Kaerella's Blog - stardate October 2008 (2)
Unbloggishly, here we read from the top down - so the month continues here at the top!
Karella, Kaerella, Keerella - October 17th

Things were pretty quiet for most of today. MistressDomina was busy selling stuff, and did pretty well, selling some more Coins of Master at just under a million each... all I need now is to find something to buy with the cash! Perhaps I am still a little cheap on those, I've seen them elsewhere at 30% more, but really, how long would it take to sell at that high a price? It looks as if Moonstones have fallen from the dizzy heights they reached when the new grades of them were released, but at least I sold some ToolAids at my usual 23,500 gold price.

SirDarth did some mining too, but there was a disconnection at about 11:30 UK time this morning which ended both his and MD's activities for a while, until I came by to check - I don't know why the in-game announcement they sometimes make only mentions Thursday at that time as a possible break, almost any weekday around then is no time to be in a hard fight. Still, I got both Darth and MD in business again before lunch.

My rogue Karella went out pumpkin farming in the afternoon. Her favourite spot was already being used in Cariae-3; moving on to the first spot I used, north-east of there, revealed a vacant place, but it is so much less convenient that I decided to move over to Cariae-4 - and found the Treant spot vacant.

So, lots of Empty Baskets, lots of pet points, qa round 50 skill points, and 48 Pumpkins. I had to break off early, as today's "Happy Hour" was scheduled to begin at four, and I'd decided it was best to eat before then. It was lucky I did! It was also lucky I did keep going slightly longer than I'd planned, as almost the last item of loot I picked up was a Heaven Stone, the second one I got there.

After SirDarth popped back for a little more mining while I was afk, it was my cleric Kaerella's turn to take centre stage, grabbing the accessories and heading for Maargadum Jail's third level. By four o'clock I was down there, and starting to fight the Beast Flyers, and the Beast Archers. However, although the Last Chaos website had begun its countdown of how much of the two hours was left, the GMs had forgotten to actually start the event, which was to be double skill exp and double drops, for a change. It must have been 30 or 40 minutes before someone flicked the switch, without making any announcement at all.

So, Kae battled on, sometimes alone and sometimes with the Specialist Sorcerer Babaoreilly at the far end; sometimes surrounded by a mob of leathery wings, and sometimes waiting for respawns. While there was still no GM announcement in-game at all, to compensate they did leave the event running for an extra half hour, roughly... so as that took us to beyond seven, it was just as well I'd opted to eat before rather than after, even if that does make for rather a long evening.

Kae made nice progress in the three hours or so; 13.22% gets her close to three-quarters of the way through level 44, and 2802 pet points meant that right at the end her drake SirFrancis reached level 41, in fact I hung on a few extra minutes for him to get there. 122 skill points get her to over a thousand unused skill points, but there are some point-expensive skills in her future.

There is a strangely under-priced package in the Item Mall this week. Resurrection Scrolls cost 99 aeria points usually, but the "Players Choice: Repentance" package, besides 200 each of the "Tears of Repentance" (which help nullify Evil points gained by player-killing) and the "Tears of Forgiveness" (which help one recover negative experience, if killed soon after levelling up), and 25 Chaos Balls, contains 10 Resurrection Scrolls. And the whole package is only 199ap...

I changed to Keerella briefly, to go to Strayana just to top up my supplies of mana potions - and to learn the Mage Armor 2 skill, which increases the rate of mana regeneration. If she's to get the next level of Freeze Arrow at level 82 she's going to need to farm some more skill points, not surprisingly.

The evening ended with a call from Zenderfly for a Monster Combo; it was great to hear from her. She's still annoyed at DarkPulse101 for his lack of gratitude for all her help... and at me too. I thought she liked being the one who organized parties and expeditions, but apparently she thinks I should do that sort of thing as well.

Anyway, the Monster Combo went pretty smoothly, steered by Zen, and the total number of Coins of Master was a generous 252, so I got 32 more for future sale, or to put towards getting one of the special necklaces. Kee's experience gain was 10.32%, plus 873 risk-free pet points, and 4 skill points, so it was a nice way to end the day.

Combos & Commanders - October 18th

SirDarth did get some mining done, and then after lunch the call came from Zenderfly to join a Monster Combo team that was forming, so Keerella quickly logged on, and headed for Dratan City in Cariae-5.

Since the MCs took a little over 70 minutes each, two rather nicely filled in my afternoon session, alongside Zen, Itura, and some other familiar faces from previous outings there.  The first trip through got us 216 Coins of Master in total, which worked out at 31 Coins each, as we were only seven people; the second had a full eight, but again the total (197) was divided by seven, so I got given 28.  Not bad, as they seem to be steady sellers at 995,000 gold each.

I said my farewells, and went off to wash some dishes, get some food, and even switch the television on briefly, expecting that, if I logged back in after another 70 minutes, there would hopefully be another round about to start, with room for me to rejoin.  But when I did return, Zen told me that there had been problems - which probably explained why people were getting one-seventh of the swag from the second MC.  Apparently some people who knew that Itura was just Zen again didn't feel that both "players" should have a full share, despite Zen's leading role as a wizard and Itura's ever-reliable healing skills...and so Itura wasn't in the team for the third Monster Combo.

For some reason, presumably to do with whoever set up the Combo details, the Wight Slashers were not alone this time, they had other Wights with them - things were difficult, and slow, and without Itu there were at least three deaths.  They hadn't done more than three or four rounds, out of about twenty, when I was back.

Well, it looks as if I was well out of that one.  As Zen was busy, and looked like being busy for a while, Kee and SirDarth took DarkPulse101 down into the Tomb of Theos, to attempt my version of "power levelling".  As I don't know my way about the place well enough to find the bosses, it was just a matter of fighting the Screaming Zombies at the entrance...they are level 100, after all, so killing them ought to give a level 65 character like DP plenty of experience.

SirDarth went in, since at level 33 it just costs him 99,000 (3000 per level), and recalled DP and Kee in, then stayed at the back of the main corridor, giving Divine Shield and Protection buffs, and Recall... so Kee would attack a Screaming Zombie, and when its health was below 10% take the Recall option to leave the area, so that DP could finish the job and get the experience...

It wasn't a hugely long session, but DarkPulse101 went up 20% or so I think.  I was rather relieved when Zenderfly asked to be Recalled in, ran off down into the elite regions, and then asked if I was available to help her to level.  DP is a nice fellow, but all the questions do get tiring, particularly if one is having to answer and fight, with "enter" sometimes triggering Recall early instead of starting or finishing a message.  I don't enjoy being in the middle between him and Zen either, if one of them isn't accusing me of divulging something secret which in fact they'd told the other who'd then mentioned it to me for verification, then the other is grumbling that...well, enough.

It was blessedly quieter down in the "Commandery" area; we were in a "Combat" style party, which, Zen told me, means people can only be a maximum of ten levels apart, so Damor was there, in her underwear and facing the wall, as party leader.  At level 89 she is within ten levels of me, and only three levels below Zen, and so it worked.  Zen was using a 3-times Iris, and 4-times experience boosters (bought at a bargain 700,000 each, Zen certainly finds some good prices when she shops), and, even taking Recall at the last minute to avoid taking a full share of the Sphinx Commanders' experience, I was still getting about 2.8 million experience per kill, so things worked nicely.  With a Combat Party, the more members you have there, the better the experience, so Zen was able to get another friend to join, a level 96 rogue called NightHaunter, after a while.

Level 96 does "cap" my level 80, though, so my experience gain was drastically reduced; not that that was important, I'm always happy to help Zen when I can, and she's helped me lots of times too, in fact I presented her with an Egeha Package today as a thank-you, so she has a new 30-day Recall Scroll, plus its useful set of extras.  I'd been happy to continue on beyond the first hour's Iris - I didn't really want to go beyond that, my feeling was that it wasn't just me who'd get tired, the number of times when Zen forgot to issue a new Recall would increase, and I might forget to remind her... and NightHaunter was already blaming lag, and having her guild window open, for messing up boosters.

Zen had got about 65% of the way through her level, and was determined to try to get all the way to 93, and a suitably higher position on the Cariae mage rankings, so did crack a third Iris.  As a gesture of support I stayed for the first twenty minutes, at least, but some of us need our beauty sleep!  Hopefully some other of her friends would have been able to pile in.

There was a 75% rebate offer all day today, on a package with 75 experience boosters and other useful items in it, so having spent 999 aeria points (one package per account), with any luck I'll get 750 of them back in a couple of weeks.  75 experience boosters, at around 800,000 gold each, means getting about 60 million gold for 249 ap... and there are mana and health stealers, Experience Boxes, Chaos Balls, and a couple of Platinum Blessed Irises too.  I had thought it a little over-priced at 999 ap, but with the rebate it is a bargain.

Well, the two Monster Combos got Kee up by about 9% experience each - 24.87% was the day's total, after the Commanders had added their contribution, while 3269 pet points gets my drake more than halfway through his current level.  And 3 skill points, well it's better than nothing...

Combos & Pumpkins - October 19th

MistressDomina did some quite good business today - I was browsing the other merchants in Cariae-1 before setting up shop myself, and saw somebody selling Item Drop Boosters for 180k, which seemed like a good deal to me... my only regret is that I only bought 179 of them (to leave a round 1000), but MD was near her weight limit. I sold the odd 79 at 250k very quickly, and when I told Zenderfly a little later, she quickly put her name down for the remaining hundred at 300k each.

There was only time for one Monster Combo in the afternoon, led by Zen of course and with Itura in charge of the healing - it was gone four when we finished, so it seemed a good idea to take a round off, and get food early rather than late, as there was the Sunday TeaTime event in the offing.

MistressDomina finally sold the last 16 of the twenty Platinum Refining Stones at 1.5 million each - and just before she finished, someone kindly bought 25 Chaos Balls at 595k. Someone went for 198 Tears of Forgiveness at 49.5k, even, though I still have 197 Tears of Repentance (out of 200) at the same price.

After my food break, I put SirDarth on to do some mining - which has the advantage that he is on Zenderfly's Friends List, so messages can easily be left. It wasn't long before I heard from Zen, inviting Kee to join the MC team again - they were about halfway through, so I'd naturally only get half a full share, but it got me back in the party. It still costs 1,479,162 gold to get in - but 13 Coins of Master, my share of the 215, puts me well into profit.

The next Monster Combo, with some minor changes to the team, was a bit unfortunate - a level 71 specialist sorcerer in Zen's Carnage guild, Marco93, despite Zen saying each time that only she should trigger the next round, kept doing that, by clicking on the MC director immediately the last Wight Slasher was killed - and he did it on the coin round, so that there was no opportunity for Zen to pick up the coins that had been dropped for us, which would have been approximately 45 to 50, say 6 million in gold's worth for each of us.

As you can imagine, that wasn't well received, and people watched very closely at the end of the other three pay-out rounds. He stayed with us, and agreed that he shouldn't have a part of the final divvy-up. Luckily later rounds were slightly more generous than average, which meant we reached 184 coins, so Zen was able to give out 26 Coins of Master each, except to him - maybe he got the odd 2 left over?

Zenderfly did try to continue after that, but some people had to leave, and she couldn't find enough replacements, so that phase of the day came to an end, after she'd sold me some coins at a small discount; with any luck MistressDomina will be able to sell them at a profit, maybe I should try for slightly more next time?

The "Sunday TeaTime" had started late again - the double experience and double skill exp had helped the later Monster Combo stages along, so that Kee went up 34.41% for her two-and-a-half MCs, and gained 12 skill points... and got her drake 2201 pet points. I ended up the day with slightly more cash than at the start, but what with paying MC admissions, selling Item Drop Boosters, buying Coins, and being paid the balance on the Health Stealers I'd already passed to Zen, it's just as well I don't have to keep a record for the tax man. 

Zen also wanted some firecrackers, which can only be got from Pumpkins and can't be traded or exchanged, so I've "lent" her 138 Pumpkins - she'll pass back to me the other goodies she gets from them. I hope there's more than one Heaven Stone there, the last batch of 107 I went through only yielded me one.

Well, the event was still in progress when the MC team split up, so I changed to Kaerella, my level 44 cleric/healer, and headed back to level three of Maargadum Jail. The central area was already being used, so I took one of the side rooms - one of the rooms on each side has just enough Beast Flyers and Beast Archers, or almost enough anyway, while other rooms have Beast Scythes in there as well, which I wanted to avoid as they would attack my drake SirFrancis. 

I was in a solo party with SirDarth, still mining - though Zen did ask for him to go back to town to help her transfer some stuff between Damor and Zenderfly, which he cleverly did while Kae continued to fight. The event was finally switched off not at the proper finishing time of seven, UK time, but at 8:38 pm. I went on a little longer, before getting involved in some general multi-window chat with Rikie, ClonedDeep, Vecc, and DarkPulse101 of course... CD was slightly taken aback that I'd referred to him as "ClonedSheep", but hey, that's near enough, right?

Anyway, Kae added 807 pet points, 6.96% experience, and a useful 40 skill points - for a change she didn't get any ready-plussed armour drops there, just the usual minor stuff. And then, the quiz was approaching.

Well, we got further with the Halloween questions than last week, though not far enough for the ten ToolAids that 10 correct answers gets one, let alone any Moonstones or Heaven Stones. I wasn't clicked on to Zen or Damor this time - I was in a party with Zen, but I didn't actually see her on my radar/compass. MistressDomina and Darkpulse101 were clicked on to me. I got the Jack'o'Lantern question right (Ireland, not Transylvania), and a "Hallomas" one (which subsequent research shows could be argued either way, but surely it would tend to be the day after All Hallows' Eve), and a Vlad the Impaler one (Dracula rather than the Wolfman), and guessed the year the Halloween movie was filmed correctly (1978 not 1979)... but when they asked if Halloween had been celebrated for more than 2000 years, unless I misread it, I went for no - an All Saints' Day festival, and its previous evening, in 8 AD? And out I was dumped in the middle of Randol.

Zen stayed a question or two longer, but opted, with the remaining majority, for a Pumpkin being a vegetable rather than a fruit. Apparently it is a bit like a melon, in theory, and any such item with seeds in or on it is a fruit rather than a vegetable. Whether anyone got to question 20 or not, who can tell?

Oh well, it's only a bit of fun. And after that it was time to log out for the evening.

Down In The Tomb of Theos - October 20th

MistressDomina did some high-value selling today, though Zenderfly advises me not to sell any more of the two types of Tears cheaply, but to wait a few weeks so that they can regain their usual higher price; I sold the 200 Coins of Master I'd put up, and a usefully large chunk of my supply of Chaos Balls, plus Experience Boosters, and Crystals of Experience (Greater) - they'd rather stuck at 99,500 gold, though I'd have said that that was their normal price, but someone finally took all sixteen at 89,500.

So, after all those Monster Combos, the plan was for some fresh air and exercise with my level 25 rogue Karella. After a brief side-track to Cariae-2 to add Zen to Karella's Friends List, I used a memorising scroll to move out to Cariae-3's Treants - only to find someone else already there, pumpkin helm on, waiting for the next Halloween-style fruit to appear. So I moved across to Cariae-4, and found that space unoccupied. I also didn't see any pumpkins, but I took off the pumpkin helm and put it on again, and there one was, bobbing up and down menacingly.

The helms can be slightly buggy like that - Kaerella has had to take off and put on the helm a number of times before the ones near Maargadum Jail have been visible to her. Still, it's worth persisting, as the drops they give are in general a bit useful.

However, after only, I think, 8 Pumpkins, Zen got in touch, asking for Keerella's assistance with her power levelling. It still seems strange for a level 80 wizard to be helping a level 93 one, but hey it works. So, I had to bid my rogue goodbye, and head back to Cariae-2 as Kee, ready to take a Recall down to the deepest recess of the Tomb of Theos, the circular room I call the Commandery - because it's full of Sphinx Commanders.

And that is where we spent the afternoon. Kee stayed down there while I had my food break, too, as with a Combat-type party the more members it has, the more experience is on offer... and I was getting a little experience myself, "a little" at this level being 2,000,000 or so per Sphinx Commander. A friend of Zen's in the party was saying that the mechanics of Recall may well be changed in this week's patch, so that this exact kind of power-levelling won't work any more (me taking Zen's Recall when the Commander is down to 5% health), so she is anxious to get some experience this way while she still can.

As ever, it was fun, with its thrilling moments, when Zen managed to attract up to three Commanders, or one would focus on me - then clever use of Recall came into its own for breaking off aggro, or Zen just tanked with more health pots. I could wish for less times I have to remind her to set up "rc", but the fighting can get a bit complex so it must be hard to remember everything all the time.

After the break I returned to the fray; Zen was able to tell me that I'd gained a Heaven Stone while away from the keyboard, which was good news. A titan had joined the party, replacing Zen's friends, I assume he just happened to be there and was persuaded that he'd get more experience if he joined us. He didn't fight the same foes we did, but kept busy around to the other side in there. Zen popped her final Iris, and, towards the end of its hour, reached level 94 - so mission accomplished. And then she had to go off to help a friend, presumably in a party slightly above my level.

So, I was able to team up with DarkPulse101, Norcaine's level 65 wizard. The first thing to do was make sure DP had some resurrection scrolls, which thanks to this week's bargain package I was able to sell cheaply. I had envisaged taking on the Egeha boss monsters Skinwalkers and Scorpionmantises jointly, but checking the Wet Paint LC Wiki, they do give less experience per kill than the Screaming Zombies in the Tomb. So it was back in there for us.

SirDarth didn't do much except provide an emergency Recall if DP got in trouble - he did get us in cheaply to begin with, though, at 3000 gold per level entry just costs him 99,000 gold. Since I no longer "cap" DarkPulse101, we were able to fight normally, with me tanking the Screaming Zombies, and him coming in afterwards. As he needs to level up his horse, I'd advised him not to use Terra Spear too much. He'd have got twice as much experience per kill if I'd taken Recall back to Darth when a zombie was down to 5%, but it seemed twice as quick just to team and fight normally. That was a decision Zen later confirmed to be wise - and it meant I got my share of the loot, though I don't think there was anything more exciting than Empty Baskets dropped, along with some gold of course.

I did have to freeze Kee's experience on 99.96% after a while, to avoid levelling up and once again "capping" DP, but by the end of the evening session, DP had reached level 66, and I was able to unfreeze Kee and level up myself, to 81. So - again, mission accomplished. In all Kee went up 22.87%, as well as donating some guild points to Norcaine; not a single skill point gained, of course, but 4102 pet points, and a couple of million in gold from the drops, not counting a hundred million that MistressDomina was able to transfer across!

Zen contacted me just before the end, to say that she'd got 470 firecrackers from those Pumpkins I'd loaned her; the plan is that we do the Monster Combo tomorrow, assuming a team can be assembled. I risked asking if DP could be considered as a member at some point, if online, and after a moment's thought Zen allowed that, if nobody else was available, that might be possible. DP won't be on until about seven, UK time, apparently, but I've given instructions about not picking up coins, not clicking on the NPC director of the combo, and so on. A first time in there isn't easy as it's new territory, I remember well.

Pumpkins, not Combos - October 21st

MistressDomina continued with her campaign to make me rich - at least until I see an expensive weapon, or need new armour again - by selling a couple of hundred Coins of Master, plus Chaos Balls and some oddments, this morning; it's nice to be "busy" in-game without having to be at the computer personally!

Keerella got the expected call from Zenderfly straight after lunch, for a Monster Combo party - but I'm afraid we just couldn't get up to a full party size.  They must have been trying for a while before I logged in, because Zen gave up pretty soon after I joined, and went off to watch television, which was wise, as our new leader's efforts over the next half hour didn't work out.  We got close, until I mentioned the cost of admission, which a couple of the lower-level recruits couldn't manage.

So, I switched over to my rogue Karella, and spent the rest of the afternoon Pumpkin farming; the only interloper at my favourite patch was a level 21 healer called LiLI, who only responded to suggestions that there were other spawning points which might be free by explaining that she was from Hungary.

Still, despite the late start I added another 38 Pumpkins to my collection, plus a Heaven Stone and enough Empty Baskets to add a good number to my Halloween Candy collection.  Oh, and 54 skill points - not as many as I'd get in Prokion Temple, of course, but useful.

As well as raking in cash in merchant mode, I did actually manage to spend some.  Well, 40 million, anyway, on a second "Stone of Shadow" accessory, from a sorcerer called Steanky in Cariae-1.  So, Both Kae and Kee, sharing the same trio, have now got 34 more Close Range Evasion, and an extra 93 points of Long Range Evasion - 4 less Dexterity, though, compared to a "Pierce of Wind".

Since Zen still wasn't around, after the food break it was my level 44 cleric/healer Kaerella's turn for some action, so, after putting on the accessories, off Kae went to to Maargadum Jail, and the Beast Flyers on level three there.  It was as ever hectic, but rather slow going, as a quite lengthy session only added 10.01% to experience, 2152 pet points, and, as with Karella, 54 skill points.  The Beast Flyers continued to drop some pre-plussed items - a level 41 sorcerer's Darknames Fallarm +2 and, also level 41, a mage's +3 Allunin Skirt.   Looking in my inventory, almost all the plussed items are level 41, actually; the couple of level 37 ones probably came from level two.

Zen did come online, but just to chat.  She was telling me of her first encounter with the GameSage Airadella.  It seems that Airadella was holding a "Lost in Merac" event, asking people to find her "child" Fetuh, who was lost somewhere out in the wilds.  So, Zen changed to the appropriate server, Cariae-2, and began running around searching for that character - and found him in what Zen referred to as "your volcano", presumably the "extinct volcano" quite near town where I used to farm Butchers and Pilferers... much less busy now, I'm sure, with everyone going to Prokion Temple instead.

"However, he was red so I turned PK mode on and killed him.  Mysteriously, his reply was "You're meant to take me 2 town."  I quickly got on my mount and returned to town, to get rid of PK mode.  There I found Airadella saying "My child Fetuh got lost in Merac, pls bring him back."  Suddenly a bell rang in my mind..."

So, Zen sent Fetuh a private message, apologising for the player-killing, and ran back to the volcano, and then partied with him, which is what you are supposed to do, in that sort of event.  Fetuh did start to walk back towards Merac Town, but he was saying to everyone they came across that if they PK'd Zen, if Zen died he would party with them instead.  But Zen, using a lot of pots, managed to fight her way through into the safety of town - and, as the winner, was given a Platinum Blessed Iris and Platinum Adrenaline by Airadella.

Then Airadella announced another run - so Zen set off again, running around searching for Fetuh's new hiding place... but "after some minutes my eye hit the upper left corner, and I saw that I was still in a party with her.  So I brought the map up fast, and ran to her.  However, she was not up for letting me win again - she left the party and tried to run away.  I told her she should leave the party, or it would take the fun out of finding her..."

Well, after Kae had topped the 10% experience figure, leaving a similar amount before she levels up, it seemed like a good time to log out.  Zen is actually hoping to get a Monster Combo party going tomorrow afternoon at 2:00pm, UK time, so stay tuned to see how tomorrow turns out!

Crisis on Cariae - October 22nd

The new Last Chaos week has begun, after the usual server downtime for maintenance which, conveniently for us Europeans, takes place in the early hours of Wednesday mornings.  There were no big changes to the game - no change to Recall's workings, for example.  Just some tweaking of the Monster Combo's "strings" apparently.

What we do have, as well as the new week's Item Mall bargain packages, is a bonus a day - double skill experience today, double experience on Thursday, 50% extra chance of success with upgrades using Heaven Stones on Friday, double (gold) drop rate on Saturday - and double skill, experience, skill, and pet experience on Sunday, followed by some special events on Monday.  The new "day" starts in the morning, as far as America's West Coast is concerned, but for the UK it's 6:30 in the evening, at least until the clocks go back early on Sunday, a week ahead of when the USA will adjust its clocks for the winter apparently.

Today's title is a bit over-dramatic, but, after the downtime, the Cariae server has been having problems.  Zenderfly invited me out to Strayana after lunch, to farm the Dark Harpies again, since there weren't many prospective Monster Combo people around; this time she used the Lucky Scroll and the Item Drop Booster herself, and put up Recall for me to use when the Harpy health bar was low, to make sure the drops were optimised.  Unfortunately, we had problems with lag - even if I clicked to accept Recall when the Harpy still had about 20% health, sometimes I didn't actually teleport until too late.  Text was slow, too - Zen mentioned that there were complaints on the official forums, and before very long an announcement came up in-game from the GMs that, to try and cure the problem, the Cariae server would be briefly shut down and restarted.

So, we killed a few more Dark Harpies in the remaining five minutes, and logged out - then logged back in again, and returned to Strayana and continued where we'd left off.  To begin with things seemed better, but before long the lag returned.  As Zen reckoned that the drops weren't very good today anyway, we decided after a while to leave.  I'd got 5.91% experience and 425 pet points.

Well, it was lucky we'd not been in the Monster Combo, where all the lag would have been dangerous, and possible disconnections expensive - and we would have got booted out halfway through, probably, with very few Coins of Master to show for our 1,479,162 gold admission fee.  I changed to Karella and headed for the Treants and their Pumpkin patch, and, despite one disconnection, added 34 Pumpkins and 44 skill points before it was time for my tea break.

Zen had passed back the results of her Pumpkin-opening session, keeping the Firecrackers as arranged - just the 1 Heaven Stone, but 16 Experience Scrolls, 130 Effort Scrolls, 110 Lucky Scrolls, and 165 Moonstones, so that's a good further supply of such things - not for immediate sale!  After we got back she had 55 more Coins of Master to sell to MistressDomina - if she continues to sell to me at 900k and they go on selling to people for 1,095k, I should make a useful profit.  I joked that Zen was rich again now, but apparently her plans call for rather more cash, very possibly to do with Friday's upgrade bonus.  She asked to borrow 300 million, passing over a couple of +15 wands as surety, luckily MistressDomina had just enough cash to be able to make the trade.  Zen commented afterwards that the level 85 +15 wand alone was worth in excess of 400 million...I assume she made that one back when Zen was a wand-using witch, and not a staff-using wizard, but it's handy for her to keep it in case Zen or Damor decides to change across.

Well, SirDarth had done some more mining, though he got more disconnections than Karella did - she doesn't need to use any skills at all against the mobs of Treants, which probably helps, while I think that each time his mining yields a stone, information has to pass, and there's a possibility for a disconnection.  Logging back in, either after a disconnection or just to change sub-server or character, wasn't easy - lots of "timed out" messages, mixed with the always-scary "Account ID is in use" box.

At 6:30 the double skill exp day began - and they also announced a 50% rebate offer on the Wednesday Item Mall Package...but I have quite a lot of the things in that package in stock, so I'm hoping that every day, that day's package will have the 50% rebate, and I'm holding out for a better package. One really can't afford all of them, even at half price.

"Playing at the moment is not fun", was Zen's summing-up, though later she reported that the Wraiths gave her 1 skill point each now, thanks to the event.  A little research tells me that they are level 94 boss monsters on floor eight of Lust Trum tower in Egeha, so I'm rather glad not to have been there.  The only time I've been in Lust Trum was when Escadalia kindly recalled me to Egeha, and happened to be there - I used a scroll to get back to town very quickly.

Well, I had about an hour before I had to make my usual early Wednesday early departure; with the "Engineers", as an announcement put it, still working to solve Cariae's problems, the best idea seemed to be something where a disconnection wouldn't prove fatal - so, for a change, SirDarth put his pickaxe away and headed for Prokion Temple, went to the far-back upper storey room, used Recall to bring Karella to join him, in a safe bit behind a torch, and set to work on the Orc Sergeants and Orc Axemen.  Along with some minor loot, Karella got 69 more skill points, and Darth got 70, enough for him to be able to get the third and last level of Advanced Absorption, and move on to the next special skill that needs to be maxxed.  I'd better start spending Karella's skill points on that sort of thing as well, 415 is rather a lot of them to be carrying around.

The Lag Continues - October 23rd  

Well, the Cariae server group continued to have problems with lag today, but we battled on, for most of the time, since until 6:30, UK time, there was double skill experience.  Logging in continued to be a pain, with lots of timings-out, "Account ID is in use", and other delays.

When SirDarth logged in, he had a couple of strokes of good fortune - he found some bargains, and he found a new knight for Norcaine.  The bargains were 2 Extreme Stones for 10,000,000 gold each and 18 Item Drop Boosters for only 100,000 each, when in both cases three times that is a more usual valuation.  There was quite a crowd around the seller when she announced her prices, I expect other people got some bargains too. 

The new knight was an old knight - not that I knew that when Renez clicked on me to ask to join the guild.  If I'd checked my messages lately on the Last Chaos website/forum I would have known who it was - it was Galandorius, with a new level 23 knight he was just finishing the skill point farming on.  "Gal" had been a pre-patch character, so was without the huge store of sp that people now build up in Prokion Temple - after trying a mage, Vecc, he'd returned to the ways of chivalry, and to Norcaine.

He did talk to Zenderfly about purchasing some Power Levelling time, perhaps in exchange for some Item Mall bits and pieces he had left.  I'm not sure if he actually arranged anything with Zen, but he was certainly a good few levels higher by the evening. To finish the skill point farming he asked me for some skill boosters, so I did actually buy one of the Wednesday 50% rebate packages of them - he exchanged them for some spare Platinum Irises or something along those lines, probably generously, though I'm not entirely sure of their normal in-game selling price.

Anyway, with the lag issues and the possibility of disconnection, taking SirDarth to Prokion Temple for his own slow skill point farming seemed the best idea, as he doesn't equip a pet, and he could stand there all day surrounded by irate Orcs and not lose health.  So off he went, using Recall to bring Karella in to join him, safely tucked behind a pillar if in the early upper storey Orc Sergeant room, or later tucked behind a flaming brazier in the bigger room further to the back.

Recalling Karella to behind that pillar twice caused her to appear beneath the raised floor there - at least on her own screen.  Running out through the wall onto the central floor, and round and up the stairs to where she should have been, worked, though.  A good long afternoon session, with only one disconnection for Darth, brought them in 204 skill points each - a further session after the food break, until the "day" ended at 6:30, added another 69.  So Darth has been able to complete his Absorption skills, so that he is a maxxed-out farmer of herbs, stones, and energy; he's started learning Alchemy skills now.  These special skills are just a convenient place to put skill points, for better use later.  Karella has also been able to start putting some points into special skills.

When the bonus changed from double skill exp to double experience, it was time to change characters - both SirDarth and Karella have got their experience frozen, and Norcaine has plenty of guild points, so there was no point in them continuing.  My initial intention was to take Kaerella out to Maargadum Jail, but just as Keerella was putting the three main accessories that the characters share into warehouse storage to transfer them across, DarkPulse101 suggested a team-up, to help her towards her next level.  Just in time I cancelled the deposit (saving myself 3 gold), and so Kee, DP, and SirDarth headed for the Cariae-3 Tomb of Theos.

It's handy having both SirDarth and Keerella with Recall; SirDarth was the one who talked to the doorkeeper to get us in (after DP thoughtfully provided the cash), so we saved money there (level 33, 99,000 gold, or level 81, 243,000 gold) - and when Kee had a disconnection, he didn't, and was able to Recall her back in.

There were a few bits of lag - a couple of times I started to bring SirDarth forward to help when Kee just stood doing nothing, but she recovered in time, and SirDarth quickly ran back out of the compass area, to avoid getting any of the experience when the Screaming Zombie was at last killed.  The general idea was that, if DP or Kee got lagged out and just stood there defenceless, the other one would be able to finish the zombie-killing and keep the laggard safe.

Kee got 10.41% experience, and 521 pet experience; DarkPulse101 probably got around twice as much percentage gain, being fifteen levels lower.  But then we were all three kicked out - and when we attempted to log back in, "maintenance" was listed against c3, so we could only log in using a different sub-server.  Actually, SirDarth didn't click the "okay" button on the "disconnected" pop-up for a while, but took the opportunity to explore parts of the tomb while the zombies, and other monsters, were away.  There certainly are a lot of corridors, the whole place is a bit of a maze.

That was enough for me; Zen had mentioned that she was getting disconnections about every 25 minutes, and that it was not the best time to attempt to play high-level characters.  No chance of Monster Combos, then, until the package of duct tape being expressed to the server location (yeah, right...) gets there and things settle down.  I headed across to the Hatzring server, where I did have a couple of level 7 characters, and played a bit with them instead.  I got the healer up to level ten, but I think I'll resist the temptation to start a Norcaine guild over there.  At least she can go into merchant mode now if necessary.  It's difficult to judge the prices from just a few sellers in one sub-server, but it looked to me as if the prices of a lot of things were pretty similar to Cariae now. When the server was still new, things were a lot cheaper.  I could spend aeria points over there if I wanted to; I see that I don't, however, have access to the packages that I've bought but not downloaded to a specific inventory.

Ah well, let's hope that by tomorrow the Cariae Crisis is over, and we can make full use of the remaining double experience time.  The Thursday package from the Item Mall for this special week is on 75% rebate for 24 hours, I must grab that tomorrow for sure.  Wednesday's one-day rebate was 50%, at this rate they'll be paying us to buy the packs by Monday...

Drastic Measures - October 24th 

One thing I didn't mention in yesterday's report was that Zen found a buyer for her level 85 +15 wand, so it looks as if she has given up on the idea of having a top-level witch.  She managed to contact me in the morning, and I logged on with MistressDomino, who was carrying it, and traded it across to her - a couple of minutes later she returned with the 300 million she'd borrowed, and I passed across the other wand.  So Zen is all set for the 50% extra success rate on Heaven Stone upgrades, starting this evening.  She mentioned today that she'd got the three Lucky Smelting Stones that she needed - when she said "10 million" I wondered if, knowing the way she is good at getting bargains, she'd got all three for that amount, but she paid that much each, which is the going rate, I'd say.  Until the Friday GRAW package goes on a rebate deal later today, hopefully!

Zen mentioned that the Platinum Super Skill Pills that Renez had traded to me were worth approaching 8 million each, so I think Renez gave me a rather good "exchange rate"for the experience boosters yesterday.

The lag and disconnection problem seemed to have subsided today - I was doing a little shopping around, as well as taking advantage of the 75% rebate deal on the Thursday package, and managed to find another Stone of Shadow at 40 million gold, though this time I did have to spend another million on a Gold Magnifying Glass to get it identified; the vendor was BratPutina.  So, Kee is very nearly at the maximum for evasion now, though her headgear is the cheaper green version rather than the maximum blue one, which is extremely hard to find.

I'd just set up MistressDomina to sell some things, mainly cheap Halloween candies, and was browsing the merchants with Kee when the "normal" 11:30-ish (perhaps closer to 11:40) server reboot chucked us all out.  Kee got the "clicked on merchant but the window won't open" thing, and disconnected, while MistressDomina, since she wasn't doing anything, seemed to last rather longer.  It was rather spooky, in fact, the gold spammers stopped spamming, gradually all the merchants and their "for sale" banners vanished, just MD, the NPCs, and a few merchant-mode people near the Moon Statue were still visible... and then finally the "disconnected" window came up.  I logged MD back in, and quickly set up her store again, this time with some higher-priced items, while there was little competition.

With the double experience 24 hours continuing today until 6:30 UK time, my best bet seemed to be to take Kaerella out to Maargadum Jail this afternoon.  MistressDomina had been still trying to do a little selling in Cariae-1, but as there wasn't a solo party available in Cariae-3 I had to change to SirDarth, and set up our own party.

After about 8% experience, and soon after I took full possession of the central area, though, Zenderfly got in touch - she was in need of Reputation points, which can be exchanged for a free Extreme Stone or two if you get enough, and so wanted to know if I had some level 10 characters who were ready to take a Guardian and be levelled up to level 20, at which point they'd get the "event weapon" and she'd get the Reputation points.

I slightly confused her by logging in with two candidates, she was thinking more of Kee helping her, and just one apprentice each - but she decided that it would work okay that way.  So my junior sorcerer enrolled in the Guardian system and chose Zenderfly as his Guardian; LordElpus joined the party and got Recalled into the Tomb of Theos, where Zen was battling the Screaming Zombies at the start, followed by minor mage Memree, whose main claim to fame around here is that her level 1 armour set is all +4, and her starter wand is +5...which means she could hit a Screaming Zombie for about 40 when she didn't miss.

Unfortunately, the planned emergency server maintenance, "an attempt to alleviate issues on Cariae", to replace some hardware and get everything working smoothly, started earlier than we'd been told, as they'd been advised to take a full back-up first - which makes sense to me!  We were only given five minutes notice of the impending shut-down "for two to four hours" (which means today's Friday EU "Happy Hour" had to be postponed), so plans to bring in a new set of apprentices had to be shelved, and Zen only just had time to finish levelling up LordElpus and Memree.  Her own titan character was still a few levels short when I logged out.  I think he went from level 1 to 7 on the first zombie killed after he arrived, aided by the double experience, but approaching level 20 the gain does slow down rather for "capped" characters.  It was annoying for Zen, as she'd presumably paid to get in, and also for someone she'd given a Recall too, as he'd just run all the way into the depths to fight the high-level types.  I hope he'd not started a one-hour Iris...

It was about twenty to six when I got back on to Last Chaos, seeing a mention in the forum's "Shout Box" that the servers were back up.   To start with I was expecting Zen to want to take another two of my characters down into the Tomb, but apparently not - while I was waiting, Kae headed towards Maargadum Jail, but just hung around with the Pumpkin Ghosts - and had managed to collect 40 Pumpkins before the word came for Kee to register for a Precedence Party.

At 6:03 the announcement of the end of the Happy Hour came up, and the double experience and skill experience ended - strange, as the double experience at least ought to have continued until the change to the extra chance of Heaven Stone upgrades succeeding came in, and most of the two "Happy" hours had been with the servers offline... but then at 6:19 they came to their senses and reinstated, or re-began, the EU Happy Hour.  And continued it, after our dislocations, for the rest of the evening...

But yes, Zen's message meant that it was Monster Combo time - and we managed to fit in three rounds, though the third one took a while to get under way, as Zen lost her connection for a while.  DarkPulse101 came along for that one, DP's first trip into the scary vaults beneath Dratan.

Anyway, Kaerella had gone up 7.50% in experience, added 20 skill points, and also gained 870 pet points - thanks to the MCs, and the belated "Happy Hour" experience bonus, Kaerella added 52.75% experience, 23 skill points, and 2718 pet points, not to mention 82 Coins of Master.  The Monster Combos are still a great way to level - without the bonus it would have been a little under 9% per time.

Back to the Combo - October 25th 

Now that they are level 20, LordElpus and Memree had a few new quests to acquire - and also some of Lorraine's level-specific Treasure Boxes to open, so that a useful amount of candy was earned, and a sorcerer +4 weapon which Elpus has already outgrown.  When he traded the candy to MistressDomina she gave him a set of the Halloween candies, so he was able to get a pumpkin head... but going out to the nearest Pumpkin Ghost spawning point was not a great success, with his low-level armour he got killed twice.  Still, he got some Effort Scrolls and Firecrackers from the few Pumpkins that did drop for him.

I took Jacqueline, Elvastar's level 33 archer, out for a brief adventure, mainly to check that she did have the top level of Party Heal - she certainly takes a lot more damage than SirDarth when fighting Orc Axemen and Orc Sergeants in Prokion Temple, but she can heal herself.  But I had a call from DarkPulse101 which needed me to change over to Darth himself, so Jacqui only actually gained 4 skill points there.

DP needed kicking from Norcaine, as he has been invited to join some of his friends in Fraternity - they promise to level him up, which is useful.  Captianjack, his other character, will remain in Norcaine, but it looks as if DP will soon be zooming up and overtaking Kee.  At least it means I don't have to worry that Kee levelling up would "cap" him by moving more than 15 levels ahead. 

Zenderfly reported that she had, thanks to the 50% extra chance of success upgrading items with Heaven Stones, managed to make three level 85 +15 staffs - one of them yellow with four seals (and worth 150 million), and the other two green with five seals, giving an extra 15 to attack, and an extra 20 to magical hit rate.  Zen sold one of those two to "someone with too much money" for 750 million, which I commented was a bit more than MistressDomina's current cash reserves. Someone else offered her 600 million for the second one, but Zen has agreed to sell it to me for 500 million, which is very kind. That much Mistress D can afford, thanks to the sales of Coins of Master.  Zen later commented that it was "the best staff in the game".

After some real life distractions, Zen went off with ScaredlilGirl to mob the Screaming Zombies in the Tomb; meanwhile, SirDarth had made his way to Prokion Temple, and headed for his favourite upstairs back room, where he Recalled Karella to join him.  They spent the rest of the afternoon there, and stayed there while I took my food break, by which time Darth had got enough skill points for level two of Expert Alchemy.

When I got back, Zen had already started a Monster Combo, and reached stage 5, so I had time for some more Orc-bashing.  DarkPulse101 reported that a couple of his new guildies were going to provide a power levelling session - he was a bit short of experience boosters though (28), so I volunteered to sell him the last 25 I had in stock for 18 million, a bit less than I generally sell them for.  That should have been enough for an hour, anyway.  So, as I had to log Karella out while MistressDomina went to meet up with him, she ended up with slightly less skill points than Darth - 91 to his 97.

I was able to join the Combo team, and we went through three times before I called it a night - DP, who'd reached level 74, was now able to use a new level 73 +15 staff he'd bought, and I lent him my old level 70/72 +6 armour set.  He was hoping to get into the Monster Combo party, and was being given his opportunity when I left.

With almost 9% experience per Combo, Kee went up 26.81% today - and right at the end her drake levelled up, reaching level 45.  The evening added 11 skill points too; as I level up and get nearer to the level of the Wight Slashers, at level 91, the skill point gain from the "MC" will increase.

A New Norcaine Leader - October 26th 

With the clocks going back in Europe last night, but not for another week in the USA, things may well get a bit confusing, time-wise.  After doing Monster Combos until fairly late last night, I hadn't thought to change the clocks, so got up at a usual Sunday time, or not, as the case may be - ah well, the extra hour's lie-in will be more useful on a Monday morning I'm sure.

So, I did have a little time online this morning, and Kaerella did go and increase her supply of Pumpkins by 20 on the way to Maargadum Jail - where a not hugely long session got her up at last to level 45.  Just 2.12% experience, 13 skill points, and 487 pet points, but it's good to get her up a level again.  Four more stat points have gone into her Constitution, though she'll need a couple more levels before she has the 17 needed for the passive skill Mana Barrier - an investment of 292 skill points will increase her close-range physical evasion by 25.

The main activity in the afternoon, and the evening as well, took place in the Tomb of Theos, for me... I decided to follow Zen's example of a day or two back and get some more of my storage-type characters up to level 20, getting Keerella as their Guardian some Reputation points.  So I used SirDarth for the cheaper admission, then brought in MistressDomina, followed by others.  And Kee levelled up, she is now level 82.

Zenderfly, however, had asked to be made Guild Master of Norcaine temporarily, borrowed a Medal of Honour, and entered the Castle Siege, recruiting Itura and Avarielle too.  DarkPulse101 had, along with his Fraternity friends, joined Coalition, and was there too - I got a very indignant message (not indignant with me, I was just someone to share the pain with) from DP reporting that Zen had mount-killed him.  I got a rather happier message from Zen reporting the incident!  It only costs about 400k to release the pet, was Zen's attitude, so no big deal. And DP had been lucky earlier, someone had distributed some useful goodies at the arena and DP had been able to pick up some good stuff.

After my food break I continued, and then got messaged by ES200000, or whatever his number is, Zenderfly's titan who we'd been power-levelling before the emergency maintenance on Friday.  So he joined up - he just needed three more kills to get to level twenty, and Zen kindly passed over the Event Weapon he was awarded.  After that Zenderfly herself came and joined up, and made another character or two of her own - "Keegetme" on the list of players seeking parties was an obvious one to invite to join us!  We actually got a "real" new player, 777John777, who was looking for a guardian to power-level him, and got quick service, though Zen snapped him up as his Guardian before I could.

He did ask if he could stay and KS a bit to get to about level 24, but I advised him that he'd do better to start his skill point farming in Prokion Temple at 20... and Zen wasn't too keen on him staying around anyway.  Zenderfly started to lure the Screaming Zombies three or four at a time - she had just asked me to target a different mob from the one she was on, so I was rather busy trying to do that and didn't notice that her health was dangerously low... she died, though commented afterwards that it was lucky that resurrection scrolls were so cheap at the moment.  She was using Chaos Nova as an "area of effect" spell, which is quite effective, but its way of boosting the enemy's attack came back to bite her then.

We kept going until the Quiz, which was an hour "early" by winter time, though it still seemed as late to me.  Kee and, for a change, and because MistressDomina is pretty close to her weight limit at present, Barbarienne joined Zenderfly, Damor and Itura in the Cariae-5 quiz room.  What a fiasco that was, I wasn't fully tuned in when the first question came up, but I was clicked on to Zen - the value if sold to a merchant of a small health potion was the question, and everyone opted for the wrong side, and respawned out in town. Not Barbarienne, though, she got a "send error message?" crash.  I'm sure I'd have followed the majority and got it wrong too if I hadn't been clicked on Zen.

Luckily we didn't end the evening with that, Zen organised a Monster Combo to end on...without any of her patented "surprise" rounds, like bringing in Wraiths or, yesterday, Mimic Crods, which may look like a kind of treasure chest but come four at once, and were a bit of a handful.  The "Sunday TeaTime" event must still have been switched on, as I got almost 17% experience from it and 9 skill points - the total of Coins of Master wasn't bad either at 224, or 28 each.  In all Kee went up 51.57% today, thanks to double experience being on for a lot of the time; only those 9 MC skill points, but 5576 pet points... I think double pet experience was also involved, heheh...

Two Views of Demons - October 27th  

As there was to be double experience, skill exp, and pet points all day until the evening, it seemed like a good idea to log in early.  The idea was for Kaerella, my level 45 cleric, to head for Maargadum Jail, but ClonedDeep and Renez were looking for a healer for a Boucu Demon party, and Kae rather found herself elected.

I started by saying that we'd do better with the Bogles, as specialist sorcerer CD was level 51 and royal knight Renez was closer to my own level, but we dealt with a few of those so easily that we soon found ourselves at the familiar level 84 Boucu Demon spot.  Doing a three-man team there was a bit scary, I was using Greater Heal, Fast Heal, Party Heal, and even Self Heal as fast as I could, and they were both using pots, or generally candies... Renez did die once, but used a resurrection scroll, and blamed himself for skimping on the candy.  It was reminiscent of the parties we used to do many months ago with Sheele, Rastatitan, Elvastar, and others, though then we were a bit lower, and there tended to be around eight of us.

Apart from that one death we came through okay, though I'm glad it wasn't a long session - Kae needs to farm skill points, so adding 60.22% experience without any skill points is not something I need to repeat for a while.  Kae's drake SirFrancis only got 230 pet points, as I was too busy healing to do much attacking.

I made sure that SirDarth got a lift to Egeha while we were setting up, so was able to leave him in the village over the lunch break - and Keerella was able to be Recalled there after lunch.  He was also able to bring Renez back a time or two.

Luckily the Boucu Demon spot was free again, so Kee was able to take on the Boucu demons.  Soloing them for a level 82 character is not hard, though one does have to use healing potions sometimes.  One of the two local Demons is a little close to a Skinwalker, who, while only level 82 himself, takes a very long time to kill, Damor would always just hop back to town to save time.  I did attract its attention once in that session, and yes it took ages to kill - so long that the Boucu Demon respawned and attacked again, so that I was using the larger health pots quite freely.  Still, the 'walker dropped a level 72 +3 titan helm, which isn't bad.

I got called away by Zen after a while for a Monster Combo, which went reasonably well - there isn't a lot to say about them really, 19 rounds of level 91 Wight Slashers and 1 round of level 99 Nivas are the normal recipe, eight per round, assuming you have that many in the party.  The number of coins was a bit low, I only got 24.  I also helped Zen towards the end of her hour power-levelling Renez with the Sphinx Spear Men in the Tomb of Theos... and took her place briefly in Lust Trum tower, floor eight, when she had to go back to town for something.  Luckily, as she assured me, all the monsters in that spot were not aggressive - I was just about touching a level 94 Wraith for a while.  Hmm, the Wet Paint Wiki says they are aggressive, but I lived to tell the tale.

I had another session with the Boucu Demons, and this time took Zen's advice and took Darth's Recall when a Skinwalker got involved.  And then I got called for a couple more Monster Combos, gaining 25 and 26 Coins of Master, respectively.  I didn't feel like another very late night, and the double-everything had ended by then; DarkPulse101 had been hoping to join the next party, there hadn't been room for him or Renez (now level 61 after the power-levelling) before, but Zen too was feeling tired, and opted for an early night.  I think DP managed to find his own Combo party, but I don't know if it will have been up to the standard of a Zen-led one.

The level 65/67 +6 mage armour that DarkPulse101 had borrowed and returned has now been borrowed by Renez, who'll convert it into the knightly equivalent - he also has an unplussed level 65 mage weapon, and the +15 level 69 staff, which will no doubt get changed into dual swords for a while, courtesy of Collector Ryl.  I think he's probably taken to soloing those Demons now, only hours after being in a three-person team against them was so tricky.  As a thank-you for that, and the few minutes of power-levelling assistance, he's given Darth his old +6 Arbro knight armour, though it will be a while before Darth gets beyond level 33 I'm afraid.

Keerella did level up during the last of the three Monster Combos - Kee is level 83 now, two more and I'll be able to use that top-rated level 85 +15 staff Zen made and sold to me.  I need to start looking around for level 85/87 armour, preferably with five seals, blue, evasion-based, and ready-plussed.  So, more money will definitely be needed.  It looks as if, unless SirDarth is needed, MistressDomina wil be selling the Coins of Master I've earned, and the ones Zen has kindly sold me at a discount, tomorrow.

Kee's experience gain for the day was 60.59%, which I see is pretty similar to what Kae got - but Kee also gained 5600 pet points, and 64 skill points, so that I've reached my current target of 500, needed for level eight of Freeze Arrow, increasing its power from 330% of a regular attack to 360%, while increasing the mana used similarly.  The double-everything day certainly gave things a useful boost. 

Pumpkins, Combos & Demons - October 28th  

Today was to be part of the special week, with instead of bonus experience or whatever a succession of special events - but all seemed quiet during the afternoon and evening, as far as I noticed, except for the usual Mad Monster Spawn.  The week is nearly over, with the usual server maintenance coming up in the early hours of Wednesday morning, UK time - I assume we probably have another week of Halloween spookiness, but I've been wrong before, so I was careful to convert all my supply of Pumpkins into, well, whatever they wanted to be converted into.

For some reason the conversion seemed to be luckier than on previous days - a backlog of 255 Pumpkins, which normally would have produced maybe 5 Heaven Stones, this time produced 10 - still 74 packets of Firecrackers though, useful only for a rather brief light show and not sellable.

After all that clicking, it was a relief to send Karella (you know, the level 25 rogue) out to the Treants.  LiLI was busy in Cariae-3, using her mount to cover both my favourite spot and the one outside Velpist Temple, so I headed across to Cariae-4, and settled in, even getting a Heaven Stone from a Treant drop... and a couple more from Pumpkins.  In all, I guess I got a Quiz's worth of them today. 

As Cariae is a "recommended" server at present, as an apology for the lag troubles, various automatically-used "Blessed" items boosted armour, attack, drops, or even experience gain and skill exp gain for brief periods, so Karella got a few more skill points than she otherwise would. These special boost-drops only fall for low-level characters; if you are level 31 or over, you stand a chance of being randomly "chosen by the gods" to receive ten Moonstones instead... while other people I've teamed with lately have been lucky, I've not, this time, though once months ago I was.

And then the call came for a Monster Combo; luckily there was room for Renez as well, and we had a better Coins of Master total - 257 of them, so I got 32 as my share.  At level 61 Renez was capped by everyone, even a couple of level 77 people, so didn't get much in the way of experience - but it's good to get to know how the Monster Combo works, and I'm sure his coins will help him along. Enough to pay for another hour of power-levelling, for example.  Zen did actually ask if DarkPulse101 was around, but DP was offline, as far as I could see, though did get in touch later.

Zenderfly mentioned that, contrary to what I said yesterday, it is always eight opponents per round, even if there aren't eight people in the team.  Darnoth, a level 94 knight in the Carnage guild, did try it solo once.  It took rather a long time, and he only got 10 coins at the end; the experience, and skill exp, can't have been bad, but all those "area of effect" traps, which remove 10% of one's health, must have been a pain, leading to a rather large number of health potions being used.

I opted out of the second Monster Combo, in favour of washing dishes, getting food, and even watching "Merlin" on the BBC iPlayer.  The MC seemed to take rather a long time, as it was still running when that particular show ended - they did have one member who got at least one disconnection, which slows things down.  SirDarth was still in Egeha, so I hopped over there.  Our favourite Boucu Demon spot was taken by a rogue (or "rouge"), but as she was busy fighting a Skinwalker I was able at least to kill one demon - she invited me to help finish off the Skinwalker too before I left.  Back in town, I headed out past Apes and Azers, and was just killing a first Little Scorpionmantis when the call came from Zen.

So, I was back in for the next team; 227 Coins of Master meant another 28 for me, though the MC I missed seemed to be rather better, judging by the number of coins Renez sold me, after doing all three.  Sadly Zen couldn't get enough people for another go, and joined forces with the titan BigPAPI, best known to me for a previous MC when he'd made a slightly half-hearted contribution as he'd been under orders to clean his carpet at the same time.  There was no room for Renez I think, or perhaps he'd decided that three consecutively was enough; there was also no room for DarkPulse101, who had wanted to join.  In fact, there was no room for me, either...

Luckily SirDarth was still in Egeha, so I was able to teleport there, and check out the Boucu Demon spot - the same rogue was just deciding to leave.  So, I spent about an hour there, farming the demons for skill exp, and a little cash, though they don't drop as much gold or items as the Bogles, I think.  Renez was hoping to take over the spot, teamed with ClonedDeep, and help him level up a bit, but CD was having computer problems, and a scan took rather too long, so I had to leave the place empty when I logged out.

So, Kee went up 18.47% in experience today - being a level higher than before means that the MCs don't give as much experience as they used to, but slightly more skill exp.  1899 pet points is useful, and 18 skill points, well, they just show how slow skill exp farming gets at this sort of level, I guess.

Inside the Tower - October 29th  

MistressDomina managed to sell quite a few Coins of Master, though not quite all of them - it gave a healthy boost to my gold reserves, though, and who doesn't need such a thing at this time?  The Item Mall seems the only part of Last Chaos to have been changed after the usual maintenance downtime, with as ever some tempting packages.   There was a pack of 200 Experience Boosters for a mere 699 aeria points, but that sold out within a couple of hours of the servers being restarted.

I must admit that, as I did happen to wake up at a little after 3:30 am, and my still relatively new computer starts, and loads LC, so swiftly, I did wrap myself firmly in my nice warm dressing gown and fire up the game, to see what was new - and those 200 packs had already sold out!  Still, for 899 ap you can get 175 of the boosters, plus 6 experience scrolls, 1 Platinum Blessed Iris, and 15 experience boxes, which would tend to when opened reveal more bits and pieces of an experience-boosting nature, so that has to be very nearly as good...or better, in fact, as in the evening it was the subject of a 100% rebate offer, of which I happily took advantage.

But before we go any further, I should print a correction to yesterday's blog entry.  Zenderfly now says that, in fact, you do not get 8 Wight Slashers (or whatever) per round regardless of the party size - a single person would only get a single monster per round.  And so, after I had to log out, Zen was conducting an experiment to see if having just one person in every round except the coin rounds would still produce as many coins overall, in less than half the time. Everyone else would have to pay for entry a couple more times, but if you ended up making 50 million in gold per hour instead of 25 million, then paying almost 9 million per hour for multiple admissions would be worth it!

It was still morning, though, when I first heard from Zen - she was high in Egeha's Lust Trum tower, on floor eight in fact, and wondered if I'd like to go and get some afk pet levelling done on the level 90 Stone Statues there?
So off Kee went, taking Recall, and using (on Zen's advice) a level 1 wand, though apparently the Stone Statues have such good regeneration that almost any wand would have done.  They do have an attack, apparently, but it is very close range, so a ranged attack like a mage's is entirely safe.

After lunch I did a little swapping round, recalling SirDarth to the Lust Trum spot, then leaving with Kee, and bringing in my level 5 mage FoxHunter, so that she could level up her pony a bit.  I was also able to invite DarkPulse101, who had been wanting to get her horse the final level to 37.  That she did manage to do, later.

Anyway, Karella went out to her favourite Pumpkin patch after lunch, but after collecting 22 Pumpkins, plus 26 Empty Baskets, a Large Attack Potion, a Moonstone Box, and a little gold, and gaining a few skill points, word came through from Zen - a Monster Combo was being formed.

So, the usual Wight Slashers, and final round of Nivas, were despatched; I had to opt out of a possible second go as it was time for my food break, but in fact the party didn't continue, too many others had the same idea.  Since we were in the same server, I  used a Teleport Book to take Kee back to FoxHunter in the Tower, and Recalled DarkPulse 101, who had had a "send error report" before.   There was a moment of drama during my food break while I was away from the keyboard, some other adventurers lured a more mobile monster rather near, putting us all in peril, but with DP's help they managed to kill it without anyone, or any pet, being harmed.  As Kee was partied with DP at the time, I got some experience out of the kill.

Once I was back from my food break, there was another Monster Combo, so Kee went straight from alongside DP in the Tower, to the MC waiting room.  Someone must have clicked the supervisor a bit prematurely though, as suddenly the four of us who had arrived up until then were in the fighting circle, and the MC had started!  Luckily we had Zen and me for mage-wizard power, a strong titan, and our healer, so it went pretty easily once we'd got over the surprise.  That was probably what gave Zen the idea for her experiment!  The others joined us a few rounds later, in time for the first "coin round" - you do need everyone in the arena then, as the number of boxes that drop the coins is the number of players actually there.

I had to leave before Zen began her experiment - small teams for speed, except on the coin rounds. I did make a mild comment that I hoped that it wouldn't be seen as an "Exploit", but it should be okay I guess, just a clever manipulation of the MC rules, to maximise the gold gain per hour.

FoxHunter continued her pet levelling through the evening, anyway, and, though at level 5 she did tend to miss her level 90 Stone Statue target more often than not, her pony scooted up from level 4 to level 9, though as he was almost level 5 to start with, that was just a journey of 4260 pet points.  I was too busy elsewhere to pay much attention to what was going on, but Foxy was joined by a group from Iconic, led by Solyana, DarkPulse's  friend who sold Kee her second Stone of Shadow - at level 103 she's now ranked #12 among Cariae mages (with Zen a very respectable #30, on level 94). 

Solyana actually dropped some items for me, 2 small and 12 medium Crystals of Experience and 20 Pink Cherry Blossoms, which was a great kindness to an obviously low-level character.  At least, they were on the ground for a while before I noticed them next to me, and when I said "thank you" she replied "you're welcome", so I'm pretty sure I was meant to have them...

Well let's close in the traditional way, with Kee's gain for the day.  Those two MCs gave her 14.45% experience, and  8 skill points - while, thanks to the time she spent in the Tower, the pet point total for the day for her was 4840 - not as long a stint as Foxy's, but she tended to hit more often.

Tomb, Jail & Hillside - October 30th  

A couple of days ago Zenderfly gave me a "price guide" for level 85/87 blue, unplussed five-seal evasion mage armour:    the shirt would only cost 20 million, the pants/skirt 50 million, the helm 60 million, the boots 70 million, and the gloves, due to rarity, 100 million gold.  So when I saw a helm for 70 million, I knew that the price was not too bad, and after a brief hesitation grabbed it.

Zen had said that, as the level 85/87 armour wasn't hugely better than Keerella's current set, so that my current +13 armour would be as good as +11 85/87 stuff, I might not want to upgrade - but my current helm isn't the best, blue evasion type, so my feeling was that, if I bought any piece, this would be the one.  And wearing it wouldn't spoil the look of the mage "widowmaker" cover.  Now all I have to do is get to level 87 to be able to wear the new piece, of course, though getting to level 85 to be able to use my new staff is rather more important.

Anyway, it seemed like a good idea to pass the level 9 pony across from FoxHunter to LeopardKnight this morning, since, at 4 levels above Foxy, the pony was starting to get through flawed and imperfect stones rather quickly.  So the exchange was made, and Leo headed out to the Treants on Cariae-3, leading a few of them clear of the rest, up onto the side of the line of hills that mark the edge of the world.  He had three separate sessions, and managed to get the pony up to level 14 by the end of the evening.

FoxHunter did tend to miss the Stone Statue quite often, and thus wasn't the fastest of pet levellers; the advantage though was that she could be left just to get on with it, just topping up the pony's starvation bar occasionally.  Leo is faster, but as he hits the Treants for 27 damage every time even bare-handed, and they are only four levels above him, a Treant tends only to last for 15 to 20 minutes, so one does have to keep an eye on things.

MistressDomina was out in Cariae-1 Randol, meanwhile, gathering some more cash.  The Chaos Balls were the first to sell, followed by the experience boosters, some of the large defence potions, and some of the item drop boosters.  I'd dropped the price of the experience boosters after last night's special 100% rebate offer on a package of them, so it was interesting that they went so quickly.

I noticed a brief special offer, for people online at about 10:00 in the morning UK time - inside a 30 minute window, and new "first time buyer" of aeria points would immediately get 20 Chaos Smelting Stones magically added to their inventory, assuming they were in-game to receive them. A nice bonus, but I wonder how many people were online, alert, qualified, and tempted then?

It was a couple of hours before MistressDomino sold anything else, but then all 140 Coins of Master sold, followed by 5 Moonstone Boxes.  As both Zen and Renez had sold me their coins yesterday, I had some more to put up for sale - 100 of them went pretty quickly, followed by 18 item drop boosters, and then the last 23 coins, the rest of the item drop boosters, and my supply of Empty Baskets. So, nobody was interested in Moonstones, Moonstone Boxes, Large Defence Potions, ToolAids, or indeed Pan Flutes and Drake Eggs - but there's always next time.

In the afternoon, Keerella went out to the Screaming Zombies, but as she was teamed with one of my low-level characters, and then another, being brought up to level 20, and also had a rogue called SmokeR, new to Norcaine, along to "KS" (get experience from outside the party, "stealing" some of the "kill"), she in fact only went up 1.00% on the experience front - 1808 pet points, though.  I did Recall Zen into the Tomb, and she briefly fought alongside me before heading deeper in.  I don't think it was a coincidence that we had the only two Heaven Stones dropped in the session then, one for me and one for her - at 94 she is a lot closer to the Screaming Zombies' level (100), which does tend to affect drops of that sort of thing.  ClonedDeep and Renez were also around, but headed down to the Spear Men fairly soon too.

Later Zen was in a monster combo team of really high-level types, nobody below level 90 and I think she said one person was level 116, ah well even people that high up need the gold from the Coins, I suppose.  Neither she nor Renez mentioned how last night's clever speed-MC trial run went - more news as I get it!

As part of this week's celebrations, an hour of double skill exp was announced, which would be extended if enough people bought the cheap "presidential election" packs from the Item Mall... the two packs, an Obama one and a McCain one, are the same, but if the pack that sells best refers to the actual winner of the US election, then next weekend there'll be a special day of extra skill exp. Anyway, they must have sold enough packages, as the skill exp continued at double its usual level until I logged out.

In the Tomb that just meant 2 skill experience instead of a nominal 1, so after I finished getting a storage mage up to level 20 it was time to change to Kaerella, and head for level three of Maargadum Jail, where I settled in to fight the Beast Flyers.  After a rather long and, as usual, hectic session down there, Kae had got 9.87% experience, and 2595 pet points - plus an extremely useful 129 skill points!  Level 46 is still 30% away, though.

I spoke to Zen before I logged out, she'd just started another MC round so wasn't able to sell me her latest batch of Coins tonight.  I warned her I'd not be on very much tomorrow, other than "afk" - I was able to play more today than I'd expected, but tomorrow things will be different.

Maargadum Jail - October 31st  

I only had an evening session today - I did set up SirDarth to do some mining earlier, and to take messages, but it wasn't until after my food break that I was able to actually start playing - though the beginning was slightly delayed as Darth had to go into town to recruit someone referred by Zenderfly, Lavrence, who turned out to be already in Norcaine under at least two other names.  He wanted to be power-levelled from level 18 to level 25 before he began skill point farming, and it took a while to persuade him that he was quite high enough to start skill point farming in Prokion Temple on the level 17 Ghouls and level 19 Mummies there, and thus gain experience naturally until it was time to apply the "freeze" on experience gain. 

Oh, and I had to log on as FoxHunter, so that the same pair of pets I helped him move across to yesterday's character could be moved across again.  And deny, hand on heart, that I had any aeria points to "sell"...

Anyway, eventually, as it was a special celebratory double skill exp, experience, and pet points, plus a 50% extra chance of a successful upgrade using Heaven Stones, day, for Halloween, I was able to get Kaerella heading for Maargadum Jail... stopping to fight a few Pumpkin Ghosts along the way, just to get into the spirit of the day!  I went down to level 3 as usual - the specialist sorcerer Babaoriley was already there, but as he had had no qualms about moving in and sharing the central area when I was using it, I followed that example. 

He doesn't do hugely long sessions, he comes and goes, so things varied between hectic, when he was absent, and slightly less than full speed fighting, when he was there...I don't know if specialists have a skill to attract monsters, but it seemed to me that he got the main share of the Beast Flyers most of the time!

I stayed there all evening - I got a Hand of the Guard and a Hand of the Warrior, and also a level 41 rogue crossbow, already +4, which is nice - and lots of Empty Baskets, as well as useful cash.  But the main thing is that Kae went up 26.17%, getting her well within range of level 46 next time; she also added 169 skill points.  Kae needs to get to level 47 to be able to learn Mana Shield 2, to increase an ally's magical resistance - and then she will also have enough points in Constitution to be able to learn Mana Barrier, to increase her own close range evasion.  They need 508 skill points, between them. 

At level 50 there's Magic Research to learn, which needs 573 points and increases Kae's magical attack and physical defence - but, most importantly, at level 53 there is the first level of Party Heal 2, which needs 150  skill points and increases the "party heal" side of things ... you see clerics (such as Itura) in the Monster Combo at level 53 because they have that skill, below that they wouldn't be anything like as much use.  So those skills we do now have covered, points-wise - there are plenty more higher up that Kae still needs to save up for though.

Well, there isn't much else to report.  MistressDomina logged in briefly instead of Darth to buy Zen's latest Coins of Master winnings; I also sent Zen one of yesterday's rebated packages, for which she paid generously.  Later on she asked for two each of the Tears of Repentance and Tears of Forgiveness, so MD took Recall to Lust Trum tower to pass those over, and gave them as "part of the package" - I have after all got plenty of them!  At her request I switched to Darth, and he in turn took the trip to the tower, arriving close to an inviting little indoor swimming pool, or maybe it's a big bath, where the only monsters are the non-aggressive Wraiths.  Zen wanted to go on a "Baal run" without losing her place there, which considering how hard it is to get there, seemed entirely reasonable.  After only a few minutes, she re-partied with Darth, and took Recall, after which he logged out.

There was another special 24-hour rebate offer starting this evening - on the "Ghoulish Shinies" package.  It's only a 50% rebate this time, but 799 aeria points for 5 Lucky Smelting Stones and 5 Chaos Smelting Stones, plus 5 Heaven Stones, is a pretty good price to begin with.

Zenderfly was saying that there is a 90% chance that the new rat, or Pokemon-style, pets will be ready for the next patch, next Tuesday night, so we'll have to see what next Wednesday morning brings.  She was also offering to do the upgrading on my level 87 mage helm, as Kee can't wear it yet, while the extra 50% chance of success is switched on - that might be a good idea tomorrow if I can get the necessary items together.