More Unhappy Customers - February 1st
I managed to get onto Last Chaos at about seven in the evening, UK time, and thanks to a message from Asta, or "Ikinos", managed to make contact with the guild he and Renez had formed, which is called CONFLICT, and is already safely level six and able to freeze experience gain. So Kaerella was able to invest her skill points in her skills, and then spend most of the evening in Prokion Temple teamed with Elvastar's knight Ratel.
The initial leader of CONFLICT was a healer called LORE, and it was she who recruited me; she also very kindly gave me her "event weapon" bow, which was +4, so that is going to be a great help. It was strange to see that she hadn't used any bloodseal gems on it, the four I've used so far have given a nice boost to hit rate, and some extra attack, equivalent to another "plus" or two I'm sure.
However, LORE is now a spent character, used to get all the skill points needed, and has now been removed from the post, and will just be used for storage. I gather the cash needed came from one of the Item Mall packages, "Chanced Encount", with a lot of the various drop boxes in it - Tower, Upgrade, Experience, Skill, and Recovery. Some good items were got out of those - the Gold Magnifying Glasses for example could be sold to the NPC merchant for a useful sum.
The "Sunday Teatime" event was double skill exp, and was extended until eight, so I got an hour of that - and the "Blessed Rewards" were still running, including the one that gives 50% more skill exp for a while, so the skill point gain was pretty healthy. Ratel didn't need healing at all, being a knight, unless any Orc Soldiers were involved, and gave Kae the Divine Shield buff, so all went well - after the Teatime bonus ended, they put on double pet experience, so Kae's pony was able to put on a couple of levels, despite often being attacked by ghouls and mummies.
Kaerella herself went up from level 18 to level 21 - 337.63% in all, plus just over 200 skill points, which have now all been used, which means that some of her skills are maxxed now, such as Heal and Party Heal.
But eventually it was time to head for the Quiz; we were on Auzura-EU-2, which seems to be the guild's normal place to adventure, so met up on that sub-server for it. The quiz room seemed eerily empty, a few dozen people instead of the hundreds that cram in on Cariae-5, but we were doing quite well on the first eight questions, which were the same as usual - until everyone got disconnected.
Led by DuncanByrd, who'd been with us, a number of us protested on the forum shoutbox, but the message from the GameSages was that they weren't too bothered by a disconnection on one of the new sub-servers, that the server was new and such things were liable to happen - tough. Maybe we should post in the bugs/glitches section, or use the "Contact Us" system to complain. No way was an GM going to bother to take the time to re-run the Quiz for us.
So, a dispiriting end to the evening - with our new, poor characters, I think we had all been counting on the tool aids, moonstones and heaven stones to give us a big boost in getting properly moving, but a glitch from Aeria has ruined that. There had been some talk of an increased upgrade probability event after the Quiz, but I for one didn't feel like hanging around.
Progress on Auzura - February 2nd
The new version of MistressDomina on the new European-oriented server made some useful progress during the day, almost entirely in various rooms of Velpist Temple - well, she started at level 10 and ended at level 16, which can't be bad, a total rise of 572.12% on the experience front, with plenty of skill points too, all but one of which have now been spent.
The event "treasure chest" from Lorraine when MD reached level 14 wasn't ten pieces of candy, or 10 attack potions - it was 50,000 gold, which very conveniently was the amount of gold needed when she reached level 15, along with 30 skill points, to move Norcaine up to being a level two guild.
Talking to Elvastar, he seems to have the way to get the skill points needed for the next few levels already mapped out, though I was suggesting he could bring his knight Ratel, who is in CONFLICT and thus can have his experience gain frozen already, across to Norcaine long enough to donate sp. So, after just contributing the 30 sp, MistressDomina can now go on to spend as many skill points as she wants, and indeed now has almost every general and passive skill she can yet get up to level 4.
So, it looks as if MD may well have become by default my main mage on the Auzura server, and not the equivalent of the Cariae version, where she is just a merchant, though with her own mount and Reputation armour. Ah well, it makes a change from the "Keerella" name, I suppose.
In the evening Kaerella, my healer, did a few assorted quests, though really a slog in Prokion Temple would have given a lot more progress. Still, there will be plenty of time for that later! Hunter Dranore got one last serving of treant fruit (of the "automatically picked up almost every kill quest item" type), and received a message from town for which he was so grateful that he gave me a magic earring, so at least Kae now has two accessories.
Not far from Velpist Temple, enough Treants were fought to provide three treant fruit (of the "normal loot item, rather infrequently dropped" type) to give to the Archbishop back in town - but neither the Drakes nor the Great Horn Beasts dropped enough of their quest item. Still, it meant that Kae's pony has now reached level 5, and Kae herself went up 92.97%, reaching level 22. That is another "treasure chest" level, and Kae got, rather than 15 defence potions or 20 pieces of candy, 100,000 gold, which should be very useful.
Elvastar was in a solo party with Kae, except when he went to visit the Balrog in the private dungeon, and did very nicely in Velpist Temple, getting three Heaven Stones, which should be enough to cover the cash side of the next few Norcaine upgrades. He also got a sword that SirDarth may well find useful when I get the time to level him up a bit, and I traded a pair of +4 sorcerer boots, another Velpist drop, across to him in return.
I did have to caution him that my loyalties are not exclusively to the new server, and that when the "Blessed Rewards" stop dropping on Auzura, which with the frequency of the 50% extra experience and skill exp ones are practically an "event" all the time, I will tend to spend the majority of my time back on Cariae, where I have high-level characters, (comparatively) large amounts of gold, and quite a lot of Mall items not yet downloaded from its "records" area. I am not yet keen on the idea of spending aeria points over on Auzura, though one of the "spend $50 and get a bonus package of boosters and other very useful stuff" offers might tempt me to make an investment, and have the bonus items downloaded to Kae there.
If, as had been planned, Barbarienne starts to use a 30-day Recall card on Cariae, then it's likely that she will be my main playing character again. I can put a hold on my Cariae cleric Kaerella's search for more skill points with the Beast Flyers, if my Auzura archer with the same name can farm skill points rather more easily, and instead of the occasional outings that other characters like SirDarth and my rogue Karella were having, I can do something with the new MistressDomina, and maybe even start a rogue who might be a better fit in the CONFLICT guild than Kae is.
So, splitting resources will be a juggling act... but it will help if I cut down the length and detail of these blog entries a bit, hmm?
Apprenticeship Successful - February 3rd
The Auzura server is still "Recommended", with the "Blessed Rewards" dropping, so, that was again where my action was today - I did mean to drop in on Cariae, but never got around to it.
Well, large amounts of mining were indulged in, on both computers sometimes - while I'm typing this Kaerella is still hard at work, I see that she has 218 flawed stones, 136 imperfect stones, and 191 quality stones at the moment, so maybe some of the quality stones at least can be set aside for MistressDomina to sell, along with the moonstone boxes, large attack and defence potions, and so on that have been collected.
There is a special tempting package deal that the cunning folk at Aeria are running at the moment, a "Last Chaos Everyperson Tier Promotion" - spend 500-1000, 1001-2000, 5000-7500, or 10000 aeria points or more and you'll get sent a package. No emailed keys this time, whichever package you qualify for will automatically appear in your Item Mall records section the day after the promotion ends. Just be careful not to spend 2001-499 or 7501-9999 ap, as there is no reward package for those ranges.
It really is a great step forward that the "buy one get one free" package deals now no longer mean that people have to stand around for hours after the buying time, on a particular sub-server, waiting to be teleported to a GM who drops the items involved on the ground for them to pick up. Instead, after the buying time, the package almost immediately appears in your Item Mall records section, for you either to download immediately or keep there until it is wanted.
So, I tried it out, and bought a "Chanced Encount" package - and yes, after the half hour had finished, the second package was there in my records section. So, that's great - it looks as if I will be spending ap on Auzura, as the package for the 5000 ap tier looks pretty useful - Large Crit Potion (5), Platinum Adrenaline (10), Chaos Smelting Stone (5), Lucky Smelting Stone (15,) Mana Stealer (4), and Health Stealer (4) - it depends if the new week's special offers are any good, of course. Even just spending the 599 ap on the "Chanced Encount" package alone would qualify me for the 500-1000 ap tier, of Power Potion (2), Berserker Potion (2), Heaven Stone (5), Exp Booster (10), and Large Crit Potion (1)...
Anyway, I seemed to spend a long time moving items around, so that the relevant armour and weapons for the different classes are on appropriate characters - I even made Auzura versions of my mule-type sorcerer (LordElpus) and titan (MrChuckNorris), for some reason I seem to have more and better items for sorcs and titans than for the classes I do actually play.
The main evening session concerned MistressDomina, who went back to Velpist Temple at level 16. With a few health potions she could perhaps have gone off to Prokion Temple; she would have got more skill exp there, as the monsters give up to 5500 rather than Velpist's 3300, but it seemed a good idea to try and get some more plussed items of armour, and weapons - which I did, including right at the end a level 25 +4 scythe, which Elvastar may well find useful. He has a +3 mage weapon of the same level that he'll trade across for it, I don't know how it compares with the mage level 21 event weapon, but it will be nice to have around I'm sure. MD's robe is now a +4 one, and there were some other potentially handy bits along the way too.
I was able to get MistressDomina up to level 20 before I finished, despite having a "run out of memory" error that sent me back to town, and also for the last half hour having another mage, EmilieAutumn, sharing the room I was using, without saying a word, which meant that the local monsters didn't always respawn quite fast enough to keep up. But MD's hatchling-drake went from level 4 to 7, she went up 331.45% on the experience front - and 219 skill points have been safely invested in skills, mainly passive ones.
Reaching level 20 means that MD has completed her "apprenticeship" now, so that her Guardian, Kaerella, gets her first 10 Reputation points, and MD herself gets the Rhine Order event weapon. So, it wasn't really planned that MD would become my main Auzura mage, but it looks as if that's what she is.
At the moment, Kaerella is the only healer in the CONFLICT guild, while MistressDomina is the GM of Norcaine - though Elvastar will take that position back when he reaches level 20, and thus gives Kae her second 10 Reputation points. It's possible that Kae and MD may swap guilds, as Kaerella was a founder member of the original Cariae server Norcaine, while MD has no history with that guild at all, having been in Discipline, and then the guild master of Norcaine's subsidiary guild, ForceWithin. And who needs healers in a pk-ing guild, anyway...? Any exchange may need to wait a little, as Kae needs to farm skill exp in Prokion once she has a few more levels, and as yet only CONFLICT is able to freeze experience gain.
Limited Time Again - February 4th
The weekly "maintenance" came with a fairly large patch to download afterwards, introducing the other two "cave" dungeons in Strayana, which had previously been blocked off as they were bugged. The patch notes did mention that "players should now be able to learn Advanced crafting skills past level 1, even after logging off" - but that seems to be a bit of an exaggeration, apparently new players will be okay, but existing players who couldn't learn "advanced" levels before are still as stuck as ever. New armour and weapon levels have also been added apparently, but, as with the caves, all that seems a long way away over on Auzura!
The new week's Item Mall packages are a mixed bunch, the cleverest being "Send a Message", which for 1 aeria point will just send your text message to a friend. Very useful though if you've just bought a 999 ap package and want to qualify for the 1001-2500 ap tier of the "Last Chaos Everyperson Tier Promotion"...
Auzura does now have two designated non-PvP sub-servers, like the other servers do, which rather changes the status quo - up until now there was no place, outside towns and Prokion Temple's little foyer, where you were safe. It seems that the technical people haven't actually changed the code, however, and PvP activity is still at the moment possible on Auzura-EU-3 and -4. Aeria do stress that "EU" is just short for Europe in general, and in no way limits things to the European Union countries.
I must say that, apart from the semi-deserted Randol and the lack of high-level play, one striking thing about Auzura is that you do "hear" (or see the typing of) a lot more non-English dialogue from players, so Aeria do seem to be managing to tempt in new people from the Continent. Whether or not they'll actually pay to buy aeria points, time will tell.
There was a late morning session with MistressDomina, taking her out to Prokion Temple for the first time to get that location onto her memory scroll. Roadboss Kamira was just outside Dratan's gate, and after checking that MD didn't have any unused skill points, I ran pretty close to her, without any reaction, so it seems that she is still non-aggressive. She may however be possessive, so if I'd attacked any nearby harpies I could have been in trouble.
I used a potion of haste to speed up the trip, and it did help a bit - the Clever Foxes of Desert and Sand Golems did tend to lash out as one passed, and MistressDomina did lose some health then, but the extra speed meant that such attacks were soon over. And once MD was in the Temple, there was time for a brief session, which got her up 70.22%, and added some useful skill points
Later on, there were mainly minor characters and tradings-across, so it's really only, until my usual early Wednesday log-out, a Kaerella session to report on, with a trip out to Prokion Temple. It wasn't a hugely long trip, it just gave her 60.38% and 119 skill points, 118 of which were quickly used back in town to improve her skills. It did seem to me that MD had had an easier time there than Kae, who had to use Self Heal an awful lot, but I suppose that that's mainly a difference in armour. Neither of them has anything like the full sets of highly-plussed armour that I've got used to, so care has to be taken.
MistressDomina had opened all the boxes in her "Chanced Encount" package, and the haul was pretty impressive, including runes, a lucky smelting stone, platinum super skill pills, various potions to give a small enhancement to experience gain over time, a lifetime supply of bonus books of melding, and two extreme stones. I noticed that a number of items couldn't be traded, so it's lucky that MD has a use for the potions and runes. I guess I should get Kaerella to open the boxes in the other "Chanced Encount" package (it was "buy one, get one free" when I bought it), so that she has a similar selection to play with.
Elvastar reached level 20, so he has ended his apprenticeship to Kae; he took charge of the Norcaine guild long enough to upgrade it to level three, after MD made a small monetary contribution, but then had to return it to MistressDomina's control, as it was convenient to make one of his other characters, the healer Jacqueline, a guild advisor, and a guild master can only appoint a GA when they are both online on the same sub-server...which would be tricky when Elva and Jacqui are on the same account. I must return the GM position to him soon, and with any luck MD will settle down to being the other GA.
Kaerella doesn't have any such responsibilities in CONFLICT, which makes a pleasant change. Renez is meant to be the GM, but as he has been a bit ill lately Asta has been in charge, and things seem to be shaping up nicely. He is even considering a forum for the guild. I must check if they will still be active over on Cariae too - personally I'll be splitting my time between the two servers, with active characters on each
Lucky Boxes - February 5th
Auzura continues to be "Recommended", with the "blessed rewards", so that is where I kept busy today, including some time with a low-level character in Velpist Temple, which was notable mainly because I actually did get attacked there by a titan called Tyrand, a name that did crop up here once before. He did come pretty close to killing me, but I was able to run for my life, with him close on my heels, and eventually I got safely into the non-pvp starting area there, and sat down. He smiled, and gave me the titan "Battle Roar" buff, which increases one's attack, so I was able to go back and continue my own work with that enhancement.
Kaerella opened all the boxes in her "Chanced Encount" package, which was itself half of a "buy one get one free" offer, and got 5 platinum super skill pills, which are more than worth the price of admission alone, plus 10 tears of forgiveness (5 x 2), 15 bonus books of melding (5 x 3), 4 large attack potions, 4 crystals of blood & sweat, 3 resurrection scrolls, 2 experience restoration scrolls, 1 crystal of experience (small), 3 small and 5 medium experience potions, 10 experience boosters (5 x 2), 3 platinum blessed irises, 1 small, 4 medium and 2 large experience elixirs, 1 blessed iris, 5 super skill pills, 25 skill point boosters (5 x 5), 4 effort scrolls, 1 training spell book, 3 item drop boosters, 1 MP steal potion, 2 lucky scrolls, 2 lucky good quality smelting stones, 20 platinum refining stones (5 x 4), 1 rune of protection I, 1 extreme stone, and 2 heaven stones. So, a wide variety of items - at Cariae prices, varying in price from below 20,000 gold to, well, extreme stones have been sighted on sale for 30 million or so! Auzura prices are rather lower, as there hasn't yet been all that much gold farmed, with which to buy things.
I used the two lucky smelting stones to increase Kae's event weapon, the "Athena's Indignation" bow, from +4 to +6, so that it now does 119 damage (84 basic, plus 35 added) - that ought to speed things up slightly in Prokion Temple. Kae also now has a full set of the 25/27 armour, but not plussed yet, that is something I will have to work on.
It wasn't actually a very long session that Kae had there tonight, after all the other various minor things, but Kae did at least add 25.85%, and 90 skill points - I spent 86 of those on the fifth level of Arcane Knowledge, to increase my physical defence. There are plenty of other fifth levels to get still, sigh.
Ikinos logged on mid-evening, after a rather over-full day at college, just in time to freeze one sorcerer member's experience gain, and recruit a new rogue. He's hoping for some overnight snow, preferably enough to prevent him going out tomorrow...
Elvastar was mainly active as his healer Jacqueline, getting her up from level 12 to 16 or so, and making the run out to Prokion Temple; I think Jacqui took my advice to use a potion of haste, they do help one get past those mangy desert foxes...he had managed to sell his heaven stones, so is ready on that side for the next Norcaine guild upgrade.
MistressDomina had earlier set up in merchant mode on Auzura-EU-1; I included two heaven stones, at 650,000 gold each, with the idea that if I sold them I'd later take two of Elva's and pass him the money - he's now out of them, of course, but no doubt will get a few more. I did manage to sell those HS, which rather overshadowed selling large attack and defence potions, moonstones, candy, etc - 1,300,00 gold of the 2,454,400 total.
Tomorrow's EU Happy Hour, due to start at 3:00pm UK time I see, is 50% extra experience, so less than earth-shattering. It may help one of my characters to reach her experience-freezing level slightly more quickly I guess. Sunday's Early Tea Time is scheduled to be 50% extra skill exp, which will be a bit more useful. Not that it applies to me, but I see this weekend there is a "first time buyer" event, so if people who have never bought aeria points before buy any amount, and buy something from the Item Mall in the time specified, they'll get a useful-looking package of stuff.
The GMs' new ability to put the second "buy one get one free" or other special offer items directly into people's Item Mall "records section" certainly makes things a lot simpler and quicker, which may well mean they do more offers than before. No more waiting around to be teleported to a GM, and no more special "keys" to be sent out by email. We will see how things go, but for people on the new server, with no existing reserves of stuff, it is certainly very handy.
Kae's Progress - February 6th
I did some work on the Auzura incarnation of SirDarth today, my knight character. He was level 4 rather than just level 2 because he'd been in a combat party with Kaerella early on, but by the end of his time today he had reached 65.42% of the way into level 13, with a level 2 pony, and 6,762 gold in his inventory. The plan with him will be to get him to level 22, and let him level that pony up against the friendly neighbourhood Treants near Velpist Temple, and maybe boost one or two other pets, before he continues on his merry way to being a Temple Knight.
Darth (I did actually see a knight with just that name, a member of a Star Wars influenced guild apparently) hasn't actually been out to Velpist Temple yet, that is top of his "to do" list; instead he was moving that pony along a bit on Sasquatches and Werewolves.
Today we had double experience, skill exp, and pet points, which was a pleasant surprise - and these boosts did "stack" with the "blessed rewards", which were still dropping, so that Kaerella was sometimes getting as much as 13,750 skill experience per kill - 1.375 skill points, even - during a lengthy stint in Prokion Temple. So, the promised "EU Happy Hour" was entirely submerged, and never seen or wanted.
Kae was lucky enough to get a rather good room, with just about enough level 19 Mummies for one player, plus a single level 23 Orc Soldier. It was occupied when she arrived, but the titan in question almost immediately had a disconnection I think, he certainly stood around doing nothing for a while before finally vanishing. Starting at level 23, that was a perfect set-up, except when someone else decided they wanted to share the room. The knight AKTEP was fine, he was pretty low-level so wasn't killing the Mummies very fast, and was grateful when I took the Orc Soldier off his back, but a player called LillyBow made for some slow fighting, waiting for respawns - luckily she never stayed long.
The Mummies generally only gave half as much skill exp as a monster my own level, but they were quick to kill - but when I reached level 25, they were blue-named rather than green, so getting a bit too weak, and not giving any pet points, so I had a look around for somewhere more suitable - and just running past groups of the higher-level orcs was dangerous. I fought a few more Orc Soldiers, but they do tend to mob, and bring the Orc Fighters with them, so it does look as if level 27, and a good set of armour, will be needed.
One big advantage of level 27 levelling will be that my character can wear a level 30/32 armour set - so if I get that to +6, and use it on Kae, unlike the 25/27 set it can afterwards be converted into mage armour for MistressDomina, or rogue or knight armour, etc, for only a fairly small amount of in-game gold. Much better than having to buy or "plus" a different set each time.
Back in Randol, Kaerella spent 340 skill points on various skills; all her passives are at their maximum now, plus the three healing skills and Fast Bow Fixing. She very rarely uses the attack skills anyway, they are a bit slow to start and even a miss alerts the target monster and brings it charging in, unlike ordinary arrows. Then, for a change, she teleported to the entrance to Velpist Temple, and farmed the Treants for a while. And then, well, since Velpist's inhabitants to go up as far as level 25, kae went exploring inside - and after some exploration found that by turning left from the entrance hall, the place's "banqueting hall" could be entered, somewhere I'd probably not visited for a year.
That is where the level 25 Corpse Sergeants are - and they protect, on a lectern, the "sealed book of life", which I think is part of the quest to get a new "human tribe" style Ichi or Scra-Chi pet. So, handy to know where that is! The experience and skill exp from these guys, and the level 23 Skeleton Lancers, isn't as great as from the Prokion types, but it is still a handy amount, so fighting there was productive. The drops weren't all that good, but they did include a level 25 +4 mage wand, and a level 31 +1 mage robe, which, suitably transformed by Collector Ryl, will start that 30/32 armour set off.
Back in town, having added a further 194 skill points, Kae headed for the Master Healer, the skills trainer - but, looking at the skills available, it looks as if learning Resurrection ought to be the next priority, and each level of that needs 250 skill points. So, that will have to wait for next time...
Darth's Day - February 7th
Well, SirDarth was level 13 yesterday - and today he is level 22, after marathon sessions, mainly in Velpist Temple. Playing a knight is just so different from playing a healer, his defence is really so much better. Even yesterday in my favourite Velpist room he was able to take on the level 21 Skeleton Soldiers without problems, with just a little help from the "blessed rewards", which include a health restorer and an extra defence buff, and today he moved along to the next room there, which mixes them with the level 23 Skeleton Lancers, and though both types are protective, and so come in to join the fight if they respawn nearby, he just kept on going.
There were a few local Juno quests to do as well, so Darth took the opportunity to really mob the level 18 Drakes in what I think of as Drake Valley - lots of Drakes, and nothing else to complicate things. Drakes are passive, but they are protective, so if you attack one, you can see all the others nearby flying in towards you. At one point, Darth (at level 20) had all the Drakes of the valley, around 30 of them, all mobbing him, but he didn't lose health, he just killed them one by one while his pony collected the loot.
Darth also checked out the level 26 Treants on that trip, and while it seemed sensible not to get quite as large a mob of them, they were okay too.
At level 21, it was finally time for Darth to add Prokion Temple to his memory scroll; the run from Dratan City was without incident, just speeded up slightly by the use of a potion of haste. Elvastar's healer Jacqueline warned me that the place was busy, and it certainly was, but I found a corner of a downstairs corridor with a few level 25 Orc Fighters, and the occasional level 27 Orc Axeman coming in too, and again Darth had no problems with them - and reached level 22.
Well, the plan was to pause Darth on 22, and do some pet levelling, so I bought him his Radiant 25/27 armour set, except for the gloves which I'd already picked up (+2) and the level 25 Royal Shield. After my earlier try-out with the Treants, it didn't seem as if I would need to "plus up" his armour - I used one smelting stone to increase the gloves from +2 to +3, but otherwise he headed out to Treant Central with as-bought armour. Attracting three Treanst away from the main area and onto the hillside was no problem, so, with his "Light of Odin" event weapon (+3 now) unequipped, he went to work.
After a few minutes I checked his progress, only to find that the pet points total was stuck on 336/1195...this lasted a few minutes, and I commented about it to Elvastar - could it be that fighting a monster without a weapon no longer produced pet points? But luckily the counter started to tick away properly soon after, and the pony levelled up, reaching level 9, before it was time for Darth to log out.
Elvastar did well today, getting Jacqueline to level 25, so that she was able to get the Norcaine guild on the Auzura server up to level four, at a cost of 500,000 gold and 120 skill points. To reach level five, a level 30 guild master is needed, plus 240 skill points and 1,000,000; thankfully level 30 is good enough for the next few levels, but getting to that high a level would make future skill exp farming difficult for that character, so the idea is to have a "mule" character do that. Level six needs 500 skill points and 2,000,000 gold, but once that is done, the guild is elite enough to be able to freeze its members' experience gain, so everyone can farm skill experience happily.
Elva's mule is a good-looking young titan called Argoth, and he got him up to level 12 today, which was a good start. He is using some of his skill points, as otherwise the character would be a bit weak, and thus slow to vanquish monsters, but hopefully the 740 skill points needed will be obtained along the way to level 30. I see that just leaving all the titan's passive skills at level four rather than level five saves 755 skill points, so it ought not to be too hard to do, if a bit time-consuming.
Well, SirDarth's total experience gain for the day was 835.10%, and a good number of skill points were obtained too, at least 366 by my calculations; his pony started at level two, and ended well into level nine, though there is still an awfully long way to go.
I have seen a couple of people riding horses already on the Auzura server, some people have been very busy - but then, the rankings for characters show that Auzura's top titan, a vendetta member called BaSH. has already reached level ninety. Does he ever sleep? The 50th titan is level 29, so there isn't exactly strength in depth at the top yet. Vendetta have a level 90 mage too, CorNut. Sadly they haven't yet compiled a Reputation top fifty for Auzura, at the moment it is entirely possible that Kaerella's 50 points, for five successful apprentices reaching level 20, would get her onto the list.
Slowing Down - February 8th
SirDarth was hard at work through most of the day from mid-morning, working to level up his pony, which started halfway through level 9, and reached level 12 by mid-afternoon - and level 15 by the end of the day. This is the easy stage, it's when the pony gets to a level higher than Darth himself, and begins to gobble quality stones alarmingly quickly, that things will get difficult.
MistressDomina headed to Velpist Temple before lunch, also on Auzura-3 so that she could "solo party" with Darth, and made for the Skeleton Soldiers and Skeleton Lancers in the upstairs room that my various characters have found useful. After a while fighting there I could hear one half of a conversation, with a character called JadaMarie asking someone about joining a guild - and before long I could also see a blue dot, for a guild member, on my compass mini-map, so it turned out that she was talking to Elvastar's new titan, Argoth, about joining Norcaine.
The negotiations reached a satisfactory conclusion, so I was summoned to move across to where they were, so that Jada could click on me to join - the first Norcaine member on the Auzura EU server not to be either me or Elva on one character or another. Actually Jada is based in the US, and likely generally only to be around during our mornings, but it's good to add to our membership.
MD ran into a problem in the afternoon, with the game slowing down for her, in a most puzzling way. While SirDarth on the older computer was able to keep on hitting his collection of Treants as quickly as ever, MistressDomina, on the newer computer, seemed to be wading through treacle, and restarting the game, and the computer, didn't seem to make any difference, with nothing showing up on the Task Manager as hogging the system.
MistressDomina had reached level 22 by then, and upgraded her armour to the full level 25/27 "Dark" set, as well as getting the fifth level of the "Chakra Shield" skill, so it had been good progress, but this was a problem. Elva suggested that it might be a virus - it was puzzling, nothing extra seemed to show up on the Task Manager as devouring masses of resources, and Guild Wars seemed to be working with its usual speed, but setting MD to mining, well, in the ten-minute period her hammer lost slightly under half its usual endurance for such a time, and she didn't pick up any stones at all.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2009's scan didn't show up anything suspicious, so the next step was to try a "system restore" - and that did, thankfully, get things back to normal. I did later find a window under Last Chaos saying that the system restore hadn't actually worked properly, but hey it did the job, probably because it actually shuts down and restarts the computer more completely than the usual start menu button.
Argoth, meanwhile, had reached level 17, and made the "Prokion dash" successfully. He was rather impressed with the increased rate of skill experience gain: "I came here with 50 sp in the bank, I'm now on 117", he reported before long.
But it was time to let Kaerella head for Prokion Temple too, and get that final pre-freeze level, battling Orc Soldiers and anything else that happened to be around. By the time the Sunday Evening Quiz was drawing near, Kae had added 64.70% experience, and had her experience gain frozen by Ikinos so that she can farm skill exp for a while; her pet moved along usefully too, and 376 skill points got added.
I had assumed that, as the first level of Resurrection is 250 sp, subsequent levels were that much, but luckily the cost goes down to 100 sp after level one, it must be the only skill where subsequent levels cost less than the first one. Each level increases the percentage of lost experience the target regains - level 1 gets 30% back, and each subsequent level increases that by 5%. So I had enough points for the first four levels - and enough left over for the third level of Basic Mining too, to speed up the production of stones a little.
Ikinos decided that, despite the mass disconnection last week, we would go to the Quiz in Auzura-EU-2 again this time. I must say that the room was probably even emptier than last time, but the questions were the ones we know and love, and we didn't get any disconnection, so various CONFLICT guild members emerged triumphant along with Kaerella, plus SirDarth, Jacqueline, and JadaMarie as well. The tool aids and moonstones will come in handy - as will the Heaven Stones, if there is a suitable "upgrade event" with an increased chance of success before too long.
The "double experience, skill exp, and pet points" event for people correctly predicting who would win the US "super bowl" was badly mismanaged, though - it was due to start at 5:00pm UK time, according to the website, and last five hours, but at 7:10pm an announcement was made that it was starting at 7:00 - and it was later than that when, grudgingly, experience and skill exp did appear to increase. Not long after that, there was an announcement that the double pet experience was ending - but it had never been on in the first place, it's hard to miss as pet points go up two at a time. The double experience and skill exp was, it was announced, switched off at 10:00, not long after the Quiz ended.
After switching the position of Guild Master of Norcaine across to Argoth, and helping Elva transfer some items between characters, and trading him the 1,300,000 gold MistressDomina had got from selling two Heaven Stones a couple of days ago, in exchange for two HS to replace the two I'd sold, it was time to log out. So, apart from that mysterious slowdown, it was a day of good progress on Auzura.
More Velpist Work - February 9th
SirDarth's pony was about a quarter of the way into level 15 this morning, when, after sorting out various drops between characters, he went out to the Treants, so it wasn't long before his pony became a nice large horse, at level 16 - there's still a long way to go before the pet can become a mount, though. By the end of the evening, the horse was just over half of the way into level 19, but every level is longer than the one before. Darth started the day with four Treants, on the hillside - two did get killed during the day, one of them dropping a level 25 Speed Bow, but the other two were enough to keep things going until log-out time.
I did see a level 37 mount offered for sale in Randol for 200 million in gold - a rather high price even on the long-established servers, I have no idea how anyone over on Auzura could afford to buy it, unless they'd been foolish enough to visit one of the gold-spammers' "buy gold for dollars" sites and part with their credit card details... and could even a gold-farming operation have got that much together?
MistressDomina set up in merchant mode with some rather more realistically-priced items, and while she wasn't selling for very long, she did sell enough moonstones and large attack & defence potions to boost her cash reserves back by almost as much as the Heaven Stone gold she'd passed over to Argoth. And then over lunch a little mining was indulged in.
Kaerella had a not very long trip out to Prokion Temple, and smacked down some of the junior grades of orc for a while - but she does need better armour to hold her own there, sometimes she was using Self Heal rather a lot. I must pass her enough cash to buy some level 31 and 32 items, to convert into smelting stones to bring all her armour up to +3, but my luck with the "one in three" chance of that sort of upgrade working hasn't been good today, so things get expensive.
One thing Kae was able to buy was a +2 level 29 scythe, for 30,000 gold; it cost another 7,000 for Collector Ryl to change it into a healer-type bow, but that still seems like a bargain to me - and my first level 29 smelting stone brought it up to +3. So, it is ready to have three lucky smelting stones added when I get some from the "Everyperson Tier Promotion" that should reach fruition in a couple of days. After that, well maybe the next "upgrade event" will be at a convenient time, and I can get it at least to +13.
Well, there was some work with my minor characters as well, but after the food break it was time for MistressDomina to head for Velpist Temple again, for a nice long session and hopefully some useful drops. Sadly, there was no ready-plussed level 31 or 32 armour to be found today, though a knight's +4 level 25 dual swords wasn't bad, and there were "Hand of the Warrior" (the one with three potions of haste and a Heaven Stone) and "Hand of the Guard" (skill booster, item drop booster, and two tool aids) drops as well.
I didn't notice Elvastar log on, but when I went to recruit SirDarth to a solo party with MD, his titan Argoth was registered on the "Available Party Members List", so I invited him to join us. He was over in Prokion at the time, starting from level 23 - but to both of our surprise, we appeared on each other's compass mini-map before too long, as he moved across to Velpist to avoid too huge an outlay on health and defence potions, only to find me hard at work in the "banqueting hall" there... though actually it isn't dining tables in the middle, it's more some sort of tomb there to cheer things up.
So, Argoth left the party, and found another to give him that solo boost. He also recruited a new member, DawnLJ5 - not, we found, the player of that name from the Cariae server, who may well be surprised to find her name taken if she comes to Auzura, but a member of her guild she'd know better as 01crusher. So my initial comments about her mobbing of Screaming Zombies in Cariae's Tomb of Theos didn't quite hit the target.
Argoth did reach level 25; from nine to ten (UK time) we did actually have a 25% boost to skill experience, to go with a "buy one get one free" offer on the 399ap Skill Experience Pack that was running then. It meant that, if I had the appropriate 50% extra "Blessed Reward" also running, I could get 6187 skill experience per Skeleton Lancer. By the end of my session, MD was well into level 23, which may be far enough to take her at the moment - when Elva gets Argoth to level 30 and upgrades the guild to level six, hopefully he will be able to freeze her experience gain there for a while.
MistressDomina did end up with enough skill points from her efforts to get level five of Mage Armor for 151 sp, meaning that her mana regeneration is improved, which will come in very handy once she gets the Terra Spear skill. The five levels between them add 12 points to the total regeneration figure, which ticks up every three seconds. And her pony went through more than a level, to be comfortably into level ten now.
Better Armour - February 10th
From halfway through level 19, to a third of the way through level 22 - SirDarth moved his horse along nicely today, and only killed two Treants. There was drama along the way, though, during the afternoon I looked across to the older computer's screen, where Darth was hard at work - and a red-named knight was attacking us, with the PvP symbol visible and the "skull and crossbones" symbol to show that self-defence was initiated. He didn't attack SirDarth himself, he attacked Darth's horse, so I immediately unequipped it, at 69% health after the attack. The knight ran off then, either thinking his knavery was discovered, or thinking that he had killed the horse.
Of course, he left evidence behind, as the initiation of self-defence gives a text message, so I know his name was xXMANGLERXx - and with any luck he has been added to the CONFLICT guild "KOS" list. In theory Auzura-3 is "non-PvP", but this week they haven't actually managed to get the coding right for that, so attacking other players, or their pets, is still possible.
While Darth continued his work, I did explore the surrounding area a bit later with another character, and the other pet levellers seemed to still be working okay, and no red-named knights were lurking.
Kaerella finally got her 30/32 armour set plussed properly, which cost about half a million to buy lots of level 32 boots and have them transmuted into smelting stones - the boots are cheaper to buy than either the level 32 headgear or the level 31 pieces of armour! There were failures in upgrading, of course, but the odds seemed to still be batter than the usual one in three, so Kae's armour reached +3 on each of its five pieces, except her gloves which were already +4, reasonably quickly. Then it was a matter of transferring over a package of ten lucky smelting stones, and an odd one MistressDomina had, and getting the set up to +5 - with two bits at +6.
So, with the now suitably reinforced armour, Kae confidently went off to Prokion Temple, with a view to emulating what Barbarienne had done to skill point farm over on the Cariae server. However, things did not go smoothly.
I think Barb's armour must have been more highly plussed, because Kae still took damage getting to the back room of Prokion Temple's upper floor. Luckily, as it happened, Auzura-3's back room was already occupied, so I switched to Auzura-4...but that was busy too. So I scaled down my ambitions a bit, and went for a corridor just off the main rectangular gallery which was well populated by level 27 Orc Axemen, and just used one of the (non-platinum) "super skill pills" I'd got from a "Chanced Encount" box, for double (not triple) skill points for an hour, plus a health stealer, to negate the effect of the Axemen's attacks.
Well I nearly died - the health stealer wasn't anything like powerful enough, with the damage that the Axemen were doing to me, particularly when more than a couple came in at once, and that meant I had to lose a fair amount of time casting Self Heal. In all, during the hour that the "ssp" and the health stealer lasted, I only added 160 skill points. I stayed on for the rest of the session, and didn't really notice the absence of the health stealer, and ended up with 278 skill points, which meant that I could maximise Resurrection and another skill, but as skill point totals go, it was hardly Earth-shattering.
It's lucky I wasn't in that back room that Barb liked so much, as that has a rather higher proportion of the level 29 Orc Sergeants. I think I am going to have to try to get that armour set up a bit higher - I also need to get Kae's bow to something a bit deadlier than +6. Hopefully using a Power Potion will help, as that increases attack and defence, but Kae isn't quite ready to set her skill points zooming up yet.
I came across a level 12 rogue in Randol who had been scammed out of her weapon and her cash yesterday - at least I'm fairly certain that silentrogue's story was genuine. Some kind person had offered to take her weapon, and the gold, and upgrade it - and then vanished of course, leaving the poor rogue with no weapon, and no money to buy one. I managed to find a +3 level 13 crossbow in my inventory, probably a Velpist Temple drop, so that she was able to go off and play the game again.
Strange news in the CONFLICT guild - Renez, whose idea the move to Auzura and the new PvP-style guild was, and who founded the guild and put it through the first four easy levels, has departed! I don't know if this effects his presence in Norcaine over on the Cariae server. Luckily, Asta, or Ikinos rather, has been doing an excellent job as guild master in Ren's absence, but it is a bit of a blow to lose somebody who should have been one of the guild's main assets. Fingers crossed that the departure is only temporary.
Meanwhile, Elvastar's titan Argoth has been hard at work; I'd given him a Blessed Iris (again from a "Chanced Encount" box, and again non-platinum) which gave double experience for three hours, and he managed to use it all in Prokion Temple, going up from level 25 to just 7% short of level 28 - so Auzura's Norcaine should be level six by the weekend, with Darth and MistressDomina's experience frozen. Elva passed over some items for MistressDomina to sell for him, she is attempting an overnight selling period... until the servers close for maintenance, that is.
A New Week - February 11th
As I'd started Last Chaos up first thing this morning, SirDarth was able to start levelling our horse, from just past a third of the way into level 22, bright and early - the only problem, I found when I checked up a quarter of an hour later, was that, while the three Treants had followed Darth up the steep hillside, the horse had stayed down the bottom, and was too far away to get any pet points. Once that little oversight had been put right, Darth settled down to a full day's worth of pet levelling.
The post-maintenance patch this week was big enough to need me to "pause" the Kaspersky anti-virus protection, as otherwise it and "Laghaim MFC" have a serious disagreement. Auzura's third and fourth sub-servers are now properly non-PvP, so xXMANGLERXx won't be able to attack pets any longer. Reports have come in, however, that somehow this change has made each of the other servers' two non-PvP sub-servers, well, non-non-PvP, so the more peaceful folk over there are getting a few surprises.
MistressDomina was in merchant mode up until the server downtime, and I restarted her selling when I got updated - she managed to sell 11 of the 15 Heaven Stones Elvastar had asked her to sell for him, at 495,000 gold each, which is at present a pretty good price on Auzura; add 11 moonstones (24,500 gold each) and 2 item drop boosters (145,000 gold each), and I've got 6,004,500 gold to pass across, which should help finance the guild upgrades, and some new armour too. MD sold a couple of milllion's worth of stuff for me too.
Most of the Item Mall's new goodies are related to Valentine's Day, which falls this Saturday - the day after Friday the Thirteenth! Packages of flowers, and chocolate, all of which do give useful if short in-game buffs, but which do seem over-priced. There are a few more normal packages, but all with a Valentine's Day theme, hopefully there will be special offers on them as the days pass. The forum actually has a special sign-up for a free package, which is nice.
My titan MrChuckNorris is now level ten, so needs to pause before I decide whether or not to take him further; since MistressDomina is, on Auzura, my active mage, it seems like a good idea to get her "twin" in, too - on Cariae MistressDomino came first, but was replaced as main merchant by Domina, since Domino was on the same account as SirDarth, which could be inconvenient.
So, MistressDomino went out, and, helped along by the continuing "Blessed Rewards", got up to level nine. On a whim I then took her into the first personal dungeon, "Hunt for the Balrog", which is open for level 5 to 20 characters, to see how far she could get there. What I hadn't noticed was that she had picked up no health potions at all - and apart from the level 6 "Apperentice Robe" (sic) which mages are given at the end of the tutorial dungeon, all her armour was level one. At least she had picked up a level 5 mage Dursk Wand, and got the personal dungeon "Energy Field" skill up to level three...
Well, the level 7 zombies were no problem, or even the level 10 corpse soldiers, but the level 13 corpse lancers did come in thick and fast - levelling up to 10 in mid-battle, with the return to full health and mana supplies, came in very useful. I did, I can report, survive to reach the level 30 Balrog - and thanks to a lucky hit or two, and a lucky miss or two, plus running, I just manage to emerge victorious, with about 50 health left, and was able to claim my reward of 10,000 gold and a moonstone.
Kaerella was able to do a little, while really waiting for a good chance to upgrade her weapon, and hopefully her armour a bit more - nothing really on the skill point farming side, but she did at least manage a few quests, including the first Merac one, which involved killing Butchers. One does have to be careful, though - while Kae's experience gain from killing monsters may be frozen, the experience given as a reward for completing various quests does still apply, so one could easily go up a level when one didn't expect to.
There was another session too with a minor character, but this was, as usual for a Wednesday, one of my early log-off nights. SirDarth did continue the pet-levelling, without killing a single Treant today, and indeed reached 28.59% of the way through level 25 by ten o'clock, by my calculations, at which point the servers came down again for some emergency maintenance, as apparently there were some unexpected and untested changes in the main new patch, to do with the new high-level armour crafting, and changes to skill point requirements...it makes me happy that, while Auzura is still "Recommended" and dropping the "Blessed Rewards", I've been staying with the tried-and-tested low level stuff.
Hopefully they will have fixed that PvP thing too, we don't want any fights breaking out at the weddings that are scheduled for the fourteenth!
Upgrading - February 12th
From 28.59% of the way through level 25, SirDarth managed to take his horse up over two levels, so that he ended the day just about half the way into level 27. There were a couple of interruptions along the way, though.
It was one of my busy days outside the world of Last Chaos, so all I was able to do on the newer computer until the evening was set MistressDomina to mining, to try to keep up with Darth's horse's increasing appetite. A number of tool aids were used - and the only time I actually managed to sit down and play the game was when MD ran across from the mine to where Darth was pet-levelling, and traded her stock of stones to him, getting in exchange some green herb leaves. After that, it was back to the mine for her...
When Kaerella was able to get on, Ikinos got in touch, and brought a rogue character called HiDE into the conversation too - when he said that HiDE was "just a noob", I knew it had to be Renez. I assured Ren that I would be getting back to Cariae soon, once the "Blessed Rewards" stop dropping solely on Auzura's sub-servers, and that I'd be active on Barbarienne there, and probably Keerella too. The times I've dropped in on Cariae lately, the Norcaine guild has been quite inactive, but maybe I've not chosen the busiest times.
Argoth, Elvastar's titan character, logged in, and it was at about that time that SirDarth suddenly lost his Treants - one second all three were happily attacking him, and the next second they were just, well, gone. It seemed a good idea to log out and restart Last Chaos on that computer, as after so many hours things were starting to slow down, so I did that, and then was able to transfer the gold I'd earned for Elva over, from MistressDomina to Argoth. Well, 5.5 million and a second three-hour Blessed Iris, since Elva had found the going a bit slow yesterday.
From seven to eight, UK time, there was a "buy one get one free" offer on runes of protection II packages, which didn't appeal to me as they are of rather limited use - but about ten minutes before the end of that period, the game masters announced that once the hour was up, there would be half an hour of double "upgrade probability" - just what I'd been waiting for! With the arrival of the "Everyperson Tier Packages", I'd been able to use lucky smelting stones to get Kae's armour, and her level 29 Jungle Bow, up to +6, so I was all set.
Once the event started, I took some heaven stones out of storage, and my 11 runes of protection I, and went into the Norcaine guild hall, where Ikinos was already at work. Of the eleven HS-and-rune upgradings, ten worked - the single failure just left the armour piece unchanged, rather than dropping it down a notch or two, thankfully. So Kae's armour is now +7, except her shirt which is +8, and that moved the bow on to +10, which is as far as you can take it with runes of protection I.
My only rune of protection II was on MistressDomina's account, so I'd quickly made a healer over there, the level 1 FoxChaser - Kae traded the bow and a heaven stone across to her, but sadly the upgrade didn't work, so for runes of protection II the score was zero out of one. So Kae took the bow back, and used two chaos smelting stones, and an extreme stone, to get the bow to +13, which is as far as one can safely go - attempting to go to +14 even with a rune has a pretty high risk of setting the item back to +10, and to try to go from +14 to +15 you can't use a rune, so there is a risk of destroying the item.
MistressDomina decided to take advantage of the moment, and sell her immediate supply of heaven stones for what until the "upgrade probability" event was announced was a rather high price, 650,000 gold each. On Auzura-2 she only sold one, but moving across to Auzura-1, the other fourteen sold almost instantly, so her cash reserves are suddenly rather healthy.
After that SirDarth went back to the pet levelling, and Kaerella went back to Prokion Temple, in search of Orc Fighters and Orc Axemen - and certainly had a much easier time of it with the enhanced armour, and the +13 bow! She wasn't using a "skill pill" or anything, but got just over 200 skill points in the session, enough for the fifth and final levels of a couple more skills.
Argoth was able to report, later in the evening, that he had at last reached level 30, and that the Norcaine guild on Auzura was now officially upgraded to level six - he was then able to "freeze" the experience gain of SirDarth and MistressDomina, and the healer DawnLJ5 too, who at level 12 wants to concentrate on the Sasquatches etc for a while, as her computer doesn't like to go inside the temples etc. As there was still some time left on the Blessed Iris, Argoth kept going - well one doesn't want to waste such things, does one?
I mentioned to Elva that it was a shame we hadn't thought to make the guild-upgrading "mule" a knight, as he could then, after maybe a couple of levels more, have been made into a pet leveller, on the Gnolls. A bit late to mention that, but still...
So, the upgrading today wasn't just Kae's armour and weapon, and Darth's horse, and indeed Kae's pony went up to level 13 - it was the Norcaine guild too, after Elva's hard work. Now for the recruitment drive...
Slogging for Skill Points - February 13th
I don't think anything unlucky happened today, despite the ominous date - SirDarth did manage to get entangled with another pet leveller briefly, but no disasters happened - no mass disconnections, or anything like that.
Darth did in fact start levelling the horse first thing in the morning, and carried on for most of the day, though he did have to take time out in the early afternoon while I was busy moving stuff around between accounts, so that all the sorcerer armour and weapon drops I have ended up in the care of LordElpus, and so on - a level 2 knight called CALM has taken charge of the "quest item" type drops, and the similar drops that don't actually have a quest associated with them, as well as the production manuals and the transformation-type scrolls, that allow players to turn themselves into jaguars, drakes, sasquatches etc for, I think, about 5 minutes - it always seems strange to see a "monster" walking around in town.
That took longer than expected, as sometimes the same character had to be called up multiple times, but afterwards SirDarth teleported back to Treant country, and led three Treants towards his usual spot on the hillside, not hard to get to but not visible from the general playing area either. I passed another knight, with a red name (so with a weaker attack, and thus able to keep a Treant alive a lot longer), fighting a single Treant - but I must have gone too close, as I found that that Treant had joined my group, bringing the knight with it.
For a little while I just fought the Treants, but it was awkward, having to avoid the one he was attacking, so in the end I killed one of them, to make sure he wouldn't be overwhelmed, and teleported myself back to the Treant-gathering spot. This time I went further along, right up onto the top of the line of hills, where the map ends, well away from any other players - and Darth fought his three Treants there for the rest of the day. His horse started the day just over halfway through level 27 - he ended the day just about 45% of the way into level 29, so we're getting there.
MistressDomina did some mining over lunchtime, and also had a not particularly long outing to Prokion Temple, which did at least get her up to a donation of 370 "cumulative points" to Norcaine, as her experience is now frozen on level 23. I also did some upgrading to her armour, but I still need a few more level 27 smelting stones to finish getting her armour to +3, after which lucky smelting stones can be used to get it at least to +4. So I need a few more level 27 headgear or footwear drops, which luckily do happen in Prokion Temple with the orcs she is fighting.
MrChuckNorris, my titan, has now joined Norcaine, by clicking on MD, who as a guild adviser could accept his application - and Elvastar was able to freeze his experience, to join MD and SirDarth. He is on level 10, so a new visit to the Wandering Zombies in Velpist Temple was called for. I didn't stay too long, but got a few ready-plussed drops, and enough skill points for him to max out the skill which increases his maximum health to not far short of 1000, which seems a lot for a low-level character. He needs to do some more skill point farming, maybe titans get more than their share of early level skills, but he still hasn't got enough points to get all the level five skills to their maximum, let alone the level ten ones.
Once MrChuck's level ten skills have all been maxxed out, it will be time for him to appoint Kaerella as his Guardian, and zoom up to level 20, the latter stages in Prokion Temple perhaps, or on the higher-level skeletons in Velpist Temple. Once he is level 21, or 23 maybe, it will be his turn to farm for skill points, providing that the titan skill-set keeps my interest long enough.
The evening session was devoted to my healer Kaerella though. It seemed like a good idea to give her her first proper "power hour" in the upstairs back room at Prokion Temple, and luckily, when I got there on Auzura-3, in a solo party with SirDarth, that particular room was deserted - except for the level 27 Orc Axemen and the level 29 Orc Sergeants, of course!
The skill boxes from the two "Chanced Encount" packages had given me some super skill pills (double skill exp for an hour) as well as the more valuable platinum ones (triple), so to start with I used one of those, plus a power potion (increases attack and defence), a large crit potion (increases the number of double-strength "critical" hits drastically), and a health stealer, and set to work on the orcs. One thing Barbarienne hadn't done was have her pony equipped, but Kae did keep hers on, except when it was actually being attacked, and him being able to pick up the loot for me was certainly a useful time-saver. I wasn't using any individual skill boosters, however, so didn't reach the dizzy numbers of sp per hour that Barb managed over on the Cariae sub-servers not so long ago.
That first hour brought in 617 skill points... I also found myself getting a bit tired. But I switched from relaxing music to listening to old radio adventure and comedy shows, and managed to get a "second wind" after that; for the second and third hours I used the same pots, except that I used the platinum type pssp - and averaged 780 skill points per hour. Not quite as big a boost over the ssp hour as one might have expected, but my calculations suggest that, while the 50% extra skill exp from the "blessed reward" does stack with the ssp, so that an Orc Axeman's 5500 skill exp went up to 13750, it doesn't add on to the pssp, so that the Orc Axeman gives 16500, not 19250, then.
Still, 2177 skill points was a nice number to get for an evening's work, and after helping Elva to transfer some items from Argoth to Jacqueline, Kae was able to max out the last of the outstanding healer skills, plus mining, herb farming, armour smithing, and weapon smithing. I notice that the armour and weapon smiths do now offer a new fourth level of skills, for making the new high-level items, but those can't be learnt before a character reaches level 32.
Prokion Temple Again - February 14th
I can't say that anything rvery omantic happened today, despite it being Saint Valentine's Day. It was more like business as usual around here, starting off with a great deal of shuffling stuff around to the right character, after which SirDarth was able to go out and start some pet-levelling. That horse of his is starting to get hungry now, scoffing a whole quality stone at a time - the horse did reach level 30 safely in the late morning, and continued onwards, reaching level 31 at around 8:30pm, UK time. So, a mount to ride around on would be possible now, but I want to keep going to level 37 for the maximum attack & defence horse buffs.
Kaerella did a little mining, and indeed over the early evening food break did some farming too; now that she has those skills maxxed, the stones or herbs get into her inventory a bit more quickly. I certainly need to do more mining, Darth's stock of stones is going down alarmingly fast now.
Kae managed two two-hour slogs in our favourite Prokion Temple back room... that is, four "power hours", in groups of two. The first one, using a double-type ssp, plus power potion, large crit potion, and health stealer, yielded 655 skill points - the second managed 631. It all depends on how much of the hour is augmented by the "Blessed Rewards" that add 50% extra skill exp, and probably by the one that increases attack power too. For the second hour, I decided to start without the health stealer, and found that I was fine without it, any slight decline in my health was easily boosted by the health-restoring or armour-boosting rewards.
The third hour, using the last of my super skill pills, added 620 more, it took ages to get that skill exp-boosting reward started! After that, well, I used a platinum ssp instead, which gives triple skill exp but does not, as I discovered yesterday, "stack" with the "Blessed Reward". I got 707 skill points from that hour, a rather small improvement considering the greater cost.
And that was enough for Kae; back in town, I was able to max out the remaining special skills, with 866 skill points left over. So now the real business of hoarding sp, for use to buy higher level skills when one reaches the appropriate level, begins.
Ikinos upgraded the CONFLICT guild to level seven today, adding five more member slots; this involved transferring the guild master position to me temporarily, so that I could pass it on to his "mule", the healer LORE, who presumably still had some spare skill points left. Afterwards, back to Kae again, and on back to Ikinos, who has reached level 58 now, and found himself able to solo the Screaming Zombies in the Tomb of Theos now, though would use less candies and health potions if he had better evasion, he commented.
The rogue RAGE suggested that, if Ikinos was in a hurry to get more guild points for the next guild upgrade, he could freeze his experience for a few zombies, so that's what he did, though it would probably be quicker, and safer, just to go to Egeha and farm Bogles for a while. It all depends which is the priority, a high-level guild or a high-level guild master.
I suppose there was a little romance in the air, just after my food break - an in-game wedding, held in Randol. We got the "ceremony" on the chat channel, plus an invitation to the "reception" afterwards at the Auzura-3 Randol Arena, but not a lot happened for a while, despite the mention of "cake" being handed out... and then at just about six o'clock there was a mass disconnection.
I had to get SirDarth back into action with the Treants, but when I returned, Ikinos had left, and a great level 105 boss monster was in the arena, being fought by dozens of people. Rogues were managing to keep it snared, so people were generally staying alive, and bashing away at it - it didn't drop anything when it finally died, but to celebrate, a knight called Smackthat ran around at great speed killing everyone. Researching the rankings lists on the website, I found that he is level 78, and number two for knights in the Auzura rankings. Ah well, he had to work off the adrenalin somehow I guess. Somebody referred to him as "Smackhead", I remember. Deaths in the Arena area carry no penalty, of course, which is just as well.