Kaerella's Blog - stardate June 2009 (2)

Unbloggishly, here we read from the top down - so the month continues here at the top!

Orcs, Sphinx Fighters, & Selling -  June 16th

It was time for one of my big grocery shopping trips this morning, so, although SirDarth and SirPerivale did manage an hour and a half of pet-levelling before I went out, I would be away from the computers for too long to keep the drakes fed and happy, so at around nine in the morning, UK time, they had to log out.

Instead, Kaerella and MistressSabina held a small contest - which of them would be able to mine the most stones?  They both have their mining skills maximised, so it would be a close-run thing, I was sure.  After just over three hours, with their hammers reduced in endurance from 7200 to 1500, the result was that Sabina got 9 quality stones, 15 imperfect stones, and 15 flawed stones, while Kae got only 6 quality stones, 12 imperfect stones, and a massive 31 imperfect stones.  As the stone types are worth 5, 3 and 1 hunger points respectively, although Kae got more stones, Sabina came out as the winner, scoring 105 points to Kae's 97.

Darth and Peri then managed some more drake-levelling over lunch, with Darth's drake reaching level 30,  Then, it was time for MistressDomina to make her trip to Prokion Temple's upstairs back room, to battle the Orc Axemen and the Orc Sergeants.  Once again, a 115% boost was applied for an hour, and despite a phone call interrupting me, MD still managed to earn 457 skill points in the hour, and 487 in all, along with 1047 pet points.

There was still a little time before the early evening food break, so Rage and MrChuckNorris went out to the Sphinx Fighters and Speer Men.  The level 35 archer Valkyre turned up before long, and, as Kae had done yesterday, Rage invited her to "ks" a bit.  She did get the attention of a couple of the Sphinx Fighters, but I was alert for that sort of thing, and they soon switched their attack to the person firing those annoying crossbow bolts at them.

Valkyre didn't actually stay very long, so we continued a little after her departure - and we were back in action for the evening session a bit later, too, but an announcement came up that the Mad Monster Spawn for Auzura had been brought forward to five o'clock, UK time, so things got a little bit busy for a while.

MistressSabina borrowed the good mage armour back from MistressDomina, and went out to the usual "MMS" location, while the second computer played host to a bit more drake-levelling with SirDarth.  As a precaution, SirDarth was on the Auzura-4 subserver, since last week the MMS gave Auzura-3, at least, four mass disconnections - but things behaved themselves this time, and although there was lag, and indeed a slight case of the "Black Screen of Randol", everything held together.

The waves of monsters were hard, and took a long time to deal with - one Sphinx Commander that I was involved in fighting reset its health to 100% a number of times, which was annoying, but most of the monsters are a bit higher than him, and I did get to respawn in Randol a few times.  We were allowed twenty minutes to clear the final wave, but while there were plenty of people at around Sabina's level, ie 30-ish, the short notice did mean we were short of high-level people who could actually inflict damage quickly.

I did make a few comments to that effect, and also reminded people that we were "owed" a final spawning of goodies, as last week's final disconnection and rollback had removed such booty from our inventories.  I don't know if that did have any influence, but GMStratos did "stop the clock", even though in theory we had to kill every monster within twenty minutes to earn the final spawning of assorted Hands... and when we finally got rid of the last Flutons, we got our just reward.  In all, Sabina managed to pick up 2 heaven stones, 8 item drop boosters, 9 skill point boosters, 5 large attack potions, 4 large defence potions, and a few tool aids, potions of haste, etc.  And once the last items had been picked up, I hastily exited the game, to "save" my inventory state.  MistressSabina had managed to earn 64 more guild points for the Discipline guild.

The MMS had taken a surprisingly long time, and I also needed to transfer all my Wendy Bear pieces, and other sellable loot, over to MistressDomino - though it also seemed like a good idea to get SirDarth his school uniform, so a set of the bear pieces was moved across to him.  His first attempt was so successful, I think he won five times in a row, that he got two bonus books of melding when he finally lost; the second set of pieces got him a sword cover, but at last the third set got him the school uniform, and after trading across two more bonus books of melding from MistressDomino, his armour rating was suitably boosted as the four armour pieces each got a temporary extra +1.  Unlike some costume sets, the school uniform doesn't include a cover for a character's headgear.

There was also the slight complication that a message came up warning that all items needed to be removed from the Merchant House system before maintenance, as the NPCs involved were going to be removed, so that any items left up for sale would be lost - so I had to take out the items that Chuck, Kae, and Rage had only recently put in, losing the deposits involved - so that was a bit annoying, and time-consuming.

Finally Rage and Chuck were able to go back out to the Sphinx types - but at  7:42 they both got disconnected, and I couldn't log them back in... well, among the "timed out" messages I did once get Chuck as far as the teleporter in Randol, but that wouldn't move him to Dratan City, and he disconnected again.  It looks as if that was my router playing up, or a temporary fault on the line; I switched the router off for a few minutes, since I was getting "local only" messages, and then when I switched it back on, after the usual delay the "local and internet" caption appeared, and all was well again.

However, there was an email to deal with that took a while, so the evening session was a bit shorter than I'd have liked.  Still, Rage did manage to add 13.03% overall, while Chuck added 32.40%; they got 16 skill points each, too, and Rage's horse got 1599 pet points.

Since it is increasingly likely that today's Maintenance will see the end of the Wendy Bear event, MistressDomino set up near the arena on Auzura-1, close to a little fountain so that her horse was also visible, with "Wendy Bear pieces 14.5k each, and some Heaven Stones for you!"  The 43 heaven stones sold first, at what I thought was a slightly high price of 2.15 million each; I replaced them in that tenth slot with 64 item drop boosters at 650k each, and they sold too, along with some of the bear pieces, and then when the IDBs sold, put 53 large defence potions up at 175k each, and they sold as well... I tried some large attack potions at 395k after that, but nobody went for them, and all the remaining Wendy Bear pieces sold out.

So, that was another 239 Wendy Bear pieces safely sold, and MistressDomino's gold reserves put back now to higher than before Kae's new armour was bought.  Now we just need to research current prices on some other things, like moonstone boxes, MistressDomino has been just selling those Wendy bear pieces for so many weeks that I'm slightly out of touch - and I've amassed no less than 400 moonstone boxes, mainly as drops either in Prokion Temple or from the Sphinx types.  Are they worth 50 million, perhaps?

While MistressDomino was selling her items, SirPerivale was giving his drake one final levelling session, and just before logging out time managed at last to get the little chap all the way to level 37, so that's another task completed.  Tomorrow, some riding around on the back of a dragon is definitely on the agenda!

The Best-Laid Plans -  June 17th

Well, I had hoped to be riding around on a friendly red dragon today, but following a link on the Last Chaos announcement page got me to the news that last night's maintenance had been delayed by a day - and after it, everyone who had their experience gain 100% frozen would find they had now been reset to 50%.  This possibly may not be a bad idea in the long run, but as the plans to compensate people by adding to the skill exp available at higher levels remain vague, far-future wishes at the moment rather than anything tangible, it seemed that as a matter of some urgency I ought to get MistressDomina at least some more skill points, before she starts to outgrow Prokion Temple.

So, MD headed for Prokion Temple on Auzura-3 straight after breakfast - only to discover that it was rather full already of other people, who had presumably also read the news!  Finding even my favourite back room in use, I logged out, and logged back in on the other non-PvP subserver, Auzura-4, which was as usual nothing like as busy.  SirDarth had to move over too, to continue to provide the solo party while levelling his drake.

I still had one of the 15% skill pills (or "training spells") left, so for MistressDomina's first hour I used that, on top of a platinum super skill pill, for a 215% boost, meaning that Orc Axemen gave 17325 skill exp and Orc Sergeants 15592 - though the hour was interrupted by a mass disconnection, suspiciously close to exactly nine o'clock, UK time.  Still, 595 skill points got earned.  I went on to a second hour, but it was a bit of a gamble, and I did get a rather lengthy phone call during it, so despite using a pssp and a 50% platinum skill pill (so that the Orc Axemen gave 19250 skill exp, and the Orc Sergeants 17325), I only managed 497 skill points. Luckily a third hour was a bit better, that earned me exactly 600.  That just about concluded the morning session, with a total of 1694 sp and 2366 pet points, which got MD's pet drake safely into level 28.

The afternoon session, again started as quickly as possible after lunch, was three pssp + psp hours, bringing in 616, 646, and 696 skill points; I only once had anyone come into my room, and they left as soon as they saw the situation.  By the time I logged out for the usual food break, MD had gained 1983 skill points, thanks to staying on for the traditional few minutes after the last set of boosts ended - this got MistressDomina's reserve of skill points up to exactly 13,600.  The pet points from this session added up to 2888.

The drops from the six hours (the few extra minutes at the end would just about compensate for the disconnection and the phone call) included 74 more Wendy Bear pieces, 23 moonstone boxes, 1 hand of protection (with large defence potion), 6 hands of bravery (with large attack potion), 3 hands of the guard (with item drop booster and skill point booster), 3 heaven stones (as individual drops, rather than in hands of the warrior), 3 drake eggs, and various tool aids, pan flutes, level 36 shirts, level 32 boots, level 29 weapons, cracked axes, and other minor stuff.

SirDarth had been busy levelling his drake, which reached level 31; as SirPerivale had finished levelling his soon-to-be-dragon, I traded Darth's drake across to him, so that he would have a pet buff himself for a trip to Prokion Temple.  He already had quite a number of skill points, from killing Butchers, and I wanted to get this up to at least 86, so that he could learn the fifth level of Divine Shield, the armour-increasing buff a knight can give people, increasing its extra defence from 40 to 50.   As a pet leveller like Peri has to stay at level 22, this was something that needed to be done today, while he wouldn't gain ordinary experience from fighting.  The drake took a few hits from Ghouls, Mummies, and Orc Soldiers, but the loss of health will be cured next time he levels up.

Peri had been operating successfully against the Berserkers with 995 defence; with his new school uniform armour covers melded to his normal armour, and using the +5 shield rather than the +13 one he has loaned Peri, without a pet buff Darth currently has a 990 armour rating - so it seemed worth seeing how he would get on with a brand-new pony, so he made the trip to Jajan, and got one.  His health did fluctuate very slightly, but generally everything seemed safe.

Or, safe until a wandering level 50 Pandora's Beast attacked... luckily I saw what was going on pretty quickly, so that the pony just lost 9 health, and Darth himself was unscathed... a run in the direction of town shook off our pursuer, and Darth was able to continue levelling the pony at the bottom of the hill, while MrChuckNorris put in a brief appearance to Smite and kill the ghostly renegade, which dropped 89,600 gold.

After SirPerivale's adventure, there was just time for two more hours with MistressDomina, just using pssps this time, for 16500 skill exp from an Orc Axeman, and 14850 from a Sergeant - three times what one gets without any booster at work.  The first hour added 629 skill points, and the second hour added exactly 600, so we did pretty well, with no interruptions.  Among the drops were another heaven stone, 2 hands of bravery, a hand of protection, 3 more drake eggs, 11 moonstone boxes, 30 Wendy Bear pieces, and a few more bits of armour and magical earrings...

So, MistressDomina certainly put in some work today, over eight hours of it; the evening session added 1243 skill points and 2102 more pet points, meaning that in all today MD added 4920 skill points.  So, while in some ways I would have liked her to have slightly more of them, it does seem about time she started to move up through the levels in Prokion Temple, gaining experience as well as a few more skill points.  a 50% "freeze" does, in fact, sound about right for her now.

The best of the loot was transferred across to MistressDomino, my fearless merchant, and, with her horse close by, she set up shop in the same spot on Auzura-1 as last night, attempting to sell 111 Wendy Bear pieces, and also 65 large attack potions, which sold before long at 375,000 each.  Meanwhile, SirDarth, now back in Auzura-3, was still working on his new pony - at level 5 he got the first four levels of Armour Increase, which at that stage gave 47 more physical defence as the pet's Sympathy figure had still not quite reached 100%.  The pony did safely reach level 6 before log-out time; I'm not sure what his long-term future will be, but no doubt one of my characters, or my friends' characters, will give him a good home.

Well, that is the last full day of Last Chaos I will be able to manage for a while; tomorrow is liable to be just an evening session for me, with perhaps at least a partial afternoon session as well on Friday and Saturday.  At least some pet-levelling will be possible, but, while constructive, that isn't really very adventurous.  Ah well, after all that Orc-fighting in Prokion Temple today, a slight cut-back is probably a rather good idea, I'm exhausted...

A Late Start -  June 18th

The week's maintenance did finally happen, a day late, "to make sure everything was up to snuff"... and when you tempt fate with a line like that, you just know there are going to be problems, right?

MistressDomino had managed to sell most of her Wednesday-farmed Wendy Bear pieces by the time the servers went down - 73 out of 111, so that was just over a million gold, at 14,500 each again.  The remaining 38, just four different pieces, will just have to be either put away for a year or scattered around town.  MD did actually sell four moonstone boxes too, so 195,000 gold each for them must be about a viable price... perhaps a bit lower if I want to sell them more quickly.

Anyway, SirDarth and SirPerivale logged in pretty early, with pet-levelling in mind.  The gamesage TygerMist was in Randol, asking if anyone could form a party with her - and indeed it did seem that the party-forming system had been broken.  So, I suppose it wasn't too surprising to find, next time I checked the computers, that the servers were down again for more maintenance.

Whatever the issues were, they were pretty serious, and the servers stayed down for some hours while the Aeria people worked to try and sort things out.  The shoutbox was pretty busy for such a normally quiet time of day, for sure.  Soothing messages like "GMs are just fine tuning a few of the bugs that popped up" would appear from gamesages, and be quickly washed away by the tide of other comments.

Finally, at 9;22, UK time, our main man, aeria_ks1lent, appeared on the shoutbox with the announcement that the servers were back up, so Darth and Peri quickly logged back in, and got back to their pet-levelling work.  It wasn't long before Darth's pony reached level 8, and by mid-morning Peri's drake reached level 32.  As it isn't going to be made into a mount, but rather take over as Rage's pet when her current horse reaches level 37, it doesn't really have to go much higher at this stage, but hey, it keeps Peri out of mischief.

Peri's "school uniform" armour cover, with the +1 bonus that using the "bonus books of melding" to meld them to his armour gave, can't actually be set to last a whole lot longer, as after 30 days it will disappear...hopefully not while he is in mid-battle with a Berserker.  Today the countdown reads "expires year 11, month 6, day 25, time 0", but how that translates into real time I don't know.  Darth's cover was applied relatively recently, and its message is "expires year 12, month 1, day 27, time 13"...

So, there was plenty of time for pet levelling, and by the time I was ready to plunge in more actively, Peri's drake was two-thirds of the way through level 32, while Darth's pony was up six levels since his last visit to the animal trainer, on level 13. It was at that point that the first plonker of the day came riding along, a knight in the "Italians" guild, "mrok" by name, who, as well as enquiring after the Grand Red Dragon, took the time to dismount and kill our two Berserkers before riding off.  Peri did actually, in my haste to type, call him a "ploinker", which sounds even better somehow!

MrChuckNorris, my level 50 warmaster titan, and Rage (or more accurately "RAGE", all capitals), my level 60 ranger rogue, headed out to the Sphinx types, finding the place deserted, as it has tended to be lately - but it wasn't long before SugaRush turned up, in search of a few skill points.  Not that she could have got very many, as she didn't stay long.  I chatted with Ratel, mentioning MistressDomina's marathon yesterday, but it was only later when he switched to Thabitha that he discovered what I'd assumed he'd known about, the drop in experience freezing from 100% to 50%.  He was not pleased, as that does rather mess up his plans for a number of characters,

My next visitors were DEATHKNIGHT7000, an assassin-type rogue (so she was wielding twin blades, rather than a crossbow like mine), and an archer called BADHEALER, who it soon became clear was along as her "minder", killing any second Sphinx Fighters that got involved.  She soon got bored, and "mobbed" the Sphinx types, attracting around a dozen of them at a time, and inviting me to pick them off one at a time, which certainly speeded up my experience gain - though, I suppose because she'd been their initial target and was pretty high level, they didn't drop much.

Badhealer asked me what level I thought she was, and, knowing she was pretty high for around there, guessed level 90 - it wasn't exactly easy to tell as she was wearing armour with the Wild West style cover.  I wasn't too far out, she was level 96.  At my level she was fighting Screaming Zombies, she mentioned... well I have been there, but with the unreliability of Snare I can't say I fancy soloing them yet, and these joint outings with Chuck are more about levelling him up really.

After they left, who should appear, arriving cross-country rather than at the back end where people set their memory scrolls, but Ratel himself, escorting a level 40 archer called Chelsea..  They were doing okay fighting the Sphinx Fighters, but I messaged Ratel that, as long as Chelsea was at least level 40, I could transfer party leadership to Chuck, change the party to Combat, and team up with them.

So that's what we did.  Perhaps as they'd not arrived from the tent end, they tended to stay in the Sphinx types' respawning area, which was okay for Ratel and Rage, but a bit dangerous for Chelsea, who didn't have our armour level, and sometimes wasn't 100% alert, perhaps she was being distracted by a television in the room, or a cat in need of some attention.  She did die two or three times, but was using scrolls to avoid the bad side-effects.

We made a pretty efficient team, generally, with Ratel's (and Chuck's) buffs, Chelsea's Slow Shot and a bit of healing, and so on, and Ratel certainly kept going for at least half an hour beyond his usual log-out time.  But then he had to go, and Chelsea left soon afterwards; I changed the party back to Equal to give Chuck a little more of a boost, and went on for a few more minutes, until it was time for me to log out too.

Chuck had gone up by 31.49%, and Rage by 24.32%, so those are quite useful and substantial figures; they each added 19 skill points, while Rage's horse gained 2210 pet points.  It was time for me to get this blog sorted out - once I'd logged SirPerivale and SirDarth in for some more pet-levelling of course.  It looks as if Darth's pony should reach level 14 tonight; Peri's drake won't reach level 33, but should only be an hour or so away from that.  Let's hope that tomorrow morning things are running a bit more smoothly than they were today.

Yet Another "Maintenance" -  June 19th

After yesterday's problems in the morning, it was a relief to get SirDarth set up to level his drake nice and early.  SirPerivale had to wait a while, as the newer computer had decided last night that it had some updates to install that it didn't want to just do automatically - in fact I suspect that it was Vista Service Pack 2, which took a while to download and install.  Instead of restarting, since it had already taken me past my bedtime, I just switched off, so this morning it had some more processing of the updates to do, then a "reverting" when it got something wrong, and another installation... I went back to bed, but luckily when I next checked it had sorted itself out and was ready to play.

The first Pandora's Box of the day just dropped 10 Great Healing Potions, so that wasn't very exciting; Peri's drake reached level 33 fairly early on, and then around about coffee time Darth's pony reached level 16, and officially became a horse.  An hour or so later there was another Pandora's Box, but this one released a level 50 Beast, so Peri logged out, and MrChuckNorris rode down into Merac to Smite the interloper, which dropped 102,400 gold, which I think must be the maximum cash amount you get from them.  When Chuck logged in, there was a message that the uniform cover he'd had had expired, which suits me, it was an old armour set he no longer uses, so now it can be traded across to another character if needed.

Chuck went out to mine some stones, since Peri's drake is starting to get through them rather quickly, using 24 tool aids (and 24 pickaxes) to obtain 648 quality stones. Peri then replaced Darth on the older computer, and Chuck traded most of the stones across, before Peri left Randol to head back to Merac - keeping a few for expenses, of course.  As there wasn't really time to do anything adventurous before lunch, Kaerella then took a turn at mining, with 20 hammers and enough tool aids for the job. After using 19, she then started to mine an Ore Vein for assorted stones, to top up the supply of imperfect and flawed stones too.  In one of the waits for the Ore Vein to respawn (they only last ten minutes), she spotted a nearby Pandora's Box, and was rewarded with 10 medium mana potions - meaning she is now carrying 272 of them.

After lunch MistressDomina headed out to Prokion Temple, with a pssp at the ready, to start her half-speed progress up through the levels.  One thing I do tend to remember to do, though, before I actually start such boost-potions, is to kill one Orc Axeman, or Orc Sergeant, and see what the skill exp figure I get is - and this time it was double the regular amount, so presumably, though there was no mention of it in the "events" section of the Last Chaos website, the APAC "early happy hour" had been double skill exp, and they'd kindly forgotten to switch it off.

So, I settled in to enjoy the double skill points - which may not be as much as getting triple, but it saved me almost three pssps, so that can't be bad.  The session must have been almost three hours, and I stopped on 1001 skill points gained, along with 124.07% experience and 2438 pet points, which were enough to get MD's drake into level 29, so that the pet buff is now 14 levels of Armour Increase and 14 levels of increasing her magical attack power.

There was, while I was away for my food break and SirDarth was joined by SirPerivale on the pet-levelling again, an announcement saying that the European happy hour had ended, and when I got MistressDomina back to Prokion Temple again to check, the skill exp was indeed back to normal.  I didn't start a pssp right away, I wanted to wait until I'd got the last 7% of level 28 and reached level 29, but my hand was forced when I was around halfway there, when an announcement came up that a new two-hour maintenance was due to start at 11:00 am Pacific Time (7:00 pm in the UK), which was about 56 minutes away.  So, on the feeling that with any luck the shutdown wouldn't be incredibly prompt, I popped the pssp - and my last 50% psp too.

Once level 29 had been reached, so that MistressDomina was the same level as the Orc Sergeants, meaning that they gave the maximum 5500 skill exp each, it was time to get reckless, and use some of my hoard of skill point boosters - even if they do seem to sell for over a million each at the moment!  So, while I didn't use them on the level 27 Orc Axemen, each time I was fighting a Sergeant I activated one, for 77000 skill exp each - 7.7 skill points per kill.   By the time the session ended, MD had gone up 37.95%, added another 1079 pet points... and grabbed 1380 more skill points.

The disconnection came at about two minutes past the hour; although we had had warnings a few times earlier, I don't think there had been any announcements for the final twenty minutes, and there was no "servers are coming down in ten..." type announcement... so the first I knew was when the Orc Sergeant I was fighting stopped taking damage, which was a pity as I had got the skill point booster activated for him.  In all I'd used 137 skill point boosters in the 58 minutes, so that accounted for 1055 of the new skill points.

SirDarth also got disconnected of course, with his pet horse on level 18.  The new patch should, product manager Aeria_ks1lent informs us, fix some bugs with the guild system, such as people suddenly finding themselves no longer in their guild, or the notorious level 0 titan as a second guild master, and clean up the party system too, including people switching to a Combat party when there is more than a 10 level difference...which may mean that yesterday's 40-50-60 arrangement is no longer possible, we'll have to see.  "We are not 100% sure of all of the changes that will result in this patch so we need your help to figure it out", he concludes...

I headed for Guild Wars for a while, including getting a level 9 necromancer to the third mission starting base on the Factions starting island - Belle Raizor still hasn't died at all, I see.  I did the "Bog Beast of Bokku" quest along the way, the only ordinary quest on the island that a non-Factions character can complete.

Last Chaos was back up when I tried to log on at nine, so SirDarth was quickly back at his horse-levelling, and then MistressDomina, with a few minutes left on her pssp and psp, made a mad dash back to Prokion Temple, and was able to kill another eight Orc Sergeants, in a convenient room by the entrance, before the boosts expired.  I didn't stay long after that, as getting experience while the skill exp isn't boosted is a little bit counter-productive, but that brief foray added 1.51% and 58 skill points - seven sergeants giving 7.7 skill points each, the eighth giving just 2.2 as the pssp and psp ended at just the wrong moment, and probably four more just giving the standard .55, to clear my way out.

So, Darth did enough pet-levelling to get his horse safely into level 19, while MistressDomino went into merchant mode in Auzura-1 for a while - and after quickly selling a few moonstone boxes and pet colours, actually had someone buy the unmounted level 37 horse she has been carrying, for 395 million, making her rather a rich lady... at least, until I have to start buying level 75/77 healer armour, and I suppose either a level 73 or 77 bow.  It's a shame that it won't be possible to get Collector Ryu to change such things into their rogue equivalents afterwards, but I fear we have now outgrown his services.

SirPerivale logged on to fight a second Berserker alongside SirDarth, and got the drake he has charge of past the two-thirds mark in level 33.  I suppose, as he really does need just about all thirty levels of Armour Increase, the best idea would be for him to continue with the drake until Darth gets the new horse up to level 31, and then take over that one's care, while the drake is put somewhere safe until Rage is ready to take him over.  With the changes to experience freezing, it really doesn't look as if Darth is going to get lo level up through Prokion Temple for quite a while, so it will probably be worth upgrading Peri's armour a bit when the cover wears off.

Levelling Up  -  June 20th

SirDarth and SirPerivale both started their pet-levelling at an unusually early hour, especially for a Saturday morning.  I still had some stuff to do to prepare for my day out tomorrow, but a little while after coffee I decided to take my level 4 sorcerer, LordElpus, out to get those wolf teeth that Healer Yabo wants.  However, it seemed to me that the foxes and wolves were giving a rather more generous amount of skill experience than usual, so after a few minutes, and without getting all ten of those teeth. my sorcerer gracefully logged out.

This left the way clear for MistressDomina to head to Prokion Temple, and see whether there was an "event" running to boost the skill exp.  My favourite back room was already occupied, but I'd passed through the corridor-room which offers a home to a group of Orc Sergeants, and found it not being used, so I went back there, and tried a few Orcs.  With the 50% experience freeze, Soldiers gave 9485 experience and 8250 skill exp, Axemen gave 5777 experience and 6600 skill exp, and a level 25 Fighter from just around the corner gave 3594 experience and 4950 skill exp... all of which showed that we were getting a 50% bonus to skill exp.  It also shows that fighting monsters a few levels below you tends to give a better ratio of skill exp to experience, if one has the patience to level up more slowly.

Just a 50% bonus was a bit marginal, in MD's situation, but I decided since I was there to make use of it for an hour or so - and, while going up 41.52%, MistressDomina did gain 286 skill points, as well as 1220 pet points.  That takes her unused skill point total up to 17.5k, which is quite respectable, though not as many as Chuck has at the moment.  I see that Chuck is also ahead on the Norcaine listings of the number of guild points donated - 31,723, compared to her current 25,126.

It didn't seem worth staying in Prokion all afternoon, though, so Chuck and Rage headed out to the Sphinx types. in the hopes of getting a bit nearer to levels 51 and 61 respectively.  Valkyre came along and asked to do a bit of ks-ing, which was fine by me as she did some useful healing.  I tried to make sure that I targeted any monster that headed for her, if she happened to be a bit near to its spawning point, and was generally successful, though a Sphinx Fighter did spawn right on top of her while we were fighting the Elite Sphinx Speer Man and kill her rather quickly, once.

DEATHKNIGHT7000 did arrive after some time had passed, and while I did make the general suggestion that Val would get more experience partied with her, as I was sure she was within the party level range, she didn't follow through on that until a bit later, when another level 50 rogue, Cherry, was asking after a party.  Anyway, DeathKnight and Val did team up then, and seemed to be doing pretty well when I left.  By that time Chuck's percentage had passed Rage's again, as they were in an Equal party - he got 30.40% to Rage's 11.79%, they each got 19 skill points, and Rage's horse got 1392 pet points.

The evening session was really more of the same, for Chuck and Rage, sometimes done as a Combat party, and sometimes as an Equal one.  The new levels were starting to get close - and at last Chuck did manage to reach level 51.  It isn't a level for a new weapon, or any skills, but it does mean he could wear the shirt and pants of the 55/57 set, as well as the gloves...the only trouble is that they are still rogue items in Rage's inventory, with the school uniform covers on them - so we're waiting for the covers to expire before Chuck can have the items traded across to him.

It was a good session for level-ups, as, with the party set to Combat for a while, Rage reached level 61 a little later, which meant that she could now equip her new level 65 +15 Muderilruks Bow, and also the shirt and pants of her new "Methodical" set...which, thankfully, look okay with the school uniform boots.  Chuck had some bloodseal gems with him, as he has used his current armour in fighting so little that it hasn't qualified for a full set of seals, so Rage was able to add quite a few seals to the newly-equipped items, including, thankfully, a "37 hit rate" seal for the crossbow.

Rage's horse also reached a new level - level 36, so the pet is now in the final level before it will be transferred across where needed, at which point Rage will get the drake that Peri is working on - which will only be a level or two lower, and hopefully won't get stuck as often as the horse does when it attempts to pick up loot.

A rogue called Albatross1 arrived after a while; she can't be very high level, she did an awful lot of running away, it seemed to me.  I only had to take a second attacker off her once, and she even fought the Elite and survived, though that took quite a time.  SugaRush put in a brief appearance, before, er, rushing off.

The evening session gave Rage 21.10% and Chuck 25.28%, plus 31 skill points for Rage and 30 for Chuck, with Rage's horse gaining 1961 pet points, so hopefully four or five more such sessions will get them to 62 and 52, and able to wear the boots and headgear of the new armour sets too.  I'm fairly sure that Rage's school uniform covers will have worn off by then.

And then the day finished with a little more gentle pet levelling.  SirDarth's horse was, the last time I looked, set to reach level 22 before log-out time, and I'd estimate that SirPerivale's drake should be past the two-thirds point of level 34 by then too.

Just a Few Hours  -  June 21st

As expected, it was gone six in the evening, UK time, when I finally got logged on - and that was for a little pet-levelling with SirDarth and SirPerivale while I got myself some food.  My newer computer had decided that it needed a second crack at some of those updates, which held things up for a few minutes, but apparently this time Internet Explorer 8 did succeed in setting itself up.  Peri did open a Pandora's Box as soon as he arrived at the Berserker spot - it spat out a level 50 Pandora's Beast, but luckily it was over on the far side of the clearing, and didn't attack its liberator, so my two knights were able to continue unmolested while I ate.

Once I was able to log him in, my titan MrChuckNorris rode down and dealt with the Beast without any difficulty, using Smite to stun it; his reward was 47,200 gold.  After that he headed off to Dratan and the Sphinx Fighters, where he was soon joined by Rage.

After a long day, I was a bit too tired to really throw myself into it, but, aided by Chuck's buffs, Rage managed to kill quite a few of the local Sphinx types.  I'd seen TinySickNinja back in Dratan City, along with Succubus2, and they seemed to be arranging to do a TrueGamers guild monster combo party... however, it wasn't long before Succubus2 made an appearance at the Sphinx Fighters, though she didn't do any fighting that I saw, just mentioning that she didn't have a weapon.  There was a mage fighting there, no more than level 35, and she teamed with the TrueGamers member DivaRoza, an archer, for a while.  Oh yes, and SugaRush did turn up eventually, she can't keep away...

So, it wasn't a very long session, and it wasn't very intense; Rage just went up 5.60%, and Chuck 14.08%, while they each added 12 skill points, and Rage's horse added 649 pet points.

I'm afraid the normal-time Quiz was a bit of a non-event for me; I got MistressDomino and Kaerella there ready in good time, but I wasn't watching the screen, and the questions actually started pretty much on time - which meant that suddenly I respawned back in the middle of Randol.  So, as I was feeling a bit tired, I just logged SirDarth and SirPerivale back in.

JadaMarie reported that she got the tool aids, but got the question about GMKrash and the "Pharaoh's Treasure" event wrong.  Ratel did get all the way, but they apparently asked a "question 11" twice, and stopped on "question 19", so he, and apparently everyone else who got that far, only got five heaven stones, not the fifteen one has normally been given for getting to the end.  I had seen someone a few days ago saying that the Quiz in future would only give five, so it seemed possible that this was deliberate...but actually, the Quiz was ever so slightly broken, we soon discovered.

A double upgrade-chance event was announced for nine o'clock, UK time, for half an hour, so that, combined with the shortage of new heaven stones, made for rather high HS prices.  I had logged SirDarth and SirPerivale back in for pet-levelling, but Peri gave way to Rage again, after Ratel had reported the high prices, and she took some heaven stones out of her storage, since she had plenty there.  People were trying to sell them for as much as 7 million each, but Rage went into merchant mode with 24 at 5 million each - and sold 16 of them before she had to log out.  Adding 80 million gold like that really boosts her cash total, I must say.

The reason she had to log out was that an announcement came up, "Due to an issue with the number of questions given during the quiz, a retest will be given at 1:30 pst."  So, it was time to get back to the Quiz room, and to try to be a bit more alert this go-round!  Ratel of course had already logged out for the night by then, but those of us who were still online were able to get back into the Quiz room.  Luckily the questions were the ones we are starting to know the answers to... I can't say that I really know the answer to whether a certain teleporter NPC is in Lust Trum or the Temple of Forgetfulness, but after the previous week I do at least know that standing on the "X" side for that one gets you kicked out.

Just about everyone in the Auzura-3 Quiz room survived right the way through to question 22, so we were able to leave happy.  Kae traded across her moonstones and heaven stones to MistressDomino, who may well be attempting to sell such things in a day or two, and then they both logged out - and my two pet-levelling knights logged in again.

So, we had our excitements, they just didn't come from fighting.  Darth's horse will have got at least half the way through level 22 by the time he logs out; Peri's drake is making good progress through level 34, but will still need another 90 minutes tomorrow to reach 35, I think.

A Bonus Underused  -  June 22nd

SirDarth and SirPerivale started the day nice and early, as has become their habit; when Peri arrived at the Berserkers, there were so few Bandits and Berserkers around that I wondered if I was losing my connection, but then I saw a couple of players who had gathered all the local residents into a mob, and were fighting them over at the far side of the clearing.  What my side did have was a level 50 Pandora's Beast - so Chuck got an early call to come down and deal with it, gaining 89,600 gold for his trouble.  It was strange that the other two players hadn't fought it, if they could handle such a big mob of Bandits, a single Beast could have been managed, I'd have thought.

Later in the morning there was enough time for MistressDomina to head for Prokion Temple.  The first "test" killing of an orc Sergeant in my favourite back room showed that the 50% extra skill exp was still running, but I decided that I'd use a pssp for a 200% bonus anyway, as I didn't want to waste the rest of level 29 on getting a lower amount of skill points than it could give me.  So, the pssp's hour gave me 564 skill points, which wasn't bad as the last third of it was after I'd levelled up to level thirty, and was therefore getting less skill exp per kill - down from 16500 skill exp for a Sergeant (or 13200 for an Axeman) to 14850 (or 11550).  I did as usual stay for a few more minutes, and the total number of skill points gained reached 632, alongside 42.39% experience, and 1154 pet points.

Reaching level thirty meant that MD could now, once she was back in town, learn the new skills for that level - the fourth and final level of my favourite skill, Flame Storm, increasing its "power" from 195 to 260 (its percentage of an ordinary weapon attack), plus all five levels of Nova Break, an attack with a power rating of 510, though applying only to one target, unlike Flame Storm's up to six...and Spell Focus, which increases its target's magical hit rate by 10 for five minutes.  So, that was quite a serious expenditure of sp - but MistressDomina still ended the morning with 90 more of them than she started out with.

After Darth, who'd kept busy while MD was at work, and Peri had a suitably busy lunch break, it was time for - well, a short outing for LordElpus again, to make use of the 50% extra skill exp just a tiny bit.  He did at least complete that Wolf Tooth quest, and reached level five.  I then briefly switched to MistressSabina, and put LordElpus, and the other characters of mine in her guild, onto 50% experience donation.

So, that was a very small use of the skill exp bonus, but after that it was time for Rage and Chuck to head out to the Sphinx types, where there isn't very much skill exp to apply that 50% bonus to.  By the time that my food break came along, Rage had added 12.53%, and Chuck had nabbed 16.41%; Rage had got 19 skill points to Chuck's 17, mainly I think because some of her kills were out of range of him.  Rage's pet horse had added 1145 pet points.  There was a knight who was around briefly, and took a rather long time to kill the Elite Speer Man while I kindly removed the other Fighters and Speer Men that respawned too near him, but my main companion was the mage Wortex, who asked me to leave the Sphinx Fighter nearest to the tents for her - so I did.

The evening session was slightly delayed while I struggled unsuccessfully to get the online backup service "Carbonite" installed, but then the dynamic duo returned to the Sphinx types. The rogue Albatross1 was the main other player, and seemed to do pretty well, running a three-hour Blessed Iris.  I see she has a white dragon, which makes a pretty dramatic way to make an entry or exit.

Ratel was in Maargadum Jail tonight, though I did mention that it would be best not to grind there too much at the moment, as there is a distinct probability that the place's monsters could get their skill exp boosted before long, to get more in line with Prokion Temple,  He was chatting with a level 40-ish rogue there who was talking about joining Norcaine, but she might just have been joking.  Is there really a level 20 guild out there that has been just about abandoned?  It would take an awful lot of skill points and guild points, and gold, to get that far, and there really doesn't seem to be any benefit to going beyond about level 11 with a guild.

By the end of the session, with the Combat party running, Chuck had gained just 9.43%, but Rage had added 20.60% - Chuck is still nearer to his next level. though he is still relying on  Rage's old armour having its cover wear off before he can change to his new titan armour, after Collector Ryu has done his work, so he is not entirely in a hurry yet.  Rage had added 23 skill points to Chuck's 22, due to sometimes having to fight out of range of him, and Rage's horse added another 1434 pet points...so the horse isn't 30% of the way through level 36 yet.

That horse is still ahead of the replacement drake for Rage that Peri is working on, which should end the day about halfway through level 35, but the gap is closing fast.  Once they are both level 36, they may as well be swapped over, and then Peri will be able to finish getting that horse to level 37, to be a suitably deluxe mount.  Perhaps Peri might get a little time off after that, waiting for Darth's current horse to reach level 31, so that it will be able to give him the maximum Armour Increase buff, which Peri does need if he is to fight Berserkers... Darth got the horse to level 25, just on ten o'clock this evening UK time.

The March Towards 62   -  June 23rd

There was the usual relatively early start for SirDarth and SirPerivale, whose costume-cover hasn't disappeared yet.  Peri vanished for a while when I was struggling to follow the instructions from Carbonite to finally get the service up and running, and had a problem over part of the lunch break too. If the Berserker moves in a certain direction and gets a tree in the way, I can get an "attack blocked" message, so that my knight stops attacking, and no more pet points get earned... though of course the pet still stands around getting hungry.

I was just doing a little calculation, and my best estimate is that taking a pet from the start of  level 31 to the start of level 37 should take approximately 65 hours - 65,278 pet points, which Darth or Peri do seem to get through at around a thousand per hour.  As they are both only level 22, the pet does get pretty hungry, starting at 12 quality stones per hour and finishing at 19.2, so that in all 1,035 quality stones would be used, just to "upgrade" a horse from the minimum mount level to the fully-featured version...

MistressDomina did get along to Prokion Temple in the morning.  Unfortunately her favourite back room was occupied, by someone pretty speedy judging by the amount of loot on the floor, so I had to go to my second choice, the "corridor room", which doesn't have as many Orcs in it per square foot, but does have a better ratio of Sergeants to Axemen.  So, with no skill exp bonus visible when I killed my first Orc, I started a pssp, and set to work. 

In all, the hour brought in 483 skill points, despite my best efforts to gather mobs and use Flame Storm on them, not as many points as the back room would have given me I'm sure.  I stayed on afterwards long enough to get up to a total of 542 skill points, which got MistressDomina back to the number she'd had before investing in the level 30 skills.  38.72% was the experience gained, still with a 50% "freeze" on experience gain, plus 1329 pet points.

A passing healer did top up my health, which was a kind thought but not needed, but otherwise I didn't see anyone until a titan called SlayerProx arrived, and decided to share the room.  Luckily I'd finished the pssp by then, or that would have been annoying.  His English seemed rather limited, so there was no point in telling him off.  He was taking a rest by the wall when I left.  It was time for lunch, so it was a matter of logging MD out, and logging Peri back in.

After moving various things over to MistressDomino, it was time for Rage and MrChuckNorris to head out for the Sphinx types.  Wortex and Valkyre were teamed up, which seemed an excellent idea; DEATHKNIGHT7000 was also around for some of the time, though it hardly seems an appropriate name for a rogue...particularly one wearing the white "bride's dress" costume cover!

It wasn't a hugely long session, as I finished a little early to move some more loot around, mainly passing sets of the level 55/57 armour over to some of my mule characters... though sets without boots of course since those are so rare, not dropping from the Sphinx Fighters and Speer Men at all.  At least they'll look relatively high-level while in town.  But Rage added 9.95%, while Chuck added 4.55%, since it was a Combat party again; they each got 7 skill points, while Rage's horse gained a final 696 pet points...a final number of pet points as Rage's pet anyway.

During a slightly extended food break, with SirDarth and SirPerivale back in action, Peri at last got the drake to level 36, so Peri and Rage were able to exchange pets - a level 36 horse for a level 36 drake.  Rage put 30 stat points into Armour Increase, and the other 5 into Increased Power - the way that the Elite Sphinx Speer Man hits, the more armour the better.

The evening session was much like the afternoon one.  The rogue CHERRY was there to start with, and left only to come back as a level 41 titan called Ayax - or "ayax" rather.  XShadowKnight did suggest moving across to the Tomb, but that isn't my plan, unless I get into a good team, until Rage reaches level 62...and preferably Chuck reaches 52.  A level 38 specialist sorcerer called tokata96 tried a Sphinx Fighter, using his "red devil" form, and had to retreat to the grassy equivalent of a wall and ask me to kill it.  He wanted to party, but as he'd have been capped, I had to refuse - he might not have got a full share of experience, but I'd have lost that share.  I offered to let him "ks", ie attack my targets from outside the party, but after a couple he decided to leave, he can't have got much experience that way either I guess.  And just before I left, a rather rude rogue called Pofeiner arrived, coming up behind me just as I was lining up the Elite again, and when we both attacked it saying "dont ks"...not the way to win friends and influence people.

Chuck had been slightly further through his level at the start of the session, but Rage started to draw ahead as the time passed, and by the end of the evening was 5% ahead of Chuck - she added 22.93%, while he added 10.59%.  They each got 18 skill points, and Rage's new level 36 drake got 1668 pet points.  The drake certainly didn't seem to get stuck when picking items up the way the horse used to, so that's an improvement.  Another couple of sessions like today's and both Rage and Chuck ought to get their new levels.

So, after that SirDarth went back out into Merac to the usual Berserker group, and soon got his horse up to level 27.  This particular level should take about six hours, as it needs 6147 pet points.  Peri wasn't able to join him, though, as Chuck went to Auzura-1 to try to sell some of the recent loot drops, level 55/57 armour and level 53 weapons - rogue and knight items this time.  Usually we'd just put them up in the merchant house system at slightly above the price the NPC geres would offer, but as that option isn't available to use at present, a bit of personal selling is needed.  Chuck, mounted on his horse, quickly sold four items for 1,650,000 gold, which was useful.

I ignored the announcements for the "Mad Monster Spawn" today, as I don't really have a character who (a) wouldn't lose anything by dying, and (b) needs experience without any skill exp gain.  Before they changed the experience "freeze" from 100% to 50% it was different, a nice source of a few guild points for MistressSabina, but she doesn't want to find herself halfway through level 30 without any more skill points.  Maybe in a few weeks I'll think of something, or at least have a fairly high-level character who doesn't die too easily when level 140 type monsters are on the prowl, but hey, the rewards one may pick up there aren't really much greater than what one picks up in a day of ordinary fighting...

Levelling Up, Times Four  -  June 24th

SirDarth and SirPerivale made their usual early start, and, as I was busy away from the World of Iris, had a full morning's uneventful work.  An archer called m3ltd0wn did drop by and kill Darth and Peri's Berserkers, but when I commented that "ks-ing is naughty", replied that so was afk pet-levelling...but as I obviously wasn't away from the keyboard, she apologised.

Things got rather more dramatic at around one o'clock, when I checked up on the screens and found that SirPerivale was dead.  There was a similar window on Darth's screen too, but that was a Friend application from a level 22 rogue called TheLeesT... Darth was being attacked by the Pandora's Beast that had killed Peri and his horse, but by running like heck towards town, and unequipping his drake, managed to survive.  The drake was down to 13% health by then, so it was a narrow squeak.  I don't know if it was TheLeesT or somebody else who had opened the Box and released the Pandora's Beast, but you can't really blame them.

Chuck logged in and came down to kill the Beast, which dropped 66,400 gold - which is at least something to put against the 317,520 gold that the Animal Trainer charged to "unseal" Peri's pet.  I do wish, after paying all that money, that one's pet was returned to life with more than 30% health, but when pet-levelling one generally hopes that there are going to be no more attacks before the next level is reached, and the health returns to 100%.

For the afternoon session, MistressDomina headed to Prokion Temple.  My favourite back room was in use when I arrived, so I went back to the "corridor room", and kept busy there.  I used a ssp (100% boost) and an sp (15%), so that, at level thirty, the Orc Sergeants gave me 9011 experience and 10642 skill exp, and the Orc Axemen 4814 and 8277, and in the hour the boosts lasted added 354 skill points, which, given that that room isn't over-endowed with respawning Orcs, seemed pretty good to me.

Once the hour was up, I went to check on my favourite room, and found it quiet, so quickly started a pssp (200% boost) and an sp, so that now the skill exp per kill was 15592 per Sergeant, and 12127 per Axeman.  Unfortunately, I hadn't noticed that two members of the "WhiteRabbits" guild were actually in the room, wall-hugging in corners: Gotrek, a knight, and Ethlinde, a healer.  When they returned from their brief afk-ness, I had to... hang on a moment, they never did return, to my puzzlement and relief.  It's a bit bad to hang around like that, if I'd seen them I probably wouldn't have risked starting a "power hour", and that room's supply of Orcs would have been wasted.

So, I mobbed the Orcs with gusto, and at about the halfway point MistressDomina reached level 31 - so now the Orc Sergeants gave 8536 experience and 13860 skill exp, and the Orc Axemen gave 3851 and 10395.  Still, the whole hour yielded 524 skill points, and a few odd extra ones brought the afternoon's total up to 888, along with 54.98% experience and 1833 pet points for MD's drake.

Archeon had messaged me, asking me to log on as Rage and read the NefariousShadows guild's GM Message, so that's what I did next - he had decided to merge the guild, or its membership, into a different one, DreamingRequiem, founded by one of Katar's top players apparently.  Archie's knight character Acheron was already over in the new guild, so Archeon was able to kick me from the old guild, after which Acheron was able to recruit me into DreamingRequiem.  Acheron is a Guild Adviser - confusingly the refugee from Katar, the guild master, is also called Acheron, with a slightly different decoration of "xx" on each side.  XxAcheronxX is the guild master, and xXAcheronXx my old companion.

I've never seen a guild with so many people online, which is a good sign I guess; at the moment Rage, at level 61, seems to be their highest level member, but no doubt that will change, XxAcheronxX has bought a large supply of experience boosters and intends to be high-level by the end of next week.  For myself, my plan once Rage is level 62, and Chuck is 52, has been to work on Kaerella a bit, but that depends on what party opportunities come along.

MistressDomina logged back in long enough to visit the Mage skill trainer, and become a wizard officially - which increases her health and mana supplies nicely, though she has to reach level 32 to be able to learn the first wizard skills.  Her stat points are now redistributed, with 12 each in constitution and dexterity, as a couple of the new skills will need those levels, with the remaining points in intelligence.  I noticed that her carrying power is slightly increased by choosing her new occupation, her inventory's weight went down from 71.92% to 67.78%...

Peri logged back in to join Darth at the Berserkers, for the food break.  The final level for Peri's horse is a long one, with 8 food points being used every five minutes, so that 100 to 0 on the starvation bar only takes 62 minutes, but, apart from the earlier problems, all was proceeding according to plan.

The evening was another long session out at the Sphinx types for Rage and Chuck, and a successful one, kept interesting by plenty of chat on Rage's guild channel...while Chuck was being told of Ratel's latest exploits too, apparently he gave that fat old spider-boss Baal a good kicking.  I generally had the place to myself; a royal knight called "mujakedinoo" briefly visited to kill the Elite once and a few others, a rather lower level one, SirNathan2004, rather more carefully cut out the occasional Sphinx Fighter, and the mage Wortex arrived a few minutes before I left.  For most of the time it was a Combat party, but when Rage was approaching her new level, rather ahead of Chuck, I changed it over to Equal, which was handy as both XxAcheronxX and another new guildie, Galldora, joined for solo party purposes.

Rage reached level 62, and was able to put on the hood and boots of the Methodical set at last; she beamed back to Dratan City for some bloodseal gems, and we concentrated on getting Chuck to level 52, though his new armour set isn't quite available for him yet.  So, our missions were accomplished; Rage had gone up 21.97% and 21 skill points, Chuck had gone up 24.64% and 20 skill points, and Rage's drake had added 1896 pet points.

After that it was just a matter of returning Darth and Peri to Merac and their Berserkers.  Lilwonderer contacted Darth to warn him that "someone called ToBeDeleteSoon" might well try to kill his Berserker...ah well, it won't be the first time, there's not really a lot I can do to stop that sort of thing.  By the end of the evening, Darth's horse had moved on to level 29, thus returning to full health - and Peri's horse soon afterwards at last reached the full level 37, which brought events to a satisfactory conclusion, I think.  It's not every day that three characters, and a horse, reach such significant new levels, after all.

Death in the Tomb -  June 25th

I hope SirDarth didn't feel too lonely going out to Merac alone this morning, while SirPerivale stayed at home in bed, reading the morning newspaper over a refreshing cup of tea and, no doubt, listening to the radio.  Darth worked through the morning - he only got someone killing his Berserker once, a specialist sorcerer whose name I didn't catch.

"Ks-ers, sigh..." I commented, as I waited for a convenient Berserker to respawn.   "Tell me about it", SirRenDippety responded, as he'd been nearby and also deprived of his Berserker.

"I thought you were generally on level 5 of the Jail?"

"Normally", Sir Ren agreed, "but there's a ks-er down there.  He's decided not to let me pet-level, even follows me from server to server."

"Some people are strange", I commented.

"Claims it's not ks-ing", he went on.  "Okay, time to find somewhere new..."

"Good luck."

"Oh, and watch out for ToBeDeleteSoon."

Rage logged in a little later, to do some afk mining, as her stocks of stones was getting a little low.  I made the mistake of ignoring a "friends" request from XxSneakxX, assuming it would just be somebody asking for gold, only to discover too late that it was a fellow guildie, but luckily she logged back on later and I was able to get in touch, and chat a bit.  A generous type, Ash, she passed me 300 of the "perfect stones" to help me on the pet-feeding front.

So, SirDarth continued levelling his horse, which reached level 30 by lunchtime, and Rage continued mining... and then after lunch Darth moved over to the older computer, and MistressDomina headed for Prokion Temple.

The back room on the Auzura-3 subserver was occupied, and the corridor room had someone using a group of three Orc Axeman just off one end, which MD usually relies on as part of her mob - so she, and Darth to provide a reliable solo party, moved across to Auzura-4's version of the place, which was substantially quieter as usual, so that the room was available.  Starting a pssp and an sp again for a 215% boost, MistressDomina settled in to do some mad mob-gathering and Flame Storming, and by the time the two boosts flickered out had added exactly 500 skill points.  She continued on for just a few more kills to get her unused sp total up to a nice round 19.6k, so the total gain for the session was 512 skill points, and just 23.18% experience, so probably three more sessions like that ought to be possible, if I can get enough platinum super skill pills out of skill boxes.  MD's drake added 993 pet points, too.

After that, for a more relaxing time, my level five sorcerer LordElpus went to visit the foxes and wolves.  I can report that, with 50% experience gain freezing, at that level he got (while in a solo party with Darth) 5 (which is approximately 0.18%) experience and 825 skill exp from a level one fox, but just 3 and 330 from a deer; a level two wolf gave 11 and 962, a level three elder wolf gave 18 and 1100, a level four dire wolf gave 28 and 1237, and a level six berserk wolf gave 56 and 1567... so if one stays with the low-level types, one's store of skill points does start to rise.  Elpus did reach level six at the end of the session, so I can also report that foxes went down to 4/687 (the 4 being about 0.07% of the new level, though sometimes I got just 2 instead of 4), deer to 2/275, wolves to 9/825, elder wolves to 15/962, and dire wolves to 27/1100. while berserk wolves, now the same level as LordElpus, stayed at 56 experience, and moved up to 1650 skill exp.

LordElpus did go back to town and spend his first 50 skill points on assorted level five skills, and is thus now able to summon a fire elemental, or an earth elemental, though how one gets them to do anything useful I'm sure I have no idea...

After the food break Kaerella made an experimental trip back to the Tomb of Theos, taking Rage along, five levels her junior, to provide a Combat party boost, the way Chuck had been doing for Rage.  The place was, however, a bit crowded; a level 33 specialist sorcerer called "dethknight" got himself into trouble for ks-ing one group - I didn't mind when he ks'd me, though, I was glad of the assistance!  He died rather a lot of times, though he didn't seem to mind.

After some general all-together fighting against the zombies, I got invited into a group with the level 56 royal knight Miatet, the level 60 wizard ZodiacKiller, and the assassin Stealhassasin, and, despite my usual misgivings, before long we were running down to the Anubis Spear Men and the Tomb's more powerful Sphinx Fighters.  The specialist sorcerer Ranveer fought alongside us, though he must have been too low-level to avoid being capped if he had been in the party; towards the end the level 70 royal knight lilDmarvelous came down and joined us, and it seemed that Miatet lost his connection not long after.  We didn't continue long after that, as our new knight was having computer trouble, with his view spinning around, and had to log out; we rather thought he was intending to return to us, but we didn't see him again.

We did kill a few Fighters, and even a few Spear Men, though they did take a while - and if, despite the Concentration buff, Steal's Snare failed, then it was quite likely that one of us would die.  I only died once, I thought I'd reached the safety of the wall, but the Spear Man disagreed!  The others, I'd say, tended to die a bit more often.

When the party dissolved I ran back to the start, and killed one more Screaming Zombie solo - which got my experience gain for the adventure up to 14.33%, plus 493 pet points, but against such high-level foes no skill points of course.  Rage had logged out after Kae and the others headed down from the Zombie area, to be replaced on the older computer by Darth; her moral support in the Combat party had earned her 2.39%

So, there was time for LordElpus to continue his skill point gathering, concentrating on the foxes still; I did get a couple more of the valuable fox tails, plus moonstone boxes and a heaven stone.  A level 14 sorcerer called Sorcerer7 kindly decided to train me up a bit, though I said that I was really aiming to collect skill points mainly.  "Don't worry, you'll get plenty of both" was the response.  He certainly moved me along, by fighting sasquatch and werewolves, and even an elder werewolf or two; somehow he managed to make his fire spirit do most of the job!  But when he tried a Blood Wolf, well, that was a step too far, he wasn't watching his own health carefully enough, and like many another player of about that level, got a free trip back to town to respawn.

I thanked him for the boost, and he left the party.  He'd moved LordElpus up about half a level, and I managed to finish the job of getting to level seven.  The foxes are blue-named now, but still give 1 experience and 550 skill exp - wolves are 6/687, elder wolves are 12/825, dire wolves are 22/962, and berserk wolves are now 53/1485.  After spending all the 50 skill points from before, Elpus now had a new 32 of them to invest wisely.  If he managed to go through the whole of his new level on foxes, that would certainly build up his supply of skill points...

By the time he logs out, SirDarth should have got his horse up to level 31, for the maximum armour-increasing buff, so it's entirely possible that tomorrow that horse may get passed to Peri, after a rather shorter vacation for him than I'd expected.  Hmm, maybe Darth could level up the pet drake LordElpus has acquired a bit, at the moment it's only about halfway through its first level.

A Quieter Afternoon -  June 26th

SirDarth passed the level 31 horse across to SirPerivale early in the morning, but Peri couldn't go out and start levelling it then, as Stavanic had asked to borrow the +13 shield yesterday, and hadn't had a chance to return it.  He'd wanted some extra protection for a visit to Ratel's old adversary, the spider-boss Baal.  So, it was just Darth on pet-levelling duty in the morning, LordElpus passed his new hatchling over for some tender loving care - and got it back after lunch on level eight, with 100% Sympathy, and thus able to give seven levels of pet buff, quite useful at Elpus's level.  With the +5 shield and defence-improving rather than hit rate accessories equipped, Darth's physical defence is 990, which is just about enough to fight Berserkers with.

There was time in the morning for MistressDomina to have another "power hour" in Prokion Temple, though I had to locate some skill boxes and trade them across to her first.  Out of ten boxes, I got four platinum super skill pills, two super skill pills, one effort scroll, and three five-packs of skill point boosters, which I thought a pretty good result.  MD will use the pssps first, and then use the ssps after that...by that time she'll be in level 32, and so gaining less skill exp per kill.

So, today's pssp-using hour gave MistressDomina 483 skill points, with the entire session giving 486 - there wasn't really any point in staying around without a boost.  The experience gain was 22.33%, with MD still set to divert half her experience gain to Norcaine, and her drake added 959 pet points as well.  It's great to get her over the 20k mark for unused experience points, though that will fall a bit once she reaches her next level.

There was a general moving around of loot to MistressDomino, my merchant character, which delayed the start of the afternoon fighting, and in the end I decided on something nice and restful - my level seven sorcer LordElpus, fighting foxes and wolves.  It was fairly slow going, slowed down further by me not giving things total attention as I had some downloading to do, but eventually I got the 32 skill points I'd started with up to the 65 needed for the fifth and final level of the passive skill Cursed Soul, which increased LordElpus's magic attack from 127 to 137.  More skill points will be needed to beef up his summoned fire and earth elementals, but one thing at a time!  By the end of the session my sorc was almost halfway through his level.

There was just time for SirDarth to take a pan flute to Lorraine, and then on to Jajan in Dratan, before the early evening food break; Darth took his new pony on to Merac, and his favourite Berserker, and started it on its rather lengthy training regime.

Before long, a Pandora's Box appeared, nudging against our two heroes, practically.  As it was so close, to be safe I logged Darth out and Chuck in, but when he opened the box, he only had to take the money, a drop of 20,000 gold.  It occurred to me though that I could have just moved one knight safely away in such circumstances, and let the other one open the Box, only calling on Chuck if a level fifty beast was released... so when another Box turned up a few minutes later, that was what I did...and of course this time a Beast was released, so, after making sure to draw it away from where Darth and his pony had retreated to, Peri logged out, and Chuck rode down to the rescue, with the Beast dropping 41,600 gold for him.

For the evening, Kaerella dared to venture into the Tomb of Theos again, though without Rage - it was simpler, and cheaper, just to have a solo party with SirDarth, as he worked on his new pony.  I tried a few Screaming Zombies solo; I ought really to do a proper "power hour" or two with a platinum blessed iris, individual experience boosters, a crit potion, and maybe a power potion too, which adds 100 to one's physical attack, and 95 to physical defence, for an hour - and some magic buffs too if one is that type of character!  With SirFrancis, my drake, equipped, Kae's physical defence is 1789 at present, but any extra would be welcome, the zombies do hit hard.  Kae is well off for the crit type potions (which increase the chance of a critical hit), but only had two power potions in her inventory...so when a special offer was announced for the 5-pack of them, which cost 229 aeria points, so that buying one pack got not just one but two free packs, i couldn't resist.

But somehow the time didn't seem right, there were too many people around, so I just fought normally, aided for a while by a level 36 temple knight called LordAshrum, though at that level he had to fight outside the party.  I noticed that he had triggered an experience booster, but to get the benefit of one of those you have to land the killing blow, and a level 36 character, well, just doesn't hit hard enough to kill a zombie, they regenerate health too quickly. We tried, with me getting a zombie or two down low and then wall-hugging, but it didn't work, and after a while he went off to join some guildies in Merac.  He was back in the Tomb later in a party with them, I noticed...

My main and official team-up was with the level 60, and later level 61, rogue DAREDEVILRO - whose English wasn't the most fluent I've come across, but I expect the "RO" stands for Romania.  She did die a couple of times; you just can't rely on an archer's healing powers down there, a zombie hits about four times as hard as I can heal.  The second time was unlucky, we managed to kill our zombie, though DD's health was pretty low - but before I could heal her, she stepped back into a loose zombie that someone else had lured and then been unable to deal with.

Generally DD would lure a Screaming Zombie, or occasionally a level 101 Infected Grey Mummy, which gives slightly more experience, but more importantly moves nice and slowly, though you do have to get past the first zombie spawning area to get to them.  To begin with she'd use Snare then, but settled into a routine of keeping that for later, so she'd attack her target, run back, and I'd use Slow Shot on it.  Usually it would keep its murderous intent on DD, so that I could keep filling it with arrows..hopefully I could keep Slow Shot active most of the time, so DD could retreat, turn and fire in the traditional manner.

Well, that was the evening session.  Kae went up by 27.60%, and SirFrancis added 977 pet points.  SirDarth got the new pony up to level eight by the end of the evening, and SirPerivale, who logged on for an hour or so after Kae had finished, got that particular horse past the 50% make in level 31.  Kaerella's school uniform cover expired, which wasn't important as she'd not melded it to her armour, and had just worn it a time or two in town; I wonder how long Peri's has left to run?  For convenience, it does look as if it would be a good idea to replace the +1 extra it gave his armour pieces with a permanent extra plus, courtesy of lucky smelting stones, so that he can continue to visit the Berserkers when his pet is level 31 or above.  Those Butchers back up the hill just die too quickly...

Zooming Up -  June 27th

SirDarth did his usual fine work, levelling his pony from before breakfast, and SirPerivale was on duty too.  Luckily Peri's school uniform cover hasn't expired yet - but MistressDomina's has, which, like Kae's, was no big deal as it was never melded to armour, and just worn in town a time or two.  It just means four inventory slots are cleared out, which is mildly useful.  It would have been good to have the extra +1 on MD's armour, but not really practical as it would have stopped me trading the armour across to MistressSabina occasionally for her to use.

More importantly, Rage's old armour's cover expired too,, so that her old set could now be traded across to MrChuckNorris, and turned into a rather better level of titan armour than he has been wearing in recent weeks.

Still, the first item on the agenda was to try to get MistressDomina to our favourite back room in Prokion Temple.  As Saturday can be rather busier, I didn't even try Auzura-3, instead Darth hopped across to Auzura-4 to provide the solo party, and MD went to that version of the Temple.  It was certainly a lot busier than usual, and the "corridor room" was already in use, but I was relieved to find "my" room vacant, and, after the usual check on what skill exp an Orc gave, in case there was an event-style boost going on, the platinum super skill pill was double-clicked, and the "power hour" begun.

The hour gave me 473 skill points, which the brief "top and tail" increased to 476, getting MistressDomina's total of unused skill points up over 20.5k; 21.87% experience indicates that the next such hour is liable to get MD up to 99% of the way through level 31, so I'll probably just continue for a few minutes so that the level 32 skills, including new levels of alchemy and armour and weapon crafting, can be acquired after that.  I make it 1630 skill points in all I'll be spending; the new attack skill is Terra Spear, which sends a spike of rock up from the ground through your target and has a 550% "power" rating, while on the passive side there's Staff Mastery, which increases a wizard's magical attack by 35 (MD's stat for that is currently 518), and Mana Barrier, which increases close-range physical evasion by 25 (MD's stat for physical evasion is 318, though she has some of the close range variety on top of that).

The hour also brought one heaven stone, one large attack potion, and eight moonstone boxes, as well as minor items and a little gold. Prokion Temple is certainly a good place for farming, if you're the right level for the Orcs there.

After that it was time to log SirPerivale back in; his horse had reached level 32 earlier, so we are past the convenient time when the hunger points go down five at a time, needing just one quality stone every five minutes.  For this level and the next, it will be six hunger points every five minutes, so Peri's stock of quality stones, currently 570, will start to fall more rapidly.

The afternoon session involved Chuck getting his new armour, which, along with the level 57 weapon he won't be able to use until he levels up again, cost 1,780,600 gold to get transformed, and then heading for the sphinx types - after remembering to buy some bloodseal gems from Geres.  Rage went along too, to provide a Combat party bonus - and, as it is awkward for a melee character there to just get one Sphinx Fighter or Speer Man at a time, ended up doing some luring, using a couple of arrows to attract one, and then ignoring it while Chuck used his sword, and the Smite skill.

Luckily, the level 39 cleric Greengem593 arrived before too long, so Chuck left Rage and partied with her, as she could do most of the luring, with Chuck doing most of the hitting, if he could catch up with the Sphinx monster in question.  The level 44 archer Arcena was a welcome addition to the party too; sirlickalot, a knight, kindly gave us some Divine Shield buffs but as he was only level 29 wasn't interested in ks-ing us, he was still at the sp-farming stage, so I don't know why he was there.  Another knight, ocainomed, was fighting close to us, often taking the Elite Sphinx Speer Man; the wizard Wortex arrived a little later, but had to "ks" us, with our permission, as at level 36 she was just too low to avoid being capped.  It was a pretty productive session; Rage had only added 0.31% and a skill point, but Chuck managed to gain 19.05%, 4 skill points, and 865 pet points, and get at least one bloodseal for each armour piece.  He even added a first bloodseal to his level 45 sword, which shows how little he's actually been using it.

Before Arcena joined us, Greengem had been fooling around a little, using a Harpy transformation scroll and then a Death Goddess scroll... and after she cancelled the second one, as far as Chuck was concerned, she was absolutely tiny, only two or three times as big as the armour-fairy.  But Rage was still there, and as far as she was concerned, on her screen Greengem was still in the Death Goddess form,  When she mounted her horse she vanished entirely for Chuck - and for Rage the Death Goddess just stood very close to the horse.  Sirlicksalot and Arcena, arriving later, didn't get either effect, as far as I could tell.  I'm supposed to publish some screenshots on the forum.

After the food break, a new member of the guild Rage is in now, Cenaria, was asking who had got their skill points fully farmed, and I mentioned that Rage had over 10k plus her special skills maxxed - so Cenaria, who turned out to be a level 93 archer, volunteered to power-level me.  Instead of her archer, though, she decided to use her level 91 wizard Aszune, and so, after checking that I had the necessary Platinum Blessed Iris, experience boosters, crit potion, and so on, and could get Recall, we had a date with the Anubis Spear Men in the Tomb of Theos.

There's a special offer package this week, the "30 Day Pak", which includes a 30-day Party Recall card, as well as a "Life Searcher" card which apparently lets one see other people's health, and four week-long "Greatest HP + MP Boost" potions, which increase one's health and mana by 30% - so, for 699 aeria points, I bought that package, and passed it to Rage.

Aszune Recalled me down to the usual Tomb room for such power-levelling; Zenderfly certainly gave Barbarienne an hour or two there back on Cariae!  So I did know what to do, using Recall and making sure I had a new experience booster active, finishing killing the current Spear Man, then re-recruiting Aszune to the party as she'd hurriedly left after taking the Recall, using Recall again... with SirDarth, and for most of the time Argoth, in the party to give Rage a "solo party" boost.  The first Spear Man of all died before Aszune could leave the party, and there was one other one later on that also got killed by her, but generally things went pretty smoothly, particularly when my Snare worked.

There was one crisis, though, as mid-battle Aszune stopped fighting just standing their helplessly, and gradually her health began to fall.  I used Snare, which otherwise I'd only used right at the end, which stopped the attack for a while - and thankfully, with Aszune's health down to below 10%, probably nearer to 5%, the level 106 boss monster turned its attention away from Aszune, who was just standing there unable to defend herself - and came for me!  I had to use some health potions, dodging to and fro and being careful to avoid the aggressive level 104 Sphinx Fighters, especially when Snare failed, but I did eventually manage to kill it - though Aszune shared the experience for that one of course as she'd not been able to leave the party.  After a while, Aszune lagged out completely and disconnected; I waited a while, but finally decided to run back to the start, and use up the rest of the hour of potion time on soloing the Screaming Zombies.  I was about halfway there when Aszune got back in touch, so she was able to get back, and Recall me down again - and we continued for the remaining few minutes.

Aszune had started by saying we ought to get me to level 70, and then revised that, when things were going so smoothly, to hope for level 72 - but that missing few minutes put paid to that idea.  Still, we did manage to make level 70, which was the main thing - Rage ended up with an 810.92% experience gain, which was excellent - and a skill point too, though that probably came almost entirely from after the Tomb.  Oh, and 656 pet points.  Rage has thus overtaken Kaerella, which probably means that Kae should pass across the armour she's currently using, and go into semi-retirement for a while until Rage moves on to the 75/77 rogue set.

HiDE got in touch with Darth, as he was peacefully sparring with his Berserker - that's Renez from Cariae, of course, or the rogue MEDS.  It seems that he is now active on the Katar server, and having fun there.  "level 92 on there, in Untamed.  Big guild.  Good friends are there though, METH forced me to change server."  And, as I remarked, one would hardly wish to argue with METH, right, just about the top PvP player in the game.  It was good to here from him, and know that he is still enjoying the game.

Rage used the Recall card to get Chuck to the Tomb - I'd been meaning to have him ride along from the outdoor Sphinx types, but this was simpler.  He added the entrance to his memorising scroll - as did MistressSabina and MistressDomina.  And then I used my scroll to move across to that Sphinx site, so they added that location too, as did SirDarth, before he went back to his pet-levelling.  The sphinx types there are blue to Rage now, though they did still give some experience and skill exp when I killed a few.

There was a bit of a thunder storm locally, but it didn't get close enough to be an electrical hazard - I had warned Argoth and Aszune though, in case I made an unceremoniously swift exit.  Thunder rumbled around, there were some flashes of lightning, and a few streaks of rain on the window...but it went away.  I had settled for some unambitious pet-levelling after the power-levelling hour, which has the advantage that it let me get the blog up to date earlier than sometimes.

I had remembered to allocate my new stat points to Dexterity as I went along, each time I levelled; and back in Randol, Rage was able to get some new skills.  In all, 2512 skill points got spent, taking her cache to just under 8k now: 275 on the passive skill Mind Training level 7, adding 5 to evasion, 400 on the attack skill Piercing level 7, adding another 50% (for 350%) to its power, 387 on the attack skill Hide Shot level 6, adding another 30% (for 330%) to its power...and 1450 skill points for the level 70 attack skill, levels 1 to 5, Controlled Shooting, which I see is a self-buff which increases one's attack by 25% for a minute - but decreases one's defence by 15%, and stops you from moving.  Hmmm... ah well, just because I've learnt these skills doesn't mean I always have to use them!

SirDarth got his pony up to level 16, making it a horse, at around ten in the evening - and with any luck SirPerivale's horse will end this session about halfway through level 32.  That made a peaceful end to an eventful, and different, kind of day.

A Lazy Sunday -  June 28th

My dynamic duo of pet-levellers were as usual in action from fairly early on, and SirDarth's horse reached level 19 at lunchtime.  But of course SirPerivale couldn't be allowed to monopolise the newer computer all morning, so, as soon after coffee as possible, he logged off, SirDarth moved across to Auzura-4, and MistressDomina logged in, also on Auzura-4, and the recommended solo party was formed.

I had wanted to be early, as Sunday can be quite a busy day on Last Chaos, and my "early bird" status was rewarded by an empty back room at Prokion Temple - or Procyon Shrine if you prefer, though the place seems a bit big to just be a shrine.  MD started her platinum super skill pill to treble her skill exp gain for the hour, and settled in, rounding up the local Orc Axemen and Orc Sergeants and using Flame Storm so freely that there were occasions when the room was entirely clear, and she had to wait a couple of seconds for the respawns to start.

The hour brought in 486 skill points; at that stage MistressDomina was just 0.65% short of level 32, which was about what I'd been expecting, so we continued long enough for MD to level up.  The total skill point gain was 492, getting her total of unused sp over 21k - but not for long, as there are a number of skills for the aspiring wizard to get at level 32.  Staff Mastery's first five levels (327 sp) increase her attack by 35, and all five levels of Mana Barrier (276 sp) increase her close-range physical evasion by 25.  As well as those two passive skills, there's just about the wizard's favourite single-target attack skill Terra Spear; its five levels (262 sp), attacking the target with a spear of rock, has a power of 550% of one's regular attack, and only a 6.3 second cool-down, so it gets used a lot.  New levels of Weaponsmithing and Armoursmithing come available at level 32 as well, taking another 510 skill points between them.  Spending 1375 skill points isn't as big an investment as Rage made yesterday, but it does put a bit of a dent in one's skill point reserve, taking it below 20k again.

During the lunch break, SirPerivale got the horse in his charge up to level 33, while Darth's horse reached level 19.  And then, after moving the armour and bow Kaerella had been using over to Rage, and spending 2,765,200 gold to convert it from healer to rogue equipment, it was time for MrChuckNorris to head for the Sphinx types again.

It wasn't a very intensive session, as sometimes Chuck did have to wait for respawns in a convenient place, rather than charge in and find himself fighting four or more Sphinx Speer Men and Sphinx Fighters; a level 29 rogue insisted on partying up at one point, but, after being adamant that we should attack the Elite Speer Man, must have got scared, as we got about three others too, and she had to do some running, with her health down to about 10%, and departed abruptly.  As she was capped she can't have got much experience anyway, but you just can't tell some people, it's better if they find out for themselves.

Greengem593 did get in touch, but it was gone 4:00pm by then, so it was a bit late to start a team-up.  She was suitably impressed by the screenshots I had put up in the appropriate part of the Last Chaos forum!  She wondered about teaming up on Boucu Demons, but Chuck's magic resistance is pretty darn low, as yet.  Maybe when he has a full set of bloodseals on his armour that may improve, but generally the idea is to wait until level 53 when he can start using his new +15 sword, before trying anything too ambitious.

Chuck's experience gain was only 9.19%, plus 5 skill points and 538 pet points.  His drake took quite a bit of damage, it's handy that he has a supply of the 30-point pet healing potions.

Sunday evening is always a bit strange, now that they have brought forward the Quiz time to 8:30, UK time - somehow there isn't time for anything much serious before that, and even less afterwards.  So, I just sent LordElpus, my level seven sorcerer, out to battle the foxes and wolves.  It's a bit of a grind, but relaxing in its way and without any danger, as long as I leap back pretty quickly when I open a Pandora's Box.  Unlike the regular variety, the level 30 ghostly Sasquatch-types are aggressive, and hit hard.

The "Sunday Teatime" bonus was announced just as LordElpus was getting going, at 5:30 - a bit late, but better than Friday's "Happy Hour", apparently they forgot the Euro time zone event entirely.  It ran for two hours, and, though they didn't say what it was, it turned to be 50% extra skill exp, which was useful.  For many characters, 50% extra ordinary experience would be a reason to stop playing for a couple of hours, if they are trying to gain skill points.

The GMs were also a bit late opening the Quiz Room doors, and announcing the Quiz, but it started on time.  Ratel had suggested Auzura-2 as a less busy, and thus less laggy, sub-server, so Kae and Rage went over there - and quite a few of Rage's guildies were there too.  There were a few new questions in the mix, or ones that rarely appear - we got lucky on guessing what four foxes as a "fruit machine" type result on the moonstone statue meant, but we didn't get the right price for the hire of a particular weapon, and so everyone respawned in Randol after question 16.  Still, getting 15 right meant we got not just the tool aids but the moonstones too, which is, well, better than nothing.

LordElpus went back out, and before long a "hide and seek" event was announced, with the GameSage iiAbbyii hiding somewhere on Auzura-3's Juno.  As that was where I was farming, I decided to head down south from where I was, in the hopes that the small area "below" Randol on the map was a likely place for a GS to be hiding, and before too long I noticed a group of people off to the side - and, going closer, discovered that iiAbbyii was indeed in the middle of the small group.  So I said "hi there", and before long got traded 5 Cake and 5 Large Chocolate, which was a nice little bonus.  One gives 30% extra experience for 10 minutes, and the other gives extra attack for 5 minutes - but they seem to get offered for sale at interesting prices.

I'd asked Ratel how Elvastar had controlled, or at least influenced, his summoned spirits, saying that I couldn't change the bar from highlighting "protect" rather than "attack", but I can't say that he was a huge amount of help, he thought that perhaps LordElpus would need to reach a certain level before the control bar would work fully.  Anyway, after gaining his goodies Elpus went back and killed some more foxes and wolves, so that he reached 90% of the way through his level by log-out time... and just needs another 10 skill points to maximise his level five skills.  After that he starts saving up for the level ten skills, naturally, it would be nice to have enough skill points to get most of their levels right away.  If he is going to become a playable character, he will need quite a lot of time devoted to him once he reaches level ten - to get from there to level twenty in ten days, in the Guardian system, and earn the sorcerer Event Weapon, while on 50% experience gain, is likely to be quite a bit of work.

SirDarth was joined by SirPerivale after that; Darth's horse may reach level 22 tonight, by which time Peri's horse ought to be approaching 40% of the way through level 33.  Darth was contacted by a new character called GuildHealer, who wanted to be added to his Friends list.  "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii" was the opening message.  "Any guess on who I am?"  After a moment's thought, my response was "Hmm... Stavanic, possibly, he goes in for long wordsssssss..."  And that got "Dang you're good - but you must remember my name is actually Steve,"  so I'd guessed right.  A couple of times he has shouted "weeeeeeeeeeee" as he has passed Darth, which was where I got the "long wordsss" idea from.

Steve is asking me to do some levelling work on his level 5 hatchling, so Darth will need to move either his pet horse, or his level 37 mount, over to another character.  I had thought it could go to Peri, but he is already carrying two pets, which is the maximum, so it is entirely possible that LordElpus will have, at least temporarily, his own level 37 mount.  Hmm, if I swapped their currently equipped pets between them as well, Darth could work on Elpus's level 8 dragon hatchling in the morning, and then do a straight swap of it for Steve's hatchling, which could be convenient.

Chuck's Busy Day   -  June 29th

SirDarth and SirPerivale didn't start up as early as they sometimes do, but they managed to do some work in the morning.  First of all, Darth traded his level 37 mount across to LordElpus in exchange for his level eight dragon hatchling; he was thus able to level that one up to twelve before, after lunch, changing back to levelling the horse, which soon reached 22.

Peri took an hour or so off so that MistressDomina could have her usual trip to Prokion Temple.  I had thought it would be fairly quiet on a Monday morning, but the Auzura-3 corridor and back rooms were in use, so MD, and Darth, had to move across to Auzura-4 before the work could begin.

MistressDomina used the last of her platinum super skill pills, and during its hour added 412 skill points, taking her back over 20k unused sp.  The full total was just 413, along with 14.46% experience and 952 pet points.  Being in level 32 meant that the Orc Sergeants now gave just 11550 skill exp (or 3850 without the pssp active) along with 7114 experience (or twice that if one's character wasn't 50% frozen for experience gain), while the Orc Axemen gave 8250 (2750) and 2888, hence the lower gains than yesterday.  It looks as if MD can have six more sessions before reaching level 33; not with the pssps though, but she has a couple of the (double sp) super skill pills to use next, at least, which ought to bring in about 270 skill points each.

SirDarth, still in Auzura-4, did get a red-named mage called Anarhi ks-ing and killing his Berserker after lunch, but luckily she soon moved on, and while Darth was picking up some of the gold left on the ground (my characters are tidy that way), he noticed a Pandora's Box.  One earlier had disgorged a level fifty beast, which Chuck despatched, getting a 45,600 gold reward, but this one gave five of the level 12 physical defence minerals, which are nicely valuable.

After lunch, Chuck went off to the Sphinx types on Auzura-3, and had them to himself - and was doing okay there, when an invitation came from the archer Arceno to join a team in the Tomb, over on Auzura-1.  There was a rogue called Kill4FunLT who didn't stay all that long, WindTalkeR, on level 39, another rogue I think, pavlic22 was an archer, also on level 39, xXDoctoRXx, a mage on that same level, DEETITAN on 53, Marcx also on about that level, a specialist sorcerer who spent most of the time outside the party, ITALIANOX, another spec, a level 46 highlander type titan called deathreaper (or something like that, my hurried notes are a bit unclear), McMasterFighter, another titan, on 42, majk on 43 who I think was a temple knight, morganna666, a level 37 mage, a level 40 archer called ElementalHero55... not all at the same time, the maximum party size is eight, but people came and went.  Even Arceno, the leader, vanished for a while after levelling up, and being able to go and get her new bow, so I was appointed leader for a time.

I did get killed once - things were nice and simple while there were rogues in the house, though when we ran out of them, the zombies did sometimes attack titans instead, and I had a few near-death experiences, only just reaching the wall in time.  And then I got distracted by guild chat and adding a bloodseal, and found myself having a nice lie-down.  So I had to use my resurrection scroll, and quickly activate a new one; when I'm carrying over 18k of unused skill points, I don't want to earn a death penalty!

We went on past my usual log-out point, but eventually we were down to about four people - and I think it was ElementalHero55 who made the mistake of attacking zombies already being fought by some recently arrived high level types.  I'd been relying on right-clicking other party members' health bars to make sure I targetted the correct zombie, so if she'd gone wrong, perhaps I did too, though I can't say that I ran forward into the area where they were operating.  Anyway, some red-named specialist sorcerer called Reaper125 decided to "clear out the noobs", and I was suddenly lying down again.  Luckily getting player-killed doesn't involve a death penalty, so I just said my goodbyes to the other three party members, respawned back at the entrance, and headed back to town.  The best way to deal with that sort of behaviour is to ignore it.

I probably should have used an experience booster, but one never knows how long such parties will continue, and we did have a few breaks along the way.  Arceno ran out of mana, so I gave her 50 medium mana pots, to try to make sure I got plenty of healing, but she left not a long time after that.  There was actually one good drop we got, and it came to me, which was nice - a Ring of Air with 75 increased close range physical hit rate and 56 hit rate, which, as Chuck's accessories aren't anything special, I immediately equipped.  That would sell for a few million I'm sure, but it's very useful for a melee character so Chuck will be holding on to it.  Chuck's total experience gain for the afternoon was 47.84%, which was pretty good; thanks to those Sphinx Fighters early on he got 2 skill points as well, while his drake gained 1198 pet points.  Arceno is hoping to host a similar party tomorrow, which ought to get Chuck up to level 53.

Darth had got LordElpus's hatchling up to level 12, as mentioned, and then reverted to levelling his horse.  When Stavanic came online, I was able to trade it over to him in exchange for his level 5 one - he started to add other items to the trade window, which seemed a rather generous idea (at least for him, heheh) - Candy, 1.5 million gold, a moonstone, tool aids, and more.  However, this was just for me to pass over to a different character of his, JudgeGhis - though I did get to keep seven of the tool aids, which covered my expenses.  After that it was time for Darth to level up this hatchling a bit, so that it could later be returned to LordElpus at an appropriate level - and Peri was working on his horse as well, getting it ever closer to level 34, so that in fact it just reached that level before Peri logged out.

The evening session was Chuck's again - Ratel came online, and I suggested that he and Chuck could team up at the Sphinx types, which Ratty seemed to think was a good idea... I had previously mentioned that it was something we could do at some point.  While as a temple knight Ratel doesn't hit as hard as I do, in fact probably less than half as hard, his "teleport" skill is very useful, as it can pluck the Elite Sphinx Speer Man out of the middle of a group, and deliver him to us.  Even if it fails, it still brings him running in, which is almost as good.  We teamed up with the mage Wortex when she arrived, and the "teleport" was also useful if she was getting chased by a Sphinx type.  Ratels' two defence buffs are good to have as well.

Another titan, level 61 I think, was there for much of the time, RatASS, and a very pleasant chap he was too; he gave me a 10-minute experience scroll, and, after suggesting that Ratel and Chuck ought to try going to Egeha, carefully laid the money we'd need to get there on the grass, 800,000 gold each.  We decided we'd rather do a full session there, rather than move across right away for a half-session, and have pencilled that in for tomorrow evening.  A guildie of his, a level 27 healer called LightAngel, joined him, and, after she discovered how small the experience reward was when "capped" in our party, she ks'd a bit, mainly after Ratel had had to log out for the night.  We'd had a pretty good session, though not with many drops - I got a couple of moonstone boxes, and Ratel got a sorcerer weapon, but that was about all.  Chuck had by the end added another 17.64% experience, 5 skill points, and 931 pet points.  Chuck certainly got through a lot of medium size mana potions, both in the Tomb and in the open...it's lucky he was given that 800,000 gold or he'd be half a million down on the day, after restocking with potions, though the Ring of Air must be worth rather more than that.

And so the evening ended with SirDarth and SirPerivale back in action; Darth's horse has moved into level 23, while Peri's is just starting on level 34.  So, we are making progress.  Chuck's armour is fully bloodsealed now; hopefully it won't be long before we can start adding bloodseals to that level 57 +15 sword, assuming I manage to remember to buy some bloodseal gems before heading out to adventure tomorrow!

In Egeha with Ratel -  June 30th

It being the height of summer around here, it gets light early - and that means that SirDarth and SirPerivale get an early start, after which I can get back into bed for a while, until it's time for breakfast.  So, they made pretty good progress this morning - though Darth did take some time off before coffee, to allow Kaerella to log on.

Kae may have not particularly high level armour at the moment, without any upgradings, and a bow to match, all drops from the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men, and be barefoot, but that didn't stop her going out to mine for some quality stones.  As she had thirty spaces in her inventory, she got enough tool aids out of Bianca's storage, bought thirty healer-specific hammers from Merchant Geres, and rode out to the mine.

Equip hammer, drag tool aid onto it, yes I do wish to apply booster, booster applied okay, click on the ore mine, any specific type of stone wanted, quality stone... and then Kae bashes the mine a few times, until 27 quality stones appear in her inventory.  Repeat until you've used all thirty hammers...then ride back into town and buy thirty more, and get thirty more tool aids out of storage too, and do it all again.  Well it did take a little while, but at last 1620 new quality stones had been acquired.

The timing wan't bad, as Peri had a couple of minutes earlier had a Pandora's Box nudge up to him, and when he opened it, it released a level fifty Beast which chased him back to town.  At level 67 I reckoned that even with poor armour and a basic level 53 bow, Kae would be able to handle him, so, once she had finished the mining, she teleported to Merac Caron, and rode down to the Berserkers, past Peri.  Things might have been a bit quicker if I'd remembered to re-equip her bow after using the mining hammers, but it didn't take long for the Beauty to kill the Beast.  Kae traded most of the quality stones across to Peri, and logged out.  Probably due to her higher level, the Beast didn't drop any gold.

SirPerivale resumed pet-levelling, with his horse about halfway through level 34, and was soon joined by SirDarth.  Taking delivery of so many quality stones had taken Peri over 100% of his weight allowance, reducing his dexterity slightly, so he passed about half the stones across to SirDarth, meaning they both had over a thousand in stock at that point.

A little later a knight called ArmorKnight, who had been fighting and killing Berserkers in the area, unleashed another Pandie, and soon found that he had to run for his life - he ran straight past Darth and Peri in fact, but luckily the Beast had a one-track mind, and kept on after its original prey.  As he in his turn vanished up the hill towards Merac Caron, Darth logged out, and this time it was MrChuckNorris who rode down from town.  With the knight watching, Chuck despatched the Pandora's Beast quickly, and got a drop of 99,200 gold as his reward.  After that, Chuck logged out, and Darth returned to work, though it wasn't long before another Box appeared.  This time, Chuck was able to pick up another 48,000 gold, so we are slowly recouping the cost of that pet "unsealing" the other day, when a Beast killed a pet, and its leveller.

Someone had phoned up to say they'd be dropping around to visit at just after eleven, so that rather ruled out MistressDomina's usual trip out to Prokion Temple for an uninterrupted hour today - normal service will, I hope, be resumed tomorrow.

The afternoon saw MrChuckNorris taking a trip to the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men again; Arceno wasn't able to get together a Tomb party, unfortunately.  Chuck added 8.48%, which was enough to get him into level 53, so that he was able at last to use his level 57 sword, and start adding its bloodseals.  It was pretty quiet out there, so there really isn't anything else to report, except the 5 skill points and 457 pet points.

After the usual food break with both pet-leveller knights hard at their day's work, LordElpus went out to do a little more work with the foxes and wolves, and got enough skill points for that final level five skill, er, level, and a few to spare.  The "Mad Monster Spawn" had been running for a while when I decided that he might as well go and see how it was getting on, so he used his memory scroll to go to Velpist Temple, and ran past the local Elder Drakes and Great Horn Beasts to get there.  The current wave had almost been finished, and there was an announcement of "4 more minutes"... the Patriarch Botris was finished well inside that time, and people stood around waiting for the goodies to be spawned, and things to continue.  And continued to stand around!  Eventually I asked on the shoutbox - apparently the people had taken 55 minutes to deal with the wave, when 45 is the maximum.  It would have been nice if the GM in charge, JediMike, had said something!  As it was, I fought a regular-type Drake, which with LordElpus at level 7 was red-named for me, and levelled up...and got a Hand of the Warrior as a drop, so I was probably the only person there to get a heaven stone...

Ratel logged on around then, eager to team up with Chuck for the previously-discussed trip to Egeha, so Darth and LordElpus logged out, and Rage logged in on the older computer, while Chuck logged in on the newer one.  Rage took the teleporter trip to Egeha, for 800,000 gold, and then, as we'd partied up, Recalled Ratel and Chuck there.   She stayed in town, to provide an emergency-escape Recall if fighting went badly... and also to be able to bring someone back if they had a disconnection.

We started off killing Bogles, which at level 65 are nice and unaggressive, until attacked, though hit hard and are not that quick to die.  They are well-known for dropping a good amount of armour, either for future use or just for selling to the merchant back in town, and gold too, which after the fee to get there is just as well.  We quickly went on to the Dark Bogles, which at level 67 are aggressive and protective, and even an individual Hadeis or two.  Level 70 doesn't sound too bad for a level 45 temple knight and a level 53 warmaster titan, but they are aggressive, with a long-range magical attack, and when one came in range while I was fighting a Dark Bogle, I was lucky to escape with my life.  So, back to Bogles -  and then Ratel led me to the Apes... the "mother" ones at level 74 are boss monsters and hard to kill, but the Baby Apes are okay, though they too are protective, so we often had to rely on Ratty's teleportation skill, or sometimes ended up fighting two at once.  When we got the mother Ape as well as one of her offspring, well, that Recall came in handy!

It shows how quiet Egeha is now that our activities there attracted the Grand Gold Dragon; Ratel sadly clicked on it as he tried to move away, and so inadvertantly attacked it, dying rather quickly while Chuck heroically, er, took Recall.  We did make an attempt to get Kaerella, in Chuck's place, to ride out and resurrect him, which would have saved some experience loss, but Kae has non-functional armour and only a relatively low-level bow at present, and Ratel had an Ape standing right over him where Kae would have had to stand, so we gave up on that, it was quicker for Ratel to lose that extra percent and kill a few Bogles to get it back.

We attracted the Grand Gold Dragon for a second time minutes later, but kept our distance, and Rage put out a call on her guild channel... and the highest-level member of DreamingRequiem, Aszune (the same person who had power-levelled Rage in the Tomb) eagerly accepted the challenge, joined the party, took Recall, and was directed out to where the GGD was... where the other party member dots were on the map, basically.  She didn't take long to kill it, and then the level 88 Cursed Weavers it spawned when near death went down like skittles.  There wasn't a rare item among the drops, though the usual things like moonstones, a medal of honor, and so on were there, and some gold.  Aszune actually picked up 5 tool aids before remembering to leave our party, so they went to Chuck, who later sent his thanks, via Rage.  She was a little disappointed not to get a rare item, but hey she had a free trip there.

The first time Chuck and Ratel killed a boss Ape it took quite a while - when he wanted to kill another Ratel passed across a large attack potion, a large defence potion, and various mineral boosts to Chuck, which, well, I almost never use such things - activate more than half a million's worth of pots just to kill one monster?  I did get through quite a few health potions on that fight, but I must remember to return those unused things to Ratel when I can.

We finished with a little dedicated Bogle farming, taking it in turns to attack and stun one, which worked well, we'd have probably got more loot and experience if we'd just stuck to doing that throughout the session, but it wouldn't have been such an adventure.  Ratel had to log out soon after nine, UK time, so after killing a few more, Chuck too, almost out of the medium-size health potions, decided to call it a night.  A 15.38% experience gain wasn't huge, but it was probably more than spending the time with the Sphinx types would have given...though within a minute of arriving in Egeha, Chuck did get a message from Arceno that she'd got a Tomb team together, and minutes after that Rage got an invitation to a monster combo.  But teaming with Ratel is one of the main pleasures of Last Chaos, so they were out of luck.  Chuck added 2 more skill points, and 919 pet points.

Although she was on the older computer, Rage then decided, given that she had her health boosted, and horse buffs, to try and ride down all the way to the spot where on the Cariae server I'd spent so much time, in Norcaine parties and teamed with Zenderfly, fighting a pair of Boucu Demons.  I had a pretty good idea where it was, and that I'd have to ride past Apes and Azers and Scorpionmantises and Skin Walkers and even Endemic Demons... but I made it safely, and was able to add the spot to Rage's memory scroll, and then Recall Chuck in so that he too could get the spot memorised.  I did offer to Recall any other DreamingRequiem guild members in if they wanted to get the spot on their scrolls, but I guess with the Tomb and Strayana etc added to the game, the chance to fight a couple of level 84 Boucu Demons isn't as tempting as it used to be.

Darth and Peri were then able to do a bit of late-night pet-levelling; Peri's horse actually reached level 35, so doesn't have too long to go now before another level 37 mount can be made.  Darth's horse is well into level 26 now, so is coming along well.  I did notice a level 50 Pandora's Beast over on the far side of the clearing, but decided that Chuck had probably done enough for one day.