skill which only decreases the chance of me taking melee damage isn't very important.

As it was All Fool's Day, the GMs and GameSages were having a little bit of fun; there was a "Pandora Beast spawn" announced in the Randol arena on Cariae-4, but when I hurried over in hopes of getting a dramatic screenshot or two, well, people were just crowding in there and killing each other, with no sign of any beasts, so presumably some GMs were having a hearty chuckle in the background.  Just as I had to leave, at 8:00pm BST (noon on America's West Coast), a bit of "pet levelling" was on offer on the same server, outside Randol's north gate.  The only trouble was that someone, at the GameSage's request, was teleporting the level 90 stone statue that people were "fighting" gradually away from town, so that people had to retarget every 30 seconds, which isn't my idea of pet levelling.  People were being lured away from town - towards what...?

There had been talk of a Norcaine guild party to Egeha, involving Zeratus, Stanislav, Elvastar, and presumably me until my log-out time, but unfortunately Sheele, who would have been a vital part of the team, was having to log out early.  Elva, who had been fighting the Giant Lavas solo, was finding them a bit too tough I think, and Sheele was having connection problems.  Elva decided to have an early night after setting his pet levelling knight up... and that's about all I know!

Kee managed only a very brief sortie against the Butchers in Merac, so there isn't really anything for her to report.  Let's hope for a busier day tomorrow.

Into Prokion Temple - April 2nd

Kaerella took the day off today, but, after some general messing around with minor characters in the afternoon, and some mining to keep hungry horses and drakes satisfied, Keerella had a pretty busy evening.

Once I'd spotted that Jacqueline was online, I went out and joined her to battle the Desert Spiders, though the laptop Jacqui was using did crash once, probably from getting too hot.  After a while we got tired of the spiders, though, and Jacqui suggested moving across to the Salamanders, so we went back to town, and then ran off across to them... and that got us to the entrance to Prokion Temple - or Procyon Temple, as its loading screen has it.

It's not a place that I've been to for ages - Kae did get "reallly upset", as Jacqui commented, when Elvastar had to go away from his keyboard for an unexpectedly long time once there, leaving her and another junior healer to fend off wave after wave after wave of attackers, once.  But this time, Kee's level 26 mage and Jacqui's level 29 healer did really well, taking on large quantities of orcs.  On the ground floor by the stairs up, another group came up really close, and Jacqui felt that they were deliberately ks'ing and trying to push us out - and in a non-PvP server there isn't much one can do about that!  So we went upstairs and really "owned" the orc sergeants and their men, along the corridors, in the room where Kae got traumatised, and in the main, final room of the temple itself.  Jacqui's healing was faultless, and I was able to concentrate on, well, fighting, and using Flame Storm on groups, when it acted pretty much like a "personal dungeon skill", hurting the orcs and knocking them back...oh, and making sure that my drake picked up all the loot, and didn't get hurt too often.  He did go down in health by perhaps 30%, I think, those orcs are sneaky.  Luckily it's now not all that far until he levels up.

Unfortunately, I lost my connection at the end, and was without the internet for about 15 minutes; but we had just about finished, and Jacqui did manage to reach level 30.  Kee must have put on approaching 40% on the way towards level 27; she has 56 skill points now, but needs another 25 before the first level of a useful-looking skill called Haste can be acquired.

So, a very enjoyable and productive team-up.  Rastatitan was on, back from his studies, but unfortunately my disconnection came just as we were starting to chat - as much as one can chat when surrounded by enraged orcs, that is.  Maybe Jacqui had annoyed them by commenting on how ugly they were?  My response was to part with the information that they were apparently modelled on GM Moose... hmm, a shame it wasn't yesterday morning I made such a statement...

Outside Velpist Temple.  - April 3rd

Another short day, and another day without playing Kaerella... but Keerella had a great evening.  First of all Elvastar's pet-levelling knight finished getting Kee's new mount up to level 31; I actually went along to his private spot, high on the edge of the map, to watch the last blows against a definitely annoyed Treant, though of course Elva had to go back to town to get the horse's skills reset before he could pass it over.  I've told him that, according to the wet paint LC wiki, you can open the pet trainer's window in Randol, and then keep it open wherever you are on the map, to adjust the pet's skills as you go along, but I don't think he wants the added complication.  And with the "F" dialogue box, Elva does have a slight tendency to push it off the side of the screen so far that he can't get it back, so more windows he doesn't need.  But it was really kind of Elva to go to all that trouble to provide Kee with a horse, and I am very grateful.

I'd decided that Kee's horse ought to be white, to contast nicely with the black mage costume, so it was rather convenient that the pet colouring pills are at a special price this week, which is a special "be good to your pet" time.  Aeria have a special sale offer on a pet package; it's the same price as the normal pet package, with the same contents, except that the pet naming tag has been removed... and that is supposed to be a special bargain?  To apologise they made it a "100% rebate within 14 days" item this afternoon, and so I was able to grab a couple of those and pass them across to Elva for his next pet-levelling project, as a small thank-you.

Well, once I was mounted, and my horse a suitable colour, Jacqui and I teamed up, and rode out of Randol heading for the Greater Drakes, which hang out just outside the Velpist Temple - allowing today's title to echo yesterday's, clever eh?  We had a marathon session there, with insanely large groups of the drakes, which come in and mob very usefully...if one has horse buffs and a healer.  My drake had levelled a little earlier, during a brief visit to the Merac Butchers, so was back to 100% health after the damage done by the orcs yesterday... but with the Greater Drakes and the Great Horn Beasts, his health gradually got nibbled away, and I ended up having to be very quick in feeding him some green herbs, or he'd have perished.  He's level 19 now, so getting to be a pretty useful little chap.  And I've gone up a level too, and am now able to wear the whole of the mage "Vanishing" set.  Which is well-named, in places the fabric is vanishingly thin, and definitely not designed for riding around on a horse...

A rogue called Doublefisting did do some blatant "kill stealing" while we were there; Jacqui told her off, which is all you can do in a non-PvP server, but she was unrepentant.  And I can just about see her point of view, Jacqui was rounding up pretty big mobs, making the group we were fighting a tempting target, while meaning that drakes were a bit thin on the ground in the area otherwise - but they respawn pretty quickly, and there are plenty more just up the road.

My connection wasn't too good today.  I only vanished once while teamed with Jacqui; as usual it was strange, I couldn't fight, but I could still watch the action, and, according to the text, receive my share of the gold and the experience, until at last the game closed.  Earlier I'd been afk mining, and I lost the connection three or four times doing that.  Still, my supply of rocks to feed horses and drakes with has been built up usefully.  Now I just need to farm some more green herbs, if fighting those Greater Drakes continues...

The Red Dragon Strikes Again - April 4th

My armorsmith got a few more skill points in the afternoon, but it still seems a fair way to go to get the 179 points needed for the final level, Expert Armorsmith level three.  I'm not sure what she'll do once she has that, maybe actually get some fighting and passive skills!  I'm considering gearing up a knight to be a level 22 pet-leveller, but that would take quite a bit of time, and if my connection continues to be a bit unreliable, well, as it would take ten to fifteen minutes to get the Treant-fighting set-up arranged after re-logging in, that could be frustrating.

Well, as we are being exhorted to give our pet some lovin' this week, it was no surprise that today's "tea-time" treat was double pet experience.  Conveniently, it was scheduled to start at 5:00pm rather than 4:00pm UK time, allowing one to get other stuff safely out of the way first.  Not so conveniently, it started a full quarter of an hour late, and was switched off slightly under two hours later, which was a little mean.  It must have been somebody else's hand on the controls, rather than the person who does the weekend specials.

Anyway, I decided that Keerella's level 19 emerald-green drake could do with the extra points, so Kee went off to fight the Butchers and Pilferers in what I like to think of as an extinct volcano close to Merac.  The horse buffs from her wonderful new white horse had their first real outing, and, even against the Pilferers who are still red-named as they are six levels higher than Kee, they did the job, and absolutely no healing was needed.  That is, until the Grand Red Dragon turned up!  Apparently boss monsters  either spawn where the most activity is, or where the lowest-level player is - and at level 27, Kee probably qualified.  Running was to no avail, and within seconds she was dead... which was the bad news.

I immediately braodcast on the guild channel that the "grd" was in Merac close to town, and luckily Sheele was able to come... so I changed over to Kaerella, and we met up in town, and headed straight for the volcano.  With help from my healing and the Mana Shield buff, Sheele was able to kill the dragon - and also killed the Cerebri that had, as usual, spawned, though they didn't attack, and could have been left there.  I asked Sheele to get rid of them so that Kee could come back, and she kindly obliged.  From the dragon's drops Sheele got 10 great healing potions, 10 medium mana potions, 5 moonstones, a Hero's Necklace, and a Medal of Honor, an item that I think is only useful for castle sieges.  I was a bit luckier though, and my drops were 5 tool aids, 5 lucky scrolls, 5 scrolls of memorizing, 1 crystal of experience (greater)...and a Pierce of Wind, one of the top-grade magical accessories that bosses do sometimes drop.  I had to use a 1,000,000 gold Magnifying Glass to identify its "secret properties", which were (as apparently they always are) 16 Swiftness of Reflexes (dexterity) and 7 close range evasion.  It could be sold for a fair bit of gold, but Kae is using it now.  Good news, yes?

That was Kae's only outing; there was an attempt to make a guild party for Egeha, but Captianjack, whose idea it was, was dragged away from the home computer at just the wrong moment.  Elvastar wasn't really wanting to join, as his pet-trainer was hard at work on a new pet, and he had just activated one of the pet point boosting pills.  Just the one boss dragon and the group of Cerebrils moved her up by 0.29% experience and 72 pet points...

So, Kee came back, and knowing she'd be safe from any more dragon appearances for two hours, proceeded to continue to own the local Berserkers and Pilferers there; her drake did level up before the time expired.  And there will be more double pet points on Sunday, of course, so another level ought to be on the cards.

I need to make a couple of minor adjustments to the "style guide" in this blog; for one thing, even lower-case character names ought, I think, to start with a capital letter here, to make them easier to spot - I'm thinking of next, er, Next in particular!  And I think that unless there is overwhelming and obvious evidence as to a player's actual sex in their name (as with Stanislav), I'll go with all healers, rogues and mages being a female "she", and all knights, titans and sorcerers being a male "he".  It is easier than putting a girl's name with a "he" pronoun, or attempting to avoid "he" and "she" altogether.

Just Kee... - April 5th

I had a few connection problems during the day - when doing away-from-keyboard mining, it is a bit dispiriting if you get a discon, log back in, run out to the mine and only pick up four flawed stones before you get disconnected again!  Luckily though things settled down later, while other people in the guild seemed to be having similar problems.

Keerella managed to have a long and productive session right where the Grand Red Dragon killed her yesterday, in the "extinct volcano" bowl near Merac.  A titan called Boucudemonslast1 came and teamed up for a little while; I hadn't actually meant to team up, I think the "do you want to?" window came up while I was typing "hi", and somehow that made us a team.  It was a surprise when he talked to me in the team colour of blue!  He didn't actually stay around very long, soon after saying "me need pant lvl 31 titan", to which I could only reply that all I had was the gauntlets from that set, he went off towards town, and after a while vanished from the team.  After a pet levelling session had ended, Jacqueline came over to join me, which was nice, but after a rather longer while she just stood there silently, and eventually disappeared.  I think it must have been a power cut, as she didn't reappear online.  South Africa's electricity supplies don't seem to be very reliable lately, unfortunately.

So, I continued to battle the Pilferers and the Butchers, going right down into the bowl area since the "grd" had seemed to appear rather near the exit part.  I managed to get level 3 of Fast Spell Casting for 17 skill points fairly early on, making a special trip back to town, so my target was to try to get the 42 points I needed for level 4, without being killed by that darn dragon.  And I managed it, so at the moment have no skill points at all.  I don't keep a careful note of Kee's daily progress, but I, or she, got a fairly substantial chunk of the way up towards level 28 - over halfway now.

Stanislav and Zeratus were in an Egeha team for much of the evening, though I think they both had disconnections.  Stan was feeling that he was short of skill points, but his main priority was to get to level 41, I expect like Kae he had more of the new Arvina set of armour ready to put on, and a new weapon.  The guild was a bit quiet, though Bunchy was busy farming I think, and did comment occasionally; Captianjack was hinting to Stan and Zeratus that what their party needed was an extra Royal Knight, but by then the party was full.

There didn't seem to be much going on Event-wise, but I did take the time to register for a site called "MMOABC", which should qualify me for a few minor pet goodies in a few days...including a pet naming tag, hmm, which of my many pets should get his own name, I wonder?

Yesterday after I logged out of Last Chaos I did quite a lot of work here on the www.Kaerella.com website, adding a page for the second half of April's blogs well ahead of time, and adding a fourth Screenshot Gallery page, with some quite good screenshots, some of which relate to incidents reported here in recent days.  Be sure to check them out!  And remember you can contact me by email, the address is Kaerella, "at" gmx-dot-com.

A Narrow Escape! - April 6th

Keerella was the star again today.  Elvastar was still busy having his pet-levelling knight levelling his latest pet, and as Kee I was hard at work similarly (though not unarmed against a single Treant) in Merac, as we had double pet experience running for four hours from five o'clock UK time.  My drake went up to level 21 at around 5:40, and up again to level 22 at about 8:25...and has 800 points towards his next level, too.

Some time was taken off to go to the Quiz Event, which had at least some of the same questions as last time.  I was doing quite well, until I got the dreaded "send error report?" game-closing window.  Ah well, at least I had won ten Tool Aids by then!

I might have got slightly more pet points, and general loot and experience, but, as I was slogging away in that "extinct volcano" bowl just outside Merac town, against the Pilferers and Butchers, around about nine o'clock the Grand Red Dragon put in an appearance.  I attempted to run for it... and actually managed to get away, though my flight attracted the attention of a Pilferer or two.  It was strange, though I was well clear of the dragon and halfway back to town, I was still taking phantom Pilferer hits, a red "1" or two rising from me... and my drake seemed to be taking damage too.  So a log-out seemed sensible.

I logged back in as Kae, and spread the alert to the guild, but sadly nobody high-level, such as Sheele, was on.  I then mentioned the grd out loud in Randol to no response... and in Merac by the teleporter too, and only one knight showed any interest, and I think from his lack of enthusiasm he was too low for the job.  So the time passed, and the Grand Red Dragon moved on to its next spot unmolested.
And that was about the end of the entertainment by then.  Elva's pet trainer did get his current horse up to level 31, but he is continuing to level 35 with this one, figuring that 9 attack and 10 defence is near enough.  That may well mean he has an old level 31 7-10 type to sell or otherwise pass on within the guild, in a day or two...  Oh, and my apologies to the South African electricity suppliers, it wasn'y a power cut that removed Jacqueline from our team-up yesterday, the laptop overheated...

Mounts are very hungry things, by the way.  I didn't ride around on my level 31 white stallion today at all, just briefly used him to apply the horse buffs when necessary before immediately switching back to my drake, but he still got through at least 84 of his 100 hunger points, so he'll need to be well fed tomorrow before I set out again.  In the same time the drake got through 41 hunger points.  And while we are on the subject of statistics, Kee gained very nearly 35% experience today on the trek towards level 28 (which shows that progress at that level is rather faster than for Kae these days), and 48 skill points.  The cash situation was helped along a little bit too.

Keerella won't be going into "Merchant Mode" so often in future, as I've managed to get the mage on my secondary account up to level ten now, so that she can now sell things.  Mages are best for selling, as they don't sit on the ground like the other characters to do it, thanks to their magic abilities they float upright, their feet just clear of the ground.  So where Kee used to sell, you may well find MistressDomino instead.  Be sure to buy her very reasonably priced goodies!  And if I set her up on my older computer upstairs, Kee or Kae can be off adventuring on the slightly more modern computer downstairs.  Well, three years ago it was modern, anyway...

Another Close Squeak - April 7th

Keerella is now level 28 - and that means she is only, or I am only, 3 levels below my mount.  Checking a table that the "Wet Paint" Last Chaos wiki refers to, that means that instead of my mount getting through a whole 100 hunger points in 2 hours and 46 minutes (a 4 or 5 level difference), now 100 points will last for 4 hours and 10 minutes (a 2 or 3 level difference).  Just as well, a whole lot of mining had been needed.  It shows that there is a downside to giving a low-level character a mount, if a level 11 adventurer was using a level 37 horse it would only take 35 minutes for the poor animal to faint from starvation.

A few useful quests popped up, to move my experience along - one of them calls for a second 10 soft sands, which given how rarely they drop is a bit of an imposition, but "Request From Jajan" just needed 3 dark orbs from the Dratan temple, which I'd already got in stock (310,000 experience).  "Remnants of Akemon" needed 10 "orders of Beradben", the type of drops that go into the "quest" file rather than the general inventory - Magician Dien informed me that they were dropped by "Skeamps", but I tried the local Butchers and they were indeed the creatures he meant (290,000 experience).  This was followed by one of the letter-delivery jobs, for another 100,000, and then, back in Randol, Healer Yabo, with "Spider Poison Research", tasked me to go back to the Dratan desert spiders that live near Baal's lair.

Luckily, from my and Jacqueline's times there I have that location on my memorizing scroll, so over I went.  I'd got the first few drops when the red announcement of Grand Devilroad Kamira's arrival came up.  As Jacqui had previously assured me that Kamira never went into spider territory, as that belonged to her co-boss Baal, I moved away from the part where spiders give way to sand golems, assuming she was over that way, and went a little deeper into spider territory, and killed a few more of the scuttling arachnids... and then I noticed Kamira ahead of me!  Luckily I was still just out of her range, but I headed back towards the sand golems pretty quickly.

Now, Kamira only stays in one spot for 14 minutes before moving on; I did check the guild listing in case our powerful folk were on, but no Sheele or Rasta, so an attack on her was not on the cards.  I warned another player fighting the sand golems that Kamira was close, and continued to kill sand golems (no luck with the soft sands) and the nearest desert spiders.  Luckily I was on the spiders when the 14 minutes expired, as Kamira moved on to float next to the first group of sand golems, and I think did manage to kill the player I'd warned... once I'd got the 10 spider poisons I needed, I got out of there, and headed for Healer Yabo for my reward of 250,000 experience and 5 physical attack potions.  It looks as if I'll need to head back there for "Origin of the Desert Spiders", but not tonight, eh?

After that borderline-excitement I went back to the Butchers and Pilferers, and luckily didn't catch any glimpses of the Grand Red Dragon.  Thanks to the quest rewards I managed to gain 28% experience, though the 837 pet points and 21 skill points are a truer relection of the actual slogging time.

And all of that actually left some time for Kae herself; I had a quest that needed me to collect 25 Gnoll Soldier Heads, so I headed for my usual area, and fought my usual Gnoll Soldiers, who were so glad to see me back that they gave me a Heaven Stone.  I noticed that, as usual, HolyWolf was off in a corner there doing some pet training against a Gnoll Lancer, some things never change.  It wasn't a hugely long slog, I admit, though I kept going for a good while after the first 25 sparring partners had surrendered their heads.  The quest reward was 40,000 gold and 597,000 experience - which may sound a lot but was only a 0.86% increase, turning just over 2% into almost 3% gained.  And 747 pet points, and 14 skill points.  Well, it all helps...  It shows the different rate of progress at level 42, as opposed to level 28.  But at a higher level one can go on trips to Egeha, of course, and get rather more experience there, if without any skill point gain.

This And That - April 8th

I managed to keep busy for most of the afternoon and evening, but the main afternoon session didn't involve Kee or Kae - instead it was my weaponsmith character who teamed up with Elvastar's rogue.  I'd never teamed up with her before, she was level 22 and I was level 20, and we really cleaned out the first field of drakes and horn beasts.  She had a dragon and a mount, so we had horse buffs and a dragon's fiery breath at our disposal.  And I think she was using the "horse crying" skill which draws in the local monsters, so that Ahtema would attract dozens of the beasts at once.  It was lucky that there weren't any other players trying to farm there, they would have been complaining that we were taking all the wildlife!  It all made a useful boost for Enchantrella, who is getting pretty close now to the 179 skill points she needs for the third and final level of Expert Weaponsmith.  That allows one to make even the highest-level weapons, and I think improves one's chance of success at lower levels too.  Once that is done, maybe she can learn a few fighting skills beside her one level 3 attack...

Later, Kee took the time to add almost 6%, fighting the Butchers and Pilferers - I almost typed Perishers then!  As there weren't any bonus points from quests, that seems rather low compared with yesterday, but as 11 skill points and 490 pet points were involved, it was a little more than half as much slog.  No sign of that jolly red dragon there, luckily.

I did sight lots of red dragons, and Death Knights and Cerebrils, when a GM held an "arena monster spawn" - which are the best kind, as if you die in the arena, you don't lose experience or skill points.  Presumably some high-level people actually got some experience and loot out of it, but my mage just got a few free trips back to the centre of town, or "respawns" if you prefer.

Later, Kae teamed up with Elvastar himself, and we went after the level 50 Salamander Ruins, and a few level 51 Cerebrils in their natural habitat, which is in south-east Merac just by a river of lava.  Early on there was one hairy moment when Elva charged into a pretty big group without renewing the horse buffs, but otherwise we ruled the roost; we were in Cariae-6, the role-playing PvP server which is the main home of the Norcaine guild, so that Elva would have been able to "pk" anyone who "ks'd" or otherwise annoyed him.  Luckily for them, nobody appeared.

Unfortunately, domestic real-life responsibilities took Elva away before things evolved into a true marathon session; I'd got about 1.5% experience though and a more modest 3 skill points, which can't be bad.  I used a memorizing scroll to hop across to the Gnoll Soldiers for half an hour or so.  It completely slipped my mind that I was in a PvP server, which is, at least down in Merac, a lot emptier than the non-PvP Cariae-3, so I was happily fighting away, just keeping an eye on the buffs' timing and the Gnoll Soldiers respawning.  Luckily I had remembered by the time someone did show up, a red-named rogue on horseback, but she stopped, took one look at me, and then continued on her way, probably deciding that if I was tough enough to solo level 41 Gnoll Soldiers, I wasn't exactly an easy target.  I don't think pk-ing healers is a good idea anyway, who knows when you'll find killer and killee brought together in an Egeha team - and would the healer perhaps not give healing that particular player their full attention?

Anyway, not a long session for Kae, but at level 42, even 2.75% experience gained is a useful amount, 11 skill points isn't bad either, and even 578 pet points is a step in the right direction.

Arkane Giants - April 9th

Well, Kee spent some time with the Butchers and Pilferers in the afternoon, without attracting the Grand Red Dragon; she went back mid-evening, too, but after a while decided to go on down to the Bandits and Berserkers, just to check how she would do there, using horse buffs - and, while she didn't stay there long, even though they are still red for her, they didn't do much damage, so maybe it is time to move along to them permanently, if they give enough skill exp. Kae certainly spent long enough with them a while ago, though of course she was a bit higher in level, could heal herself...and at that stage didn't have horse buffs!

Earlier in the evening, between Kee's two outings, Kaerella was able to do some playing. Captianjack was asking for a bit of help getting to his next level, so that he could wear more of his new armour set, so Kae, I, led him to my favourite Gnoll Soldier spot, and, with his knight buffs added to the horse buffs and my healer ones, we managed to cut through them pretty well. But I had mentioned the possibility of fighting giants in Dratan's desert, so after a while Cap wanted to move there.

I had the location for the Arkane Giants saved on my memorizing scroll, so beamed out ahead, and Cap followed on horseback, which didn't take long. The Arkane Giants are good, as they don't mob or attack pets, and each one ignores you unless you attack that particular one, and as they are level 53, they give pretty good experience - but low skill exp. Still, with all the buffs we had, Cap and I between us could handle them easily; as I'm a few levels ahead of Cap, I was doing the "tanking", attracting a single Arkane Giant, and having to use Self Heal a few times, as they hit hard. Cap didn't have enough mana to use the knight skill Stun on every one, it certainly made a big difference when he could.

Really we should have stayed with the Gnoll Soldiers a bit longer, as Cap got called away to have his dinner and then, a few minutes later, he had to take the dog for a walk. I can't say that I was all that happy soloing them; Self Heal got used quite a few times per giant then, for sure.  But it was possible, and would be a pretty good way to get experience without going to Egeha.  There are other high-level types in Dratan which hardly anyone bothers with, in fact the whole area is always pretty quiet...maybe people just don't like the way Grand Devilroad Kamira turns up?  It's a bit of a vicious circle, as the less people there are fighting monsters in the desert, the more likely Kamira is to appear where you are.

Anyway, Cap was pretty quick with his eating, and can't have taken the dog all that far; we got back into action as a team, and, helped by the fact that Cap was using some of the 10-minute effort scrolls, he did reach his new level, taking a screenshot of the level-up effect.  After that, well, it was back to Randol for me - two of my pieces of armour were ready for their second bloodseals.  It's strange, the +6 Arvina circlet I'm using now, bought as part of a 4-piece set as far as I remember, must have been newly-made, as must the +10 boots bought later separately, because they hadn't had bloodseals added, or been worn long enough for the "bloodseal ability" message to have come up, when I acquired them.  But the Gnolls and Giants between them meant that Kae was up almost 5%, and indeed almost 1000 pet points, though only 5 skill points.

So it was back to Kee, and then I took a level 6 character of mine to Airadella and BossMan's "newbie class", as one does tend to learn a fact or two that one hadn't encountered before.  The whole thing took about 80 minutes, but there was a reward for us good students at the end.  I wondered why slices of melon had started to turn up in merchant stock (well, people-in-merchant-mode stock) lately!

Double Time - April 10th

Enchantrella is now a fully-maxxed Weaponsmith, so that made a good start to the day.  In the afternoon Kae was able to have a session with her Gnoll Soldiers, and went up almost 6%, plus 40 skill points and just over a thousand pet points.  It wasn't as long a session as some, but was greatly helped by there being an unannounced, and apparently accidental, boost of double experience and double skill points.  I'd been doing a little work with yesterday's level 6 character, and I thought the ascent from level 6 to level 7 was speedier than usual, though I wasn't familiar enough with the particular monsters when fought at that level to realise I was getting double the usual points.

But the main part of the day belonged to Keerella again, starting with a lengthy session in that "extinct volcano", during which her, or my, drake went up to level 23, which was good.  Before long Captianjack had come online, and suggested we team up for a "solo party", fighting in different places but getting a boost from being in a party.  That sounded good to me, and of course I still got that boost when he left his computer to go and eat dinner.  It must have been about then that the previously-announced Event, to celebrate the general defeat of some credit card crooks who'd been buying aeria points and then selling mall items cheaply, and then presumably selling the gold for real money, began.  The bad news was, while that made the double-experience legitimate, it also meant they turned off the double skill exp!

After that Cap suggested that we actually team up, so, mounting my white stallion, I headed on down the road, and at his urging we went as far as - Kae's favourite Gnoll Soldiers!  The horse buffs, plus the usual knight-type buffs, meant we were hardly losing health at all, even fighting the level 41 types as well as the Gnoll Lancers, so, with the double experience, we were doing pretty well.  Cap then asked if a real-life friend of his, MRLime, could join us.  He was only level 24, but he made it to us safely, and turned out to be a healer, which was very useful, though he wasn't the type who tops up your red bar if you lose a hundred health, he tended to wait until I was below 50%, and occasionally a hint had to be dropped.  Still, he kept out of trouble, was pretty useful with a bow, and was getting some excellent experience.  He was saying that he had a computer breakdown for a week or so, and when he came back, all his good Last Chaos friends except Cap had vanished...

Finally Cap left, and judging by the guild chat channel was on his way to Egeha, but MRLime and I continued a little longer, and managed to get me up to level 29.  In all I went up 66%, and 64 skill points, which gave me enough points, 151, to get the top level of Fast Spell Casting.  So, that's another useful passive skill maxxed out.

So, a pretty productive day; as Elvastar commented when I told him I'd levelled, Kee will overtake Jacqueline at this rate!  The idea now is to get to level 32, and choose my specialization - which will be Wizard, as they are the more useful kind of mage to have in a party.  Witches are the other kind, but they are rather rarer apparently, and are geared towards PvP.  I'd better not go after comparatively high-level creatures like Gnoll Soldiers too often, though, as with a 12-level difference they do not give much in the way of skill exp, and skill points are what I do need, and will need.  One chooses one's specialty just before reaching level 32, and then, at level 32, has access to new skills, but that isn't much use if one has no points left to spend on them!

At the Double - April 11th

Keerella had the lion's share of the action today.  The European "Happy Hour" from 5:00pm to 7:00pm UK time was double skill exp and double pet points, and, like yesterday, by a happy accident the powers that be had turned it on early, or perhaps left it running from the Far East time in the morning.  Kee was able to go to the extinct volcano by Merac Caron and annoy the Butchers and Pilferers, and then team up with Jacqueline for more carnage around there.  And then Elvastar decided to "make a date" for him and Kae in the early evening.

The Merac map's jail is a place I've avoided for a long time (Kaerella writes), as the last time I went there with a team I died twice in swift succession.  You have the usual problem with temples, towers and the like, that you can't summon your mount to give you horse buffs - unless you go out and come in again, which may work for the first part of the first level, but not after that.  Both Elva and I had quests that took us in there - mine was on the first level, with the Spiked Canines there, while Elva's quarry were down on the second level, way past where I'd ever been before.

It took a while to get the five spiked canine skins I needed, but it wasn't difficult with us at the levels we are now.  After that we had to run along a corridor past dozens more canines, and go downstairs, where luckily they did not follow.  A wider corridor there, so we could avoid many of the monsters, led to a main room, and that is where Elva needed to collect heads.  Luckily we managed it.  I think I'd recommend logging out afterwards, as running back up did seem to be the trickiest part, my health was down to 50% by the time we got to the teleporter.

The canines did show a distressing tendency to attack pets, which is a problem as our pets give us very useful defence buffs - but my drake's health was going down so fast that in the end, when he reached about 20%, I had to take him off.  Elva however must have been too busy fighting, as his drake was killed.  He didn't actually discover this until we'd moved on to the Salamander Ruins, and the occasional Cerebril; as it seemed a waste to play without a pet while the "Happy Hour" was still going, he went back to Randol to get it released by the pet trainer, which costs around 234,000 gold.  I do think it is a bit mean of the trainer, he charges all that cash and then returns your pet with only about 40% health!

Elva got called away to give some real-life domestic assistance for a few minutes, at roughly the time that the Event ended; after soloing three of the level 50 Salamander Ruinss (I'd not meant to, when I attacked one the others just strolled up to join in), I decided to move along and away from them, as I knew there were some Gnoll Soldiers not far away; as they are close to my level, they may not give as much experience, but they are more generous with the skill exp.  As I remarked to Elva when he returned, they gave more skill exp after the Event had ended than the Sallies gave me during it!  I left the Salamanders, fought two Highlanders...and found myself at my favourite spot for Gnoll Soldier-fighting, I hadn't realized the two areas were so close together.

Since the event was now over, we decided to have a change, so it was Keerella and Jacqueline who rode out of Randol towards Velpist Temple, to battle the level 30 Elder Drakes, and the Great Horn Beasts, who spawn just outside.  Jacqui is very good at rounding up huge groups of these creatures - she said that one group, all compressed into one shrieking, flapping mass over our heads, contained 20 Elder Drakes, but it seemed like more!  My Flame Storm was as usual rather useful with that sort of group.  We did actually get a complaint from another player that we were "mobbing" too much, and stripping the place of all its fightable foes, but we were there first, there are others just along the road, and it's hard to stop those creatures mobbing, anyway, right?

The Event might have finished, but the drakes certainly gave both of us a boost.  They too nibble pets, I had one nasty moment when it looked as if my drake's health bar was heading extremely quickly for zero, but unequipping him and then reequipping avoided problems.  Over the course of the day Kee went up 40% of the way from level 29 towards level 30, and added 118 skill points.  Kee will need 233 to "max out" the level 30 attack skill which one has to have at level 5 before one is allowed to choose whether to become a wizard or a witch, so we're more than halfway there.  Plenty of pet points too, of course.  As for Kaerella, she added over 6%, 1419 pet points, and 29 skill points, so between them, quite a haul.  And there should be more double skill exp and pet points at tea-time on Sunday...

Kee's Progress - April 12th

Today was another Keerella day, one which saw Kee go up a massive 54%, allowing her, me, to reach level 30 right at the end of the day...and adding 110 skill points meant that I was able to immediately "max out" the level 30 attacking skill, Nova Break, which has to be maxxed before one is able to choose one's new profession, Wizard or Witch, when one is on the final approach to level 32.  It was extremely good timing, I was able to do that with only 3 skill points to spare.

I started out with the Butchers and Pilferers in the old extinct volcano, and luckily in the evening Jacqueline was able to come and join me, and use her "mobbing" tactics to draw in just about every Butcher and Pilferer in the area, so that I could use Flame Storm on them...we both used ordinary attacks too.  I get the impression that mages are about the only characters with an "area of effect" spell, though Flame Storm is limited as to the number it hits.  There is another higher-level skill along the same lines too, so that should be fun when I get that far.  Of course anyone can acquire a dragon as their mount and use flame breath on a mob, but that is a bit high-maintenance.

We went off in search of more challenging prey, such as Bandits and Berserkers, but returned after a while to the volcano, where another mage, Fin25000, had taken up residence.  As she seemed a friendly sort, we teamed up, and, finding that the critters weren't respawning fast enough, Jacqui led us off into the north-west corner of the map, to an area with a lot more of them.  We did well, though Fin25000 did eventually vanish on us, probably through a disconnection.  There were other less friendly folk around, who rather objected to Jacqui's "mobbing", which seemed a little harsh as in the larger area she wasn't taking everything.  Luckily they moved on, into a side-path which Jacqui had until then been using to start her mob; nice kind people that we are, we left them to it.  Another passer-by on horseback apparently chatted Jacqui up, though I didn't get to overhear it.  It looks as if some boys prefer girls in miniskirts to girls in skimpy tight leather costumes...maybe the mage look is a bit, er, challenging...?

GreatGoldKnight dropped by two or three times to enquire after the Grand Red Dragon, but I never saw him all day.  "Whisper me please if you do see him" was the request, and I probably would have, assuming that Sheele wasn't online for a bit of Norcaine teaming-up!  According to Elvastar, Sheele dislikes that particular knight greatly.  There was another player roaming around asking after the "grd" too, a rogue in a samba costume.  Is it worth it, spending time riding throughout Merac in search of the dragon boss?  According to Elva, yes, as the Pierce of Wind I got recently may well be worth up to 60 million gold.  Oh well, there goes the plan of buying another one or two if I see them cheap.  Kee and Kae share it, passing it between us using the storekeeper of course.

Jacqui isn't far from level 31 now; she would have been 10% closer, and 18 skill points better off, if she'd not got involved in the Pandora's beast-hunting event yesterday, she told me.  Luckily it was after my logging-off time!

So, Kee did very well today, despite the lack of any double experience events - and her drake levelled up too, he's now level 25.  I must remember to get that little bit of extra armour buff from the Animal Trainer back in Randol before my next trip out to Merac.

At The Double - April 13th

In the early afternoon it was my rogue who had a team-up with one of Elvastar's characters for a change - Karella, teaming with Ahtema.  They are both around level 22, and went off to the main drake valley to mob the locals.  We joined forces with a titan called BladeForger, and generally cleaned the place out, repeatedly.  He was most impressed with the effect of the horse buffs, and Ahtema and I were able to give him a few tips, from the benefit of our experience.

After that, Elva had to take some time off, so I changed over to Keerella, and headed for that extinct volcano close to Merac Caron, as the actual arrival village in Merac is called.  Using my horse buffs of course, I slogged away there until it was time for my tea, though not the game's tea-time event yet as the clock changing for summer had changed the start-time for that from 4:00 uk time to 5:00 uk time, which is rather more convenient.  The change also made me confuse Elva a bit, as I hadn't realised that South Africa is now only one hour ahead of me, and indeed in line with most of Europe time-wise.  I suppose over there they don't have to worry about "daylight saving" so much.

I solo-partied with Captianjack, who as a level 39 knight went down to the Gnoll Lancers and Soldiers, until a higher-level friend of his logged on and joined up... I had to resist the urge to accept a couple of "Recall" windows that came up, or I'd have found myself moved to a bad place for a level 30 mage!  And then Jacqueline logged on, and said she was heading for the Elder Drakes outside Velpist Temple in Juno on Cariae-6, so I moved over from the non-PvP Cariae-3 (or "Carebear server" as Cap calls it) to the wilds of c6 PvP.

The Event was again double skill points and double pet experience, so mobbing the Elder Drakes was a great way to gain skill points.  Jacqui would run off to do the gathering, while I reserved our central spot, and was kept busy enough by the drakes respawning - and the Great Horn Beasts, which although only level 24 still give some exp, though they, more than the drakes, do tend to nibble on pets, so quite a few herb leaves were consumed to keep our pets healthy.  My drake did level up to level 26, which was useful as it changed a health bar of 19 at that point back up to a full 100.

Jacqui had to warn a few people off when they tried to "ks" ("kill-steal" - hit the creatures we were fighting, to get some of the experience and skill exp when the critters died) - one red-named sorcerer in PvP did actually attack Jacqui, and was quickly killed...though as Jacqui was acting in self-defence, it didn't count (as a red-name kill) towards giving her a blue name...

The event was scheduled to run a generous 4 hours, but over-ran nicely; I logged out at around ten, leaving Jacqui to solo it a while longer I guess, and the double skill exp and pet points were still running.  An unaugmented 47% increase in experience gets me approaching halfway towards level 31, while I must have got lots of pet points, and am solidly on the way to the next level there.  As for skill points, well, after getting Nova Break maxxed last night I was left with only 3 unused points, but I was able to break off from the Elder Drakes and go back into town to spend 86 points on level four of Flame Storm, the level one is allowed to get at level 30, before continuing...and at the end of the evening I had 129 points to spend...so by my calculations I went up by 212 points today.  I'd better spend skill points as I get them at the moment, but soon after I reach level 31 it will be time to start saving up points for the new skills that become available at level 32.

Dead Again. - April 14th

Kaerella had a rather mixed afternoon, and so I guess did Elvastar!  When I logged in, Elva invited me to an Egeha Bogle-hunting party with Kurtstrife, but it was one of those parties that never really take off; we spent the time just standing there attacking the Devil Grave, which while it doesn't fight back and doesn't give pet points does give experience, while Kurtstrife was taken up with some guild problem over in Crimsonchildren.  There was a third sorcerer in the party too, but he was off on some errand most of the time, and Kurt recruited a rogue as well... but unfortunately that rogue let a Dark Bogle get too close, and I was just unable to keep Elva alive, and followed him into death a few seconds later.  Kurt's remark, something along the lines of "Oh look we are being attacked by a Dark Bogle, brb..." wasn't really condusive to continuing after that, so when enquiries via Elva were made about continuing, I sent the message back that I was, sadly, washing my hair this afternoon.  To Elvastar I compared our experience with, say, two-manning the Akane Giants in Dratan, and that led to us heading out to fight them instead.  Unfortunately, after only about a dozen of those had bitten the sand, Grand Devilroad Kamira arrived right on top of us, and there we were, both dead again.

Knowing where a boss is is also an invitation to form a boss-killing party.  Unfortunately, that early in the day the only high-level character we could contact was the level 52 mage Damor, who joined our party and rode out to join us... approaching from the wrong direction, to end up another casualty.  Still, she headed out to join us again, slightly more carefully, but as we just couldn't find any rogues or royal knights to join us for Kamira-killing, we had to give up the idea, and just take out our frustrations on a few more Akane Giants.

Then Damor decided to invite us back to Egeha to fight Bogles, and, Damor being a sensible, can-do kind of fighter, we gladly joined up.  She did the attacking and took the damage - I was surprised how much mana I was using, usually I regenerate it quickly enough, but Damor had to tactfully ask if I was out of pots before I noticed how low I was getting.  Part of it may have been because for some reason Elva was making me supply the horse buffs. The rate she got through Bogles, I used quite a few of the Christmastide blue candy canes over the next few minutes!  Before too long Elva stopped fighting, and eventually, as his laptop threw a tantrum, disconnected; we fought a few more, before Damor had to go elsewhere.  She did suggest that we could, just the two of us, take on a Boucu Demon, a suggestion she has made before, but I can't say I'm all that keen on the idea.  It is slow, she admitted, and depends on me doing a heck of a lot of healing.  With the occasional lags one gets in Egeha, it does sound a bit risky to me.

Neither Bogles nor Akane Giants give much skill exp; each of my two deaths only cost two skill points luckily, but I only ended 1 point down, while I was almost 4% ahead on experience, plus 177 pet points, and of course a little bit of cash too.  And what I think is my first proper Egeha drop, a level 66 Titan item.

In the evening it was Keerella's turn in the limelight, first of all in that (extinct) volcano crater, and then teamed with Jacqueline in Dratan, rather more carefully.  After fighting a few of the local Salamanders, as we both need their skins for a quest, we found that there were too many other people with the same idea, unusually for Dratan, and not enough Salamanders to go around, so we headed into the nearby temple.  I have the quest for the Orc Ornaments that the Orc Sergeants upstairs drop...but they are very reluctant to drop them!  I need 10, and although we had a very long session in there, mainly in the topmost room, only 4 of them dropped in total between us.  Jacqui got 3 of them, but kindly handed them over. Well, for the second time in the day a Heaven Stone had dropped while I was in a two-person party, and it hadn't come my way, sigh.

My rogue Karella then had a fairly short teaming with LeopardKnight, against drakes mainly, so a little extra experience for her... but Keerella managed to go up by over 17% in experience, and almost 2000 pet points.  If she ended the day with rather less skill points than she started out with, well, some useful skills have been added, such as the second (and final) level of Haste, and the first three levels of Spell Focus.  Between them they greatly speed up spell casting and recharge, making it much easier to use a skill in mid-battle without standing around preparing it for too long.  So, good progress.

Today's Resolution - April 15th

As we conclude the first half of April, as far as the archives of this Last Chaos blog go, my resolution is to cut back on what I write.  To spend half an hour or so writing this when I could still be playing LC seems to be going a bit over the top.  So, the blog here will continue, but not necessarily every day, and not at quite such a length.  When people in the Norcaine guild say that they do read it, but don't always have the time to read it all, well, I think they've got their priorities right.  "Everything is documented in it", Zeratus commented, but after around three months people have probably got the general idea about slogging away with Butchers and Pilferers, Berserkers and Bandits and Blood Frenzies, Gnoll Lancers and Gnoll Soldiers...

Anyway, though as usual on a Tuesday my time online was a bit limited, particularly in the evening, Keerella did visit those Butchers and Pilferers for a while, before being invited to join Jacqueline on Cariae-6 to mob the Elder Drakes.  Well they mob us, basically, all Jacqui has to do is run around a bit, shooting at a few, and soon a dozen or two of them are shrieking in hot pursuit while she moves back to where I am standing, probably already fighting two or three that have respawned there.  Then we attack them, with staff, bow, and Flame Storm.

Not a very long session, however, as Jacqui had forgotten to buy milk, and was sent off to the stores, but as usual fun while it lasted, and Jacqui is always good company.

Jacqui came back in the early evening to call me away from the Butchers and Pilferers, and we decided to head for Prokion Temple in Dratan for a change, and to get me the rest of the 10 Orc Ornaments I needed.  Our mission was accomplished safely; I killed a few Salamanders outside while Jacqui went off to spend her skill points, and then, as there wasn't much time left before I would have to log out for the evening, we just rode off across the desert, in search of Death Goddesses...but we settled for a group of Sand Golems, who actually did drop one Soft Sand for Jacqui.

My drake levelled up to 27 during the evening, which was nice; I did get 22% experience, so tomorrow ought to see me reach level 31, and be able to put on the Chaos top and shorts, with the red piping and without the see-through panels in the rear.  I only ended up with more16 skill points - but that's because I spent 42 on level 4 of Spell Focus.  Level 5 requires 151 points, so the aim will be to get that over the next couple of days before starting to save up for the new skills that become available at level 32.
It's all go, isn't it?