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

In the end Chuck did ride down last night and kill the wandering level 50 Pandora's Beast, getting 72,000 gold for his trouble; it wasn't just SirPerivale and SirDarth who were pet-levelling there, another knight called Capitan was also busy.  This morning Peri and Darth didn't get a particularly early start, but were both in action slightly before eight in the morning, UK time - and Darth's horse reached level 27 before lunch.

My mage MistressDomina, or indeed since she is level 32 now I should call her my wizard, was able to head out for Prokion Temple on the Auzura-4 subserver, and put in her regular hour's skill point farming in my favourite back room.  Using a super skill pill, for double skill exp, rather than a platinum one, giving triple skill exp, cut back her skill point gain, but she still managed to add 264 skill points while the pill lasted - 265 in all in the session, due to the usual "test kill" at the start and finishing off the current mob at the end.  A gain of 13.94% experience reinforces the idea that there ought to be five more sessions before level 33 is reached, at that point we'll possibly stop the "50% experience freeze" situation, and just start moving onward and upward, though MD is likely to still be fighting Prokion Temple's Orc Sergeants and Orc Axemen for a couple of levels yet.

And one MistressDomina stops hunting there, and levels up enough to graduate to a different armour set, then it will be MistressSabina's turn to gather some more skill points from Prokion Temple's Orc Sergeants and Orc Axemen.  She of course doesn't have any points at all saved up yet, and is already level thirty, after upgrading the Discipline guild so many times, so she'll never have a huge stash of sp.. still, it will be useful to have a witch-type mage who doesn't risk a big death penalty, to take to Mad Monster Spawns and that sort of thing.  And I've never actually played a witch...

Once I was back in Randol, I reported a couple of gold-spammers on the official Last Chaos forum's shoutbox, and they were soon silenced by the GameSage who was on duty, which was good; their incessant spamming, usually a number of posts per second, does stop real players from chatting and generally makes the place unpleasant.  It looks as if the new procedures they've put in place have helped to cut down on the spammers, or at least on the time that each spammer remains in action.

But then it was time for Peri to log back in, joining Darth for some more pet levelling over the lunch break.

After that, Chuck logged in, and headed for the Sphinx types, in a solo party with SirDarth.  The mage Wortex was there, but didn't seem inclined to suggest teaming up, and didn't stick around long, so Chuck just fought solo, avoiding the Elite Sphinx Speer Man.  However, back in the real world, it was just about the hottest day of the year so far, and the room with the computers in is south-facing, and, well, with two computers putting out a fair bit of heat themselves, things were starting to get a bit warm.

So, with regret, Chuck's session came to rather a premature close.  He had only added 3.47% experience, 3 skill points, and 182 pet points, so it hadn't been a very long session.  I went downstairs, for a cooler, north-facing room, after getting Peri back to work.

A level 7 titan called Fanfrit had added Darth to his friends list; I had rather assumed it was Stavanic, er, Steve, but I'm not entirely clear on that.  Anyway, he wanted horse buffs, so Chuck ended up logging back in a for a few minutes, and accompanying him to the Treants close to Velpist Temple in Juno.  I did drop a memorising scroll for him, so that he could get the Temple entrance memorised, but even with horse buffs I don't know how long he was going to last fighting level 27 Treants, which do have the tendency to come in from all directions if you attack one of their number.  Still, they don't move particularly fast, so he may have been okay.  I'm not sure that he wasn't hoping that Chuck would hang around and re-buff him every time the horse buffs ran out, but I wasn't going to stay in the hot room for that, so Chuck logged out, Peri logged back in, and I scurried off downstairs.

So, the day's adventures rather petered out, though this meant more time for SirDarth and SirPerivale to do their work...and also meant that I had time to finish reading a novel that in theory I should have finished yesterday.  There wasn't the usual server maintenance last night, and there was an announcement on the website to that effect, how people could continue their play without interruptions... but this evening there was a new announcement, that there would be server maintenance today, and at 1:00pm PST...which is nine o'clock UK time, and thus a bit inconvenient normally for us European types.

So, Peri won't be able to get his horse to level 36, which might otherwise have been a possibility tonight; Darth did have time to get his four-legged friend well into level 28, however.  A little before eight the Grand Red Dragon put in an appearance, but after the usual 14 minutes got bored and went away again.  As usually happens on a Wednesday evening, though we skipped the last two weeks, I had other things to do from eight... though Darth at least did keep pet-levelling until, a few minutes earlier than advertised, the Last Chaos servers came down.

The weather forecast for Thursday is for more of the same, unfortunately; hopefully at least a morning session will be possible.  On Friday, things should be cooler, I'm happy to report. 

The "patch notes" inform us that, when the servers are back up, as is appropriate for a week containing the 4th of July there's be an "Independence Day" event, with drops of "stars" and "stripes", which are items that give a bonus to damage and xp/sp gain... I suspect that large Uncle Sam type top hats may be involved too.  The hardware for a couple of the older servers is being upgraded - "All Katarian and Cariaeian players rejoice, as your latency problems will be heavily reduced after this maintenance"  - so maybe the down time will be a bit longer than average.  Oh, and the level cap is being raised to 145 from 140, apparently it should have been the latter all along, since level 145 weapons had appeared in the game but couldn't yet be used.  Not a problem I encountered...  And of course the item mall will have been updated too.

Another Warm One -  July 2nd

Thursday was another "phew what a scorcher" day in sunny old England, and what's more, I'd temporarily forgotten that I was liable to be busy downstairs for most of the day.  Still, SirDarth and SirPerivale are always able to continue their work, so while the skill points and experience weren't being added to, at least the pet points kept rattling in.

The new patch was a pretty big one, and the full announcement confirmed that the big "Uncle Sam" style top hats are involved in the "Independence Day" event, as well as "Stars" and "Stripes".  Unusually, the game reset some of its basics - the window size was back down to 1024 by 768 pixels, which, while that was the size of the first LCD screen I had, a few years ago, looks a bit small on today's widescreen monitor.  It was easy enough to reset the size option, though.  I'm not sure if it's just a reset of one's preferences or not, but typing by default goes straight into the text box now, without clicking or using "enter" - if you want to bring up one of the game's windows, such as the "D" equipped pet details, you have to involved the "alt" key as well.  This is perhaps better than starting to type a message and not getting it into the text box, so that all sorts of unwanted windows open and close.

So, there was no morning trip today to Prokion Temple for MistressDomina, and no sunny afternoon with the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men for MrChuckNorris.  SirPerivale did manage to get his horse up to level 36 by coffee time, however, so the final level is now under way.  Darth's horse reached level 29 soon after that; as, with his current armour, Peri can only level a horse at the Berserkers comfortably from level 31 on, when it can give him all 30 levels of Armour Increase, the timing seems pretty good there.  Once Darth's horse has been moved across to Peri, I think there was a guildie who was asking to have his current pet given a few extra levels...

In the early evening, I moved SirDarth across to the Auzura-4 subserver, as it tends to be quieter - and Peri took some time off, while MistressDomina made a belated trip to the Auzura-4 Prokion Temple.  Despite the rather more popular time for playing, the Temple was generally not very busy, and both the "corridor room" and my favourite back room were free.  So, MD settled in with her super skill pill, and got 262 skill points in the hour, plus 13.70% experience and 940 pet points.

Stavanic/Steve was online in Prokion Temple too, but he was in Auzura-3 and finding it a bit busy - he, as his level 20 healer GuildHealer, and another player had had an argument about who was ks-ing whom, and he returned as his knight to continue the discussion, though in a non-lethal way as it's not a PvP sub-server.  The other player was gone by then, though.  He asked me to check if a particular room, with just Mummies and one Orc Soldier, was free on Auzura-4, and as my hour was just ending, I was able to wander around until I found it, and assure him that, while I'd had a chat with a couple of rogues there, they were just passing through.

So he moved over, and got Darth to give him a solo party, while he used a ten-minute effort scroll, at least.

Steve has, it transpired, started a new guild, as well as the DeathBringers guild that SirPerivale is in; this new one is called FantasyWarriors, and he needed one of my characters to join, for the same reason that Peri is in the other one - so that he can transfer, via me, the guild master position from one character to another.  As he'd used my storage titan Cyborg (obviously a teen titan) before to transfer items and pets, it was Cyborg he wanted me to log in.

So, his titan Fanfrit  recruited Cyborg to FantasyWarriors - he made Cyborg a Guild Adviser, but he couldn't make him Guild Master.  I knew that you needed a level 10 character to start a guild, but it seems that the minimum guild master level isn't just for upgrading, it's for all the time, so poor Cyborg, at level two, wasn't qualified to become GM.  Still, Steve isn't easily stopped - he changed over to GuildHealer, who currently has custody of the level 34 mount I trained for him, teamed with Cyborg, and we went out to the Sasquatches.  GuildHealer would apply the horse buffs, much as Chuck did once yesterday for Fanfrit, and then leave the party, while Cyborg did some killing - and killing level 12 critters at level two certainly makes you level up quickly!  It didn't take very long to outgrow the Sasquatches; as long as the horse buffs lasted I was fine, even though Cyborg had only the starter armour and sword, and even after putting what he could into storage, was still slightly over the 100% for his inventory's weight, and thus a little low on dexterity.  The level 17 Elder Werewolves were our next stop, once the Sasquatches were no longer red-named for me - I even managed to kill the level 27 Blood Wolf they guard a couple of times, though he was able to do me quite a lot of damage. 

GuildHealer had a disconnection when I was in level nine, which slowed me down rather, but Fanfrit arrived after a few minutes, at level 10, and together we killed a few more Sasquatches until Cyborg levelled up.  So then Cyborg was momentarily, successfully made Guild Master, before passing the position across to Stavanic, who has temporarily left Norcaine for it.  Steve's guild enterprises seem pretty complicated, but then, so are mine, with my own guild, plus Adviser status in Norcaine, Rage active in DreamingRequiem, SirPerivale in DeathBringers, and now Cyborg in FantasyWarriors, to say nothing of the Cariae server's guilds.

Cyborg only had about 36 skill points in all, so was only able to get the first couple of levels of four useful passive skills.  Well, I doubt if he'll go any further, unless Steve has some reason to power-level him to twenty.  being level ten meant he could go to Lorraine to get his first "treasure chest" opened, and he was in luck there, he got five of the valuable Candy health and mana boosters.  He had also picked up moonstone boxes, plus stars and stripes, along the way.

After that it was nearly logging out time anyway, so the plan was for SirPerivale to join SirDarth at the Berserkers.  Darth however had two Pandora's Boxes close to him, jigging around anxiously, so they had to be opened before Peri logged in.  Sure enough, the first one unleashed a level 50 Beast - the second one, which Darth was able to hit as he strategically retreated, just gave ten small healing potions.  Darth's horse did lose 5 health before Darth managed to unequip it - he raced to the bottom of the hill leading towards town, but the Beast, as its equine target had vanished, didn't follow, and Darth was able to equip the horse again and continue working... while Chuck logged in.

Chuck rode down and dealt with the Beast, getting 77,600 gold this time, and then SirPerivale was able to replace him on the newer computer.  It looks as if about three more hours tomorrow will see his horse reach level 37 - and Darth's horse should have reached 31 about an hour before that, so all is going smoothly on the horse-levelling side here.  Except when people come along and kill the Berserkers Darth and Peri are sparring with, that is.  That did happen a time or three today, once I saw the culprit, a rogue called Sp33dy, who actually got a Hand of the Guard drop from one kill.  The weather forecast does say that things should cool down a bit over the next few days, so, once I finish the downstairs work tomorrow morning, hopefully I'll be able to do a bit more playing tomorrow.

Another Trip To Egeha   -  July 3rd

Since I didn't feel like stumbling out of bed and starting Last Chaos when a roll of thunder woke me briefly at 4;30 in the morning, it wasn't until breakfast time that SirDarth and SirPerivale swung into action.   SirDarth's horse did, as expected, reach level 31 during the morning; as he had some time off, it wasn't until the lunch break that Peri got his charge up to level 37.  I had worked out that 1:10 would be about the time that the horse would get there, but I didn't get upstairs to check until a few  minutes later.  So, I wasn't able to stop the levelling on 0/14552, but 100/14552 looks almost as neat I think.

MistressDomina headed out to Auzura-4's Prokion Temple a little earlier than usual; as the "APAC" Friday "happy hour" had already happened, there was a chance that the promised 50% extra skill exp gain was still running.  And indeed, when I made the first kill of an Orc Sergeant in my favourite back room, he did give 50% more skill experience than usual - at MistressDomina's current level, that's only slightly ahead of what one would get without any boost if one was the same level as a Prokion Temple inhabitant, but it's always nice to get something extra for free.

Before I'd set out, MD had opened twenty skill boxes, getting 4 platinum super skill pills (which will be passed on to MistressSabina), 4 five-packs of skill point boosters, 2 effort scrolls, 3 of the 15% skill pills, and 7 of the super skill pills - but now I didn't have to use any of them, or indeed fight quite so hard and fast.  I added 28.13% experience, the equivalent of two full-speed hours' worth (or 28.29% if one includes the experience from killing a level 30 Pandora's beast back in Juno), 2301 pet points, which were enough to get MistressDomina's drake up to level 31, and 405 skill points, taking MD's unused sp total back over the 21k mark.

The "Stars" and "Stripes" seem to be dropping quiet nicely, though  the special top hats seem a bit rare as yet.  MD got 9 Stars and 6 Stripes during the session, along with 6 moonstone boxes and seven assorted pairs of boots. There was just time after that for MD to do a little mining, since she had a good supply of tool aids in her inventory, as they too drop quite often in the Temple.  Fifteen hammers and tool aids were used, to get 405 quality stones, but when she rode down to SirDarth to trade them across, MistressDomina cut down severely on her existing supply of them, passing a full 800 over.

After lunch Darth unleashed another level 50 Pandora's Beast; Chuck disposed of it in the normal way, and got the full 103,200 gold dropped as a reward.  Then various items had to be moved around, including pets, before LordElpus had a trip out to the wolves, and foxes.  At level eight now, level one foxes still give 412 skill exp (or 618, with the 50% extra event running) and 1 experience; the level 2 wolves also just give 1 experience, at least while a player's experience gain is halved, and 550 skill exp, so in theory, as the whole level needs 16,855 experience, one could gain 927 skill points by just killing 16,855 wolves.  That would take rather a long time, though.

After a while it was time to do something other than racing around bashing wolves, so I decided to see if that storage titan of mine, Cyborg, could be levelled up a bit more, with, again, the use of horse buffs to give him an amount of defence and attack way beyond the normal amount for his level.  So he and MrChuckNorris went out to the Elder Werewolves, followed by the Treants, the Butchers, and finally the Berserkers; Chuck would apply the horse buffs, and then leave the party, while Cyborg killed as much as he could.  It was really only against the Berserkers that he took much damage, and needed to use a small health potion for just about every one, but by the end of the session Cyborg had gone up from level 10 to level 15.  And reaching that level raises the possibility of him teaming up with MistressSabina, who is only 15 levels ahead now, in Prokion Temple.  With the horse buffs he ought to be able to reach that back room without being killed, I suppose.  Still, there's no great hurry; he has taken Kaerella as his guardian today, so has ten days to get to level twenty.

Over the food break SirPerivale started work on the level 31 horse he received from SirDarth; Darth himself had the level eight dragon  hatchling in his inventory, the one swapped for one a few levels higher to give one of Steve's characters a helping hand.  Its Sympathy had fallen to about 60%, while the horse was being levelled, but the figure gradually rose, and did just manage to reach 100% by the end of the evening.

However, there was a break from pet-levelling, as again Rage took over the older computer to buy a teleport to Egeha for 800,000 gold, and Recall both Ratel and MrChuckNorris there.  Ratel was in favour of the Apes, presumably mainly the Baby Apes, but my feeling was that, with the speed at which we could fight them, the last few minutes of our previous trip showed that the humble Bogles would be hard to better - non-aggressive, and plenty of them in the same area.

So, we concentrated on Bogles, and if Ratel did manage to die a couple of times, well, that was mainly a bit of lag, and probably would have been worse elsewhere!  After a few minutes Ratel remarked that the Grand Gold Dragon must be near, judging by the lag he was experiencing, and sure enough the "GGD" soon arrived close by.  We didn't have any trouble this time, as it wasn't directly over us - this is normal behaviour as far as I remember, the Great Gold Dragon does tend to appear alongside rather than overhead, so that even in the old days when raid boss monsters were aggressive it seldom disrupted a party.  Rage was able to announce its arrival on the DreamingRequiem guild channel, and the mage Aszune quickly signed up, took Recall, and ran to where Chuck and Ratty waited.  They carefully moved away for the actual fight, after providing horse buffs, as Aszune hadn't got a horse on that character today... so watching Aszune's health bar was how we followed the battle. 

Despite a lack of level 12 magical defence minerals, Aszune triumphed without her health dipping very far, and was delighted to report that a rare accessory had dropped, a Stone of Life (100 extra health, +16 to physical fortitude/constitution), as well as Lucky Scrolls etc.  The Cursed Weavers spawned as usual - for some reason a couple of them headed for us, possibly because we'd supplied the horse buffs (some monsters can be sensitive about such things), so we made a quick retreat towards town.  Aszune killed them all, and kindly left a couple of their cash drops on the ground for us.

Rage also assisted Aszune by helping her transfer a highly-upgraded rogue armour set from XxAcheronxX to her rogue NightBlade, and using Recall to get NightBlade to that Boucu Demon spot.  Using plenty of expensive pots, NightBlade was able to add quite a few levels by fighting along that road.  Chuck commented that she'd added 9 levels, while so far in his session he'd added about 9%, which was only a slight exaggeration.

Rage left Egeha after that, to use Recall to help NightBlade to get the entrance of the Tomb of Theos onto her memory scroll too.  At level 45 now, she was going to try her luck against the level 100 Screaming Zombies - I'm sure she did fine!  Rage then logged out, and SirDarth was able to get back to levelling his hatchling.

Ratel had to log out at about 8:15 UK time, by which time he'd safely reached level 46, but Chuck continued on for another hour, using rather more health and mana potions.  In all, Chuck went up 23.85%, adding 9 skill points and 1464 pet points, so that was a useful session.

SirDarth's hatchling was well into level 11 by the close of play, while SirPerivale's horse was at least most of the way through level 31.  Getting that horse all the way to level 37 will, as usual, take quite a long time, and a lot of quality stones...

A Fight With Kamira-  July 4th

As usual my brave pair of pet-levellers swung into action just before breakfast, and it wasn't long before SirPerivale got the horse he is working on up to level 32.  Peri was able to take a rest after (iced) coffee, though, as it was once again time for MistressDomina to head for Auzura-4's Prokion Temple.

After yesterday getting 405 skill points from a 50% skill exp boost over a slightly extended two hours, this time my first "test kill" showed that unfortunately the GMs had remembered to switch off that boost after the US "Happy Hour" last night, so I was able to use the 100% super skill pill and 15% skill pill stacked together, which gave me 281 skill points over the first hour, and 278 over the second hour - well I did have a rather brief phone call to deal with!   That was another 559 skill points in the bank, along with 27.36% experience and 1608 pet points.

After lunch I had to do a little bit of moving items around, and made a new healer character just to carry some spare accessories and event items... I was surprised to find that the name LadyAuzura wasn't taken yet, but it is now!  And then Ratel got in touch, asking me what the price was for Chaos Balls currently... I said that I'd sold a few for 1.65 million a little while ago, but that with the way the price of Chaos Smelting Stones has gone up recently, they may be worth more than that now.

It turned out that Ratel had bought one, and, while he'd not got a "CSS", what he had got in exchange for it was a Blessed Iris, giving double experience gain for three hours, and he was eager to use it in Egeha, hint hint.

So Rage logged in, and paid the 800,000 gold to take the teleporter to Egeha; she partied up with Ratel and MrChuckNorris, and used her Party Recall to bring them to Egeha with no further fee. Ratel politely handed over his 400,000 gold, and then Chuck and Ratel headed out in search of Bogles.  I hadn't got any Blessed Irises on Chuck, but I did have some of the "lucky draw" Experience Boxes, and while the first one I opened just gave me a 1-hour 30% experience gain bonus, the second one did give a Blessed Iris, so Ratel and Chuck were able to both start the boosts within seconds of each other.

Generally, we stuck to the Bogles for our marathon session, with a few Dark Bogles thrown in.  Of course when we happened to get a bit near the first mother Ape and the Baby Apes, Ratel wanted us to kill her... which took a while and a lot of health, and mana, pots, but we did manage it.  A little later we moved past her (Ratel used a potion of haste, but that seemed to leave her a bit frisky and rather in the middle of the path, so I used a memory scroll as we'd previously added the Baby Ape location to our scrolls), and started an attempt to farm the Baby Apes. 

The first one or two were okay, with Ratel's teleportation skill coming in handy, but the next one, well they are aggressive, and a second one came in on us while we were fighting a first one, and then a third one joined the fight - we both used the Recall that Rage had provided us with, and after that Ratel was content to stay with the Bogles.  They may not give quite as much experience, but they are quicker to kill, not aggressive or protective, and there are plenty of them around.

We did have a number of visits from the Grand Gold Dragon, though; Ratel had a close call at least once when he clicked on it, but luckily he didn't have an attack initiated.  Sadly, Aszune was offline (and rather unhappy later to know what she'd missed), and though Rage announced the visits on the DreamingRequiem guild channel, nobody else who was on was the right kind of level.  The GGD did what Kamira used to do sometimes, after "Arriving" and hanging around for 14 minutes she'd vanish, only to "Arrive" again, seconds later, in the same location.

I was grumbling about this to Greengem593, who'd opened a Friends-type messenger window to see how I was getting on - and, on hearing that it had "Arrived" at our new location, told us she had a level 93 rogue, Kiramin, who used to kill the GGD, though she'd sold her armour.  She quickly found her previous armour, joined the party, and took Recall to Rage, who was able as usual to just point out the dots of the other party members on the map.

Kiramin was a bit under-prepared, and Ratel bravely transferred some suitably large health potions to her during the battle.  It went on so long that the horse buffs he had applied ran out, so he had to re-apply them. and I think that this, while entirely necessary, did jinx the possibility of good drops.  The rogue's health did go extremely low at one stage, I was advising her to take Rage's Recall and regroup, but in the end she triumphed, killing the Cursed Weavers it spawned too,  She was so happy to have managed this that she didn't mind the absence of drops; with any luck the Weavers dropped a little gold, anyway.

So, for the last half hour or so we didn't have to worry about great flapping gold wings overhead.  Ratel managed to reach level 47, so is on the lookout for some new armour; both he and Chuck did get heaven stones, and we also picked up a number of Stars and Stripes, and some pieces of armour, mainly titan type, and almost all to Ratel, or so it seemed.  By the time the Blessed Irises ran out, Chuck had added a total of 48.46%, along with 5 skill points and 1573 pet points.  While he didn't level up, his drake did, and is now level 35.

After the slightly delayed food break, Rage made a trip out the the Forgotten Temple; there are supposed to be some armour items that only drop there, but I didn't get anything like that, just gold, a moonstone box, Stars, and Stripes.  I added the location to Rage's scroll, in case the Aeria people do actually improve the skill experience there before Rage outgrows it - it isn't dangerous to get to, but it is a long way.  There are some dangerous monsters in there; the level 65 and 67 spiders are passive but protective, while the level 68 Legendary Slayers are aggressive as well as being protective of the spiders, and have a long-range magic attack, Nova Break.  The Curd Hadians (level 69) and Twin Hadians (71) are aggressive and protective, while the level 72 Jumping Devils are just aggressive - thankfully all three just have a short-range physical attack, but they hit pretty hard.  I didn't tangle with the two oversize boss monsters, the level 73 Barren Eise and the level 75 Blood Terrain.  The former has a short-range area of effect magical attack, while the latter goes for short-range physical, plus an area of effect debuff which slows down our attacks.

I'd reached the furthest part of the Temple, and was fighting a few spiders, and individual Jumping Devils, close to the Blood Terrain, when Ratel joined the party for the "solo party" boost, and I invited him to take Recall and come and have a look.  Sadly, we were just too far back for him to be able to see the Blood Terrain, but he was suitably impressed by the cathedral-like room...and quickly made his excuses and left.  He went off to fight the level 49 Elite Goblins... he needs to farm some skill points for the next lot of temple knight skills, so presumably won't be available for teaming with Chuck for a while.  It depends how long it takes, I suppose he may end up teaming, as senior partner, with MistressDomina instead, once she has left Prokion Temple.  I do still have plans for her to do some farming in Merac, riding her own red dragon, that idea has just been slightly delayed.

It wasn't long, however, before I got a call from Ratty to say that Kamira had arrived at his location, and he expected me, Rage, to come and kill her, since I was exactly the right level now.  It was lucky I'd added the Forgotten Temple's entrance to my memory scroll, I was able, rather than fight my way through the length of the place, to return to Dratan City, teleport down to the entrance, and swiftly ride across to where Ratel was.  He kindly loaned me some level 12 magical defence minerals, and put his defence buffs on me, then, once I'd got the horse buffs too, and moved some Great Healing Potions to the skill bar, I double-clicked on the mineral, and on an item drop booster, and attacked the raid boss.

Kamira fought back hard with her fiery magical attack of course, but thanks to the extra magical defence (Rage's is normally 114, along with 161 magical evasion, so an extra 150 makes quite a difference), plus Snare working a time or two, and using a few Great Healing Potions, at the end I was still standing, and Kamira wasn't. The level 35 Death Goddesses she spawns towards the end were no problem of course, and soon I was picking up the assorted drops.  As I'd not had a Lucky Scroll to use, it wasn't surprising that there was no rare accessory, but there were the usual sorts of things a raid boss drops - 5 moonstones, 5 tool aids, scrolls of memorising, a medal of honor, 5 lucky scrolls, a crystal of experience (greater), a rather ordinary Hero's Necklace (physical fortitude 4, evasion 11), and a little gold.

So, Rage was now a Kamira-slayer.  I paid Ratel for the three minerals, which he let me have at a suitably bargain price, and passed the crystal of experience (greater) over to him as well as a small "thank you" for his assistance and encouragement.

After that, well, LordElpus went out for a fairly brief bit of skill exp farming, and then it was time for SirPerivale to rejoin SirDarth down with the Berserkers in Merac.  Darth's hatchling had become a drake now, and ended the day on level 17, while Peri was making good progress on level 32 of his current horse, reaching the halfway mark.  We start the day with pet-levelling, and that's how we end, too, which brings our narrative to a satisfactory conclusion.

More Time in Prokion -  July 5th

SirDarth and SirPerivale were up early as usual, and Peri's horse reached level 33 during the morning.  Darth had to play without any supervision for a while, as before ten I fired up Guild Wars on the newer computer, and that always makes an existing Last Chaos window, even if minimised at the time, go black.  Darth continued to pet-level, until I finally closed the Last Chaos window, but I couldn't feed the drake or anything, all I could do was watch things from Peri's point of view.  Over in Shing Jea Monastery, in that other game, the Dragon Festival was reaching its climax, and I needed to have a character there to get the newest dragon-type headgear. Well, I think she has almost every other special hat or mask ever issued, so one needs to continue the collection, yes?

After coffee it was time for MistressDomina to head for Auzura-4's Prokion Temple, where she soon reached level 33.  This meant that the skill exp per Orc Sergeant fell by 14.3%, and the skill exp per Orc Axeman fell by 20.0%.  The Orc Axemen are now blue-named, so fighting them won't add any pet points; the amount of regular experience they give has fallen away very sharply too.

All of this explains why, compared to yesterday's 280-ish skill points in an hour, along with about 14% experience and 800 pet points, this morning's 246 skill points in the hour (249 in all), 8.09% experience, and 657 pet points seems a bit low.  As that included a few minutes before levelling up, and used the last of the 15% skill pills, things would be a little bit lower next time, I knew.  If the experience gain per hour has been cut in half, I thought, perhaps it was just about time for MistressDomina to come out of the "50% experience gain freeze" situation, and start to level in a normal way.

After the usual pet-levelling over lunch, it was time to finish the job on that spare titan of mine, Cyborg.  First of all, Rage partied with him, and used Party Recall to let him get the entrance to Prokion Temple onto his memory scroll (plus the Sphinx types and the entrance to the Tomb of Theos, for good measure); then MistressDomina passed her armour and accessories over to MistressSabina, who at level 30 was just in range of Cyborg, at level 15, without Cy being "capped".

MistressSabina partied with Cyborg, and added horse buffs, and Mana Shield for speed, for him, just outside Prokion Temple, again on Auzura-4.  Then, although his own armour is still rather low-level, he was able to run to my favourite back room, and take up a position in a corner, protected by one of the torch/braziers.  MistressSabina followed him in, and set to work on the back room's Orc Axemen and Orc Soldiers, in much the same way that MistressDomina had earlier, though using her level 33 wand instead of MD's level 29 staff.  Over the next 40 minutes MistressSabina added 15% experience - and Cyborg added five levels, reaching level 20 and completing his Guardian apprenticeship, so that the event weapon appeared in his inventory.

The "Sunday Teatime" started about then, with 50% extra skill experience for two hours, but Sabina didn't stay long, she doesn't need 50% extra, if she is to get any useful number of skill points she needs at least 200% extra.  In all she added 15.95% experience, 67 skill points, and 653 pet points.

The best way to make use of the bonus time was for MistressDomina to swing back into action, so as soon as the accessories and armour had been traded back to MD, SirDarth logged in for some pet-levelling and the solo party boost, and very soon MD was back in that room with the Orc Axemen and Orc Sergeants.  The Sergeants were now giving 4950 skill exp per kill and the Axemen 3300, but as we were still on the 50% freeze of the experience gain, that was as good as using a pssp for triple skill exp without the freeze.  MD now only had four super skill pills left, for an hour each of double skill exp, so using the 50% bonus was rather convenient.

There was about an hour and 45 minutes left of the Teatime, and MistressDomina made pretty good use of it, adding 12.29% experience, 1176 pet points, and, I see, exactly 300 skill points, taking her comfortably over the 22k mark.

The early evening food break had the pet-levelling duo back in action; a single Pandora's Box let out a level 50 Pandora's Beast, which Chuck came down and dealt with, gaining 71,200 gold.  Soon after that Darth's drake reached level 20, while when he logged out again Peri's horse was just approaching the 30% mark on the journey through level 33.

The main evening session on a Sunday is always a problem, as it has the Quiz stuck right in the middle.  I was running a bit late, after delaying my food break until the "Happy Hour" had ended, so, ruling out trips to Egeha or the Forgotten Temple, I logged LordElpus in for a few minutes... and then worked out that I just about had time for an hour's worth of Prokion Temple before the Quiz, so changed over to MistressDomina again.

This was MD's first full ssp-using hour at level 33, so it was interesting to find that she went up 6.88%, which means potentially eleven more one-hour sessions before she reaches level 34 if I don't get her experience gain "unfrozen" from its current 50% rate.  Using the 100% boost to skill exp from the ssp, 221 skill points got added, along with 563 pet points.  Hitting the Axemen doesn't count towards pet experience now, and I'd have said if anything there were more Axemen than Sergeants in that room's mix; I think we're still getting more than half as many pet points because hitting a group with Flame Storm only counted once before, even if six targets were involved...and as long as at least one of those targets is a Sergeant, it still counts the same way.

The Quiz started on time at 8:30 UK time; I was there as Kaerella as usual on Auzura-2, along with Rage, plus Ratel, GuildHealer, and a lot of DreamingRequiem people including Aszune... and almost everyone got kicked out on about the fifth question.  I suppose I wasn't concentrating, everyone else was on the side that said that, yes, GMKrash was in charge of the old school treasure hunts... and then at the last minute I persuaded myself to dash for the other side.  Rage, who was following me, didn't make it, and respawned back in the middle of Randol, along with almost everyone else.

So, Kae was one of only eight survivors.  Luckily most of the following questions were ones we know the answers to, and we all made it through to the end, to get our ten tool aids, ten moonstones, and fifteen heaven stones.  By that time I'd got SirDarth back pet-levelling in Merac with his Berserker.  And when Kae logged out, well, it was time for LordElpus to kill a few more foxes and wolves.

Ratel and GuildHealer (alias Steve, Stavanic, BringerofHell, etc) were looking at prices in Auzura-1's Randol - heaven stones on sale for ten million, mounts for 800 million, chaos smelting stones approaching 200 million, and all sorts of vastly inflated prices.  It all gave Ratty a bit of a headache, and he signed off for the night.  Steve apparently has a character or two on the Hatzring server, and he plans to work on them a bit over the next week or two, levelling pets and generally farming, as he reckons that prices are more stable there, so he wants to develop a Norcaine guild there that we could all switch to if necessary.  He'll still drop in on us over here from time to time, though.

LordElpus didn't get too bored, as an assassin-rogue had summoned a Skin Walker, a level 82 boss type monster from Egeha, which seemed really incongruous just by the moat around town.  She and a knight friend were attempting to kill it, but made very little headway, with the knight dying a couple of times, until they brought in a rather higher level titan to help.  It still took a while, though!  As I knew that Skin Walkers aren't aggressive, I allowed it to get pretty close to me in an attempt to take a screenshot - and nearly died, an "area of effect" skill it used took me down to 7 health.  So, I kept my distance after that.

So, that was the way the day ended; SirDarth had got his drake to level 21 before the end of play, while SirPerivale's horse should have reached about 40% of the way through level 33 by the time he logs out.  Peri still has around a thousand quality stones, but that number is going to start  to fall quite dramatically over the coming week.

Downtime -  July 6th

MistressDomino was set up in merchant mode last night, and managed to sell some moonstone boxes, pan flutes, drake eggs, potions of haste, and a level 37 horse, which made a rather nice boost to her gold reserves - but before too long, I think, she got disconnected, as I discovered in the morning.  I can't blame the Last Chaos servers for that disconnection - my internet connection had vanished entirely, and I only managed to get things working again at around a quarter to eleven.

So, SirDarth and SirPerivale had a rather late start today.  There wasn't time for MistressDomina to do any skill point farming before lunch, either; there was just enough time for her to do some mining though, to use up 24 of the tool aids she'd accumulated recently, and ride down to SirDarth in Merac to pass most of the new quality stones across to him, before she logged out and Peri logged back in for the lunch break.

After lunch, however, MistressDomina went down to Auzura-4's Prokion Temple, and settled in with the Orc Sergeants and Orc Axemen in my favourite back room.  I used two of the last three super skill pills - the first one brought in 215 skill points, and the second one 211, and, as I stayed on for a while afterwards, the total skill point gain was 451, on 14.44% experience, along with 1262 pet points.  Now that the Axemen are blue-named, and the Sergeants green-named and not far from turning blue, the drops aren't as good as they used to be, I don't think there was any armour dropped - but there were still Hands of Bravery, giving Large Attack Potions, as well as Stars, Stripes, and Moonstone Boxes, plus gold.

The next, and last, super skill pill, for an hour of double skill point experience, ought to take MD above 23k of unused skill points, which, while it is less than I was hoping for before the Aeria people changed the maximum "freeze" of experience gain from 100% to 50%, ought to be enough for the foreseeable future.

I didn't really settle down to anything for long in the evening.  The first item on the egenda was to get MrChuckNorris, my titan, up to level 54, so I went out to the Sphinx types and fought them solo for a while.  I just added 6.48%, which was all I needed to level up, plus 3 skill points and 308 pet points.  Back in town, I checked to see if there were any new skills to learn, and found that there was a second level of Toughness to learn - in fact, I should have learnt it when I reached 53.  Spending 168 skill points means that I've decreased the damage Chuck takes from Critical and Deadly hits, probably by a further 10 on top of the first level's 80, though the Last Chaos "Wet Paint" wiki isn't absolutely sure of its figures.

Since Steve is spending most of his time on the Hatzring server, I thought I'd better check up to see what characters I have over there -  a level ten mage, and a level 10 healer, it seems.  I spent a while on the healer, Kaerella of course, getting a few skill points from berserk wolves, but being careful not to get too close to level eleven, in case this version of Kae needs to enter the Guardian system at some point.  I added the entrance to Velpist temple to her memory scroll, and the "Mad Monster Spawn" location too.  A friendly level 26 rogue, "blackdeathrouge", gave me a solo party.  She'd got bored with levelling/farming in Prokion Temple, and so was out in the grasslands of Juno for a change.

Then it was time to log my under-powered level twenty titan Cyborg in, just to sort out the quests available to him at that level in Randol.  I did want to finish by doing the quests to learn herb, energy and stone gathering, but I couldn't get that type of farming to work.  Normally if the Endurance of a tool isn't going down, I sit down, and then stand up again, and then all goes well, but this time I just couldn't get Cy to sit.  So, a log-out was called for.  A few minutes later I logged back in, and this time there was no problem getting the quest herb, energy and stone, so Cyborg is now the proud owner of nine more potions of haste.  He was able to sit down, too.

And that is just about all there is to report on today.  SirDarth had continued his pet-levelling, so that his drake is well into level 24 now, while SirPerivale took over from Cyborg, after Kaerella had a quick check on her item mall "Records" section (something expected still hasn't arrived).  Peri's horse should end the evening only an hour away from reaching level 34, so we are making progress there, just not quite as much progress today as I might have hoped.

Here Be Dragons -  July 7th

I set MistressDomina up again for overnight sales, and she kept online until morning, selling most of her items, including lots of Stars and Stripes.  The total wasn't as much as yesterday's, but then, one can't sell a level 37 horse every day.

SirPerivale and SirDarth began their pet-levelling work a lot earlier than on Monday, anyway, so that it wasn't long after lunch when Darth's drake reached level 26.  By that time Peri's horse was about 40% of the way into level 34.

SirPerivale took time off between coffee and lunch, so that MistressDomina could head for Auzura-4's Prokion temple back room, and use the last of her super skill pills.  During its hour she added 227 skill points, so she was pretty busy, gathering big groups of the Orc Axemen and Orc Sergeants, and using Flame Storm on them.  She continued after the ssp ran out for a while, so the total session added 257 skill points, as well as 8.66% experience and 743 pet points, meaning that MD is nearly halfway through level 33 now.

After Darth and Peri's lunchtime work, it seemed like a good idea to take my level 70 rogue Rage off to Egeha in her own right, rather than just being on the second computer and providing half-price travel for Chuck and Ratel.  There were a number of early Egeha quests that could be sorted out - and while the experience they give isn't particularly massive, ieach is equivalent to killing a pretty much boss-type monster.

In Egeha village, Antiquities Dealer Remton wanted me to get some Accessories of the Gods, but my initial reaction was that he could wait a bit as they are found in a fairly dangerous area, as far as I remembered.  Grocer Wain wanted me to kill ten Bogles, which I was happy to do - at level 65 they are still green for me, just!  Once I'd reported back and got my reward, he then asked me to deliver some medicine to Beldam Juriel, a slightly tricky quest as the Male and Female AssassinBugs around there are aggressive and protective, and the Females are bosses and hard to kill.

Weapon Trader Reman, a bit of a hippy going by his "Hey dude" turns of phrase, asked me to kill three Hadeis out by the graveyard.  When I was there, Ceremony Manager Renin (who might be better described as "Cemetery Manager") requested that I kill lots of Dark Bogles, until I'd picked up seven "Grave Robbers' Equipment", and after that asked me to kill three Devil Graves, which must be one of the easiest quests that actually requires some fighting, as Devil Graves are just, well, headstones, that just stand there, they don't fight back.

Those quests were generally open to anyone from level 60; but as Rage was now level 70, some others are available too, if I reach the appropriate far-flung, dangerous places.  One quest-giver I did reach was Scout Terry, who tested my bravery by asking me to kill ten Azers, and then when I'd managed that, seven of the Little Scorpionmantises.  His next quest asked me to kill, well he said five more of the Little ones, but he actually wants me to fight the full-size Scorpionmantises, so my first reaction was that that can wait a few more levels.

When I got to Beldam Juriel, and gave her the package of medicine, she had a new quest for me, "Old Woman's Revenge", requiring me to kill twenty of the local AssassinBugs - I think it was just the Male ones that qualified, but it was hard to keep the boss-type Female ones from getting involved.  I had a spare spot on my memorising scroll, so I saved a small safe area just behind the lady, which was just as well, as after a kill or two I found myself being chased by a couple of Males, and a Female, so a "Pet Return to Village" seemed the best option.

I think there was a little bit of cross-purposes chat on the guild channel, with more than one dialogue going on, but Aszune kindly volunteered to assist me - in the person of her level 93 archer Cenaria.  Cenaria doesn't get to play much now, sadly, as she has run out of skill points.  She joined the party, and I used Recall to get her to Egeha, and then to Beldam Juriel's location, and, with her rather useful attack and healing skills, we settled in.  I think I needed to make the actual "killing blow" for the death of a Male AssassinBug for the death to count towards the quest, as the tally didn't increase each time one died, and so we settled into a routine where she'd deal with the Females, and I'd kill the Males. 

As Cenaria was 23 levels above me, I was "capped", and so got very little experience, typically 750-850 experience and 1 skill exp, but I still got my share of the loot of course, and the quest was the main thing.  I stayed on briefly after Cenaria, her task completed, left, and on the two conveniently-respawned Males I then got 283,450 experience and 1100 skill experience, with the "solo party" boost from SirDarth.

Since getting to Egeha costs 800,000 gold, Rage stayed in the village there during the early evening food break, so that SirDarth continued pet-levelling solo; by this time he was giving a boost to a black pony belonging to a Norcaine guildie, SmokeinThatKush; this one started at 574/1548 of the way through level 11, and by the end of the evening was well into level 15.  I'm not entirely sure how far I'm supposed to take this one, but Smokey is working on getting a few quality stones for me.

Aszune had just about given up on me luring the Grand Gold Dragon, and had moved to a different sub-server.  She was just saying that she was going afk for a while, as Rage battled the Baby Apes, when at last the GGD put in an appearance.  Luckily she hadn't quite left her keyboard when I typed "GGD!" in hurriedly, and was able to move back across to Auzura-4, register for the party, and take Recall.  With a quick "good luck", I moved off back to town, not wanting to spoil the chances of her getting some good drops.

Surprisingly, the Dragon did manage to kill Aszune, but she hurried back and finished the job.  Unfortunately she didn't get a rare accessory among the drops, but the usual moonstones, tool aids, lucky scrolls, crystal of experience (greater), and so on did appear, so she probably covered the cost of the brief adventure.  I had moved back from town into the general area, though I took care to keep off the compass-circle - I killed a Dark Bogle and it dropped a heaven stone for me while Aszune was fighting, and I think it may be almost as valuable as what the GGD dropped...

When Aszune left and I moved back to the Baby Apes, I found that she hadn't bothered to clear out the Cursed Weavers, so I was slightly restricted as to what I could attack, and before long headed back towards town.  "Look out, there are some Cursed Weavers ahead", I warned a titan in a smart wedding-type suit (though carrying that big spiked club does slightly spoil the effect) who was heading in that direction... only to discover that it was Razva125, who I'd teamed with a few times against the Sphinx types.  He briefly joined the party to demonstrate that he was level 94 now, and I was suitably impressed.

I continued to fight Dark Bogles, Hadeis, and other Egeha residents; I even managed to kill one of the full-size Scorpionmantises, meaning that I just need four more for Scout Terry's latest challenge.  I moved forward into the ruins where the Accessories of the Gods are to be found, as well as plenty more Scorpionmantises and their offspring; they are a bit strange, the AotGs, as while they are visible on the ground as boxes, one doesn't just pick them up like loot, they have to be "harvested", as if one was using a knife to obtain green herb leaves.  It only takes a few seconds, but if you are being attacked by an Egeha monster, that could be too long.  However, I was able to find one box that was just far enough away from the nearest Little Scorpionmantises; I'd harvest it, then move back to the wall, and wait while it regenerated, then harvest it again.  I needed five in all, but while I was there I got a few more, after all Kaerella will need some, and Chuck eventually too.

The Auzura "Mad Monster Spawn" began at around nine, UK time, or perhaps a little earlier; I hadn't intended to go, but this time there was a special "pet-levelling" aspect to it, with level 90 statues, as seen in Lust Trum Tower, provided for lower-level characters to do some pet-levelling on while the higher-ups were battling the Cave Spirits, Flutons, Darkmind Terrains, and so on.  Actually, I saw the titan Razva125 there, and he seemed to be spending most of his time pet-levelling on a statue...  But anyway, after killing some more Hadeis and Dark Bogles, Rage logged out, having added in all 15.35% experience, a very useful 35 skill points, and 2035 pet points.  There'd been some nice loot too, not just heaven stones but armour and weapons - mainly titan axes, five in all, three level 65 and two level 69.

It was MistressSabina I took there, on the feeling that her pet could do with a bit of a boost.  I did get killed once when I was tempted to join in the attack on a nearby level 135 Patriarch Botis - I seemed to lose more experience than skill exp, so that is very nearly a positive thing.  Most of the time I was just pet-levelling, though there were two spawnings of goodies, when we all rushed forward to grab what we could.  I got, as well as the minor stuff and a few tool aids, 7 large attack potions, 3 large defence potions, 4 item drop boosters, and 2 skill point boosters, so that was a nice little bonus for the day.  Sabina was down 2.98% on the experience side, and 2 skill points, but her drake had added 329 pet points.

SirPerivale joined SirDarth in Merac, but I had one of my new-style disconnections soon after ten, which meant the newer computer had to be restarted - we were back in action in about 12 minutes though, most of that time being spent on milk and cookies.  And at approaching eleven I saw a bit of red flapping on the screen...and when I zoomed out, it was the Grand Red Dragon directly overhead!  A knight called Macmillion apologised, "Cr ap sorry man didn't know you were pet training", but it was hardly his fault if his Berserker-killing in the area had attracted the attentions of Merac's raid boss.  Darth and Peri moved down the road a little - as long as nobody attacked the GRD, causing area of effect magical attacks and the spawning of angry Cerebrii, my feeling was that we ought to be okay.  By the end of the evening, not only was Darth's pony passing the halfway mark in level 15, Peri's horse was past halfway in level 34.

He Died With His Helm On -  July 8th

My pair of valiant pet-levellers started their work today nice and early, but at one point during the morning when I checked back on their progress, poor SirPerivale was lying there dead, in his underwear!  I had rather assumed that the armour "covers", such as the school uniforms some of my characters got from the "rock paper scissors" Wendy Bear event, expired between sessions, so that one just got a "has expired" notice next time one logged that character in, but apparently, when the 30 days are up, wham, the cover vanishes - and as in theory it is the cover rather than the armour you have equipped, there you are in mid-battle, without any armour.  Except, with the cover sets that don't include a head covering, for one's invisible helmet.

Well, pet levellers need the occasional death to stop them gaining too much experience and levelling up, and Berserkers aren't pet-eaters, so Peri's horse was unhurt.  Peri only has 2 unused skill points, so they weren't effected. The plan is to boost SirPerivale's armour from +3 to +4 so that he can continue to pet-level on Berserkers when the pet is high enough, but at the moment, since SirDarth's assorted pets aren't too low, Darth has been able to exchange helms with Peri, giving him, with the four pieces of +3 armour and Darth's shield, 1043 defence, which is 48 more than he had yesterday.

SirDarth continued to work on SmokeinTheKush's pony, and then horse, until it reached level 20 after tea, at which point Smokey took it back to give me a break and level it up a bit himself..so the level 26 drake had a chance for some fresh air, and to recover some  of its Sympathy, which had fallen to 85%.

There wasn't a chance for an active late morning session today, so it was after lunch when MistressDomina made her usual journey out to Prokion Temple on Auzura-4.  MD has run out of skill pills now, so it was just a matter of slogging along at a normal rate.  Strangely, after not getting any armour drops since she reached level 33, this time there were quite a number of them...mainly boots of course, either level 32 or 37.

It's nice not to have to rush every minute, because an expensive boost is counting down; so Smokey's fairly frequent questions about how the levelling was coming along didn't disrupt the flow.  Anyway, after the usual mob-flaming, I can report that MistressDomina added 13.13%, and 214 skill points, as well as picking up a few more Stars and Stripes - luckily that event has been renewed for a second week - as well as the occasional moonstone box.  MD's drake reached level 32 right at the end of the session, having gone up by 1189 pet points.

Over the early evening food break as usual SirPerivale was able to join in the pet-levelling too.  Darth had a bit of a surprise, a Blood Frenzy was next to him when I looked at his screen, and Blood Frenzies have, in the past, killed both him and his pet, which was why I moved back from my previous position, which was near enough to a group of them for a mischievous person to "pull" them onto Darth.  However, it was actually a level 43 assassin-rogue called Steak, who ended the transformation scroll she had been using, and asked if I'd seen the Grand Red Dragon - to which the answer was, not since last night.

As with most Wednesdays, I had to log out early, so, after the routine stuff there wasn't really time to do anything very dramatic, so, as it seemed like a good idea to give Rage some online time, my rogue gave herself horse buffs in Dratan City, used a memory scroll to move to the entrance to the Forgotten Temple, and ran through to its far end, past the Barren Eise to the Blood Terrain.

It wasn't that I wanted to tackle a level 75 boss monster about twenty times my height, my previous exploration had found it quite a useful place to fight Jumping Devils one by one, which at level 72 give reasonable skill exp, as well as a bit of experience.  Steve's level 21 Norcaine archer, GuildHealer, had joined the party, and, as with Ratel a few days back, I invited her to join me just to see the place, using my Party Recall.

Ratel had been pretty wary, and unfortunately not moved far enough forward to see the boss, leaving fairly promptly, but GuildHealer, less than half his level, didn't have much to lose, and so was happy to stick around, and indeed to try to run back to see the other boss, the level 73 Barren Eise... and when a Legendary Slayer managed to do to her what it was legendary for, to start running back from the start through the spiders, which aren't aggressive but are protective... so there were a couple of deaths notched up for her.

She did try to persuade me to fight the Blood Terrain, but I couldn't really see the point; maybe when I am exactly its level.  She was suggesting bringing in a friend of about level 83, but that would perhaps have been overkill, and anyway she then found she had to leave.  She can't have got much experience, being well and truly capped by the 49 level difference, but she got some cash at least, and did get a good look around the place.

One Jumping Devil did drop a pair of titan-type Mammoth Boots for me, which rather got my hopes up, but those are the level 67 ones, which Bogles also drop, and not rare.  The hard-to-find level 62 ones are apparently sometimes dropped by the level 69 Curd Hadians, while the level 68 Legendary Slayers can drop the equally-desirable level 57 ones.  If Aeria Games gets round to increasing the skill experience in the Forgotten Temple, so that the place gets busy, both those levels of boots are liable to get a little more common.

SirDarth kept on levelling his drake; it was originally intended to be the replacement for the one LordElpus gave up, but has rather got past that level, and reached level 27 this evening, with 100% Sympathy re-established.  SirPerivale has managed to get his horse at least a quarter of the way through level 35, as well...

Outside the World of Iris, I've had to put in a "contact us" form about a package of item drop boosters, and related stuff, called the "Loot Seeker Monday Special", that I bought from the Web Mall but which never reached the appropriate character's in-game "Records" section.  I don't know how long that will take to sort out, but eventually I should get an email asking for more information.  There's a screenshot/caption contest thread running on the forum, too, and I've posted a few pictures there with appropriate captions.  They gave a link to the "Parody Motivation Generator", to make the pictures and captions look their best, and some of the entries people have posted are rather fun.  I don't think there is any prize, but you never can tell!

Bits & Pieces -  July 9th

I don't think I mentioned the results of Rage's brief trip to the Forgotten Temple last night, in all the rush, not that 1.37% experience and 321 pet points is very memorable, though every 5 skill points are very welcome.  And as for the request to Aeria about the missing "Loot Seeker Monday Special", I got a reply saying that the ten heaven stones had been sent to me now, but I needed to make more space for the rest of the items, so this I have now done.  I didn't even know that the package included ten heaven stones, it was the item drop boosters and lucky scrolls that attracted me...

SirDarth spent the morning pet-levelling.  SmokeinThatKush contacted him first thing, to pass the horse back for more work, the rogue had added about 350 pet points last night.  By the end of lunchtime the horse was up two levels at 22, so there is still quite a way to go.  SirPerivale did some work on my horse, too, though he made way for MistressDomina after coffee.

For MistressDomina it was business as usual, with a Chakra Shield buff applied in Dratan City for movement speed, followed by horse buffs, and then a teleportation to Prokion Temple's entrance, followed by a run to my back room, where again I had no visitors.  I kept going for quite a bit longer than an hour, adding 9.20% experience, so that MD is now 70% of the way through level 33.  761 pet points were added, and 148 skill points.

For the afternoon, I wanted Rage to be online, to keep up with anything going on in the DreamingRequiem guild, but I didn't want to do anything too hectic as I knew I would get interruptions.  And I also wanted to get a few skill points!  So, I returned to the Forgotten Temple, running through its early stages while the horse buffs lasted.  It would be nice to be able to kill Legendary Slayers in the hope of getting level 57 boots as a loot drop, but they always seem to be close to the Cursed Spiders and Wane Spiders, which, while not aggressive, are protective of each other and of the Slayers, so I wasn't able to kill many of those.  It's much simpler to kill Jumping Devils, as the Spiders don't give a hoot about what happens to those.  They may be level 72, and the highest-level monsters apart from the two bosses, but they aren't generally a problem.  Curd Hadians and Twin Hadians, at level 69 and level 71, are protective of each other, so fighting them did require some health potions - but one Curd Hadian was kind enough to drop a pair of rare mage boots, so that was rather useful.

The titan Darkmager got in touch - or James from Malta.  It was quite a while since he led Rage across from the Poison Mists to the Sphinx Fighters, but he is still only level 40 - trying to farm some skill experience apparently.  He wanted to take Recall and visit the Forgotten Temple, I seem to get a lot of relatively low-level visitors when I'm there.  He did provide that useful titan warmaster buff to increase my attack, but, while he didn't get much experience himself, of course he halved mine.

At least he didn't die - though just as, with plenty of warning, I logged out, I think he was attacking a Spider, so I hope that went okay.  Rage had added 3.22%, and 815 pet points, but, more importantly, she had earned another dozen skill points, taking her unused sp total up to a nice round 8,000.

Over the food break SirPerivale joined SirDarth; Just before I vanished SmokeinTheKush brought Darth down 113 quality stones, but after I'd gone afk he managed to attract the attention of Darth's Berserker, so a little bit of time was lost there.  He later bought a good stock of tool aids, and got some more quality stones for later use.

Rage browsed the shops on Auzura-1 for a while after the break, not wanting to settle to anything.  Aszune was down fighting Sphinx Commanders in the Tomb's grave room, and was running out of platinum blessed irises, so I told her the prices I could see, and while they weren't exactly a bargain, 29 million each was the cheapest I was able to find.  She asked me to buy two for her, and then move to Auzura-6, register for a party, and take Recall to join her, just to trade them across, so that's what I did - the old place looks much the same.  I logged off afterwards relatively quickly.  Later in the evening she finally reached level 94, so was rather happy.

MrChuckNorris made a trip out to the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men, which somehow seem more dangerous than the good old Bogles in Egeha, now.  He just added 3.56%, 3 skill points, and 203 pet points before I left there, and decided to give LordElpus a few minutes.  The first wolf he killed dropped an "Uncle Sam" type top hat for a sorceror, which was a good start.  A few skill points were gained, slowly, but it isn't particularly exciting work.

JadaMarie, Norcaine's level 27 healer, was complaining how hard she was finding it to farm skill exp in Prokion Temple.  She had used an expensive platinum super skill pill, but died four times during its hour, and so ended up with less points than she'd started with, losing about 70 every time.  She's hoping to get her armour upgraded a bit, three parts of her new 30/32 set aren't upgraded at all yet, so, with a little help from the Wet Paint wiki for Last Chaos, I told her which creatures were likely to drop level 31 and 32 armour, suitable for converting into smelting stones... Berserkers, Pilferers, Silver Foxes of the Desert, things like that.

A knight called Airwalker was farming close to Darth.  There were a couple of times when Darth's Berserker got caught up, once because Airwalker's pet Ichi decided to get involved in the fight, but as I was fairly alert as to what was going on on that screen, it wasn't a problem. He was actually a bit high-level for Bandits and Berserkers, and was confident he could deal with the Grand Red Dragon if his activities attracted it - he was working to level his "human tribe" Ichi pet.

Darth got Smokey's horse to level 24 fairly late in the evening; by that time SirPerivale was back pet-levelling too.  By the end of the evening Peri's horse should be getting pretty close to level 36, so there isn't too long to go before a new pet will get its start.

Pet Levelling -  July 10th

SirPerivale's horse did in fact just manage to reach level 36 last night.  The final level ought, I calculated, to take a little over 13 hours, so didn't seem likely to all fit into today, though I was looking forward to the Friday "Teatime" two hour event, of which more later.

As SmokeInTheKush is six hours behind UK time, and tends to stay up late, she was still around when my pet-levellers got started this morning.  She had made a new titan, giving him the classical Greek titan name KRONOS, and got him to level 25, with the idea of having him do some pet-levelling, but titans aren't really very good at this sort of thing, they don't have a knight's health regeneration and their attack is slower.  Smokey had allocated his stat points slightly wrongly for the task; I thought the NPC Crean in Randol helped sort such errors out, for a fee, but it seems he only deals with dual-class characters, at level 31 and above.

Just before breakfast MrChuckNorris had to be called in to deal with one of the level 50 Pandora's Beasts - which kindly dropped 57,600 gold and a moonstone box.  He also had to ride down again later in the morning, but that particular Beast didn't drop anything; a third Pandora's Box actually just gave Peri some loot, five moonstones to be exact.

After coffee I was able to log MistressDomina in instead of SirPerivale, and of course she headed straight for Prokion Temple.  The session there went smoothly enough, in fact her faithful drake only took four points of damage from the Orcs, which is unusually low.  9.15% experience got added, plus 848 pet points and 149 skill points.

Over lunch SirPerivale was able to rejoin SirDarth.  I stayed away from the computer almost too long, not remembering the speed at which a pet gets hungry at level 36, fourteen levels above Peri, and when I returned the starvation bar was down to 2/100, so more quality stones had to be used right away.

Going by the general idea that one of my knightly pet-levellers can add a thousand pet points an hour, I worked out that going from level 12 to  the top of level 23 takes around 80 quality stones - the levels before that, as they are shorter, could just take 26 or 27.  After that the pet becomes hungrier, so going on to the top of level 32 takes another 600 - while the final four levels to get a level 37 pet would add another 800.

For the part-afternoon before the promised two "Happy Hour" hours, it seemed easiest to take Rage out to the Forgotten Temple again - and I did get to use Recall to bring in a couple of characters, but that was just Steve wanting help moving his pet-levelling knight armour set, and 28 tool aids, from BringerofHell to GuildHealer, as he intends to set up a pet-levelling knight on that particular account.  As usual Rage had used horse buffs to race through the early parts of the Temple, and as usual nobody else was around.  Killing the local monsters until just before the Happy Hour was announced added 1.45%, 322 pet points, and 7 skill points.

The Happy Hour was a bit of a mess, sadly.  It started with an announcement that it was the US one rather than the EU one, and only offered the 50% extra experience gain - there was no mention of the promised double pet experience, or indeed any sign of the pet-levelling statues which were due to be spawned on each server's first non-PvP sub-server, outside Randol's north gate.  The forum's shoutbox was without any GameSages, until finally Giovanna_X arrived, just after, at gone a quarter past the hour, we got a new "EU Happy Hour has begun!!! Enjoy the EXP Bump!!!" announcement, but still no increase in the pet experience rate. Gio promised to look into things, but the whole of the first hour passed without any change.

In fact, it was about twenty minutes into hour two before the pet experience started going up two by two.  So, the patience of my pet levellers was at last rewarded.  The 50% regular experience boost, unwelcome for a lot of characters if they were wanting to stock up on skill points, ended on time, according to the announcement, but thankfully the double pet experience continued.  And it seemed more useful to continue Darth and Peri, rather than log Chuck or MistressDomina or Rage, or even LordElpus, in.

I did have some connection problems on the newer computer, so, due to a couple of restarts, Darth missed out on some of the double time; still, Peri was the important one, with his horse moving through its final level at double the usual rate. The boost did finally end a little before seven, UK time; it ought to be back at midnight for the US Happy Hour(s), but that's a bit late for me.

So, what next?  I do find that I'm missing the option to play my archer Kaerella, while Rage is using the level 70/72 armour set, and also the +15 weapon for that level.  It would be silly to buy a second set, appropriately upgraded - and swapping the one set between characters costs a couple of million, to change from one class to another, and destroys the set of bloodseals.  Chuck can just about solo Sphinx types or Bogles, but in a rather boring way and using lots of potions - like Rage he would function better in a team, but despite what he said yesterday Ratel didn't put in an appearance tonight.

The most constructive use of the rest of the evening seemed to be to return to MistressDomina, so that's what I did... and what she did was return to Prokion Temple.  It was a longer session, and I did have three visitors, though they didn't, thankfully, stay long, no more than a single Orc kill each I think.  15.38% experience got added, so one more hour will get MD to level 34, the last level at which the Orc Sergeants will be green-named for her.  1283 pet points were earned, along with another 252 skill points, so MistressDomina must still be earning skill points ten or even twenty times faster than Rage or Chuck can.

So, will MD continue for another level in Prokion Temple, preferably released from the 50% reduction in her experience gain - or do we exchange her level 32 drake for the level 37 one we raised, convert it into a dragon, and send her flying the friendly skies of Merac to mob the Bandits and Blood Frenzies?  It would certainly make a change...

The horse SirDarth is levelling up for SmokeinThe Kush should pass the halfway mark in level 27 before it's time to log out.  Thanks to that belated but slightly extended Happy Hour of double pet experience,  SirPerivale will be getting pretty near to the end of his work on his current horse by log-out time, in fact he might just make it.  Since he has borrowed Darth's upgraded shield and helm, his armour rating is slightly higher than usual, so I think he would be okay to take over Smokey's horse (which is a suitably smokey-grey colour) at its current level, even though that means that the Armour Increase buff is 40 below its maximum.  Not having his full deluxe set, Darth can't currently start a pet from level 1, but he has a level 27 drake to work on, to keep him busy.  But that's for tomorrow.

Auzura Breakdown -  July 11th

Before SirDarth and SirPerivale could go out to Merac this morning, a small amount of trading had to be done.  The newly-finished level 37 horse was traded across to MistressDomino, and then Darth traded across Smokey's level 27 horse to Peri, before equipping the level 27 drake he had been working on previously.  With his lower armour rating, Peri wouldn't have been able to handle the drake, since, as it has been out of action while the horse was levelled, its Sympathy had fallen to 73%, so that would have been the percentage of the full Armour Increase buff it gave, to begin with.

Smokey did check on how things were going - it might have been eight o'clock in the morning for me, but it was 2:00 am last night for him, so me saying I was off to get some breakfast rather surprised him.

There was some more trading between characters after coffee, getting Stars, Stripes and so on to MistressDomino, and a few top hats to various characters, so MistressDomina was a little later than usual heading out to Prokion Temple on Auzura-4.  Still, adding 6.12%, 527 pet points and 104 skill points did get her to level 34 at last, which was the object of the exercise.  The blue-named Orc Axemen still (at the 50% experience donation/freeze rate) give 642 experience, but the skill exp is now down from 2200 to 1650, while the Orc Sergeants, on the last level when they will be green-named for MD, now give 4268 experience instead of 5691 (a fall of 25%), and 2750 skill exp instead of 3300.

Peri and Darth were both pet-levelling over lunch, while the knight Airwalker was working to level his Ichi pet, and then after that MistressDomina exchanged her level 32 drake for the level 37 one MistressFelicia had been holding.  MD then had the Animal Trainer transform the drake into a big, bold dragon, which she immediately coloured red, and headed for Merac.

There were a few quests to be picked up in Merac Caron, to kill Pilferers and Bandits, to kill Berserkers, and to deliver various messages.  Generally the local monsters of about MD's level were pretty easy to kill with a couple of blasts of Dragon's Breath, but as "area of effect" spells go it wasn't too impressive, it was rather rare for a second Bandit, or Berserker, to get touched by the flame and come in to attack.  You really need someone on foot to gather a big mob close together, so that the dragon's rider can then apply the Breath

I spotted a level 50 Pandora's Beast and got a bit over-ambitious; the trouble with carrying a horse mount and a dragon mount is that, while it allows you to fly around on your dragon with horse buffs, it does mean that when you are on foot you don't get that extra Armour Increase buff from a drake.  In short, that darn Pandie killed me, though when I used my resurrection scroll and a health potion, it was low enough in health itself to be polished off.  Which was just as well, as the horse buffs had expired, and I'd not immediately started a new resurrection scroll, so a second death could have been nasty.

After visiting Rau at his pillar of magic, it seemed a good idea to head across to Dratan, and polish off a rather old quest, involving killing Desert Spiders.  And also to ride down to the Elite Poison Mist's location, and get that spot onto the ol' memory scroll.  The Mists seemed easy enough for MD to kill, with the horse buffs active, so perhaps she, like my other characters before her, will spend a few sessions there.  MD even went into Prokion Temple for a few minutes, and wandered around killing Orc Sergeants, so it was a pretty varied session, even if it only added 9.77%, 23 skill points, and, well, no pet points, since there wasn't a pet on board...

I would have continued in Prokion Temple for longer, but a little before three o'clock in the afternoon, UK time, there was a mass disconnection, of the worst kind, for the whole Auzura sub-server group.  The other servers were still running, which is okay for those of us with multiple accounts, but one's account, or accounts, that had been connected when Auzura went down remained "still logged in", preventing one from re-logging in to switch to a different server.  I did spend a little time on a level eight mage over on Hatzring, mainly killing jaguars, but I can't say that my heart was in it.

Luckily Aeria_ks1lent was in the office fairly early, and was able to get the technicians on the job before too long to sort things out, but it still must have been around 5:30 pm before things were up and running again, longer than a "proper" maintenance.  So that rather cut back on the playing, and the pet-levelling, today.  We'd been enjoying a distinct lack of crashes and mass disconnections lately, so I suppose something like that was about due.

Rage headed out to the Forgotten Temple to begin the evening session, mainly concentrating there on a couple of Curd Hadians - but they didn't drop any boots, just the usual Stars, Stripes, and a moonstone box or two.  I'd got up to 3.60% experience, 939 pet points, and 22 skill points, when Aszune needed a bit of help, over on Auzura-2.  She was taking a level 41 archer guildie for some power-levelling in the Tomb of Theos - but the archer didn't have the location memorised yet, and Aszune's Party Recall card had run out.  So I volunteered my aid, moved over to Auzura-2, joined their party, used a memory scroll to get to the Tomb entrance, and used Recall.  Aszune was already there and went straight in...she could have saved a little cash by giving me the gold to enter (as I'm about 23 levels below her, and it costs 3,000 gold per level to get in), which would have made the archer's admission free.  I might well have been able to run down to the room that I presume they wanted, come to that, while my horse buffs lasted, saving the archer a dangerous journey...

So, that brought the Temple session to an early conclusion.  Before it was time to put SirDarth and his drake up to join SirPerivale and Smokey's horse, I took that new archer of mine, LadyAuzura, out for a session in Juno, killing deer, foxes, and wolves, and taking her from level two to level six.  I also added Velpist Temple's entrance and the "Mad Monster Spawn" location to her memory scroll; there was a "GameSage Hide and Seek" going on at the time, so a number of people were rushing around on mounts looking for GS iiAbbyii; some of them probably found her, but just moving around on foot, I didn't.  It was handy to open Pandora's Boxes with a bow rather than with a melee weapon, anyway; the first one LadyAuzura opened released a level 30 Beast, so I just moved on, while the second actually dropped a heaven stone, the first time I've had that happen.

A little later, SirDarth wasn't as lucky - the Pandora's Beast he released managed to kill him.   Luckily the pet drake was unhurt, and Darth only lost 1 skill point.  MrChuckNorris quickly rode down to take our revenge, gaining 97,600 gold for his trouble.  Darth went on to get his drake safely into level 28, while Peri ought to get SmokeinTheKush's horse to almost halfway through level 29 by log-out time.

It was yesterday that HiDE, a character of Renez's, got in touch, to say that he had one of the "tier 2 reward packages" in his Item Mall Records section over here on Auzura (on that particular promotion, they sent the rewards to all servers, which means I've got some useful stuff over on the other servers too), and would I like to have it?  That was a very kind offer, which I immediately accepted.  For ease of spelling we decided that Rage would be the right recipient, so today there was a nice assortment of power potions, crit potions, and so on to add to her inventory.  The package also included seven lucky smelting stones, so those got transferred to MistressDomino - and four of them were passed on to SirPerivale to use on his armour, so it is now as strong as when it had the school uniform "cover" on, and has the little fairy fluttering at his shoulder to show that he has +4 armour.  It doesn't make a huge difference to his defence rating, but sometimes every little helps.

Talking about those "covers", SirDarth still has his school uniform active, and he also has a cover for his weapon, to make it look like a baseball bat, which he hasn't melded to the sword he occasionally uses.  Like the costume, you can equip it without it being melded to the relevant item, so I tried that early on today for a change.  Darth still hit the Berserker for 26 damage, so there seemed no problem, but when I next looked, the Berserker was dead.  For some reason the attack speed was greater (and probably the percentage of successful hits), and that had overwhelmed the Berserker.  So, there was no more use of a baseball bat, Darth went back to bare-knuckle fighting.

A Sunday Mixture -  July 12th

SirDarth and SirPerivale had an early start to their pet-levelling, for a Sunday morning, and Airwalker was already there; he must have stayed for a couple of hours, and even managed to fight and kill the Grand Red Dragon, when I wasn't around to see.  Apparently it was right in front of me, so it's a pity I missed seeing the battle.  As the Cerebrii it spawns towards the end are aggressive as well as protective, it's lucky they focussed on him rather than Darth or Peri.  Someone else doing a bit of pet-levelling, tagaPaslang, asked his level - Airwalker is just level 39. He didn't get a rare drop from the GRD, which, as apparently he didn't have an item drop booster to use, isn't entirely surprising.  I think he would have more chance if he was closer to the GRD's own level, 50, too.

There was time after coffee for MistressDomina to go back to her old ways and, after exchanging that red dragon for her level 32 drake with MistressFelicia, she headed for Prokion Temple on Auzura-4, and that favourite back room.  Things were a bit busier there than usual, I was only just in time; within a couple of minutes a rogue arrived, but saw me in action and went off to find a different space.  Later a rogue and a healer who didn't speak English turned up, and ks'd for a few minutes, before moving on again.

Experience gain is slower now, at level 34, so the 7.19% figure took a lot more than a single hour; 874 pet points were added, and 140 skill points, which took MD up over the 24k mark for unused skill points.  As there aren't any new skills to learn now until level 38, it looks as if my wizard ought to top the 25,000 figure for unused sp eventually.

After lunch, Rage went back to the Forgotten Temple and, mainly concentrating on the two Curd Hadians and a nearby Twin Hadian, managed to add 1.60% and 9 skill points, along with 395 pet points - that was after helping another DreamingRequiem member to add the entrance to the Tomb of Theos to their memory scroll.  Hopefully, as a level 31 rogue, they didn't actually venture inside, things would be a bit dangerous, and at that level they still need to farm skill points anyway.  The Hadians did at least drop Stars and Stripes, though no boots.

The "Sunday Teatime" two hours today was just 50% extra experience, so something to be avoided by anyone farming skilll exp.  I did take MrChuckNorris out to the Sphinx Fighters and Sphinx Speer Men for about one hour, which gained him 10.22%, 6 skill points, and 384 pet points, but things were slightly slow.  When I arrived I noticed someone really cutting through a whole mob of the Sphinx types, including the Elite Sphinx Speer Man, with the ground just about covered in the dropped gold.   It was hard to see who it was, but eventually I saw that it was Rage's guildie xXArcheonXx, who I'd previously teamed with a number of times when he was his knight xXAcheronXx.  He told me that he'd lost quite a few skill points from dying today, but at least he'd levelled up.  That certainly sounds like him, he charges straight in without any fear...

After the food break I didn't really settle down seriously to anything; Lady Auzura went out to the foxes and wolves, and reached level 7; she was just approaching Lorraine when SirDarth opened a new Pandora's Box and unleashed another level 50 Beast, so Chuck had to go charging down to get rid of that, getting a suitable cash reward.  LordElpus then took over for a short stint, until Chuck was again needed, and after that LadyAuzura logged back in, though she spent most of her time sitting down in town.  A combination of starting playing so early, and the broken-up evening, makes it had to really get to grips with the game on Sunday's final session.

The Quiz was due at 8:30, UK time, so Rage and Kaerella, the usual team, headed for Auzura-2's Quiz room.  By that time SirDarth had got Smokey's horse up into level 31, so he'd had a busy day, anyway, enlivened by Airwalker's sessions to level up his Ichi.  It helps that Air doesn't bother to pick up gold, so my horse gets to pick up the nearby gold occasionally, which should help pay for some of those memorising scrolls I use to get there.

The Quiz ran smoothly, for a change, with the trickier questions not appearing, so, on Auzura-2 at least, just about all of us got to the end safely, with our ten tool aids (after ten questions), ten moonstones (after fifteen), and five (after eighteen) plus ten (after twenty) heaven stones all safely received.  I must say that the Quiz room didn't seem as full as usual... and that's not just because Ratel didn't put in an appearance.  It has been some days since he was online with us, I hope his internet connection is okay, and that all is well for him over in South Africa.  The only other Norcaine member there was Steve's healer GuildHealer, though there were plenty of DreamingRequiem members in attendance, including Aszune.

Well that didn't leave all that much playing time, so SirDarth was soon back at work in Merac.  LadyAuzura did a little more wolf-killing, and now has over 3000 gold, thanks to finding some cash that a mage wasn't bothering to pick up; she is halfway through level seven now.  And then it was time for SirPerivale to join SirDarth down in Merac, briefly delayed while Darth opened a new Pandora's Box - but it only released a level 30 bandit-style Beast, which he was easily able to deal with, so Chuck didn't have to be called in.

By the end of the evening it looks as if Smokey's horse, being trained by Darth, will be at least a quarter of the way into level 31, while the drake Peri is working on quickly reached level 29 in the final session of the day.  I think the idea will be to look at the other drakes that Kaerella, Rage, Chuck, MistressDomina, and MistressSabina have, and see if any of them could do with a slightly higher level one.  And once that is sorted out, well, I guess a new horse will be started.  I ought to open a few of the pet-type lucky draw boxes, in the hopes of getting a blue pan flute, as well as some platinum pet experience potions, to speed up that final level.  It will need to be Chuck who does the opening, as he is the one who gets through the 30-point potions of pet healing (which the boxes sometimes give a hundred of) rather rapidly - they can't be traded between accounts.

Time in the Temple  -  July 13th

As usual SirDarth and SirPerivale made an early start; I was busy downstairs all morning, so they managed to continue without interruptions, generally, though a rather large download followed by an attempt to clear some space on the older computer meant it slowed down so much I had to do a restart, so Darth did get a short rest then.  By lunchtime though Peri's drake had reached level 30, and the horse Darth is training for SmokeinTheKush had reached level 32, so was now on its final level.  9457 pet points meant nine and a half hours to go...

With his drake now giving 29 of the 30 possible levels of Armour Increase, Peri was able to let Darth have his +12 helm back.  With the +4 helm on, together with the rest of the +4 "Radiant" armour set and defence/evasion orientated accessories, and still using Darth's +13 Royal Shield, the 29 levels of Armour Increase mean that Peri has a total Physical Defence stat of 985, which is enough to keep the Berserker he is fighting from doing any consistent damage.

MistressDomina had the afternoon session for her trip to Prokion Temple, and had the back room to herself, except for an intrusion for a few minutes from the pair of non English speaking ks-ers, the rogue kurenaji and the healer Ljubimba.  Before she left Randol she got the reward from Healer Yabo for killing assorted spiders out in the desert yesterday, which did add 1.28% experience, so that the afternoon's experience gain figure of 10.96% is higher than it should be.  1300 pet points were also added, and 186 skill points.

Later in the afternoon, when Smokey was online, there were a number of messages to Darth just asking "exp", so he was eager for level 33 to be reached.  "2679/9457" I'd reply, which he'd acknowledge with a terse "k".

In the evening, as well as messages from Smokey and another character of his, PineAppleExpress, someone called ProToS got me to add him to my Friends list, and then said that Stavanic had told him to get in touch, and could I level his pony "5-8" levels... Stavanic would give me the necessary tool aid, or hopefully tool aids.  So I agreed, assuming he was in one of our guilds, but when Stavanic came online a little later, he said that he wasn't, he'd apparently made his own guild.  So I'm not entirely sure what the whole idea is - Stavanic apparently has promised to make him a mount, and I just get to do a few levels of it.  I did suggest that he shouldn't "make a habit of giving away my time to strangers"...but hey, it's only a few levels, and Steve himself seems to get the main part of the task.  Let's hope it stays that way.

Well, the evening session also belonged to MistressDomina; there is a chance, after all, that following tomorrow night's maintenance the skill exp in the Forgotten Temple might be increased, so it's less than tempting to take Rage there too much, or indeed to move out of its range of levels.  At least Kaerella remains well placed to take advantage of any increase there, once she gets her armour back.

The evening session began with a brief trip into Merac to kill a few Berserkers.  As she approached SirDarth there, a Pandora's Box came into sight, and, when she opened it, a level 50 Pandora's Beast was released.  Luckily the Curse skill, to slow it down, and Terra Spear, to hit it hard, both worked properly, and while one hit did take about a third of her health, it died, and dropped 100,00 gold exactly.  As MD was fairly close to Darth at the time, the cash was split between them; he also got the horse buffs MD gave herself before the fight, which meant for a few minutes he couldn't really pet-level, as the extra attack meant that even without a weapon equipped Berserkers died rather quickly.

There was a second Pandora's Box slightly further along towards Maargadum Jail, but opening that one just dropped ten small health potions, which is about the least useful drop one gets.  Unless you count the level 30 Beasts, which tend just to drop 200-300 gold when killed!

However, the main part of the evening was spent back in Prokion Temple, where MD was uninterrupted.  11.42% experience was gained, along with 1484 more pet points, and 223 skill points - enough to get the total of unused points up to 24,500 exactly.  MistressDomina has also contributed 31,014 guild points to Norcaine, from being frozen or semi-frozen in Prokion Temple... which isn't quite as many as Chuck managed, but then he was 100% frozen all the time, since that was allowed then.

However, with Ratel's continuing absence, it is starting to make sense to have MD leave the Norcaine guild - Kaerella, Chuck and Darth are enough there I think, and without the guild master being online, leaving is the only way to end that 50% freeze.  Kaerella is a guild adviser, as far as I know, so can do the kicking; it's better to be kicked than to leave, as people who opt to leave a guild have to wait a week before they can join another.  Rage logged on briefly to check with XxAcheronxX and Aszune, and they appear to have room for MD in DreamingRequiem, though no guild master or guild adviser was anywhere suitable for recruiting her. Making a special trip into the Tomb of Theos, at level 34, didn't seem a very wise idea...  So, tomorrow, probably.  Having both Rage and MD there will make it easier to keep involved, I hope.

SirDarth meanwhile had been making steady progress with Smokey's horse, so that it should be possible to reach level 33 before logging-out time tonight, and pass it across to SmokeinTheKush or her alter ego PineAppleExpress.  There may even be time for Darth to convert a pan flute into a brand-new pony as well.  SirPerivale should get his drake almost halfway through level 30, as well.  PineAppleExpress was saying that she had bought a level 15 blue hatchling for only one million, and that somebody had probably left a zero or two off when they put it for sale.  She was thinking of getting it up to level 16 and selling it, but I advised her to hang on to it, everyone needs a pet as well as a mount, to get both sorts of buff.

Not a Lot of Time  -  July 14th

SirDarth got his new pony levelling at a good speed this morning, and by lunch it was level eight, with 100% Sympathy, and thus able to give a useful Armour Increase buff; Darth was able to use his hit rate increasing accessories again, instead of the ones that add to his defence and evasion stats.  It was about lunchtime when SirPerivale got his drake to level 31 too, so that it is now able to give the maximum thirty levels of Armour Increase.

Peri took some time off after coffee, to allow MistressDomina to head for Prokion Temple again, and my favourite back room.  I did get a disconnection after fifteen-twenty minutes; I might have survived the temporary "disruption in the force" if I'd not done anything, Darth did, but when I saw that I wasn't doing any damage to my group of Orcs I tried to unequip MD's drake, and immediately the "disconnected" window came up.

Still, I logged back in without any problems, and hurried back, to continue for another hour.  In all MistressDomina went up by 5.27%, adding 576 pet points and 104 skill points.  If she is now only getting around 4% experience per hour, she could carry on with visiting the Temple for another thirteen hours, probably.  Hmm, definitely a good reason to get the experience gain unlocked!

Peri logged back in afterwards, but not for as long as usual; the afternoon session was going to be rather short, as I needed to go off and do some shopping in Watford.  While I could leave Darth pet-levelling, Peri's drake now gets hungry too quickly for that.  So, Kaerella was set up to do a little mining, while Darth piled on more levels for his pony.

When I got back there wasn't quite enough time for a playing session; I logged Rage in briefly to see who was online in the DreamingRequiem guild, but the answer was "hardly anybody", so SirPerivale started his late afternoon food break stint a bit earlier than usual.

I was ready to restart playing, and wondering which character to use, when the announcements for the regular Tuesday "Mad Monster Spawn", scheduled on Auzura for 5:00pm UK time, started to appear, so it was lucky I'd eaten slightly earlier than usual.  Attending such an event either needs an extremely high-level character, preferably around level 120 - or someone who can die without losing any skill points.  It helps if it doesn't matter if they gain experience without any useful skill experience, too!

Putting it like that, the obvious candidate was the power-levelled, sp-lacking level twenty titan, Cyborg, so I logged him in.  He had the entrance to Juno's Velpist Temple on his memory scroll, so, after buying a few extra scrolls, I teleported over to that spot, and then ran along to the MMS location, which I took care to add to the scroll.  GMStratos already had his big statue dude in position, so it was just a matter of waiting for the start, and killing a few local Great Horn Beasts to pass the time.

Well, at level twenty there wasn't a whole lot I could do; I did attempt to help out with a few kills of Wight Slashers, Swamp Demons, etc, but missed a lot more often than I hit.  I died quite a few times, respawning back in town, and then sitting down for a minute to regain health before using a scroll to get back to the action.  I killed some of the local minor stuff that was annoying people - and I grabbed what loot I could when the various hands were spawned.

It looked to me as if we were getting nowhere against the final wave, with its Patriarch Botis types and cave spirits; I think GMStratos replaced them with an easier wave before departing, but it did mean that there weren't any heaven stones spawned at the end.

So, while Cyborg probably lost a bit of experience overall, he did gain a titan top hat (I think somebody had just dropped it), and from the local beasts a few Stars and Stripes...as well as 7 large attack potions, 9 large defence potions, 4 item drop boosters, 4 skill point boosters, 13 tool aids, 23 small mana restoration pots, and I guess a similar number of the small health restoration ones too.

Unfortunately, as the event was winding down, it was announced that the server maintenance would come early today - not safely out of the way for people on UK time at 1:00am tomorrow morning, but at 6:00pm this evening.

I saw PineAppleExpress, SmokeinTheKush's healer, on her brand-new level 33 horse, and very fine it looked too with its black colouration. I did manage to pass it over to her late last night, though I had to run most of the way to Velpist Temple to find her. She does now want a small extra favour, levelling her drake from 16 (372/2382) to 20; she brought it down to SirDarth in Merac. I was going to switch to training it as soon as the pony levelled up again, but that was before the announcement that the server would soon be going offline.  So, the allocation of its stat points to Armour Increase would have to wait until things were working again. 

And Steve, Stavanic, is talking of further pet-levelling favours needing to be done for his friends...so I hope he gets his own pet leveller ready for use soon.

We were advised to log out before the servers went down, so that we didn't lose any recently gained items or experience, so that is what we did.  I'd been able to grab a few minutes playing LadyAuzura, my level seven healer, but it wasn't much of a main evening session... SirDarth logged out too, with his pony just past halfway through level 12.

I went off to Guild Wars for a little while, getting a few points towards the next Spearmarshall and Lightbringer titles by riding around in a giant worm out in a desert, but the Last Chaos server maintenance was still going on at my normal log-out time.

I did belatedly discover a message from Norcaine guild member Ghostt, to say "My account has been banned because I reskinned the game (edited the textures and stuff....)"  It looks as if he doesn't intend to reappear with a different account, sadly, but if anyone does want to get in touch, the email is his name "at" live.be.  I did see Ratel log on today, but only very briefly, so I don't know what that was about.  He probably saw news of the upcoming maintenance, I guess...

It was about five to ten when the servers finally rebooted - just in time for the Cariae, Sarissa, and Hatzring servers to have their own Mad Monster Spawns, though poor Katar was running late.  I did manage to send SirDarth out with PineAppleExpress's drake for a while, but that was all that I could do, except for a very brief five-minute appearance by LordElpus, to check that, indeed, the Independence Day celebrations were continuing for a third week, with Stars, Stripes, and top hats still dropping.

Requiem For a Dream   -  July 15th

I was busy again in the morning, though not as busy as I'll be tomorrow all day, sigh... but at least that meant that SirDarth and SirPerivale could quietly get on with their pet-levelling work.  Darth was training SmokeinTheKush's blue drake, to get it from level 16 to 20 - and Peri was still training my own drake.

The afternoon session belonged to MistressDomina, though when she arrived in Prokion Temple, not only was the Sergeant-rich corridor room in use - so was "my" back room.  Luckily the two people at work there were Ljubimka and kurenaji, and as they'd come in when I was already there, well, I could come in when they were fighting, yes?

After a while I accepted an invitation to join the party - and a little while after that the rogue, kurenaji, left, presumably from a disconnection.  He didn't come back, I gather he may have headed for Merac instead. 

Ljubimka told me that the rogue kurenaji was her brother; he was 14 and she was 12, and they live in Serbia.  He was level 29; the healer Ljubimka was level 26, though did reach level 27 during the session.  She did die twice, it's a difficult room for healers, but as she mentioned at one point that she only had 228 skill points unused, she can't have lost too much.

Ratel had kindly, after reading recent blog entries, unfrozen MistressDomina's experience, so 31,117 guild points remains as her total guild point contribution to Norcaine, just behind Chuck's 31,723.  So, perhaps helped by being in a party with someone (or two) a few levels lower, the experience gain for MD was 24.56%, along with 975 pet points and 142 skill points.

SirDarth had got his Berserker ks'd mid-afternoon by a rogue called DeathSpEED, but was soon back in action - Deathspeed and a friend were trying to lure the Grand Red Dragon, and it didn't take them long to succeed in that.  Darth quickly hurried over to the far side of the clearing, followed by his faithful Berserker, so I was able to watch the action from a safe distance. 

I can't say that I'm sure of the outcome, they certainly got the GRD's health down enough for the Cerebrii to spawn - and a rogue, if of an assassin, blade-wielding persuasion, can fake death by using the Death Motion skill.  Hopefully matters reached a satisfactory conclusion, at least the Cerebrii had gone when I moved back across a bit later.

PineAppleExpress, alias SmokeinTheKush, got in touch at the end of the early evening food break to ask if her blue drake had reached level twenty yet, and I was able to say that it had; the four levels had only taken 38 quality stones, so that must have been slightly under sixteen hours of work for Darth.  He's holding on to it at the moment, as Piney is levelling a hatchling up a bit for a friend and, with the mount as well, doesn't yet have room for the drake, but Darth has re-equipped the pony whose career had been temporarily halted at level twelve. It had only lost 9 Sympathy while the blue drake was equipped instead, so that wasn't going to take long to restore.

Rage logged in briefly at the start of the evening session.  The first thing to do was to check who was online in the DreamingRequiem guild...but for some reason the "manage guild" window, to check who was online, wouldn't open. And then I noticed that Rage didn't have a guild name over her head any longer...

There is a bug that sometimes causes people to be "kicked" from a guild, and I was assuming that was the most likely explanation, since I didn't think that Rage had done anything particularly annoying.  Nobody in the guild who was on my Friends list was online, so... something to check into further later in the day.

MistressDomina returned to Prokion Temple, and this time had the back room to herself.  Before too long xXArcheonXx, who is on MD's Friends list, and one of the two DreamingRequiem guild advisers, got in touch... to tell me, when I said that I'd seen that Rage wasn't in the guild, "Nobody is, only me and XxAcheronxX."

Archie did some more investigating, and discovered that XxAcheronxX, the guild master, had had his account banned - I think I had commented that letting his friend Aszune, the other guild adviser, access his account was risky that way, but it was convenient if Ach wasn't around for Aszune to be able to log in to freeze/unfreeze people's experience gain.  So, knowing that a guild was scuppered if the GM position was inaccessible, Aszune had kicked all the members, except Archie as she couldn't kick a fellow guild adviser, and left... all very swift and efficient, but a bit hard to follow!

So, Archie will be trying to get as many people as he can back into his old guild, which Rage was in, along with Galldora and, as a GA, chaos ranger.  Unfortunately he logged out for the night before MD could be replaced by Rage, at the end of my Prokion stint.  Talking of which, MistressDomina added another 20.71% during the evening, and 206 more skill points.  Her drake reached level 33, in the course of gaining 1316 pet points.

Ratel recruited a new member to Norcaine, a brand-new mage called Adrina who went from level one to level seven during the evening, with Ratel already having applied the 50% experience gain freeze.  She seems to know what she's doing, and was suggesting that MD could stay longer in Prokion Temple, if she parties with someone a few levels lower.  So maybe my "empty" titan Cyborg, currently level 20, may be useful here. I'll have to run a little experiment tomorrow.

Well, it is a shame about DreamingRequiem - the second guild with Rage in to perish that way, through the guild master being banned.  We had some good high-level people, and others moving up well, so I was expecting Rage to be in on a few Monster Combo parties before long, and other interesting team-ups.  But at least we can, most of us, go back to the guild that Archeon merged into DR.  I don't think he will be inviting Aszune, though. So, all is not lost.

SirPerivale's drake had reached level 32 just before making way for MistressDomina's evening session, and should get at least a tenth of the way through the level before log-out time.  SirDarth's pony should be well into level 15 by then, so is liable to grow up into a horse fairly early tomorrow.  Not a mount, that's still a long way away, but a horse looks more impressive than a pony, as a companion.

Teaming in the Temple   -  July 16th

My pet-levellers were hard at work all morning, as I was generally busy downstairs; I had expected to lose the afternoon session too, but managed to get everything finished by about halfway through, so was able to get more involved with Last Chaos then.

As I was reminded yesterday, it is possible for a character to continue beyond level 34 in Prokion Temple, if they are teamed up with someone at a significantly lower level - so the obvious candidate for teaming up with MistressDomina was my power-levelled titan Cyborg, who had practically no skill points, and hardly any skills.

So, both SirDarth and SirPerivale were able to take a few hours off; with Cyborg on the older computer, he and MD teamed up, moved to Prokion Temple, applied MD's speed buff and the horse buffs, and, with Cy clicked onto MD to follow her, headed for my favourite back room.

Unfortunately even on Auzura-4 the room was occupied, by a healer with a name like Nanak, so, while I parked Cyborg safely behind one of the torch-braziers in there, MistressDomina had to content herself with fighting the Orc Fighters and Orc Soldiers out in the corridor and other nearby rooms, making sure that Cy's dot was still visible on the compass map.

It wasn't long before that healer left, however, and with me having Cyborg's view of the room on my screen, I knew about it right away, so that MD was able to dash in and claim the place as her own.

The session before my usual early evening food break wasn't very long, but MistressDomina did get the last 9% she needed to level up, reaching level 35 - in all she added 14.50%, plus 86 skill points (enough to take her reserve over 25k), and 171 pet points.  When I reached the new level I had to unequip MD's drake, as with all the Orcs now blue-named, it wouldn't get any more pet experience, and while its buffs are quite useful, it does tend to get attacked a lot, and not having to watch for that all the time was rather a relief.

I left the characters in the room over my food break, and was able to resume fairly quickly.  MistressDomina was getting fairly similar amounts of skill exp to what she had been getting before this on-site team-up, and more experience - not the 1284 from an Axeman and 8536 from a Sergeant she'd got at level 34 after the 50% experience freeze was taken off, but more like 6500 and 14500 or so, though it varied with each kill.

Ratel was playing his healer Jacqueline, mainly to lure the Grand Red Dragon - and when the luring succeeded, he'd switch to Ratel, start a level 12 magic defence mineral, and go down and fight it.  The first appearance was actually caused by Norcaine guild member JadaMarie, but, while Ratel did succeed in killing it, JM got carried away and joined the attack, which may well have diminished the chance of a good drop.  The following two lurings were done by Jacqui though, and each time Ratel triumphed over the dragon and the Cerebrii it spawns... the last time it did actually drop a rare, even though he'd not been able to start an item drop booster or lucky scroll: a Crest of Rainbow, an accessory that adds 6 to constitution and 12 each to strength, dexterity and intelligence..

I had to advise Ratel how to reveal the item's "secret properties" - that is, buy a golden magnifying glass for a million gold, click it open, and drag on the item to be identified.  Ratel was most impressed with his new acquisition, and decided right away to keep it, and equip it.

My evening went pretty smoothly - except when a knight called bLoodmoNey barged in, started ks-ing, asking to party, what level was I, he'd go away if I gave him a moonstone box, and so on... but luckily he didn't stay all that long.

By the end of the evening, MistressDomina had added another 52.96%, which shows what a boost partying with Cyborg gave her, and 298 more skill points, so she'd done well... while Cyborg had in all gone up by six levels, from 20 to 26 - 600.48%.  He'd got 374 skill points, too, so ought at least to be able to get Battle Roar up to level five.  That's exactly the same number of sp that MD got across the two sessions, since party members, assuming they are close enough together to be on the compass-map, do normally get the same amount of skill exp.  Ordinary experience does vary though, depending on how close you are to the monster in question's level.

So, Cyborg should be a bit more useful next time he attends a Mad Monster Spawn.  We'll have to see how things go when he levels up a bit further, perhaps he will still boost MistressDomina's experience gain up to level 29 - we will see.  Cyborg will never have a full set of maximised skills, but he should be useful in future, in situations where I don't want to send a character who'd lose a lot of skill points when killed.

JadaMarie, as a level 28 healer, was having the same sort of problems Jacqueline had been having in Prokion Temple... having only average armour, skill point farming just didn't work, every time she died she lost more than she'd gained.  I was at least able to suggest a trip to Strayana's weapons dealer to buy some level 33 weapons, to convert into smelting stones to upgrade her armour (weapons may cost slightly more, but they give two smelting stones rather than a piece of armour's one)...so she now has all her armour at least at +3.  My other advice is, if Orc Sergeants and Orc Axemen hit too hard, go for the Orc Fighters and Orc Soldiers, they may give a bit less experience and skill exp, but they are lower level, so are easier to kill and dont hit quite as hard.

The evening ended with SirDarth and SirPerivale returning to the Berserkers, where they were joined almost immediately by Airwalker, training his Ichi "human tribe" pet again.  He didn't stay very long, as he's two hours ahead of UK time - he was glad to be back, he'd had internet problems this week - three days without Last Chaos!  It hardly bears thinking about...

SirDarth got his horse to level 19 this evening, while SirPerivale's drake is now just starting on level 33, which should take a while.