Impulse Purchase - October 1st
Keerella was doing some browsing, and came across a level 73, four-seal green Judgement Yolia Staff +15 for 100 million in gold - I wished Damor had been online, I didn't buy it immediately, I looked around some more, but I was seeing other +15 level 73 items for a lot more, and indeed a +14 item too for 140 million, so before too long I returned to Cariae-1 and passed over my cash. Four seals isn't as good as five, of course, but Hit Rate 75, Attack 4, Magical Attack 6, and Power of the Mind (Intelligence) 12 seemed pretty reasonable bonuses, compared to my level 69 staff's Hit Rate 18, Attack 3, Magical Attack 2, Magical Hit Rate 5, and Power of the Mind 4 - and the basic Magic Attack of 440 + 694, with of course Magical Attack Power +50, of the new staff is a nice improvement on 360 + 633... my actual Magic Attack stat is now 1613, instead of 1462.
I can't say offhand how it compares with the staff that Damor let me borrow, but I was just hoping that it was worth the money. I would have liked to find a level 77 staff, but one I can use immediately is, well, nice. Damor did log in just before I had to vanish for my food break, and reassured me that the price was "okay", which was a bit of a relief. I could probably sell the level 69 one and make a profit, she said... but I think I'll hold on to it for my next character to get to a high enough level, as it can be converted by Collector Ryl into a sword for Darth, a sceptre for Kae, or indeed a wand for Enchantrella.
The morning started early, with me logging in before breakfast to see if any of the special "Blow Out Sale" packages this week were limited in number, or if the new pets we have been promised had arrived, but the early start wasn't necessary, I soon discovered. The highlight from my point of view was the "2fer" on Lucky Smelting Stones - not just "two for the price of one" on the lucky smelts themselves, but 5 Chaos Balls and 2 Upgrade Boxes in the package as well. I opened one package to upgrade SirDarth's last two pieces of armour to +4, and one of those boxes gave me 5 Platinum Refining Stones, in theory valued at 59ap each, while the other yielded an Extreme Stone - 795ap is its usual Mall price, or about 30 million in gold when sold in merchant mode. I must stock up on a few more "2fers", when Kee can equip her next set she'll need to plus it up, while there are some sets that could do with boosting from +4 to +6 per piece.
Leo, as planned, passed the pet horse across to Darth, taking charge temporarily of Darth's level 34 drake, and Darth headed off to Merac, to see how things would go. Level 34 Berserkers might be one level above our hero, but even without using a sword they didn't last long; unlike a planned pet levelling character, Darth does have some stat points in Strength, and attacks a bit harder than Leo!
I rode down to the south of Merac and tried a level 36 Gnoll, making sure to keep clear of the level 41 Gnoll Soldiers, who are aggressive pet-eating types; a more professional pet leveller, Rightbydabeach, got chatting to me, he too is level 33, and can go for a whole working day on a single Gnoll - the secret being to get a red name and an Evil rating of 150, as that reduces the power of your attack enough for the Gnoll to stay alive. A friend of his has a character specially made to allow people to get a red name by killing him, which certainly beats going round killing other players at random.
As the Gnolls didn't really last long for me, I went round the corner to the level 39 Gnoll Lancers. Neither of these types is protective, so unlike with the Treants you can't attract a few and just switch between fighting one and another, it was a matter of either just going and attacking another one (the previous victim would quickly lose interest and walk away), or letting them die...and as Darth does want skill experience, that seemed the best idea. Although he can't have killed more than a dozen gnolls, he got a Hand of the Guard, with its Item Drop Booster and Skill Exp Booster, and a couple of Moonstone Boxes...and went up by 2 skill points. The horse went up two levels too, reaching level 25, without eating very many stones at all - but after lunch Darth had to stop the pet training, as that computer was needed for moving some items around between characters.
What with browsing the shops, emptying Kee's rather full inventory from yesterday, and checking up on which mage weapons and armours were in which inventory (Damor had asked if she could borrow them, all the way up to the 55/57 set, though later changed her plans), I didn't actually do any fighting in the afternoon, but passed the time enjoyably enough.
There wasn't really time for it to be worth taking a trip to Egeha, so it seemed like a good idea to let Kaerella return to Maargadum Jail for the first half of the evening, before my usual early Wednesday evening logging off - though Darth went out to get some fresh herbs. Kae passed her time in the Jail productively, chatting away with Damor, who was busy in Egeha with Weavers, and ClonedDeep. Kae did, in around two hours, go up 7.94%, getting her past halfway in level 43; 1528 pet points gets her drake SirFrancis pretty close to his next level, just another 437 to go, and 43 skill points seems good to me.
Damor was saying that, despite the "Blow Out Sale" items like experience boosters seem to be holding their price, and that, rather than buy the Lucky Smelting Stone "2fers", it would probably be cheaper to buy the experience-type package, sell the 150 experience boosters for at least 100 million, and buy the lucky smelts from merchants. She is probably right, though if many people decide to do that, the supply of the lucky smelts won't be enough to meet the demand, and prices will rocket. There are some interesting packages, though, and the special costumes are all marked down a little, with a mention that wearing such outfits may qualify one for a small "trick or treat" prize later in the month.
Anyway, we are promised that the Hallowe'en festivities will start next week, with special baskets to be collected, evil headbands to be acquired - and the pumpkin-style helmets too of course, which allow one to see certain ghosts, and indeed the elusive Strayana dragon. This week's update seems to have broken the NPC merchant selling the Strayana Vaccine, the gamesage AlexandriA was handing out vaccines for a while instead in Cariae-4, according to an in-game announcement; maybe I should have left the Jail and grabbed some, I don't know if she was charging people the normal price for them.
A Quiet Evening In - October 2nd
I was busy during the day, though SirDarth got through two knives, out gathering herbs - and MistressDomino did do some selling, though it looks as if some of my prices need a bit of adjusting. The Chaos Balls sold suspiciously quickly at 750k each, I assumed with the number of them being put into some packages I'd be lucky to get that much, but it seems that people still like to gamble on what they may get out of them. I didn't sell any ToolAids at my usual 23,500 price, and Moonstones and Moonstone Boxes didn't move at all, maybe their prices need to come down a bit.
Zenderfly is going for the special challenge to earn 2500 aeria points by levelling three characters up to level 55 on the same account within about six weeks...I think people will spend at least that many ap on boosters to get there! She started a new sorcerer, LordKappa, and got him to level ten, but she wasn't online in the evening at all, which rather surprised me, I thought she wanted to team him up with one of my lower-level characters to do some levelling.
So, when I did get on after my food break, I was expecting to be teaming with Zen, perhaps Recalling LordKappa to Prokion Temple and then letting my level 21, or thereabouts, healer join her, er him. So, in the meantime, SirDarth just went off to do a bit of pet levelling on the Gnoll Lancers on the old computer, while a few feet to the right Kaerella headed for Maargadum Jail again.
And that's how the evening passed. The Gnoll's area was without any professional pet levellers when Darth arrived, but one, BoxerWolf, did arrive after a while - you can tell them by the red names of course. Darth was killing a Gnoll Lancer every ten minutes or so, but didn't get any worthwhile drops except a level 42 Boots Production Manual, and a little gold. He has got the pet horse more than halfway through level 25, though, so things are moving according to plan.
Kae went up 9.88%, and her drake SirFrancis has now reached level 40 at last; 1773 pet points were earned, but he's only just 7% into the new level, which needs 18845 points in all. The skill point gain was a useful 51 points, while the drops included a level 41 knight Domilian Shield +2, which Darth ought to find useful one day, an unplussed level 41 sword and 42 titan boots, 5 Moonstone Boxes, and 3 Hands of the Guard.
Sheele was asking if I wanted to sell my +15 level 69 staff, but not being short of gold, and hoping that one day Kae will be able to use such a weapon, once it has been converted into a sceptre, I was not interested in selling it, though Sheele did say she'd be willing to pay 150 million, more than the 135 million I paid for it. I'm sure she'll find some suitable weapon in the Cariae-1 marketplace for that kind of cash. Misstyl, a Norcaine level 24 healer, was on long enough to chat - she isn't often able to play Last Chaos these days unfortunately, as her mom and her brother tend to want to use the computer themselves. The brother plays Last Chaos too sometimes, apparently. DarkPulse101 reached 3800 skill points, farming in Prokion Temple, before logging off, while ClonedDeep, thanks to an experience booster of some kind, moved up to level 30. They were both in a solo party with Kae and Darth.
So, a quiet evening - productive in its own way, but not very dramatic. Oh, I did finally see a mage wearing the new western-style costume - though can one call a black leather bikini and matching chaps western-style? It's certainly a striking effect.
Mean Raid Bosses - October 3rd
SirDarth went out with his pet horse to the Gnoll Lancers in south Merac in the morning again, with me generally "afk" but having to pick up some gold and target a new Gnoll every quarter of an hour - and imagine my surprise when the Grand Red Dragon arrived right over Darth's head! Luckily like the other raid bosses she isn't aggressive any longer, and Darth was able to finish his current Gnoll Lancer - while sending out an alert on the guild channel of course.
Luckily Sheele was on, moved to c3, and joined the party, for Darth to activate Recall. Sheele decided to administer the killing blow - Darth really did very little, being outclassed by the GGD and the level 51 Cerebrils it spawns, though he did give Sheele the Divine Shield and Protection buffs, and the Templar damage sharing buff Damage Link too. However, as the GGD is blue to Sheele, I suppose it shouldn't have come as a surprise that all the dragon dropped was a little cash.
With hindsight, we ought to have brought Kaerella in too, given her Darth's buffs, and arranged for her to deliver the killing blow, but one is always in a hurry at these times. Anyway, Darth went back pet levelling after that, until a "send error report" crash at teatime meant he took some time off.
MistressDomina did some selling in Cariae-1 in the late morning and over lunch. Lowering the price on experience boosters from 745k to 725k did the trick for them, and the 115 Large Defence Potions sold at 27.5k, a reduction of 2k on their previous price-tag. I put the price of my remaining Chaos Balls up a bit too far, though, it looks as if around 850k is the current price for them.
After lunch Keerella did some shopping around, and then got in touch with Escadalia, who said that she was going to Egeha soon, once she'd restocked on herbs. I did offer to pay half the fare, but Esca generously declined, and before too long I was back in Egeha. Also in the party, to solo, was another Dominion member, Faromir, a knight in the thirties I think, who was farming the Poison Mists right at the south end of Dratan.
Faromir reported the arrival of Kamira, and I relayed the news onto our guild channel, where Damor took up the challenge - after a little while it transpired that they wanted Kee too, so I left the Egeha party, teleported to Dratan, and rode quickly down the map, resisting the urge to reply to the comments about the time it was taking with "it was such a nice day I thought I'd walk."
The idea was for me to land the killing blow, as Faromir wouldn't have been able to - this I did, but I hadn't read the line where Damor asked to be Recalled. All Kamira dropped was, again, some cash, since Damor was still involved - I just didn't think of Recall, I was too busy using a Lucky Scroll and an Item Drop Booster, sigh. Maybe Damor hasn't got a mount at the moment for a "pet return to village"? Still, as I'm four levels above Kamira now, perhaps her drops wouldn't have been that good for us anyway.
So, it was back to Egeha for Kee, where she stayed after the food break as well, until it was almost time for the Happy Hour, which was going to be double experience, and double skill exp. I ended up finally at the swamp-like lake with the Baby Apes, where Damor came with another blue five-seal evasion item for my next armour set, the boots, for 20 million - that just leaves me without a blue headpiece, though the green one is almost as good; according to Damor they are a bit rare.
Damor had moved from Strayana to Egeha for the Happy Hour - and I was moving from Egeha, and Keerella, to Merac's Maargadum Jail, with Kaerella, on the feeling that she needed the two-hour boost more. So I went down to the second level, solo-partying with SirDarth, and set to work there with the Beast Scythes and the Two Headed Canines. The two-hour event, for the first time in weeks, actually over-ran, so I stayed rather longer than the two hours I'd expected, eventually leaving 70 minutes later, at 10:40 UK time... I expect the double-double bonus continued until the US version was due to start at midnight, but some of us need our sleep.
Kee went up 6.76% in experience, and 24 skill points, plus 1081 pet points, not fighting as intensively as Kae did later, as she was moving around and exploring; things do move faster at lower levels anyway, there's a big difference between level 43 and level 74... but Kae's 25.15%, 132 skill points, and 2155 pet points were still a pretty good way to end the day. SirDarth probably got a skill point or three as well, steadily killing a Gnoll Lancer every quarter of an hour, though his main achievement was getting his pet horse more than halfway through level 27 today.
Kae Levels Up - October 4th
Despite the slightly late night on Friday, SirDarth was able to go out after coffee to Prokion Temple, as a change from all that pet levelling, and head for the big back room upstairs. Karella, my rogue, joined him; you know, I think on the level 25 Orc Axemen, which are Karella's level, on average Darth gets slightly more experience teamed with her than he would in a solo party...with of course her getting the same amount for free! I'd say with the level 27 Orc Sergeants he probably only gets about 85% of the 3300 skill exp he'd get solo partying, but again Karella gets the same for just standing in the corner, so it's well worth doing.
They both went up by 75 skill points, so Darth has got himself the second level of Damage Link now, maxxed out a minor attack skill called Light Spear, and grabbed the second level of Advanced Absorption, getting him down to 6 skill points. Karella also used most of her skill points, on skills like Free Walk and Combat Reflection.
After lunch SirDarth and Kaerella (not of course to be confused with Karella, or indeed Keerella) headed out to Margadum Jail just to see what the joint skill exp situation would be, but Kae only got around half as much skill exp from the critters around her own level - if they'd been closer to SirDarth's level, then the situation would have been different I guess, though there is a lot less skill exp to be had in the Jail than in Prokion temple. So, Darth went off down to the Gnoll Lancers for a spot of pet levelling, getting the horse well into level 28. His own mount is only level 33, so it looks as if the best idea will be to take this one to level 37, have Darth make it into a mount, and let him keep it, with the level 33 one being moved across to another character.
Kae had about 10% experience to get to level up - she hadn't managed it by my food break, but half an hour or so after that, she reached level 44 - I was going to say "she finally reached", but that level hasn't taken her long, really, compared to the previous one, and it added a good few skill points. So, just after that it was time to head back to town, and grab the level 44 skill Dispel, which removes all conditions from the target player, such as Blind, Curse, Poison - and the Strayana virus, though that tends to reapply itself within a minute or two if one's in that map without using the antidote.
I couldn't get that skill when I first spoke to the Healer Skill Trainer, as it needs 52 Intelligence, but luckily I'd been assigning my attribute points carefully, and when I assigned the three points I'd got for the new level, I had just the right number - so that was 250 skill points used. For the next three levels I'll need to put my attribute points into Constitution; I've got 6 there, but I need 17 to be able to belatedly learn the level 38 skill Mana Barrier... 292 skill points for its five levels would add 25 to my close-range physical evasion, which would be handy. So, level 47 for that, after which it will be a matter of getting Intelligence all the way to 100.
Damor had suggested that SirDarth might be able to pet-level on the Akane Giants, so I took Kae across to Dratan to investigate. She had them on her memorising scroll, but that location was from before the Dratan map was changed so drastically, so using the scroll to go to that location was a bit of a gamble. Luckily, while it didn't get her to the Akane Giants, what it did get her to were some nice harmless Sand Golems, rather than something high-level and aggressive. So it was a matter of going back to town, and then heading out on horseback. I ended up at the level 59 Arcane Golems first of all, so memorised that location for later, checked the map, and headed north. I had a fairly narrow escape, noticing that my health was down to around 25% as I rode through the level 57 Masters of Secret Technique - luckily there was an open area where I was able to dismount and quickly use Self Heal a few times before continuing.
I reached the level 53 Akane Giants in their new location, and memorised the spot; Kee spent a fair time there, as she did later with the Arcane Golems! But like just about every Dratan critter now they are pet-eaters, and they are rather close together, so I'm not convinced that afk pet levelling would be practical, unless one could find a spot with only the one giant. Them being 20 levels above Darth might be a problem too. But one day Darth can check it out... Talking of Damor, as we were, she asked to be kicked from Norcaine today, though she assured me that it was only a temporary thing. I assumed that she was just helping some friends out for a day or two, but late in the evening she asked for Zenderfly to be kicked too - apparently she told DarkPulse101 that she was in a guild called CARNAGE now, and in a few hours had been in five level 90-type parties...not something we can compete with.
After that excursion to Dratan Kae went back to the Jail; it's not really worth bringing Kee out unless she plays the whole day, if a trip to Egeha is involved. At level 44, the level 41 Dire Spike Canines are green now, but moving down to level three and fighting the level 46 Beast Flyers seemed to work well - it makes a nice change that they aren't pet-eaters, for a start, though they do tend to come in half a dozen at a time, so plenty of Self Heal is involved.
So, Kaerella went up by a respectable 15.91% today, and would have gone up 79 skill points if she hadn't spent 250 of them. 2490 pet points, too, so not far short of a third of the way through SirFrancis's current level.
Kae and the Beast Flyers - October 5th
SirDarth went out to the Gnoll Lancers in the late morning, and continued for most of the day, except for a couple of those "send error report" moments - his horse went up to level 29 safely, and in fact by the end of the day had just reached level 30. It seemed like a good idea to take Kae off to the Jail again today, so that's what I did. Kee might well go back to revisit the Tomb of Theos tomorrow. The idea would be to team with Darth, who can get in there more cheaply, and, while staying well back out of the compass range, be handy for a Divine Shield buff when needed.
So, Kaerella headed for level three of Maargadum jail, on Cariae-3, in a solo party with Darth and also with DarkPulse101, who was busy in Prokion Temple, using a platinum super skill pill or two. When I first got there, someone else was down in the central part where the main group of Beast Flyers spawns, so I went into one of the side rooms, which had just enough Beast Flyers and Beast Archers to keep me busy - unlike the Beast Scythes, they aren't pet eaters, so my stocks of herbs weren't depleted, for a change. I checked after a while, found the middle part clear, and moved down.
Damor reported that she'd killed her first Inkitomi - or Endemic Demon as they are also called now, level 86 boss monsters that usually come surrounded by Skinwalkers and Boucu Demons, of which they are protective - so nice going there. You can see one of the dinosaur-like beasts on page four of our Screenshots gallery, when it took a wrong turning and ended up in Merac.
By the time I took my food break, Kae had gone up 7.45% and 40 skill points, plus 1728 pet points. I was back from my break just in time for the two-hour Sunday teatime event, which started promptly at 5:00pm and ended exactly two hours later - the Last Chaos website said it was going to be double experience and double skill exp, as the most recent events have been, but in-game it was announced as just 50% extra experience, plus the double skill exp, and that is what we got. Still, it enabled Kae to get 80 skill points, frantically fighting the Beast Flyers solidly - well almost solidly, Vexille wanted me as Guardian, so I had to switch to Kee, who handles such things, back in Randol, to accept the official Guardian System request, and then switch back to Kae and rush back to the Jail.
Most of the time I was sharing the middle of level three with Babaoriley, which had its advantages - when he left I was really mobbed by the Beast Flyers and Beast Archers, it seemed to go on for at least half an hour non-stop, probably longer. Still, it meant that by the time I left Kae had gone up 24.06% on the day in experience, plus 4884 pet points and 149 skill points.
StrokeZ had his new healer character DeadlyWisper enrolled in the guild; she's level 17 now, but intends to be an archer eventually, rather than a cleric. She reported that even at that level she could use a level 12 Sasquatch for pet-levelling indefinitely, which is interesting, maybe I ought to get a minor healer character of mine up into the mid-teens and see if that works for me.
The Quiz was at 9:30, so I headed over to Cariae-5, staying as Kae since Damor had suggested that I ought to get her on Kae's Friends List. MistressDomina went there too, hoping for better luck than last time. DarkPulse101 was there too - he didn't click on to Damor like we did, but kept an eye on where my blue dot on his compass-map was going. I of course reminded Damor of Dolph rather than Dalph as one answer, and things went very smoothly - a number of questions I am getting the hand of, but still a few that were a complete mystery to me.
So, led by Damor we got through, and both Kaerella and MistressDomina went away with the full set of prizes including the 15 Heaven Stones - Mistress D's storage now has 101 of them. As usual everyone got kicked by the 22nd question, which doesn't matter as we've all won by then and need to respawn back in Randol anyway. I suppose if one deliberately went to the wrong-answer side for that one, one would remain in the room, and have to log out.
Damor says that things are going nicely for her in the uber-guild CARNAGE - there's always somebody to offer a free Recall to Egeha, and always someone to duo the Weavers with, so she is happy. It's good to get her onto Kae's Friends List, a bit of an anomaly that she wasn't already on there, but then, while Zen and Kee were levelling together, Kaerella didn't spend much time online.
A busy day, then, and productive. Getting the Quiz prizes safely always makes a good finish to the weekend.
To Strayana! - October 6th
As planned, SirDarth and Keerella went to the Tomb of Theos after lunch; Darth stayed well back, after paying for entry, since the entry cost is 3000 gold per level and he's 41 levels lower than Kee. All Darth had to do was give Kee the Divine Shield and Protection buffs whenever she ran back to within his casting range.
So, Kee was able to take on the Screaming Zombies solo with that little added edge, and get about 4.5 million experience per zombie, or around 0.22% - she had gone up 8.27% by mid-afternoon, which is when Damor got in touch, with an invitation to join her in Strayana. The idea was that Kee would be offering Recall and giving the "final blow" to the level 118 Dark Harpies, as well as general fighting support - she would get the experience, and Damor would get the drops, augmented by Damor-supplied Item Drop Boosters and Lucky Scrolls.
The first session went pretty well, though Damor discovered that we still shared the experience, despite the use of Recall. So, at around 5 million experience each for me, these guys were only around 10% more useful for levelling than the level 100 Screaming Zombies, but hey, it's nice to team with a good friend, and of course Damor is rather speedier at the fighting than I am solo.
Kee got 8.27% from the Tomb zombies - and then, before the usual food break, a further 7.78% from the Strayana harpies. After the break, we continued; Damor asked me if I had any "Spell of Luck" scrolls, which come in certain Item Mall packages but cannot be traded, and I was able to answer in the affirmative, so we tried using one of those as well as IDBs and Lucky Scrolls, though we really couldn't see much difference. They do at least last about twelve times as long as a Lucky Scroll.
Some harpies dropped absolutely nothing, despite the expensive drop boosters, some dropped maybe 20,000 gold and a small health potion - but some dropped as many as three level 85 weapons, which the local NPC merchant will pay around 700,000 for - these particular harpies tended to specialise in sorcerer "Verdant" weapons. It's all a matter of luck, but it evens out in the long run. We must have played for about two hours in the evening, and had to make a number of trips back to town when our inventories became either full or over the 100% weight. Damor is level 88 now, and hopes that another week of Dark Harpy hunting will get her to level 89.
Strayana is a slightly miserable place, always raining, but luckily most of the high-level monsters aren't aggressive - the Dark Harpies are, though, and I did have to use "pet return to village" once when a second one attacked me. Itura was with us, to heal Damor; she actually asked to rejoin Norcaine, which was excellent news. Itu as usual was outside the party, just clicked on to Damor to heal and buff her, she'd have had difficulty clicking on me anyway as my drake tends to be in the way.
At the end I passed the money I'd gained, from gold drops and selling the armour and weapons, over to Damor; she had paid for the Strayana Vaccine I'd had to use, and gave me 2.5 million for the "Spell of Luck", which was kind. She also gave me 350,000 for the pots I'd used, which I made a slight profit on - when I restocked at the merchant there I spent only 349,922 gold!
In all today Kee went up 40.71%, which is nice progress - no skill points of course, but 2530 pet points, which gets Kee's drake a bit further along towards his next level.
There was some talk of going to the Monster Combo later, but in the end we decided against it; deaths in there do count, Damor told me, in that you lose skill points and experience, and when I do make my first trip there it would probably be best to do it with a lower-level party and character, one not carrying masses of unused skill points. Instead, Kaerella went off back to Maargadum Jail and its level three Beast Flyers for slightly over half an hour, which gave her 1.86% experience, 10 skill points, and 411 pet points - plus a Heaven Stone, which made a good end to the day.
Strayana, Prokion, & the Monster Combo - October 7th
SirDarth did some useful pet levelling yesterday and today, with the horse reaching level 31 this morning; that was after I was busy moving various items around to get them out of the way, especially clearing out Kee's inventory after Damor kindly filled it with valuable but slow-moving items like manuals and the US ringmaster type Uncle Sam top hats.
Damor mentioned that the Lucky Scrolls actually last ten minutes rather than five, which is useful. I was expecting the Strayana Vaccine she gave me to expire after one day, at around 3:00pm UK time, but in fact, it's 24 real hours of that character being online, which makes the 650,000 gold asking price more reasonable. I can attest that it doesn't, as stated, vanish when one dies, because Kee did get one death this afternoon - I'm unclear what happened, Damor had just typed in "rc" so I was busy re-applying Recall, even though I was sure there was one active, but presumably I got attacked from behind by a second level 118 Dark Harpy. So that's one Resurrection Scroll used...
As arranged, we'd teamed up at 2:00 and, with a couple of trips back to town to sell loot, we continued until 3:30, when Damor had an appointment to do the "Monster Combo". We used 61 of Damor's Item Drop Boosters, and around 9 of the Lucky Scrolls, and my cash reserves, before I pass the gold over to Damor, went up by 16.8 million, so assuming Damor got a similar amount for the items she got allocated, that was a revenue of 33 million for a cost of around half that... 11 or 12 million gold per hour?
Since, after selling the loot, there was still some time to go until my food break, I took my level 25 rogue Karella out for a trip to Prokion Temple, and in maybe 40 minutes got her another 54 skill points.
There had been some talk of going back to Strayana in the evening, but instead Damor invited me to do the "Monster Combo" in Dratan with her, which is a bit like a personal dungeon quest, but for a full team. I was very much the junior member at level 74, and was "capped", since some of the party were more than 15 levels ahead of me - levels 93 and 96, to be exact! Once the party's leader has decided what level of monsters to face, everyone has to pay the admission fee, which at this high level was just under 1.5 million each (apparently the absolute maximum is 1.8 million) - and then the party is in the middle of a circular room, waiting to fight the monsters.
Luckily the level 91 Wight Slashers only appear one by one - when you kill one, the next one appears. Damor kindly advised me to equip my pet drake, so that it would gain experience - it wouldn't get hurt, or be seen, or apply its buff to my armour and attack stats, but it would get pet points! I think that is probably the same deal as in the personal dungeons. Each round was of eight monsters, since we were a party of eight. There were five stages, for Earth, Wind, Fire, Lightning, and Water, with each stage broken down into a number of rounds. At the end of each stage, boxes appeared, and Damor picked up all the "Coins of Master" that were dropped, to divide up equally later. At the end, after an hour or so, the Wight Slashers were replaced by level 99 Nivas...but we survived them all, and claimed our reward, with worked out at 26 Coins each.
Things had gone smoothly, because I was the lowest-level party member, and we had two archers to heal us, which, as there are a lot of "area of effect" traps on the floor, hitting one for a tenth of one's total health, were very useful for a party-wide heal. And then of course most of us wanted to go again - but as usual some people didn't have the time, so it was only four of us from before (Damor and me plus a couple of her new CARNAGE quildies), plus Escadalia... and three people's secondary characters. Luckily Itura was one of them, but the other two people brought along a knight and a healer in their mid-twenties...and the knight didn't even have a weapon? If I'd known we were that hard up for members I might have suggested SirDarth, with his templar buffs, but he might have found the experience, courtesy of my old computer, a bit laggy.
There was some kind of false start, possibly because Esca had tried to "edit" the monster requirements, or possibly because we took so long, so we ended up having to go out, and come back in again, which meant paying the entry fee once more - and then when we got in, there seemed only to be four or five of us fighting the first waves of Wight Slashers! Luckily the other, dozier people were able to join us for the second wave, but it made for a few dangerous minutes. For some reason Esca kept getting "stuck" in the middle, something that had happened once to a member of the previous team, but she kept on getting unstuck too, after a while. And, thanks to Itura's healing skills, and still having the other two CARNAGE people as well as Damor, we made it through again, and got slightly more Coins of Master to divide up at the end. Damor says they sell for 800k or so, which can't be bad, or 100 can be used to purchase a Credible Box, which should give one a necklace of one of the five elements...with rather useful stats!
Damor was intending to go through again, but that would have taken me to way past my bedtime, so I had to bow out; Damor might well have ended up as the only one of us to do all three tries in the evening, assuming that she did manage to find enough new people.
The Strayana adventure had increased my experience by 16.88% - and although I was "capped" the "mc" gave me a little too, taking me to 18.35% for the day, while Strayana gave me 1009 pet points, and the "mc" more than doubled it to 2442, getting my drake very close to levelling. The only skill points, of course, were Karella's 54.
Hallowe'en Begins - October 8th
So, the four weeks of Hallowe'en celebrations have begun on Last Chaos, with new drops, new scarecrows scattered across the maps, and apparently some pretty good bonus items up for grabs. The only trouble is that the Pumpkin Ghosts that give the good drops only spawn at certain places, so one player "spawn camps" there for hours, getting rich, and nobody else gets a look-in. That may get rather more interesting on the PvP servers...
Damor commented "This event is ssooooo boring. The pumpkins respawn after 45 seconds on same place. On my Eggy spot I've made 500 firecrackers, 20 experience scrolls, 80 lucky scrolls, 200 moonstones, 180 effort scrolls, and 12 heaven stones, in two hours." At which point she died, as apparently fighting the pumpkin ghosts tends to make all the local monsters aggressive towards you, at least in Egeha. "So I need to go to town every ten minutes."
Well, Damor doesn't carry any unused skill points around, and I suspect she's using a Crystal of Experience (Greater) to keep the experience loss to the minimum, so she was not doing badly. "By the way", she went on, "Yesterday I made 140 million out of my 175 Coins - so I bought a yellow, four-seal level 85 +15 staff. My attack is 1970 now, and Terra Spear hits for 20 thousand."
Suitably impressed, I asked if Kee could have her "power levelling" hour before Sunday, as there may possibly be an "Upgrade Probability Event" then, and I'd like to be able to wear my set of 75/77 evasion armour then, to upgrade it. "We can do tomorrow" was the reply. So, something to look forward to there! Even if there is no upgrade event, there is a 25% increase in the chance of success with a HS for all this week, which would save one or two attempts.
SirDarth made good progress against the Gnoll Lancers; the horse reached level 32 today, and by the end of the evening was pretty close to level 33, Darth's own level, so will soon start to get through the quality stones rather more quickly. The gnolls still tend to die after around 13 to 15 minutes, so Darth is getting a little skill experience, and the occasional drop - which includes the Halloween "Empty Baskets", which surprised me slightly as I thought we'd been told that they would only drop with foes your own level or one or two levels higher, and Gnoll Lancers are 6 levels above Darth.
But today's star performer was my level 25 rogue Karella - after I'd made sure that a lot of my characters claimed their free Evil headband, which, with 30 armour, is actually a great boost for low-level characters. First of all I sent her out to Prokion Temple, but the orcs there, while they give great skill exp, are mainly level 23 in the room she uses, with only the occasional level 25 one having the possibility of an Empty Basket drop. So, it seemed like a good idea to go back to near Juno's Velpist Temple and fight the level 26 Treants - a good opportunity to give her drake some pet points too.
And it went very nicely - they dropped plenty of the Empty Baskets, and a nearby scarecrow converted them into the various kinds of Halloween candy, until I had all six different types, which I could then trade for a pumpkin helm. And when you wear one of those, you can see the Pumpkin Ghosts, giant, fire-breathing pumpkins!
There was actually a spawn point for the Pumpkin Ghosts just by that scarecrow, and a sorcerer was there, killing them as they spawned... which looks awfully strange if you're not wearing the helm, you just see the light effects of blows being struck, and the player seems to be fighting, well, nothing.
After my food break, the sorcerer was still there, and after I'd dealt with a few more Treants, and converted the Empty Baskets into more candy, he mentioned that there were a couple more spawn points to the north-east, so I decided to set out in that direction - and found one on the main path up there, at 585,260 coordinates...and it was, wonder of wonders, deserted. The first few Pumpkin Ghosts I killed dropped either nothing at all or a single gold coin, but, encouraged on the guild channel, I persisted - at level 20 the Pumpkin Ghosts were green-named to me, which meant that they ought to drop stuff, and at last they started to - maybe every third Pumpkin Ghost dropped one? No, it must have been more like, well, not much worse than one in two, as I did end up with 84 Pumpkins in not a lot over two hours, which can be traded in at any scarecrow for, well, some goodies - maybe a few useless fireworks, maybe moonstones or lucky scrolls or even a heaven stone... but Damor reported what she got, hopefully my stuff will be similar, though less than half as much of it.
One rider appeared soon after I started, but politely left when she saw that the spawn point was occupied; a while later a rogue showed up, but was just fighting the regular stuff there as she didn't have the necessary headgear. And then, shortly before my usual early Wednesday exit, Ironman66, a titan, arrived. He did start off by trying to "ks" a couple of them, but when he saw that as a rogue I could with my crossbow start attacking any target before he could, he settled down. I mentioned that I'd be leaving in a few minutes, and he waited, even urging me to continue a little longer when I didn't get quite as many actual drops as I'd given as my target. He said he'd been there for some hours earlier, and got a good amount of loot.
Well I finished, and logged out, leaving Darth to battle on against the Gnoll Lancers. Karella did actually go up by 96 skill points over the day - the Pumpkin Ghosts gave the standard skill exp for that level, 825, and the Blood Wolves and other local monsters gave some too, between spawns - but that points total includes the Treants and the time in Prokion Temple too of course.
I don't think I'd want to camp at a spawn point every day, I'll have to check prices of candy and empty baskets etc, it's possible that farming those Treants some more, with the extra skill exp and pet points, would be a better way to pass the time. But tomorrow is going to be a different kind of day, I'm sure.
The Power of Damor - October 9th
I did some shifting around of computery this morning, and now have the 3-year-old computer alongside my shiny new one, instead of the 6-year-old one... I was getting tired of SirDarth's brave pet levelling activities being interrupted by "send error message?" crashes after a while, when I tried to shift the viewpoint around a little. Now I just have little protesting bleeps in some places when the camera points in certain directions.
So, Darth was a little later starting up than usual, but quickly got the pet horse to his own level, level 33 - which is the level of his current mount. Each level takes a bit longer, but the end, level 37, is now at least in sight. It is handy to have Darth online so much, as he, as Guild Master for Norcaine, is the only one who can freeze and unfreeze guild members' experience gain. DarkPulse101 has now got all her skill points from Prokion Temple, and finished her supply of Platinum Super Skill Pills, so got unfrozen.
Karella went out to the Treant area after lunch, and found the spawn point there not in use, so was able to pick up a few more pumpkins, and some Empty Baskets from the Treants between Pumpkin Ghost spawnings. But it wasn't long before Damor got in touch, to say that it was time for Keerella's hour of power levelling. Her first suggestion was that I should send her a one-hour recall card - but as that would just be used to move Kee from the start of the Tomb of Theos to where the Sphinx Commanders or Anubis Spear Men were, deep in the Tomb, I was able to use one of the one-use "Books of Teleport" that come in an Egeha Package instead.
Things, I must say, didn't start well. Poor Damor ran all the way through heart-stopping dangers for at least five minutes to get to the room with the Commanders - only to find it already in use! So, we had to write off the 222,000 gold admission fee, and change servers. And the same thing happened there, sigh. Fortunately, it was third time lucky - Cariae-1's Sphinx Commanders were already being used, but the Anubis Spear Men were available. They may be three levels lower, giving almost19 million experience each rather than 22 million, but the area is slightly less hostile, and hey, they die more quickly.
So, after passing a Mana Stealer to Damor, I started my one-hour Platinum Blessed Iris, and also a "Power Potion", which had come in some package or other and couldn't be moved between characters or traded, but enhanced my attack and defence. I think I only once forgot to use an Experience Booster, and there were probably only one or two occasions when Damor had to kill the Spear Man rather than let me give the necessary "killing blow"...I got through 47 of the boosters before the hour was up, and with the Iris tripling the experience, and the booster then quadrupling it, each Spear Man generously donated 227 million experience, which at level 74 meant about 10% per kill, though as the levels went up, that percentage necessarily went down.
To start with, Damor was leaving the party as soon as I Recalled her, to make sure I got all the experience, but after a little while she brought Zenderfly in too, placing her close to the wall to avoid attacks, and then was able to remain in the party... which simplified things for me, I just had to remember to do Recall and trigger the next Booster, rather than have to invite her into the party each time. I was a little worried that I seemed to be having little lag episodes sometimes, leaving me unable to deliver the killing blow in a timely manner - though Damor finally told me that that was the effect of the Spear Man using his stun skill, Stone Shield Stun!
Keerella went up five levels, which is about what Damor had been planning, and so can wear her new evasion armour set, which I must say looks a bit more glamorous than the previous set, which from the back always reminded me of a beetle. The exact increase was 447.83%, as I'd got almost two-thirds of the way through level 74 - and my pet drake levelled up too! I was only very slightly down on the cash side, despite the 666,000 gold for the three admissions, thanks to the gold dropped...and I did pick up a couple of the Hallowe'en Empty Baskets as loot.
DarkPulse101 had come online by then, and Damor asked me to go to the Tomb entrance and use Recall to get her there, so that she could memorise the location - and shortly after that Damor began a rather longer stint of power levelling, taking DP from level 23 to level 37 against the Screaming Zombies. Due to a slight misunderstanding I did join them down there briefly, after DP asked Kee to join the party; I thought it might be a role like Zen's had been earlier, just to stand by a nearby wall, but really they didn't need me at all, they just needed another party member elsewhere, so that when Damor left the party, DP would get "solo party" benefits... so Darth joined the party, while keeping on pet-levelling. Except when DP needed to borrow my level 41 +9 staff, which was on a different character.
That was a production; first of all DP tried to trade back to me more items than the character had room for, then when I attempted to trade the weapon, plus at that stage a level 37 +6 one, he didn't have the room for two items! After that my cursor went dead, and I had to restart the computer, which of course took a while, but in the end my level 10 character, in one of the few sets of level 1 armour to have a fairy hovering over it, got Recalled to the Tomb and handed it over.
I think Damor took three hours over that, so she was extremely kind both to me and to DP today. After my food break, it was Karella's turn to head out to look for Pumpkin Ghosts again. Damor tells me that all of them are level 20, even in Egeha, so Karella's level can't be affecting the drop rate - some of the ghosts just don't drop anything. My timing is that it is a full minute between spawns, slightly longer depending on how long it takes to kill one.
I got lucky - the spawn point by the Treants was abandoned by its previous "owner" soon after I arrived, so I was able to take it over, and continued there for the whole of the evening. I did ask the other guild people online if anyone wanted to take it over from me, but nobody did, so some other passer-by will no doubt have taken over the spot before long. A few people did try to muscle in, but a rogue's swift, ranged attack is hard to compete with, and they soon gave up. Generally people were fine, though, just riding on when they saw the spot was occupied. 84 Pumpkins yesterday, 5 more before Kee's power-levelling - and 113 this evening! By the end Karella had got 173 of the Empty Baskets, too, and got quite a few skill points.
I've got to redeem all those Pumpkins tomorrow - or at least 200 of them, Damor wants to know how the odds of getting the different rewards compare. She was last seen in Egeha, running around four different spawning points killing the Pumpkin Ghosts, so she should have a good number more herself before the evening is over. She really got me worried by talking about wanting the unused boosters back she had lent me...it finally turned out she meant IDBs, Item Drop Boosters, from our time Dark Harpy farming, not the Experience Boosters I'd been using in the Tomb, which I'd taken from a pack of 100 I'd been keeping in my paid-for section of the Item Mall system,
Monster Combo Time - October 10th
In the morning I cleared the recently collected junk out of Karella's inventory, and then headed out of Randol to my favourite Pumpkin Scarecrow - the one by the Treants, where the Pumpkin Ghosts spawn! So I was busily clicking on the scarecrow to convert the pumpkins into the various rewards, breaking off to fight a new Pumpkin Ghost whenever a new one spawned. This meant I converted 236 pumpkins - getting 68 ten-packs of Firecrackers, 45 five-packs of Moonstones, 39 5-packs of Lucky Scrolls, 46 5-packs of Effort Scrolls, 36 Experience Scrolls, and 6 Heaven Stones. I also had well over a hundred Empty Baskets to convert into the six kinds of Hallowe'en Candy, so a whole lot of clicking went on.
SirDarth did some levelling of his pet over lunch, and his horse has now reached level 34 - in fact by the end of the day he was just over halfway through that level.
I was on slightly earlier than usual after lunch, and found an invitation waiting from Damor for me to join a Monster Combo team, so I went to the appropriate sub-server, and joined the party that was forming, which included quite a few of Damor's new CARNAGE guildies - though in future I think I'll pretend the guild is just called Carnage. As had happened before, there weren't quite enough people to make a full team, so I volunteered SirDarth to join us, just to stand in the middle and keep us buffed with Protection - which was what he did. The party did very well, and in the end we got 36 Coins each; that was from dividing the total up by seven, and unfortunately not counting Darth! Itura was counted, which seemed fair enough as she did so much healing...and besides, the leaders of the party didn't know Itu was Damor.
One strange thing was that apparently Damor asked the leader to give one of her lots of 36 Coins to me to pass on to her, but I never got given it - later Zenderfly confidently opened trade with me to reclaim what I didn't have! I think it's been sorted out now, I suppose I must have left before the leader could actually make the trade. In similar circumstances another time, it would be wise to let me know to expect such an arrangement.
After my food break Damor again got me into a "MC" team - no room for Darth this time, so he was left peacefully pet levelling. Again there was some slight breakdown in communication, though not with me involved, someone did have to stand down to leave room for the leader's rather low-level healer to join us, as well as his level 93-ish knight, since we do need a steady diet of healing in there - but we had both Damor and Zenderfly in the party, and when we started Damor was just standing in the middle, and to emphasize the point was in her underwear not her armour. Why we didn't have Itura instead, as a more powerful healer, I don't know.
It was only 26 Coins each that time, but that's still a good haul - and Kee had gained 21.62% experience, plus 7 skill points and 1780 pet points, from the two outings. Zen did try to make a new party, perhaps with just one or two other real people and Darth, Itu, and a couple more secondary characters, but couldn't find anyone available. She then started planning a joint trip to the Dark Harpies in Strayana for drop farming, but for some reason that came to nothing - I was in town a while longer, but I heard nothing further from her.
Darkpulse101 was disappointed that Damor (or Zen, or Itu) wasn't on in the evening, as she was hoping for some more power levelling. She wanted to do something with plenty of experience; I suggested the Akane Giants, at level 50, but someone else suggested the Sphinx Fighters near the pyramid, which I don't think she was able to find.
As for Kee, well by then the regular Friday "Happy Hour" had begun, at 7:30 uk time, which was, I'd read somewhere, adding an extra 5% chance of a successful upgrade with Heaven Stones to the bonus 25% we are getting all this week (as well as double experience and double skill exp) - so I was busy upgrading Kee's new evasion armour set, having earlier gathered together my supplies of Lucky Smelting Stones and Runes of Protection 1 from the various inventories. I think probably the chance was better than the usual fifty/fifty using Heaven Stones, but I got through quite a few of them, and the runes - and three Lucky Smelting Stones per piece of course. Failures are annoying, as the attempt is quite costly - but a nice armour bonus can save one's life!
But, once that was done, and with no word from Damor, it seemed like a good idea to give Kaerella, my level 44 healer-cleric, a chance to benefit from the double experience and skill exp, so, once she'd taken charge of the three Pierce of Wind accessories, off she rode to Maargadum Jail once more. Luckily the third level was deserted, so I had the Beast Flyers to myself - boy do they mob dramatically, sometimes I had to use Self Heal after every kill, but I kept going there until 9:30, and beyond - the event was overrunning, in fact it was still going on an hour later, but I'm not much good at late nights, particularly if I have this blog to get published.
So, Kae called it a night after adding 14.70% experience, a nice fat 80 skill points, and 1496 pet points for SirFrancis, her drake. After that I just had time to get Enchantrella online to take back her mage +15 event weapon that DarkPulse101 had been borrowing, plus an old set of armour he'd been using too. It will be good to take Enchie out to Prokion again - when I have the time, of course...
In The Commandery - October 11th
Karella did have a brief gallop around in the morning in case there was a Pumpkin Ghost spawn point free, but as it's the weekend, I was out of luck - I did get one Pumpkin, but that particular point did have an owner who'd just strayed a little far the other way. So it was just a matter of, as usual, moving some items around, mainly to MistressDomina. SirDarth then logged on and headed for the Gnoll Lancers, to spend the late morning and lunchtime there.
And so it was that I got a message from Zenderfly, asking me, or Kee, to help her to power level after lunch, starting at one o'clock UK time. That's a bit earlier than I usually get back from eating, watching the news, and reading the paper for a bit, not necessarily all at the same time, but I gladly agreed, got my lunch ready about ten minutes earlier than usual, and was ready online at one.
Well, as it happens Zen wasn't particularly punctual herself, and she had to set things up, such as actually getting to the Sphinx Commanders, who are a long way into the depths of the Tomb of Theos, past the Darkmind Terrain uber-boss himself, so it was just on 1:30 when we actually swung into action against the Sphinx Commanders. Zen did offer me health and mana stealers; I thought in fact that she was going to give me a mana stealer to use, but in the end must have decided that I didn't need one. Various of Zen's high-level friends dropped in as time passed, and Zen worked her way through the Blessed Irises and experience boosters - it wasn't too long before she reached level 89, but that was the easy one, she wanted to reach level 90!
At 4:30 we took a break for an hour, though actually it was back to just Zen and me at the restart, 90 minutes later, though a royal knight called xDeathMakerx joined us pretty soon. Luckily we only continued for one more hour; we did get Zenderfly to level 91, which should get her onto the "top fifty" list for Mages on the Cariae server. That was definitely enough of the high-intensity stuff, even Zen must have been getting tired as she quite often needed to be reminded to put Recall up. I think I only once missed out on using Recall in time, and that wasn't my fault, I clicked the appropriate button on the window a number of times but it just wouldn't work.
At the end I took the opportunity to pass the 16.8 million I owed Zenderfly/Damor for that Dark Harpy farming trip to Strayana; Zen didn't knock anything off for health and mana pots used then or during our four hours battling the Sphinx Commanders, which is further evidence of how tired she must have got. She may have gone on to assist xDeathMakerx with his own levelling, though, but for me it was time for something a bit less intense.
So, SirDarth took over the main computer, hurried to Prokion Temple's upper floor Orc Sergeant den, and invited Karella to join him - his 30-day Recall card had run out, so we used a Teleport book instead, which works on anyone on the sub-server, they don't have to be in the party yet, you just type their name in. And for well over an hour, some simple slogging was indulged in, yielding my two characters 80 points each.
However, another invitation then arrived from Zen - to a Monster Combo party! Darth could have come along too, on the slower computer, but he had to stay on Cariae-4 for the "Upgrade Love" event, so he just stood around in Randol waiting patiently, while the party, which included Escadalia, Zenderfly and Itura plus a couple of high-level archers and a special guest rogue only in their mid-thirties, began the adventure.
SirDarth did get called, a bit later in the evening than I'd expected - teleported to the Game Master, where he showed Kae's next (level 49) staff in the trade window, and then was given a Chaos Smelting Stone, before being disconnected, which must be the simplest way to get people to leave the hillside on the edge of Juno but is a little abrupt, that's what happened last time too. After that he went back to pet-levelling, and at the very end of the evening, did take the horse up to level 35.
The Monster Combo went pretty smoothly - I was in charge of applying Sloth (slowing their attack speed) to the monsters, as well as plenty of Terra Spear - and Itu also asked me to provide Haste to the healers, which meant that whenever that ran out I couldn't take much part in attacking one monster. The low-level rogue did get slightly over-enthusiastic, and, I assume, was the first to attack one Wight Slasher, and died once, but was quickly resurrected; nobody got any disconnections, and after the twenty rounds, the grand total of Coins of Master was 224, which very easily divided up as 28 each. Well worth the almost 1.5 million it takes to get in, MistressDomina had sold 50 of them earlier at 795,000 gold each, and they sold pretty quickly.
What else? Well, to my surprise Zenderfly is now a wizard, after levelling up all that way as a witch, and poor Damor, with presumably a shortage of skill points for the new high-level skills, has been superceded. I thought it looked as if she was using Terra Spear in the Commandery! I finished plussing my new armour - luckily the last three 9-to-10 upgrades requireded only needed four tries, and then I was fairly luckly using Runes of Protection II (and Heaven Stones) to get all five armour pieces to +11.
My rune and smelting stone packages had included a number of "Upgrade Boxes", which when opened provided some of the runes I used, and also 5 Extreme Stones, which could be used once per item, so I slapped them on to go to +12 - and then added the 30-day mage western-style "Widowmaker" costume, using a Bonus Book of Melding for each of its five parts. In theory it gives a random "plus" bonus of 1 to 3, but all mine just gave a +1. Still, that got the whole set up to +13, which gives Kee a defence stat of 2006, which ought to be a help. I think Damor did say something about a minimum of +10 around Weavers and other Egeha critters...
Kee had got 9.88% experience from the three-hour Commandery session, a further 5.24% from the later hour, and 10.86% from the Monster Combo, which also gave 2 skill points - 25.98% in all, and 3714 pet points. It all made for a long and busy day.
Karella & The Pumpkin Ghosts - October 12th
SirDarth was able to go out to his old friends the Gnoll Lancers before lunch, and continued for a fair part of the day, though he missed out on a few hours, as Zenderfly was busy for most of the afternoon and evening power-levelling DarkPulse101, as she had promised. DP had done a great amount of skill point farming in Prokion Temple, and this was the reward for all the hard work. They were working in Cariae-2 and needed SirDarth as a "solo party" member, so he had to go over to that server, and as it is a PvP place, almost "away from keyboard" pet levelling is a bit risky, some people come along and kill pet levellers and their pets. So he just stood in town and gave them his moral support.
My level 25 rogue Karella went out straight after lunch to her favourite pumpkin patch, the one next to the Treants, and found it vacant - so that was my afternoon sorted out. Other players did come by, and a few tried to "KS" me, but a rogue with a fast-shooting crossbow is hard to beat at this sort of thing, so almost every Pumpkin Ghost that spawned was killed by me, with most would-be competitors soon giving up. And between spawnings, I could mob the Treants, and generally get a fair number of skill points, pet points, Empty Baskets, Moonstone Boxes, and assorted loot from them. At five, the two-hour Event began, the Sunday TeaTime - 50% extra experience and double skill exp. Even though I'd not been able to stop to eat, or I'd have lost my spot, I decided to stay on for that. By the end, I'd got from Karella's efforts today 138 more Pumpkins I carefully exchanged the baskets for candies, and ended up with 291 of them.
I'd better move the Pumpkins themselves to a different character, as the Firecrackers don't seem to be transferable - 707 of them is enough for anyone to carry. Anyway, Karella added 204 skill points in, what, five hours or so? The experience gained was added to Norcaine's guild points total, but some useful pet points must have been gained too, for Karella's drake.
After a brief, belated break for food, the call came for Keerella to join Zenderfly and DarkPulse101 in the Tomb of Theos - against the level 106 Anubis Spear Men they needed some extra fire-power. The idea was for both Zen and I to set up Recall, and take each other's Recall when the Man was down to less than 5% health, leaving DP to finish the job and get the experience, suitably boosted - at one stage Zen was forgetting to issue the Recall almost every time, which got slightly annoying as I'd stand there waiting, being attacked by an almost-dead Anubis Spear Man, but things did improve. She had had a long day, and while DP is always good-humoured and friendly, he can ask rather a lot of questions, most of which can be answered with "check the relevant page of the wet paint LC wiki", so a temporary loss of concentration is easy to excuse.
As we generally used Recall before the monster died, Zen and I tended to get zero experience - there were a few Anubis Fighters though, which as they aren't boss-types weren't worth DP using a booster on. They are aggressive, so if they got too near us we had to fight them. So I did get 1.21% experience, as well as 495 pet points which, as they are based on hits rather than kills, wouldn't be affected by using Recall. My new armour held up well, the evasion factor meant an awful lot of misses - I make it 538 evasion and 636 close range evasion, plus 417 long range evasion, which while it isn't the maximum, is quite high. I think I'll be using this armour for a while, it might even get a second costume melded to it for a second 30 days, who can tell?
The Quiz, I'm sad to report, was a bit of a debacle, with the usual angry mob formed outside and not being let back in. Damor was leading our conga line; the first question, whether jack o'lanterns originated from Ireland or Transylvania, was a relatively easy one, but Damor just couldn't move fast enough, due to lag from the number of people there, and most of us spawned back in the middle of town. Damor herself lasted until question three. New questions for Hallowe'en, probably even without the lag, would probably have turfed us out before the end anyway, but it is annoying not to have had a fair chance.
Anyway, Darkpulse101 has rocketed all the way from level 23 to level 64 now, and probably ought to slow down and farm, if not for skill points, then for cash - the Bogles in Egeha have fat wallets, for a start. She is suddenly one of the top Norcaine members, and deserves it for all that hard work in the Temple. Now, if only I could get my characters there to a full number of skill points for the future, maybe they could zoom like that. She had been saying she wanted to buy my level 69 +15 mage staff, and sell it back to me for the same price once she outgrew it, but when she heard that it had, as far as I could remember, cost me 135 million, she decided to perhaps lay down a rather smaller deposit.
Kaerella Gets Her Share - October 13th
I seem to begin most of these reports with SirDarth's valiant efforts to level up that pet horse to 37, so that he can have a full-strength mount able to give level ten attack and defence horse buffs - so why should today be any different? The good news is that the horse reached level 36 today, and indeed we're at least a third of the way into the final level now. It is possible to level up a horse further than 37, but the other skills aren't really much use - I think Kee's using the one I took to 38, but the "crying" skill, meant to attract nearby foes, is entirely useless, so that spare skill point is set to health regeneration now. Which would be useful, if it wasn't limited to when you are actually on horseback, rather than when you are fighting.
After lunch Karella headed for that Pumpkin Ghost spawn point near the Treants - Cariae-3 was already claimed, so I hopped across to Cariae-4, and claimed the spot. And I was doing pretty well until a level 38 rogue called Draba (well, "draba" actually, though part of my house style here is to put a capital letter on the front of people's names) came along, and generally KS'd my Treant attacks and tried to beat me to the Pumpkin Ghosts. I think that a dropped item must be assigned not to the first person to hit the critter, but to whoever, if you are not in the same party, deals the most damage - the stronger attack of a level 38 Assassin-type rogue meant that most of the pumpkins dropped went to her. Still, Karella ended the afternoon with 50 more pumpkins, and plenty more candies and assorted other drops. And a few skill points, and pet points, of course.
Zenderfly was on for some of the time, but wasn't able to get a party together for the Monster Combo - and can't have had any need for Kee for further power levelling, even. At level 91, she is now ranked #37 in the Cariae mage list, which is pretty good; before she started levelling Zen, Damor must have been about that high up the list, though other people have passed her now, only a few of the level 90 mages make it into the top fifty these days, and Damor is level 88 still I think.
The level 33 Specialist Sorcerer Rikie (well, "rikie") from my Friends List has joined Norcaine - I saw him a few times near Margadum Jail after the enrolment. Meanwhile, DarkPulse101 is getting used to being a level 64 wizard; DP managed to get a lift to Egeha, and did a bit of Bogle farming, though was surprised by how hard they hit. I don't think DP's heart was in it, though DP really ought to settle down and earn some gold, I think. Among today's questions were requests for advice on what health potions should be bought, and how the latest mage armour shoudl be plussed. All sizes of health potions, for different situations, I said - and with 65/67 armour I'd go for Heaven Stones, at least while the 25% extra chance of a successful upgrade using them is still running.
Anyway, after the food break my level 44 cleric Kaerella took charge of the three main accessories - they are now just two Pierce of Winds, and one Stone of Shadows, as DP found a friend who had two SoS to sell, and only wanted 40 million each. He bought one from Solyana ("solyana"), a level 101 mage, #12 on the list I see, and arranged for me to buy the other one, which was kind. It was even ready identified, saving the 1 million outlay on a gold magnifying glass. The third PoW has now moved across to Karella, who also has an Eyes of Spirit, which is very useful for an archer, so it's really just Kee and Kae who share the main three...oh, and Enchantrella of course, when it's next her turn for an outing to Prokion Temple.
Suitably equipped, Kae beamed across to Merac, and headed for Maargadum Jail. However, she got a bit delayed, finding that the Pumpkin Ghost spawning point just by the Jail entrance wasn't being used - and neither was another point close by! So by running between the two points she was able to notch up the Pumpkins rather more quickly than Karella, though without any skill experience - and the only other drops she got were a couple of Personal Dungeon Tickets 2. That was a relatively easy way to get 101 Pumpkins, before I finally headed inside the Jail.
There were a couple of other people on level three of the Jail, but they were right up at one end, so I settled in at the other end of the central area, and started killing the Beast Flyers closest to me. Before too long the other people left, so as usual I had a big, unholy mob attacking me, making me use Self Heal rather frequently. And that was where I spent the rest of the evening. 7.11% was the experience gain, taking Kae past the halfway mark in level 44, plus 1631 pet points and 38 skill points.
As usual there, the items dropped came ready plussed - two pairs of Sorcerer pants, level 41, were already +4, and a set of the knight equivalent was +3. I've never found another area that does that so regularly, though the boss Elite Akane Golems/Giants did I think very rarely drop a +1. The Beast Flyers dropped a Heaven Stone, as well, which was as usual very welcome.
A lot of people seem to have given up on characters that they'd made before the Big Patch that brought in the extra high-level skill levels, and boosted the skill exp values in Velpist Temple and Prokion Temple; DarkPulse101 doesn't really play Captianjack any more, and Damor has been replaced by Zenderfly, for example. Maybe I'm over-stubborn, but I don't want to let my original characters go. Kae may not have a huge backlog of skill points, but at the moment she is maxxed. If she can't "power level", but has to grind, well at least she sees all of the game. Keerella has to pick and choose her skills a bit too now, but hey, I can manage without spending 1450 points on an area of effect spell that raises the monsters' attack power by 70%, I think...
Pumpkins, Jail & the Combo - October 14th
Well, SirDarth's new horse finally reached level 37 today - I delayed my food break by about half an hour to finish the job, and then to celebrate sent Darth off to start replenishing his stocks of stones with a little afk mining.
Karella went out to the Treant pumpkin patch after lunch, found it deserted, and set to, harvesting the Pumpkin Ghosts all afternoon, and getting lots of Empty Baskets, a Heaven Stone, a few other Hands, Moonstone Boxes, and 78 Pumpkins, rather more than yesterday as I stayed out for that extra half hour, and didn't have a pesky higher-level rogue interfering. The 95 skill points should come in handy, too.
Zenderfly left a message with Darth suggesting a trip to Strayana to fight the Dark Harpies, so I hurried my food - but when I got back at the projected time, Zen had had an offer she couldn't refuse, or at least a request from Norcaine's leading Specialist Sorcerer, ClonedDeep, for a power levelling session, so the plan was scrapped for the time being.
My only contribution to that was to provide the extra "solo party" member, so that when Zen left the party, to give all the experience to CD, there was still a party - first of all it was Darth who provided that moral support, and then, after they'd had the usual minor problems with disconnections and calls to dinner etc, Kaerella came in. CD zoomed all the way to level 50, so despite its ups and downs it must have been a pretty productive time.
DarkPulse101 went to the Tomb of Theos I think, wanting to get from level 64 to level 65 to be able to use a level 69 staff, and be able to kill the Bogles rather more quickly; I don't think DP found soloing the Screaming Zombies very easy though. Even at 64 I'm sure a trip to the Bogles would have been better - more profitable, certainly, the Tomb monsters are notoriously mean when it comes to drops.
Kaerella headed back to Maargadum Jail in Merac, pausing only to get 6 more Pumpkins from the two nearby spawning points. She had level 3 of the Jail all to herself, and farmed there in the normal hectic way, the rate at which one gets swamped by Beast Flyers means that even I have to work at Zenderfly-type speeds. So, another 7.31% experience gained, 40 skill points, and 1652 pet points.
However, a bit later in the evening Zenderfly got in touch - was Keerella interested in joining a Monster Combo team? You bet! So I moved the main accessories over, logged in on the appropriate sub-server, registered for a Precedence party, and enrolled. I did volunteer SirDarth for the party too, if they were short of actual players - annoyingly he'd just paid the almost 1.5 million admission fee when someone else got in touch and wanted to join, so Darth had to log out. Even more annoyingly, that particular rogue vanished from the party halfway through the Combo...
But we made it through reasonably smoothly, if not as smoothly as with the parties arranged by Zen's Carnage guildies, and dividing the total number of Coins of Master by only seven gave a pretty good number each. Most of us decided to go again, though of course with people leaving and trying to get new members it took a while to get people together - we started off with seven rather than the full eight, and somebody gave up on us before very long, so with six things were a little slower, meaning that by the end it was Way Past My Bed Time, but the Coins were reasonable again, so with the two trips I got over fifty of them. I think I've been selling them too cheaply, I ought to charge more than a million each, or at least see what happens at that sort of price. Some of the possible accessories you can get from trading in a hundred of them are very desirable...
The first of the two Monster Combos gave Kee 9.68% experience, and the second one 9.42%, so that was 19.10% in all, which moves Kee along nicely - and 6 skill points is a nice bonus. Oh, and 1453 pet points is useful too.
Cursed Weavers & Liches - October 15th
Not a single Pumpkin today, and no pet levelling. SirDarth was on a fair bit, doing some mining to replace the stones devoured by that horse - his stocks are already starting to look better, after using three or four Knight-style Pickaxes.
I was out shopping this afternoon, generally getting the freezer full again, so it was about 3:30 when I checked on Darth's progress, to find a message from Zenderfly. A Monster Combo team was about to form, and did I want in on it? I answered in the affirmative, with the proviso that I needed to get all the shopping put away first.
So, it was another team of mainly Carnage guildies, led by the temple knight Darnoth, who in the past (which, for me and Monster Combo parties, hardly stretches back very far, I admit) has led some very smooth parties. Zen was along of course, and Itura as the main healer; beside the level 90-ish types there was Darnoth's own comparatively low-level healer, and a couple of people in their 30s and 50s hoping for a bit of a boost - and me on 79 of course. So, all should have been straightforward...
And so it was, up until about halfway, with the level 91 Wight Slashers as ever not attacking until attacked, and only appearing one at a time. But Darnoth, when he set up what monsters we were to face, had clicked a wrong button, and after that we had level 87 Wights and level 89 Wight Flairs instead - which, although they were slightly lower in level, spawned a number at a time, and were aggressive if they spawned near somebody. So the lower-level people, instead of being safe in the middle, started to die - including Itura and the other healer. Suddenly, instead of "kill one monster, look round for the next one, kill it", it was a battle for survival, and I started getting through quite a few health pots, despite my sturdy armour and high-level evasion.
It continued like that for quite a few stages - there was nowhere safe for the more vulnerable party members. Luckily we still earned Coins of Master, or, despite the admission fee, we might have been tempted to stop. I don't think it matters to Zen's plans if Itura dies a bit, she dies quite often anyway and isn't designed to be levelled up further. Finally we reached the Nivas round, and it was a great relief to see their happy growling faces! The Coins total wasn't bad - as an apology for his blunder Darnoth increased our shares from 27 to 30 each, though of course with both him and his junior healer as party members he didn't do badly for himself.
My food break was a bit later than usual, as the extra monsters had taken rather longer to kill; when I got back the first thing I did was track down my mage level 69 +15 staff, and the +6 level 65/67 armour set, to lend to DarkPulse101, who was hanging around the arena at that time, but after that headed for the Tomb, where the Screaming Zombies ought to seem a bit easier now. Still pretty tricky to solo, though! Zen sent a message that another "MC" party was forming, and to wait for her call, so I just got one of my very minor characters a little further through level 7 on the Jaguars, before the call came.
Unfortunately, the party rather fell apart in the coming-together stage; it may well have been some of the same people I'd been with earlier, after a further MC, but there are always some people after each trip who don't have time for another go, as it does take an hour or so. Darnoth was out of luck... we did see him briefly in Egeha later, though.
Yes, Zen's alternative idea was a trip to the Weavers in Egeha - that's the ghostly level 88 Cursed Weavers and the level 90 Cursed Liches - the highest-level Egeha monsters outside Lust Trum Tower, and higher than some inside there - aggressive, protective, and pet-eaters! I'd never encountered them before, but Zen assured me that we would have a healer along - and we did, ScaredlilGirl, a level 83 cleric, as well as MaiaTan, a level 89 rogue. Like many rogues, she was a bit liable to dash ahead. The Cursed Weavers and the Cursed Liches tended to come in fast enough anyway, and respawn among us, so it was all pretty hectic, with Zen and I putting up Recall regularly, so that people targeted by a whole mob, and losing health alarmingly, could lose the aggro. I'm sure MaiaTan did bring an extra group back to us - things got awfully busy, and my drake, which when I'd last had the chance to check his health bar was at about 70%, was suddenly deceased.
Still, more by luck than judgement, I think we all did, generally, keep alive - I was starting to feel sure that things would end with me having to use a resurrection scroll, but when the party ended, after we'd all, not for the first time, 'ported back into the village, I still had a little bit of red in my health bar. And by then I'd levelled up, reaching level eighty. The drops I'd got seemed fairly ordinary, but they were at least slightly ready-plussed. I don't think I need to try and sell them in merchant mode, I suspect that Merchant Geres will make the best offer I'm likely to get, but maybe I should check with Zenderfly first.
It cost 582,736 gold to unseal my drake (or it would be unsealed automatically after 17 hours of fighting) - a substantial sum, but a lot less than my share of the gold we picked up, so no problem there. In all Kee went up 30.10% today, almost two-thirds of it fighting the Weavers, and gained 28 skill points - I'm not sure where they came from, those slightly lower level Wights must have helped there. 1296 pet points, too.
Egeha, and Too Much Going On - October 16th
There were times when getting out a dvd this evening, and watching a movie, and just leaving SirDarth to do some mining, seemed like a really good idea. I wasn't doing anything particularly dangerous - there were just too many people with claims on my attention, whether it was "buy me this little mall item please", or "level me up", or "how long should I keep doing this Kee", or "my friend will register, please Recall him", or "We could really use you here..."
Anyway, let's see. SirDarth did manage to do a fair bit of stone mining, while when I was actually able to fight, it was generally as Keerella in Egeha - I got as far as putting the three main accessories into storage to transfer them to Kae, with the idea of heading for Margadum Jail, but that was as far along those lines as I did get.
It was Zenderfly who Recalled me to Egeha in the late morning, actually, as she wanted her Item Drop Boosters and Lucky Scrolls back, so it was good to get that sorted. She has removed DarkPulse101 from her Friends List, having had enough of his approach to life, which does seem to involve asking a lot of questions. And going down to the Tomb of Theos without health potions for power levelling, well, that is enough to tick anyone off.
So I'd left Kee in Egeha, and when I was at last able to play, which was later than usual as I did have stuff to do, I remembered that I needed to kill 10 Boucu Demons, so I used my memory scroll to take me to the place that Damor so often used to take me to, generally held to be the best and safest place to fight them, and, finding it deserted, was able to get to work.
Boucu Demons may be level 84, but they aren't bosses, so I was able to solo them pretty easily - except once, when the Skinwalker a little further along the road was just slightly too close, and decided to join in. As they are boss types, he took a lot of time, and a lot of potions, to kill, no wonder Damor used to prefer to go back to town, that would have been quicker. Still, it reminded me that I did have a quest involving killing them.
I tried a road that I'd not travelled recently, and discovered some of the level 80 boss Scorpionmantises, and some level 82 boss Skinwalkers, nicely spread out so that it was possible to take them one at a time. So, as I had quests involving killing 7 and 10 Skinwalkers, and 5 Scorpionmantises, it was handy to be able to get them out of the way, I just need to remember to cash in the rewards before, well, level 87 seems to be the first expiration for one.
A knight called EasyReaper added me to his friends list - maybe I shouldn't have accepted, but sometimes it is somebody one knows, just adding a different character. I somehow found myself helping his brother's titan to level up - and then took a newly-created mage all the way from level 1 to level 17 against the Boucu Demons. Not that it took long, even with the small percentage of experience a "capped" party member gets... the first Boucu Demon killed took her from level 1 to level 7! SafiYah has now joined Norcaine, and I assume will be safely busy in Prokion Temple for the next week or so - or do I mean the next month or so?
DarkPulse101 came to Egeha, and did farm some Bogles - I took her to my favourite Bogle Hill, and after a while she did admit that they were very generous. A little later we did actually go back to the Boucu Demons, and tried the old "when the demon's health is low, I get on my horse and return to the village, so that DP can finish the job and get all the experience" trick, which Damor used to such good effect way back when I was quite a few levels lower than DP is now. After a few, though, DP decided to try soloing one, so I just stayed outside the party and watched. It worked so well that he continued to solo them, just relying on me for horse buffs when needed. He managed to attract the Skinwalker too once, but we both returned safely to town. After a few more Boucu Demons, DP's computer access was just coming to an end, so we gave the good news to the latest arrivals, and let them take over the spot.
I looked up "Zenderfly" on Google, and as well as the links to this blog's GuildPortal incarnation, there was a question from someone months ago at "Ask", requesting suitable names for a witch in a story they were writing - and that name was among the suggestions. I wonder if that is where Damor got the name from? But Zen was active today when I couldn't be, and when she suggested a teaming in the evening I was already a bit overwhelmed with stuff... and not too keen on returning to the Cursed Weavers, if truth be told, my drake might not be the only casualty the next time.
I'd have happily gone along for a Monster Combo, but that would have been up to Zen, and if she wanted to do the Weavers, and there wasn't a Carnage-based MC party in the offing, fine. She was remarking that it is always her who initiates those sorts of things, but that, surely, is Zen, she is good at arranging and leading. I do tend to leave it to her, she has got a much longer and more active friends list than I have, and I'd be lost without her friendship and companionship.
Well Kee did, despite all the capped fighting involved, and the late start, go up by 6.01% today, rather to my surprise - and I didn't claim any quest rewards, it must have been those boss monsters that did it. She got 6 skill points and 821 pet points, and a useful bit of cash too.