Kaerella's Blog - stardate June 2009 (1)
Unbloggishly, here we read from the top down - so the month begins here at the top!

The Missing Experience  -  June 1st

SirDarth got his drake-levelling off to an early start, and, again, SirPerivale got some quality time with his horse too.  I didn't have much time for actually playing in the morning, but FoxChaser, my level one healer who is now safely in the Discipline guild with her experience frozen, managed to put in a session fighting the foxes just outside the north gate of Randol.  Since the drops she picked up included a couple of moonstone boxes, a skill point booster and an item drop booster from a Hand of the Guard, and a large defence potion from a Hand of Protection, she just about earned the two million gold that MistressDomino traded to her in exchange for them.  Oh, and three or four fox tails got picked up too, they are vital for one of the "human tribe" pet quests and thus do sell for a hundred thousand or two.  She may well end up with a set of +4 armour, if she farms those tails long enough.

There was a general exchanging round of items after lunch, which means that MistressDomino is now exceedingly well stocked with Wendy Bear pieces.  The idea was to put her up in merchant mode tonight to sell them, but at about 9:10 in the evening, UK time, an announcement came up that the servers would all be coming down for a maintenance period in fifty minutes.

After a day or two off, MistressSabina went back to Prokion Temple for the main afternoon session.  I opened some of the skill type of lucky draw boxes, and, along with scrolls and skill boosters, got a supply of the 15% "skill pill" and 100% "super skill pill" potions, so used one of each, for each of the two hours, so that at level 30 Sabina was getting 10642 skill exp from each Orc Sergeant, which is just over one skill point, and 8277 from each Orc Axeman.  The first hour got me 311 skill points, and the second hour 299, so that, with the usual little bit of extra time, I ended up with 627 more skill points, which I quickly invested in maxxing out Sabina's absorption-collecting skill, getting the whole kaboodle of Alchemy, and starting on armour crafting.  2156 pet points came in, too; using a wand rather than a staff does mean more hits per minute, and so more pet experience, but it does cut back on the damage per hit.  And some skills use the damage per hit as the basis for the damage they do, so Flame Storm isn't quite as formidable as it could be...

The evening session involved Rage, MrChuckNorris, and the Sphinx types.  Rage soloed the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men for a while, and then recruited Norcaine specialist sorcerer Ghostt when he came by.  He's just about the same level now, but his evasion stat is more than twice as good as mine.  I see that specialist sorcs have a passive level 50 skill that increases it by 177, Sudden Precision, so that and three Stones of Shadows would help that along. 

We were also joined by an early-fifties rogue in the top "Vendetta" guild, who was asking if she could have any level 57 boots that dropped for us, as she needed them - I had to break it to her that, while monsters like Akane Giants and Arcane Golems do drop the production manual, for the actual rogue boots she'd need to venture into the Forgotten Temple and fight the Wane Spiders there, which isn't a very good idea at our level, at least alone.

A rogue called XxXtigretonXxX was operating next to me too for a while, but replied to a general remark "so much simpler when Snare works" with "no inglis sorri", so we couldn't communicate much.  She was only level 28, so found things a bit risky.  I wondered why, a little later, she said "plis", then saw that she was being chased by a Sphinx Fighter, so quickly killed it, for which she was grateful.  I think she left soon after that.

For some reason Acheron has temporarily left the new guild of his that he recruited Rage into, which is called "NefariousShadows".  And it was well into the evening session that I was just idly wanting to compare the experience that Chuck and Rage were getting per kill - only to find that Rage wasn't getting any experience at all, just the 200-odd skill exp.  Acheron had, without telling me, frozen Rage's experience gain!  It was apparently a mistake, he was surprised when I mentioned it when he (in his alternative guise as xXArcheonXx) was asking me later which level I thought the new guild recruits ought to sp-farm at - luckily his trusted friend WINTER, who had been installed as guild master in his absence, was able to unfreeze me, but it must have cut Rage's experience gain tonight significantly...it added 4075 guild points for the guild, however, which may be useful.

Ratel was on, and, having spotted a bargain-price knight sword, a level 47 +13 one for, I think, around 47 million, asked to borrow 24 million from me, so after my initial reaction of "Hello?  Sorry, you're breaking up, what was that...?" (which might have been more convincing if we used audio rather than typed messages), I briefly changed to MistressDomino and passed the gold across to him.

WhiteMessiah2 came out and teamed with Rage and Chuck for the latter part of the evening, so we did some pretty speedy fighting.  I didn't continue for very long after she left... after all, the special extra maintenance time was approaching.  Apparently they hope that what they are doing will cure the recent run of crashes we have been having recently: "Party process zoning crash fix."

Rage's experience gain was 15.66%, and she also got 13 skill points and 2046 pet points, so that her horse is now 30% of the way through level 36.  Chuck meanwhile did actually level up, reaching level 45 and adding in all 87.05%, plus 12 skill points.  If we have another long session like that he may well get back to being only ten levels behind Rage, allowing a combat party without anyone in-between as leader... until Rage pulls ahead again.

The servers coming down stopped SirDarth and SirPerivale from having their usual end-of-evening pet-levelling sessions; perhaps they'll be back up in time for MistressDomino to attempt some overnight selling of Wendy Bear pieces, but at the moment it's hard to say for sure.

The End is Nigh? -  June 2nd

The servers did come back up last night in time for MistressDomino to get set up to sell "Wendy Bear pieces for 25k, and some Heaven Stones for you too!"  Everything proceeded smoothly, and by the morning she'd not only sold a dozen heaven stones, she'd sold 241  assorted bear pieces too.  Once again I don't know if the whole event for the bear pieces will end abruptly after tonight's normal scheduled maintenance downtime, but I'll try to have as few pieces left in my inventories as possible.

SirDarth made an early start, with the drake at level 25, and SirPerivale did join in a little later, with his horse at level 31.  After coffee however Peri made way for MistressSabina, who of course headed for our favourite back room at Prokion Temple.  Using the same 115% extra boost combination as yesterday for an hour, with plenty of mobbing, we got 322 skill points in the hour, and a total of 389 by continuing on for a while; 1211 pet points got added as well.  That took the Guild Points total for the Discipline guild up to 3538, so we're more than halfway to getting the "guild message" skill.

The afternoon session involved Rage, Chuck, and the Sphinx types, which was all very straightforward.  As it was an equal party, Chuck got rather more of a percentage boost - Rage added 13.38%, along with 8 skill points and 1374 pet points, while Chuck went up by 41.92%, and again 8 skill points.  Chuck is also helped by having the 30% boost from a skill potion out of an Easter Egg, of course

My food break got rather postponed, though, with the usual Tuesday "Mad Monster Spawn" starting on Auzura-3 at five o'clock, UK time, and lasting over an hour.  MistressSabina had taken the precaution of spending all her latest batch of skill points except 3, so didn't get any death penalty, which was just as well, as she died quite a few times.  Some of those monsters are more than a hundred levels above her, after all!  Her experience gain is capped, but her part in the killing of the many monsters meant that 82 more Guild Points were gained, with on the loot side seven skill point boosters, seven item drop boosters, three large attack potions, two large defence potions, and quite a few tool aids and health and mana recovery potions.

The games master involved, Stratos, announced that there would be a race afterwards, starting from the town's north gate... but what really happened was another monster spawn, to the annoyance of some people who had innocently been waiting on their mounts there.  Me, I'm not quite that trusting.  But GM Stratos loves us really, he assured us... kinda...

After the interval, it was time again for Rage and Chuck to head for the Sphinx area, accompanied this time by Ratel.  I was slightly delayed by Acheron, or his rogue Archeon; unfortunately for him he didn't get round to asking to meet up until I had finally teleported out to join Ratel at the Sphinx Fighters.  Not that it mattered, when I did happen to run in to him later, he found that Archeon's seven-day cool-down period after leaving a previous guild hadn't yet ended.

As usual, Ratel was excellent company, but he did have to leave at eight.  XxXtigretonXxX was around for a little while, after that - she got too close to the Elite Sphinx Speer Man once when battling a Fighter, but luckily I saw what was happening and managed to pull it towards me.  I think thta, even with a single Fighter at a time, she did come to a sticky end, as I did find that the Fighter in the middle of the area by the camp was at below half health once, presumably having returned to its position after winning the fight.

The session ended with Rage having added another 8.11%, and 827 pet points; she and Chuck each got another 3 skill points, while Chuck's experience gain of 23.88% was enough to move him up to level 46.  This may well mean that a new skill is now available to learn, I'll need to get him along to the titan skill trainer tomorrow to check.

I didn't carry on late, as I wanted to transfer the latest loot, and all the Wendy Bear pieces, from my active characters across to MistressDomino.  With her selling slots having been taken up with the bear pieces for the past few weeks, I see she is carrying 106 moonstones - and 273 moonstone boxes!

The only character that played the "rock paper scissors" game this evening was FoxChaser, who, by heroically losing twice, got her own schoolgirl costume, and a catapult-type "cover" for a bow too.  However, just as I was moving the items into a logical line-up in her inventory, things started to refuse to be moved - yes, just before 9:30, UK time, we had another of our celebrated mass disconnections on Auzura-3.  That meant a "rollback" when we reconnected, so FoxChaser had to do the "rock paper scissors" game again.  She still managed to get the costume luckily, but the second set of bear pieces didn't get me the weapon cover, just a health potion.

SirDarth logged in and went out for a littleb late evening drake-levelling.  The pet had recently reached level 27, so there was the 26th level of Armour Increase to learn - things would be simpler, mathematically, if pets started at zero rather than one.  Darth had earlier opened two Pandora's Boxes, but both had just released the level 30 bandit-type Beasts.

With a good supply of the Wendy Bear pieces, MistressDomino set up shop in Auzura-1 for a while - not the whole night, but until the regular scheduled server maintenance, anyway.  If the event does end then, well, I guess the remaining pieces will just get hidden away in storage, in case the event gets repeated.  If you win eight rounds in a row, apparently you get the maximum prize of three heaven stones, but the odds against that are pretty high.

Cooling off in the Pool -  June 3rd

I cunningly left SirDarth levelling his drake last night, so that the weekly scheduled server maintenance would stop him before the drake starved; MistressDomino was in merchant mode in Auzura-1 as well, trying to sell my remaining stocks of the Wendy Bear pieces.  I did happen to wake up briefly at an appropriate time, so was able to restart Darth for a couple more hours of overnight work after the maintenance break, and I also got MistressDomino back to work too.

The Wendy Bear event is, we find, continuing into a fourth week, which is nice, as it meant that, while she didn't sell very many pieces before maintenance, in the restarted session Domino sold a hundred of them, which at 25,000 gold each does start to mount up.  I even sold the 33 tool aids I put up eventually as well, at a newly reduced price of 39,500 each, so MistressDomino's finances are significantly improved.

The morning continued SirDarth's work, taking the drake a good way into level 28, while after MistressDomino sold out of all but two of the nine Wendy Bear pieces, SirPerivale went out to the Butchers in Merac as well, and succeeded in getting his horse up to level 32.

The afternoon session saw Rage and Chuck visiting the Sphinx types again.  It wasn't long before the level 53 rogue MaskReturn, a member of the elite "Vendetta" guild, came along and joined the party, so I switched it from Equal to Combat, making Chuck's presence in the party an asset rather than a drain on our experience.  MaskReturn was complaining of lag there, and did die once, courtesy of the hard-hitting Elite Sphinx Speer Man - she had a skill point restoration scroll on, but mentioned she'd lost 3% experience.  She must have got that back and more from our session, though.

Once she left I went back to Equal, and by the time I logged out, after today's special "pool party" event was announced, Rage was up 9.99%, and Chuck was up 13.30%; they had 4 new skill points each, and Rage's level 36 horse was up by another 689 pet points.

The "pool party" event involved MistressSabina (and plenty of others) riding around Juno to certain locations, and generally finding that other people had got there first and killed the monsters infesting the waters - however, the actual party location after that was the place in the northeast where the waterway ends, and a large fish swims aimlessly around - not far from the drake valley.  I got there in time for the loot to be spawned, but there were so many others also there that I didn't manage to grab any large number of item drop boosters, skill point boosters, large attack potions, tool aids, etc, but then it was just a bit of fun.

While SirPerivale and SirDarth were both busy pet levelling, Stavanic arrived with his new knight character JudgeGhis, and traded his level 9 dragon hatchling across for levelling to 18 or so.  He didn't have any quality stones available yet, however.  I lent him the level 28 drake that Darth had been working on, since he wanted to still have a pet to give him a buff, though as it's currently eight levels ahead of him it will get hungry a bit quickly.  Still, it's better than having the drake unused in Darth's inventory, gradually losing sympathy.

This being Wednesday, the usual early finish was looming ahead, but there was plenty of time for MistressSabina to go out to Prokion Temple.  Luckily there was no competition for that favourite back room of mine, and during the hour with the 115% boost I added 333 skill points - staying on a while got the total up to 369, along with 1152 pet points.  The skill points meant that Sabina could learn the final level of Expert Armoursmith (179 sp), and the first five Weaponsmithing levels (151), as well as the third and final level of Yellow Herb Processing (34).  Meanwhile, Discipline's tally of guild points moved on by 574 to 4194 - another four sessions should get us enough for that "Guild Notice" skill, which is needed before the size of the guild can be expanded.

There was just time after that for Chuck to visit the Master Titan, his skills trainer, and learn the level 44 attack skill, War Stamp, which can damage up to five adjacent enemies, decreasing their movement and attack speed (327 sp for the five levels), as well as the level 41 passive skill Focus Mastery 2 (148 sp for the one level now on offer).  He still needs some more stat points in Constitution before the passive skill Defend can increase his long range evasion, though.  There are a couple of new skills waiting for the next time he levels up, I see...

My attention may have been elsewhere after that, but SirDarth did manage to continue levelling up Stavanic's hatchling, so that it was on course for level 13 by the end of the evening.  Darth opened a Pandora's Box, only to release a level 50 Beast... and then he opened another one, and got another Beast, which proceeded to chase him back towards town.  The most I could do was relog him in to Auzura-4 instead of Auzura-3, where he was able to continue; and a little later, I was able to log Rage in briefly to deal with the Pandies. 

The first of them that Rage killed dropped 109,600 gold, which was nice... the second didn't drop anything, and then I spotted a third nearby, which again dropped nothing.  Well, now that Rage is level 56, the level 50 types are blue-named for her, so that would make good drops rarer.  Rage spotted a further unopened Box, but that just released a level 30 Beast... and there was another of those just round the corner.  So, an eventful couple of minutes.  I suppose in future it will be Chuck's turn to deal with Merac's Pandies; he is only four levels below them now, after all, but I suspect he'll need to have some health potions handy.

"But the Spammer is Gone" -  June 4th

I was busy all day outside the World of Iris, but able to keep SirDarth and SirPerivale busy, at least.  Stavanic, or JudgeGhis, was happy to know, after lunch, that his drake was just reaching level 17, and reported that the drake I'd loaned to him was also getting close to levelling up, at 6481/6700.

There was, however, a mass disconnection on Auzura-3 at about 1:15, UK time; people logged back on, checking that they weren't the only disconnectee.  It was tubbie who looked on the bright side, saying "but the spammer is gone", though I suspect it wasn't very long before the gold spammer was back in action.

As I was checking up on Darth and Peri regularly, I was able to help Stavanic move his pet and his mount across to a different character of his, BringerofHell.  He seems to have decided to retire the Stavanic knight character entirely, as he is level 33 and hasn't got enough skill points farmed to be able to level up and learn all the skills along the way.  My advice in such situations is to keep the old character, and use him when there's an event, such as a Mad Monster Spawn, where there is a danger of dying.  If you don't have any unused skill points, then you can't lose any...

The evening session didn't start particularly early, but the timing was about right, as Ratel had just arrived in Randol when I logged in with Rage and MrChuckNorris.  Once he'd restocked on pots, he was able to join us out at the Sphinx Fighters.  As I remarked, it's a great luxury to have someone else taking care of the horse buffs, and of course as a temple knight he gives armour buffs, and can stun the Elite Sphinx Speer Man, which can be very handy, especially when my Snare doesn't work.

There was another mass disconnection at just after seven in the evening, UK time, but at least it was a "clean" one, we were able to log back in straight away without any "the account is already logged in" nonsense, and we were still in the party together.  As usual there had been a bit of a "rollback", Ratel commented that he'd lost a good 3% of his experience gain... which led me to quickly check that Chuck still had the heaven stone we'd picked up, which he did, and Ratel still had the level 53 titan sword that had been his main piece of loot thus far.  He did get a level 55 pair of +4 gloves dropped by the Elite Sphinx Speer Man, which will come in very handy when he has gained the necessary levels.

Just after respawning in Randol I'd noticed BatCow there and said hi, and she quickly joined our party at the Sphinx types.  She wasn't actually able to stay very long, but after leaving Dratan she stayed in the party for a while.  Ratel himself left at what seems to be his usual weekday time of around 8:15 pm, UK time (or an hour later in South Africa), and after that I slogged on, just Rage and Chuck, until my own usual end time. 

Well, maybe I went on for a few more minutes than my theoretical finishing time, but Rage was getting close to levelling up, so I kept going until I did indeed reach level 57.  In all Rage went up 19.68%, and got 2200 pet points; she and Chuck each got 10 skill points, while Chuck's experience gain was a more encouraging 55.45%, even though that week-long 30% booster potion has now run out..

Not long before I finished, the rogue MaskReturn, who I'd recently teamed with when she was level 53, messaged me to ask what my level was now, so I told her it was still 56.  She proudly told me that she was above level 70 now, she'd had a long power-levelling session with the Tomb of Theos's version of the Speer Men, similar no doubt to the time BasheR took Kae down there.  So that's someone who'll not be visiting the Sphinx Fighters again...

SugaRuSH had been fighting the local sphinxes alongside me for a while, though not teamed up, and another regular rogue, HeRsHeY from the "DamonBlut" guild made a visit, too.

There's another innovative way for Aeria Games to part us from our money, as of today, called the "LC Loot Wheel"; for 99 aeria points, you get to click the wheel to start, and when it stops revolving, you see what prize the pointer is indicating.  As an introduction, today one could have one go per account with a 100% rebate in a week or two... some prizes were quite nice, worth the 99 ap or maybe double that, but some were pretty minor too.  A single large attack potion isn't much of a prize... though a chaos smelting stone would have been good, or 50 or more skill or experience boosters. 

Chuck got a single chaos ball from the Wheel, which he took along to the Dratan City based non player character who gives out the prizes for handing one in - all he got was 10 great mana potions, however.

There was just time for a bit more pet-levelling after Chuck and Rage's session; SirPerivale's horse has now got more than a quarter of the way through level 33, while SirDarth's work on Stavanic's drake seems almost done.  The drake is well into level 18 now, which was all that was asked for, though he'll probably be in favour of getting another level or two.  Stavanic passed over the magnificent reward of five tool aids, which ought to cover the number of stones used on the levelling, anyway.

A Financial Disaster -  June 5th

I was busy in the morning, so SirDarth, with his usual early start, and SirPerivale were able to do some pet-levelling.  There seemed a gratifying shortage of Pandora Beasts around... Darth did have his Berserker killed by a pair of passers-by, but, not holding a grudge, did help one of them by leading him to the Jail entrance.  The other one apparently had some expensive pots running, so couldn't stick around...

The plan had been to send MistressSabina to Prokion Temple for an hour if I had the time, or, failing that, to send FoxChaser out to Juno's foxes for a while, but in the end all I had time to do was send Rage out for some mining, getting through thirty hammers and tool aids.  With the lunch break and other errands before that, she was able to do a little random mining in ten-minute sessions, and then afterwards rode down to SirDarth and traded across 700 quality stones, 100 imperfect stones, and 300 flawed stones, so Darth is well set up for his continuing endeavours now.

Stavanic came down to Darth during the lunch hour with a gift - a +5 Royal Shield, which is two plusses better than the one Peri had been using.  I did come to the screen to check what was going on, leaving my coffee downstairs as I didn't expect to stay long, and managed to get a bit confused as, while it was Stavanic's knight next to me doing the trading, the message window that also popped up wasn't, as I assumed, him trying to attract my attention, it was BadToTheBone, BasheR's rogue.

I wondered how Stavanic had come into possession of a level 87 healer six-sealed evasion helm, with the special sixth seal speeding up the "cool-down" of skill preparation, and came to be asking my advice about pricing - and Bash was wondering what my response of "nice" was to do with, and why I was suggesting trading back the drake I'd loaned him for the one I had at my shoulder.  Luckily, he soon realised that I was confusing him with someone else; I logged SirPerivale back in so that I could communicate on the guild channel with Stavanic, on whichever character he was, and apologise for my silence when he traded the shield across.

So, we traded drakes back; my level 28 one had reached level 29 for him, which was useful, while his drake had in all gone up from 565/1303 in level 9 to 2690/3362 in level 20, in the process just devouring 54 quality stones and 13 imperfect ones, so the five tool aids he'd passed over more than covered expenses.  He is talking about getting a set of 25/27 knight armour all up to +9 for Peri, so that he could fight Berserkers at least when his pet could give a substantial Armour Increase buff... he would exchange that for a mount.   Ah well, let's see if he can get the armour up to that level - with Rage's horse likely to reach level 37 in the next few days, I ought to have a spare mount available.

The "Financial Disaster" wasn't mine, luckily, though I hope the confusing chat he had with me wasn't a contributing factor for BasheR.  I did suggest light-heartedly that he should level Kaerella up so that she could use that level 87 healer helm, as it turned out he would have been well advised to do that.  What he did do was go into merchant mode to sell it, at 3,000,000,000 gold, which is probably a fair price for such a rare and desirable item.  The only problem is that he left out three of the zeroes, so actually sold it for 2,997,000,000 less than he meant to.  "Omg!  I sold for 3 mil... wanted 3 bil. Nooo!  I'm a fool, I don't believe it.  Omg.  I forgot 3 zeroes..."

Bash later reported "xhealerx took it from me, and sold it for 400 mil to kingmafia, now mafia is taking offers.  That thing cannot stay hidden, I tracked it."  Still, it was just one lucky drop while he was drop-farming in Strayana, maybe he'll get something else as good in a day or two.

The afternoon session began with MistressSabina heading for Prokion Temple at last.  She only had one of the 15% skill pills to use, so that the Orc Sergeants gave 5692 skill exp and the Orc Sergeants gave  4427, but managed to get 179 skill points in the hour, or 180 in total, plus 994 pet points, which were enough to get her drake to level 27, and 476 guild points.  But before the hour had ended, the "happy hour" began, and rather than the double drop rate that had been mentioned, it was 50% extra experience, so it seemed like a good idea to switch characters as soon as the skill pill expired.

So, the rest of the afternoon saw Rage and Chuck visiting the Sphinx types.  We had the place to ourselves for most of the time, but later on Elpuiohealer and DeathBoss, a titan in the HonourBound guild, turned up.  I assumed that Elpui was doing the actual work, from glancing across at what they did, with DeathBoss as a high-level "minder" to buff her and intervene if there was trouble, but actually it was the other way round, she was power-levelling him, getting the Elite Sphinx Speer Man down to around 5% health and using "pet return to village", leaving him to finish it off and get the experience.  It didn't always work, I saw him drop to the ground dead when he took on a regular Sphinx Fighter that had got too close.

Earlier a royal knight called KingTrill had arrived, immediately attacked the Elite, used plenty of health/mana pots, perhaps expensive "Candy" too, died, and left me with the Elite on about 40% health, to finish off.  It was all over in 30 seconds I'm sure...

Anyway, Rage added 13.32%, while Chuck went up by 39.03% - which meant he reached level 47.  They each got 6 skill points, though Chuck spent 710 sp on skills during a trip back to town, and Rage's horse got 974 more pet points.

Chuck now had enough stat points in Constitution for the Defend passive skill's five levels (for increasing long-range evasion by 25), and was also able to learn Smite's final level, level 6, which increases its chance of success from 70% to 80%, and the duration of its stun from 5 to 15 seconds, and the one-and-only level of Battle Roar 2, increasing the old Battle Roar buff from 20 to 24 on a player's physical attack, and increasing its duration too.

My food break was a bit delayed to get the whole of the "happy hour" boost, and I made the mistake of delaying it further for a strange "sasquatch milking" event hosted by GM Stratos back in Juno.  Riding around in search of various coordinates isn't my strong point, and I didn't find any groups of monsters except some assassinbugs which weren't at one of the announced locations.  People who had found the right spots had got some drops of "milk", which, back at Randol's west gate, they traded to Stratos - and just got a Sasquatch Scroll as a reward, apparently.  There was a cursory spawning of goodies, but all I managed to grab was a large attack potion.  All in all, it seemed rather pointless.

The evening session was a bit late starting; Ratel had gone out to the Giant Larvae in Merac, but wasn't finding them very good company, so was happy to team up with Chuck and Rage at the usual Sphinx spot.  We were also joined by BatCow, but she didn't stay very long.  Ratel himself stayed a bit longer than usual, but his new job involves working on Saturdays, so he logged out at around 8:40 pm UK time, which I think, during our summer, is 9:40 for him.

I didn't stay there long after that, and Rage's experience gain was just 7.69%; Chuck went up 20.59%, while they each got 4 skill points, and Rage's pet horse added another 855 pet points.

For a relaxing end to the day, I logged in as my level five healer Barbarienne, and, after selling a lot of the duplicate healer armour she was storing, took her out into Juno to fight the foxes, wolves, and a few jaguars.  I did come across one Pandora's Box, but it released a level 30 blood wolf-type Beast, which I didn't want to tangle with.  The Boxes themselves are level 1, and so at that point were still green-named for Barb, so that this one actually dropped something for her - a piece of the Wendy Bear puzzle.

By the end of the session Barbarienne had reached level 7, but I can't say I have any plans for her that would get her anywhere near her level 100 namesake over on Cariae.  She'll probably join Discipline, and have her experience frozen on level ten, until some time when she can conveniently level up from there to level twenty.

SirPerivale's horse is now more than halfway through level 33; once Rage's horse reaches level 37 the plan would be to move this one across to Rage, to be levelled up slowly but, as Rage is a higher level, without using so many quality stones. That new +5 shield has got its bloodseals now, which are a better set than the +3 one had - 1 attack and 2 long range physical defence aren't very good, but adding 33 to close range evasion can't be bad.

SirDarth has got his drake most of the way through level 29 now.  It is perhaps possible that this particular drake may end up as my first dragon-mount.  With his good-strength armour, Darth might do rather well as a dragon-rider, mobbing some outdoor monsters of an appropriate level, but he'll need a better weapon than his current +3 one, as the dragon's attack is based on its rider's own offence capabilities.

Sphinx Fighters, Beast Crawlers, & Orcs  -  June 6th

As usual, SirDarth started bright and early in the morning; the drake reached level 30 after an hour or so, by which time SirPerivale was also at work.  And soon after that, the first Pandora's Box of the day appeared close to Darth, and released a level 50 Beast which immediately attacked him.

So, it was time for Darth to temporarily log out.  This time, since MrChuckNorris is getting close to the Beast's level, it seemed like a good idea for him to ride down to the rescue, instead of Rage, and that's what he did.  It was handy that one of Ratel's armour buffs from last night hadn't expired, with that and the horse buffs Chuck didn't have much difficulty, even if using Smite didn't work for some reason, and was soon 56,000 gold richer.

There were a couple of new quests on offer for Chuck in Merac Caron, both of them involving killing the inhabitants of the lower levels of Maargadum Jail, so Chuck accepted those, before Darth went back to his levelling.

I noticed Succubus2 in merchant mode in Randol as usual for that time of day, close to Roy and the fountain.  Today's merchant-style sign over her head was "'ALWAYS cast res on people who have res scroll on' - Jack Cass", which seemed a sensible public service message to me.

After coffee Chuck was able to head for Maargadum Jail, and after applying his horse buffs, hurried down to level three, and went into one of the side rooms there to fight Beast Flyers and Beast Archers.  It didn't take very long to get the thirty Beast Flyer heads that one of the quests required, as each Flyer killed donated one, but the ten Beast Hearts took a little longer, as they didn't drop very often.

After the horse buffs wore off Chuck did start to lose a significant amount of health, and used quite a few small health potions, which shows that his armour isn't as effective as one might hope.  Also, that level six Smite skill may say in its description, both on the Last Chaos Wet Paint wiki and in-game, that the stun it gives lasts for 15 seconds, but it looked more like 5 seconds to me...

Chuck got his quest rewards in town and from Rau out at the pillar of magic to the northeast, and got a new quest too - the one Rage, and Kaerella over on the Cariae server, did recently, involving the Beast Crawlers.  So, another ride to the Jail ensued, plus horse buffs, and a run down to level five, tiptoeing through the claustrophobic level four.  A number of the aggressive Death Mask Soldiers were fought, though they didn't give any good drops, and the two Beast Crawlers at the far end dealt with a few times, until all three "Rings of the Beast Leaders" needed had been obtained.  Then it was time to return to the local Archbishop, for the quest reward.  There are a few other Merac quests still to do, but they do not become available until Chuck levels up again.

So, Chuck went up by 3.40%, and gained 14 skill points.  After that there was time for Barbarienne to go out into Juno and reach level eight, after which she was able to do the "Necklace of Geres" quest a couple of times.  She released a level twenty Pandora Beast, and nearly managed to kill it, by running, self-healing, and firing "shining arrow", but just when it looked as if one more shot would kill it, its health reset and it wandered off.  As Barb had used almost all her mana, there was no point in starting again.  Later she released a level thirty Beast, so, as she'd just got enough Jaguar Claws to satisfy Geres, she logged out and SirPerivale logged in.

At level 22, Peri was a bit below the Beast, but he managed to kill it - and all it dropped was 600 gold.  Luckily on the way back to town another Box appeared, and this time it was a treat rather than a trick that was revealed, and Peri picked up 20,000 gold, before heading for Merac for some lunchtime pet-levelling, which ended with the horse safely on level 34.

MistressSabina headed for Prokion Temple for the afternoon session, and without any boosters managed to acquire 351 skill points over 2.5 hours, which works out at 140 skill points per hour.  That was just the number of extra points Sabina needed to learn the three levels of Expert Weaponsmith, so that is another "special" skill done and dusted.  2399 pet points were earned as well, and 1061 guild points, so the Discipline guild will soon be able to get that Guild Message skill.

SirDarth got the drake up to level 31, and, over the early evening food break Sabina did some mining, to use up some of her supply of tool aids - and while Darth may have good stocks of stones, Peri's supplies are starting to dwindle.  The break got extended a bit, but I was at least able to get Ratel into the solo party, while he was out with the Giant Larvae.

When I did get back, Rage and Chuck headed out to the Sphinx types, and invited Ratel to come and join us; we settled in for a nice long session, though after an hour or so Ratel was suggesting a trip to Egeha's Bogles.  I didn't really see the point, they are only one level higher than the Sphinx Speer Men, and you don't get an Elite one to play with.  They may be more generous with their drops, but it costs 800,000 gold to get there, and you're at the mercy of possible disconnections.  Looking at the Wet Paint wiki for Last Chaos, Bogles and Speer Men give the same amount of experience, though Bogles have more hit points, and thus probably take longer to kill.

So, we continued where we were.  A royal knight called X69X, a name I tended to read as "xbox", was, presumably, skill point farming there; he must have been a similar level to the Sphinx types, judging by the speed with which he cut through them.  Strangely though he was using a Blessed Iris, for double experience, rather than anything to boost his skill point gain.  Ratel had a little fun using his teleportation skill to whisk the Elite Sphinx Speer Man from close to X69X to us a few times, but he never said anything.

By the end Ratel, who is level 43 now, had gone up just about half a level, he reported; at level 47, Chuck went up by a slightly smaller percentage, 43.85%, while at level 57, Rage just added 16.02%.  It's not trips to Egeha she needs, it's a few good Tomb parties... though that would probably mean that she'd get more than fifteen levels ahead of Chuck, so his easy levelling time would come to an end.  They got 9 skill points each, while Rage's horse is actually getting fairly close to level 37 now, adding a further 1884 pet points.  Another 525 points, and it will be time to move the horse Peri has been levelling across, to take over, which will mean only a slight cutback in the passive buffs Rage gets, since that one is already level 34.

Ratel did intend to go back to the Giant Larvae in Merac for a while, as he doesn't have to get up early tomorrow, and formed a solo party with SirDarth, but he logged out instead, perhaps due to a disconnection.  Darth continued to level his drake, which by the time he logs out should be approaching halfway through level 31, at least.  Apparently a mounted dragon is quite effective at level 33, though the higher you take it before mounting, the more skills you can learn.  I'd definitely want to maximise the fiery area of effect attack skill Dragon Breath, and the passive skill Live Regen to increase the rate at which my health regenerated while mounted on the dragon, and get some levels of Dragon Poison too...so maybe, as with horses, level 37 would be the one to aim for.

A Narrow Squeak -  June 7th

Ratel's sudden disappearance last night was caused by a power cut just after he reached the Giant Larvae, he told me when he logged in this morning.  Annoyingly, while his character was left helpless in-game not only was he killed, his pet was killed too...and he lost 2.5% experience.

SirDarth and SirPerivale started their pet-levelling duties at a suitably Sunday morning kind of time.  The titan called Greg was again close to SirDarth, and once again lying on the ground dead, it doesn't seem as if titans are designed for this sort of duty.  When he was down on level five of Maargadum Jail yesterday, Chuck did try out the pet-levelling set-up there, fighting a Death Mask Lancer without a weapon equipped, but his health started to go down steadily, so, although he must be about the right level, it just wouldn't work for him.

Rage used her memory scroll to go to the Akane Giants, which are four levels below her and now green-named.  She rode along, past the Masters of Secret Technique, to the level 59 Arcane Golems, and the Elite Akane Golem, and farmed them for half an hour - partly to see if they would drop anything useful, but mainly to finish levelling up her horse, which only needed 525 pet points to reach level 37.  The drops weren't much good at all, except for one level 56 manual, and the Golems hit hard enough for as many small health potions to be used there as against the Sphinx Fighters, it seemed.

Still, the horse reached level 37, so that meant that the mission was accomplished.  Back in Randol, Rage traded the horse over to SirPerivale in exchange for the level 34 one he had been levelling, and gave this one the maximum armour buff and three levels of attack enhancement.  Peri traded the level 37 horse across to SirDarth in exchange for the level 31 drake, and Darth then turned the horse into a mount - his mount, at least until a dragon becomes available!  MistressSabina traded a drake egg across to Darth, who then did the quest to get a new hatchling, via Lorraine and Jajan.

So, for the lunch break, SirPerivale was set up with the Butchers to level up the drake, and SirDarth went back to his Berserker, to start levelling up the new hatchling, which is intended to be Rage's next pet, after her new horse reaches level 37.  Generally drakes are more useful as pets than horses, they pick up loot more easily and don't seem to get stuck as often.

Ratel meanwhile had reported a nearly-successful visit to the boss spider Baal, out in the Dratan desert...which means that he got Baal down to about 20% health before it was time for him to respawn back in town.  I don't think I've ever fought Baal - I once was teamed with someone who did, but I don't think I did anything beyond provide buffs or healing - but Ratel, well, he has a thing about that particular big fat spider!

The afternoon session was MistressSabina's, for a trip to Prokion Temple.  Ratel's titan, Argoth, was already there, and indeed in the corridor-room with the group of Orc Sergeants, which is probably the best place for him to be at level 32.  The "back room" was in use, so I ended up in the "statue room" just off the main central square with the staircases up. 

Argoth was complaining about a player called Pixie who didn't seem to understand that his room was already occupied, by him - and I had a similar visitor who didn't seem to notice that I was there, a titan called 23KILLxJOY23, but he didn't seem to be killing fast enough to slow me down much, and I wasn't using any skill pill.

MistressSabina reached her 6000 guild point target, and spent them, and a million in gold, on the "Guild Message" skill, which is needed before one can do guild size "expensions", so called, I imagine, because they expand the possible membership of a guild, but are expensive.  In all Sabina added 286 skill points, 876 guild points, and 1952 pet points.  And then it was time for the food break; the "Sunday teatime" bonus was only a double drop rate, which seemed just to mean higher quantities of gold being dropped, so wasn't worth sticking around for the full two hours for.

After moving loot across to MistressDomino, it was time for Rage and MrChuckNorris to head out to the Sphinx Fighters (and Sphinx Speer Men); the place was already pretty busy, with SugaRush, TinySickNinja, and more - BatCow arrived just after I did, as well.  Succubus2 was there, but had gone afk I think, probably after teaming with Tiny for a while.

The server had been getting a bit laggy; the merchant house was slow, and each time I logged in a different character there had been a "black screen" instead of Randol for a few seconds; with the quiz also due, people probably hadn't wanted to risk the Tomb of Theos and a possible disconnection.  But Rage, buffed by Chuck, settled in, and was killing the Sphinx types in the usual efficient way.

But then lag struck, and the Sphinx Fighter Rage was battling started to act strangely - not moving and then "having moved", and another one came in on her.  She couldn't do anything, and the scenes shown on her screen and Chuck's were quite different.  I decided to move Chuck in to fight as well, but they were both losing health, and I soon decided that the only safe thing to do was to log them both out.  When I logged them back in in Randol, Chuck's health was barely above 300, so one good hit away from death, and Rage's health was below 50% too, so I had made the decision just in time.

So I stopped them at that stage.  Rage had gone up just 4.57% today, about a third of it with the Arcane Golems - they'd also given her 24 skill points, though, being close to her level.  At the Sphinx types she'd added 2 more skill points, as had Chuck, who'd gone up by 7.59%. 

SirDarth went back to hatchling-levelling for the rest of the time before the quiz, which allowed the little fellow to reach level 8, while Barbarienne, at level 8, went out to the Jaguars to get Geres some more necklaces, and reached level 9 easily enough.  A Pandora's Box dropped five of the level twelve magic defence minerals, which may well come in useful.

The quiz itself was a bit of a fiasco, just about everyone got booted out on the second question, thinking that GM RaccoonPD was the mastermind of the "Jenga Event", whatever that is.  And when we tried to get back in, we got the "It isn't time for enterance of O.X event." message, leaving a lot of unhappy people milling around in town.

Lag was still bad; I managed to log SirDarth back in to continue his hatchling-levelling, but my attempts on the newer computer just got me the black screen instead of Randol.  After perhaps a quarter of an hour, though, Barbarienne did get in, and was able to do some more Jaguar-killing, and then went out to Velpist Temple to get its entrance (or maybe "enterance") onto her memory scroll.  She got to level ten right away there, and went back to town about 80% of the way through the level - the idea being to join the Discipline guild and get her experience gain frozen, until such time as I want to enrol her in the Guardian system and zoom up to level twenty.

At level ten Lorraine will open a character's first treasure chest - and Barb got lucky, she was given the level 13 +4 Blue Jade Scepter, rather than Candy or gold, so she has a useful weapon for her future endeavours.  Not that I need to level up another healer, but hey, it's good to be prepared.

Back to the Monster Combo -  June 8th

I risked leaving SirDarth levelling his hatchling overnight, and all went well - the hatchling reached level 16 by mid-morning, and turned into the larger, and slightly less cute, drake stage.  MistressDomino was busy in merchant mode overnight too; she sold 33 heaven stones at 1.85 million each within minutes of opening her store, and then sold the other 18 that I got out of MistressDomino's storage chest, at 1.95 million, more gradually over the course of the night.  I'd cut the price of Wendy Bear pieces to 19,500 each, and sold out of six of the nine, selling 132 of them in all.  So, the cash situation is looking good.

Kaerella logged in just to get some heaven stones out of storage, so that they could be transferred across to MistressDomino - only to get messaged by BasheR, and invited to a Monster Combo party on Auzura-1.  So I moved across to that subserver, registered for a precedence-type party, paid just under 1.5 million to get in, and joined BasheR and six others, who were just past the halfway point in the MC.  Presumably a previous member, probably a healer, had had to leave.

At level 63 I was by far the lowest-level party member; BasheR is level 92 now, and the others were all over level 80.  Still, a party like that needs a healer, and it didn't matter that my experience gain would be small, as having people more than 15 levels above me "capped" Kae - I'd stilll get a share of the Master Coins at the end.

So, I concentrated on Party Heal, using some small and medium mana potions, with occasional use of the one-person Heal as well, plus firing my bow at the current Wight Slasher when I could, and all went much the way it used to go on the Cariae server.  What did seem to have changed was the number of coins dropped, at the end 14 each seemed rather lower than we used to get, but they are worth at least a million each now, BasheR assured me.  Kae went up 0.63% on the experience side, by the end; I didn't remember to equip my pet until fairly late on, so just added 34 pet points.

After that, and moving the heaven stones across to MistressDomino along with the 14 master coins, it was time for MistressSabina to head for Prokion Temple, and that favourite back room; for a change her drake took hardly any damage, but Sabina managed to add 107 skill points, which were just what she needed for the final level of green herb processing, plus the first two levels of energy processing.  Her drake gained 682 pet points, and the Discipline guild gained 321 guild points.

Over lunch, SirDarth, who had been continuing his drake-levelling almost all of the morning, was joined by SirPerivale.  Peri's responsibilities in the DeathBringers guild mean he got tapped to level up the pony of JamesP1, a level 21 rogue in that guild, so getting that moved across took a little time.  Peri can't level up such a low-level pet, so Darth has put aside his drake, recently started on level 18, moving his mount across to Peri to make room, and switched to levelling up the pony, starting from just 5/654 into level one and, as James was concentrating on levelling a drake, with rather low Sympathy.

Kaerella went out to the Sphinx types, and in particular the Elite Sphinx Speer Man, for the rather abbreviated afternoon session, and added 7.90%, 730 pet points, and 24 skill points.  Then, back in town, she browsed the merchant house and spent thirty million on a Necklace of Fire (put up for sale by tugaspartan) with 5% suction of life, 58 hit points, 5 defence, and 6 "increases all types of physical defence".  Whether she uses it, or it gets passed to MrChuckNorris, only time will tell.

For the evening, Chuck went out to level five of Maargadum Jail, to fight the Death Mask Soldiers again, since they are his level, in the hopes of getting some useful loot - and he did get one good item, a level 41 rogue Shadow Robe +4, but that was all.  Progress there was awfully slow, but he stayed just long enough to reach level 48 at last.  That may only have been 3.65% experience gain, but it added 31 skill points, and 647 pet points.

After that, Chuck switched over to the older computer, giving SirDarth some time off, and Rage logged on; the pair of them headed for the Sphinx types, naturally enough, with Ratel also volunteering for duty - and Ghostt, Norcaine's level 56 specialist sorcerer, took time off from putting gold into the fountain in Randol to join us briefly too.  This got Ratty thinking of a trip to the Tomb of Theos, if another stun-giver could be found, but Ghostt soon had to leave, so we just settled down to handle the Sphinx types.  SugaRush was there too, occasionally stopping to type in slightly risky areas, so we had to keep an eye on her.

Ratel had to leave at a little after his normal weekday log-out time, so Rage and Chuck continued after that, semi-solo, you might say.  By the end, Chuck had added another 17.95%, while Rage had added 7.30%, and 834 pet points; they'd also gained 4 skill points each.  There weren't any great problems with lag, thankfully, though sometimes text typed in was a bit slow to appear.

SirDarth went back to levelling JamesP1's pony, heading for level 8, and SirPerivale went back to work on our drake, while should get halfway through level 32 by the time the computer gets switched off tonight.  There was a brief break when a Pandora's Box released a level 50 Pandie, which Chuck dealt with using Smite to stun it, picking up 70,400 gold for his trouble, but Peri soon returned.  For some reason Aeria are having a maintenance downtime today at 5:00pm Pacific time, which ought to make them a bit unpopular with Stateside players - that's on top of the regularly scheduled one tomorrow, I assume. 

According to the patch notes, as well as possible crash fixes and getting rid of a couple of recent bugs (I thought the "scrolls of recall" were acting a bit strangely), "100% EXP donation to guild will no longer be 100%"  - which sounds a bit ominous, does that mean people will no longer be able to freeze their experience gain entirely to farm skill points in Prokion Temple?  That may well mess up MistressDomina's plans to, once she gets her armour back from MistressSabina, get absolute masses of sp at level 27, sigh...but at least Rage, Chuck, and Kae won't be affected by that.

A Failed Monster Spawn   -  June 9th

SirDarth and SirPerivale both got started at around breakfast time, and then after coffee the plan was for Peri to gracefully make way for MistressSabina.  That meant moving Darth from the new to the old computer, but before I logged him back in, Barbarienne took the opportunity to appear alongside Sabina, and join the Discipline guild.

This was a quick way to discover what changes had been made to the ability to freeze a guild member's experience gain, so that they could farm skill points and donate guild points to their guild. And, sure enough, when Sabina had typed in the 100% figure for Barb's donation, a window popped up saying that only the range 1 to 50% was allowed.  So, no more freezing of experience to farm sp in Prokion at one's leisure, though luckily existing freezings aren't affected.  MistressDomina and Sabina are both safely frozen already, on levels 27 and 30 respectively, as is SirDarth on level 22, and FoxChaser on level 1.

Apparently changes to the skill exp given by all monsters are in the works, so that Prokion sp-farming may no longer be needed, but it seems strange to get rid of one before you introduce the other.  The main reason for rushing this nerf through seems to be to stop people freezing a character on level 1 to boost high-level combat parties, but surely there are enough of those characters around already?

After the recruiting, MistressSabina went out to Prokion Temple's back room, in a solo party with SirDarth plus JamesP1 and a friend of his called Kanella; they were suitably envious of the loot Sabina was picking up, but they were the ones, lower down in the Temple, who got the heaven stone.

Sabina stayed almost two hours before lunch, and levelled her drake up to 28, in the course of adding 1393 pet points.  She had been aiming for 162 skill points to get four more levels of energy processing skills, but just managed to get the further 55 sp needed for a fifth level, gaining 217 skill points in all, as well as 645 guild points.

After the lunch break, Kaerella headed out to the Elite Sphinx Speer Man and his friends, just ahead of SugaRush, though she mentioned she'd been "in and out of here all day", going on to say "I can stop at any time, I'm not addicted (yet)."

Kaerella did actually manage to go up 12.94%, and gained a useful 37 skill points, along with 1165 pet points, but then it was time for my food break - though just before I left, the first reminder came up for the Auzura "Mad Monster Spawn", due at 5:00pm UK time.

So, with only 0.01% experience above level thirty, and zero skill points, MistressSabina went along to the MMS - and poor GMStratos really messed up this time, causing four mass disconnections with his monster-spawning, and not staying around afterwards to try to make ammends.

The first three disconnections weren't too bad, and to compensate for them, Stratos kindly said that he would give us the final "loots" reward even though we'd been making slightly slow progress against the last wave of monsters - so the Hands appeared, including Hand of the Guard and Hand of the Warrior, and there seemed generous amounts, I think I picked up more items then than from the previous between-wave spawnings combined... and the heaven stones only appear in that final lot. 

I was lucky enough to pick up three heaven stones, as well as plenty of other stuff, so things were looking good, and people were saying "thanks"... and then Stratos spawned some more of the biggest monsters, and broke the sub-server again.  And of course when everyone respawned in Randol, the "rollback" from the disconnection meant that all that new loot, as well as some experience, had vanished from all our inventories.  We used our memory scrolls to return the the Mad Monster Spawn location, and waited, but GMStratos did not return to face the players and put right his blunder, there wasn't any respawning of the "loots"...and eventually people drifted away.

Well, Sabina still had a large attack potion or two, and I think three skill point boosters, not to mention 16 more tool aids - and had earned 101 guild points by helping kill quite a few high-level monsters. 

But now it was time for Rage and Chuck to head out to the Sphinx Fighters and their chums, accompanied by Ratel - and BatCow joined us after a while.  Ratel decided that the three of us, not including Chuck, were a strong enough party to head for the Tomb of Theos - it would take him past his usual weekday log-out time, but the Tomb is special!  So, we went across, after getting more potions, and after the traditional "waiting around to waste the horse buffs we'd applied just before entering", set to it, and, well, it did work, I got to lure the Screaming Zombies, and between BatCow's and my Snare and Ratty's stun, we did fine, though I usually got hit a time or two, and had to get a bit close to the wall.

Unfortunately, before long BatCow, under parental pressure, had to leave, which was a bit of a shame as at Rage's level it cost 171,000 gold to get in, and Ratel must have spent about 129,000 too.  Ratel and I decided that just the two of us would have problems if we continued, though we did kill one Screaming Zombie - it took quite a while!  So after that, he logged out, and I soon followed.  It was time to move all my remaining Wendy Bear pieces over to MistressDomino, to try to sell some before the maintenance later - I mean, we've had four weeks of the event now, that is probably our lot, yes?

Chuck had added 17.36% at the Sphinx types, while Rage had added 7.10%; they'd both gained 4 skill points, and Rage had got 922 pet points as well.  On the brief trip into the Tomb, which did include a levelling up for Ratel, Rage had managed to add another 4.51%... I think I was getting something under 0.5% per kill, so it was probably just nine or ten Zombies we despatched, but hey it all helps, and nobody died.

MistressDomino went into merchant mode in Auzura-1, selling my last 240 assorted Wendy Bear pieces at the bargain price of 14,500 each - for the first few minutes nobody bought anything, but the next time I checked the screen, there'd been a rush of purchases, and they'd all sold out, bringing in 3.48 million, which can't be bad. Ratel had also been able to repay 23 million he'd borrowed, so despite that Tomb entrance fee I'm certainly ahead on the day.  The quick end to the selling meant that SirPerivale was able to log on for a last hour, so that the drake he has charge of is now getting fairly close to level 33.  SirDarth had already restarted his pet-levelling, so that JamesP1's pony is well into level 15 now, and will soon miraculously transform itself into a horse - not a mountable one, but at least they start looking a bit more impressive from level 16.

Out with the Sphinxes  -  June 10th

SirPerivale's drake did manage to get up to level 33 last night, though each level gets longer than the previous one - and every other level the pet gets hungrier, too.  SirDarth's pony has now become a horse, and indeed reached level 17 by the late morning.

After coffee I was able to take MistressSabina along to Prokion Temple again, with the target being 149 skill points, and to reach 2000 unused guild points.  I did in fact manage to get 190 skill points, so as well as finishing the energy processing skills, Sabina can now process flawed stones.  That means that only the processing of imperfect and quality stones is left for her on the "special skills" side, I think.

1030 pet points were gained - and 571 more guild points, which meant that Sabina had the 2000 needed for the "Expension of the number of guild members" skill, level one, which also cost 100.000 gold, and adds room for five more members in the Discipline guild.  The next step would be to move the guild itself on to level seven.  550 skill points wouldn't be a problem, or the 2.5 million in gold... but getting together 18,000 guild points would be liable to take Sabina a month or two.  So, maybe it's about time to return the mage armour to MistressDomina and let her get on with her skill point farming.

However, that doesn't mean that Sabina can't log in for special occasions like "Mad Monster Spawns"... and maybe the "Storm the Castle" event that happens on most Wednesdays.  I did at least take her down to the approach to Merac Castle after lunch, so that she could add that location to her memory scroll.

However, the main afternoon session was Kaerella's, fighting the Elite Sphinx Speer Man and his colleagues.  SugaRush arrived soon after Kae got there, but didn't stay all that long, and otherwise the area was quiet, except for one knight who gathered together a whole mob of the Sphinx types, generally stirring them up - my theory was that they liked his aftershave.  By the end of the session, Kae had got pretty close to level 64, adding 13.22%, along with 1113 pet points and another 39 skill points.

The Wendy Bear event has continued into a fifth week, so I expect the price of the pieces will drop even lower.  As the school uniform costumes last 30 days, the first ones will start to disappear soon, I wonder if that means people will be able to be given another set, or whether it is limited to one per character?  The dates for the event given in its description say it would run for two weeks, but those dates are from 2007... But the pieces are still dropping, and the NPC who plays "rock paper scissors" with you in exchange for a set of the nine pieces, Sharoyan, is still in Randol.

As usual on a Wednesday, the evening session was a bit short, as I needed to log out at 8:00pm, UK time, but Rage and Chuck went off to the Sphinx types, accompanied by Ratel.  We had hoped to head for the Tomb of Theos, but BatCow was busy in the arena, and Ghostt wasn't going to be on very long.  Maybe it was just as well, as Auzura-3 suffered a mass disconnection soon after that, which would have been annoying if one had just paid 171,000 to enter the Tomb.

So, it was up the the Elite Sphinx Speer Man and his cronies to entertain us. SugaRush was also there for most of the time, but left the Elite to us, on the general principle that he's not worth the extra time and risk if you're soloing.  WhiteMessiah was around for a little while, but it was a second temple knight, like Ratel but level 49, Dragon33, who came into our party.  There weren't any deaths or any particularly highly dramatic events, just the occasional time when one inadvertantly got not just the Elite, but a couple of others, attacking at once.

Ratel mentioned that the old Norcaine guild over on the Cariae server has seen some changes, with a new character succeeding Itura as guild master, and some of his less important characters kicked out, which, if they were experience-frozen, is a bit unfortunate.  Apparently my characters have survived the cull, though.  On Auzura, his healer Jacqueline is in trouble, as she wasn't fully frozen when the change came, only donating 25% of her experience gain to the guild, so, at level 28, her chances to gain skill points before leaving Prokion Temple are rather diminished.

Rage just added 8.92% to Chuck's 21.93%; they each got 4 new skill points, and Rage's current horse gained another 978 pet points.  So Rage is almost 70% of the way through level 57, and Chuck is more than halfway through level 48.  If they continue to team up, Chuck is likely to level up first, though Chuck won't be going on any Tomb trips yet.  He doesn't actually have the entrance to the Tomb on his memory scroll yet, although as it happens SirDarth does.  It doesn't matter too much if Rage does gain a level or two over Chuck, as they can still team up with a fifteen level difference - though it's handy to have them ten levels or less apart so that there's the option of switching to a combat party.

One objective, however, is for Kaerella to get through another level-and-a-bit to reach level 65, so that she can start using a level 69 bow - so that her old level 65 one will be ready to be transformed into a crossbow for Rage, for when Rage reaches level 61.  I don't have a level 61 weapon, so Rage is still using her level 57 crossbow.  Anyway, as it is +15, it continues to get the job done pretty well.  It's a shame the transformation of armour and weapons ceases above a certain level, because while it lasts it is very convenient.

A Pandora Sandwich -  June 11th

SirDarth made his usual early start, although when he arrived at the Berserker spot, there was a Pandora's Box there.  Opening it released one of the level 50 Blood Frenzy type Pandora's Beasts, so Darth had to log out hurriedly, and allow Chuck to log in, ride down, and deal with it.  After that, Darth was able to settle in, and concentrate on getting JamesP1's horse trained.  It had reached level 21 by the time, at about a quarter to ten UK time, he asked how it was getting on, but he was happy to wait for it to reach 22.

SirPerivale started up a little later, and got through a few Butchers, until I decided that, helped by the temporary "school uniform" cover for his armour getting it to +4 rather than +3, and the fact that he now is getting all thirty levels of Increased Armour (dragon) as well as the first two levels of "HP Up", it might be possible for him to take on a Berserker, and thus not have to change targets, if he and Darth exchanged shields.

Using a +5 instead of a +13 shield (Defence 96 + 32 instead of + 135) didn't seem to worry Darth, as he too is getting a respectable Increased Armour buff, and, while Peri's health bar did fluctuate slightly, a total physical defence stat of 995 did seem to be just about enough.  Darth still had 1093. So, some low-maintenance pet-levelling ensued.

I had been considering investigating the Auzura "Storm the Castle" event last night, even though its ten o'clock start, UK time, would mean it goes on rather late, but although it was listed on the Last Chaos website, I didn't see any in-game announcements for it, only one for the Katar server's one.  Perhaps this was because I had moved Darth across to Auzura-4, on the feeling that like a "Mad Monster Spawn", storming the castle might cause a mass disconnection or four on Auzura-3, where it was being held, but I'd have thought that announcements would have gone out to the whole server.  Oh well, some other time...

MistressSabina went out to Prokion Temple in search of 162 skill points, and got them safely (with one to spare), along with 1283 pet points and 489 guild points.  She them made an unsuccessful first attempt on the third personal dungeon, Ajaka Canyon; the magic-wielding Beast Crawler was no problem, as Sabina concentrated on that when it appeared - and either it or one of the Beast Hunters that accompanied it dropped a heaven stone.  I did reach Blood Mistress Kamira, but made the mistake of trying to kill off its leech-type companions first, allowing her magic attacks to overpower me.  It is strange how little skill experience the monsters there give, about a third of what one would expect from things at that level, so that only 4 skill points were earned, along with 106 pet points and 16 guild points.

By the end of the lunch break, JamesP1's horse had reached level 22, and had got 495 points into the new level, so it was time to pass it back to its grateful owner.  88 quality stones had been used, plus 15 each of the imperfect stones and flawed stones - the equivalent of exactly a hundred quality stones, I see.  As Darth had kept his level 18 drake in his inventory while levelling the other pet, its sympathy had declined to 69%, but that managed go up again to 100% over the course of the afternoon.

The afternoon session saw Kaerella out at the Sphinx types, with the place mainly to herself.  Towards the end SugaRush arrived; I joked that, having been there for almost two hours, I'd started to worry that she'd been kidnapped, but apparently she had been there earlier, before moving to the (Arcane) Golems for a while.  In all Kae added 12.07%, 38 skill points, and 1192 pet points, reaching level 64 fairly early on.  When you're the same level as the Elite Sphinx Speer Man, he gives 636,593 experience and 1430 skill exp, though is farming him on the skill point side worthwhile at the moment, when any week now Aeria are going to rejig the skill experience of some, if not all, monsters?

SirDarth and another pet leveller got interrupted by a red-named rogue called "luispereira", who not only killed their Berserkers, for a while she killed each new one that Darth attacked, leading him to speculate aloud that perhaps she was too cowardly to attack her own monsters.  She did go away eventually.  Chuck did have to come down to deal with another Pandora's Beast, which dropped 50,400 gold, but before that Darth got five of the level 12 magical defence minerals from a Box.  You never know what you're going to get from a Pandora's Box, which is, I suppose, the point.

The evening session was another marathon with the Sphinx types, with Rage and Chuck.  TinySickNinja and SugaRush both put in appearances, though both hurried back to town when at about 7:20 UK time a short "upgrade event" was announced - ten minutes of a 200% chance of a heaven stone upgrading an item, followed by ten minutes of 150%.  Suga returned soon after, reporting that she'd broken the boots she tried to upgrade, but had got her level 69 weapon up to +10 - Tiny didn't actually return until I was just ready to leave.  She mentioned earlier that she was from Bulgaria, I'd never have guessed, her English seems perfect to me.

A level 46 titan called MADOC asked to party with me, which meant more attacks on the Elite Sphinx Speer Man.  He did at one stage say he'd be afk for ten minutes, and went and sat right at the back, saying I could kick him if i wanted to.  I've had enough experiences with people leaching experience to be slightly wary of such things, so to start with was mainly fighting out of range of where he was - and then after a few minutes I made Chuck the party leader and changed over to a Combat type of party, so that his presence was an asset, boosting my experience gain (and giving him a little too), rather than a liability.

We changed back to Equal when he did get back, after half an hour; when a heaven stone dropped and was allocated to him, he kindly traded it across to me, which was a nice gesture.  He left suddenly in the middle of a battle with an Elite Sphinx Speer Man, involuntarily I'm sure.   Well, it was good to have assistance, and someone to help pick the loot up; as often happens with melee types there he did tend to rush forward to the sphinx fighter I was firing at, even though it hadn't yet moved far enough away from the others around there, so that extra monsters got involved... he did die once through that, but hurried straight back.

So, by the end of the session Rage's current horse had added 1779 pet points, and so is getting in sight of level 35; Rage and Chuck got 10 skill points each, while Rage got 16.68% experience, and Chuck 34.59%, so a new level, for Chuck at least, is not far away.

After that it was time for SirDarth and SirPerivale to both head for the Berserkers.  SirDarth's drake was homing in on level 20, while SirPerivale's has only recently started on level 34.  When that one reaches level 37 it will get transformed into a dragon to ride about on, either by Darth or one of my mages, while Darth's one will probably end up as Rage's pet after her current horse reaches level 37.

Mass spawnings of Pandora's Beasts were announced at about ten o'clock, so, going by previous experience, Darth and Peri carefully moved back from the edge of the trees, to closer to the cliff, as those Beasts do tend to spawn in that particular clearing, and are rather aggressive.  They arrived soon afterwards, looking suitably ethereal; if we ignore them, hopefully we are far enough away for them to ignore us...

A Trip Down Below -  June 12th

The usual bit of morning pet-levelling went on, complete with a visit by MrChuckNorris to get rid of a level 50 Pandora's Beast that SirDarth had released - it kindly contributed 50k or so to our funds.  SirPerivale's drake looks as if it will be on level 34 for a while yet, but at least it got a third of the way through the level during lunch; Darth's drake reached level 21 in the morning.

MistressSabina made a new attempt on Ajaka Canyon, and, while she got to the far end, didn't manage to kill Blood Mistress Kamira before running out of health.  It would be tempting to use a magical defence mineral, but the higher grades of that tend to be more valuable than the reward for completing that personal dungeon.

However, after that Sabina headed for Prokion Temple, and got the 196 skill points she needed, in 75 minutes, to complete maximising her special skills. 1342 pet points were earned, as well, plus 608 guild points.  So now the question is, what else do I do with her?  As she has her experience gain "frozen", unlike a new character now she can farm skill points, and guild points, for as long as I like... or do I just keep her for Mad Monster Spawns, and other events where it's risky to take a character that is carrying ten thousand or more unused skill points?

I guess it is best to wait and see what the Aeria people have in mind for increasing the skill exp through the middle levels, and transfer the high-grade armour back to MistressDomina, and let her get back to skill points farming instead, before Aeria decide to unfreeze those of us who got frozen before the recent patch stopped guild masters from being able to set people to donate more than 50% of their experience gain to their guild.

Sabina also mined eighteen tool aids' worth of quality stones, for transferring to SirPerivale, and then over lunch Peri and Darth were both at work together on a pair of Berserkers.

Kaerella spent the afternoon with the Sphinx types; TinySickNinja was there for much of the time, but there was no sign of SugaRush.  There was a mass disconnection, I think only for Auzura-3, at 3:15 UK time, but we quickly returned.  By the end of the afternoon Kae had added 9.11%, and 30 skill points, while SirFrancis had earned 940 pet points.

SirDarth had continued his efforts during Kae's stint, and was joined for the food break by SirPerivale again - but then they both had to make way for the dynamic duo of Rage and Chuck, who went to their usual spot with the Sphinx Fighters, Sphinx Speer Men, and the Elite Sphinx Speer Man, who fight better than they can spell "spear".  Ratel joined them, as he'd just logged in, and it wasn't long before MADOC turned up too.  His internet connection had gone down completely, yesterday - perhaps literally, as he mentioned high winds as being the cause.

His afk time to eat was a bit shorter than yesterday's; I had immediately switched the party to Combat when he went and sat alongside Chuck, so that he would get a small amount of experience just for being there, and give the active party members a boost, but it is based on damage dealt, so didn't take into account Ratel's stuns and buffs, so that while Rage was doing extremely well out of the set-up, Ratty was getting starved of experience.  I switched it back to an Equal footing, and luckily Madoc returned to action soon after that.  There was a second mass disconnection while we were there - I get awfully suspicious when these things happen at a non-random time, and this, by my computer clock, happened at exactly 7:00 pm, UK time. We quickly went back and continued.

Norcaine guild member Ghostt, our level 56 specialist sorcerer, got in touch with Ratel, and suggested that we team up in the Tomb of Theos, so the three of us went over there, after stocking up on potions. Chuck however logged out, having gone up 14.69%, enough to take him into level 49, and gained 4 skill points - not that 18,766 is a great increase over 18,762, but it's the right direction anyway.  I quickly logged SirDarth back in, and sent him to his Berserker.

The Tomb party did pretty well, though Ratel did die once.  He had gone to the wall when his health fell very low, but bravely ventured forth again before his health had had a chance to recover, and paid the price.  Ghostt did most of the luring in his knight-type form; he had hoped to be with us for perhaps approaching two hours, but got unexpectedly called away before a single hour was up.

Luckily there was another part-party there, and we amalgamated - the level 56 royal knight Miatet, the level 49 titan DEETITAN, and that rarity, a cleric, the level 56 FrozenSlurpy, who quickly assured me that I didn't need to hug walls when she was there, as her healing was strong, and certainly backed up that claim.  It was a great luxury not to have to rely on health potions, for a change.  There were some other familiar faces down there too, including SugaRush - so that explained her absence from her usual haunts.

I'd started one of the potions that add 30% to one's experience gain for a day, which helped my figures to move along a little, and it wasn't long before Rage reached level 58 - though, like Chuck's new level, it doesn't bring any new skills or other excitements.  FrozenSlurpy sadly didn't stay very long, and then a little later Miatet had to leave us too, with the flimsy excuse that it was 4:00 am where he was.  Ratel, Rage, and the two titans continued, though, with Rage doing the luring, and though the place was fairly busy, I don't think we ever ended up with extra Screaming Zombies, just the one at a time that we wanted.

Ratel did ask Deetitan if he had the warmaster titan stun skill Smite, and he admitted that he didn't have enough skill points to get it yet, he'd need to do some sp farming - so he's not as useful as Chuck, then!  There's a moral there for us all, I'm sure, having an extra stun in the party would have made things a good bit safer.

Finally Ratel decided that the next Zombie had better be his last, and that seemed like the point at which to call it a night.  Madoc mentioned that his wife was calling him, too.  So, though I think that final Screaming Zombie was the one that came closest to killing me, that was the end of a pretty good evening.  Rage had gone up by 4.50% against the Sphinx types, but added a further (and useful) 10.19% down in the Tomb.  Like Chuck she got 4 skill points, while her pet horse, which had reached level 35 out in the open, added 1764 pet points in all.

I must say I'm slightly surprised that Rage's experience gain in the Tomb wasn't more dramatic than that, but it was, most of the time, a fairly large party to share the experience out between, and while the Zombies do give a nice big amount, they do each take a while to kill.

So, Darth was soon joined by Peri down at the Berserkers; a Pandora's Box just yielded 20,000 gold, while a rogue called "meanie" of the Xconics guild rode up, killed both the Berserkers, and moved off.  Darth commented "You live up to your name, I see" - and her response was "I saved your life.  They were attacking you", which was quick thinking, I must say, heheh. Darth's drake ends the day approaching three-quarters of the way through level 23, and Peri's one ought to be a similar proportion of the way through level 34, so we make progress.

A Day of Rage -  June 13th

There was a new patch to download this morning before logging in to Last Chaos, one of the substantial ones which requires me to "pause" the Kaspersky Anti-Virus protection before I can grab it, on the newer computer - the third patch in a week.  This one is supposed to make the Merchant House system less laggy by removing the option to search for a specific item - not an option I knew was there - and some other techno-magic designed to get rid of "the black screen of Randol" Sunday evening log-in problems.

But once the patch was downloaded, both SirDarth and SirPerivale were able to head out to Merac, and the Berserkers, and it wasn't long before Darth's drake reached level 24, and Peri's reached level 35.

After coffee, it seemed like a good idea to take Rage out to the Sphinx Fighters and their friends, since the 30% experience boost I triggered yesterday evening lasts for 24 hours.  MrChuckNorris went along too, of course, but I made it a Combat party, so that, with that 30% boosts for Rage and the way a Combat party favours the actual damage-dealer, he was only getting about an eighth as much experience as Rage.  TinySickNinja was there too for a while, and came into the Combat party, but she left before very long.

SugaRush arrived a few minutes before I finished; it seems that she isn't giving up on the Sphinx types entirely, despite the sterling qualities of the Tomb's Screaming Zombies, as she needs some more skill points.  The Sphinx Fighters, I find, are no longer red-named for Rage after yesterday evening's levelling-up, so that is visible progress.

Chuck added 10.61%, while Rage added 34.40%, along with 1020 pet points; they each added 7 skill points, too.  - rather less than Rage would have got in a solo party, which demonstrates that trying to get Suga into a Combat party wouldn't be a good idea.

So, Rage got a lot more experience from that session than from her Tomb time yesterday.  The Elite Sphinx Speer Man is listed as giving 636,593 experience, compared with a Screaming Zombie's 4,501,053, but if you factor in a party size of four to six, and the additional time it takes to kill a Zombie, then things change.  It might be different in a Combat party in that part of the Tomb of Theos, as I suspect that Rage was the biggest damage dealer in the party and would have been rewarded accordingly, but you'd be unlikely to get the other prospective party members to agree to something like that.

After the lunch break, Chuck and Rage went back, and enlisted TinySickNinja into the Combat party when she arrived - but she suggested a move to the Tomb of Theos.  At level 62, she could solo the Screaming Zombies, but having two people with Snare would speed things up and be rather safer.  So, with Chuck having added another 4.66%, and Rage 13.14%, and 3 skill points each, our time there ended.  Chuck logged out, and SirDarth logged back in for some further pet levelling, which got his drake to level 25... and Rage teleported to the entrance to the Tomb.

When we got there, Tiny (who did mention later, "I'm a dude" - but we generally stick with the gender of the character) recruited another rogue of a similar level, Crowdsroar, and between them decided that we could do better than the level 100 Screaming Zombies - instead we'd run down to the large room with the level 104 Sphinx Fighters, which give 5.5 instead of 4.5 million. I was slightly doubtful that I'd get there alive, after Kaerella's experience at a similar level, but with a potion of haste and carefully following Tiny, I go there safely. 

Unfortunately, before long Crowdsroar got killed, and had to leave us - but Tiny knows plenty of other people, and the level 54 specialist sorcerer Zanderloft joined us instead.for quite a long time, long enough to reach level 55 in fact.  It was certainly easier when he was in his knight form, rather than the red devil, but we kept going despite the occasional death - not me, luckily, as the ranged attacker I was usually left alone, and when I did get attacked I was able to run to the safety of the wall.

Zanderloft was succeeded by the level 74 elementalist sorcerer (the type that still has earth, fire and wind spirits, rather than transforming himself) Myrddin; by then Rage had levelled up to 59, so was just within party range without being "capped".  He did tend to use a lot of the large type of health potions, but fought very effectively, generally targeting the level 106 Anubis Spear Man (yes, they spell it correctly) boss monsters, who give almost 19 million experience each, but take a bit longer to kill of course.  His one death he put down to paying too much attention to the guild chat channel, and not enough to his health bar. 

We also recruited the level 65 rogue HeRsHeY, of the DamonBlut guild, who I'd seen many times at the (open-air) Sphinx types, though she wasn't as skilled a runner-down as Tiny, and arrived with a mob of Sphinx Fighters on her tail.  We had to avoid them until they got "reset" to their original positions, but it was a bit of a shock.

The party kept going nicely, though Tiny did have to leave.  I went on past my usual food break time, but finally Myrddin was running out of pots, and decided to call a halt.  I was on 98% at the time, so he and Hershey kindly volunteered to kill one final Anubis Spear Man - and that got me up to level sixty!  A whole level in one session, and only using the 30% experience boost, was excellent progress.  In all since lunch Rage had added 152.96% experience - the skill point total remained at 3 unsurprisingly, but 2033 pet points had been added.

Reaching level sixty meant that Rage could now learn the passive skill Fatal Attack, previously known as Fadeil Attack, which "permanently increases your physical attack while wielding a crossbow" - the five levels I was able to learn cost 889 skill points, but increased my physical offence stat by 156, a little over 15%.

Taking Rage and Chuck out to the Sphinx types after the food break certainly demonstrated the difference Rage's new skill made, as the Sphinx Fighters, when targeted, died before they could reach her, and the damage generally was usefully improved.  The 30% experience boost was still running until nine o'clock; as Rage was now 11 levels ahead of Chuck a Combat party wasn't possible, but that was okay as it was Chuck who needed the experience most, so an Equal party was what we required.

I had the place to myself, except for a brief appearance by the royal knight KingTrill, who arrived, gave himself horse buffs, attacked the Elite Sphinx Speer Man... and did get it down to about a third of its hit points before dying and vanishing.  Why he doesn't just try a few of the regular Sphinx Fighters or Sphinx Speer Men I don't know... But anyway, Rage added another useful 26.86% experience and 1667 pet points, plus 15 skill points, while Chuck added 62.08% more, and 14 skill points.  It shouldn't be long before Chuck reaches level fifty, and is able to learn the passive skill Fighting Spirit - for the five levels it's 573 skill points, and gives an extra 100 to attack, 150 to defence, and 20 to evasion, which sounds rather useful to me.

The day ended as it began, with SirDarth and SirPerivale peacefully pet-levelling.  Darth's drake is well into level 25 now, while Peri's should end the evening at least a third of the way into level 35.

Kae's Day -  June 14th

MistressDomino was busy overnight in Auzura-1, close to the arena in Randol, standing just near enough to a small fountain for her pet horse to also be visible.  She sold all 177 of the Wendy Bear pieces I'd gathered recently, at 14,500 gold each - the last 118 all in one go, so somebody appreciated a bargain.  She also sold the heaven stones I'd put up at 1.95 million each, so had left merchant mode, job done, and was just standing there with her horse when I checked this morning. SirDarth and SirPerivale both started their pet-levelling efforts fairly early, at least by Sunday standards - and then after coffee Darth took time off while Peri continued, for a change, and, having got her armour back from MistressSabina, MistressDomina was able to head out for Prokion Temple, for the first time for a week or two.

First, however, MD opened a batch of twenty Skill Boxes - and did pretty well, getting 5 platinum super skill pills (+200% skill exp for an hour) and 3 super skill pills (+100%), plus 4 skill pills (+15%), 3 effort scrolls (+50%, but only for ten minutes), and 5 five-packs of skill point boosters.  So, once she had reached our favourite back room, she was able to stack an ssp and an sp, so that the Orc Axemen gave 11825 skill exp each, and the Orc Sergeants gave 10642...115% extra.

So, the "power hour", with plenty of mob-gathering and use of Flame Storm, brought in 464 skill points, and continuing on for a few minutes more got it up to 525.  And then it was time for lunch, so SirDarth was able to get back into pet-levelling action.

For the afternoon session, though, it was Kaerella's turn to head out into the rolling grassy uplands of south-west Dratan, not very far from the Tomb, to visit the Sphinx types.  I took Chuck, MrChuckNorris, along with me for long enough to get him up to level fifty, but Kae had started a three-hour plus 30% "medium experience elixir", so as soon as Chuck had got what he needed and levelled up, gaining 17.33% and 6 skill points, he logged out, and SirDarth was able to return to levelling his drake in Merac.

TinySickNinja was there for a while, and assured me that my boost-potion would "stack" with the 50% experience boost we were promised for the European time "early teatime", scheduled for three to five, UK time - but three o'clock came, and there was no announcement - and then four came, and there was still no announcement, so I was feeling a bit grumpy.

As well as Tiny, I heard from Corbenik, the royal knight on my friends list I've teamed with a few times; he generally only plays at weekends now, but he's level 72 with +15 gear, so doing well.  Pawanvarun was also in touch, and did later appear - she's a mage, and brought a low-level friend along to boost them a bit. 

She was suggesting we team in the Tomb to power-level her friend, but, with a low-level person being capped in such a party, I couldn't see that that would be any better than Pawanvarun's efforts against Sphinx Fighters.  She did ask if I could let her kill the Elite Sphinx Speer Man a few times, but I pointed out that, while it did give three times the experience, it also took three times as long to kill, and hit dangerously hard, so she'd probably live longer on the regular types.  I did have to save her when she got the Elite and a Fighter both chasing her, not long after.

Glamourous admired my armour; she was wearing the western-style costume cover, so I'm not sure if she is above or below my level.  I admitted that I couldn't bring myself to use the schoolgirl cover costume on it, though if one does, one is "locked in" for 30 days anyway, and hopefully it will need to be passed on to Rage before then.

When my three hour elixir ran out, as there had still been no word of a "Sunday teatime", I was ready to log off for food - but I stayed a few minutes longer, as Kae's drake, SirFrancis, was about to level up,   Once he had safely reached level 34, it was time to depart.  The afternoon session had given Kae 34.09%, and 52 skill points, as well as 1866 pet points.

It wasn't long into the evening session, still with Kae at the Sphinx types, that I realised that it wasn't that the dozy GMs had forgotten to turn on the 50% extra experience gain for the European teatime - they'd actually forgotten to turn it off after the earlier APAC teatime, we'd been having 50% extra experience all along...and it had stacked with my 30% elixir.  The Elite Sphinx Speer Man normally gives 636,593 experience, but now he was giving 954,889, 50% more, or when I had the 30% elixir running 1,241,355, 95% more, so the two boosts didn't just add together, they multiplied.  I started a second three-hour elixir quickly, though it still had about ten minutes left to run when I had to return to Randol for the Quiz.

SugaRush had a session with the Sphinx types in the evening, and Succubus2 was also around for a while, but generally I was just concentrating on moving my experience percentage along

Ratel had told me earlier that he would be unable to come to this week's Quiz, and I'd said that he probably wouldn't be missing much...and I was right.  In Auzura-3 we got as far as the fifteenth question, which if we'd got right would have given us the ten moonstones, but the question, as to whether a certain teleporter NPC was in the Forgotten Temple or Lust Trum Tower, stumped us all.  Somebody ran purposefully to the "X" side so we all followed, but that was the wrong side, sigh, and once again the doors had been closed to prevent people from getting back in.  Ah well, at least we got the tool aids - it looks as if the price of heaven stones is going to rise this week.

Despite the fine words about the latest patch curing "the Black Screen of Randol" after the Quiz, when I tried to log SirDarth back in, there it was - luckily my second attempt worked, however, and Darth was able to return to his Berserker.  Things were awfully slow trying to to add an item to the Merchant House, though, and getting Kae and Darth back into a solo party.  Still, it was only another 8% I needed to get Kae up to level 65, so I went back out to the Sphinx types.

In all, the evening session added 45.91%, along with another 81 skill points and 2471 pet points, so I certainly kept busy.  Once Kaerella had at last reached her new level, though, it was time to head back to town.  It's not a level with any new skills coming available, the next one comes at level 66 (a new level of Slow Shot, so that the speed decrease moves from 55% to 60%, with the damage also increasing usefully), but the main thing is that Kae can now use her new bow.

The level 65 Wabbershainw Bow +15 gave 239 +420 +75 attack, so that Kae's physical offence stat was 1339; the new level 69 Eblin Bow +15 gives 264 +464 + 75, for a 1404 stat.  That may be a little under 5% more, but it will certainly help next time Kae is in the Tomb of Theos.  She may well be able to wear the next set of armour's gloves, too, come to that, if I can find a ready-plussed pair at a not too unreasonable price...or is this the level at which one stops being able to wear items that are 5 levels higher?  Oh well, if I buy the gloves I guess I'll find out.

The evening ended quietly, as usual, with SirDarth and SirPerivale at work.  Darth's drake will I think reach level 28 before log-out time, but Peri's looks as if it will end the day just short of level 36.

Solo in the Tomb -  June 15th

As usual, SirDarth and SirPerivale started their drake-levelling work fairly early.  Peri did in the end just manage to get his drake to level 36 last night just before I shut down the computers, but this final level will take a while, at 13350 pet points it's almost twice as long as the 6700 pet points of Darth's drake's current level, 28. 

It is very convenient to be able to have both of them side by side fighting a pair of Berserkers, but that does need both the pets to be of a high enough level to give a good amount of the Armour Increase buff.  Peri's current physical defence stat is 995, with all 30 levels of Armour Increase (745 without that) - when his school uniform type cover ends its 30-day existence, that will fall a bit.  To do two pets like this again might entail Darth lending not just his +13 shield, but a piece or two of his +12 armour, to Peri.  Darth's current physical defence is 1177, or 957 without the current 27 levels of Armour Increase - to start a new pet from level one he would need his shield back for a day or two.

After coffee MistressDomina headed for Prokion Temple again, started the two skill exp boosts for an added 115%, and settled in to mob the Orc Axemen and Orc Sergeants in our favourite back room.  I did have one intruder, though, a knight called "cavalacanti" who ignored me saying that I was on skill pills and could he please stop ks-ing and go away - quite the worst example of that sort of thing for some time, after all it was pretty obvious that I was using all the respawns, by no stretch of the imagination could one believe that there was room for a second player there.

SirPerivale opened a Pandora's Box; an earlier one had just dropped 10,000 gold, but this one unleashed a level 50 Pandora's Beast which chased him back most of the way to town.  After a minute, Peri sneaked out again far enough to fight a Butcher, at least.  Despite the ks-er and the Beast, MD managed to get 440 skill points in her hour, and a total of 463 in all, plus 977 pet points.

MistressDomina logged out, and MrChuckNorris logged in, to deal with that Pandora's Beast, which kindly dropped 48,000 gold.  When he got back to town Chuck also got that level 50 passive skill Fighting Spirit, increasing his evasion from 146 to 166, his physical offence from 864 to 964, and his physical defence from 1247 to 1397, though it's probably about time he upgraded to a new weapon, and new armour, anyway.  And then Darth and Peri settled in for more pet-levelling.

After last week when I could spend pretty much all my free time online, this week will be different, culminating in one of my busy Sundays when I won't even be able to switch on the computers until after six in the evening.  However, today was still okay, so after lunch it was time for Kaerella to be brave, and try to go solo in the Tomb of Theos with the Screaming Zombies.

Well, I didn't die, though I came close a time or two; I used a platinum blessed iris and individual experience boosters, and despite letting a couple of lower-level people "ks" a bit, got up to level 66, which was the main target. A rogue called Blitzmann was there when I arrived, but left after a few minutes, which was lucky as she did a time or two leave a zombie moving around aimlessly, which is bad news if one is already fighting another one.  A royal knight called SrLazy arrived, but didn't stay long - I did a little healing when he had to wall-hug once, and he kindly gave me the Concentration buff, though I don't think it actually does much for an archer, unlike a rogue, before he left.

The level 49 healer Annz was my first ks-er, and she was joined after a while by the level 45 specialist sorcerer Annicus, whose Sonic Break stun was rather useful, it stopped me having to run backwards and forwards along the corridor, using Slow Shot when I could, so much.  By the time my platinum blessed iris, and my crit potion, ran out after an hour I'd added 178.17%, so I'd reached level 66 with plenty to spare.

So, back in town I was able to learn the new level of Slow Shot, for 350 skill points, slowing down my targets slightly more and increasing the damage.  The next thing to do was get the new armour set together, so I went to Roy, to check out what the merchant house had to offer.

First of all I bought some healer gloves, the level 70 Balsamic Gloves +3, put up for sale at 1 million by Rymcyr; I checked that I could indeed wear them, and went to Collector Ryu to make sure that he could, if I wanted, change them to another  type of glove, and he showed the cost and the details for rogue ones, so I knew that his transformatory skills still worked for this set.

My next purchase was a rogue Pillager Shirt +7 for 27 million, which I changed into the Balsamic Shirt for a healer for 309,600 gold; AfTeRSh0ck had put up knight pants and boots +4 at 6 million each, which seemed the best deal I could get, so those were bought, and transformed for 232,200 and 237,600 gold respectively.  The only headgear that was "plussed up" at all was a Balsamic Tiara +12, at 115 million, put up by DoktorUA, so, remembering those heaven stones I sold recently, I took a deep breath and bought it.  At least I saved money on not having to get it transformed!  At present prices, I could probably sell the chaos smelting stones I didn't have to use to upgrade it for that much, or more.

I used assorted lucky smelting stones, and some of my supply of chaos smelting stones, to get the gloves and boots up to +8 and the pants and shirt up to +11, and then the job was finished...though I couldn't actually wear the tiara and boots until Kae reached level 67, her physical defence when wearing the new set rises from 1407 to 1536.

As it wasn't quite time for my food break, and Kae's new armour needed a bit of bloodsealing, I bought a few bloodseal gems, and headed out to the Sphinx types, to find that the Sphinx Fighters, at least, were now green-named.

It wasn't long before Kamira arrived, and since I did have item drop boosters, lucky scrolls, and level 12 magical defence minerals with me, I had a sudden rush of blood to the head and decided to try an attack - big mistake, I did her very little damage, Arrow of Silence didn't stop her magic attack, and my health was suddenly dangerously low - and she was still firing her bursts of flame in my direction.  I ran for it, and was able to use "pet return to village" just in time.

Kamira, when I got back, had returned to full health, and didn't hold my attack against me, so I was able to use the item drop booster I'd activated on the Elite Sphinx Speer Man, who did at least drop a level 57 mage shirt, +2.  I suppose the remaining time of the lucky scroll did boost my loot from the next few sphinx types, too, but I can't pretend to have got full value from those particular items.

It was about then that the level 36 archer Valkyre arrived; she obviously wasn't able to kill any of the local monsters herself, so I invited her to fire at my targets for a while, or "ks".  I did at least manage to add a few bloodseals of varying use to my armour, and 4.89%, plus 18 skill points and 628 pet points.

My food break was a little late, but afterwards the best thing to do seemed to be to try to get Kae's armour and bow fully bloodsealed, and to get to level 67 so that the entire new Balsamic set could be worn, and the old Serenity set passed across to Rage.  Kae still needed 17%, but a session with the Sphinx types just got us there by log-out time.  Nobody else appeared out there, which is unusual - unless you count Rage, who came out after a while.  I'd partied up with Ratel, so couldn't do a Combat party...but Rage needs experience too, of course.  When Ratel did log out for the night, though, I did switch over to a Combat party - and by the end, Rage had gone up 11.04%, and gained 25 skill points, while Kae had gone up 17.14%, 42 skill points, and 2102 pet points.  Reaching level 67 meant that both the Fighters and the Speer Men were now green-named, so Kae may not be going there any more, unless she takes her turn sitting by the side in a Combat party with Rage.

After that, SirDarth and SirPerivale had a little more quality time with a pair of Berserkers, with Darth's drake more than halfway through level 29, so already quite high enough to be a useful replacement for Rage's current horse when that pet reaches level 37, and Peri's dragon-to-be approaching 60% of the way through that final 36th level.  Peri already happens to have a red pet colouring crystal in his inventory, so, soon, one of my characters will be able to fly through Merac fooling people into thinking, at first glance, that the Grand Red Dragon has arrived...