The Return of Roy - April 1st
SirPerivale went out straight away to work on the horse this morning, and before too long SirDarth took a pan flute to Jajan in Dratan City and started a brand-new pony. A friend of Stavanic's needs a horse mane, apparently, and is prepared to pay well for it; Steve thinks that he'll have a better chance of getting a horse part if he sacrifices a level ten one, rather than just level one brand-new ponies, so we're levelling this one for him, for a share of the reward if he eventually gets the part he needs. I can't say I'm very happy with the idea of "sacrificing" a pet, but that part will be up to Stavanic, not me.
As soon as Kaerella logged on later in the morning, a summons to go to the Tomb of Theos was received from BasheR - so over I went, to join him (level 54 now), the level 55 titan Tynian, and the level 62 rogue xSpykex. Optimusprime did arrive in the Tomb before long, but wasn't allowed into our party, sadly, or maybe he was trying to join another team that was also at work there.
Corbenik contacted me, though, and I gave him our leader's name so that he could apply in advance rather than paying to enter the Tomb without a party place, and he came in; we also gained the level 56 knight XxGaZixX, who, like Tynian, comes from Turkey. He did tend to die a time or three, I think Bash's +15 armour was a good investment, he lasted much better.
I had a disconnection fairly early on, and when I got back xSpykex had left, and the party was being remade. BasheR invited the level 44 cleric Ewli to join us, which was useful as it meant I could do less healing and more bow-using, but she had a tough time of it, particularly whenxSpykex rejoined for a few minutes, so that she was "capped" and getting very little experience. I think she died three times, she doesn't seem to have quite got the knack of hugging the wall tightly when the Screaming Zombie targets her... I avoided getting killed, though a number of times my health got perilously low, it fell to 110 on one occasion.
It didn't take very long to get the 15% I needed to reach level 53, anyway, which meant I could equip my level 57 bow for the first time - my physical offence stat has gone up from 932 to 1098, or 1101 when I added the newly-earned Dexterity levels. By the end of the session, my total gain was 46.84%, plus 240 pet points; the low number of pet points rather shows how much healing, rather than attacking, I had to do.
With other people there luring Screaming Zombies, and seemingly other Screaming Zombies popping up out of nowhere, it was a rather dangerous session, particularly for poor Ewli and XxGaZixX, and I'm rather glad that the suggested move deeper into the Tomb didn't happen, I for one wouldn't have found it easy to run down past the local inhabitants, and I'm sure it would have been suicide for Ewli. Still, our Zombie-fighting was good experience!
The afternoon session was rather quieter, just Kae and the Sphinx types; Corbenik got in touch at one stage, but just to chat. With Kae's better bow and better armour the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men seem a bit easier, though the Elite Speer Man can still be tricky. The stay with them just added 19.98%, and 11 skill points, plus 623 pet points, though I did spend 250 sp on level six of Arrow of Silence, meaning that Kaerella's store of unused skill points has now gone down below 12,000.
Today's new "patch" was tiny, by the way, though we are assured that the mount-to-pet crash has been sorted out and the cure will be enabled soon. There are very few new "Spring break" packages in the Item Mall, even, though its web-based equivalent seems to be getting bigger.
And Trading Agent Roy is back, much to the relief of people who had lots of valuable items entrusted to his Merchant House. I've managed to buy 4 Candy for 15,000, a large attack potion for 25,000, and 26 tool aids for 15,400, nice cheap prices, and I can't help suspecting that the first and third of those involved people who didn't realise that they were setting the price for the entire set, not per item...some people were attempting to sell individual Candy or large attack potions for 200,000 or more, which seems over-hopeful to me.
As usual with a Wednesday, I had to make a fairly early exit, so the evening session with the Sphinx types only added another 16.57% experience, along with 9 skill points and another 519 pet points, meaning that Kae's progress for the day was a respectable 83.39% experience, plus 20 skill points and 1382 pet points... which means that SirFrancis might well reach level 32 tomorrow or the day after, depending on how much attacking, rather than healing, I do.
I must confess that an early exit didn't seem like too bad an idea, as soloing the Sphinx Fighters, and Speer Men, does get rather boring after a while. Going up to a level or two from them would mean Bogles, but they are in Egeha, and hit pretty hard - and the mount-to-pet crash bug would be sure to strike, which would be annoying after spending the 800,000 gold to get there. The Forgotten Temple mobs are a bit dangerous in their habits, with some magic-users, so soloing there wouldn't be a very good idea. So, that leaves me with rather limited options at the moment, especially if the people who'll team with me in the Tomb of Theos tend only to be around early in the day. It's enough to make a return to Cariae country seem rather tempting...
Ah well, Kaerella does have a good armour set and an excellent bow now, so let's hang in there and see what happens next.
The Tomb & The Temple - April 2nd
I did manage to set up SirPerivale for a while in the morning against his usual Berserker, using a second platinum pet potion to speed up the final level for his horse, before breakfast, and after that SirDarth got his second pan flute exchanged for a level 1 pony, and went out to fight the Butchers and start its levelling.
Kaerella did manage a fairly short morning session with the Sphinx types, and added 13.77% experience, 9 skill points and 446 pet points; she picked up a level 56 tiara and a level 53 crossbow, which might be worth selling on the Merchant House system.
Stavanic logged on for his usual pre-school playing time, and told me that his friend no longer needs that horse mane, so the life of the level 10 pony has been saved - instead, I get to level it up a bit more for his second knight to use. By the time he told me that I'd got the new pony up to level 5, which is handy, as it means this one has become the next candidate for SirDarth's levelling - a horse for Darth to use himself when he adds a few levels, gets his skill points, and leaves the pet levelling behind.
It was just after two o'clock, UK time, when our current horse, the one for MrChuckNorris my titan, reached level 37. So, amidst widespread rejoicing, the horse was transferred across to Chuck, who, after passing some tool aids across, turned it into a mount, set up the level 10 horse buffs, and, in theory at least, rode off into the sunset, or maybe dawn.
SirPerivale then used his stock of thirty tool aids to mine some quality stones, after buying thirty knight-type pickaxes from Merchant Geres - he now has over 1200 quality stones, which should last for a while, or at least until the new horse gets to a high level. SirDarth traded the level 5 pony across to Peri, before settling in to level up Stavanic's pony some more with the Butchers. Maybe it will reach a high enough level tomorrow to give him enough Armour Increase buff to move back to the Berserkers?
Once Peri was logged out, Kaerella was able to log in, and, just starting to head towards the Sphinxsters, was contacted by Corbenik - so we met out there in Dratan, and teamed up. Before too long another archer arrived, ANGELOFSKY, in a higher-level armour set than me, and suggested a team-up once she'd checked our levels. She was level 62, we found once we were all in the same party; and when she suggested we could move across to the Tomb of Theos, we readily agreed.
The three of us did pretty well, though Angel did have a tendency to stand and fight, which with the level 100 Screaming Zombies isn't too good an idea. She did die once; later she mentioned that she has a high-level knight on the Katar server, which may explain why she didn't automatically run to the wall when a zombie headed for her. And I reached level 54!
A level 68 knight called ChaosKnight7 joined us, but he "capped" Corbenik, being more than 15 levels above him, so Corbenik gracefully bowed out, heading for the Randol Arena for a change. And having such a high-level "tank" was great... except that he vanished after no more than three zombies, leaving Angel and me a bit stuck. Maybe he got a disconnection, which happens in the Tomb more than it does in most places, or maybe he just has a short attention span.
So, not having a "stun" skill, Angel and I headed back to the Sphinx types, and had a great time owning them there, with two bows in action even the Elite Sphinx Speer Man was pretty much helpless against us. I continued for just a few minutes after she finally left, to get the last few pet points needed to get SirFrancis up to level 32, and then took my food break. The total experience gain for the afternoon had reached 51.98%, along with 14 skill points and 798 pet points.
Angel very kindly gave me a level 66 healer shirt, and with any luck we will be able to team up on not just Sphinx Fighters, but Egeha's Bogles, or even Boucu Demons, some time soon, though when she suggested the Demons I had to say that Kae hadn't yet been to Egeha, and so did not have the Boucu Demon spot on her memorising scroll.
For the evening, it seemed a good opportunity to give MistressDomina an all expenses paid trip to Prokion Temple. I'd got Ratel, our friendly Norcaine guild master, to unfreeze her experience gain a day or too ago, so the idea is to level her up from 23 to 27, and pass over the level 30/32 armour and +13 level 29 weapon that Kae used for sp farming there, so that MD will be ready to roll. Or ought she to wait until Chuck has finished with his +15 weapon?
So, MistressDomina had a good long session with the Orc Soldiers and the Orc Fighters, mainly, and went up from high in level 23, to fairly low in level 26 - 222.07% experience gain, in all. She added 305 skill points, helped along by the Blessed Rewards, so that, with the 162 she was already carrying, when she returned to Randol she was able to get most of her level 25 skills - she still needs the top three levels of Anti-magic, though (permanently increases magical defence), which will take another 210 sp. Still, getting the whole of Fast Spell Casting (10% quicker spell refresh speed) and Scud ("Personal buff skill that increases your attack speed by decreasing your offense speed, thus allowing you to attack faster. Does not work on other players."), plus a third level of Flame Storm, increasing its power from 130 to 190, can't be bad. Oh, she gained 2266 pet points, as well.
The next step will be for Kae to hand the armour and weapon across. MD won't be able to wear the headgear and boots until she reaches level 27, but the rest just needs Collector Ryu to convert it from healer stuff to the mage equivalents, and MistressDomina will become a good deal more powerful. Those Orc Axemen had better watch out...
Power Levelling - April 3rd
The morning started with putting SirDarth and SirPerivale up in Merac with the Butchers to level the two ponies, as has been our habit lately, but after coffee Kaerella replaced SirPerivale on the modern computer, and headed out to the Sphinx Fighters.
However, Kae didn't actually do much, just adding 5.79%, 4 skill points, and 175 pet points, as I got distracted, and ended up playing actively as SirDarth on the older computer instead. Things didn't begin very promisingly, as a titan called SnOzA approached Darth, and attacked "his" Butcher. Normally this means that the Butcher dies, leaving the afk pet-levelling character just standing there... but as SnOzA was only level 13, the Butcher changed its target, and killed him.
Like most titans, SnOzA wasn't one to give up easily, and came straight back - not realising that pet levelling characters are usually afk, he asked to join the party, so I transferred leadership across from Kae to Darth, and added him to the party after a little persuasion.
Well, as a new player I felt he deserved some encouragement, so SirDarth and the titan teamed up, and fought the Butchers, with SirDarth always hitting first, and using the Divine Shield buff to keep us healthy. We even went on down to the Berserkers, and those bandits that were far enough away from their friends not to call in a whole mob of them when attacked. Going a little further along the road, I did actually attack a level 37 Blood Frenzy, which isn't a good idea when one is only level 22 - I had thought that a level 38 Doom Slayer was just out of range, but it wasn't, and launched its magic attack on me, so we had to run for it. Luckily the Blood Frenzy gave up the chase, and I was able, with a health pot, to kill the Doom Slayer. After that excitement it was back to the Berserkers.
SnOzA reached level 16 by the time lunch was due, so that gave him a useful bit of "power levelling", and hopefully his share of the gold dropped will help him to get new armour. But then it was time to get SirDarth back to the Butchers for some more afk pet-levelling; I'd already replaced Kae with SirPerivale again. When one of Stavinac's characters came on to enquire, I was able to tell him his horse had moved on to level 16; he's talking of me getting it all the way to 25, but if he wants to go that far some bribery will be needed.
After lunch I moved some items around, including sellable loot to MistressDomino, and quest items, transformation scrolls and production manuals to my knight CALM. MistressDomina has now got the 30/32 armour set from Kae, but only a +8 level 29 weapon so far.
As SirDarth's current horse-in-training, the one for Stavinac, had reached level 17, I decided to see if Darth could now last okay against a Berserker, since with his bare-knuckle hit of 26 damage a Berserker will last forever, while a Butcher dies in about 15 minutes. And, with a physical defence rating of 834 including 16 levels of Armour Increase (horse), defence & evasion type accessories, and the +6 armour set and shield, Darth did hang on in there, though his health bar did sometimes fall a little.
But once Kae was back and ready to head for the Sphinx Fighters, BasheR got in touch - he had managed to zoom up all the way to level 70, mainly using the Tomb's level 106 boss-monster type Anubis Spear Men, and was offering to give me a bit of power-levelling too. So, an offer that couldn't really be refused - I happily agreed, and headed over to the Tomb of Theos.
My attempt to run down to the room with the Anubis Spear Men didn't last long, and that was one resurrection scroll used - the Screaming Zombies hit hard, even if one is just trying to run past them! BasheR lost his way on his first run, and had to return to the start, after getting involved with the Anubis Archers and their annoying "snare" skill. But he was kindly able to use a Scroll of Summoning to get me to the right place on his second attempt.
There had been talk of power levelling being thwarted by the last big patch, but apparently that is only if the player being levelled hasn't hurt the monster at all before the higher-level person loses aggro. Things seemed to work just the same as when Zenderfly power-levelled Barbarienne in that Tomb room on the Cariae server, though as always there is an element of risk there - I used three more resurrection scrolls over the hour, but luckily dying didn't wipe out my Platinum Blessed Iris or my large crit potion. Usually my death was my own fault, but if BasheR's stun skill Dash failed to work, then things were a bit fraught - I did manage to overcome the odds a couple of times and kill rather than be killed, so things evened out.
Zenderfly had said that an archer was just about the easiest type of character to power-level, with the general ranged attack and the Slow Shot skill, but the Tomb was set on "hard", and Bash didn't find the Anubis Spear Men anything like as easy as when he was power-levelling himself. His pet died right at the start, so that he lost its buff, and generally my Heal skill was used quite a lot. I had bought an hour's Party Recall card, for the losing-aggro bit, so he was able to go back to Randol and "unseal" the pet, which helped.
The general procedure was for BasheR to target an Anubis Spear Man, while avoiding the aggressive level 104 Sphinx Fighters (not to be confused with the level 63 ones outside the Tomb) that share the room. I could also target it from a distance, but we needed to avoid using debuffing skills as that tends to increase the monster's attack power. I'd use the Recall card, and also trigger an experience booster. When the Spear Man was down to below about 5% health, Bash would use his stun skill, and then accept the Recall, and quickly leave the party - I'd then use Slow Shot on the dazed Spear Man, and keep shooting until it was dead. If it wasn't stunned, then hopefully Slow Shot would slow it enough for me to kill it. Once the Spear Man was dead, we would remake the party, and on we'd go. To begin with, the twelve-fold increase in experience (three times four, for the PBI and the booster) got me up 60% of a level, though as we moved up a level or two that dropped down. It would have been slightly more if we'd thought to have SirDarth in the party too to add the solo party bonus when Bash had left, but one can't think of everything, and 681.15% for an hour's work can't be bad, yes?
Adding seven levels increased Kae's Dexterity nicely, and also meant that I could get level six of Slow Shot (250 skill points, an extra 5% slowing in the target's speed, and an extra 40% to power) and Poison Arrow (300 skill points, and again an extra 40% to power, so that it hits for 420% of a regular shot's potential damage), and the first five levels of the passive skill Force Arrow (889 skill points, adds 50 to attack and 90 to defence). It also meant Kaerella needed new armour, so I checked out the Merchant House for level 65/67 items, to add to the skirt that ANGELOFSKY had kindly given me.
Prices for armour pieces varied, but I spent around 500,000 per item, though it cost 114,000 gold, a bit more than I'd expected for an unplussed item, to transform the level 56 rogue shirt into its healer equivalent. To get all five pieces to +3 took 22 heaven stones, a 68% success rate, and then using 15 lucky smelting stones meant I had a new +6 set of armour. The old "Mending" set gave me 1032 defence; at +3 the new "Serenity" set gave me 1029, but at +6 that moved on to 1136. That will be a useful boost, though I can't wear the new tiara and boots without penalty until I level up again, meaning that my current defence is 1094.
Going back to the open-air Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men, it was a surprise to see that the Fighters were now white-named, only two levels above me, with the Speer Men yellow-named at three levels above me. They were certainly easier to kill now, but give a rather smaller percentage increase for each kill, so that an evening session just added 11.42% experience, though they do now give a bit more skill exp, so that I added 26 skill points, as well as 879 pet points.
So a great step forward today. Now I just need to sell lots of things, so that Kae will be able to afford a new weapon... Stavanic's horse had reached level 20 by the end of the evening, and will probably go on being levelled by SirDarth for one more day. Would you believe he has another character, a healer, also in need of a mid-range pet, to keep me busy after that?
A More Restful Time - April 4th
Stavanic took his horse after lunch today, after it had reached level 22. and passed over a pan flute to start a new one for his healer, plus 100,000 gold, which ought to pay for quite a few quality stones. I also swapped ponies a bit later between SirDarth and SirPerivale, as the pet experience rate was increased at around four o'clock in the afternoon UK time (eight in the morning on the US west coast, someone was in the office early) to 175% - the upgrade success rate was also increased to 150%. It seemed possible that Darth might be able to get his pony up to level 17 by the end of the evening, which might allow an overnight pet levelling session...though it was rather vague how long the boosted rate would last.
MistressDomino had a reasonably successful selling session overnight on the Auzura-1 sub-server, though she didn't have a great amount of stuff to sell - so just over ten million was a good result. She does have quite a few Chaos Balls, but only sold two or three, it seems that 750,000 gold each is a bit high. I was slightly surprised by how quickly large attack potions sold at 125,000, not that I had many - that's a lot more than they were fetching on Cariae a few weeks ago. And the large defence potions sold at 75,000 too.
Normally my merchant takes up a position between the animal trainer and Bianca's warehouse chest, but for a change MistressDomino went to the group of sellers by the arena. It does have the advantage of being out of range of the gold spammers! Most merchants seem to sell mainly the various lucky draw boxes at present, because there are so many packages from the Item Mall that offer them, and the packages are promoted pretty aggressively, not just "buy one get one free", but "buy three get five free", or "buy seven and get a wonderful bonus package". I don't know how long the market can absorb so much stuff like that, the pet lucky draw boxes have already made pet colouring crystals all too common.
Kaerella did take a trip out to the open-air Sphinx Fighters later in the morning; they are a lot easier to fight now, but give a lot less experience percentage-wise, so only 6.71% experience was gained, along with 14 skill points and 528 pet points. BasheR was saying that we ought to get Kae high enough to use a level 69 bow, +15 of course, and then, using the party recall cards, take it in turns to power-level each other, so it really doesn't seem worth going out solo to get such small amounts on Kae,
So, in the afternoon MistressDomina ("MD" - note the subtle difference in name between my fighting mage and my merchant one) did a few quests, such as visiting Translator Edgar in the Dratan desert, and Shuraine at his oasis a little way east of there. She stopped off at the oasis for a while to fight the sand golems, but the elite one didn't drop anything useful. Five more quantities of "soft sand" were obtained though, which may come in handy for another character.
After using "pet return to village" while mounted to get back to town, MD bought some bloodseal gems, as her Vanishing set wasn't yet fully sealed, and then used a scroll to get to Prokion Temple. The main aim was to get MD to level 27, and that was accomplished - 102.70% experience gain got her there, also adding 152 skill points and 1405 pet points.
After the food break MD continued, now wearing the full Vanishing armour set, part +8 and part +7 so pretty good at keeping the Orcs from hurting her. Another 35.72% experience got her halfway through the level, which is far enough to go - she now needs Ratel to freeze her experience gain again, and he hasn't been on today. Another 74 skill points were enough to get the last level of that Anti-Magic passive skill, so she now has all her level 25 skills maximised, while 645 pet points helps her drake along towards level 21.
So, the rest of the evening belonged to MrChuckNorris, whose armour may only be +4, but he does have the use of the level 29 +15 weapon, so he really cuts his way through the Prokion Temple Orc Axemen and Orc Sergeants. His experience gain is frozen, but 534 skill points got added, which means he is pretty close to having all the available special skills maximised now - as far as I can tell, it's just the third and final level of Flawless Stone Processing that he still needs to learn, he has 25 of the 149 sp needed for that.
MistressDomina had only ventured as far as the upstairs "gallery" around the central staircases in the Temple, generally, but Chuck went for the room off there with the statues, and its mixture of the Axemen and the Sergeants, and kept it pretty much under control, though his poor drake took a lot of damage along the way. A knight called Malorian1 did try to "muscle in" at one stage, but that room really doesn't have enough Orcs spawning quickly enough for two fighters killing at Chuck's speed, so he moved along after a few minutes. A sorcerer called Dumbledor was luckier, as he started to kill there just as it was approaching Chuck's log-out time. Chuck's drake added 2449 pet points, so is more than halfway through level 25.
While Chuck was learning his special skills, BasheR reported that he was having a problem with his mouse - at least, he couldn't right-click and hold the ground to move the game's camera angle around. A restart hadn't cured it; after discussing it, we decided that it would probably be a good idea to download the recently-updated LC client from FilePlanet, then uninstall the game (keeping the screenshots folder safe), perhaps do a bit of disk defragging, and then install the new client. That is something it is a good idea to do sometimes anyway, let's hope it cures the problem, so that those trips into the Tomb of Theos for power-levelling can go ahead. He can use the arrow keys to rotate the viewpoint, but that is a rather less intuitive way to do things, not ideal in dangerous places like the Tomb.
A Team-Up in the Temple - April 5th
There was actually a spawning of masses of Pandora Beasts late last night, and Kaerella did leap back into the saddle to help deal with them. The ones in Merac, however, were just level 30 or level 50, so blue-named for Kae, and thus didn't give much in the way of experience, and only small amounts of gold. A brief trip to Dratan didn't discover any more Beasts - I think that killing the Elite Speer Man and a couple of his friends while I was out there added a lot more experience than the rest of the endeavour combined, but 0.27% experience and 15 pet points do get added to the tally.
It was approaching midnight when SirDarth's horse reached level 17, but I set him up with a Berserker after getting him that latest level of Armour Increase, and he was doing okay - at least, until a disconnection. I reconnected him, but he got another one not too long after, so really only got around half a full night's work done. Still, it meant the horse reached level 19 by the time SirPerivale logged on this morning and started work on his pony.
When Peri got to the Butcher spot, there was a level 50 Pandora beast prowling around nearby, of the type released from the boxes - so Darth logged out briefly to allow Kaerella to ride down and deal with it. It was worth the effort, as it dropped 112,800 gold, which is quite a useful sum.
Browsing around Auzura-1's merchants I'd seen a level 57 +15 titan axe for sale for 70 million, and been rather tempted, on the feeling that one ought to be able to resell it for at least 20 million more. When BasheR came online while Kae was doing some mining I mentioned it, and he went and bought it, I'm surprised it was still there. When I mentioned the possibility of a "finder's fee" he just chuckled. He reported that reinstalling Last Chaos had, indeed, cured his mouse-click problem, which is a relief. And just before lunch, he reported that he'd sold the axe for 88 million.
After lunch, well, Optimusprime invited me to a rather unsuccessful trip to the Tomb, but at least I didn't have to pay to get in as somebody had Recall. Fighting the Anubis types worked okay while we had a mage in the party - but at level 78 she "capped" me, so I got less experience there than I would have with the level 63 and 64 types outside. When she left we were a bit outclassed down there, and after a few near misses and runnings-about I did finally die - and used my resurrection scroll to respawn at the start of the dungeon, rather than try to continue there. After that, well, a couple of Screaming Zombies got despatched, but it was a Combat Party, so since I was healing rather than firing my bow most of the time, I didn't get all that much experience. ManosGR then asked for my help in healing while he did a couple solo, which I did while not in a party. BasheR arrived after that, but he and ManosGR headed down to the Anubis area again, where I wouldn't really be able to follow, so I finally logged out, after only getting 1.79% experience and 111 pet points.
It was time for my rogue Rage to finally leave the defunct CONFLICT guild, so I deleted the character and then cancelled the deletion, so that she is now guildless, and then headed for Prokion Temple, now without the experience freeze that couldn't have been removed if I'd stayed in the guild. It was a pretty productive time on the upper floor in that first Orc Axeman and Orc Sergeant room, though at times they did seem to hit unusually hard, and once my health got very dangerously low as I dashed to safety in a corner.
At about a quarter to four there was a mass disconnection - and Rage was about the first person to respawn in a deserted Randol. Rather than go back to Prokion for just a few minutes, I rode out to Juno's Treants for a change, which, since they did drop a heaven stone, was a good idea. The whole session meant that Rage had reached level 28, going up in all by 125.87% and gaining 244 skill points, plus 1024 pet points, which got her faithful horse up to level 23.
After the food break, Rage's campaign continued, starting off in the first Orc Sergeant room just off the entrance hallway. Jacqueline came online, and, as Rage is on her Friends List, got in contact; I asked her to re-freeze MistressDomina's experience, so she switched over to Ratel - and rather than switch back, he decided to come out as his knight and join me in Prokion Temple.
Ratel found that my favourite upstairs back room was empty, so invited me to join him there, and we suitably dominated the Orc Axemen and Orc Sergeants there. though we both had the "run out of memory" error at different times - mine gave me the chance to get Rage's level 30 skills and opt to become a Ranger, which is the crossbow-using type of rogue, as opposed to the dagger-wielding Assassin. Ratel is a little over half a level ahead of me at the moment - he reached level 32, and was able to get some of the newly-available Temple Knight skills. That's the shield-using, protective kind of knight, as opposed to the dual sword wielding Royal Knight. Ratel, however, doesn't have a large number of skill points saved for future use, he plans to take things as they come.
It was great to be able to team up like that; we made it a combat party, so that while loot and skill points were shared, our experience was boosted by the other's presence. We got our main experience from our own kills, but got some from our companion's, too. Ratel kindly kept me buffed with Divine Shield, so that the Orcs were generally unable to harm me - earlier I had been using a few health potions.
I think there was a boost to experience even before the Sunday teatime was announced as being 50% extra experience for a couple of hours; certainly, Rage's experience gain of 434.14% in total seems pretty good, even for Proki. She did get the benefit of the Blessed Rewards, with their chance of extra experience, skill exp etc, until she hit level 31... she ended up with 337 more skill points than she started the day with, and that was after spending 207 sp to learn Invisibility (you are invisible, unless you attack, for 35 seconds) and 238 sp to learn Detect Weakness (increases hit rate by 15). Her pet horse added 4472 pet points in all.
And then it was time for the Quiz; as both Auzura-1 and Auzura-3 were flagged up as "congested", I took Ratel's advice and arranged for Kaerella and MistressDomino to join him in Auzura-2, though its past record has been a bit dodgy, Quiz-wise, with a mass disconnection during the very first Auzura one, and another week a dc shortly before the Quiz that re-locked the door to the Quiz room. This time, though, we were fine. A number of the top Vendetta guild people, including CorNut, were there, and before we started there were three of four Games Masters too, showing their uber level armour. I don't think they stayed around to win themselves some tool aids, moonstones, and heaven stones though.
The questions were the usual ones, so we did okay. Ratel sold at least some of his afterwards - it was slightly annoying that he sold to SrDias when he was saying "buying hs 800k", and then a minute later he increased his buying price to the whole one million, but 700-800k does seem the more usual price people are starting to offer after the Quiz. Ratel was able to return two million in gold he'd borrowed a while back to help him buy his current armour, something I'd completely forgotten about.
So, while Kaerella is really waiting for some more power levelling sessions with BasheR, it looks as if my rogue will get the chance to move up a few levels. I've never taken a rogue this far before, so it should be fun.
More Pandora Beasts - April 6th
SirDarth's latest attempt to have an all-night pet-levelling session was not a success; two disconnections meant that in fact he had less than an hour's worth of actual Berserker-bashing, and after the second one I decided that it would just be a good idea to switch off the computer, and give the modem an hour or two's rest.
Still, when work restarted, it wasn't long before our horse reached level 21. SirPerivale started a bit later with his efforts to level Stavinac's latest pet, but that one reached level 16 by mid-morning. Looking around at about 10:30, I spotted a Pandora's Box a little downhill from his Butcher spot, and, having despatched his current foe, Peri gave himself Divine Shield, and cautiously approached. If it disgorged a level 50 Pandora Beast he'd have to run for it, and call for Kaerella to come; if a level 30 type appeared, he'd be able to fight it, it being little stronger than a Butcher; and if it dropped a treasure, well, he'd just need to pick it up.
Sometimes the drop is just ten small healing potions, though once it has been ten medium ones, which are a bit more useful. Once it was a level 61 weapon, a Zentian Sword. It can be five magical or physical attack or defence minerals, level twelve, which are apparently rather valuable - I have seen them on sale for 100,000 gold each or more, but I don't know if people actually pay that much for them. This time, for a change, however, it was five moonstones.
With SirDarth's horse set to reach level 22 at around the same time that Peri's horse reaches level 17, one might think that we were approaching the time when they could both be fighting everlasting Berserkers rather than all-too-frail Butchers. SirDarth would be okay with a level 17 horse to give an Armour Increase buff of 135 to defence, with his +6 armour and shield adding 150 defence to the basic armour, but Peri's armour and shield are just +3, adding 68, so a level 22 horse's Armour Increase buff of 160 would be too low to protect him. In fact, anything more than a single level short of the full thirty levels of Armour Increase, which gives a buff of 250 to defence, would be a bit risky.
Anyway, after Stavinac decided to let his horse level up a bit further, and it reached level 17, I swapped it over to SirDarth, so that it could be levelled without interruptions on a Berserker; by the end of the evening level 20 had been reached. Various loot items got traded over to MistressDomino - and the level 35/37 titan armour set I'd picked up cheaply, all +4 except for the +3 helm, got traded across to Rage, along with Kae's old level 37 +13 bow.
Collector Ryu converted the bow into a crossbow for 162,000 gold for Rage, and the armour set for a total of 216,000; I used a lucky smelting stone to get the rogue Rugged Hood, as it was now, up to +4 too. And then with a few bloodseal gems on board, Rage headed out to that upstairs back room in Prokion Temple for the rest of the afternoon.
Without a "Teatime" bonus or the Blessed Rewards, things were a bit slower, but 51.59% experience got added, which was enough to get Rage to level 32, at which point she could put on the boots and hood. 1601 pet points were enough to get her pet horse up to level 24 - and 193 skill points came in useful, as back in town I spent 1113 of them, on the first levels each of Master Weaponsmith and Master Armoursmith (255 sp), and all five levels each of two new passive skills, Sharpen (327 sp, for an extra 5% chance of a critical hit) and Improved Mana (276 sp, for 405 more mana points, so that Rage now has 1012 in all).
After the break Rage went out to Prokion Temple again; the back room was in use, so I moved around a bit, with most time being spent on the gallery around the central stairs. Jacqueline came online after a while, and came out to Prokion too, joining the party with me and SirDarth, who of course was still busy over in Merac with Stavanic's horse. As Jacqui is frozen on level 25 she didn't actually join me upstairs though... and after a while there was an announcement that hordes of Pandora's Beasts had been sighted on our sub-server in Juno, Merac and Dratan. I said that I'd be heading to Merac... as the main boost from the Beasts is experience, Jacqui decided to switch to Ratel, and we met up in Merac at the first group just outside town.
As last time, it was a mixture of ghostly level 30 Bandit-types and level 50 Larva-types, and, helped along by Ratel's Divine Shield, we did okay, carefully picking off the level 50 ones one by one. There were other people there too, so the Pandies didn't last too long - afterwards we headed off to the northwest, and soon found a new group, in the same place that Kaerella had found them a couple of days ago.
It was dangerous work, and Rage came pretty close to death a number of times. Ratel did actually die once, losing about 30 skill points; he was a bit annoyed, as he, as a Temple Knight, is supposed to be a tank, but hey, the Pandies were 18 levels above us. There were a couple of the Box-released level 50 ones around too, like ghostly Blood Frenzies, and they kindly yielded up useful amounts of gold when killed.
We decided not to try to find any more groups, and returned to town - we both had the same local quests flagged up, so we both ended up out by Rau up in the north-east part of the map, and dealt with the three assorted elites there, the bandit, berserker and highlander types, for a few minutes. I then suggested adding the spot with the four level 40 Elite Frenzied Berserkers to our memory scrolls, and, after a mounted "pet return to village", led the way to them. We were a good few levels lower than Kae had been when she fought them, but with the two of us, and Divine Shield, plus Ratel's stun skill and my Snare, we continued there until Ratel had to log out for the night.
As usual, he had thoughtfully given me a last Divine Shield buff before leaving, so I made the most of that. And then, well, we had seen when we rode past Maargadum Jail that there was an untouched mob of Pandora's Beasts there, so I rode back, and, while all the level 30 ones had been disposed of, there were still quite a few of the higher-level types to be seen. So, I managed to get rid of them - easy enough when Snare worked, but even at level five, its maximum, it only works 70% of the time, so there were some more close-run things. I did the running, and the things got too close! Still, I just about avoided being killed, and, well, it tidied the place up a bit.
A pretty varied evening session, then, and one that added another 58.68% experience, making 110.27% in all today. 116 more skill points brought today's haul up to 309, though I spent so many that my stash of unused points fell by 804 - and a further 1330 pet points got that total up to 2931. Rage's new armour set is now fully bloodsealed, but I need another 40% before the new level 37 +13 crossbow can replace the level 29 one. That will need to be bloodsealed too, I must remember to buy five more bloodseal gems in Randol.
The Eyes of Spirit - April 7th
MistressDomina did pretty well selling overnight, though it seems that 175,000 gold for large attack potions, and 95,000 for large defence potions, was a bit too much of a step up from my previous selling prices of 125,000 and 75,000 - so some compromise will be needed next time. Heaven stones sold nicely at 950,000 though, so it does look as if Auzura prices are moving up more in line with the other servers.
SirDarth started early, and spent most of the day levelling up Stavanic's horse, though it is just coming to the end of its time of just requiring 12 hunger points per hour. Getting a horse to level 23 is easy enough for a level 22 knight, it's the higher levels, when the pet starts to get more and more hungry, that are the problem. I did a few calculations based on the figures from the Wet Paint Last Chaos wiki, and, while 105 quality stones ought to be about enough to get you to level 23, to get to level 37 the total is more like 1500, while the total time taken is about 150 hours.
SirPerivale did a little work on my own horse too, but BasheR got in touch; he has decided that at level 70, with +15 armour (which gives a special bonus to magical defence), he is perfectly set to do some Kamira-hunting. So, I sent Rage out to get the Poison Mists' location onto her memory scroll, and kill as many of them as she could as quickly as possible, with the idea of attracting Kamira, as she tends to spawn wherever in the Dratan map the most action is. Kaerella certainly attracted Kamira often enough when she was farming there.
It took a while, but eventually at 11:30, UK time, I was able to message Bash that Kamira had arrived, and he came straight over - I partied with him so that he'd get the exact location, and he arrived very quickly. I wasn't sure what a level 32 rogue could do to help, rogues have no useful buffs for other people and I didn't want to do anything that could mess up our chances of getting a rare drop, so I didn't attack Kamira at all, just the Poison Mists in the area that, being aggressive, were also attacking Bash, and the Death Goddesses that spawn during the fight. The usual assortment of things dropped, such as a few health and mana pots, five lucky scrolls - and an Eyes of Spirit accessory, which, once identified, adds no less that 168 to long range physical hit rate, plus 78 to close range evasion, and 44 each to health and mana points.
I traded across the lucky scrolls to Bash, as they'll come in useful for future battles with Kamira - it's worth using one of those, and an item drop booster, to maximise the chance of getting good drops from her. And, as an Eyes of Spirit is the perfect accessory for a bow or crossbow user, BasheR traded the "EoS" across to me. Hopefully we can attract Kamira a few more times, and get other good stuff to share between us, as at the moment, as we had agreed to share the loot, I owe him for half its value.
Rage stayed out a little longer before lunch, so that she was able to reach level 33 - this meant she could start using the level 37 +13 crossbow. Rage's total experience gain for the morning session was 50.91%, plus 32 skill points and 1165 pet points. While she might have got a few more skill points from staying in Prokion Temple until she'd reached her new level, the benefits of making the move early certainly outweighed that.
We tried to attract Kamira again after lunch, but without any luck on my part. BasheR did find her on a different sub-server, but didn't get any rare accessories dropped. And then, after no more than an hour, Bash had to leave - and won't be back for a couple of days, he said. By then, Rage had added just another 17.52%, 14 skill points, and 405 pet points.
As Rage wasn't using the level 29 +13 crossbow any longer, a general swapping-around session, and moving loot to MistressDomino, meant that the crossbow got moved across to MistressDomina, my level 27 mage, who immediately got Collector Ryu to transform it into the equivalent mage staff. Changing from the +6 event weapon wand to the +13 staff increased her magic attack from 249 to 409, but as staffs are slower to use than wands, it reduced her hit rate from 318 to 257.
So, after getting some bloodseal gems to use on the newly-changed weapon, MD headed for Prokion Temple, and that upstairs back room; even with +7 armour (and +8 shirt) she did occasionally have to use a small health potion, but the blessed rewards helped things along, and by the end of the afternoon 209 skill points had been gained, and 1193 pet points.
During the food break SirDarth was as usual joined in the pet-levelling business by SirPerivale - but as I was dealing with emails and so on afterwards, not to mention doing a bit of blog-drafting (things get a bit difficult to remember in the right sequence if I leave everything until the end of the day), a notice came up that, due to a lot of people reporting problems logging in to the game, we were shortly going to have the servers taken down for about five minutes. So I just left the pet levellers to it until the disconnection came...and it seemed to last a lot longer than they'd said, with as usual the shoutbox full of people complaining that they had been in the monster combo, or other expensive places, using expensive potions.
But at last the servers came back up, and SirDarth went back to his Berserker; and MrChuckNorris headed out to Prokion Temple's upstairs back room, since, well, it was his turn, yes? Besides, as Chuck has a very impressively-glowing +15 titan sword, once he graduates to a higher-level weapon (perhaps not a transformed version of Rage's present level 37 crossbow, as a +15 weapon, I would say, is likely to be better than a +13 one even a couple of grades higher), then MistressDomina would get a chance to use it after Collector Ryu had done his work.
Even with just +4 armour, Chuck had no problems in that room, and in a pretty long session added 421 skill points, and 1707 pet points - before another mass disconnection at about 9:15 pm, UK time. As the "Mad Monster Spawn" had been going on in Juno on Auzura-3 then, when I logged back in and respawned in Juno, [GM]Krash was just respawning too, and asking "ok did EVERYONE at the MMS get DC'ed?" The answer was in the affirmative, I think. In fact, a few minutes later there was another disconnection; Kae had just taken over from Darth to deal with a level 50 Pandora Beast he'd released, and, after killing it, and opening another Box and killing another one, without getting any drops, suddenly found that shooting at the local Berserkers didn't have any effect. When Darth logged back in, the GM message, presumably from Krash, was "Test, test one tew? Ok I think we're back...let's get back to the MMS, and hope LC doesn't break again!"
Well, Chuck spent 149 of his skill points on perfect stone processing, level three - and now has got all his special skills maximised, so that he can now begin "sp farming" in earnest. He's got 297 sp at the moment, all he needs to do is multiply that by, um, about fifty? With Rage wanting to keep her levelling against the poison mists generally to times when BasheR is available to come and deal with Kamira, and Kaerella hoping to power-level with BasheR in the Tomb of Theos, that means more time for Chuck and MD, I suppose.
As for the horse situation, my own one, with Peri, is still very slightly ahead of Stavanic's, as it reached level 24 first; it will be overtaken tomorrow morning, though, and then both horses will start to get more hungry. It looks as if I'm going to need to mine some more stones soon. Luckily Stavanic has promised to supply some tool aids, I'll certainly need them.
The Prokion Effect - April 8th
SirDarth was busily levelling Stavanic's mount-to-be this morning, when he got a new Friend request - from someone called HiDE. This turned out to be Renez's Auzura-based rogue: "This character was the highest rogue on the first day of release of this server, the first rogue to level 30." He confirmed that his efforts to have the CONFLICT guild "unlocked" after the banning of its guild master had failed. "They unlocked Vendetta under the same situation. Not us."
The invitation was to "Get over on C server sometime - I'm in need of a levelling partner", and I did briefly log in over there as Barbarienne, and learn the eighth level of the passive skill Survival Training for 400 skill points, which comes available at level 100, adding a further 50 to health and 20 to defence. I also learned the top Master Armoursmith levels, though because of the old bug on special skills I can't learn the Master Weaponsmith equivalent. There is a level 102 skill, I see, Fatal Blow, which adds 100% to the chance of a critical hit, but that needs not just skill points but gold too, and a special skill book which presumably can be obtained only in some of the new high-level areas.
But there was still just time to return to Auzura, and give MrChuckNorris an hour or so in that upstairs back room in Prokion Temple. I opened a large number of the skill boxes, and, while most of them just gave the one-hour +15% training spell books, or the ten-minute +50% scrolls, or more usefully a pack of five skill exp boosters, I did get three each of the platinum super skill pills (triple skill exp for an hour) and the super skill pills (double), and used one of the latter.
Over an hour, then, Chuck got 416 skill points, boosted by the "ssp" and also the +50% blessed rewards. I did trigger one of the 15% red-and-white training spell books as well, which worked fine with the ssp, so that 11,000 skill exp became 11,825, but sadly didn't "stack" with the blessed rewards, so that the maximum I could get was 13,750 rather than 14,575. As usual I did stick around a little longer after the hour ended, so that Chuck's total skill point gain was 455, plus 1136 pet points - which was enough to get his pet drake up to level 26.
After lunch, MistressDomina made a first attempt on the third personal dungeon, Ajaka Canyon, but the Beast Crawler in the large room managed to sneak up on her, and its magical attack killed her straight away. There's no penalty for death there, though, and quite a lot of small amounts of cash were picked up along the way.
A quest from Lorrraine took MD to Great Magician Minearm in Merac, who asked her to go off and fight a few Butchers, which seemed a reasonable request. Once they'd given her ten "Order of Beradben" quest items, he then sent her on a quest to Shuraine, out at his oasis in the Dratan desert.
Riding out across the sands, MistressDomina encountered a Pandora's Box, which when opened released a level 40 Beast, in the guise of a ghostly spider. She was able to kill it, and it dropped 60,600 gold, which was a useful sum. As well as some experience, Shuraine gave MD a "magic stone" accessory which, with 2 physical fortitude (constitution), 4 swiftness of reflexes (dexterity), 2 long range physical defence, and 1 (all kinds of) physical defence, was actually better than one of the accessories she was using, so she is now suitably upgraded. As there was space on MD's memorising scroll, I added that location temporarily, on the feeling that there did tend to be a number of visits to that oasis.
Two or three minutes fighting the Sand Golems there yielded some more Soft Sand - and the Elite Sand Golem dropped a Radiant Helm +4, which will be moved over to SirPerivale at some point, as at the moment he's just using a +3 one.
MistressDomina then went on to Prokion Temple, and, for comparison purposes, also cracked open an "ssp"; I didn't bother with one of those 15% training spells though. She managed just 314 skill points in the hour, for 329 over the whole of the afternoon, and 1231 pet points, which were enough to get her drake up to level 21. As the length of time that the +50% skill exp gain "blessed reward" is active tends to vary, it's difficult to make a direct comparison between Chuck's hour and MD's, but it looks as if she only kills at 75% of his speed, which is probably fairly similar to the difference in power between a +13 and a +15 weapon...
While MD was in Prokion she got enough Cracked Axes to complete a quest, so when she returned to Dratan she was able to get her reward from Crom there...and he gave her a new quest which just needed her to visit Shuraine again, so a quick click of the memorising scroll and she was at the oasis. While her normal experience gain per kill is frozen, she does still get experience as quest rewards, so in all this afternoon she went up 18.20%. She's still safely below the level 28 mark though, which is just as well, as level 27 is the most useful one for skill exp farming. Her new skill points were enough to get the first two levels of Expert Weaponsmith, though another 76 will be needed before she can learn the final level.
As usual on a Wednesday, I had an early finish, but Chuck was able to go back to Prokion Temple for an hour or so first. The place was pretty busy, and I couldn't use my favourite back room, so I didn't use any skill exp boosting materials, but I added another 252 skill points, which was just enough to complete Chuck's first thousand for future use. And 619 pet points, well, they'll come in handy too.
SirDarth at least was able to continue until the usual end time, so that the horse, now well ahead of my own one, was getting pretty close to level 27 by then. And short of quality stones, too, some more mining is definitely needed tomorrow.
No Dialling Tone - April 9th
Since SirDarth was running low on quality stones, I hadn't bothered to get him started on pet-levelling before breakfast, which was just as well, as while I was working my way through a bowl of Sugar Puffs, the burglar alarm went off... well, not a klaxon or a fire-alarm type bell, but just the beeping that the system makes when something is wrong. Once I'd keyed the correct code into the touchpad, the reason came up - the telephone line wasn't working.
Lifting the phone receiver confirmed this, as there was no dialling tone. This did happen once a while back, and again it was a matter of using a mobile phone to ring my phone and internet provider's dedicated line for such things, and tap in the affected phone number - to receive a recorded message that there was a fault in the network, and that engineers were even then working their woolly socks off, and hoped to have things working again within four hours.
So, there was no internet, and no Last Chaos, this morning until just before lunch. At that point SirDarth was at last able to get to work. The horse had actually just managed to reach level 27 last night, and reached level 28 at around my usual early evening food break time.
As I was busy in the real world, there wasn't much to report about here in the afternoon either. Stavanic had managed to find 33 tool aids to contribute towards the effort needed to get his horse up to mount level, and came out to Darth to hand them over - it was a bit lazy of him not to do the actual mining himself, but still! With 33 hammers or pickaxes, 33 tool aids would get us 891 quality stones, so more than half the full number needed, enough to get us to around level 32. Steve actually forgot to bring the tool aids with him on his first visit, they are after all a bit heavy to carry around all the time, but came back a few minutes later and traded them across.
As she is one of my characters with her mining skills maximised, Rage did some mining, using 22 tool aids, and then, after transferring a suitably large number of quality, imperfect, and flawed stones over to Darth, went back and did some ordinary mining, ten minutes at a time, to replenish her own stocks. So, while I wasn't actually playing, I was seldom away from the computer for more than ten minutes all afternoon.
The first thing I did when I came on to play was let Rage take a turn at the Ajaka Canyon personal dungeon mission. Most of the monsters in there are white to her at level 33, but the one Beast Crawler is level 36, so still, with its magical attack, hit Rage pretty hard, and some strategic running was called for, with the use of some health pots. Still, it was safely despatched, and I continued on to the final tower... though had to backtrack when the door there wouldn't open, apparently some Beast Flyers had been a bit late in spawning, and the door wouldn't open until everything was dead.
Blood Mistress Kamira herself is level 38, and again her magic attack was quite effective - but on the third attempt Rage's Snare skill worked, and the mission was safely concluded. I put the "end of dungeon" window to one side, though, and cleaned out all the Blood Leeches and Flying Blood Leeches that were in the tower too, which left me with a lot of assorted gold drops to pick up. Kamira herself hadn't dropped anything at all, in fact the only item other than gold anything dropped was a level 31 pants production manual. The reward for successfully completing the personal dungeon is 10,000 gold and a single moonstone, again.
BasheR had been Kamira-hunting again, though I'd been unable to do any luring unfortunately; as he was asking me what sort of prices Stone of Shadow and Chain of Tiger rare accessories go for on Auzura now, I quickly surmised that he'd had some successes today. Judging by the prices people are asking in the Merchant House system, he may be able to get around 60 million for the "SoS", at least. He already uses two of them himself, and a hit rate-boosting accessory.
The main evening session belonged to MrChuckNorris, who, not surprisingly, went skill point farming in our favourite Prokion Temple back room, using a couple of super skill pills. For both hours, it was a good ten minutes before the skill exp-boosting blessed reward was picked up, but Chuck did manage to get 488 sp in hour one, followed immediately by 473 sp in hour two. I did stay on long enough afterwards to get the total gain up to 1016, so Chuck doubled his stash of unused skill points, which is good. His drake added 2144 pet points, though as usual there he did take a lot of damage. It's lucky that Chuck has a supply of the 30-point pet healing potions, as otherwise a considerable number of green herb leaves would be needed.
SirDarth continued with the pet-levelling, and SirPerivale took the opportunity finally to come online for half an hour or so too, getting the horse that, in theory, SirDarth should one day ride off on up to level 25. SirDarth's horse was getting towards the top of level 28 by the time he had to log out. At the moment it takes two hours and five minutes to get through the whole 100 of the starvation bar, but that will go down to half as long before we are finished.
Death in Merac - April 10th
It was unusual to have a server down-time and a new patch not in the usual Tuesday night slot, but this morning a new patch did need downloading, and some changes have been made to the game. To be positive first, they have managed to cure the bug where changing directly from having your mount equipped to having a pet equipped made the game crash. There are some high-level additions, to the "Cube" system and a new tier for the Monster Combo, and a new cave/dungeon, but, yet again, they have made the monsters hit harder.
BasheR was around this morning, so my rogue Rage did head out to the Poison Mists on Auzura-3, in the hope of luring Kamira into appearing there, but I didn't have much luck. Rage had actually gone up 7.75% late last night (plus 9 sp and 275 pet points), as a call from SirDarth to get rid of a level 50 Pandora's Beast from a Box meant she discovered that some GM had been spawning the groups of Beasts again there, so a few minutes was taken up with killing as many of those as possible. As an apology for the apparently rather longer than planned downtime, though, today we had double experience switched on "overnight", so Rage's morning session with the Poison Mists added no less than 96.24%, taking her up to level 34, plus 42 skill points and 1260 pet points, which were enough to get her horse to level 25.
There was more of the same in the afternoon, too, plus a trip through Ajaka Canyon again to battle Blood Mistress Kamira, and a further 73.80% experience, 43 skill points and 1198 pet points got added. Rage was level 35 now, and able to get the first level of Reinforce 2, increasing her attack by 62, for 150 skill points. I suppose I ought to look for some level 40 gloves for her, or indeed the whole 40/42 set.
But SirDarth had been having problems, again, despite 28 levels of Armour Increase; the Berserkers were doing bad things to his health bar. Chat on the shoutbox advanced the theory that the new patch hadn't actually made the monsters hit harder, what it had done was increase their chance of making a critical hit - but it comes to the same thing. So Darth had to retreat to the Butchers.
As Kaerella is a bit high level now to fight the level 50 Pandora's Beasts and get good drops, Rage has taken over that responsibility - but I must report that one of them managed to kill her this afternoon, when Snare failed to work. And over the tea break, when I left SirDarth and SirPerivale both pet levelling on the Butchers, after no more than 10 to 15 minutes when I checked up they were both lying dead. It must have been a marauding Pandora's Beast that did it, it killed Peri's horse as well, which cost 105,000 gold to unseal - but a couple of kills of that Beast's relatives more than covered that.
There was an "old school treasure hunt" just after my food break, hosted by GMJediMike; a number of locations in Juno on Auzura-3 were announced, and the second one I rode to was the one with the treasure. I managed to pick up 2 large attack potions, 5 large defence potions, a skill point booster, a tool aid or two, and various small recovery potions - I don't think he spawned any of the Hands that contain heaven stones. He stayed around to chat a bit afterwards, and was promising to do further similar events for Auzura at European-friendly times, as he was the one who got into the office first in the morning.
Rage did another Ajaka Canyon trip, mainly to check up how much gold one gets from it - I picked up 42,823 in all that time, plus a moonstone box, which isn't bad for the time taken. 0.90% experience was gained, too, plus 6 skill points and, although Rage's drake doesn't appear or assist in there, 207 pet points.
The double experience hadn't survived into the evening, unfortunately. There was just time for MrChuckNorris to go to Prokion Temple for an hour; I didn't use any skill pills, but, thanks to having the Blessed Reward active very nearly all the time, Chuck did add 297 skill points, plus 1967 pet points. The Orcs did seem a bit more hard-hitting, I did have to use an occasional small health potion. Jacqueline, who's a level 25 healer, had gone out a little earlier, and was being hit a lot harder than usual by the Orc Soldiers, so that she was spending more time healing than attacking, and soon gave up in disgust.
So, a bit of a mixed day, and it's difficult to say what this further boost to the monsters' attacking capabilities will do. Still, Rage did manage to go up by 178.93% since yesterday's total, plus 101 skill points (or minus 49, after spending 150 sp), and plus 2944 pet points, with her pet horse reaching 25.
Stavanic seems to be wanting his horse only to go to level 32, which seems a strange number to choose, I think I'd better try to get it to 33 at least, or further if he can come up with some more tool aids. SirPerivale seems only just well enough armoured, with 24 levels of Armour Increase and his +3 armour set, to deal with the Butchers, so starting any more pets there from level 1 may no longer be possible. I wonder how the Treants are doing these days...?
Double Time - April 11th
SirDarth was out relatively early today to keep working on Stavanic's horse. It was now approaching level 31, when it would be possible to give Darth all thirty levels of the pet Armour Increase buff, and, with fingers and toes crossed, head back to the big, bad Berserkers. Would his +6 armour and shield, and the maximum pet buff, be enough to keep him alive?
While he was getting the last pet points he needed, Zenderfly came online, and added herself to Darth's Friends list. She has been busy over on the Cariae server, and has even done one of the new-style monster combo parties - which apparently cost 38 million to get into, and lasted two and a half hours.
She has started one of the special "phoenix" characters that one is awarded when a character reaches level 100 - the "phoenix ticket" only cost 120 million apparently, so it can't be quite as rare a drop now as it was a few weeks back. She was asking if I had some armour, and a +15 weapon, to lend this new sorcerer. I did manage to find a +6 30/32 armour set, and passed it over, but drew a blank on the weapon front...checking later, I see that my level 25 rogue over there only has a +8 level 29 crossbow, so that would probably be the best I could find. For some reason she traded the armour set back to me, perhaps it will be a while before he is high enough in level to wear it
Her healer, Itura, is now the guild master of Norcaine over on Cariae, I don't know what if anything she has planned, but it will be interesting to find out. I did a "fox test" while we were chatting outside the gate (to get away from the spammers), and it came up 2 experience and 2 skill experience, which seemed promising. Double-checking when I was back on Auzura confirmed that this wasn't just confined to one server, we had got double experience and skill exp switched on - and looking at Darth's screen, the pet points were going up two at a time as well! A general unannounced celebration of Easter, perhaps, or an apology for our recent disconnections and downtimes.
SirDarth got set up with the Berserkers, and his health bar, while it wavered, never seemed to fall by much more than a couple of hundred, much to my relief. So I was free to turn my attention to my rogue, Rage (well, RAGE actually), and go out to the Poison Mists. Since BasheR was about, there was the hope that Kamira would show up, but she never arrived - he did fight her a few times on other servers, but didn't get any good drops.
So, with the triple-double, Rage did pretty well in the morning session, going up 83.41%, 105 skill points, and 2490 pet points. This meant she was almost ready for her new armour set, so it was a matter of transferring Kaerella's old +4 40/42 set to her, and having Collector Ryu change it from healer Dawn to rogue Shadow armour, for 356,400 gold. Rather than interrupt Darth's work in Merac, Kae rode down and traded the armour across to him, and then Rage in turn rode down and was given it. As Rage was carrying a number of accessories, I looked through them and found quite a good defensive-type one, and gave it to Darth, increasing his physical defence stat by 2 to 951. With the way his health bar wavered, every little bit helps.
Rage's afternoon session didn't take long to get her to level 36, so that she was able to wear the gloves, shirt and pants from the new set, moving her physical defence from 585 to 613. Later, wearing the full set brought the figure up to 638. Her experience gain was pretty similar to the morning session, on 83.43%; the skill points gained were a bit more, at 132, though, since getting a level nearer to a monster increases the amount of skill exp per kill, and also decreases the percentage experience gain per kill. 2824 pet points is probably the most reliable indicator that the afternoon session was a bit longer than the morning's - enough points to get her horse to level 26.
The evening session made full use of the continuing double stuff; I did have to share the Elite Poison Mist a little, mostly with a specialist sorcerer called Apherion (well, apherion), who eventually got a bit chatty. He did venture to the south of Dratan, as the monster-showing map puts a picture of an Elite Poison Mist down there, but soon returned, not having found any. An Elite Goblin at level 49, yes, but a bit high for us as yet.
The evening session was suitably lengthy, and ended up with Rage having reached level 37, and her pet horse (as opposed to her mount) reaching level 27. 113.00% was the experience gain, along with 226 skill points and 4598 pet points... meaning today's grand totals were 279.84% experience, 463 sp, and 9912 pet points. Quite a step forward! I don't have a level 41 weapon for Rage to start using, so, like Kaerella before her, she is likely to have to continue with her current level 37 +13 one, until at level 41 she can move on to a level 45 +15 crossbow - once Collector Ryu has changed Kae's old bow into a suitable rogue weapon, that is.
SirDarth got Stavanic's horse halfway through level 33 by the end of the day, which shows how useful the double pet experience all day was; fingers crossed that it continues on Sunday. Now that the physical defence buff is maximised, the only slightly useful buff for Darth will be the one that increases his maximum health. SirPerivale had a couple of shorter sessions, which were enough to get his horse up to level 27, so that he can at least fight Butchers without a risk of them killing him now. With the harder-hitting monsters it is going to be difficult to afk-level pets from early on, though, so it's lucky that my main project, to get Kaerella, Rage, MistressDomina, MrChuckNorris, and SirDarth all their own level 37 mounts, is approaching its conclusion.
Death and Resurrection - April 12th
SirDarth and SirPerivale were both busy this morning, though not starting particularly early, of course. Stavanic came on just before lunch to enquire how his horse was getting on, and was happy to know that yesterday's double experience, skill exp, and pet points (which ended last night at about 11:00pm UK time) had got his horse up to level 33... and a few minutes later, level 34 was attained.
I did urge him to let me continue to level 35, which would have taken another day, but Steve was eager to get his hands on his mount, and go out and farm Bandits and Berserkers, so the exchange was made. He kindly passed over 2.5 million in gold as a reward, which is a lot less than the actual value of a mount, of course, but is probably all he could afford and a nice gesture.
No fighting at all got done during the morning - well, not by me, anyway. BasheR managed to sell a large number of experience boosters at 1.35 million each, which is a symptom of the way prices are heading, perhaps driven by the Merchant House system, where some scary prices are being asked. He is now pretty rich in-game, but almost out of aeria points again.
My rogue Rage had a fairly short session out at the Poison Mists this afternoon, much of it in a combat party with a level 35 titan, Darkmager. He did mention the possibility of going to the Sphinx Fighters and teaming with one or two more people there, but I didn't think Rage was high enough level for that yet - fine when Snare worked, perhaps, but that is only 70% of the time.
Once Rage had reached level 38 I went back to Randol, and spent 586 skill points on two new attack skills. Flame Arrow seems useful, "an attack that causes the target to 'burn' and lose mana" - it adds 400% to the regular attack, though removing 50 mana doesn't seem very important. Piercing, on the other hand, is an "area of attack" skill, though the (up to three) targets have to be in a straight line. The normal attack is multiplied by 250%.
Rather recklessly, I decided that now that Rage was level 38 she ought to be able to ride out to the Tomb of Theos - but her armour just wasn't good enough, and the level 57 Masters of Secret Technique, with their ranged magic attack, killed her. I didn't give up, though, I tried a different route with, I thought, less of that particular monster along the way - and got killed again. So, I logged Kaerella in, and she used a memory scroll to move to the Tomb entrance, then used one of five Summon books she had to bring Rage to her painlessly.
So, that worked nicely, but I then had the bright idea of Rage riding back from there to the area with the Sphinx Fighters, and Sphinx Speer Men... and, wouldn't you know it, there were too many of the aggressive and hard-hitting Sphinx Fighters, and a third resurrection scroll got used. I know this is the time of year for death and resurrection, but Rage was rather taking things to extremes...
Rage also stopped off in Merac, and found some quests waiting - mainly taking messages and items from one NPC to another, but there was a quest to get ten red toenails from the Gnolls, so she rode down towards their lair, stopping off at the four Elite Frenzied Berserkers to get that spot, at least, safely onto her memory scroll. By the end of the afternoon Rage had added 20.01% experience, 33 skill points, and 739 pet points.
Some trading across of items took place after that, with MistressDomino gaining recently acquired loot for resale - and I took the opportunity to move some more resurrection scrolls across from Kae to Rage, too! I also passed a pan flute across to SirPerivale, who was otherwise out of a job, since SirDarth had taken over levelling what ought eventually to be his mount.
Peri went out to the entrance to Velpist Temple in Juno, to see how, with the recent augmentations to monster attack power, he'd stand up to the locals. Drakes, at level 18, are still green-named for him, so die rather quickly; Treants, at level 26, are orange-named, and seem to last almost as long as the Butchers, though it is a matter of attempting to lure one of them clear of their spawning area, killing any extras, before being able to leave Peri to it... and with no pet buff yet, his health bar does fluctuate a little. The Treants aren't ideal, but do seem Peri's best bet if he does need to continue raising any pets from level one. He got the new pony up to level three, allowing two levels of Armour Increase, which will add 30 to his defence...at least, it will add that much when the pony's Sympathy reaches 100%, it starts at only 50% and is a bit slow to rise, at the moment it is only at 67%, so only 20 will get added to his defence to begin with.
Rage went across to the Poison Mists again, and made a combat party with the titan Darkmager and the sorcerer Apherion, which worked pretty well, except that there aren't really enough Poison Mists there for all three party members to stay close enough together all the time to get the full benefit of a combat party. After a while, Darkmager wanted to move across to the Sphinx Fighters, and we ended up agreeing, though I'd said that I didn't really want to head there until I was level 41, with a level 45 crossbow to use. Mounting up, I followed Darkmager pretty closely, moving west across from where we were rather than starting from town. It was risky stuff, I didn't notice my health was down to about a third at one stage until Darkmager stopped in a safe spot. He advised me to save the position to my scroll every now and again, which was sensible I guess but less than reassuring.
We stopped just past the Dragons, to let Apherion catch up, and I watched her dot move across the map towards us. At last she came into view - but she was followed by three Dragons, breathing fire! I'm not sure that Darkmager wasn't actually afk at that moment, but it was probably lucky for the two of us that she was killed before she quite reached us, so that the Dragons gave up their chase. She respawned back in town, and had to reboot her computer, so left the party.
The route we'd taken avoided the Masters of Secret Technique, thankfully, and Darkmager knew the way to the usual spot to battle the Sphinx Fighters from, which, coming from this direction, only involved passing a very few of them - and we arrived safely. How a level 36 titan and a level 38 rogue could actually engage a level 63 Fighter, though, I wasn't sure, but we managed a few safely, with me retreating behind the handy bit of fencing at the end if my Snare failed. Darkmager had a stun skill too, so, generally, it worked okay, particularly when I could add Flame Arrow into the mix.
We didn't stay long as Darkmager wanted to get to the Quiz in good time. I took Rage and Kae along, with BasheR arriving with seconds to spare before the start, and just clicking on Kae as he was going to be afk. The questions were the ones we know and love, so all went smoothly, though Bash, as the third person in the conga-chain, was a bit slow to move to the correct side two or three times, even though I was careful to react and move as quickly as possible.
An upgrade event was announced after the Quiz, and I decided that it would be a good idea to increase SirDarth's defence a bit. I found a package with some Runes of Protection in it in my records, gifted them to the Kae account, and, as runes can't be traded, made a knight called BaronIce specially. Darth traded his +6 shield across - and, after suitable additions, including two or three failures, received it back moved on to +13, which means it adds 135 defence to its basic 96. With 5 Runes of Protection left I decided to try and upgrade his armour too, or as much of it as I could, but that was not so successful, and I ended up with only two pieces, the leggings and the plate mail, moved on from +6 to +7. Still, it does mean that Darth's defence now is 806, plus whatever buff he can get from his pet's Armour Increase buff, so that the current 27 levels of the buff mean a total defence of 1026, which is more than enough to fight Berserkers with. Until they next do an update, that is...
After Darth went down to fight his Berserker, a Pandora Beast spawned from a Box close by, and Kaerella came down to deal with it, riding past a couple of groups of the mass-spawned Beasts. They wouldn't give Kae much experience, so Rage briefly logged in to teleport to Merac and kill a few, but her brief outing only added 1.37%, to make the evening session for her 25.07% experience, 35 skill points, and 855 pet points. That meant that Rage was up 45.08% in all today, plus 68 skill points (unless one counts the 586 I invested in those two skills) and 1594 pet points.
And SirDarth got his horse, his own mount-to-be, up to level 29 before my rather late logging out time. It's good that he can fight a Berserker now rather than a succession of Butchers, though his upgrade was a bit expensive.
Poison Mists & Sphinx Fighters - April 13th
It was rather pleasant to only have one pet leveller, SirDarth, at work today, and it was also a relief to have him fighting an everlasting Berserker rather than a series of Butchers, with the inevitable gaps in between, or having, when I saw that the current one was down to about 20%, to break off, equip a sword, and kill him, then unequip the weapon and find a new one to target. Despite the occasional interruption, Darth did good work, and by the end of the day the horse had just reached level 31, meaning that he would now be mountable, though of course level 37 is my target.
Given the cost of Darth's armour upgrade yesterday, I might actually try selling a mount, if the price is tempting enough. Or perhaps BasheR would take one instead of the 50% share of the "Eyes of Spirit" accessory that I owe him, he was mentioning having a lower-level character that could help with Kamira-luring.
Rage went out to do some mining, as I had some work to do this morning; the titan Darkmager did get in touch, hoping for a team-up against the Sphinx Fighters, but I explained that I was generally away-from-keyboard and just having Rage do some mining. I did see him at the Juno mine a few minutes later, so he was stocking up on stones a bit too. Rage continued there over lunch, and used a few tool aids - she then took some stones out to SirDarth, and passed over some memorising scrolls as well as he was running low.
The afternoon was one long slog for Rage against the Poison Mists, and very slowly it seemed to go, too. I had to change sub-servers a couple of times, in the hope of luring Kamira for BasheR to battle, which meant that most of the time I didn't have the "solo party" boost of being in a party with SirDarth, but the spot looks the same in any sub-server, and a lot of Poison Mists bit the dust, er, sand. There was double skill experience switched on for most of the day - though it got quietly turned off the moment that Ratel's healer, Jacqueline, logged on. She has decided to move up from level 25 to level 27, so that the new armour set can counteract the harder hitting Orcs, which seems a wise move.
For convenience, SirDarth got promoted to Guild Master temporarily, which meant that Ghostt, a level 25 sorcerer, and an even newer recruit, GothicPresence, a level 17 mage, could have their experience frozen - and Jacqueline could have hers unfrozen. A friend of Ghostt's, SsnowboardsS, a level 23 knight, has also joined Norcaine. Just about everyone seems to be helping BasheR to get his daily "fix" of Kamira encounters, though I have to report that all my efforts today were again in vain. Strange, before BasheR was doing this, I could rely on her dropping by several times a day, but I suppose with the extended weekend that the Dratan desert has been rather busier than usual.
By the end of the afternoon, Rage had added 24.53% experience, plus 121 skill points (thanks to the double skill exp) and 1334 pet points. The evening session started off as more of the same, but later, mobs of angry Pandora's Beasts were reported to have spawned on Auzura-3 in Merac, Dratan and Juno, so SirDarth got some time off from his pet-levelling, and investigated the Juno spawnings, which I rather assumed would be a bit lower in level, and lethality, than the Merac ones that Kaerella and Rage have attended. But no, it was the exact same mix of level 30 ghostly Bandits and level 50 ghostly Larvae; somehow Darth got too close to a level 50 type, and, despite his high defence, was one-hitted. Still, he carried very few skill points, and is 0% into level 22, so lost very little.
After Darth was safely back with his Berserker, Rage took over; the Juno mobs seemed to have vanished, but the Pandora group downhill from Darth and Peri's Butcher levelling spot had only just been started on, so Rage joined in there, killing some level 30 types just to get them out of the way, and carefully targetting any convenient level 50 one. If Snare worked, there was no problem - if it didn't, it was a matter of running back uphill, using a health potion, and waiting for the skill to cool down, to try again. Snare works, on average, 70% of the time - I'm sure on one particular Beast I had to use it five times before it finally stuck.
There were quite a few people from the "xGLAx" guild around, and one of them suggested that Rage, who is currently guildless, might join. He added himself to my Friends list, but as there wasn't a guild adviser around, that is as far as it went - though I thought I was supposed to link up with them down by the Sphinx Fighters for a while, but none of them appeared at the spot that I use.
However, Darkmager, who had been in contact while I was fighting the Pandies, was there, and once I'd unteamed myself from Darth, we teamed there again - and after a while a level 29 rogue called Swiftii joined the party too. Another addition to my Friends list! She was pretty good, and it was useful to have two rogues, so that if one Snare failed, the other rogue could quickly cast it. It was a productive little session, though I think we all three died at least once, in my case I blame the "path recognition" by a tree, I got blocked when, really, I shouldn't have been.
Rage reached level 39, which is a pretty unimportant level - it gives four more stat points to go into Dexterity, but there's no new armour, or a new weapon, or a new skill to learn. Still, it's progress! We continued until Swiftii had reached the rather more important level of 30, but time was getting on, and Darkmager was finding someone else to team with as we left.
So, the rather more diverse evening session had added 48.86% experience, thanks to the Sphinx types, plus 62 more skill points and 1534 pet points, taking Rage's totals for the day to 73.39%, 183 sp, and 2868 pet points.
More Mists & Fighters - April 14th
Rage spent some time attempting to lure Kamira to the Poison Mists again in the second half of the morning, but to no avail, though, in her times on the various sub-servers, she did manage to add 9.49% experience, 28 skill points, and 455 pet points, which were enough to get her horse to level 28. I think BasheR did get to rendezvous with Kamira elsewhere though, he has quite a network of Kammy-lurers now.
SirDarth had started on the horse-levelling pretty early, as usual, and was proceeding through level 31, when I decided that this was a good chance to boost the buff Rage gets from her pet - so Darth and Rage exchanged horses, directly after Rage's had levelled up, so that Darth's campaign got a little bit of a setback, going to level 28 instead of 31 - but with his extra armour rating now he can easily manage that with a Berserker.
After lunch, since BasheR seemed to be working fine without me, it seemed like a good idea to let MrChuckNorris have the main afternoon slot, so he headed out to Prokion Temple, after linking up in a solo party with SirDarth - who was already linked to Ratel, who had recently logged on.
Chuck made for the upstairs back room, only to find it already occupied - by Ratel! He, however, welcomed his visitor, and we exchanged buffs, Divine Shield and Battle Roar. As Ratty at level 32 doesn't have his experience frozen, we made the party a "combat" one, so that he'd get a slight extra experience boost, and set to work. Ratel didn't stay the whole afternoon, though, as his young son wanted to play some rugby with him in the garden. Kids, eh?
An archer called GreenHealer did barge straight in and start killing the orcs with me after Ratel left, and my impression was that she must have had a pretty powerful weapon, as we often had to pause and wait for a respawn... she didn't think that was a reason to go away and leave me in peace, though. Luckily it was coming towards the end of my session, so as soon as Chuck's drake levelled up to 27, I beamed out.
Chuck may have an unusual problem, in that his drake could get too high-level; Chuck will be frozen on level 27 for a while, for skill exp farming, but his drake could get ahead of him. The drake will give more attack or defence buffs, true, but if he goes above level 28, he is going to start getting through the quality stones twice as fast. We must see how it goes - maybe Chuck will start a new pony, and Darth will get to level up a dragon for a change. Anyway, the session added 1827 pet points...and, thanks to those good old Blessed Rewards, 465 skill points, so Chuck is now perhaps a fifth of the way through the sp-farming stage.
Darkmager had asked Rage to join him at the Sphinx Fighters, but timed it wrong, as that was just as lunchtime was approaching - and by the time I was properly back at the keyboard, he'd gone offline.
Just to keep in practice, Kaerella had a very short session with the Sphinx types herself, mainly the Elite Speer Man, though as she is close to his level now, she only gets 0.10% per kill. And who should be out there but GreenHealer, with a couple of other people. I don't think her English was very good, as what seemed to be general questions about Kae's character build and accessories apparently led her to think I could sell her some accessories. She is level 35, which explains why she was getting through the orcs so quickly earlier.
After Kae had got 3.50%, 7 skill points, and 234 pet points, she left, and Rage took over. Darkmager got in touch to suggest we met out with the Sphinx Fighters in ten minutes - I was on time, but he was about ten minutes late, which at least gave me a chance to watch what other people were doing. It is mainly bow-users, either archers or rangers, who go there, but there was a witch in action, for a change. It was while I was standing around that I got the "RAGE has been chosen by the gods" announcement, and a light-effect similar to levelling up - the gift of ten moonstones duly appeared in my inventory.
Darkmager and I teamed up fairly successfully, taking our time, and I didn't die at all, though he managed to once. Sometimes one just ends up with two or more Sphinx Fighters and Speer Men out for blood, and sometimes they get it, though I was pretty wary. He's the tank, after all, not me.
We got him to his next level, by which time he was getting pretty sleepy, so he logged off for the night. Level 38 should mean some new skills for him - though if he is following the Wet Paint LC Wiki's stat point guide, he won't have the 17 Dexterity points needed for the rather useful (for me) buff Fire Command until he reaches level 47.
Another rogue called WhiteMessiah2 then offered to team up with me after that, which seemed a good idea to me; she was level 42, so three levels ahead of me. She asked what my weapon was, and I rather apologetically said that it was still the level 37 one, but at least it was +15 - and she said that hers was 21 +12, which seemed a bit strange. I hope she meant 41 +12...
She was suitably envious of my hit rate - I showed her my Eyes of Spirit accessory, with its 168 addition to long range physical hit rate, mentioning that I only half-owned it. Her pet horse was three levels ahead of mine, and she had a truly enormous number of skill points in reserve, 27558 - just over 85% more than Rage is carrying.
We made a good team, with her taking the lead, since she is higher level. Generally if her Snare didn't work, mine would, so while we had the occasional scare with extra Fighters coming in on us, or spawning at inconvenient times, nobody died, and we managed to defeat the Elite Speer Man a few times. Eventually it was time for me to log out, though; WhiteMessiah2 added me to her Friends List, which after a successful team-up like that seems good to me.
Rage's evening session didn't add any skill points, but another 48.68% experience was good to get, bringing the day's total up to 58.17%, along with 1225 pet points for 1680 in all.
It was convenient that Rage logged out then, as SirDarth got a disconnection soon after that - though a clean break like that probably wouldn't have left us standing at the mercy of the monsters and dying. When Darth logged back in the GM announcement came up "Mad Monster Spawn on Auzura is now over! Sorry I crashed the server again :'( " Darth went back to his patient Berserker; he has reclaimed a fair part of the pet experience lost in the switch of horses with Rage, so that his new horse is around halfway through level 29...or will be, by the time I switch off the computer.
A Hit Rate Improvement - April 15th
SirDarth began his horse-levelling nice and early, but we do seem to have a problem with the older computer - it gets an "insufficient memory" crash on Last Chaos. Recently that has happened two or three times a day, but today it was every two hours or so, which is a bit too frequent. I'm wondering if it is anything to do with my change of antivirus last night - the old one's year expired, and as I'd had problems trying to apply a "free upgrade" to it a few months ago, starting a new year seemed a bit risky... so I uninstalled it and went for AVG instead, which has the advantage of being free.
Darth also had someone lure the Blood Frenzies from around the corner onto him, so that the next time I checked his screen, he was lying dead. He didn't lose any of his 12 unused skill points, or any experience, but the horse was killed, and at level 30 it costs 182,700 gold to get a pet "unsealed". So, SirDarth has moved further away from the pet-eating, aggressive monsters... the only drawback is that he is now on the edge of a busier area, so the risk of someone just passing by and killing his Berserker, either innocently or maliciously, is increased.
Still, the horse ended the evening well into level 31, meaning that Darth is just about back to where he was before he and Rage swapped pets...if with rather less quality stones currently, a bit of tool aid-using mining will soon be called for, or an exchange with SirPerivale.
Rage had a morning session out at the Poison Mists, which was enough to add 17.96% and 50 skill points, plus 932 pet points (though I over-estimated the last gain yesterday by 600, it seemed too low so I thought what looked like a zero in my notes must be a six); Kamira continued her policy of staying away, though BasheR seems to have such a wide network of lurers now that he was able to find her quite a few times today. His level 19 rogue, BadToTheBone, does some luring too now, and, to keep in touch with his network, has been recruited into Norcaine. If BasheR has got an expensive Mall-bought "spell of luck" on, it makes sense to log out as Bash between Kammy encounters, so that its hour lasts for plenty of such battles.
Rage did some mining over the lunch and evening food breaks, but the afternoon was another chance for MrChuckNorris to head for that room in Prokion Temple, where he was almost uninterrupted. One titan did run in a couple of times, but my suspicion that he was a bit low-level for that area was confirmed when he slumped to the ground, dead. Chuck had no such problems, though he did have to use a small healing potion very occasionally, and a few of those 30-point pet healing pots too on his drake. The session, including fairly brief farming of the Sand Golems at Shuraine's oasis before and after, just in case Kamira could be tempted to appear there again, added 1947 pet points and 569 skill points, so we are perhaps a quarter of the way to when he can have his experience gain unlocked.
The evening was, well, the chances of it being a short one were about fifty-fifty, really, which made advance planning difficult. Darkmager invited Rage out to the Sphinx Fighters, and when I got there he was already teamed with the level 30 sorcerer BestkillerCZ, and the level 36 archer GreenHealer. In theory we ought to have made a pretty good team, but Green and Best both tended to lure different Sphinx types at the same time, and I don't know if Dark was doing something else or having some bad lag episodes, but he had a tendency not to react very quickly to what was happening.
A Kamira-hunter dropped by, as they do, to ask if we had seen the lady recently - Kanykei was a level 66 archer, offering a five million gold reward. I think Dark's hope that just saying "Yes, she's over with the Poison Mists" would get him the cash was a bit over-optimistic.
I died once, from a different Fighter to the one I was targetting, and was probably lucky not to die more often. BestkillerCZ didn't stay in the party very long, and GreenHealer left not long after - things did seem safer after that, but Darkmager did die at the end, he just seemed to stand there telling me that he'd gone up a level every day recently, with the Elite Speer Man hitting him. He told me slightly later that he had had a disconnection.
As I was getting pretty close to level 40 by then, I moved across to the Poison Mists, and, 0.03% at a time, got my level. It looks like another pretty useless one to get, just letting me add three points to Dexterity, though I could sort out the gloves for the next armour set, I guess. There is a new skill to learn at level 41, level six of Mental Defence, which will increase Rage's magical defence by 8 - which may not sound much, but it is only 62 at the moment. Apherion was there too, and just needed 8% to reach level 41
There weren't meant to be any great changes in this morning's post-maintenance patch, just the new item mall packages and the belated addition of "Easter Eggs" as rare drops. I had to open one of those, as you are only allowed to carry one in your inventory at a time, and all I got was 10 herb trunks, but apparently there is a slight chance of moonstones or even a heaven stone. To everyone's surprise (including the games masters) though, some changes to evasion and hit rate have been made to some of the classes, with better hit rate and evasion for both rangers like Rage and archers like Kaerella, so that's nice, though it will probably all get changed again in a week or two. At least SirDarth still seems able to pet-level on the Berserkers, with enough of an Armour Increase buff from the pet in question. Specialist Sorcerers and Temple Knights seem to be the big losers, with slower hit rates and worse evasion.
As it turned out, I didn't have any other call on my time for the second half of the evening, so Rage went back out to the Sphinx fields, and, as nobody else was around (except KnightVailant briefly, inquiring after Kamira), tried some careful soloing, which meant that they gave about a third of a percent each - more than ten times what I'd get from a Poison Mist, but these monsters are rather more deadly! Finally, remembering that I was now the same level as the Elite Frenzied Berserkers, and that I'd taken the trouble to add their location to my memory scroll, I went off to Merac and dealt with a few of those.
In all, the evening session had added 31.86% experience and 18 skill points, plus 804 pet points, so that Rage's totals for the day were 49.82%, 68 sp, and 1736 pet points. So, not very dramatic, but we are making steady progress on her, and indeed on Chuck.